Alternet’s headline warns, “Penis Snatching on the Rise — Africa’s Genital-Stealing Crime Wave Hits the Countryside.”
The story comes from UC Berkley anthropologist Louisa Lombard, who writes in Pacific Standard Magazine that reports of penis theft, typically confined to urban areas in West and Central Africa, have now spread to Tiringoulou, a “peanut-growing hamlet” in the Central African Republic that’s “so small and poor it barely has a market.”
Though Lombard admits she has never witnessed someone’s manhood getting snatched, she spoke with “several eyewitnesses” who assured her this crime is all too real.
Some thieves are out to cash in on the “illicit and lucrative trade in organs,” residents told Lombard.
Reports of penis larceny are older than Christ.
Harper’s traces the first accounts of penis disappearance to China around 300 BCE, “when the mortal dangers of suo-yang, or ‘shrinking penis,” were briefly sketched in the Nei Ching, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic Text of Internal Medicine.”
The last penis stealing incident to grab worldwide headlines also took place in China. In July, 2012, Fei Lin of Niqiao village was sleeping when thieves reportedly put a bag over his head and then cut off and took little Fei.
However, at the time, police suspected the heist was carried out by the jealous husbands of women Lin was rumored to have slept with.