A new Iranian public survey on sex and sexuality revealed some surprising stats about the deeply religious and culturally conservative Islamic Republic, The Economist reports:
An 82-page document recently issued by Iran’s parliamentary research department is stark in its findings. Not only are young adults sexually active, with 80% of unmarried females having boyfriends, but secondary-school pupils are, too. Illicit unions are not just between girls and boys; 17% of the 142,000 students who were surveyed said that they were homosexual. [...]
The report is also a rare official admission of the unspoken accord in Iran: people can do what they want so long as it takes place behind closed doors. Parliament’s researchers, on this occasion, were allowed to say the unsayable.
Addressing the premarital sex taking place between heterosexuals, Parliament's researchers suggest they should be allowed to publicly register their union using sigheh, an ancient practice in Shia Islam that allows people to temporarily marry.
Homosexuality in Iran, meanwhile, continues to be legally punishable with imprisonment, torture and execution.
Back in 2007, Iran's then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted that: "In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals"