The ABEL Assessment for Sexual Interest

The ABEL test is an instrument used to measure sexual interest.  It is one of many tools that can be used in the evaluation process.  The ABEL is a non-invasive computerized test that takes about 2 hours to complete.

The ABEL measures deviant sexual interest, including:

  • interest in children 2-4, 8-10 and, 14-17
  • sexual violence against adult men
  • sexual violence against adult women
  • sadism

The test assesses:

  • most dangerous sex offenders
  • least dangerous sex offenders
  • most likely to re-commit a sex crime

Is highly acceptable:

  • nothing is attached to the sex offender’s body
  • bypasses the need for nude slides typically used in sex offender testing
The ABEL provides correction administrators, correction system therapists and, officers
supervising sex offenders on parole or probation an objective record of their
response to 22 separate targets for sex crimes. This is the first non-invasive computerized
test to produce an objective measure of the sexual interest in children and sexual violence.
In 30 minutes, the client sees 160 slides of clothed adults, teenagers, young children and,
very young children. In approximately 90 minutes, the client completes a questionnaire that
gives detailed past history of his arrests, convictions, accusation, number of attempts at sexual
crime and number of victims, along with details of the age of onset, degree of control and
current interest in 22 sexual deviations.
The client can complete the entire test in approximately 2 hours. A summary of the test
results can usually be sent out within 10 working days of when the test is given. The summary
will include the client’s self-report of behaviors in 21 areas of deviancy as well as an objective
report of interest in children or violence.
All tests are also scored using data from research by Hanson & Bussiere to determine a weighted
relapse prediction (rp) score and relapse prediction percentile. The percentile score is done in
comparison to 1400 known offenders.

This instrument will assist in determining various treatment issues including:

  1. Separating those who have no interest in children from those who deny interest.
  2. Dangerousness (sadistic interest in violence vs. opportunistic offending).
  3. Violence to children
  4. Arousal to children
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