Thai women have a unique way of reacting to cheating husbands – they cut off their penises and feed them to ducks.
So popular is this form of revenge that academic researchers have been investigating the phenomenon for over 30 years.
Penile amputations first became popular in Thailand in the 1970s.
Traditionally, houses in Thailand are built on stilts. Back then, beneath the houses chickens, ducks and pigs were often kept.
‘The Epidemic of Penile Amputation in Thailand in the 1970s’, a scientific paper published in the Journal of Urology in 2008includes this extract from Drs Genoa Ferguson and Steven Brandes of Washington University in St Louis:
“It became fashionable in the decade after 1970 for the humiliated Thai wife to wait until her [philandering] husband fell asleep so that she could quickly sever his penis with a kitchen knife. A traditional Thai home is elevated on pilings and the windows are open to allow for ventilation. The area under the house is the home of the family pigs, chickens, and ducks. Thus, it is quite usual that an amputated penis is tossed out of an open window, where it may be captured by a duck.”
The ducks would gobble up the penis, ensuring the husband could not have his penis reattached. According to the report scorned women publicly encouraged others to commit penile amputations on their cheating husbands, leading to an epidemic. So common was the practice that ’I better get home or the ducks will have something to eat’ has become a popular phrase used by Thai men out late with friends.
Thankfully for the men, not all of them lost their members to the ducks as the report continued:
“The vast majority of worldwide reports of penile replantation, to this day, are a result of what became a trendy form of retribution in a country in which fidelity is a strongly appreciated value.”
The paper then went on to discuss how doctors, over the course of attempting 18 reimplantations, had learnt to improve the necessary surgical techniques.
Penile amputations are now firmly part of Thai culture and their influence has spread to other Asian countries too.
In 2007 in Nanjing China. Yao Fengfang cut off her husband’s penis because she suspected he was cheating on him with his ex-wife.
She threw it out the window where it was eaten by dogs. The husband Li, said of the incident:
“My wife was holding a large part of my penis, and I pleaded with her to send me to hospital immediately, but she refused firmly, and when I pleaded with her to give me back the cut penis, she threw it out of the window.”
The wife was given a three year suspended jail sentence after her husband asked the judge to be lenient. He said he wanted her to be spared jail so she could look after him for the rest of his life.
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