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Author Topic: Should violent criminals be castrated?  (Read 6329 times)

Offline Grockel

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Should violent criminals be castrated?
« on: 25/02/2013 15:33:40 »
The purpose of prison is to reform criminals, however this is not always possible. Many criminals repeatedly break the law and are undeterred by the prospect of punishment. There are several factors believed to contribute to criminal behavior, one important factor being high testosterone levels. It has been proven that testosterone is linked to aggression, in 1990 newbielink:http://www.crimetimes.org/95c/w95cp4.htm [nonactive] studied 4,462 men and concluded that "the overall picture among the high-testosterone men is one of delinquency, substance abuse and a tendency toward excess." Even in women, Dabbs found high testosterone levels were related to crimes of unprovoked violence. Statistically men commit significantly more crimes than women, specifically violent crimes.

We know that castration can drastically alter an animals behavior, most notably by reducing sex drive and aggression. Not all aggression is caused by testosterone, however the University of California found that in newbielink:http://www.associationofanimalbehaviorprofessionals.com/effects_of_neutering.html [nonactive] aggression could be treated with castration. Castration also causes sterility which, considering the inability of prisoners to raise their children, may be an added bonus.

Violent criminals destroy their lives and the lives of others, is society not morally obliged to save them from themselves via castration?


 

Offline Minerva

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #1 on: 25/02/2013 17:22:13 »
I would amend your first sentence to say that prisons SHOULD reform criminals but because they make little to no effort to do so they usually come out worse than they went in.  I'm not sure we should be castrating men because our prison system is inadequate.  There is a study somewhere that shows that the correct nutrition goes a long way to reforming criminal attitude - it was in a young offenders institute somewhere, I'll see if I can find it.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #2 on: 25/02/2013 17:36:49 »
That would change a long held tradition in western society of the human body being a boundary one does not cross. We can incarcerate a person and separate him from society for the protection of others, but we don't cut the hands off thieves. We don't torture. If you injure someone in a car accident and damage their kidneys, the courts cannot order you to give them one of yours.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #3 on: 26/02/2013 01:43:25 »
I imagine if they weren't sociopathic before they were rendered impotent and sterile by castration, they would be afterwards.

In some cases becoming a father makes an offender change their ways, that ain't gonna happen once their 'nads have gone*.

The impotence could be reversed with testosterone injections / gel , which are available on the black market. Self-medicating they could then end up with more testosterone than would occur naturally.

[ * unless they donate a sample before castration and go for IVF ]


... however the University of California found that in 60% of dogs aggression could be treated with castration

Looks like the jury is still out on that one ...
Quote
Various studies of the effects neutering has overall on male and female dog aggression have been unable to arrive at a consensus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutering#Current_research
« Last Edit: 26/02/2013 01:57:44 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #4 on: 26/02/2013 05:28:53 »
There is a type of Chemical Castration that has been used some in the western world, usually "experimentally", with controversial results, and significant bone loss.

Apparently the Czech Republic has a program of castration for sexual offenders.
A longer explanation here., as well as some discussion of the controversy here.

One of the problems.  Say you create a "voluntary" program.  Then you tell the inmates that they can have a sentence of:
1 yr + castration
      vs
10 (or more) years, and no castration.

Then, is it truly a "voluntary" procedure?

I'm not seeing a lot of data for castration for violent offenders (as opposed for sexual offenders).
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #5 on: 26/02/2013 09:02:37 »
There have been gene variants linked with impulsivity, rage and violence.
Perhaps someday when we can do genetic engineering on living people, we might be able to do something about the genetic causes of some violence?
Then more conventional therapies like counseling might be more successful?
 

Offline Minerva

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #6 on: 26/02/2013 11:56:59 »
Stephen Pinkers "Better Angels of our Nature" demonstrates how violence in all its forms is declining.  And as we become more peaceful our tolerance for violence decreases and our awareness of all forms of violence is increased so things we considered acceptable become unacceptable (such as punishment in the classroom - which is just authorised violence) and so on in an ever widening circle of peace.

Being violent to stop violence is like fighting wars to bring peace.......
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #7 on: 26/02/2013 13:45:23 »
Grockel,

Please refer to the acceptable usage terms of this forum - here.  We do not tolerate cut'n'paste cross posting over multiple fora.  Please ensure that any subsequent post you make here are not cross posted. 

thanks
imatfaal - moderator
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #8 on: 26/02/2013 13:54:43 »
Good grief! You'll have the social do-gooders up in arms for suggesting we chop off ofenders nuts. And in Brussells, the EU Human Rights Commission will be going spare. But as for those bureaucrats, perhaps we should chop their sprouts.


Quote from: Daily Telegraph

.....half a million crimes a year are committed by people who have been released from jail, convicted or cautioned within the previous year12 months.

Around 50,000 were committed by criminals who had previously been jailed at least 11 times....

