castration(redirected from covered castration)
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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.