The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

78° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Column: Castration humane way to prevent further abuse

A recent New York Daily News article reveals that “studies in Germany have shown about 3 percent of castrated offenders repeated their crimes. For those who didn’t undergo castration, the figure ranged from 46 percent to 75 percent.”

That should convince just about anyone of how profoundly humane surgical castration of convicted child rapists is. Sure, the government forcibly removing a body part from one of its citizens might be a bit uncomfortable for some people. That is understandable. But remember, this is a country that executes more people than most others.

Allowing the inevitable victims of the staggering figure of up to 75 percent of these sick people who are caught raping another child or more children (presumably some just get away with it, suggesting even more lives scarred) is much more inhumane.

I am sure life without testicles is just fine. I can’t imagine life in prison or even a long stint in prison and then living on parole, on the sex offender registry with little chance of gainful employment — and most importantly still suffering those unspeakable urges — is better than this common sense alternative for the offenders, either.

To legally encode and socially verify this patriarchal worship of the testicles is absurd. It is preventing countless children from being saved the rape or molestation they will inevitably face if we continue to value the masculine pride of men who have committed one of the most horrific crimes imaginable more than the victims.

In fact, it took the pleas of offenders to be offered this almost foolproof escape from their apparently overwhelming urges for a few states to offer surgical castration, for which they also offer more favorable sentencing as well. This is the right option.

Some will argue that, if castration isn’t even that horrible, why should we let these men get off relatively easy? The answer is that, first of all, we desperately need to move toward a greater focus on rehabilitation and less of an obsession on punishment.

More importantly, the approximately 15 to 25 times lower chance of more children being victimized per offender — again employing the figure from the aforementioned study — is a hell of a lot more important than these men spending a few more years in prison on our dime.

At the very least, surgical castration needs to be made available to those who want to drastically reduce their horrible urges.

In the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin, laws passed in the last 20 years may cause chemical castration to be a requirement for repeat offenders, but “only Texas and Louisiana offer the option of cutting out the testes, where 95 percent of testosterone is produced,” according to the NY Daily News.

The former is a start, but surgical castration is obviously more effective, and chemical castration relies on offenders taking their medicine for the rest of their lives. Chemical castration offers no advantages other than pleasing squeamish policymakers who value balls way too much.

California has a new policy of paying for inmates’ gender-reassignment surgeries. If a doctor deems it absolutely necessary, we should be paying for prisoners’ healthcare. Yet, in that same state, child rapists are legally prohibited from consenting to the much simpler procedure of surgical castration.

Which, again, comes with the added benefit of massive reduction in convicted predators hurting more children. I am shocked and appalled that fact alone isn’t the determining factor. Incentivizing this behavior that strongly suggests that the offender has a real desire not to hurt another child with earlier parole will prevent many of these crimes.

Furthermore, states that have mandated chemical castration should replace it with mandatory surgical castration. If the former is to be taken for life and is supposed to affect the same reduction in testosterone and therefore the same side effects, any complaints of one being more “inhumane” than the other is an astoundingly weak-minded defense of the patriarchal worship of male genitalia. In the case of repeat child predators, that mindset really isn’t doing them or society any good and reflects an even worse failure to value a proven way to lower reoffending by child predators as much as 2,500 percent more than one’s desire not to think about something as icky as government-enforced surgical castration.


Follow Martin Forstrom on Twitter.


More to Discover
Activate Search