'Mandatory Potency Tests Not Practical'

Health experts advocate counselling for couples to save families

Published: 14th September 2014 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2014 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

MADURAI: Advocating pre-marital counselling instead of making potency tests mandatory for marriage to prevent break-up of wedlock, health experts requested the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court to constitute an expert committee to formulate the modalities to study various aspects on the sensitive issue.

Participating in the special sitting of the Court, presided by Justice N Kirubakran on Saturday, to ascertain the views of various stakeholders to make potency tests mandatory for marriage, Dr R Ravichandran, Head of the Andrology Department, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre submitted that fertility and impotency are two different issues.

“It is not practically feasible to make pre-marital potency tests mandatory because most of the cases related to impotency are psychological in nature. Further, it is also not financially viable for the people,” he said.Lack of understanding of lovemaking, anxiety, fear, depression, loss of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and stress were the reasons behind the Erectile Dysfunction (ED). “For instance, we have come across cases where a man with normal erection is unable to perform sex with his spouse because she resembles his mother.  In another case, a man couldn’t have intercourse since he is detested by his wife’s body smell,” the physician pointed out.

Non-cooperation from women and making false allegations of impotency also cause psychological problems. “Recently, when we examined a woman who complained about her husband’s impotency, we found it to be false as she disliked his personality,” he said.

Elaborating the issue, Ravichandran said all EDs could be rectified. “While only one per cent of male population faces ED, making the remaining 99 per cent to go for premarital potency test would only cause a negative impact,” he claimed. At this juncture, Justice Kirubakaran intervened and said, “Most of the laws are there to correct the wrong behaviour of just one percent of the population.”

When the Judge asked whether length of the penis might cause impotency among men, Ravichandran said, “If a man’s penis is less than 4 cm, he may have erection, but can’t have penetration.” The better way to address this problem, according to the doctor is to educate the people through sex education. “If  a man has erection for every 20 minutes during his sleep, he is potent. Awareness meeds to be created among the general public on these aspects,” he added.

Hence, he suggested setting up of counselling centres to address these issues with qualified counsellors, capable enough to understand the problems of the couples and maintain confidentiality of the counselling process. Both Ravichandran and Ramasubramanian requested the judge to constitute a panel comprising legal and medical experts, social workers and the public to address this issue in depth and submit a report to the Court in the next two months.

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