Sexuality

Sexuality is part of the most intimate sphere of people's lives and is closely intertwined with (religious) values, beliefs and spirituality. In this entanglement of religion and sexuality, religion is much broader than religious inspired morality alone. It also includes material, emotional and spiritual dimensions that shape sexuality in an intimate way. While sexuality is deeply personal, it is social at the same time. The social relationships produced through sexual practice often remain hidden and secluded from everyday life. Sexuality is therefore surrounded by taboos. In many cultures religion plays an important role in the regulation of sexuality, and taboos are often reflected in social and religious norms and values. The Knowledge Centre Religion and Development critically reflects on the various roles religion takes in issues of sexuality and development, stressing that religion can be both obstructing and liberating but always goes to the heart of what drives people. Reflection on religion is therefore important for everyone who is working on issues of sexuality around the world.