Denmark has a long record of taking daring steps on issues like gender rights, development aid and green energy. But government ministers have reacted with dismay to the prospect of debating another potential world first: a ban on circumcising boys.
Circumcision probably won’t impact your son’s health, research shows, but a range of cultural and social factors deserve your consideration.
Because male circumcision is so common in the states, few Americans realize how rare it is most everywhere else. The practice has fallen by the wayside in Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand, and fewer than one-fifth of all male Europeans are circumcised.
Trying to find clarity in a world muddied by differing opinions and too much information.
I had never really questioned why I was circumcised. It wasn’t done for religious reasons. And I had never wondered what my life would have been like had I not been snipped. The look and shape of my penis are nothing more than a part of who I am. No different, really, than the hair on my chest or the mole above my left eyebrow.
Non-therapeutic circumcision of male infants and boys has always been a controversial issue – and never has opinion been more polarised.
In the United States, medical authorities have just overturned 40 years of sound science-based policy by deciding that the health benefits of circumcision — while not great enough to recommend the procedure as a routine — are sufficient to allow parental choice in the matter and coverage by medical insurance plans.
“Circumcision is hot,” a California urologist tells the New York Post. Not for babies (in fact, that’s cooling off, especially in the West); rather, it's men in their 20s and 30s who are seeking out circumcisions, for religious, medical, and aesthetic reasons.
New CDC guidelines support male circumcision, but stop short of recommending the procedure.
Doctors should start telling sexually active teenage boys who aren’t circumcised that if they have the surgery, they can reduce their risk of contracting H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted infections from their female partners, federal health officials propose.
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.
While many factors likely influence circumcision rates, part of the decline occurred after 1999, when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement saying the potential medical benefits of neonatal circumcision weren't strong enough to recommend it as a routine procedure.
The Task Force says that it's the parents' responsibility to decide whether their particular newborn might benefit from being circumcised, though no guidance is given on how parents should make this decision.
It's an age-old debate, and the resulting paper from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, seeks to settle it. The paper finds evidence that circumcised men don't have any less sensitivity in their penises than men with intact foreskins.
A fringe group is drowning out any discussion of facts.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I just thought that circumcision was what you did, no big deal, and that every man was circumcised. Then one day I saw a picture of a baby being circumcised, and everything changed. Just one tiny, grainy photo was enough to make me want to know more, and the more I knew, the worse it got. It turns out, circumcision really is a big deal.
Keep it clean. This is the most important rule of newborn circumcision care: At every diaper change, gently wipe away any bits of poop that you may see on the area. Use a gentle, unscented soap and warm water — not a baby wipe.
The parental movement against vaccines, revealed in the West Coast measles outbreak, apparently is broader than just shunning immunizations, as new hospital evidence and polling shows that especially younger parents are refusing to circumcise baby boys.
Long considered an operation that leads to better male hygiene and a sure way to reduce cancer and chances of getting HIV, more parents are deciding that it’s just not needed.
The statement, and accompanying technical report, marks the first revision of the organization's position since 1999, when the academy backed away from circumcision. At that time, the group, which represents about 60,000 pediatricians nationwide, concluded that there was no clear evidence for or against circumcising newborns. The group affirmed that position in 2005.
Since then, the popularity of circumcision in the United States has declined. Only about 56 percent of newborn males are circumcised.
Over the many years I have been advocating for the rights of baby boys to their whole, intact bodies, I have engaged in countless discussions on the topic. Some people have never given circumcision a thought, but once they are asked to think about it they immediately “get” that circumcision is a human rights violation.
Here are my responses to some of the medical and hygiene arguments often raised to rationalize circumcision.
As “personal choices” go, circumcision is becoming an increasingly sensitive issue. A controversial Danish study released last month concluded that boys who are circumcised as babies are twice as likely to develop autism spectrum disorder before the age of five.
The benefits of the procedure aren't as clear-cut as we've been led to believe.
The Clearinghouse on Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention (www.malecircumcision.org) is a collaborative effort to generate and share information resources with the international public health community, civil society groups, health policy makers, and programme managers.
Intact America envisions a world where children are protected from permanent bodily alteration inflicted on them without their consent, in the name of culture, religion, profit, or parental preference.
Having a Boy? Don't make a
Read our circumcision and foreskin care information, and try our unique risk assessment tool with plain language answers.
It is the intention of the present overview to provide easily-accessible, reliable, balanced information that should be of assistance to parents, medical professionals, scholars, as well as men and their sexual partners.
Today the vast majority of Australian boys are not circumcised, and grow up happily with the bodies that nature gave them. Although circumcision was common from the 1920s to the 1960s, medical authorities have discouraged the practice since the 1970s, and it is now pretty much a thing of the past.
Whether or not circumcision should be performed is a controversial question, especially as religious issues may be involved. One of the aims of the Circumcision Information Pages is to provide parents with information to assist them, if and when they are confronted with this question.
Attitudes toward circumcision are changing because of new awareness. As a result, there is growing concern about this often misunderstood genital surgery. If you are considering circumcision for a child, please take the time read our information. Your child's physical, sexual, and emotional health depend on your being informed.
To promote, educate and perform so every Jewish child can receive a proper Bris regardless of location or affiliation.
D.O.C. is an organization of physicians, and others who are opposed to non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision. D.O.C. has members in 50 States, 12 Canadian Provinces and Territories, and in nations on six continents. These doctors recognize that no one has the right to forcibly remove sexual body parts from another individual.
For some, the decision to circumcise or not to circumcise is simple. For others, much thought, research and contemplation go into making this important decision.
This website is intended as a resource for men who wanted to document their harm from circumcision done in infancy or childhood, as well as for
parents - medical professionals - ethicists - religious leaders - attorneys - child protection advocates - human rights campaigners - legislators - and the media.
Like the American cultural practice of circumcision, Jewish circumcision (bris or brit milah) is dependent on the acceptance of cultural myths. Of all the myths that Jews believe about circumcision, the one that is paramount is the belief that all Jews circumcise. With this belief, we put ourselves under tremendous pressure to conform.
Welcome to the website of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers, founded by healthcare professionals to provide information to expectant parents, healthcare professionals, educators, lawyers, ethicists, and concerned individuals about circumcision and genital cutting of male, female, and intersex infants and children, genital integrity, and human rights.
The WHOLE Network (TWN) is a grassroots, registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity dedicated to providing accurate information about circumcision and proper intact care. We supply information to both medical professionals and the general public, both in the United States and abroad.
Studies about the benefits of circumcision have provided conflicting results. Some studies show certain benefits, while other studies do not. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision are not significant enough to recommend circumcision as a routine procedure and that circumcision is not medically necessary. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes parents should discuss with their son's doctor the potential benefits and the risks involved when making their decision.
Because circumcision is not essential to a child's health, parents should choose what is best for their child by looking at the benefits and risks.
Approximately 55% to 65% of all newborn boys are circumcised in the United States each year, though this rate varies by region (western states have the lowest rates and the north central region has the highest). The procedure is much more widespread in the United States, Canada, and the Middle East than in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe, where it's uncommon.
For some families, circumcision is a religious ritual. Circumcision can also be a matter of family tradition, personal hygiene or preventive health care. For others, however, circumcision seems unnecessary or disfiguring. After circumcision, it isn't generally possible to re-create the appearance of an uncircumcised penis.
Regarding newborn circumcision, most physicians today agree with the practice of informing parents of the risks and benefits of the procedure in an unbiased manner. Recently, however, several large studies revealed a large decrease in HIV transmission in circumcised males compared to uncircumcised males. This may ultimately influence some changes in recommendations in the near future, and there is significant pressure for the AAP and ACOG to reconsider their positions.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that the medical benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. They recommend that parents make this decision in consultation with their pediatrician.
During the 19th century, many medical practitioners believed that being circumcised was more hygienic than not being circumcised.
As a result, the routine medical circumcision of all boys, regardless of religious faith, became a widespread practice in England. However, routine male circumcision gradually became less common as many members of the medical community began to argue that it had no real medical benefit in the vast majority of cases.
Globally, an estimated 30% of males have been circumcised, 7% of whom are Muslim. There are an estimated 30,000 ritual circumcisions performed in England each year. The number of operations has fallen from 80% to approximately 56% in the USA in recent years and similar falls have been seen in England and Northern Ireland.