February 1963

Four Cases of Autocastration

Author Affiliations

Resident in Psychiatry, The Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, California Department of Mental Hygiene and The Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine (Dr. Blacker).
Resident in Psychiatry, Philadelphia General Hospital (Dr. Wong).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(2):169. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720080059009

Autocastration is a rare event, only 40 such cases having been reported in the world's literature since the turn of the century. It is most common in the disturbed schizophrenic patient (Bleuler, Muncie, Berlin), though occasionally it may be seen in the transvestite (Bowman); the transvestite, however, usually manages to get someone else, most often a physician, to do the castration. A third group proceeds with selfcastration because of complex religious or cultural beliefs (Engle, Montagu, Spencer).

This communication is confined to the description of 4 cases of severe genital selfmutilation of the first type, that is, in the borderline or psychotic patient.

The earliest report in English of autocastration is Strock's brief communication, 1901. Probably the most comprehensive study of castration, including self-castration, is Nolan D. C. Lewis's report in 1928. Later Bradley, Berlin, Bisset, and Kenyon each reported instances

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