back to article Thailand cracks down on cut-price castrations

Thailand yesterday imposed a countrywide temporary ban on castrations "for cosmetic purposes" which are advertised on the internet and promise to relieve ladyboys of their testicles for as little as 4,000 baht (£65). According to the Times, the health ministry has written to 16,000 hospitals amid concerns that boys below the …


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  1. hi_robb


    "To show it intends to walk it like it talks it, the Medical Council will today rule whether the owner of one Bangkok clinic has breached medical ethics"

    Not so much a test case more a testicle case

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    No... This is definitely a *no* testicle case.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Jamie


    Just reading that made me hurt. If you want a sex change no problem go for it, if you believe it will make your life easier, but this is not what castration is about.

    It still hurts just thinking about what I just read.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I mean, really, why?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    That's business, huh?

    You find a need that's not being met and fill it. Bargain castrations.

    ...mine's the straitjacket

  7. brian

    The price of ethics...

    It said "the Medical Council will today rule whether the owner of one Bangkok clinic has breached medical ethics in allegedly performing castration on boys under 18 for just 5,000 baht."

    Does that mean that ethics would not have been breached if it was done for 10,000 baht?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm struggling with this...

    "mature enough to thoroughly consider the pros and cons"

    'cause I can't for the life in me think of a single "pro".

  9. Lloyd


    For some reason I have the urge to watch "The Sopranos".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I see an immediate requirement to send all our lowest of low paedophiles over there - £65? I will be the first to donate to that fund.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @Jim Booth

    and i'll be the second


  12. cbaby

    They should

    Sew those testies back on the under age girls, too. Phase three: profits!

    There should also be a vomiting icon...

  13. cor

    Jim Booth

    I fear, my friend, that they are already there, albeit for other purposes.... :(

  14. pintofale

    Must be a conspiracy...

    ...because it can't be a cock-up.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Biting the hand

    I'm tempted to ask, "what's the IT angle" - but it's obvious really. What happens to all those testicles? Do they plant them in the ground?

  16. Richard


    "To show it intends to walk it like it talks it"

    lots of John Wayne impressions going around then?

    or is that just a private joke?

  17. Tony


    The reason that it is so cheap is that it's not actually done by surgery. What they do is whip the trousers off, take a couple of bricks and bang them hard together on the goolies.

    Doesn't it hurt?

    Only if you catch your thumbs.

    (The old ones are the best)

  18. Chris Collins


    I have a hedge trimmer if anyone want's this done on the cheap. Bring two bottles of whisky.

  19. Olly
    IT Angle

    Won't somebody please think of the dog

    If whipping the nads off a teenager could damage their health then why are we still talking the pets to the vets for the same treatment??

  20. thomasthetanker

    Old one..

    Did you hear about the one about the blind circumsiser?

    ..he got the sack

  21. Anonymous Coward


    "To show it intends to walk it like it talks"

    If I could walk like that I wouldn't need the talcum powder.

    Mine's the one with long vent..

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Because testicles produce testosterone, which causes masculinisation? It can be the difference between being a pretty waif of a ladyboy, and a butch truckdriver of a transvestite.

  23. Terry

    Re Bargain

    Two bottles? There's a bloke down the road who charges half that - mind you, he uses a strimmer.

    Tux - The sad look on his face makes me wonder if he's been to Thailand recently.

  24. David Pickering
    IT Angle


    interesting that an increasing number of trans related stories are appearing on el reg recently

  25. JP Strauss


    That's why the country's called Bangkok...

    The one with the Springbok on the back.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Won't somebody please think of the dog

    Exactly, the earlier it's done the less they grow / bulk up like male adults.

  27. chris morton

    so if you wnet there with 4,000 baht in your pocket

    you'd leave with all your pockets empty!

    tux cos he looks like he just sat on his. :o)

  28. Leona

    So you think its funny do you?

    I see from some of the comments that this posses some sort of amusement or entertainment to some, where others don't understand why.

    Lets say I know a little about this subject and why people have to do this, its not just the look as the story suggests, the testicles are also where the bodies main testosterone is produced, which is unwanted. It saves having to take suppression drugs, which also can cause complications.

    Suffice to say I don't see this as a joke or a laughing matter, find the article and some of the comments actually rather offensive and distasteful, clearly showing a lack of understanding of the problems and prejudice that people with GID have to face.

  29. Alan


    This is what used to be done to young boys to create the "castrato" voice

    It produces a totally unique and quite haunting vocal style

    One side point: are there more gender confused people than average in Thailand, and if so, has anyone ever looked into the reason

  30. Kaitlyn Kincaid

    @ Alan

    no, they just aren't as terrified of coming out as they are in the west... or beaten to death as often, stabbed, raped, they have access to necessary healthcare, have basic legal protections and are viewed as being actually human.... which is better treatment then I have seen from some of the comments on el reg lately.

    on another note: do they really think this will stop? It will likely just drive the practice underground, radically increasing the risk to those who have it done... and they will still have it done, a $150 orchiectomy is far more appealing to a low income thai person then a $15-20,000 sexual reassignment surgery.

    What is better... a low cost surgery being done in a clinic with sterile equipment by licensed doctors... or a low cost surgery being done behind a store with a cleaver by someone who lost their license years ago?

  31. john

    @ Kaitlyn

    You've got a good point there. clearly you don't want to have that sort or thing done by any old hack.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Recent Surgery

    This reminds me about a recent surgery I heard about. A boy was born to a woman with a heroin addiction, and ended up with no eyelids as a side effect of his mother's lifestyle choice. There was no father to be found and the only other match besides the boy himself was his mother, but her skin was contaminated after years of drug use. The mother signed the consent form and allowed them to surgically replace his eyelids with the skin left over from the infant's circumcision.

    Other than being a little cock-eyed, he pulled through.

  33. Dave
    Thumb Up

    Can't think of a single Pro?

    I can. THEY CAN'T BREED.

    I say let'em go for it. Offer it for free.

  34. b shubin

    BIG plus

    people who wish to remove themselves from the viable human gene pool (especially during their most viable years), should be allowed to do so. we're heading toward 7 billion on the planet, so we need any help we can get.

    Darwin would be proud; also, an award may be in order for the ones who get it done illegally (?) at a discount (or at a premium, for bonus award points), by some incompetent hack (as previously mentioned), and expire from complications.

  35. StopthePropaganda

    if it's good enough for Thai

    it's good enough for Oprah obsessed, Bend-living, Oregonian "men" getting pregnant. Except the Thai solution requires a bit more commitment than just a self-perception change and forcing your perception on everyone else.

  36. Mike Moyle

    @ Ashley Pomeroy

    "What happens to all those testicles? Do they plant them in the ground?"

    That's where Dick-taters come from.

  37. Curtis W. Rendon
    Thumb Up

    re:So you think its funny do you?

    Indeed I do.

    Itty bitty violins.

    Rubber bands are real cheap, Vets used to do cats that way.

  38. Dave Morris

    @ Leona

    Ahh, yes of course, a sense of humor is, of course, reprehensible. Everything should be taken deadly seriously, because that is what God wants us.... oh wait.. no that is the puritan mindset which is obviously not applicable in this case.. hmm.. where are you getting this then?

    I'm certain that very few of the people who made jokes actually bear anyone (doctors or patients) involved in this any ill will; they are just making light of a rather unusual situation, because people like to laugh. Perhaps you could do with a good laugh as well.

  39. Joe Stalin
    Paris Hilton

    @So you think its funny do you?

    Err.. no I don't, nor do any of the other posters. It's just a man thing, to most men that part of our anatomy is our most treasured (and delicate) posession and the thought of losing them or have somebody interfer with them produces a automatic defence reaction i.e. bad jokes.

