Is the Use of Castration Constitutional? Essay

Is the Use of Castration Constitutional? Essay

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The issue of castration has many layers in terms of its use punitively. The biggest area of debate is the rate of success and if sex offender’s problem is physical or psychological. In addition, is the use of castration constitutional? Some people argue that compulsory castration is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Eighth Amendment. However, does the unconstitutional nature change when castration is voluntary and the decision is made by the offender? Moreover, does labeling castration as a treatment make it constitutional? There are many questions that need to be addressed, and these are only some of the reasons the use of castration is debated. These issues will be addressed by discussing the support of castration through empirical data, the constitutional issues involved and issues associated with the morality of castration.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the use of castration for sex offenders. The two main points addressed were the rate of success in decreasing sex drive and rate of recidivism. A number of studies had similar findings. Analysis of 104 individuals in a German study, conducted between 1970 and 1980, showed that there was a decrease in sexual drive and interest by 75 percent within six months of the operation. Additionally, rate of recidivism was found to be 3 percent, while non-castrated individuals had a 46 percent chance to recidivate. Various studies in Europe reflect similar results (Hickey, 2010). John Branford, a doctor of the Royal Ottawa Hospital, says “as a rule, the recidivism rate of sex offenders averages 80 percent before castration, dropping to less than 5 percent afterwards” (Hickey, 2010, p. 132). Based on study data the use of castration in sex offender...

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... if the individual chooses to be castrated? Whether or not castration is used for punitive purposes the right to procreate and privacy should still be considered.

Berlin, F. S. (1997). "Chemical Castration" for Sex Offenders. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from The New England Journal of Medicine:
Davenport, A. U. ( 2006). Basic Criminal Law: The US Constitution, Procedure and Crime Custom Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Hickey, T. J. (2010). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Crime and Criminology, 9th Edition. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Spalding, L. H. (1998). FLORIDA’S 1997 CHEMICAL CASTRATION LAW: A RETURN TO THE DARK AGES. Retrieved August 12, 2010, from

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