Thursday, June 10, 2010

Circumcision: Referrals Against the Snip

I received so many emails after that last post with tons of information! You readers amaze me. So, as promised I am passing on the info...with a small disclaimer.

First, most of the emails I received were from people who are against circumcision. Which leads me to two conclusions...Kind of like the comment cards at a fast food place, you only really fill them out if you have a complaint, you have to feel passionate, and the people who feel most passionate about this topic are the ones against it. Which is fine. Just know that all the info I have to pass on is why not to have it done, so it's very biased.

Or - the people who do have their boys circumcised and are reading this (besides the ones who have commented) really don't know why they did it and don't have a strong opinion.

Second - be smart when looking into any topic, find out where the source is from. Is it just someone's opinion? Or is it an actual scientific study? Any statistics that are presented to you, be wary - if they're not cited, don't state where they got their info, then it's probably not an accurate number. Statistics are a tricky thing. Also, be wary of scare tactics on either side of this argument.

Okay, so that wasn't such a *small* disclaimer. Here are the links...
  • International Coalition for Genital Integrity - "...a wealth of information for expectant parents about circumcision. I recommend watching the videos at this page, especially the one showing an actual infant circumcision and "The Prepuce," which describes the anatomy and functions of the foreskin. All of the articles are excellent." - P.F.

  • An informative tri-fold handout - "My tri-fold hand out, “CIRCUMCISION FACTS”, contains all the facts any one needs to know. It includes footnotes & references to papers, all, except one, of which can be viewed on the internet. Please let me know if it is helpful. It was very well received by nurses and therapists during my 90 day rehab from 2 strokes..." - J.M., director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers

  • Genital Integrity Policy Statement & Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors "You seem like an intelligent mom who really wants to understand circumcision and genital integrity. I am attaching a PDF file with the Doctors Opposing Circumcision Genital Integrity Policy Statement. This is a 64 page document that will tell you about all there is to know. Our organization strongly supports genital integrity to provide the highest level of health and well-being. I am also attaching a statement from the Royal Dutch Medical Society that was published on May 27, 2010. I can provide more information if you wish it." - G.H., Vice-President for Bioethics and Medical Science, Doctors Opposing Circumcision
Thanks to all of you for sharing your personal experiences in the comments section and passing on info via email. I really appreciate all of the input!

Other posts in this series:


  1. I didn't comment right away cause well didn't read it right away. I'll get Heidi and Korby to comment and Heather maybe...they all have boys and I'll try to get other comments.

  2. OH, and are you going to pass on info on why to get it done?

  3. You might also want to check out the following:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    "Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."
    "Circumcision is a 'non-therapeutic' procedure, which means it is not medically necessary."
    "After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions."

    Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    "After extensive review of the literature, the Paediatrics & Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has concluded that there is no medical reason for routine newborn male circumcision."
    (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. "Routine" circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia in all states except one.)

    British Medical Association
    "to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate."

    Just this month, the Dutch Medical Association "has officially adopted the view that circumcision of underage boys without a medical reason violates children’s human rights and contravenes the Dutch constitution.
    The association thinks there are good reasons to ban the practice—female circumcision was outlawed in 2004—but fears that this might force it underground, leading to a greater number of complications."

  4. Let's look at the countries where everybody lives in a residence with electricity and germ-free running water. Where there are doctors in every town, and everybody can afford to see a doctor now and then. Where there is a pharmacy in every shopping centre, pharmacies stock condoms, and people can afford them.

    About 30 odd countries pass this test. Setting Jews and Moslems aside, who in those 30 countries is circumcised?

    * Most South Koreans born after 1960.

    * A fair number of middle and upper class British men born before 1960.

    * Most Australian and English speaking Canadians born before 1980.

    * The vast majority of American men who are not immigrants or Latinos. However a fair fraction of present-day American boys are intact.

    For nearly 30 years, I have been waiting for a press report of a study based on data collected form urology practices around the North Atlantic. This study would be designed to see if routine circ reduced the frequency of this and that. Data would also be collected on the complications of circ, especially the long term sexual ones. I am not holding my breath.

    For me, the inability of the circumcision meme to break out of the English speaking world, its decline within that world, and the lack of international evidence supporting circ, all speak loudly to its uselessness except possibly for men who refuse to practice responsible sex. There is a distinct possibility that circ, by reducing sexual sensitivity, makes unsafe sex more likely. At any rate, it is a hard fact that all STDs are more common in the USA than in intact Europe and Japan.


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**I reserve the right to not publish a comment that is a personal attack on another reader - we all have differing views on parenting & this is a place where you can feel safe sharing your opinions. Please remember to be respectful!**


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