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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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Circumcision status in boys aged 0–29 years as a function of parental use of information for and against circumcision from sources other than person-to-person oral communication. Men aged 29 years were also counted as boys when the information was provided by a parent. * Significantly different percentages of parents with information between uncircumcised and circumcised sons (p<0.05).
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Figure 4: Circumcision status in boys aged 0–29 years as a function of parental use of information for and against circumcision from sources other than person-to-person oral communication. Men aged 29 years were also counted as boys when the information was provided by a parent. * Significantly different percentages of parents with information between uncircumcised and circumcised sons (p<0.05).

Mentions: Therefore, to identify the main cause of the decline in circumcision rate, we analyzed the correlation between circumcision status and exposure to information on circumcision. As shown in Figure4, a definite correlation existed between circumcision status and the extent to which the parents were informed of the pros and cons of circumcision; uncircumcised boys’ parents were more informed than parents of circumcised boys, at 74.0% versus 66.3%, respectively. This trend regarding knowledge is much more pronounced in the boys themselves (Figure5); informed boys were more than three times less likely to be circumcised. Since a correlation exists between information and circumcision status, we analyzed which media types were important sources of information regarding circumcision. Figure6 shows information sources used by parents; the internet is the most popular source, followed relatively evenly by newspapers, books, lectures, and TV. Interestingly, the uncircumcised boys obtained their information overwhelmingly from the internet, whereas the circumcised population also relied on newspapers (Figure7).


Decline in male circumcision in South Korea.

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

Circumcision status in boys aged 0–29 years as a function of parental use of information for and against circumcision from sources other than person-to-person oral communication. Men aged 29 years were also counted as boys when the information was provided by a parent. * Significantly different percentages of parents with information between uncircumcised and circumcised sons (p<0.05).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 4: Circumcision status in boys aged 0–29 years as a function of parental use of information for and against circumcision from sources other than person-to-person oral communication. Men aged 29 years were also counted as boys when the information was provided by a parent. * Significantly different percentages of parents with information between uncircumcised and circumcised sons (p<0.05).
Mentions: Therefore, to identify the main cause of the decline in circumcision rate, we analyzed the correlation between circumcision status and exposure to information on circumcision. As shown in Figure4, a definite correlation existed between circumcision status and the extent to which the parents were informed of the pros and cons of circumcision; uncircumcised boys’ parents were more informed than parents of circumcised boys, at 74.0% versus 66.3%, respectively. This trend regarding knowledge is much more pronounced in the boys themselves (Figure5); informed boys were more than three times less likely to be circumcised. Since a correlation exists between information and circumcision status, we analyzed which media types were important sources of information regarding circumcision. Figure6 shows information sources used by parents; the internet is the most popular source, followed relatively evenly by newspapers, books, lectures, and TV. Interestingly, the uncircumcised boys obtained their information overwhelmingly from the internet, whereas the circumcised population also relied on newspapers (Figure7).

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