HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

Castration is any action,
surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a person to investigate or treat a pat ...
,
chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance cannot be separated into its constituent elements by physical separation methods, i.e., wit ...
, or otherwise, by which an individual loses use of the
testicles A testicle or testis (plural testes) is the male reproductive gland or gonad in all bilaterians, including humans. It is homologous to the female ovary. The functions of the testes are to produce both sperm and androgens, primarily testoster ...
: the male
gonad A gonad, sex gland, or reproductive gland is a mixed gland that produces the gametes and sex hormones of an organism. Female reproductive cells are egg cells, and male reproductive cells are sperm. The male gonad, the testicle, produces spe ...
. Surgical castration is bilateral
orchiectomy Orchiectomy (also named orchidectomy, and sometimes shortened as orchi or orchie) is a surgical procedure in which one or both testicles are removed. The surgery is performed as treatment for testicular cancer, as part of surgery for transgen ...
(excision of both testicles), while chemical castration uses
pharmaceutical drug A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) is an important part of the medical field and r ...
s to deactivate the testes. Castration causes
sterilization Sterilization may refer to: * Sterilization (microbiology), killing or inactivation of micro-organisms * Soil steam sterilization, a farming technique that sterilizes soil with steam in open fields or greenhouses * Sterilization (medicine) rende ...
(preventing the castrated person or animal from reproducing); it also greatly reduces the production of
hormone A hormone (from the Greek participle , "setting in motion") is a class of signaling molecules in multicellular organisms that are sent to distant organs by complex biological processes to regulate physiology and behavior. Hormones are required f ...
s, such as
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteri ...
and estrogen. Surgical castration in animals is often called neutering. The term ''castration'' is sometimes also used to refer to the removal of the
ovaries The ovary is an organ in the female reproductive system that produces an ovum. When released, this travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it may become fertilized by a sperm. There is an ovary () found on each side of the body. T ...
in the female, otherwise known as an oophorectomy, or the removal of internal testes, otherwise known as gonadectomy. The equivalent of castration for female animals is
spaying Neutering, from the Latin ''neuter'' ('of neither sex'), is the removal of an animal's reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part. The male-specific term is castration, while spaying is usually reserved for female animals. ...
. Estrogen levels drop following oophorectomy, and long-term effects of the reduction of sex hormones are significant throughout the body. Castration of animals is intended to favor a desired development of the animal or of its habits, as an
anaphrodisiac An anaphrodisiac (also antaphrodisiac or antiaphrodisiac) is a substance that quells or blunts the libido. It is the opposite of an aphrodisiac, something that enhances sexual appetite. The word ''anaphrodisiac'' comes from the Greek privativ ...
or to prevent
overpopulation Overpopulation or overabundance is a phenomenon in which a species' population becomes larger than the carrying capacity of its environment. This may be caused by increased birth rates, lowered mortality rates, reduced predation or large scale ...
. The term ''castration'' may also be sometimes used to refer to
emasculation Emasculation is the removal of both the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. It differs from castration, which is the removal of the testicles only, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The potential medical ...
where both the testicles ''and'' the penis are removed together. In some cultures, and in some translations, no distinction is made between the two.


History

It is unknown when castration was first practiced, nor where it was invented. It may be that it arose independently in more than one place, but there is evidence that it was practiced as far back as 4,000 BC based on descriptions in the cult of Ishtar and Uruk. It may have arisen in the Neolithic period in response to animal husbandry, rising populations and population specialisation. Castration was frequently used for religious or social reasons in certain cultures in Europe, South Asia, Africa, and East Asia. Castrated men—
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a male who has been castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2nd millenniu ...
s – were often admitted to special social classes and were used particularly to staff
bureaucracies The term bureaucracy () refers to a body of non-elected governing officials as well as to an administrative policy-making group. Historically, a bureaucracy was a government administration managed by departments staffed with non-elected offi ...
and palace households: in particular, the
harem Harem (Persian: حرمسرا ''haramsarā'', ar, حَرِيمٌ ''ḥarīm'', "a sacred inviolable place; harem; female members of the family") refers to domestic spaces that are reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim family. A hare ...
. Castration also figured in a number of religious castration cults. Other religions, such as Judaism, were strongly opposed to the practice. The Leviticus Holiness code, for example, specifically excludes eunuchs or any males with defective genitals from the priesthood, just as castrated animals are excluded from
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...
. Eunuchs in China had been known to usurp power in many eras of Chinese history, most notably in the Later Han, late Tang and late Ming dynasties. In ancient times, castration often involved
emasculation Emasculation is the removal of both the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. It differs from castration, which is the removal of the testicles only, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The potential medical ...
or the total removal of all the male genitalia. This involved great danger of death due to bleeding or infection and, in some states, such as the Byzantine Empire, was seen as the same as a death sentence. Removal of only the testicles had much less risk. Either surgical removal of both testicles or chemical castration may be carried out in the case of
prostate cancer Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancerous tumor worldwide and is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related mortality among men. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that surr ...
.
Testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteri ...
-depletion treatment (either surgical removal of both testicles or chemical castration) is used to slow down the cancer, greatly reduce sex drive or interest in those with sexual drives, obsessions, or behaviors, or any combination of those that may be considered deviant. Surgical removal of one or both testicles known as orchidectomy is the most common treatment for testicular cancer. Castration has also been used in the United States for
sex offender A sex offender (sexual offender, sex abuser, or sexual abuser) is a person who has committed a sex crime. What constitutes a sex crime differs by culture and legal jurisdiction. The majority of convicted sex offenders have convictions for crim ...
s as a way of avoiding incarceration.
Trans women A trans woman or a transgender woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women have a female gender identity, may experience gender dysphoria, and may transition; this process commonly includes hormone replacement therapy and so ...
often undergo orchiectomy, as do some other transgender people. Orchiectomy may be performed as part of a more general
sex reassignment surgery Gender-affirming surgery (GAS) is a surgical procedure, or series of procedures, that alters a transgender or transsexual person's physical appearance and sexual characteristics to resemble those associated with their identified gender, and ...
, either before or during other procedures. It may also be performed on someone who does not desire, or cannot afford, further surgery. Involuntary castration appears in the history of warfare, sometimes used by one side to torture or demoralize their enemies. It was practiced to extinguish opposing male lineages and thus allow the victor to sexually possess the defeated group's women.


Africa and the Middle East

Over the 13 centuries of the Arab slave trade in Africa, unknown numbers of Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Middle East. "The Caliphate in Baghdad at the beginning of the 10th Century had 7,000 black eunuchs and 4,000 white eunuchs in his palace." The Arab slave trade typically dealt in the sale of castrated male slaves. Black boys at the age of eight to twelve had their scrotum and penis completely amputated. Reportedly, about two of three boys died, but those who survived drew high prices.


Europe


Myth

In ancient Greek mythology, Cronus castrated his father, Uranus, after the latter imprisoned the
Cyclopes In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, the Cyclopes ( ; el, Κύκλωπες, ''Kýklōpes'', "Circle-eyes" or "Round-eyes"; singular Cyclops ; , ''Kýklōps'') are giant one-eyed creatures. Three groups of Cyclopes can be distinguish ...
and
Hecatonchires In Greek mythology, the Hecatoncheires ( grc-gre, Ἑκατόγχειρες, , Hundred-Handed Ones), or Hundred-Handers, also called the Centimanes, (; la, Centimani), named Cottus, Briareus (or Aegaeon) and Gyges (or Gyes), were three monstrous ...
.


