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Leading Pediatric Group Endorses Circumcision

American Academy of Pediatrics approves the procedure in new statement

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By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the uproar in Germany surrounding circumcision. After a regional court ruled that the practice constituted “bodily harm” and “assault,” charges were filed against a respected rabbi and certified mohel who had performed over 3,000 circumcisions. Despite promises by German politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, to safeguard religious freedom, uncertainty reigns across Germany, and many hospitals are no longer performing circumcisions out of fear of prosecution. Likewise, hospitals from Austria to Switzerland have suspended the procedure, citing the German ruling.

This isn’t just an issue of religious freedom—it’s a basic question of public health. That’s because according to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization, among others, circumcision is one of the global health community’s best HIV prevention techniques. As Eric Goosby, the U.S. AIDS coordinator, has said, “Male circumcision is a highly significant, lifetime intervention. It is the gift that keeps on giving. It makes sense to put extraordinary resources into it.” To that end, anti-AIDS organizations are partnering to circumcise 20 million African men by 2015. (Read all about it here.)

Until now, the scientific consensus surrounding circumcision has driven policy in Africa, but not the United States. Today, that changes.

A leaked copy of the new American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on circumcision, scheduled to be released on Monday, reveals a change in the prestigious medical body’s previous position (set in 1999) on the medical benefits of the procedure from “neutral” to “pro.” It details how a comprehensive evaluation of research from the last 15 years demonstrates that the medical benefits of circumcision—including “prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections”—outweigh the risks.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. The AAP is a driving force behind health policy in America, and the experts involved in its new statement are already going on record in major media outlets to advocate that circumcision be covered on public health plans like Medicaid. The statement solidifies the scientific consensus behind the advisability of infant male circumcision (noting that complications are more likely to arise when the procedure is performed later in life) and places the traditional practice squarely within the realm of sound medical science.

This is not just good news for the United States, where obscurantist anti-circumcision groups have sought to completely ban this medically beneficial practice rather than allow families to choose whether to perform it. It’s also a powerful rebuttal to the flawed reasoning of the German court in Cologne, which ruled that circumcision generally constitutes “bodily harm,” yet made allowances for circumcisions performed for “medical reasons.” Thanks to the AAP, we can now state that all circumcisions are medically beneficial. If German courts continue to prosecute Jews and Muslims for practicing circumcision, then we will know that this animus is rooted not in science or fact, but in ignorance and prejudice.

The abstract and full statement of the AAP:

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.

POLICY STATEMENT

Systematic evaluation of English-language peer-reviewed literature from 1995 through 2010 indicates that preventive health benefits of elective circumcision of male newborns outweigh the risks of the procedure. Benefits include significant reductions in the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life and, subsequently, in the risk of heterosexual acquisition of HIV and the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections.

The procedure is well tolerated when performed by trained professionals under sterile conditions with appropriate pain management. Complications are infrequent; most are minor, and severe complications are rare. Male circumcision performed during the newborn period has considerably lower complication rates than when performed later in life.

Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner.

Parents ultimately should decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male child. They will need to weigh medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs and practices. The medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families.

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In the Middle Ages, Jews were accused of “causing” the plague, because they didn’t get it as frequently as non-Jews in the same population. The reason: Jews bathed ritually. Once again, Jewish ritual practice will have a proven hygienic benefit and I predict, once again, Jews will be blamed for the transmission of disease because they won’t get it.

TTabletmag
needs to get off its high-horse and stop with these intellectually dishonest
editorials written as news-pieces on circumcision. The difference between
Europe and the US on circumcision has nothing to do with prejudice against Jews
or Muslims; rather it’s a reflection of different medical philosophies.
The AAP is about to become the only western medical body to recommend
circumcision while most European ones discourage it in all cases other than
when religion dictates it. That’s because in America the emphasis is
always put on preventing disease and saving money while in Europe it is put on
the well being of the patient. European medical authorities see no point
in removing healthy tissue, scarring the penis and altering how it functions (making
internal skin external, destroying a mucous-membrane etc) in order to slightly
decrease the chance of the spread of disease. After all we don’t remove
the outer labias from vaginas just because that would also reduce the spread of
STDs (see the Tanzania studies and remember some medical groups used to
recommend this too), just as we don’t remove appendixes at birth to prevent
appendicitis and we don’t remove earlobes to prevent skin-cancer. It’s
simply bad medical practice. Europeans put the sexual function of the
adult over the potential for avoiding diseases (which BTW Tabletmag is NOT a
“health benefit,” it’s a theoretical decrease in the chance of
getting disease). The American approach is simply bad public health
policy and highlighting it to show a lack of bias against Jews is silly because
this has nothing to do with Jews. Despite the common belief in Jewish
publications the world really doesn’t revolve around us. Circumcision for
religious reasons is the right decision for many Jewish families but
recommending it to prevent disease is ridiculous. Accordingly saying that the
well-thought out decisions of European medical authorities are being made out
of bias against Jews is simply ridiculous.
Circumcision shouldn’t be outlawed but it should certainly be
discouraged in non-religious families.
In any case, religious Jews should want this, isn’t the whole point of
the tradition to differentiate ourselves from non-Jews?!? What good is circumcision for Jews if most
gentiles in the US are circumcised?

Another
point the AAP’s decision brings up is the separation of church and state or in
this case the separation of “shul and state.”
It’s bad medicine to bring religious and cultural traditions into the
picture. I’m frankly shocked that a
medical authority encourages not only families but doctors and the general
public to default to religious tradition.
When religion and medicine are mixed it is bad for both religion and
medicine. Religious tradition should
play no role in whether a medical procedure is advisable for the public at
large (for individual families of course it should play a role if
appropriate). Religious traditions need
no scientific basis. Despite the
American medical establishments bizarre love for the procedure there is still
no real reason to circumcise a child other than religious faith. Considering the increasing number of American
Jews not circumcising their children as they come to understand the consequences
of the procedure TabletMag would be advised to treat the matter with more
nuance and respect instead of making it a black and white issue based on
manipulative and false premises.

yidishkind says:

Tabletmag
needs to get off its high-horse and stop with these intellectually dishonest
editorials written as news-pieces on circumcision. The difference between
Europe and the US on circumcision has nothing to do with prejudice against Jews
or Muslims; rather it’s a reflection of different medical philosophies.
The AAP is about to become the only western medical body to recommend
circumcision while most European ones discourage it in all cases other than
when religion dictates it. That’s because in America the emphasis is
always put on preventing disease and saving money while in Europe it is put on
the well being of the patient. European medical authorities see no point
in removing healthy tissue, scarring the penis and altering how it functions (making
internal skin external, destroying a mucous-membrane etc) in order to slightly
decrease the chance of the spread of disease. After all we don’t remove
the outer labias from vaginas just because that would also reduce the spread of
STDs (see the Tanzania studies and remember some medical groups used to
recommend this too), just as we don’t remove appendixes at birth to prevent
appendicitis and we don’t remove earlobes to prevent skin-cancer. It’s
simply bad medical practice. Europeans put the sexual function of the
adult over the potential for avoiding diseases (which BTW Tabletmag is NOT a
“health benefit,” it’s a theoretical decrease in the chance of
getting disease). The American approach is simply bad public health
policy and highlighting it to show a lack of bias against Jews is silly because
this has nothing to do with Jews. Despite the common belief in Jewish
publications the world really doesn’t revolve around us. Circumcision for
religious reasons is the right decision for many Jewish families but
recommending it to prevent disease is ridiculous. Accordingly saying that the
well-thought out decisions of European medical authorities are being made out
of bias against Jews is simply ridiculous.
Circumcision shouldn’t be outlawed but it should certainly be
discouraged in non-religious families.
In any case, religious Jews should want this, isn’t the whole point of
the tradition to differentiate ourselves from non-Jews?!? What good is circumcision for Jews if most
gentiles in the US are circumcised?

Another
point the AAP’s decision brings up is the separation of church and state or in
this case the separation of “shul and state.”
It’s bad medicine to bring religious and cultural traditions into the
picture. I’m frankly shocked that a
medical authority encourages not only families but doctors and the general
public to default to religious tradition.
When religion and medicine are mixed it is bad for both religion and
medicine. Religious tradition should
play no role in whether a medical procedure is advisable for the public at
large (for individual families of course it should play a role if
appropriate). Religious traditions need
no scientific basis. Despite the
American medical establishments bizarre love for the procedure there is still
no real reason to circumcise a child other than religious faith. Considering the increasing number of American
Jews not circumcising their children as they come to understand the consequences
of the procedure TabletMag would be advised to treat the matter with more
nuance and respect instead of making it a black and white issue based on
manipulative and false premises.

Jackno says:

The AAP has again not considered the most basic risk of harm to the man that the baby becomes. They have not investigated the structure and function of the parts cut off. They do not know how many nerve endings are cut or what they do. They do not know how the cut affects masturbation and sex.

It is estimated hat from about 10000 to 100000 specialized nerve endings are cut with this WOUNDING. What about the 100%RISK of harm to the sensory system?

