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week 2. childhood and sexual education

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Welcome to Week 2!

This week, we will discuss your past - how your experiences were growing up; how your culture and family have shaped who you are now and impacted your sexual experiences. Their childhood and the sociocultural environment highly influence people’s sexual development and sexuality. 


The topics covered this week are the most intense and difficult ones of the whole program, but we are sure that it will bring various new insights to your sexuality and sexual experiences. Please take enough time to read and reflect.

For the best experience, we recommend to view this page in a full-page view on the desktop, but feel free to view it on mobile with your preference!


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5 min read

+ 5 videos (4 min, 5 min, 5 min, 7 min, 7 min each)

3.5 min read  + 4 min video 

2 min read  + 4 videos (6 min, 5 min, 8 min, 6 min)

10+ minute reflections

culture and sex



It is no surprise that researches show that culture and religious beliefs affect people’s sexuality. 

Religious beliefs shape society’s values and traditions around sexual meaning, rituals, and practices. These traditional values may limit sexual education or sexual behaviors (e.g., masturbation), making people feel guilt and anxiety when engaged in any sexual behaviors. [1][2] 

This presentation of guilt and anxiety could affect a woman about her sexuality. She may feel that society would judge her if she is sexually active. This affects how she views herself as a sexual being and leads to some sexual problems. [3]

Let’s look at some examples. Mixed with religious beliefs, all the cultural beliefs and norms put on women could impact their understanding of healthy sexuality and their sexual well being.

Asian women consider lack of sexual desire to be healthy

because they are NOT socially allowed to have sexual desire. [4]

Iranian women are expected to be a "khanoum" who is responsible for maintaining their family's honor

while men are free from such social responsibility.

Iranian-American women’s perceptions are not that much of a difference. [6] 

Latino women are impacted by the concept of “marianismo” from Catholic, which asks them to be sexually moral, self-sacrificing, passive, and care-taking.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic males follow the model of “machismo” that defines a man’s masculinity. [7]

Black women are impacted byJezebel”, the historical prejudice representating hypersexual, manipulative, seductive, and promiscuous

White men used this image to justify the pervasive sexual assault of enslaved black women, that black women were somehow ‘asking for it’, even after emancipation. [8][9] In addition, in many black communities where religion is the essential lifestyle, their own community has been degrading the black women. [10]

In India, women, or men, who do not meet expected gender norms, including women who fail to menstruate or trans people, are called “Hijra,” meaning the other. They are forced to live separately from town. [11]

White, western women are expected to be "good", or "innocent" from Christianity

they are judged to be seductive or proactive in their romantic relationships. [5]