H. Ümit Sayin, Asiye Kocatürk and Irmak Dedecan
Behavior of Turkish Women
ASEHERT-CİSEATED, İstanbul University and MEDIPOL University
The Turkish Republic, established on the remains of Ottoman Empire in 1923, is one of the few secular Islamic countries in the world. Ninety-nine percent of the population is said to be Muslim — although the definition of "being Muslim" in Turkey makes it unlikely that all of these Muslims practice orthodox Islam, Islamic rules and pray 5 times a day. In most of the other Islamic countries, Sharia, Allah's Law for Muslims, dominates the constitution and the legal system, so that the state and the main legal system is NOT separated from the orders of the Qur’an. In contrast with the constitutions in many other Islamic states, the Turkish Constitution forbids the religious laws from dominating government and society and requires that the state and religion be separated (Article 2, Turkish Constitution [revised in 1982]). Latest “CIA Fact-Book” information claims that nearly 4 % of the population is atheist; while our estimation is nearly 35 to 40 % of the population do NOT practice orthodox Islam; among these people none-religious attitudes and atheismhas been spreading and growing as a result of the reaction and protest against religious governments during the last 20 years.
The Turkish Republic was founded in 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and a period of civil war, a war of independence, revolution and reformation led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who became Turkey's first president. When the new republic was formed, the government took many precautions to prevent Islam from being as influential in governance as it was during Ottoman times. Among these reforms were replacing the Arabic alphabet with the Roman alphabet, which is more suited to expressing the Turkish language; granting equal rights to women; and reforming education, including the elimination of compulsory religion courses. Prayers once recited only in Arabic were translated into Turkish, so that everyone could understand them; religious education based in extremist sectarian centers called Tekkes, Tariqas, and Zaviyes was banned; and a new legal system based on a European model was adopted. In 10 years (1923-1933), a new modern Western country, with a new identity and ideology, was quickly created from an oriental empire. There was a clear-cut shift in the whole state precept, including secularism.
When Atatürk died in 1938, there were still many other reforms of governmental and cultural affairs waiting to be completed. After 1950, the Enlightenment-based ideals and reforms of the revolution started to decline. Right-wing and conservative cliques and political parties were ready to exploit the weaknesses of the inexperienced government. Some of the social changes and civil rights attained by the revolution in 1923 were lost. Some politicians appealed to the uneducated and illiterate majority of Turks, who were still very religious and strongly influenced by local religious authorities (Sheiks and Mullahs), who promised a return to the good old Ottoman days and religion governed society (and/or Sharia). This turmoil continued until the military coup in 1960, which supported secularism and Kemalist Revolution. A new constitution based on a Western legal system was approved in 1961, which banned efforts to support the establishment of a non-secular religious state based on Sharia Law. However, after the NATO-USA supported military coup in 1980, the main developments which kindled the counter revolution and the decline of the democracy and secularism accelerated, and reached to a peak during the last 13 years (2002-2015), a period during which more than 20 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were sometimes violated.
Neither the sexual behaviors of pre-modern Turkish women (or Ottoman women), nor that of modern Turkish women have ever been investigated using scientific methods with proper references. Articles or other writings about the sexual life styles of Turkish women are very scarce. During Ottoman times, women had no basic rights, but were enslaved by their husbands or other men in the society. A man could get married to four women and easily divorce any of them by saying one sentence as “I, hereby, in the name of Islam, divorce you”, without leaving her any rights so she would find herself in the street by herself. In fact, before Islam (during the Shamanic days), women in Turkish countries or various clans were more equal to men. Very old Turkish writings state that the Hakan (governer) had to get married to only one woman, and the wife of the Hakan had words and rights in governing the country (as in Huns, Gokturks, Uygurs etc.). Ancient Turkish cultures in Anatolia and in Middle Asia, before 800-900 A.D., always respected women and emphasized the importance of women for centuries. Ancient Turkish cultures gave equal rights to both women and men. An example or trace of this fact can be found as Anatolian Goddess and fertility sculptures or figures on the reliefs in the old Anatolian civilization museums.
About the sexual behavior of Ottoman women very little is known; most probably it was not more than pleasing their husbands. After the Kemalist Revolution in 1923, legally and socially, women gained many rights and became equal to men. Today, legally and in the courts women still have equal rights with men; however, in social life, there is evidence that Turkish Society is being transformed to the Ottoman days lately, during the last 20 years.
Sexuality Surveys on Women in Turkey
Although, in Turkey, the winds of the sexual revolution in Europe and America had their trivial influences, no actual sexual revolution occurred. Before our own investigations, no basic and rigorous surveys on sexual behavior on Turkish females were ever conducted in Turkey, nothing like like Kinsey Reports, the Hite Report or the Cosmo Report. We have investigated the sexual life styles and orgasmic patterns of Turkish women since 1991 and our novel “İstanbul Report” study, started in 2013, is still continuing.
As a result of social and cultural repression and taboos, Turkish women do not experience the sexual freedom and sexual satisfaction as the women in Europe. However, the secular and educated portion of Turkish women has had a kind of reform or sexual revolution in their own sexual life styles. For instance from 1960’s to 1980’s the virginity issue was not considered an important taboo among the urban educated women for a couple of decades, while after the year 2002, the demand for virginity increased in the whole society. The importance of not being deflorated until marriage was not so important among the educated and secular women 20-30 years ago; so the women in 1980’s and 1990’s were having pre-marital sexual experiences, pre-marital sex and intercourse with their partners. However, the ratio of experiencing sexual intercourse, having sexual encounters and pre-marital sexual experience decreased during last 10-15 years. As a consequence of this decline, some sexual function disorders (SFD), such as the cases of lack of sexual interest, Vaginismus and Anorgasmia, increased. This was partially because of the lack of pre-marital sexual experience and partly because of the myths and fears created in the minds of women by the education system and the society. According to our 25 years of experience on investigating the sexuality of Turkish women we can divide the Turkish women into five different categories in terms of their sexual behavior and orgasmic patterns (the groups depict the current status of women in Turkey):
1) GROUP-1: Very liberated, educated and European-type of women: These women have their own lives and sexual life patterns. They are economically independent. They are secular and they do not practice orthodox Islam. Even some of these women can experience ESR (Expanded Sexual Response). They experience premarital sex. They don’t give any value to virginity during marriage.They have a very liberated way of living and sexual life styles (crudely, 15-20 % of the women population). This group is unlikely to suffer from vaginismus and orgasmia, lack of sexual interest; they may have a contented sexual life. Most of them live in large cities and regions like İstanbul, İzmir, Bodrum and Eagean coast.
2) GROUP-2: Liberated, educated European-type of women who have some dogmas and limitations: These women are also independent and they have their own independent lives, they may or may not experience pre-marital sex. They are secular and they do not practice orthodox Islam, but have some beliefs. They don’t give any value to virginity during marriage. Most of them are not virgins when they get married. They have some limited ways of liberated sexual life styles (crudely, 18-25 % of the women population). Some of these women may suffer from SFD, but the ratio of SFD is low. They live in big cities, but some also live in small cities and at rural areas.
3) GROUP-3: Unliberated educated women with dogmas who are inhibited:These women are economically independent. Some of them are secular, but most of them are not! They may have some pre-marital sexual experience, but most of them stay as virgins until marriage; some of them may be deflorated during those sexual encounters. They may favor virginity, but some don’t. This group may suffer from vaginismus and anorgasmia to some degree. They may be religious, very religious or none-religious. Some of these women may suffer from SFD, but the ratio of SFD is higher than the former two groups. This group constitutes crudely, 20-25 % of the women population. They may either live in big cities or small towns and rural areas.
4) GROUP-4: Unliberated, uneducated women with strict dogmas who are very inhibited: These women are not economically independent; they are dependent on their families and their husbands. They are not well educated. Most of them are not secular. They never have pre-marital sexual affairs, they recognize sexuality and orgasms when they get married. They favor virginity and stay as virgins until marriage. This group may suffer from vaginismus and anorgasmia to some degree. They are generally very religious.Some of these women may suffer from SFD, but the ratio of SFD is higher than the first two groups.
