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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.



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.

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.


Removing, or inhibiting the function or development of, the ovaries or testes.


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]
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 applied to make these animals easier to manage, avoid haphazard mating, obtain better quality cubs and prevent the smell caused by androgens in male animals (Turkoglu, 1985).
Total When the Genital Ablation occurs/occurred Past 17 Present 84 Future 11 Total (1) 110 Form of Genital Ablation Castration only 58 Penectomy only 12 Nullification 24 Total (2) 94 (1) Some stories (n = 2) contained multiple castrations and/or penectomies at different times; therefore, the total number (n = 112) is greater than the total number of selected stories (n = 110) (2) Some stories (n = 28) did not provide a description as to how genital ablation occurred.
KEY WORDS: Castration, eunuch, Eunuch Archive, fiction, sexual
21) Thus far, at least nine states have passed legislation since 1996 authorizing the use of either surgical or chemical castration as treatment options.
On September 17, 1996, California became the first state to enact a law authorizing both physical and chemical castration of sex offenders being released from prison into the community.
Expressing helplessness in handing down a stronger punishment, she said: "My conscience tells me that this is a crime which is required to be addressed differently and a full public debate with regard to imposition of castration (both surgical and chemical) for the offence of rape and molestation is the crying need of the hour.
As noted above, when first line therapies for PCa fail, patients are offered ADT via surgical or chemical castration.
260) The number of castrations performed in Germany is approximately five per year.
More often than not, Freud would insist, that females suffered from "a castration that had been carried out" (1927, 257).
Meanwhile, as Ram Rahim is busy promoting The Messenger, a CBI team is at present camping in Sirsa to probe the alleged castration of nearly 400 Dera followers in which Ram Rahim is the prime accused.
CBI likely to summon Dera Sacha Sauda chief to Delhi where an FIR has been filed against him in castration case