Koro is a psychiatric disorder where a person has anxiety that their penis is shrinking and retracting back into their body. Those who are diagnosed with Koro believe that when their penis ultimately reverts into their abdominal, they die. It’s common in places such as India, China, and Japan, although there are instances of it in the United States and Europe. Koro is often observed as an epidemic, but sometimes specific individual cases can pop up as well. Koro is often accompanied by other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, hypochondria, schizophrenia and body dysmorphia. Since there have been cases of Koro all over the globe, some suspect that it may not be a culturally specific psychiatric disorder, but it does show up mostly in the Southern part of China. It has shown up previously in women before, but it is much more common in young Chinese men. Although it can be hard to prove that Koro is a cultural phenomenon, the Chinese men relate Koro to losing their Qi. Qi is spiritual health and energy in Chinese culture. Losing your Qi can result in death. This is the primary reason those who are diagnosed with Koro in the West are different than those who are Chinese patients. Chinese patients tend to believe that Koro will kill them after gradual loss of sexual power, energy and vitality. Doctors have examined the disorder, and it is often void of any urinary underlying issue, which is why there is so much doubt of the existence of Koro. Researching the issue has made me realize there is so little known about the disorder, and there is much debate on its classification.
Note for instructor: (this post shows edits, because it signed out after submission which caused issues in the post.)
Citation: Edwards, James W. “Indigenous Koro, a Genital Retraction Syndrome of Insular Southeast Asia: A Critical Review.” The Culture-Bound Syndromes, 1983, 169-91. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-5251-5_17.