A while ago I wrote about Saudi men and the cultural pressure society brings on them to perform in the bedroom. Check it out here: http://blueabaya.blogspot.com/2011/09/saudi-men-and-pressure-to-perform.html
In the article you can read how some young Saudi men are not able to consummate their marriages due to performance anxiety. A study of newly married Saudi couples found the prevalence of so called “Honeymoon impotence” to be as high as 17%. The same study concluded that 63% of marriages were not consummated because of the severe anxiety of the woman leading to a condition called vaginismus. Other reasons were erectile dysfunction, not knowing coital technique and low sexual desire.
One of the underlying factors to the problem is lack of sex education for young girls and boys.
Most of these cases of unconsummated marriages could have been prevented if they had been educated and aware of their bodies and its functions.
There is an alarmingly high rate of divorces among newlyweds in the Kingdom. Most divorces occur within the first year of marriage. Unconsummated marriage is one of the top reasons for young couples to seek divorce. Proper sex education could significantly help to lower the divorce rate.
Because of the lack of sex education in Saudi-Arabia the young are left to find out for themselves. This can naturally result in some horribly wrong ideas and lead to unrealistic expectations and create extreme anxiety and fears. Girls and boys won’t learn from their parents either since everything sexual is viewed as “a’eib” (forbidden and shameful). The best sources for the girls are other peers at school and the maids! Now how much do the uneducated maids really know and how much are superstitions coming from their cultures?
Why is there no sex ed in Saudi? Does Islam forbid talking about sex?
No. But like many things in Saudi, true Islamic teachings and what is actually happening around here are two completely different things. Islam does not frown upon talking about sex and educating young people. Sexual relations between married couples are seen as normal part of life and nothing to be ashamed about. However the strong influence some sheikhs have on public opinion is one reason why Saudis cringe at the idea of their kids having sex education. All talk about sex is a taboo.
The message sent by some religious fanatics is that sex ed is bad and causes harm. These people think young men and especially women might get some perverted ideas in their heads if they are taught about sex. If you teach them about anatomy of the opposite sex and show how it’s “done” they will become sex crazed and go and have premarital relations. Some even say showing pics of male and female sexual organs is a form of western conspiracy. Or that talking about sex will make women promiscuous. Sometimes I wonder what sort of dirty minds come up with this anyways?
You would think that in this day and age the internet would provide at least some sort of info on the subject. The problem of self educating about marital relations is that many of the sites remain censored from Saudi and there is just all sorts of wrong information available. Also internet time for the youth (especially the girls!) will be restricted or they are not allowed to use the internet at all. This leads to young couples getting married without having a clue of basic anatomy of the other half and no knowledge of how babies are made.
So I will conclude by telling you a real life example of how badly sex education is needed here.
A newly married couple came to the infertility clinic for check up. They had been trying for over a year to conceive without any luck. The doctors ran some tests and everything came back normal. The couple was sent back home to keep trying and praying for a child.
Another year went by and the couple started to get very frustrated and came back to the clinic. As the doctor discussed their options he thought of asking a few questions of their “technique” to rule out any issues there.
The man explained how they had marital relations always in the same position and how it was usually very painful for the wife. The doctor started to suspect there really was something wrong with their technique and showed them a picture of the anatomy of female sexual organs asking the husband to show which area they used during intercourse. He very shyly pointed to the “back door”.
Problem solved. The couple conceived shortly after the quick sex ed by the doctor.
So if this Saudi man was not able to locate the correct passage for two years then I can’t imagine what else is out there?
So what do you think? Would Saudi-Arabia benefit from sex ed?