Slavery

The employment or enslavement of eunuchs (castrated men) as a separate gender role was practiced in classical and Roman antiquity and continued into the Middle Ages. In the 10th century, slave traders in Verdun in France and in Becâne (
Pechina Pechina is a municipality of Province of Almería, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. It is on the site of the ancient town of Urci. Pechina, called ''Bajjāna'' in Arabic, was the centre of a Yemeni colony during the period of t ...
), Spain, castrated captives who were then enslaved as harem attendants in
Al-Andalus Al-Andalus translit. ; an, al-Andalus; ast, al-Ándalus; eu, al-Andalus; ber, ⴰⵏⴷⴰⵍⵓⵙ, label= Berber, translit=Andalus; ca, al-Àndalus; gl, al-Andalus; oc, Al Andalús; pt, al-Ândalus; es, al-Ándalus () was the Mu ...
.


Punishment

Edward Gibbon's ''
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'' is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon. It traces Western civilization (as well as the Islamic and Mongolian conquests) from the height of the Roman Empire to th ...
'' reports castration of defeated
Byzantine Greeks The Byzantine Greeks were the Greek-speaking Eastern Romans of Orthodox Christianity throughout Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. They were the main inhabitants of the lands of the Byzantine Empire ( Eastern Roman Empire), of Constantinop ...
at the hands of the
Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks, a Germanic tribe and their culture ** Frankish language or its modern descendants, Franconian languages * Francia, a post-Roman state in France and Germany * East Francia, the successor state to Francia in Germany ...
marquis
Theobald Theobald is a Germanic dithematic name, composed from the elements '' theod-'' "people" and ''bald'' "bold". The name arrived in England with the Normans. The name occurs in many spelling variations, including Theudebald, Diepold, Theobalt, Ty ...
of Camerino and Spoleto in the course of 10th-century wars in Italy. Gibbon also alludes to a 12th-century incident set out in
William Fitzstephen William Fitzstephen (also William fitz Stephen), (died c. 1191) was a cleric and administrator in the service of Thomas Becket. In the 1170s he wrote a long biography of Thomas Becket – the ''Vita Sancti Thomae'' (Life of St. Thomas). Fitzsteph ...
's ''Vita Sancti Thomae'' (''Life of St. Thomas'') in which Geoffrey of Anjou castrated the members of the cathedral chapter of
Sens Sens () is a commune in the Yonne department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in north-central France, 120 km from Paris. Sens is a sub-prefecture and the second city of the department, the sixth in the region. It is crossed by the Yonne ...
as a punishment for disobedience. In the medieval kingdom of Georgia, the 12th-century pretender Demna was castrated by his uncle
George III of Georgia George III ( ka, გიორგი III) (died 27 March 1184), of the Bagrationi dynasty, was the 8th King of Georgia from 1156 to 1184. He became king when his father, Demetrius I, died in 1156, which was preceded by his brother's revolt again ...
to ensure the supremacy of George's branch of the family. Another victim of castration was the 12th-century medieval French philosopher, scholar, teacher, and (later) monk Pierre Abélard. He was castrated by relatives of his lover,
Héloïse Héloïse (; c. 1100–01? – 16 May 1163–64?), variously Héloïse d' ArgenteuilCharrier, Charlotte. Heloise Dans L'histoire Et Dans la Legende. Librairie Ancienne Honore Champion Quai Malaquais, VI, Paris, 1933 or Héloïse du Paraclet, w ...
. Bishop Wimund, a 12th-century English adventurer and invader of the Scottish coast, was blinded and castrated after losing a power struggle. In medieval England, men found guilty of
high treason Treason is the crime of attacking a state authority to which one owes allegiance. This typically includes acts such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplo ...
were
hanged, drawn and quartered To be hanged, drawn and quartered became a statutory penalty for men convicted of high treason in the Kingdom of England from 1352 under King Edward III (1327–1377), although similar rituals are recorded during the reign of King Henry III ...
, which often included
emasculation Emasculation is the removal of both the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. It differs from castration, which is the removal of the testicles only, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The potential medical ...
(removal of the genitalia). Women were burned at the stake for the sake of public decency.
William Wallace Sir William Wallace ( gd, Uilleam Uallas, ; Norman French: ; 23 August 1305) was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the First War of Scottish Independence. Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army a ...
, the Scottish resistance leader, was castrated as part of his execution in 1305 for resistance to English rule.


Modern era

In 1878, Pope Leo XIII prohibited the Church from hiring any more castrated singers, leading to the end of castrated singers in Italy. Wim Deetman was criticized by the Dutch parliament for excluding evidence of castration in his report on sexual abuse by the Roman Catholic Church, where ten children were allegedly "punished" by castration in the 1950s for reporting sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests. However, the Deetman Commission had rejected it as the person who reported the incident admitted it was speculative. Voluntary castration for homosexuality was also state policy in Netherlands at that point, as well against Catholic canon law, and there has been no evidence suggesting the Church had a part in organizing the procedures. In 1952,
Alan Turing Alan Mathison Turing (; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical co ...
—the father of computer science and the inventor of the
Turing machine A Turing machine is a mathematical model of computation describing an abstract machine that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Despite the model's simplicity, it is capable of implementing any computer algo ...
—was criminally prosecuted for homosexual acts and chose chemical castration as an alternative to a period of imprisonment. In Spain, a law against castration was used to deny sex-reassignment surgery to transgender people until the Penal Code was reformed in 1983. Chemical castration has been and is used as part of sentencing in criminal cases.


China

According to legend, during the reign of the legendary Emperor Shun and Yu in China, in 2281 BC, castration was passed into law as a punishment, remaining so until the reign of Gaozu of Tang (589–600 AD). However, it was still practiced after his reign. According to historians, it was incorporated into Chinese law during the Zhou dynasty. It was one of the five physical punishments that could be legally inflicted on criminals in China. Records of castrations in China date to the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese royal dynasty founded by Tang of Shang (Cheng Tang) that ruled in the Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, traditionally succeeding the Xia dynasty and ...
(–1050 BC), when the Shang kings castrated prisoners of war. During the reign of Mu of the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese ( B&S): *''tiw'') was a royal dynasty of China that followed the Shang dynasty. Having lasted 789 years, the Zhou dynasty was the longest dynastic regime in Chinese history. The military control of China by the ...
(10th c. BC) the Minister of Crime, Marquis Lu, reformed the law in 950 BC to make it easier for people to be sentenced to castration instead of death. As long as the practice existed in China, not only were the testicles merely removed but castration included the severing of one's entire genitalia. Both organs were cut off with a knife at the same time. Men were castrated and made into state slaves during the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty ( ; zh, c=秦朝, p=Qín cháo, w=), or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles romanization ( zh, c=, p=, w=Ch'in ch'ao), was the first dynasty of Imperial China. Named for its heartland in Qin state (modern Gansu and Shaanxi), the ...
(221–206 BC) to perform forced labor for projects such as the
Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor ...
. The Qin government confiscated the property and enslaved the families of rapists who received castration as a punishment. Men punished with castration during the
Han dynasty The Han dynasty (, ; ) was an imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 9 AD, 25–220 AD), established by Liu Bang (Emperor Gao) and ruled by the House of Liu. The dynasty was preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) and a war ...
were also used as slave labor. In the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), castration continued to be used as a punishment for various offences. Chinese historian
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty (206AD220). He is considered the father of Chinese historiography for his ''Records of the Grand Historian'', a general history of China covering more than two thousand years b ...
was castrated by order of the Han Emperor of China for dissent. In another incident multiple people, including a chief scribe and his underlings, were subjected to castration. During the early part of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), China demanded eunuchs to be sent as tribute from
Korea Korea ( ko, 한국, or , ) is a peninsular region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided at or near the 38th parallel, with North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) comprising its northern half and South Korea (Republic of ...
. Some of them oversaw the Korean concubines in the harem of the Chinese Emperor. When the Chinese overthrew Mongol rule, many Mongol captives were castrated and turned into eunuchs. When the Ming army finally captured
Yunnan Yunnan , () is a landlocked province in the southwest of the People's Republic of China. The province spans approximately and has a population of 48.3 million (as of 2018). The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders the ...
from Mongols in 1382, thousands of prisoners were killed and, according to the custom in times of war, their young sons—including
Zheng He Zheng He (; 1371–1433 or 1435) was a Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and court eunuch during China's early Ming dynasty. He was originally born as Ma He in a Muslim family and later adopted the surname Zheng conferred ...
—were castrated. During the Miao Rebellions (Ming dynasty), Chinese commanders castrated thousands of
Miao Miao may refer to: * Miao people, linguistically and culturally related group of people, recognized as such by the government of the People's Republic of China * Miao script or Pollard script, writing system used for Miao languages * Miao (Unicod ...
boys when their tribes revolted, and then distributed them as eunuch slaves as gifts to various officials. At the end of the Ming dynasty, there were about 70,000 eunuchs (宦官 ''huànguān'', or 太監 ''tàijiàn'') employed by the emperor, with some serving inside the Forbidden City. The last imperial eunuch in China was Sun Yaoting who died in 1996.


