Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feast of the Circumcision

Happy New Year!

This new year -- 2010 -- promises to be one of the best ever for advocates of a foreskin-free world. The medical evidence continues to grow on the health benefits conferred by circumcision, and 2010 will bring even more studies by reputable scientists and world health organizations to validate the life-long advantages of early circumcision.

Led by strong government policies in many countries, some nations especially in Africa will move closer to the goal of 100% circumcision, thereby reducing the threat of HIV, STDs, HPV, cancer, and all sorts of other deadly ailments. In the USA, we expect the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to resist the hyperbolic pressure of the anti-circumcision fanatics by embracing a clear health-based call for the circumcision of all male newborns. Of course, they will insist that it's "voluntary" but the message will be clear: circumcision confers clear health benefits for the male, his sexual partners, and society as a whole.

The year 2010 will also see an uptick in the number of American males who are circumcised. The message has gotten through to parents via a generally positive US media that most anti-circs are shrill, beligerant, penis obsessed nuts who want to deny parents the right to care for their children in the most medically responsible way. Moreover, the average American knows that it's better to be circumcised than not.

Finally, for centuries the Christian church celebrated January 1st as the Feast of the Circumcision, the day Jesus was circumcised in accordance with the traditions of the time. The "good news" today is that, all over the world, circumcision has become the tradition of the 21st century. Whether a church embraces the date or not, we should bring back the Feast of the Circumcision on New Years Day, a way to honor the scientists, the doctors, and the parents who have made circumcision as popular as it is. May 2010 be the year that circumcision is embraced by all. Happy New Year!

19 comments:

  1. Well, here it is Dec 31 2009, and the CDC/AAP statements explaining how African circumcision studies pertain to the U.S., promised before the year is out, are not in! I did a little reasearch of my own. I was shocked to find out that these "African" studies were done with *paid* volunteers in places where 1-in-4 adults have HIV, that hundreds of people were "lost" to follow-up (way more than those left in the study who got HIV), and that the HIV infection rate for circumcised men was still disasterously high. And worse yet, wives of circumcised men in one study were *more* likely to get HIV! And that in the U.S. some boys have died from circumcision. How are they going to sell it?

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  2. Don't let facts confuse PD. He's on a mission.

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  3. We circumcised our baby boy last summer, and it was never an issue because everyone in my family is circumcised. I understand this blogger's concern about health and safety, but the real reason most Americans do it is cuz everyone does it. It's like your not really American if you don't. Anyways, what these other posters against circumcision say about Africa don't really matter cuz boys are circumcised here because thats the custom. Happy New Year!

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  4. We circumcised our baby girl last summer, and it was never an issue because everyone in my family is circumcised. I understand this blogger's concern about health and safety, but the real reason most Africans do it is cuz everyone does it. It's like you're not really African if you don't. Anyways, what these other posters against circumcision say about America don't really matter cuz girls are circumcised here because that's the custom. Happy New Year!

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  5. Happy Feast of the Circumcision, everyone! Here's hoping 2010 is the best year ever for you and, of course, for circumcision.

    The first Anon is right that 2009 ended without statements from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Everyone had hoped for some clear guidance from this on the value of newborn circumcision in light of the overwhelming medical evidence in favor of this procedure. My guess is that the anti-circ fanatics, small in number but loud in voice and money, caused both to delay their announcements. The other problem is that I think both the CDC and the AAP operate by consensus, and it takes a damn long time for committees of medical experts to agree on much of anything. Hopefully, 2010 will be the year they step up to the plate and do what government agencies in Africa did throughout 2009.

    To the third Anon poster, yes, I do focus on the medical reasons to circumcise because they are so important. But I clearly understand your point that circumcision is as American as apple pie! I truly cannot imagine what it's like to be uncircumcised when 80% to 90% of Americans are foreskin-free. But whatever motivates you to circumcise is a good thing, and I congratulate you on your new clean-cut healthy little boy.

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  6. Good try to that 4th Anon pretending to have circumcised his/her daughter. The anti-circ fanatics' futile attempt to equate male and female circumcision is amusing. They just don't understand how much that ridicules their own argument. As far as I know, there is absolutely no health reason to circumcise girls -- but there sure are lots of reasons to circumcise boys. Your argument is a total FAIL.

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  7. Good grief PD, can't you recognize sarcasm? The poster who circumcised his son explicitly said his decision was *not* for medical reasons. Nobody is "pretending" anything: the parallel post simply highlights the truth, which is that most circumcisions in the U.S. are done for the same reason as female circumcision: tradition. PD gets the grade of F.

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  8. LMAO. Of course, I recognized the sarcasm, hence the "pretend" comment. My point is that the attempt to compare female genital mutilation with the healthy, life-long protection of male circumcision is a TOTAL FAIL. Everytime you anti-circ fanatics make that argument it only makes you look silly.

