Chinese foot binding was a notably savage process that existed primarily in rural China until recently. This was largely a social practice. The technique involved the very restricted binding of the feet of young girls and the keeping of them bound to stop the feet from growing. This is a tortuous practice and led to substantial deformity and handicap. Those who ended up being put through this practice had to wear especially designed and produced footwear. There was quite a skill to this and the shoes that these children were required to wear were embellished quite deliberately and exotically. The explanation for the process of Chinese foot binding was that smaller feet were regarded as a lot more desirable in females. A much higher price can be commanded by the family of the bride to be for the dowry.
The practice was very common in rural China for several centuries and just recently began to die out about 100 years ago because of social pressures that have been brought to bear on the technique due to the pain and impairment it has been creating. You can still find a number of older Chinese woman living today with these deformed feet from the binding when they were younger. The tragedy is caused by what happened when they were children they do need to keep their feet bound since it is more at ease than not having them bound since the deformity is now so great. There was a lot of social and psychological research into the foot binding notably in the framework of this being performed too please the male rather than being of any advantage to the female. Of recent consideration is the current practice of females wearing tight fitting high heel footwear has drawn resemblances with Chinese foot binding. Some of the cultural and psychological evaluation of this have actually discussed the analogy between the two practices and who actually benefits from the practice. Both are painful, both produce foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.