Can the actions of pedophiles toward their victims be prevented? Scientists are set to conduct a unique clinical trial of a new injection that could stop a person from abusing children.

A team of researchers from the Center for Andrology and Sexual Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden is looking at degarelix, an experimental drug that hinders the brain from producing testosterone could curb aggression and hyper-sexual tendencies, to reduce the need to seek out sexual contact with young children.

At present, there is no scientifically proven drug that can prevent people from seeking sexual relationships with youngsters. The experiment on the drug is part of the Pedophilia at Risk - Investigations of Treatment and Biomarkers (Priotab) Study.

Is Degarelix The Answer?

The drug, called degarelix, is now being tested on five men who called a helpline and admitted they are at risk of having pedophilic inclinations. These men, however, have never been convicted of any sexual assaults.

The team would test if the drug could actually prevent the risk of someone committing violations on children. If deemed effective, degarelix could change the lives, not only of those suffering from the disorder, but also the children who are at risk of being victims.

"In addition to the pharmaceutical trial, neuropsychological tests, blood sampling and MR brain scans are also being carried out to improve our knowledge about the causes of sexual attraction to children," explained Christoffer Rahm, lead author of the study.

"The medical-ethical dilemma that arises in this type of research is also being studied," he added.

Crowdfunding Project

The team wants to expand the trial by enrolling more men to receive the experimental drug. About 60 men will be given the drug and to do this, the researchers have sought the help of others to fund the project.

A crowdfunding project, which was launched by the researchers at the Karolinksa Institute, aims to raise funds for the controversial, yet helpful research.

"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," Rahm said.

"The goal of pilot is to reduce the number of child sexual abuses, intervening before the damage is done," he added.

Photo: Ann Jutatip | Flickr

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