Newborn circumcision in Victoria, Australia: reasons and parental attitudes

ANZ J Surg. 2008 Nov;78(11):1019-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2008.04723.x.


Objective: The objective of this study was to study the reasons why some parents continue to seek professional circumcision service for their newborn boys in Victoria, Australia, their attitudes towards newborn circumcision and their personal characteristics.

Subjects and methods: One hundred thirty-six parents (62 fathers and 74 mothers) who presented to the Melbourne Circumcision Centre between July and December 2007 were recruited. They represented the parents of 85 newborn boys. A questionnaire designed by the authors was completed by the parents before circumcision. The responses were tabulated and analysed.

Results: The most common reasons for newborn circumcision were hygiene (77.9%), family tradition (57.4%) and medical reasons (36%). The most common perceived benefit was hygiene (95.6%). The most common concern was pain (79.4%). As the number of boys a mother had who were already circumcised increased, the age at circumcision of the newborn boy became earlier (P = 0.024). 41.2% of parents wished for further information to help them better make the decision before or at the time of childbirth in the hospital setting. 76.5% of parents would, 19.1% of parents were unsure and 4.4% would not recommend newborn circumcision by an experienced practitioner to other parents.

Conclusion: Some parents continue to circumcise their newborn boys for hygiene, family tradition and medical reasons in Victoria, Australia. Information about the pros and cons of newborn circumcision needs to be made more readily available to empower parents to make free, informed decisions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Circumcision, Male / psychology
  • Circumcision, Male / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Young Adult