A brief treatment approach for sexual aversions in a young, single Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jewish female

David S. Ribner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For those adhering to Ultra-Orthodox Jewish practices, any pre-marital physical contact is forbidden. As a consequence, most young married couples begin their physical relationship with no prior sexual experience and with minimal specific information. This situation can engender a level of anxiety, which impedes or prevents the creation of a positive intimate relationship. This client expressed no conflict with her religious identification, but adherence to religious expectations had contributed to a lack of both sexual knowledge and experience. The resulting sex-negative impression became the source of considerable anxiety. Making use of religious symbols and metaphors allowed her to reconstruct her views of sexuality without doubt or guilt, underscoring the capacity and permissibility of her body to experience sexual pleasure. This modified perspective opened the door for her to accept a short-term behavioral intervention sequence with little resistance, leading to a successful resolution of the presenting problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Cultural competence
  • Sex and religion
  • Sexual aversions
  • Short-term sex therapy


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