Emasculation is the removal of the male’s external sex organs (penis and testicles); this may be voluntary such as in the case of transsexuals or involuntary in the case of gender mutilation. For example, emasculation was used in ancient China as a form of punishment. In addition, this term’s figurative meaning refers to making a male less masculine through humiliation or other forms of degradation. Emasculation may also be used to describe the deprivation of effectiveness or potency. Historically, emasculation was used in the Islamic world to create "eunuchs" to serve as harem guards and attendants. Additionally, in China (even into the 20th century), men who were interested in becoming civil servants would would voluntarily become eunuchs.