Virtual sex examples

It offers greater potential to customise treatments to each individual, uses the known beneficial effects of virtual reality-based cognitive behavioural therapy to boost offender rehabilitation, and can be used to gauge how effective a treatment has been.With prison overcrowding and reducing budgets, this technology has the potential to improve lives and slow the revolving door in and out of the criminal justice system.Benbouriche uses a virtual reality headset and various audio-visual stimuli within a “cave”, or a cube of screens, to provide an immersive experience to the participant.Virtual reality treatments depend on immersion and presence.The very realism offered by virtual therapies can also throw up barriers.Potential side effects for participants include what is known as cybersickness, with various symptoms from eye strain, headache and nausea, to sweating, disorientation, and vertigo. In some countries, even computer-generated images of nude individuals, especially those of children, can be illegal.They used headsets that track eye movements and record how long participants spent gazing at images.They also measured participants sexual arousal through penile plethsymography (PPG), which measures the flow of blood to the penis.

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University of Montreal researcher Massil Benbouriche has used this realism to help understand the impulses of sex offenders in order to find better ways of treating them.

Key to using virtual reality as therapy is the degree to which an individual identifies with the world.

The degree to which individuals can achieve presence determines the likelihood that the things learned in the virtual world will transfer to real life.

In the University of Montreal study, the researchers recorded the participants’ physiological responses to what they were seeing and hearing.

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The differences in the data recorded when showing participants sexual and non-sexual, or nude and non-nude images, are compared.

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