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A House on Water – A Comprehensive Study on Sigheh Mahramiat and Temporary Marriage in Iran

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Kameel Ahmady

Published May 16, 2022

This fieldwork study supports the view that temporary marriage is a back door to sexual exploitation. According to the study’s findings, mut’ah is a practice that lacks redeeming values and positive functions. Rather, it causes harms such as child marriage, the collapse of the foundations of family life, and negative attitudes towards permanent marriage.
In fact, child marriage is partly the result of the tradition of sigheh mahramiat which paves the road for an increase in child marriage in Iran. It is performed in some Iranian families when their sons and daughters are in early puberty, or even before then, to supervise the sexual behaviour of children, to prevent them from committing a sin, for fear that girls will remain unmarried when they are older, to fight against social and cultural pressures related to communication between young girls and boys, and to facilitate smoother relations between two families.

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