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Thursday, January 3, 2013 | return to: views, opinions


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Circumcision is not only Jewish, it’s good for you

by dr. edgar j. schoen

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In this country, circumcision is the norm. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 89 percent of non-Hispanic white males in the United States are circumcised. If an American boy is uncircumcised, it generally means his parents are immigrants, usually Hispanic, or low-income.

The exception is a small number of middle-class boys whose parents have been convinced by activist anti-circumcision groups to leave their baby boys “intact,” as they call it. Parents targeted by lay anti-circumcision groups are usually well educated, secular and liberal, live in coastal “blue” states and are attracted to alternative/holistic medical practice.

V_s_with_bandMany Jews fall into this profile, so that now, thousands of years after the covenant between Abraham and God mandating circumcision on the eighth day (Genesis 17), we see Jewish boys with foreskins. The Bay Area is ground zero for activist organizations gunning against circumcision, such as NOCIRC, NOHARMM and Intact. The arguments of these cultlike groups are based on anecdotes, testimonials, false theories and bogus claims with no scientific support.

Recently, as compelling medical evidence demonstrates the significant health advantages of circumcision on newborns, there has been a flurry of desperate activity by anti-circumcision groups, as they see their cause being  decimated. They picketed the local office of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the executive director had to call the police. At an AAP meeting in San Francisco in July, I was harassed by anti-circumcision protesters, leading the hotel to assign me a security guard. This all followed last year’s unsuccessful attempt to criminalize infant male circumcision in San Francisco.

The documented evidence of the lifetime preventive health advantages of circumcision is overwhelming. This year, the AAP stated that the significant benefits of newborn circumcision outweigh the minor risks. Severe infant kidney infections, which can lead to kidney damage, are 10 times more common in uncircumcised males in the first year of life. The presence of a foreskin leaves a young boy susceptible to painful local infections (balanoposthitis) and inability of retraction (phimosis).

In sexually active years, circumcision provides 60 percent greater protection against HIV/AIDS, which has killed over 20 million people in Africa and tens of thousands in this country. The United Nations, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have all endorsed circumcision to help prevent HIV/AIDS. Other sexually transmitted infections that circumcision helps protect against are genital herpes, human papilloma virus (the cause of penile and cervical cancer), trichomonas and bacterial vaginosis. The advantages in old men include avoidance of penile cancer and urinary infections, which are prevalent in the elderly, as well as easier genital hygiene in the incapacitated.

The newborn period is the ideal time for circumcision. Not only does early circumcision lead to a lifetime of health advantages, but it is the easiest and safest time to perform the procedure. After the trauma of birth, a newborn is programmed to deal with distress. Stress hormones, such as hydrocortisone and adrenaline, are extremely high, as is the pain-relieving compound endorphin. The male hormone, testosterone, is often in the adult range. All these hormone levels fall within the first few weeks of life. The newborn foreskin is thin, making the procedure quick and safe and virtually painless when using local anesthesia. Healing is rapid, and complications, usually minor, are less than 0.5 percent.

At older ages the procedure is more difficult, with a longer recovery time and a tenfold higher complication rate. The need for general anesthesia makes the procedure riskier. Almost all circumcision deaths have been due to complications from general anesthesia.

As noted, uncircumcised males, compared with those who are circumcised, are prone to many health dangers from birth through old age, and also may have social problems in the United States, where circumcision is the standard. In addition, the easier genital hygiene leads to improved and more varied sexual relations. Above all, Jewish men with foreskins are abandoning an ancient family tradition and culture.

My advice for anti-circumcision Jewish parents is, “enough already.”


Dr. Edgar J. Schoen is the former chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, at UCSF. He lives in Richmond.


Comments

Posted by Jackieno
01/03/2013  at  02:08 PM
Grasping

The steady decline has left some grasping for reasons to perpetuate the baby boy penis parts removal thing. 

