Monday, November 29, 2010

Military Medical Humiliation, German Style
by Lars G Petersson

Lars G Petersson is a Swedish born human rights activist and author of many books.  His book, Medical Rape, State Authorized German Perversion, can be obtained here.


                                    
'She has got nothing on but a pair of knickers. The same goes for the other few young women in the waiting room. They are all so lightly dressed - and they all seem uncomfortable with the situation. Constantly men with files are running back and forth, and some of them can’t help having a quick glance at the young ladies while passing.
  After a long waiting at last it is Ursula Müller's turn. A man in a white coat stands in the door and calls her name. For the young woman it’s indeed quite stressful to walk across the room in such an almost naked state. However, she's got no choice: after all, the examination for which she has come is a legal duty, and if she hadn't turned up she could not only have been punished but, worse, police would have 'escorted' her to another 'appointment'. Would the young woman have tried to avoid even that, she could very well have ended up in prison. Not a nice prospect really. No, going to jail Ursula wouldn't fancy. After all, she hasn't done anything bad. In fact she has done nothing at all. She has only grown into an adult or at least almost so - that's all. Seventeen she is, and in another few months she will be eighteen.
  As the young woman then finally enters the examination room she finds herself in the company of two men: one whom she believes is a doctor and another she reckons must be his assistant. However, it's all a guess; none of them has introduced themselves.
  Now something will happen that Ursula never will forget: her body will be thoroughly inspected and assessed - that's why she was 'asked' to come. Nothing will go undetected: head to toe it will be - mouth, teeth, breasts... just everything. In the middle of it all, half naked as she is, she will be asked to do twenty squats - with blood pressure before and after. Bit strange really - as if her blood pressure, due to the forced condition, hasn't gone through the roof already, regardless of being 'asked' to do squats or run a marathon.
  After the young woman had been through all the initial procedure something comes that she has feared all along, actually for years. The last protection of her privacy will be removed. 'Take off your knickers, please!' Ursula's cheeks turn red and hot; she stands there helpless, doesn’t know what to do. No, she doesn't want to do that. 'I don’t want to be stark naked in front of two men,' she thinks to herself. It's too embarrassing a prospect. 'No, don't do it!' a subconscious voice screams at her.
  Ursula is gripped by a terrible anxiety as she notices the young man behind the desk looking in her direction with a slight smile on his face. In the same moment the now impatient doctor repeats his order. With sharpness in his voice he commands: 'KNICKERS OFF!' The young girl at this point obviously see no option but to do as she is told. The little resistance she might have had is gone; she is defenceless. Now she is completely naked; she stands in the middle of the room, totally exposed; she feels the last slight protection of her human dignity has disappeared. She wishes she could sink through the floor; she feels so embarrassed and humiliated.
  Ursula's most intimate parts of the body are now to be zealously scrutinised und inspected. The doctor starts to check her genitals, and he is doing it with great thoroughness. After all, it must be tested as to its functionality, or so it seems. He repeats his movements not just once but twice. In this moment Ursula's most private parts sort of belong to another person, something she would never have allowed had she had had a choice. Then another order is heard: 'turn around, bend forward and spread the buttocks!' Automatically, now without resistance, the girl does as she is told. Her bum is now being thoroughly inspected with a little torch. She is, however, lucky: a finger in her anus she is spared (other 'patients' have to experience that to).
  Ursula has had more luck this day as she has only been inspected by one doctor not two, which often can be the case. Sometimes also two assistants can be present, as new staff from time to time have to be trained for the job. Indeed, it can be quite crowded around the 'object'.
  Finally Ursula is allowed to put back on her knickers and leave the room. As she returns to the waiting area the other girls out there note that her face is like a tomato. Rest assured, they will soon, one after another, have the same experience.'

-----    
                 
Of course, this story never happened as it was here told. After all, that's not a way to treat young women. Completely out of order it would have been - impossible, simply perverse. Most people would share that view. Some might even ask: what fucking pervert has written such nonsense?
Lars Petersson
 Yes, what do I actually want to tell with such a story? In fact this: that a story like the one about Ursula not exclusively is to be found in the sick fantasy world of a sadomasochistic old bugger - actually it has all a very real background. To make the story true we only need to swap the genders of all people involved. Having done so, it all turns into reality. Then we can also give it a name: a 'military medical induction' or, in German, 'musterung'. We now talk about a legally enforced medical where young men, mainly by women, as cattle on a market place, are examined, inspected and assessed for forced military or civilian service. 

  At least one thousand times this scenario has been repeated all across Germany every day for the last one hundred and fifty years. The number of similar examinations and controls has, however, been much higher, as not only have young men been selected this way or discarded as possible candidates for forced service, a process which can mean repeated requests to make one self available for scrutiny, but in all barracks and by all civilian authorities responsible for 'employing' conscientious objectors all of it in every detail have been repeated not only when starting but also when leaving service - and sometimes even in between. On top of that comes and will continue to come thousands of identical checks of young men who, for one reason or another, totally voluntarily or due to civilian unemployment, have chosen the military as a temporary or permanent employer. Also these individuals (contrary to their female colleagues...) are constantly exposed to the same kind of intrusive 'examinations'.

Of course, testicles and backsides of young people can hardly have anything to do with defence of a country. Even for the defence authorities themselves that seems to make sense, as, certainly, nothing in this area would serve as a reason for anybody to be excluded from forced service or for that sake not to be accepted as a volunteer. Despite that, however, eager officials continue to order these parts of the body to be checked as to their optimal function - as said not only repeatedly before but also after ending the service. After all, the foreskin might have got stuck since the last examination.... Better make sure it hasn't.

  No matter what, how odd it all might seem, all what we talk about here is in Germany fully legitimate and established. All right, economic woes due to the recession (not calls for human rights) will soon end conscription. But, on a smaller scale the abuse will continue as usual – now with ‘volunteers’ as sole victims. Again and again the call will sound: strip! Again and again the state and its willing helpers will reach out after young men's testicles and foreskins, and again and again they will be commanded to turn around, bend forward and spread their buttocks. And (isn't it remarkable?), all of a sudden nobody seems to see a problem in it any longer. Nobody will see it as an assault - as they certainly would, had 'Ursula' really been the victim. No, 'so are the rules, and that has to be tolerated.’ 

  All right, this particular story was about Germany, but, unfortunately, that country has no monopoly on degrading military medicals: for hundreds of years, all around the world, willing doctors have ‘forgotten’ the oaths they once swore, joined the armed forces and allowed themselves to be used to humiliate and abuse their ‘patients’ – all of it with only one purpose: to create obedient, subservient soldiers. 

  Mental anguish due to such humiliation is widespread. After having researched the subject in Germany, I would state it's pandemic (though very well hidden away). And, why should it not be the same elsewhere? After all, many Americans will remember the days of the Vietnam War draft offices, and most Russian men will be painfully aware of their own armed forces’ outstanding abilities in the field of degrading strip examinations. For them it can hardly be a surprise that (according to official statistic) 231 recruits committed suicide in 2008 alone. There will be other reasons behind that shocking number - mainly bullying and extremely harsh conditions - but I am certain that perverted medical 'examinations' played a big part in why many of those young men tragically chose to end their own lives.

  Due to all this, in the name of millions of defenceless victims and victims to be, no matter if conscripts or volunteers, the civilised world must demand that at least health professionals refuse to further participate in ruining young people’s lives. We must demand they stop performing abusive and degrading medical ‘examinations’ which pure objective is to remove the last remnant of dignity from vulnerable recruits. Also, we must openly recognise and acknowledge the harm this kind of universal abusive treatment through the years has done to millions of men’s mental well-being and sexual development. We must place the shame where it belongs  – on the perpetrators, not on the victims. More than anything else, state authorised sadomasochistic abuse must stop no matter where it takes place. We can all help make that happen. A few words from you to responsible authorities could be a good start in that process. After all, that was how Amnesty International once started - a call in favour of the forgotten political prisoners and a call against torture and degrading treatment of people in captivity. 

  This is a call for help for all those forgotten and humiliated soldiers whose lives have been ruined not just by futile wars but also by perverted medical 'examinations' in the name of oppressive military establishments. On my website www.larsgpetersson.com (Military Abuse) you will find all addresses. Write a line or two, copy, paste and press 'send'. Future generations will be grateful for your help.

Lars G Petersson


77 comments:

Joel Sherman said...

Part 1
Lars Petersson's book is a unique study of how medical induction physicals have affected many young men in Germany. As he comments, this could be generalized to many Eastern European countries and to the US in prior wars. Mr. Petersson is correct in his assertion that these physical exams are only rarely discussed by the young men who have had to endure them. More information now is available through the internet which gives men a chance to talk about them anonymously.
The essence of the book is a series of interviews with many young men who have been traumatized by them, some qualifying for a full post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As he outlines, these medical exams are done in private, but always with a female secretary taking notes. The vast majority of recruits will have to strip naked in front of two women and have a full genital exam including pulling back their foreskins. If the doctor is so inclined or the recruit is reluctant, the female doctor will do it for him. In past years only men were present at these exams. Nothing could be more designed to humiliate these young boys who are 17 at their first encounter.
Mr. Petersson speculates that these exams are done like that on purpose to strip away any rebellion on the part of the recruits and prepare them to be obedient soldiers. Incredibly he documents that screens used to be available and a few doctors did the intimate part of the exams behind them out of sight of the secretary. But the military ruled that the screens were to be removed to protect the doctor! I can't help but think of parallels to Nazi interrogation techniques where suspects were usually forced to stand nude before their inquisitors. Mr. Petersson correctly questions the motivation of the doctors, at least some of whom acted like they enjoyed humiliating the boys. Indeed as a doctor one of the most professionally stultifying jobs possible is to be doing well person exams day in and day out, especially where the motive is not to help the patient, but to help the state. Mr. Petersson does not say whether the physicians are civilian or military. As they are mostly women, they are likely civilian meaning that they volunteered for this job. The only reason for a physician to volunteer for such a job is because they want to work a 9-5 job entailing little responsibility maybe because they are nearing retirement or indeed because they find it attractive to be in a position of power over young men who have no choice but to obey orders. I have no doubt that both possibilities are common.

Joel Sherman said...

Part 2
There is a parallel to US military practices especially during the Vietnam era where some draftees were examined naked in large rooms with civilian women present. This was not standard policy but occurred in multiple induction centers. The reason for this was predominately the pressure to process large numbers of recruits on a daily basis. The modesty or humiliation of any recruits was just not a factor to be considered. As in Germany, some centers may have done this on purpose to mold the men into more compliant soldiers. Teach them their place quickly. Present official US military policy is different requiring intimate exams to be done in private without opposite gender non medical people present. I don't know how strictly the policy is followed.
I would be interested in Mr. Petersson's research protocols. Were all subjects found through online contacts? How many were interviewed personally and how many only anonymously online? I certainly would like to get a handle on what percentage of boys were humiliated by these exams. I have no idea if the percentage is 5% or 50%. What percentage develops long standing problems such as PTSD, fetishes, or sadomasochistic tendencies?
This book is an important contribution to both medical and military literature. I hope he can encourage many victims of this process to complain to the government of Germany which most have been reluctant to do fearing later conscription. Now that mandatory processing has ended in Germany, though volunteers are still subject to these exams, it is hoped that this book will stimulate many of the victims to speak up.

Anonymous said...

These kind of exams transcend our discussion here about patient modesty. These kinds of exams represent the power of governments to remind their young soldiers that they are essentially cannon fodor with no rights. "Might as well get used to being a piece of meat," these exams seem to proclaim. They are clear human rights violations, whether they happen in the US or German or any other country. Force nudity is a strategy during war, as is rape. Doctors who involve themselves in this kind of sham should be stripped of their licenses by their boards.
Doug Capra/MER

Joel Sherman said...

The following is a reply to my comments from Mr Petersson, minimally edited for typos:

The book is based on informal interviews/personal discussions - some done by myself, some by friends of mine who have helped me write the original German version (they have talked to people they know themselves and also given their own contributions). There are also written contributions from people I have met personally as well as written contributions from people I have met through the net. In a few cases I have had telephone contact. But, what is important to know is that there is nobody disputing these stories’ authenticity. This is the way these examinations are performed, and they will continue to be performed in this way also in the future - the only difference will be that all victims will be volunteers. These men (now very likely from more deprived backgrounds) will be examined this way on a regular basis during their time with the armed forces. It is all there in the instructions.
When trying to get people to talk it is generally very difficult to break the ice. Most men, old and young, would feel it much too embarrassing to speak about an issue like this one. Most people will simply deny that something embarrassing took place. 'No with me it wasn't done, but I have heard about others....' They simply downplay it all, try to make it harmless or even macho. I am no better myself: had it not happened to me as I write in the beginning of the book (which is true) I would never have had the courage to write the story in the first place. 'No with me it wasn't that bad....' that is what most people will say in public. However, in Germany that is not true because it all follows clear instructions. They have all been through the same.
Now we in the BASTA campaign-group* try to end the humiliation also of those young men who in the future will volunteer for service. Many young people will not understand before it is too late what harm such humiliation will do to them. After it has been done it is too late to change. Especially one of the victims from the book I am in regular contact with can speak out about that. His whole life is completely taken up by what his state and its willing helpers once did to him - even if he never got as far as becoming a soldier. Three inductions examinations were enough to ruin him forever - before he was let off the hook because of debilitating asthma. Anger, anxiety, hate and nightmares are what haunt this man today twenty-five years later. And, what is worse, very few people would take him seriously if he ever dared to speak out about it.
Why is this so important? First, degrading treatment of any human being must not be allowed. Second, I believe this kind of treatment can lead to unwanted sexual deviations - make people being turned on through humiliation and forced nakedness. I have no evidence for what I think is at least part of the reason, but I ask myself the question: why do Yahoo groups on the internet discussing 'male humiliation', 'male forced nakedness (in front of clothed females)' have 30-40 000 members when most other groups count theirs in tens and hundreds?
Not least I think this is a problem for the health service. Men are generally much less likely to seek medical help. If the problem is about anything 'private' it will be even less likely that they would go to a doctor. Especially for young men the fear of getting an erection will very likely keep them away from a doctor's surgery if it is not absolutely necessary to go there. Humiliating experiences and insensitivity in the past will further add to that problem. I therefore ask myself: do men pay for these experiences with their health, are some men's life cut shorter because what army doctors once did to them? I actually think so.

*don’t know who this group is, basta means stop or enough.

Joel Sherman said...

This was sent to me by Lars:

Joel (and others),

Explanation: BASTA (www.musterung.us) is a group I and a friend of mine in Germany started three years ago in order to campaign (letters, articles and emails) against these state authorised humiliating medical examinations of young men - enlisted as well as conscripts. The group also provides information and support to young people, telling them how to politely but firmly refuse letting themselves be humiliated by their own state. We encourage the young people to protect their own privacy. Second to the campaign against the humiliating medicals we have sought the abolishment of the conscription - as a completely outmoded, discriminatory system.
We have been very confident that by telling the world what is being done to young men behind the walls of these institutions by medical staff, shame would bring it all to an abrupt end. After all, nobody wants to be portrayed as a pervie. Opposite, the confidence in ending the compulsory military service was much less prominent. However, due to the present economic crisis we have recently been in for a huge surprise: the conscription will go (they cannot afford it...) but the humiliations will stay (now with volunteers, often from deprived backgrounds, as victims). Therefore, the struggle will continue. It will also continue because, unfortunately, this is not entirely a 'German only' problem. My dream is for BASTA to expand and campaign for the protection of all (forgotten and humiliated) soldiers - no matter where they find themselves in the world. I therefore welcome anybody who would like to help make that come true. More than anything else: my ultimate dream is that there should be no need for a campaign like this. But, that I will probably never live to see. Many thanks to Joel for bringing up this subject.
Lars

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much choice the providers have in participating in such humiliating acts. Have they somehow been convinced that they are part of something important and noble? Have they been told they will lose their jobs if they do not participate?
Honestly, somewhere along the line people have stopped taking responsibilty for their own unethical actions because they can blame it on a nameless/faceless policy.

swf

Anonymous said...

What you're talking about, swf, has been written about quite a bit in terms of human rights violations. Yes, people are afraid of losing their jobs. Yes, people convince themselves that what they're doing is right, that there are "higher laws," laws that trump things like modesty and other human dignity rights, and that they are the keepers of those laws or the elites. Read Friedrich Nietzsche, esp. "Beyond Good and Evil."
I know. I know. People laugh and chuckle when I show the connections between this modesty issue and the atrocities committed during war -- but there are connections. Read Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem" to see how the Nazi regime was able to convince people like Eichmann that they were the "heros" because they were willing to suffer by doing what they just had to do by killing the Jews. Read Philip Zimbardo's "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil" to understand the power of social pressures that cause people to do things they wouldn't normally do.
This is no joke. Ironically, people who think what I'm talking about is nonsense are just those who will be most influenced by the group and social powers that cause good people to do evil things, and help them to justify it in their minds. Why? Because they think they're beyond all this. They believe they could never do such things. Well, read history. People just like them, basically good people, have done and are still doing evil acts every day in today's world.
That's what's happening with the "Medical Rape" that Lars Petersson is writing about. Some of these doctors and assistants may be just pure evil. But most are "just doing their jobs," or as the defendants said at the Nuremberg Trials, "just following orders."
Doug/MER

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Lars has visited this blog or if he emailed Dr Sherman directly, but I'm very grateful he took the time to explain his organization. I put him in the forefront along with Dr Sherman and Dr Bernstein as a great leader and representative for patient rights. If you're reading this, thank you for the work you do.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words 'Anonymous'(Dec 10). Yes, I frequently visit the blog and read the comments. Will do so even more in the future.
Lars

Anonymous said...

Very happy to see you here Lars.

Anonymous said...

'SWF' wonders 'how much choice the providers have in participating in such humiliating acts. Have they somehow been convinced that they are part of something important and noble? Have they been told they will lose their jobs if they do not participate?'
My answer to that question will be that these medical people and their assistants strictly speaking have no choice other than to participate or give in their notice. After all, it's all there in their own internal instructions. Therefore, nothing of what I claim in the book has ever been challenged. How could it be? For any medical professional asked to participate in this process the choice should of course be obvious. However, it isn't. I think the reason for all this is complex: yes, it is first and foremost a question about military power over individuals, and it is therefore all directed from above through clear professional instructions. But, I think the whole issue goes much deeper than that. It is basically a question about a dark hidden-away side of human sexuality; it is a vicious circle of sadomasochism. Protected by their instructions (as Dough/MER writes, they are "just doing their jobs," or as the defendants said at the Nuremberg Trials, "just following orders.") people in certain positions live out their sexual preferences. We know that people who have been sexually humiliated can start enjoy doing the same with others (but the fewest will ever admit to it). And, just as important, certain people with certain dispositions will look for certain jobs.... What would be a better job for a woman who (for whatever reason) hates men than to be a draft office doctor or secretary in Germany, Russia or elsewhere? Many of their humiliated victims will then turn into women haters and so it will go on and on. I have come across many such people. For the society this is extremely dangerous and unhealthy; for the individuals it is nothing but a catastrophe. continue...
Lars

Anonymous said...

This whole question about respect for the individual's dignity is not least important because of male patients' fear of erection, a fear that for sure will keep many - especially the younger - away from medical help until it might be too late. Is there anything that is more difficult to discuss and address than this complete male turmoil of fear, degradation and discomfort resulting in an inexplicable sexual reaction that will complete the total humiliation of the vulnerable individual? Probably not, but, as I see it, for the benefit of young men's future health and well being this is an issue that we as human beings (and not least as health professionals) must start to take seriously. We owe that to future generations. Young men must feel safe from embarrassment when seeking help in medical settings - no matter if civilian or military. Otherwise they might not come back. I often ask myself the question: how many men out there in the world would never volunteer as a patient for anything below the waist-band because they in the past have been exposed to (or felt exposed to) insensitive treatment by medical staff? Less than a military doc's order to 'turn, bend and spread the buttocks' can have contributed to that state.
Lars

Joel Sherman said...

At least in the US it is not always so clear what choices the doctors have. If the doctors are civilians they can always walk away from any job if they don't like it. My guess is that the worst abusing physicians are civilians who take this job because they enjoy to dominating and/or humiliating young men.
Physicians who are in the armed forces may have less choice though often the directives they follow aren't that clear and they have options. The officer in charge of induction centers would usually be a non medical officer. He may or may not let the doctors do as they please. In the US the regulations are pretty clear that intimate exams are private and no opposite gender medical personnel should be present. That should include secretaries taking notes hopefully, which seems to be the worst abuse of the German physicals.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sherman:

You wrote "In the US the regulations are pretty clear that intimate exams are private and no opposite gender medical personnel should be present."
Is it an actual military policy about "no opposite gender medical personnel"...or did you mean no opposite gender NON medical personnel?

swf

Joel Sherman said...

Thanks swf. My mistake. I did mean no NON medical opposite gender personnel are permitted.

Anonymous said...

Darn. I was hoping you meant NO opposite gender medical personnel should be present. We apparently still have a long way to go to rid the U.S. of the infamous "double standard".

Joel Sherman said...

Here's a link to the Yahoo group physical exams. You may have to register first. Then go down and click on this file, France 1960s.pdf. It's a long description of what induction physicals were like in France then. Although there don't appear to be any women present, the physicals are still humiliating and were traumatic to this young man.

Anonymous said...

I have not already read the book of Lars G Peterson but I have read the summary and the messages posted in this discussion.

I do not agree with some comments which seem to me too much paranoiac about the presence of women on draft physicals or army physicals when they concerned young men who joined volontarily the army.
It seems to me that some strong words are used to describe the feelings of the young men during these exams.

I don't believe that they are so mortified that they stay traumatised a long time after.

It is too much exaggerate.

I don't think that the process of the draft physicals in germany is over demeaning or humiliating for the german young men than others military physicals in other countries could be in the past or are still now.

On the opposite, I think that it is not too bad in Germany because if I have well understood how it is managed, each boy is examined alone in the exam room and he has to strip completely only after entering in this room ( I don't know if he is before instructed to undress in group in underwear while waiting his turn to be called for the examination in a locker room but anyway it is not so unusual to be undressed in group in underwear, it is often the same in school or sport physicals!)

At least they are not instructed to strip completely in a large group and are not examined in front of each other or of some other persons, such as non commissioners officers who are obviously non medical persons and they can not be viewed by other persons who are coming in the room or walking through as it could happen for military physicals in other countries or in the past.

Furthermore, the examination of each draftee does not last a long time, I am sure that it is quick since there is a lot of draftees to examin in the same day.

An other question are the intimate exams which are performed by the women doctors or I presume male doctors when there is one.

I am not convinced that the visual inspection of the anus is really necessary at that age to know if a boy is fit to military service or the equivalent a civil service but it is certainly a requirement of the medical form. I don't believe that the doctors are perfoming that exam only for their pleasure or to humiliate the young guys.

If it would be performed in group with a line of young men bending over all in the same time, I would think that it is really humiliating but when it is only in front of a doctor whoever is the gender, it is not so much a big deal! may be it is to check if a draftee has not hemorroids which can be an issue later when he would be inducted or assigned to a civil job.

I recognize that it is embarrassing but not really much than when I went to a doctor who perform that exam in a routine physical after a certain age.

A young man is certainly more sensitive and modest but it is not so much traumatizing!

I recognize also that it it would be more fair if "the secretary" could not see the draftee when he is examined in that way, it is possible when there is a curtain or a partition but it seems that some exam rooms have no curtain or partition and that when there is one, some doctors don't use it.
It is something about which it is logical to complain!

Nevertheless I doubt that the "secretary " could see much of the asshole of the young men during their exams if the doctor is standing behind them or sitting on a stool?

Of course she couls see their bare genitals and bare buttocks, it is true and at their place I would have disliked it and I would have been a little mortified but much less than I was when I was myself a draftee and had a group physicals.

jean-rene said...

I have not already read the book of Lars G Peterson but I have read the summary and the messages posted in this discussion.

I do not agree with some comments which seem to me too much paranoiac about the presence of women on draft physicals or army physicals when they concerned young men who joined volontarily the army.
It seems to me that some strong words are used to describe the feelings of the young men during these exams.

I don't believe that they are so mortified that they stay traumatised a long time after.

It is too much exaggerate.

I don't think that the process of the draft physicals in germany is over demeaning or humiliating for the german young men than others military physicals in other countries could be in the past or are still now.

