Sexual Orientation of Soldiers to Be Checked by Tattoos, Says Report
Published: January 24, 2013 (Issue # 1743)
MOSCOW – The Defense Ministry's central administration on work with military personnel has developed a technical guide that urges leaders of military units involved in work with the troops to check the sexual orientation of conscripts and contract soldiers entering the military, a news report said Thursday.
The new guidelines, based on a psychology textbook published by a military university in 2005, call for carrying out a physical examination and recommend checking for tattoos in intimate places on the new recruits' bodies, Izvestia reported, citing a copy of the guidelines that it obtained.
Special attention is recommended for tattoos near the face, sexual organs and buttocks, as the author believes that such tattoos reveal possible sexual deviations.
"The reason for getting tattoos could indicate a low cultural or educational level. If an influence by external factors is determined, for example, persuasion or direct coercion, this indicates the malleability of the young man, his disposition to submit to another's will," the text says.
The guidelines also include a wide range of warning signs indicative of mental instability, including early sexual experience and 'uncontrolled sexual behavior,' both of which are included in the same category as alcohol abuse, running away from home, suicidal tendencies and theft.
Officers acting as mentors to new recruits are advised to hold a personal conversation with the conscripts to ask about sexual experience and conduct a physical examination, paying special attention to any tattoos — but only after leading up to such intimate questions by asking about family, everyday life, success in school and attitudes toward alcohol.
The guidelines offer a wide range of advice on various issues, from how to spot an opinion-shaper and natural-born leader within the ranks to what role religious and ethnic aspects will have in the barracks.
Most officers surveyed on the new guidelines said they don't intend to strictly follow the guidelines.
An undisclosed battalion chief assistant in the Southern Military District was cited as saying: "I just physically can't so confidentially hold a discussion with each new recruit. The commanders do that anyway. What will they do, examine their genitals for any tattoos? And how will they ask about someone's first sexual experience? 'Hey, when did you have your first woman, rookie? Answer directly, no beating around the bush!'"
A military psychologist who works with personnel noted that the military remains a stronghold of traditional views on sexuality.
The battalion chief assistant echoed that sentiment, saying: "I had one gay contract soldier who joined just to find more partners for himself. For people like that, of course, there's no place in the army."