Cultural Factors in the Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction in Muslim Clients
Religion is an important cultural factor that may have a significant impact on the presentation of mental health problems and sexual dysfunction. Although there is increasing empirical evidence of the relationship between religion, sexual dysfunction, and sex therapy, it is difficult to predict how these factors influence one another among Islamic populations. In Islam, discussing sexual issues outside marriage is prohibited, which can make it difficult for clients to seek help; however, this may be allowed for treatment purposes. Any sexual activity outside marriage is also banned in Islam, while religion encourages the enjoyment of sex and sensitivity to the needs of the spouse in heterosexual marriages. The restrictive nature of Islamic rules regarding sexual issues may give rise to contextual sexual problems. Alongside these factors, personal interpretations of Islamic principles and their impact on daily practice vary among different Muslim populations. Therefore, unique, couple-tailored treatment programs that are person-centered and sensitive to couples’ cultural and religious norms are more likely to be successful than standard package-type treatments.
KeywordsSex therapy Religion Culture Muslim Islam Mental health
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