Sikhism

Sikhism is one of the youngest of the major religions. Based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the ten successive Sikh gurus, Sikhism has a following of over twenty million. Below is information on the most common beliefs on the subject of relationships and sex.

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Gender-Roles

Gender Roles

Sikhism was founded on principles of equality for all people.  As God is genderless, Sikhs actively fight against patriarchal social structures and seek social reforms that advocate women’s rights.

Gender-Roles

Gender Roles

Sikhism was founded on principles of equality for all people.  As God is genderless, Sikhs actively fight against patriarchal social structures and seek social reforms that advocate women’s rights.

Growing-Up

Growing Up

Once a Sikh young person reaches puberty, he or she will be instructed in the values of Sikhism and the Sikh way of life, and will undergo a coming-of-age ceremony called Amrit Pahul.

This ceremony marks the induction into Khalsa, and from this moment onward, the young person is considered to be spiritually mature and responsible for his or her actions.

Growing Up

Once a Sikh young person reaches puberty, he or she will be instructed in the values of Sikhism and the Sikh way of life, and will undergo a coming-of-age ceremony called Amrit Pahul.

This ceremony marks the induction into Khalsa, and from this moment onward, the young person is considered to be spiritually mature and responsible for his or her actions.

Growing-Up
Marriage

Marriage

Marriage is seen as something sacred between a husband and wife, and everyone in the community is expected to marry at some point in their lives.

Marriage is closely tied with family honour. In rare cases, men will practice polygamy if the first wife cannot bear children, although this is not legal in the UK.

Marriage

Marriage

Marriage is seen as something sacred between a husband and wife, and everyone in the community is expected to marry at some point in their lives.

Marriage is closely tied with family honour. In rare cases, men will practice polygamy if the first wife cannot bear children, although this is not legal in the UK.

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Sex

For Sikhs, sex is sacred and should be valued and protected. The Sikhs believe that because the divine spark is within each human being, the body must remain clean and perfect. In addition, Sikhs place a high value on family life and having children. 

As a result, both sex before and outside of marriage are forbidden, because sex is strictly for creating a family.

Masturbation

Sikhism sees sexual lust as one of the five evils that Sri Guru Granth Sahib talked about. Masturbation can be seen as an outworking of sexual lust and so is understood to be unacceptable. However, some of the Gurus themselves have admitted to having to fight against these evils, inferring that they understand the temptation to masturbate.

 

Sex

For Sikhs, sex is sacred and should be valued and protected. The Sikhs believe that because the divine spark is within each human being, the body must remain clean and perfect. In addition, Sikhs place a high value on family life and having children. 

As a result, both sex before and outside of marriage are forbidden, because sex is strictly for creating a family.

Masturbation

Sikhism sees sexual lust as one of the five evils that Sri Guru Granth Sahib talked about. Masturbation can be seen as an outworking of sexual lust and so is understood to be unacceptable. However, some of the Gurus themselves have admitted to having to fight against these evils, inferring that they understand the temptation to masturbate.

 
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Contraception

Contraception

Sikhs believe that preventative contraception is completely acceptable because no being has been formed in the womb yet.

Methods that stop an egg implanting in the womb are seen as essentially terminating a life.

Contraception

Contraception

Sikhs believe that preventative contraception is completely acceptable because no being has been formed in the womb yet.

Methods that stop an egg implanting in the womb are seen as essentially terminating a life.

Termination-of-Pregnancy

Termination of Pregnancy

For Sikhs, abortion is considered morally wrong as life begins when the egg is fertilised by the sperm.  However Sikhs also acknowledge the rights of parents and families to make their own decisions based on health grounds or situations where a rape has taken place.

Abortion is generally forbidden in Sikhism, as it interferes in the creative work of God, who created everything and is present in every being.  Most Sikhs accept that life begins at conception (one reference is found on page 74 of the Guru Granth Sahib).  So if conception has taken place, it would be a sin to destroy life and hence deliberate miscarriage or abortion is forbidden.

The Sikh code of conduct does not deal with abortion (or indeed many other bioethical issues).  Despite this theoretical viewpoint, abortion is not uncommon among the Sikh community in India, and there is concern that the practice of aborting female embryos because of a cultural preference for sons is growing.

The core values underpinning Sikh beliefs include: love, faith, acceptance, respect, strength, purity, unity, equality, justice, commitment, modesty, chastity, honour, self-respect.

Termination of Pregnancy

For Sikhs, abortion is considered morally wrong as life begins when the egg is fertilised by the sperm.  However Sikhs also acknowledge the rights of parents and families to make their own decisions based on health grounds or situations where a rape has taken place.

Abortion is generally forbidden in Sikhism, as it interferes in the creative work of God, who created everything and is present in every being.  Most Sikhs accept that life begins at conception (one reference is found on page 74 of the Guru Granth Sahib).  So if conception has taken place, it would be a sin to destroy life and hence deliberate miscarriage or abortion is forbidden.

The Sikh code of conduct does not deal with abortion (or indeed many other bioethical issues).  Despite this theoretical viewpoint, abortion is not uncommon among the Sikh community in India, and there is concern that the practice of aborting female embryos because of a cultural preference for sons is growing.

The core values underpinning Sikh beliefs include: love, faith, acceptance, respect, strength, purity, unity, equality, justice, commitment, modesty, chastity, honour, self-respect.

Termination-of-Pregnancy
Divorce

Divorce

A Sikh can only get a divorce if there is an adequate reason; for example, insanity, desertion, cruelty, impotence, adultery, or a change of religion. In addition, the divorce will only be granted if the family’s attempts to heal the relationship and reconcile the couple fail.

Divorce

Divorce

A Sikh can only get a divorce if there is an adequate reason; for example, insanity, desertion, cruelty, impotence, adultery, or a change of religion. In addition, the divorce will only be granted if the family’s attempts to heal the relationship and reconcile the couple fail.

Abstinence-and-Delay

Homosexuality

Sikh law does not explicitly mention homosexuality, but is generally considered unacceptable because of the high value placed on having children and raising a family.

Homosexuality

Sikh law does not explicitly mention homosexuality, but is generally considered unacceptable because of the high value placed on having children and raising a family.

Abstinence-and-Delay