Male circumcision is a kindness to future sexual partners

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By Joel Moskowitz, M.D.

Joel A. Moskowitz

SAN DIEGO — At a recent meeting of the Obstetrics and Gynecologic Society in the San Diego Convention Center, those entering were confronted by a myriad of anti-circumcisIon signs held by young males and females:

“Circumcision is Unnecessary”

A photo of a young baby boy “You’re gonna cut off what?!”

“Circumcision amputates 75% of penile nerves and 100% of the most erogenous”

“Sex Criminals for Hire…Inquire Within”

“Medical Circumcision is a fraud.”

One young man argued that a Federal Law in 1996 prohibited circumcision.  (He wore a T shirt with the inscription “Bay Area Intactivists.”)

Within the last year, there was a movement to ban circumcision in San Francisco.  It was silenced but apparently it is still alive.  As the Chief of Pediatrics in the U.S.A.F., at my base,  it was my responsibility to perform circumcisions.   I didn’t advocate or discourage the practice.  There was only a small Jewish contingent and most of the circumcisions I performed were requested by non-Jewish parents.  If the boy were Jewish, I said the appropriate prayers.  In every other respect, the procedure was the same.

It is true that I didn’t have the voluntary consent of the infant male.  That is the criticism of those against circumcision (vide supra – “You’re gonna cut off what?”  Parents make decisions for their  children in many facets.

Take this food; wear these shoes; you need this vaccination etc etc etc.

Are parents right to usurp the privilege of running one’s life?   If they do it with the best available medical information and in the best interests of the child – Yes!

Religion aside, you might argue that circumcision doesn’t have to be done in infancy.  Then a dialogue with the boy might provide an opportunity for discussion about the pros and cons.  That might result in a legal conundrum.  What age would be deemed appropriate as the age for decision?  With  sexual adventures occurring younger and younger, it might be too late to maximize the benefits of excising the prepuce.

What is a minor surgical procedure for a baby, for a teen ager or older male, would require an Operating Room.  It is true that we cannot be certain of the traumatic effects on an eight-day old baby who only (in the religious rite) has drops of Kosher wine to sooth him.  I would be skeptical of anyone who would say that he recalls his circumcision as an infant.  With teen or adult circumcision, you can bet that they remember the anxieties.

Although the focus of criticism was mainly directed at circumcision of males,  the protestors expressed negative opinions about female circumcision as well.    On the other hand, should an adult decide to be circumcized that would be okay with these protestors.

The assertion that circumcision amputes 75% of penile nerves and that 100% of the most erogenous is exciting but unproven.  Infection which may be minor can lead to sepsis, gangrene or worse.  As with any surgical procedure, hemorrhage may be a complication.  There is also the potential of mutilating the penis with resultant deformity or some surgical mishap requiring partial amputation of the penis.  Then rubbing of the diaper possibly will excoriate the glans and/or create an irritation of the urethra which may lead to narrowing/obstruction.  Statistics on the frequency of these misadventures are not available.  But those opposed to circumcision declaim what in their minds is an unnecessary and dangerous procedure.

As part of my medical experience, I was a hospital epidemiologist.  That involves the study and prevention of diseases spreading through populations.   My opinion is that circumcision may be an aid in preventing the transmission of AIDS as well as cancer of the cervix.

As our culture countenances sexual adventures for younger and younger partners, if parents would want to wait until their son arrives at age 18, it may be too late, both for heterosexuals and homosexuals. Before the parents will be aware of their son’s sexual orientation.  It may be too late as regards the covert spread of  HIV and/or human papilloma virus (associated with cervical cancer).  A Hopkins study found that circumcised males are less likely to develop genital herpes.

The rationale that everyone should have control of their bodies and their lives fails if the timing will endager others.

Then there is the other ‘logic’.

