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Iran Considering Brothels

September 16, 2002 AP article summary

While prostitutes are considered a terrible vice punishable by death, many are calling for brothels to be legalized, monitored and be done in accordance with Islam via temporary marriages - which can be for just a few hours. The difference between a terrible immoral vice vs legitimate moral sexual encounter is the man saying about two sentences declaring his marriage for a specific time period.

There has been a huge rise in illegal, immoral prostitution especially by young girls fleeing to the streets or organized in private homes. The monthly magazine Zanan (Women) quoted two 15 year olds as saying they became prostitutes after they fled their homes where they were beaten. One said her conservative father tortured her after seeing her chatting with a boy.

Iran's strict Islamic rules allow little socializing between the sexes, and young Iranians have been jailed and flogged for dancing with the opposite sex at birth day parties. Young girls who flee their homes often have to be prostitutes to survive.

More than half of Iran's estimated 70 million people are younger than 25. The unemployment rate is close to 30%.

The rise is prostitution has led to suggestions that brothels be legalized and run by Islamic rules, such as the Shiite Muslim tradition of temporary marriages. Brothel women would be monitored for HIV and others STD's, "and the rest of the society will live in peace without women afraid of being molested or wrongly approached by customers in the street."

Dave notes there is no adultery issues, since a man can have as many wives as he wishes, including temporary wives. Under Islam 4 wives is considered ideal but there are no restrictions as to number. This is very similar to biblical times when many wives, concubines was common and never wrong, nor "common" prostitution.

Natural desire for sexual variety recognized even in Iran!

I often say the U.S. is one of the few countries of the world, other than Iran and Iraq that doesn't allow sexwork. Well I may have been wrong about Iran. Here is an anonymous message I received regarding Iran:

In Iran there is the practice of taking "temporary wives" - though the word "wife" should not really be used because the people aren't legally "married". Folks who want to be with each other can enter into a legal contract which has to specify the length of the proposed union (which can last from very very short to 99 years) and make arrangements in case someone gets pregnant, and specify other things like who is to live with whom or who is to provide how much financial support for whom etc. - and then they can do whatever they want with each other, including sex. The legal arrangement is to allow people to do what's considered natural & normal, but within a legal framework which minimizes potential harms to society and third parties.

This old law results from an ancient practice which is not commonly done anymore and is generally looked down upon. However, it has become more popular as people in Iran, due to a recession, can't afford to get married or prefer to put off marriage until they complete their education. A lot of divorced mothers or widows with children also prefer this situation because they want companionship, but not the legal complications of getting remarried (which would raise inheritance issues) This is not prostitution though, which is severely punished.

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