Part of the Bay Area News Group

U.S. Circumcision Rates Down

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 at 11:30 am in Babies & Tots, Health & Safety.

Crying baby Interesting story in the New York Times on Monday about a dramatic drop in circumcision rates in the U.S. According to a CDC researcher who spoke at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna last month, just 32.5% of the baby boys born in U.S. hospitals in 2009 were circumcised, compared with 56% in 2006, and two-thirds in the ’80s and ’90s. (CDC is investigating the data further, but the numbers are based on statistics from Pennsylvania’s SDI Health, which analyzes health care figures. These numbers do not include, for example, Jewish ritual circumcisions conducted outside hospitals.)

Circumcision is an issue that has sent pediatricians swinging this way and that. The current position by the American Academy of Pediatrics is neutral, and it’s a procedure that’s not covered by several state Medicaid programs. But the World Health Organization began advocating circumcision in 2007 as “an important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired H.I.V.” And the new AAP guidelines, due out in 2011, are expected to back away from the neutral stance and lean more toward encouragement of the procedure.

Still, nothing’s clear on this issue. Circumcision doesn’t seem to protect gay men, and even the studies in Africa, which found that the procedure seemed to lower the risk of infection for heterosexual men involved with HIV-positive women, did not find it beneficial the other way round.

Read more about this issue here. Meanwhile, tell us, did you have your son(s) circumcised? Why or why not?

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83 Responses to “U.S. Circumcision Rates Down”

  1. Rosemary Says:

    Painful genital surgery has no place in non-violent birth or in any society that respects the rights and needs of infants and children.

  2. jenn c Says:

    No my sons are not circumcised and I was not doing it before not doing it was cool ;-)

    My oldest son is 14 and was born to me when I was the tender and naive age of 17. Yet I was not naive enough to know that circumcision is a painful, medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery and I was not going to put my son through something like that! My second son is 9 and also intact. We have never had any “problems” with leaving them the way nature or God (should you believe in him) intended.

  3. Restoring Tally Says:

    I wish the circumcision rate had dropped years ago. I might still have my foreskin. Instead, I am restoring my foreskin to undo the ill effects of my circumcision. My parents had no right to alter my body by chopping off part of my sex organ.

    My body, my choice.

  4. Mark Lyndon Says:

    Circumcision is a dangerous distraction in the fight against AIDS. There are six African countries where men are *more* likely to be HIV+ if they’ve been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland. Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men. In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men. If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn’t happen. We now have people calling circumcision a “vaccine” or “invisible condom”, and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms. The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups “believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms”.

    The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.

    ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them.

    Medical organizations in other countries aren’t neutral. It looks like I can’t post the links but you can find all these statements at the organizations’ own websites by searching for their official position on male circumcision:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    “Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”

    “Circumcision is a ‘non-therapeutic’ procedure, which means it is not medically necessary.”
    “After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.”

    Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    “After extensive review of the literature, the Paediatrics & Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has concluded that there is no medical reason for routine newborn male circumcision.”
    (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia in all states except one.)

    British Medical Association
    “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate.”

    The Royal Dutch Medical Association
    “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications.”

    drops in male circumcision:
    USA: from 90% to 57%
    Canada: from 48% to 32%
    UK: from 35% to about 5% (about 1% among non-Muslims)
    Australia: 90% to 12.6% (“routine” circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
    New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
    South America and Europe: never above 5%

  5. Hugh7 Says:

    If it’s true, that’s really good news. Now “We cut him to protect him from being teased in the locker room” can carry no weight. If anything, he may be teased if he’s cut, and which would you rather tell him – “Well, the others are all different because their parents had part cut off their [euphemism]s, but we didn’t” or “The others are all different because we had part cut off your [euphemism] but their parents didn’t”?

    Another figure from that presentation claimed only 0.08% of males are circumcised after babyhood. So much for “Do it now, because it’ll only have to be done later”!

  6. Gerald L. Orbanek Says:

    Where I live in the US, the circ rate is still about 90% and holding. This includes both those who were circumcised as neonates and later in life as adults (mostly as young adults, and not primarily out of medical necessity.) New parents seem to take neonatal cicumcision as a normal part of the birthing process. It is fairly common for new dads to hold their newborn sons during the procedure, or at least to be present. The great majority of us here anyway, are not willing to give up on circumcision. It has its benefits!

  7. Peter helmuth Says:

    Yes, I had my son circumcised at birth. I joined him at the age of 59. Best thing I ever did. This myth about genital mutilation is just that a myth. I have lived as both an uncircumcised man and a circumcised man. Being circumcised is 100 percent better. 99 percent of penile cancer occurs in uncircumcised men. It may be a rare disease unless you are the one who gets it. The American board of Urology, the CDC and the world health organization agree that circumcision does have medical benefits.
    The anti circumcision intactivists want to stop parents from having a choice in the matter. Try stopping someone from having an abortion or breast implants. Those are rarely medically necessary. Circumcision is the gift that keeps on giving, besides most of the opponents of circumcision including most of the anti circumcision organizations are headed by women who dont have a penis.

  8. Bill Says:

    It is amazing that so much misinformation can be published in a newspaper these days. The pain factor is not even a question anymore in a routine infant circumcision. I was born with a foreskin and it caused nothing but problems and I was so glad to get circumcised, My son even at 4 years of age complained of his uncut penis, and so I had him circumcised to be like his older brother. He was so proud of it, my problem then was to keep him from showing it to everyone. The facts presented in the article are totally wrong, the circ rate is really about 90% at this time in the USA. Many circumcisions are no longer done in the hospital, but by doctors afterwards in their offices so not counted. How do I know, I ran a hospital program. It is absolutely amazing how the latino population is now embracing circumcision for their sons. The world is finally coming to the realization that circumcision is the way to go. Bill56

  9. JonH Says:

    I beg to differ. Circumcision is a very good idea. Having spent a life in medical practice, and having seen the multiple problems of an intact foreskin, it is a heck of a lot better and cheaper to do routine newborn circumcisions (which are very non-traumatic under a local anetheric) than to have to have a circumcision later in childhood or adulthood at great inconvenience and cost.

  10. George Says:

    Was circumcised at 20 and was very happy to be rid of the foreskin. It was too tight and even with cleaning every day smelled like tuna fish. If I had a son, he would be circumcised at birth. For me it was better sex. Never looked back and no regrets.

  11. chris Says:

    Male circumcision is a multi-benefit procedure. A small advantage here and another small advantage somewhere else add up. Urinary Tract Infections, Phimosis, Cervical Cancer in female partners, Penile Cancer… the list is extensive. See for full details.

    Those who rush to condemn male circumcision should ask themselves why WHO (the World Health Organisation, a division of the UN) now support it. They are not given to forming opinions on the basis of “junk science”. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of opponents of circumcision, many of whom base their so-called reasoning on emotional considerations or dubious statistics.

    Never forget that we are dealing here with a PUBLIC HEALTH issue. It is not just a matter of individual “rights”; it is also a matter of collective responsibility to minimise the spread of epidemics. Just like vaccination.

    It is most certainly true that circumcision isn’t 100% effective as a form of prophylaxis against sexually transmitted diseases, but it does help. In the prevention business, ANYTHING that contributes has a role to play because the effects of several imperfect forms of protection are cumulative. Thus it should not be a matter of “Circumcision or Condoms?”. It should be BOTH.

