1 out of 3 young Iranian men "gay"?

By Razib Khan | August 3, 2011 10:46 am


Married at age 21

A few years ago the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asserted that his nation did not have gays as they did in the West. What Ahmadinejad seems to have meant is that a public gay identity does not exist in Iran. He has to be aware that homosexual behavior is not unknown in his nation. More generally Ahmadinejad’s comments brought up the issue of men having sex with men throughout the Middle East before marriage. This is a taboo topic in much of the region, so getting good quantitative data seems pretty much impossible. But today PLoS Medicine came out with a paper with a result which suggests that the anecdotes of relatively widespread homosexual behavior in the Middle East are not totally unfounded or unrepresentative (the journalist Hugh Pope has indicated that Middle Eastern men have sometimes assumed he would naturally be open to sexual propositions because he was a Westerner. He grew a mustache to discourage such inquiries) . The paper is about HIV, Are HIV Epidemics among Men Who Have Sex with Men Emerging in the Middle East and North Africa?: A Systematic Review and Data Synthesis. Here’s the figure which jumped out at me:

The title of the table is Prevalence of anal sex between males in select populations in MENA.

For Iran there is a notation of “unspecified male-to-male sexual contacts,” so I take the figure for Iran to mean that 29% of sexually active unmarried men in Iran are engaging in activities with other men. Does this mean that 29% of men in this sample are gay? I don’t think so. As you likely know Iran’s state imposes conservative sexual mores upon its population. Though Iran is not Saudi Arabia there are still hazards when it comes to men and women entering into relationships before marriage. But it also turns out that many Iranian men at their peak of sexual ardor are unmarried. A recent paper reports that 40-45% of men aged 25-29 were unmarried.

One needs to be cautious of a figure like this. There is likely selection bias in the sample, even if it is less clear than in the case of truck drivers at STD clinics or prisoners. And this is only one report. But it finally gives us a concrete number to point to when we allude to the likelihood that male-to-male sexual contact has to be rife in societies where heterosexual sex outside of marriage is very difficult, and marriage has to be delayed to the exigencies of the modern economy.

Image credit: Marcello Casal Jr.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Data Analysis, Health
  • Darkseid

    i’ve read about all sorts of different “norms” for many middle eastern countries with regard to homosexual relationships. i remember seeing a Slate piece about the Taliban dressing up like women with makeup and some militant groups using young boys for sex. also, i remember seeing a Frontline about how it’s not unusual for male friends to hold hands while walking but not be gay but that it was also common in some countries to have homosexual encounters regularly and still not consider yourself to be gay. does anyone have some direction on this? i can’t keep track of what is normal for each country. a graph? a chart of gayness, perhaps?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    stuff like holding hands or make up isn’t too determinative. these things vary even between western nations and across time (remember all that stuff about lincoln being gay cuz he slept in the same bed as another dude? not that uncommon in cramped conditions with no central heating). even sex with men isn’t determinative. most risoners aren’t gay. the key to be gaying as we understand is a strong preference for same sex relationships. that’s usually not the case i think among middle eastern men who have sex with men. i suspect in the west a much smaller proportion of straight men have experimented because we don’t need to.

  • pconroy

    @Darkseid,

    You don’t have to go to the Middle East to witness the strangeness of male Muslim interactions. Near me in Kensington (Brooklyn, NY) is a large community of Pakistani Muslims, and you regularly see young men holding hands in the street, gazing into each others eyes and talking in whispers – I kid you not! Now if this were Chelsea (Manhattan, NY) the normative reaction would be that they are young Gay lovers, but the very same posture and expression in Kensington, one is supposed to believe they are heterosexuals – it’s very strange.

    When I lived in Astoria (Queens, NY) there was an Egyptian area, and the same thing, you would see young men in hookah bars, sitting on couches, arms around each other, chit chatting the night away, and again supposedly they were heterosexuals.

    Not withstanding the gender identification of the individuals involved, there is definitely a blurring of homosexual vs heterosexual behavior, so that there is a de facto “don’t ask don’t tell” policy in effect, allowing a gay Muslim man to pass undetected in such societies.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    male same sex relationships in the USA and the west more generally used to be much more intimate in some ways than before the rise to prominence of the nuclear family as we understand it in the 19th century. i don’t know the cultural history in detail, but from what i can gather the ideals of male friendship which were once the norm in the west are kept up more in other societies, because of the greater importance of interpersonal relationships in getting by (in the west institutions work well enough that you can rely on them to operate efficiently and somewhat objectively).

  • Zora

    A older man’s lust for an attractive boy is a frequent theme of classical Persian poetry. This is often explained as a metaphor for the Sufi’s passionate love of Allah, but … given the prevalence of the actual behavior, over the centuries, one has to wonder whether Sufism was the motivation for the amorous poetry, or just a convenient excuse. (Ditto for all the poetic winebibbing.)

    For the youth, a homosexual affair might be a passing fling, something one outgrew. For the older man, it would be a convenience, given the difficulty of conducting an affair with a woman in purdah. I have the impression that only a persistent preference for males over females would lead others to categorize a man as a boy-lover.

    Based on reading poetry, memoirs, history in translation, so I could be off-base here.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    not to get too michellesque, but there’s the cross-cultural distinction between “active” and “passive.” the former often don’t have the status of homosexuals, while the latter are derided for being deviants. the emperor elagabalus was defamed primarily because he was often passive, not because he engaged in homosexuality as such.

    in any case, with the commonality of companiate sexual relations between males and females rather early on in the west, and its lack of social taboo, all of these alternative “outlets” become a moot point for straight males. the main exception is in prison.

  • juan

    I’ve often thought that the more intimate style of male friendship (ie handholding) seen in traditional societies was inversely proportional to how open homosexuality was. In a traditional Islamic society two men can hold hands and nobody will think they are gay, whereas two American male friends have to maintain greater distance to make sure their friendship doesn’t look gay. A college buddy of mine would, if seeing a movie with only a single male friend, insist on keeping an empty seat between himself and the other guy.

    It seems that the gay rights movement in the west has pushed straight men to avoid any behavior that might signal “gay”. The decline of broadway, showtunes, and musicals as a cultural force in America seems to fit this. Both my father and grandfather were military men. And both were conservative a bit stoic in nature. Yet they also were huge broadway and musical buffs. My grandfather performed Gilbert & Sullivan, while my father did Guys and Dolls.

    To this day my father goes to piano bars to sing showtunes. To most people under 40 this sounds like an extremely gay thing to do. The piano bars where my Dad sings are filled with retired military guys and their wives. They are very conservative. The type who cry when Lee Greenwood sings “Proud to be an American”.

    For my father and grandfather being military men and song and dance men weren’t in conflict. They were both two awesomely manly things you could do.

    My hunch is that gay men were always over-represented in musical theater, but once they felt free to be open about it, the straight men then avoided it to avoid seeming gay. So it quickly went from over-representation to a bit of a gay cultural ghetto art-form. Which is sad to me since I grew up musicals due to my father and grandpa and love the art-form.

    Another example is drag comedy. Men in drag had been a staple of mainstream American comedy. Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Some like it Hot, etc.

    It still happens today, but much less. And it seems the part of American comedy where drag still semi-thrives is black film (Madea, Big Momma series). I’d hazard a guess that it is because American black society is where gays are the least open, so a black guy can dress in drag and still seem like a macho dude, just one who dresses up like a women to be funny.

    It’s amazing to me how quickly the culture can shift on something like this, just a few decades really.

  • ackbark

    Can anyone describe the actual social cues?

    If I were in a cafe or a bar in the Middle East and a man put his arm around my shoulders or something, how could I tell whether he was making a pass or just ordinarily friendly?

  • pconroy

    @Juan,

    When I was a young kid from about the age of 5-9 yo we had only one TV channel, and every Sunday afternoon my Mother and siblings would watch a 3 hour musical – I never watches a single one. Instead I was outside making weapons – wooden swords, shields, bows and arrows, spears – and constructing tree-houses, boats, chain-mail armor and traps. Then as now musicals strike me as totally gay – but that might just be me?!

  • Fogbraider

    Reading accounts of apparently homosexual relationships in European history (possibly here – you’ve touched on this before, I think) I was struck by how disingenuous the lovers were, how naively rapt. I got the impression that they had reinvented the homosexual relationship all by themselves, with no cultural context to tell them what was going on. Which would fit with the idea that openness in the culture polarises the behaviour of gay and straight men.

  • juan

    @pconroy I think you missed my point.

    Any behavior that a majority or large minority of men engage in does not, almost by definition, signal homosexuality within that culture. The overwhelmingly majority of men are straight and try to send strong signals of manliness, so anything a significantly large % of males do cannot be signaling homosexuality within that culture, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Outsiders, of course, might perceive it very differently. Some people might think the skin-tight uniforms of NFL players is kinda gay, but obviously to a large majority of Americans it just seems normal and manly.

    As to musicals, musicals films from the 1940-60s were as mainstream Hollywood fare as superhero and Harry Potter movies are today. People from that era did not perceive them as anything other than just mainstream entertainment.

    Prior to the advent of rock n roll, popular music in America basically was showtunes. Most of the big hits of the pre-rock n roll era were showtunes. These would be performed on Broadway and then the shows would tour America.

    Here’s another example. UFC has quickly become the dominant combat sport in America, especially among white Americans. The UFC has struggled, however, to attract hispanic viewers, particularly 1st and 2nd generation Mexican immigrants who still show a strong preference for boxing.

    One of the main reasons is that the grappling aspect of MMA is seen as unmanly and somewhat gay by 1st and 2nd generation Mexican immigrants. Most white American men under 40 see two guys fighting in the UFC as a very macho, bad-ass gladiator thing. But many Mexican immigrants see the same activity as two half-naked dudes laying on top and hugging each other in a weirdly homosexual way, and they are repulsed.

    Culture is a funny thing. White, suburban American culture strongly discourages touching among male friends, and yet now the UFC has become the ultimate macho sport, and it is two half-naked dudes writhing against each other. Of course, it’s ok, because they are writhing against each other to get in better position to punch each other in the face or choke the other guy into unconsciousness. So some homoerotic writhing is allowed as long as it ends in blood, concussions, and unconsciousness.

  • Iranian Heeey

    I think you are a bunch of idiots trying to judge everything with your nonsensical mindset.

    I am a man and have fucked boys in Iran when I was at high school. They were supposedly gay and we used to call them sissy boys. So, will that make me gay? No! I did that because girls were not accessible. Also at a younger age `fucking somebody’ meant `proving your superiority’. Even now, I would happily fuck you mf* to show who has the upper hand!

    But this sort of affairs would mostly happen between bullies and sissies. The rest 90% of children were immune of such activities. Those of us who did such things a couple of times also gave up doing so as we became more mature. I think you are out of your mind if you think 30% of men are gay or those unmarried are involved with other men!! You come up with such ideas only because your fucked-up society is so obsessed with gays, gayness, gay rights, etc.

    As Ahmadinejad said, “we don’t have gays in Iran”! But we are happy to export our sissy boys to your fucked-up societies, as I am sure you will enjoy their company, since you new-generation nerdish westerners have turned gays yourselves.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #12 has an IP out of cambridge, england. just an FYI to readers. and i have to say, turkish readers have left some strange comments, but they got nothing on iranians….

  • dave chamberlin

    Comment #12 is a classic. It is an all time weird comment and I don’t think he is fake, if he is a troll he is a damned good one. This guy is arguing real Iranian men bully weaker men into having sex and that makes it OK. Strangely this same rationalizing happens in our prisons. Homosexual rape is permissible and acceptable behavior but being a homosexual is disgusting and immoral. I want high barbed wire covered walls or oceans between me and people that think this way.

  • http://www.isteve.blogspot.com Steve Sailer

    #12 sounds like Chic the cabdriver on the Tracey Ullman’s Tracey Takes On show on HBO in the 1990s.

    But AIDS has never really taken off in the Middle East, even after all these years, which suggests there is little reciprocal sodomy.

  • B

    Never been to Iran, have spent some time in the neighboring countries-Iraq and Afghanistan. In the former, extremely fruity behavior was common-complimenting another dude on his muscles, eyes, etc. I’ve also had teenage workers complain that they were getting fucked by their supervisors. The way in which they did it suggested to me that it was not a huge deal, just annoying and unpleasant, which in itself suggests that this is widespread (heh) behavior. On the other hand, Iraqis in general struck me as some sort of satanic caricature of the rest of mankind. In general, they projected a creepy rapey “I’m not gay ’cause I made that faggot suck my dick” vibe, like the commenter above. We had running jokes about all the ways you could have sex with another guy but not be gay in Iraq, like if you’re both married, or it’s Thursday, or if you forced him to do it, or if you don’t make eye contact…

    Afghanistan has all that externally gay stuff-dudes holding hands, kisses on the cheek for greetings, etc., but the vibe is not homosexual. The only people I’ve heard make overtly homosexual comments were US troops, and that was in jest. The military is full of that shit, like, for instance, gay chicken (if nobody flinches, you BOTH lose.) I had read all the stuff about the super-gay Pashtuns before I came over here, but haven’t seen it yet. The kids I’ve seen running around certainly don’t appear to have been getting pounded out by their uncles and cousins, unlike the Iraqi ones.

