Early adolescent knowledge and attitudes about circumcision: methods and implications for research

J Adolesc Health. 1992 Jun;13(4):293-7. doi: 10.1016/1054-139x(92)90162-5.


The psychosocial effects of circumcision status on the adolescent male are unclear. This study explored methods for assessing attitudes toward circumcision of early adolescents and differences in satisfaction between circumcised and uncircumcised males that would warrant further investigation. Seventy-three boys, aged 11 through 14 years completed the Petersen Body Image Scale and a questionnaire concerning their own circumcision status, satisfaction with that status, and perceptions about the status of other family members and peers. To assess knowledge, subjects identified diagrams depicting differing circumcision states during a personal interview. Physical examination confirmed reported circumcision status. Of the study group, 19% (n = 14) were uncircumcised. Use of visual aids to report circumcision status was more accurate (92%) than self-report (68%). Circumcised boys scored higher on satisfaction items than did uncircumcised boys, (t(15.65) = -3.96, p less than 0.001). No differences in general body image were found between groups. Further research that examines psychosocial outcomes of circumcision status is necessary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image
  • Child
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction*