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What do the top religions of the world have to say about sex?

Revathi V Gopal  |  Jan 22

What do the top religions of the world have to say about sex?

Interpretations and reinterpretations of religious texts have led to the restructuring of many notions and beliefs. There are numerous religions, and the most famous ones are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Each religion has its perspectives on love, sex, marriage, and relationships. Here, we will delve into what the top religions of the world have to say about sex.

Source: Pexels

Buddhism on sex

Buddhism is a religion that highlights Ahimsa and the concept of Moksha. As per the Buddhist teachings, there are five moral principles each person has to adopt. 

We need to prioritize these percepts when we look into sexuality and sex. Buddhism celebrates sex as an essential part of a relationship and considers it significant to enjoy sex responsibly.

However, Buddhism is against promiscuity, adultery, and other sexual misconducts. Buddhism does not consider marriage as a prerequisite for engaging in a sexual relationship.

Christianity on sex

As per Genesis, human beings can attain completion only with the union of man and woman. Here, we can only engage in sexual relationships after marriage. Though most people do not practice it nowadays, the belief still prevails. It is the same for Hinduism and Islam as well.

Christianity also strongly disagrees with the commitment of adultery. You can find it as part of the Ten Commandments of the Exodus. "Thou shalt not commit adultery," is the Commandment, which focuses on adultery.

When we look into the Bible, we cannot find many references relating to sex and sexuality. However, various prophets and sects of Christianity have spoken and written about sex and sexual intimacies. As per the Roman Catholic belief, sex is the expression of total union.

They view sex within marriage as the right thing. However, in the ancient days, westerners viewed marriage only as an economic activity. However, it was only in the 13th century that marriage became part of the church. Different Christian teachings started to represent sexuality and sex as a matter of fidelity. 

St. Augustine, one of the prophets of Christianity, was influenced by Plato. He tried to present his views on sex-based on Plato’s ideas. Let us look at some of his views:

  1. He considered untamed sexual desire as a rebellion against God.
  2.  He also presented sex as an act of procreation.
  3.  He was against having sex between two couples as a pleasurable activity. He said that it was a sin.

These are some of the things and concepts concerning sex in Christianity.

Hinduism on sex

Hinduism considers the Kama or sexual pleasure as one of the four goals of our life. In Hinduism, there are four Ashramas of life or life stages. Here, sex is an essential factor in the second Ashrama, householder. It is a way of building love and tenderness in a relationship.

Akin to other major religions, Hinduism too highlights sex after marriage. However, there are different legends in Hinduism that diverge from the same notion. Kama Sutra is a much-celebrated text on sex with varied views on sex and sexual intimacies. Though it is not a religious text, it has influenced several people in India since the ancient days.

In Hinduism, we can find countless symbolic references to sex and sexuality. Many Hindu temples like Khajuraho Temple explicitly portray sexual acts through paintings and sculptures. Hindus represent Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi through the image of Lingam and Yoni. Both of them stand for the male and female genitals. Apart from that, Hinduism has Manmadha as the God of sex. Many Tantric practices focus on sex, sexuality in Hinduism.

Islam on sex

Islamic beliefs present sex as a gift from Allah. There are different references to sex in the Qur'an. We can find that Islam gives high regard to the woman's satisfaction in sexual acts. There is a focus on women's needs too. Islam states that Allah created both men and women from a single soul. Islam highlights equality and fairness in sexual relationships between partners. Ensuring women's sexual satisfaction is essential for Muslim men, as per Islamic beliefs. There is another belief in Islam that views sex as a charity.

The Holy Qur'an advises believers to have sex only after marriage. Islam is also against adultery and focuses on remaining chaste. When it comes to marriage, Islam prioritizes arranged marriages over love marriages.

Islam prohibits certain things in a sexual relationship. One cannot indulge in sex in public places and when their children are present. Islam forbids engaging in sex when the woman is on her periods. 

When a couple wishes to engage in a sexual encounter twice, it is advisory to perform Wudu. Wudu is a process of cleansing one's body. It helps in revitalizing their sexual energies.

Apart from these religious sex views, there are a plethora of other perspectives on sex as well. Here, we have looked at what Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, the top religions of the world, have to say about sex. 

Cover photo by freepik


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