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Less Humiliation for Boys

April 16, 2011 permalink

British Columbia has been using the penile plethysmograph, the infamous "peter-meter" used to test, and humiliate, men and boys accused of sexual offenses. By announcing the end of the test for children, the government sidestepped the question of why it was introduced in the first place.



B.C. scraps 'peter meter' sex test

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government has agreed to never bring back the controversial “peter meter” test.

On Thursday, the B.C. children’s watchdog released a report calling for a permanent stop to penile testing on young sex offenders, because there’s no way to determine if the examination works or if it’s harmful to young boys.

“If there is more evidence in the future that proves the test reliable, it could be reinstated, (but) only with steps taken to strengthen supports for young people,” Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond said.

The B.C. Liberal government stopped the test last year on sex offenders as young as 13. It required them to look at images of nude and semi-nude children, and listen to audio descriptions of forced sex. The physical responses of the boys were then measured.

“This was only one test and they certainly didn’t use it in all the cases,” said Children and Family Minister Mary McNeil. “It wasn’t a clear-cut issue and the professional opinion is mixed.”

The test designers argued it could prevent young sexual offenders from re-offending.



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Source: Pacific Psychological Assessment Corporation, website selling images for testing sexual suspects