The medical and legal application of castration, including the forced castration of sexual offenders in Germany during the Nazi period from 1934 – 1945, is discussed in a cultural-historical introduction. A contemporary sample of 104 voluntary castrates (70% pedophiles, 25% aggressive sexual offenders, 3% exhibitionists, and 2% homosexuals) was examined. The survey was based on a representative follow-up investigation (response rate of 95%), covering approximately 20–25% of all orchidectomized sexual offenders between 1970 and 1980 in the Federal Republic of Germany. The results are contrasted with a comparison group who applied for castration during the same period but ultimately did not have the surgery.
Sexual interest, libido, erection, and ejaculation generally decreased in 75% of the cases within 6 months. Approximately 10% remained sexually active for years on a slightly diminsihed level, whereas 15% reported sexual outlets over a longer period of time, but they required more intensive stimulation for sexual release.
The post-operative recidivism rate for sexual crimes was 3% maximum, compared to 46% maximum for non-castrated applicants. Similar results between both samples were obtained in a special recidivism index which examined deprivation of liberty following approval of castration surgery. The social adjustment of the castrates, also seemed to be more favorable than that of the non-castrates. Of the castrates, approximately 70% were satisfied with the intervention, 20% were ambivalent and 10% were not satisfied.