    In general, traditional societies are a lot more tolerant of close male physical contact, at least the Indoeuropean ones. For instance, in Russia until relatively recently kissing another guy was considered normal. It was only around the sixties and seventies that this became weird, as witnessed by the numerous jokes in circulation among ordinary Russians about Brezhnev’s penchant for passionately kissing the heads of state he’d meet.

  • Douglas Knight

    How clear are the details of English public school or navies? Do they match #12?

  • Jason Malloy

    This reminded me of Kandahar’s Lightly Veiled Homosexual Habits from 2002, which gave a surprisingly similar guesstimate of male homosexual behavior in Afghanistan.

  • phanmo

    Although it’s not really the same culture as Iran, I certainly noticed the hand holding and very intimate seeming seated conversations between men when I was in Morocco. As for authentic homosexual behaviour, two young guys tried to pick up my friend and I one night in a market in Marrakesh. Due to the language barrier, we thought they were trying to sell us some hash… Cue hilarious (afterwards; at the time it was slightly freaky) misunderstanding.
    I currently live in France and everyone here kisses cheeks with friends, male or female. Apparently this is relatively recent, some of my friends have told me that they didn’t do it when they were younger (10-15 years ago). When I’m back home in Canada visiting, I sometimes find myself automatically leaning forward to do it, which is pretty embarrassing.

  • pconroy

    @phanmo,

    Right, in Kensington, these young Muslim men have some kind of religious/social club, and on hot days – like most of July – they will sit outside the club, as they seem not to have an AC, on a few benches and chairs. Frequently one or more guys will have another guy sitting on his lap and laying back against him. The other guys are packed tightly on the benches, arms over the back, all touching each other – as if it’s the most normal way to be.

    I worked with this colleague (heterosexual, 23 yo male) about 10 years ago, and he used go to a deli everyday to get a sandwich, and got friendly with the sandwich guy (SG), who was from the Middle East. While waiting for his sandwich he was talking about going for drinks after work. SG overheard and showed up later on. He immediately sits super close to my colleague (C) and starts talking to him and asking him all kinds of questions. SG then insists on buying C a drink. Then SG says he wants to tell him something, and whispers in his ear that he wants to go home with him and have sex. C was visibly shocked and blushed, told SG that he was not in any way interested. SG started to insist, and C stepped away from the group and told SG bluntly that he was not gay and had no interest in having sex with SG, who must have been mistaken. At this point SG looked confused and said, that he too was not in any way gay, and was married with 4 kids. Then SG started pleading with C to let him go home with him. Things got loud as C almost shouting told SG to f**k off, and get the F**k out of the bar. About an hour later we were leaving the bar, and who was outside only SG, and he made a beeline for C and almost in tears was begging him to let him go home with him. C had to take a taxi home to avoid the unwelcome advances of SG – all extremely bizarre!!!

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/crude-matter/ EcoPhysioMichelle

    Razib (#6),

    What is wrong with being Michellesque?! Also I am assuming that you’re referring to tops and bottoms with your active and passive nonsense. Don’t beat around the bush.

  • juan

    Interesting the claim @19 that French male friendship culture has become more touch-feely in recent decades, despite the gay rights movement.

    Had one friend who was American, but raised in Greece. Much more touchy feely than the typical American male. This made him very charismatic because he was constantly touching people when talking to them. Not in a gay way, but in a very familiar way. For the avg suburban white guy this caused an odd disconnect that made them like him more. The only male who would put his arm around me like that would be my father or brother or best friend. Yet here’s this casual friend doing it so … he must be a great guy and a really, really good friend. Guy was very charismatic — also a huge womanizer.

