Chemical castration is a form of castration caused by hormonal medication. It is used mainly by countries as a preventive measure or punishment on people who violate their laws on sexual behavior, for example those who have committed rape or child sexual abuse or who are homosexual (as in the case of mathematician Alan Turing). It has also been used by eugenicists as a means of preventing people the government deems inferior from breeding, and was practiced in many states during the twentieth century.
The American Civil Liberties Union opposes the coerced administration of any drug, including antiandrogen drugs for sex offenders. They argued in 1997 that forced chemical castration was a "cruel and unusual punishment", and thereby constitutionally prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. They also stated that it interfered with sex offenders' "right to procreate", and could expose users to various health problems.
Large doses are required to be effective in men. Most men will receive 400mg to 500mg per week. In some cases, men given oral doses as high as 700 mg/day have still reported regular sexual arousal and fantasies.
In addition to ethical concerns, chemical castration may increase blood pressure in males, sometimes to dangerous levels. Chemical castration may sometimes cause gynecomastia, a side effect that is sometimes treated with tamoxifen, a SERM. Other side effects, such as the formation of abnormal fat deposits in the liver, are being investigated.
Budget-repair bill would cut money for chemical castration; Sex offenders: 6 are receiving testosterone-reducing injections
Feb 18, 2002; MADISON (AP) - Convicted sex offenders in the state's chemical castration program would stop getting treatment under the...