Physical, sexual, and psychological impact of male infant circumcision: An exploratory survey

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Book Chapter

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Bensley, G. A., & Boyle, G. J. (2001). Physical, sexual, and psychological impact of male infant circumcision: An exploratory survey. In G. C. Denniston, F. M. Hodges & M. F. Milos (Eds.), Understanding circumcision: A multi-disciplinary approach to a multi-dimensional problem (pp. 207-239). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

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Circumcised and genitally intact men, as well as female and gay partners having sexual experience with both circumcised and intact men, were surveyed in order to investigate the long-term effects of infant circumcision. Both circumcised men and the sexual partners of circumcised men reported a number of adverse physical, sexual, and psychological sequelae. Logistic regression analysis revealed that circumcised men could be reliably classified as having penile scarring, need for use of lubrication when undertaking sexual activity, reluctance to use condoms, progressive decline in sexual sensitivity, as well as unhappiness with and reluctance to think about their circumcision status. Female and gay sexual partners reported that their circumcised partners were more likely to experience reduced sexual sensation as compared with their intact partners, as well as dissatisfaction with their orgasms, and a wide range of negative emotions associated with being circumcised. Evidently, there are many adverse physical, sexual and psychological effects from infant circumcision, which need to be acknowledged in any discussions pertaining to informed consent in relation to circumcision surgery.

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