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Let’s Talk about Sex: Australian Muslim Online Discussions

Marcotte, Roxanne D. 2015.

Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life, vol. 9, no 1, p. 65-84

Sex talk is ubiquitous, yet often remains difficult within more conservative or religious milieus. However, online forums provide younger digital native Muslims with novel environments where they can discuss sex-related issues with one another. Listening to the views young Muslims share on online forums can shed some light onto how members of an Australian online virtual community frame and conceive of a number of sex-related issues, the questions they pose, the discussions that ensue, and the answers they contribute. The aim is to explore what forum discussions can tell us about the views, understanding, and framing of sex-related issues with which young Australian Muslims, living in Muslim minority context, are confronted in their own lives, those of their kin, or of members of their communities, while, simultaneously and paradoxically, reiterating an unproblematic normative “Islamic” position. Might online forums foster expressions of more creative indigenous and hybrid gendered discourses, as online forum discussions often remain open-ended? The dynamics of online discussions are explored by looking, first, at sexuality related issues within the confines of marriage and, second, sexuality-related issues outside of its confines.