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She's Upright: Sexuality and Obscenity in Islam

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This paper explores the concepts of sexuality and obscenity in Islamic traditions and the way cultures and society shape the value systems that judge beauty, propriety, and legality. I conclude that societal values are preserved in emerging religious teachings—by way of expanding categories for acts, rules, and values and by relying on practice-based consensus; not on negotiated consensus. As such, in Islam, obscenity and profanity become nuisances that disturb individuals' spiritual balance and unwanted variables that destabilize social equilibrium.

Affiliations: 1: University of Iowa

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