Chemical Castration

A South Korean law allowing the use of ‘chemical castration’ will come into effect today after it was passed in parliament a year ago.  The procedure, which involves the administration of testosterone-suppressing hormones to reduce or inhibit libido and sexual activity, is often introduced in the hope of preventing rapists and sexual offenders from repeating their crimes. Impetus for this new form of punishment came after the South Korea was beset with waves of sexual assault cases in the years leading up to 2008.

Of course, the law is not without its detractors. From the Associated Press report a year ago:

Some critics of the procedure have argued that while it may stop sex crimes, it doesn’t necessarily prevent other violent crimes. Civil liberties advocates have also called the procedure barbaric, and some papers in South Korea raised ethical concerns […]

David Benjamin, a Ph.D who is a clinical pharmacologist and forensic toxicologist at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston, said hindering physically arousal may not deter mental arousal.

“Arousal is in the brain,” he said. “It transfers to a bodily function when you become aroused, but I don’t know whether there has been enough scientific research to prove that hindering a bodily function can keep you from being aroused.”

Here’s a balanced entry discussing the benefits and disadvantages of the implementing the procedure of sexual offenders but ultimately recommending it as a better alternative than a prison sentence with little effective rehabilitation.

What are your own takes regarding the procedure? Will it be an effective solution to prevent repeated sexual offences or will it backfire? Does it violate any moral or ethical concern? 


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