The knowledge of the cut affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years so there is NO IF AS TO SEXUAL HARM, it is a matter of HOW BAD IS IT for the average guy. Maimonides (the Torah scholar) noted that the act that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. Kellogg declared a ‘war on masturbation’ at the end of the 19th century and advocated circumcision to curb male sexual urges by removing the main male pleasure parts.
I hope the AAP has at least considered recent medical studies identify a correlation between circumcision and sexual health harm. The International Journal of Men’s Health published results of a study that showed circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to loss of sensitivity. In a further study, The British Journal of Urology International reports that circumcised men can experience up to a 75 percent reduction in sensitivity compared to men who are not circumcised.
It is an observed REAL POPULATION FACT that in the US, and in all developed countries, the cut men get HIV (HPV and other STDs) at about the same rate as intact (natural penis) men. Some studies even show cut being MORE at risk for HIV. A study on Circumcision from Puerto Rico shows “Circumcised men have accumulated larger numbers of STI in their lifetime, have higher rates of previous diagnosis of warts, and were more likely to have HIV infection.” There is clear evidence that “Circumcision does not appear to shield men from most types of STDs in developed nations”. Journal of Pediatrics, MARCH 2008. So there is no STD advantage to removing parts of a babies penis. We need to defund this across the board and that includes defunding the mutilation of African Men.
Most countries have moved past the issue of believing in any benefits to cutting up a babies penis, cutting thousands of nerve endings and now focus on the fact that it violates human rights and it is essentially a criminal act.
The knowledge of the cut affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years so there is NO IF AS TO SEXUAL HARM, it is a matter of HOW BAD IS IT for the average guy. Maimonides (the Torah scholar) noted that the act that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. Kellogg declared a ‘war on masturbation’ at the end of the 19th century and advocated circumcision to curb male sexual urges by removing the main male pleasure parts.

I hope the AAP has at least considered recent medical studies identify a correlation between circumcision and sexual health harm. The International Journal of Men’s Health published results of a study that showed circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction due to loss of sensitivity. In a further study, The British Journal of Urology International reports that circumcised men can experience up to a 75 percent reduction in sensitivity compared to men who are not circumcised.

It is an observed REAL POPULATION FACT that in the US, and in all developed countries, the cut men get HIV (HPV and other STDs) at about the same rate as intact (natural penis) men. Some studies even show cut being MORE at risk for HIV. A study on Circumcision from Puerto Rico shows “Circumcised men have accumulated larger numbers of STI in their lifetime, have higher rates of previous diagnosis of warts, and were more likely to have HIV infection.” There is clear evidence that “Circumcision does not appear to shield men from most types of STDs in developed nations”. Journal of Pediatrics, MARCH 2008. So there is no STD advantage to removing parts of a babies penis. We need to defund this across the board and that includes defunding the mutilation of African Men.

Most countries have moved past the issue of believing in any benefits to cutting up a babies penis, cutting thousands of nerve endings and now focus on the fact that it violates human rights and it is essentially a criminal act.

yidishkind says:

Elizabeth, please do some research on circumcision before making such ridiculous statements. I know two people with HIV and they are both straight Jews who are circumcised. Certainly nobody is about to blame the Jews for them not getting HIV, they already have it!

ml66uk says:

What other medical organizations say:

Canadian Paediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/fn/fn96-01.htm
“Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/pregnancy&babies/circumcision.htm
“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
http://www.racp.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=65118B16-F145-8B74-236C86100E4E3E8E
“In the absence of evidence of risk of substantial harm, informed parental choice should be respected. Informed parental consent should include the possibility that the ethical principle of autonomy may be better fulfilled by deferring the circumcision to adolescence with the young man consenting on his own behalf.”
(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.)

British Medical Association
http://bma.org.uk/-/media/Files/PDFs/Practical%20advice%20at%20work/Ethics/Circumcision.pdf
“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.”

The Royal Dutch Medical Association
http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Diensten/knmgpublicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm
“The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications.”

This is good news. Parents have been waiting many years for an updated, and more concise statement on circumcision from the AAP. It is good that they are stating that the health benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks. This could provide more clarity to parents who have their boys circumcised. This could lead to an increase in the number of non-Jewish boys benefitting from circumcision.

Dick Stanley says:

Indeed, way to go AAP.

yidishkind says:

Nobody “benefits” from circumcision. Tens of thousands of men are trying to re-grow their foreskins to replace some of what they’ve lost. Why don’t you do some research other than consulting the AAP before making such statements. The AAP is so backwards they tried to recommend a form of female circumcision two years ago! Furthermore, from a Jewish perspective the more non-Jews who are left intact the better. The point of circumcision after all is to distinguish Jews from non-Jews. What good is it if all non-Jews are circumcised in America.

Minami says:

They are just trying to make infant circumcision look like a good thing because of all the anti-circumcision sentiment that has been happening for the past few years.

Minami says:

Nobody benefits from having part of their penis amputated. For whatever reason, Americans like to think that circumcision is a substitute for condoms and bathing.

Email Me says:

They brand men like a herd of cows. American men are such wimps to let their sons be subjected to this absurd surgery. If it were women tied down & cut, the Feminists would be howling all over the world. The male genitals are a cheap commodity. There is no argument too absurd for the circumcisers. They insult the appearance of the intact penis, claim that circumcision heals everything from body warts to HIV, and draw an illogical distinction between female & male genitals. Circumcision is a barbarian practice, supported by nothing but anti-male arguments. Circumcision is the mark of a slave, my friends.

“Medical organizations are political associations of doctors that have a
duty to represent the interests of their doctor members, of whom some
may profit by performing circumcision. The protection of the income and
estates of the members may be given high
priority. This duty to the members may in some instances prevent
complete candor about the effects of non-therapeutic circumcision.

Generally, the alleged prophylactic benefits of male circumcision are
overstated while the risks, complications, certain injury, and other
drawbacks are understated. Human rights, legal, and ethical issues
usually glossed over. The content of circumcision policy statements may
also be influenced by religious and political considerations.”

- from the CIRP Library (www.cirp.org/library)

ricky2B says:

ENDORSE it without RECOMMENDING it? What kind of doublespeak is
this, other than trade association protection of a revenue source for
its members? They can’t endorse it, because they may be held liable for
the billions spent on botches every year. Their house of cards is falling,
the one that says this brutal, prehistoric blood ritual has “medical”
or “health” value. Outside the US, non-circumcised males have much
better genital health than circumcised US males. The US has 600% more
cases of HIV than some European countries and Japan; the US has 300%
more HIV cases than the worst country in Europe. Is it time to ask if
circumcision causes the spread of HIV? Or why not research why and how
non-circumcised nations attain low HIV rates, rather than ginning up more pseudo-science that says circumcision prevents it?

You are wrong. They do NOT “endorse” it. They say “health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns” but the benefits outweigh the risks and then, as they always have, leave it up to parents.

Yet their own ethicist, Dr Douglas Diekema is on oath as saying, “the request of a parent or surrogate decision-maker is never sufficient to justify a particular clinical intervention.” (The same Dr Diekema has never recanted his support of a token ritual nick to girls’ genitals “much less extensive than neonatal male genital cutting” that was the AAP’s policy for a month in 2010 until a storm of public outrage forced it to backtrack).

Their policy exaggerates the benefits and minimizes the risks. For example, there are no good statistical studies of major complications or deaths, so it simply ignores them. It cherry-picks data and misrepresents it. For example it cites a study that found “circumcision [removes] the most senstive part of the penis” but ignores that finding – in fact it ignores the foreskin as much as it can, neither defining it nor considering its unique structure and many functions.

It discusses one circumcision clamp’s action without mentioning that its maker has gone out of business after losing lawsuits worth millions to the families of boys who lost too much in the clamps.

Its pro-circumcision bias is manifest – as is its financial interest in getting your taxes and health insurance premiums into their pockets through public funding of circumcision.

brian2907 says:

Whether brit milah is medically beneficial or not is a moot point, like whether refraining from eating chazzir is beneficial or not. It’s entirely irrelevant to the commandment beholden on Jews and the first given to Avraham avinu. That Jews could even debate whether to circumcise their sons or not is almost impossible to believe seeing it’s been part of Judaism for 3,500 years. Had my parents not had me circumcised as an infant I would have been furious with them having to have it done as an adult. No uncircumcised male can enter into the covenant between Am Yisrael and HaShem.

Hey, AAP members, how many of you are circumcised yourself?

Katapaltes says:

Regarding the Policy Statement section above that mentions the rarity of complications and the lower complication rates when performed later in life: May I ask what of the babies who die every year as a direct result of their circumcision? While not typical, this does sometimes happen in cases where there is an infection at the wound site and where a “thin-blooded” baby bleeds freely into his highly-absorbent diaper. Even if complication rates are higher later in life, at least an older patient could be an active participant in his own care, and he could *communicate* that he feels ill or *notice* that he is bleeding profusely – not to mention he could then give his consent to a body-altering procedure.

SteveB954 says:

The idea that male circumcision has medical benefits is based on the false cultural and religious believe that a male’s foreskin has no value or function.

Cultures that cut the genitals of children devalue the parts they cut off. American attitudes about normal, intact male genitals are similar to African attitudes about normal, intact female genitals.

It’s too late to worry about whether Jewish boys should be differentiated from non-Jewish boys. The majority of non-Jewish boys in America have been circumcised for the past century. It is clear that the majority of Christian parents in America believe in circumcision and that both Jewish and non-Jewish boys will continue to be circumcised.

yidishkind says:

Rebecca your arrogance is stunning. The majority of American men were circumcised in the hospital without their parents thinking twice about it. Millions were circumcised without their parents even being consulted. The more people think about the issue, the fewer are circumcised. Very few Christians “believe” in circumcision, it’s become something that’s done routinely not out of belief but out of habit. Don’t assign meaning to events that isn’t there. If any good will come out of this AAP statement it will be that more parents will think twice about this issue.

Minami says:

Circumcision does not prevent HIV. In Zimbabwe, circumcised men have a higher rate of HIV than uncircumcised men.

Since the AAP will basically be endorsing male circumcision by stating that its health benefits outweigh the risks, some are predicting that the circumcision rate in America will go up. The press is already reporting the APP statement as being a change from a neutral tone to pro-circumcision:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865561233/US-Academy-of-Pediatrics-will-endorse-circumcision-just-as-Germany-bans-it.html

Rebecca if you think Christianity has anything to do with circumcision, you are confused: Gal 5:2.

They are misreporting it. It says the benefits are insufficent to recommend circumcision all male babies. (But they are to be forgiven because the AAP obfuscates its own “finding”.)

Only the men. But Dr Diekema has never repented of recommending token ritual nicking of girls.

They give no evidence that the complication rate is lower when performed later. Because there are no statistics of major complications (and deaths) only case reports, they ignore them.

Here are contact details for more than 80 celebrants of Brit Shalom (Brit bl’i Milah – non-surgical naming ceremonies), more than 40 of them rabbis, in 30 US states and several overseas countries including Israel. The most recent is an associate professor of religious studies and a rabbi. http://tinyurl.com/britshalom

And your hypothetical is moot. You assume that everything else would have turned out exactly as it did. Anyone growing up intact is very likely to find excellent theological reasons for staying that way.

You’re playing word games, too. The statement says: “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks”. That is basically an endorsement. It is a shift in tone from the previously neutral position to one which is pro-circumcision. It will therefore be reported as such by the American press on Monday morning when the statement is released nationally.

How is putting your child at more risk for contracting various diseases, including AIDS, and at greater risk of complications if they decide to get circumcised later in life, helping the child?

European (and American) parents who care about the health and well-being of their male children, will put aside their anti-Semitism, ignore circumcision’s association with Judaism and have their male babies circumcised as soon after birth as possible for its obvious – and secular – health benefits.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is a Jewish religious organization of… what? Mohels and rabbis?… and not a secular organization of physicians? Who knew?

Oh, please. The procedure has been done literally for thousands of
years and the only tangible “effects” so far, apparently, are over 160
Nobel Peace Prizes and rising to the top of every society in which Jews
are allowed freely to practice their faith – including, of course,
circumcision.

As an aside, the basic rule for comparing Europe and the U.S.: America
is vibrant civilization, Europe and Scandinavia are dying
civilizations. In most differences in approach to any issue, 99.999999%
of the time, the U.S. is right, everyone else is wrong. We did not
become the world’s only superpower by accident.

As for the sources you cite, none of the quotes you post call for
banning the procedure and therefore offer any support to your argument
whatsoever. But more than that, they provide proof, as if any is
needed, that America has the best health care system in the world. And
we’re in the forefront of medical advances, as the Academy’s endorsement
of circumcision proves. Expect the other organizations to follow in
due time. And until then, let us all do what we can to minimize the
number of Africans who die of AIDS if the anti-circumcision (read,
anti-Semitic) movement reduces the number of circumcision performed on
African males.

Bottom line: If you don’t want your kids circumcised, fine. But how
dare those who don’t (read, gentiles) dictate their preferences (read,
prejudices) to the Jewish people by outlawing this most sacred ritual.

And were you born with your ability to read minds or did you acquire it. And if members of a professional organization can be motivated by the profit motive, why cannot such people, who are, after all, human beings, not also be motivated by prejudice?

Your logic is absurd, as anyone who has had a operation can tell you. There is risk in even the simplest procedure, such as a colonoscopy, which everyone above the age of 40 is advised to have for it’s ability to detect polyps that can cause colon cancer. Before performing the procedure, my doctor required me to sign a form stating that I understood the risks and would not sue if something went wrong. Ditto for a procedure to clear my nasal passages, minor enough to be done under local anesthesia.

But here’s the big question for those who would ban circumcision: Whatever harm you perceive from the procedure, it of course pales in comparison to the harm, including several deaths, that have resulted from “safe” abortions (and where, I would guess, the patent also signs a form acknowledging understanding and accepting of the risks). Can we agree, then, that if we should ban circumcision, then we should definitely ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest? (What is the logic of killing a victim of rape or incest?)

It happens in abortions, too. Do you support banning all abortions because of their risk to the mother? Just checking to see if you’re consistent.

You’re a doctor, right? Performed many circumcisions?

Oh, then you read the report? The article says that it won’t be released until Monday, yet you already know what evidence is presented in it. Back to the future!

Or maybe they’re a doctors’ organization that set religious prejudice aside and just looked at the actual facts and evidence.

The prejudice and ignorance on this thread are really astounding. As medical procedures go, circumcision is on the level of the kind of superficial cosmetic surgery that is performed millions of times a year, often as an outpatient procedure.

According to the article, the report will provide evidence that circumcision does, indeed, limit the spread of AIDS.

You can say that an “idea” is based on whatever you want, but this is a medical report, by pediatricians, not a group of rabbis. As for the value of the foreskin, I would suggest waiting for the actual report – which, let’s all remember, will not be released until Monday – the article (which may or may not reflect the actual report) does not say that the report places no value on the foreskin; it says that whatever value it might have is outweighed by the health benefits of removing it, and the health risks of keeping it.

According to my “intact” Christian friend, the only “benefit” he’s derived is a more pleasurable sensation during sex. Which is fine if you’re a gentile. But to this Jew, the continued survival of the Jewish people and keeping Abraham’s covenant far, far, outweighs a little diminished sexual pleasure. And isn’t that really the whole basis of morality: to sacrifice some personal pleasure for a higher purpose?

If “tens of thousands” of men are trying to regrow their foreskins, then hundreds of millions of other men must not.

I’m sure there are an equal number of older men (and women) with tattoos that they would like to remove.

Did you actually read the article? Nowhere in the excerpts from the actual report does the report “endorse” or “recommend” anything. Here’s the sole “endorsement:” “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.”

In other words, another medical professional organization “endorsed” the Academy’s conclusions. Though the article does not specifically say, it’s a reasonable assumption that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists would not have endorsed the statement without a scientific basis for doing so – which would seem to include reading the report and examining the data.

So, in fact, TWO medical organizations can find no basis for banning circumcision.

ricky2B says:

Read the header for THIS article: “Leading Pediatric Group Endorses Circumcision/American Academy of Pediatrics approves the procedure in new statement” No matter what you believe, it IS part of the article; in fact it is the most important part to those who read no further. It is where the worst pandering is done with impunity. And this too: The popular media is where these “policies” get their appearance of validity, and acceptance by the public. Why did AAP leak it to favorable outlets ahead of time? For all practical purposes the news article becomes part of the report. Popular media is part of the program of selling circumcision for profit. This sort of drivel will once again be used in pediatrics offices for selling a useless product. It will be “interpreted” by doctors as saying parents must circumcise their sons, that they may be prosecuted for child neglect if they do not, that their sons will be unhealthy and socially unacceptable. This is NOT a neutral statement from AAP. It boosts circumcision without any justification for doing that. If it’s so great that any parents should risk death, penis amputation, and other major complications (at least 15% require surgery to correct), why do they NOT recommend it without reservation?

ricky2B says:

That some circumcisions go well is no excuse for continuing to maim those whose do not go well; matters not whether it’s physical maiming or psychic maiming. The man the boy becomes has to live with results of a decision made by someone else.

One must be 18 to 21 to get a tattoo, depending on jurisdiction. By that time he’s presumed to have ability to decide about, and accept results of, permanent body modifications. Circumcision is forced on boys who have no say, and are incapable of giving consent.

ricky2B says:

Since so many Jewish parents are now leaving sons foreskins alone, it may become necessary to identify Jews by their intelligence, inventiveness, adaptability, perseverance, and compassion for less fortunate others, rather than by a mutilating body marking. The non-body “marks” are the ones I find attractive in so many Jews; I do not accept that circumcision is the most essential, most core aspect of being a Jew. I mean, how then can a woman be a Jew?

ricky2B says:

By the way, Jews invented foreskin restoration long before any goyem were circumcised. Youth wanted to play in Greek games during Hellenistic era: Nudity mandatory, exposed glans not permitted. (Greeks with short foreskin used rawhide tether to keep it closed.) One of the restoring devices was called by the Romans, Pondus Judeaus (Jewish weight). Restoring was easy and quick (a few months to a year or so) as Jews had most of their foreskins left in place until about 153CE. A few leaders got pissed about the restoring and the radical cut of today was begun. US medicine adopted the radical version and made it worse. A US Jewish boy cut by a mohel is more likely to have a loose cut than one cut by a doctor. Restoring now takes from 2-10 years, depending on degree of cut. Some are so tight every erection is extremely painful. Yup, pain at the organ of pleasure. Some men quit restoring as soon as they have enough slack to end the pain of erections.

SteveB954 says:

Because there are effective, non-invasive ways to prevent and treat medical problems related to a male’s foreskin, it is unethical and inappropriate for a doctor to use surgery on a non-consenting minor, instead of using the non-invasive methods first.

Only someone who has very little knowledge of and appreciation for a normal, intact penis would call circumcision superficial cosmetic surgery. Male circumcision removes the most sensitive part of a male’s penis. Male circumcision changes the look and function of the penis.

SteveB954 says:

If a parent were to tattoo their son or pierce their son’s penis, they would go to jail. Male circumcision is a form of permanent body modification. Like other forms of permanent body modification, male circumcision should be a decision a adult makes for himself.

It’s important not to put everyone in the same category. It is only a minority of people who want to prohibit circumcision. The large majority of gentiles support the right of Jews to circumcise their boys and understand its religious significance. And it’s also important to remember that the majority of gentile boys in America are circumcised, so obviously most gentile parents have respect for it. It may be different in Europe, but in America the majority of parents support circumcision for boys.

One can debate whether or not the AAP “endorse” it, but the key point is that this statement appears to be a change in position from a neutral tone in the previous version, to a pro-circumcision tone in the new version. Let’s look at it again – the statement says: “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.” Thus, stating that male circumcision’s health benefits OUTWEIGH the risks means they are leaning in favor of circumcision being a healthy choice for boys. They are also advocating that it be covered by medical insurance and made available to all parents who choose it. Therefore, while they may not use the word “endorse”, the AAP is nevertheless endorsing the benefits of male circumcision.

No baby has ever signed a consent for his own circumcision. Circumcision affects not only the baby, but the man he is to become.
Abortion is another subject with different participants, but the short answer is that whenever they may begin, human rights do not END at birth.

You’re right they do not endorse it, but they have cleverly spun their words – the policy has been held up for years by closed-doorrs wrangling – to make it look as though they do. The statement about the diseases prevented is false. They merely summarised various cherry-picked procirc studies and then claimed without evidence that the benefits outweighed the risks. Specialists in women’s health and childbirth have no business doing surgery on male babies who will grow up to be men, with their own opinions about what parts of their own bodies they want to keep.

Yes I have. It’s been leaked.

The mother gives consent to the abortion. The baby does not give consent to the circumcision. Got it now?

Absolutely. They have a strong prejudice against intact genitalia.

Nobody wants to prohibit circumcision. All anybody wants to do is put an age-restriction on it so that the person most affected – the only person directly affected – can decide about it for himself.

I have to smile at the number of people who think that cutting off a baby’s foreskin make the man more likely to win a Nobel prize. Magic indeed!

Since you keep changing the topic to abortion, do you also think that only an abortionist should have an opinion about abortion?

You can debate whether or not the AAP “endorse” it, but the key point is that this statement appears to be a change in position from a neutral tone in the previous version, to a pro-circumcision tone in the new version. Let’s look at it again – the statement says: “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.” Thus, stating that male circumcision’s health benefits OUTWEIGH the risks means they are leaning in favor of circumcision being a healthy choice for boys. They are also advocating that it be covered by medical insurance and made available to all parents who choose it. Therefore, while they may not use the word “endorse”, the AAP is nevertheless endorsing the benefits of male circumcision.

Minami says:

Then why does Japan, where 0.2% of men are circumcised, have an HIV rate of less than 0.01% while the USA, where 70%-80% of men are circumcised, has an HIV rate of 0.6%?

Minami says:

Then why is it that only the USA found benefits of childhood circumcision when Finland, Canda, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden all state that circumcision of children has no benefits and recommend against it? Is circumcision somehow different in the USA than it is in say… the Netherlands? Because unless all those countries, all of which have better health care systems than the USA, have a very different way of performing circumcision, the USA is biased and stands alone in its stance.

I had this “surgery” at the age of 20 and I have to say that there are only benefits to it – better sex , everything is cleaner , and for myself I would prefer that my parents had decided for me and done it before i could remember.

yidishkind says:

That has nothing to do with my comment which was about the history of circumcision. I don’t get your hatred of male anatomy and your enthusiasm for this but whatever. Do you agree with the AAP’s 2010 attempt to recommend female circumcision too? Really of all the organizations whose advice I’d follow the AAP is pretty low on the list. I’m Jewish and I’m not going to circumcise any children I have in the future male or female, no matter what the AAP or any Rabbi might tell me to do.

Putting an age restriction on it, postponing it to adulthood, is effectively to single out practicing Jews for attack, not only forbidding their traditional religious practice, one of the most central in Judaism, but penalizing them later in life for doing it, and yes, that does sound rather antisemitic. Doing circumcision on the eighth day generally has next to no pain associated with it and is well tolerated by the baby, but doing it to young adults is a totally different story, much more terrifying, more painful, and more likely to lead to complications according to the literature I have read. It also has more impact on later sexual sensation.

At the time of my own son’s circumcision, done by a very expert Hassidic mohel in Kiryat Bialik, Israel, he made a small cry, really just an exclamation, and that was it. I was far more tense and anxious than he was. He was soon asleep, and the total healing process took just a few days. This is the case with almost all circumcisions I have witnessed in later years. Traditional mohels do an excellent job. The most painful and longest-drawn-out one I ever saw, in fact, was one done in an Australian community by a doctor who I think must not have often done this procedure before. He tied down the baby (which really upset it terrifically), gave it local anaesthetic and treated the whole thing like an operation. All those present, and not just the baby, were in agony. Experienced mohels really are the best ones to do circumcisions.

I recommend the article by David Goldman on this website, “The Sacred Rite of Circumcision,” http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/108801/sacred-rite-of-circumcision

No embryo has ever signed a consent for his own extermination. By this criterion, all abortion, of whatever sort, should be banned. There really is nothing magical about birth that changes the embryo to a real child eight days later.

Julie B says:

follow the money …

You’re correct that experienced mohels do a good job. That is why many non-Jewish celebrities and important people, including Queen Elizabeth II, have hired mohels to circumcise their boys. It takes only 30 seconds for the mohel to remove the foreskin and it is a much better procedure than that done in the hospital by inexperienced practitioners.

An increasing number of press articles are reporting on the new AAP statement today, and as predicted, they are emphasizing the fact that this statement has transitioned from its previously neutral tone to a tone more in favor of circumcision.

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1247322–circumcision-pluses-outweigh-risks-say-u-s-pediatricians

“It’s also a powerful rebuttal to the flawed
reasoning of the German court in Cologne, which ruled that circumcision
generally constitutes “bodily harm,” yet made allowances for
circumcisions performed for “medical reasons.”
This is 2nd grade logic. Any body part removed is obviously not going to cause problems in the future. How absurd is this argument? What other body part is removed to prevent a disease? Especially when there is marginal benefit at best?

Unreal!

Aleksei Pimen says:

Rebecca:
Evolution has determined that mammals’ genitals should be sheathed in a protective, responsive, multipurpose foreskin. Every normal human being is born with a foreskin. It is not just a “piece of skin” but an actual nerve dense membrane. In females, it protects the glans of the clitoris; in males, it has at least 4 major functions:
1) PROTECTIVE: It covers the urinary opening keeping the mucous membrane soft and moist. And in infants protects the urethra against contamination, meatal stenosis.
2) SENSORY: It contains 20,000 to 70,000 erogenous nerve endings.
3) SEXUAL: It provides the tissue necessary for full erection and the gliding mechanism necessary for normal sexual function.
4) IMMUNOLOGICAL: Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral protein enzymes such as lysozyme that breaks down cell walls of pathogens.
By the way, the foreskin is also important embryologically in the formation of the end of the penis and the urethra. If there is no foreskin the urethral opening is not at the end of the penis where it should be, but somewhere on the underside of the penis (A birth defect known as hypospadia) It probably has other unknown advantages as well. Thus, the foreskin is an essential part of human sexual anatomy.
As far as the hygienic arguments they are nothing but rationalizations. Actually the foreskin has a self-cleaning mechanism – like the eyelid or the inner labia. Also, there is also absolutely no need for the pediatrician to forcibly retract a baby or child’s foreskin. Male genitalia are no more prone to infection than female genitalia (less so, in fact), circumcized or not. If the foreskin were really such a liability, we would likely have evolved out of it long ago after we all routinely died of foreskin infections. By saying that foreskin is a risk, it perpetuates the notion that it is a disease carrier that should be destroyed. There is no scientific evidence that having a foreskin, in and of itself, will lead to health problems, with or without daily hygiene. I really wish people would stop relying on an argument that implies having a foreskin is a risk if you don’t have running water.
To those defending circumcision on STD grounds, well they are either claiming that infants are sexually active and must be protected, or that parents may make preemptive, invasive decisions about the future, adult sexual lives of their infant children. Either proposition is ridiculous on its face. And why are we assuming that the child is going to be a promiscuous man who won’t ever learn to use a condom, which, even given the science, would supersede circumcision. Keep in mind also that the US has one of the highest if not the highest rate of STDs in the rich world, and yet the US has the highest rate of circumcision in the rich world.
As far as the cultural issue yes it’s true that logical, reasoned, fact-backed arguments detailing why circumcision should not be practiced on minors will make no headway, particularly since many hearing these arguments are circumcised boys and men who have to reconcile the fact that they do not have all of their sexual organ that they were born with and that it was their parents (the two people entrusted to care most for them) who took it away.
It’ just floors me to see how parents can subject their newborn sons to such a horrific and clinically unnecessary procedure. The babies scream when it is done. That is because it is horrifying and excruciating to the point where some withdraw into a state of neurogenic shock (coma) due to sudden massive pain. Of course if there is a clear and compelling medical condition that necessitates it when they are older, that’s different. And even then it’’s regrettable.
Finally, at the time in ancient Palestine, some people must have gradually realized (without having any knowledge about bacteria or viruses) that the uncircumsized male genitals, under prevailing hygienic practices and limitations, could cause bodily harm to the males and their sexual partners. Similarly, it was realized that pork and certain kinds of seafood, without the help of refrigerators will spoil easily cause diseases. So, what to do? Certain codes of behavior were necessary. And, to encourage those behaviors, their “sanctification” was the way.
Now, I understand that we have to respect religious customs but it is mind-boggling that in 2012 people have no problem accepting that “a supernatural being requires parents to slice off a part of their helpless infant boys as a sign of faith or tribal identity. Why would a loving and intelligent creator design you with something he wanted chopped off immediately? Wouldn’’t he just omit it in the first place? Any god who demands that his believers be mutilated and branded on their genitals is a god of questionable ethics.
It is all so utterly and mystifyingly stupid.
I really despair sometimes.

Finally! After a century of scraping and scraping for benefits to circumcision, they found ( and invented ) enough to outweigh the risks!
Now let’s see if the rest of the world contiues to deny the wonderful public health benefits of circumcision?

