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Some questions will cause some people to panic regardless. "Have you ever had sexual thoughts about underage people? Yes or No."

Better to say No and fail the test than say Yes and show consistent polygraphs but still fail the clearance and position.

Lying to the investigator is worse. Ultimately getting a clearance depends on a judgement call from several people. Answering truthfully to a very open ended question like that is not necessarily a dealbreaker.

More targeted followup questions may be worse. Stuff like acting on impulses, doing stuff that you could be blackmailed for, seeking out materials, etc...

People see questions on the forms and think that answering yes anywhere means no job, but what they really want to know is if someone can get leverage over you to betray their trust and if you can show a good level of judgement and maturity.

yes, these are factors.

now lets address how the federal government exempted itself in being able to use lie detector tests for employment when we know it doesn't work

the point is that the rationale is flawed. "but muh blackmail" yeah the ENTIRE private sector wanted to use that excuse too.

Raises the question is No the 'right' answer? 'Yes [when I was 15]' is an entirely reasonable, and I suspect common, truthful answer, so saying No might make you stand out more, even though the obvious 'right' answer is to say No.

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