Researchers from Sweden are seeking crowdfunding to test "chemical castration" in men who report having pedophilic thoughts and fantasies, by using the GNRH antagonist anti prostate cancer drug degarelix.
Up to 5 percent of the general population has pedophilia, a disorder marked by persistent sexual attraction to pre- or early-pubescent children. Testosterone is key here to at least three risk factors for abusing children sexually – high sexual arousal, disturbed self-regulation and low empathy
Lowering testosterone could reduce the risk of men with pedophilic traits molesting children. Child sexual abuse is a widespread problem with around 1 in 10 girls and 1 in 20 boys suffering abuse.
Chemical castration has previously been tried in Sweden, Denmark and Canada and is mandatory in Poland and Russia. Evidence from Scandinavia suggests it can cut rates of reoffending from 40% to 5%.
Degarelix has an immediate onset of action, binding to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the pituitary gland and blocking their interaction with GnRH. This induces a fast and profound reduction in luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and in turn, testosterone suppression