Hanadi dreams of a safe home for her family, but that means fleeing Syria with her daughters and finding her kidnapped husband in an international whirlwind.
Muslim-American women raised in households where discussion of sexuality is considered taboo struggle to navigate relationships, intimacy, and their own sexual identities.
For many young people, chatting with friends or siblings about crushes and first kisses is a common rite of passage while growing up, and hearing the sex talk from parents or older figures promotes a better understanding of relationships and sexual health. For some Muslim girls, such conversations in the home are unheard of. Any discussion of sex is treated as a taboo subject, or associated with negativity and shame, which leaves many Muslim girls without the foundation to understand relationships, intimacy, or even their own bodies. Through religious or cultural frameworks, this avoidance of sexual education and understanding has been perpetuated across generations, which has also left some parents unequipped to broach the subject.
The Sex Talk explores the impact that this kind of upbringing has had on Muslim women in California, how religion shaped the women’s ideas of sex as well as their perceptions of their own bodies, and how it has affected their romantic and familial relationships. Filmmaker Nausheen Dadabhoy examines how these women’s understanding of sexual health has changed from adolescence to middle age.