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Decline in male circumcision in South Korea.

Kim D, Koo SA, Pang MG - BMC Public Health (2012)

Bottom Line: 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.South Korean male circumcision is likely to be undergoing a steep decline.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.

ABSTRACT

Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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 decline is 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.

Conclusion: 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.

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The circumcision rate of then-20-year-olds as a function of calendar year. The data are combined from ref.[2] and the present study.
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Figure 2: The circumcision rate of then-20-year-olds as a function of calendar year. The data are combined from ref.[2] and the present study.

Mentions: Figure1 shows the present circumcision rates in five age groups: <13; 14–16; 17–19; 20–22; and 23–29 years (unbroken line) with percentages of 13.1, 56.4, 74.4, 83.9, and 80.1%, respectively. While relatively high, these rates are lower across the board when compared to those from our 2002 study (broken line). For comparison, the circumcision rate of 20-year-olds as a function of calendar year is plotted in Figure2, combining data from the present study and the previous one[2]. The present rate of 75.1% is about 17.0 percentage points lower than the 92.0% value found in 2002. The steepest increase in the circumcision rate occurred between the 1980s and 2000s, and then a substantial decrease was noted in the 2010s (Figure2). Currently, the age-standardized circumcision rate with 2000 Korean Census Population being standard population was 75.8% for South Korean males aged 14–29. As shown in Figure3, the age standardized rate for the same age group was 86.3% in the earlier 2002 study. Among currently circumcised males, the percentage circumcised in the last decade was only 25.2%. This finding strongly suggests that the majority of currently circumcised males underwent the operation prior to 2002. In other words, much of the current circumcision rate is a carry-over from the years before 2002. In stark contrast with the present situation, the majority of circumcised males (75.7%) in the study performed in 2002 had undergone the operation in the decade prior to that year, implying that the overall circumcision activity in South Korea was much higher than it is now.


Decline in male circumcision in South Korea.

Kim D, Koo SA, Pang MG - BMC Public Health (2012)

The circumcision rate of then-20-year-olds as a function of calendar year. The data are combined from ref.[2] and the present study.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3526493&req=5

Figure 2: The circumcision rate of then-20-year-olds as a function of calendar year. The data are combined from ref.[2] and the present study.
Mentions: Figure1 shows the present circumcision rates in five age groups: <13; 14–16; 17–19; 20–22; and 23–29 years (unbroken line) with percentages of 13.1, 56.4, 74.4, 83.9, and 80.1%, respectively. While relatively high, these rates are lower across the board when compared to those from our 2002 study (broken line). For comparison, the circumcision rate of 20-year-olds as a function of calendar year is plotted in Figure2, combining data from the present study and the previous one[2]. The present rate of 75.1% is about 17.0 percentage points lower than the 92.0% value found in 2002. The steepest increase in the circumcision rate occurred between the 1980s and 2000s, and then a substantial decrease was noted in the 2010s (Figure2). Currently, the age-standardized circumcision rate with 2000 Korean Census Population being standard population was 75.8% for South Korean males aged 14–29. As shown in Figure3, the age standardized rate for the same age group was 86.3% in the earlier 2002 study. Among currently circumcised males, the percentage circumcised in the last decade was only 25.2%. This finding strongly suggests that the majority of currently circumcised males underwent the operation prior to 2002. In other words, much of the current circumcision rate is a carry-over from the years before 2002. In stark contrast with the present situation, the majority of circumcised males (75.7%) in the study performed in 2002 had undergone the operation in the decade prior to that year, implying that the overall circumcision activity in South Korea was much higher than it is now.

Bottom Line: 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.South Korean male circumcision is likely to be undergoing a steep decline.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.

ABSTRACT

Background: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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 decline is 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.

Conclusion: 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.

Show MeSH