Is voluntary chemical castration ever morally licit?

Can a Catholic ever agree to or support the voluntary chemical castration of men who habitually (and perhaps pathologically) fall into serious sexual sin?

Because the act renders the sexual act impossible, it is not sterilization.

It also doesn’t involve mutilating the body, but rather changes the chemical balance so the person feels no sexual desires and is incapable of arousal.

Would volunteering to be chemically castrated be a morally licit way for a person who had an addictive or pathological sexual sin to show a firm purpose of amendment, humbly acknowledging their own inability to contend against their sin?

Would this depend on the gravity of the adverse effects of the sin on others, such that it might be licit for a habitual child molester but not for a habitual masturbator? Or, since both are grave sins against the 6th commandment, could it be licit for both?


Sterilization and mutilation of the body are grave matter against the fifth and sixth commandments, intrinsically evil. Chemical castration falls under these categories.

Your argument that it does not mutilate the body is inaccurate. One does not need a knife to mutilate the normal functioning of one’s body.

One may never do evil in pursuit of a good.

Hi DL82,

Sexuality is a gift from God. We do not have the right to mutilate that either manually or chemically.

Think about it this way: For the same reason that sexual sins are immoral, so is castration.

I hope that helps!


In the marriage, it is totally normal and moral for a husband of taking a medical treatment and a psychological treatment for permitting a normal conjugal sexuality: a pill for the erection (viagra), a treatment for ejaculation, a treatment for male orgasm…etc, avoid male impotency. For the woman, it is the same, the right to struggle against her low sex drive, her lack of libido, her frigidity, her sexual fears…etc, avoid female impotency.
Thus, the medecine in favor of the normal conjugal sexuality is totally moral.*

The treatment against an enormous dysfunction of the normal sexuality because too much testoterone, too much sexualisation of his or her psyche, too much of sex. What are the moral treatments???

Are the chemical treatments morally wrong by principle, if they have for effect of controlling or reducing the wrong effect of the testoterone, or the too much level of testoterone???

The physical castration for avoiding the sexual private sins is always immoral; the physical castration for avoiding the sexual crimes is always immoral, even after a ruling of court, in my humble opinion.

The chemical castration for avoiding the sexual private sins is always immoral, but the chemical treatment for helping to have a normal conjugal sexuality seems not to be immoral, per se.

*The chemical castration for avoiding the sexual crimes, after a ruling of court, moral or immoral??? No idea??? *

It appears from a number of sources that Catholic institutions treating serious sexual deviancy have offered chemical castration:
The St Luke’s institute, mentioned in this article, seems to have been in full accord with Catholic teaching in its work, according to those responsible for its visitation.

That neither means it is moral nor that “The Church” approved it.

We can, however, take and prescribe medications that drastically reduce the libido. I’m on Paxil, which does just this. My sexual urges used to drive me up a wall.

How is your answer compatible with the scripture passage where the author says it is better to pluck your eye out, etc…don’t have the exact passage but I’m sure you’re familiar with it…

How many eyes have you plucked out to stop sinning? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the point of that teaching was to avoid the occasion of sin, not mutilate the body. Remember, God designed our bodies and gave them to us. Our job is to take care of it, not mutilate it.

So when Jesus was referring to “plucking” and “tearing” of various body parts, they were analogies for habits, relationships and various attachments or parts of our lives that were leading us to sin and away from God.

Not everything in the Bible is literal. Have you cut off your arm lately?

What is your view on state -ordered chemical castration eg. Of repeat offender paedophiles?

State ordered sterilization or mutilation is the same as voluntary castration-- intrinsically evil.

I don’t know about chemical casteration but casteration renders someone sterile but doesn’t keep them from having sex. That is hate. If someone is that bad they need to be institutionalized. Where is such a person around kids to reoffend so much? A pedophile is like a homosexual or heterosexual. You just don’t do anything wrong. Are you describing someone who takes some kind of a fit and grabs someone? This sex offender and predator stuff is out of control.

When are they around kids to reoffend so much? Is someone that much out of control. They need to be in jail or an institution.

Yes, that’s a reasonable position. The cost to the community is extremely high to confine someone for so long, which prompts one to consider sentences like “X years plus chemical castration”.

I don’t figure there’s that many people around like that. That can’t help themselves that is. People don’t do things for no reason unless they’ve been labotamized or something. Counciling for those who want to stop sounds good too.

“Soccer Moms” and special interests groups started all this stuff. Where did this epidemic of sex offenses come from? Maureen Kanka probably and she’s condemning some of the things they’re doing now. “If the government is perceived as working for the children then there’s no limit to the liberties and depravity the people will be willing to endure” – Adolf Hitler. This is all a streak of fascism.


I think that you have made the answer to this question a little too simple for what it really demands. Also, state ordered sterilization is not at all the same as voluntary castration. They are too completely different things. Did you mean voluntary sterilization? Voluntary physical castration is a sign of severe mental illness, unfortunately it does happen. Did you mean to refer to the instance when a convicted sex offender agrees to chemical castration so that he can be released from prison?

Using anti-androgen drugs to stop the sexual urge in a person who has been convicted in court of a sexual crime, so that the person can be released from prison is the question at hand. The person in question is not an innocent person. The person has been deemed a threat to society. So the question is can society take away only the criminal’s sexual freedom or should society take away all of the criminals freedoms? In most instances the offender is given the choice and chooses chemical castration in exchange for their personal freedom.

It would become more morally complex if the state said that there were no more jail spaces so all the sex offenders had to take the anti-androgen drugs because they were going to be let out of jail. Then you would be forcing a person to take a drug that they did not choose. But I think that you could still make the argument that it is a licit punishment in that case too.

I don’t believe you can approach this ethical issue as if it falls under standard Catholic sexual ethics. It falls under just and humane punishment.

An alternative way to view this situation is to say that a person has an illness (excessive sex drive, especially if it’s also objectively disordered ie torwards minors) and that the illness is being treated. As such, the chemical treatment would be acceptable. The direct intention is not castration, but treatment of an illlness.

The question though would be how far to take it. If the treatment unavoidably happens to reduce the sex drive to the point that it is effectively chemical castration, then it may still be acceptable if this unintended effect is proprtionally acceptable vs the good effect of correcting their illness. Of course, if the illness can be treated in such a way that it is not effectively chemical castration, then it should be. But this is moving from moral questions into medical ones.

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