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Sexual Orientation of Soldiers to Be Checked by Tattoos, Says Report

Published: January 24, 2013 (Issue # 1743)


MOSCOW TheDefense Ministry's central administration onwork with military personnel has developed atechnical guide that urges leaders ofmilitary units involved inwork with thetroops tocheck thesexual orientation ofconscripts andcontract soldiers entering themilitary, anews report said Thursday.

Thenew guidelines, based ona psychology textbook published bya military university in2005, call forcarrying out aphysical examination andrecommend checking fortattoos inintimate places onthe new recruits' bodies, Izvestia reported, citing acopy ofthe guidelines that it obtained.

Special attention is recommended fortattoos near theface, sexual organs andbuttocks, as theauthor believes that such tattoos reveal possible sexual deviations.

"The reason forgetting tattoos could indicate alow cultural or educational level. If aninfluence byexternal factors is determined, forexample, persuasion or direct coercion, this indicates themalleability ofthe young man, his disposition tosubmit toanother's will," thetext says.

Theguidelines also include awide range ofwarning signs indicative ofmental instability, including early sexual experience and'uncontrolled sexual behavior,' both ofwhich are included inthe same category as alcohol abuse, running away fromhome, suicidal tendencies andtheft.

Officers acting as mentors tonew recruits are advised tohold apersonal conversation with theconscripts toask about sexual experience andconduct aphysical examination, paying special attention toany tattoos but only after leading up tosuch intimate questions byasking about family, everyday life, success inschool andattitudes toward alcohol.

Theguidelines offer awide range ofadvice onvarious issues, fromhow tospot anopinion-shaper andnatural-born leader within theranks towhat role religious andethnic aspects will have inthe barracks.

Most officers surveyed onthe new guidelines said they don't intend tostrictly follow theguidelines.

Anundisclosed battalion chief assistant inthe Southern Military District was cited as saying: "I just physically can't so confidentially hold adiscussion with each new recruit. Thecommanders do that anyway. What will they do, examine their genitals forany tattoos? Andhow will they ask about someone's first sexual experience? 'Hey, when did you have your first woman, rookie? Answer directly, no beating around thebush!'"

Amilitary psychologist who works with personnel noted that themilitary remains astronghold oftraditional views onsexuality.

Thebattalion chief assistant echoed that sentiment, saying: "I had one gay contract soldier who joined just tofind more partners forhimself. Forpeople like that, ofcourse, there's no place inthe army."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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