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Friday, May 18, 2007

Ritual and Medical Circumcision among Filipino boys

Ritual and Medical Circumcision among Filipino boys: Evidence of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Samuel Ramos
Gregory J. Boyle, Bond University


Pre-print version of a paper presented at the proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity: Safeguarding Fundamental Human Rights in the 21st Century, 7-9 December, Sydney, Australia and published in; Understanding Circumcision: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to a Mult-Dimensional Problem; edited by George C. Denniston, Frederick Mansfield Hodges and Marilyn Fayre Milos; ©2001 Kluwer Academic/Plenium Publishers, New York.
The original publication is available at SpringerLink

A total of 3,253 boys aged 11 to 16 years took part in this study of the psychological effects associated with circumcision procedures (medical vs. ritual circumcision) in the Philippines. Participants were recruited from five different schools in the Batangas province upon securing permission from appropriate authorities (human rights chair, school principals, class advisers and the children's parents or guardians). The boys completed a two-part questionnaire. The preliminary part requested biographical information including any history of other traumatic events, and their perception of the circumcision experience. The second part assessed the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Some 1,577 boys satisfied the prescribed criteria (1,072 boys were circumcised under medical procedures; 505 boys were subjected to ritual circumcision) and were followed-up to ascertain whether the perceived trauma from genital cutting developed into symptoms of PTSD. Almost 70% of boys subjected to ritual circumcision and 51% of those subjected to medical circumcision fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD.

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While some boys may clamor for tuli,

  • They are in no position to know what they are losing. Their consent cannot be considered informed.
  • The peer pressure on them amounts to coercion. Their consent cannot be considered voluntary.

The ethics of a doctor performing that or any cosmetic operation at a child's request are highly debatable. A doctor who did so in almost any other country would certainly be struck off.

Not A Birth Defect!

Not A Birth Defect!

Support Group for Uncircumcised Men in the Philippines

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