I'm repeating the last 2 comments from Part 1 for continuity:Joel Sherman said... I note that the Army regulations for physical exams have been updated since I last gave this link and are now current to Oct. 2009. They have been made even stronger: 2-7. Presence of individuals of opposite gender during medical examinations a. Only authorized MEPS medical personnel immediately involved in conducting medical examinations are allowed in an examination area with applicants in a state of undress. Members of the opposite sex (except examining practitioner) are not allowed in these areas while applicants are present. Under NO circumstances will recruiters or Service liaison personnel be present in the examination area for any reason. b. MEPS must provide a chaperone during the medical examination if the examining practitioner is of the opposite sex. c. MEPS will provide a chaperone if the applicant and examining practitioner are of the same sex, if requested by the applicant or practitioner. March 6, 2010 11:01 AM Anonymous Anonymous said... b. MEPS must provide a chaperone during the medical examination if the examining practitioner is of the opposite sex. Once again we have that pesky detail of whether the chaperone will be of the same sex as the applicant. Of course, we know that will be true for female applicants, but what about men? The only thing men can be assured of is that at least the chaperone won't be an administrator--unless the female doc owes someone a favor. --rsl March 6, 2010 12:13 PM
Technically you're right, rsl, but I don't think that that's the intent of the regulation. Point 1 makes it pretty clear that the only opposite gender person who can be present is the practitioner.A far bigger concern is that there is no one around to enforce these regulations. Inductee complaints about how they were treated don't get taken very seriously.
It seems the first and second sentences of section 2.7a are in conflict. A 19-yr-old CNA acting as a chaperone is still an MEPS med person even if not the practitioner. Given the sexist double standard in which BFOQs are used in practice, I have little faith in this regulation protecting men. In the "New" armed forces, women of any rank or occupation can virtually do no wrong.--rsl
rsl, I doubt that your interpretation is correct. The army gains little by trying purposely to humiliate volunteers. It's a different scene from prior decades when the preinduction physicals were mass screening events on draftees.There are some changes from the prior regulation dating to ? 2002:2-7. Presence of individuals of opposite gender during medical examinationsa. Use of non-medical personnel for medical functions should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. Non-medical personnel can be used as urine collection observers and chaperones, but not used where they directly contact or independently test applicants (i.e., draw blood, conduct an eye exam, conduct a hearing test).Note that they dropped the clause allowing non medical personnel for various tasks including urine collection and chaperones. If their intent was to humiliate men, it would be a lot easier to just drop this whole section completely or to specifically apply it only to women. And the statement specifying that practitioners are the only opposite gender personnel allowed is new as well. In other words, when they updated this section from 2002 to 2009, they made the protection stronger.
Dr. Sherman, the 2002 regulation was weird. Only using [opposite gender] non-medical personnel as "urine collection observers and chaperones" completely defeats the purpose of not using non-medical personnel. I mean, who cares if non-medical people give you an eye exam?Since it's an all-volunteer service and a couple of unpopular wars are going on, I guess I can give them the benefit of the doubt. But if there's a draft, complete with high-volume processing and a captive audience, I doubt if these good intentions will survive. And like you said, whether or not the regulations are enforced for men is the main question.--rsl
Someone asked if there were any accounts from nurses who did these military group physicals, well here's one:I just wanted to touch upon a subject covered on this message board alot. Men feeling embarassed by female onlookers during a physical exam in which they're undressed.Well let me just say that it goes both ways. I was a nurse practitioner for 12 years in the navy. I along which many other female nurses assisted in those dreaded enlistee group physicals. The amount of nurses who request not to take part in these group physicals is more than half.There are several reasons for this. The biggest reason is the way these young men just joining the navy are treated. They're humiliated by being made to stand nude in line as an officer verbally abuses them. Some nurses have religious issues in regards to seeing nude men. Some married nurse's husbands request they transfer. Its no cake walk for the nurses either.From my experience very few people, patients & nurses alike enjoy this type of humiliating experience. However, if you have to go through it, just do what you have to do and get over with it.Bless all the service men and women out there.-- Steffi, March 4, 2005http://www.thinklikeadoctor.com/exam.shtml
The thinklikeadoctor site quoted above is long moribund, was not moderated and had many fetish posts. That's not to say that many posts weren't real and this one certainly appears factual. I believe I have read elsewhere that many nurses refused to be present at these humiliating mass physicals. It is very uncommon to find documentable reflections from women who were present at these physicals.
Hi had a look at the Australian defence force information on medicals. This is the brochure available for applicants.(I am not sure if there are more detailed regulations, I suspect so, but they don't seem readily available)The information is vague and simply say a chaperone can be provided if requested, but no other details. I find it ineresting that male external genitalia is examined, but not not women.http://content.defencejobs.gov.au/pdf/triservice/DFT_Document_MedicalProcess.pdfChris
"However, if you have to go through it, just do what you have to do and get over with it."I would never allow something like that, I'd refuse and lodge a complaint. Going into the military doesn't mean we can be treated like cattle.Obedience has it's limits.People should refuse and take some action, even write to the President, as fighting men and women, don't we deserve better than this? I think this sort of thing could be stopped in it's tracks very quickly.How can you thank our fighting men and women and at the same time treat them in a manner that would be totally unacceptable to most civilians?
Well, Anon, hopefully there is no need to refuse in our new all volunteer army. I believe the intimate parts of the exam are usually done in semi-privacy with only the doctor. But if you had refused in prior years under the mandatory draft, you would not have fared very well. The army owned you.
The really ironic part is that any man who refused to be sexually humiliated during the draft would've found himself in prison, where female guards would've sexually humiliated him much more often. You couldn't win.--rsl
I have a hard time feeling sorry for "Steffi" and other military nurses. Even if they don't get off on seeing naked men, they have the better end of the situation. It's nice to know that many of the nurses requested not to attend. At least we know some aren't as perverted as others.I would even have a difficult time with a female practitioner. In fact, I wouldn't accept a female, even if it meant throwing away a career in the military. If they can't show me any respect at MEPS how could I believe it would be any better after that? Sending me to a female examiner of any profession is a huge insult and I would never tolerate it.
rsl, actually the draft was abolished at about the time that women prison guards were just starting to be present in men's prisons. So in that time period, military prisons would not have had female guards.
There seems to be a considerablemisunderstanding regarding mepsand the induction exams.Beforeit was meps it was AFEES(Armedforces entrance examination). Theswitch came in 1973 which basicallywas due to it being transferredto a different command. I volunterred while it was AFEES during the vietnam war.Keepin mind that during the medical induction process you were stillconsidered a civilian as the swearing in process didn't happen till later,so no they did not ownyou. They had rules that no outbursts or interruptions. The female observers at leastat my induction physical were female clerks,not nurses. They madea point to be there for the induction physical.PT
PT, I'm surprised you would put up with female clerks being present during your physical. Did you not stick up for yourself as much back then as you do now? Don't get me wrong, I like your way of thinking and I personally do and believe the same things you've expressed. Was it such a surprise to you that you didn't know how to react?GR
GR, during induction for the draft you either went along or were debased further. If you outright refused, there was a hefty sentence and a jail cell with your name on it.I could understand, though not condone, the thinking of the men in charge. In order to coerce men into the hellhole that was Nam, they felt they needed to break down everything that was human in the recruit. But the female clerks that took advantage of the situation were no better than a jeering, cheering, (and leering) bunch of men watching a rape. Not only did they take advantage of a group of helpless young males, but they took advantage of men, many of whom would be ruined, maimed, and killed, protecting their worthless hides.Were it possible to reverse the sexes, I doubt that men would've taken such bold license; men are raised to uphold chivalry and have far too much respect for women to humiliate them in that way.--rsl
Recently an Army recruiter wasassigned a Desk job at Ft KnoxKy for showing an 18 year oldpotential "Male" high school student recruit a pic of a topless woman. Interesting,yet they allowed female clerks to view males duringthe induction physical. Some of these males were 17. Am I missing something here. Thearticle in in the Louisville courier.PT
Chris,They refer even breast examinations to the applicant's own doctor, if deemed necessary!GT
Very different to the American regs but then we are pap smear/pelvic and breast exam obsessed.I hear that a pap smear is mandatory for every woman on active duty.I have no idea how they can make a cancer screening test mandatory. That only seems to happen to women. When you consider how rare cervical cancer is, why not also check for other rare cancers before people go off to fight.It should be stopped, that test should be something the woman considers and has done herself if she thinks she needs it. I passed on the peace Corp many years ago because I wasn't happy to have a pelvic exam or pap smear. I was a virign at the time. Now living in Europe I don't have pelvic exams at all, they're not considered important and smears are every 5 years from 30 if you want them. Smears would never be compulsory for anything in this country.The States has a long way to go.
Referring to Anon above (unlabeled):So the topic of unnecessary gyn tests--something exhaustedly discussed in four (4) Women's Privacy threads--tangentially finds its way into the thread on Groups Physicals and "Do they humiliate young men?" Do we also need a thread on Why Discussions of Modesty Double Standards Are Hijacked? Maybe there's something inherently threatening in a discussion of male vulnerabilities. Like having ones bodyguard cry? Or maybe a vested interest in certain aspects of the status quo? Just something I've noticed in most discussions of male modesty, medical and non-medical.And for the record, my own history of modesty violations is legion--including group physicals (on topic)--but I choose not to share them...time being. Most men have these scars, revealing them, like old war wounds, when the time is appropriate.--rsl
Please no gender wars. Anon was referring to group military physicals which are on topic here. I too believe that the humiliation that men have been subjected to in the army was much greater than what women recruits have been subjected to though the differences are likely no where near as great nowadays.Nevertheless the point is not who has it worse, but how it can be improved for all.
I thinks its great there are 4 parts to the womens thread. There are no other places I know where women can go and criticize or complain about these tests and exams.Its also an informative site that is helping many people, men and women.I told my wife about the site. She's been forced to have these exams to get birth control and I mean FORCED, no exam then no birth control.Males have their fights as well, but the whole extortion racket called womens health needs urgent change. You only have to look overseas to see it doesn't happen there.I hope the thread gets to Part 100!Don
This was posted on Part 1 so I moved it here.Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Group Physicals":Next week in L.A., a massive free healthcare clinic will happen at the L.A. Sports Arena. One was held there last year where more than 6,300 people got free healthcare. The clinic is run by Remote Area Medical based in Knoxville, Tenn.The expect about 600 volunteers but need about 200 more.Here we have a current example of mass exam, although it isn't "group" exam (I don't think) in the sense we talking about on this thread. It would be interesting to see how it's done here. What are the protocols. What kinds of exams take place? Are there any intimate exams (hernia, breast, testicular, etc.), how are these done, what role do the volunteers play, what are the genders of the doctors and nurses, do patients have a choice of gender for certain exams, etc.Anyone here from the L.A. area? Anyone willing to check into this to see how these kinds of exams happen in relation to modesty and privacy?MER
In Parade magazine, May 9, 2010, an article titled: "The Nations Biggest Free Clinic." This quote:"The hall was divided into 76 curtained cubicles where doctors examined and treated people. There were also EKG machines, lab stations, a separate women's clinic, and an eye exam area."Note -- a separate women's clinic. These huge free clinics offer us a way to study how modesty is regarded in our culture. It would be interesting to have answers to the following questions: -- Why a separate clinic for women? It could be because the nature of the exams many women need are more intimate than the kinds of exams that most men need. Could be. Or, just could be a cultural bias, a set of assumptions about women and men's modesty. -- Are the patients actually seeing "doctors" as written? Or are they seeing nurses, medical assistants, and techs? How many actually see doctors? -- What kinds of intimate exams are typical at these clinics and how is privacy respected. Are patients given any choice of gender? I wish somebody would study these free clinics. They may be good indicators of how modesty is regarded, especially the differences between men and women. MER
In reviewing this thread, I reread Steffi's account. She wrote:"Well let me just say that it goes both ways. I was a nurse practitioner for 12 years in the navy. I along which many other female nurses assisted in those dreaded enlistee group physicals. The amount of nurses who request not to take part in these group physicals is more than half."First, I want to thank her for the account and honesty, but her statement that "it goes both ways" is hardly accurate. That suggests that there's some equal sign between the objects and the subjects. They are not on an equal footing, some being naked, others being clothed. Both sides may be embarrassed, but that hardly equates to the situation going both ways. One group has the power, the other doesn't. Also, although it's graitifying to know that about half the nurses wanted out of this procedure, it's disturbing that half didn't. I gather that most nurses found this humiliating for the men, but only half spoke up. The old "following orders" defense, the power of authority. Accounts of these kinds of events are connected directly to our general attitudes about how we treat men and women in medical situations -- and are clear signs of the double standard. MER
This was posted on Part 1 which is full. I have moved it here.What I have read here, and on other blogs about group physicals make me sick. I cannot believe we allow ourselves to be treated this way. Any time the situation is questioned, the standard token answer you always hear is “it’s no big deal.” Well, they are actually telling the truth for once. Hell no it’s no big deal….TO THEM. It is you who is being embarrassed and humiliated, so why in the world should it matter to them. No skin off their back. Do you honestly think these people really care how you feel? You are just a meat bag with eyeballs, and their next task. Once they deal with you, they are one number closer to going home. It is their convenience that is the number one concern, what the patient feels is moot. You damn well better believe it would be a “big deal” if their employer started requiring these types of exams for them. If they cared, they would change things, and OBVIOUSLY they don’t. In most cases I do not believe they are intentionally out to inflict humiliation, they just care a lot more about their convenience that your feelings. They could easily make concessions for privacy and still efficiently get the job done. Fact is, they just do not care enough to do it. The other excuse you get from medical people is “its just not possible to process that many people and preserve privacy.” That is a TOTAL self serving load of crap. I have seen it done personally. Let me explain.When I was in school, I was always in athletics, and played seven years of football. In that time I never once recall ANYONE in our field house or training room other than coaches, trainers or players. Every summer we had physicals with the team doc. You could choose see your own doctor, but probably 95% of the players just went to him. We always had them on a Saturday at the physician’s office. Since the other medical offices in building were closed, we had the run of the entire floor to accommodate our numbers. It was set up in stations, and we went through them in the shorts and T shirts we showed up in. Nurses had set up all the normal checks like eyes, B.P, weight, etc. Stop at the restroom, do the urine check, no, the nurse did not follow us into the stalls. Last stop was the exam room where the doc ALONE was waiting. Quick drop of the shorts, and you were done. A few minutes later, you walk out, and the next guy comes in. Small concessions to our privacy did not unreasonably delay the process. It was still quick and efficient. Its funny how they managed to run the WHOLE TEAM through in a single morning, fully respecting our privacy when supposedly “it’s just not possible”. Apparently it was a reoccurring medical miracle. Not only did they get the football guys done, but in the afternoon the athletes from the other sports had their physicals.I know FOR A FACT physicals can be performed on large numbers of individuals privately. I participated in them personally, year after year. The problem is that too many people in the medical community simply don’t give a crap about how we feel. They just want to get whatever task they need done in whatever way is easiest for them. In my opinion it is a flagrant lack of consideration and respect. This is probably what burns me up the most. Yes, performing examinations in large numbers certainly presents certain logistical challenges. However, claiming the only way to do it is to strip everybody naked and run them like cattle down an assembly line is COMPLETE B.S, and ABSURD. This is absolutely unacceptable. You must think we are really stupid. I am calling out every “medical professional” on this ridiculous excuse that mass physicals cannot be done privately. I have been through it personally. Is it possible, the answer is YES. Do you care enough to see it done that way, obviously NOT.Mike B
Mike,I have no doubt that group sports physicals can and should be done with the guys privacy protected. Even if they're done in a gymnasium, a privacy screen can be set up for the intimate parts of the exam with little or no cost or delay. I really don't know what percentage of these exams violate guys' privacy, but it may well be substantial.Throughout this thread I have listed some links to exam protocols. I've been impressed that not a single one has made any specific mention of privacy or listed specific steps to accommodate it. Last time I checked NCAA guidelines it did say that the guys can be in shorts for most of the exam and prolonged nudity is not needed. The real problem is that the guys are very loathe to complain and be thought of as a wuss.
