Castration anybody...?

by Rabbit 31 Replies latest social current

  • Rabbit

    I've wondered, too, about any aggressiveness after castration. Remember -- chemical castration is NOT truly castration--just a lowering of testoterone. The thing is--it's widely known that high testosterone plays a large part in male aggressiveness. It's not the only factor, otherwise all men would be uncontrollable. Individuals brains react differently, just like the APA study above showed, it did help 40 out of 48 test subjects. That's hopeful, at the least.

    I tried to post the below earlier:

    Castration often fails to halt offenders

    Sometimes a good idea is ill-conceived.

    When I first heard that some states were mandating castration for repeat sex offenders, I thought it was a good idea. If these predators can't control themselves, why not have a doctor do it for them? There was a time when castration was a brutal act of physical mutilation. But now it can be done with a series of injections, or by simply removing the testicles and leaving the rest of the male plumbing intact.

    Given the damage rapists and other sexual predators do to their victims, that sounded harmless enough to me. But when I read in an Orlando newspaper last month that a Florida judge ordered a first-time rapist to undergo chemical castration after he completes a 20-year sentence, I began to question the wisdom of how this issue is being handled. In the Florida case, the judge, fearing that the man would still be a threat after his imprisonment, ruled he'd have to take regular injections to reduce his sex drive during a 10-year probation period.

    But what happens after those 10 years, or if the offender stops taking the treatment? In another case, Joseph Frank Smith, a sex offender who voluntarily underwent chemical castration nearly 2 decades ago, pleaded guilty in 1998 to another sexual assault, this time on a 5-year-old Virginia girl. At the time, his lawyer said he thought Smith was no longer taking the chemical treatments.

    Prisoners opt for procedure

    Like Smith, who served no time for the earlier offense, other sex predators are opting for castration to avoid or lessen a prison sentence. Last year, a 25-year-old pedophile avoided prison time for sexual offenses on two young girls after a different Florida judge ordered him to take chemical castration treatments for life. And in California, the first state to mandate castration for some sex offenders, at least 15 inmates have asked to undergo castration in the hope that it would increase their chances of being set free.

    There's something wrong with this picture.

    While lawmakers in a growing number of states are enacting legislation to mandate castration for sex offenders, a surprising number of sexual predators are clamoring to undergo this procedure. The politicians are driven, no doubt, by the public's gnawing fear of crime, even as crime rates nationally are declining. But what is it that pushes sexual predators to want to give up their virility? I suspect it's that they understand better than the rest of us that rape and most other sexual offenses have little to due with sex — and more to do with physical domination.

    Castration isn't likely to stop a sex offender from preying on people. It will only change the way these predators go about their crimes. As Florida prosecutor Jerry Burford told the St. Petersburg Times: "I get a lot of people who are impotent that still commit sexual battery. It's not their gonads that cause them to commit sexual battery. It's their heads."

    A better alternative

    Instead of dumping such sexual predators into prison for long periods of time or forcing them to undergo chemical castration, judges should commit them to high-security mental facilities where they can get psychiatric help in combination with drugs to reduce their sex drives. While chemical castration can turn off a predator's physical urges for a time, psychological counseling is needed to suppress the mental addiction that drives their deviant behavior.

    But don't expect this to happen. For most politicians, the financial cost of such a fix is too great and the political return is too small. Most people care little about what happens to criminals once they are locked away. While taking sexual predators off the streets is an obsession of many folks, few people care about the criminals' need for psychiatric therapy.

    Without such help, sexual predators are doomed to repeat their crimes. Lawmakers who think that castration alone will change this outcome are fooling themselves — and the people who put them in office.

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