What is the two finger test criticized by the Supreme Court recently? How far would the apex court directive go towards eliminating this practice?

In a progressive call, recently the Supreme Court of India has slammed the “two finger test” and said that those conducting it on alleged rape victims will be declared guilty of misconduct.

Two-finger test:

  • The ‘two finger test’ or ‘per vaginum examination’ is an unscientific and regressive practice, carried out by a medical practitioner, involving examination of vagina of an alleged rape victim.
  • It involves inserting two fingers in the vagina to assess laxity of vaginal muscles and examining the hymen to check if she is a habituated to sexual intercourse.
  • It is based on the incorrect assumption that a sexually active woman cannot be raped.

Criticism:

  • It has no scientific validity.
  • It does not provide any definite information regarding allegation of rape.
  • It re-victimises, re-traumatises and humiliates the victim.

Way forward:

  • The Supreme Court a court has ordered that workshops should be held for health workers to prevent the test from being conducted on rape victim.
  • The Ministry of health and family welfare should circulate guidelines regarding prohibition of this practice to private and government hospitals.

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