Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 281-304

First online:

Castration for sex offenders: Treatment or punishment? A review and critique of recent European literature

  • Nikolaus HeimAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology and Sociology, University of Konstanz
  • , Carolyn J. HurschAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Colorado

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The recent European literature on surgical castration in treatment of sex offenders is reviewed. Results are reported of the most important empirical studies conducted in this field of sex research in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark. Methodological problems of follow-up studies on castrates as well as the subject of castration as treatment for sex offenders as a whole are discussed. The main conclusion is that there is no scientific or ethical basis for castration in the treatment of sex offenders.

Key words

castration sex offenders treatment of sexual deviants sexual behavior testosterone