One grasp was to get circumcision PUSHERS to do studies in Africa that claim a STD and HIV risk advantages for cut men.  The studies probably just show that men that had their penis wounded and have received condoms and safe sex advice get HIV at a lower rate than natural men that have not gotten condoms and advice.  The change noted was around a 1.3% risk change (not a 60% risk change).

It is interesting that the graspers fail to mention that in real U.S. population studies, there is no evidence of any STD risk change.  That is, in the US cut and natural men have HIV and HPV (and other STDs) in the same % (NAVY study, Laumann study (USA, 1997) based on over 30,000 American men, which showed no advantage to the circumcised group and others).  In the US only number of sexual partners and NOT circumcision status is linked to HPV.

It is interesting that the graspers don’t post anything about a recent study from Puerto Rico that noted “Circumcised men have accumulated larger numbers of STI in their lifetime, have higher rates of previous diagnosis of warts, and were more likely to have HIV infection.”

The natural penis boy infection thing is part myth part bad medical advice.  Boys that are natural should not have their foreskin touched by others.  The US medical advice was to pull it back and scrub with soap.  That causes problems including infections.  Doctors and nurses have actually been causing natural penis boys to get UTIs by retracting their foreskin (sometimes with dirty hands). 

Isn’t it also odd how the cut pushers fail to mention the many many problems that disconnecting thousands of nerves causes or what the loss of the mechanical function does?   

The International Journal of Men’s Health published results of a study that showed circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to loss of sensitivity. In a further study, The British Journal of Urology International reports that circumcised men can experience up to a 75 percent reduction in sensitivity compared to men who are not circumcised.

The knowledge of the this WOUNDING affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years so there is NO IF as to SEXUAL HARM, it is a matter of HOW BAD IS IT for any particular guy. Maimonides (the Torah scholar) noted that the act that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. Kellogg declared a ‘war on masturbation’ at the end of the 19th century and advocated circumcision to curb male sexual urges by removing the main male pleasure parts.

The parts of the penis that are cut off are some of the most highly innervated parts of the human. The lips, nipples and fingertips have similar touch sense. To push this unnatural practice is wrong.  To do this tio a baby is child abuse and a human rights violation.

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Posted by Henli
01/03/2013  at  06:00 PM
Since when is being sexually

Since when is being sexually compromised beneficial for you? And circumcision has not been the norm in this country for a number of years. Being normal is now the norm.

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Posted by Joseph4GI
01/03/2013  at  06:26 PM
Schoen lives in a different era... (cont')

“The presence of a foreskin leaves a young boy susceptible to painful local infections (balanoposthitis) and inability of retraction (phimosis).”

Dr. Schoen, how common are these diseases, and are they treatable without circumcision?

“In sexually active years, circumcision provides 60 percent greater protection against HIV/AIDS, which has killed over 20 million people in Africa and tens of thousands in this country.”

Ooh. People have died. So scary. Now, could you tell us, Dr. Schoen, how many of these 20 million people were circumcised? According to USAID, HIV transmission was more prevalent among *circumcised* men in 10 out of 18 countries. The HIV transmission rate is far higher in the US, where according to Schoen himself, over 80% of the male population is circumcised, than it is in Europe, where circumcision is rare. Could you explain this with “research,” Dr. Schoen?


“The advantages in old men include avoidance of penile cancer and urinary infections, which are prevalent in the elderly, as well as easier genital hygiene in the incapacitated.”

Let’s compare penile cancer rates in the elderly between the US and countries in Europe. Oh, and let’s ask European old folks home caretakers if they think genital hygiene is impossible in intact men. As the namesake of my comment says, Schoen is living in a dreamworld.

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Posted by Joseph4GI
01/03/2013  at  06:29 PM
Schoen lives in a different era... (cont')

“Above all, Jewish men with foreskins are abandoning an ancient family tradition and culture.”

Above all. Here, Schoen’s true motifs come to light. His true concern is the abandonment of a Jewish custom, NOT disease prevention and public health. It is disingenuous to be feigning an interest in public health and disease prevention, when true intentions and convictions lie elsewhere.