  12. Pony Steel Says:

    Circumcision is a highly beneficial procedure, providing better health, hygiene, comfort, appearance to women, self-esteem and overwhelmingly enhanced sexual sensation and pleasure during intercourse, both for the man and his female partner(s). I chose to be circumcised as an adult in response to my (then new) wifes very strong preference, so I know what life is like both with and without a foreskin. Getting circumcised was one of the best things that I have ever done and I would never want a foreskin again for all the tea in China. It’s MUCH better to be circumcised and I sincerely wish that I had been circumcised from the beginning of my life.

  13. Neville Says:

    Unfortunately I never had a son but had I done so he would have been circumcised without any question

  14. Tony Says:

    I don’t believe it’s true that circumcision rates are falling, rather they are not being recorded in hospitals. With mothers being discharged much sooner than hitherto, fewer baby boys are cut on maternity wards and more are being done in the doctor’s or ped’s office at the first post natal check up or later. These don’t figure in the statistics.

    If I’m wrong, then the drop in circumcision rates needs to be addressed and reversed in the light of many recent studies supporting the benefits. These have long been recognised – doctors are just scientifically re-visiting ancient reason. Circumcision has been with us for at least four thousand years and it’s merits discovered by peoples of different races globally independent of each other. Many have made it part of their religious faith or culture. If there were any impediment to the sexual fulfilment of males or their female partners as a consequence of the male not having a foreskin, it would never have become popular and endured. The same can be said of it’s adoption in the USA over the last 100years.

    Male infant circumcision should be seen and encouraged (no compulsion!) like vaccination. Removing the foreskin eliminates a range of problems to which it is prone. Many males suffer phimosis – tightness of the foreskin, making retraction painful or impossible. (google ‘foreskin problem’ if you don’t agree!) This condition inhibits or prevents personal hygiene leading to infections which are easily passed to a partner.

    We don’t live in an ideal world where everyone practices safe sex or use condoms when they should. What then is wrong with performing a simple, routine operation to offer at least a 50/50 chance of not contacting or transmitting a variety of STI’s? It may not be perfect, but any degree of protection to this extent is better than none.

    I was cut when I was eight – without being asked. It was never clear why, but I’ve always been happy with the result – especially when I reached adulthood and enjoyed sexual experience. My wife is equally pleased that I don’t have a foreskin. Hence, our frustration when our request to circumcise our boys was refused by all the medical professionals we encountered. I’ve no quarrel with those who wish to keep their boys intact. Good luck to them but I have to ask why should they campaign to block our path to give our sons a simple and legal operation we believe is best for them?

  15. James Badger Says:

    By not circumcising your son you are leaving him at risk of urinary tract infections in infancy and childhood. These are the most common causes of high fever at this age and can cause kidney damage and even death. You are also exposing him to balanitis (inflammation of the glans penis) in boyhood and adult life, and penile cancer and AIDS in later life. Why exactly would you do this since circumcision is essentially zero risk?

  16. Malpaschick Says:

    The health benefits of circumcision are proven.No chance of Phimosis etc., also less risks of yeast infections or Cervical cancer in future partners.

  17. John Says:

    I am alarmed at the talk of pain for the baby, and about the baby’s right to decide for himself.

    The pain business is a red herring. There plenty of anesthetics that can be and are used for circumcisions. The baby may feel the first prick of a needle, then nothing more. A “non-event.”

    As for the baby deciding for himself, he cannot do that at the age of a few days, and there is no reason why hw should have to wait 18 or more years to receive what was rightfully his at or right after birth. That is why he has parents. It is not only the parents’ right to decide for the baby, but their legal and moral RESPONSIBILITY. Thus, parents who are aware of the many benefits of circumcision and fail to have the boy circumcised, are NEGLIGENT or worse, in their parenting.

  18. Tommy124 Says:

    Nobody can back up the litany of false claims about increased risk of UTI, HIV, or anything else.
    Boys with foreskins are at a 2% risk for the first year, and then the risk of circumcised boys increases to greater than boys with foreskins, after the first year. What other infection is greeted with painful amputation as the first line of defense? Girls have a first year infection rate of 4%. They are treated with antibiotics.
    No one is suggesting removing their foreskins, or any part of their vulvas.
    Cervical cancer is caused by HPV, not by the presence or absence of a foreskin. Men with foreskins in Scandinavia have a considerably lower HIV infection rate than mostly circumcised Americans.
    The poster boys for circumcision are out in full force in here.
    Why is there never an American study, conducted in America, proving the cost effectiveness of circumcision? Why does every medical organization anywhere say that the potential benefits of circumcision do not outweigh the costs, or the surgical risks, such as MRSA infection, or meatal stenosis.
    As far as the many men in here who beat their chests and announce that circumcision was the best thing they ever did, and everybody should have one, regardless of personal choice…well, if you did something irreversible to your body, wouldn’t you have considerable emotion invested in believing you did the right thing? With medical studies showing that most of the nerves are in the foreskin, and that circumcision removes half the skin, and 2/3 of the nerves from a penis, wouldn’t you feel like a fool? The Maden study in Washington State showed that 37% of the men who get penile cancer were circumcised at birth. Even the American Cancer Society does not recommend circumcision as a preventative for penile cancer, or anything else, for that matter.
    Why do the Europeans, Australians, South Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders, and most Asians not practice circumcision? Because there is no proven health benefit, beyond 3 incomplete African studies with suspect results.
    Surely, there is a more loving way to welcome your child into the world, than a painful amputation which removes half the skin of his penis, for no proven benefit, and gives him a scar for life. If you think there are no psychological scars, talk to a man circumcised at birth, about circumcision. He will inevitably cross his legs, and put his hands in front of his genitals. We as a people can do better, and this drop in the circumcision rate shows that we are.

  19. Hugh7 Says:

    John seems to assume that every male will want (the best) part of his penis cut off. In the vast majority of cases, he won’t, so who has any right to take that choice from him? Pony Steel’s parents were wise enough to give him that choice and he took it, but he has no right to speak for anyone else.

    The cervical cancer claim has been exposed as bad science. Yeast infections? Get the bacterial balance right and they’re not a problem.

    Urinary tract infections occur in 1% of boys according to the circumcisionists’ best figures (and ~4% of girls), so more than 99/100 circumcisions – with all their attendant risks – for that purpose are wasted.

    “Essentially zero risk”? Tell that to Chrisopher Dolezal, Shawn Christopher Chacon, Alvin Ervin, Demetrius Manker, Jeremia Johnson, Dustin Evans, Ryleigh McWillis, David Reimer, Amitai Moshe, Bradley Dordius, all essentially dead from circumcision. Other, lesser botches and poor outcomes are much more common.

    Not only did the studies in Africa not find circumcision to be beneficial the other way round (protecting women from infection by men), one was starting to show that circumcision INcreases the risk to women (18% of the partners of the circumcised men had HIV, compared to “only” 12% of the partners of intact men), but they cut the study short before that could be established. Like your correspondents above, they didn’t seem to want to know anything bad about circumcision.

  20. Restoring Tally Says:

    I was circumcised at birth and I do not like it. I was healthy when I was born and I did not need cosmetic surgery. It is my sex organ, not my parents. I am the one who will use my sex organ, not my parents. My body, my choice. Not my parents’ choice.

