If you've been surfing the internet to find information on the topic of infant or male circumcision you have probably come across many anti-circumcision web pages and very few that tell the other side of the story.
You probably wondered why so much negative information is written about this topic even though the vast majority of North American males are circumcised and very happy and grateful for it, and that most parents request this procedure for their newborn sons.
So, why is there so much anti-circumcision information on the net? Well, the answer is quite simple! Many people find it hard to believe but there are actual anti-circumcision groups and organizations that have formed over the past twenty five years. They write books, appear on talk shows, protest outside of doctors' offices and medical establishments, spend countless hours writing letters to politicians, newspapers, magazines and medical groups. So it's no big surprise that these people have also saturated the Internet with their own, many times, fanatical points of view containing much misinformation regarding medical, sexual and psychological aspects of circumcision.
Over the past ten years there have been a number of studies showing benefits to this procedure which, of course, created frustrations among anti-circumcision groups and individuals. Now, more than ever, they are trying to turn the world against this procedure, and any doctor or lay person who don't share their point of view.
Very few doctors or medical establishments recommend infant circumcision on a routine basis, but at the same time they recognize there are benefits and avantages as well as disadvantages and risks. Therefore the decision to circumcise or not should be left to the parents.
This site will show you that there is another side to this issue, one that is different from what you will find posted by the anti-circumcision activists. We hope it will help you in making a properly informed decision as a parent, or if you are considering having it done for yourself. If you are already circumcised we hope this will help answer any questions you may have.
Circumcision: A Quick Guide
A summary of some important issues regarding circumcision (with external links) in a nutshell:
Information about circumcision aimed at young people can be found on the ICIRC website.
- preparation and after-care
Additional information regarding the preparation and after-care for circumcision (infant and child) can also be found on the ICIRC website. (See also the Article "The Circumcision Procedure" in the secion Medical Information.
Information regarding circumcision from a research perspective can be found on the site of Dr Brian Warner. The circinfo.net site contains a lot of very useful up-to-date information especially about the medical benefits and risks. In addition the site has circumcision brochures aimed at parents, at men and teens and at women downloadable as pdf files available in several languages. The site is a must-see for everyone interested in a scientifically based view of the subject by one of the foremost researchers currently active in the field. Many of the arguments that can be found on the websites opposing circumcision are refuted here.
Circumcision testimonies can be found on this site, but also on the circinfo.net site see here.
Most of the information that can be found on the internet regarding the subject of circumcision have a very strong anti-circumcision bias. These sites and their contents are discussed on the ICIRC website see here, and on the circinfo.net site - see here.
for a doctor?
If you are looking for someone to perform a circumcision in the UK and the US, a list of doctors can be found on the Circumcision Information Reference Centre (ICIRC) website. For a link see here. Additional information can be found here.
In spite of what many opponents want people to believe, the circumcision rate in the US has been stable for a number of years now.
For the results from the NCHS website, see here.
Recent trends are also discussed on the Circinfo.net site, see here.
Latest News on Circumcision
Please have a look at a new website aimed especially at an American audience,
Academy of America.
The AAP has revised their previous recommendations and now endorse and recognize the medical benefits of circumcision.
Update from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on 8/27/2012:
"After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The AAP policy statement published Monday, August 27, says the final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs. "
From the Abstract:
"Male circumcision is a common procedure, generally performed during the newborn period in the United States. In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formed a multidisciplinary task force of AAP members and other stakeholders to evaluate the recent evidence on male circumcision and update the Academy’s 1999 recommendations in this area. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement."
For further information, please see here see here. For some coverage in the News, see the articles on NPR and the New York Times.
A review of studies has found that the health benefits of infant male circumcision vastly outweigh the risks involved in the procedure. The link to the article, published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings (April 2014) can be found here. From the abstract:
"The objective of this review was to assess the trend in the US male circumcision rate and the impact that the affirmative 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement might have on neonatal circumcision practice. We searched PubMed for the term circumcision to retrieve relevant articles. This review was prompted by a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found a slight increase, from 79% to 81%, in the prevalence of circumcision in males aged 14 to 59 years during the past decade. There were racial and ethnic disparities, with prevalence rising to 91% in white, 76% in black, and 44% in Hispanic males. Because data on neonatal circumcision are equivocal, we undertook a critical analysis of hospital discharge data. After correction for underreporting, we found that the percentage had declined from 83% in the 1960s to 77% by 2010. A risk-benefit analysis of conditions that neonatal circumcision protects against revealed that benefits exceed risks by at least 100 to 1 and that over their lifetime, half of uncircumcised males will require treatment for a medical condition associated with retention of the foreskin. Other analyses show that neonatal male circumcision is cost-effective for disease prevention. The benefits of circumcision begin in the neonatal period by protection against infections that can damage the pediatric kidney. Given the substantial risk of adverse conditions and disease, some argue that failure to circumcise a baby boy may be unethical because it diminishes his right to good health. There is no long-term adverse effect of neonatal circumcision on sexual function or pleasure. The affirmative 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics policy supports parental education about, access to, and insurance and Medicaid coverage for elective infant circumcision. As with vaccination, circumcision of newborn boys should be part of public health policies. Campaigns should prioritize population subgroups with lower circumcision prevalence and a higher burden of diseases that can be ameliorated by circumcision."
The conclusion from this study states:
"The latest data on male circumcision in the United States show a 2.5% overall increase in prevalence in males aged 14 to 59 years between 2000 and 2010. In contrast, there has been a downward trend in neonatal circumcisions, with the present analyses finding that the true extent of this decline is 6 percentage points. Given (1) the wide-ranging protection that neonatal circumcision affords against a diversity of medical conditions, some of which can be fatal; (2) the high benefit to risk ratio; (3) the data on cost-effectiveness; and (4) the affirmative AAP policy in 2012, in our view, it might be an appropriate time for governments, insurers, and the medical profession to act. When considered together with ethical and human rights arguments, neonatal circumcision should logically be strongly supported and encouraged as an important evidence-based intervention akin to childhood vaccination. We predict that states that currently no longer cover elective circumcision under Medicaid will restore provision of this procedure for those unable to afford it, especially because it will lead to considerable short- and long-term savings to government health budgets by reducing more expensive circumcisions for medical need later, where these often involve costly general anesthesia; it will also reduce the cost of treatment of the many foreskin-mediated conditions, infections, and cancers in males and their sexual partners that male circumcision affords varying degrees of protection against. We predict that future CDC surveys will find significant ongoing increases in the prevalence of circumcision in the United States."
The full article can be accessed here.
Circumcision doesn't reduce sexual satisfaction and performance, says study of 4,500 Men. For the article, see here.
Why Circumcision is a Biomedical Imperative for the 21(st) Century, for a summary of the article, see here
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