On Sex Ed or the lack thereof


Hey at least I’m off the subject of love and marriage!…lol.

When I was in Qatar, I used to watch the telemundo series, el Clon with some of my friends.  El clon is obviously about reproductive science technology, but it was also pretty silly… so of course we laughed about so many things along the way from the way the “mad scientist” character said “los embriones”  to some of the characters complete lack of knowledge about invitro fertilization.

But you know who wasn’t laughing?  one of my A-rab friends… I realized that she didn’t get the jokes because although she is a university aged student in the science field, she has no real idea about how babies are made!

I asked one of my friends point blank, what are you guys told about the wedding night and your relationship with your husbands.  She replied “Well, my mom says on your wedding night, your husband is going to want to do things to you.  Don’t be afraid!”

I was stunned!  hearing something like that would make me vary afraid.  Couple that with the fact that porn is quite big here (the Arab/Muslim world— not that people everywhere don’t indulge in it) among the male population and you have a veeeeeeeery big problem…  Couples coming together each side with very different expectations and understandings of what sex is! For example,  heard  from some Doctor friends of women going to the emergency room because they’re hip bones were fractures on the wedding night! It could be the result of an overzealous groom, or it could be that some people are anxious to try out something they saw on some porn site….

I had a very candid conversation with an Egyptian woman today on the topic, and was surprised to find that the situation is much the same as it is for my friends in Qatar… She has no idea about anything, I mean nothing. In fact, all she knows is that it’s important to remain a virgin until marriage…. but she doesn’t really know what it means to be a virgin!


Apparently in Egypt and other parts of the Arab world, many children don't know anything



I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry… I explained to her that where I’m from in the states people learn that stuff in health class, from a scientific perspective.  Here, everything is shrouded in secrecy, it’s too taboo to talk about.

Some of my friends and I have jokingly noted that we could make a killing by teaching sex-ed courses.  I of course refuse to the be cause of chaos in someone else’s country, so NO one is learning anything from me.  My Egyptian friend wanted to know where she could find out about that stuff, I told her it’s not my place to say.  She might end up asking a married friend (asking her mom would be taboo)… I hope she finds what she’s looking for… to bad I can’t help…lol…

So there we have it, interesting to say the least, they play it off really well though.  I remember trying to explain to my friend why it’s actually the male that’s responsible for determing the sex of the child, using very basic high school bio and pugget squares with XX for the mom XY for the dad.  Of course talk of sperm and eggs came up, and I stopped and asked, wait a minute, do you know what sperm is?…. her reply, no but I get your point, male characteristics and female characteristics….Or she knows that men watch “bad films”  but has no idea what is on these films.

I never expected people to be the most knowledgeable about these things, but I was really surprised to realize just how little these girls know.

At any rate, there  are certainly more important things on the Egyptian people’s plates than sex education…. so things will probably stay as they are.

Egypt continues to be حاجة ثانية خالص (something else)…




5 thoughts on “On Sex Ed or the lack thereof

  1. KG

    Wow. I definitely admire your decision not to tell your friend where she could find out more information. It shows respect for the culture. Regardless of whether you think she should know this information, you’re right, it’s not your place to interfere.

    It’s interesting that girls aren’t even supposed to ask their mothers. That seems counter-intuitive. I wouldn’t want my daughter to learn about this from random friends. But I guess the point is, they don’t want girls to learn about this at all?

    Obviously, from your post I gather that boys may learn about sex from porn–but is talking about it with fathers or male relatives also taboo? I’m wondering if there’s a double standard or if everyone is equally without any sort of sanctioned education?

    • gazelledusahara

      talking about sex with anyone but your guy friends is taboo for the guys, and for the girls I get the feeling that no one wants to be thought of as a slut, so they are not going to bring it up either… I could be wrong though, I mean if you best friend is now married, maybe she will share what she knows…

      yeah they don’t want girls to know about sex at all, it keeps them pure, theoretically, then again, we just finished watching a movie for film class (had seen it several years ago already though) about a girl who gets pregnant by her friend, the main argument in class was whether or not it was rape… she seemed to be so weak/not have any idea what was going on… sigh.

      but yeah, I would never interfere, I don’t want to make front-page news… not for that anyway…lol

  2. It’s interesting that Brazilian novelas seem to fixate on the topic of reproductive technologies. The one I’m watching now, “Fina Estampa,” has a storyline involving a Reproductive and Infertility specialist named Danielle Fraser who is involved in a scandal involving the biological mother who donated an ova and the legal mother of the child who carried the pregnancy. “O Clon,” I haven’t watched…

    Wow! I can’t imagine what it’d be like if I didn’t know what sex was as an unmarried adult woman! I’ve known what sex was since I was 8 years old…and had seen graphic portrayals on everything from porn snuck into classrooms to indie films by the time I was in high school. I feel like good sex education is imperative for both genders so that they know what to expect of their bodies and how to react to oversexualized media…

    Hahaha, I wouldn’t be me without sex education! 😛 I guess the wedding night and the days thereafter will be a huge sexual awakening for these women, haha…

    • gazelledusahara

      ha, ha… sexual awakening for some while the rest will still be in the dark, one of my program mate’s host mother said something along the lines of “you just lay there, while he does his thing and then it’s over”… spoken like a line from Ms. Celie in the Color Purple… ha, ha.

      • Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

        That’s terrifying! I don’t believe this is what God intended at all…although, I’ve always suspected it’s a possibility.

        There’s a very fine line that most people feel between teaching women sex and maintaining morality, and I think it’s just unfortunate, because I think it would benefit both in a couple if both are enjoying what they’re doing…

        I know this is thick, cultural and virtually impenetrable at this point (no pun intended), but, as I see it, this kind of thing happened because…the fear is, I guess, if a woman enjoys sex too much, she’ll seek it outside of marriage? To which I say, it’s about time to give women the responsibility over their own sexuality and morality as men have responsibilities over their own. The expectation for chastity in Islam is not different for either of us. We just have different body parts to cover and different things at stake, hehe, given extramarital sex.

        You’ve just inspired me to write a blog about sex…hah! Here we go…

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