On the opposite, I think that it is not too bad in Germany because if I have well understood how it is managed, each boy is examined alone in the exam room and he has to strip completely only after entering in this room ( I don't know if he is before instructed to undress in group in underwear while waiting his turn to be called for the examination in a locker room but anyway it is not so unusual to be undressed in group in underwear, it is often the same in school or sport physicals!)

At least they are not instructed to strip completely in a large group and are not examined in front of each other or of some other persons, such as non commissioners officers who are obviously non medical persons and they can not be viewed by other persons who are coming in the room or walking through as it could happen for military physicals in other countries or in the past.

It is said that all the young boys of about 18 age have to strip completely in the exam room or at the least to pull their underwears down (I presume that it is depending on the doctors instructions if there is not a required rule about that point of the examination as I believe it ?) in front of two women, one is a doctor and the other is a secretary.
But are you sure that this second person is not a female nurse if she is always wearing a lab coat? it is important because in that second case, she is also a medical person and there are no non medical person present in the room exam! It changes a little the situation.

Some are complaining about the presence of a woman doctor but it would be the same in most countries because it is women who are interested mainly by this kind of job, not to see daily young men naked as some are writing but because it is a job which leaves enough time available to take care of the family even if it is certainly not well paid.

Think a little more to that point and you will understand why there is a lot of women doctors to perform the draft physicals.

And it is so unusual to be naked in front of female medical persons?
it would be the same very often in a medical clinic or at a doctor's office where there are also now many women doctors.

Furthermore, the examination of each draftee does not last a long time, I am sure that it is quick since there is a lot of draftees to examin in the same day.

jean-rene said...

the second part of my message:

An other question are the intimate exams which are performed by the women doctors or I presume male doctors when there is one.

I am not convinced that the visual inspection of the anus is really necessary at that age to know if a boy is fit to military service or the equivalent a civil service but it is certainly a requirement of the medical form. I don't believe that the doctors are perfoming that exam only for their pleasure or to humiliate the young guys.

If it would be performed in group with a line of young men bending over all in the same time, I would think that it is really humiliating but when it is only in front of a doctor whoever is the gender, it is not so much a big deal! may be it is to check if a draftee has not hemorroids which can be an issue later when he would be inducted or assigned to a civil job.

I recognize that it is embarrassing but not really much than when I went to a doctor who perform that exam in a routine physical after a certain age.

A young man is certainly more sensitive and modest but it is not so much traumatizing!

I recognize also that it it would be more fair if "the secretary" could not see the draftee when he is examined in that way, it is possible when there is a curtain or a partition but it seems that some exam rooms have no curtain or partition and that when there is one, some doctors don't use it.
It is something about which it is logical to complain!

Nevertheless I doubt that the "secretary " could see much of the asshole of the young men during their exams if the doctor is standing behind them or sitting on a stool?

Of course she couls see their bare genitals and bare buttocks, it is true and at their place I would have disliked it and I would have been a little mortified but much less than I was when I was myself a draftee and had a group physicals.

My comments would be the same for the inspection of genitals or the palpation of testicles or the check hernia, even for the check of the easy retraction of the foreskin.
They are exams who can be made in a compete examination of young men. I understand that thre is no direct relation with the fitness to military or civil service but ther are ceraily required by the medical form and they are performed because these exams offer an opportunity to check this part of the body of all the young men.

I know that some are answering that the young men can go to their own doctor if they need a check but it is not true, many of them are too embarrassed to do it if they not forced to comply for that kind of exams.

Others can argue that it is too late at 18 age to check that. I am not a doctor so i don't know but for me it is better to be later than never!
Sometimes, at least in recent years since there are less mandatory school physicals, these checks are never done during childhood and teenagehood.

To finish my message, yes it is embarrassing, yes some teenagers more sensitive than others can be a little mortified, yes the process of these physicals is not fair and some changes are necessary to be more respectuous of the modesty of the young men but it is not a crime against human right or human dignity!

if some are seeing in that physicals CFMN situatioins where clothed women enjoyed to have power on naked men, I think that it is too much a fantasm and that the reality is more simple.

ONe thing is true also : if these very invasive exams are perfomed several times, for instance for those who are postponed or before or after their induction in military service or in a civil service, it is in a certain way stupid but it is not the end of the life. When you have been examined like that one time, you are less shocked the second time.
I is only because doctors are complying to requirements,they are not responsible for writing them, it is certainly some military men who are working as chief doctors in the german ministry of defense?

jean-rene said...

the third part of my message :

a last question! it is said that the military service is abolished in Germany.
are you sure that it is already true?
I believe that it is a proposal of the ministry of defense but it must be debated in the german parliament and adopted before being the new rule.
may be I am wrong?

Joel Sherman said...

Jene-rene you have to read the book to answer all of your questions. Of course most young men do not suffer long lasting trauma from these exams. It is enough that a significant percentage do.
The secretaries in the room were not medical personnel. These medical exams were compulsory for all German men; now it's only for those who volunteer for service.
The book gives examples of women doctors who clearly enjoyed dominating the men, especially if they didn't like them. Not all by any means, but obviously this kind of job would attract those physicians prone to that behavior.

Anonymous said...

Jene-rene -- Thanks for getting involved in the discussion. As Dr.Sherman said, you've got to read the book to get the whole picture.

Granted, the author claims that many young men suffer long lasting trauma from these exams. But whether it's "a few" young me, or "some" or "many" is not the point. You seem to think that most or many young me do not suffer long term consequences from these exams.
But that's not the real question, is it? If we subjected young female recruits to the same kind of treatment, we could also say that it wouldn't negatively affect most of them long term. The main question is about ethical treatment and human rights and government power.
Read the book.
Doug/MER

Anonymous said...

My comments to you jean-rene are this,
you seem to enjoy this kind of subject.For you it must be some kind
of a fetish apparently as you are so
fascinated with it.
Reverse the roles and see what the
women would think or how they would
like it. Any female clerk who ever
stood in and leered at young men in
my book during these induction physicals is subhuman and a lowdown
pervert.
Furthermore its pathetic that the
commander of mepcom issured guidelines
in 2003 that this behavior be stopped.
Thankfully these kinds of sick fetishes nowadays exist only in sick
minds.


PT

Anonymous said...

PT:

What is it you're saying, exactly? I find your comment extremely confusing.
MER/Doug

Anonymous said...

Mer

Jean-rene frequently makes posts on the voy forums and
the yahoo groups that induction
physicals are ok and normal with
female clerks leering.
I don't really see how that
is confusing to anyone if you read
through these sites. Wouldn't you agree that the commander of mepcom
needed to post guidelines on how physicians ought to follow one of
the oaths of hippocrates,"I will
respect the privacy of my patients."
Its pathetic that a non-medical
commander has to come out and tell
physicians how to conduct an induction
physical.Disturbing actually! Wouldn't
you agree that physicians should follow ethics and the hippocratic oath. Did I make myself clear?

PT

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up, PT. I don't follow those sites so I wasn't familiar with what he's doing. That's why I was confused. I agree with you now.
MER/Doug

Anonymous said...

as I cannot post a message by using my google account ( I don't know why ?), I use this easier way
but I am the same person who is posting messages with the username of jean-rene.

I have not yet read the book but I will do it as soon as I will receive it from "Amazon".

Even if I have not read all the relations of german draftees about their physicals, I think that I can already express an opinion.

And I don't agree with what the other "anonymous" has said in his last message before mine, it is not right, I am not arguing that draft physicals in front of women are fair and appropriate, I am just objecting to those who seem to me too much paranoiac about that situation which is not the worse when there is no group physicals with a lot of young men naked for a long time as it was mainly in the past but only an exam performed by doctors on draftees one by one.
It seems to me that it is not the worse process of physicals but I agree that the presence of a female secretary even a medical secretary which is not exactly the same thing is not fair and appropriate in such physicals and I have never said the opposite in other forums.

Anonymous said...

Jean-rene

You should read the book,I'm sure
you'll enjoy it.I've no desire to but
believe me if I did I might want to
hop on a plane to Germany and strangle
the first woman physician I saw.


PT

Anonymous said...

There are some distinctions I would like to point out
regarding these induction physicals that were
performed in the past.

Many say,well it was a way to move people through
faster or whatever. Some argue that well ,due to the
logistics of the architecture.

To me that's still no excuse to have non medical
opposite gender observers during these medical
procedures.

To illustrate my point the induction physical I recieved
was on a Saturday. The room had only two doors and
no furniture. I had also recently learned that the two
physicians were military and the two young women
observers dressed in blue jeans were brought in by the
physicians from off base. In other words they were not
employees associated with the military base at all.

PT


Lars could you leave your e- mail here. I'd like to
e -mail you privately.

Joel Sherman MD said...

PT,
Lar's email is publicly available on his blog. That's how I contacted him originally.
lgp@gmx.co.uk
I believe he is happy to correspond with any recruits or soldiers who have undergone similar experiences.

Anonymous said...

Thanks

I had looked for it previously and didn't see it.

PT

jean-rene said...

I have now read all the book and if I find it interesting with some witnesses which are certainly true, especially those of young men (I am less convinced by those of women which could be pure fantasy to titillate men because nothing proves us that all the relations are always truth), I have also some critics on some points where the comments of the author are really ridiculous.

More over, I notice that it is not a real survey on a very large number of young men having been examined about the same years, the book is only based on witnesses at very different years.

And I repeat my first opinion : the author is too much paranoiac about the examination of young men by women or in presence of women.
It seems that it was the only point which could be embarrassing, more than a large group exam or an exam in front of a draft board commission like it was in the past. The author is permanently thinking that it is worse to be examined by a woman doctor assisted by a female nurse than by a male doctor, but he did not mind about the behaviour and the manners of the doctor whatever was its gender. I think that it could be less enbarrassing to be examined by a lady doctor if she was nice than by a very strict and authoritarian male doctor who was acting like if you were already inducted in the army. But, of course, a lady doctor could have the same attitude but certainly that was not all.

I will give later some examples of exaggerate comments which lead me to critizise a little the book and to doubt a little about its rigour as regards some points.

Doug Capra said...

Here's the key, Jean-rene, that you and some others are forgetting. This isn't about, at heart, females examining males in a normal medical situation. This is about a government sending out a notice to a young man that he damn well better show up for a physical exam or else he will be subject to the government power to punish/imprison him. He's forced to have a physical. Now, granting that context of force -- then he's subjected to the humiliation of having two female caregivers give him intimate exams.
That's what this is about.
In a normal medical situation, people at least have the power to demand same gender care. Whether they avail themselves of that power is one thing. But nobody's going to put them in prison if they challenge the system.
Doug/MER

Anonymous said...

With all due respect Doug and jene-Rene,you are both
wrong.

I joined the military during the Vietnam war,many of
us joined,we were Not drafted! It was on a Saturday when
we arrived for the induction physical.

The two military physicians who conducted the physicals
were male. The exam was performed in a large room
with one door in and one out. The only problem were the
two young women standing off to the side in civilian clothes,blue Jean jacket etc.

Clearly,they were not military and had no business being
there. Its one thing to be examined by opposite gender,but
absolutely another to have opposite gender observers there for no reason.

I am pretty sure this happened more often than not and
Btw, there is a lawsuit pending against the military by the
aclu in New Haven Conn. for any and all sexual assault,
harassment cases for the last 10 years by the military.


PT

jean-rene said...

"Doug" you are obviously thinking as some others in this discussion that the worst situation for a young man is to be examined naked by a woman in presence of a nurse.

I am not sure to share with you this opinion. For me, it is not the worst situation and it was not so uncommon in the past.

At mandatory school's physicals, at least in the past in France, we were examined most often by a lady doctor always with the assistance of a female school, even in high school, so it happened in the last grade at 17 or 18 age, almost the same age as for the draft physicals, and it was not so much different.
We had to undress in underwears only in a locker room in a large group, but I recognize that it was a little different because it was not for the army, so there was a little less fear of what could happen, and the discipline was generally not so strict, not always because sometimes we were supervised by a male PE teacher who was a retired military man and was used to military methods to obtain a strict obedience of the boy's students, and we were not naked for such a long time as at draft physicals in my own experience.

It is the same when we have some job physicals in France and we are forced to come when we are summoned to report for these physicals which are also mandatory and we cannot choose the gender of the doctor who is almost always a woman.

I recognize that now, these job physicals are less frequent, not one by year, and also less embarrassing because they are less thorough, but I remember well that in the past when I was younger at the beguinning of my year jobs, I had each year a mandatory physical examination which was performed by a woman doctor older than me, may be about 45 or 50 age, and I was a little treated like if it was a draft physical, when she gave me the instruction to undress immedialely and to keep only my brief in a small looker room, so I had to be semi-naked for all the examination, even for answering to questions about my health, and for the eyes test or the urine test which did not require at all to be so undressed, and the worst came after when I was instructed to strip completely for the last part of the examination including a thorough spine exam,and of course a check of the genitals.

jean-rene said...

Frankly, I believe that the worst is to be naked in front of a doctor, man or woman, who is very authoritarian as it was often the case in the past in different situations for mandatory physicals, ot only in the army.

In my own military physicals, I was treated by a strict military man doctor like a kid, not like an adult, and I disliked very much that situation because I was still modest as many young men, and more over as we were supervised very closely by a few non commissioners officers, even when we were naked in a large group in a corridor near the exam room after undressing in a locker room, and we were exposed to other draftees in the exam room because we were not examined alone in this room like it was for the german draftees.

So I am sorry but I cannot think that the worst is to be exposed to two medics women, except of course if they are not acting professionnally, for instance if they have a smile on their face while you are stripping completely or after during the examination of your privates, genitals or assholes.

I understand that in some situations related in the book, some medic women are too much enjoying of their power on the young boys who are forced to obey to their instructions without any reluctance even if they are embarrassed and to strip completely, and that some of them can have a great feeling of domination on male teenagers and are amused by the disregard of their modesty in that situation or by the fact that the young men are red faced, it is obviously not fair in that special case, but it can also happen with male doctors, not only with women.

When I was treated like that at a physical examination as a male teenager, I was always red face like a tomato with a male doctor as well as with a woman doctor.

So you must not exaggerate the embarrassment of being examined by two women. The issue is more the way in which the draft physicals are managed.In my own military physicals, I was treated by a strict military man doctor like a kid, not like an adult, and I disliked very much that situation because I was still modest as many young men, and more over as we were supervised very closely by a few non commissioners officers, even when we were naked in a large group in a corridor near the exam room after undressing in a locker room, and we were exposed to other draftees in the exam room because we were not examined alone in this room like it was for the german draftees.

Anonymous said...

Jean-Rene

Why don't you approach all mammo clinics,physician
offices and L&D clinics with your profound ideas. Tell
them what you think and mention this to the commander of
meps too. Mention that women should routinely be
exposed to several men at once in all types of exams
and that some of these men ought not be trained in
healthcare.
Please include your sisters,mother,grandmother and
all female relatives and then get their oponions afterwards
and when all is said and done report back to this blog.
I seriously believe they would think you have some
kind of fetish. Your ideals cannot include one gender as
all are men are created equal,at least that's what the founding fathers in my country have said,what about yours.

PT

jean-rene said...

First I want to apologize for an error in my last message because as it was too long, I had to do two messages but I notice now that there was a repetition for the very last part of the message which began by "in my own military physicals" But I don't know how to delete the repetition if it is possible.

second I want to answer to "Anonymous"

I am sorry to tell you that some of your last comments about my messages are a little stupid because you distort too much my ideas and comments.

after it is easy to critisize me.

I have never said that it is appropriate and normal to perform examinations of young men in the nude in front of persons of the opposite gender.

I have only said that it is not always worst than to be examined by persons of the same gender if they are more tough and give to you very firm instructions or put you in more humiliating situations. The gender is not in my opinion the most important factor to determine if a military physical examination is humiliating or embarrassing or not, but I understand that it may be different for other males persons, each person has his own feeling about nudity and modesty.

But what I want more to underline is that there was nothing special in the german military physicals.

In all countries where there was a mandatory military service, the draft physicals were always performed in a way which could be considered as humiliating by some young men depending on their feeling of modesty and it is also worse as regards the respect of privacy or modesty of draftees in some countries even now like in Russia or even very worse in China or South Corea even if there was no female persons present in the exam room. A group exam can be more awkward than an examination alone in front of two women.

Anyway, it is a permanent fact that the army has never taken in account the modesty of the draftees in draft physicals, it is obvious and it is still true in some countries.
The will of the army is to manage mass exams of male teenagers or young men as quick as it is possible, so they are managed in a very efficient way without any consideration to the dignity or feeling of modesty, no matter if the draftees were embarrassed or humiliated. You cannot deny that it was always like that.

So it is not only the german physicals that you must critisize but the conscription and the mandatory draft physicals in all countries.

I am convinced that now that the conscription will be abolished after this year in gernany, the military physicals will soon change a lot because the army knows very well that volonteers cannot be treated like draftees forced to report when they are summoned to physicals under the law.

As I have said, when male teenagers are forced to comply without any reluctance and objection to rules of physical examination, it can happen that some male or female persons who have the power abuse a little of it, especially on young persons as male teenagers. It is may be scandalous but it is a truth that we cannot ignore.

Anonymous said...

I would like to mention one aspect that clearly highlights the perversity of military induction physicals in Germany.
For the time being, the draft, though not abolished, isn't practised any more. Obviously, it existed only for males. But, since 2001, females can become soldiers if they want to (which in itself is a gross injustice).
When it comes to induction physicals, female applicants are never ever examined by male physicians, no male is allowed to be present during their physicals, not even as a secretary. And they do not have to undergo any genital examinations, but go to a gynecologist of their choice before.
This is a clear proof that the military authorities know very well how humiliating and demeaning such procedures as are common with males really are, they just wouldn't dare to do the same with women. It is furthermore a blatant example of double standards and sexism - one of many.

Anonymous said...

jean-rene

We could talk about this till the end of time and you could add
every kind of cake icing to make it
look good and taste good.
Fact of the matter is it would
never be good. The TSA for the airlines had over the last few years
28,000,000 complaints. On Monday
they announced changes that better
protect the privacy of air travelers.
These are just air travelers
going from point a to b. Soldiers
are people who are put in harms way
so that people among many things can
enjoy amendments like the 4th and
the 8th. Pathetic it is that for
a few moments they could not be
spared and given the same privledges
they risk their lives for everyone
else.
Having opposite gender observers
at this medical procedures are not
in any way making these exams more
efficient.
If I had my way I'd be the devil
and I would have everyone involved
burn for eternity in my private hell!


PT

jean-rene said...

" Anonymous"

if you say that there was and may be there is still in some countries a double standard as regards the respect of the modesty and dignity of boys and girls, I agree with you.

I think that it could be certainly worst in the past, for instance with some degrading school's physicals and still more with sport's physicals for students sometimes performed in a large group without any privacy ( not all were performed like that according to relations)and of course the draft physicals since except in Israel (and I have no information about the draft physicals in this country) only young men were concerned by mandatory conscription with physicals at the age of 18 and even in some countries earlier at 17 age when they were still teenagers, which do not justify how bad they were treated but explains that some adults did not mind of their modesty.

As regards these physicals, as I have said before, they were always a demeaning and degrading experience in all countries.

You said that young girls are not examined like young men when they are volonteers to join the army as they can do since some years in Germany.
I am not surprised of that statement because they are volonteers, not male draftees summoned to report for an examination by the law, it is a very different situation, in the last situation, the young men are forced to comply to all instructions if they do not want to have some troubles, every body knows that they cannot object to any instructions even if it is degrading, they know that and the doctors and nurses (or supervisers when there was some as in many countries), know that also, a strict obedience is always expected, so they are generally treated with very tough manners.

Nevertheless I have read in other discussions some relations of miltary physicals of volonteerr women in the United States, of course I cannot be sure that they are real and not made up but if they are true, it shows that in this country, the physicals can be also degrading sometimes for women in the army.

But I presume that you had some witnesses of military physicals of volonteer girls in Germany to say that they are very different of that of men? and I believe you on that point.

As regards the physicals of young men generally performed by persons of the opposite gender, don't forget that the number of women doctors is higher than that of men, even in the army, for that kind of examination.
it is logical because many women doctors are searching for jobs which leave them enough free time for their family life, it is exactly the situation of doctors in a pre-induction military center while men doctors can prefer to be send on military operations outside of germany or to work in hospitals, because the job in a medical military center for draftees is too much repetitive.

jean-rene said...

I want also to answer some comments to a former post of "Doug" in july 13.

I have not forgotten that these physicals draft exams are mandatory and I agree with you that military physicals cannot be compared to a normal medical examination where a boy or a man can be examined by a women but not without his will, or at least he can object if don't like the manners of these women, which is impossible in situations of mandatory examination like draft physicals.

As you said, it beguins with the notice or letter which summons the young men, and all boys as well as their parents know that they will have much trouble if they do not comply and come to have the medical examination whathever is the way in which it is managed. In some countries, young men who refused to come to military physicals could be punished by prison, it was the case in the past in France.

So the boys are expected to obey to all instructions because the rules are fixed by medical or military authorities in accordance with the law. It give a great power to all adults, medical persons or not, who perform the examination or supervise the draftees during the procedure.

It is why I have said that the real issue is the conscription itself,and the rules fixed under the law, not the gender of the doctor and nurse, even if the examination can be nevertheless worst depending on behaviours of doctors or supervisers as non commissioners officers in some countries even if thre are no supervisers present in Germany.

I recognize with you that in such a context of force, the fact for a young man to be subjected to a less or more thorough intimate examination by two or three female caregivers is certainly an ordeal and may be feeled as very humiliating, since on the opposite of a normal medical situation, he cannot object. But I maintain that it is not only a question of gender, this kind of examination can be a degrading ordeal even with a doctor and nurse of the same gender.

Anonymous said...

Jean Rene,
I wonder why you can't see that the gender of the examiner and that of the examined person does matter and can make things worse (and believe me, it is a conscious decision to have young men examined by females):
For while (I agree with you on this) to a certain extent any forced physical exam is degrading, it generally doesn't, in my opinion, have overt sexual connotations in an all-male setting. But humiliation degenarates into sexual perversion when - let us say it clearly - a man is forced to make masturbatory movements in front of two women (one of them not even being a doctor, but only a spectator) to show that "evertything's fine down there". This is inaccepatable, there is no excuse for such a regulation in and by itself and even less so when you know that no woman is treated in the same way, not even on a volontary base (excuse my English, I hope I could explain what I mean).

jean-rene said...

" Anonymous"

Are you a german person or from what country?

I don't disagree with you on all your comments.

I can do a step towards your last statement about the gender of the doctors or nurses.

I recognize that to be examined even alone in a exam room by two women, sometimes even more three, could be a factor of an increasing embarrassment for some male teenagers of 18 age if they were not used to it by school physicals, or if they were more modest or sensitive than others, and above all if the women were acting in a way which was really unpleasant even if nothing was illegal.

For instance, if the woman doctor did not use a screen either because the exam room was not equiped with it, or worse either because she did not find necessary to use it deliberately thinking that the modesty of draftees had not to be protected or not deliberately only because she did not mind about it not, or if she left the draftees naked for a more long time than necessary, or if the two women were talking to each other about the anatomy of the draftees being examined as if they were not here or as if they were small kids, or if the two women grinned without a logical reason at the exposure of the draftees if some of them were showing obviously their embarassment, or if they smiled mockingly or seemed amused when the draftees were stark naked in front of them, or if the female doctor did inappropriate comments on them while being exposed undressed, or if she was too much giving them strict orders as if they were already in the army and so on...

But for all these instances, I would have done the same comments if a male doctor would have been acting like that.

I believe always that the main issue for these draft physicals was the context of force, and the rules of the examination which were degrading in most of the countries.

More than the gender of the doctor or nurse even if it could increase the embarrassment (or for some boys or their humiliation if you prefer this stronger word), the first and main issue for me was the fact that each boy might come to a military medical center for a mandatory physical examination when he was summoned because it was by the law and he could do nothing to avoid it and he was expected to obey to all instructions given to him during this physicals at that medical center, and he could not ignore that it would be a degrading ordeal even if the doctors were only complying to the rules.

jean-rene said...

second part of my message which was too long :

Also it was an issue that the medical persons in these centers knew that each boy had no other choice than to obey to instructions in accordance of the rules of the procedure and that the boys were almost completely submitted to their power, so that it could let some of them abuse a little of their power as it happened always in similar situations when some people had quite a total power about other persons.

And it was easier to abuse of its power with draftees who were still young male teenagers.

