Chinese circumcision contest

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A Chinese circumcision contest among surgeons has been reported by the South China Morning Post.[1] The contest appears to have been organized by a Chinese medical trade association to promote the services of its urologist members.

The reasons for these circumcisions are unclear. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long stated that "there are no medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."[2] Religions that require circumcision are little practiced in China.

The article alluded to a possible improvement in sexual function,[1] however there is little, if any evidence to support that view.[3]

The SCMP reports a prevalence of circumcision of 14 percent in China,[1] which is far in excess of all medical requirements. Gordon & Collin (1993) estimated that only 1 to 2 percent of boys actually need a circumcision.[4] Pan et al. (2012) reported that circumcisions are done later when needed to treat tight foreskin, so the prevalence of circumcision is only 2.66 percent.[5]

Zhang (2024) reported the cost of each circumcision surgery in China to be US$270-US$540,[1] so the practice of circumcision in China may be driven more by money than medical necessity.


  1. a b c d REFnews Zhang, Zoey (18 March 2024)."‘Sexual shame’: China holds online professional circumcision contest to correct misconceptions, promote positive attitudes, levels of acceptance", South China Morning Post. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
    Quote: For many people on the mainland, circumcision is viewed as a “shameful body modification” and there is a lack of accurate understanding of the procedure.
  2. REFbook Anonymous (1971): Standards and Recommendation for Hospital Care of Newborn infants. 5th ed.. Evanston, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  3. REFweb Ebdrup, Niels (14 November 2011). Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life, ScienceNordic. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
    Quote: When the penis enters the vagina, the foreskin is pulled back. And on its way out again, the foreskin goes back to cover the penis head. This way the foreskin stimulates both the man and the woman.
  4. REFjournal Gordon A, Collin J. Save the Normal Foreskin PDF. BMJ. 2 January 1993; 306(6869): 1-2. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  5. REFjournal Pan L, Zhang A, Shen R, Wang Z. Acceptability of early infant male circumcision among chinese parents: strategy implications of HIV prevention for china PDF. BMC Public Health. 4 September 2012; 12: [738]. PMID. PMC. DOI. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
    Quote: China lacks the history and cultural norms endorsing circumcision.