    I am restoring my foreskin and the difference a foreskin makes is amazing. Sex is much better with a foreskin, even a restored one. My wife used to get sore from sex and we needed lots of lube. Now, she does not get sore and we don’t need lubricant. We both enjoy sex a whole lot more now that I have a restored foreskin.

    @John, about pain and anesthesia. There was a study that found a spinal block was best for minimizing pain during circumcisions. But, many doctors still do not administer anesthesia or use a lesser one because they falsely believe that using anesthesia for neonatal surgery is harmful.

  21. SteveB Says:

    The infant circumcision rate in California is less than 25%. California parents are saying NO to circumcision because it is an unnecessary and harmful surgery.

    Male circumcision is a form of permanent body modification, like tattoos and genital piercing. Like other forms of permanent body modification, male circumcision should be a decision an adult make for HIS own body.

  22. Carla Says:

    As I see it, it doesn’t matter if it prevents disease. Responsible, ethical medicine does NOT use amputation as the primary method of disease prevention. It just doesn’t.

    There are possible health benefits, okay. But there are 100% proven negative effects. It causes severe and permanent physical and psychological damage. There is absolutely no reason to perform this surgery on minors without their consent. Doing it at birth makes it even more injurious, because the intense terror and pain of the procedure permanently affects the infant’s brain. It is also more painful because in the first few years of life the foreskin is attached like a fingernail. Much less damage would be caused if we stopped performing it on infants altogether and just continued to let adult men make the decision for their own bodies, as they are free to do now.

    It’s simple: it’s not your penis. You have no right to amputate vital tissue from somebody else’s sexual organs without their consent. Period.

  23. Vernon Says:

    With the medical knowledge now available and proven by several controlled trials, it must be considered child abuse to withhold circumcision from one’s infant son.

    The earlier circumcision is performed the earlier it cumulative life-long benefits are available to the boy.

  24. Melissa Says:

    Little baby boys will grow up to be men and they should have the right to decide as it is their body. If men only knew how much pleasurable feeling they have lost they would be outraged.

  25. Pat Nybili Says:

    Hugh 7 is the perfect example of intactivist anti circumcision rhetoric. He mentions a number of names of people who have had botched circumcisions. It is another smoke and mirror ploy. There is always some risk with any surgery. That blame goes on an inexperienced circumciser not the circumcision procedure.
    Tell the families of the annual 350 men who die each year from penile cancer that it is ok because at least they kept their foreskin and that the disease is very rare or the mothers of those uncircumcised babies that suffered and died from urinary tract infections that it was ok because at least they remained intact.

    As for the African studies, they are quite valid. They were done in three separate countries and all with the same result. The circumcised men had a 60 percent reduction in female to male hiv transmission. The tests weres stopped early because of the success rate and to make sure that the non circumcised men could get the procedure.

    It is another intactivist ploy to say, well it doesnt protect women, so why should we do it. Well, we should do it because if the women dont infect the men, then the men cant in turn infect the women. It breaks the cycle. Another ploy by the intactivists is to preach condoms. Many of these people cant afford condoms. For those that can, condoms and circumcision works better than condoms alone.

    Lastly, We do as parents have a right to speak for our children. It is called parental responsibility. Just as we choose inoculations and any surgeries that a child may need such as a cleft palate or a hear defect.
    We are not a Nanny state and parents are wise enough to make decisions for their children, whether to circumcise or not to circumcise.

  26. David Says:

    Circumcision rates are falling because younger parents ask questions more than their predecessors. The more discussion on circumcision there is, the less it is chosen for neonates. There is no compelling health reasons behind it and many frightening risks avoided by declining it. Boys are generally healthier anyway the fewer needless and risky procedures they are exposed to at birth. As in many areas of child care, this is evidence progress is being made – and against a potentially devastating and painful practice no less.

  27. K. Smith Says:

    More than 100 babies die due to circumcision every year in the US! And that’s just the ones that we know about! What would you prefer…a child that needs antibiotics for a UTI? Or no child at all? Girls have UTIs and yeast infections all the time, yet nobody is calling to have parts of their bodies cut off.

    To all the men circumcised later in life who are happy about, good for you! It’s your body and was your choice to do so. But a child’s body is NOT yours and you have no right to permanently alter it because of your own preferences. I like piercings and tattoos, but I have no right to pierce or tattoo my child. Many men who were altered at birth are NOT happy with it…so what do you say to them? That their feelings about their own bodies are invalid because you have different feelings? You can never assume that your child will think or feel the same as you.

    As for HIV…WEAR A CONDOM. People are treating circumcision like a cure for HIV when it is not. All this will lead to is risky behavior based on misinformation and in INCREASE in HIV infection!

  28. Jamie Says:

    “but their legal and moral RESPONSIBILITY. Thus, parents who are aware of the many benefits of circumcision and fail to have the boy circumcised, are NEGLIGENT or worse, in their parenting”
    The only negligent parent is one that chooses to CUT a part of their son’s body off. F’n disgusting.

  29. Jamie Says:

    http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/

  30. Kathleen Platt Says:

    My son is intact because I beleieve he has a right to all his healthy functional parts. I repsect his bodily integrity. I don’t see the removal of a healthy foreskin as a decision for me to make for him as a parent. It is a cosmetic procedure that a man chooses for himself. The majority of intact men would never choose this for themselves. My partner is intact and quite happy and wouldn’t have it any other way. Most advocates of circumcision are not considering the functions of the foreskin or the absurd history of the ‘medicalization’ of the procedure in the states. It started as a way to curb masturbation because those Victorian era doctors were well aware that to remove the foreskin denudes and desensitizes the penis. More and more myths are being created all the time as they are proven to be false. Circumcision only benefits those who advocate, solicit, practice this atrocious act on infants. Every individual, male , female and intersexed should be protected from the forceful cutting of their genitals.

  31. Erika Says:

    No medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. 80% of the world’s male population is intact. The healthiest countries in the world are countries that do not circumcise. The U.S. has the highest number of circumcised sexually active males AND the highest rate of STD’s and HIV of any developed nation. Circumcising is clearly not working in the U.S. to prevent STD’s and HIV. 75% of sexually active females will contract HPV at some point. These females are having sex with circumcised males. Where’s the protection? There is no immediate medical need to circumcise infants, therefore it’s unethical.

    Peter Helmuth, Breast implants are done by choice by adult women (or men wanting to be women). I don’t agree with abortion, but to compare circumcision where an infant has his penis forcibly cut to a consenting adult deciding to get implants for herself is just ridiculous.

    The only people to practice infant circumcision are Jews, Muslims (some) and Americans. The rest of the developed world does not circumcise.

  32. Common Sense Says:

    Seriously people??? It’s ‘fine and dandy’ to have an opinion, but please make it an informed one that is based on research.

    - Independent (impartial to the circ debate) medical organizations/website clearly state that there is no anesthesia that comes even close to completely eliminating pain from circ in an infant. Just because you got your foreskin chopped off at a later age and it didn’t hurt (anesthesia is effective at older age), doesn’t mean it should be done to an infant who feels every little bit of the procedure. Secondly, just because you made the decision to get circ’d, what gives you the right to make that decision for a baby?

    - Infections… REALLY? Tell me why it is that the rest of the modern/western world (Europe for example) isn’t rushing to the dr’s office to get their foreskin removed? Have you ever compared their infection rates, vs. ours (american)? Read up on your statistics.

    - Penile cancer is so extremely rare, it is more common for a man to get breast cancer. How about we remove all the breast tissue in male babies too? Shall we?

