Sexual Variants – Homosexuals



This CIA declassified document was recovered from the internet archive. It was declassified in 2004. This document is from Alfred A. Gross, of the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants, addressed to Major Frank E. Mason. It draws various conclusions such as ones concerning the Navy and Homosexuals, and states that there are a large number of homosexuals amongst Germans.


Document details

DATE: December 18, 1941


NAMES mentioned:

  • Committee for the Study of Sex Variants – Alfred A. Gross, George William. Henry M.D. (Cornell University, born 1889)
  • Payne Whitney Psychiatric Hospital
  • Major Frank E. Mason – Vice-President National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Rockefeller Centre, New York City
  • Major Birdseye – suggested the letter be written.


Frank E. Mason (on right) May 1938


Dr. George William Henry

George W. Henry MD


A staff list for the Committee Dr. Henry headed, was given in a 1950 book that was published called “Sex Variants”.

Executive Committee:

  • Eugen Kahn, MD – Chairman, Yale University
  • Robert W. Laidlaw, MD – Secretary, Columbia University
  • Carney Landis, PhD – Treasurer, Columbia University
  • Robert L Dickinson, MD – National Committee on Maternal Health
  • George W. Henry, MD – Cornell University
  • Josephine H Kenyon, MD – Columbia University

Committee Members:

  • Karl M. Bowman, MD – Director, Psychiatric Division, Bellevue Hospital, New York City
  • Maurice R. Davie, PhD – Yale University
  • Earle T. Engle, PhD – Columbia University
  • K. S. Lashley, PhD – Harvard University
  • Austin H. MacCormick – Former Commissioner, Department of Correction, New York City
  • Adolph Meyer, MD – John Hopkins University
  • Catherine Cox Miles, PhD – Yale University
  • Harold D. Palmer, MD – University of Pennsylvania
  • Edward A. Strecker, MD – University of Pennsylvania
  • Lewis M. Terman, PhD – Stanford University
  • Dorothy S. Thomas, PhD – University of California


Apparently, The VP for NBC – Frank Mason – whom Alfred’s letter was addressed to, has a long history in Intelligence per Alfred:

“You and your long experience as an Intelligence officer…”


This is possibly a picture of Alfred A. Gross. (unverified as yet)

A bit about Alfred, (found at a lesbian/bi/gay website). Alfred was apparently a homosexual that used his positions of authority to garner sexual favors –

“Alfred A. Gross was born in 1895 into a New England family of some financial means. He received educational degrees from Amherst College (1915), Yale Divinity School (1917) and Oxford and received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Edinburgh in 1921.

It has been reported, but not independently verified, that Gross was ordained as an Anglican priest [Church of England] and then dismissed as a priest around 1937, presumably for homosexual activities. At this time he sought out Dr. George W. Henry in New York who had a reputation as a psychiatric specialist in homosexuality. Henry was impressed with Gross’s educational background and acumen and invited him to assist with research with homosexuals and sex offenders. This began a collaboration that lasted for several decades.

Gross became a staff member of the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants in 1938. In his first project Gross interviewed and collected data from one hundred homosexual offenders and lower-class  homosexual men in New York City. Gross wrote an article based upon this research which was published under Henry’s name. This pattern of collaboration–Gross gathering the data and writing the report under the auspices of the reputable Dr. Henry–proved to be mutually beneficial in their ongoing work together.

With the onset of World War II, Dr. Henry was engaged by the Selective Service System as one of the psychiatric consultants who screened men suspected of homosexuality. Henry delegated most of this work to Gross who worked out of the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at the New York Hospital. Gross ended up screening over 2,000 men, most of whom were disqualified from military service. It is conjectured that Gross offered to arrange for gay men in his social networks to be excused from military service. Also during this time, Gross was accused of “fraternization” with some of the men he interviewed. This behavior pattern of sexual involvement with clients and research subjects reappears throughout Gross’s career.”



Images and PDF files


For those who don’t know – OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and when that is done on images, it makes it so you can search the images for certain words or phrases that you are looking for.

Here is an OCR’d PDF file of all the pages of this document.

Sexual Variants – Homosexuals A. Gross 1941


Following are the individual images of the document, for those who prefer to look at them that way.

(click to enlarge)

homosexuals18dec1941a homosexuals18dec1941b

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. As a researcher into the careers of Dr. George W. Henry and his assistant Alfred A. Gross, I am very interested in finding the sources of the wonderful information on this page, specifically Gross’s biographical sketch and his Dec. 18, 1941 letter to Major Frank Mason. Great digging!


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