Non-Han peoples

Many of the non-Han Chinese peoples who founded states in China after invading originally did not have eunuchs as part of their culture, but adopted it from the Han Chinese. The
Khitan people The Khitan people (Khitan small script: ; ) were a historical nomadic people from Northeast Asia who, from the 4th century, inhabited an area corresponding to parts of modern Mongolia, Northeast China and the Russian Far East. As a people desc ...
adopted the practice of using eunuchs from the Chinese and the eunuchs used were non-Khitan prisoners of war. The Khitan were a nomadic Mongolic people and originally did not have eunuchs as part of their culture. When the Khitan founded the
Liao dynasty The Liao dynasty (; Khitan language, Khitan: ''Mos Jælud''; ), also known as the Khitan Empire (Khitan: ''Mos diau-d kitai huldʒi gur''), officially the Great Liao (), was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that exi ...
they developed a
harem Harem (Persian: حرمسرا ''haramsarā'', ar, حَرِيمٌ ''ḥarīm'', "a sacred inviolable place; harem; female members of the family") refers to domestic spaces that are reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim family. A hare ...
system with concubines and wives and adopted eunuchs as part of it. All of the eunuchs captured were ethnic Chinese from the Central Plains that came from two sources. The Khitan captured Chinese people who were already eunuchs at the Jin court when they invaded the Later Jin. Another source was during their war with the Chinese
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. The Song conquered the rest ...
: the Khitan would raid China, capture Han Chinese boys as prisoners of war and emasculate them to become eunuchs. The emasculation of captured Chinese boys guaranteed a continuous supply of eunuchs to serve in the Liao dynasty harem. The Empress Dowager Xiao Chuo (Chengtian) played a large role in the raids to capture and emasculate the boys. Chengtian took power at age 30 in 982 as a regent for her son. Some reports suggest that she personally led her own army against the Song Chinese in 986. Her army defeated them in battle, fighting the retreating Chinese army. She then ordered the castration of around 100 ethnic
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, and/or ethnicity **'' Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic concept of the Chinese nation ** List of ethnic groups in China, people of v ...
boys she had captured in China, supplementing the Khitan's supply of eunuchs to serve at her court, among them was Wang Ji'en. The boys were all under ten years old and were selected for their good looks. The History of Liao 遼史 described and praised Empress Chengtian's capture and mass castration of the Chinese boys in a biography on Wang Ji'en. Some legends say that the Mongol
Genghis Khan ''Chinggis Khaan'' ͡ʃʰiŋɡɪs xaːŋbr /> Mongol script: ''Chinggis Qa(gh)an/ Chinggis Khagan'' , birth_name = Temüjin , successor = Tolui (as regent)Ögedei Khan , spouse = , issue = , house = Borjigin , ...
was castrated by a Tangut princess using a knife, who wanted revenge against his treatment of the Tanguts and to stop him from raping her. During the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty ( ), officially the Great Qing,, was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. It emerged from the Later Jin dynasty founded by the Jianzhou Jurchens, a Tungusic-speaki ...
(1644–1911 AD), the sons and grandsons of the rebel
Yaqub Beg Muhammad Yaqub Bek (محمد یعقوب بیگ; uz, Яъқуб-бек, ''Ya’qub-bek''; ; 182030 May 1877) was a Khoqandi ruler of Yettishar (Kashgaria) during his invasion of Xinjiang from 1865 to 1877. He held the title of Atalik Ghazi (" ...
in China were all sentenced to castration. Surviving members of Yaqub Beg's family included his four sons, four grandchildren (two grandsons and two granddaughters), and four wives. They either died in prison in
Lanzhou Lanzhou (, ; ) is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. Located on the banks of the Yellow River, it is a key regional transportation hub, connecting areas further west by rail to the eastern half of the country. H ...
, Gansu, or were killed by the Chinese. His sons Yima Kuli, K'ati Kuli, Maiti Kuli, and grandson Aisan Ahung were the only survivors in 1879. They were all underage children, and put on trial, sentenced to an agonizing death if they were complicit in their father's rebellious "sedition", or if they were innocent of their fathers crimes, were to be sentenced to castration and serving as
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a male who has been castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2nd millenniu ...
slaves to Chinese troops, when they reached 11 years old, and handed over to the Imperial Household to be executed or castrated. Although some sources assert that the sentence of castration was carried out, official sources from the US State Department and activists involved in the incident state that Yaqub Beg's son and grandsons had their sentence commuted to life imprisonment with a fund provided for their support.


Korea

The eunuchs of Korea, called ''Naesi'' (내시, 內侍), were officials to the king and other royalty in traditional Korean society. The first recorded appearance of a Korean eunuch was in
Goryeosa The ''Goryeosa'' (), or ''History of Goryeo'', is the main surviving historical record of Korea's Goryeo dynasty. It was composed nearly a century after the fall of Goryeo, during the reign of King Sejong, undergoing repeated revisions betwe ...
("History of Goryeo"), a compilation about the Goryeo period. In 1392, with the founding of the
Joseon dynasty Joseon (; ; Middle Korean: 됴ᇢ〯션〮 Dyǒw syéon or 됴ᇢ〯션〯 Dyǒw syěon), officially the Great Joseon (; ), was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea, lasting just over 500 years. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye in July 1392 and re ...
, the ''Naesi'' system was revised, and the department was renamed the "Department of ''Naesi''" (내시부, 內侍府). The Naesi system included two ranks, those of ''Sangseon'' (상선, 尙膳, "Chief of Naesi"), who held the official title of senior second rank, and ''Naegwan'' (내관, 內官, "Common official naesi"), both of which held rank as officers. 140 naesi in total served the palace in Joseon dynasty period. They also took the exam on
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism or Ru classicism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China. Variously described as tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or ...
every month. The naesi system was repealed in 1894 following
Gabo reform The Gabo Reform, also known as the Kabo Reform, describes a series of sweeping reforms suggested to the government of Korea, beginning in 1894 and ending in 1896 during the reign of Gojong of Korea in response to the Donghak Peasant Revolutio ...
. According to legend, castration consisted of daubing a boy's genitals with human feces and having a dog bite them off. During the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a Mongol-led imperial dynasty of China and a successor state to the Mongol Empire after its division. It was established by Kublai, the fifth ...
, eunuchs became a desirable commodity for tributes, and dog bites were replaced by more sophisticated surgical techniques.


