Castration, Marriage & Punishment
by Sean Laughney

It appears that the people of the great state of Montana won't quite get their way with your gonads after all. You see, they recently passed, by a wide margin, two laws that were to mandate surgical castration for certain sex offenses. Governor Racicot wisely vetoed the bills (claiming budget reasons!) and a compromise was struck. Montana will now follow California's lead with a "chemical" castration program for sex offenders who are about to be paroled. Again, cost is stated as the primary force behind these Montana measures ($21.00 a day to maintain Depo-Provera injections vs. $44.00 a day to incarcerate).

Hey, I'm all for saving money, but let's tell it like it really is. What the people in Montana REALLY wanted was to punish you perverts by cutting your nuts off. I guess I'd feel the same way if one of my loved ones was victimized in such a matter; castration would only be the beginning...The voters in Montana must have asked themselves a similar question when casting their ballets. However, I think it's best to leave "punishment" up to a wise, judicious, disinterested third party - not the family of the victim. Come to think of it, I, sure as hell, wouldn't want to be caught committing a sex crime in Montana. I'm surprised the suspects ever make it to trial. I can visualize a simpler time, where frontier justice got the job done...quickly and efficiently. No budget concerns in the frontier system of the old west.

"Chemical Castration" is, in fact, a provocative misnomer. Nothing is actually cut off. And, it is reversible. The Depo-Provera injections reduce production of testosterone, decreasing sexual drive. Once stopped, testosterone levels return to normal. Apparently, the Europeans have used this treatment for some time now. If they're doing it in Europe, it must be good, right? I'm not so sure. Any kind of castration doesn't address the issues of violence and control (let alone mental illness) that seem to be the driving forces behind these offenses. I imagine that a Depo-

Provera treated repeat offender could still be nuts, just not with an erection - obviously, still in a position to cause a lot of damage and harm.

So, what can be the solution? I think I've got an idea...

Forced Marriage! Not just any marriage, but one to an over-bearing, domineering spouse. O.K., yes, a Ball-Buster, if you will. You not only lose all sex drive, but also your will to control and prevail. You become a threat to no one. By day, you may be The Top Man In Your Field, A Tower Of Industry, A National Authority, World-Renowned, but by night (if you don't take out the garbage) you are a Pathetic Scum, a Loser, impotent in every respect.

And that's not even the best part. This same treatment also works on female "offenders" - it knows no discrimination. In fact, I'm sure there are more females (through no fault of their own) currently undergoing this treatment than males.

Unfortunately, forced marriage is too barbaric, too...European for most Americans. Until I can come up with a better idea, let's keep the Depo-Provera flowing. It might not take the crime out of the criminal, but it will make us feel like we've punished these sex offenders in a way that is almost as good as the knife. And, it's cheaper!

Published May 18, 1997
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