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Pornography, Pleasure, Gender and Sex Education, a study by Sabina Faiz Rashid and Owasim Akram reveals how local ideas of sex and sexuality in Dhaka, Bangladesh are gradually being transformed; how emerging urban spaces in the city are serving as alternative sites of communication, knowledge and information on sex; and how men’s sexual expectations and realities are shaped by larger social, political and economic structures.

Over the past two decades Bangladesh’s capital has grown from a small city to a large urbanised space. Such rapid urbanisation and social transformation has created unintended consequences that have implications for gender, power, sexual relationships and health.

Drawing on research undertaken over several months in the backstreets of Dhaka, this publication sheds new light on the city’s changing economic and sexual landscape. Migration and the rapid mobility of a labour force of men and women who earn low wages have taken place alongside a burgeoning sex industry and influx of pornography which men particularly are taking advantage of.

The authors argue that lessons learnt from these changing sexual realities must feed into strategies for sex education programmes in order to positively impact on gender relations and ultimately contribute to a vision of development which increases possibilities for wellbeing and pleasure in relationships and life, in conjunction with efforts to tackle poverty.

Pornography, Pleasure, Gender and Sex Education in Bangladesh