Red in a broad line on LBC: Arab homosexuals and their surroundings

It seems that the most successful business strategies for modern Arab media is to give their audience what they want to hear regardless of how much truth is there in their statements. LBC, the Lebanese broadcasting channel, has been trying to penetrate the gulf area and gain more user base for sometime now. Homosexuality is becoming more and more of an interest topic for people in the Arab world in general and in the gulf area in particular.
Because of the controversial nature of the issue and the religious dimension of it, people usually have strong feelings towards it. With the lack of real knowledge of what homosexuality really is, misconceptions strive around it. For LBC and other unprofessional Arab media channels, what would be better? Build upon these misconceptions and gain popularity? Or do some small scientific research, give the audience an objective scientific opinion and risk gaining anger and losing market ground? The former is a wiser choice, no? That is at least how people behind ‘a7mar bel khat el 3areed’ (Red in a broad line) seem to think.

The episode aired last Wednesday meant to concentrate on Arab homosexuals and their surroundings, as what one would understand from the title of the episode. Unfortunately, what seemed to be the focus of the editorial team, the host, and the lousy counselor, is highlighting the misconceptions about homosexuality and give an affirmative tone for every wrong popular theory about the cause of homosexuality in the Arab world.

The four people they hosted, two men, and two women (from different Arab countries), barely admitted being homosexuals! All what they confirmed is having same sex relationships at some point of their life and then stating confidently that they are attracted to the opposite sex! So what the heck! They bring straight people to testify in an episode meant to highlight homosexuals and their surroundings?!!
Following are the misconceptions of the causes of homosexuality that the show host tried to focus on:

1.Children sexual abuse: Like in the case of the Lebanese guy who claimed that he has a same sex relationship because he was sexually abused in his childhood, oddly enough, he stated that he is attracted to women and that he even wears jewelry to attract women towards him!

The truth: There is no scientific proof that sexual abuse causes an alteration of sexual orientation. Statistics shows that 1 out of 4 children is subjected to some form of sexual molestation/abuse one way or another. If sexual abuse causes homosexuality, then we would end up with 25% of the population to be gay, which is not the case.

2.Lack of an opposite sex partner: The Saudi woman claimed that she had a same sex relationship with another woman because she didn’t have a male partner to have sex with. She said that she isn’t attracted to women and love men – regardless of their betrayal nature!

The truth: Sexual attraction is what triggers sexual relationships. Having sex with someone you have no sexual attraction toward is more like a punishment rather than a pleasure fulfillment. What really happens in strongly segregated societies is that people with slight same sex attraction tendencies find it easier to act on their feelings where they wouldn’t do that in normal circumstances. There many bi-sexual people with different degrees of attraction to either sex.

3. Lack of a father model: The claim of the Egyptian young boy. He said that his father works as a pilot and that his relationship with his father is bad. The counselor – mistakenly – tried to analyze how a young boy needs to man role model in his life and that with the lack of one he tries to attract other men to fill that role!

The truth: A lot of people are raised without a father (Either because of divorce or death). While not having a father might cause different emotional troubles, it doesn’t affect one sexual orientation. It is wrong to assume that every divorced family’s children would turn up to be homosexuals.

While a lot of people in the Arab world may lack the knowledge of a certain issue or another at this point of time, and while we are yet to catch on the culture of the importance of knowledge, it is upon our media duty to research and study and to raise the awareness of people. We are at the age of information, with small internet research; the credibility of a respectful channel would just disappear!


  1. I do not have Arabic TV channels were I live and I am happy that I don’t.I am glad that you have brought this up, I have realized too that Arabs and the media tries to portray homosexuality is something unnatural by connecting it to some sort of social disorder, which is clearly not the case.It is time for them to get the facts straight, homosexuality is perfectly natural and proof it exists among animals too.


  2. Observer, there is much research linking sexual abuse and later homosexual behavior. This is just one that I found:The Archives of Sexual Behavior reports: “One of the most salient findings of this study is that 46 percent of homosexual men and 22 percent of homosexual women reported having been molested by a person of the same gender. This contrasts to only 7 percent of heterosexual men and 1 percent of heterosexual women reporting having been molested by a person of the same gender.” 70There is a form of patterning that happens with sexual response, especially with children. Affection exchanged and developed by an abuser creates a special bond which makes the abuse seem ‘ok’ to the child, even if they are uncomfortable and not able to follow their instincts to say no.Studies, depending on who is funding it, what results they want to find, and who they choose for sampling, can produce findings that suit them. Both sides of the ‘nature vs, nurture’ argument are guilty of such skewing of results to back their own presuppositions.


  3. i agree…most of arab chanels programs are biased and tend to show people what they want to hear not real facts. Programs like red in a broad line or adam and hawa are good examples.


