When someone breaks into your home and steals from you, you have much evidence that a crime was committed — the broken door, the mess made by the criminal would make it evident. When it comes to the extremely vile crime of rape, however, it is considerably more difficult to prove that anything happened and it often comes down to the word of the victim against the person or people being accused of the crime. What seems even worse than this, however, is when the victim is forced to prove that the crime took place through humiliating tests — such as the so called ‘two-finger’ test that currently is employed in India for many women who have undergone the worst sort of abuse.

During the two finger test that the rape victim takes, the doctor inserts two fingers into the woman’s vagina to see if there has been actual sexual activity and if the hymen is intact. I cannot help but think that this must be a most humiliating and shameful experience for the woman, who has already undergone the experience of being violated forcibly and to now have to prove that it happened through physical testimony, as it were, could be considered even worse than the crime itself.

The problem as I see it is that rape is too often see as a women’s rights and health issue whereas it is in fact a human rights issue. When a woman is raped, she is not the only one who is affected. She of course is the most strongly affected but we cannot forget the family and friends around her. It affects women and men and for every woman that is raped and has their rapist get away with the crime, another person can come along and think that they can just as easily get away with it as well. In India, for example, only a quarter of alleged rapists are convicted, which is hugely problematic whether it means that there are women falsely accusing men of rape or if the men are just being acquitted despite being guilty. Tests exist that prove the presence of a male assault exist that do not humiliate a woman like this. In any case, the so-called ‘two-finger’ test needs to go.


  1. Fascinating topic, Gordon, thanks for finding this story for us. I’m still not certain why this “two finger” test is considered medically reliable as an indicator of rape.

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