Growing Up Sexually


DAUDI BOHRA (aka Dawoodi Bohra, India)


More: Abor, Lingayats, Bengali, Punjabi; Rājpūts, Brahmans, Nagas, Chamars, Todas, Purum, Santals, Garos, Muria Gonds, Baiga, Nimar Bahalis, Lodha, Uttar Pradesh, Andamanese, Nicorbarese


The Daudi Bohra are a sect of the Ismaili Shia denomination numbering half a million residing principally in the western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat with 50% in Bombay alone.


“Sex socialization of Bohra girls involves denial of sexuality. Girls are warned to stay away from strange men and are not taught about the biology of their bodies. The body is considered unclean and the subject improper for discussion. Menses are explained only as the act of becoming a woman, and the focus is on cleanliness and ritual bathing at the end of the menstrual period. Information on the sex act is provided by an experienced aunt the night before the marriage ceremony. Within marriage, sexual pleasure by women is permitted […] The reasons cited for sunna [female circumcision] were that it was required of the parents to follow the practice mentioned in the shariat [system of ordinances as given in the Koran and the Hadis], that it was the custom in the community, and that it was necessary in curbing a girl's sexuality”[1].




Additional reading:


  • Blank, Jonah (2001) Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras. Distributed for the University of Chicago Press








Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology, Berlin

Last revised: Oct. 2004


[1] Ghadially, R. (1992) All for "Izzat", Newsl Womens Glob Netw Reprod Rights Jan-Mar (38):7-8