Chinese foot binding had been a particularly crude technique that was around mainly in rural China until recently. This was largely a cultural practice. The process required the very tight binding of the feet of young girls and the retaining of them bound to prevent the feet from developing. This was an agonizing process and ended in significant deformity and disability. Children who were subjected to this practice had to wear especially designed and manufactured shoes. There was quite a skill to this and the shoes that these children needed to wear were ornamented quite purposely and exotically. The explanation for the technique of Chinese foot binding is that smaller sized feet were regarded as considerably more desired in females. A much better price could be commanded by the family of the bride for the dowry.
The technique was very common in rural China for several centuries and only recently began to die out about 100 years ago because of social pressures that have been brought to bear on the technique because of the pain and disability it has been causing. There are still some older Chinese woman living today with these misshaped feet from the foot binding in their youth. The tragedy is because of what happened once they were small children they do need to keep their feet bound since it is more at ease than not having them bound because the deformity is now so great. There has been a great deal of social and psychological research into the foot binding specifically in the context of it being performed too please the men as opposed to being of any benefit to the woman. Of the latest attention is the current practice of females using tight fitting high heel shoes has attracted parallels with Chinese foot binding. Some of the cultural and psychological analysis of this have certainly suggested the analogy among the two practices and who exactly benefits from the practice. Both are painful, both produce foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.