IS SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE A SIGN OF OPPRESSION OR ENJOYMENT?
Assignment prepared by: Renisha Seethiah, Kohinoor Dabeesingh, Shusmita Gungabessoon, Jeshna Nunkoo, Hemshika Poonyth
Cohort: BSc (Hons) Sociology Year 1 SEM 1
Submitted to: Ms. Naila Maherally
Date: 22 September 2018
Sex is a common part of an individual’s life and cannot be viewed as a novelty.Infact sexual activity have always existed from traditional societies to modern societies. Hence the issue “sex before marriage” is viewed differently from individual’s belief regarding sexuality and from religious attributes. The bible states ; However individuals do not fully agree the bible or the scriptures as nowadays marriage is no longer the basis to carry out sexual intercourse, given that the trend is changing. For many people, marriage evokes a level of responsibility so they prefer to experience sexual relations first. Moreover in today’s world, youngsters view sex as an enjoyment to relax themselves.
Sex is a term that has biological and anatomical connotations that refers a person as male/female in a society unlike gender whose proper terms are masculine/feminine. Contrary to sex after marriage, which seems to be very sacred and emotional, sex before marriage can also be regarded as something not acceptable or even a sin. On the other hand, nowadays, there are many cases of premarital sex in many societies and even some parents agree to it due to their high society thoughts and their high maturity level. But the question is, is it really good? It is God who created sex but then why he is opposed to it.The fact is that God never opposed sex but he only restricted it.The is because everyone one needs a companion in life with whom to share everything and tis institution is called marriage.
Marriage is a ritually and legally recognized union of 2 people into a bond that putatively lasts until death.However,in modern societies, there is a decline in marriage due to a rise in secularization and decline in moral values. According to Patricia Morgan (2006), cohabitation are significantly rising and marriage is going out of fashion. Morgan believes that cohabitation used to be seen primarily as a prelude to marriage but increasingly it is a part of a pattern which simply reflects an ‘increase in sexual partners and partner change’. Hence people nowadays prefer to remain single rather than being in an empty shell marriage. In most cases, women face domestic violence or forced sex inside marriage which is considered as a sign of oppression.
Oppression can be referred to an unjust action on a person. According to the bible, premarital sex act as a sin meaning a sign of oppression which is agreed by feminists. It acts as a sexual immorality in the contemporary patriarchal society. The consequences of premarital sex are undesired pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and in worst cases, sexual partner might refuse to marry after getting sexual enjoyment.
Enjoyment is the process of taking pleasure in something, it can be in terms of pleasure, relaxation or enternainment.Normally, western people do not wait until their wedding night to have sex.Youngsters naturally desire sex as, they view it in terms of happiness and, people who is sexually active lives longer.Sex releases stress and boosts immunes and, nowadays, adults are more involved in sexual activities. Young people view sex as something pleasurable and sometimes under the influence of peer pressure, they tend to have sex at a very young age in order to gain status and popularity.
1. BY KOHINOOR DABEESINGH
“The first interview is of my cousin Melvin, who lives in Dublin, Ireland. The respondent was questioned through video chat and the interview lasted 1 hour and 10minutes approximately. The method used is unstructured interview. The second interview was of a teacher Anousha who lives in the east of Mauritius and the method used is structured interview and lasted 45 min. Both respondents were at ease with the subject and seemed genuine.”
2. BY RENISHA SEETHIAH
“Through the two interviews carried out with Mrs. Vandana and Shriya who lived at Bel-Air and Montagne Blanche, I have been able to collect data on the subject. The first interview lasted for 45minutes and the method used is structured interview. The second interview lasted for 1 hour and the method used is unstructured interview. I have been able to ask more additional questions are asked during the second interview. Both interviewees are at ease during their interview.”
3. BY SHUSMITA GUNGABESSOON
“For my first interview, which is with Rubina, I used telephone interview as research method. The interviewee was at ease as she could not see my face expressions and this interview took me 20mins.For my second interview, my research method was mail questionnaire. I sent the questions to her and she responded to me as soon as she finished. This took me around 1 week.”
