Abel screening, Diana screening and the Abel Assessment for sexual interest–2 are methods used by a number of American organisations including mental health professionals, to determine sexual interest in children among potential employees and patients. The range of tests described as Abel screening were devised by Gene Abel. Abel screening has been described as a blueprint for suppression of individuals expressing a sexual attraction to minors. However, due to its inaccuracies and lack of empirical support, Abel screening may be better characterised as a precursor to indiscriminate, witch hunt like conditions.
This test was emotively named after a severely abused girl who commited suicide. It involves showing the participant a range of child and adult pictures and deceiving them as to the real intentions of the researcher. Whilst participants are asked to describe how sexually arousing they find the pictures, the test bases its conclusions on the length of time the participant takes to make the decision. If you spend too long looking at the child images, you are according to the protocol a probable child molester.
Whilst the official Diana website claims that the screen can outright identify "child molesters", this contradicted even by Abel's main site - stating that it can only identify risk.
Karen Franklin PhD notes that the research used to support screening has no peer review and even in Abel's cited literature, the screen itself produces numerous false positives:
- "The materials did include a handout on the aforementioned (unpublished?) study of candidates for religious ordination. Of the 135 applicants screened, 18 (or about 13 percent) failed the test. Of those, 7 "were found to be true sexual risks to children" (based on followup inquiry and polygraph testing), while 2 "were found to have mental health problems" and 9 "required a closer look, but were found to have little or no risk."
- Stated another way, that's a false positive rate of at least 50 percent. Even if it is just a screening test, psychologists should be cautious in administering a test with such a high false-positive rate and no published, peer-reviewed data on its reliability or validity."
How to pass Diana
Spend less or equal amounts of time when looking at images of younger models. The same applies for the longer Abel Assessment for sexual interest–2 which contains an identical component.