I'm not an anthropologist, but I'm struck by the fact that so many "primitive" societies have what are loosely called "manhood ceremonies." They generally test one's endurance and often involve pain and even mutilation or disfigurement.
It's an interesting behavior because 1) it doesn't appear to be practiced by other species (that I'm aware of), and 2) it generally isn't practiced in modern society.
Is there a term for this type of behavior, and are there any theories to explain its origin? I suppose one could just argue that it's simply designed to separate the wheat from the chaff, enabling groups to select their best hunters, warriors, etc. I just wondered what else has been learned or theorized about manhood ceremonies.