Fact Check


Published July 28, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Did a Georgia man cut off his own penis in order to stop himself from masturbating?

Claim:   A man cut off his penis in order to force himself to stop masturbating.


Example:     [Collected via e-mail, July 2015]

This article says a man cut of his own penis to prevent masturbation? Is this true?

Origins:    On 23 July 2015, the web site Sick Chripse published an article reporting that a Georgia man had cut off his own penis with a carving knife in order to stop himself from masturbating:

Paramedics and police were called to Jonas Etcher's mobile home Tuesday night after a frantic call came from his mother saying her son had sawed off his penis with an electric carving knife.

"He's really been struggling with masturbation," Ellen Etcher told WRDW. "He knows it's against Jesus, but has been self-pleasuring up to a dozen times a day. He can't seem to find a girl to get his sex urges out on ... we've tried Match.com, Craigslist."

Etcher, 52, believed he would go to hell if he didn't stop masturbating. So he took drastic measures by cutting off what he called his "sinful part."

There is no truth to the above-displayed story. Although the web site Sick Chirpse does not contain a readily available disclaimer, there are several ways to determine that this account is fake news — primarily no other publication has reported on Jonas Etcher's supposed decision to castrate himself and that Sick Chirpse has published several other fake news stories (including a fictional yarn about police discovering 30 cow eyeballs in a DUI suspect's rectum).

As well, the photograph included with the Sick Chirpse article was taken from an unrelated 2010 news report about a man being forced to eat his own beard:

Last updated:      27 July 2015

Originally published:    27 July 2015

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.