5) GROUP-5: Unliberated, educated or uneducated women who suffer SFD’s most of the time (the SFD women): Most of them are not economically independent. They may come from the groups of educated or uneducated. They have very strict dogmas and inhibitions. Very few of them have pre-marital sex. They favor virginity. Most of them are not secular. Most of them are very religious and practice orthodox Islam. They are most of the time virgins when they get married. They both live in big cities and rural areas. This group disproportionally suffers from SFD. Group-4 and Group-5 together constitute nearly the 2/5 of the female society (crudely, 38-45 % of the female population).
For an explanation of ESR (Expanded Sexual Response) is, we quote the definition of ESR from some recent articles:
“being able to attain long lasting and/or prolonged and/or multiple and/or sustained orgasms and/or status orgasmus that lasted longer and more intense than the classical orgasm patterns defined in the literature”
Among women world-wide, the ESR women are less than 10-15 % of the whole female population (our global survey results); in Turkey ESR women are predicted to be less than 5-7 % of the female population.
Some of the characteristics of ESR women were:
1) The ESR women experienced vaginal, clitoral and blended orgasms, as described by Ladas et al.
2) The ESR women experienced multiple orgasms in most of their sexual activities.
3) The ESR women were able to attain long lasting and/or prolonged and/or multiple and/or sustained orgasms and/or status orgasmus that lasted longer than the classical single orgasm and/or multiple orgasm patterns defined in the literature.
4) The ESR women claimed to have strong pelvic floor muscles (PFM) compared to NESR (non-ESR) women.
5) The libido of ESR women was very high compared to NESR women.
6) ESR women described a phenomenon called G-Spot orgasms.
7) ESR women described sensitive erogenous zones in their genitalia other than clitoris.
8) ESR women masturbated more frequently compared to NESR women.
9) ESR women had erotic fantasies more frequently than the NESR women.
10) ESR women admitted to have a form of altered states of consciousness during some of their prolonged orgasms and/or status orgasm
11) ESR women admitted to have a form of altered states of consciousness during some of their prolonged orgasms and/or status orgasm
12) ESR women admitted to have a form of altered states of consciousness during some of their prolonged orgasms and/or status orgasm
13) ESR women admitted to have a form of altered states of consciousness during some of their prolonged orgasms and/or status orgasm
Some Striking Results of Our Surveys During the Last 24 Years
The most striking result coming out of these surveys were about the orgasmic patterns and orgasmic behavior of Turkish women. Most of the Turkish women were familiar with clitoral orgasms, learned during early ages. However, the average ratio of vaginal orgasms in Turkish woman (coital orgasms) was only 16 to 19 % (average of Kadinca Report-1993 and Hülya Report-2003), compared to 30 % (Hite Report) and 34 % (Cosmo Report) among the American women. The reasons of this result could be explained by the different combinations of the following facts:
1) The lack of numerous partners and of experience variety of Turkish women. Most the Turkish women had one or a couple of sexual partners in their whole lives.
2) The lack of pre-marital sexual experience of Turkish women.
3) The lack of information and education of Turkish females on sexuality and sexual physiology of women.
4) The lack of information and education of Turkish males on sexuality, female orgasm and sexual physiology.
5) The lack of vibrator use in the Turkish population.
6) The short duration of sexual intercourse of Turkish males, which generally lasted less than 2 to 5 minutes.
7) The taboos, inhibitions and sexual myths that the Turkish women had in their minds.
8) The taboos, inhibitions, fears, guilt, and shame created by the transformed education system at the high schools and universities.
We quote some tables from Kadınca Report (1993) and Hülya Report (2003). Some preliminary parts of the İstanbul Report among Female University Students (age 17-25) are also added.
1. Ümit Sayin, AykutKence.Islamic Scientific Creationism: A New Challenge in Turkey. Reports of National Center for Science Education (RNCSE). 19 (6): 18-20. 1999.
2. Ümit Sayın. Different Dimensions of Sexuality: Deep Sex. Second edition, two volumes. İstanbul: Tantra Akademi/Onur Publications, 2014. Kadınca Report (1993) and Hülya Report (2003) were realized by Dr. Umit Sayin. İstanbul Report (2013-2014, still continuing) was conducted by Dr. Umit Sayin, Dr. AsiyeKocatürk and partially by Irmak Dedecan.