“My advice for anti-circumcision Jewish parents is, ‘enough already.’”

That’s funny; this is the same advice I have for Schoen.

“Dr. Edgar J. Schoen is the former chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, at UCSF. He lives in Richmond.”

He is also the most vociferous advocate of male infant circumcision in the United States. He is also Jewish and has a religious conviction to defend and protect this custom, which is falling, even among Jews themselves. His feigned interest in disease prevention and public health conflict with a conviction to preserve a cherished tradition.

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Posted by TLCTugger
01/03/2013  at  06:35 PM
No ethics, no surprise

Dr. Schoen has no regard for ethics. 

Any medical ethicist will tell you that proxy (parental) consent for an irreversible intervention is only valid if waiting for the patient’s own rational informed consent would lead to harm, and if non-destructive options are exhausted. 

Forced genital cutting of healthy normal children fails this test decidedly.  There are ZERO supposed benefits of circumcision that can’t be easily realized through non-destructive means. 

Foreskin feels REALLY good.  It’s seriously the best part.  HIS body, HIS decision.

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Posted by Joseph4GI
01/03/2013  at  06:38 PM
Schoen does not represent the North American view of male circumcision

Schoen’s claims have been rejected wherever he goes. When he published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990, his views were opposed by Poland. When he published in Acta Paediatrica Scandinavia in 1991, his views were rebutted by Bollgren and Winberg. When Schoen published in Disease in Childhood in 1997, his views were countered by Hitchcock and also by Nicoll. In the present instance, his views are offset by Malone.

When the Canadian Paediatric Society published their position statement on neonatal circumcision in 1996, they followed the views of Poland,3 not those of Schoen. Although Schoen was chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) taskforce on circumcision that published in 1989, he did not serve on the AAP taskforce on circumcision that published in 1999. That second taskforce distanced the AAP from the views published by Schoen’s taskforce11 a decade earlier.

(In their latest statement, the AAP continues to abstain from endorsing male infant circumcision, concluding that the benefits are “not enough” to recommend the practice.)

Schoen’s present views on circumcision are strikingly similar to those of Wolbarst, which were published nearly a century ago. This suggests that Schoen’s views are founded in a desire to preserve his culture of origin, not in medical science.

Read more at:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2083089/

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Posted by Jorg Aadahl
01/03/2013  at  07:58 PM
Cruel cut!

How superstitious do you have to be to still believe the Abraham myth? It is a hoax! It never happened. However, if you really need some biblical guidance, why not refer to the Gospel of Thomas instead? Here, Jesus allegedly is asked by his disciples if circumcision is good, to which he quite logically responds that if that were so, baby boys would be born that way (saying # 53). How more logical can you be?

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Posted by Jeff Cowsert
01/03/2013  at  08:30 PM
Christian Stance on Circumcision

The carving of flesh from a non-consenting infant or minor is the only biblical blood and flesh sacrifice that is still practiced in the civilized world. I bet if it were required of adults to “show faith” by carving on their own bodies, it would have ended with all the other blood sacrifices required in the bible. For the Christian faith, I feel compelled to mention that you are told in the New Testament NOT to circumcise. Here are the words:

But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
1 Corinthians 12:18

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justifed by law; you have fallen from grace.
Galatians 5:1-4

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;
for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
Philippians 3:2-3

I hope you will all help put an end to this horrible madness by supporting the Male Genital Mutilation Bill by logging on to http://www.MGMBill.org, hit the “take action” tab and follow the instructions.

Bless each of you,

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Posted by BrotherK
01/03/2013  at  09:17 PM
good post, Jeff Cowsert... the

good post, Jeff Cowsert… the secret is out… circumcision is a ruthless, barbaric surgery that would never be permitted on baby girls.

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Posted by BrotherK
01/03/2013  at  09:24 PM
We are witnessing the slow

We are witnessing the slow Death of Circumcision.  Merciful people in the 21st century spare their sons this cruel humiliation.  In 20 years there will be a minority of boys circumcised in America, and they will demand to know from their parents why they suffered the loss of penile function & structure that their locker room buddies enjoy.