A group “Intact America” based in New York and backed by a pro-intact Texas millionaire disagrees with  the argument that circumcised males are less likely to transmit HIV.  Studies are based on information that this is so in Africa.  The Intact America counters that many Christians and Muslims are pious and therefore unlikely to engage in rampant sex. So, they say, the lower incidence in circumcised males is misleading

Their web site has quotes from rabbis against circumcision.

An example follows from Rabbi Nathan Segal, Rabbi of Shabbos Shul, who wrote “One Rabbi’s Thoughts about Circumcision”:  “I believe circumcision is a major mistake…  Just as we no longer practice the animal sacrifices in the traditional temple, so let us not sacrifice an important piece of of our mammal in the temple of tradition.”   He allows that if we must, a pin prick producing a drop of blood should suffice as compliant with the ritual.”

A spokesman for Intact America said: “Why would you want to lose a healthy pleasurable body part?  We don’t cut off people’s fingertips and say, “That way they won’t get ingrown nails. It’s absurd.”  Some states have discontinued Medicaid payments for circumcision. The CDC and Academy of Pediatrics have an ambiguous position favoring circumcision.  They waffle indica ting the  evidence is ‘complex and confusing’ as to the benefits of male circumcision.  But the U.S. public has made up its mind. Various statistics show a decline from 80% of newborn male circumcision to about 50% (static for the last several years).  The reasons are unclear.

Those against circumcision, especially of infants who cannot give consent, either don’t believe the medical trials where circumcision has been shown to be a health measure or nevertheless consider the procedure a cruel attack on an infant.

Doubtless devout Jewish and Muslims will continue the practice.  And the anti-circumcision movement will continue to oppose it.  Some Jews are deliberately not having their male children circumcised – with the rationale that the Shoah has taught the wisdom of not having their male offspring identified as being Jewish. For the anti-Semites, this can be confusing because many non-Jewish males have been circumcised.

Informed parents know that vaccination against various diseases not only protects their child but other children as well.  I suggest that circumcision is akin to vaccination and that parents who bring their infant son for circumcision are not violating his rights.  It is the right thing to do.

Of course, the debate continues.

*
Dr. Moskowitz, a retired pediatric psychiatrist, resides in La Jolla.  He may be contacted at [email protected]

22 Responses to “Male circumcision is a kindness to future sexual partners”

  1. Dan Bollinger says:

    We are all born with certain inalienable or natural rights. One of these is the right to our own bodies, to be secure in the knowledge that no one else will mutilate us. It makes no difference how religious, ignorance, or well-intentioned our parents are; they cannot take that right away from us. To do so is invasive, and in this case sexually debilitating, and therefore unethical and immoral. There ought to be a law against it!

    • Melissa says:

      Exactly, the FGM Amendment puts this info in writing and the 14th Amendment reiterates the rights of all under our laws. Child abuse laws also say you cannot leave a mark on a child. In the absence of a medical emergency, a parent cannot legally make a choice to change a child’s body.

  2. Melissa says:

    You are joking right? I hate seeing my partners scar and his dry keratinized and numb penis. It has messed up our relationship bc he has problems becoming aroused and I feel pain during sex. In what world is G-d’s creation not enough for us mortals? What on Earth were the men who chose what to put in our religious texts thinking? I guess they wanted to control men and thereby control women. It is sickening that anyone thinks sex would be better or safer with a circumcised partner. Circumcision actually raises the odds of unprotected sex leading to infections. My children, girls and boys, are intact. The cycle of abuse, sexism, and ignorance ends with us. Psychology today has a great many articles regarding this topic as does beyondthebris.com and Jewsagainstcircuncision.org. Also check out the web sites listed below.

    http://www.drmomma.org/2011/01/faith-considerations-on-circumcision.html
    http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/
    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/how-foreskin-protects-against-uti.html
    http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100157237
    http://www.norm.org/lost.html (Yep the barrier mentioned above is gone when circumcised..check the lost list for details.)

