POPULATION BASE AND PREVALENCE
When discussing behavioral phenomena such as forcible sexual relations,
fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, it is critical to have
some evidence on the size of the population base and the prevalence
and incidence of such behavior in order to reach a sound judgement
on the claims presented.
The time period we are primarily dealing with is that of our original
field work, 1959-60, 1961-63. The Rungus are found on two peninsulas
in the Kudat District of Sabah: the Kudat Peninsula and the Melabong
Peninsula. As we were not able to visit the Rungus villages on the
Melabong Peninsula at that time, we have excluded these from our
analysis. They represent roughly 21% of the total Rungus population.
To determine the number of Rungus on the Kudat Peninsula we multiplied
the number of men on the head tax rolls by a multiplier derived
from our own sociological census of several villages. This produced
a population of 4,545 Rungus in villages of pure Rungus ethnic identity
and 4,063 in mixed villages.
The mixed villages lie on the boundaries of the Rungus territory
and include members of the Nulu and Gonsomon ethnic groups who have
moved in or married in. We do not know how many individuals in these
mixed villages were at that time Rungus in their ethnic identity
or belonged to these other two Dusunic groups. While the Gonsomon
and Nulu have a distinct ethnic identity, their isoglots are completely
mutually intelligible with each other and with the Rungus isoglot.12
Even so the accents of both Nulu and Gonsomon speakers are sufficiently
different so that one can identify the ethnic group of an individual
by his speech. Their customary laws, however, are almost identical
with the customary law of the Rungus. Furthermore, Gonsomon and
Nulu individuals identify themselves to outsiders as being Rungus.
As a result, we feel confident that the results of our inquiries
on the jural system and behavior from the headmen and other knowledgeable
people in our village also applies to the mixed villages as well.
This is substantiated by the fact my informants would also refer
to cases that had occurred in these mixed villages. We are dealing
with a small area in which gossip and news is readily exchanged,
and members of our village had kin in many of the mixed villages.
The Kudat Peninsula is roughly 32 miles long and has a width varying
from 11 to 16 miles. The Rungus from both fully Rungus and mixed
villages also met at the two weekly markets.
Therefore, we conclude that our data refers to a population base
of approximately 8,500 individuals.
However, it is impossible to develop any prevalence or incidence
rates of illicit sexual behaviors. These behaviors appear in village
moots only when jural actions are taken. They are not recorded by
the government. They form an oral corpus, which we drew upon and
found no cases of forced intercourse. But this does not mean that
the lack of cases of sexual aggression is because of the small size
of the population involved. For we are dealing here with an accumulated
cultural memory of events and jural cases, which at a minimum includes
50 to 75 years of group experience.