Male circumcision and penis enhancement in Southeast Asia: Matters of pain and pleasure

T. H. Hull*, M. Budiharsana

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reviews some uniquely male sexual health concerns in Southeast Asia, with particular attention to Indonesia. These include various forms of male circumcision, different types of 'penis enhancement' carried out across the region and the use of dry sex by women. These practices appear to be motivated by specific notions of sexual pleasure, based on indigenous gender constructs. Although they may or may not pose a serious public health problem, as markers of misguided or exploitative gender relations they do reveal important aspects of social psychology related to sexuality and sexual health. Male circumcision provides an ideal opportunity to consider male reproductive health needs and risks in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Practices that involve cutting the male genitals need to be addressed in ways that stress the importance of sexual relationships based on mutual respect and open communication. Penis implants and inserts and ather penis augmentation devices, as well as dry sex practices, are potentially dangerous to both men and women, and of questionable value in bringing pleasure to either, and should be discouraged.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-67
    Number of pages8
    JournalReproductive Health Matters
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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