Knowledge of and attitude towards circumcision of adult Korean males by age


Hwang Choi, Department of Urology, Seoul National University Hospital, 28 Yongon-Dong, Chongno-Gu, Seoul 110–744, Korea (Tel. +82 2 7603644, fax. +82 2 7447931, e-mail.


Aim: Circumcision is widely practised in Korea, but little is known regarding the public's attitude towards circumcision. This study was designed to evaluate the knowledge and the general opinion of Korean adult males towards circumcision. Methods: Fifteen hundred self-completion questionnaires were distributed to adult males in five decadal age groups ranging from 10 to 59 y old. Questions concerning opinions regarding the necessity, reasons, potential benefits and disadvantages of circumcision, as well as the role of peer pressure upon the decision to circumcise were included. Completed questionnaires were collected and analysed statistically. Results: The achieved response rate was 62.7%. 73.1% believed that circumcision is necessary, while 7.1% believed it is not necessary. The principal reason for circumcision was to improve penile hygiene (77.9%). 68.7% did not prefer neonatal circumcision regardless of the respondent's age. The major reason was fear of pain (36.9%). Peer pressure was one of the most influential factors when deciding upon circumcision: 60.8% believed that they might be ridiculed by their peer group unless circumcised, and the younger the age of the respondent, the more frequently this opinion was held (p > 0.05). 62.7% thought that circumcision would prevent genital tract infection of the sexual partner. Respondents with older age tended to emphasize improved sexual potency (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: This study indicates that common beliefs of adult males about circumcision in Korea are relatively homogeneous. Tailored education about circumcision is needed.