Q:

How do you become a eunuch?

A:

Reference.com explains that a man or boy becomes a eunuch through castration. Castration is the removal of the testes, according to Dictionary.com. Castration can also refer to the removal of the ovaries, but the term 'eunuch' refers to males only.

The custom of creating and employing eunuchs is an old and varied one, according to Reference.com. Eunuchs were placed in important social, religious, and service roles in cultures as wide-ranging as Medieval Europe, the Byzantine Ottoman Empire, Africa and Eastern Asia.

As Wikipedia notes, methods of castration varied according to era, region, and culture. Some castrations involved removal of the sex organ as well as the testes, while others did not. Furthermore, Some castrations were performed for religious purposes, such as those performed by early Christians, religious sects on the Indian Subcontinent, and some modern cults, including the 20th century Heaven's Gate. Other castrations were purely secular, and either steeped in cultural rituals or for various medical reasons.

No matter how a castration is performed, Reference.com explains that the development of adult male characteristics is slowed as a result of the procedure. As such, eunuchs would keep their boyish physical features through puberty, ultimately retaining an androgynous or even feminine physique through life.

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