From San Francisco
"Experts Stand Behind Health Benefits of Circumcision"
These experts are not expert in what matters most at hand, the penis. Sadly the world's foremost penis expert and researcher died a couple of months ago. But we know Dr. John Taylor had nothing good to say about circumcision. RIP
From San Francisco
Certainly a lot of people on the anti-circumcision side of a debate that all parents of boys get involved in. As you will notice, GreatDad does not actively take a side on this issue. This article is reporting comments made in the Washington Post. The only stand we take is that if a dad decides to circumcise is son, he should attend the procedure. -Editor
The other commenters have already made most of the points I wanted to, but I really want to emphasize the issue of personal choice. The choice about whether or not to remove a normal healthy and functional body part rightly belongs to the owner of that body part and nobody else. Part of the penis are no exception. If an adult makes an informed decision to modify his penis in whatever way he sees fit, then that's his right, but parents don't have a right to impose that choice on their children.
The foreskin is an intricate set of very sensual tissue with more than 20,000 nerve endings. It also serves to protect the glans of the penis, and the extra skin helps accommodate erections without stretching and tearing.
If we were to cut the breast tissue off baby girls we could greatly reduce the rate of breast cancer, but we don't do that because it's a functional part of the body. The same is true of the penis - with ALL its parts.
Finally, the African field trials that are used to make the case for prevention of HIV have serious issues, including the fact that weren't double-blind (for obvious) reasons, they were ended early, the circumcised group didn't have sex for the first few weeks while they were healing from the surgery, and there's no consistent correlation in the real world. When we look at actual populations, and control for other factors - like the number of prostitutes in a region - we see no consistent correlation between circumcision and reduced HIV infection rates.
No medical organization in the world claims that circumcising baby boys does them more good than harm, not even the American Academy of Pediatrics. Circumcising baby boys does them many times more harm than good.
From San Jose
When will these so called experts learn the difference between a "personal preference" and a "parental preference"? When parents choose to cut off part of their son's penis, it is a parental preference. When an adult male chooses to cut off part of his own penis, it is a personal preference.
When practised on children who can not give valid and informed consent to this procedure which removes a natural part of the body which does serve serveral beneficial purposes male circumcision is ethically wrong.
To recommend such an invasive procedure to adult men for the prevention of infections, when the simple provision and wearing of condoms would suffice, is also unnecessary.
Sexual education, infection screening, and safer sex practises would make this debate unnecessary.
The foreskin is a part of the male anatomy which is natural and useful. Searh online for yourselves. Circumcision is a painful procedure which requires weeks to heal from and can not be properly reversed.
From West Lafayette
Great Dad and John Thompson should be assamed at themselves. I just learned that the Susan Blank quote was from something she said 3 years ago! Also, Thompson did not cite his "news source." Combine these two incidences and his article becomes a pro-circ diatribe.
When an act is a violation of basic human rights, it doesn't matter how many "studies" there are. It's still a violation of basic human rights, no matter how hard you "study" it. The time has come for circumcision and all the "studies" for it to come to an end. There are better ways to render medical benefits to children, especially in children who are already healthy.
circumcision is genital mutilation.
"Circumcision is more likely to prevent amputation than result in it."
News flash, John; circumcision IS an amputation. It removes the foreskin, which is quite a substantial amount of flesh. It also changes the way the penis works for the rest of a child's life, necessitating, if not requiring lube for masturbation and intercourse.
"I saw a photo of a man who had both his penis and his glutes cut off attempting to treat penile cancer because his parents neglected to circumcise him and he still died."
This statement's logic is absolutely flawed. Cancer can develop on almost any part of the body, which may or may not necessitate amputation. People can develop cancer in their breasts, their prostate, cervix, hands feet etc. Quite often the disease requires the extraction or amputation of these parts. There are photographic documentations of all of these. The logic "it could develop cancer, therefore it must be amputated" does not follow for any other procedure, except, you would have us believe, circumcision. Would that a doctor suggest all men had their prostates removed and all women have their breasts removed, and their thyroids and pancrease removed "to prevent cancer in these areas," he would be rendered a quack.
Medical science, John, seeks to PRESERVE the human body, not necessitate its destruction.
Fact: Even if studies were correct, circumcised men can and do develop penile cancer. Circumcision is no "immunization" for it. Penile cancer is more connected with old age, smoking and hygiene habits. It makes no sense to amputate or mutilate a body part to prevent a disease which is already rare, and which could already be easily prevented by other means.
Rather than "study" the "medical benefits" of circumcision, "researchers" need to start studying ways to achieve the same medical benefits without the use of mutilation, esp. the mutilation of healthy, non-consenting children.
Bottom line: The foreskin is not a birth defect, genetic anomaly, or deformity. It is normal, healthy tissue found in all human males at birth.
Unless there is a clinical or medical indication, circumcision is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue. Without medical reason, doctors have no business preforming them in healthy newborns, much less giving parents any kind of "choice."
The circumcision of healthy newborn children is the amputation of normal, healthy tissue. It is mutilation any which way you want to slice it.
In 2009 Wawer/Gray showed that circumcising Ugandan men made them 50% MORE likely to transmit HIV to their partners. In 2010 Bailey showed that the men circumcised in Kenya were NOT less likely to have HIV if circumcised after all.
Most of the US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth. Europe, where circumcision is very rare, has 1/3 the HIV infection incidence.
Obviously circumcision is neither neccesary nor sufficient to thwart AIDS.
Oh? You don't think it's important to be discussing the ethic of performing non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals? Do tell.
You talk of circumcision and immunization as if they were interchangeable.
Could you please tell us? Tell us how circumcision is ANYTHING AT ALL like immunizations. When HIV, HPV, herpes etc., invade the body, how exactly will missing ANY part of your genitals make any sort of difference? I await your response.
Could you tell us how circumcision prevents STDs, HIV, genital warts etc?
"Besides, having experienced sex with both cut and uncut men, I'll take the cut man every time. He lasts longer and tastes better."
How absolutely rude and insulting. Circumcision should be performed in children so that you could enjoy your preference? Really? What if I don't like labia?
You know, it is also true that you don't exactly need your labia, clitoris, ears, eyes, hands, even feet to live a healthy life.
Blind men who have been blind all their lives certainly can't miss seeing, doesn't make blinding people ethical or even correct to do in the name of medicine. (Taking out your eyes prevents eye cancer and cataracts.)
"Find something that matters and get excited over that, not what's at the end of your all-important noodle."
Presumeably circumcision doesn't matter to you, and it wasn't exiting enough for you to type out a response. Maybe if circumcision "doesn't matter," then it "shouldn't matter" if doctors stopped performing circumcisions?
Circumcision does not have any significant effect on penile cancer. Even the American Cancer Society's website says this. Sorry.
As a woman, your genitals provide even more "catch-pockets" for filth to get in and yet I doubt you have any problem keeping yourself clean. And yet you say you're in support of cutting off a part of men's genitals to do the same thing, and you don't think that's a big deal?
I don't understand the logic of you people, I really don't. You act like the "anti-circ" people are crazy kooks when YOU'RE the ones who are gung-ho on having a part of your kids' penis permanently removed.
Men have been enjoying themselves for thousands of years without needing a foreskin. If circumcising my son gives him a medically-valid edge in preventing STDs such as HIV or genital warts, then I can live with it.
Besides, having experienced sex with both cut and uncut men, I'll take the cut man every time. He lasts longer and tastes better.
Please get over the "mutilation" hysteria. You don't need a foreskin to live a happy, healthy life. My son certainly isn't missing his, and neither is my husband.
And yes, it's far easier for both of them to keep clean without having a catchpocket for smegma.
Natural or not, who cares? Find something that matters and get excited over that, not what's at the end of your all-important noodle.
"Still, there are some opponents who feel that the surgery is an unethical procedure to perform on young children."
With respect that is out of place in this article. Anyhow the anti-circ group members are guaranteed to swarm on these articles and chant it. (Together with comments about amputation even though circumcision is more likely to prevent amputation than result in it. I saw a photo of a man who had both his penis and his glutes cut off attempting to treat penile cancer because his parents neglected to circumcise him and he still died.)
There seem to be so many around who consider immunisation to be unethical to give to children. Indeed everyone I know who is anti-circ is also anti-immunisation. But similarly hard to support views on ethics (unless thin rhetoric works for you) don't garner a mention when discussing the benefits of immunisation. Why do you mention it with circumcision Mr Thompson?
It's been about a century since "researchers" and "experts" started "studying" the circumcision of healthy boys and men. WHY aren't they looking for ways to achieve "medical benefits" in already healthy children WITHOUT amputative surgery? In so-called circumcision "research," WHY is primacy given to preserving a mutilative PROCEDURE rather than preserving the HUMAN BODY? WHAT does "a reduced rate in HIV" have to do with NEWBORNS who DON'T HAVE SEX? ESPECIALLY since circumcisin couldn't even hold a candle to condoms? (60% vs over 95%?)
WHAT other surgery are doctors expected to fullfill in children merely on the parent's "personal preference?" Without a medical or clinical indication for surgery, doctors can't even be performing it. So how is it doctors are performing circumcisions in healthy newborns, let alone giving parents any kind of "choice?" There are better ways to achieve medical benefits. In this day in age, circumcision is an outdated form of genital mutilation. It is a violation of basic human rights, and doctors who perform them are engaging in complete medical fraud.
Parents will be wise to seek a second opinion to not so "great dad." "Dads don't always think like moms," but others don't seem to think at all.
Surgery is performed because there is a clinical or medical necessity. "Great dad," in a healthy child, what is it? What other surgery are doctors expected to perform merely at a parent's whim? The bottom line is, doctors hold the credentials, it is doctors who are supposed to know better than naive parents; that's why they make the big bucks. Presenting a "choice" where there is none to make in a healthy child at the expense of his body is creating a bogus dilemma; it is professional abuse.
I don't know, you tell me. The CDC released this data at the Vienna AIDS conference, and they haven't been forthcoming with a source.
As for the circumcision deaths, the CDC is lying through their teeth. We have quite a few deaths documented which made the news documented in the same time frame that the CDC did their supposed "study." At least 117 die a year as a direct result of their circumcision. The problem with documenting circumcision deaths is that doctors are smart to report deaths caused by circumcision as having been caused by something else, either "hemmorage," or "septic shock," which is like saying nobody dies of a gun-shot wound; they "hemmorage" to death. For this reason, the 117 is a conservative one; these are just the circumcisions REPORTED; some hospitals choose to be mum about this subject. The CDC is looking under rocks for circumcision deaths, hoping not to find circumcision deaths, and ignoring the ones they do.
PS - latest data on US circumcision rate, based on CDC data looks to be about 64%, not 33%. What's the data source for the 33% figure?
A CDC survey of 330,845 newborn circumcisions found no deaths. Abstract presented at the Vienna AIDS meeting, 2010. Ethical considerations are reasonable objections to raise, but Dan's assertion about deaths seems inaccurate.
Another person trying to advocate circumcision because he had it forced upon him as an infant I see.
The Danish seem to have the most educated response, leave it up to the man when he is of age, can consent, is informed, & is sexually active. Makes sense to me.
Oh, great. Another article advocating gential cutting of baby boys. What is the fascination that Americans have with genital cutting?
As noted by another, baby boys do not get HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases from sex. It makes no sense to advocate circumcision of babies. Wait until the man is an adult and sexually active before addressing the circumcision decision.
How about -
"There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.
"Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.
"Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.
"Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child's right to autonomy and physical integrity."
That is the official position of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG). But then, Holland never suffered from anti-masturbation hysteria, so circumcision never became customary there.
From West Lafayette
The CDC said this summer that the current infant circumcision rate is 33%, down from 56% three years ago.
A 2010 study estimated that 117 baby boys die as a result of their circumcision each year in the US, mostly from hemorrhage and infection.
Baby boys aren't likely to get a sexually transmitted disease (at least we hope not!), so the HIV/AIDS scare tactic Blank and others are using is disingenuous. Did she forget to mention that even if he was circumcised he'd still have to wear a condom?
Circumcision and its complications cost the US $1.9 Billion each year. This money is better spent on children's health care and AIDS research.
Parents considering infant circumcision should visit: circumcisiondecisionmaker dot com
Those studies were done in Africa by people trying to help boost circumcision in the US. The studies are flawed -- a great deal of issues -- and the change of risk of getting HIV and STDs does NOT exist in the developed nations. That is, in the US there is NO health benefit to loosing the 20000 pleasure giving nerve endings that are amputated.
IT is only a personal preference as to the owner of the 20000 nerve endings. Altering the sensory system is only a choice of the owner.