    I remember watching a Congressional vote on C-Span once and was struck at the similar behavior. All the politicians were just milling about, but they were all touching each other — hand on shoulder, elbow, back. That’s what my Greek-raised friend was like. Another thing he did that most Americans don’t, is he constantly called people by their name, just in the middle of the conversation. It has an odd effect. When I talk to my male friends I rarely use their name, and they rarely use mine. In fact, I mainly hear my name when talking to my girlfriend.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    #22, shouldn’t your reflections be between you and your analyst? :-)

  • pconroy

    @juan#22,

    Interesting observations on your Greek friend. My wife spent most of her summers growing up with her grandmother, who is Sicilian – who are culturally closer to Greeks in many ways – and she too has the habit of inserting first names into sentences, in mid conversation – which I find endearing.

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/crude-matter/ EcoPhysioMichelle

    Yeah, if someone uses my name in conversation (and they aren’t trying to sell me something), my brain immediately goes into “is this person hitting on me?” mode.

  • omar

    When it comes to avoidance of any public (non-sexual) contact between males, it is American (and maybe Western) society that is the outlier. Most societies seem to lack this extreme fear of appearing gay. Perhaps, as someone mentioned, because being publicly gay is not a visible identity anyway and this behavior does not constitute “gayness” in most societies. On the other hand, its also possible that occasional homosexual sex IS more common in most societies than it is in America. In our village, it seems to have been very common for older boys to have sexual encounters with younger boys (and for them to have encounters with the next cohort as they got older). Truck drivers in Pakistan seem to have a lot of sex with “cleaners”, who are sort of all-purpose helpers on all the long distance trucks (usually younger boys, definitely lower in the pecking order). In some districts (not most) there is a tradition of bacha-bazi where older men have younger boys who serve them but who grow out of that role as they themselves get older. Its pretty open in Campbellpur and Attock districts. Yet most of these people dont consider themselves gay. There ARE gays, men who actively prefer men to women (top or bottom, i dont mean active in Razib’s sense ;)) but gay sex is much more common than “being gay”. In the army there are always rumors about this or that younger officer being the “keep” of some senior officer who helps his career along. And then there are the Eunuchs, a lot of whom work as “gay prostitutes”. In fact, anecdotally I can report that in our medical school hostel the number of boys who had encounters (usually oral sex) with eunuchs was definitely several times more than the number who ever had contact with a female prostitute (but that may be changing..I am told female prostitutes are easier to get now and much nicer looking…all of this is anecdotal). Then there is the matter of the beloved in Urdu poetry (and Persian) being a boy, not a girl.

    See this link: http://www.viewpointonline.net/the-language-of-love.html

    Comment #3 on that article discusses some of the background to the fact that the beloved in Persian and Urdu poetry is always a boy.

    An interesting twist on that is that classical Punjabi poets took to referring to themselves in the feminine gender. Supposedly this was meant to convey helpless infatuation in the face of God (the supposed male beloved, in this case surely top rather than bottom), or (if progressive critics are to be believed) it represents an early form of feminism and a desire to identify with the weakest section of society i.e. women.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp Razib Khan

    well, the “no homo” phenomenon isn’t that old. does it have antecedents?

  • Iranian Heeey

    Dude, you could also publish my job title! lol, What’s wrong with you guys/gays!? Anyway I don’t think this hand-holding culture would apply to Iran. I don’t recall ever holding someone’s hand even during my teenage years. Although I remember on occasions stretching arms around shoulder of friends when we were too young.

    I re-iterate, this closeness only occurred when we were too young. Things changed when we grew up and developed independent personalities. The coziness between adult Arab men is definitely unusual. This cannot be applied to the Iranian culture. Of course, kissing is practiced in many cultures as a greeting though.

  • Miley Cyrax

    The Iranian guy @12 has a point. We do talk about homosexuals and homosexual interests a disproportionate amount in mainstream media and the internet given that homosexuals are, what, at most 10% of the population? It might certainly look like an obsession to an outsider.

    @25, EcoPhysioMichelle
    “Yeah, if someone uses my name in conversation (and they aren’t trying to sell me something), my brain immediately goes into “is this person hitting on me?” mode.”

    Interesting that you say that, Michelle. You see, Michelle, when a girl is talking to me and says my name multiple times in the midst of a conversation, I assume she’s interested. Michelle, even better is when the mentioning of my name is preceded or or followed by a pregnant pause. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to notice this pattern, Michelle.

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/crude-matter/ EcoPhysioMichelle

    It doesn’t really translate online.

