Gender, pride and medical circumcision in contemporary Japan.

Research paper by Genaro G Castro-Vázquez

Indexed on: 13 Nov '12Published on: 13 Nov '12Published in: Culture, health & sexuality


The outcome of interviews with 26 Japanese men is analysed to identify their views concerning male circumcision and their implications in terms of embodiment, gender and sexuality. Data were collected as part of a larger ethnographic investigation of circumcision, masculinity, sexual behaviour and health matters for Japanese men. Participants in the investigation offered their views in relation to male circumcision by deploying arguments that commodify male genitalia and stress masculinity and sexual prowess. Male circumcision was thought of as a medical technology oriented towards boosting the gender identity of adolescent and/or 'incomplete' men. Male circumcision may also be also promoted as a medical strategy to help heterosexual couples conceive. References to circumcision as a procedure for disease prevention were almost completely absent.