Genital Disappearance
Genital Disappearance
PRNigeria Fact-Check: Medical Experts Speak about Manhood Snatching, Genital Disappearance

The Nigerian media is flooded with reports of individuals from various states, including Abuja, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Kogi, Delta, Calabar, and Akwa Ibom, claiming to have experienced genital disappearance after alleged contacts with perpetrators.

These incidents have often led to cases of lynching, mob actions and jungle justice.

But findings by PRNigeria reveal that reports of claims of missing genitals are founded on psychological disorders such as Koro Syndrome which leads to intense anxiety disorder or hyperactive sympathetic nervous system activation.

While there could also be other physical and environmental factors such as cremasteric reflex, and retractile penis syndrome. Most of the reported cases when examined by medical professionals reveal the presence of the organs.

Speaking to PRNigeria on the matter, Dr Nasiru Rahman, a Senior Registrar in Urology at the Federal Medical Center, Abuja said the phenomenon is medically impossible, however there are cases where weather condition or human physiology can play a role in the shrinking of manhood – as in during cold weather and or involving an obese individual.

“When environment is cold it might reduce the size because it is made of of three cylinders that are spongy inside, the volume of blood inside it determines the size…during cold weather the blood will move to the other part of the body and it becomes small, as soon as the temperature becomes normal it resizes.”

He explained that another condition that may cause the genital to shrink is psychiatric disorder which may reduce blood flow to the penis but may become normal after undergoing treatment.

He advises patients with such conditions to visit the hospital in order to undergo appropriate counseling.

Dr Abdulaziz T. Bako, a US based Medical Doctor and a Population Health and Outcomes Researcher, corroborated Dr Rahman.

“Most of the time people just raise alarm about their missing genitals and everyone believes the claim, they are not taken to the hospital for inspection by a Doctor and the claim is usually corroborated by some admissions by a person who is being accused of stealing it.

“Usually that happens because that person has been beaten up a lot by the mob and they are just admitting it to save their own lives rather than because they have actually stolen anything. I think it is important for people to avoid these kinds of mob actions.”

He explained that many factors can cause a person to feel as if their testicles are missing.

“Individuals can be psychologically impaired which lead to them not feeling any part of their body but when examined by a health professional, you will find the testicles intact.”

He further explained that another factor can be what is medically termed as cremasteric reflex.

The cremasteric reflex is a reflex in males that causes the muscles of the cremaster to contract, lifting the testicle in response to a stimulus, typically the stroking or tapping of the inner thigh. This reflex helps protect the testes by pulling them closer to the body when exposed to cold or other stimuli. It’s an example of a normal reflex, and its absence can sometimes indicate a neurological or medical issue.

This heightened reflex can result in the testicles being pulled up into the groin area more often than necessary.

Bako, who observed that the alarms over missing genitals are much more psychological than anything physical, explained the reason why there is always erectile dysfunction or improper erection when alarmists try to stimulate their organ after an incident.

According to him, “When there is anxiety or grave fear it leads to a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system activation and makes it almost impossible to have erection because we need our parasympathetic nervous system to be active when we are to have erection for sexual enjoyment, so that activation due to intense fear might lead them to think their organ is stolen or inactive.”

On his part, Professor Baba Awoye Issa the Chief Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Budo-Egba, Kwara State linked the situation to what is medically termed “Koro Syndrome” a form of anxiety disorder and a culture bound disease that occurs during epidemic.

“Even what is happening now is an epidemic, because one person raises alarm, fear and anxiety grips everyone and because we value our genitalia and we don’t want anything to happen to it so there is an intense fear of not wanting to lose your organ, this grips people who believe in it and it becomes an epidemic.

“For example, seven months ago you probably didn’t hear of it, but when people started to report it, it spread all over leading to mob action and extra judicial killings.”

PRNigeria reports that Koro Syndrome also known as genital retraction syndrome or shrinking penis syndrome, is a culture-bound syndrome characterized by an intense and irrational fear in some individuals that their genitals (usually the penis) are retracting or shrinking into their body, leading to the belief that they may lose their genitalia.

This syndrome is typically found in specific cultural or geographic regions and is often associated with anxiety and panic.

Koro syndrome is a psychological condition with cultural and psychological factors and not a medical or physical disorder as there is no actual physical retraction or shrinking of the genitals.

Treatment for individuals experiencing Koro syndrome typically involves psychoeducation, therapy, and addressing the underlying anxiety or cultural factors contributing to the belief.

Professor Issa who is an experienced Psychiatrist with a demonstrated history of working in the mental health care industry further explained that it is a psychosexual conflict and personality factor and nothing more.

“When a patient is brought in, in the presence of other health workers of the persons gender, their family and the security personnel who accompanied the case, we undress the person and we always find penis or vagina there,” he said.

According to him, in such situation, they usually make the patient undergo psychological therapy by explaining the nature of the illness, if the person still does not believe, they are admitted for a day or two and their manhood is restored.

“When you ask them to go and make love to their legitimate spouse they find it working! So all these alarms about missing genitals are nothing but Koro Syndrome brought by culture bound anxiety disorder and it is treatable by psycho therapy while underlying factors are treated accordingly.” He confirmed.

He concludes that Africa and probably Asia may see more of these kinds of situations because we are still bound in our culture and belief in supernatural causes of things while advanced societies like the United States or United Kingdom may probably never hear of it.

PRNigeria therefore concludes that reports that genitals are missing or stolen is MISLEADING.