Eunuchs and Selfish Genes

Korean researchers find castration is healthy!

[Eunuchs] lived up to 19 years longer than uncastrated men from the same social class and even outlived members of the royal family.

[Researchers] worked out the lifespans of 81 eunuchs born between 1556 and 1861. The average age was 70 years, including three centenarians – the oldest reached 109.

By comparison, men in other families in the noble classes lived into their early 50s. Males in the royal family lasted until they were just 45 on average.

Lesson: testosterone is bad for you!

But why would our bodies produce something that is harmful?

Here’s where the beauty of the selfish gene theory comes in. Though testosterone harms the individual, it helps his genes. T propels men to fend off rivals and find mates.

Life is full of trade-offs: is it worth trading off masculinity for longevity? Will castration ever be considered the heathy choice?


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