"The real problem is that the guys are very loathe to complain and be thought of as a wussI really believe, Joel, that most in the medical community are well aware of this, and that some take advantage of men -- they use it as a strategy to get on with the task. Those who do this are just not used to a challenge, and until they get one, a nice public one that puts them on the spot, they won't change. Men need to learn to challenge this nonsense pub and with confidence. It's the confidence that makes the difference. It's the lack of embarrassment upon the man's part, his unwillingness to face down the modesty violators. I am referring, of course, to serious and obvious cases. MER
I want to add a second part to my previous statement. Many in the medical community are aware of this modesty problem with men. Some take advantage of it. Some actually help men out in these situations. From my interviews and experience, these are mostly sensitive and experienced nurses and cna's. Don't know how many we're talking about, but I think it's a significant number. Depends, of course, on the culture and climate of their work place and whether accommodation is even possible there. MER
The US War Dept made a film in 1944 titled “Introduction to the Army”, in it they show some of what the induction physical was like at the time. The narrator says “Somewhere along the line you’re going to lose your clothes for the rest of the trip. This is where you better check any bashfulness you may still have because here is where all privacy ends.” The men are shown from the waist up, so I assume they are all naked. If they were in boxers they probably would have shown that. During the urine test the narrator says “The only thing to do from the beginning is to relax and take it easy and get a laugh out of it. You are going to be here most of the day.”Here’s the link. http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675076753_physical-examination_men-discussing_doctors-examining_blood-test
That clip is interesting, mainly to reveal the mindset of the military. It doesn't really document that recruits were kept naked, though it does imply it strongly. The present day blogs would make one believe that keeping guys naked for extended periods only happened in some centers, not all. But these blogs refer mainly to Vietnam, not WW2 which could have been different.Note the attitude of the army. A video made today would suggest how respectfully you'd be treated, but they made no pretense of this then. They just warned everyone that they'd have to lose their modesty fast. Of course they make no mention of who might be watching you.
I saw the video on yahoo groups,relatively lame. Another 25 yearslater and CFNM fetish was born.PT
"But these blogs refer mainly to Vietnam, not WW2 which could have been different."From my research, WW1 and WW2 were extremely different. Yes, men were told to lose their modesty for exams like this, told that they would be naked most of the day. But the difference was this: There were no women around. This was a male bonding ritual. Most men, though perhaps somewhat embarrassed at first, felt safe because they knew they would only be around men and that their privacy wouldn't be violated. This all changed as women began to make progress within the work force, and as other social changes occurred during the 1950's and 1960's. The whole concept that gender didn't really exist entered into the postmodern intellectual mindset -- at least as it concerned men. As women gained legal rights, and as they took they frequently took the male establishment to court over gender issues, they became socially exempt from these "gender neutral" notions. Men were afraid to confront them. Only men were considered subject to gender neutral situations. Men's modesty was considered no existent because gender didn't really matter -- at least for men in these situations. this attitude prevailed through the 1960's and 1970's, even through some of the 1980's. Few social historians have even tried to analyze this issue -- it's so recent. But I do think hospitals are pick up on these changes and, although not publicizing it, are trying to confront accommodation. And I think the new generation of doctors and nurses are more sensitive to the whole modesty issue, because they have been raised in taught within a different context. At least, I hope I'm right about these last comments. MER
I think you are likely correct, MER, that there were few if any women present during pre-induction physicals in WWI and II. Nurses could certainly have been around though. There is just very little written about this subject today as the surviving vets are aging and poorly represented online. I do note that there are multiple accounts in the Pacific theater of guys swimming nude within sight of the few nurses who were there. This was more or less within the mores of the times though and doesn't invalidate your observations.Certainly gender relationships have changed dramatically in the ensuing 60+ years.
These military group physicalswere CFNM events ideal for thehumiliatrix and the sexualobjectification of men. Nothingmore than an opportunity forwomen to view men as sex objects. Pathetic if you ask me.PT
Here's a still active thread on allnurses discussing the double standard on sports physicals. The discussion is interesting with some good points both pro and con. For instance, 'girls don't need genital exams because they get them separately.' That's partly true, but honestly if asymptomatic, girls don't need genital exams and neither do boys. The most boys need is instruction for testicular self examination which could be verbal. Most significant hernias are symptomatic, the boy knows it's there. If it's small enough to be asymptomatic, it's not going to interfere with sports. And I have never understood what is gained from a visual examination of the anus in an asymptomatic patient.In short the standard sports physical has little rationale behind it and the double standard cannot be justified.