Vietnam

The Vietnamese adopted the eunuch system and castration techniques from China. Records show that the Vietnamese performed castration in a painful procedure by removing the entire genitalia with both penis and testicles being cut off with a sharp knife or metal blade. The procedure was agonizing since the entire penis was cut off. The young man's thighs and abdomen would be tied, and others would pin him down on a table. The genitals would be washed with pepper water and then cut off. A tube would be then inserted into the urethra to allow urination during healing. Many Vietnamese eunuchs were products of self-castration in order to gain access to the palaces and power. In other cases, they might be paid to become eunuchs. They served in many capacities, from supervising public works, to investigating crimes, to reading public proclamations. Lý Thường Kiệt was a prominent eunuch general during the
Lý dynasty The Lý dynasty ( vi, Nhà Lý, , chữ Nôm: 茹李, chữ Hán: 李朝, Hán Việt: ''Lý triều'') was a Vietnamese dynasty that existed from 1009 to 1225. It was established by Lý Công Uẩn when he overthrew the Early Lê dynasty a ...
(1009–1225). The
Trần dynasty The Trần dynasty, ( Vietnamese: Nhà Trần, chữ Nôm: 茹陳)also known as the House of Trần, was a Vietnamese dynasty that ruled over the Kingdom of Đại Việt from 1225 to 1400. The dynasty was founded when emperor Trần Thá ...
sent Vietnamese boy eunuchs as tribute to Ming dynasty China several times, in 1383, 1384 and 1385Tsai (1996), p. 15 Nguyen Dao, Nguyen Toan, Tru Ca, and Ngo Tin were among several Vietnamese eunuchs sent to China. During the Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, the Ming Chinese under the
Yongle Emperor The Yongle Emperor (; pronounced ; 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424), personal name Zhu Di (), was the third Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. Zhu Di was the fourth son of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming dyna ...
castrated many young Vietnamese boys, choosing them for their handsomeness and ability, and brought them to Nanjing to serve as eunuchs. Among them were the architect-engineer Nguyễn An and Nguyen Lang (阮浪). Vietnamese were among the many eunuchs of different origins found at Yongle's court. Among the eunuchs in charge of the Capital Battalions of
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
was Xing An, a Vietnamese. In the Lê dynasty the Vietnamese Emperor
Lê Thánh Tông Lê Thánh Tông (黎聖宗; 25 August 1442 – 3 March 1497), personal name Lê Hạo, temple name Thánh Tông, courtesy name Tư Thành, was an emperor of Đại Việt, reigning from 1460 to 1497, the fifth and the longest-reigning emp ...
was aggressive in his relations with foreign countries including China. A large amount of trade between Guangdong and Vietnam happened during his reign. Early accounts recorded that the Vietnamese captured Chinese whose ships had blown off course and detained them. Young Chinese men were selected by the Vietnamese for castration to become eunuch slaves to the Vietnamese. It has been speculated by modern historians that the Chinese who were captured and castrated by the Vietnamese were involved in trade between China and Vietnam instead of actually being blown off course by the wind and they were punished as part of a crackdown on foreign trade by Vietnam. Several Malay envoys from the
Malacca sultanate The Malacca Sultanate ( ms, Kesultanan Melaka; Jawi script: ) was a Malay sultanate based in the modern-day state of Malacca, Malaysia. Conventional historical thesis marks as the founding year of the sultanate by King of Singapura, Parameswa ...
were attacked and captured in 1469 by the Lê dynasty of Annam (Vietnam) as they were returning to Malacca from China. The Vietnamese enslaved and castrated the young from among the captured. A 1472 entry in the Ming Shilu reported that when some Chinese from
Nanhai county Nanhai County was a former county in Guangdong Province, China, named after the South China Sea. Its former area now makes up Nanhai District in Foshan and Liwan District in Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton () and ...
escaped back to China after their ship had been blown off course into Vietnam, where they had been forced to serve as soldiers in Vietnam's military. The escapees also reported that they found out up to 100 Chinese men remained captives in Vietnam after they were caught and castrated by the Vietnamese after their ships were blown off course into Vietnam. The Chinese Ministry of Revenue responded by ordering Chinese civilians and soldiers to stop going abroad to foreign countries. China's relations with Vietnam during this period were marked by the punishment of prisoners by castration. A 1499 entry in the Ming Shilu recorded that 13 Chinese men from Wenchang including a young man named Wu Rui were captured by the Vietnamese after their ship was blown off course while traveling from Hainan to
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternatively romanized as Canton or Kwangtung, is a coastal province in South China on the north shore of the South China Sea. The capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 126.01 million (as of 2020) a ...
's Qin subprefecture (
Qinzhou Qinzhou ( postal: Yamchow, , Jyutping: ''Jam1 zau1'' ( Canton) /''Ham1 zau1'' ( Local) ) is a prefecture-level city in south-central Guangxi, southern China, lying on the Gulf of Tonkin and having a total population of 3,302,238 as of the 202 ...
), after which they ended up near the coast of Vietnam, during the Chenghua Emperor's rule (1447–1487). Twelve of them were enslaved to work as agricultural laborers, while the youngest, Wu Rui (吳瑞) was selected for castration since he was the only young man and he became a eunuch attendant at the Vietnamese imperial palace in Thang Long. After years of service, he was promoted at the death of the Vietnamese ruler in 1497 to a military position in northern Vietnam. A soldier told him of an escape route back to China and Wu Rui escaped to Longzhou. The local chief planned to sell him back to the Vietnamese, but Wu was rescued by the
Pingxiang Pingxiang () is a medium-sized prefecture-level city located in western Jiangxi province, People's Republic of China. Geography and climate Pingxiang is a city situated near the border of Jiangxi with Hunan province. Approximately 110 kilometer ...
magistrate and then was sent to
Beijing } Beijing ( ; ; ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world's most populous national capital city, with over 21 ...
to work as a eunuch in the palace. The '' Đại Việt sử ký toàn thư'' records that in 1467 in An Bang province of Dai Viet (now Quảng Ninh Province) a Chinese ship blew off course onto the shore. The Chinese were detained and not allowed to return to China as ordered by Le Thanh Tong. This incident may be the same one where Wu Rui was captured.Cooke (2011), p. 109 In the Nguyễn dynasty the poet Hồ Xuân Hương mocked eunuchs in her poem as a stand-in for criticizing the government. Commoners were banned from undergoing castration in Vietnam; only adult men of high social rank could be castrated. Most eunuchs were born as such with a congenital abnormality. The Vietnamese government mandated that boys born with defective genitalia were to be reported to officials, in exchange for the town being freed from mandatory labor requirements. The boy would have the option of serving as a eunuch official or serving the palace women when he became ten years old. This law was put in place in 1838 during the Nguyễn dynasty. The only males allowed inside the Forbidden City at
Huế Huế () is the capital of Thừa Thiên Huế province in central Vietnam and was the capital of Đàng Trong from 1738 to 1775 and of Vietnam during the Nguyễn dynasty from 1802 to 1945. The city served as the old Imperial City and adm ...
were the Emperor and his eunuchs. The presence of eunuchs in Vietnam was used by the French colonizers to degrade the Vietnamese.


Americas

In 1778,
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was previously the natio ...
wrote a bill in Virginia reducing the punishment for rape, polygamy or sodomy from death to castration. Over the years, several U.S. states have passed laws regarding chemical castration for sex offenders but not one state has mandatory castration. In 2016, Alabama lawmaker Steve Hurst proposed a bill requiring certain sex offenses to require the perpetrator be castrated prior to their release from state custody. A 1969 study found that men institutionalized at the same facility in Kansas lived an extra 14 years, on average, if they were castrated. In 1983, Judge C. Victor Pyle sentenced three black men convicted of rape to choose between 30 years in prison or castration. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the castration option would be cruel, however, and the men were sentenced to prison.


Iran

Aqa
Mohammad Khan Qajar Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar ( fa, آقا محمد خان قاجار, translit=Âqâ Mohammad Xân-e Qâjâr; 14 March 1742 – 17 June 1797), also known by his regnal name of Agha Mohammad Shah (, ), was the founder of the Qajar dynasty of Iran, rul ...
, who established the
Qajar dynasty The Qajar dynasty (; fa, دودمان قاجار ', az, Qacarlar ) was an IranianAbbas Amanat, ''The Pivot of the Universe: Nasir Al-Din Shah Qajar and the Iranian Monarchy, 1831–1896'', I. B. Tauris, pp 2–3 royal dynasty of Turkic origi ...
in Iran (in the 18th century), was a victim of castration by officers of the previous kingdom. When he conquered
Lotf Ali Khan Lotf Ali Khan ( fa, لطفعلی‌خان زند; ) was the last Shah of the Zand dynasty. He ruled from 1789 to 1794. Early life Lotf Ali Khan Zand came to power after a decade of infighting among a succession of violent and inept Zand chiefs f ...
, the last king of the
Zand dynasty The Zand dynasty ( fa, سلسله زندیه, ') was an Iranian dynasty, founded by Karim Khan Zand (1751–1779) that initially ruled southern and central Iran in the 18th century. It later quickly came to expand to include much of the rest ...
, Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar had Lotf Ali Khan castrated in revenge.


Modern trafficking

An article in the ''Gulf Times'' revealed in 2005 a major
sex trade The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of businesses that either directly or indirectly provide sex-related products and services or adult entertainment. The industry includes activities involving direct provision of sex-related ...
in mostly Nepalese boys who were lured to India and sold to brothels in
Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the ''de facto'' financial centre of India. According to the United Nations, as of 2018, Mumbai is the second-m ...
, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. One victim was lured from Nepal at the age of 14, sold into slavery, locked up, beaten, starved, and forcibly castrated. He reported that he was held in a brothel with 40 to 50 other boys, many of whom were also castrated. He escaped and made his way back to Nepal. Two
non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization (NGO) or non-governmental organisation (see spelling differences) is an organization that generally is formed independent from government. They are typically nonprofit entities, and many of them are active in h ...
s, one that works with homosexuals in Nepal, and one that works to rescue and rehabilitate trafficked women and children, were co-operating to help and rescue these boys.


Prevention of crime

Voluntary or mandated preventative chemical or surgical castration has been in practice in many countries—reports are available from American and European countries in particular for over eighty years (chemical for circa thirty)—as an option for treatment for people who have broken laws of a sexual nature, allowing them to return to the community from otherwise lengthy detentions. The effectiveness and ethics of this treatment are heavily debated. A ''temporary'' " chemical castration" has been studied and developed as a preventive measure and punishment for several repeated sex crimes, such as rape or other sexually related violence. This has also been used to attempt to "treat" homosexuality, such as the chemical castration ordered against
Alan Turing Alan Mathison Turing (; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical co ...
. In modern times, the Czech Republic practices surgical castration of convicted sex offenders. According to the reports compiled by Council of Europe, a human-rights forum, the central European country physically castrated at least 94 prisoners in the 10 years up to April 2008. The Czech Republic defends this procedure as voluntary and effective. According to Dr. Martin Hollý, director of the Psychiatric Hospital Bohnice in Prague, none of the nearly 100 sex offenders who had been physically castrated had committed further offences. One serial offender stated that being castrated was the "best decision" he ever made: "On the one hand you have to protect the potential victims and on the other hand I wanted to be protected from myself, I wanted to live like a normal person." Don Grubin, a professor at Newcastle University's Institute of Neuroscience who also runs a chemical castration program backed by the UK's
Ministry of Justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Just ...
, was initially opposed to physical castration. After visiting the Czech Republic, however, he agreed that some form of castration might be of benefit to some sex offenders. In 2020, the
Pakistan Pakistan ( ur, ), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan ( ur, , label=none), is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a population of almost 24 ...
i-controlled section of
Kashmir Kashmir () is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Today, the term encompa ...
passed a bill allowing for convicted child sex abusers to be chemically or surgically castrated. In 2020, a motion calling for surgical castration of convicted rapists was defeated in the
Nigerian House of Representatives The House of Representatives is the lower chamber of Nigeria's bicameral National Assembly. The Senate is the upper chamber. The House of Representatives has 360 members who are elected in single-member constituencies using the plurality ...
. However, there remains support for the policy.


Criticism

Some criminologists argue that the apparently lower recidivism rates in castrated male sex offenders compared to non-castrated ones does not prove that it is a biological effect of castration, but can be explained by other factors. One suggested factor from game theory is that men who are willing to accept castration to get a shorter prison sentence are those who value freedom from prison higher than men who are not willing to pay the price for freedom in the form of their testicles. This hypothesis can explain their apparent lower recidivism as a result of working harder to conceal the evidence for their crimes, and argue that their parole is a danger of releasing offenders who only hide their crimes more efficiently and are not any less likely to commit new crimes. These criminologists also argue that police investigators treating castrated men as less likely to reoffend than non-castrated men may cause an investigation bias and
self-fulfilling prophecy A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that comes true at least in part as a result of a person's or group of persons' belief or expectation that said prediction would come true. This suggests that people's beliefs influence their actions. T ...
.


Torture and war crimes

The castration of defeated enemies and the taking of body parts as trophies were traditional in
Ethiopia Ethiopia, , om, Itiyoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti, ኢትዮጵያ, Ítiyop'iya, aa, Itiyoppiya officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the n ...
, and Ethiopian forces practiced castration and emasculation during the
Second Italo-Ethiopian War The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a war of aggression which was fought between Italy and Ethiopia from October 1935 to February 1937. In Ethiopia it is often referred to simply as the Ital ...
(1935–1937). Italian aviator Tito Minniti was allegedly one victim of this practice. A video released during the
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine On 24 February 2022, in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. It has caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. An ...
appeared to show Russian soldiers castrating a Ukrainian captive with a box cutter. This led to a wave of international condemnation against the Russian military for its use of torture in wartime.


Music

In Europe, when women were not permitted to sing in church or cathedral choirs in the Roman Catholic Church, boys were castrated to develop a special high
voice The human voice consists of sound made by a human being using the vocal tract, including talking, singing, laughing, crying, screaming, shouting, humming or yelling. The human voice frequency is specifically a part of human sound produ ...
and to prevent their voices breaking at
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction. It is initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads: the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy. ...
. The first documents mentioning ''
castrati A castrato (Italian, plural: ''castrati'') is a type of classical male singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto. The voice is produced by castration of the singer before puberty, or it occurs in one who, due ...
'' are Italian church records from the 1550s.John Rosselli, "Castrato" article in ''The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians'', 2001. In the baroque and classical music eras these singers were highly appreciated by opera composers as well.
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 17565 December 1791), baptised as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period. Despite his short life, his rapid pace of composition r ...
's ''Exultate Jubilate'', Allegri's '' Miserere'' and other pieces from this period now sung by
soprano A soprano () is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261  Hz to "high A" (A5) = 880& ...
s and countertenors were written for ''castrati''. Some of the alto parts of
Handel George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (; baptised , ; 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, concerti grossi, and organ concertos. Handel received his trainin ...
's
Messiah In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (; , ; , ; ) is a saviour or liberator of a group of people. The concepts of ''mashiach'', messianism, and of a Messianic Age originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible, in which a ''mashiach' ...
were first sung by a ''castrato''. ''Castrati'' include
Farinelli Farinelli (; 24 January 1705 – 16 September 1782) was the stage name of Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi (), a celebrated Italian castrato singer of the 18th century and one of the greatest singers in the history of opera. Farinelli ...
,
Senesino Francesco Bernardi (; 31 October 1686 – 27 November 1758), known as Senesino ( or traditionally ), was a celebrated Italian contralto castrato, particularly remembered today for his long collaboration with the composer George Frideric Handel ...
, Carestini, and Caffarelli. The last true ''castrato'' was Alessandro Moreschi (1858–1922) who served in the
Sistine Chapel Choir The Sistine Chapel Choir, as it is generally called in English, or officially the Coro della Cappella Musicale Pontificia Sistina in Italian, is the Pope's personal choir. It performs at papal functions in the Sistine Chapel and in any other churc ...
. It was not until the late 19th century that the Roman Catholic Church officially condemned the production of ''castrati''. In modern times, the Mexican Javier Medina is the only professional opera singer who can perform as a castrato, since he had an involuntary chemical castration, as a result of a cancer treatment that he had before he reached puberty.


Religion

A number of religions have included castration as a central theme of their practice. These include: * The cult of
Cybele Cybele ( ; Phrygian: ''Matar Kubileya/Kubeleya'' "Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother", perhaps "Mountain Mother"; Lydian ''Kuvava''; el, Κυβέλη ''Kybele'', ''Kybebe'', ''Kybelis'') is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forer ...
, in which devotees castrated themselves in ecstatic emulation of
Attis Attis (; grc-gre, Ἄττις, also , , ) was the consort of Cybele, in Phrygian and Greek mythology. His priests were eunuchs, the '' Galli'', as explained by origin myths pertaining to Attis castrating himself. Attis was also a Phrygia ...
: see Gallus. *
Skoptsy The Skoptsy ( rus, скопцы, p=skɐpˈtsɨ; "eunuch") were a sect within the larger Spiritual Christianity movement in the Russian Empire, best known for practicing castration of men and the mastectomy of women in accordance with their teachi ...
* The Valesians.


Hinduism

In South Asia, many hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-hijra communities, led by a guru. The power of the hijras as a sexually ambiguous category can only be understood in the religious context of Hinduism. In some Hindu beliefs, ritual, and art, the power of the combined man/woman, or androgyne, is a frequent and significant theme. Bahuchara Mata, the main object of hijra veneration, is specifically associated with transvestism and transgenderism.


Christianity

In the
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew), or simply Matthew. It is most commonly abbreviated as "Matt." is the first book of the New Testament of the Bible and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and f ...
,
Jesus of Nazareth Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew/Aramaic ( AD 30 or 33), also referred to as Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth (among other names and titles), was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious ...
mentions castration in a discussion about avoiding adultery and divorce that some are involuntarily castrated or born that way, while some others "make themselves eunuchs" willingly out of a desire to be chaste (). Given Jesus' frequent use of metaphor and hyperbole, e.g. , the Catholic Church has broadly discouraged any understanding of this passage as recommending literal "self-castration". That is consistent with Jesus' claims (as a rabbi) to uphold the Law given to Moses, e.g. , a Law which also discouraged literal castration . However, in his own comments Jesus had no condemnation for any of the above. In , a eunuch is baptized by
Philip the Evangelist Philip the Evangelist ( el, Φίλιππος, ''Philippos'') appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem (). He preached and reportedly perform ...
, demonstrating acceptance of castrated individuals in his church. The first canon of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD forbade clergy members to voluntarily castrate themselves "when in perfect health", but freely accepted those who had been either castrated by others against their will, castrated due to a medical sickness or necessity, or those born as eunuchs. Paul, arguing against self-righteousness regarding circumcision in , says "As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!" (
NIV Niv may refer to: * Niv, a personal name; for people with the name, see * Niv Art Movies, a film production company of India * Niv Art Centre, in New Delhi, India NIV may refer to: * The New International Version, a translation of the Bible into ...
) Well-known Christian eunuchs (or alleged eunuchs) include: * Origen, who is reported by
Eusebius Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος ; 260/265 – 30 May 339), also known as Eusebius Pamphilus (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμφίλου), was a Greek historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christia ...
to have castrated himself based on his reading of the
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew), or simply Matthew. It is most commonly abbreviated as "Matt." is the first book of the New Testament of the Bible and one of the three synoptic Gospels. It tells how Israel's Messiah, Jesus, comes to his people and f ...
and other passages in Matthew and Mark that appear to endorse voluntary amputation to avoid sin, although there is some doubt concerning this story. Schaff considers the account genuine but cites Baur ''et al.'' in opposition. Origen argues against such literal interpretations of the passages from Matthew and Mark in his First Principles. * Bishop
Melito of Sardis Melito of Sardis ( el, Μελίτων Σάρδεων ''Melítōn Sárdeōn''; died ) was the bishop of Sardis near Smyrna in western Anatolia, and a great authority in early Christianity. Melito held a foremost place in terms of bishops in Asia d ...
(d. ''ca'' 180), who was a
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a male who has been castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2nd millenniu ...
, according to the church history of
Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος ; 260/265 – 30 May 339), also known as Eusebius Pamphilus (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμφίλου), was a Greek historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christi ...
, though, significantly the word "virgin" was substituted in Rufinus' Latin translation of Eusebius. * Boston Corbett, who was inspired by this same verse to castrate himself (Corbett was the 19th-century American soldier who is generally believed to have fired the shot that killed
John Wilkes Booth John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 – April 26, 1865) was an American stage actor who assassinated United States President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. A member of the prominent 19th-century Booth ...
). *
Skoptsy The Skoptsy ( rus, скопцы, p=skɐpˈtsɨ; "eunuch") were a sect within the larger Spiritual Christianity movement in the Russian Empire, best known for practicing castration of men and the mastectomy of women in accordance with their teachi ...
, a branch of the Russian
Spiritual Christianity Spiritual Christianity (russian: духовное христианство) is the group of belief systems held by so-called ''folk Protestants'' (), including non- Eastern Orthodox indigenous faith tribes and new religious movements that emer ...
movement founded in the 1760s.


Judaism

Judaism strictly forbids the castration of either humans or animals. Deuteronomy 23:1 expels castrated men from the assembly of Israel; they are forbidden to marry or if married must divorce from their wives (though permitting the castrated to marry or remain married to female converts to Judaism). The laws of castration also apply to cases of irreversible or un-reversed vasectomy and all other cases where the flow of sperm is known to have been placed into a permanent state of dysfunction with either no hope or no desire to take the steps to repair. Isaiah 56:3–5 references in a positive welcoming manner eunuchs who follow after God's laws. "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." According to Rashi, Kham (Ham) castrated his father Noah and was cursed as a result. In Judaism, castrated animals are deemed unfit for
sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...
in the
Temple in Jerusalem The Temple in Jerusalem, or alternatively the Holy Temple (; , ), refers to the two now-destroyed religious structures that served as the central places of worship for Israelites and Jews on the modern-day Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerus ...
(). Castrated members of the priestly caste are forbidden to enter certain parts of the temple, to approach the altar, or to make sacrifices, although they could eat their share of the offerings and receive the priestly and Levite gifts (Lev. 21:16–24).


Islam

The Muslim conquest of Persia as well as later conquests in the Byzantine Empire and India brought them into contact with eunuchs. By the eighth century, the palaces of the caliphs were staffed with many eunuch slaves which sold at a premium. A regular trade in eunuchs developed with slaves being taken to locations in Spain or Africa to be castrated, as the practice of castration was forbidden for Muslims. Eunuchs were used as harem supervisors, as mediators or servile roles, but they could also rise to be trusted advisors or military commanders. In Islam, castration is considered a sin and strictly forbidden, whether one performs it on oneself or on another.


Others

* Heaven's Gate *
Dera Sacha Sauda Dera Sacha Sauda ("Camp True-Deal"; colloquially DSS) is an Indian non-governmental organization described as a "religious cult" and "non-profit social welfare dera" that was established on 29 April 1948 by Mastana Balochistani, an ascetic fol ...


Medical consequences

A subject of castration who is altered before the onset of
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction. It is initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads: the ovaries in a girl, the testes in a boy. ...
will retain a high voice, non-muscular build, and small genitals. He may be taller than average, as the production of sex hormones in puberty—more specifically, estrogen via aromatization of testosterone—stops long bone growth. The person may not develop pubic hair and will have a low sex drive or none at all. Castrations after the onset of puberty will typically reduce the sex drive somewhat or even eliminate it altogether. Castrated people are sterile, because the
testes A testicle or testis (plural testes) is the male reproductive gland or gonad in all bilaterians, including humans. It is homologous to the female ovary. The functions of the testes are to produce both sperm and androgens, primarily testoste ...
(for males) and
ovaries The ovary is an organ in the female reproductive system that produces an ovum. When released, this travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it may become fertilized by a sperm. There is an ovary () found on each side of the body. T ...
(for females) produce sex cells needed for
sexual reproduction Sexual reproduction is a type of reproduction that involves a complex life cycle in which a gamete (haploid reproductive cells, such as a sperm or egg cell) with a single set of chromosomes combines with another gamete to produce a zygote that d ...
. Once removed, the subject is infertile. The voice does not change considerably. Some castrated people report mood changes, such as depression or a more serene outlook on life, although this might not be due to chemical changes but instead emotional changes due to the implications of the procedure. Body strength and muscle mass can decrease. Bone structure becomes softer and more slender. Body hair may sometimes decrease and is less coarse. Castration stops the progression of male pattern baldness. However, hair regrowth – if it occurs at all – may be limited to hair that was lost shortly before castration. Historically, many eunuchs who additionally underwent a
penectomy Penectomy is penis removal through surgery, generally for medical or personal reasons. Medical reasons for penectomy Cancer, for example, sometimes necessitates removal of part or all of the penis. The amount of penis removed depends on the ...
reportedly had urinary incontinence associated with the removal of the penis. Without hormone replacement therapy (HRT), typical symptoms (similar to those experienced by menopausal women) include hot flashes, gradual bone-density loss resulting in osteopenia or osteoporosis, and potential weight gain or redistribution of body fat to the hips and chest. Replacement of testosterone in the form of gel, patches, or injections can largely reverse these effects, although breast enlargement has also been reported as a possible side effect of testosterone usage. A study of 81 historical eunuchs in Korea's royal court found a 14- to 19-year increase in lifespan compared to intact men of similar socioeconomic background; these eunuchs had a centenarian rate of over 3%.


Psychoanalysis and literary theory

The concept of castration plays an important role in
psychoanalysis PsychoanalysisFrom Greek: + . is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques"What is psychoanalysis? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a body of knowledge. In what might be ...
; ''see'', for example, castration anxiety. Castration (as a metaphor) also plays an important role in psychoanalytically influenced literary theory, for example Harold Bloom's '' The Anxiety of Influence''. In the Mexican thriller '' La casa del pelícano'', castration is shown as being connected to the Oedipus complex.


Chemical castration

In the case of chemical castration, ongoing regular injections of
anti-androgen Antiandrogens, also known as androgen antagonists or testosterone blockers, are a class of drugs that prevent androgens like testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from mediating their biological effects in the body. They act by blocking th ...
s are required. Chemical castration does not actually remove the testicles or ovaries of the subject,"Can Castration Be a Solution for Sex Offenders? Man Who Mutilated Himself in Jail Thinks So, but Debate on Its Effectiveness Continues in Va., Elsewhere"
by Candace Rondeaux for the Washington Post, 5 July 2006
nor is it a form of
sterilization Sterilization may refer to: * Sterilization (microbiology), killing or inactivation of micro-organisms * Soil steam sterilization, a farming technique that sterilizes soil with steam in open fields or greenhouses * Sterilization (medicine) rende ...
."Chemical castration – breaking the cycle of paraphiliac recidivism"
Social Justice, Spring, 1999 by Christopher Meisenkothen.
With the advent of chemical castration, physical castration has been widely superseded, though some have undergone the procedure voluntarily.


