Association of homosexuality with male circumcision

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Association of homosexuality with male circumcision has been made by several researchers.


  • Hermann Nunberg, a New York based psychoanalyst, had a male patient who had been circumcised at the age of five. Moreover, the patient's son underwent circumcision during the course of the psycho-analysis. Nunberg wrote an extensive discussion of the findings from his psychoanalysis of this patient. The patient's circumcision caused some homosexual feelings.

Nunberg (1947) said in part:

Homosexuality which constantly crosses the path of heterosexality complicating and yet in its struggle enriching the life of man may be distinguished as one of its biological foundations. […]

It is not easy to find a patient who was circumcised at an age allowing psycho-analytic study of the reactions to the operation. […]

The best cases are provided by circumcisions performed between the years of four and six. Yet, some very interesting material was also obtained from a patient whose son was circumcised while the father was in analysis. […]

On the basis of many facts, such as his behaviour in analysis, his attraction to his father's penis and other recollections, we assume that he had felt attracted to the father even before the circumcision. Circumcision increased the homosexual drive, but as a result of its frustration, he increased his sexual wishes to his brother. […]

The end of his analysis produced in him the attitude he had felt in childhood toward his circumcision, namely, that he was prepared to accept the loss of his foreskin, if by this loss he would become equal to his father and be permitted to play with him sexually. […]

We may, therefore, conclude that the patient felt homosexually tied to his father (the doctor) by the circumcision. Does that mean that he could not finish his analysis until he regained his foreskin? I may add, in anticipation of further material that he hoped through undoing of the circumcision to free himself from his homosexual ties and become heterosexual again.[1]

  • Schmideberg (1948) reported the case of a boy who had a traumatic circumcision at the age of eight and became a homosexual.[2]
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  • Foley (1966) reported:

More recently, a study was made of admissions to a large Naval hospital. Of all admissions, 32% had been circumcised. Of all admission with the diagnosis of "overt homosexuality," 100% had been circumcised.[3]

  • Laumann et al. (1997) reported "that circumcised men engage in a more elaborated set of sexual practices." The authors provided a table which showed that circumcised white and hispanic males were more likely to engage in both active and passive oral homosexual relations.[4]
  • The Pew Research Center (2021) reported the incidence of homosexuality in 2020 among U.S. males, who vary in circumcision status, was 3 percent, however among Jewish males, who are nearly 100 percent circumcised, the incidence of homosexuality was 4 percent.[6]
  • Wikipedia has published an article entitled Demographics of sexual orientation. It reports regarding Israel, where both Jews and Muslims circumcise boys for religious reasons, that 11.3 percent of men in 2012 reported same-gender attraction. The article cited an article from Archives of Sexual Behavior.[7] This was the highest reported percentage from any nation.
  • Wikipedia reports that Tel Aviv is "the best gay city in the world", where approximately 25 percent of the population identifies as gay.[8] Jews, who circumcise for religious reasons, constitute 89.9 percent of the population, and Arabs, most of whom are Muslims who circumcise boys constitute 4.5 percent.[9]
  • An anonymous young male (2023) posted this comment on REDDIT in the "circumcisiongrief" sub-reddit:

Circumcision Turned Me Gay
I was so distraught from my circumcision even at a young age and I always knew something was missing. As a result I was always looking at my own disfigured member and would always think about other peoples’ as a result. I would think about my intact peers and I would gain envy of what was taken from me. I guess from this mental trauma at a young age and my obsession with the human penis fucked with my brain chemistry because I became sexually aroused by it. As a result I would start sneaking peeks in my adult gymnastics locker room as the other men would change or shower just to get a glimpse of a true unaltered man in the flesh. I’ve never had sex (probably wouldn’t even feel anything) but I can only get aroused looking at intact men and its all my perverted doctor’s fault. I hate myself and I hate doctors, I jerk off to gay porn 4 times a day every day because of them. Fuck you doc![10]


Rosemary Romberg (2021) commented:

It has been noted that there are some men who are otherwise heterosexual — perhaps they are married and have children, perhaps they have never had an overt homosexual encounter, but who have been circumcised and have an unusual interest in other men's foreskins. Possibly "foreskin envy", those strong feelings of missing something, is the basis of some men's homosexuality, and certainly in many more cases, the homosexual aspect of bisexuality. Some pose the theory that the original trauma of circumcision, and the resultant resentment over the lack of foreskin brings about a castration anxiety.[11]

While many intact men may develop homosexuality, it appears that a greater percentage of circumcised men may develop homosexuality. Circumcision may be an additional factor, among others, that contribute to the development of a homosexual orientation.

Note: It is emphasized that association does not prove causation, but may indicate a subject for further investigation.


  1. REFjournal Nunberg H. Circumcision and problems of bisexuality. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. 1 January 1947; 28: 145-79. PMID. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  2. REFjournal Schmideberg M. A Note on Homosexuality and Circumcision. Psychoanalytic Review. 1948; 35(2): 183-4. PMID. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  3. REFjournal Foley JM. The unkindest cut of all. Fact. July 1966; 3(4): 2-9.
  4. REFjournal Laumann EO, Masi CM, Zuckerman. Circumcision in the United States. Prevalence, prophylactic effects, and sexual practice. JAMA. 2 April 1997; 277(13): 1052-7. PMID. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
    Quote: NHSLS results reveal a clear pattern in that circumcised men report a more highly elaborated set of sexual practices.
  5. REFjournal Dave SS, Johnson, AM, Fenton KA, et al. Male circumcision in Britain: findings from a national probability sample survey. Sex Trans Infect. December 2003; 79(6): 499-500. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  6. REFweb Anonymous (11 May 2021). Jewish demographics, Pew Research Center. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  7. REFjournal Mor Z, Davidovich U. Sexual Orientation and Behavior of Adult Jews in Israel and the Association With Risk Behavior. Arch Sex Behav. August 2016; 45(6): 1563-71. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  8. REFweb LGBT culture, Wikipedia. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  9. REFweb Religion, Wikipedia. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  10. REFweb Anonymous (2 October 2023). Circumcision turned me gay, REDDIT. Retrieved 10 October 2023..
  11. REFbook Romberg R (2021): The Question of Homosexuality, in: Circumcision — The Painful Dilemma. Ulf Dunkel (ed.). Edition: Second Edition, Revised. Kindle. P. 227. ISBN 23: 979-8683021252. Retrieved 31 August 2023.