INTRODUCTION TO THE IMPACT OF OTHER CULTURES BY PARKER ROSSMAN
The following is the introduction to “The Impact of Other Cultures”, the ninth chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), one of the only three book-length general studies of Greek love in English.
Of all the chapters in Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys, this one may be considered to have the greatest enduring value, since it is based entirely on interviews with men who had liaisons with boys and can therefore be regarded as a primary source.
Following this introduction, Rossman went on to give examples of the impact he had in mind in seven sub-chapters:
Vietnam and Southeast Asia [actually only Vietnam and Thailand]
North Africa [almost entirely just a Frenchman in Morocco]
An American in North Africa
An Englishman in Syria
An American in Lebanon
A Canadian in Central Asia
A German in Greece
These sub-chapters were followed by “Some Concluding Observations”.
The Impact of Other Cultures
The investigation of pederasty in other cultures would be exhausting even if we could limit the survey to the peculiar national styles of sexual deviance found in such regions as East Asia, the Communist world, South Asia, the Middle East, Black Africa, North Africa, Latin Europe, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America, and the South Seas. We would want to ask how ancient pederastic traditions or undergrounds are changing under the impact of the modern world, what types of pederasty exist, what supporting structures exist, what about religion and moral attitudes, class differences, view of pederasty in literature and art, and laws and their enforcement, and much more. Fortunately we have limited ourselves to a simpler objective, that of exploring the impact of other cultures upon pederasts, and of examining evidence for cultural conditioning of pederast experience — since all experience is culturally conditioned one way or another. Our method will be to report overseas pederast experience of the men interviewed for this book, with corroborating evidence cited in the notes.
There is, of course, a great variety of sexual cultures and attitudes toward pederasty from one part of the world to another. Some social scientists find few if any contemporary societies where any type of homosexual practices is approved. Others, like Ford and Beach, find homosexual acts of “one kind or another” approved or tolerated in 49 out of 76 societies studied. The difference depends on how homosexuality is viewed. Tolerance for adult men playing feminine roles is rare, and maintaining a lifelong exclusively gay lifestyle is still only rarely approved. Sex play between men and boys, however, and between older and younger boys — at least among unmarried males – is tolerated in many cultures. To take one example, a University of Pennsylvania anthropologist tells of a Melanesian society where nearly every male is involved in pederast activity at one time or another. That culture recognizes the erotic needs of adolescents, encourages masturbation, and openly tolerates and discusses man-boy sex play, although there is no gay homosexuality. When a man marries he is expected to give up masturbation, but he may continue to play sexually with boys so long as he sexually satisfies his wife. Men whose goal is pleasure frequently report more fun with boys than with wives, and Suggs says that the most acceptable and approved form of sex play is with the youngest adolescent boys, as they are more playful and have more appealing skin. Little or no stigma is attached to sex play with boys, including anal intercourse, and adults frequently tease a young boy in public, asking who he has been playing a girl’s role with. The only thing considered wrong or queer is for a young man not to marry when he reaches the appropriate age. For him to continue amusing himself sexually with young males is approved so long as such sex play is mutual and playful.
The impact of such sexual cultures is clarified in a review volume on the French Encyclopedia of Sexual Life, which described the “flourishing pederast tourism to places where sex play with youngsters is tolerated or even promoted for reasons of business or hospitality.” Aware that sex play with minors at home can lead to prison, many European and some American pederasts solve the problem by regular trips overseas (50 per cent to Mediterranean countries; 6 per cent to the Far East) where sexual approaches to youngsters that would lead an American to be lynched at home result only in “approving smiles from ambitious parents.” Other men have become aware of their pederast inclinations and desires as a result of their experiences as soldiers, businessmen or tourists. Still others, inhibited at home by laws, morals and customs, are freed from their inhibitions as a result of overseas sex play. The purpose of this chapter is to examine such experiences as reported by pederasts interviewed
 For example, McIntosh (1972). [Author’s footnote 1]. Apparently this refers to a section of R. R. Bell et al. The Social Dilemma of Human Sexuality. Boston, 1972.
 C. S. Ford and F. Beach, Patterns of Sexual Behavior (New York, 1951), p. 130. [Author’s footnote 2]
 W. Davenport, “Sexual Patterns in a Southwest Pacific Society” in Ruth and H. Brecher, An Analysis of Human Sexual Response (New York, 1966), pp. 199 ff. [Author’s footnote 3]
 Robert C. Suggs, Marquesan Sexual Behavior (New York, 1966). See also C. Levi-Strauss, Tristes Topiques (New York, 1974). [Author’s footnote 4]
 Robert C. Suggs, Marquesan Sexual Behavior (New York, 1966) p. 87. [Author’s footnote 5]
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 T. Coffin, The Sex Kick (New York, 1966), p. 37. [Author’s footnote 6]
 Tony Duvert, Le Bon Sexe lllustré (Paris, 1974), pp. 99 ff. [Author’s footnote 7]