  3. joey blogger says:

    One thing I would say is that as a male my penis is actually very important to me and something that im sure each of us as inderviduals cherish. Some people make very lightly the decision to circumcise which I beleive is wrong as it does not reflect the importance of the penis to its owner.

  4. roger desmoulins says:

    Last year’s attempt to outlaw circumcision in San Francisco was only a tiny part of a much broader critique of routine infant circumcision in the USA, one that goes back at least to 1978 — California Medicaid stopped reiumbursing RIC in 1982 — and that has been an enduring part of the progressive parenting debate ever since.

    RIC is unethical for a number of reasons. Here’s two. One, it is usually done without any pain reduction and that is blatantly unethical. Two, the first requirement of any medical procedure is that there be careful studies of its efficacy and complications. In the case of RIC, this has not been done, and RIC is unethical until such studies are done.

    No study claims that RIC prevents any condition, only that it improves the odds. These claims are uninteresting, given that there are two simple ways to prevent STIs altogether: condoms, or fidelity. Japan and continental Europe have never gone for RIC, and their rates of cervical cancer and HIV are substantially below those of the USA.

    The correlations alleged between being circumcised and lower rates of this or that run afoul of two facts. One, last century, quite a few unsophisticated men did not know their circ status. Second, the subjects were not randomly assigned to the treatment and control categories.

    The health of all babies born in Dunedin New Zealand in 1972 and 73 is being carefully followed over their entire lifetime. The males in this study are about 40% circumcised. To date, the frequency of the number and severity of STI incidents in this population does not vary by circ status. So much for circumcision being akin to vaccination.

    There are no studies of the possibly adverse effects of circumcision on adult sexual pleasure and functionality. There is ample anecdotal evidence of men damaged for life because too much was cut off, of men incapable of enjoying sex, of men suffering from chronic premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. Quite a few American women who’ve experienced both have blogged and commented that they prefer the natural penis. This fact is part of the reason why women under 40 are prominent in the movement against RIC.
    Many of the sexual harms of circumcision do not become apparent until middle age, when they are thought to be consequences of mere aging.

    “…with the rationale that the Shoah has taught the wisdom of not having their male offspring identified as being Jewish.” This argument is invoked in continental Europe, but never in the USA debate. But I agree with it; in times of persecution, every Jewish male should have the option of melting into the crowd.

    “Various statistics show a decline from 80% of newborn male circumcision to about 50% (static for the last several years). The reasons are unclear.” The reasons are all too clear. Parents reject having genital surgery done on newborns without effective pain reduction. There is no convincing evidence that circumcision promotes health. There is ample anecdotal evidence that circumcision can sometimes be sexually damaging. The rate is down to 20-25% in California, BTW.

    The very high rates of circumcision that characterise your generation of gentile Americans (and mine) prevailed only because most urban maternity wards circumcised all baby boys as a matter of course, without obtaining the informed consent of the parents. The medical profession in the 1970s finally recognised that this was unethical. Doctors also can no longer claim that RIC is beneficial, or has a very low risk of harm. The cost of circumcision has risen, if only because of the liability exposure arising from occasional surgical accidents, and a fair number of insurers, including Medicaid in 18 states, no longer cover the cost.

    While I do not agree that parents are within their rights when they have a son circumcised routinely, I do not blame American RIC on parents, but on American medical schools, who have yet to do due diligence with regard to RIC. Again, there is ample anecdotal evidence that infant circumcision can be sexually damaging for adults and impair marital pleasure. The occasional disastrous circumcision is a major reason why RIC is gone in New Zealand and the UK, and has declined to 10-15% of Australian and Canadian babies.

  5. roger desmoulins says:

    The appropriate age for circumcision is the age of majority. I cannot countenance operating on an infant male’s genitals, on the pessimistic assumption that he might grow up to be a teen manwhore. If you reduce the wages of sin, what you will get is not better public health, but more sin. Teens should be taught that condoms are an essential part of staying healthy if one has casual sex, and that it is perfectly OK to abstain from casual sex until one is of college age.

    “The assertion that circumcision amputes 75% of penile nerves and that 100% of the most erogenous is exciting but unproven.” That the nerves lost to circumcision do not matter is likewise unproven. The burden of proof here rests on those who wish to circumcise, not on those who argue that Mother Nature deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    “Statistics on the frequency of these misadventures are not available.”
    The available data are not kind to circumcision. Also, the lack of data of this nature does not mean that circumcision gets a pass, but that it is unethical to circumcise. In this regard, you write:

    “Infection which may be minor can lead to sepsis, gangrene or worse. As with any surgical procedure, hemorrhage may be a complication. There is also the potential of mutilating the penis with resultant deformity or some surgical mishap requiring partial amputation of the penis. Then rubbing of the diaper possibly will excoriate the glans and/or create an irritation of the urethra which may lead to narrowing/obstruction.”

    The frequency of these and other complications is high enough to justify the removal of RIC from American medicine. When a scholar showed, in 1949, that RIC in the UK resulted in 10-15 deaths a year, the practice stopped. RIC is gone from New Zealand, and sharply down in Australia, in fair part because the medical association for those countries accepted that about 1% of RICs result in a permanently damaged adult penis.

    If circumcision was a brake on AIDS, Japan and continental Europe would have higher AIDS rates than the USA. In fact, their rates are lower. Israel would have a low AIDS rate for a developed country. In fact, it has a fairly high rate.

    “…either don’t believe the medical trials where circumcision has been shown to be a health measure” The African clinical trials only claim that circumcision of young adults makes it less likely that a man will contract HIV in the AIDS belt of eastern and southern Africa. Boyle and Hill, in the 2011 Journal of Law and Medicine, convincingly rebutted this claim. Moreover, this claim has no bearing on whether it is useful or appropriate to circumcise a newborn boy in present day USA or Canada.

    RIC, when done without anesthesia, is indeed a “cruel attack on an infant” one done without a decent regard to the mother’s feelings, I might add. The callous disregard for infant pain, and for how that pain is hard for the parents to bear, is a major reason for the decline in circumcision rates among boys born to educated parents.

  6. roger desmoulins says:

    “Male circumcision is a kindness to future sexual partners”

    You have no right to say that until you have interviewed several hundred American and Canadian women who’ve had nontrivial sexual experience with both kinds of men. Hundreds of women for whom this is the case have revealed on the internet that they prefer the intact variety.

    There is also a possibility that circumcised men are more reluctant to use condoms. If this is so, the headline to your article is false. This could also explain why STIs are more common in the USA than in Japan and Europe.

  7. Roland Day says:

    Circumcision is much worse than “unnecessary”. Circumcision is injurious and every male who is circumcised is injured.

    The evidence about sexual injury is now conclusive. Male circumcision is harmful to both male and female sexuality. The evidence goes as far back as a statement by the RamBam, but new evidence is rapidly emerging in medical journal of the inherent sexual injury of circumcision.

    Because circumcision is performed on minors without their personal consent, it is a violation of human rights.

    I am hearing that more and more Jewish parents are opting for ‘Brit Shalom’, a peaceful non-cutting naming ceremony.

  8. Anon Omous says:

    I was circumcised as an infant. I’m not sure of the exact reasoning for me being circumcised, but I was born right at the peak of circumcision rates in the United States, and in the region where it was most common. I am unhappy with the decision to have me circumcised. If I have a son, I will not have him circumcised, because it takes away his right to bodily integrity.

    There is no way for me to know exactly what I am missing, but I have begun the process of manually restoring my foreskin. Sensitivity has definitely increased because the keratinization that inevitably occurs on the glans of a circumcised penis is reversing. Keratinization occurs because of constant exposure of the glans to clothing and drying of the glans. In addition to the keratinization, circumcision removes a large amount of nerve endings.

