Ever wonder what a sex education video looks like in Iran?
Thanks to the Tehran Bureau blog finding this video, we get a glimpse into officially sanctioned views on sexuality and sex-education in the Islamic Republic. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Ministry of Health and Human Services both gave the video their seal of approval.
In a stunning and graphic opening involving florid flower metaphors and flying sperm, the video illustrates the act of conception to the background soundtrack of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. It also carefully blurs the genitals of the smiling infants in the video.
Tehran Bureau said the video quotes a statement attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, “At home a woman should wear the best perfume to smell good, put on her best clothes and best makeup, and every morning and night present herself to her husband for sleeping with him.”
The primary narrator, Dr. Mohammad Majd, a psychiatrist at the University of Tehran medical school, says, “Touching should be very tender and delicate. You cannot use force to touch!... According to our religious teachings, the touching should be according to the woman's taste. That means the woman tells you where to touch. So don't touch everywhere without reason!”
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The video, when it was released in Iran, flew off the shelves, according to The Daily Beast. Mohammad Reza Alizadeh, the producer of the film, told Hamshahriye Javan, an Iranian magazine, “This is the first time we're using simple and clear language to discuss issues which can't be brought up on television and radio.”
Pharamacists, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the film was selling extremely well in Iran. One of those quoted by The Daily Beast, said, “Religious people also want to enjoy life and being together. They have emotions too.”
According to a 2008 article in The Guardian, "A remarkable facet of Shia Islam, though, is its lack of squeamishness about teaching youngsters the dangers and practicalities of sex - unlike many Christian and Sunni countries." The article also stated that Iran had a long history of combating HIV/AIDS through encouraged condom use. "In 2002, a wide-ranging study in Tabriz pointed to the effectiveness of sex education in schools in preventing the spread of HIV. The clerics of Qom and Mashhad gave their blessing."
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