An update of sorts to our post on the bacha bazi, or dancing boys, of Afghanistan. Afghan Men Struggle With Sexual Identity, Study Finds
In one instance, a group of local male interpreters had contracted gonorrhea anally but refused to believe they could have contracted it sexually — “because they were not homosexuals.”
Apparently, according to the report, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality to mean they cannot “love” another man — but that doesn’t mean they can’t use men for “sexual gratification.”
The group of interpreters who had contracted gonorrhea joked in the camp that they actually got the disease by “mixing green and black tea.” But since they refused to heed the medics’ warnings, many of them re-contracted the disease after receiving treatment.
The U.S. army medic also told members of the research unit that she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant.
The report said: “When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, ‘How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'”
The report also detailed a disturbing practice in which older “men of status” keep young boys on hand for sexual relationships. One of the country’s favorite sayings, the report said, is “women are for children, boys are for pleasure.”
The report concluded that the widespread homosexual behavior stems from several factors, including the “severe segregation” of women in the society and the “prohibitive” cost of marriage.
Though U.S. troops are commonly taught in training for Afghanistan that the “effeminate characteristics” of Pashtun men are “normal” and not an indicator of homosexuality, the report said U.S. forces should not “dismiss” the unique version of homosexuality that is actually practiced in the region “out of desire to avoid western discomfort.”
Otherwise, the report said, Westerners could “risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture.
The Taliban are primarily Pashtun, and now we have a better understanding of the Pashtun interpretation of homosexuality in Islam.