Sexual Health and Religion: A Primer for the Sexual Health Clinician (CME)

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Sexual health is an integral part of the multifaceted human experience that is driven both by biological factors and psychological facets. Religion may provide a moral code of conduct or a sexual compass as to sexual norms and behaviors.


The aim of this study was to summarize the integration of sexuality and religion.


A review of published literature and religious texts was conducted.


The integration of religion with country or state politics and laws is a complicated dilemma and will not be discussed in the scope of this article. The extent to which an individual incorporates their religious doctrine into their sexual life is a personal and individualized choice. The sexual medicine health professional will likely encounter a diverse patient population of distinct religious backgrounds, and a primer on religion and sexuality is a much needed adjunctive tool for the clinician.


Because religion can influence sexuality and dictate, in part, the behavioral and medical treatments for sexual complaints, the clinician should be familiar with religious guidelines regarding sexuality, and treatment should be customized and individualized. Failure to do so can impact compliance with the therapeutic interventions. Religious awareness also solidifies the therapeutic alliance between clinician and patient as it demonstrates respect and acknowledgment for patient's beliefs and autonomy. Kellogg Spadt S, Rosenbaum TY, Dweck A, Millheiser L, Pillai-Friedman S, and Krychman M. Sexual health and religion: A primer for the sexual health clinician. J Sex Med 2014;11:1606–1619.

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