In popular debates about reproductive and sexual rights, formal religions, especially Islam, are seen as barriers providing institutional and ideological resistance to women's realization of reproductive and social autonomy. This book challenges this simplified view of Islam. Based on original fieldwork in Eastern Indonesia, the book explores the complex factors that affect how young Indonesian women form their sexual subjectivities, discusses the cultural and historical conditions under which single Muslim women repress or express their sexuality, and examines how the cultural context, including other factors besides Islam, simultaneously influence the ways in which young single women approach courtship, and issues of sexuality and reproductive health. It demonstrates that Islam is neither alone in trying to control female sexuality, nor entirely successful in doing so.
Introduction 1. Cultural Constructions of Sexuality and Gender 2. Maiden Bodies - Inscriptions of Femininity and Desire 3. Premarital Relationships and Contemporary Courtship Practices 4. Indigenous Sexual Scripts and Social Transition 5. Women's Health and Maiden Identities 6. Reproductive Rights for Single Women Conclusion