4. BY JESHNA NUNKOO
“Overall, two unstructured interviews were conducted. My first participant is Jamie, a relative of mine who is around his twenties. Jamie is a resident of Curepipe and works as a hotel manager. The second participant is Adarsh, a close cousin of mine and is around his 40s.He works as a doctor and lives at Flacq. Since, I carried out an unstructured interview, the participants could give details and share their opinions openly. For me, both participants seemed to be genuine and honest in their answers.”
5. BY HEMSHIKA POONYTH
“Through two interviews conducted with different persons namely Jayesh and Akash whose profession is different which is shop assistant and teacher respectively. Both interviews has taken me around 1 hour as method used for first one is unstructured interview and second one is through phone call. I have found out that every person has its own way of thinking.”
1) BY KOHINOOR DABEESINGH
a) “The first interview is of cousin, Melvin who lives abroad, more precisely in Dublin, Ireland and is aged 30 years old. According to him sex before marriage cannot be viewed as a sign of enjoyment as it is not the sole process that fulfills a relationship. Though generally speaking, pre-marital sex is not an issue when both partners are willing to do it and are confident regarding their choice, the respondent describes how sexual intercourse before marriage is actually a wrong option. He states “it’s not necessary to have sex with a person to see if you have that connection with him or her.” Indeed, not having pre-marital sex steers an individual towards the greatest pleasure that life has to offer and that relationship have to offer.
During the interview, he states that romances create more feelings and connection than sex prior to marriage. In his view, sex before marriage is not advisable given that it may create problems if the partners decide not to marry.People,often opt for sexual relations so as to fulfill their sexual urges and in turn, sexual relationships do not turn into a sign of enjoyment for them. The respondent emphasized on real cases both in India and in countries like Europe where men watch porn movies. They are exposed to negative contents that influence them to commit these actions given that they develop sexual urges that they want to satisfy though it means to indulge into sexual violence. Frustrated male partners also happen to be violent with female partners during the intercourse.
The latter mentions about a real case where the female partner was emotionally attached to the male partner, whom she wanted to please sexually since the male partner was not being sexually satisfied. The latter claims “In this case, the girl was being sexually oppressed but was still emotionally attached and dependent on the other partner.” According to the respondent, sex cannot be a sign of enjoyment where individuals have sex simply to discover other partners and to see if there is any attraction. He states “it’s not necessary to have sex with a person to see if you have that connection with him or her.Sex or how good you are in bed is not what defines a relationship. I believe in a lasting relationship composed of trust, caring and understanding between both partners.” In his view, all these automatically leads to a satisfying sex life. The respondent talks about how Hinduism prohibits sexual activities before marriage. Thus, the latter explains how it is better to choose celibacy until married in order to bless marriage with awesome sex.
In relevance to this interview, there is no permanent commitment before marriage and people may choose premarital sex before marriage to fulfill their immediate needs but it turns out to be a bad experience since sex is conditioned into being more a physical than an emotional act and once married, sex is not totally giving as experience since individuals habitually used sex and it is no longer remains God-gifted.”
b) “The second interview is conducted on Anousha aged 28 years old. Her profession is a teacher and she lives at poste de Flacq. According to her, sexual intercourse is an activity that involves physical attachments with emotion. In her view, sex is a way to emote feelings and whether it takes place before or after marriage is not an issue. She emphasized on how sexual activity before marriage only depends on an individual’s choice and level of maturity. She states “being sexually active involves a level of maturity and understanding.”
The respondent emphasizes on how sex should involve responsibility and a sense of understanding. She further states “limitation to sex should be based on pertaining to maturity.” According to the respondent’s statement, if a person is well informed about sex related issues such as pregnancy and sex-related diseases, thus being involved in sexual activity is just a matter of individual choice.
