A CHORUS of «no». Psychologists, criminologists, anti-pedophilia associations and priests beat hard against the Calderoli bill on the chemical castration of pedophiles.
“Why? Castration – explains Lino Rossi, psychologist and criminologist, professor of legal psychology at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who is working precisely on the definition of the psychological profile of the pedophile – is not a very clear question. On the one hand it causes a temporary lowering of sexual desires, on the other it makes the subject more aggressive. The data – continues Rossi – come from research conducted in California and Canada, where chemical castration is practiced. On the clinical level, one fact must be stated: the abuser expresses a psychological and non-pathological disorder, pedophilia is not a disease ».
The psychologist of Moige (Italian Parents Movement – on the Internet www.preventionpedofilia.it, or toll-free number 800933377), Loredana Petrone, is also against the bill. “Chemical castration – he says – consists in the administration of hormones but does not change the personality structure of the pedophile, therefore it is useless. An alternative? The use of psychotherapy during the period of detention “.
Roberta Cecchetti, head of the “Stop-it” project, says the Save the children association, born two years ago against online child pornography. «The abuse – explains Cecchetti – is not only physical but also mental. The law therefore makes no contribution. Our project aims to intercept the porn material that runs on the Internet: behind each image there is an abuse, which must be discovered. In some European states, it is not a crime to portray a child under 16 with their partner. In Italy yes, up to 18 years. European laws for the protection of minors should be harmonized. Here – concludes Cecchetti – Minister Calderoli could commit himself to solving this aspect of the problem ».
In the last six months, Stop.It received 5,000 reports of pornographic material on the Net (33% considered potentially the result of child abuse and sent to the postal police).
But pedophilia is a much deeper and more terrible hell. Here are the 2004 data. In Italy 1,500 minors are prostituted (source the National Center for documentation and analysis for children and adolescents at the Innocenti Institute) in apartments, nightclubs and gyms. And again: 4,387 abuse of children and adolescents that emerged from the calls received by the National Center for Listening to Telefono Azzurro. The most violent geographical area appears to be the North (41% of cases), followed by the South, Center and finally Islands. The region, Lombardy (18.2%), followed by Lazio (13.5%) and Campania (12.8%).
«The chemical castration of pedophiles – Don Forunato Di Noto, the precursor of the anti-pedophile battle and president of the Meter association (on the Internet www.associazionemeter.it or toll-free number 800455270) – increases the dose – not a remedy but an absurdity. Pedophilia is a very serious problem that should not be resolved downstream (with the penalty) but upstream. Children should be loved and not abandoned. Pedophiles creep into the empty spaces that evidently exist in a child’s life. This is the only and most important shortcoming that needs to be filled ».
In other states it is a voluntary treatment
Chemical CASTRATION is already a law in several European states (France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway) and overseas (California and Canada). In Denmark, sexual offenders can choose between serving their sentence in prison until the end or accepting to undergo medical treatment, thus benefiting from early release. Since 1989, 25 cases have been treated with a positive outcome: none of them have had a recurrence. Other experiences of chemical castration, always on a voluntary basis, have been started in Germany and Sweden.
France, 9 November 2004. Paris has decided to test chemical castration on 48 former prisoners (all convicted of this type of crime, repeat offender) since 2005, who will volunteer. Drugs containing two substances – cyproterone acetate and leuprorelin – which have the property of neutralizing and preventing the secretion of testosterone, the hormone that acts on sexual desire and the physical capacity of an erection, will be administered.
Norway, June 7. Four prisoners convicted of sexual offenses have agreed to undergo chemical castration treatment.
In Australia last June conservatives proposed the use of chemical castration to combat pedophilia.