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Posted by Fish
01/03/2013  at  10:08 PM
A questionable stance in the modern world

I always find it suspect when Jews use dated medical literature to defend brit milah. It’s almost as if they are conceding that the religious arguments alone are not enough to justify the procedure. Maybe that’s true. After all, male circumcision is no more essential to Judaism than animal sacrifices or the commandment to stone people who work on Shabbat, but I’m happy we gave up those outdated practices. It took progressive Jews to make those leaps for us.

As for your argument that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS, you are misusing the data, just like the popular media. The three RCTs conducted in Africa found that on average, 1.18% of the circumcised men became HIV-positive, while 2.49% of the uncircumcised men became HIV positive. You’re correct that these data indicate about a 60% *relative* risk reduction, but it’s only a 1.31% absolute risk reduction. (Who would recommend anything with a 1.31% absolute risk reduction?) Condoms confer a 96.66% + absolute risk reduction against the spread of AIDS.

Circumcision has made the problem a hell of a lot worse in Africa, because it misleads circumcised men to believe they are protected against HIV and don’t need to use condoms. By USAID’s statistics (2009), the majority of the 18 countries surveyed in Africa and the Caribbean have higher HIV prevalence among circumcised populations than among uncircumcised populations.

The inconvenient truth of the matter is that there’s no surgical substitute for safe sex. Condoms prevent AIDS; circumcision does not. The HIV rate in the U.S. is 3 times higher than in the U.K. or Denmark, and 6 times higher than in Holland or Germany, countries where circumcision is exceedingly rare (and boys there are healthier by all measures of sexual health). Should we really be promoting neonatal circumcision as an effective prophylaxis? It’s time we taught our boys the truth about sexual health and anatomy, which includes the foreskin.

P.S. Check out what other medical organizations have to say about the new AAP statement on circumcision. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the entire continent of Europe is uniformly against it. There are no valid health arguments for male circumcision that haven’t been disproved by more careful science. Circumcision deserves all of its controversy.

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Posted by Hugh7
01/03/2013  at  11:51 PM
Should be parked

To put it kindly, Dr Schoen’s views are Jurassic.

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Posted by Fish
01/03/2013  at  11:58 PM
Is it religious or medical? (Make up your mind)

The Jews have a commandment to stone those who do not observe the Sabbath, but no “religious freedom” argument can allow a Jew to legally commit such an act because it is harmful.  Likewise, a religious argument is insufficient for mutilating a boy-child, which constitutes as bodily harm.  The fact that Schoen and others bring up medical literature—however dated and disproven—to defend the practice of brit milah is a concession that religious arguments alone are not enough to justify the harm caused by the ritual.

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Posted by Fish
01/04/2013  at  12:04 AM
The Jews have a commandment

The Jews have a commandment to stone those who do not observe the Sabbath, but no “religious freedom” argument can allow a Jew to legally commit such an act today because it is harmful.  Likewise, a religious argument is insufficient for trimming a child’s genitals, which constitutes as bodily harm.  The fact that Schoen and others bring up medical literature—however dated and disproven—to defend the practice of brit milah is a concession that religious arguments alone are not enough to justify the harm caused by the ritual.

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Posted by Gary Harryman
01/04/2013  at  02:52 AM
The current polemic against what

The current polemic against what we quaintly call “circumcision” is not against Jews and not against Judaism.  It is a groundswell worldwide movement of good people standing up against superstition and all violations of human individual rights. Oh yes, it has been practiced by Jews since the stone age, but so was slavery and Jews gave up that horrible practice.  Jews and Judaism can and will survive without the ritual sacrificial mutilation of infant flesh.  Think of it as another historic opportunity for Jews to lead, not follow the arc of history.

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Posted by John Dalton
01/04/2013  at  08:23 AM
Extraordinary even for Schoen

In the first para Schoen tells us the non-circumcision is unAmerican.

In the second he politicises it: Republicans are circumcised, the non-circumcised are Democrats.

