Eastern Cultures Reflection

For this weeks module on eastern and middle eastern cultures, I chose to study: India, Thailand, Turkey, Iran and China. Because my discussion board topic was transgender iranian intersectionality, I focused most heavily on Iran. Studying this topic, I experienced several shifts in perspective of iranian life satisfaction. Although this particular issue sheds negative light on the country, in general Iran is somewhat progressive compared to several neighboring countries.

I began my research by scoping out the acceptance of homosexuality, finding that homosexual acts are prohibited by law. Information regarding the transgender population in Iran was more scarce. I had begun to suspect that this was because homosexuality was so taboo that transexuality was unexplored by those with Gender Dysphoria. Finally, I came across one strong source that helped bring everything together. The article described Iran as a leading country for sex reassignment surgery. I was able to research more easily with the keyword SRS, and confirm with other sources that this information was correct. I read further to learn that this was most likely an attempt to make homosexuals anatomically heterosexual. My main source suggested that many individuals were choosing surgery just to have the chance to pursue the gender they were attracted to.

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In some ways it makes sense that my search for “Iran Transgender” did not return many results, because in Iran SRS is a heteronormative transformation. The phrase “transgender” acknowledges the duality of gender even after transition. The intention of sex change in Iran is corrective and not a celebration of choice or self-acceptance. This discussion topic definitely had an effect on me. It was on my mind for days. I wondered, is this motivation and treatment completely diabolical? Or is it actually still a good thing, because iranians have more gender options available to them than individuals most other middle eastern countries. After reading a second source that interviewed transxual iranians about their experience, I did feel more optimistic. Most had reported they felt better after the surgery, even though there were social and economical ramifications. While it is certainly not good that they faced hardships after transition, at least they had not reported regret for undesired anatomical changes. Career and social stresses are even a challenge for transgender individuals in the US.

My third source on Iran was the assigned Mosby’s pocket guide to cultural health assessment. This source naturally had more generalized information about Iran. I perceived the information from this source to portray Iran in a favorable light. According to the pocket guide, women are not quite seen as equal to men, but they are treated substantially better than in many nearby countries. Women may work without being attended by a male family member and literacy rates for women are high. While families are still primarily patriarchal, parents have more equal authority in larger cities(D’Avanzo, 2007). Iran has a “widespread primary healthcare system” (D’Avanzo, 2007) including psychiatric care. It is acceptable for individuals to openly express pain. From this source, I have more optimism that Iran is a comparatively more tolerant middle eastern country.

With some brief research on India, Thailand, Turkey, and China I found each of these countries to have some interesting combinations of traditional and modern practices. In particular, I felt India had a wide range of interesting elements. I was surprised to learn that depression is common for women of ages 15-44 and that life in India is generally stressful. I was not surprised to hear that indian men and women have found opportunities in software due to western globalization.(D’Avanzo, 2007) I have noticed a prevalence indian co-workers both remote overseas and domestic during my time in the industry. I was surprised to read that unsafe abortions were such a threat to women’s reproductive health. I would not have guessed that abortions would be legal at all, but it’s also surprising that this procedure is so risky. I was glad to see that caste systems are beginning to change as the west inspires young families to choose a spouse more freely (D’Avanzo, 2007).

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Eastern Cultures Reflection. (2022, Jun 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/eastern-cultures-reflection/