Piece of Info

Genital Retraction Syndrome (or Koro): culture specific anxiety disorder where the individual is distressed with the perception that that his/her external genitals (also breasts for women) are retracting into the body, shrinking, or even removed.

Recent outbreaks have been reported in Nigeria, Benin and Ghana and generally involve the public accusation of penis theft, often following an unwelcome touch from a stranger.

Some cases in Thailand have placed the blame on Vietnamese Communist agents who would have put chemicals in the water (I’m not joking). Minor Koro epidemics have seized parts of Asia, including a well-documented 1967 outbreak in Singapore. Hospitals were inundated. Many resorted to clamps, pegs, and even a constant firm grip from concerned family members (plural??) desperately trying to prevent the member from vanishing. (again, not joking)

In Sudan, victims were made to believe by force of suggestion that their penises would melt away after they shook hands, shared a comb, or received a verbal curse. The Sudanese columnist Ja’far Abbas warned visitors to avoid shaking hands with “a dark-skinned man” or else…

Obviously, doctors find that there is no actual shrinkage; any actual damage arises from overly zealous attempts at preventing retraction. Medical response is to inform patients that the genitals anatomically cannot retract or shrink in the manner feared (yes, even if it is very very small)

In my opinion, this disorder is the result of big fat phallocentrism. If Freud came across this, he would probably relate/blame the ‘theft’ on his theory of the female unfulfillable (without technology, that is) desire to own a phallus. (I won’t start commenting on that theory…!)

Definitely, a man without a penis is not a man. Though I am far from saying that owning a penis makes you a man. Mmm… let’s see, brains? It’s a good thing that there are no disorders that make men think they physically lost their head. But then again, you can’t lose what you don’t have. And when they do have brains, it’s not always a conscious ownership. How often do men self-stimulate their brains? whereas their penis…

I understand trying to hold on to your valued possessions. However, in areas where Koro occurs, this phallocentric energy needs to be invested somewhere else, maybe… sex education.

Also, I definitely believe that this type of anxiety is contagious. For example, if you know that this syndrome exists, you might be more prone to ‘getting it’. So sorry.


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4 Responses to “Piece of Info”

  1. yuri Says:

    a man without a penis is not a man? what is this, a deliberate attempt to get a rise out of people? are you seeking to offend unoperated FTMs everywhere? also, your stabs at men’s brains are tired. as tired as any dude making a joke about women being gossips or calculating harpies.

  2. Julie Says:

    hi yuri,
    i sincerely did not mean any offense.
    as for brains, i only talk from my (sad and limited) experience

  3. pete Says:

    Go get a life Youri, a little too sensitive there huh? Maybe its your ambivalent female side intruding. Actually whatever you may want to crappo all over these admittedly naive chicks, if you are missing a friggin DICK you ARE DEFINITELY NOT A MALE for fuks sake

  4. yuri Says:

    pete: my name is YURI and i am a GIRL! and I know a few boys who weren’t born with dicks and they are still man enough for me <3

    thanks, julie, for your thoughtful response. of course you’re just writing from your own standpoint, it’s understandable. i don’t take your post personally, but i did want to address the stuff you were inadvertently charging your post with.

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