Teenage Boys and Circumcision

This survey of teenage boys' attitudes to circumcision has been compiled by regular correspondent JH from postings on the now defunct Teen Hut (teenhut.net) site. It was originally intended to be part of a much larger study of teenagers and circumcision. The boys surveyed here were predominantly aged 15 to 19, with a few as young as 12 and a few older than 19. Note that the survey participants were self-selected, so the results may not be accurate for the population as a whole.

Total 795 
Circumcised 405 51%
Uncircumcised 376 47%
Don't know 142%

Total US 39950%
Total non-US 39650%
US circumcised 31178%
US uncircumcised 8221%
US don't know 61%
non-US circumcised 9424%
non-US uncircumcised 29474%
non-US don't know 82%

Circumcised and happy 25463%
Circumcised, unhappy 328%
Circumcised, indifferent 10426%
Circumcised, did not answer 154%
Uncircumcised and happy 19853%
Uncircumcised, unhappy 185%
Uncirc., indifferent 7520%
Uncirc., did not answer 8523%

US Boys
Circumcised, happy 19563%
Circumcised, unhappy 215%
Circumcised, indifferent 8327%
Circ., did not answer 124%
Uncircumcised, happy 4352%
Uncircumcised, unhappy 56%
Uncirc., indifferent 2126%
Uncirc., did not answer 1316%

Boys outside the US
Circumcised, happy 5963%
Circumcised, unhappy 1112%
Circumcised, indifferent 2122%
Circ., did not answer 33%
Uncircumcised, happy 15553%
Uncircumcised, unhappy 134%
Uncirc., indifferent 5418%
Uncirc., did not answer 72 24%

It seems that many of the uncircumcised respondents did not see the satisfaction question as applying to them. Why?

What these results show us is that overall circumcision has a higher approval rating, both in the US (where it is in the majority) and in other countries where it is in a minority. Equally, the level of serious dissatisfaction is low, whichever sort of penis a boy has. Other surveys have suggested that the majority of teen boys are poorly informed about the rationale for infant circumcision. Parents should always explain the health and hygiene benefits to their circumcised sons.

This report was revised by JH in September 2019 when some inconsistencies were found in the previous version. The conclusions have not changed.

Picture from H&E magazine volume 78 number10, p52

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