A University of Pittsburgh professor is under fire after posting a glowing review of a history book that includes sexual relationships between adult men and young boys as examples of African homosexuality. Professor Sirry Alang shared a photo of the book titled Boy Wives and Female Husbands while declaring “homosexuality is African.”
While the thread was originally posted in April, it recently began circulating once again after it reached a wider audience concerned about Alang’s praise of the book. Alang, who acts as the University’s Associate Dean for Equity and Justice, began her thread by explaining that the anthropological collection includes the histories of same-sex relationships and marriages across 50 African societies.
“I was delighted to read about 1911 & 1922 reports from Cameroon. Africa has the most diverse same-sex patterns,” she wrote, uploading a photo of herself holding the book. “Homosexuality is African.”
Continuing, Alang claims that although homosexuality and homophobia are “indigenous to African Societies,” no one has ever been “punished for being queer” because “no one felt harmed by queers.”
“Sodomy laws came with colonizers,” she added. “Same-sex patterns had to be present for colonizers to punish. So they didn’t bring homosexuality, but institutionalized homophobia. In pre-colonial societies, queers called 1000+ different not derogatory names were left alone. Know your history.”
Alang’s re-circulated commentary has been met with ample mockery on X from users who were quick to notice that the book includes ample instances in which pederasty is conflated with homosexuality.
Anna Slatz, co-founder of the pro-woman and child-safeguarding news outlet Reduxx, was quick to point out that “a significant chunk of this book is just about adult men molesting little boys.”
Sharing screenshots with examples, she added: “There’s even an entire chapter romanticizing a ‘boy brothel’ where adolescents dressed up in women’s clothes and flirted with adult men.”
The excerpts she shared were from a chapter of the book titled “A 1958 Visit To A Boy Brothel In Dakar,” in which English journalist Michael Davidson recounts his visit to the capital city of Senegal.
Davidson, who is a homosexual himself, lauded Dakar as being the “gay city of West Africa,” and detailed his trip to a “boy brothel” with a government official who he described as a “lover of boys.” At the brothel, Davidson described teen males who donned makeup and women’s clothes.
“They have pleasant manners, these transvestite Senegalese boys. They were friendly and undemanding and bubbling with jokes of a tartish kind. They seemed, on the surface, to be as cheerful as boys of that age ought to be,” Davidson wrote.
“I went home with what’s called a nasty taste in my mouth – not, of course, from any moral biliousness, but because temperamentally I dislike a display of effeminacy in boys and am repelled by an extreme exhibition of it.”
Slatz’ post, which has been viewed almost 2 million times as of the writing of this article, sparked widespread discussion on X, who were horrified at the contents of the book Alang was promoting.
“Interesting it’s ‘boy’ wives and not male-wives or man-wives,” responded journalist and commentator Shay Woulahan.
Others found it strange that Will Roscoe and Stephen O’Murray, two caucasian males, were involved in publishing a study about homosexual and pedophilic relationships in Africa.
“Imagine African history written by these people,” wrote one X user by the handle @_akinola_. “These are the authors of the book.”
Notably, this is not the first study about homosexuality in other nations Roscoe and Murray have been involved in.
In 1997, they published a study titled Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, which not only claims Islam is more accepting of homosexuality than the “Christian West” but also states that homosexuality has thrived in the Islamic world.
“Homosexuality between man and boy was never considered in any way abnormal,” reads an excerpt.
Another page details young boys “half-dressed as women” performing for men who “showed their approval by slipping often large amounts of money into the necks of young boys.”