Two-finger test

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    In News

    • Recently, the Supreme Court said that those found indulging in the practice of the ‘two-finger test’ on alleged rape victims will be declared guilty of misconduct.

    About Two-finger test 

    • The two-finger test is an invasive, unscientific and regressive practice where two fingers are inserted in the vagina to assess laxity of vaginal muscles and examine the hymen. 
    • The two-finger test or per vaginum examination is conducted on alleged victims of sexual assault and rape to determine whether they are habituated to sexual intercourse.
      • The test is based on the incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped.

    Criticism

    • The two-finger test has no scientific basis and neither proves nor disproves allegations of rape.
    • It instead re-victimises and re-traumatises women who may have been sexually assaulted and is an affront to their dignity. 
    • Section 375 (rape) of the IPC: Whether a woman is habituated to sexual intercourse or habitual to sexual intercourse is irrelevant for the purposes of determining whether the ingredients of Section 375 (rape) of the IPC are present in a particular case.

    Way forward

    • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013
      • It amended the Evidence Act to insert Section 53A that the evidence of a victim’s character or of her previous sexual experience with any person shall not be relevant to the issue of consent or the quality of consent, in prosecutions of sexual offences.
    • Workshops 
      • The SC also ordered workshops to be held to communicate the appropriate procedure to determine sexual assault and rape. 
    • Curriculum in medical schools 
      • SC also directed the government to review the curriculum in medical schools so ensure the practice is no longer used.

    Source:IE