Controversial testing practices could be key to stopping sexual abuse

Image by Flickr user spiralstares

Since 1996, William Burke, 53, has been using plethysmograph´╗┐ (PPG) and other controversial testing practices in an attempt to prevent child abuse. While his methods have pure intentions, they are not always seen as positive; in fact, one Lowcountry judge dubbed Burke as a "witch doctor" at one time.

So what in the world is PPG technology? Essentially, it's a penile lie detector. It measures arousal while the patient is exposed to photographs and/or audio recordings.

Burke uses data from PPG and other tests to make risk recommendations. He explains: "If a man accused of molesting his stepdaughter is brought in and tests positive for arousal to young girls, I will suggest he not be allowed back home."

While Burke works with all kinds of patients, he says that about 80% of his work deals with men that have sexually abused children. Burke's goal? To stop child abusers.

The Post and Courier has a great in-depth report on this fascinating subject; read it here.´╗┐

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