At the beginning of Dune, Gaius Helen Mohiam uses the gom jabbar to test Paul Atreides and confirm that he is human. During the preceding conversation, she states plainly that it is seldom administered to males.
“Servants will not pass your mother who stands guard outside that door. Depend on it. Your mother survived this test. Now it’s your turn. Be honored. We seldom administer this to men-children.”
Curiosity reduced Paul’s fear to a manageable level. He heard truth in the old woman’s voice, no denying it. If his mother stood guard out there ... if this were truly a test.... And whatever it was, he knew himself caught in it, trapped by that hand at his neck: the gom jabbar. He recalled the response from the Litany against Fear as his mother had taught him out of the Bene Gesserit rite.
Later on, when Jessica and Paul encounter Stilgar and his troop, she pronounces that he has already been tested with the gom jabbar which is apparently what every male Fremen goes through "in the time of the mihna, at the test of aql". This is confirmed later on:
Jamis stared at her, fright visible on his face.
“I’ll teach you agony,” she said in the same tone. “Remember that as you fight. You’ll have agony such as will make the gom jabbar a happy memory by comparison. You will writhe with your entire—”
“She tries a spell on me!” Jamis gasped. He put his clenched right fist beside his ear. “I invoke the silence on her!”
So, Fremen males—presumably all of them—are tested with the gom jabbar as a coming-of-age rite. This is however not in keeping with what the Reverend Mother stated earlier.
- Why is the gom jabbar seldom administered to males by the Bene Gesserit?
- Why are Fremen males allowed to take it?
- Why do the Fremen even have access to it? Did the Bene Gesserit share this secret with them for the prophecy?
- Do Fremen females also take this test?