Tide turning on Circumcision, Push to circumcise all male infants

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by madanthonywayne, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    For years circumcision was routine for the vast majority of males in the US, but in the last decade or so there has been a push by some to end the practice with some going so far as to describe it as "male genetal mutilation". Personally, I have 3 boys and they're all circumcised. I remember being surprised that the doctor even asked if we wanted it done. Anyway, mounting evidence of circumcision providing some level of protection from HIV, in addition to the other benefits we've long known about (but have recently been poo-pooed by the experts), have health officials now pushing for universal circumcision.
    Public health officials are considering promoting routine circumcision for all baby boys born in the United States to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

    The topic is a delicate one that has already generated controversy, even though a formal draft of the proposed recommendations, due out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the end of the year, has yet to be released.

    Experts are also considering whether the surgery should be offered to adult heterosexual men whose sexual practices put them at high risk of infection. But they acknowledge that a circumcision drive in the United States would be unlikely to have a drastic impact: the procedure does not seem to protect those at greatest risk here, men who have sex with men.

    Recently, studies showed that in African countries hit hard by AIDS, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half. But the clinical trials in Africa focused on heterosexual men who are at risk of getting H.I.V. from infected female partners.

    For now, the focus of public health officials in this country appears to be on making recommendations for newborns, a prevention strategy that would only pay off many years from now. Critics say it subjects baby boys to medically unnecessary surgery without their consent.

    But Dr. Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for the division of H.I.V./AIDS prevention at the C.D.C., said that any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.

    “We have a significant H.I.V. epidemic in this country, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,” Dr. Kilmarx said. “What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

    There is little to no evidence that circumcision protects men who have sex with men from infection.

    Another reason circumcision would have less of an impact in the United States is that some 79 percent of adult American men are already circumcised, public health officials say.

    But newborn circumcision rates have dropped in recent decades, to about 65 percent of newborns in 1999 from a high of about 80 percent after World War II, according to C.D.C. figures. And blacks and Hispanics, who have been affected disproportionately by AIDS, are less likely than whites to circumcise their baby boys, according to the agency.

    Circumcision rates have fallen in part because the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sets the guidelines for infant care, does not endorse routine circumcision. Its policy says that circumcision is “not essential to the child’s current well-being,” and as a result, many state Medicaid programs do not cover the operation.

    The academy is revising its guidelines, however, and is likely to do away with the neutral tone in favor of a more encouraging policy stating that circumcision has health benefits even beyond H.I.V. prevention, like reducing urinary tract infections for baby boys, said Dr. Michael Brady, a consultant to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    Read the whole article
     
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  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Why not let it be a matter of choice? If anyone wants to do it fine, if others are more concerned with mutilation and refuse, thats also fine.
     
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  5. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    I don't think they're talking about making it mandatory, just changing from a neutral or even negative tone regarding circumcision to a positive one. In other words, if parents ask if a child should be circumcised, the experts now recommend that the doctor explain the benefits and the minimal risk which will probably quickly push the circumcision rate back up where it was a few years ago. Whereas before the doctor was advised to say "there was no medical reason to perform circumcision". Now there is.......again.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Regardless, I don't see people who consider it as mutilation rushing back to the doctor with their children.
     
  8. Trajkov Banned Banned

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    Removing a male's penis would drastically reduce the rates of STD transmission.
     
  9. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    hey mad, you know what the best way to stop the sexual spread of AIDs is?
    Cut of every males penus, yea lets do that. We wont have a single case of AIDs spread by sex if we do that, oh and while we are at it we should stich up all females vagina's at birth as well because that way they wont be at risk.

    What stupidity
     
  10. Trajkov Banned Banned

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    Beat ya to it.

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  11. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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  12. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    The designs nature worked out don't have unnecessary parts, it takes energy to grow extras, energy is a scarce commodity in the jungle of life. I would trust nature. Fashions and public health officials on the corporate payrolls... somehow I have no trust in those. If somebody relies on circumcision to protect him against AIDS, he should check his head first.

    Common, Madan, you didn't mention your faith, I bet it had to do little bit of something with circumcising your sons. Just to be sure, they say that New Testament overrides Old one, but there is not a shred of evidence for that claim. So, a believer should be circumcised. just in case. It doesn't make sense, Old T. is full of orders even the most flaming fundy would not attempt nowadays. Circumcision doesn't make a dent, but who knows.
     