The respondent witnessed some pondering over this issue where in one case, a girl of 13years old had premarital sex with her boyfriend just to prove her love for him but was not prepared for it and did not have sex education. Thus she got pregnant and had to face the aftermath all by herself while in the other case, both partners were well-informed and responsible individuals. Though they had sex before marriage, they were prepared and later got married to their respective partner. For the respondent, sex is sacred for its role in bonding. Mutually satisfying sexual exchanges naturally intensify bonding between two partners and contributed towards understanding if both partners are connected to each other or not. In her view, premarital sex occurring between consenting adults is not an issue.”
2) BY RENISHA SEETHIAH
a) “My first interviewee is Mrs. Vandana who is a married woman and aged 40 years old. She lived at Bel Air and she works at Flacq hospital. According to her, sex before marriage is a taboo as teenagers are very young and emotionally still in development. They are inexperienced and are not prepared to live in such a relationship and sexual aspect can affect their routine life and which may lead to a bad life experiences. The sex partner may not be someone of trust, the latter will torture his/her partner physically & mentally. She states”sex is a loving and intimate relationship where the sexual expression between the two partners is meaningful and boundless.” She believe that it takes years to build up trust and learn each other’s erotic language.
She emphasized that according to our belief, a girl should preserve her virginity till her marriage. As per Hindu ritual, the bride and the groom utter the seven vows of the wedding which takes place around the sacred fire seven times.Therefore,a couple should have sex after marriage. She also mention that sex should be a consensual act between two people, both should respect each other’s boundaries. It is vital that a couple know about each other boundaries to avoid violating them. A couple should decide on their sex rules. She outlines “sex before marriage could be a sign of oppression if one partner is being ill-treated or blackmailed to have sex.Nowadays youngsters tend to take picture or videos while having sex and circulate it between peers.” The young lads tend to have sex with many girls just to gain prestige among friends.
In relevance to this interview, the respondent support that sex before marriage is a taboo. Teenagers are not emotionally and mentally prepared to have sex and the respondent emphasizes also how cultural belief restrict people to have sex before marriage. In this modern world, youngsters do not value sex as an intimate relationship.”
b) “My second interviewee is Shriya.She is a student at UOM and aged 19 years old. She lived at Montagne Blanche. According to her,”sex before marriage is just like sex after marriage.Nowadays many couples prefer to have sex due to their personal choices.Sex before marriage is nowadays more acceptable in many places such as European countries. In such countries, youngsters leave their houses at the age of 18 years old and cohabitate with their boyfriend.” She emphasized having sex is a personal choice. She further states “if someone wants to have sex before marriage, I do not think it is wrong unless he/she is forced in any way to have it.Moreover if someone enjoys having sexual intercourse which help him to feel happy or finding a connection, then I think sex is completely fine.”
In her view, sex nowadays is very common among youngsters before marriage. She claims “if you are committed to one person, there is no harm in having sex as you are most likely to marry him/her in the future. Moreover couples who are committed mostly go for live-in relationship which they consider as a trial before marriage.” Hence it is normal for them to have sex.According to the respondent, although many people still believe that sex before marriage is not acceptable, there are some people see it as normal. She states “I don’t think sexual intercourse should only happen after marriage, however, couples could have sex before marriage if it is okay for them and if they know about its consequences.”
She further argue that there are cases where sex can be a sign of oppression both inside and outside marriage if one partner does not want it.If one partner is not ready to have sex and the other one is forcing him/her for having sex then it is a sign of oppression. Hence it does not matter if it happens before marriage or after marriage, thus couples should have sex only after both are ready.
In relevance to this interview, the choice to have sex before marriage depend solely on both partners. The interviewee also emphasize about the cohabitation trend in European countries and how they treat live-in relationship as a trial to marriage.”
3) BY SHUSMITA GUNGABESOON
a) “My first interviewee is Rubina who is a married woman around her twenties. She lives at Flacq and she works in a hotel. According to her, most of the youngsters nowadays take sex before marriage as a very common thing. Young generation is very open and takes sex for something very lightly. She states “I personally believe that sex before marriage is something that we should be mentally prepared to and lies with the consent of both parties.”
