Sex tests that shock
Tests for pregnancy and HIV are very reliable. But what about tests for virginity, love, paedophilia, penis fitness and homosexuality?… These global news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.
Story: ‘“Love-test” identifies newly-weds true feelings’.
Target group: Those out-of-touch with their innermost emotions.
Description: Scientists have developed a new test that ‘gauges the true feelings of newly-weds towards each other, rather than what they say to other people or even admit to themselves.’ Based on the psychological principle of association, the test shows subjects fleeting pictures of their partner which then unconsciously triggers a positive or negative state of mind.
Effectiveness: ‘These immediate gut level responses seem to be pretty powerful in predicting whether people stay happy,’ the lead researcher claims. However he also warns that the test only showed a ‘trend’ and some people who had a negative reaction were still happily married years later and others who had a positive reaction ended up divorced.
Penis fitness test
Story: ‘Now, a device to check your penis’ fitness’.
Target group: Insecure men.
Description: SexFit claims to measure such penis performance factors as ‘thrusts per minute’ and ‘duration’.
Effectiveness: Unknown. The sex toy company developing SexFit is currently searching for men willing to test the prototype. Volunteers are apparently lining up – which only proves that the company has a marketing department that’s effective.
Story: ‘First accurate psychiatric test for pedophiles reported’.
Target group: Potential child rapists.
Description: Pedophiles could be identified with a 90 percent accuracy rate in a study using word association and the rapid projection of photographs. ‘The results are based on the concept of implicit associations that are thought by psychiatrists to be automatic, unconscious, and difficult to repress.’
Effectiveness: The researchers warn that further study is needed before the test can be used by police. Also, the test could not distinguish between men with such urges and those who have acted on such urges.
HIV home test
Story: ‘The HIV self-test kit: coming soon to a pharmacy (or sex shop) near you’.
Target group: People too embarrassed to go to a clinic for a test.
Description: If there’s a simple home test for pregnancy, why isn’t there one for the HIV virus?
Effectiveness: Effective but misguided: ‘For all the decades that the AIDS scourge has ravaged the planet, it has been the established procedure to first submit to intensive counselling (usually by a certified counsellor) and only then have the HIV test done. It has been understood all along that you have to prepare people psychologically for the possibility of the tragic news that they are HIV+ve.’
Male fertility home test
Story: ‘Take-home male fertility test allows men to monitor sperm quality’.
Target group: The one in five men who have a low-sperm count.
Description: TrakFertility is a disposable male fertility test that ‘gives results in just minutes – making the test easier than checking the car’s oil’.
Effectiveness: Unknown. The reputable company is first developing an app that will allow men to discuss the results directly with their doctor.
Story: ‘Female Indonesian police recruits forced to undergo “virginity tests”’.
Target group: Women hoping for a career in law enforcement.
Description: ‘Although women often complain to their superiors about the exam – which measures whether a woman’s hymen is still intact – and a former head of police personnel agreed to abolish the test in 2010, it continues to be practised in the same way it has for decades…’
Effectiveness: Zero. Hymens can break without sexual penetration – for example, through a ‘two-finger examination that leaves women traumatised, humiliated and in pain’.
Story: ‘Egypt: Eight men sentenced to three years in prison for “gay wedding” video’.
Target group: Men accused of ‘debauchery’.
Description: Eight men were given anal examinations to ascertain whether they were homosexual. This ‘medical’ test showed they had ‘not practised homosexuality recently or in the past.’ However, they were still sentenced to three years in prison for appearing in a video that features two men kissing.
Effectiveness: Zero. As with virginity tests, anal exams to ascertain homosexuality say more about the testers than the testees.
So here’s the big question: who’s going to come up with a test to test the testers?
What tests related to love and relationships do you think should be developed? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.