For policymakers and scientists, Arab sex is a terra incognita. For many years, it has remained hidden, as women are forbidden from having sex in their societies. But now, a Canadian immunologist has taken a temperature in bedrooms across the Arab world, a continent that spans 22 countries and boasts a population of more than 350 million. In addition to a culture that shuns homosexuality, the Arab world also has strict rules and regulations that govern sex.
In 2006, Egyptian television host Hoda Kotb made a major impact on Arab sex. She hosted a show called Kalam Kabir (Big Talk), which covered a wide range of topics including oral sex, the effects of alcohol on women, and the problems of wedding night jitters. The show was short, at about an hour, and featured various guest experts and an imam on the subject.
The Sex Talk project started as a small group that has since become a global social media movement. The goal is to translate sex talk between parents and children, as well as a catalog of information relevant to this topic in Arabic. In addition to the sex talk project, Sandrine Atallah, click here the founder of the project, is currently completing a Ph.D. at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research focuses on the financial and social lives of Arab refugees in the United Kingdom.
In recent studies, Arab women have largely been condemned for having sex before marriage. Historically, the practice of having sex before marriage is frowned upon, and women are expected to be virginal on the night of their wedding. Many Arab women believe that they should not engage in sexual relations with men until after they are married. In addition, they believe that men should be willing to engage in sex with women in order to be accepted.
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