    While there will inevitably be people that encourage you to circumcise boys for hygienic or health reasons, hygienic and health problems related to the foreskin are so rare and easy to avoid and treat without circumcision. Arguments about boys fitting in with others in the locker room are becoming increasingly less valid. In 2005 only a little over half (56%) of newborns were circumcised. In 2009 one report showed only 32.5% (although this only counted circumcisions performed in hospitals). Chances are in his future cohort of friends there will be more uncircumcised boys than circumcised.

    The bottom line though is that once a boy is circumcised, it cannot be undone. It is a permanent alteration to his body. If he chooses later in life, when he is able to understand what circumcision is, to get circumcised he will still have that choice if you leave him intact.

  9. JonSmith says:

    It’s long overdue that the anti-circ fanatics give up and stop
    claiming there are no health benefits to circumcision. There is a plethora of
    high quality large scale studies showing the life-long health benefits.

    One you accept that there are health benefits then it becomes clear
    that parents not only have a right but an obligation to circumcise because
    it’s in the best interest of the child.

  10. bronwyn says:

    My jewish husband and I decided to keep our baby boys penis intact.. I was adamant from the get go but he needed convincing. It pained me at the time that my intelligent, compassionate, loving partner had such a fierce reaction to the idea but over the years he has come to see circumcision for what it is, a cruel and barbaric practice which removes important and sensitive sexual tissue. What I realised through my journey with him is that jewish people are so inured to the brutality that they have become callous in this regard. They are taken to bris ceremonies from infancy and the event itself dehumanises the infant in such a way that it becomes ok to laugh and joke about the “little man” being put through this most painful event. He will ever experience. It is very difficult for them to overcome this early conditioning. I am pleased to say that he now quietly defends his decision to people who question it by saying simply “in the end we decided that it was his choice to do as he wants with his own penis.” I’m really proud of him for that.

  11. Hugh7 says:

    The fallacy of the headline can be demonstrated by adding two letters: “Fe…” Many Africans believe that is the case and are just as zealous as Dr Moskowitz. (It is irrelevent that the typical subSaharan female cutting may, but need not, be vastly more dangerous and damaging, because ANY female cutting, no matter how mild and surgical, is outlawed in most of the developed world.) Our revulsion from the whole idea is appropriate, and it is immediately apparent that it is simply illegitimate to diminish the genitals of one person for the sake of some hypothetical future benefit to another.

    Dr Moskowitz compares cutting off part of the genitals to other decisions “[p]arents make … for their children in many facets. [‘]Take this food; wear these shoes; you need this vaccination etc etc etc.[‘]” But children must eat some food and wear some shoes, and vaccination confers strong protection against deadly contagious diseases of children – unlike circumcision. Only circumcision impacts on his sexuality in adulthood (diminishing it lifelong), a very odd area for parents to be involved in.

    “Are parents right to usurp the privilege of running one’s life? If they do it with the best available medical information and in the best interests of the child – Yes!” The best available medical information is insufficent to justify any national medical body from recommending circumcision, and some, such as the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) roundly condemn it.

    “I would be skeptical of anyone who would say that he recalls his circumcision as an infant” Is Dr Moskowitz saying forgotten pain does not count? Does that mitigate by one iota the crime of drug-rape?

    “Various statistics show a decline from 80% of newborn male circumcision to about 50% (static for the last several years). The reasons are unclear.”
    The real mystery is why it has not fallen closer to zero, as it has in the rest of the English-speaking world since the 1950s – with no outbreaks of any of the ailments it was supposed to be good against.

    “Intactivists” may be a new word, but its meaning is clear (it subsumes the human rights of intersexed babies as well as boys and girls to be free of unnecessary surgery).

    The same can not be said of Dr Moskowitz’ invention “Intactatives”. They sound like a pharmaceutical. If men could take Intactatives to restore their foreskins, they would outsell the V-pills. Where can I buy shares?

