She's Upright: Sexuality and Obscenity in Islam

2007 HAWWA 5, 2

27 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2013

See all articles by Ahmed Souaiaia

Ahmed Souaiaia

University of Iowa; University of Washington

Date Written: December 6, 2007


This paper explores the concepts of sexuality and obscenity in Islamic traditions and the way cultures and society shape the value systems that judge beauty, propriety, and legality. I conclude that societal values are preserved in emerging religious teachings — by way of expanding categories for acts, rules, and values and by relying on practice-based consensus; not on negotiated consensus. As such, in Islam, obscenity and profanity become nuisances that disturb individuals’ spiritual balance and unwanted variables that destabilize social equilibrium.

Keywords: Sexuality in Law and Culture, Sexuality in Islam, Obscenity in Islam, Women in Islam, Propriety in Islam, Gender and Sexuality

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Souaiaia, Ahmed, She's Upright: Sexuality and Obscenity in Islam (December 6, 2007). 2007 HAWWA 5, 2, Available at SSRN:

Ahmed Souaiaia (Contact Author)

University of Iowa ( email )

314 Gilmore Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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