Sterility, Childbirth, Taboos, and Popular Religious Practices

Faegheh Shirazi

in Velvet Jihad

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033549
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039589 | DOI:
Sterility, Childbirth, Taboos, and Popular Religious Practices

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Issues of sexuality and reproduction are important aspects, especially in traditional societies. Since sterility is often associated with grave consequences, women would make several efforts to become pregnant and hopefully bear a son. A belief in the supernatural, various religious doctrines, and cultural taboos affect the traditional and patriarchal-based settings of a woman's reproductive life. In this chapter, attention is drawn to some popular religious practices that affect women, specifically Muslim women. The discussion considers how male power structures exercise dominance over women's bodies, and how medical technologies such as the sonogram are used to advocate gender preference practice. Also, the chapter provides a discussion of the survival strategies that women adopt in the face of restrictive and undermining environments.

Keywords: sexuality; reproduction; supernatural; religious doctrines; taboos; religious practices; medical technologies

Chapter.  14014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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