Sex-Drive Reducing Medications of Sex Offenders

Topics: Sex offender, Interrogation, Chemical castration Pages: 5 (1556 words) Published: April 29, 2012
Review of the following articles:

Force Administration of Sex-Drive Reducing Medications of Sex Offenders: Treatment or Punishment?


Ethics, Prisoner Interrogation, National Security and The Media

Force Administration of Sex-Drive Reducing Medications of Sex Offenders: Treatment or Punishment?

The first article I chose was whether or not it is considered a treatment or a punishment to sex offenders if they are forced, by court order, to take medications that greatly reduce their sex drive. According to the article, this medication can “reduce abnormally high sexual arousal or fantasy patterns.” This article never addressed the ultimate question of whether forced intake of these medications is actually a punishment or a treatment. Instead, it seems this article was put together to show the difference in points of view as well as provide details of the research conducted on this topic.

In the 1950’s the judicial system believed that those individuals who committed a sex crime as a person who suffered from mental issues. They attempted to rehabilitate those who committed sex crimes, but they were never successful. For almost 30 years, some sex offenders have been prescribed medications, only after their consent, in order to reduce their sex drive (176).

Society has used several methods to treat sex offenders. First, they used sex offender treatment programs (SOTP). Over the years, studies have shown that SOTP was ineffective. A second method used included surgical sterilization and castration. During the early 1900’s this was the preferred method of treatment because society didn’t want a sexual offender to reproduce. However, research has found physical changes to the body do not change sexual drive (178). The third method used includes a surgical method in which the brain is modified. This is a highly effective method in treating sexual offenders but is very expensive, difficult to perform and carries a high level of risk. Due to all of this, it can be eliminated as a possible solution in modifying sex offender behavior as standard treatment. The forth method is called chemical castration. Chemical castration occurs when a male is given female drugs. Research conducted by John Money showed that a male who ingested female hormone drugs had fewer erections, less semen production, less orgasms, sexual urges and fantasies (181). However, these drugs produced a variety of side effects in men.

The use of chemical castration has spurred a debate on the legality of prescribing drugs as a condition for probation, treatment, etc. There have been many articles on the “state’s rights to force such treatments on offenders and offenders’ rights to receive such treatment (183).” The conclusion formed about whether or not any rights have been violated comes down to two things: 1) The treatment violates all rights of the offender, or 2) The treatment violates none of the offender’s rights. In the end, all the articles look at the eighth amendment rights, fourteenth amendment rights, first amendment rights, right to privacy, the right to produce and its relationship to a reasonable probation (184).

The state of California has required the use of MPA (medroxyprogesterone acetate), a woman’s hormonal drug, as part of a sex offenders probation treatment. The article identifies six other drugs in addition to MPA, which are considered acceptable alternatives. The approval of the use of these drugs in cases involving sex drives have exposed may issues. One issue, for example, is that the use of drugs to treat a sex drive may not look out for the medical interests of the patient. For example, there have been no established guidelines on how much of the drug to prescribe for each person. Additionally, there are no psychiatrists available that can determine the appropriate dosage and monitor an individual’s behavior. Second, a sex offender should have the...
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