The non-profit organization based in Casablanca “Menassat for research and social studies” released this week its study entitled “Individual freedoms in Morocco: Representations and practices”. Based on a survey conducted between May and June, the study was conducted with a representative sample of 1,312 Moroccans, focusing on individual freedoms in Morocco with several axes, such as the nature of the relationship to religion and freedom of belief and sexuality.
It thus emerges that 76.3% of those questioned recognize the existence of sexual relations outside marriage and believe that they have become widespread in Moroccan society. In addition, 60% of them said they had personally known men or women who had had this type of sex. The study found that about 50% of those surveyed consider having sex before marriage “a matter of individual freedom.” On the other hand, 77.6% of those who refuse this kind of relationship, justify their opposition by the fact that these relationships are “forbidden” by religion.
According to the results, 60% of respondents were in favor of teaching sex education in schools. In addition, 69.2% said they were unaware of article 490 of the Penal Code, criminalizing sex outside of marriage. Informed of its content, 50.4% said they were against this law.
The study adds, regarding homosexuality, that 60% of those questioned expressed their refusal to express this orientation in public space, while 30% claimed to know a homosexual person. “Even with a negative representation and opinion, we thus register a relative behavioral tolerance within the framework of daily social relations”, believe the researchers concerning this point.
With regard to the free disposal of oneself, 50% of the respondents said they were aware of the right to dispose of one’s body. In addition, more than half of them indicated that a woman’s outfit is a matter of her personal freedom, but 61.2% of those polled supported the need to “cover the female body with the hijab”. A rate that remains higher among women surveyed (65.3%) than among men (57.1%) and which is mainly explained by the teachings of Islam (62.5%).