'My brother told me it was for my own good' - reasons for penile cutting in Papua New Guinea

MacLaren, D., Tommbe, R., Mafile'o, T., Redman-MacLaren, M., Browne, K., and McBride, W.J. (2011) 'My brother told me it was for my own good' - reasons for penile cutting in Papua New Guinea. In: Proceedings from the 20th World Congress of Sexual Health (8) 585. p. 229. From: 20th World Congress for Sexual Health, 12-16 June 2011, Glasgow, UK.

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Papua New Guinea is a diverse country with a population of 6 million people speaking more than 800 languages. It also has more than 90% of all reported cases of HIV in Oceania. The 'Acceptability of Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention in PNG' study is documenting diverse penile cutting practices in 4 locations where people from across the country gather to study and/or work (two university sites in large urban centres, a remote mountain gold mine and coastal oil palm plantation).

Penile cutting varies across the many people groups in Papua New Guinea. This ranges from traditional cutting or removing of the foreskin in childhood/puberty to medical circumcision in infancy introduced by Christian missionaries. Over the past two decades teenage boys and young men from traditionally non-circumcising groups have increasingly engaged in penile cutting. The majority of penile cuts are a longitudinal cut of the foreskin, or some variation of the longitudinal cut.

This presentation outlines reasons study participants from across the four study sites gave for having their foreskin cut. Reasons are both historical and contemporary and include: being a part of custom/tradition; cleanliness; peer influence; to increase the size of the penis; avoid STI; increase sexual pleasure; prolong sexual intercourse; perceived increase in female sexual pleasure.

Any potential male circumcision for HIV Prevention programs in Papua New Guinea need to take into account the wide range of traditional and contemporary penile cutting practices, and the reasons these cuts are being done.

Item ID: 21165
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1743-6109
Keywords: penile cutting, Papua New Guinea
Additional Information:

The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 8, Issue Supplement s3, pages 84–299, June 2011

Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 00:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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