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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 cancerscancer,
in medicine, common term for neoplasms, or tumors, that are malignant. Like benign tumors, malignant tumors do not respond to body mechanisms that limit cell growth.
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. 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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The castration of male animals that will be taken to fattening is a priority in practice for breeders and researchers.
Castration is made in sheep, goat and cattle in Turkey.
Cooper (1986) suggests that thoughts of castration are a part of many men's lives, whether through fear or fascination.
There are, for example, regular announcements by EA members that they have finally achieved a desired castration. Although a few castrated individuals in the community may have Male-to-Female Gender Dysphoria, most sought emasculation without the desire to present as female (Vale et al., 2010).
Clarifying the term, Dr Vishwas Malhotra, a surgeon, said, "Surgical castration does not mean removal of the penis, but is the irreversible surgical removal of the testosterone producing testes.
As noted above, when first line therapies for PCa fail, patients are offered ADT via surgical or chemical castration. Approximately 40,000 PCa patients in North America begin long term ADT each year (Aucoin & Wassersug, 2006).
(23.) See Mark Smith, Victims' Group Raising Funds for Castrations, Hous.
The team also questioned some people in Sirsa and Mandi Dabwali towns in connection with the alleged castration.
UPPING THE ante against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Sirsa Sikhs have demanded that the CBI immediately arrest the controversial godman in the mass castration case.
(20) The resulting community uproar has prompted the passage of legislation requiring sexual offender registration, mandatory community notification, civil commitment, and, more recently, both surgical and chemical castration. (21) Thus far, at least nine states have passed legislation since 1996 authorizing the use of either surgical or chemical castration as treatment options.
A The scrotum can become swollen when the dog constantly licks the area, or can become filled with blood which accumulates in its empty cavity after castration. Use the plastic and this problem will resolve itself.
In his 1927 paper on the etiology and structure of fetishism, Freud proclaimed, "Probably no male human being is spared the horror of castration at the sight of the female genitals" (154).