Castration —- not the panacea for Sexual Healing of the Nation – By Yvonne Sam

– By Yvonne Sam

As the country prepares for election, the vote should hold the key to correction.

Permit me to respond to the impassioned plea of Hajji Dr. Roshan Khan, Chairman/Founder of RK’s Guyana Security Service in his article https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2019/09/15/i-support-this-form-of-punishment-for-paedophilia/ wherein he voiced his support for castration (chemical or surgical) as the deterrent for pedophilia.

Let us now fast backwards to an article that I wrote over two and a half years ago, on the selfsame issue https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/01/23/i-am-in-support-of-chemical-castration-for-sexual-aberration/, and calling for the selfsame mode of punishment.     

Additionally in April 2015, the Caribbean Voice an overseas based non-governmental organization, had forwarded signed petitions to the Government of Guyana requesting the initiation of a Sex Offenders Registry https://www.stabroeknews.com/2018/07/15/opinion/letters/it-is-time-to-stem-the-tide-of-child-abuse/.

It is apparent that nothing appears to have registered with any individual or agency desirous of effecting a significant change in the apathetic state of sexual sordidity that was enveloping the nation.  Undoubtedly, both the present government along with the criminal justice system has failed the people especially the females, and in some cases males, who fall prey to the sexually depraved males among whom they dwell and share common terrain.

Sexual offenses are crimes that people fear, and as a consequence they turn to the criminal justice system to not only reduce fear but also to augment community safety. To date the government has not included or taken into consideration public opinion related to the treatment, release and follow up of sex offenders, especially their reintegration into the community. As the country prepares for election, reflection and inspection with a view to correction of the rampant sexual scourge should be foremost in the minds of the voters. Additionally, the political leaders should be made aware that a determinant of their likely reelection would be their current predilection regarding sexual crimes, offenders and eventual punishment. The perception of the voting populace is able to produce strong advocacy movements and attract considerable media attention.

Last June Alabama became the seventh state joining California, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin to approve castration for some sexual offenses. Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the measure requiring chemical castration as a condition of parole for anyone convicted of sex crimes with children younger than 13. Offenders are required to undergo the reversible procedure must begin the treatment at least a month before their release dates and continue treatments until a judge finds that it is no longer necessary https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/alabama-becomes-seventh-state-approve-castration-some-sex-offenses-n1016056.

The practice of surgical castration on humans is not a recent anomaly. As far back as the Middle Ages, castration was carried out as a form of retribution on those who committed rape or adultery.  In Europe since the early 20th century castration of sex offenders as a form of treatment has been in existence. In 1929 the Danish pioneered the first laws, legalizing this type of medical intervention for sex offenders; Germany followed soon thereafter (1933), Norway (1934), Finland (1935), Estonia (1937), Iceland (1938), Latvia (1938), and Sweden (1944) enacted similar laws. The eradication of sexual urges believed to be the dominant etiological factor in sexual criminal behavior, was the theoretical basis of the European castration laws. https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:b8118fe7-67cb-4610-9823-b0242dfe900a/

The two hormones responsible for maintenance of sexual behavior are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. The production of testosterone in males occurs primarily through the secretions of the Leydig cells of the testes.. Sexual behavior is not solely determined by sex hormones. Consequently, as with other behaviors, past experiences as well as needs and interpersonal skills determine the form and intensity of sexual behavior, both normal and deviant. An inadequate capacity to bond emotionally with adults may lead to deviant attraction to underage minors. Castration is viewed as a reasonable method of treatment due to the fact that more than 90% of the androgens are produced in the testes.  However, ethics arguments have been promoted both against and in favor of the use of surgical castration for sex offending especially recidivism.

The government is now called upon to make it known throughout the land, on the treatment of sexual offenders what is their stand. While controversial questions swirl around the justice system’s management of sex offenders, the citizens especially the young ones need to be protected. And on this topic without further delay, the public should be invited to have their say. Sadly although they are able they have never been invited to the discussion table.

If castration and a registry is not the treatment of choice, then the government’s revealed handling of the issue could still give cause to rejoice. The party in power cannot afford the slightest mistake, as elections draw near there’s too much at stake.  The ballot is stronger than the bullet.

Remember the words of Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi—“the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its weakest member”.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On September 20, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Agree in principle with surgical/chemical
    castration for sex offenders especially the
    Paedophilic category !
    However do feel it should be more a voluntary
    than a forced (lawful) option.
    Similarities between euthanasia (mercy killing)
    begs the question.
    If a person chooses to exit especially for medical reasons (terminal) feel it should be legalised.

    Kamtan

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