Religion and Sexuality, Intersections of

Religion and sexuality are closely intertwined; not only is religion an important means of regulating sexual behavior in many cultures, but there are many parallels between the two, such as the experience of ecstatic union with the divine (religion) as well as with other human beings (sexuality). This entry begins by providing an overview of the intersections of religion and sexuality. It then examines five ways in which religion intersects with sexuality: (1) celibacy, (2) marriage, (3) same-sex acts, (4) gender variance, and (5) tantra. These five categories are not intended to be mutually exclusive, nor are they intended to be the only ways in which religion intersects with sexuality. Rather, they simply illustrate some key ways in which religious and sexual practices intersect. ...

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