It depends on the youngsters if they want to have sex before marriage or not because it is their life. No one is forcing them to do so or to be in any kind of relationship with anyone.
However, it can lead to social problems such as early pregnancies or abortion. She emphasizes that “in many cases if we love someone, it does not necessarily means that we will marry the same person and thus having sex before marriage can become a problem. If you love someone sincerely, I think he must wait for the right time for it.”
She further claim that marrying someone and just having a relationship with someone are two different thing. Marriage, alongside with sexual relationship, brings a lot of responsibilities that one’s should be confident to fulfill while having a relationship outside marriage is more simple. The place for sex in someone life is surely after marriage as it carries many responsibilities and disadvantages if the girl fall pregnant. ”
b) “My second respondent is Sonia. She has 19 years old and lives at Beau bassin. She is a student at the UOM.According to her, “marriage is considered to be a social and sacred institution of the society. Indeed while thinking about marriage, immediately, another factor comes to our mind and that is of sex.While many consider that sex should come after marriage and with a legal partner, it is not the case anymore in today’s world. Nowadays, while talking about sex, it is not necessarily between married couples.”
She further states “This topic is becoming something more interesting and something not to ashamed of”. She argues “Indeed, if we ponder about it, why premarital sex should is considered as a sin or social taboo? In fact, it should be considered correct to have sex with someone with whom we are committed to than being addicted to other flaws of society such as drugs, rape and prostitution.”
Drug dealers and rapists are considered as criminals which means that sex before marriage is still something good compared to these.Sex is just a physical pleasure that can take place between 2 consenting adults. The only problem is that youngsters should be able to know with whom to be committed and to have sex, because this action can make or destroy their life. It is not that we should accept all kinds of sexual relationships and we should encourage it, but rather change our perspective of seeing at it.”
4) BY JESHNA NUNKOO
a) “Mr. Jamie who is a close relative of mine has expressed great pleasure to share his personal views on this topic. He works as a hotel manager and he is around his twenties and is a resident of Curepipe. According to him, marriage is viewed as a sacred bond whereby, couples get legally and formally recognized as a union.Mr Jamie strongly believes that, sex before marriage is considered morally as a sin. Being a Christian and abiding by the principles, beliefs and rules of Christianity, he view that, sex before marriage is a very big blunder and even the bible clearly states this statement.Infact, he believes that most religious groups like Christianity, the Hare Rama Hare Krishna and some other groups believe that having sex before marriage is a bad sign.
He further adds that, God desires that we have only one partner. God wants us to remain pure until we created a permanent and committed union. Jamie claims that one cannot have sex before marriage just for the sake of pleasure or enjoyment as, the person may not be serious in the relationship and after having fun, he can deceive the latter. Therefore, it is not secure as, the person is not bound with legal procedures and can assume this just for entertainment purposes.
He also argues that, nowadays due to a lot of exposure to social networking sites, and due to the massive development in technologies, youngsters are learning too quickly and hence, can be easily manipulated. Jamie says, youngsters are getting involved in sexual relationships rather than, focusing on their studies. There is a rise in secularization and fall in moral values and also, young people are not under the influence of religion due to modernity and especially girls can face problems such as teenage pregnancy.
My relative concludes that, normally women are oppressed in a certain way. Especially, if they are not married, at times the man wants to be physically connected with their partner. They want to have all the fun and despite, the woman is not prepared, they feel forced to accept it as they are afraid of a break up. Thus, Mr. Jamie states “one should look for a soul mate who is not only attracted by your physical appearance but also by your qualities.” He also adds that, woman must preserve their dignity because, due to patriarchy, woman are more likely to be victims of early pregnancy or in some cases, women may face violence if they refuse to have sex with their partner.”
b) “My cousin Adarsh, a, a resident of Flacq has shared its views on this topic. He is around his 40s and works as a doctor. Being a doctor, he reveals that sex before marriage is portrayed as a very sensitive and crucial matter especially for youngsters. It is a big concern for Mauritius. Firstly, Adarsh argues that, sex before marriage is a sign of enjoyment. He states “It is becoming very common in Mauritius as, we live in a technological and modern society and also there is a change in people’s mindset.”
