Castration, Surgical

Orchiectomy, or surgical castration, has long been regarded as cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits castration as a form of punishment because it involves mutilation of the body that deprives the offender of his manhood. Such mutilation also represents a deprivation of the offender’s privacy rights to bodily integrity, procreation, and freedom of thought. Although constitutional privacy rights are affected by surgical castration, most of the arguments against its use have been couched in terms of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

There are two methods by which to accomplish castration: surgical and chemical. Orchiectomy is the surgical removal of one or both testicles. By removing the male sex organ, surgical castration reduces testosterone in the body, ...

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