    - Slight increase in infection: IF we could take those studies at face value (outdated, problems with research), others have showed that the vast majority of the infections in intact babies result from forcable retracting by people who do not know how to deal with a natural penis. Girls get UTI’s all the time, at a much higher rate that intact boys do. Lets remove part of the girls’ genitals at birth, shall we?

    Really think people like John are just trolling around stirring the pot. Nobody can be that stupid…

  33. veganf Says:

    It is absurd that circumcision is even legal. It’s sexual abuse, plain and simple. Disgusting.

  34. Common Sense Says:

    BTW: HIV prevention? Don’t make me laugh… Abstinence, condoms, or one partner for life are the ONLY ways to avoid HIV or HPV infection from sex. The US, where most sexually active men are circ’d has the highest HIV/STD infection rate of any other industrialized nation.

  35. Jessica Says:

    I did not have my son circumcised. In most cases- they DO NOT use anesthesia and the child has to endure all of the pain. There is evidence that shows that their bodies go into SHOCK from the pain as a coping mechanism. If my son chooses to circumcise himself at 18, that is HIS right and I will fully support him. It was not MY right, because it is not MY penis! Your daughters have greater risk of infection in their vulvas, why not circumcise them? Why is THIS double standard allowed and not so many others? Would you give your daughter implants because that is your “right” as a parent? Why not cut off their earlobes?- they are pretty “useless.” Why not remove all of their teeth to avoid cavities? How about we teach our children to use condoms and to be picky when choosing a sexual partner? Besides, these studies that show HIV risk was lowered were done in AFRICA where the majority of people do not use condoms and do not have access to much information.

  36. Sarah Says:

    Over 100 baby boys die from circumcision related complications, not to mention all of the botched circumcisions that need multiple surgeries and treatment, and boys who have too much skin removed and have painful erections for the rest of their lives. And what about the boys who have to have gender reassignment due to penile amputation? I bet those Mother’s regret their decision. My brother, nephews and my own son are intact and we have never had a problem. We are Christians, and believe our covenant with God is fulfilled through Jesus’ crucifixion. Besides the circumcision of Abraham was a small vertical slit, not an amputation of the foreskin. There is so much risk and zero benefit!

  37. whatUneverknew Says:

    It’s really easy to type that circumcision has medical benefits and that individual rights don’t matter, but when it comes down to it, you can NOT justify holding a man down and cutting off part of his penis by blathering on about how clean he’s going to be. HUMAN RIGHTS are the issue here. Ever person has the right to refuse amputation. Every man, woman, and CHILD. Because we ALL have EQUAL rights! If you can’t get their consent, and there is NO DIAGNOSIS or emergency, then you DON’T have permission to cut body parts off of them.

    I’m sorry for all the men who are cut and feel like they need to justify circumcision as a good thing. OK It’s good for you, that’s fine. But the issue is NOT whether you enjoy YOUR circumcision. We know now that the foreskin is natural, and beneficial to the function of the penis and the act of intercourse. Even without these benefits, every mans still has the RIGHT to be the one who decides about his own body.

  38. craphead Says:

    I did not have my son circumcised and I am so glad. I have no regrets. If he gets older and decides he wants to do it for some reason, that’s fine. It’s HIS body and his choice as far as I am concerned. I feel sorry for my husband sometimes, even though he doesn’t know what he is missing.

    I cannot imagine if someone had cut off the hood of my clitoris. Sex would not be the same because that little man in the boat is very sensitive. Without a covering, he would have been rubbed against clothing and such until it was a dried up nubbin of skin with no feeling. That doesn’t sound fun, but that is the closest a woman can come to understanding what circumcision does.

    And you know what protects against AIDS? Condoms. Keeping your dick in your pants. Monogamy. If you want to talk about moral obligations, those are way more moral things to do than cutting off a piece of someone’s body WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT (true, they are unable to give consent, but that’s part of the point), in the name of protection.

    I’m glad some of you men prefer to be circumcised. Though I notice that some of you commented that you CHOSE to be circumcised as an adult. THAT is fine and I don’t think anyone objects to that. You get to choose for your own body, of course. But that doesn’t mean it is for everyone.

  39. whatUneverknew Says:

    Dear BillJohnGeorge,

    How come Intact men in Europe, Asia, and South America, aren’t having their bothersome foreskins removed? They even have better sexual health and lower STDs than the U.S. I think that the fox lost his tail, and now, he wants to convince all the other foxes that their tails are terrible and burdensome so that they’ll cut thier’s off too(or their children’s) and he won’t be alone in his loss. =( poor fox.

    There IS a way to heal. Google foreskin restoration. Lots of circumcised men are doing it.

  40. jennifer Says:

    According to Chris above, the WHO is an infallible group of people. I don’t give much trust to a group of people that have been bought by big pharma. There have been news reports and articles that have come out about the fabrication of the H1N1 “pandemic” that never was and that was all pushed through so thoroughly because the WHO said it was a pandemic, bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical companies.

    The African aids study has been debunked pretty thoroughly. I really wish people would actually read about this before spouting off how accurate it is.z

    I have to wonder is there something wrong with male American penises (penii?) that they all suffer from stinky peen, tight foreskin and a slew of other medical issues that the other 80% of the intact world male population do not suffer from? Must be some weird American genetic disorder that only effects males born in this country. So strange!

  41. Amanda Says:

    My 2 young sons aged 8 and 5 would be horrified at the thought of having a portion of their penis cut off.

  42. S. Scott Says:

    My almost 2 yr old is intact. According to most health organizations these days, the pediatrician on call when he was born, and our regular pediatrician there is NO medical reason he needed to be circumcised. none. The foreskin does not even retract normally until about age 5 on average, and therefore to even DO circumcision it has to be *ripped* loose to be cut off. Add in no anesthesia, potential damage to breastfeeding relationship, no proven medical benefits, and all the risks of any surgical procedure? No way. If we would not cut off our daughters’ clitoral hoods, then we should not be cutting off our sons’ foreskins. period.

  43. Lindsay Says:

    We had our oldest circumcised and it was probably the worst mistake i’ve made so far as a parent. He had reattachment complications and bleed pretty bad. Even 5 years later his penis gets red/irritated sometimes. He will complain that it hurts and we have a special cream for him. That does usually make him feel better. We’ve been told by a few doctors there is nothing they can do now(as his penis will grow so much over time, and i defiantly would not put him under the knife again anyway). I wish i knew then, what i know now. My youngest son is intact and has never had one issue, nor do i expect him to. Most boys who have issues, is because some stupid doctor messed with his foreskin(ie forcefully retracted it or told the parents to do so). Complications do happen with circumcision and i do NOT think they are addressed often enough. To think your child is immune to the possibilty of a complication is niave. I’ve been told many things about this…they tend to be “well, i have/had a great surgeron and trust him completely”. Or “well all surgery involves risks”. To the first quote, many times it isn’t even the surgeons fault(although sometimes it is of course), alot of times it is just how a particular penis reacts to being circumcised. My son’s penis was just trying to heal itself(and yes we took care of it exactly as we were suppose to). To the second quote, yes all surgery involves risks. The difference is all other surgery involved on a child is to fix a problem, correct pain, etc. There is a reason for these surgeries and the Benefits OUTWEIGH the risks, while that just isn’t true for circumcision. Sure,an intact boy can get an infection of some sort(but very very uncommon if you leave the foreskin alone). But like a girl, we can treat it with antibiotics or other medicines, etc. The whole reduces HIV/STD argument is just flawed and BS. All you have to do is look at the US circ rate and Europe’s circ rate(almost non existant), then look at boths HIV/STD rate. Guess who has the higer HIV/STD rate? THE US does, not Europe. Those are plan facts, not some study that some idiots swayed in their favor.

