Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Literature of the Islamic World

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University of Delaware
My thesis seeks to uncover issues in sexuality of the Islamic world through literature. The questions I asked sought to understand how gender and sexuality was and is viewed in the Arabo-Islamic. I wanted to compare the factors that regulate sexual order in these societies. Some of the issues under investigation were genital cutting in women, honor killing, hegemonic and complicit masculinity, and gender bender sexuality. My methodology in studying this literature included the use of literature reviews, medical accounts and data, journalistic accounts, and sociological writings. I chose to use an interdisciplinary approach to help me see the issues in gender and sexuality on multiple levels of cultural and religious beliefs as well as social hierarchies. In the end of my study, I found that many issues under investigation had powerful and complex forces regulating ideas and practices. These forces were present as political, social, and cultural ideas systems that subjected both men and women. In conclusion, sexual order seems to be tense in these societies and is often on the verge of violence.