Ysabet (umadoshi) wrote in little_details,
Ysabet
umadoshi
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Comparative luminescence of various bodily fluids under black light

You'd think this would be an easier question to find the answer to online, but apparently not! I don't think the specifics of the story setting matter at all, but for the record, it's very near-future, with no significant changes in forensics and/or lighting options from what we have now.

I've Googled for various combinations of "black light", "UV light", "bodily fluids", "semen", and "vaginal fluids", and have found plenty of sites that list which substances can be seen under black light. (I've also checked the "forensics: misc" tag here.) What I can't seem to find a firm answer on is whether the degree of luminescence varies much, if at all, between different bodily fluids. Some sites indicate that semen shows up a lot more visibly than vaginal fluids, while others list them in a way that indicates they'd look essentially the same.

My question is twofold: do semen and vaginal fluids show up equally well on skin and/or fabric, or is one noticeably easier to detect? And does the quality of the UV lighting make much difference? (Meaning, would either substance show up under, say, forensic lighting but not under the kind of lighting you'd get from buying a black light bulb at a store?)

Or, for a practical scenario: would a cis woman who'd previously had sex only with other cis women or solo under black lights see any noticeable difference in the aftermath on the sheets etc. if she had relatively messy sex with a cis man under the same lighting?
Tags: ~forensics (misc)
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