In the third he tells us opposition to circumcision is unscientific
In the fourth he tells us that anti-circumcision activists are dangerous.

In the fifth he exaggerates the hazards of non-circumcision.

In the six he exaggerates the advantages of circumcision

In the seventh he misrepresents the role of stress hormones in the neonate.

In the eighth he falsely states that circumcision is more dangerous for those who can consent.

In the ninth he further exaggerates hazards of non-circumcision just in case we are not scared enough.

His advice for anti-circumcision Jewish parents is lost on me.

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Posted by martin
01/04/2013  at  12:53 PM
Nature definitely knew best on this one

One has to wonder how much research Dr. Schoen has done into the myriad functions of the foreskin.

  —Its role in the proper development of the glans, to which it is fused at birth and for years afterward?
  —Its complex and extensive innervation?
  —Its unique role in enabling the ingenious gliding mechanism that is found only on that part of the human body?

Before leaping to cut off a valuable part of human anatomy, perhaps Dr. Schoen and others should focus instead on how to keep this part of our bodies as healthy and functional as possible. Hundreds of millions of men and their partners enjoy the sensations and comfort of the foreskin, so it’s not a trivial matter to promote its elimination.

What this essay proposes is nothing short of a wholesale redesign of male anatomy. What hubris to insist that millions of years of evolution have left humans with inherently flawed reproductive organs! On the contrary - over the millennia the human foreskin has become more specialized and longer. Its usefulness has increased through the ages, and continues to do so.

If one were to design a male sex organ from scratch, a highly sensitive, protective, gliding sheath would be a most brilliant idea. We should celebrate this extraordinary part of our bodies and respect it by seeking to better undertand, use and maintain it.

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Posted by uro
01/04/2013  at  02:34 PM
A Urologist's Opinion

Over almost 40 years of pediatric and adult urologic practice, I have seen hundreds of cases of unnecessary urinary tract and penile infections in children and adults because of diseased foreskins. Had neonatal circumcision been carried out much pain and needless surgery could have been easily avoided.

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Posted by martin
01/04/2013  at  03:27 PM
"Much pain and needless surgery

“Much pain and needless surgery could have been easily avoided”? Infant circumcision is the very definition of avoidable pain and needless surgery.

Almost every instance you mention could have been prevented with education and proper handling & care. There is no epidemic of UTI and penile infections in countries that do not circumcise. What such problems do France, Japan or Sweden report?

The United States has far greater problems with circumcision. In a typical medium-sized American city, WTVR of Richmond, VA reports that just one pediatric urology practice handled 1,600 neonatal circumcision repairs in the past 3 years. Other doctors in that city and across the country see similar steady demand to correct unnecessary genital surgery. Dr. Clare Close, Director of Pediatric Urology at the University of Chicago hospitals, reported that it is not unusual for Ped Urols to spend up to 25% of their practice time on circumcision repairs and revisions. The complication rate is consistently staggeringly high and heartbreaking, and places a burden of more than a quarter billion dollars a year on US health care. It is unconscionable, and no other developed country tolerates it.

Again, male genitalia is not designed wrong. As with female genitalia, it is perfectly fine the way it comes out of the womb, and the American medical profession needs to accept that, as the rest of the world has.

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Posted by Henli
01/04/2013  at  05:04 PM
Proper Hygiene

Uro:

And how many of these infections were the result of being a hygiene freak, washing internal organs and structures with soap, removing the normal flora designed to prevent infections?

And how often do you explain and teach proper hygiene?

Do you care that circumcision is medically justified in only 0.006% of men throughout their lifetime?

Do you care that circumcision compromises sexually?

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Posted by Fish
01/04/2013  at  06:50 PM
I suspect that "uro" is

I suspect that “uro” is the author of this article, as he has also been practicing urology for almost 40 years! Either way, I doubt he has much of a case. The urologists I’ve met say they’ve dealt with more cases of botched circumcisions than problems with foreskins.

