Friday, Dec 06, 2019 | Last Update : 11:24 AM IST

Private parts gone missing?

THE ASIAN AGE. | DR NARAYANA REDDY
Published : Nov 8, 2017, 12:54 am IST
Updated : Nov 8, 2017, 12:54 am IST

The name “Koro” takes its origin from Malay meaning “Head of a Turtle”.

The vanishing penis belief has a long and distinguished history. (Photo: Pixabay)
 The vanishing penis belief has a long and distinguished history. (Photo: Pixabay)

“Doctor, please save me. My penis is shrinking. At this rate it will disappear altogether,” this obese young pleaded tearfully. The man is suffering from a psychological disorder called Koro Syndrome. The name “Koro” takes its origin from Malay meaning “Head of a Turtle”. This condition is also known as Genital Retraction Syndrome (GRS), Penis Panic etc. In China (Cantonese) it is known as “Suo – Yang” meaning Shrinking Penis.

This Syndrome is characterised by the belief that

  • Penis is shrinking.
  • It will eventually be absorbed into the body and disappear.
  • It will cause death.

Not only men, even women suffer from this syndrome. They believe that their breasts and vaginal lips are shrinking and being sucked inside the body. This psychological disorder is associated with occult belief, such as witchcraft or with guilt stemming from false notions about masturbation. The vanishing penis belief has a long and distinguished history. It was first mentioned in the ancient Chinese text The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine dating to 300 B.C. A well documented “Penis Panic” mass hysteria occurred in Singapore in 1967. It took a while before normalcy was restored.

As it happens, men who are extremely obese may find it difficult to locate their penises buried under several layers of fat. Some physiological facts for the panic stricken…

  • Once the penis has grown to its adult size, it will not shrink
  • Penis has no bone. Its size depends on the amount of blood staying in the tissue spaces at any given moment.
  • Penis is like a coiled spring. It may become stretched longer when one is sexually aroused, but remain compressed otherwise

The writer is a sexologist. Mail him at dr.narayana@deccanmail.com

Tags: koro syndrome, genital retraction syndrome