  44. AnnD Says:

    Our son is 9 months old and is intact. I couldn’t look at that perfect little baby in my arms and have him taken into a room, strapped down and a part of his body cut off for no reason.

    I am very well-educated on the subject of circumcision. I know the history of it and the bogus claims created out of studies done on very specific populations of men to create all of these “benefits.”

    If the child turns 18 and decides he wants to be circumcised, that’s fine. Sovereignty over your body and what happens to it is irreplaceable.

  45. Emily Says:

    wow. just wow. i cannot believe how many sick people there are on here. to do this to a BABY is wrong. it should be a personal choice when a man turns 18. HIS BODY HIS CHOICE!

  46. Erin Says:

    I have never met a man who, on his 18th birthday (when he is legally able to decide on cosmetic surgery), walked in to his parents and said, “I’d like to have less penis, please.”

    One of the things that pro-circumcision advocates rarely address are the complications of circumcision. I know 4 babies who need to have their circumcisions “redone” because of adhesions, bridges, and uneven cuts. All of them visited the pediatric urologist and found out that it’s not uncommon AT ALL to have major complications months after the procedure. Scarring, too much skin, not enough skin, you name it! All from messing with something they could have left alone.

    I don’t know a single man who needed to be circumcised, as a child or an adult. We don’t routinely remove appendixes, tonsils, toenails, breasts, labia, or any other normal part of the body to prevent problems.

    I had my tonsils and adenoids removed as a teen and it was very painful – but my newborn son has his! If I walked into the Ear-Nose-Throat doc and said I wanted it removed to “match” me, to prevent possible problems that may never happen, or because it would “hurt less” since he’s so little, they would think I was crazy. Yet, we do it all the time with the foreskin and nobody bats an eye.

  47. MK Says:

    Nope. Absolutely no reason to do it.

  48. Em Says:

    My sons are not crcumcised and never will be unless they choose to do so as adults. I refuse to allow anyone to harm my children’s genitals (be they boy or girl) in any way and there is no way that cutting off so much healthy tissue doesn’t affect a man’s sex life later.

    I’ve lived in Europe and once I became used to an intact penis, discovered that sex with men who are left the way they were meant to be has many benefits. Most American women (and men) don’t know what they are missing and it’s quite sad!

  49. Cherie M Says:

    I’m so happy for the males that do not have to endure the painful, horrific, unneccesary surgery. And to those that think that pain is a red herring need to check ALL hospitals. Ours will not use any anesthetics because of the risk to the baby. This is 2010 and they will not do it.

    My 16 and 14 year old are intact and my 26 year old daughter would not have been circumcised either, if she were a male. My husband and I were and are smart enough to know that there is truly NO MEDICAL benefit to being circumcised. And he nor my boys have been teased about it and never had any problems. The same goes for my brother, father, father in law and all other family and friends that I have asked about it (I first found out of course if they were circumcised or intact.)85% of males around the world are not, you know. Circumcision is a cure looking for a disease.

  50. Cyn Says:

    This is awesome news. Finally Americans are coming to their senses about this legalized form of sexual assault against a child. T

  51. MH Says:

    My best friend is a surgeon and she told me while I was pregnant to absolutely NOT circumcise if we were having a boy. She had seen too many botched circs that — as a surgeon — she had to correct.

    That was enough for me to leave our son as is.

  52. Jay Says:

    The fully enforce and approve of every person above speaking out against circumcision. I am now regrowing my foreskin, and really wish my parental guardians had given me that choice instead of taking my choice away. Some guy spoke of this as a moral responsibility of the parent to mutilate their sons, because hey mutilation and taking someones choice away is moral.

    I have two friends with uncut penises, and both claim the “tuna fish” smell is stupid, because all you have to do is clean and you’re fine. Both tell me they’ve never had urinary tract infections.

    As a side note: Penn and Teller do a great job on this topic in one of their Bullsh*t episodes.

  53. Sandy Says:

    I was oblivious to what a foreskin was for until my first pregnancy. I had assumed, like everyone else in my family and area, that it was just extra skin and that having it removed meant that it cleaning would be easier and it would look better.

    I was so deluded and misinformed. After educating myself about the function of the foreskin and the risks involved with its removal, I promised myself and my unborn that I would never allow something so barbaric and cruel to be done to my own children. As it turned out, I was carrying a baby girl and since female circumcision is no longer practiced here it wasn’t a concern. A few years later I found myself pregnant again, this time I gave birth to a baby boy. I’ve kept my promise and he is a perfectly healthy and intact 3 year old boy today. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think his body is beautiful and doesn’t need any altering. If my little guy wants to tattoo, pierce, and modify his body later in life, that’s his business and I’ll try to support the decisions he makes for himself.

  54. Mel Says:

    The “health benefits” of circumcision are non-existent.

    The problems that many people quote as issues of having an intact son are flat out untrue and if there is actually a legitimate issue 99% of those problems are caused by the medical community giving incorrect care instructions for an intact penis.
    Let’s address a few of them;

    Phimosis, an infant’s foreskin isn’t meant to retract, it’s meant to be fused to the glands of the penis to protect it and may not separate and retract until puberty. I’ve heard of doctors telling mothers of 6 month babies that they have Phimosis and it’s quackery.

    Infections, against the AAP statement doctors and nurses tell parents to forcibly retract the foreskin of newborns/children. Each time they do this they create micro-tears in the foreskin creating the perfect environment for infection. Someone has already posted the UTI stats so we don’t even need to address them as they are irrelevant. My friends with baby girls have had many many many more infections/issues with their little girls genitalia than I’ve had with my 6 year old boy (none) and no one ever suggests they cut off their girls labia. They treat them with antibiotics or creams and they are better in days, just like little boys should be treated.

    The rest of the cancer, STI, HIV studies have also been proven wrong. There are countries in Europe where 95% of the boys and men are intact, are you trying to tell me they all have festering foreskins? Also please explain that if we have the highest rate of sexually active circumcised men that we also have the highest rate of HIV in that group? Their Circs are not protecting them?

    It is irrational to remove a body part for something that “might happen” in the future, if we were to follow this course of action then all breast buds should be removed at birth – no more breast cancer, all Prostates should be removed at birth, all appendix should be removed at birth, all tonsils should be removed at birth, you can pretty much substitute most body-parts into this scenario.

    But the biggest issue is that this is not your body to remove a part of, bottom line, you have no right to permanently alter another human being without their consent.

  55. Sandy Says:

    I have to wonder if the parents who went on to “discover” that the foreskin was problematic were actually caring for it properly. I’ve found that there are almost no pediatricians in our area that truly know how to deal with an intact boy. I actually grabbed our doc’s hand to stop him from retracting my son at his 1 year well check visit. When I told him that a baby should never be retracted, he said that he wasn’t. Oh yes he was! The glans would have been fully exposed in one quick swoop had I not been watching and stopped it.

