thank you aerynsun, i have been trying to remember the name of that tribe.
i had read a longer more detailed article in a magazine, not sure which one, discover, nat geo, arch, etc; i get tons. as i remembered boys were not weaned until age 7 then they would leave their parents hut and live with the bacholars and “nurse” there until 16 or 18 when they were considered adults and went through the adult ceremony.
In college, I had a German-American friend who told me it was normal for German babysitters and nursemaids to masturbate the little Kinder to get them to sleep; it was an expected service and no one in Germany thought there was anything untoward about it. “Rub them off” was the phrase he used. It was back in the 1970s when he told me this, long before the alleged Japanese practice was noised about in the media. Can any German Dopers confirm this, or was he pulling my leg?
In Iran, Afghanistan, and India, it was once thought normal to give crying or coughing kids opium to get them to sleep. OPIUM! Now, which is worse? There was a very real danger of OD’ed opiated kids never waking up.
I remember reading the same thing in Journeyer by Gary Jennings, only it was 13th century Italy. I’m well aware that Journeyer was historical fiction. I’ve read about the practice elsewhere (I think I read about it in The Sex Atlas)
It’s not just the Sambia, it is, or was, a common practice in Papua-New Guinea. I doubt things are still the same today, what with the different social and economic context those tribes live in today.
Also, I don’t know about Japanese specifically, but among several cultures worldwide stroking the baby’s genitals is not seen as sexual at all, and is instead seen as part of the normal way of soothing infants, akin to singing lullabies. (No, I can’t think of any specific culture right now.)
Right on. No good American parent would ever do such a horrible thing.
Unless instead of opium it was called paragoric and used to dull the pain of toothache or help stop diarrhea or used in a million and one other ways to quiet the child (mostly literally, by stopping the crying).
Guess you don’t remember the 1950s so well. Too much paragoric?
Not that I’ve heard of. . .
I think JRDelirious is correct about this being mutated from the tabloid report. That urban legend has been floating around Japan for years.
Traditionally, (many?) Japanese families slept in the same room, on futons (on the tatami floor) so there isn’t “their own beds” to go back to, at least while the children were small. I asked a Japanese friend about how he handled sex, (he has a couple of kids, so . . .) and he said that small children will sleep deeply enough they don’t wake up.
The standard Japanese joke is that if they do wake up, you tell them mommy and daddy are wrestling, and to go back to bed.
I have a laudanum bottle (empty) that came from a manufacturer town in Utah in the late 1890’s, with the dosing instructions printed right on the label. Laudanum, of course, is tincture of opium, opium dissolved in alcohol.
The doses are given in drops and are listed by age.
A good number of late Victorian medical and advice books (J. H. Kellogg’s Plain Facts for Old and Young is typical) circulated this belief. Many children learned to masturbate, they argued, from (usually Irish) maids and nurses who used it as a soothing device. Just another aspect of the Eternal Servant Problem, I gather.
I seem to remember this masturbation tale also being one of the many stories Margaret Mead was duped with.
There’s no opium around these parts, but a healthy glass of schnapps to sleep on used to be good mother lore. Also I don’t know that opium/ schnapps are so much worse than Ritalin for breakfast or hours of daily TV intake. Supposedly your brain is more active in an opium-induced sleep than when watching TV.
Our children always slept in out bed for as long as they want; about four or five years or something (there’s something the wrong with this sentence) – the youngest one will rather sleep with her sister though. I thought that was pretty normal in Europe and America, at least it’s quite common here.
He was pulling your leg. I’m a German doper and I have never heard of this “practice”. It is however well known that a sip of beer or some schnapps to sleep on is probably still done now and then. I remember trying my first sip of beer when I was quite small, and my kids have also had a sip of beer before. I was surprised when they actually said they liked it. Then again it was Grolsch, so I guess they just have good taste.
It is definitely not accepted today. From reading a ca 1900 German housekeeping advice book I remember that parents were urged to make sure that their servants don’t do this. It was described as a common problem and attributed to the servants’ laziness.
These days, if you go to India and are accosted by a beggarwoman who is carrying a small child, you might notice that the child seems unusually quiet and passive and often has watery eyes – I believe these children are drugged, whether with opium or not I don’t know, to keep them quiet. In fact, it is likely in such cases that the beggarwoman is not even the mother of the child. Beggars in India are often controlled by pimp-like criminals, who assign them territories and hand out drugged babies in the manner of props and then collect most of the money from the beggar.