  12. Studies show that circumcision causes significant pain and trauma, behavioral and neurological changes in infants, potential parental stress from persistent crying (colic) of infants, disrupted bonding between parent and child, and risk of surgical complications. Other consequences of circumcision include loss of a natural, healthy, functioning body part, reduced sexual pleasure, potential psychological problems, and unknown negative effects that have not been studied.

    Some circumcised men resent that they are circumcised. Sexual anxieties, reduced emotional expression, low self-esteem, avoidance of intimacy, and depression are also reported. Some doctors refuse to perform circumcisions because of ethical reasons. Relying on the presumed authorities (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics or doctors who echo AAP views) is not sufficient (see http://www.circumcision.org/misleading.htm). For more information see http://www.circumcision.org.

  13. Paul James says:

    It’s “self eviden”t that if men were better off without a foreskin, it or man would have disappeared long ago. And that the very essence of “do no harm” in the sense as”if it’s not broken, dont’ fix it”, come to light now with this. The foreskin never did need fixing, STi’s, sexual problems, cleanlisness, can be fixed if needed by addressing those more directly.or simplisticly. You have to assume that it did not have a purpose, or a near singular problematiic one, to find it dispensable, or effective in solving any problem. With out creating a host of new ones to remove it from it’s complex relationship with our bodies, lives, and yes, “sexual partners.”
    You don’t need a study, proof, a trial to see see that this is”self evident.
    You dont’ need to be a doctor, scientist, or even very smart to see it.

    The wirters of the contstituion realized this when saying it, rather than trying to support it when talking about life, liberty and the pursuit of happinnes. They don’t quote scriptures.

    This issue, is rapidly solving itself world wide. . But as it does, a very real and potientially dangerous situation is developing for Jews in particular, and Muslims.
    Jews and Muslims are going to be faced not only with being “different” they are going to be viewed as practicing rtiualized child sexual abuse. And divisions that already existed could widen or ripen into far worse opppositions.

    I don’t have a clue as an answer to that.question. I’m not Jewish, or Muslim. I”m not against any belief. or religion, I am unqustionably for the right of each individual to practice their religion. Some very fundamental tenants of reliigionsthough, require the unwilling participation of others though, like infant circumcision, of killing infidels, or “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” Or unequal treatmnet of women, etc.

    I know that Judaiasm doesn’t see circumcion as a debatble issue. Or one that has to have or ever did have a reason other than it was commanded as a convenant. And of course, you don’t have to be Jewish if you don’t like it. But most countries where Jews live, have moved toward believing that it’s child abluse. And they will not as I think should permit it to happen to aany child in their borders.

    I”ve heard some Jewish paents alone, or with support of larger groups, are choosing to drop this requiremnt or enact it any other ways, not as ar way of hiding, but as a way of coming even more in line with the overarching message of Judaism, just as many Christians who’ve discarded old ways, not in order to change their beliefs but as better ways to come more in line with what they believed.

  14. Maria says:

    While I think that in terms of *appearance* circumcised men look cleaner and sexier than those with the uncircumcised shriveled up skin, the reality is that it is obviously not medically necessary or it would be common in the majority of countries throughout the world.

  15. JonSmith says:

    There is so much misinformation in the comments from those against circumcision.

    To Jay S: The Bollinger study isn’t worth the paper it was written on.
    The participants were “self-selected” from anti-circumcision web sites.
    And if you read the whole article, you’ll see that even the author points out
    that the study is basically worthless. I don’t know why Dr. Van Howe
    would put his name on such a study. The papers I’ve read of his also
    go clearly against the facts. He’s doing a discredit to his university.

    To Dr. Goldman: You make a living convincing people they’ve been harmed
    by being circumcised at birth. As for the pain of circumcision, that’s why
    the AAP recommends a local anesthic. A friend who performs circumcisions
    says that 90% of the babies sleep through it.

    Hopefully the AAP and CDC will soon issue new statements based on
    evidence for the health benefits of circumcision.

