Culture And Media

Italy: Court rules crotch-scratching a crime

Rome, 27 Feb. (AKI) - Scratching your genitals in public in Italy can land you in trouble if you're caught.

According to a report on the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Italy's court of cassation, the nation's highest appeals court, has defined the 'act' as "contrary to public decorum and decency."

The court also said that the practice is considered a crime even if the gesture is done to "repel evil" or bad luck.

The court was ruling on an appeal made by an unnamed man from the northern Italian city of Como who was convicted of indecent behaviour in 2006 and reportedly fined 200 euros for 'fixing' his genitals while wearing overalls.

It is a superstition among Italian men to "grab" their genitals to ward off bad luck, such as when a hearse passes by or when disaster strikes.

The judges of the third penal division of the Rome-based court of cassation however disagreed with this practice.

"Patting your genitals in the presence of other people, is a manifestation of lack of custom and education, in the complex concept of ethical and social behaviour," said the judges.




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