Thursday, March 19, 2009


Recently we had an interesting discussion about a recent rape case that was in the MSM. I don't remember the particulars, however the discussion turned to punishment for convicted rapists. Obviously long jail sentences are very common, however there are lots of places that use chemical castration in certain cases.
Chemical castration basically involves giving the male offender female birth hormonal birth control at very large doses. This differs from mechanical castration as does not sterilize the offender and the effects are reversible. The birth control hormone is progestin and it "quells the sex drive of offenders", presumably by lowering the testosterone levels in the blood stream.
Although the possibility of getting some serious man-boobs (gynecomastia) adds embarrassment to the punishment, some had a problem with the concept of chemical castration. Obviously there is a large violence component of the act of rape and this treatment suggests that sexual desire is to blame for the violence. If you can eliminate the sexual desire you can get rid of the violence. This seemed unexceptable to some, in that their perception of rape was that it is a violet act, not a sexual one. But of course high testosterone levels are linked to also linked to violent behavior, so perhaps it is two birds with one stone.
I did some quick searching for the efficacy of chemical castration on recidivism rates and it seems like the data supports castration as an effective means of preventing reoffending (1,2).
BTW - Mike Tyson, the boxer/convicted rapist (pictured), was NOT chemically castrated, his voice has always been that high. To retain a high-pitched voice you have to be castrated before the onset of puberty.


The Doc said...

Chemical Castration was (and still is in places) the treatment for homosexuality. Alan Turing was sentenced to chemical castration after being outed as a homosexual... you know, after designing the computer, the first computer languages, coming up with the Turing test, and proving mathematically that you can't always predict if a computer program will run to an end. Oh, and solving the Enigma... that too.

Brooke said...

Just an observation... I think the relative lack of comments on this post reveals an underlying bias in the (dare I assume, mostly male) readership against the word "castration" lol.