The phobia could be the result of a negative experience in a person’s life that was associated with knees. The discomfort at the sight of one's knees could be the result of the person’s parents or themselves wearing exclusively clothing that covered the knees growing up, therefore making the person unfamiliar with the sight of them. It could be the result of a traumatic injury that left a scar on the individual’s knee or on someone that they know.
Some people fear kneeling because it is a form of submission. Symptoms include but are not limited to becoming sick to the stomach, excessive sweating, dry mouth, and anxiety when presented with a situation including knees or kneeling. Sufferers fear the uncomfortable feeling they experience at the sight of knees or they fear the recollection of the injury and the pain associated with it.
As with most phobias this fear can be treated with therapy and medication to relieve the feeling of anxiety the person suffers as a result of this phobia.
Helen Saul (2001). "Phobias: Fighting the Fear". Arcade Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 9781559706476. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
We may not know anyone with taphophobia (fear or being buried alive), antophobia (flowers), genuphobia (knees), metrophobia (poetry), or zoophobia (animals), but all these do exist.
Hannah Wood (2009-03-13). "The woman who is so scared of knees she's lost friends and can't go swimming". The Mirror (UK). Retrieved 2015-06-08.
She was just 15 at the time and, now 19, her life is severely hampered by a fear of knees, known medically as genuphobia.