    How do you know if your girlfreind is ticklish? Give her a couple of test-tickles.

    Paris cause.. Do I really need to state the obvious

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It a fast way to reduce testosterone, and increase estrogen. Done right there is little risk. Of course this sound a ken to go out and getting a back alley abortion that they are trying to stop.

  41. Alan Ferris

    Stating the bleeding obvious?

    "the Medical Council of Thailand... is concerned at the possible health risks to young patients, including adverse affects on physical development ..."

    I can think a DEFINITE risk to one (or actually two) bits of their physical development. Happy to go out and advise the Medical Council about this, will they pay my travel costs?

    Mine's the one with "Trained Observer" on the back

  42. Goat Jam

    Third world country

    We do things differently over here of course. When men in the west want to castrate themselves they find their are many parties out there more than willing to do the job.

    We call it "marriage"

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "clearly showing a lack of understanding of the problems and prejudice that people with GID have to face."

    What's that got to do with anything? This story was about children having their balls chopped off. I find it disgusting that parents would think that this is okay, whether the child wanted it or not.

  44. Anonymous Coward


    To remove equipment from a minor that he and she might find useful later on.

  45. Slaine

    older but not necessarily better

    "£65, and it's a snip". Thank you, thank you. Don't clap, just thow money.

  46. V


    So, did you used to be Leon?

    Cheque please....

  47. Kaitlyn Kincaid

    i think I know what's going on here...

    I think I know why so many (several ACs, Alan Ferris, Joe Stalin, others but I'm too lazy to find the all) is that they are thinking these are men having male genitals removed.

    A more accurate view, and one supported by decades of research by psychiatric associations around the world, is that these are women having male genitals removed. What little research that has been done has shown trans people have brain structures similar to the gender with which they identify as. There has been FAR more (and better) studies done into thought patterns of trans people, and they are almost always in the average of the gender they id as.

    so if a person thinks and feels like an average woman.... how do you think the average woman would react to having male genitals? or how the average man to female ones?

    "It's just a man thing, to most men that part of our anatomy is our most treasured (and delicate) posession[sic] ....." don't think of it like a "man thing", think of it like a "woman thing"... would a woman treasure something that makes her look less feminine, grow hair in odd places, make her boobs flat as a board, makes her take medication that is expensive and hard on her body....

    as a side note, re: fertility.... the hormone therapy transwomen take to suppress their testosterone production also leads to infertility after about 4-6 weeks, and that loss is usually permanent after about 6 months. Chances are high that few to none of those affected by this ban would be losing their swimmers as they are already long gone.

  48. Ishkandar

    Snippets from the East

    It's all to do with the market for fat, hairy balding Western blokes that think it is a great blast to go with a feminine character who *cannot* get preggers (and, thereby, make parentage demands on them) !! Despite the fact that Thailand is a major producer of rubber, not much seemed to be used locally !!

    Another reason for under-age castration is that the castratee will *not* develop an Adam's apple ( a dead give-away for the older ones ). There are many books and papers written about this subject if you but seek them !!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Kaitlyn

    These are neither men or women having their bits removed... these are children.

  50. Kaitlyn Kincaid
    Thumb Down

    @ AC

    that only makes it more traumatic to them. Puberty is hard enough, but the WRONG puberty... a little girl getting a beard, deep voice, growing far taller then their other female friends, seeing other girls developing breasts and other secondary sexual characteristics... it must be horrible, and if they know of a simple, cheap, and safe procedure that will stop that from happening they are going to go for it.

    Gender is something that is understood from a young age... boys do this, girls do this. It is often not even consciously taught by parents, teachers or other kids, but it is learned very early on what you are "supposed" to be like. Cisgendered children rarely look at gender roles as they fit in with them (if you are biking with the wind you rarely notice just how hard it is blowing). Transgender people however, often know from a very young age that something isn't right, they may not always know what, but know that something is different. If a transyouth is able to start medical treatment before puberty they are able to stop most of the most problematic physical effects as well as severe mental anxiety. After puberty, the sooner one starts the better job their body can do with the hormones, the longer after puberty that treatment begins the less can be done with hormones and must be done surgically.

    As I mentioned above, since fertility is generally not an option for transwomen after a few months on hormone replacement therapy, there is little reason to keep the testes around. The testosterone blockers can cause liver and kidney damage depending on the type used, and the tissue can become cancerous. Once the testes are removed, the amount of estrogen can often be cut by 1/4 to 1/2. It is not really a matter of if, but when something will happen. Removing the testes is the safest way to reduce the stresses on the body.

    all this does is drive it underground... banning something like this will not stop it from happening, just stop it from happening in clinics so it will move to the back allies.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what do they do with the left over bits?

    Incinerator? dogs in the back alley? local restaurant? flush down the loo?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I think that in Thailand they are cutting off the todger as well as the gonads, but for the Castrato's it was only the gonads that were knackered, as they were still able to service the camp followers but not have off-spring.

    I feel sorry for those that feel they need it, but would love help either by donation or physically use the knife on peodphiles as and when they are got.

    As for the bits left over, I would give them to Paris for her collection, which must be getting towards the numbers that Imelda Marcos would use for her shoe fetish.

    Mac the knife

  53. Pierre

    @ thought patterns and brain structures

    I call bullshit. What are you trying to prove? That people who think are the "opposite" gender as their nads say, think that they are the opposite gender as their nads say? Why the heck do you need brain activity mapping (I guess that it's what you need by "brain structure") or thought patterning to prove that? Could you also prove that male people who think they are male, think they are male? Or that female people who think they are female, think that they are female? I think I own a computer, let's map my brain activity patterns and analyse my thought patterns to know if I think I own a computer!

    People can do whatever they want with their lives, none of my business, but please stop the pseudo-scientific "proofs", they're not helping you. You are allowed to live the life you want, but this whole pseudo-science thing is getting old. You call medical condition? So do the neo-fascists, who also consider that delinquence is a medical condition that can be detected in early infancy, or that homosexuality is a medical condition, or whatever. All you'll get will be "reeducation" camps.

    How is "trangenderism" different from the girls who get breast implants, or liposuccion, because they "feel better" that way? How is it different, in the mental process, from the dork next door who spend ages on body-building gear and eats only high-protein stuff?

    I know, y'all are poor ill-understood victims of an horrid tragedy and should be pitied a lot. Ho wait, not all of you are like that. You, personally should probably chill a bit and read "brain structure" and "thought patterns" very cautiously. Science is about examining the right problem with the appropriate tools. The "studies" you're refering to boil down to examine whether male people behaving like women behave like women, and if female people behaving like men behave like men. How informative! No really acceptable scientific proof though.

  54. Anonymous Coward

    @ Pierre

    Difference is about a 75% suicide rate, and a girl who wants a boob job does not require 1-2 years of psychological care and three doctors signatures to get one.

    You say we are free to live our life as we choose, that's great, but a lot of people don't feel that way. They say trans people should be forced to live as their birth sex despite decades of psychological studies that show that can cause extreme psychological damage. Aprox 50% of transpeople kill themselves by the age of 20 when they are denied treatment, 50% of those left by the age of 25... the odds of a transperson reaching retirement age without treatment is about... 0.01% I would be interested in what the rate of suicide is of women denied breast augmentation is....

    and you fully missed Kaitlyn's entire point about the studies... they are not to "examine whether male people behaving like women behave like women, and if female people behaving like men behave like men", they are to prove that transpeople who feel like gender X really DO have thought patterns like those who were born sex X. This is important for the reasons above, that there are a lot of people out there who will not let trans people live as they feel they should or will not allow them access to the health care they need to get healthy. It is far easier to say that a person is delusional then to justify denying surgery to correct their condition... these studies show that transpeople really DO think and feel like the gender they say they are.

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