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"After my husband's circumcision, I know that I am safe from diseases": women's attitudes and risk perceptions towards male circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania.

Layer EH, Beckham SW, Mgeni L, Shembilu C, Momburi RB, Kennedy CE - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Women in this study had strong preferences for circumcised men because of the low risk perception of HIV with circumcised men, social norms favoring circumcised men, and perceived increased sexual desirability of circumcised men.The health benefits of male circumcision were generally overstated; many respondents falsely believed that women are also directly protected against HIV and that the risk of all STIs is greatly reduced or eliminated in circumcised men.Efforts to engage women about the risks and limitations of male circumcision, in addition to the benefits, should be expanded so that women can accurately assess their risk of HIV or STIs during sexual intercourse with circumcised men.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. erica.layer@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
While male circumcision reduces the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission and certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is little evidence that circumcision provides women with direct protection against HIV. This study used qualitative methods to assess women's perceptions of male circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania. Women in this study had strong preferences for circumcised men because of the low risk perception of HIV with circumcised men, social norms favoring circumcised men, and perceived increased sexual desirability of circumcised men. The health benefits of male circumcision were generally overstated; many respondents falsely believed that women are also directly protected against HIV and that the risk of all STIs is greatly reduced or eliminated in circumcised men. Efforts to engage women about the risks and limitations of male circumcision, in addition to the benefits, should be expanded so that women can accurately assess their risk of HIV or STIs during sexual intercourse with circumcised men.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Conceptual framework of factors affecting women’s perceptions of male circumcision.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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pone-0074391-g001: Conceptual framework of factors affecting women’s perceptions of male circumcision.

Mentions: Figure 1 describes the way in which the themes presented above are mutually reinforcing and lead to women’s strong preference for circumcised men as sexual partners. The most commonly discussed benefit of male circumcision by women in this study was the reduced risk of HIV and STIs. Messages promoting male circumcision for its health benefits were widely known and the main reason that women mentioned for men to be circumcised. The perception that circumcised men are healthy, strong and disease free influenced social norms and increased sexual desirability of circumcised men. There is strong social pressure for men to be circumcised in Iringa and women commonly discussed the shame felt by uncircumcised men and female partners of uncircumcised men. These social norms appear to be shaped by the messages promoting male circumcision, by the belief that male circumcision greatly reduced or eliminates the risk of HIV and STIs, and by the increased desirability of circumcised men. Similarly, the increased sexual desirability of circumcised men seems to be driven by a combination of the media campaigns portraying circumcised men as strong, attractive and healthy as well as the perceived health benefits and strong social pressure towards circumcision. Each of these themes independently contributes to women’s strong preferences for circumcised men as sexual partners in Iringa.


"After my husband's circumcision, I know that I am safe from diseases": women's attitudes and risk perceptions towards male circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania.

Layer EH, Beckham SW, Mgeni L, Shembilu C, Momburi RB, Kennedy CE - PLoS ONE (2013)

Conceptual framework of factors affecting women’s perceptions of male circumcision.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756960&req=5

pone-0074391-g001: Conceptual framework of factors affecting women’s perceptions of male circumcision.
Mentions: Figure 1 describes the way in which the themes presented above are mutually reinforcing and lead to women’s strong preference for circumcised men as sexual partners. The most commonly discussed benefit of male circumcision by women in this study was the reduced risk of HIV and STIs. Messages promoting male circumcision for its health benefits were widely known and the main reason that women mentioned for men to be circumcised. The perception that circumcised men are healthy, strong and disease free influenced social norms and increased sexual desirability of circumcised men. There is strong social pressure for men to be circumcised in Iringa and women commonly discussed the shame felt by uncircumcised men and female partners of uncircumcised men. These social norms appear to be shaped by the messages promoting male circumcision, by the belief that male circumcision greatly reduced or eliminates the risk of HIV and STIs, and by the increased desirability of circumcised men. Similarly, the increased sexual desirability of circumcised men seems to be driven by a combination of the media campaigns portraying circumcised men as strong, attractive and healthy as well as the perceived health benefits and strong social pressure towards circumcision. Each of these themes independently contributes to women’s strong preferences for circumcised men as sexual partners in Iringa.

Bottom Line: Women in this study had strong preferences for circumcised men because of the low risk perception of HIV with circumcised men, social norms favoring circumcised men, and perceived increased sexual desirability of circumcised men.The health benefits of male circumcision were generally overstated; many respondents falsely believed that women are also directly protected against HIV and that the risk of all STIs is greatly reduced or eliminated in circumcised men.Efforts to engage women about the risks and limitations of male circumcision, in addition to the benefits, should be expanded so that women can accurately assess their risk of HIV or STIs during sexual intercourse with circumcised men.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. erica.layer@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
While male circumcision reduces the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission and certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is little evidence that circumcision provides women with direct protection against HIV. This study used qualitative methods to assess women's perceptions of male circumcision in Iringa, Tanzania. Women in this study had strong preferences for circumcised men because of the low risk perception of HIV with circumcised men, social norms favoring circumcised men, and perceived increased sexual desirability of circumcised men. The health benefits of male circumcision were generally overstated; many respondents falsely believed that women are also directly protected against HIV and that the risk of all STIs is greatly reduced or eliminated in circumcised men. Efforts to engage women about the risks and limitations of male circumcision, in addition to the benefits, should be expanded so that women can accurately assess their risk of HIV or STIs during sexual intercourse with circumcised men.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus