I think one of the things that we far too often overlook in this country is that fact that genital mutilation of newborn boys is common practice, if not standard. Why isn't there more of a cry against this? Do the benefits of circumcision (if any, and I don't see any valid argument that there are any) outweigh the cost and mutilation of a boy?

Of course circumcision isn't the only genital mutilation in the world, but it's the only type in practice in the United States. Female genital mutilation is just as barbaric, if not more so. Americans, and Europeans in general, ban female genital mutilation of babies, but why the hypocrisy in not doing the same for males?

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Okay so first you say "circumcision does not offer any benefit to boys or girls", and then in the same sentence you say "but for boys it is a little beneficial". Circumcision does not protect from infections. I can make the case that it actually increases vulnerability to infections! In any case, if we are going to circumcise boys because we think it offers some protection against UTIs and STDs then why not circumcise our girls as well? After all if the penis is so easily infected then what about the vagina?!


Circumcision, by definition, creates a difference in penis size as it is an amputation of part of the penis (and a very significant part at that!). And circumcision, again by definition, does involve cutting the foreskin.

The problem I have with the idea that it prevents STD's, is the AIDS rate in places were all boys and girls get sexually mutilated, subsaharan east africa. Where they've been circumcised since before Judaism was invented. That alone should be enough to disprove that idea.
Male genital mutilation was originally introduced in the US to stop boys from masturbating- IE, to cut down on their sexual pleasure. As far as the hygiene- firstly, it's just not true.. but also, cutting off a part of a baby's genitals to stop him from maybe getting an infection later is like cutting off a baby girl's breast tissue to keep her from getting breast cancer later. Infections are easily treated if a baby does get one and isn't worth losing over 20,000 nerve endings and enduring horrifying pain. By every definition of mutilation, circumcision is it.
>As far as the hygiene- firstly, it's just not true..

You don't say?

...and to think, I trusted the CDC with all their stupid research, numbers and facts.
^^ I trusted the CDC ^^

You trust YOURSELF to ignore all the stuff on the very page you linked that describes risks and drawbacks.

NOT ONE national medical association of doctors on earth (not even Israel's) endorses routine circumcision. Some roundly condemn it. Australia/NZ and The Netherlands have issued revised policy statements since all the headline news about supposed HIV risk reduction and they still say there is no justification for routine circumcision.

Regarding hygiene, the AAP says: "Leave it alone. Clean only what is seen." Sounds like male hygiene is as simple as female hygiene.
I didn't address the moral issue or ignore the risks and drawbacks.

My point was simply regarding the hygiene, if you consider health concerns part of hygiene as I do then the statement is not so easily dismissed : "The analysis concluded that there was a significantly lower risk for syphilis and chancroid among circumcised men,..", "neonatal circumcision to be highly cost-effective, considering the estimated number of averted cases of infant urinary tract infection and lifetime incidence of HIV infection, penile cancer, balanoposthitis, and phimosis", "Lack of male circumcision has also been associated with sexually transmitted genital ulcer disease and chlamydia, infant urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and cervical cancer in female partners of uncircumcised men"...

But you are correct "complication rates range from 0.2% to 2.0% [1, 14, 15]. The most common complications in the United States are minor bleeding and local infection".

The Bottom line (according to me): If I'm raising a kid in say the US then I'll skip the circumcision but if I'm raising a kid in a poor African village, then by all means YES to circumcision!
You miss my point. It's really like saying hang-nails are significantly more likely in the non-defingered. Whatever the supposed threat, it's trivial and can be addressed other ways.
No, it's not like the made up word you just used. That is a false analogy and nonsensical.

These research studies are comparing circumcised men to uncircumcised men and providing the benefits and drawbacks for each.
Refer to my post of 23 May 2010, where I warn about the dangers of accepting the results of certain kinds of research study.

............ for example
“The AAFP Commission on Science has reviewed the literature regarding neonatal circumcision”.
The authors of this review are not named.
Who were they? Were the men on this commission circumcised or not?
Their circumcision status should, even now, be made clear.
It may be that most of the men on this commission had themselves been circumcised. (The national average is about 8 in 10 for American males). This is enough to suggest that there would be unintended, unacceptable, bias in the review.

Moreover, the report ends with
“The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son.”

But if most of these family physicians are circumcised men, then the advice given would probably not be sincerely neutral.
If no American physician was circumcised, advice to parents and guardians would surely differ from the present situation.
The article Daniel cites appears to me to be biased. One example: the alleged role of "lack of circumcision" (the terminology alone being biased) in transmission of HPV. HPV doesn't even require penetration for transmission. How could foreskin increase the HPV infection? The data is correlational and cultural differences could easily explain that effect and most of other results presented in the article.
I'm sorry, I did not see a message post or blog entry on your profile made on May 23 using A|N or Google. Could you provide a link?

In any case, I agree with you (DTM) on the importance of verifying the accuracy of research studies but I have 3 main critiques to your point.

1. No study is perfect; if I found a study that didn't have some known points of contention then that would be more surprising than less.

1.a. Do you think the CDC has an religious agenda or that there sources are grossly negligent? If so, please feel free to make your case.

1.b. Perhaps you don't exactly agree with some aspects of circumcision but I'm arguing hygiene and the medical efficacy of circumcision in helping to prevent serious issues such as the spread of AIDS in Africa. If you don't like the CDC then fine, here is a news release from the WHO with the same conclusion.

>>"Based on the evidence presented, which was considered to be compelling, experts attending the consultation recommended that male circumcision now be recognized as an additional important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men"

and here are known deficiencies as acknowledged by the same article:

>>"Experts at the meeting identified a number of areas where additional research is required to inform the further development of male circumcision programmes. These included

the impact of male circumcision on sexual transmission from HIV-infected men to women;
the impact of male circumcision on the health of women for reasons other than HIV transmission (e.g. lessened rates of cancer of the cervix);
the risks and benefits of male circumcision for HIV-positive men;
the protective benefit of male circumcision in the case of insertive partners engaging in homosexual or heterosexual anal intercourse; and
research into the resources needed for, and most effective ways, to expand quality male circumcision services.""

2. The link I provided is from a secular organization [CDC] with no known bias and 42 supplied references. Some will obviously be more credible than others but some will be 10+ year studies: Male circumcision and HIV infection: 10 years and counting doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)03421-2.

2.a. To be honest I don't have access to published scientific journals and papers, its just too expensive for an individual enthusiast to subscribe or even purchase a la carte. But, I'd be more than happy to follow up on such items provided the opportunity.)

3. I am not addressing the moral issue or really what physicians should recommend to American parents.

3.a My primary concern is to address the initial sweeping generalization of hygiene. I understand the argument that in the US it is trivially more difficult to maintain hygiene when comparing circumcised and non-circumcised men but it is more difficult. I continue to enforce my point by alluding to Africa where the difficulty of maintaining proper hygiene increases significantly and possibly because of this hygiene difference circumcision appears to demonstrably decrease contraction rates of serious health issues such as AIDS.

If I had to make a decision and I was a parent in Africa I would very likely have my child circumcised and yet would not consider such a thing in the US.

I agree with your assessment and think that this is a glaring problem with the whole circumcision issue that very few people ever address. It is never mentioned in the media, I don't believe it has been studied or reported in journals, and I don't think most people even consider it an important point.






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