Should paedophilies be castrated?

castrationFriend of the programme Nuala got in touch with this story.

Last week Poland’s lower house approved chemical castration in certain cases of pedophilia.

Today Russian lawmakers are considering it. Offenders would, in general, have the choice between chemical castration or a long prison sentence possibly life in prison.

The Czech system has gone a step further in some cases with surgical castration.

Castrating paedophiles – medieval practice or a strong deterrent? This blog argues it out.

Do you agree with the Polish and Russian proposals to tackle sex crimes against children? Or is there a better way ?

65 Responses to “Should paedophilies be castrated?”

  1. 1 Pam Toll, PArk FOREST IL USA
    October 1, 2009 at 21:36

    Pedophillias have urges they cannot control.. theyre urges are harmful. In the USA many ask for castration, and the ACLU has cases fighting against it. It should be done by the people who want it ,yet not forced on anyone. THE USA does , but should not force medical procedures on anybody. This would take us back to the dark ages. with medications there are some that can control the urges.. but if it doesnt work, the procedure should be available.. How ever if the penis is castrated. that would not stop a pedophile from using other objects and his fingers.. There needs to be more assertions at finding medications that can STOP those urges and more accessbile and affordable mental health care.. America is lacking in that.. ITs more talk and less action with insurance mandates and higher premiums. Even medicare doesnt provide decent mental health care for the disabled and seniors.

  2. 2 Randy, Vancouver BC
    October 1, 2009 at 22:38

    Castration is a disgusting and medieval solution to a complex and not yet fully understood form of sexual deviation. A large portion of child molesters are not pedophiles–just check with the professionals and you’ll see. A pedophile seems to be like a psychopath–actually hard wired into that behavior–totally incorrigible.
    The only solution is to incarcerate them and isolate them from children for the rest of their lives. Simple people (like the Germans of the Third Reich) enjoy simple solutions; but society cannot afford to have any more such solutions on it’s conscience. In Canada we put them away under an “indefinite sentence”; but this Canadian believes we should put them away forever. The Americans have shown the world that prisons can go public and make money. Two percent of the American population is now slaving away behind bars, and that percentile is certain to rise as mental health care diminishes and the profits for corporations running prisons gets better and better. Put them away for the rest of their lives, make them earn their room and board, and turn them into a cheap source of labour. This solution satisfies the need for public safety, and respects the highest ideals of western society. I do not consider the peoples of either Poland or Russia to be members of Western Society–so let’s not use their choices as viable solutions.

  3. 3 Tom D Ford
    October 2, 2009 at 00:58

    My understanding is that castration doesn’t matter, they still prey on children.

    I wonder what is most effective, what other countries have tried that seems to work. What do more enlightened nations like Sweden or Norway do?

    And even more, what have scientists found out as the root causes of pedophilia? Can it be prevented from developing in the first place?

  4. 4 Joe Soap
    October 2, 2009 at 02:35

    Why not, and at the same time lets cut thieves hands off, blind peeping toms and the rest we’ll ship off to guantanamo for some torturing. If people volunteer its OK, if not and they have paid their price to society in prison then leave them alone.

  5. 5 Mike
    October 2, 2009 at 02:50

    I am of the feeling that castration would be a good deterent to sexual predators. However, I see this as something that should be ONLY used on repreat sexual offenders combined with prison terms. Also I would accept a reduced sentence with castration for first time offenders. The reasons behind this are that it is very likely a repeat sex offender will strike again, and almost certain he will not without the impulse to do so. In the same light I would avoid castration on first time offenders for one very important reason… if he is falsey convinced it is irreversable. Also I would suggest preserving some of his guys in case he wishes to have children at a later date.

  6. 6 Dennis Junior
    October 2, 2009 at 04:08

    Krupa and the WHYS Team:

    I think it is a wonderful idea, regarding the paedophilies being
    castrated…Because, this way, these people can’t hurt another child(ren)….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  7. 7 Dennis Junior
    October 2, 2009 at 04:15

    **Castrating paedophiles – medieval practice or a strong deterrent? **

    I think it is a mixture of both parts; But, it is a good solution because, this situation needs to be dealt with in the fashion….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  8. 8 T
    October 2, 2009 at 04:47

    No. They should do life in prison with no parole. But even that won’t come close to what they did to their victim(s).

  9. 9 Maxine
    October 2, 2009 at 06:52

    Castration is the only deterrent for Pedophiles. Their urges are uncontrollable and we must protect our children, not the pedophile. A Pedophile knows full well his crime that is why he is secretive about his vile attacks.

  10. 10 James Ian
    October 2, 2009 at 07:14

    Sure cut them. I don’t think it would keep them from being perverts but at lest it would keep them from passing that genome along making more perverts. Yes I believe in many cases it’s hereditary, and I don’t care what anyone else says.
    The phenomena of Pedophilia needs to be seriously researched and a cure for this sickness needs to be discovered, before it is considered normal or a life choice like homosexualuity is now. Yes, in many cases I think that is a disorder of some type and can be hereditary too. And again I don’t care what anyone else says, I belive the evidence I’ve seen not what I’ve been told.

  11. 11 Roy, Washington DC
    October 2, 2009 at 08:25

    If you’re sick enough to do that to a child, society has a right to do whatever it takes to keep you from ever doing it again. If this means a long prison sentence, so be it. If it means medications and psychotherapy like Pam suggested, so be it. If it means castration…so be it.

  12. 12 Bill
    October 2, 2009 at 09:12

    Looking at the recent conviction of 2 female paedophiles in England:

    Could “castration” work in this case ?

    There’s more than just sex-drive involved with these people.

  13. 13 anu_d
    October 2, 2009 at 10:11

    While Paedophillia is an extremely inhuman form of crime……castration is a barbaric uncivilized punishment.

    Saudi Arabia would be proud at the rest of the world following it’s example of cutting fingers and limbs and beheadings….as castration is a step in the same direction

  14. 14 VictorK
    October 2, 2009 at 11:04

    *There’s a big difference between surgical and chemical castration. Can’t see any controversy in the 2nd. Is it even ‘castration’?
    *Surgical castration is another matter. The idea that a society is entitled to observe no limits or standards in how it treats a particular group is barbaric. The infliction of an extreme punishment when a less extreme one will answer just as well, or better, makes me suspect the motives at work. Life imprisonment for paedophiles punishes them, deters others, and protects society. Much more so than surgical castration & release. Those (very few) American communities in which lynchings once occurred very often castrated the victim too. That was unnecessary to the punishment (death by beating, torture and hanging) and so served some other purpose. Such as the satisfaction of a sadistic instinct to see as much pain & suffering extracted from the victim? The Janjaweed in Darfur delight in castrating people and leaving them to bleed to death. Gratuitously cruel punishments are signs of a brutal, sadistic and debased society.

  15. 15 Crispo, Uganda
    October 2, 2009 at 12:03

    It’s been argued that, two wrongs don’t make a right. Ultimately, this tenant renders castration irrelevant. Let’s not only consider castration as barbaric. What of pedophile itself? I think it’s an attavistic behaviour as well.
    Now, what do we think should be done? If our sentiments are anything to go by, then castration might seem a softer punishment given the gravity of the offence in question. Of course sentiments aside, a humane solution should be got. Someone suggested, the offenders serving life in prison without parole. That to me would be more amicable. Let’s not forget to rehabilitate them, for our society will never cease to produce these individual.
    The other reason why, i think we are having pedophiles increasingly, is because, the cultural degeneration of our society, which just seems to get worse. The belief that people ought to be free with their bodies, act freely, in the name of “freedom” is very unfortunate. Of course modern life’s tenants are very much a reason to consider.

  16. 16 Jennifer
    October 2, 2009 at 12:54

    Castrating paedophiles – medieval practice or a strong deterrent?

    Strong deterrent!

    • 17 Tom K in Mpls
      October 2, 2009 at 15:47

      The medieval practice was to marry 13 year old women. It is only in the last 100 years or so that it has been considered wrong in most parts of industrialized nations. Besides, as understand it, ‘chemical castration’ is a misleading term for a temporary treatment.

  17. 18 patti in cape coral
    October 2, 2009 at 13:01

    I don’t think it’s a good idea, but if it was done, I think it should be done strictly on a voluntary basis. I wasn’t able to find many studies that prove conclusively that it works. As Bill mentions above, I think it is about more than sex drive, maybe its about power, and being attracted to innocence. I know this probably isn’t a very good analogy, but don’t certain behaviors become ingrained, even when the stimulus isn’t there, kind of like Pavlov’s dogs? If this is true, taking away sexual desire may not take away the desire to commit the act. I just don’t think this is a good overall solution, I don’t think it will work for everyone.

  18. 19 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 14:48

    Roman Polanski would be castrated chemically under this system. The child was 13.

  19. 20 John in Salem
    October 2, 2009 at 15:32

    All men are biologically hard-wired to be attracted to any female of child-bearing age and no amount of legislation or codifying of social custom will change that. It is the height of arrogance to think we can wave a magic wand of “civilized” preference and make 4 million years of evolution go away because we now find it offensive.
    We want men to selectively unleash their most primitive instincts to kill other men on our behalf in war and then condemn or ignore them when they have trouble reintegrating. We glorify brutality for entertainment and then punish anyone who lifts their hand in anger off the field. We market fashion and beauty products to children and now we’re going to physically mutilate men who respond to that?
    All human beings are ANIMALS, first and foremost, and turning to animalistic solutions will not move us any farther up the ladder.

    • 21 monica
      October 5, 2009 at 05:05

      Human beings may be hard-wired to do or not do many things but that is what separates us (or some of us) from animals. My female chihuahua rushed up to a young female chihuahua puppy and started humping her. She does not respond to legislation of social custom because she is an animal and has no idea what “civilized” preference is. Hence I was not angry with her and did not consider her a pedophile.

  20. 22 Linda from Italy
    October 2, 2009 at 15:48

    From what I have read of this sort of sexual abuse, it is not about sex per se, but about power, just like any kind of violent, coercive behaviour. People who feel frustrated (in the broadest possible sense), powerless and therefore angry, are trying to reclaim the power they consider they have been deprived of, maliciously in their eyes. Sex is the vehicle, not the goal, so even if an abuser’s sex drive were lowered through drugs, this sick person would not necessarily be a safe member of society, s/he may well find another way of venting their anger.
    Forcible medication of someone to hide the symptom, rather than addressing the cause of this sociopathic behaviour cannot not serve any useful purpose and two wrongs do not indeed make a right.

  21. 23 Paul Davies
    October 2, 2009 at 15:56

    In addition to my last post. I would also like to ask which scientific study has proved the link with castration and reduced child abuse. I watch the news religiously and have yet to see such a study.

  22. 24 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 16:09

    @ Bill

    They could just give those women wedding cake instead of chemical castration. It works the same.

  23. 25 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 16:24

    @ Joe Soap

    That will never happen, because children are not allowed to consent to sex with adults. There will never be a legal “consent” like homosexual adults can have. While they don’t choose to be pedophiles, they are still attracted to children too young to be allowed to legally consent to sex.

  24. 26 Anthony
    October 2, 2009 at 16:33

    @ Joe Soap

    The difference is that if you steal someones car, they can get a new car. If someone rapes a little child, that screws them up for life. I can’t believe you’re even comparing those.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  25. 27 Anthony
    October 2, 2009 at 16:35

    @ Randy, Vancouver

    When you castrate people, their hormone levels change, and they have less tendencies.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 28 archibald
    October 2, 2009 at 16:39

    The only people that need castrating are those who support its implementation. Castration will not alter the mindset of those disposed to pedophilia, as they are mentally ill and need treatment. It is quite odd to note that those who seem to support castration are the same people who are against abortion. While pedophilia is an abhorrent crime, is it not equally horrible to physically alter human beings in an effort to change their behavior, a behavior that is wrought of the same society that condemns it.

