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Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 523–527 | Cite as

Psychosurgery on sex offenders and sexual “deviants” in West Germany

  • Inge Rieber
  • Volkmar Sigusch
Guest Editorial

Abstract

About 70 men have undergone a stereotaxic hypothalamotomy in West Germany for sexual behaviors. In most cases the nucleus ventromedialis (Cajal) has been unilaterally destroyed. The question of whether this kind of psychosurgery should be legally controlled is being discussed by both scientists and the public in West Germany. The justification for this psychosurgery is taken from a theoretical basis which is at least questionable and which stems from a biologically truncated and therefore limited perspective on human sexuality. An inspection of the published reports shows that the indication for surgery was based on questionable scientific and clinical grounds and practically excludes psychotherapeutic and sociotherapeutic aspects. In the authors' opinion stereotaxic hypothalamotomy can in no way be regarded as an unquestioned, applicable method of therapy. We consider it essential that this surgery be suspended at least as long as the possible therapeutic effectiveness and the possible adverse side effects remain unclear.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge Rieber
    • 1
  • Volkmar Sigusch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Sexual ScienceFrankfurt University Medical SchoolFrankfurt/MainWest Germany

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