As a society, we have longed for a way to stop pedophiles from molesting our children. Very little sickens us more than the thought of one of our children falling prey to one of those characters. While we do lock them up once they have committed their vile acts, the question remains, “Can we afford to imprison all of those who commit crimes?” That is a concern for all of us: affordability. In some cases, a remedy to that cost has been seen as chemical castration of sex offenders.
For most of us, castration refers to the idea of removal of the testes. It’s a small, quick surgery that removes the testes, and the removal of these organs means that a castrated male would not be able to perform sexually. It is in this way that castration is effective against sexual offenders.
There are complications that occasionally occur when one is castrated, and some suggest that this violates his human rights. It was later discovered that there are drugs that can do the same thing.
So instead of surgical castration which is permanent, some offenders have been put on chemical castration which is effective only as long as one continues their use. If these drugs are stopped it’s only a matter of a short time before the male offender is able to return to sexual normalcy.
There are several drugs that can be used to chemically castrate a male offender. They all work in much the same manner; they reduce the male body’s effectiveness in producing sex hormones. There are some side effects: the male may begin seeing his breasts enlarge, and he may lose body hair and muscle mass. These side effects can be alarming to the individual, but they are all reversible once the drug is stopped.
Once a course of drugs have been started, the man will soon lose his sex drive. The drug can also reduce sexual fantasies, and the capacity for arousal is lost. It is in this way that “the powers that be” hope to control the sexual maladjustment of child rapist.
All this is contingent upon the male offender taking the drugs on a continual basis. There is a birth control pill, Depo-Provera, that is often used to chemically castrate male offenders. The downside for this drug, at least as far as the public is concerned, is that the drug must be administered via injection, and this has to occur every three months. So the male offender would have to make an appearance every 90 days in order to maintain his castrated status.
This might be as close to a silver bullet for sex offenders as we might ever have. While the drugs physically remove the ability to offend, they don’t necessarily remove all of the desire.