  16. Hugh7 says:

    Maria: the foreskin is just folded when relaxed, no more “shriveled up” than the knuckle. You can see that it is the circumcised glans that is rough and hardened at http://www.circumstitions.com/comparison.html (NSFW)

    JonSmith: If you don’t like the Bollinger study, how about the Frisch study from Denmark, Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 14. “Our study shows hitherto unrecognized associations between male circumcision and sexual difficulties in both men and women. ” The pain of circumcision does not end with the operation, but continues whenever urine gets in the wound until it is healed. Taddio et al. found circumcised babies reacted differently to the pain of vaccination, months later.

    The babies do not “sleep through it” – would you? – they go into shock.

    The AAP and CDC are taking uncommonly long to issue their new statements. Clearly there are internal divisions. Let us hope that common sense, a recommendation to leave babies’ genitals alone, prevails.

  17. Locuta de Bjorg says:

    What utter nonsense this article and its premise are. Modifying (or mutilating, depending on how strongly one cares to word it) the genitals of children is a “kindness” to nobody. In the case of hacking off the foreskins of boys, it results in an abnormal penis that cannot possibly function as it is supposed to, and a female intimate partner who has been robbed of *her* normal sexual function and pleasure. For a woman who is periomenopausal or post-menopausal, a circumcised penis is just plain painful and rarely, if ever, gives her an orgasm. Far from reducing STDs, it increases the need for oral-genital contact to compensate for the loss of sensation and abnormal arousal of the circumcised man. Predictably, oral cancers from HPV have increased as a direct result, particularly in heterosexual women. Again, the premise of this op-ed is complete nonsense.

  18. JonSmith says:

    Hugh7:

    I seem to recall that the Frisch study contradicts itself in that it says
    that there’s no significant difference and then says the exact opposite
    in the conclusion. Do you have the study, not just the abstract?

    Babies sleep through it when given a local anesthetic.
    Watch for yourself: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Gomco.html

    The longer the AAP and CDC wait, the stronger the evidence becomes
    for the health benefits of circumcision. For example, a recent observational
    study showed a decreased risk of prostate cancer in circumcised men.

  19. Joseph4GI says:

    Regarding the impending AAP and CDC “recommendations,” the trend of opinion on routine male circumcision is so overwhelmingly negative in industrialized nations that it would be quite surprising were male circumcision to be recommended in the United States. No respected medical organization in or outside the United States recommends circumcision for infants, not even in the name of HIV prevention. They must all point to the risks, and they must all state that there is no convincing evidence that the benefits outweigh these risks. To do otherwise would be to take an unfounded position against the best medical authorities of the West.

    Medical bodies that agree that there is not enough evidence to recommend infant circumcision include the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the British Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australasian Academy of Paediatric Surgeons, and the Royal Dutch Medical Association.

    The AAP and CDC may rattle sabers, but I can assure you that their future “recommendations” will continue unchanged.

    Sure, they’ll play ring-around-the-rosy, citing all the latest “research,” overstating the “research” in Africa, but they will arrive at the exact same conclusion as before: “There is not enough evidence to recommend the circumcision of infants; therefore we shirk our professional responsibility to discourage circumcision and pawn it off on naive parents.”

    It should strike people as odd that there isn’t enough evidence for entire bodies of professional medicine to endorse the practice of circumcision, and yet parents, the bulk of whom have never even picked up a book on human anatomy, are expected to weigh this exact same “evidence” and make a “decision.”

  20. admin says:

    Editor’s Note: The comment section for this article is now closed. We are certain the debate will continue on our pages with other articles and responses.

    A cautionary note: There were some other letters on this subject that we did not choose to publish because of any of the following reasons.

    1. They personally attacked the author
    2. They attacked the Jewish people
    3. They were written with obscenities.

    One can see from the comments printed in response to this article that San Diego Jewish World welcomes a variety of viewpoints.. But we do insist upon decorum and believe that you will have a better chance of persuading people to your point of view if you phrase your arguments civilly.

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