  • Liesel

    Robert Young Pelton wrote that in Afghanistan, before the Taliban took control, rape of young men was common in the tribal (non-urban) areas. If a young male(boys & men) was found in the wrong territory, the local tribal leaders would use them as a means to both enjoy and publically humiliate the stranger to show their own power. In some areas support for the Taliban came from the locals dislike of this practice. Even those who did not like their views otherwise.

    Pelton seemed to think they would never has been as successful as they were had they not use their influence to stop this practice. One has to wonder if the US didn’t cause it to resume.

  • Nerf Herder

    Ancient Greece seems to have had a similar situation. There is a fair bit of acknowledgement of male-to-male sex that was not necessarily at odds with heterosexuality. We still have the expression of doing it “Greek style”. But also the culture back then was that the ancient Greeks served in the military and then got married relatively late in life. Apparently it was common for 40-year-old men to marry teenaged girls.

    For the other gender, when my wife, from the Balkans, greets others from her country, would kiss the men on the cheek and the women on the lips, until I told her that didn’t look right here in the U.S. Girls holding hands as they walk along is common there. I remember that here also when I was growing up, but don’t see it anymore, but being physically close is still not an issue for girls.

  • dave chamberlin

    Ancient Greeks definitely had the same the same situation. The book ” the City of the Sharp- Nose fish” is about a garbage dump from the Greek City in Egypt Herculaneum dating from 212 AD. The dry Egyptian sand preserved 500,000 pieces of papyrus allowing an unprecedented picture of everyday life unparalleled elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Illustration number 27 is an indecent proposal along with a dirty picture. In Greek it reads “If you let us bugger you and it’s OK with you, we shall stop thrashing you.”

  • ackbark

    In Herodotus there’s a line something like ‘the Greeks learned the love of boys from the Persians’.

  • ackbark

    May have misremembered that, but for some reason it’s the only thing I remember from Herodotus, 25 years later.

  • chris w

    “Culture is a funny thing. White, suburban American culture strongly discourages touching among male friends, and yet now the UFC has become the ultimate macho sport, and it is two half-naked dudes writhing against each other. Of course, it’s ok, because they are writhing against each other to get in better position to punch each other in the face or choke the other guy into unconsciousness. So some homoerotic writhing is allowed as long as it ends in blood, concussions, and unconsciousness.”

    Even for us white suburbanites, getting to the point where we can start training in grappling requires overcoming certain mental blocks. I haven’t done grappling in awhile, but during my first BJJ class, it was difficult to force myself to do the initial lessons. For those who don’t know, one of the first positions you learn is called “the guard” — it’s bottom position where you lightly lock your legs around your opponents torso while attempting a submission (like a triangle choke or kimura). I was mortified and slightly sick to my stomach when I first tried it out. It probably took three classes for it to cease feeling gay. Once you start sparring, the combative nature of the activity kicks in, and you’re thinking far more about submitting your opponent and avoiding being submitted yourself than you are about the close proximity of your crotches.

    As an aside, I notice that macho frat boy types these days tend to engage in a lot of intentionally gay-seeming physical contact for the purpose of irritating each other. Nipple-twisting, dick-tapping, ass-grabbing, throwing objects at each other’s crotches — etc. The latter is a common practical joke in all of the Jackass flicks. I’m also reminded of the movie “Waiting”, where the ongoing joke at a restaurant would be to flash your junk at your coworkers — if they fail to look away in time, you get to kick them in the ass twice and call them a fag for looking at your package.

    Frat boys and jocks seem to be more comfortable in an environment that involves a lot of back-slapping and rib-nudging, which straight guys from other backgrounds regard as pretty gay. My IT dept once brought in a guy with a background in the mortgage industry to do temporary work for us, and he would would do stupid shit like leaning in toward you and putting his hand on your shoulder while laughing at a joke (typically his own) or slapping you on the back as a greeting. We all thought he was a douchebag for not keeping his hands to himself, not to mention that fact he was pretty clueless to realize that touching your superiors is a no-no. Although IT guys recognize such behavior as characteristic of douchey sales people, if somebody from within the IT occupational culture behaved the same way, it would just seem extremely gay.

  • Snake Charmer

    2 out of 3 Iranian males are straight???

  • dave chamberlin

    @37 nope, some of them are just too small to rape others and too fast to get raped. It’s like a big game of high stakes tag over there.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT

RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »