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Home > Articles > Eunuchs Live Longer - Will H+ Males Castrate themselves to Gain 15 Extra Years?

Eunuchs Live Longer - Will H+ Males Castrate themselves to Gain 15 Extra Years?

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 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: 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? 

Castration Proselytizers? 

Promising eternal life if the wrinkled bags are removed?


Most Transhumanists are just unmanly nerds who can’t get laid. If they want to live longer, they should go to the gym.

By Vladimir Frolov on Dec 02, 2012 at 7:33am

I don’t see why these days stone age technologies are still propagated. especially among transhumanists (i also detest tattoos even though - nay, because - they’re not a new idea to me, my father, who was born 100 years ago having sported one).  You can now, or very soon, achieve the same results by biochemical intervention.  If you’re hundred and about to die and cannot wait a few years that’s most likely because besides being old you’re also sick, and cortar cojones will not help one bit.

By René Milan on Dec 02, 2012 at 9:06am

Castration is certainly a seminal approach to life extension.

By Tom Mooney on Dec 02, 2012 at 10:17am

Testosterone does important jobs in the body. Technologically we are going to be resurrecting the dead with Quantum Archaeology at some stage, so relax and enjoy the Death experience…it wont last!

By eldras on Dec 02, 2012 at 1:10pm

Has anyone looked at postoperative MtFs about this?

By Tatiana Covington on Dec 02, 2012 at 7:22pm

Tatiana: there’s no point in looking at them. They’re an extraordinarily unusual population of people, under massive external and internal stresses, hard to find and likely subject to various attrition or selection biases, and the procedures and drugs themselves are a huge confound. Even if you found an apparent decade effect, all of the above means the evidence is nearly worthless.

The data above is junk, and what little can be divined from it suggests only that pre-puberty castration helps: so by the time any transhumanist could be of legal age to cut off their nuts, the point is already moot. Stick to cryonics and intermittent fasting/caloric restriction - the evidence is better and the sacrifice less.

By gwern on Jan 03, 2013 at 3:14pm

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