A new drug is currently being tested out to see whether it can prevent the risk of abusing children among men.
Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have started a clinical trial on a drug called degarelix to test its potential in controlling urge to sexually abuse children.
The drug was injected into five volunteers who said that they had thoughts on child abuse. The drug dramatically lowered levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, roughly to those of a prepubescent boy. Testosterone is linked to high sexual arousal and low empathy.
‘Researchers at Karolinska Institute are investigating whether degarelix drug can decrease the risk of an individual committing child abuse by reducing hyper-sexuality and aggression.’
These results were found after three days of the trial. By scanning the participant's brain, they found that the drug also blocks receptors in the limbic system of the brain which promotes anger, thus limiting arousal.
Now they have decided to try out the same experiment among 60 people who have similar thoughts but are not child abusers. Previous studies by the same scientists found that 40 percent of the risk of committing a sex crime is genetic, with the remaining 60 percent was due to personal and environmental factors, such as being abused as a child.
Dr. Christoffer Rahm, Consultant Psychiatrist and post-doctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute said, "Child sexual abuse is one of the most pervasive social problems today. This issue is hard to deal with, but we must, because it affects all of us. The goal of pilot is to reduce the number of child sexual abuses, intervening before the damage is done."