3. Ümit Sayin.Doors of female orgasmic consciousness: New theories on the peak experience and mechanisms of female orgasm and expanded sexual response. (Research and Review) NeuroQuantology, 10 (4): 692-714, 2012. ● Ümit Sayin and AsiyeKocatürk .Expanded sexual response in the human female: The mechanisms of expanded orgasms in women (Review). Proceedings of NACS-2012-Helsinki Conference, Helsinki-Finland (4-7 October, 2012) Proceedings Book 2012; pp:147-163, 2012.● Ümit Sayin.Altered states of consciousness occurring during expanded sexual response in the human female: preliminary definitions. (Review) NeuroQuantology; 9(4): 882-891, 2011.
4. Shere Hite, Hite Report, (Turkish translation: KadınlarınCinselliğiKonusundaEnkapsamlıAraştırma, Çev: Esin Eden,) İstanbul: Cep/CinsellikPublications, 1984.● LindaWolfe, The Cosmo Report, London: Corgi Books, 1982. ● Kocatürk A, Sayın HÜ, Baş GY, Kocatürk C. Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of 939 Female Students in İstanbul Universities (2012) to the Survey Results of Kadınca Report (1993): Decline in Sexual Knowledge and Education in Turkish Universities?38th Annual Meeting of IASR (International Academy of Sex Research), Lisbon-Portual, July 8-11, 2012; Abtract Book, 38: 82, 2012.
Question: To How many men have you made love with until now? (including the experiences without sexual intercourse)
Question : How many minutes do your foreplays last with a man when you make love with him (average is asked)?
Question : How many minutes do your sexual partners maintain the intercourse (coitus) inside your vagina during the sexual intercourse (based on your experiences, give an average number)
Question: Which of the above enhances your sexual desires before sexuality (more than one answer)
Question : Which of the above do you sometimes apply when making love? (more than one response)
Question :Do you have orgasms during sexual acts with your partners?
Question: Have you ever had multiple orgasms during one session of sexual act and/or intercourse?
Question: What is the highest number of orgasms you have had during sexual act or session that lasts up to an hour ?( multiple choices)?
For Hülya Report-What is the highest number of orgasms you had during sexual intercourse (for hours or over a night)?
Question : Do the intensity and pleasure of your orgasms during sexual acts vary?
Question : Can you have orgasm just by penetration of your partner’s penis into your vagina without any other stimulation?
Question : How often do you masturbate?
Question:Do you have sexual fantasies?
Question: During your sexual acts you experience with your partner, do you have orgasms during sexual act or intercourse?
Question : How old were you when you realized that your body was sexually aroused or when you masturbated?
Question : How do you masturbate?
Question :Do you have sexual fantasies? If yes, when do you fantasize? (multiple answers)
Question: Which of the above fits the fantasy you have during self-satisfying (multiple answers)
Question : Have you had lesbian affair or sexual act?
Question : How old were you during your first lesbian relationship?
Question :Did you make love with more than one man at the same time?
Question :Have you ever made love with an arbitrary person that you have just met randomly?
Soru 56: Have you had a sadomasochistic, fetishistic or out of known and unaccustomed sexual encounter in which you were dominant or submissive?
Questions 57: Which behavior have you encountered until now (more than one answer)?
WOMEN RIGHTS IN TURKEY
ASEHERT-CISEATED (www.ciseated.org) accepts and supports the “The Declaration of Sexual Rights” by WAS, accepted and revised in March, 2014. However, there are some violations of the sexual rights of women in Turkey. If we want to summarize them in short, the main titles would be:
1) Domestic Violence.
2) Homicide of women by lovers, husbands or family members because of the cultural and traditional beliefs.
3) Child marriages.
4) Molestation and sexual abuse of women by certain segments of the society sometimes.
5) “Sexual Rape” crimes.
6) Some legal discrepancies about “the rape issue”. For instance, the rapist is not punished if he accepts to get married to the victim in some parts of Turkey.
7) Inappropriate precautions and education on birth control.
8) The politicians’ attitude on “living together of men and women without marriages”.
9) The social attitudes (or the politicians’ intervention) on the merits of “Virginity” or “being virgin before the marriage”.
10) Unconsummated marriages, because of many dogmas and taboos of the society.
11) Increasing number of sexual function disorders, such as vaginismus and anorgasmia.
12) Lacking of appropriate sexual education at high schools or universities.
13) Many other social and cultural issues that violate the women’s rights.