Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mary Polak: Peter Meter Permanently Prohibited

Mary Polak, B.C. minister of children and family development puts the kibosh on junk science

It's called penile plethysmography and it's been administered to boys aged 12 - 17 during the past 20 years by BC's Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services as part of their Youth Sex Offender Treatment Program.

On par with rice-in-mouth lie detection and the witch burnings and hand-boilings of medieval times, the accused is damned if they do and damned if they don't:

Alex's re-education: click image for YouTube video.

Vivian Luk, Vancouver Sun:
The tests...involve attaching a "penile plesthysmograph" to adolescent boys' genitals to measure sexual responses. The youths — aged 12 to 17 — were shown photographs of naked or semi-naked adults, children and infants...
To Polak's credit, she quickly snipped the program after learning about the creepy Clockwork Orange nature of penis-measurement science, alongside revelations of a Youth Services medical technician charged with an unrelated sexual offense.

Research by Drs. Barker and Howell1 shows that penile plethysmography borders on junk science (no pun intended) because:

* No standardization
* Test results are not sufficiently accurate
* Results are subject to faking and voluntary control by test subjects
* High incidence of false negatives and false positives
* Results are open to interpretation

1Barker and Howell, The Plethysmograph: A Review of Recent Literature, 20 Bull. Am. Acad. of Psychiatry and Law 13 (1992)

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