    @joe soap
    Likening pedophiles and their choices to homosexuals is an ignorant and damaging statement. I am suprised that WHYS allowed it, considering their vigilance regarding decorum on this blog.

  27. 29 Anthony
    October 2, 2009 at 16:41

    What I feel should happen, is they should be raped. Honestly, create a simulated rape scenario, like what was done to their victims. Rectal Penetration until hemorrhaging occurs, and see if they ever try to touch a little kid again.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  28. 31 Mark Sandell
    October 2, 2009 at 16:43

    Archibald you are right, and we shouldn’t have approved that comment. My apologies, it has now been deleted, thankyou for bringing it to our attention.

  29. 32 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 16:44

    @ Archibald

    Like homosexuals, pedophiles don’t choose to be the way they are. The difference is that pedophiles have sex with those who are not allowed to legally consent, unlike homosexuals. But it is true, neither chooses to be the way they are. It’s a question of legal consent.

    How is horrible to give drugs to someone to prevent them from committing crimes? They are not talking about physical castration. And isn’t it truel that we castrate cats and dogs so they don’t have a population explosion? Some people declaw their cats as well…

  30. 33 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 16:45

    @ Mark

    He wasn’t likening homosexuality to pedophelia, he was just saying that neither is a choice. Which is accurate.

  31. 34 Anthony
    October 2, 2009 at 16:57

    In that case, where they have the photo proof, they should put them to death. Honestly, to prove a point (hopefully detouring others from doing so), plus people like that can not be “fixed”. I would literally do it myself if the English Government allowed me to.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  32. 35 Mark Sandell
    October 2, 2009 at 16:59

    Steve, fair point but there’s also an issue about tone. It was borderline but i still don’t think we should have approved it, but you are right to highlight the point.

  33. 36 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 17:13

    @ Mark

    Er, now anthony is saying pedophiles should be raped and be put to death as well.. I guess this does bring out tone/emotions for some people.

  34. 37 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 17:22

    @ Linda

    “Forcible medication of someone to hide the symptom, rather than addressing the cause of this sociopathic behaviour cannot not serve any useful purpose and two wrongs do not indeed make a right.”

    But it isn’t sociopathic behavior. They don’t choose to be pedophiles. They can no more control their attraction to women than gays can to the same sex, or straights to the opposite sex. Given they don’t choose it, can’t control it, society is protected more by chemically castrating them. Trying to “treat” them psychologically would work as well as “treating” homosexuals to make them straight. It doesn’t work.

  35. 38 Count Iblis
    October 2, 2009 at 17:41

    Sexual orientation is not a relevant factor here. If a gay man rapes another man, we don’t blame that on his sexual orientation. Some people are simply not able to restrain themselves. In case of pedophiles who rape children, we know that most of them are married men. So, it is also wrong to say that pedophiles can only get sexually satisfied with children.

    But castration could perhaps work because this could reduce aggression. I think experiments in rats have shown some results in this direction. You could then use castration to prevent any sort of violent crime. Give that most of the violent criminal acts are pepetrated by men, this makes a lot of sense.

  36. 39 Tom K in Mpls
    October 2, 2009 at 17:52

    Once again, people are trying to apply reasonable threats to unreasonable individuals. Wake up and smell your nonsense. This is a rather natural and primal urge that only in recent history is considered wrong.

  37. 40 Tom D Ford
    October 2, 2009 at 18:03

    Is there scientific evidence that people are born pedophiles? I have never heard of that.

  38. 41 archibald
    October 2, 2009 at 18:25

    Tom K
    So, are you saying that there is a pedophile lurking inside of everyone? Or just rationalizing it by saying that it has been going on for centuries, therefore, it is unreasonable to think we can prevent it? Both seem simplistic, albeit legitimate, on a primal, historical level.