More than 3,000 of these new crimes were serious violent or sexual offences.

It seems that 67% of offenfers will re-offend within 12 months of release from prison.

I think it obvious that prison is not working as a correctional establishement and obviously not as a deterent either. But even I would not like to see us going down the road to this means of dealing with our less pleasant population.

What I would suggest is a similar system to that of the USA as far as crimes of violence and/or a sexual nature are concerned. 'Three strikes and your out.' Of course for extreme cases, that might be life for even the first or second offence, but certainly life for a third offence. And 'life' should mean just that; not 25yrs or 30yrs, but the rest of the offender's natural life. No remmission, no parole.

I would stress that I don't think this system should be applied to all types of crime. The American system falls badly when a man can be imprisoned for life for stealing 3 cookies. What's more I find it shameful that the USA, with 5% of the worlds total population has 25% of the world's prison population. 'Three strikes and your out' needs a re-think.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #9 on: 26/02/2013 19:49:22 »
There is, of course, a fraction of a percent (at least) of people who are wrongly convicted.  And far too many people sent to the "criminal training camps" for minor offenses such as possession of some weed.

However, risking one's own family jewels may act as a deterrent to some would be criminals to discourage them from takings other people's jewels.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #10 on: 26/02/2013 20:36:47 »
There is, of course, a fraction of a percent (at least) of people who are wrongly convicted.  And far too many people sent to the "criminal training camps" for minor offenses such as possession of some weed.

However, risking one's own family jewels may act as a deterrent to some would be criminals to discourage them from takings other people's jewels.

Or it would persuade them that a shoot out with the police to avoid capture looks like a good idea.
 

Offline Grockel

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #11 on: 27/02/2013 19:37:06 »
Grockel,

Please refer to the acceptable usage terms of this forum - here.  We do not tolerate cut'n'paste cross posting over multiple fora.  Please ensure that any subsequent post you make here are not cross posted. 

thanks
imatfaal - moderator

Hi guys, I apologize for breaking the rules. I like to get as many opinions as possible so I post the same thing on different forums. I can assure you that my replies are always unique.

In regard to this discussion, I feel there is significant evidence suggesting castration does alter behavior. If it were proven that violence could be reduced this way would you opinions change?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #12 on: 27/02/2013 19:40:59 »
No, it would still be wrong.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #13 on: 02/03/2013 18:40:36 »
No, it would still be wrong.

Agreed.
 

Online yor_on

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #14 on: 17/03/2013 02:37:44 »
You know, thinking of it, cutting of their heads would also change their behavior.

'You're so quiet today Trevor' (imagine the cartoon)

This kind of reasoning is assured to lead to a new vision of a peaceful society.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #15 on: 17/03/2013 15:10:10 »
There have been gene variants linked with impulsivity, rage and violence.
Perhaps someday when we can do genetic engineering on living people, we might be able to do something about the genetic causes of some violence?
Then more conventional therapies like counseling might be more successful?

One of the things I've seen in articles about gene variants and violent, antisocial behavior is that expression of these particular genes seem to be strongly affected by environment. (I heard this on a recent documentary, also read it in a book on the brain by David Eagleson, and vaguely remember something in the journal Nature. ) Having the "bad" gene doesn't make a person violent. Coming from a deprived or abusive environment doesn't make a person violent. But the losing combination of both the bad gene and bad environment strongly correlated with violent, antisocial acts. So there are already preventative things society can do, since a loving, supportive environment seems to have a protective effect on those who do have the gene.
« Last Edit: 17/03/2013 15:14:19 by cheryl j »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #16 on: 17/03/2013 16:36:21 »
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Salvor Hardin, first Mayor of Terminus, as reported by Isaac Asimov in Foundation.

I think Asimov had Hardin express his own thoughts here .. .. .. .. and he speaks for me to.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #17 on: 18/03/2013 00:33:21 »
I should have made it clearer that it's a loving and supportive environment in early childhood that matters. Nothing I read made any suggestions about what to do about violent or antisocial behavior in adults.
 

Offline graham.d

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #18 on: 18/03/2013 18:49:19 »
Minerva, I am a fan of Steven Pinker for his great books on linguistics, especially in interpreting the seminal early work on the subject by Noam Chomsky. However I fear he is out of his depth on his studies regarding declining violence in the world. The evidence has to be very selective both in the material and its interpretation and, as much as would like to believe his conclusions, I cannot do so. His TED talk on the subject is also unconvincing.

I rather agree with the general feelings expressed regarding castration of violent criminals. It is rather in the mode of lopping off hands of thieves and is not worthy of a civilised society. 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
« Reply #19 on: 18/03/2013 21:08:42 »
If a society treats its criminals as badly as the criminals treat society, how can you tell which group is which?
 

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Re: Should violent criminals be castrated?
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