SEXUALITY IN SOCIAL SCIENCES IN MOROCCO (II)
Prof. Dr. Abdessamad Dialmy
University Mohamed V Rabat
2- Toward sexuality as object of research
The shift of interest of the social sciences toward sexual behaviors and sexual practices is especially characteristic of the third period (1976-1996) thanks to the threat of AIDS and explosion of STD. The threat of AIDS and explosion of STD indicate a big sexual "opening" among bachelors. Because of the crisis of unemployment and marriage, non-conjugal intercourse characterizes present Moroccan sexuality. Henceforth, in the domain of sex, people admit having sex wherever, whenever, with whomever and with whatever means available. Traditional notions of hshuma and aïb (shame) are loosing their weight in the social regulation of sexuality, especially female sexuality. Indeed, sexuality outside marriage doesn't mean only the extension of prostitution, but also the emergence of an in love and erotic sexuality that is neither marriage nor prostitution, of a dice-institutionalized sexuality. This sexual activity outside both marriage and prostitution tends to be accepted practically by a society that continuous to refuse its normalization at the level of principles and laws. Consequently, the analysis of sexual change must abandon notions of opening and modernization in order to substitute them with the notion of anarchy. This notion shows the extent to which the evolution of the Moroccan sexuality is unfit to be analyzed in terms of strategy and management. The Moroccan sexual anarchy would be located in the midway between formal and non-formal policies. It is politically non-planned even though one agrees to say that the power exploited sexuality to dice-politicize masses and youngsters and to "resolve" employment crisis. Four sectors constitute the field of practical policies that are progressively setting up, although one cannot speak about the existence of a lucid and transparent sexual policy. These policies are : 1) the promotion of a tolerant judicial practice ( society gives less and less importance to sexual offenses, the big frequency of these offenses makes impossible their incrimination in their totality, hence the discriminatory application of the law), 2) the promotion of a sexually permissive culture (definition of virginity only as non defloration, definition of sexual activity as leisure), 3) the promotion of a sexually exciting information, 4) the promotion of contraceptives, of preventive techniques and of sexual counseling.
The fourth non-formal medico-sanitary policy aims objectively to liberate sexuality from all fears and to transform it into a means of pleasure. This major shift is widely spread by some feminine magazines that appeared in the 1990s such as Femmes du Maroc. This magazine devotes a regular section to sex education, which transmits a very practical sexual information to its readers. Sexual impotence, sexual obsession, lack of desire, inhibition of senses, climax of sexual pleasure, first sexual experience for men, premature ejaculation, caresses after love, Viagra. These are some of the themes that Femmes du Maroc has dealt with through both a scientific and a permissive perspective. In these "files", Moroccan sexologists and andrologists are interviewed. For Femmes du Maroc, sexual education is not only the techniques to use within the institution of marriage, but also sexual liberal values seeking to free individuals in a liberated sexuality. However, this liberal definition of sexual education doesn't lead Femmes du Maroc to claim a change of penal code in order to dice-incriminate premarital sexuality when free and chosen .
If the notion of sex education is mechanically accepted by the liberal tendency (here illustrated by Femmes du Maroc for example), it is subject to a controversy as to its content, its ethical, its targets, its agents, its methods, its vehicular language and its media support. Let's recall that the Moroccan Islamic State’s reaction was unfavorable to chapters 4 and 7 of the program of action of the ICPD. For Moroccan officials, all notions relating to sexuality and sexual health must be dealt with in conformity with two principles believed to be immutable in an Islamic law also conceived at as indisputable, the legal inequality of sexes and the subordination of sex to the marriage. No right to sexual activity outside marriage is recognized.
Consequently, protection of sexuality outside marriage raises a legal problem because of the legal rejection of the use of condom outside marriage. Among public physicians themselves, a trend asks to Islamize sexual health and sexual education and to reduce them to theoretical knowledge of sexual anatomy and physiology, early marriage, faithfulness to the partner, avoidance of STD and perversions (like homosexuality). In other words, sexual health and sexual education have to be both technical and Islamic. They must not transmit some values as the right to sexual pleasure outside marriage or outside heterosexuality. For this reason, fundamentalists among public professionals of health propose to medicalize the notion of sexual education and to name it sanitary education in order to avoid all "risks of cultural imperialism".
