Lesbianism makes its way to varsity dorms

Meraj Rizvi
Filed on December 22, 2005

SHARJAH — A recent debate on a UAE radio station criticising the emergence of female homosexuality has brought to light that the practice is rampant in ‘female-only' educational institutions, particularly among those residing in university dormitories.

A student of the University of Sharjah (UoS), who complained on the Ajman-based radio channel (Al Rabiah) about the practice in the University and other women’s colleges in the country, urged the society to deal with the issue, rather than hushing it up and aggravating the problem further.

Although university officials denied any cases of sexual intimacy between women students having surfaced on campus, they admitted, "such problems did exist in all societies”.

“The UAE is an open society with technology having invaded our homes through hundreds of television channels beaming from across the globe, mobile phones, through the Internet, etc. It is bound to have its impact on our children,” Dr Amina Al Marzouki, Student Affairs Dean at the UoS, told your Khaleej Times.

"I don't deny the existence of such abnormal behaviour among young women today, but this is scarce and cannot be termed as a social stigma or an emerging phenomenon in the UAE.”

She termed the talk about a woman student having been raped by three other women in the dorm as mere rumours.

“I know the status of the dormitories and I can assure that these allegations are baseless. I will not allow this place, which is a reputed educational institution with more than 17,000 students to be the objects of such rumours," she said in a live interview on the radio yesterday, calling on the women students not to give much importance to trivial matters.

"We have to create awareness among students, their parents and the society at large to deal with any such abnormal behaviour observed among our children so that the girls can be treated medically and psychologically to rid themselves of the abnormality,” she told Khaleej Times.

Meanwhile, several UoS students have alleged the existence of physical relationships between women students, especially among those living in the female dormitories on campus.

A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, "Only recently, I saw two women students kissing each other behind the dorms. They behaved like a man and woman in love."

Another student who also spoke on condition of anonymity said, "There are many female students who behave like men on the campus. They sport short hair, no makeup, and do not wear a sheila. Their mannerisms resemble that of men and appear to be physically tough," she said, disclosing that they remain weary of such students who approach pretty female students and ask them for a kiss.

"Besides, there are a number of girls who appear very normal when they meet, but send out SMS messages to pretty girls asking them for a physical relationship."

The students claimed the practice was not new on campus. "Besides, it is not restricted to the UoS alone, but prevails in other women's colleges and universities including many located on the University City in Sharjah, HCT institutions in various emirates and the UAE University in Al Ain," they said.

They blame the segregation of girls and boys in government run educational institutions from very early age in the UAE, which often leads to women seeing only female students all the time forcing them to resort to such abnormal practices.

For example at the UoS, there are over 4,000 female students compared to 2,000 male students. But, the men's and women's colleges are separate and these foster homosexual tendencies, they said.

Students also blamed the impact of Western culture on the girls who prefer to ape the west and live independent lives and do not care about their families and the society.

According to a student at UoS who lives in the university dormitory, "often we have wanted to complain about such lusty behaviour among women, but the university administration demands proof which is difficult to produce."

Also the security guards placed at the dorms ignore complaints by students being harassed by such abnormal women, she said, explaining why no formal complaints have been lodged to date with the university officials.

Mariam, who called the radio, assured that there were cases of sexual harassment by fellow women students in the university. "We do not intend to tarnish the reputation or image of the university, but the administration should take action in this regard," she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Al Marzouki who also addressed the issue on Ajman radio yesterday, assured to take strict action against such girls with abnormal tendencies, if existed in the university. "They will be dealt with according the university laws and based on the seriousness of the problem and the harm caused. Offenders will be punished ranging from warning, temporary suspension and even permanent rustication."

Al Marzouki added that girls with such abnormal tendencies should be treated medically because the behaviour could be caused by hormonal imbalance. However, it is the duty of the parent to deal with the problem bravely immediately after it surfaces, in order to curb its spread, she pointed out.

Commenting on whether a close watch will be maintained on the students at UoS in the future to control the problem, she said the security at the university and other institutions at the University City has been beefed up and if anyone found indulging in such abnormal behaviour, they will be dealt with by the university's disciplinary committees.

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