Sunday, 16 October 2011

Muslim Women's Sexual Behavior: a Survey

October 16, 2011

Muslim women are often portrayed as passive beings with little control over their sexual behavior. Traditional Islamic literature focuses much on the needs and wants of men, but rarely do we hear about women and their sexual needs. Muslim men may fulfill their needs through licit means like marriage, plural marriage or concubinage (sex slavery). Muslim women aren't offered the same advantages, although modern day Islamic theology focuses on the rights of both the husband and wife. But the wife's sexual needs are rarely discussed, at least openly.

Many Hadeeths focus on the fulfillment of a man's sexual desires.  For example, one of hadeeths dictate that a woman would be cursed by angels if she refuses to satisfy her husband on demand; and another encourages men to seek their wives when enticed by other women. These hadeeths only promote the phenomena that men have an insatiable sexual need and a woman's primary and ONLY role is to fulfill them even if not reciprocated. It's interesting to observe how modern day Muslim women have been conditioned  in the name of religion to relate sexual behavior to pleasing and fulfilling a man's need rather than themselves. A good wife is taught to make herself available to her husband at all times; while a Muslim man can have multiple sexual partners (in the context of marriage or concubinage) and not address her needs as frequently. 

The silence in traditional and even modern Islamic theology with regards to Muslim women's sexual behavior suggests a dismissive attitude toward its existence or negation of its importance all together. 

The purpose of this projects was to learn about sexual behavior by modern Muslim women. It's important to understand that the survey questions might be offensive and contradictory to one's beliefs, but as Muslims we are diverse. The survey aims to encompass and mirror the diversity of Muslims and their habits pertaining to sexual behavior. 

It's important to note, the results of this survey are limited in terms of the participants. I used social media primarily to recruit anonymous volunteers. A valid Twitter or email address was required to take the survey to ensure only Muslim females took part. In addition, the sample might be limited since women with sexual experiences are more likely to participate in such a survey. Indeed, this survey is NOT representative of all Muslim women, nor could it be qualified as scientific in any aspect. 

Close to 70 women participated with this project anonymously. It's evident from the results that women, married or not, sexually experienced or not, do engage in sexual behavior in some shape or form. These findings debunk the common myth that Muslim women do not have sexual urges as men do! On the contrary, the survey demonstrates that women have strong sexual urges, opinions, needs and preferences! 

The aggregated findings of the survey can be found here.

 Please note, the questions are sexual in nature and are not appropriate for all ages. Please be advised.

Thank you.

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