In another dramatic sign that America may be returning to its clean-cut, foreskin-free tradition, the Boston Globe has editorialized its view that all American boys should be circumcised at birth.
Entitled "Circumcision: A Cut against HIV," the Globe hailed the Centers for Disease Control's call to circumcise all American infant boys. "Such a tactic makes sense against a virus that infects more than 50,000 Americans each year," the editors wrote.
The editorial marks another sign that the anti-circ fanatics are losing the battle because the medical evidence is just so strong in favor of universal mandatory circumcision. The hope is that more major newspapers and media organizations will follow the Globe's example and encourage the CDC. The anti-circ foreskin lovers have mounted a strong PR campaign to dissuade the CDC from its sound science approach, but most Americans dismiss the foreskin lovers as whackos.
As I have repeatedly noted, the current "neutral" government policy hurts minorities, African Americans, and Hispanics because many have been denied health coverage for newborn circumcisions. The Globe notes that rates of HIV are higher among these groups because many more of them are uncircumcised.
While the overall tone of the editorial is quite positive, the Globe's editors can't quite say what we all know is obvious. It's not enough to call for universal male circumcision -- it should be mandatory. The editorial writers stop short of that, saying, "No one should be forced to circumcise a son. But where the health benefits are clear, the CDC should be equally clear in its recommendations. Circumcision is no panacea, but it deserves the CDC’s support."
In my view, if circumcision has clear health benefits that protect the male, his partners, and society, then it ought to be required for all. That's the editorial I really want to read. But the truth is that American parents are smart enough to follow the medical advice of the CDC, so the practical impact of promoting universal newborn circumcision will be to rid the filthy foreskin from the shores of this country.