Alexithemia

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Alexithymia is a word used to describe "people who have difficulties recognizing, processing, and regulating emotions." Alexithymia is considered to be a personality trait, not a mental disorder. Alexithymia occurs in more males than females. Alexithymia occurs frequently with other disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[1]

The Toronto Alexithymia Scale is frequently used to assess a patient's degree of alexithymia.[2]

The higher percentage of alexithymia in males as compared with females and the occurrence of it with other disorders associated with non-therapeutic infant circumcision such as autism spectrum disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder suggest that infant circumcision may be a contributing factor.

Bollinger & Van Howe (2011) conducted a preliminary survey of 300 men, of which 64 were intact (21.3%) and 236 (78.7%) were circumcised.[3]

The men were tested using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Circumcised men had ALEX scores (19.9%) higher than the intact men.

It also emerged that circumcised men are much more likely to experience erectile dysfunction as compared with intact men.

Bollinger & Van Howe (2011) concluded:

In this self-selected, self-reporting group of 300 men, alexithymia was statistically significant for having experienced circumcision trauma. The circumcised men were 1.57 times more likely to have High ALEX scores and 2.30 times less likely to have Low ALEX scores. The age-adjusted, average ALEX score for the circumcised men was 6.40 points (19.9%) higher than for intact men. … The circumcised men were 4.53 times more likely to use an erectile dysfunction drug.[3]

This preliminary investigation by Bollinger & Van Howe has established an association between circumcision and alexithymia, however it is inadequate to establish cause and effect. More investigation is needed.

See also

References

  1. REFweb (2019). Alexithymia, Psychology Wiki. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  2. REFweb (2019). Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Psychology Wiki. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  3. a b REFjournal Bollinger D, Van Howe RS. Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation. International Journal of Men’s Health. 2011; 10(2): 184-95. DOI. Retrieved 12 December 2019.