What is a Psychosexual Evaluation?
A psychosexual evaluation focuses on a student's psychological and sexual functioning. This evaluation examines the student's sexual interests, attitudes, and behaviors to see if there are deviancy issues. It also evaluates the student's risk for re-offending or acting out sexually in the future. Psychosexual assessments do not predict risk based upon any single factor or group of factors.
Instead, a prognosis is based upon a review of not only the history of sexual behaviors, pornography history, causes of sexual arousal, but also many other sexual behaviors or attitudes.
Taking part in a psychosexual evaluation does not assume that your son is a sex offender. It is not a form of sex offender treatment.
Instead, the psychosexual assessment outlines static (unchanging) and dynamic (changeable) factors to give parents a complete understanding of their son's sexual risk and arousal patterns. This way, parents better understand the circumstances that led or contributed to—or in some other way influenced—problematic sexual behavior.
Part of the evaluation will assess your son's responsivity factors. Responsivity factors can affect how your son responds to treatment. They include diagnosis, IQ, past sexual behavior, history of sexual abuse, and other psychological factors. This portion of the risk assessment will help determine treatment recommendations.
The psychological assessment will also consider attributes that reduce a person's risk level for unhealthy sexual behavior. These attributes are sometimes described as protective factors. Protective factors can help improve a teen's mental health and increase their understanding of good sexual health practices.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the ability to empathize, feeling connected to family members, and academic achievement as examples of protective factors. These and other protective factors may help prevent sexual recidivism.
It is essential to keep in mind that any assessment of risk is not a statement of certainty. No one can guarantee your son will or will not engage in problematic sexual behavior. Instead, the assessment of risk reflects the nature and severity of risk factors for any given adolescent.
Who Gives the Test?
Licensed Clinical Psychologists administer psychosexual evaluations with specific training in administering empirically normed and validated tests. They also conduct a personal interview with the student and parents to get multiple perspectives into the student's functioning and adolescent sexual behavior.
These professionals are specifically trained to evaluate adolescents. They understand adolescent health and are capable of providing a comprehensive assessment. These mental health professionals can understand young people's unique treatment needs and make specific recommendations for each teen's well-being.
Oxbow Academy is a member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA). ATSA recommends professionals have at least 2,000 hours of face-to-face contact with youth with sexual issues before consideration as a qualified evaluator.
Oxbow Academy offers parents a choice of independently contracted licensed psychologists to administer and evaluate their students. The involvement of a third-party professional allows an unbiased third party to give recommendations for the student’s treatment.
What Does It Include?
Psychosexual evaluations for adolescents are different than those given to adults. Teens are not treated as sex offenders. Instead, professionals with specialized training in helping teens will provide a comprehensive evaluation.
This evaluation considers common sexual behaviors, any previous history of sexual abuse or trauma, sexual development level, and possible risk behaviors or sexual behavior problems.
For an adolescent, the evaluation process involves:
- Interviews with primary care-givers
- Interviews with the student
- Additional information such as victim's statements, police reports, and any other relevant information
- Questionnaires completed by parents
- Psychological testing
- IQ testing
- Specific sexual questionnaires to be answered by the student *
- Risk assessment
- Validation test administered by an expert in adolescent sexual issues
At Oxbow Academy, during the time leading up to the psychosexual evaluation, teens are provided with other health services. These services involve health education, including age-appropriate sex education. Teens learn about consent involved in sexual intercourse. They also learn about teen pregnancy and why the information they see about sex on social media may teach unhealthy sexual practices.
Why is it Necessary?
A psychosexual evaluation can help determine if a student has a problem that requires sex-specific treatment. It can also help parents, educational consultants, and therapists determine the best treatment setting.
Test results can help determine what behavioral techniques are needed to reduce a student's deviant arousal.
Adolescents need this evaluation when there has been inappropriate sexual behavior, such as:
- Exposing themselves
- Peeping into others' windows
- Inappropriately touching others against their will
- Engaging in sexual activity with children who are three or more years younger
- Engaging in sexual activity with family members such as siblings
- Engaging in sexual activity with a non-consenting partner
- Engaging in sexual activity with someone who is significantly weaker in some way, such as mentally, physically, emotionally, or socially
- Engaging in sexual activity with animals
- Engaging in unusual sexual activity such as cross-dressing or stealing women's underwear
- Adolescents also need this evaluation after being found guilty or pleading guilty to a sex offense of any kind
What makes Oxbow Academy's 90-day Evaluation Process Different?
Oxbow offers a psychosexual evaluation near the end of the 90-days after a full sexual history and sexual disclosure is completed, along with a passed clinical polygraph.
The thoroughness of the treatment process ensures a more comprehensive and in-depth psychosexual evaluation is completed with more accurate information.
You can read more about the process here. When a student completes a psychosexual evaluation, the following things will be sent to the Licensed Clinical Psychologists:
- A full sexual disclosure
- Complete passed clinical polygraph
- A write-up from a current therapist of how the student has progressed clinically during their stay at Oxbow Academy
- A write-up from the residential department of how the student has progressed behaviorally during their stay at Oxbow Academy
- A write-up from the academic department of how the student has progressed academically during their stay at Oxbow Academy
Since any evaluation is only as good as the information provided, it may not be completely accurate if your son is struggling to disclose everything fully. The evaluation process at Oxbow Academy ensures that the student can reveal the full truth, move out of the shame they may feel, and start the healing process.
Once the truth is all out front, then a more accurate psychosexual evaluation can be completed. The 90-day evaluation and psychosexual evaluation provided at the end of the evaluation period at Oxbow will provide you with a correct and complete picture of what is going on with your son. It will provide more sound recommendations, helping you know if your son needs residential care for sex-specific issues or needs something else. You will have a clear direction on how to get the help your son needs.
* Note: These questionnaires assess the student's sexual interests, attitudes, and behaviors.