    I’ve even see college text books for anatomy and phys. courses that depict the male anatomy circumcised with the only mention of a foreskin being that it is customarily removed at birth. I couldn’t believe it. No wonder so many people are grossly misinformed on the care of an intact foreskin — there’s no comprehensive information readily available on how to take care of it except on intactivist websites. The very people who are supposed to be in-the-know are completely ignorant on the subject. People are still being told to thoroughly cleanse the foreskin by doctors who don’t know better. These same parents return to such doctors wondering why their baby has developed an infection and many of them go on to have their child cut as a preventative for future infections. It makes me sad.

    The foreskin of an infant is supposed to be fused to the glans. It protects it from infection and debris. It begins to separate after a few years and should NOT be retracted by caregivers. The first person to fully retract it should be the person it is attached to. When a foreskin is forcibly retracted prematurely, it causes tiny tears and breaks in the skin which leave your baby open to infection. Until it is retractable, you clean/wash it the same way you would a finger or a toe. Think of the foreskin like a finger or toe nail. You don’t pull the nail away because it’s fused to the finger or toe – same as with the foreskin. The only person who should be testing the retractability of the foreskin is the person it is attached to and it may be several years or more to get to that point. Once it’s fully retractable, then the child should be instructed to retract his foreskin and clean the area during baths and showers. It’s really not that difficult.

  56. keepboyswhole Says:

    When I was born in 1974, my parents had the common sense not to let anyone amputate my foreskin. Every day, I feel thankful for their wisdom and compassion.

    My foreskin is the most sensitive part of my penis. The glans (head) is nowhere near as sensitive as the foreskin. A study published in BJU International by Sorrells, et al provides scientific evidence that the foreskin is the most part of the penis, and that circumcised penises are less sensitive than intact penises.

    I have never had any problems with my foreskin. No one has ever complained about it, and many women have told me that they prefer intact men.

    I also have several friends whose penises that have been permanently disfigured by infant circumcision. When a doctor circumcises an infant, he doesn’t know how big the penis with grow, so it is easy to remove too much skin. If you watch a pornographic film with cut actors, you can see how skin from their scrotum gets pulled toward the circumcision scar on the undersides of their penises. Intact men never have this problem.

    Circumcision removes erogenous nerves, tissue, and muscle, as well as specialized nerve cells that detect temperature. No one disputes these claims. Why anyone would want fewer nerves and less feeling is beyond me. Would anyone want less eyesight or less hearing?

    The foreskin allows a man to be manually stimulated without using lubrication. Mutual masturbation is the safest form of sex, so why make it more difficult?

    Docking is the only sex act that requires two men, and at least one of them must be intact.

    The foreskin has existed in mammals for 100 million years. Who are we to second guess evolution?

    Circumcision is a violent attack on sexuality. Although I have no problem with adults who chose circumcision, it is clearly not ethical to perform a circumcision on a minor. Let men make the decision for themselves when they reach sexual maturity. In Europe, where infant circumcision is rare, only 1/10,000 men choose circumcision.

    Circumcising without the consent of the individual being cut is immoral for the same reason rape is immoral: it is a nonconsensual violent attack on one’s sexuality that leaves permanent psychological and physical scars.

    Do you really want your son’s first sexual experience to be the violent amputation of the most sensitive tissue in his body? I didn’t think so.

  57. Christy Says:

    I have never seen so many pro-circ comments in my life, and I wonder if it’s the same person commenting. Anyway, we happily left our 3 sons intact, and they have never had the slightest problem. Boys are NOT born defective! I would never have part of my newborn’s healthy penis (or any other body part) cut off! That makes no sense at all. The foreskin protects against contaminants, contrary to common myth. A sphincter at the end only opens to let urine out, and foreskin should only be retracted by the child, naturally over time, never forcefully, and NEVER by anyone else. Many boys do not retract until after puberty. The foreskin is fused to the shaft (until retraction occurs) and requires no special care at all. Once a male retracts, it only takes a few seconds to wash. The best informative site I’ve found is http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html.

    Additionally, the foreskin is by far the most sexually sensitive part of the penis. Men cut in infancy have no idea have no idea what they are missing. I am very surprised to read so many comments of men cut as adults, and so happy with it since I have read many stories from men who said the quality of their sex lives plummeted after being circed. Many are spending years trying to stretch out their remaining skin, hoping to restore some sensitivity. When the glans is continuously exposed, it dries out and loses sensitivity, sometimes to the point of impotence later in life. It’s actually supposed to be moist, and foreskin is self-lubricating. My husband and I both wish he was still intact, but he had no choice in that. His mom told me the doctor did it without asking.

  58. James_Mac Says:

    Restraining a healthy child and imposing an irreversible surgical alteration to his genitals is an abusive act. Parents need to protect their kids from harm, not inflict it upon them.

    Don’t forget, only around 1% of the world’s babies are circumcised these days (the vast majority of circumcisions are Muslim and on older boys) as parents awaken to the medical fraud that’s been occuring in western medicine for the past 150yrs

  59. Danielle Says:

    If preventing AIDS is the issue, let him decide later. Urinary tract infections, give him antibiotics just as we do females. I have HPV and have only been with circumcised males, didn’t help me any. What prevents sexually transmitted disease is condoms and abstinence. Other countries who choose to keep the majority of their boys intact aren’t having a pandemic of these foreskin issues. To circumcise a female is illegal, but not for males. Doesn’t make sense. Keep your sons intact, if there is a problem, you then have options. Maybe we should remove fingernails at birth so as not to get fungal or bacterial infections, you don’t technically need them for anything. As far as the person saying that circumcision is basically zero risk, are you sure? Approximately 100 boys a year die from the procedure and there was a case where a boys penis was amputated and he was raised a girl. Seriously, leave your sons penis alone!

  60. Eric Says:

    Although several doctors have inexplicably told me I am mistaken(2 Jewish and one female), MY foreskin is by far the most sensitive, erogenous part of my genitals. Studies which have shown that the majority of nerve endings in the penis are contained in the tip of the foreskin back up what I know already. I would love to see a doctor argue with a woman about her vaginal sensitivity. My foreskin belongs to me and no one has the right to take it without my consent. If all the benefits were true then I would be signing up for surgery but I’ve looked at the statistics(not the religious studies) and it doesn’t add up.

  61. Mel Says:

    **I posted this earlier but it disappeared***?

    The “health benefits” of circumcision are non-existent.

    The problems that many people quote as issues of having an intact son are flat out untrue and if there is actually a legitimate issue 99% of those problems are caused by the medical community giving incorrect care instructions for an intact penis.
    Let’s address a few of them;

    Phimosis, an infant’s foreskin isn’t meant to retract, it’s meant to be fused to the glands of the penis to protect it and may not separate and retract until puberty. I’ve heard of doctors telling mothers of 6 month babies that they have Phimosis and it’s quackery.
    Infections, against the AAP statement doctors and nurses tell parents to forcibly retract the foreskin of newborns/children. Each time they do this they create micro-tears in the foreskin creating the perfect environment for infection. Someone has already posted the UTI stats so we don’t even need to address them as they are irrelevant. My friends with baby girls have had many many many more infections/issues with their little girls genitalia than I’ve had with my 6 year old boy (none) and no one ever suggests they cut off their girls labia. They treat them with antibiotics or creams and they are better in days, just like little boys should be treated.

    The rest of the cancer, STI, HIV studies have also been proven wrong. There are countries in Europe where 95% of the boys and men are intact, are you trying to tell me they all have festering foreskins? Also please explain that if we have the highest rate of sexually active circumcised men that we also have the highest rate of HIV in that group? Their Circs are not protecting them?

