Lebanese women and sexuality: A qualitative inquiry

Mathilde Azar (Lead / Corresponding author), Thilo Kroll, Caroline Bradbury-Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    368 Downloads (Pure)


    OBJECTIVES: This study explores the meanings middle-aged Lebanese women attribute to sexuality and sexual life and how these constructs are shaped socially, culturally, and politically.

    STUDY DESIGN: Using a qualitative design, data generation comprised semistructured individual interviews (n = 18) and one focus group (n = 5) with Lebanese women aged 40-55 years. Framework analysis was used for data analysis.

    RESULTS: Inductive analysis identified four themes: Sexuality as imposed by sociocultural and gender norms; sexuality as a symbol of youthful femininity; sexual life as a fundamental human need; and sexual life as a marital unifier and family stabiliser. Findings show that women's sexual self is largely defined based on men's needs. Women sacrifice themselves to maintain family cohesiveness, which they regard as the core of society. However, some women challenged social norms and therefore bringing new meanings to their sexuality.

    CONCLUSION: This study offers new contextual information about the understanding of sexuality of middle-aged women within a Lebanese context, where the topic is not openly discussed. New insights are important to provide women with professional support that is culturally sensitive and appropriate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-8
    Number of pages6
    JournalSexual and Reproductive Healthcare
    Early online date27 Jan 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


    • Qualitative research
    • Sexual life
    • Sexuality
    • Middle-aged women
    • Middle-East


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