I've not read The Symposium myself, just going off summaries of it. But, you're welcome
I agree, it is hardwired. I detest our culture's attempts to move away from this. All of a sudden any expression of male affection is "gay."
Middle Easterners must chuckle at our misapplied prudery-while some "scholars" blaspheme the Lord and His Beloved Disciple and the holy friendship of Sts. David and Jonathan.
Yeah, I really don't have a clue as to what Middle Easterners think. I suspect they have a variety of opinions. It is a diverse place.
Yeah, I wouldn't know about any expression kindness or affection being a problem. I suspect it is probably just folks that might be insecure with themselves. The culture is full of sexual messages, so I'm sure it gets overwhelming for some folks.