Dr Sherman I noticed somthing reading the responses many of the replies had to do with the fact that there is no need to do pelvic exams on girls. The original issue was what I would say at best was lack of consideration for male modesty. The double standard was so obvious, almost to the point of abuse, yet many of the posters brought it back to why it was justified to not treat the female patients that way. Now given it is a nursing post, and 90% of nurses are female, I think it jumps subjects to the double standard, this time in sports exams which I would relate to the gender disparity in medical care. Female nurses identify more with female patients than males, even when it is obvious in this thread, the males are the victim not the females. Rather disturbing.
Well Anon, you're right in the sense that the real issue is why do boys need genital exams, not why do girls not need them. Neither needs them to play sports.It's easy to get sidetracked. Don't recall if anyone said 'if boys get them, so should girls.' That would be the wrong take on the issue.
One of the things I noticed was what seemed to be a total lack of recognition, or at a min. acknowledgement of the fact that even if you ignore the validity of the exam itself, the manner in which the males were subjected to the exam would never be allowed to happen to a female patient. If one reads it right the female poster assists a female NP, who has male patients strip to the underwear, and eventually remove them and to end up naked, while the NP does a genital and anal exam. There is no way we would allow a male NP and a male assistant have a female patient stand naked while they did a vaginal and rectal exam. It just would not be allowed. I can't decide which is more disturbing, the fact that it is happening, or the fact that none of the posters on allnurses, presumably mainly nurses did not recognize or comment on that aspect, preferring rather to defend not violating the female patients rather than condemn or challenge violating the males. I was very disturbed by this, it seems to be very telling as to what we males can expect from nurses when it comes to defending male modesty.
I am an adult male and had a pre employment physical to work as a psychologist at a hospital. I had to go to employee health and submit to a woman NP that spent over 30 minutes going over everthing while I wore a gown that was too small and had to undress completely underneath. At the end she said she had to examine my "front" and said she has her "assistant" join us now. I spoke up and said I really need the job and if its required I will do it, but that I dont really need an observer. She thought it over briefly then put on gloves and had me stand up and pull up my gown. I didnt really get why this was necessary for a job with no lifting, but I complied.
Anonymous writes: "I didnt really get why this was necessary..."It was "necessary" because in these kinds of cases and some others (like the sports exam for boys), "forms" and "tradition" rule medicine, rather than science or common sense. These providers follow forms, don't ask questions, move'm in and move'em out, don't think for themselves. It's a numbers and money game. The providers follow orders. Who's giving the orders? The same people who create the forms. Now, the next question is, who creates the forms? Although doctors may have imput into the forms, they work for the insurance companies who create the forms. Risk management creates the forms. Lawyers create the forms. These kinds of exams in these specific contexts have nothing to do with good medicine or the health or dignity of the patient. They're all about CYA and money. MER/Doug
It may be too late, but i am posting my comments just in case.I live in Europe and had to have a forces entry exam during the 80's. The were 30 odd women in the room and we were examined at a number of tables and the end result that we all ended up naked. The room was full of dr and nurses as you would expect but also male and female admin staff. It was humiliating at first, but with the noise and actions in the room whilst my nudity could not be disguised it demise a bit. An outsider could say how barbaric is was, but i had to live in the same room and shower with the women for 3 months where nothing could be hidden and their was no modesty. Not only did it bring bonding but also an ability to take an order without question.
Stacey, can you tell us what country that was?Same sex nudity has traditional been a source of bonding, especially prominent for sports teams. Opposite gender exposure though changes the dynamics considerably. Some are fine with it; others are traumatized.
Not only was it bonding, but also a practical thing. Then you all shared one barrack block room and one shower.Everyone in that medical room had been through the same thing, but being naked in front of so many people was traumatic. Having thought about it, I do not think that it was done to humiliate us as the spirit of the doctors oath would have kicked in, but it was practical, and made us conformIn Europe we are far more liberated when it come to nudity. Sure we are not all nudists, but all beaches are topless and we have FKK areas which means "naked" and that's what you are in them and they are areas in public parks. The FKK municipal saunas are communal and swimming costumes are banned - it is compulsory that everyone is naked.Likewise in the doctors room, gowns are not common, and when i was in Germany i was in hospital and six of us shared a ward, with no curtains for privacy when being examined.
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