Recently, I read a new article about Russia having a bill pass 1st reading that would mean enacting harsher sentences for pedophiles including sentences up to 20 years in prison or chemical castration. Of course, this would all be decided my psychologist evaluation and be based on the likelihood of recidivism. After reading this, it prompted me to look into chemical castration a bit more because as far as I know, Canada only does this on a voluntary basis. Chemical castration sounds simple enough: the convicted offender would be given the drug Depo Provera, which is a progestogen only birth control method for women. When given to men, the drug essentially suppresses the testosterone in the system and is said to reduce sex drive, compulsive sexual fantasies, and capacity for sexual arousal in the subject. I have also read that it may reduce violent behaviour, which some studies have linked to high testosterone, although the person who suggested this did not cite her research so I can only say that it is a possibility based on research I have read on the subject in the past.

                Now I know how society thinks of sexual offenders, group mob mentality screams “burn them at the stake”, but I have worked with these men in a program that (for the most part) has a low recidivism rate. In the two groups that I participated in, roughly 20 men in total, only 1 that the Psychologists knew about had reoffended since getting out of jail. The treatment program and the group had taught these men that they made a mistake, and only they can prevent that from happening again. The program teaches methods of spotting triggers to inappropriate thoughts and actions, how to deal with these inappropriate thoughts, and how to lead a healthier life. I also found that the men in the group are very supportive of one another and hold each other accountable for any slip-ups. This is very similar to a group named Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA). The idea of this organization is to surround the offender with supportive individuals from the community, who can help the offender with their rehabilitation: point out coping methods and triggers, being there to listen and to get them to socialize and not to shut themselves up in their house, which is detrimental to their recovery. As far as I can tell, the recidivism for chemical castration is about the same as I had experienced with these groups.
                I do not think that reducing someone’s sex drive is the answer in most cases, but it does seem that this option will be reserved for the most dangerous of offenders and those resistant to other therapies. Unlike surgical castration, chemical castration does not remove the reproductive organs and it does not involve sterilization. Chemical castration is administered in the form of an injection every three months, and if stopped the effects can be reversed. The side effects are minimal but with extended use it can contribute to bone density loss, which can lead to long-term increased risk to certain conditions. Other side effects are feminization of the body, such as increased mammary glands, reduced hair on the body, and loss of muscle mass. And let us not forget the reduced ability to have a healthy sexual relationship with a consenting adult, which is what we have wanted all along for these individuals. These points are why I think this should be an extreme case solution only and should be a temporary solution only until the offender has completed the Psychologist/group treatment. It makes me wonder what programs Russia has in place for sex offenders….

Sorry for the heavy topics, I just love 'em. I promise I will think of something to write about that will make you horny/giggle. If you have suggestions or questions, just let me know in the comments. God knows I have no imagination when it comes to thinking up stuff to write about.

Until next time,

*Originally posted October 7, 2011*