Sexuality in Bangladesh

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Sexuality in Bangladesh is influenced by religion and culture. Bangladeshi culture is predominantly conservative and patriarchal. Several issues in Bangladesh, including Sex education, romance, homosexuality, and sexual behavior are taboo topics.[1][2][3][4]

Marriage system[edit]

Bangladesh follows the traditional culture of arranged marriage where a marriage can only be done when a man is not unemployed and reproduction is the main base of the Bangladeshi family-system.[2][5][6] As Bangladesh is based on social conservatism,[2][7] there is a strong social and cultural prohibition on Love marriage[8][9][10]; it is viewed negatively by a large portion of the people[11], though love marriages can be seen in a very little extent[12], employment is resembling pertinence and a rugged proviso here also for the male person for engaging in romantic relationship with a female as always a male has to income and a female has to do the cultural role of housewife in a family, although in the 21st century women are having jobs in various sectors but there is no exemption for men to get married with them if they (men) are jobless and earning women also get themselves involved in household activities for patriarchal society-system.[5]

Any discussion around sex and sexuality is taboo. Bangladesh is a family-oriented, moderate Muslim country with strong economic class structure. Romance has been mostly negative, with people calling romance a sin, a social crime, or just perverted behavior. However, there is a pocket of tolerance and acceptance depending on the social class.[13]


Most of the Bangladeshi people are adherents of Islam. For this reason Islamic sexual jurisprudence is practiced largely in the country which supports sexual acts between spouses only and focuses mainly on procreation.[1]

Sex education[edit]

Bangladesh has a sex education system in schools that it teaches it in a conservative way.[14] Inter-gender friendship is disallowed in society.[13]


Watching, possession or production of any kind of pornography is illegal in Bangladesh, a law against it was passed by the parliament in 2012; 244 pornographic sites and sites linked to adult contents were blocked as per the rule.[15]


Homosexual sexual behavior is outlawed in Bangladesh, as Section 377 of the Penal Code forbids anal or oral sex, regardless of the gender and sexual orientation of the participants.[16][17] Thus, even consensual heterosexual acts such as fellatio and anal penetration may be punishable under this law.[18][19] In 2009 and 2013, the Bangladeshi Parliament refused to overturn Section 377.[20] In 2014, the first LGBTQ magazine was launched in Bangladesh, called Roopbaan.[21] The same year Bangladesh held its first Trans Pride parade.[22]


Prostitution is legal since 2000 though the practice is rejected by society. Both female and male prostitution may be found.[23]


  1. ^ a b "Sexuality in Bangladesh: A pessimistic look". (Opinion).
  2. ^ a b c "Young Bangladeshis more conservative than their elders, survey finds". (Opinion).
  3. ^ "Meet the girls taking on taboos in Bangladesh". Girls Not Brides.
  4. ^ "Social taboo, shyness keep Bangladesh's adolescents away from health corners: Population Council".
  5. ^ a b "Marriage, family and tradition in Bangladesh".
  6. ^ "BANGLADESH-CULTURE: Marriage is a Family Decision". Inter Press Service.
  7. ^ "Bangladeshi women walk out on unhappy marriages". La Croix.
  8. ^ "To Love In Bangladesh". HuffPost.
  9. ^ "Love, elopement, and all that". Dhaka Tribune (Opinion). February 12, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Photographer Clicks Pic Of Couple Kissing In Rain. He Was Thrashed, Fired". NDTV. July 28, 2018. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "Couple, student commit 'suicide' in Dhaka". July 19, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  12. ^ "People celebrate Valentine's Day". The Daily Star. February 14, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Lewis 2011.
  14. ^ Mohammed Rubayet. "No alternative to sex education". Dhaka Tribune (Opinion).
  15. ^ "Govt blocks 244 porn sites". The Daily Star.
  16. ^ "Sodomy Laws Around the World". 24 April 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  17. ^ Ashok Deb. "A text book case how sexuality is enforced upon in Bangladeshi society". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  18. ^ "Bangladesh: Treatment of homosexuals including legislation, availability of state protection and support services". Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  19. ^ "Bangladesh_Penal_Code_1860_Full_text.pdf (application/pdf Object)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  20. ^ Pawar, Yogesh. Bangladesh Refuses to Abolish Criminalisation of Same-Sex Ties; in Denial about its 4.5 Million-Strong LGBT Community, Dhaka Shoots Down the United Nations Human Rights Commission Recommendations., 2013. Print
  21. ^ "First magazine for gays, lesbians launched in Bangladesh". NDTV. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  22. ^ Toppa, Sabrina (November 23, 2014). "In Photos: Bangladesh's Trans Pride Parade Was Massive and Fabulous". Vice News. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "Independent Appeal: Sex workers dicing with death in Bangladesh". The Independent.


  • Lewis, David (2011). Bangladesh: Politics, Economy and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press.

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