    It is irrational to remove a body part for something that “might happen” in the future, if we were to follow this course of action then all breast buds should be removed at birth – no more breast cancer, all appendix should be removed at birth, all tonsils should be removed at birth, you can pretty much substitute any bodypart into this scenario.

    But the biggest issue is that this is not your body to remove a part of, bottom line, you have no right to permanently alter another human being without their consent.

  62. cosmopolite Says:

    With mothers being discharged much sooner than hitherto, fewer baby boys are cut on maternity wards and more are being done in the doctor’s or ped’s office at the first post natal check up or later.
    ME. This is a definite possibility. When a hospital circumcision is botched, juries can award millions that they would not award when it was done in a kindly pediatrician’s office.

    These have long been recognised
    ME. Not true.

    Circumcision has been with us for at least 4000 years
    ME. We can’t know this for sure.

    …and its merits discovered by peoples of different races globally independent of each other.
    ME. Few traditional cultures claim that circ has health advantages.

    Many have made it part of their religious faith or culture.
    ME. But not for health reasons.

    If there were any impediment to the sexual fulfilment of males or their female partners as a consequence of the male not having a foreskin, it would never have become popular and endured.
    ME. The sexual disadvantages of circ vary much by individual and by stages of the life cycle, in ways that make those disadvantages easy to ignore.

    The same can be said of its adoption in the USA over the last 100years.
    ME. American routine circumcision emerged at a time when the American medical profession was very poorly educated by current standards.

    Removing the foreskin eliminates a range of problems to which it is prone.
    ME. Removing the foreskin creates problems.

    Many males suffer phimosis – tightness of the foreskin, making retraction painful or impossible. (google ‘foreskin problem’ if you don’t agree!) This condition inhibits or prevents personal hygiene leading to infections which are easily passed to a partner.
    ME. Phimosis can cured without amputation. Also, if retraction is impossible, it is impossible to pass an infection of the preputial sack on to a partner.

    We don’t live in an ideal world where everyone practices safe sex or use condoms when they should.
    ME. Why should we assume that every boy will grow up to be a man incapable of keeping clean and behaving responsibly?

    What then is wrong with performing a simple, routine operation to offer at least a 50/50 chance of not contacting or transmitting a variety of STI’s? It may not be perfect, but any degree of protection to this extent is better than none.
    ME. STDs are much more common in the circumcised USA than in intact Europe and Japan. This explodes any notion that circ provides “protection” against STDs.

    My wife is equally pleased that I don’t have a foreskin.
    ME. My wife is very pleased that I have all the moving parts Mother Nature saw fit to hand me.

    Hence, our frustration when our request to circumcise our boys was refused by all the medical professionals we encountered.
    ME. Doctors should have the right to exercise their professional judgement, and to refuse to do procedures that risk giving rise to malpractice claims.

    I’ve no quarrel with those who wish to keep their boys intact. Good luck to them but I have to ask why should they campaign to block our path to give our sons a simple and legal operation we believe is best for them?
    ME. Your rhetorical question assumes that circ is best, when many now doubt that.

    If routine circ is a good thing, where do intact Japan and Europe hide their urological disasters??

  63. Will Says:

    Circumcision is a painful, risky, unethical surgery that deprives over a million boys each year of healthy, functional tissue, while wasting health care dollars that could be spent on medically necessary services.

  64. Kathleen Says:

    what’s with the baby? He should have a huge smile on his face? Was this picture meant for this headline??? I think not!

  65. Frank OHara Says:

    I’m amazed at the misinformation presented here. It’s apparent that someone called out all the pro-circumcision forces to post here.

    Gerald L. Orbanek: There is nowhere in The US that the circumcision rate is or has been in recent history at 90%. Only in Jewish circumcisions is it common for anyone to hold the baby during the circumcision.

    Peter helmuth: It is not true that uncircumcised men represent 99% of penile cancer cases. At most, it is 2/3 but Sweden where virtually none of the men are circumcised has a lower penile cancer incidence than The US. Additionally, there is now an effective vaccine against HPV that is the cause of this cancer and cervical cancer in women. No one has ever died of the vaccine but more than 200 babies die every year as a result of their circumcisions. Penile cancer is easily treatable and the success rate is near 100%. No man should ever die of penile cancer. The incidence of penile cancer is one case per 109,000 males, in other words, one of the rarest of all cancers.

    Bill: Apparently the figures are true. None less than The CDC issued them and that is their business. There is no better authority.

    Virtually all non-religious circumcisions are done before the baby leaves the hospital. The OB/GYN is the first to get at the money and they jump at it. The hospital also jumps at the opportunity of the money and hospitals vigorously solicit the operation for that profit. Just one hospital in my area makes over $100,000.00 on infant circumcisions each year.

    JonH: Research has shown that the overall healthcare costs for uncircumcised boys is lower than for circumcised boys even if the cost of the circumcision is not considered in the equation. It appears that you stand to profit if infant circumcision is continued.

    Recent research has also shown that only 16% of infants undergoing circumcision get any local analgesia and only 4% get effective analgesia. Your useage of the word “anesthesia” indicates you are not in the medical profession as you seem to imply.

    Chris: The difference in urinary tract infections is within 1% for both intact and circumcised boys while for girls the incidence is about 450% higher. Less than 1 in 1,000 will have phimosis.

    All of the medical organizations in the world agree that any medical benefit is marginal if existent at all.

    Pony Steel: It is a very different world now. Younger women are actually seeking men who have not been circumcised as they have learned that the natural man is far more satisfying. God or nature knew what they were doing when they designed the human genitalia.

    Tony: There are companies that collect medical information on anyone who has had any kind of medical treatment. They sell this information to insurance companies who use this information in underwriting insurance policies. The statistics may be off a bit but not more than a few percentage points.

    Pediatricians perform less than 5% of all infant circumcisions but OB/GYNs perform more than 80%. Jewish mohels perform about 1.75% of circumcisions. Your numbers just don’t add up.

    The original reason The US began circumcising boys was to prevent masturbation. That of course was a miserable failure and it was soon discovered that circumcised boys masturbate 40% more than genitally intact boys. That appears to suggest they are trying to replace something that is missing, something their brain is telling them needs to be there.

    James Badger: There is no case of a death in medical records history that can be attributed to a foreskin. However, there are numerous cases of deaths directly attributable to infant circumcision.

    Malpaschick: Pathological phimosis is actually more common in boys who have been circumcised. There is now a vaccine against cervical cancer that is highly effective and no one dies from it.

    John: The “right” to a whole body without modifications is the right of the one living in the body. No one else will have to deal with the repercussions of the medical intervention. Calling it a parental right is just usurping the right from the rightful owner of the right.

    Tommy124: Tommy, it appears that you are quite correct that there are circumcision fetishists in abundance here. Their hallmark is that they know all the myths of circumcision and are gladly serving them up. These are not people who have the best interests of children at the fore.

    It does appear that the statistics are very near accurate. 16 states have defunded infant circumcision in their Medicaid programs. The decline in infant circumcisions in the first year almost exactly matches the percentage of their citizens on Medicaid benefits. For most of these states, the percentage on Medicaid is in the 20% to 25% range so reducing the difference in percentage of infant circumcisions between 2006 and 2009 makes the 32.5% figure sound just about right even if you do not consider those not on Medicaid.

