Vanishing Penis Is An Asian Socio-Cultural Event

Last January, in Ghana a dozen people were crushed to death by masses, who blamed them for making their penis vanish or shrink with the help of voodoos or witch-crafts. This epidemic spread in neighboring areas Ivory Coast and 7 men were held responsible for being penis declining sorcerers and beaten to death.

The police had later checked the suspected victims and found that their genitals were unharmed. This case was then dismissed by the police as a ploy planned by thieves searching to rob public in frightened mobs.

In psychology this phenomenon of ‘panic of shrinking penis' is termed as ‘Koro'. Koro is a word that originates from Malayan and Indonesian, which means ‘tortoise'. It apparently highlights the resemblance between the head and neck of tortoise being retracted inside its body to the male penis withdrawing inside his body.

In the book ‘Eccentric and Bizarre Behaviors', that talks about koro and many other strange behaviors the author John Grossberg writes that “Koro was wrongly thought to be restricted to men of only South Asia for many years but in July 1967 epidemics of koro hit Singapore.

Furthermore, in November 1976 it spread to Thailand and West Bengal. On July 1982 it entered India. Such epidemics corroborate that this is nervousness based on hallucinations readily sculpted and discussed among susceptible men.

Koro in its unique logic is regarded to be Asian socio-cultural happening. In psychology it is described best as one kind of panic disorder that is directed by fear to the shrinking of genitals. It is termed as genital retraction syndrome.


  • Genital shrinkage can be for several hours or days or years
  • Besides retraction other symptoms consist of an awareness of change of penis shape
  • Failure of penile well-built tendency
  • Fear of looming death
  • Penile termination
  • Loss of sex control
  • Sex change to woman or eunuch
  • Urinary impediments
  • Sterility
  • Feeling of being possessed by spirit

Tremendously worried sufferers have their family members perform physical or mechanical penile anchoring by clamping a device or looping with string. These forced endeavors repeatedly can lead to damages or death.


  • Sexual conflicts
  • Personality factors including lack of sexual poise or poor body image
  • Guilt feelings sourced by spiritual background mostly among poor and weak men, who fall to superstitious beliefs. Guilt over impotence and masturbation.
  • Cultural viewpoint


If genital check up's reveal no shrinkage of penis then any acute injury to the patient caused due to obsessive efforts to prevent retraction then medicines and therapy treatments are prescribed.

In culture bound cases, talks and reassurance on sexual composition are provided through psychotherapy as per the symptoms of the patient.


  1. Koro is related to Chinese cultural group and the origin is built upon the thoughts of sex functioning in traditional Chinese medicine that recurrent ejaculation is unhealthy. Semen is the vital part of a man's energy and thus extreme reduction can guide to illness or death.
  1. There is also a popular ghost novel or Chinese folklore that portrays a fox spirit, who has the power to make people physically weak and sexually shrink their tissues.

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