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Books, Journals, New Media
October 18, 2000

Gay Men's HealthSmearing the Queer: Medical Bias in the Health Care of Gay Men

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


by Michael Scarce (Haworth Gay and Lesbian Studies), 199 pp, $39.95, ISBN 0-7890-0410-0, paper, $17.95, ISBN 1-56023-926-3, Binghamton, NY, Harrington Park Press, 1999.

JAMA. 2000;284(15):1986-1987. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1986-JBK1018-2-1

Smearing the Queer: Medical Bias in the Health Care of Gay Men, by Michael Scarce, is a fascinating read. The author takes us on a journey through the development of the Reality female condom, originally named the Aegis barrier pouch before all hints of use by a male homosexual population were removed. He traces the appearance of the term gay bowel syndrome through a meticulously tracked-down set of articles, elucidating the homophobic thinking and gross assumptions made along the way—the term gay is never defined, but rather it is assumed that if one has gay bowel syndrome one must then be gay!

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