Sexual Health among Young Somali Women in Sweden: Living with Conflicting Culturally Determined Sexual Ideologies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Young Somali women in Sweden are affected by two conflicting ideologies on sexuality: on the
one hand, the traditional values demanding chastity and modesty in women and, on the other
hand, the public sexual ideology in Sweden, emphasising sexual liberty and the dismissal of sexual
In addition, they have to deal with national campaigns condemning “female genital mutilation”.
Some of these young women arrived in Sweden already circumcised. The public message to them
is that they are “mutilated” and, consequently, deprived of their ability to enjoy sex.
A planned project, Sexual Health among Young Somali Women in Sweden, aims at a deeper
understanding of the sexual experiences among older Somali women in Sweden, and intends to
map the internal discourse in this field. The study also intends to find methods of transferring a
positive self-image of sexuality, prevalent among older Somali women, to the younger women.1
Discussing sexual matters is traditionally taboo among Somalis. Even if this situation is changing
in exile, many young Swedish Somali women have to make their sexual débuts with only limited
knowledge about the possibilities of their own sexuality.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Social Anthropology (012013002), Obstetrics and Gynaecology (013242700), Pediatrics/Urology/Gynecology/Endocrinology (013240400)

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