  13. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    FACT: Circumcision only became popular in the USA due to Jewish doctors who surreptitiously urged young couples to have the procedure done for the sake of hygiene. In almost every part of the DEVELOPED world, almost nobody is circumcised. The exception is Jewish and Muslim countries. Therefore, if you (or your kids) are circumcised, then your body has been permanently scarred by an ethnic, religious tradition that you probably have no ideological relation to.

    The fact is that no medical organization in the world recommends circumcision anymore, not even the American Board of Pediatrics who consider it to be COSMETIC surgery now.


    A lot of cut humans (such as the OP) will declare that circumcision reduces your chance of contracting HIV. Yah... and guess what else? So does not having sex with people who have AIDS. Try it some time.

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    The reason that no health organizations recommend circumcision is that the procedure itself also has risks, and those risks outweigh all of these remote benefits that are presented. Even if you accept that 1000 circumcisions will prevent one case of UTI in the first year of life, the complication rate from circumcisions is between 2 and 5%. UTI is not serious and treatable with antiobiotics. Circumcision botch-ups and its resultant scars are permanent. That's what happened to David Reimer, who had his gender reassigned by his parents after a circumcision destroyed his penis. He later committed suicide.
     
  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    What about the appendix? What about the extra chromosome on a person with Down's syndrome? What about the caruncle or vestigal nictating membrane? What about introns? What about gill slits on embryos? What about the erector muscle on our body hair meant to make our hairy ancestors look bigger or fluff up the fur to keep them warm? What about the lens in the human eye that stops accomodating past the age of forty? The human body is full of imperfections and remnants that once served a purpose but now are just baggage. Nature is far from perfect. I would trust nature. Fashions and public health officials on the corporate payrolls... somehow I have
    No. Honestly, an uncircumcised penis just looks like a dog or horse penis rather than a human one. Also, there are health benefits to circumcision. Finally, I imagine there's this whole maintainance regime to the uncircumcised penis that I'm just not familiar with.

    My low maintainance circumcised penis has served me well. I know of some adults who had to get a circumcision as an adult due to repeated infections and they damned well wish they'd have had it done as an infant. The science is now on my side.
    Did you read the article or the OP? The whole point of the article was that what you just said is no longer true. The American Academy of Pediatrics is revising it's guidelines and will likely encourage circumcision under the new guidelines.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  15. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    actually an apendix DOES have a funtion and a useful one at that. If you get server diahera all the "good" bacteria are washed out of your digestive tract. The apendix acts as a backup system because it provides a place for them to grow and hide so when this happens they can move out and recollonise the gut. Is this more important than treating an apendix gone septic? no but then we make the same judgement for a ruptured splene and yet we dont say THAT is usless
     
  16. Slysoon Registered Senior Member

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    Circumcision should be subjected to, and prompted by, familial authority. As barbaric an uncircumcised penis may be, the decision to circumcise males of any age should not be state-imposed.
     
  17. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    I read both. All that article says is that some public health officials somewhere out there want everyone to have cut weenies -- probably because their weenies are cut. It doesn't say how many. I estimate that very few are in agreement with this handful of physicians who happened to say something so nutty so as to get a spot on the 11 o clock news. It just ain't happening. Circumcision is on a decline, not a rise.

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    Back to the morality issue: ritualistic mutilation is precisely what circumcision is. It was originally a religious practice which had absolutely no practical benefits whatsoever (just read the Jewish Old Testament to discover where it came from and why). It's a complete abberation.

    Certainly an uncircumcised penis resembles the penises of horses. Horses are not circumcised. That's the normal looking way -- nay, the NATURAL way. An uncircumcised penis is as true to form as the human penis can possibly become. You having grown up with a scarred up penis has forced you to change your perception of normality: because you don't want to think of yourself (and your penis) in abnormal terms.

    You are correct about you not being familiar with the "maintenance regime." It's called taking 4 seconds to pull it back and rinse. There's your regime.

