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September 25, 2007


David Lindsay

It is perfectly possible that there are people who engage in sexual acts with their own sex in Iran, but no "lesbians" or "gays"; and if there are "lesbians" or "gays", then, simply by definition, they have indeed been heavily influenced by Western culture, probably through the mass media.

Homosexual acts are one thing (although they certainly do not occur in every culture, and there are languages with no words for them), but the idea of them as the basis for individual and collective economic, social, cultural or political identity is something else entirely.

That idea is peculiarly Western, it is peculiarly Late Modern, and, yes, it is being imposed on other societies in an organised campaign of cultural imperialism also being endured by, for example, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian/Reformed churches in the Global South.

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