Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 281–304

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

  • Nikolaus Heim
  • Carolyn J. Hursch

DOI: 10.1007/BF01541244

Cite this article as:
Heim, N. & Hursch, C.J. Arch Sex Behav (1979) 8: 281. doi:10.1007/BF01541244


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 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaus Heim
    • 1
  • Carolyn J. Hursch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and SociologyUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzFR Germany
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineUniversity of ColoradoDenverUSA

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