Castration

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Castration (also referred to as gelding, spaying, neutering, fixing, orchiectomy, oophorectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testicles or a female loses the functions of the ovaries.

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In humans

The practice of castration has its roots before recorded human history.[1] Castration was frequently used for religious or social reasons in certain cultures in Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, Korea, and China. After battles in some cases, winners castrated their captives or the corpses of the defeated to symbolize their victory and "seize" their power. Castrated men —eunuchs — were often admitted to special social classes and were used particularly to staff bureaucracies and palace households: in particular, the harem. Castration also figured in a number of religious castration cults. Other religions, for example 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.

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