  4. Hi Observer. I don’t watch this program, and I didn’t watch this episode in particular. However, I think that the ideas being given in this show don’t mean that anyone has been sexually abused will necessarily be homosexual in the future. It simply states one of the factors that might affect someone’s sexual identity. The same applies to the other factors. Any way, I disagree with the western trend that homosexuality is natural.


  5. Maybe if we teach our kids critical thinking, then they wouldn’t buy the garbage that is thrown at them and feel offended by just even hearing it.Where do we start from?


  6. Nizars, you are right, that is it, by connecting it to some sort of social disorder, it becomes easier to be rejected!Kinzi, I agree with your last too paragraphs. Sometimes scienfitic researches fail to adhere to objectivity in applying the methods or reading results.Having said that, I would like to add as well that individual single studies is different than a majority stand of the highest psychological institutes about the issue. You didn’t provide a link to the research you are pointing out. I would like to check it out myself. But even if those results are true, one can read them in a totally differenet manner than assuming that sexual abuse alter sexual orientation. I mean that one point would be that homosexuals find it easier to admit they have been sexually abused in their childhood because they have already broke social barriers and have less to lose, another point is that young homosexuals tend to feel lonely struggling with their sexuality which makes them more vulnerable for potential predators. The special bond between an abuser and his victim may entails the victim to pursue more abuse as you said, but it doesn’t mean it alters his sexual orientation or turn him into a homosexual


  7. Mohammad abu ali, hey man :), how have you been? The issue here is sexual orientation not sexual identity. The show focused on discredited unproven theories of explaining the cause of homosexuality which wrong. And it isnt the western intake that homosexuality is natural, it is psychological most respectful associations in the world that says so.zait o za3tar, we start by teaching them critical thinking 😛Actually giving more individual freedoms and space for ourselves and our children to question and think should help us big time 🙂


  8. The way i see it, it doesn’t matter what causes sexual orientation, or if it can be changed. Sexual orientation is a personal choice, and should be respected, because people of all orientations and identities are humans and have dignity.Not until this respect is secured that any debate regarding sexual orientation would be fruitful. So before those channels start discussing the why and how of sexual orientation, they better start with showing respect to fellow humans.


  9. Mohammad Abu-Ali: Western trend? I’m not going to rip you a new one, but as a westerner I was offended by that statement. Like we’re all just a bunch of sexual heathens.Observer: This is why I have you bookmarked. I love how you can take inflammatory topics and discuss them rationally and intelligently.My personal opinion is that whatever two consenting adults want to do with their genitals is no one’s business but their own.


  10. The only reason homosexuality is becoming more and more of an interest is because more and more people are expressing their choices when it comes to their sexuality. The fact is homosexuality has been around forever it wasn’t accepted because of religion. What if slowly throughout time the human race became bi-sexual? I think it would be beautiful. 😉


  11. Btw, the same program hosted in the episode before a Jordanian man who wants to “sell” his children…It was clear that the entire story was fabricated.


  12. LBC equals high production value but lower-than-low standards. This is the same channel that produces Alf Wayle Bi Leyle with Bassem Feghali, the gayest show in the Arab World along with Mission Fashion another gay dominated show. There is a well known producer at LBC who’s been rumored to be gay (check out his hot boy toys that work at his office). Talk about hypocrisy!!!I also take offense to the ignorant stance that homosexuality is a “Western trend”. Please, give me a break! Homosexuality has existed in all cultures since the dawn of man. The only Western import perhaps is the self-identification, gay rights movement and a uniquely gay culture. Thanks again for highlighting this ridiculous show on LBC. The host is a “hmar kbeer”.


  13. to observer: “And it isnt the western intake that homosexuality is natural, it is psychological most respectful associations in the world that says so.”all those pyschological institutions are in the west or are western institutions. also psychologists claim a lot of things like chemical imbalance. in truth, chemical imbalance never has been proven scientifically it is just the closest theory that they came up with as a result of series of experiments.


  14. First of all, let me state that I'm posting this message from my Google Account blog as “Kharabish”, while I previously posted in this blog as my real name “Mohammad Abu-Ali”. Just to avoid any confusion that might occur 🙂

    NYC Thinker: I really apology for that apparently my post had caused offense to you. I didn't mean to be offensive at all. Believe me 🙂

    I feel that I need to clarify my point as there are other posters like “Madame Mansour” who seemed to understand my opinion in a different way than what I really wanted to say.

    I'm not saying that homosexuality is a “Western trend”. I just said that I disagree with the way that homosexuality is being thought of in the west.

    I realize that homosexuality has been visible for so long in all communities, not only the west.

    However, as I can see from western media, that they are emphasizing that homosexuality is born with the person and it's a natural thing rather than something that develops with a person's as he/she grows up.

    “psychological most respectful associations in the world”. I read this a lot on this page. I'd really like to know more about these respectful associations, please do me a favor by providing a respectful URL or source.


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