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While there is little or no sexual antagonism in Rungus society, sexual jealously (mongivogu) is prevalent. There is the story of a girl who was being courted by two youths. And one day, as she passed them on the way to the river, she made up a short, highly metaphorical poem. The underlying meaning of the poem was that she liked them equally and could not make up her mind between the two of them. Then each said that as long he was not going to marry her, the other wouldn't either. And they stabbed her and then killed each other. The event is supposed to have happened before the arrival of the British. But the story along with the poem is repeated frequently. No one now knows who was involved in the incident. But it is a clear cautionary tale of the potential danger of sexual jealousy.

There is also the myth of what happened when men had penises of dogs. Violence lies just below the surface of sexual infidelities. And sexual jealousy over one's spouse is a very prevalent and strong emotion.

Either just before the British arrived or just after, about four generations ago, a man in our research village killed his wife in a jealous rage. Her brother then killed him. In a neighboring village before the British came, a man enraged with sexual jealousy over his wife killed her, it is alleged, by pulling her legs apart.

It was our observation at the time of our original research that sexual jealously was more common among wives than husbands. By 1990 cases of jealousy predominately involved wives. While some informants maintain that it is not any more frequent at present after sociocultural change than during our original research, others say it is more prevalent because men move about more and take work in distant areas. It is certainly talked about much more frequently, and this gossip primarily involves jealous wives. Another explanation may be the change in marital residence. Previously when the Rungus economy was based on the swidden cultivation of rice, uxorilocal residence in cases of intervillage marriage resulted in men being the strangers among the kin of their wives. Now that residence is virilocal as a result of ownership of land by men and the development of coconut and rubber plantations, wives are the strangers. There are now many more women than before without kinship ties within their spouses' village.

But assault as the result of sexual jealousy is not sexual assault. It is the response to a violation of the rights and duties of a wife.

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