For health decision-makers, there is a kind of official silence on sexual pleasure in itself. For those people, the most important thing is that sexual activity should not lead to a high rate of fertility or STD/HIV. If all social actors agree with the aim of non elevated fertility, they have no consensus concerning the way to prevent STD/AIDS. For fundamentalists, there are only two ways to resolve this problem, abstinence and marital faithfulness, while liberals propose the use of condoms and conceive faithfulness outside marriage. To "conciliate" between liberals and fundamentalists, public health decision-makers propose abstinence, faithfulness and condom. Moreover, they maintain the notion of sexual education and consider it as a strategic goal in their recent "Plan National Stratégique de Lutte contre le SIDA". But conscious of the importance of religious leaders in shaping popular opinion, the Plan of the ministry of health associates the ministry of religious affairs as a partner in the elaboration of the programs of sex education. For the ministry of health, the most important is not to adhere to the secular ethics of sex education that is at the heart of the declaration of human and sexual rights but only to achieve a lower STD/AIDS rate. In doing so, the ministry of health seems to ignore that the recognition of the right to sex is a major condition to individual and collective sexual health. Such ethics is not only not assumed by public decision-makers of public sexual health who are concerned with reaching a "religious" agreement on public sexual health programs. There is also a lack of a fundamental secular conviction among the majority of public physicians because of their conception of medicine as a set of techniques that do not carry universal human values. This reduction of medicine to a technique leads some physicians to claim its moralization in the sense of its Islamization. A sexuality that is supposed to be definitively regulated by Islam has also to be regulated by an Islamized medicine.
The emergence of infertility clinicians, sexologists and andrologists in the private sector, is also exploited by fundamentalists and used to reinforce their Islamic definition of sexual and reproductive health and sexual education. For them, these new disciplines are mainly supposed to solve the conflicts that could emerge from infertility and help some men to manage erectile dysfunction in the setting of marriage because procreation and sexual pleasure are two high aims of Islamic marriage. But impotence and infertility issues keep private because their "managers" are mostly private professionals and remain enclosed in a reductive definition of sexual health like a technical struggle against individual illnesses, individual handicaps and individual dysfunctions.
 A. Dialmy : Sexualité et Politique au Maroc, op. cit., p. 17.
 D. Dwyer : Images and self images : male and female in Morocco, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986.
 A. Dialmy : Sexualité et Politique au Maroc, op. cit., pp. 81-83.
 N° 16, March 1997, pp. 48-51.
 N° 17, April 1997, pp. 38-41.
 N° 18, may 1997, pp. 54-56.
 N° 21, September 1997, pp. 52-53.
 N° 26, February 1998, pp. 54-56.
 N° 27, March 1998, pp. 52-53.
 N° 28, April 1998, pp. 62-63.
 N° 29, May 1998, pp. 62-63.
 N° 30, June 1998, pp. 72-73.
 See the analysis of our interview with the editor in chief of Femmes du Maroc in our study Sexualité et islam au Maroc, op. cit, pp. 82-83.
 A. Dialmy : Jeunesse, Sida et Islam au Maroc, Casablanca, Eddif, 2000, pp. 207-210.
 A. Dialmy : La prise en charge éducative des patients MST dans la santé publique, Ministry of Public Health/ European Union, 1997, pp. 39-46.
 Ibid. p. 39.
 Plan National Stratégique de Lutte contre le SIDA, Ministry of Health, presented by Morocco to the General Assembly of United-Nations on HIV/AIDS (New York 25-27 June 201), pp. 18, 21.
 Ibid. p. 22.
 A. Dialmy : La prise en charge éducative des patients MST…, op. cit. pp. 39, 40 et 45.
 The Société Marocaine d'Andrologie et de Sexologie was founded at 1993.