Extremely Gross ‘Two-Finger Test’ in India Still Apparently Counts as Admissible Evidence in Rape Cases
On Sunday, Human Rights Watch released a report that highlights the many ways in which police and government officials in India have failed to take rape seriously. The “two-finger test,” whereby, explains the Wall Street Journal, a doctor “inserts two fingers into a women’s vagina to determine its laxity and whether the hymen is broken, signaling previous sexual activity,” appears in Indian jurisprudence textbooks and is admissible as evidence in court in cases of rape.
That the test is still acceptable courtroom evidence, says the Human Rights Watch, is an extremely unfortunate fact because it helps further the belief that rape survivors are “loose women.” It also only serves to further emphasize how drastically the culture of rape prevention and prosecution in India needs to change. In the wake of a brutal (and now deadly) gang rape in New Delhi, some of India’s public officials have been intensely criticized for their seemingly lax attitudes towards rape, which some politicians seem to actually regard as consensual sex. The case of the 23-year-old woman who died Saturday from injuries sustained on Dec. 16 when she was raped and beaten with iron rods on a bus in New Delhi has sparked country-wide outrage at India’s treatment of rape and rape victims.