originally posted on sistersbreakingbarriers.wordpress.com
by Nadiah Mohajir
This article by Wajahat Ali is worth a read. In just a few paragraphs, he humorously and eloquently demonstrates why sex education for our Muslim youth is more crucial than ever.
As he explains how often the “sex talk” is limited to a simple “don’t do it”, with the “it” not even being defined, he highlights why this is not only confusing for our young people, who develop and undergo the same adolescent changes as the rest of their peers, but it also creates a challenge for them to understand, find, and maintain healthy relationships. Using a driving metaphor, he explains “Muslim youth are expected to go from 0 to 60 mph with a spouse, 2.3 kids, and a suburban home without being taught how to start the engine and how to maintain the vehicle on its journey.”
Wajahat Ali hit the nail on the head. The sheer amount of fear of intimacy, clash of expectations between spouses and sexual tension that is all too familiar to many Muslim newlyweds is contributing to years, if not a lifetime of marital discord and unhealthy relationships in our community. Moreover, the lack of culturally-appropriate sex education for our youth is leading to much confusion, risky sexual experimentation, and unhealthy attitudes toward sex.
Our work is now more crucial than ever. Raising awareness about the need for sex education in the Muslim community, and working together to develop culturally-appropriate curriculum is not only necessary, but extremely overdue. As the author ends the article, “There is hope that the birds and bees talk of today will evolve from “Don’t do it!” to “Do it!” – in a manner that is respectful, comfortable and natural to the sensibilities of Muslim individuals and communities.” Totally totally agree. Teaching our kids about sex is not necessarily going to result in increased promiscuity. Rather, if we teach them about sex, the wisdom behind the boundaries Islam has placed, and teach them to have healthy attitudes and expectations of sex, perhaps our youth will have the tools to behave in a manner that is more in line with our values.