Filipino experience of ritual male circumcision: knowledge and insights for anti-circumcision advocacy

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Male circumcision is a well-publicised phenomenon, but much of what is known at the international level concerns neonatal medical circumcision in some Western countries and ritual circumcision among young men entering into adulthood in certain countries in Africa. This paper aims to add to this understanding by focusing on Filipino men’s experience of ritual circumcision. Data were derived from a 2002 Philippine circumcision study-a component in a Southeast Asian research study of genital enhancement practices with an advocacy purpose. As part of the study, interviews were conducted with 114 circumcised Filipino males, of varying ages, who were selected purposively. The report highlights the important links in this context between circumcision, masculinity and male identity. It points too the role of the broader community in sustaining such practices and the challenges that must be faced by anti-circumcision campaigners in making their efforts culturally appropriate.