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castration, removal of the sex glands of an animal, i.e., testes in the male, or ovaries and often the uterus in the female. Castration of the female animal is commonly referred to as spaying. Castration results in sterility, decreased sexual desire, and inhibition of secondary sex characteristics. It is performed for the purpose of improving the quality of meat and decreasing the aggressiveness of farm animals; in pet animals it prevents unwanted mating behavior, reproduction, and wandering. Removal of the sex glands in humans is sometimes necessary to prevent the spread of certain hormone-dependent cancers. Castration as a punishment or deterrent for repeat sexual offenders is a topic debated both because of questions regarding its efficacy and because of questions regarding the relative rights of offenders and their victims or potential victims.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the artificial removal of the gonads in animals and man. In many invertebrates, castration does not bring about significant changes because their gonads are unrelated to internal secretion.

Experiments with fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals show that castration causes the secondary sex characteristics to disappear or remain underdeveloped. For example, castration causes the disappearance of the sex drive and changes the external appearance of birds: sexual dimorphism is lost, and castrated males and females come to resemble one another. Castration causes profound changes in mammals: stunted growth of bones (especially in the limbs), disappearance or underdevelopment of secondary sex characteristics, and obesity.

In humans, castration is performed therapeutically as an unavoidable operation in several diseases of the sex glands (malignant tumor, trauma, and so forth) and some other organs (for example, breast cancer in women). It is done either by total surgical removal of the gonads from males or females or by blocking their functioning with ionizing radiation or by introducing hormones (or substitutes) that inhibit the gonadotropic function of the pituitary gland.

The earlier castration is performed, the more pronounced the resultant changes. For example, castration before puberty causes eunuchoidism; in adults, it causes metabolic disturbances, mental disorders, and impairment of sexual potency, although interest in sex and capacity for a sex life persist, sometimes for a long period.

Animals are castrated primarily for economic reasons and less commonly for therapeutic ones (neoplasm of the gonads, trauma of the testes). Surgery is the most common method: the testes are removed through incisions in the scrotum; a bloodless method disrupts the blood supply of the testes by crushing or compressing the spermatic cords.

A castrated stallion is called a gelding; a castrated bull, an ox; a boar, a barrow; a ram, a wether; a rooster, a capon; and a hen, a poulard. Castrated animals are calmer and fatten better. Their flesh lacks a disagreeable specific odor and is tastier and more nutritious. Stallions are gelded at three or four years; bulls to be used as work animals at one year and those to be fattened at six months; sheep and goats at four to six months; and boars at seven to nine weeks. A metabolic change takes place in castrated animals causing their fat to be deposited more quickly.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about castration?

Castration can symbolize repulsion to, or inadequacy of, sexual expression and fear of losing oneself in the sexual act. It sometimes indicates deep guilt, and sometimes fear of either growing up or growing old. Castration also symbolizes feelings of emasculation and impotence.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Removing, or inhibiting the function or development of, the ovaries or testes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Abélard, Peter
castrated by irate father of lover, Héloise. [Fr. Lit.: Héloise and Abélard]
Barnes, Jake
castrated journalist whom Brett Ashley loves. [Am. Lit.: The Sun Also Rises]
hermaphroditic goddess honored orgiastically, usually by emasculation. [Phrygian Myth.: Parrinder, 68]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He immediately castrated 45 males and gave 45 others a "sham" operation that left their testicles intact.
The second part I said is that when it comes to dealing with political vigilantism, the IGP is as impotent as a castrated pig.' According to Azure, he didn't mean to offend the IGP, and added: 'But if Mr.
While he said it wasn't unusual to a Friesian steer to grow extra-large if castrated young, the hormonal changes could allow the steer's bone growth plates to keep growing if the animal was allowed to live out its life.
Murray said: "The fact Michael was chemically castrated to maintain his high-pitched voice is beyond words."
The calves castrated at birth were manually held, while the ones castrated at weaning were held in a squeeze chute.
He was castrated and died two years later from cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide.
Castrated males were by surgical removal under general sedation and local anaesthesia.
Group I, II, III, IV and V were castrated at the age of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks, respectively and group VI was treated as control.
Summary: A man accused of terrorism offenses, which led to him being castrated, denied all the charges levied against him by a Military Court Friday.
JUBA (TAP) - At least 129 children were killed last month, with boys castrated and girls raped by armed groups in
Six cattle of body weight 126.224.51 kg, height 92.676.07 cm, length 94.005.00 cm and chest girth 117.673.21 cm were castrated surgically (SCG), while other six animals of body weight 128.3314.05 kg, height 93.001.00 cm, length 94.004.00 cm and chest girth 118.335.77 cm were kept as non-treated control group (NCG).