Added: August 6, 2016 – Last updated: August 6, 2016


Author: Merle Wessel

Title: Castration of male sex offenders in the Nordic welfare state in the context of homosexuality and heteronormativity, 1930–1955

Subtitle: -

Journal: Scandinavian Journal of History

Volume: 40

Issue: 5

Year: 2015 (Published online: July 20, 2015)

Pages: 591-609

ISSN: 0346-8755 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1502-7716 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History | Offenders: Punishments / Castration


Link: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)


Author: Merle Wessel, Centre for Nordic Studies, Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki)

Abstract: »The eugenic legislation was a defining aspect in the development of the Nordic welfare state. While sterilization is a widely recognized method of restricting reproduction, another part of the legislation was the castration of male sex offenders for criminal-therapeutic purposes. This article discusses the conflicts arising from the castration of male criminals. Especially targeted were male criminals whose crimes could be traced back to a conflicted sexuality, including homosexuality and such vaguely termed conditions as hypersexuality and an abnormal sex drive. This article highlights the exclusive connection of sexual violence to male violence in the context of Nordic castration legislation. It is further argued that the decriminalization of homosexuality did not lead to sexual liberation but rather to much more harshly restricted sexuality through medicalization. The medicalization of homosexuality and the castration of men labelled as sexual offenders show how the conformity of the Nordic welfare state has tended to restrict sexuality with the help of the concept of heteronormativity.« (Source: Scandinavian Journal of History)

Wikipedia: History of Europe | Punishment: Castration