The Effects of Circumcision on Sexuality in Men:

Letter of Information and Consent 

Investigators:

Jenn Bossio, MSc, Department of Psychology, Queen’s University 

Caroline F. Pukall, PhD, Department of Psychology, Queen's University

Steven Steele, MD, Department of Urology, Kingston General Hospital

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Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to investigate differences between adult men who have been circumcised (the surgical removal of foreskin from the penis) compared to men who have not been circumcised, including differences in sexual functioning, relationship satisfaction, and body satisfaction, among other factors.

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Eligibility

In order to participate, you must be over the age of 18 and able to read and write english fluently.

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Study procedures

Your participation in this study is voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time. Should you choose to participate, you will be asked to complete a variety of questionnaires online. The questionnaires will take approximately 30 - 60 minutes to complete, and will contain questionnaires asking for information on sociodemographic information (e.g., age, relationship status), circumcision status, body image, sexual functioning, relationship functioning, and health-related quality of life. Members of the research team will be available by phone and email to answer any questions that you may have about the questionnaires and/or the study.

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After you complete the survey, you may be asked to invite your romantic partner to participate in a second survey (if you indicate that you are in a romantic relationship). Upon completion of this survey, you will be asked to provide your partner’s information. Your partner’s contact information will remain strictly confidential, and this information will only be used to send your partner a link to a survey, similar to the one you will fill out. Please remember that entering their information is completely optional; your eligibility to win a prize at the end of the survey will not be impacted by whether you enter your partner’s information or not.

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You are able to go back to previously-completed pages by pressing the “Back” button. If you cannot complete all questionnaires at the same time, you may press the “Save and Exit” button. You will be given a URL to use when you wish to resume the survey. You may copy this link yourself, or you may choose to have the survey program e-mail you the link. If you Save and Exit, you MUST use this link to resume.

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If you prefer to complete the survey on paper, please send us an e-mail at shrl@queensu.ca.

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This study has been granted clearance according to the recommended principles of Canadian ethics guidelines, and Queen's policies.

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Compensation

Upon completion of the online questionnaire, your name will be entered into a draw to win a monthly prize. If you wish to discontinue the survey, you will still be eligible to enter the draw and the chances of your name being drawn will not be impacted.

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Advantages of participating in this study

The information obtained from this study will help our understanding of circumcision – a routine procedure worldwide, which is often performed in infancy. At the end of the study, you will be provided with additional resources related to circumcision and sexual health and functioning.

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Disadvantages of participating in this study

There are no known physical, psychological, economic, or social risks associated with participating in this study. However, some of the questions asked as part of the interview/questionnaire part of the study may cover sensitive topics, such as sexual functioning and perceptions of body image. It is possible that you may experience some discomfort answering these questions. Additionally, you will be asked to look at some graphic anatomical line drawings of male genital anatomy. Remember that you are not required to answer any question that you are uncomfortable answering, and you are free to discontinue your participation at any point during the study without having to provide explanation. Withdrawing from the study will not impact your chance of winning a prize draw; you will still be given the opportunity to enter into the prize draw after completing the Withdrawal form.

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Confidential nature of this study

Your participation in this study is strictly confidential. The investigators will take all reasonable measures to protect the confidentiality of your records. At no point during the questionnaire do we ask for personal information that can be identifying (e.g., name, address, city). You will not be identified in any publication or reports of this research; data will be aggregated in all reports of this study. All answers are strictly confidential and will be kept safe on a private and secure server located at Queen's University.

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Discontinuation of this study

You are under no obligation to participate in this study, and your acceptance or refusal will not affect access to services. Furthermore, you are free to withdraw from the study at any time, and you are free to refuse to answer any question without need of any explanation on your part. Should you wish to withdraw from the study, please complete the withdrawal form located on your survey portal page. You will have the option to indicate whether or not you would like the data you’ve already provided to be removed from the database. Withdrawing from the study will in no way impact your ability to enter into the prize draw; you will still be given the option to enter into the prize draw upon withdrawing.

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Any questions about study participation may be directed to the principle investigator, Jenn Bossio, at SHRL@queensu.ca or supervisor, Dr. Caroline Pukall, at pukallc@queensu.ca. Any ethical concerns about the study may be directed to the Chair of the General Research Ethics Board, Joan Stevenson, at chair.GREB@queensu.ca or 613-533-6081.