Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

Tripartite questions most effective

Posted by DanBollinger on 24 May 2012 at 14:38 GMT

Risser et al. found that 30% of young men are mistaken or unsure of their penile status. Any research that asks for self-report of penile status without some sort of verification should be questioned and perhaps disregarded.

In designing our 2011 study on circumcision, alexithymia, and erectile dysfunction* we knew of Risser's et al. findings so we devised a three-part question. We asked for penile status, had the subject chose which image their flaccid penis most looked like, and then asked if they were restoring their penis. The latter was necessary for the American men we were interviewing since so many are restoring their foreskin; they might have been circumcised, but their penis look intact. Only non-conflicting entries were used for tabulation.

Granted, a physical examination for a circumcision scar (not presence of a foreskin, since some men are born with short or no foreskin and because some circumcisions do not remove all of the foreskin) is preferable, but not always possible.

*Bollinger D, Van Howe, RS. Alexithymia and circumcision trauma: A preliminary investigation. Int J Men’s Health, 2011;10(2):184-95.

No competing interests declared.