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My brother told me that it was for my own good – Reasons for Penile Cutting in Papua New Guinea

My brother told me that it was for my own good – Reasons for Penile Cutting in Papua New Guinea

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 the 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.

Speakers: Rachel Tommbe
Conference: WAS Glasgow 2011
Areas of Interest / Categories: WAS 2011

WAS 2011

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