Previously researchers have disagreed about the health implications including mental health of boys who were circumcised.
This has consequences in adulthood.
The researchers wanted to challenge the assumption that there are no delayed consequences of infant circumcision apart from the physical absence of foreskin.
Emotional Effects of Circumcision
For the study, the researchers enrolled 408 American men who had been circumcised within the first month of their lives and 211 American men who had not been circumcised. The participants were given six questionnaires that focused on their ability to bond with others and response to stress.
On evaluation, it was observed that men who had undergone circumcision as an infant found it more difficult to bond and were more emotionally unstable. There was no difference in empathy or trust. Infant circumcision was linked to stronger sexual drive as well as a lower stress threshold.
Alessandro Miani added, ” We know from previous studies that the combination of attachment to a partner and emotional stability is important in order to be able to maintain a healthy relationship, and thus family structure, and a lack of such, may lead to frustration and possibly less restricted sexual behaviour.”
Stress In infants
The researchers stated this study links stress of infant circumcision in the newborn can lead to changes in behavior as an adult.
These findings are especially of interest for parents who want to make an informed choice about circumcision on behalf of their child. It can shed some light on a very taboo topic that often drowns in an emotional discussion.
The researchers stress that the study does not point to any pathological changes among circumcised men.
Michael Winterdahl said, “Our study says something about differences at population level, not about individuals. It’s important to remember that as individuals, we vary enormously in virtually all parameters – also in how we bond with our partner, for example.”