    But, Anon, we do agree that many circumcisions in the USA are done out of tradition. Like father, like son. Like neighbor, like mine. Of course, I recognize that. But my point in this blog has always been that it is the HEALTH ADVANTAGES of circumcision that both helps to maintain that positive tradition AND encourage uncircumcised fathers and mothers to embrace circumcision for their sons. It's all good, and why Circumcision gets the grade of A+.

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  9. LMAO and ROTF!!!! So PD admits there IS a connection between male and female circumcision - they're done for tradition! Medical shmedical: half of all Americans think the earth is 6000 years old and can't tell you why the sky is blue, and they sure as hell can't understand medical mumbo jumbo statistics. Sure, there may be medical benefits to female circumcision in countries where 20% of men are POZ. Anything that helps a girl keep her virginity is going to reduce her chances of getting the BUG, and that's a big HEALTH ADVANTAGE. Like mother like daughter, female circumcision has advantages, or it wouldn't have persisted. Personally, I don't give a crap if Africans scrape their vaginas off. Only the American Ladies for Politcal Correctness and Chastity are worried. Oh dear!

    I bet if PD had a FORESKIN he'd be a rabid anti-circ fanatic. Since his got chopped off, he's a rabid circ fanatic. Whatever.

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  10. I truly cannot imagine what it's like to be uncircumcised when 80% to 90% of Americans are foreskin-free.

    "I truly cannot imagine what it's like to be Jewish when 80% to 90% of Americans Christian."

    "I truly cannot imagine what it's like to be black when 80% to 90% of Americans are white."

    Most people aren't so insecure that they cannot handle being part of a minority group.

    I'm afraid that I have to agree with the last Anon "I bet if PD had a FORESKIN he'd be a rabid anti-circ fanatic. Since his got chopped off, he's a rabid circ fanatic."

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  11. Happy 2010! Hopefully, the AAP and CDC will soon release the new recommendations.

    I agree with PD on the anti-circumcision people making themselves look silly. They put these sorts of ridiculous comments on almost EVERY page about circumcision on the web. I can't believe I ever listened to their garbage.

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  12. As to alternate universes in which PD was allowed to keep all he was born with, there is absolutely no telling how he would turn out. The Intactivist movement is full of men who are bitterly resentful at having their "sweet ounce of man's flesh" (Shakespeare) stolen from them, and men who are so grateful they still have it they want future generations to enjoy the same. I guess there aren't so many intact men in the cutting faction, because (like Jake) they can get it cut off if they want, but apart from that, there seems no correlation between one's status and one's stance.

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  13. Ye Ha! Just read that Africans in Uganda are not only going for mandatory circumcision, but they're also gonna start hanging homosexuals. Truly, like PD says, we need to get in line with the Africans. They are so advanced and so fore-front in the fight against AIDS. Just like there's no right to a foreskin, there's no right to be homosexual. Chop chop.

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  14. "It's like your not really American if you don't."

    You mean like Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Namath (and almost certainly George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, or we would have heard) were not really American...?

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  15. You know, I really don't see why we have to bring religion, politics, and throw in all sorts of political ideologies into all this.

    All baby boys born should be circumcised for a sound public health policy, simple as that. The CDC should make an official statement about this already.

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  16. "I really don't see why we hve to bring religion, politics and throw in all sorts of political ideologies into all this."

    Because it's too late: they have been thrown in for thousands of years.

    And for decades the vast majority of boys in the US (and Australia and New Zealand) were circumcised. It didn't do a hap'orth of good, and New Zealand almost totally, and Australia nearly, have stopped doing it. The US is behind the play.

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  17. And for decades the vast majority of boys in the US (and Australia and New Zealand) were circumcised. It didn't do a hap'orth of good, and New Zealand almost totally, and Australia nearly, have stopped doing it. The US is behind the play.

    Perhaps a more realistic view is that Australia and New Zealand decided to stop performing infant circumcision before evidence emerged that, in retrospect, made that decision seem short-sighted.

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  18. "Perhaps a more realistic view is that Australia and New Zealand decided to stop performing infant circumcision before evidence emerged that, in retrospect, made that decision seem short-sighted."

    I don't think that is accurate. Here are updated statements from Canada and Australia and New Zealand that were released in 2009:

    "Recently there has been renewed debate regarding both the possible health benefits and the ethical concerns relating to routine male circumcision. The most important conditions where some benefit may result from circumcision are urinary tract infections, and in adults HIV infection and cancer of the penis. The frequency of these conditions, the level of protection offered by circumcision and complication rate of circumcision do not warrant a recommendation of universal circumcision for newborn and infant males in an Australian and New Zealand context." August, 2009

    Here is Canada's Statement :

    "Infant male circumcision was once considered a preventive health measure and was therefore adopted extensively in Western countries. Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure, however, no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention.

    The benefits of infant male circumcision that have been promoted over time include the prevention of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases, and the reduction in risk of penile and cervical cancer. Current consensus of medical opinion, including that of the Canadian and American Paediatric Societies and the American Urological Society, is that there is insufficient evidence that these benefits outweigh the potential risks. That is, routine infant male circumcision, i.e. routine removal of normal tissue in a healthy infant, is not recommended. " September, 2009

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