Sifon: Pedang Bermata Dua Bagi Perempuan|
Circumcision for adult men is a tradition carried out among the Atoni tribe in Timor Island. After circumcision, these men undergo a process of sifon, where a man is supposed to engage in sexual relationship with at least 3 women. Based on that background, this research aims at understanding the perception of Atoni women about sifon, experiences of married women whose husband has never carried out sifon and those whose husband has, the impact of sifon towards those wives, and strategies carried out by these wives and other women to protect themselves from the impact of sifon.
The method used in this research is a qualitative method through FGDs and in-depth in Bijeli Village and Netpala Village, Timor Island. The results of this research show (1) the perception of women about sifon functions as a social tool to form a man’s masculinity and is used as a way to avoid disharmony in the family, (2) an Atoni woman’s identity is dependent upon the identity of the Atoni men, (3) sexual identity in this tribe is highly influenced by the belief that sexual pleasure and sexual prowess is dependent upon carrying out sifon or not.
This has encouraged men to be involved in multi partner sexual relationships, while maintaining sexual control for women, and (4) most women do not have sufficient knowledge about STDs, where there is a belief that STDs is not related to sexual activity. The recommendations from this research among others are (1) there is a need release the dependency of male sexual identity upon sifon, (2) values that discourage women to communicate about their health should be reshaped, and (3) socialization on reproductive health for Atoni women is a must.
Key word: Circumcision, Sifon, Sexual Relationship.