Afghan Men Struggle with Sexual Identity, Study Finds

Published: January 28, 2010

Afghan Men Struggle with Sexual Identity, Study Finds
Pukaar April 2010 Issue 69

AN unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behaviour is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns – though they seem to be in complete denial about it. As if US troops and diplomats didn’t have enough to worry about in trying to understand Afghan culture, a new report suggests an entire region in the country is coping with a sexual identity crisis. 

The study, obtained by Fox News, found that Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire
other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually
– yet they completely reject the label of “homosexual”. The research was conducted as part of a
longstanding effort to better understand Afghan culture and improve Western interaction with the local

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