DIGITAL CHOSUN, South Korea, 26 February 2002.

Local Circumcision Rates Lead World

Nine out of ten male high school students and 60% of the entire male population are circumcised, according to research conducted by Seoul National University's physiology professor Kim Dae-sik and president of GenDix Bang Myeong-geol, on 5434 males and their fathers aged 0 to 92. It is the first large-scale interview research on frequency of phimosectomy, and the results have been published on January issue of British Journal of Urology International.

According to the thesis, over 90% of high school students were circumcised while less than 10% of elderly older than 70 had the operation. The average of the entire population was estimated to be around 60%, far higher than Canada and England's some 10% to 30% level. The research team revealed that the circumcision operation rate, which was below 0.1% in 1945, rapidly increased, annual operation numbers surpassing annual male birth rate, adding that it is an unprecedented situation in the world.

While 41% of the 267 urologists practice the operation, only five doctors answered correctly to four questions on phimosiectomy. A higher percentage of doctors who themselves are circumcised practice the operation than those who are not, 72% to 56%.

The project evaluated the country's unique phenomenon originated from medical misunderstanding and group pressure. The research team was awarded human rights award from National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers for its contribution on circumcision, last year.

(Kim Cheol-jung,

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(File revised 22 May 2002)