Treatment of sex offenders with antiandrogenic medication: conceptualization, review of treatment modalities, and preliminary findings

Am J Psychiatry. 1981 May;138(5):601-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.138.5.601.


Sexual deviation disorders, or paraphilias, are diagnosable psychiatric syndromes manifested by 1) recurrent fantasies about deviant sex, 2) intense associated cravings, and 3) stereotypic behavioral responses. Pedophiles seek out children in response to their erotic thoughts and urges, whereas exhibitionists expose themselves. Paraphiliac syndromes ordinarily follow a chronic course and may be associated with biological pathology, but etiological factors are poorly understood. Treatment becomes a consideration when the well-being or rights of others are compromised. Proposed treatments have included psychotherapy, behavior therapy, surgery, and medication. Medroxyprogesterone acetate, which reduces testosterone, may diminish sexual preoccupation and urges, making self-control easier.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Fantasy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medroxyprogesterone / analogs & derivatives
  • Medroxyprogesterone / therapeutic use
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraphilic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paraphilic Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Paraphilic Disorders / therapy
  • Pedophilia / drug therapy
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Stereotyped Behavior / drug therapy
  • Syndrome


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Medroxyprogesterone