Prostitution has become a major problem in Iran, a country where most choose to ignore that the problem exists.

The latest idea is the so-called “chastity houses,” regarded by some religious leaders as a more acceptable version of brothels, to both shelter poor street women and satisfy the sexual needs of men who cannot afford to get married.

The idea has been widely publicized in the Iranian media but, with prostitution long held as a “cardinal sin,” few dare to openly endorse it and most officials have dissociated themselves from it.