Sexuality

Women are supposed to be virgins at marriage, but men are expected to have had some sexual experience prior to marriage. How they gain this experience varies from individual to individual; some boys have their first sexual experiences with prostitutes, others with their girlfriends. From puberty, children are taught that sex is a private act between two people, and that it is a dangerous act that is only sanctified by marriage. Sexual experimentation is forbidden and children are warned about the dangers of sex and masturbation. Because sex education courses are not taught in schools and parents are too ashamed to speak with their children about sex, girls and boys learn about sex from their friends and older siblings. Although premarital sex is still considered taboo, following independence more and more young Armenian couples are having sex before marriage.

Within marriage, sex is considered a marital duty (amoosnagan bardaganootyoon); men are obligated to satisfy their wives and women are obligated to have sex with their husbands whenever the husband wishes it. Armenians believe that if a man's sexual needs are not fulfilled, he may have physical problems and become seriously ill. Although extramarital affairs are not condoned for either gender, men are usually forgiven while women are punished, stigmatized, and, in extreme cases, murdered. If a man learns that his wife is having an extramarital affair, he must divorce her or risk losing his position and respect in society. Homosexuality, cross-dressing, and cross-sex identification are considered deviant behaviors.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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