Living in the twenty-first century, we have witnessed how rapidly and dramatically culture can change, from ways of communicating to the emergence of same-sex marriage. Similarly, many of us live in culturally diverse settings and experience how varied human cultural inventions can be. We readily accept that clothing, language, and music are cultural—invented, created, and alterable—but often find it difficult to accept that gender and sexuality are not natural but deeply embedded in and shaped by culture. Similarly, human sexuality, rather than being simply natural is one of the most culturally significant, shaped, regulated, and symbolic of all human capacities.
You might want to preface this section by saying that if people find the discussion of sexual motivation uncomfortable, they should be free to leave. Warn them that some of the material you are about to present is quite graphic. Janet Hyde  provides brief snapshots of three societies that vary in their patterns of sexual behavior. You might present them in class as an extension of the text discussion of sexual practices. The following refers to a rural community in Ireland according to research done in Although Inis Beag is still a small and largely secluded community today, these beliefs are no longer likely to be this conservative and are definitely not representative of Ireland's beliefs as a whole.
Coming of Age in Samoa is a book by American anthropologist Margaret Mead based upon her research and study of youth — primarily adolescent girls — on the island of Ta'u in the Samoan Islands. First published in , the book launched Mead as a pioneering researcher and as the most famous anthropologist in the world. The book has sparked years of ongoing and intense debate and controversy on questions pertaining to society , culture , and science. It is a key text in the nature versus nurture debate, as well as in discussions on issues relating to family, adolescence, gender, social norms , and attitudes. In the s, Derek Freeman contested many of Mead's claims, and argued that she was hoaxed into counterfactually believing that Samoan culture had more relaxed sexual norms than Western culture.
Scholars use diverse terms and spellings to designate the Mosuo culture. Most prefer 'Mosuo' some spell it 'Moso', while a minority use neither term, but refer to them as the Na people. The Mosuo people are known as the 'Kingdom of Women' because the Na are a matrilineal society: heterosexual activity occurs only by mutual consent and mostly through the custom of the secret nocturnal 'visit';  men and women are free to have multiple partners,  and to initiate or break off relationships when they please. Matrilineal cultures trace descent through the female line. It can also be considered a society in which one identifies with one's mother's lineage including familial lineage or property inheritance.