Women’s perception of sexual socialization in Iran: A qualitative study


1 Tarbiat Modares University

2 Population Studies and Research Centre in the Asia and the Pacific

3 Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research


Introduction: Sexual behavior and performance is not only influenced by biological factors but also,
affected by sexual socialization. Family and society are two key institutions over this procedure. The aim
of this study was exploring the married women’s perceptions of social structure related to sexuality in
Method: This was a qualitative study with interpretive approach and conventional content analysis
strategy. Purposive sampling was carried out of 5 health care centers of university affiliated centers and
one health institute in Tehran and Shiraz. Data collection was performed through 17 in-depth interviews,
and 14 sexual life narratives to reach to data saturation. Constant comparative method was used to analyze
concurrently with the data collection.
Results: Two main categories emerged as “parent’s conservation related to child’s sexuality issues” and
“passive social support systems”. The main theme emerged study was “passive sexual socialization”.
Conclusion: Findings indicate that there is an essential need for revising current paradigm about sexuality
in Iran. Not only, the conservative and passive approach is not helpful for resolving difficulties surround
this issue, but also, leads to greater vulnerabilities. Therefore, based on the social constructionism, in Iran,
age-specific sexuality education and providing sexual health care in public health care system based on the
Islamic ideology, social norms, and moral principles are suggested.