Saturday, October 07, 2006

Male sex workers in Pakistan   posted by Razib @ 10/07/2006 02:30:00 PM

Marginalised male sex workers vulnerable to HIV/AIDS:
While such behaviour is strictly illegal, homosexuality is fairly widespread in Pakistan. Under the country's Islamic laws, sodomy carries a penalty of whipping, imprisonment or even death - but the fact on the ground is that it is also for the large part silently accepted.

I am not too concerned with the HIV/AIDS angle as I suspect nearly universal male circumcision will dampen the proportions even if the rate of growth is high in the short term (if 0.1% is correct there is no where to go but up!). Rather, I always find this stuff about homosexuality in the Muslim world interesting, because Muslims are so rhetorically medieval on a little-bit-of-gay. One thing is that lying and "keeping up appearences" is such a big deal in most cultures. I like the relative candor of the Anglo-Saxon world (I don't have personal experience of stuff besides Islam/South Asia and the Anglo-Saxon world). My mother makes many comments to the effect of "in Bangladesh we don't have that." Aside from the fact that she hasn't lived there for a generation, she is also a rather sheltered person who was raised in privileged and pampered circumstances. Reading the paper in Dhaka 2 years ago (English language) there were reports of the prostitutes in Dhaka's red-light district trying to unionize, and the neighbors complaining about its expansion. Also, there were concerns about a major downtown porn stall which wasn't being shut down because the cops were getting bribes in the form of porn.

(via Pass the Roti)