Fixing the Damned – Seeking a “Cure” for Psychopathy

A baby is born and immediately is taken from the mother to go into surgery.  You see, the baby was born with extra digits and the doctor decreed that it must be saved from a lifetime of stigma.  Somewhere else in the hospital, a baby is born with ambiguous genitalia.  It is also whisked away to be “fixed”.  Cures are sought every day for those peculiarities that society has deemed diseased.  Whether or not the afflicted suffer at all is not in question, whether those with the power can accept such “deformity” is.  Society has come to pathologize aspects of the human condition that are deemed taboo or aesthetically unpleasing.  Boundaries have been set and those that are unlucky enough to cross such boundaries are deemed in need of a cure by those with the power.  Individuality is destroyed in the name of group conformity and membership.  This is the nature of man.

These are tricky questions.  I can recall all too well my mother screaming that she wished she had aborted me when I came out as transgender.  I’m all too aware of parents that are disappointed when their child is revealed to be autistic.  We search for cures to prevent deformity and we enact cures on the living.  Psychopathy has been pathologized itself and differences sought between psychopaths and neurotypicals.  Both a point of relief for the neurotypical and persecution by the neurotypical, these differences are used to explain the “sick” and distinguish them from the “healthy.”

Everyone wants something to blame, something to point at as a reason for difference.  When these differences are misunderstood or deemed unacceptable, treatment sets in.  As with infectious disease, should treatment fail, isolation becomes enacted.  At all points, the disease model is used to explain psychopathy.  However, it is by those in the majority that such a decision gets to be made.  The minority does not get to apply the disease model for human interactions.  What the majority does not understand, they fear.  What they fear, they pathologize.  What is pathologized becomes a target for eradication.

Psychopaths make up less than 1% (by many estimates) of the adult human population.  If many neurotypicals had their way, we would make up 0% of the population.   Society wants to eradicate the parasite, regardless of whether any symbiotic relationship is present.  I suspect that it is not out of the realm of possibility that one day psychopathy could be a target for elimination or isolation.  We’ve already seen genetic profiling of the “warrior gene,” a gene linked to increased aggression.  What if the psychopathic condition itself becomes identifiable earlier and with the precision of many diseases?  If you can’t fix the damned, you prevent them from existing.  This is the desire of many.

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