The instructor held up an unfurled green condom as she lectured a dozen brides-to-be on details of family planning. But birth control was only one aspect of the class, provided by the government and mandatory for all couples before marriage. The other was about sex, and the message from the state was that women should enjoy themselves as much as men and that men needed to be patient, because women need more time to become aroused.
This is not the picture of Iran that filters out across the world, amid images of women draped in the forbidding black chador, or of clerics in turbans. But it is just as much a part of the complex social and political mix of Iranian society -- and of the state’s continuing struggle, now three decades old, to shape the identity of its people.
. . . Sex education here is not new, but the message has been updated recently to help young people enjoy each other and, the Islamic state hopes, strengthen their marriages in a time when everyday life in Iran is stressful enough. (Michael Slackman, "Molding the Ideal Islamic Citizen," New York Times, 9 September 2007)
ایران جالبترین کشور است!
The secular liberal democratic government of the United States, which governs a rich industrial country in the global North, fails to provide such essential services as free contraceptives and scientific sex education, let alone a sex education that promotes sexual pleasure, which the Islamic Republic of Iran makes available.
Secular leftists tend to believe that secular liberal democracy is always better than religious government at least on the gender and sexuality front in all respects. But that is not true. It really depends on the content of each government's programs, not on whether the government is secular or religious.