Virtual sex examples
For example, researchers in the US have used virtual reality to treat anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and substance abuse.Recently, researchers at the University of Cincinnati used a virtual environment to deliver a 10-week cognitive behavioural-based therapy to improve social skills in a group of juvenile offenders.Self-presence is the psychological connection the participant feels to the avatar representing them within the virtual world.The greater the level of self-presence, the more likely it is that users will identify with their virtual representation.Combining PPG and virtual reality to gauge the behaviour of sexual offenders in the past has been criticised because of the possibility that they game the system by simply not looking at the images.The eye-tracking capability of the headset overcomes this problem, recording not just which computer-generated images of adults or children the participants view, but over which areas of the body their gaze lingers.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.
Bobbie Ticknor does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
The quality of virtual reality systems – immersive, computer-generated worlds – has advanced dramatically in recent years, as can be seen by the expansive editorial from journalists testing Oculus Rift headsets.
The differences in the data recorded when showing participants sexual and non-sexual, or nude and non-nude images, are compared.
Studies have shown that the combination of these methods used in a virtual environment can effectively measure sexual interest.
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Ultimately this could lead to false assessments of sex offenders, either that they are rehabilitated when they are not or vice versa.