    • 42 Tom K in Mpls
      October 2, 2009 at 21:45

      No, some aspects is seen occasionally in a significant number of people. The big problem is when it is done in a one sided predatory manner. The younger the ‘victim’ the harder it is to condone. But I have known of cases of relationships being discovered near the age of 18 that have been going for years. They continued.

      I can’t justify a zero tolerance attitude on any subject. We are human beings which means there is no such thing as perfect or always. Many things need responsible monitoring and guidelines, but zero tolerance is absurd. And as for a historical level, what makes you think the current popular attitudes will last? Recorded history shows fluctuations in every way on every subject.

  39. 43 nora
    October 2, 2009 at 18:25

    When we last discussed this, I was on air with two psychiatrists, both of whom were already deeply invested in the blooming chemical castration economy. Bloggers hated the show, asked why we had to talk about it. Now this is very real–the economy of castration grows, the practitioners become entrenched in a budding industry. Weird, we human beings. As a juvenile victim, I am not convinced. As a human rights activist, I am creeped out for the innocent who are caught up in this one, forthey sit side by side with the guilty in every prison.

  40. 44 steve
    October 2, 2009 at 18:30

    @ Tom

    That question is like asking if there is proof people are born homosexuals. People don’t choose their sexuality.

  41. 45 Jen
    October 2, 2009 at 18:31

    Hm, so people can’t say that they believe that homosexuals choose to be the way they are here…..

    If this is someone’s opinion; surely it should be valued too.


  42. October 2, 2009 at 18:41

    Other than suicide bombing or attacking of masses of innocent people, sexual abuse is extradinarily unacceptable, and the worst of all crimes.

    Once a human does something like this, male or female, society has no choice, but to eliminate, that person from ever having the opportunity of ruining another human’s young life. Castration is vengeful, and not moral.

    Manditory death sentance, while they are asleep at night would ensure they are totally out of the system. What the Chinese do to their worst offenders. Send bill for bullet to family.

    This must be a no leeway given to end the cycles of these sorts of crimes.

    troop Oregon coast

  43. 47 archibald
    October 2, 2009 at 19:04

    @ jennifer

    People can say that it is a choice all they want. That does not change the fact that it is patently untrue and a divisive way of manipulating social conduct to fit a solely self-righteous and morally subjective point of view. Hmmmmmm 🙂

  44. 48 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    October 2, 2009 at 19:09

    Using Castrating as a punishment for raping in Poland is not justice,it demonstrated that EU as a union does not have a clear rule & obligation to protects human rights of its citizens within her boarders! Now EU should stop talking on human rights issues that are happening elsewhere if they can’t afford to cull out some of the injustices committed by some of its members.

    If Life imprisonment not enough for such a crime instead of castration?.I think L.I is enough.

  45. 49 Anthony
    October 2, 2009 at 19:14

    @ Jen

    Really, so we should value everyone’s opinion? How about Nazi’s, NAMBLA members, and serial killers?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 50 Jennifer
      October 5, 2009 at 14:12

      What does sexual orientation have to do with nazis and serial killers? That’s stretching it a little bit, yeah?

      What if your opinion was the varying viewpoint? Last I checked; I don’t care what sexual orientation someone has. It’s not an FYI detail.

  46. 51 claudine
    October 3, 2009 at 02:37

    Yes, paedophiles should be castrated.
    Those sexual abnormalities come to light because of Testosteron surges in male bodies.
    All kinds of sexual offenders should be castrated. Thats the only thing that helps.
    Giving them Androcur would also do the trick, but its not permanent and when the Testosterone is back on line those sex offenders start again molesting and raping women and children.

  47. 52 claudine
    October 3, 2009 at 02:38

    I am happy its Rio.
    It doesnt have to be always one of the “standard” nations.

  48. 53 scmehta
    October 3, 2009 at 06:49

    The pedophiles must be socially boycotted and sent to rehabs. The proposed surgical castration may have to be considered only as a last resort

  49. October 3, 2009 at 12:42

    i agree with joe saop, prison of some form of rehab can be employed.i dont believe castration is the answer. god made man complete and meant for him to stay that way. God will deal with the offender, but prison and keeping them away from society is what we should do.

