To investigate the changing circumcision rate in South Korea in the last decade and to propose underlying causes for this change, in the context of the present fluctuating world-wide trends in circumcision.
From 2009 to 2011, 3,296 South Korean males (or their parents) aged 0--64 years were asked about their circumcision status, their age at circumcision, and their information level regarding circumcision. We employed non-probability sampling considering the sensitive questions on the study theme.
Currently the age-standardized circumcision rate for South Korean males aged 14--29 is found to be 75.8%.
In an earlier study performed in 2002, the rate for the same age group was 86.3%. Of particular interest, males aged 14--16 show a circumcision rate of 56.4%, while the same age group 10 years ago displayed a much higher percentage, at 88.4%.
In addition, the extraordinarily high circumcision rate of 95.2% found 10 years ago for the 17--19 age group is now reduced to 74.4%. Interestingly, of the circumcised males, the percentage circumcised in the last decade was only 25.2%; i.e ., the majority of the currently circumcised males had undergone the operation prior to 2002, indicating that the actual change in the last decade is far greater.
Consistent with this conjecture, the 2002 survey showed that the majority of circumcised males (75.7%) had undergone the operation in the decade prior to that point. Focusing on the flagship age group of 14--16, this drop suggests that, considering the population structure of Korean males, approximately one million fewer circumcision operations have been performed in the last decade relative to the case of non-decline.
This declineis strongly correlated with the information available through internet, newspapers, lectures, books, and television: within the circumcised population, both the patients and their parents had less prior knowledge regarding circumcision, other than information obtained from person to person by oral communication. Within the uncircumcised population, the prior knowledge was far greater, suggesting that information discouraging circumcision played an important role.
South Korean male circumcision is likely to be undergoing a steep decline.
The cause for this decline seems to be the increase in information available on the pros and cons of circumcision.
Author: DaiSik KimSung-Ae KooMyung-Geol Pang Credits/Source: BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1067
Copyright by the authors listed above - made available via BioMedCentral (Open Access). Please
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Drops in male circumcision in other countries since 1950: USA: from 90% to 55% Canada: from 48% to 17% UK: from 35% to about 5% (about 1-2% among non-Muslims) Australia: 90% to 12.4% ("routine" circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states) New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans) South America and Europe: never above 5%
Factual information about normal, healthy sexual anatomy and development is now more readily available than ever. Genital cutting of children (a.k.a. circumcision) has proliferated with superstition and misinformation. Forced circumcision causes problems, many severe. It is heartening to read this article and find that the hard work of genital integrity advocates and educators is having a very good effect!
Congratulations to DaiSik Kim and Myung-Geol Pang, who spoke at NOCIRC's 6th International Symposium on Genital Integrity at the University of Sydney in 2000. The circumcision rate was high in S. Korea because of our presence and influence there. In 2002, Myung-Geol sent me a copy of his just-published book, which I cannot read except for one English word on the cover--NOCIRC. These men have continued to educate about the harm of circumcision and they are making a significant difference. Bravo!
Parents are getting the word that this practice is very harmful to the man the baby will become. Parts of what is called the foreskin are as sensitive as the tips of your fingers, your nipples or the lips of your mouth. These parts contain over 3 feet of arteries, veins and capillaries and thousands of nerve endings. The knowledge of the cut affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years but is only now again being considered in the few circumcising cultures.
This is great news. Unfortunately in the US, there are physicians promoting this practice out of bias towards their own circumcision status. I doubt S Koreans will fall victim to having as much of this issue with their health care workers
Advertisement for "Holistic Circumcision" is fraudulent misrepresentation of truth and reality. Do not be deceived. Circumcision is never gentle, never natural. Partial penis amputation is NEVER holistic. Such talk is gibberish from a mad man attempting to lure victims for his perverted craving to sexually diminish young males. Good parents TEACH morality, mutual respect, and sexual restraint, which cannot be achieved by body mutilation; they TEACH good bathing habits, no circumcision needed!