Author(s): Martin T, Gattaz WF
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Abstract From the beginning of the century to this day 57 cases of male genital self-mutilation have been reported in the English literature. In German publications we found 5 case descriptions. Although no precise data are available on the prevalence of male genital self-mutilation, such acts are presumably much more frequent than the small number of published cases would suggest. In the literature several features are regarded as risk factors for self-mutilation, such as e.g. homosexual or transsexual tendencies, repudiation of the male genitals, absence of a competent male for identification during childhood, feeling of guilt for sexual offences, and self-injury in the anamnesis. The most frequent diagnoses are schizophrenia and affective psychosis; alcohol intoxication was diagnosed in about one-fourth of the cases published. In the present paper we summarize data from the literature on epidemiology, psychopathology, psychodynamic and sociocultural factors in male genital automutilation and we describe 2 new cases of self-castration in which several of the risk factors described above were observed. We conclude that although it is difficult to estimate the risk of self-castration in view of the heterogeneity of the respective patient groups, the danger of such deeds should be kept in mind if the above factors are present.
This article was published in Psychopathology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports