Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Lester Wright

Second Advisor

Cynthia Visscher

Third Advisor

Alisa Perkins


Islam, sexuality, masturbation, virginity, modesty, marriage, sexual behaviors, sexual acts, Muslim


This review sought to discover what is documented within Islamic religious texts and by Islamic jurists, what is believed in cultures within countries that are identified as having a majority Muslim population, and identify and compare any similarities or notable differences between the cultures and the actual religious texts. After spending time in Istanbul, Turkey, I felt it was necessary to address the dis/agreements between social conceptions and the actual religious texts that are so pertinent in majority Muslim countries, specifically regarding topics of sex and sexuality. The countries in question were identified within the Northern African and the Extended Middle Eastern region. The overlaps or dissimilarities between the cultures and texts were analyzed using three different studies, all covering the desired topics. In order to narrow the scope of “sexuality”, this review focused on virginity/modesty, sexual behaviors/acts, masturbation, and marriage. The studies referenced in this review were largely consistent and uniform in their findings, which found some agreement between the literal religious texts and interpretations and the common cultural beliefs. This review should hopefully provide comprehensive insight for practitioners of psychology when treating people of Islam, specifically within the scope of sexuality and possible sexual dysfunctions, and should add to the literature and dialogue produced by Abdessamad Dialmy, Amal Killawi, and Hussein Ghanem and Ahmed El-Sakka.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted