Testing man's ability to commit sexual assault

Testing man's ability to commit sexual assault

Potency test, the one self-claimed godman and rape accused Nityananada underwent on Monday, is conducted in medic-legal cases to assess one’s ability to commit a sexual assault.

These tests are usually conducted by urologists with expertise in andrology. Although these tests contribute in ascertaining the ability to attain an erection but by themselves they have a rather limited role.

Speaking about the test, Dr Saurabh Bhargava, HoD Urology, Narayana Health said for patients having problems with erection, the tests have to be ‘goal directed’ that implies tests have to be directed with a particular treatment in mind. “Simply conducting tests without any treatment in mind is a rather obsolete approach in the present day and age,” he opined. Although, in medico legal cases, it is done to test one’s ability to get an erection and therefore be capable of performing a sexual act, he added.

The methods that are considered include a combination of blood tests and some specialised scans apart from ensuring that no systemic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease are co-existing in certain cases, Dr Bhargava said. These tests include:
n Blood test: This will usually be the first line of test including hormone tests. As a part of the test, testosterone and pro lactin levels are measured.

n Rigi Scan: The test is conducted with the help of a few rings and the rigidity of the penis is determined.

n Penile Dopler Ultra Sound Test: The test is conducted to check the flow of blood into the penis. Dr Bhargava explained that the inflow and outflow of blood would help understand the erectile function. In order to have an erection, blood must flow into the penis, but not flow out to maintain a natural erection. This test is conducted either by administering drugs orally or injecting them into the penis.

n Drugs injected into the penis: These are more efficient compared to the oral medications. These are more likely to be used in medico legal cases. Following injection of the stimulant, blood supply to the penis is examined and conclusions drawn based on the quality and the ability to sustain an erection.

Oral drugs: In addition to administering the drug, the person undergoing the test is provided with materials such as books containing erotic matter and is checked for arousal and potency. 

Time of the test

Another senior urologist in the City opined that the test would completely depend on the factors involved at the time of examination. “The process, especially when administered oral stimulants depends on both physical and psychological factors. 50 per cent of the results totally depend on the mindset of the person. Sometimes, even when all physical parameters are normal, there might be no arousal due to lack of psychological constituent,” he opined.

Also, the blood test might not hold valid for those suffering from diabetes, hypertension and such problems.

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