Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Sexualities: Practices: Ottoman Empire
(805 words)

Women's ideas about sexual practices and attitudes have few traces in the Ottoman period sources. Until the late nineteenth century women seldom wrote, and women's texts referring to sexuality are practically non-existent. We can, however, try to reconstruct some of their views based on appearances in Sharīʿa courts (Peirce 2003, Ze'evi 1995) and on reported speech by male authors.

Understanding Ottoman period sexuality begins with concepts of the body. In the Ottoman Middle East, as in Europe until the eighteenth century, women were considered imperfec…

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Ze'evi, Dror, “Sexualities: Practices: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0199e>
First published online: 2009

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