Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries of a female animal. In the case of non-human animals, this is also called spaying. It is a form of sterilization.

The removal of the ovaries together with the Fallopian tubes is called salpingo-oophorectomy. Oophorectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy are not common forms of birth control in humans; more usual is tubal ligation, in which the Fallopian tubes are blocked but the ovaries remain intact.

In humans, oophorectomy is most usually performed together with a hysterectomy - the removal of the uterus. Its use in a hysterectomy when there are no other health problems is somewhat controversial.

In animals, spaying involves an invasive removal of the ovaries, but rarely has major complications; the superstition that it causes weight gain is not based on fact. Spaying is especially important for certain animals that require the ovum to be released at a certain interval (called estrus or "heat"), such as cats and dogs. If the cell is not released during these animal's heat, it can cause severe medical problems that can be averted by spaying or partnering the animal with a male.

Oophorectomy is sometimes referred to as castration, but that term is most often used to mean the removal of a male animal's testicles.

See also

Asian values

Asian values was a concept popular in the 1990s, which argued for a unique set of Asian institutions and political ideologies, involving authoritarian government (as opposed to the democratic values and institutions of the West). Asian values were a popular idea in Malaysia, Singapore, and in some political circles in Japan.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the concept of Asian values was embraced partly because it reconciled Islam and the ethnic Chinese community into an ideology that could challenge the West. In Japan, it was popular among some nationalist circles because it challenged the West and also offered the possibility of Japanese leadership in a new Asia.

Mahathir bin Mohamad and Lee Kuan Yew, the prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore, respectively, at that time, were particularly vocal advocates of Asian values. Fareed Zakaria has written extensively on Asian values; meanwhile, Amartya Sen has been one of the strongest critics of Asian values.

No single definition of Asian values exists, because many proponents of the concept had different definitions and came from different cultural backgrounds. However these values typically include some version of Confucianism; in particular loyalty towards the family, corporation and nation; the forgoing of personal freedom for the sake of society's stability and prosperity, striving for academic excellence, work ethic and thrift.

Some critics of the term argue that no universal "Asian" value system exists, because the cultural diversity of Asia is too great for there to be a single set of common values across the region.

The concept of Asian values began to lose support after the Asian financial crisis weakened the economies of many Asian countries.

Last updated: 01-28-2005 09:39:07