Bad Girl's Guide

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sex in Islam

The Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago had an inspiring story of Dr. Heba Kotb, a Muslim medical doctor and sex therapist based in Cairo. She's one of the first in the Islamic religion to talk about sex in public. Her teachings have been inspirational to both married and single women, who have never been taught anything about sex because it's a taboo subject culturally. Most of the information they do have is gleaned from the internet and their peers, so Islamic women have had to deal with intimacy based on what little information they have obtained from society.

This radical approach has enlightened many women, mostly middle-class married women with families who have sexual problems at home. In addition to a TV and radio talk show, seminars and lectures route, couples come to her for counseling and she encourages them to open the lines of sexual communication as well as advice on satisfying your partner and increasing intimacy. Dr. Kotb has been able to circumvent the more stringent beliefs of Muslims regarding sexuality by incorporating alot of what she's teaching with knowledge directly gotten from the Qu'aran as well as their culture. Mixing religion with science has allowed for more open-mindedness in learning from her.

However, there are those who feel that educating women this way is the first step that leads down the road to "Western promiscuity". It's forbidden to have sex before marriage according to the Islamic belief, and her critics say that talking about sex has the probability of exciting young minds into breaking that founding precept.

Abdel Moety Bayoumi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy, said sex education could be accepted if done "from a religious perspective" to teach people what's right and what's wrong. There was no need for going beyond that, he added. "Look at how many generations have gone through their whole lives without sex education. Did this affect human life?"

I was raised in a staunch religious background which made sex a taboo as well. However, I realised that the older I got, the more I wanted to learn about it. I couldn't talk to my parents about it, and my friends were just as clueless as I was. Not having the resources and opportunity at my disposal made me end up learning things the hard, dumb way---through experience! Some were good, but the bad ones could have been avoided if I was better informed in my youth.

What do you think? Does sex education really make you want to have sex?

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