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Exploring Love, Lust, and Sexual Norms in Arab Nations

Introduction

Love is one complicated relationship with another person involving strong sense of affection, safety, respect of personality and warmth (Giddens, 2013). These set of emotions may be backed by behaviors and beliefs. There has been conflict in best choice of words to capture this feeling. Lust on the other hand is an intensified need for satisfaction from an object (Smith, 2016). The object in this case is sex and other related fetishes but is not always limited to it. For instance, it is the position of Ruth Mazo Karras in Common Women that containing unmarried male lust in medieval period helped check sexual fatigue in the society (Lucas et al., 2019). This was done through appropriate use of prostitutes. Sex is common to both love and lust and how, when or in what state it is achieved is what makes the two scenarios different.

In Arab nations, sex can be regarded as an “antonym” of sport so that while they are having lots of it, they barely talk about their experiences. Graeme Green reports that in the 5 years she spent across Arabian nations, she claims that she had little problem making people open up about their sexuality. She however claims that these young women opened up because the Green looked ‘western’ (Gidden, 2013). Note however that she is Muslim. Women fear being judged and getting them to open up shows that they are not necessarily different from youths from the rest of the world. The fact that about 30-60% of Arab men claim to have had sex before marriage and the number lying at about 20% for women shows disparity that forms an objective of this paper (Imre, 2015).

The case in Europe is brought out best by revisiting results of questionnaire administered to 11,110 adolescents from 168 schools found in 10 European countries in the year 2009-11 (Brooks, 2019). A follow-up was done a year later. The questionnaire covered many aspects of the life of a teenager and in the case of sexuality, keen interest was on initiation whilst taking note number of partners and use of contraceptives. This approach highlights root of sexual activity that is at a tender age.

This dissertation aims to contrast attitudes of love, lust and sex between European and Arabic young people. The former is considered culturally progressive while the latter a conservative society. Any difference may be used to explain these biases.

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Objectives

Achievement of objectives below have direct bearing on realizing the main aim of the study:

To establish current position of attributes of love, lust and sex in Arabic context with a bias on women sexuality

To establish current position of attributes of love, lust and sex in European context with a bias on women sexuality

To establish the impact of social media on love, lust and sex, thus bringing forth the concept of exposure to pornography and cinema

To explain why sexuality is as currently constituted and whether it will change

To explain the heart vs mind tussle, in a bid to understand how it influences decisions on love, lust, and sex.

Research question

The need to get the best perspective explains why these objectives are restructured to form a research question, as provided below:

How do attitudes to love, lust, and sex differ between European and Arabic young people?

Rationale and Justification

The attempt to Find out the differences of sexuality between the European and Arabic context help in understanding and appreciating different cultural and or religious bearings on respective love, lust, and sex. With Europe widely considered culturally progressive while Arab countries regarded as conservative, this study offers an insight into effect of different cultural approach on sex, lust, and love. Similarities may be explained with the effect of media. In this context, this study is justified.

Introduction

This section purposes to revisit Europe’s apostasy of sexual conservatism by introduction of leniency, which led to emancipation of women and young people with love and lust in mind. This foundation precipitated the progressive love, lust, and sex in modern Europe. The role of media in revolutionizing young women sexuality in Arabic world (Egypt) and more freedom to talk about sex is appreciated. Finally, a possible decline in sexual activeness of teenagers in Britain today than previous generations is highlighted.

On Sexualisation and Eroticisation: emancipation of love and lust

This literature explores the freeing of women and young people to pursue their sexual desires from year 1880s. Also addressed is development of love and sexual arrangements between these young people. The 1880s can be seen as the breakaway point at which more leniency on sexuality was shown. Being the first of its kind, this new experience formed gateway to trial and error episodes in attempt to achieve the correct balance of eroticism and sexualism (Goldenberg et al., 2015). Those who benefitted from this leniency had to grasp the concepts of wading through newfound experiences of sexual objectification and subjugation. Finding ones bearing through defining a working balance between the two ensured one settled quickly. Fast-forward to 1960s, significant fruits of this sexual revolution is seen. The conventional lust-balance put in place by experimentations of try-out relationships was finally in jeopardy. It is the position of Pananakhonsab, (2016) that abortion, pornography, paedophilia, sexual variations and other forms of unprecedented sexual disorders sprung up; to confront the traditional lust-balance. This paper is important because this leniency shown played a major role in eroticization and sexualization of Europe to the continent we have today. We thus comprehend how we got here. We can trace where we are now for the purposes of comparison with Arabian countries.

Impact of Social media on Attribute of love, lust, and sex

Despite being forbidden, some young women in Egypt have opted to defy these taboos and freely engage in sex talks. To step it a notch higher, they have not shied away from purchasing sex-enhancing items. This, they do online with the help of social media. The platforms they mostly use outright disregard sexuality bias against women and opt to fight for equality. They have come up with awareness campaigns that explain how having sex talks do not necessarily result in increased sexual activities (Ferrarello, 2019). In the case of millennials, reality has crept on online dating as it would offline interaction. It is the new normal. Most of the information they have about sex is gotten from the web. In Lucas et al, (2019), Havas Worldwide in one of their studies found that about 50% of those they interviewed subscribed to online services with sexual literature. About 33% confessed that pornographic videos and images impacted how they thought about sex. About 60% of those interviewed believed that online dating was more conventional. It increases rate of cheating since about 25% of respondents know at least one person whose offline relationship has been ended by an online relationship.

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Attributes of love, lust and sex in Arabic context

Attributes of love, lust and sex in European context

References

Giddens, A. (2013). The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies.

Lucas, H., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Nakamura, J. (2019). Beyond-personal love–Experiencing love beyond the person. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-10.

Smith, S. (2016). Intimacy and angst in the field. Gender, Place & Culture, 23(1), 134-146.

Andreassen, R. (2017). New kinships, new family formations and negotiations of intimacy via social media sites. Journal of Gender Studies, 26(3), 361-371.

Štulhofer, A., Buško, V., & Schmidt, G. (2012). Adolescent exposure to pornography and relationship intimacy in young adulthood. Psychology & Sexuality, 3(2), 95-107.

Berriman, L., & Thomson, R. (2015). Spectacles of intimacy? Mapping the moral landscape of teenage social media. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(5), 583-597.

Almubarak, A. F., Pervan, S. J., & Johnson, L. W. (2018). A conceptual analysis of brand intimacy on social media platforms. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 26(6), 463-478.

Brooks, A. (2019). Love and Intimacy in Contemporary Society: Love in an International Context. Routledge.

Ferrarello, S. (2019). The Phenomenology of Sex, Love, and Intimacy. Routledge.

Pananakhonsab, W. (2016). Love and intimacy in online cross-cultural relationships: The power of imagination. Springer.

Goldenberg, T., Finneran, C., Andes, K. L., & Stephenson, R. (2015). ‘Sometimes people let love conquer them’: how love, intimacy, and trust in relationships between men who have sex with men influence perceptions of sexual risk and sexual decision-making. Culture, health & sexuality, 17(5), 607-622.

Fehr, B. (2015). Love: Conceptualization and experience. In APA handbook of personality and social psychology, Volume 3: Interpersonal relations. (pp. 495-522). American Psychological Association.

Lomas, T. (2018). The flavours of love: A cross‐cultural lexical analysis. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 48(1), 134-152.

Imre, A. (2015). Love to hate: National celebrity and racial intimacy on reality TV in the New Europe. Television & New Media, 16(2), 103-130.

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