How to create a Eunuch: the procedure

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1890

A eunuch in ancient China was a man castrated, typically early enough in his childhood to have major hormonal consequences in order to make him reliable servant of a royal court where physical access to the ruler could wield great influence. In China, castration included removal of the penis as well as the testicles. Both organs were cut off with a knife at the same time.

Many eunuchs came from poor families who couldn’t repay debts. For this reason they had to sell to the local or royal court one of their children. A fee was charged to perform the operation. To castrate a kid, the surgeon had to use a carpenter knife and follow a complex procedure in order to avoid infections. Usually they performed the operation during spring or early summer, avoiding hot and cold temperature, mosquitoes, flies, etc. For about one month after the surgery the eunuch couldn’t wear clothes.

Before to perform the operation, the surgeon usually aked few questions and assertions to the candidate: “Are you willing to cleanse it?”, “It’s too late to go back!”, “So you will die without sons”. If the wannabe eunuch had any hesitations, the surgeon had to stop immediately. This obviously just in the case of voluntary eunuchs.  If the candidate was instead volunteer, the surgical operation began. To disinfect the wound, the assistant of the surgeon used a hot pepper soup. After disinfected the scalpel with fire, the surgeon performed the operation. For three days after the surgery the new eunuch was not allowed to drink water. Only after one hundred days, the recovery was completed.

One other horrible way to perform the operation was hiring “special nannies”. Some parent decided his son had to be an eunuch since from his early age. They deliberately hire a “maid” to take care of the special child. For this reason, from their infancy, the maid performed a sort of slow and constant surgery on the testicles of the child, three times a day, pinching them and slowly increasing the strength, day after day, gradually destroying his reproductive function. Therefore the child’s genitals would gradually shrink. In the course of time, slowly, female characteristics showed up: no Adam’s apple, prominent breasts, sharp voice, etc.

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