Dating rules in iran
While some may consider homosexuality to be a relatively new Western phenomenon, a brief look at the history of same-sex relationships in Iran reveals that it is, in fact, prevalent throughout Iran’s historical culture.
Indeed, studies by both Western and Iranian scholars have shown that homosexuality has played a role in Iranian culture for millennia (Shamisa ).
While there are no dedicated LGB organisations in Iran, many LGB individuals receive sexual health support (such as HIV testing) through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
The researcher then contacted these organizations and explained the objectives of the research to the directors in order to seek their permission to conduct the study.
As already mentioned, all participants were sent an informed consent form via email before the meeting was arranged so that by the time of the interview, they were all aware of the topic, aim, and objective of the study.
The prospective participants who were in their twenties seemed to be more open about their sexuality and less cautious about disclosure and confidentiality and therefore more willing to participate in the study; one explanation for this is that the younger generation are less accepting of the authority’s religious and political views, while access to the internet and social media has provided them with the freedom to express their sexual identity more comfortably (see Mahdavi ).
Few participant approached the researcher through these organizations.
The existence of gay men is undeniable in Iran; however, Iran’s Islamic law considers same sex relationships a crime punishable by the death penalty.
The aim of this study is to use a qualitative approach to gain a more in-depth understanding of the coping strategies adopted by gay men living in Iran under systematic suppression based on each individual’s subjective experiences, feelings, intention and beliefs.
Despite this long history of homosexuality in Iran, many of the country’s current homosexuals, particularly the younger generation, tend to identify more with a modern perspective rather than a historical or even cultural one (Mahdavi ).
However, it has been reported that somewhere in the range of 4000–6000 Iranians, both male and females, have been executed since 1979 for engaging in same-sex relationships based on estimations provided by human rights activists and opponents of the strict Iranian regime (UK Home office ).
This understanding will be based on each individual’s subjective experiences, feelings, intention and beliefs.