Feature

The wrong way to treat pedophiles

Poland is aiming to be the first country in the world to chemically castrate child abusers against their will, said Jacek Zakowski in <em>Polityka.</em>

Jacek ZakowskiPolityka

Poland is aiming to be the first country in the world to chemically castrate child abusers against their will, said Jacek Zakowski. The proposal was prompted by the arrest of a man accused of imprisoning and raping his daughter over a period of six years, fathering two children with her. The case—similar to that of Austria’s Josef Fritzl—caused a national outcry and spurred Prime Minister Donald Tusk to push a law mandating that convicted pedophiles be given drugs to suppress their sex drives. Brushing off opposition from human-rights advocates, Tusk argues that victims’ rights should trump abusers’ rights. Yet there’s a good reason why no civilized country has imposed chemical castration. Pinning a man down and drugging him to change his behavior is not only repugnant, it is ineffective. Experts believe it works in only a minority of cases. We all feel disgust at the sexual abuse of children, but treating the perpetrators as animals to be neutered will only encourage “vigilantes.”

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