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Religious Studies

Sikhism: beliefs about love and sex

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Love is often used to describe a close attachment to another person. Sex means sexual intercourse between two people. Most religions have views on love and sex. Sikhs favour monogomy, chasitity and cleanliness.

Sikh views

Chastity is a very important aspect of Sikh teaching because the divine spark of Waheguru (God) is present in every human body, and so the body has to be kept clean and perfect. Anything that may harm the body has to be avoided. Sex has to be limited to married couples and pre-marital (before marriage) or extra-marital (outside marriage) sex is forbidden.

A male Sikh should consider all females older than him as his mother, equal in age to him as a sister, and younger than him as a daughter.

A sikh couple

A sikh couple

Marriage is seen as a commitment before Waheguru and the purpose is companionship and help on their spiritual path, rather than sexual enjoyment. The married relationship is summed up in the phrase ‘one soul in two bodies’, so being faithful to a husband or wife is central to Sikh life. Monogamy is the rule in Sikhism.

In a marriage a couple can regulate their sex life. Some Sikhs believe that it is a great virtue to deny themselves sexual intercourse in order to concentrate on divine love. Family life is the aim for every Sikh in order to conceive and nurture their children and contribute to Waheguru’s creation.

Any other way of living is discouraged, including celibacy [Celibacy: Being unmarried; taking a vow of chastity means promising not to get married or to engage in sexual intercourse. ].

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