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Circumcision Status Regret and Satisfaction: Findings of a US National Survey

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Abstract

Introduction

There is an increasing movement to suggest the practice of newborn circumcision causes significant physical and emotional harm. Previous studies have provided evidence that circumcision can decrease the transmission of certain sexually transmitted infections, though there is limited research on satisfaction and regret pertaining to circumcision status. We aim to examine personal comfort, regret, overall, and sexual satisfaction of males based on their circumcision status.

Methods

We utilized Amazon.com “Mechanical Turk” survey marketplace on July 2018 to survey men age > 17 years regarding their circumcision status. We then analyzed the data using bivariate statistics and linear logistic regression models. The outcomes of this survey were regret towards circumcision status, the desire to change one’s status, perceived sexual pleasure and satisfaction, medical complications related to one’s status, and comfort with others seeing one’s penis.

Results

A total of 406 men were surveyed, and 332 were circumcised. No significant difference between circumcised and uncircumcised men pertaining to regret, desire to change their status, and sexual satisfaction was identified. On average, uncircumcised men believed their status conferred a mild increase in sexual pleasure, and circumcised men felt more comfortable with sexual partners and others seeing their penis. There was no difference in medical complications between the groups.

Conclusions

This study provides objective data to incorporate into counseling parents regarding circumcision to facilitate shared decision-making. This is the first study to look closely at attitudes towards circumcision status in men circumcised before adulthood in the USA.

Policy Implications

These findings should be incorporated into shared decision-making between parents and health care providers, as well as taken into consideration when developing professional guidance regarding circumcision in newborn males.

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Availability of Data and Material

Raw data is submitted as a supplemental file.

Code Availability

We utilized Stata 16.1 for data analysis.

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Authors

Contributions

TJM, KW, and RS assisted with data interpretation and drafted, reviewed, and revised the manuscript. CAL and EY conceptualized and contributed to study design, data collection, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. NSW-L contributed to study design, supervised data collection, carried out data analyses, and reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

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Correspondence to Trevor J. Maloney.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Maloney, T.J., Loeb, C.A., Waisanen, K. et al. Circumcision Status Regret and Satisfaction: Findings of a US National Survey. Sex Res Soc Policy 20, 793–798 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-022-00727-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-022-00727-6

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