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    Ask any woman who has sexed up an uncircumcised guy and she will tell you: it feels better when you done it with guys who are NOT clipped. That's what it's for. Penetration and stimulation. Also to protect the most sensitive area (the corona) from being irritated all day and night by whatever it comes into contact with. In turn, uncircumcised men have a greater degree of sexual sensitivity. If you are uncircumcised, then it's win-win, for both you and for your woman as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  18. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Not just me, every male I've ever seen naked except for an exchange student from Norway. I played sports, and we all showered together. Not a foreskin in sight. Same thing in the college dorm at IU.
    Women I've asked about it say they are grossed out by the appearance and smell of an uncircumcised penis. The same goes for a gay friend of mine. He says he's only ever come across one guy with an uncircumcised penis and after that horrible experience considers it a deal breaker.
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Personally speaking thats a yes, although I did not get close enough to smell it

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    uke:
     
  20. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Then chances are you are surrounding yourself with a lot of Jews or Muslims, as a side effect of your own religion. As most men in developed *and* undeveloped countries are uncircumcised, clearly most women would find that uncircumcised is the normal, preferred way while circumcised is considered to be the inferior.

    Ask yourself: why would you *ever* want to have your son circumcised, when the supposed benefits can all be overridden by simply not sleeping with people who have AIDS? There is no other reason... except that you want to deny him something that you were denied, in order to validate the sick procedure that what was done to you and that has resulted in the scarred remains of your primary sex organ. That is the main driving force behind why circumcision continues to be passed down generationally: it is almost ALWAYS the demand of the father, not the mother. Take a nod from those who are finally waking up and realizing it is becoming more normal to be uncircumcised today. In the 60's, 80% were circumcised. Today, from what I'm reading, it's about 50/50 in the USA -- and the number is going to drop. My guess is that in another 30 years, it will just be jews, muslims, and very aged adults who will be in the circumcised minority. In the end, you'll still be doing your kid wrong.

    Those of you who were circumcised do not need to defend it, just because the discussion makes you feel as if you are "damaged goods." Don't make this into something personal. Just think in broader terms and ask yourselves WHY anyone would wish to barbarically slice healthy flesh from the primary sex organ of a baby boy. This is not about you. This is about our babies and what is best for them.
     
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    According to the article referenced in the OP, 79% of adult males in the US are circumcised. The high water mark was 80%. For infants, the number is 66%, with blacks and hispanics being more likely to be uncut. Here's an interesting graph I just came across:

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    Apparently the east and midwest circumcise and the west doesn't. Hmm. I wonder why that is. By the way, I'm from the midwest and you can see that my region of the country has held steady at 80%. As to surrounding myself with jews and muslims, I didn't know a single jew or muslim until I went to college. Or, if I did, I didn't know that they were Jewish or Muslim.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  22. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

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    As far as I know, appendix is not "pronounced" useless, there are all kind of speculations around appendix.

    What about all kinds of debilitating diseases and mutations Nature is so profligate with. An extra chromosome is obviously unsuccessful mutation having nothing to do with a healthy organism.

    Rudimental organs are leftovers from our ancestors. Tail cannot fall off overnight. Penis and its foreskin, on the other hand, are not in the immediate danger of being discarded as a rudiment.

    That's nothing, old age would do much nastier things to ya.

    First, penis and its foreskin are not in danger of being discarded. Second, even rudimentary organs are included in the larger biological context of the entire body and, as for now, they cannot be discarded without affecting something your body needs (even if science knows nothing about it).

    Perfection is a human concept together with Nature. Biological Nature are random mutations, environment as the judge and no mercy to the unfavorable to survival mutations. Since, foreskin is not a danger to survival it's in place where it is now, it shows no signs of dissolving on its own.

    've been watching lots of penises lately

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    ? Of course, whatever makes your happy, I don't intend to change anybody' aesthetic preferences.


    I wonder what would folks at AAP do if not for the perpetual "inventing" new guidelines. BTW, your friend' troubles could be easily cured by an incision to open up narrow foreskin. Mutations happen, small opening is one of those. Universal mutilation because of relatively infrequent condition is little bit extreme.

    Besides, as it was said USA is a lonely mass circumcision kinda industrialized nation. I think this circumcisions push does have little bit of something with really special place Jews hold in USA.
     
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The benefits in reducing AIDS seem to be side effects of also reducing vulnerability to other lesion-causing infections, including STDs, especially fungal.

    The foreskin seems to be more of a liability among people who wear clothing. Circumcision may be an adaptation to clothing, among people who seldom bathed (most people, in days gone by).

    That doesn't mean it's a good idea among people who have running water and soap routinely available. But it's worth considering.
     

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