Is chemical castration effective in preventing sex offenses?
Experts differ over the effectiveness of chemical castration in preventing sex offenses.
According to a survey of 50 experts conducted by the Korean Women’s Development Institute, 54 percent of respondents said chemical castration is useful in stopping such crimes.
However, urologists said the measure has little effectiveness.
Seo Joo-tae, a professor of urology at Kwandong University in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, said, “Although an ex-convict’s sexual desire is reduced, he can resort to violence by committing murder and other crimes.”
The professor also said if a man has psychiatric problems, it would likely have little effect.
As of Monday, the number of ex-convicts who despite wearing an electronic tracing anklet committed further crimes this year totaled 10 -- the comparable figure stood at one in 2008, three in 2010 and 15 in 2011.
Seo Jin-hwan, 42, was arrested on Aug. 20 on charges of attempted rape and murder. He killed a 37-year-old housewife he was attempting to rape, police said.
He sneaked into her house in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, and tried to attack her. When the woman resisted, he stabbed her to death in the neck.
In the wake of the murder, the ruling Saenuri Party is seeking to expand the use of chemical castration, a treatment to reduce sexual desire in convicted sex offenders.
Chemical castration was adopted in July last year, but only one convict has been subject to the treatment so far, as the punishment is applied on very limited cases with controversy over human rights violations and potential side effects.
However, public calls for tougher measures against sex offenders have grown in recent weeks.