Filipino Male Experience of Ritual Circumcision
Male circumcision is a well-publicized phenomenon, but much of what is known at the international level concerns the West's neonatal medical circumcision. This report offers information instead on the Philippines' ritual prepubescent circumcision. While the report addresses the aforementioned information gap, its perspectives and insights are likewise intended to inform the Philippine-based anti-circumcision campaign of the need to ground its arguments on the culture within which ritual circumcision exists. Currently, the advocacy is anchored on arguments derived from the Western male experience of medical circumcision. Data in this report were derived from a 2002 Philippine circumcision study—a component in a Southeast Asian research on genital enhancement practices—whose aim was to form evidence-based perspectives with advocacy purpose. The study interviewed 114 circumcised Filipino males, of varying ages, who were selected purposively. The report highlights the traditional character of Filipino men's ritual circumcision experience. Among others, it underscores the links of the ritual phenomenon with reasons of masculinity, which are hastened by broader community involvement. The report offers broad strategies to making the anti-circumcision campaign culturally appropriate.
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