The Russian Ministry of Health is proposing new regulations that would mandate the creation of dedicated exam rooms throughout the country for the treatment of people with “gender identity disorders,” “disorders of sexual preference,” and pedophilia.
The recommendations are part of a package of amendments to rules that govern care for “mental and behavioral disorders” published last week on a government website where the ministry will take public feedback before putting the regulations into effect. The draft would require “sexology exam rooms” in psychiatric hospitals and primary care clinics where clinicians would counsel “patients with conditions related to gender identification problems… sexual disharmonies and deviations.” They would also be able to diagnose and treat “sexual deviations among children and youth” and “consult youth about their sexual education and knowledge of gender.”
The proposed facilities would also be a place to provide “forced treatment” when ordered by a court, which the regulation states is intended for cases of people accused of pedophilia.
The website identifies Georgiy Gubanov as the health ministry official responsible for the new proposal. Gubanov was also behind regulations issued in January 2015 that reportedly could have technically prevented transgender people from obtaining driver’s licenses, but the rules have not changed much in practice.
The regulations specify that the sexology exam rooms must be equipped with “at least one dildo.” Though it is unclear why dildos were asked to be placed in the exam rooms, the Russian Society of Psychiatrists has in the past discussed using them to treat women who experience pain during intercourse.
The draft rules were published on Feb. 19, the same day the Russian legislature voted down a proposal that would have punished LGBT people who publicly come out. It is the first anti-LGBT proposal to be considered by the full parliament since passage of the so-called “gay propaganda law” passed in 2013.
The recommendations come at a time when Kremlin critics fear the return of forced psychiatric treatment, a method deployed against dissidents during the Soviet era. Performance artist Petr Pavlensky has been confined to a psychiatric institution without access to his lawyer since January, following his November arrest after setting the front doors of Russia’s security service on fire, which he said was part of an artistic performance.
An earlier version of this post stated the draft referred to “non-traditional sexual relationships.” This language did not appear in this draft.
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