A passion for castration: characterizing men who are fascinated with castration, but have not been castrated

J Sex Med. 2008 Jul;5(7):1669-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00636.x.


Introduction: A number of men have extreme castration ideations. Many only fantasize about castration; others actualize their fantasies.

Aims: We wish to identify factors that distinguish those who merely fantasize about being castrated from those who are at the greatest risk of genital mutilation.

Methods: Seven hundred thirty-one individuals, who were not castrated, responded to a survey posted on http://www.eunuch.org. We compared the responses of these "wannabes" to those of 92 men who were voluntarily castrated and responded to a companion survey. Main Outcome Measures. Respondents answered the questionnaire items relating to demographics, origin of interest in castration, and ambition toward eunuchdom.

Results: Two categories of wannabes emerged. A large proportion ( approximately 40%) of wannabes' interest in castration was singularly of a fetishistic nature, and these men appeared to be at a relatively low risk of irreversible genital mutilation. Approximately 20% of the men, however, appeared to be at great risk of genital mutilation. They showed a greater desire to reduce libido, change their genital appearance, transition out of male, and prevent sexually offensive behavior. Nineteen percent of all wannabes have attempted self-castration, yet only 10% have sought medical assistance.

Conclusions: We identify several motivating factors for extreme castration ideations and provide a classification for reasons why some males desire orchiectomies. Castration ideations fall under several categories of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed. (DSM-IV), most notably a Gender Identity Disorder other than male-to-female (MtF) transsexual (i.e., male-to-eunuch) and a Body Identity Integrity Disorder. Physicians need to be aware of males who have strong desires for emasculation without a traditional MtF transsexual identity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Castration / psychology*
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masochism / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraphilic Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Sadism / psychology*
  • Self Mutilation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires