detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Sunday, July 27, 2003

: . The Gag Test:

From Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two by Allan Berube:
    Several doctors, hoping to improve the military's ability to identify homosexuals, tried to develop clinical tests for detecting men who had performed oral sex -- an act that soldiers more simply called giving a blow job -- on other men. In 1944 Dr. Nicolai Gioscia and his staff at an unidentified Army base inserted tongue depressors into the throats of 1,404 psychiatric patients at the clinic and hospital to test their reactions. The researchers observed that 89 percent of the patients who had been diagnosed as sexual pyschopaths and who had "admitted fellatio" did not show a "gag reflex" due to "the repeated control of the reflex during the act of fellatio." Gioscia didn't explain why half of the psychoneurosis and one-third of the drug addiction cases he tested also showed no gag reflex. "Frequently," he reported, "the gag reflex test proved valuable in detecting the malingerer who attempted to obtain a discharge by professing homosexuality. Presented with the gag test findings the soldier would invariably change his story or admit having lied for selfish gains." The test, he added, was also "a definite aid in screening candidates not only for the military services, but also for positions where the sexual deviate must be eliminated."

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