20 January, 2007

Is it sex that's taboo or homophobia?

""The western media are widely advertising "homosexuality, which is influencing the youth," he said.

"She acknowledged that a lack of sex education in public and private schools may cause homosexuality and lesbianism"

"She said that few cases of homosexuality were taken to a "psychiatrist for treatment" and in "one case, a female student was placed at an Adult Education Centre for remaining that way.""

-- From an article about "sex education" in Gulf News.

In today's issue of Gulf News, there's an article about sex education here in the Emirates.

I have no problem, whatsoever, with any kind of education, whether it is about sex or not.. as long as it's education!

But a major part of this article talks about sex education as a means to eliminate homosexuality from among the Emarati youth.

A lack of sex education just means that you won't be that good in bed [at least the first time]. It does not cause homosexuality, as is stated by this misinformed lady who is quoted above. Cause homosexuality? Being the Deputy Director of Dubai's Education Zone, you should really read up on recent findings published in the news itself about how scientists are getting closer and closer to proving that homosexuality is innate, is an unchangeable biological reality, not a product of Western influence, not learnt behavior, not a psychological disorder for which you imprison a poor lesbian girl in an "education center".

I know Emarati culture is not open to homosexuality ["when they find out that their child is homosexual ... most are "ashamed and in denial""], but it doesn't justify lying about it in the paper in order to protect the Emarati youth which has "deviated" from the straight path [pun intended].

For all this imitation of Western cities that Dubai is doing, I think its officials should be a little more educated and civilized so as to not feel the need to eliminate homosexuality but to make its peace with this natural occurrence that they brand 'a psychological illness'.

This is a misleading article. People in the Emirates are generally not as homophobic as portrayed here and I say this from experience.

Totally unrelated to above post: Happy New Hijri Year! May 1428 be filled with love, life and laughter for all of us.. and maybe a little bit of education against homophobia.


InspireYourMind said...

I totally agree with you.. I would call it sexual discrimination based solely on personal opinions..
However, I don't find the subject of sexuality a taboo any more in UAE community. Girls and women alike are so much interested in knowing more about this major and vital part of their functioning as humanbeings. And in most cases they seek education from gynecologists like myself.
What concerns me in the article you referred to is that whoever wants to be involved in sex education on an administrative level might not be well educated themselves with respect to sexuality. And so I guess we all would anticipate the consequences of such a thing: basically very 'biased' sex education that might have adverse effects in itself. Biased in terms of imposing personal opinions and attributing it to our culture and our religion. But let's face it, who shapes our culture except those 'educators'. As our religion is concerned; I guess we all know how open-minded Islam is when it comes to discussing and handling sexual issues. It was never a taboo in the original islamic culture and it should remain as such.
So, to better serve the purpose, I would suggest that professionally trained sexologists rather than 'educators' be involved in setting the curriculum of sex education at our schools. And those 'educators' are most welcomed to the classes as well. Gynecologists can also contribute to this mission by adding their anatomy, physiology, and pregnancy part.
One more thing, let's just not talk about the 'western world' and 'our world'. We all belong to this earth that became one unit just like when it was first created: no boundaries. Let's just focus on sculpturing our minds and hightening our spirits, to better serve ourselves and our communities.
Best of luck UAE.

jummy bear said...

Maybe she's saying we aren't straight :P

I think so atleast.

Anonymous said...

Never mind the trashy nature of the GN piece and its detestable homophobia, one should be more careful in presenting scientific findings on the subject (assuming this is purely a question of hard science only, which is also debatable):

From the first article linked:
“The findings suggest that brain activity and sexual orientation are linked. It also supports an opinion held by most scientists, that people are born—not bred—gay.”

So it’s about links between brain activity and sexual orientation and not about definite causes; and it’s still an opinion, not shared by all scientists, and not an absolute irrefutable fact!

From the second article linked:
“Birth order may steer some men toward homosexuality in a process that perhaps begins before birth. A new study finds that homosexuality grows more likely with the greater number of biological older brothers”

May…perhaps…more likely…..
I’d say this is again about possible links and about as confident as anyone can get about the causes of homosexuality.

Kiwi Boy said...

Inspireyourmind, what you say makes sense. I know that Emarati youth is becoming more and more informed about interested in this subject and it would be good if they taught it to them in schools. If doctors/real educators teach them, they will get an unbiased education of sexuality.
And of course I agree with the no boundaries concept :) I just used the term "Western influence" to sarcastically describe what they think.

Jummy bear: Yeah, of course she's saying that I turned out gay because I didn't get proper sex ed.

Dredge: Right, there are no findings that provide definite evidence for homosexuality being innate. That's why I said that science is just getting close to proving this hypothesis/opinion, not that science has proved it. They're just possible links, like you said and can be challenged.

CG said...

I am slightly confused on this issue. Even though homosexuality has apparently been proven to be innate there are other things going on.
When I was in an all girls school, I would find myself having to reject another girls affections on a weekly basis. There seemed to be a lot of funny stuff going on. Later on when in a mixed (co-ed) school I never ever had a girl hit on me, not once.
Since leaving school I have mixed quite equally with local women and expats. Again, I have been targeted many times by local women but never by expats (who are free to date men ...etc etc).
Which makes me wonder if homosexuality is just an alternative .....

Heck, it all sounds so confusing, anyway psychiatrists might be able to help those who are just highly sexed but feel trapped due to society/religion etc.

InspireYourMind said...

I guess there was a bit of confusion about my earlier comment..
I wasn't talking about sexual orientation in my article at all..
I was talking mainly about sex education in UAE community irrespective of the age group being educated..
We ( sexologists and gynecologists ) mainly educate people about the different elements of the human sexual response; STD prevention and how to practice safe sex; and we add to it the pregnancy part for those who want to know more.
Let me make it clear that we don't judge people because of their sexual orientation. As far as we're concerned, we just want to make sure that the sexual relationship is both 'consensual'(agreement of both partners) even in the marriage context and 'not pathologic' in sence of not doing harm to oneself or to the partner; ie, not being sexually deviant and not being paediophilic or necrophilic for instance. And sexual orientation for sure is not part of this.
Hope things are more clear now..

Anonymous said...

Over there, SD has started her own post on this topic with one rule: Only comments supporting homosexuality will be allowed and all criticism of homosexual tendencies will be termed bigotry and not published.

Funny how she was a very strong supporter of the Danish cartoons back last year because she supported "freedom of speech". But now when it comes to homosexuality, only one Point of view will be tolerated in her site.

Absolute hypocrisy

secretdubai said...

Absolute hypocrisy

It's my blog - I can do what I like.

And I've seen the kind of homophobic crap that gets bandied around this part of the world and elsewhere, and I don't want it on my blog. If that's hypocritical, so be it. I also ban anti-Islamic comments from my blog, obscenity from my blog, and just the other day I deleted a comment someone made about "smelly Indians". If that's hypocritical, then super. I just don't like all the mud-slinging and hatred.

So as I said, it's my blog, if you want to post a load of homophobic rubbish then do so in your own space. And that doesn't include UAE comm: race hate, religion hate, gay hate, gender hate - cross a line and it will get deleted here as well.

And perhaps you should find something more worthwhile to bleat about than my blog policies.

secretdubai said...

And back to the topic on hand: it's critical that young people get sex education, especially if they aren't getting it at home. There are plenty of parents in the West who are too embarrassed to discuss these issues with their children. So school seems as good a place as any.

Children reach puberty much younger these days, so it's vital that they undertand what is happening to them.

I frankly don't think there is any connection however between ignorance and sexual orientation. Segregation may cause temporary changes of sexual orientation, but generally speaking, people are attracted to who they are attracted to, it ain't gonna change, so they need to know how to manage their attractions in an appropriate manner.

So it's not just about learning about STDs, pregnancy, and safe sex. It's also about teaching children about sexual harrassment, peer pressure, grooming, and the appropriate way to conduct themselves in front of other people.

photini k said...

she's a lezza ,like me ,yay!

localexpat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kiwi Boy said...

Anonymous at 21/1 00:09, I'd like to hear your say on this. What do you think about homosexuals? What are your views on this phenomenon?

Rightly said, SD.. sex ed is needed for a lot of reasons. We have to get past the culture and the conservativeness.

Localexpat, I think I've read that post of your's and I commented on it too :)

Anonymous said...

We have to get past the culture and the conservativeness.

Oh yeah! Good luck; and good night!

localexpat said...

This is what I have previously said about homosexuality. I think you will find it interesting:

" Homosexuality...its a sin...how dare you even talk about it!"

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