    .

  66. Katie Says:

    No way would i have this done to my son even though the doctor tried to talk me in to doing it as well did some of my family My husband kinda wanted it cause he is circed but was okay with not doing it after I researched it.
    I figured it is his body, cutting a part off of it should be up to him.
    I see No benifit at all to his foreskin cut off and glan exposed forever.
    It retracted by the time he was 3 and he has no problem with washing it in the bath or shower.
    If i have anothe son he will remain intact also.
    If i mess up his mind it wont be because of that as i even know several men that whis they had not been circumcised.

  67. JCP Says:

    Wow, maybe I’m sensitive, but I just cannot imagine handing over my newborn son to be cut up like that. I just took him home whole. End of story.

  68. James Loewen Says:

    Cutting into the healthy genitals of children, creating a sexual wound is disturbingly sick, a mental illness. Circumcision does not prevent or cure any illness, circumcision of children is the illness.

  69. Ron Low Says:

    The article misleads.

    The W.H.O. has not EVER recommended “circumcision” in the sense you are discussing it, that is, routine infant circumcision.

    It has said that ONLY in places ravaged by an AIDS epidemic and where condoms may not be widely available, then ADULT VOLUNTARY circumcision may have a role in reducing mens’ risk, but that condoms must still be used. At that, they relied on questionable data to make the recommendation. NOT ONE national medical association on earth (not even Israel’s) endorses routine circumcision.

    Most of the US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth. Many African nations have markedly higher AIDS rates among their CIRCUMCISED populations. Some of the lowest HIV rates in the world are in non-circumcising nations. Circumcision is neither neccessary nor sufficient to thwart AIDS.

    HIS body, HIS decision.

  70. bill bristol Says:

    Hi All,
    I said “NO!” to having my son’s 4skin removed because I hated being circumcised. I wanted him to have what I could never have.

  71. Frank McGinness Says:

    I chose circumcision and have controlled anger that I wasn’t told I would lose sensitivity. I did it for the looks but now I know better. Biggest mistake of my life. An strive to protect others from the same mistake.

    It is refreshing to see some recognition of children’s rights in this issue. But circumcision is not “chosen by” children, it is imposed on them. It is a permanent modification of the body which is not welcome by all.
    New claims that it is efficacious in providing [limited] protection against HIV should not blind us to the fact that cutting off part of a child’s penis is flagrant breach of his fundamental human rights.
    Assuming that your child is going to become a promiscuous sex fiend and punishing him on that assumption by amputating parts of his genitals is not only disrespectful to the child but admission of being incapable of parenting.

    Children are entitled to an “open future,” with no options foreclosed that could not wait for the child’s expressed preference.
    Courts pay undue deference to parental discretion – cultural and religious – at the expense of the child’s human rights.
    All children, whether female, intersex or male should be allowed to make a personal choice about whether or not to have genital surgery when they are of sufficient age and maturity to make that choice.

  72. Robert Says:

    I would like anyone here who claims that circumcised sex is better, can explain just HOW losing up to 3/4 of their penile sensation (as science has proven)can make it better.

    Frankly when I hear something this irrational and logical, I wonder just WHO these men are trying to convince.

    As for those claiming medical benefits, how do they explain HOW & WHY the rates of ALL of these alleged “benefits” are the same as, or LOWER, in intact Europe then in circumcising USA?

  73. Robert Says:

    “The pain business is a red herring. There plenty of anesthetics that can be and are used for circumcisions. The baby may feel the first prick of a needle, then nothing more. A “non-event.”

    Even MORE alarming is the ignorance expressed here;
    Even the pro-circ AAP states that anesthesia only REDUCES the pain, AND…

    the most recent study showed that rate of anesthesia use was:

    “Out of 108 circumcisions, only 8 were marked for anesthetic.”

  74. Robert Says:

    I think those advocating circumcision need a short course in the scientific method–along with an example of a critical analysis of the latest “disease du Jour” studies– (HIV)..

    http://mysite.verizon.net/dortfay/science.html

  75. Frank McGinness Says:

    @Malpascheck says “No chance of phimosis”
    Wrong: http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(05)63612-9/abstract termed “infrequent but important complication” circumcision can cause phimosis. Does this sound like a health benefit?

    Yeast infections?(expanding on Hugh7) Stop using soap under the foreskin. Think about it. The inner mucosa is like the inside of the mouth and vagina. One wouldn’t use soap there. The foreskin has many functions. One is maintaining a proper pH balance. Soap can wreck this balance unless the soap is pH balanced. Bubble bath is the worst. Run away if a website says to use soap.

    Remember this: 46,000 doctors and med. students , the KNMG: Royal Dutch Medical Association says “There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene.” This says it all!

  76. Frank McGinness Says:

    LATEST: from twitter MC_HIV:
    “AIDS PATIENT CARE AND STDS Vol 24 Issue 8: Circumcised men may be more susceptible to HIV acquisition.” And no difference of other STDs in MSM. http://bit.ly/cEpUTq

  77. Frank McGinness Says:

    To those who say they work in a medical setting and to others that say It’s not painful or not painful with anesthetics. Their observations or notions are incorrect because newborn circumcision with local dorsal penile nerve block doesn’t work.
    http://cpj.sagepub.com/content/25/8/412.abstract #i2

  78. Frank McGinness Says:

    Robert said “I would like anyone here who claims that circumcised sex is better,”

    Hey Robert, these would be the same people who think circumcised females have better sex.
    http://www.labiaplastysurgeon.com/labiaplasty-clinical-study.html

    (from Joseph Lewis)
    “You might tell me that female circumcision causes all this damage, that women
    lose the ability to orgasm. “Studies show” that male circumcision “doesn’t
    affect satisfaction”, and thus this is why circumcision can be recommended.
    But did you know, studies ALSO show that women who have been circumcised do
    not lose their ability to orgasm? In fact, women who have undergone
    infibulation, which is the worst kind of female genital mutilation in the
    world, are still able to orgasm.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17970975

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2837-female-circumcision-does-not-
    reduce-sexual-activity.html

  79. Robert Says:

    People can claim anything, but RATIONAL people require those claims to provide logical and rational mechanisms (and evidence to support them) to affirm those allegations, and as of now, I have seen NONE of these forthcoming.

    I have yet to see a single alleged benefit for circumcision in the real world–or a rational reason of HOW and WHY a circumcised penis CAN have better sexual response–but I am patient and will be waiting for either one.

  80. Sergus Says:

    @Pony Steel
    “comfort” : what do you mean?
    “self-esteem” : apparently you were ashamed of having a foreskin. Big bias here.
    “overwhelmingly enhanced sexual sensation and pleasure during intercourse” : depends on your foreskin. May be true for you but sure won’t be true for everybody.
    “I know what life is like both with and without a foreskin” : … with a wife having a strong preference, a particular type of foreskin, and a foreskin you were ashamed of.

  81. Sergus Says:

    @George
    “For me it was better sex.”
    Are you aware that not EVERYBODY has phimosis? Truth is, you don’t know what it is to have a normal foreskin. Yet you want to remove you son’s, which most likely will be perfectly normal? :(

  82. Sergus Says:

    “The health benefits of circumcision are proven.No chance of Phimosis”
    It’s about as clever as saying removal of the eyes eliminates the risk of cataract.

  83. Nancy Martin Says:

    Circumcision is cruel and barbaric!