The problem I see from measuring a physical response is it doesn't test what actions different people (offenders/non-offenders) will take in response to arousal. I might find a particular man sexy, but I'm not going to stalk him or slip a drug into his drink so I can get what I want from him.
An appeals court has ruled that a federal judge erred in requiring a sex offender to undergo a periodic test that measures his response to erotic images. In its decision handed down Tuesday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals described the test as "Orwellian" because it examines the mind of Matthew Weber, not just his body.
The three-judge appeals court panel unanimously vacated U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson's 2001 judgment and sent Weber's case back to district court. Pregerson had ruled that Weber, in order to be released from prison, would have to undergo tests in which a pressure-sensitive electronic device is placed on his groin and his response to stimulating images is monitored, said his lawyer, Jonathan Libby.
Even though the sex offender in this case was convicted of possessing child pornography, this test may not be a good predictor of future behavior. And that may be true even for those able to pass a test like this.
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