But the possibility of abuse of power was true also for male doctors, not only women.

When you wite "(and believe me, it is a conscious decision to have young men examined by females)", I don't understand what it means, in my opinion, it was not be a conscious decision,for what reasons and in what purpose would it have been ? the army was not provocating deliberately CFMN situations ?
it was rather the result of some new factors as the greatest interest of women for that kind of medical jobs which left them a lot of free time even if it was a repetitive job.

And I am not convinced by your comments about the overt sexual connotations which could happen in a women environment while not in an all-male setting.
I believe that except may be in a very few cases which were abnormal and were certainly not allowed by the military authorities, it never happened either with a male doctor or a female doctor.

It is different with abuses of power which were certainly more frequent but without any sexual connotations.

And I don't know where you have read in the book that some boys were instructed to do " masturbary movements" to illustrate situations where humiliation degenerates into sexual perversion is right, because I have not read that in the witnesses which seemed serious.

What was always performed during military physicals was the check of the retractation of the foreskin with the foreskin pulled down one or several times depending on the doctors but nothing more, it was a common medical check.

As regards the nurse, I would not use the word "spectator" to describe her job, even if she was not a doctor and if she did nothing special during the examination, she took notes for filling the medical form, and anyway she was also a medical person, and it was for doing that job that she was present.

After induction, in the french army, there was always an other inductee who was present during the physical examination by the military doctor of the new inductees to take notes, I don't know if he was a real male nurse or only a secretary who was asked to do that job. No matter but it shows that it was a common situation for a doctor to have an assistant.

You write that " This is inaccepatable, there is no excuse for such a regulation"
On that point, I can agree with you, the regulations were quite always degrading for such physicals.

But the fact that no women are treated in the same way is not the issue. As they are only volonteers, it is obvious that they will never be treated like that, these regulations were applied mainly to draftees.
I am convinced that after the abolishion of conscription in Germany, the rules of the physicals will be changed.

jean-rene said...

A last comment on all that subject.

I have noticed with surprise that the audience, especially women and girls, is laughing in a movie theater when there are some scenes of draft physicals in a movie.

In a russian movie called "the caucasian prisoner" which was released about ten years ago, we could see at the beguinning of the movie a scene where the russian draftees had a physical examination before military service, they were shown stark naked walking in a corridor supervised by a few female nurses or lining up in a large group in the exam room in front of doctors, female nurses and non commisioners officers or climbing on a scale, of course they were never shown frontally for a long time and we did not see really their genitals but we could see during a few minutes their naked buttocks on the screen.

Normally, the audience of the movie theater, even women and girls, would have been shocked by the degrading way in which these draftees were examined and certainly not amused by that because nothing was really funny but indeed they were laughing.

And the director of the movie wanted certainly that they laughed because he had used a warlike music which was totally unappropriate in such a parade of naked young men for military physicals, so it was to underline the comic characher of the situation in the spirit of the audience.

I was myself as were certainly other males of the audience a little embarrassed but the fact is that this kind of situation makes women and girls(and also some men)laugh generally because the young men are exposing mainly to the view their backsides and there is obviously no sexual connotations. Nevertheless we cannot imagine such a scene with girls of the same age naked like that and the audience laughing.

jean-rene said...

I have forgotten to add that the director of the movie was a man and that the movie was not a comedy but a dramatic movie, the only scene which makes the audience laugh or smile was the first one about the draft physicals.

Anonymous said...

Jene-Rene

You tend to frequently use the word power and
obey in describing these occurrences. In 1995 Tim
Mcveigh blew up that building in Oklahoma city. He
had previously served in the military and was later a
militia movement symphatizer. He despized forces of
government percieved as hostile.
There was a meps center in that building by the
way has anyone ever wondered if that's why he chose
that building. We will never know.

PT

jean-rene said...

I am interesting to read some comments to agree or disagree if you have a different experience about what I have related as a surprising reaction of laughing of almost all the audience in a movie theater when a scene of draft physicals is shown on the screen while they would have been normally shocked, both by the nudity in group of the drafttes and by the presence of women nurses to supervise them or assist the doctors and by the lack of respect of their privacy and dignity that it reveals.

In my opinion, it shows that people are reacting differently when they are personnally concerned and when it is in a movie even if it is supposed to be real, but may be it shows also that the bad situation of draftees in military draft physicals is so admitted in social norms that it makes people laugh rather than to be indignant and to critisize military authorities.

A little similar (even if not completely similar of course, the situation being not the same) scene of nudity at medical physicals in front of a mixed audience which can be shown for instance in the italian movie "Golden door" when some immigrants italian people, men and women of all ages, are forced to pass a humiliating physical examination in front of many american persons when they arrived in the United States before being allowed to enter in this country did not make people laugh at all,on the opposite there was a great silence in the movie theater and certainly a great feeling of indignation for most of the audience.

why this difference of reaction?
may be because that kind of situation of forced nudity was mainly considered as rather comic when it concerns only young male teenagers and because thre was obviously no sexual connotations?

jean-rene said...

In a very former message, when I have said that I have read the book "Medical Rape" of Lars G Petersson, I have mentioned that if I agree with some statements or comments and have of course no reason to doubt of the truth of most of the witnesses, I was not convinced on some points.

I want just give you one instance : it is in page 97 when the author said that the General De Gaulle in France had understood in the 60's the impact on the young people of the draft physicals always performed in the nude since a very long time.
and he added "probably because he had experienced it himself"

for me it is absolutely not serious.

it is true that the rules changed in the middle of the 60's when he was still on power but it was not under his decision

if you had read books about the life and character of the General, it appears completely naive and certainly incorrect to believe that he could be interested by such subjects which would be considered as too much monor for him.

such a decision was taken only by the minister of defense under the pressure of superior officers in fact.

why, the change was to make that young men of 18 age might go to a pre-induction center for their military physicals in purpose to decide if they were fit or not for military service instead of reporting in front of the draft board commission as before.

But before during about three years, there was still mandatory physicals in front of the draft board commission where the conscripts could wear a brief instead of being stark naked waiting in line their turn to be examined.

it was a change but not so great that you are thinking because they had always to remove or to pull down their briefs for the last part of the examination which was made in plain view of all the people present in the room.

But when they had to go to a military pre-induction center, they were instructed again to strip completely in most of the centers for at least a decade of years.

The major difference which was the reason of that decision wanted by the military authorities was that the examination could be actually more much thorough and that some lab exams and a Xray could be done while they were impossible in front of the draft board commission.
Instead of a short medical examination which lasted about 5 minutes or sometimes not often a little more may be 10, you were examined during about half an hour without the periods for waiting your turn.

So at the beguinning of the change, it was not really better!

and the general De Gaulle had nothing to do with that change which was not taken to reduce humiliation of the conscripts but to improve their examination with more informations about their health

Anonymous said...

jean rene,

yes, I am German and I know what I am writing about.
Your statements on the subject seem strangely divided: you do not lack insight, but you are unable to see that, for most guys, this kind of(superfluous)examination is highly degrading when performed by and in the presence of females.
You see one of the grossest violations of privacy ever possible in this field and cannot bring yourself to admit that it is plainly wrong. Why?

didaf said...

to anon , jean rené use to post on every forum which speak about induction like topix or voyforum .
He is a little bit "old school" .
I mean that he doesnt know that boys can be modest in front of women ...
He was surely teached by his mother that boys have no modesty and don't complain and he accept it .
Today thanks to the internet , boys and men start to learn another lesson : If you speak up upon modesty, you are no more treated like weirdos , especially by youngest generation .
It seems that readings the first comments upon modesty open the mind of "silence suffering" boys.
I mean that the lesson teaching by women "shut up and be a man" starts to fall apart.
Sorry for the women but yes boys and men starts to complain upon double standard in society.

jean-rene said...

" didaf"

may be I am a little too much "old school" but I think that you would better read what I write on this topic than to find to read me on other topics.

Of course, I know that some male teenagers and young men can be modest and embarrassed at military physicals or any others physicals but this is not the issue.

read better my arguments and the particuliar statements that I criticize on the book.

I will go further in the comments about the book in my next message when I have more time because thre is a lot to say about it if you read it seriously.

Anonymous said...