Animals

Humans commonly castrate domestic animals not intended for breeding. Domestic animals are usually castrated to avoid unwanted or uncontrolled reproduction; to reduce or prevent other manifestations of
sexual behaviour Human sexual activity, human sexual practice or human sexual behaviour is the manner in which humans experience and express their sexuality. People engage in a variety of sexual acts, ranging from activities done alone (e.g., masturbation) t ...
such as defending the herd from humans and other threats, or intra-herd aggression (e.g. fighting between groups of entire (uncastrated) males of a species); or to reduce other consequences of sexual behavior that may make animal husbandry more difficult, such as boundary/fence/enclosure destruction when attempting to get to nearby females of the species. Male horses are usually castrated ( gelded) using emasculators, because
stallions A stallion is a male horse that has not been gelded (castrated). Stallions follow the conformation and phenotype of their breed, but within that standard, the presence of hormones such as testosterone may give stallions a thicker, "cresty" nec ...
are rather aggressive and troublesome. The same applies to male
mule The mule is a domestic equine hybrid between a donkey and a horse. It is the offspring of a male donkey (a jack) and a female horse (a mare). The horse and the donkey are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes; of the two po ...
s, although they are sterile. Male cattle are castrated to improve fattening and docility in feedlots or for use as
oxen An ox ( : oxen, ), also known as a bullock (in BrE, AusE, and IndE), is a male bovine trained and used as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration inhibits testosterone and aggression, which makes t ...
.
Breeding Breeding is sexual reproduction that produces offspring, usually animals or plants. It can only occur between a male and a female animal or plant. Breeding may refer to: * Animal husbandry, through selected specimens such as dogs, horses, and r ...
individuals are kept
entire Entire may refer to: * Entire function In complex analysis, an entire function, also called an integral function, is a complex-valued function that is holomorphic on the whole complex plane. Typical examples of entire functions are polynomial ...
and used for breeding: they may fetch higher prices when sold. Livestock may be castrated when used for food to prevent indiscriminate breeding, control aggression, and improve meat and carcass quality. In
domestic pig The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous, domesticated, even-toed, hoofed mammal. It is variously considered a subspecies of ''Sus s ...
s the undesirable odour or taint of uncastrated males, called boar taint, is caused by
androstenone Androstenone (5α-androst-16-en-3-one) is a 16-androstene class steroidal pheromone. It is found in boar's saliva, celery cytoplasm, and truffle fungus. Androstenone was the first mammalian pheromone to be identified. It is found in high concentr ...
and
skatole Skatole or 3-methylindole is an organic compound belonging to the indole family. It occurs naturally in the feces of mammals and birds and is the primary contributor to fecal odor. In low concentrations, it has a flowery smell and is found in sever ...
concentrations stored in the fat tissues of the animal after sexual maturity.Genetics of Boar Taint: Implications for the Future Use of Intact Males
Boar taint is only found in a small minority of pigs and can be controlled through breeding selection, diet and management. It is released when the fat is heated and has a distinct odor and flavor that is widely considered unpalatable to consumers.
Consequently, in commercial meat production, male pigs are either castrated shortly after birth or slaughtered before they reach sexual maturity. Recent research in Brazil has shown that castration of pigs is unnecessary because most pigs do not have the 'boar taint'. This is due to many breeds of pigs simply not having the heredity for the boar taint and the fact that pigs are normally slaughtered at a young market weight. In the case of pets, castration is usually called neutering, and is encouraged to prevent overpopulation of the community by unwanted animals, and to reduce certain diseases such as prostate disease and testicular cancer in male dogs (oophorectomy in female pets is often called
spaying Neutering, from the Latin ''neuter'' ('of neither sex'), is the removal of an animal's reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part. The male-specific term is castration, while spaying is usually reserved for female animals. ...
). Testicular cancer is rare in dogs, and also prostate problems are somewhat common in castrated male dogs when they get older. Neutered individuals have a much higher risk of developing prostate problems in comparison to intact males. Castrated male cats are more likely to develop an obstruction in their urethra, preventing them from urinating to some degree. A specialized vocabulary has arisen for neutered animals of given species: * Barrow (pig) *
Bullock Bullock may refer to: Animals * Bullock (in British English), a castrated male bovine animal of any age * Bullock (in North America), a young bull (an uncastrated male bovine animal) * Bullock (in Australia, India and New Zealand), an ox, an adu ...
(cattle) * Capon (chicken) *
Gelding A gelding is a castrated male horse or other equine, such as a pony, donkey or a mule. Castration, as well as the elimination of hormonally driven behavior associated with a stallion, allows a male equine to be calmer and better-behaved, making th ...
(horse) * Gib (cat, ferret) * Ox (cattle) (Castration performed on mature bull) * Stag (cattle, sheep) *
Steer Steer, Steers or Steering may refer to: Animals * Steer or bullock, castrated male cattle * Ox, a steer used as a draft animal People * Steer (surname) * Steers (surname) Places * Steer Creek (West Virginia), a tributary of the Littl ...
(cattle) (Castration performed on young calf) *
Wether Wether may refer to: *A castrated male goat *A castrated male sheep *A misspelling of weather *A misspelling of whether * Wether Down, a hill in Hampshire *Wether Hill (Lake District), a hill in Cumbria * Wether Holm (disambiguation) See also * ...
(sheep, goat) An incompletely castrated male in livestock species (horse and cattle) is known as a ''rig''. The term ''stag'' is used for a male animal castrated after the
secondary sex characteristic Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear during puberty in humans, and at sexual maturity in other animals. These characteristics are particularly evident in the sexually dimorphic phenotypic traits that distinguish the sexes of a ...
s have developed to such a point as to give him the appearance of
sexual maturity Sexual maturity is the capability of an organism to reproduce. In humans it might be considered synonymous with adulthood, but here puberty is the name for the process of biological sexual maturation, while adulthood is based on cultural definit ...
. Methods of
veterinary Veterinary medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, management, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, disorder, and injury in animals. Along with this, it deals with animal rearing, husbandry, breeding, research on nutri ...
castration include instant
surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning "hand work". is a medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a person to investigate or treat a pat ...
removal, the use of an elastrator tool to secure a band around the testicles that disrupts the blood supply, the use of a Burdizzo tool or emasculators to crush the
spermatic cord The spermatic cord is the cord-like structure in males formed by the vas deferens (''ductus deferens'') and surrounding tissue that runs from the deep inguinal ring down to each testicle. Its serosal covering, the tunica vaginalis, is an extensio ...
s and disrupt the blood supply,
pharmacological Pharmacology is a branch of medicine, biology and pharmaceutical sciences concerned with drug or medication action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemic ...
injections and implants and
immunological Immunology is a branch of medicineImmunology for Medical Students, Roderick Nairn, Matthew Helbert, Mosby, 2007 and biology that covers the medical study of immune systems in humans, animals, plants and sapient species. In such we can see there ...
techniques to inoculate the animal against his own sexual hormones. Certain animals, like horses and swine, are usually surgically treated with a scrotal castration (which can be done with the animal standing while sedated and after local anesthetic has been applied), while others, like dogs and cats, are anesthetised and recumbent when surgically castrated with a pre-scrotal incision in the case of dogs, or a pre-scrotal or scrotal incision used for cats. Castration of cattle has historically been done without pain medications. All methods of castration cause pain and distress, which can be minimized by castrating as early as possible, preferably within the first week of life. The Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle requires that, as of 2018, calves older than six months be castrated using pain control.Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle. 2013. www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle In veterinary practice an "open" castration refers to a castration in which the inguinal tunic is incised and not sutured. A "closed" castration refers to when the procedure is performed so that the inguinal tunic is sutured together after incision.


See also

* Ashley Treatment *
Birth control Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is the use of methods or devices to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Birth control has been used since ancient times, but effective and safe methods of birth contr ...
* Castration anxiety * Castrato, a castrated male singer * Chemical castration * Cleveland Torso Murderer, a serial killer who castrated his male victims *
Emasculation Emasculation is the removal of both the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. It differs from castration, which is the removal of the testicles only, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The potential medical ...
* Emasculator *
Eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a male who has been castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2nd millenniu ...
*
Gelding A gelding is a castrated male horse or other equine, such as a pony, donkey or a mule. Castration, as well as the elimination of hormonally driven behavior associated with a stallion, allows a male equine to be calmer and better-behaved, making th ...
* Inguinal orchiectomy, the approach typically used to treat testicular cancer * List of transgender-related topics *
Spaying and neutering Neutering, from the Latin ''neuter'' ('of neither sex'), is the removal of an animal's reproductive organ, either all of it or a considerably large part. The male-specific term is castration, while spaying is usually reserved for female animals. C ...
(for animals) *
Neuticles Neuticles are prosthetic testicular implants for neutered dogs and other domestic animals. The implants may be made of polypropylene or silicone. History Gregg Miller developed the idea for Neuticles after his bloodhound, Buck, was castrated to ...
* Oophorectomy, the equivalent operation for ovaries * Parasitic castration *
Penectomy Penectomy is penis removal through surgery, generally for medical or personal reasons. Medical reasons for penectomy Cancer, for example, sometimes necessitates removal of part or all of the penis. The amount of penis removed depends on the ...
* Penis removal *
Vasectomy Vasectomy, or vasoligation, is an elective surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. During the procedure, the male vasa deferentia are cut and tied or sealed so as to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and ...


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * Tuotuo. Liaoshi istory of Liao Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974 (or Tuotuo, ''Liaoshi'' (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1974)) * * * * * Patrick Barbier, ''The World of the Castrati: the History of an Extraordinary Operatic Phenomenon'' Souvenir, 1996, * Susan Elliott
''Cutting Too Close for Comfort: Paul's Letter to the Galatians in Its Anatolian Cultic Context''
Reviews in Review of Biblical Literature * Theresa McCuaig,
Understanding Castration
" 2009. * * English language Abstracts of the thesis **
Research on the System of Imperial Harem in Liao Dynasty
**

**


External links


Castration Through the Ages

The Journal of Clinical Endrocrinology and Metabolism

Neutering NOT Org
Website arguing against the castration of domestic animals

* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20180429222839/http://en.castration.site/ Castrationinformation site {{Authority control Andrology Corporal punishments Torture Male genital modification Cybele Violence against men Sexual abuse