  50. October 3, 2009 at 15:23

    Why not have the same punishment for rapists? The fact is that any act of violence can be punished in a draconian manner. There is no guarantee that it will stop desperate people doing what they want. I would suggest banning the use of all children in advertising which is the most common form of abuse and is often the main source of the initial motivation for paedophiles.

  51. 56 Dennis Junior
    October 4, 2009 at 19:37

    I think that castration of *CONVICTED* Paedophilies…Is a option that
    should be looked out….

    ~Dennis Junior~

  52. 57 monica
    October 5, 2009 at 05:16

    From a practical standpoint – a monthly or daily injection as opposed to a surgical procedure to castrate pedophiles is the way to go. And please stop it with the “primal urge ” theories. There is a difference between feeling the urge to do something and doing it. That is what separates us from animals.

  53. 58 John in Salem
    October 5, 2009 at 06:02

    Would castration work as a means of control? Possibly.
    Would it work as a means of deterrence? Never.
    Most pedophiles do not have the anti-social pathology of the violent rapist or serial killer. They are usually emotionally immature men with profound issues involving trust whose attraction to the young is more psychological than biological, with more of a need for connection than for power. They see the young as safe, as potential partners who have not yet learned how to use sex as a weapon or a means of manipulation. These men can feel deep remorse for their cimes and that’s one of the primary reasons for the practice of “grooming” the victim – it allows them to feel that what they do is mutually desired.
    Castration will have as much effect on the amount of abuse as the death penalty has on murder – none. All it will do is inspire those with the compulsion to be more careful.
    And inspire those who DO have that anti-social pathology to make sure there are no living witnesses to their crimes.

  54. 59 Jay
    October 5, 2009 at 11:36

    To advance acceptance of this idea it would be better to choose a term of language other than “castration”. Society already accepts the treatment of various disorders with pharmaceuticals. People with anti social behaviour are treated without their permission already, so what is new in this idea.

    People with normal sexual urges view the idea with abhorrance while those aware of and burdened by their abnormal sexual urges may welcome such treatment. As well as treatment with pharmaceuticals to eliminate or reduce the abnormal urge, sterilization should be considered to eliminate these genes. It is a harsh method but the reality of not doing something is harsh also. Everyone, husbands, wives, children, are at risk of the trauma or death associated with becoming the victim of a sexual predator. The truth is that only a small percentage of the incidents of incest and other forms of depravity ever become public knowledge. It is difficult to know if the problems are increasing or that people are more inclined to report these attacks.

  55. 60 Jing Yan in Singapore
    October 5, 2009 at 11:49

    I was thinking– what if the pedophiles are female? You can’t castrate females right?

  56. 61 Chintan in Houston
    October 5, 2009 at 12:56

    eye for an eye makes the world blind!!

  57. 62 nora
    October 5, 2009 at 15:47

    Dinka from Uganda was spot on about human rights in the EU. Castration is a basic violation of human rights that is not justified easily under the EU’s understanding of itself.

  58. October 5, 2009 at 20:28

    Wow the idea is pleasing. Thats the best option on the plate nobody wants to loose thier lillies, So lets opt for it in the ancient world such punishment used to work so well that people did not commit such crime like now days. B’se the laws are too soft. If there is a course on castration i would be the first to go for it as i do not want to imagine such thing happening to my children

  59. 64 Couldn't care less
    October 6, 2009 at 00:04

    Yes, from the neck up.

  60. 65 AL / MD
    October 25, 2009 at 21:56

    Cut them off ! I do not care what happens to sex offenders. I think raping a child should have the death penalty period without even death row. We as a nation are too soft on crimes! Its like we are a stupid nation in a way .. To many young girls get rapped and killed each year !! Castration or Death Are The Only Solutions ! Killers should not have mercy of any kind … The children they rape and kill should !

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