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Dutch report: boys castrated in Catholic psychiatric institutes in 1950s

March 20, 2012

At least ten minors were castrated in Catholic psychiatric institutes in the Netherlands in the 1950s in an attempt to counter homosexual tendencies, according to a Dutch newspaper report. Some were reportedly castrated without parental knowledge.

NRC Handelsblad--one of the nation’s leading dailies--reported that castrations were discussed openly at the time with state inspectors, according to the minutes of meetings. One of the victims, Henk Heithuis, was reportedly castrated after he told police that he had been abused by a priest.

Following the report, some members of parliament called for an investigation.


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  • Posted by: cloudchaser64 - Mar. 20, 2012 6:27 PM ET USA

    We have to look at the time period here. Nazi medicine was devoted to the pseudoscience of Eugenics (thanks to Margaret Sanger), which spilled over into Dutch medicine. It also affected American medicine. At this same time, there are documented reports of black girls who had babies out of wedlock were routinely sterilized.