The Malaysian government is holding seminars to help teachers and parents identify signs of homosexuality in children, Reuters reports. The Teacher’s Foundation of Malaysia has organized 10 such seminars, and deputy education minister Puad Zarkashi led at least one.
Malaysian news site Malaysiakini published “guidelines” for spotting gay and lesbian “symptoms,” which the site says come from the country’s Education Ministry and were presented during a seminar in Penang.
For boys, the signs listed include wearing “V-necks” or sleeveless clothing or carrying “big handbags, similar to those used by women, when hanging out.”
Symptoms of lesbianism for girls included “having no affection for men.”
The federal government said in March that it is working to curb the ‘problem’ of homosexuality,” Reuters reported.
Last year, the Malaysian government also set up camps for “effeminate” boys to learn masculine behavior.
There are, however, a few signs of progress.
Following a two-year trial, a Malaysian court acquitted politician Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy charges in January after a male aide had accused the opposition leader of having sex with him in 2010.
And in August, a Malaysian-born gay pastor who married his boyfriend in New York, held what was believed to be the first-ever gay wedding reception in Malaysia.
Though laws in the country prescribe 20-year prison sentences for “sodomy,” they are rarely enforced.
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