Circumcision in South African Males vs Phillipino Males

Topics: HIV, Circumcision, AIDS Pages: 5 (1815 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Compare and contrast the attitudes, beliefs and perspectives around a specific health issue amongst two different population groups, and consider the implications of this for clinical or community practice. Introduction

A controversial health issue around the world is male circumcision. Male circumcision is the removal of part of or the entire foreskin on the penis and is a controversial topic in many countries and across many different religions. In this essay the beliefs, attitudes and perspectives of South African men will be compared those of Filipino men about medical male circumcision and traditional male circumcision. Traditional circumcisions are usually performed outside of formal medical settings by providers who have a special training but are not health care professionals. Medical circumcision alternatively is performed by a medical professional in a medical setting. According to the world health organisation (WHO), 30% of men worldwide have been circumcised, mostly in developing countries where it takes place for religious and cultural reasons (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2007a). Male circumcision is an important issue, especially in South Africa and the Philippines, as third world countries as it can be uses as a partial preventative measure against HIV infection. Description of population groups

The two population groups I chose were South African men and Filipino men. I chose South African men as one of my population groups because while studying circumcision I noticed there was a lot of literature on the topic in relation to South Africa and surrounding nations and the effects it has on preventing HIV transmission. I found this population group interesting because in South Africa even though there is clear benefits in reducing HIV transmission and great publicity around the benefits only 35% of men were circumcised (WHO, 2007a). Furthermore in researching this topic I discovered multiple reasons why men chose to get circumcised, one reason was purely so they weren’t uncircumcised witch I found strange. This was the case in the Philippines, where 90% of all men are circumcised, and most saying there reason for being circumcised was so they weren’t uncircumcised (Lee, 2006). I found this reasoning interesting and decided to explore this culture for my second population group. If circumcision can reduce the chances of transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases as well as reduce penile cancer it is important to understand different cultures beliefs and attitudes toward the procedure to encourage circumcision within the culture. It is also good to understand why some cultures have such high rate of circumcision compared to other cultures and countries as it may help develop strategies to promote circumcision countries with lower rates. South Africa

In South Africa 57.2% of circumcised men had traditional circumcisions and 42.8% were medically circumcised (Connolly, Simbayi, Shanmugam, & Nqeketo, 2008). Amongst this circumcised population, the majority of the medically circumcised men were white (97.8%) or Indian (92.8%), compared with traditional circumcision which was mostly Black South Africans (Connolly et al., 2008). In South Africa, more specifically within the Black South African community circumcision is done for religious and cultural reasons (Peltzer & Kanta, 2009). It is seen as a ritual that marks the passage from boyhood to manhood for the adolescent. The process usually requires boys to spend about a month in induction camps in seclusion away from women and outsiders. If they fail there initiation into man hood they are believed to be stuck as a boy for the rest of their life. The ritual is considered by the community as a sacred custom (Peltzer & Kanta, 2009). Traditionally this ritual involved traditional circumcisions and traditional initiation, however more recently some communities have allowed medical circumcision followed by traditional...

References: Connolly, C., Simbayi, L. C., Shanmugam, R., & Nqeketo, A. (2008). Male circumcision and its relationship to HUV infection in South Africa: Results from a nation survey in 2002. South African Medical Journal, 98 (1), 789-794.
Lee, R. B. (2006). Filipino experience of ritual male circumcision: Knowledge and insight for anti-circumcision advocacy. Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care, 8(3), 225-234. doi:10.1080/13691050600761243
Mavundla,T. R., Netswera, F. G., Bottoman, B., & Toth, F. (2009). Rationalization of Indigenous Male Circumcision as a Sacred Religious Custom: Health Beliefs of Xhosa Men in South Africa. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 20(4), 395-405. doi:10.1177/1043659609340801
Peltzer, K., & Kanta, X. (2009). Medical circumcision and manhood initiation rituals in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: a post intervention evaluation. Culture, Health & Sexuality: An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care, 11(1), 83-97. Retrieved from
World Health Organisation. ( 2007a). Information package on male circumcision and HIV prevention. Geneva: World Health Organisation.
World Health Organisation. ( 2011). Progress in scale-up of male circumcision for HIV prevention in Eastern and Southern Africa. Geneva: World Health Organisation.
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