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Re your Blog entry "sexual issues across cultures"

>> Dear Louie,
>> This line you quote "studies show that same-sex relations within tribal
>> units were acceptable throughout much of Africa and Asia until the
>> Christian  missionaries came  along and imposed the European 19th Century
>> strict  definition of gender roles upon the tribes"---reminded me of
>> something I heard recently. In short, this practice (the West dictating
>> gender roles) is *STILL* going on.
>> I don't know if you're familiar w/ the Public Radio program "This American
>> Life." At any rate, a recent show of theirs discussed the efforts of
>> American private contractors in Iraq (if you click on the link below, you
>> can listen to this program "I'm From the Private Sector and I'm Here to
>> Help" streamed on Real Audio).
>> The relevant part of the show is when an American security contractor
>> expresses his *disgust* at the practice that many Iraqi men have, of
>> {brace yourself!} HOLDING HANDS IN PUBLIC. "Don't you think that's 
>> strange?" I believe the American contractor asks his radio interviewer. 
>> In training Iraqi security personnel, he has taken it upon himself to 
>> get the Iraqis  to *discontinue this hand-holding practice* (Thank God, 
>> the interviewer steps out of her journalistic objectivity to call him on 
>> this cultural chauvinism!).
>> http://www.thislife.org/pages/descriptions/04/266.html  [The part
>> mentioned
>> begins about 16:50 minutes into the program and runs for about 1.5
>> minutes
>> -- L]
>> If, by some slim miracle, we can salvage an Iraq which does *not* totally
>> hate us (the U.S.), what do you want to bet that, w/in 50 or 100 years,
>> we
>> have Iraqi "missionaries" telling Americans how their gender-roles are
>> too
>> (effeminately) fluid?
>> What goes around comes around. ({sigh} and Kyrie Eleison)
>> Keep the faith, Louie, and
>> Shalom,
>> ****  ******

Whew!  Thanks for pointing me to these resources.

A google search for "men holding hands" and "climate"
turns up 397 entries.  I've not had a chance to inspect them but vaguely
recall reading items in the 1960s that noted men are more likely to hold
hands with each other in warmer climates.  That has certainly held true in
my observations while visiting Africa and China.  The farther north one
goes in China, the lest likely one is to see it.   Hong Kong is an
exception, but then they were the last British Colony.

In many places where men hold hand in public, they would not hold the
hands of a girl friend.  In much of the Islamic world, the girl friend
cannot even walk in public without a veil.


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