Sun, 11 Dec 1994 13:30:27 EST

Valley Dani (1961-63), West New Guinea [Irian Jaya]: spousal conflict
was much as Harriet Whitehead described it; frequent, colorful, and
noisy but with little actual physical damage to the particiipants.
/Quarrels between husbands and wives usually erupt into public
sessions of name-calling, accusations, and counter-accusations. What
may begin as an argument within a woman's hut often ends with a beating
outside in the yard with the whole hamlet population as spectators.
Angry wives do not hesitate to attack their husbands with firewood, stones,
or digging sticks though they are almost always the losers in any such
encounter. Spectators may try to intervene but intervention is neither
as predictable nor as forceful as in the case of a quarrel between
Common causes of spousal conflict were jealousy between co-wives,
suspicion of marital infidelity, and arguments about property.
I have no data--at least none that I can recall--about child abuse,
either by parents or older siblings. I would be very surprised if there
was a high incidence of child abuse.