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Posted by Michelle
01/05/2013  at  09:05 AM
My intact sons' 'parents' are

My intact sons’ ‘parents’ are both physicians, extremely well-educated, caucasian, non-immigrants. What rubbish for Schoen to be allowed to publish such absolute made-up tripe! Anti-circumcision advocates are peaceful, gentle, caring people. None of them have every physically harmed Schoen or any other pro-circ individual. Who do you expect to be more violent: those who are opposed to cutting the genitals of children, or those who advocate for cutting the genitals of children. It is precisely because of circumcision that pro-circ persons are promoting violence against children. The dominant paradigm has shifted and not a minute too soon.

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Posted by Michelle
01/05/2013  at  09:18 AM
Urologists see the worst of

Urologists see the worst of cases, just as gynecologists see the worst female infections and gyn problems. I see huge numbers of female UTI’s and gyn infections in my practice, but no one ever suggests that surgery/circumcision would correct these issues. Instead, antibiotics are dispensed along with practical advice on how to avoid these issues. Urologists have a bias, but if they were honest, they would also recognize that they see major complications from circumcision itself. 100% of males who are circumcised develop some degree of stenosis and bowing, 20% require surgical correction. Then there is the loss of sensation which affects males and their partners adversely. Only those with tunnel vision and psychological issues fail to recognize circumcision for the mutilation that it is. Schoen: you are an embarrassment and cannot be taken seriously when you are unable to present the facts honestly and objectively.

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Posted by cutandangry
01/05/2013  at  02:36 PM
Our cult or yours?

“The arguments of these cultlike groups are based on anecdotes,testimonials, false theories and bogus claims with no scientific support.”

Hmm. Sounds like the same could be said of the arguments given as validation of the practice by those of the writer’s religious affiliation. Cult: A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister. So a mystic deity decreed thousands of years ago that all males of the tribe should be circumcised on the 8th day. That sure is scientific. The pot calls the kettle black or what?

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Posted by Eastbayjew
01/05/2013  at  09:42 PM
Ear piercing

Am I assuming correctly that all of the anti-circumcision wackos do not get their ears pierced or let their daughters get their ears pierced .  After all, I assume they want to keep their ears normal and un-mutilated.

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Posted by MisterEquality
01/05/2013  at  11:50 PM
ear piercing?

Wow someone else wanting to change the argument to ear piercing which is completely different.

Let me explain for you eastbayjew…tell me what type of ear piercing removes functioning genital tissue?
That’s right. None. Moot point.

if a girl wants to have her ears pierced later, she can, as it is HER body and HER choice. Perhaps you fail to realize that everyone, both male and female citizens have some of the same basic rights, like bodily automomy.

Any other red herrings that serve no point that you’d like to throw here to defend a sick outdated pedophilic traditon eastbayjew?

Have a nice day.

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Posted by aunursa
01/06/2013  at  11:10 PM
Great article

Thank you, Dr. Schoen, for this insightful article.  2012 was a good year for baby boys, with the AAP report demonstrating the benefits of circumcision, and the California legislation that protects parents rights to determine whether circumcision is in the best interests of their infant sons.  I look forward to 2013.  Hopefully the insurance companies will follow the lead of the AAP and reinstate medical coverage for circumcisions. And hopefully Congress will pass the law to protect circumcision for the baby boys in the other 49 states.

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Posted by T
01/07/2013  at  12:05 AM
Circumcision is not a medical issue

The new AAP statement on male circumcision states that the benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the document fails to actually weigh the supposed benefits against the risks! It even avoids discussion of the risks, stating: “The true incidence of complications after newborn circumcision is unknown.” Thus, their assessment is unqualified.

The new AAP statement has received criticism from hundreds of doctors, lawyers, and national medical associations worldwide. Germany’s official pediatric association, the Berufsverband der Kinder und Jugendärtze, affirmed: “The [2012] AAP statement has been graded by almost all other pediatric societies and associations worldwide as being scientifically untenable.”