Recently, the television show Decoded featured the
possibility of whether the gold at Ft Knox was there or
not. Apparently, the average citizen would be turned away
if asked to see it.
I doubt very much if you can even get access through
the front gate entrance to the base. Certainly,these
security measures didn't stop women gaining access
into the mep and afees centers to leer at men during
induction exams.
Perhaps the producer of this show might have better
results had he recruited these women.


PT

Anonymous said...

Someone posted on Youtube a documentary type video (camera work, editing and quality are all professional, not some cellphone movie) of the Aussie or Kiwi military, judging by the accent, forcing male soldiers to strip and to do so in front of female soldiers. Some soldier admits it is deliberate physiologic training to remove their individuality and I think turn them into non feeling humans, essentially obediant robots.

They do not do this to women soldiers.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6uFh4jvG3I

Joel Sherman MD said...

I have no idea what the origin of this video is, or whether it is real or not.
If real, the recruits are probably voluntary applicants for some special forces.

Anonymous said...

It certainly wouldn't make things any better if they were volonteers. What a nauseating double standard!

Anonymous said...

I have no intention of watching the video, it's pathetic enough to have to go through. I have been thinking about the issue and my thoughts are this.
For those female non-medical observers who had no
business being there consider what the legal implications
might be if a recruit complained later at some point that
he was groped or sexually assaulted by one of these
observers. Particularly if this recruit were 17, what legal
leg would they have to stand on to say it did not happen.
The legal jargon ipso facto in that the question would
arise, what were you doing there in the first place? What
legal implications would there be for the examining
physician. He,she is after all responsible for the welfare of
the patients.
You read about boys,men after many years later coming
forward with accusations, damning as they are with often
Serious consequences. Perhaps, these examiners ought
to realize times are certainly changing and are still held
accountable for their actions years later. Food for thought.

PT

Anonymous said...

There is a petition currently at www.change.org
regarding these induction physicals.

PT

Anonymous said...

For those unable to locate the petition,visit
change.org and do a petition search under
us military mepcom. Thanks

PT

Anonymous said...

I seem unable to find this petition. Can you give a link or a hint where exactly it is to be found?

Anonymous said...

I cannot find the link of the petition, as well. Will you write the exact link for us?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Pres. Barack Obama made a public statement several
weeks ago that vietnam veterans were denigrated. Really
Barack, here we are over 40 years later and you are
just getting around to telling the public this. Is he just
attempting to garner votes or did his staff tell him to
make this public comment.


PT

Anonymous said...

This was made by a female nurse whose intention is
to enter the military. The comments made are in regards
to how she will be treated at meps.

" Since we, as nurses, are going for commissioned
officers,we are treated well ( better than enlisted member)
wherever we go.". Amazing


PT

Mark Grillo said...

Gentlemen; I would like to relate two instances that are relative to this theme: 1)I know a veteran who entered the military around the time of the Korean War.This man told me that when he was lined up with all the other elisted, naked, waiting for their entrance-physicals, a female military personel was standing nearby in her uniform and that she was cleary staring at the men's rears.She was not a nurse.It was evidently very humiliating to him as this happened many years ago yet still speaks of it,almost 60 years later. 2)I hava a friend who joined the Chicago police about 20 years ago. He told me that all candidates,male AND female, were ushhered,naked,into the gym of a public school to recieve their entrance physicals...Privacy? Females were in a line on one side and males in a line on the other side of the gymnasium! There was no partition,which could have been easily obtained,such as office "cubicle" barriers or even makeshift cloth partitions to give the candidates privacy. They performed full medical exams, my friend informed me. I assured him that under the pretext of "thrift","so many people to be examined","big city", etc. he had been sexually humiliated,along with everyone else in that gym...I am not saying that this was the intention of the authorities; in today's ideology we have been dominated by sophisms that downplay modesty-as-respect being a type of "inhibition" to be "overcome";a ting of the past,"victorian prudery", Medievalism, something that is not in keeping with the "evolution of ideals and mores" which the world of the 20th & 21st Centuries has finally achieved...". What insidious sophisms! Thank you for your research in this subject.sincerely, Mark Grillo

Anonymous said...

Sorry mark

I am going to pull the string on this one. Police
recruits were never subjected to this. Military I believe,
police recruits no.

PT

Anonymous said...

The male modesty can be a spontaneous reaction of some men forced to be naked in front of women, however it cannot be a right, because just the female modesty needs to be respected. In fact men are beasts if compared to women and this is the reason why only the men are forced to sacrifice themselves in the wars like cannon fodder. It would be criminal to draft women too. So, as it's right forcing only the male citizens to be cannon fodder for their Motherland, likewise it's right forcing only the men to be humiliated naked in front of women, never viceversa. Rather the forced nudity is a good training for men in the Army for learning that the their bodies are just objects available to the Country and women. This will be useful to build real men and good soldiers. However, if the male modesty cannot be a right, nevertheless it has to be a duty of the man, if a woman doesn't like to see his body. Therefore the comparison with the modesty of women is simply out of place. Rightly men have more duties than women and women have more rights than men. It's a natural law. I'm a man and I was examined completely naked in front of women during my draft: we were about forty, but just three of us complained about that, the rest of us agreed. We also agreed to punish those three cowards who complained. Boys will be boys.

Anonymous said...

The day will come when women will be drafted,it's inevitable. How will your rules apply then.


PT

Anonymous said...

No army would dare to treat women as men are. Women will be respected everywhere because they are not beasts, differently from us men. Moreover no Country will dare to draft women, because women cannot be cannon fodder.

StayingFit said...

@Anon. As I read your past couple of comments, I admit that I almost took you seriously. But then, I realized that no one could be such an idiot, so you clearly intended your posts as satire. I think it was that bit about men being "beasts" that gave you away. Good job, though. You made the point, concerning society's indifference towards men, very well indeed...

Anonymous said...

"Been to your local VA hospital urology dept lately? All female staff, usually 5 will be in your audience when your naked."

You have the ethical and legal right to choose who and to what degree a provider (physician, PA, NP, nurse, medical assistant, student, or chaperon) participates in your healthcare! Most people are reluctant to question or object because they're sick and uncomfortable and/or in an unfamiliar environment where providers act and expect patients to be compliant, like inmates in the county jail! Be respectful but speak up and be insistent. To mitigate the situation in the first place, when making the appointment, insist on the gender you're comfortable with. Realistically in a female dominated profession, this is somewhat problematic for male patients. In that case, go to a different facility. If that's not an option, just say no. You're not refusing the exam, you're refusing an exam that that is illegal and unethical. This practice of always granting a female patient's preference while ignoring those of male patients is unethical, unprofessional, and illegal. The system will only change if patients insist on the same standard of care regardless of gender.

The VA has the strongest patient rights I've seen. The patient defines what those words mean, not the providers. Simply say no and stand your ground.

Ed

Joel Sherman MD said...

Just for reference, here is a link to posted VA patient rights. It certainly does give you the right to choose your provider and have others involved in your care identified. It does not sanction choosing the gender of your provider which could be interpreted differently, though shouldn't be. It definitely does not say that you have a voice in choosing assistants.
As always, you have to speak up and possibly fight for these rights.

Anonymous said...

ACLU-ky.org/content/view286/

Gideons was kept from delivering bibles to recruits
yet they couldn't care less about privacy violations
from leering non-medical female perverts.

Old.richarddawkins.net/articles/646040-

Dr. Gretchen brendal Mann who actually started all
the complaints against widens, was the commander
at the ft Knox ky meps in 2003.

She labeled the recruits "shippers"


PT

Anonymous said...

I am writing a book about my time in the Army and my tour of duty in Vietnam. I am currently researching American induction centers that allowed non-medical females (clerks) to be present during the nude portion of the induction physicals. I have read dozens of posts, but rarely is the induction center named. I think that those stories are suspect as to being true. I will not incorporate any information that cannot be verified by at least one other person and the name of the induction center (city) and year that it took place. I am interested in 1967 and 1968 specifically, but other years would work as well. As it stands now, it has been confirmed that Philadelphia allowed the policy of non-mdical females to be present during these exams. My induction physical took place in Syracuse NY in 1967. Thanks in advance for any information or links.

Joel Sherman MD said...

Anonymous (of 12/11),
The author, Lars Petersson, would like to contact you about your research. He asked me to post this for you:

"I would be interested in contact, Lars G Petersson (www.larsgpetersson.com please write: lgp@gmx.co.uk)"