He stipulates that nowadays adults naturally desire sex as, it is becoming a form of relaxation. So, they do not wait to be legally committed by marriage as they want to have some personal moments with their partner to forget their troubles and issues. Nowadays, most adult naturally desire sex despite the concept of ‘purity’ that is to remain pure and chaste until marriage.
He further argues that, due to social media, people gets a lot of exposure. People try to follow the trends and enjoy their lives in the best way they can.Long ago, the issue of sex was portrayed as a very important issue and as, people considered sex as sacred and intimate. But, nowadays, people are no longer like that, sex before marriage is becoming a form of leisure as they follow the western culture.
From a personal experience, Adarsh shares with us that, there had been some cases of early pregnancy. Most of the time, in those cases, the boy cannot accept the baby and reject the girl. Thus, ruining the girl’s future and career the baby and reject the girl. He concludes that it is safer to be physically intimate when both partners feel committed toward each other.”
5) BY HEMSHIKA POONYTH
a) “My first interviewee is Jayesh. He is 20 years old and is a shop attendant. Through his experience, he said that sex before marriage have both advantages and disadvantages. As per his thoughts, its advantages is that it can bring the couple closer to each other emotionally and thus creating an unbreakable bond between the couple. The disadvantages consist of youngsters are obsessed to try more sexual things nowadays which lead to bad consequences like teenage pregnancy.
For example: He had a friend who got pregnant at the age of 16 years old which ruin her life completely and had no educational career afterwards. So, in the obsession of discovering new things, the boy was using the girl sexually just to discover the feeling of sex then left her. This has destroyed his friend emotionally which had pushed her to take stupid action such as suicide, and also took pills. She is still repenting and now she is a mother of a 3 year old daughter.
He further argue “if you are committed and in love with one person, having sex with him before marriage is correct.” He states “I am in a relationship of 7 years with my girlfriend, we do have sexual intercourse, and we have full trust on each other that even in difficulties, we will never leave each other. It is a sign of enjoyment as both of us, with our willingness, are engaged sexually but for other people it can act as an oppression.”
According to the interviewee, sexual intercourse after marriage can be a kind of weird as one partner may not be comfortable or shy with the another partner. Hence this could eventually lead to fight which a sign of oppression.”
b) “My second interviewee is Akash. He is a sociology teacher and newly married. According to him, marriage involves two people who make public pledge to live together and share their lives and this union is recognized legally, socially and religiously.
He states ” Religion like Hindu and Muslim see marriage as a mandatory ritual before the couple engaged sexually but in our contemporary societies, the youngsters do have sex in their 18’s and 20’s which had led to teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDs.”
Moreover for some people, it may be seen as a sign of oppression as it may happen that some partners may be forced to have sex.For example, one partner might say “If you do not sleep with me, I will leave you or upload your naked pictures on social networking sites.” Hence the latter is obliged to have sex which eventually occur before marriage.
However, there are some cases where 2 people love each other and have an emotional bond. Thus sex before marriage is not an oppression if 2 partners have the consent. So, there is nothing wrong in pre-marital sex as far as both partners are conscious of their act.”
“Through much investigation and according today’s trend, sex before marriage (pre-marital) is becoming very common due to a rise in secularization and a decline in moral values. Giddens tend to support this trend with his views. According to Giddens, he argues that there should be confluent love between the 2 partners and personal fulfillment by each partner for them to marry. Moreover sexual relations now happens before marriage because marriage is more of choice than obligation. People now prefer to cohabite than marry. However, feminists argue that, in some cases, there is oppression towards women.”