|Death Erection Make Us Know Even When You're Dead, You're Not Really Dead by Goodboy(m): Sat 12, February, 2022|
Death by hanging, whether an execution or a suicide, has been observed to affect the genitals of both men and women, causing what is known as rigor erectus. The phenomenon has been attributed to pressure on the cerebellum created by the noose.
In women, the labia and clitoris tend to become engorged and there may be a discharge of blood from the vagina. In men, there is an erection of the of the penis, with discharge of urine, mucus or prostatic fluid is a frequent occurrence.
This phenomenon has been depicted in ancient literature: In Hannibal, from the 4-book series by American author Thomas Harris, the character Rinaldo Pazzi is noted to have "a death erection" after being hanged.
A 2003 Channel 4 documentary on the Jack Sheppard case, The Georgian Underworld, Part 4: Invitation to a Hanging, noted that his hanging caused an erection.
The "Cyclops" section of James Joyce's Ulysses makes multiple uses of the terminal erection as a motif.
In "The Will," the second episode of the television series Six Feet Under, two characters lift an elderly male corpse onto a gurney when they suddenly notice its priapism. Rico, one of the characters, says, "Even when you're dead, you're never really dead.".
Other causes of death may also result in these effects, including fatal gunshots to the head, damage to major blood vessels, and violent death by poisoning.
A postmortem priapism is an indicator that death was likely swift and violent.
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