Any American medical argument for circumcision is laughable in the modern scientific world (especially abroad), since all the arguments have been formally disproven. So let’s stop beating around the bush and start addressing male circumcision as the religious/cultural issue that it is—not a medical issue!

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Posted by Jeff Cowsert
01/08/2013  at  03:58 AM
So because you have seen

So because you have seen hundreds of cases of penile infections in forty years then we should start amputating millions of foreskins? I am sorry ask, doctor, but did you flunk statistics class?

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Posted by iheartasquid
01/08/2013  at  07:02 AM
Born on American soil...

My husband and I are BOTH caucasian American citizens. He was born in Illinois and I in South Carolina. Our sons, born in South Carolina, BOTH have their foreskins and we are not hispanic, immigrants, or technically low income. I have dozens of friends in South Carolina, as well as, all over the nation that do not fit the description in your first little paragraph. I am a psychologist and my husband serves in the United States nuclear Navy. We could have had our boys circumcised free of charge but instead we chose to allow them to KEEP their rights to genital integrity because THEY are the owners of their bodies and should decide on any cosmetic alterations when they are of age.

My husband is NOT happy with his circumcision and speaks out animatedly against this barbaric and archaic practice. I was so elated that he was able to rise above his pride to educate himself when we realized we were having a boy and the decision to cut him was ours to make on his behalf. As a team, we decided our child’s rights outweighed any chance of uti. My children have never had a uti or other infection/issue with their foreskins because we know not to forcibly retract and harm them. If either of our children ever have a uti we will treat it naturally with D-Mannose with CranActin avoiding any use of antibiotics. With a healthy diet and basic bathing I do not foresee an issue ever arising.

This whole article is a non-factual exploitation of lies and ancient ‘medical knowledge’. The numbers are off by a long shot but the other comments have already pointed that out so I will refrain from doing so. It’s very sad when other people care more about protecting someone’s child than they do.

Circumcision is a cure in search of a disease.

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Posted by ml66uk
01/09/2013  at  10:19 AM
rebuttal

It’s not just “lay anti-circumcision groups” who are against male circumcision, and few of them “are attracted to alternative/holistic medical practice”.

These sites are all run by Jewish people opposed to circumcision:

[three links removed, as they seem to stop this comment from being approved]

Brit Shalom is an alternative naming ceremony to celebrate the birth of baby boys to Jewish families.

It’s really easy to find circumcised doctors who are against circumcision, but surprisingly difficult to find male doctors in favor who weren’t circumcised themselves as children.

The AAP are way out of line with other national medical organizations, and it’s very disappointing that they say this:
“Parents are entitled to factually correct, nonbiased information about circumcision”

but they provide information that is both biased and highly selective.  They simply don’t seem to consider that the foreskin might actually be valuable.

How strange that all the health benefits the AAP claim don’t seem to exist in Europe, where almost no-one circumcises unless they’re Jewish or Muslim.

Meanwhile, other national health organizations including the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Dutch Medical Association continue to recommend *against* circumcising newborns.

Genesis 17 also mandates the circumcision of male slaves, but we’ve moved on from then, and no-one in their right mind still thinks slavery is acceptable.

It’s illegal to cut off a girl’s prepuce, or to make any incision on a girl’s genitals, even if no tissue is removed, and even if the parents think it’s their religious right or obligation. Even a pinprick is banned.  Why don’t boys get the same protection? Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cut off. It’s *their* body.

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Posted by LexieR
03/26/2013  at  03:46 PM
You mention that immigrants are

You mention that immigrants are against circumcision but never address why. Perhaps it’s because circumcision was once practiced in several other industrialized countries (in very high numbers) but is no longer the norm and everyone realized that natural penises are not defective? Perhaps because some of us grew up in third world countries with low rates of both circumcision and penis-related health problems. Either way, you grossly overstate purported benefits and don’t even touch on risks which does your message a disservice. This is an article telling others how to feel about those who don’t accept your flawed studies, not an article to educate. That’s the kind of journalism I was taught to avoid back in school—yes, in the same third world country.

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