Posted: Mon, December 03, 2012 | By: Hank Pellissier
Ouch! Is testosterone a killer? That’s why women live longer?
Studies from Kansas and Korea reveal that men who’ve been castrated - testosterone eliminated by subtracting their testicles - have “enjoyed” a decade-and-a-half longer lives.
“Enjoyed” is the debatable verb here, because most males, me included, think life wouldn’t be any fun at all without spunk.
But… wait a minute… 15 extra years? That additional time… could vault us into the Singularity! Losing our nuts might enable us to survive long enough… to Transcend! And.. post-Singularity, we’d easily get… our balls back! Newer, greater gonads!
Castration… would it just be a brief sacrifice? To gain Immortal Bliss?
Before you pick up a knife for some DIY surgery, let’s examine the research.
An essay in straightdope notes:
“[In a] landmark 1969 study… James Hamilton and Gordon Mestler compared the lifespans of 297 castrated inmates at a Kansas institution for the mentally retarded with those of 735 intact males at the same facility. The castrated males had gone under the knife at ages from 8 to 59 years old, with the average age ranging from 12 (!) in 1898 to 30 in 1923…
Result: the castrated inmates on average lived 13.6 years longer than the intact ones (55.7 vs 69.3 years). What’s more, the earlier you were castrated, the longer you lived. Conclusion: testosterone kills.”
Wow! That’s 95 additional months of life, per testicle.
Another article, entitled “The lifespan of Korean eunuchs” in Current Biology reports:
“We studied the genealogy records of Korean eunuchs and determined the lifespan of 81 eunuchs. The average lifespan of eunuchs was 70.0 ± 1.76 years, which was 14.4–19.1 years longer than the lifespan of non-castrated men of similar socio-economic status. Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men.”
The eunuchs analyzed were members of the Imperial court of the Korean Chosun dynasty (A.D. 1392-1910).
The group also had three centenarians; an amazing 1 out of 27 statistic. Today, hundreds of years later, the incidence of centenarians is just 1 in 3500 in Japan and 1 in 4400 in the United States.
(Additional information regarding castration in a variety of mammals is available HERE - it’s a 2007 study entitled Hormonal regulation of longevity in mammals.)
Strong stuff, huh? It seems obvious that “No-Nads” are safer than Gonads, it’s nuts to have nuts…
There is at least one soothing contradictory study. Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanites, reports:
“In 1993, Eberhard and Susan Neishlag published in the journal, Nature, the results of a survey on the longevity of 50 castrati with birth dates between the year 1581 and 1858… Their control group was a series of 200 intact male singers from similar sources born during the same period. The two groups were indistinguishable; the castrati had a lifespan of 65.5 + 18.8 years and the intact singers 64.3 + 14.1 years…”
That’s good news, but still, it’s outweighed by the other reports… isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
Are men, especially transhumanists, now scheming to get their sacks lopped off? One commenter at sciencemag.org asserted his abbreviation desire:
Nick Carefoot • I honestly would love to get castrated after reading this. Where do I sign up? I don’t want a reversible procedure just wop ‘em off.
Silicon Valley Life Extension Activist Jason Xu has also expressed his support of castration. In an email he sent me yesterday, he states:
“shockingly, the greatest actionable step men can take right now to live forever is to cut off their balls… Testosterone adversely affects heart and immune function in old age.
Acturial escape velocity (ALV) is the idea that extending your lifespan today by any number of years, you increase the chance you live to see therapies to reverse aging in cells.
Castration is one of the few steps men can take immediately to live longer and increase ALV.
If immortalists have balls, they must lose balls.”
Jason is not, however, presently sawing off his testicles at Noisebridge, the Mission District “hacker space” where he frequently hangs out. He wants more evidence before going under the knife. He emailed a query to Aubrey de Grey at SENS, where he was an intern. Aubrey replied that castration “is indeed a well-known phenomenon in humans. As for mice, a quick PubMed search unearthed this: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0531556576900073... Cheers”
Jason approaches Radical Life Extension with religious intensity, so I’m curious to see what decision he makes.
Truth is, my gonads are far more dangerous, because I’m 60 years old and he’s only 22. Perhaps I’m too old to have their removal make any difference… I hope so, so I don’t even consider…
Wildly imagining, can you see clinics opening up soon, where transhumanist men get subtracted?
Volunteer H+ physicians and nurses performing the cuts?
No-Nad chatrooms and meet-ups?
Promising eternal life if the wrinkled bags are removed?