Are the Russians less "pedo-phobic" than Americans?

Yes, that’s so much better.

(BTW, an Afghan Russophile? Never thought I’d see the day.)

Sadly, no, because there’s the “women are property” model of female sexuality which leads to the same outcome: If you abuse a man’s daughter, or his sister, you can expect that man to take revenge on you, because you damaged something he has some ownership of. It is anti-feminist, or at least not feminist, but it leads to the same outcome.

Abortion was legalized after the Bolshevik Revolution, but was outlawed again in 1936 under Stalin. That ban was lifted in 1955.

Male homosexual acts were outlawed in 1934, also under Stalin. That ban was not revoked until after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In general, I think your rosy view of women’s rights under Soviet Communism is oversimplified. While the Communists did pay lip service to equality between the sexes, my impression is that the Soviet Union was in practice a pretty male chauvinist place (not many women in the Poliburo, for example). And after a brief false dawn in the revolutionary years, the Soviets didn’t even pretend to be in favor of equal rights for gays (or gay men, at any right; I believe the Stalin-era laws didn’t bother to criminalize lesbianism).

To answer the OP’s question: yes, without a doubt. In Russia the “it takes a village” mentality still holds sway. Small children refer to adults (even those unknown to them) as aunt and uncle. Interactions between adults and children are not automatically viewed with suspicion. Anecdote: at a recent gathering with a large group of Russian families, I noticed a young man casually put his arm around the shoulders of a 10-year-old girl. They were chatting, laughing, the girl was not at all uncomfortable as far as I could see. Nobody batted an eyelid. It was an entirely innocent encounter. But I could not imagine a young American man behaving this way.

I also think it’s important to draw a distinction between cultural norms of social interaction and legislation imposed by the authoritarian Russian government. The law decriminalizing domestic violence (referenced above) is a shameful act, but it is part and parcel with the so-called “gay propaganda” law, the law against offending religious sensibilities, etc. All of them are have been encouraged and supported by the Russian Orthodox Church, couched in language about family values and tradition (not unlike similar efforts by the religious right in the US) but ultimately intended as a means of social control and/or to target any budding political opposition.

From what I’ve read, in GDR and USSR, a lot of women were part of the workforce after WWII out of necessity. In fact, the equal particiaption in young pioneers in USSR, where girls also learned practical things (not like Girl Scouts, but Boy Scouts with girls) provided a young generation of women pilots for the Night witches Night Witches - Wikipedia during WWII.

At least in the GDR, the loss of many qualified skilled workers before they built the wall lead to a different schooling system where both girls and boys automatically had practical shop class and physics and chemistry, and with children organized by the state very well, a lot more women went to university, especially in the STEM subjects, than in the West, which could continue to just hire skilled workers.

Obviously, the incentive for pioneers and childcare like Kindergarden organized by the state was not feminism, but indoctrination and teaching the kids skills useful for war. But the result was more women in the workforce and better educated women.

This. It’s normal and healthy for human beings to touch each other. I think it’s less about “protecting children from molestation” because that’s still going on in the US, too.
It’s also a lot of protection not the child, but the adult - any harmless picture can be used 15 years later in a divorce. Any harmless contact can be used in a witch hunt that damages reputation even without court trial.

Meanwhile, the children can’t learn how normal, non-sexualized contact looks and feels like, because every contact is sexualized. Actually, this obsession with sexualizing harmless encounters (see: purity balls, the Billy-Graham rule used by a high-ranking government employee to the disadvantage of female staffers) is more harmful than differentiating between harmless and harmful contact.

If you didn’t know that socialist feminism is different from feminism feminism, in a system where ultimate power was held entirely by men, men whose ideas of what women ought to do derived from ideology also formulated by men—then back to the history books with you. I’m not interested in studying history to bolster any ideology; I’m interested in what we can learn from others’ experience, and to that end studying just what did happen and why. My bias is humanistic, wanting to know what it was like being a person in those situations, especially how one negotiates one’s humanity through a world of structures that are indifferent or hostile to the realization of humanness. A great many such structures are built on gender inequality, which is why feminism is necessary. Friedrich Engels opened a promising line of inquiry into primitive communism and gender, but useful data on prehistory were lacking in his day, and the socialist world after he died seems to have dropped the idea. When feminists returned to the topic of women’s prehistory in the late 20th century, it was not on a basis of socialist or Bolshevik ideology, and at the new discipline’s core and forefront were university departments of religion and pagan or neopagan groups.

For me humanism does not serve as an ideology—I mistrust all ideologies, in favor of people’s lived experiences—but as an intellectual orientation, a perspective. Letting people tell their own stories. I express a lot of feminism, as you know, and I hope it’s implicit that my feminism is integrally a form of humanism. An important one, for historical reasons.

Weirdly, the legislator who spearheaded that law, Yelena Mizulina, is a member of the liberal / social democratic party. (Or was at the time- she apparently quite A Just Russia this year but I haven’t been able to find which party she associates with now).

I have learned through a number of experiences, never to trust any report claiming that one group of people are more “sexually aware” or otherwise superior to another group. In every case I have seen so far, there was no superiority, only difference. In every case, there have been ostentatiously presented examples of wonderful things happening, as though they represent the entirety of the culture. Invariably other examples came to light, proving that as always, human beings behave like human beings. Some nicely, some not.

Someone already mentioned above, that tolerance has been used as a propaganda ploy in the past, not only by the Soviets, but by Western nations and cultures as well. 

As for claims that “women in such and such a culture are much happier than elsewhere,” I have never seen a study which wasn’t corrupted by a failure to recognize that “happiness” and “satisfaction with life” is more dependent on general cultural cohesion and inter-support, than it is on exact behaviors. People who are slaves, have often been found to claim to be entirely happy and satisfied with their lives, because their lives were entirely correct and just, from the only point of view that they knew of.

This is why there have been so many instances of states and cultures declaring that foreign ideas of any kind are destructive. Not because they are essentially so, but because as long as no one within the group is aware of any alternative life, and everyone around them reinforces their sense that they are living correctly, they will be happy to remain as they are.

So bottom line, my answer to this thread, is that anyone who thinks that anything has been proven better or worse about Russians, isn't looking at all the facts.

To flesh that out a bit more: Russia decriminalized battery in general a year or two ago, with an exception for domestic violence and racially motivated battery (which were still considered crimes). The church was really upset at the exception for domestic violence so they pressured legislators to remove or weaken the exception, which happened this year.

I don’t support this all adviced law to state the obvious, but let’s be clear about the actual parameters of what happened.

I visited an Orthodox church in the USA several years ago, one that was attended mostly by people of Eastern European background. A family invited me to hug their children (as a mutual gesture of friendship) and seemed a bit put off by my discomfort with hugging unfamiliar children. The social rules on the meaning and appropriateness of various forms of physical contact are different between Anglo and Slavic cultures. This doesn’t mean that Slavic cultures are more open sexually - in fact the reverse seems to be true - but Slavic cultures are less likely to see casual contact as having a sexual connotation.

I thought AK84 was Pakistani. Or am I wrong?

He is.

Here’s the video I was talking about in the OP, for any of you interested in watching it. Tell me what you think.

He’s Pashtun IIRC, who are the second largest group in Pakistan but the largest in Afghanistan. AK84 correct me if I’m wrong

Russia is more liberal than the US on certain sexual issues, as judged by public opinion surveys (premarital sex and extramarital sex). It’s more conservative specifically on the issue of homosexuality.

I would guess that most other Slavic countries with the exception of Poland are more liberal about heterosexual morality than America, because they’re less traditionally religious (homosexuality is kind of a special case here).