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Plethysmograph Assessment (From Managing Adult Sex Offenders: A Containment Approach, P 14.1-14.16, 1996, Kim English, Suzanne Pullen, and Linda Jones, eds. - See NCJ- 162392)

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
The use of the plethysmograph for measuring sexual arousal patterns among sex offenders is discussed.
Field research conducted as part of an NIJ-sponsored study of the management of sex offenders in the community confirmed that sex offender treatment is essential to successful management. Knowledge abut the offender's deviant sexual arousal patterns is essential to developing and implementing an appropriate treatment and community supervision plan. Phallometric testing is currently the most common method used to measure deviant sexual arousal. However, some controversy exists over its use, particularly with juvenile sex offenders. The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers has developed recommendations for evaluators who use the plethysmograph in the assessment of adult and juvenile offenders. Recommended measures include informed consent prior to each assessment, the opportunity for parents of juvenile sex offenders to review stimulus materials before giving consent, the use of advisory boards to review the appropriateness of the method in cases involving offenders under age 15, the use of polygraphs to verify an offender's assault and sexual offender, the use of qualified evaluators with extensive training and experience, and a review of visual stimulus materials by appropriate State or Federal officials. Footnotes and 33 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996