Circumcision Linked to Personality Trait Disorder

A new study in the International Journal of Men’s Health (Sep. 2011) has published an article by Dan Bollinger and Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP, which should caution the parental and medical community about the uncritical use of circumcision procedure for newborn males.

The study found that the early trauma of circumcision is radically detrimental for the emotional development of males; according to the study the effects of circumcision extend beyond the immediate impact or even beyond the known post-traumatic disorder – from which one can recover in time – to a development of a more chronic and permanent personality disorder. The study found that circumcised men were 60% more likely to suffer from alexithymia (Greek word – “having no words for feelings) a condition that affects one’s ability to identify, feel and process emotions.

People suffering from alexithymia also exhibit detachment, emotional unavailability and lack of empathy. Severe forms of alexithymia may retard the development of language and social skills. Another central symptom of alexithymia is impulsivity, which is linked to violence.

Often the circumcised fathers want their sons to “look alike;” but authors say, this might be an unconscious urge to make the sons to also “feel alike.” The generational pain-infliction thus, perpetuates in the society rationalized by “like father, like son syndrome.”

Circumcised men in the study were 4.53 times more likely to use an erectile dysfunction drug.

Authors speculate that if the results of the study find external validity in the society at large, then it should have mass-scale repercussions on mental health in the US, and a concern for public health at large.

Source: Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation