LETTER : The truth about castrati

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WITH respect to Joan Smith's medical friend (12 November), the consequences of castrating a male are most reliably documented by Dr Rodolfo Celletti, the leading Italian "vociologist" of our time.

A castrato was capable of coitus, but not insemination - hence in part the popularity of castrati as lovers. The case she quotes may have been due to Tenducci's having recessed testicles which had not properly dropped. As I understand it, such recessing is still practised by Japanese Sumo wrestlers to protect those "exquisitely masculine" organs.

Philip G Gormley

Magherafelt, Co Derry