South Korea’s parliament voted yesterday to approve chemical castration as punishment for convicted child sex offenders. This was a reaction to a 2008 case when a 58-year-old man raped and assaulted an 8-year-old girl.
Other high-profile cases recently led to the passage by a vote of 137-13. Notably, 140 legislators simply did not vote.
Once signed, judges will be able to castrate adult sex offenders who victimize minors under 16 if they are found to be sexual deviants.
Officials would use a testosterone-suppressing hormones intended to curb sexual drive combined with behavioral and psychological therapies for the inmate.
The treatment is condemned by many as barbaric and questioned in terms of its effectiveness since some felons act out of a non-sexual impulse.
In the United States, Louisiana, California, Oregon and Arizona have laws allowing chemical castration.