“Then we will know that this animus is rooted not in science or fact, but in ignorance and prejudice.”
Sure, because not following USA, even if they are alone, is ignorance and prejudice.

Aleksei Pimen says:

Well said.
I also think this Yair Rosenberg guy should take a course in logic.
It always amazes me how people who supposedly circumcise out of faith have to dole out all the supposed “medical benefits” of circumcision, when, benefit or detriment, circumcision is this non-negotiable “covenant.”
Is religion simply not enough anymore ?
Without all that scientific “research” for “benefits,” male circumcision stands as naked as female circumcision, and people who wish to preserve circumcision are simply not going to let that happen.
Look who’s behind all this “research” and you’ll start seeing the same usual suspects, some of who come from countries where circumcision is, or was prevalent. Some men happen to be Jewish, and apparently this isn’t a conflict of interest (Fink, Halperin, Schoen etc.).
If circumcision is such an important aspect of their religion/tradition, what does any of it have to do with health and medicine?
Would that science showed that circumcision is medically worthless, if not detrimental to a child, would it somehow really, honestly cause them to abandon circumcision?
You’ll notice that there is no “female circumcision” task force. No “taskforce on trephination.” No “taskforce on neck stretching” at the AAP. That’s because the absence of virtue in mulling these things would be immediately obvious.
The time has come for us to call out circumcision for the quackery that it is; doctors and “researchers” need to be looking for ways to displace circumcision, not ways to see it continue. “Studies” that seek to necessitate surgery in the healthy defy all logic and reason. A doctor’s duty is to medicine, not to blood rituals. They need to be searching for ways to prevent needless surgery in children, not necessitate it. Charging to perform medically unnecessary procedures is medical fraud. In helpless, non-consenting infants, it is assault.

Europeans have never circumcised their children because, believe it or not, it’s incredibly obvious Americans are just trying to justify a CULTURAL norm. It’s health benefits aren’t exactly “obvious”, did you know HIV rate in much higher in USA than in Europe?…
But I guess all European parents are idiots and anti-semitic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is AMERICAN, a country that started to circumcise initially to discourage masturbation ( so they thought anyway ) and has been rationalizing it ever since, claiming it would cure diseases as fancy as epilepsy and cancer of the rectum.

“In most differences in approach to any issue, 99.999999%
of the time, the U.S. is right, everyone else is wrong”
So that’s why HIV rate in USA is three times higher than in Europe, because you do everything better?

” America has the best health care system in the world.”
Sure, the 37th better, just under Costa Rica.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems
Nationalism, the only thing that annoys me more than biggotry.

“I predict, once again, Jews will be blamed for the transmission of disease because they won’t get it.”
Kukoo.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to accuse cut men of “causing” HIV, for in first world they have it MORE often that uncut men.

” Doing circumcision on the eighth day generally has next to no pain associated with it”
Wishful thinking. It has been repeatedly proven newborn babies feel pain just like adults.

Minami says:

It’s not the government’s fault that your religion requires you to force circumcision on a child. They’re not obligated to accommodate you.

Minami says:

You would prefer to have less penis? Never met a man who thought he had so much penis that he’d be willing to cut part of it off.

The embryo does not give consent to its own extermination. Got that now? The mother may have the power of consent, but the embryo does not, for it the mother is merely a third party. Those who are against abortion for any reason have a point, although I go with the traditional halakhic (Jewish) position on this. For a fuller response that shows the very beneficial results for the circumcised child of circumcision, at least for Jews, see my post dealing with these issues above on this webpage.

See my answer to your post, just above.

Yes, on informed consenting adults.

But while they may feel some pain, it is very slight, especially if they are properly prepared, e.g., as traditionally by mohels, by being given a few drops of wine first or other soporific. So usual is it the case that there is little or no pain to the infant in the traditional ceremony of the brith, that the ceremony is often done in the synagogue — as was the case with my son. It is all done very quickly and it does not hinder prayers for those gathered to celebrate. After all, despite all the hullabaloo, all we are talking about is a very small cut of a tiny flap of skin. It is not a big deal in itself. The infant cries far more and longer, every day, about other things, such as a stomach ache or hunger.

Wow, violates “human rights,” even “a criminal act,” now! It is clear where you are coming from, jackno, and where you wish to go! Criminalizing practicing Jews and Judaism, where have I heard that before? As for the horrific “100% RISK of harm to the sensory system” have you any idea how many specialized nerve endings are harmed by the cutting of the umbilical cord? On your reckoning, anyone doing such a cruel operation should be reported to the UN Human Rights Council (given their record, they probably would act on it)! As for the false information about HIV and circumcision, see the items I have posted below in another comment, in which evidence is presented that literally millions of African men’s lives have already been saved by their own communities’ practice of circumcision, and that African governments have rightly funded circumcision amongst other communities in those countries, to save yet more millions of lives. Clearly, Jackno does not regard those millions of lives as being of any importance. This suggests that his outrage (shown in all those capitalized words) really does not have anything to do with medical ethics or actual lives. It springs from other motives.

However, quite apart from the proven benefits for HIV-control in many countries, the justification for allowing circumcision goes beyond even that, certainly for Jews where its benefits are unquestionable and the negative consequences of not circumcising are obvious, as already shown.

This poster clearly disapproves of Judaism as such: he states this explicitly. So he would not mind outlawing it. There are counter-arguments to all of his other points, that would nullify them. E.g., “self-cleaning” mechanisms or not, it is medically proven that germs and other matter accumulates under the prepuce, that men seldom clean those areas effectively, and that the viruses and other matter can often be passed to sexual partners. But there is no point to debating with a person who wishes to outlaw a whole religion and to attack an entire people through prohibition of a very minor medical operation, even when there are even medically more beneficial than negative consequences of this procedure. The basic argument is not rational nor medical at all.

“Hatred of male anatomy,” equivalence to “recommend female circumcision too” — is this guy sane?

Female excision or clictoridectomy properly so-called is not equivalent in any way to male “circumcision” and the application of the same term to both is prejudicial to both sexes. It minimizes the true horror of excision, and wildly maximizes the very tiny significance of removing the prepuce for men. Female excision or clictoridectomy is not about removing a tiny flap of skin, but a basic sexual organ. The true equivalent for men would be castration. Excision is a major operation, extremely painful and highly risky to the victim, as also is the sometimes but not always related removal of the labia. To make excision or clitoridectomy equivalent to male circumcision is simply a debate trick and propaganda deception.

Rebecca, Hugh7 is not willing to accept the AAP findings, no matter how they are worded, so he will continue to characterise them wrongly. You are right, and he is wrong.

Aleksei Pimen thinks that it is suspicious that some but far from all of the medical authorities that support circumcision are Jews. One might also point out that many of the most vociferous and indeed obsessive critics of the very minor operation of circumcision are not only non-Jews but non-Jews who have a “thing” about Jews and the “non-negotiable Jewish ‘covenant’” — like Aleksei Pimen, it appears. The bottom line is, as the AAP has found, that the medical benefits outweigh the very minor negatives, so that all this very angry and heated language about “quackery,” “medical fraud,” “assault,” and the rest is unjustifiable. It is obvious that other issues are really the more important ones, even if not always expressed as clearly as Aleksei does.

Rebecca, of course you are right, but you are not arguing with reasonable people on this website and they will therefore never concede the point.

This is absolutely correct. That, precisely, is why the critics are so adamant against it, when it is such a literally minor matter of a tiny piece of skin. I particularly think Hugh7′s comment just below is indicative of his basic motivation: “Anyone growing up intact is very likely to find excellent theological reasons for staying that way,” i.e., for not joining fully with the Jewish community and religious tradition, and leaving that mark of non-Jew on his very own body. Hugh7 would obviously like that consequence. The Jewish group he cites to support himself is obviously not Orthodox nor even traditional; Orthodox Judaism would effectively be outlawed, but that is OK with him.

On African rates of HIV being sharply lessened, indeed, have a better preventive effect than any other known method of reducing HIV rates, see the articles I have already cited, but I will again put a reference to one here:

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/health/news/article_1421695.php/AIDS-hit_countries_urged_to_increase_male_circumcision

These figures prove nothing either way. The argument also does not reflect other factors relating to frequency of HIV infection.

The alleged decline in sexual sensation due to circumcision is a furphy (unjustifiable statement). Men circumcised in adulthood often report enhanced sexual pleasure and greater ease in reaching orgasm. This was the finding of a study presented at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City in 2008. I do not know how broad the sample was because I have not read the report. But at the least we must admit that the alleged sexual loss from removal of the prepuce remains a moot point, unconfirmed.

yidishkind says:

Nobody said a word about a clitoridectomy, I said female circumcision which is what the AAP tried to legalize in 2010. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Unlike male circumcision female circumcision has about six different types, some are significantly less drastic than male circumcision and some are hundreds of times worse. Although the ones that are the most destructive (those rightfully dubbed “female genital mutilation”) are the most famous in the west, the most common procedure is actually identical to male circumcision i.e. the removal of the prepuce. In men the prepuce is the foreskin, in women it is the clitorial hood. It is a homogoneous structure and it is removed in much of the world for the same reasons that Jews remove male prepuces; it is believed to be cleaner, it is believed to be more aesthetically appealing and it is believed that God commanded it. I know because I had Moroccan friends who were insulted that I was horrified by this. In any case, please read what I wrote more closely. I did not compare not liking foreskin to removing clitorises or any other form of female circumcision, I mentioned the AAP’s attempt to endorse female circumcision in 2010 as a separate thought. You’re conflating the two.

Minami says:

It does prove something: removing your foreskin is NOT essential to prevent STDs and HIV.

Minami says:

Then why do circumcised men in Zimbabwe have a higher rate of HIV than uncircumcised men?

Great that the leading medical authority are in synch with science. Now the intactivists and anti-semites (often the same people) don’t have a leg to stand on.

I do not know, in fact I do not know that what you say is true at all. You have stated this, but not backed it up with any evidence. My statements are given strong and clear confirmation by references. On what do you base your assertions? Give the reference so we can all see for ourselves. There are often a lot of factors that influence disease rates; there are also lots of studies that are of questionable standards or incomplete results. The ones I cited are not, but relate to research conducted over many years by many researchers in many African countries, I believe including Zimbabwe, with consistent findings.

Two points, Minami. One, you have merely stated some figures relating to Japan and the US, but not substantiated them, so maybe you have just imagined those results, or are just reading them into the actual ones you have scanned too briefly. We cannot just take your word for it, but need to check the original sources which you have notably failed to present. Two, I do not claim that circumcision prevents all sexually transmitted diseases or AIDS. The evidence however that they lessen the likelihood of transmission by 65% at least in Africa is confirmed by many studies over many years, as mentioned in my own cited articles. No doubt if those citations are doubted, even though they describe research presented at AIDS medical conferences, I could dig up more. But in any case the argument was never that removing the foreskin is “essential” to prevent STDs and HIV. You have misread the comments relating to that, and this alone suggests a likelihood that you have tendentiously read what you have wanted to into your sources.

In other words, Juden heraus.

PaulHalsall says:

As a gay man I have to say that I prefer them cut! Coming back to the UK after 20 years has been a big problem in this regard. The Jewish men (or other cut Americans) I have biblically “known” do not seem to have had any problem with either sexual pleasure or ejaculation.

I also think there should be no law against male circumcision.

However, the medical benefits appear very marginal, and mainly accrue to African heterosexual men.

Minami says:

The WHO reported these HIV rates and you can find them on their website in their country reports. Also, the HIV studies in Africa are flawed. Aside from the fact that America isn’t in Africa, 1) circumcised men abstained for 6 of the 12 weeks, 2) received safe sex counseling the uncircumcised men did not, and 3) the study was terminated early and followup was never completed.

Minami says:

According to the latest Zimbabwe Health Demographic Survey (ZHDS 2010/2011),
the prevalence rate among the circumcised is 14 percent
while that of the uncircumcised is 12 percent.

You still haven’t explained the ethics of permanently mutilating a child based on religious preferences. I am against any person of any religion removing any part of anyone’s body without a medical indication and without consent. This has nothing to do with what or who you worship. It has everything to do with basic bodily integrity. Your religious rights end where someone else’s body begins. Tradition doesn’t change that. Culture doesn’t change that. No one has to the right to modify another person’s body without their consent.

Your facts are wrong. The 65% prevention in new HIV infections is completely false. You have taken a statistic out of context to make your point. The bottom line is, the absolute reduction in risk derived from the Africa studies was 1.3%. The relative reduction was 60%. A 60% reduction in relative risk of infection in no way means that circumcision prevents six out of ten HIV infections in Africa.

I think the conclusion you are driving toward, BBill, is making it a law in the US that all male children should be removed from observant Jewish families, and putting all observant Jewish parents in prison if they nevertheless try to bring their children up Jewish.

Give a source on the internet one can check, please.

I see, you apparently just reject out of hand any scientific studies and long-term research coming from whatever sources that contradict your own predetermined views. They are just “flawed,” and no further justifications for this assessment are needed. OK, that is clear enough. And, in consonance with that easy dismissal, also merely to say that WHO says this or that without actually giving the website URL is equally easy to do. It is all very easy. No thought is needed at all.

In their article, “A ‘snip’ in time: what is the best age to circumcise?,” BMC Pediatr. 2012, Feb. 28, 2012, the authors (Morris, Waskett, Banerjee, et al.) summarize their research as follows: ”
DISCUSSION:
We show here that infancy is an optimal time for clinical circumcision because an infant’s low mobility facilitates the use of local anesthesia, sutures are not required, healing is quick, cosmetic outcome is usually excellent, costs are minimal, and complications are uncommon. The benefits of infant circumcision include prevention of urinary tract infections (a cause of renal scarring), reduction in risk of inflammatory foreskin conditions such as balanoposthitis, foreskin injuries, phimosis and paraphimosis. When the boy later becomes sexually active he has substantial protection against risk of HIV and other viral sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes and oncogenic human papillomavirus, as well as penile cancer. The risk of cervical cancer in his female partner(s) is also reduced. Circumcision in adolescence or adulthood may evoke a fear of pain, penile damage or reduced sexual pleasure, even though unfounded. Time off work or school will be needed, cost is much greater, as are risks of complications, healing is slower, and stitches or tissue glue must be used.
SUMMARY:Infant circumcision is safe, simple, convenient and cost-effective. The available evidence strongly supports infancy as the optimal time for circumcision.” See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22373281

My facts are not wrong. The 65% figure comes from the August 1, 2008 article I cited as

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/health/news/article_1421695.php/AIDS-hit_countries_urged_to_increase_male_circumcision, which has as its first sentence: “Male circumcision can prevent 65 per cent of new HIV infections in adult heterosexual men, but AIDS-hit countries are lagging in their efforts to promote it, researchers said Tuesday.”

Your 60% figure comes from the other article cited. Nor have I taken a statistic out of context to make my point. The context was given as stated in the original article, and absolutely nothing in it supports your claims. So far as I can see, since you give no source for your assertions, they are your own invention. To help you research the matter, may I suggest you have a look at the wider literature, some of which I cite below.

Back in 2000, an article was published in the journal AIDS, Oct. 20, 2000; 14 (15): 2361-70, by Weiss, Quigley, and Hayes, “Male circumcision and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11089625. It reviewed 27 studies published up to April 1999 that included circumcision as a risk-factor for HIV-1 infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa. Its conclusion was: “Male circumcision is associated with a significantly reduced risk of HIV infection among men in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly those at high risk of HIV.” The study recommended promotion of circumcision in those countries.

In July 2008, in HIV Med. 9 (6): 332-5, Mills, Cooper, Anema and Guyatt published “Male Circumcision for the prevention of heterosexually acquired HIV infection: a meta-analysis of randomized trials involving 11,050 men.” It may be viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18705758. Its “Conclusions” were: “Male circumcision is an effective strategy for reducing new male HIV infections. Its impact on a population level require consistenty safe sexual practices to maintain the protective benefit.”

In regard to Robert C. Bailey, whose research was a chief source for the previous articles I cited, see his CV listing his background and publications at http://www.cade.uic.edu/sphapps/faculty_profile/sphFacultyInd.asp?i=rcbailey&d=

Directly contrary to yidishkind, the purely medical benefits have been listed by the AAP article itself at the top of this very webpage. The psychological, social and religious benefits are plain to those who demand the right to circumcise their children, and the harm done to those people and to their heritage is enormous, and they have already said so. As for the strange claim that “tens of thousands of men are trying to re-grow their foreskins … “: I just don’t believe it. Here again we have an assertion without any confirmation by a cited source that we can check for ourselves. For the wilfully blind, it is enough for them to state their fantasies to see them. For the rest of us, that will not do.

Another error is that “The point of circumcision after all is to distinguish Jews from non-Jews.” Here again we have fantasies replacing sight. I at least cannot see who is circumcised when I walk down the street. It distinguishes no-one. But it has a very decided distinctive meaning to each Jew, that is certainly so: it indicates his very basic commitment to Judaism and to the future of his precious and beautiful heritage. And for Jewish parents, it is an affirmation of their commitment to the future to have their boys circumcised.

Minami says:

Morris and Waskett are pro-circumcision advocates and neither hold a medical degree and neither are active in the medical field.

Minami says:

A 12 week study with clear bias is hardly “long term research.” And again, go to the WHO’s website and go to their country stastistics. It’s right there in their toolbar.

It is evident that Morris and Waskett are trained epidemiologists and certainly highly qualified in their specific medical field. They have each published very many articles on the incidence of many diseases, written in cooperation with very many other leading authorities, which are published in the leading medical journals dealing with epidemiology and sexual diseases in Africa and beyond. For example, the article cited above includes amongst its authors: Morris, Waskett, Banerjee, Wamal, Tobian, Gray, Bailis, Bialey, Klausner, Willcourt, Halperin, Wiswell, and Mindel, whose chief authors at least (who are always the first listed in the author-credits, as given above), are presented as working at the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Sydney in Australia — others may be from other leading universities with departments of epidemiology and medicine. It is published in a leading pediatric medical journal, and is reproduced on the internet at the US National Library of Medicine of the National Institute of Health. Obviously the editors of that journal and of the NIH, and of all the other leading journals that publish the work of these authors do not despise them as Minami does, but regards them as certainly highly qualified in the medical field. It is true that they as epidemiological experts are supporters of circumcision, since that is what their research shows works as one of the chief preventative methods against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Such support is not a disqualification for taking their work seriously, contrary to what Minami thinks. They also have published on such things as the incidence of tuberculosis in Africa, problems of pregnant women, trichomoniasis in women, gonorrhhoea, intestinal nematode infestation, etc., etc. — a wide range of ailments.

I have looked up the background of B.J. Morris, the lead author of the above-cited research article. What I find tells me that I can have zero confidence in anything Minami says. It is all partisan propaganda from him. I am not even interested in going on to look up J.H. Waskett’s background. Here are the “biographical details” and “research interests” for Professor Brian J. Morris as given at the as found at the University of Sydney, School of Medical Sciences website, at

http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/bmorris.php
Biographical details:
Brian Morris was appointed to the academic staff of the Department (now Discipline) of Physiology in 1978 after 3 years of postdoctoral studies in the USA as a CJ Martin Fellow, then an Advanced Fellow of the American Heart Association, firstly at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1975-1976, then at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1976-1978. He has been a Professor since 1999. His research has been mostly in the realm of molecular biology and molecular genetics, with a particular interest in hypertension.

He won the Edgeworth David Medal in 1985 from the Royal Society of New South Wales, the 2006 Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision, a Scroll of Honour, Australia Day Award for community service from The Waverley Council in 2007, and the Lewis K. Dahl Memorial Award and Lecture in 2010 from the American Heart Association’s Council for High Blood Pressue Research.

He was until the end of 2010 the Treasurer of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, and has served two 6 year terms on the Executive Committee. He was a foundation member of the editorial board of Hypertension from 1979-1981, and has been a board member in recent years since 2002. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Hypertension from 2003-2007.

He has over 300 publications and 5,663 citations to early 2011 His H-index is 40.

Research interests:
The research of Brian Morris’ Lab is primarily directed at the molecular genetics of hypertension, with a particular focus on genome-wide alterations in gene and microRNA expression in human essential hypertension and rodent models of this condition.

The Lab has also been involved in research with Eugenie Lumbers and colleagues at University of Newcastle on the expression of the various components of the (pro)renin-angiotensin system and other genes in fetal and maternal tissues to determine whether these have a role in premature labour.

Prof Morris has personal interests in the molecular basis of ageing, especially the effect of dietary and other factors on health and lifespan, and has published in this field.

The Lab has worked in recent years on the molecular biology of factors involved in alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs, a process that results in the generation of multiple proteins from most of the genes in the genome.Brian was the first in the world to patent the use of PCR for cervical screening. This method was devised to detect the cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (priority date Feb 1987). This interest led to his involvement in promoting the health and medical benefits of male circumcision (www.circinfo.net), a field in which he has developed a strong international reputation, with numerous publications.

You most certainly did not explain the ethics. What you did in your post was huff and puff and stomp your feet about how you have a god given right to alter another person’s body. I have nothing more to say to you other than, I am sorry you feel that way. I am sorry that you have been convinced that you own the identity and body of your children. I am sorry that you choose tradition and custom over what is right.

I stand corrected. You did indeed use the figure in the proper context. Too bad the underlying article you cite is pure fluff. There is no author listed, and the only real study cited are the are the ones that I alluded to in my prior post. You can learn the difference between the relative risk of HIV infection and the absolute risk here: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/05/when-bad-science-kills-or-how-to-spread-aids/

Minami, you have misrepresented the significance of the source you cite. It shows that circumcised men in Zimbabwe do indeed slightly exceed uncircumcised men in HIV infection as you state, but you leave out everything else in the article which undermines your whole thesis. For one thing, because of circumcision promotion and the many tens of thousands of men circumcised each year, the overall prevalence rate has dropped from 18% to 15%, we learn. But even more to the point, the article states:

“National Aids Council (Nac) public health officer Dr Blessing Mutede said authorities were concerned about the high rate of infection among the circumcised.

He said it was largely a result of “risk compensation behaviours”.

Most men, after circumcision, harbour the false impression that they have been equipped with an invisible condom, he added.

“It is a worrying development that at a time when we are promoting male circumcision as a preventive measure to combat HIV, we are recording a high prevalence rate amongst the group that has been circumcised largely due to uninformed risky compensation behaviours,” he said.

“Most people forget that being circumcised will only safeguard a person from contracting HIV up to a certain percentage and they are still at a 40 percent risk of contracting the virus.”

The article goes on to inform its readers:

“The World Health Organisation recommends circumcision for HIV prevention in “generalised epidemic settings” where prevalence of the virus is high and male circumcision is low.

Zimbabwe embraced the recommendation and anticipates that it will prevent 42 percent of all new infections between 2015 and 2025 if 80 percent of males in the country are circumcised. The country also hopes to reduce HIV prevalence to about 7 percent, in addition to other benefits.

The country has carried out about 70 000 circumcisions since the programme began in 2009.

Experts claim the procedure can reduce HIV infection risk, in part because of physiological differences that decrease the susceptibility to infection among circumcised men.”

So the statements of the article, truly cited, prove that circumcision does very substantially reduce infection rates, as argued by none other than the very WHO that you, Minami, claim dismisses the usefulness of circumcision to fight HIV.

I refer you back again to the sources cited in my response to BBill, above. They cover long-term research going back two decades, employing all the standard rigorous research criteria necessary for such epidemiological studies, including long-term longitudinal studies of particular subjects, randomized sampling of large cohorts, replication by other scholars, and so on. So your characterization is itself highly biased and inaccurate — as I have found again and again when checking your own cited sources. As it turns out, WHO has endorsed these findings, and has officially recommended circumcision as an important way of helping to prevent the spread of AIDS to African countries struggling with this disease epidemic.

And, I find when I go to the WHO website, that they have accepted all that research and have officially endorsed their findings, recommending male circumcision to African countries suffering high rates of HIV because it reduces the risk of HIV transmission “by around 60%.” See their “HIV/AIDS: Online Q&A” of July 2012, the question “Does male circumcision prevent HIV transmission?”

>>Morris and Waskett are trained medical specialists and certainly highly qualified.

Seriously?? Have you done the slightest bit of research about these two? They are pretty infamous fetishists with membership in the Gilgal Society and Circlist. Both are known associates of Vernon Quaintance, who was recently arrested for child pornography.

http://circleaks.org/index.php?title=Brian_Morris
http://circleaks.org/index.php?title=Jake_waskett

Minami is correct – neither holds a medical degree and are not considered “experts” by any serious scientist.

The AAP and ACOG are *trade organizations* made up of dues-paying members, not impartial scientists and doctors. They are not “medical organizations”. Both groups have a financial interest in keeping infant genital cutting alive in the absence of valid medical indication.

Critics of circumcision also have been influenced by “religious and political considerations.” The observations in NK’s post cut both ways. And the religious and political considerations of the critics are not particularly moral at all, rather the contrary. All of this very impassioned and even obsessive rancour about a small little flap of skin, along with the attempts politically to force people to conform to radically secularist if not worse outlooks makes it clear that medical issues are not at the bottom of this.

Obviously you do not even know what ethics is about, BBill. Why should I be surprised?

Actually, the US does not stand alone. The prophylactic benefits of male circumcision have been recognized around the world, and even by the World Health Organization. Many African nations are promoting male circumcision precisely to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Tzur, you could not be any more wrong. Neither man you cite holds a medical degree. Waskett holds no degree of any kind. You’ve already made clear that your religious fanaticism trumps anyone else’s rights, so why are you even trying to justify? Just admit it, you believe that you own your children and their bodies, because you believe that your religion gives you license to. If you want to join ranks with pedophiles and circumcision fetishists to try to make your point, you really only help others see my point of view.

Whatever moral equivalency you are trying to draw ignores that fact that you are altering another human’s body without their consent. Giving life-saving treatment doesn’t even fall within the realm that I am talking about and is just a canard to obfuscate your twisted ethics. Sure there are many decisions that adults make on behalf of their children everyday but none so permanent as genital mutilation. Name any other “preventive health procedure” that amputates healthy, functioning tissue with no urgent medical basis.

On the website of the University of Sydney School of Medical Science, we find the following bio of Professor Brian Morris. Given these details I have not bothered to pursue research into the credentials of Dr. Waskett, since the allegations against Dr. Morris are so far from the mark.

http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/bmorris.php

Background details:
Brian Morris was appointed to the academic staff of the Department (now Discipline) of Physiology in 1978 after 3 years of postdoctoral studies in the USA as a CJ Martin Fellow, then an Advanced Fellow of the American Heart Association, firstly at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1975-1976, then at the University of California, San Francisco, from 1976-1978. He has been a Professor since 1999. His research has been mostly in the realm of molecular biology and molecular genetics, with a particular interest in hypertension.
He won the Edgeworth David Medal in 1985 from the Royal Society of New South Wales, the 2006 Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision, a Scroll of Honour, Australia Day Award for community service from The Waverley Council in 2007, and the Lewis K. Dahl Memorial Award and Lecture in 2010 from the American Heart Association’s Council for High Blood Pressue Research.
He was until the end of 2010 the Treasurer of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, and has served two 6 year terms on the Executive Committee. He was a foundation member of the editorial board of Hypertension from 1979-1981, and has been a board member in recent years since 2002. He was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Hypertension from 2003-2007.
He has over 300 publications and 5,663 citations to early 2011
Research interests
The research of Brian Morris’ Lab is primarily directed at the molecular genetics of hypertension, with a particular focus on genome-wide alterations in gene and microRNA expression in human essential hypertension and rodent models of this condition.
The Lab has also been involved in research with Eugenie Lumbers and colleagues at University of Newcastle on the expression of the various components of the (pro)renin-angiotensin system and other genes in fetal and maternal tissues to determine whether these have a role in premature labour.
Prof Morris has personal interests are the molecular basis of ageing, especially the effect of dietary and other factors on health and lifespan, and has published in this field.
The Lab has worked in recent years on the molecular biology of factors involved in alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs, a process that results in the generation of multiple proteins from most of the genes in the genome.
Brian was the first in the world to patent the use of PCR for cervical screening. This method was devised to detect the cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (priority date Feb 1987). This interest led to his involvement in promoting the health and medical benefits of male circumcision (www.circinfo.net), a field in which he has developed a strong international reputation, with numerous publications.

Minami says:

Circumcised men can and are becoming infected with HIV. The fact remains that circumcision no substitute for safe sex practices. Condoms don’t work better if you’re circumcised. We can prevent HIV without genital surgery. And again, there are countries with low circumcision rates are boasting lower rates of HIV. Lying to men and letting them think circumcision will be of use to them will only increase HIV rates.

Minami says:

Jake Wasket is not a doctor. Morris is a professor but not a doctor. Morris is so despised by the RACP that they actually released a statement saying to the public that he was not affiliated with him and recommended AGAINST his “medical advice.” These men are members of the Gilgal Society, a procircumcision group whose leader was arrested for child pornography a few months ago.

BBill, I really do not think that pedophiles infect every person (or organization) they have ever known even slightly, or worked with, or even passed in the street, with the trait of pedophilia, not at least in the medical scientific literature that I have read. Nor are third party organizations or persons know to or linked with the persons and groups actually known to the pedophile also infected by pedophilia, so far as I am aware. Nor do such viral infections extend to all those who have any view that one or another pedophile might share, whether medical, political, social, philosophical or otherwise. If so it must follow that everyone in the world has “joined ranks with pedophiles and fetishists.” This is mere guilt-by-association thinking, which is much used by propagandists, but which carries no force.

It is not even the case that circumcision advocacy leads to pedophilia nor pedophilia to circumcision advocacy. There is no obvious link between the two phenomena; they could as well be amongst the fiercist anti-circumcision polemicists too, could they not? I disdain to research such a question, but since you seem so interested in it, perhaps, BBill, you can share with us the medical research articles you have accumulated that show that pedophilia and fetishism are always (or even just statistically) linked with pro-circumcision opinions, but never (or even seldom) with anti-circumcision advocacy, and cite them here, so we can check them and can be straightened out?

The article I cited several posts back from Professor (and Dr.) Morris also was co-authored by: J.H. Waskett, J. Banerjee, R.G. Wamal, A.A. Tobian, R.H. Gray, S.A. Bailis, R.C. Bailey, J.D. Klausner, R.J. Willcourt, D.T. Halperin, T.E. Wiswell, and A. Mindel. I do not think that they are all pederasts, fetishists, medical ignoramuses nor without medical degrees or qualifications. Nor do they endorse either pedophilia or fetishism, so far as I know. The peer-reviewed pediatrics journal that the article was published in obviously did not think so.

In that case I go with the humorous scientists. Even better if they have a red plastic clown’s nose on their face.

Wrong again, Tzur. My statement is correct. Neither man holds a medical degree. Mr. Morris doesn’t hold a PhD or MD, so I am not sure why you refer to him as Doctor Morris. Mr. Waskett holds no degree at all. Also, what is unique about Mr. Waskett and Mr. Morris, is that they are part of a small circle of influential, yet under-credentialed laypeople who espouse the virtues of circumcision yet associate with circumcision fetishists. More info can be found here: http://www.circleaks.org

You don’t find it curious that people connected to Brian Morris and Jake Waskett were found guilty of possessing child pornography, and that all of these men are very, very interested in not only circumcision, but infant circumcision? This stuff sickens me. I don’t think it’s too far a leap from pedophilia to be obsessed with mutilating infant genitals, as far as Brian Morris, Jake Waskett, and their associates are concerned. Connect the dots, Tzur. I understand that you are trying to advocate for something that you feel is central to your identity and culture, but you’d be better served not to cite these individuals unless you want your motives questioned.

The CV given at the University of Sydney website says otherwise, BBill. You should take it up with them, as well as the Wikipedia website on Dr. Morris and the various universities that have awarded him doctorates, since as Wikipedia informs us he actually has two doctorates, as well as other post-doctoral studies. As the Wikipedia articles informs us:

“Brian Morris grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where he graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Adelaide in 1972. He then completed his PhD in Melbourne in 1975, leading to the award of a prestigious Sir Charles James Martin Overseas Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. From 1975-1978 this supported him as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Missouri, and the University of California, San Francisco, where in his last year he was supported by the American Heart Association. He was then appointed as an academic at the University of Sydney in 1978, where he has been ever since. His was awarded the Royal Society of New South Wales’ State Science Prize in 1985, and in 1993 the University of Sydney awarded him a DSc. In 2003 he was elected as a prestigious Honorary Fellow of the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure Research. He won the Faculty of Medicine’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision in 2006, and The Scroll of Honour, a community service award for his public health advocacy, by Waverley Council on Australia Day in 2007″

Your own cited sources prove that it is no lie when WHO and African government health authorities say circumcision will help to reduce HIV rates dramatically. Read your own cited sources again without your blinders on.

The articles and research I cited did not rely on a 12 week study. They covered decades, included research on over 12,000 men randomly chosen, and followed the strictest and most scrupulous scientific criteria. Their findings have been replicated by many subsequent researchers, and are now accepted both by the U.S. National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization.

As I wrote above, and will repeat here, at the World Health Organization webpage,www.who.int/features/qa/71/en/… which is headed “HIV/AIDS: Online Q&A, July 2012,” we read the following:
“Does male circumcision prevent HIV transmission?
“Male circumcision reduces the risk of female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV by around 60%. Since 2007, WHO and UNAIDS have recommended voluntary medical male circumcision as an additional important strategy for HIV prevention in settings with high HIV prevalence and low levels of male circumcision. Fourteen countries in eastern and southern Africa with this profile have initiated programmes to expand male circumcision.

“A one-time intervention, medical male circumcision provides life-long partial protection against HIV as well as other sexually transmitted infections. It should always be considered as part of a comprehensive HIV prevention package and should never replace other known methods of prevention, such as female and male condoms.”

Funny. Wikipedia is the only site that actually lists that he has a PhD. I found that suspicious since that section of his wiki is without a citation. I was unable to find any information on the U of Sidney site that states that Brian Morris holds a PhD. Also, I see that you are avoiding looking into Mr. Waskett’s credentials. Care to share what you’ve found out about him? Can you point to his expertise in the field of Urology? (either man for that matter) How about Mr. Waskett’s education? Can you tell us how many degrees he holds? This is surely an uncomfortable truth knowing that to further your case, you’re aligning yourself sick people. Please, Tzur, share what you’ve found about Mr. Waskett, one of MR. Morris’ close associates. Why don’t you research both men’s ties to the Gilgal Society and sick bastards who run it. I will cede that I could possibly be wrong about Brian Morris holding a PhD, but I like I said, other than an un-cited section on his Wikipedia page I can find nothing, but your defense of Jake Waskett is making me question your honesty.

Why bother with Waskett, and after him no doubt ad nauseum all the other 11 scientists contributing to the co-authored report, when you persist in blindly rejecting Morris, its lead author and coordinator of research, against really irrefutable evidence? I have proven that he is a world-respected authority in medical science, with no less than two doctoral degrees, given leadership roles at the University of Sydney School of Medical Science, and yet you continue to deny his basic qualifications for such a role. By the way, no university of any standing whatsoever would admit students to “post-doctoral studies” without requiring transcripts from other universities certifying that the student has gained a doctoral degree already.

Anyway, on to other subjects: an article came out just this past week or so, “Cutting out circumcisions could cost billions: Study,” by Dr. Tiffany Chao on the ABC News website (see http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/08/21/cutting-out-circumcision-could-cost-billions-study/), whose first four paragraphs read:

Declines in infant male circumcision in the United States could add more than $4.4 billion in avoidable health care costs for sexually transmitted infections, experts warn in a new report.
In a paper in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a team of health economists and disease experts at Johns Hopkins cite the declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision — from 79 percent in the 1970s to approximately 55 percent today — as responsible for billions of dollars spent in the U.S. on preventable infections.
The decline in circumcision rates has already cost the nation an estimated $2 billion, the researchers say, and if rates decrease to the 10 percent levels seen in Europe, this could mean an additional $4.4 billion for the nation.
The cost of treating sexually transmitted infections in both males and females that could be prevented with circumcision accounts for most of this total. Circumcision removes the foreskin at the end of the penis, which would otherwise potentially serve as a haven for bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases including HIV, herpes, genital warts, bacterial infections and urinary tract infections. Research has also suggested that circumcision can cut risk of penile and prostate cancers in men, as well as cervical cancer risk in their female partners.

Still won’t go on the record with what you found out about Mr. Waskett and Mr. Morris will you? You are clearly evading talking about these men and the people they are closely affiliated with. It is clear that these men make you uncomfortable, yet your still defending them. I couldn’t care less about who else signs their name to these “studies.” The lead researcher in almost all of these studies is heavily biased toward circumcision, and his close associate who assists in these studies (Mr. Waskett) hold no degrees and is an admitted circumcision fetishist.

Can you perhaps explain why other than the AAP, NO OTHER MEDICAL ORGANIZATION IN THE WORLD RECOMMENDS ROUTINE INFANT CIRCUMCISION?

jordan681 says:

The headline is mistaken; the AAP has NOT endorsed infant circumcision. Why the author of this poorly written article would really like to think so, the AAP has said over and over that they’ve stopped short.

Talk about poor reporting.

jordan681 says:

“What history…” Peh heh heh… You’re so “neutral” Rebecca Fine… The bold-facedness with which you claim a “neutral stance” is remarkable to say the least. You’re such a liar…

jordan681 says:

Let’s look at what really happened; the AAP, once again, stopped short of endorsing circumcision, the silly statement’s only saving grace…

jordan681 says:

Oh and it is. It is not any more true, though. No, the AAP has reiterated enough time that they cannot use the “evidence” to endorse circumcision. They try, but they can’t. Because then they would REALLY be out of line with the rest of the world… Not that they’re not already…

jordan681 says:

Yes, it is a conflict of interest to be feigning an interest in public health, when your convictions are religious and have absolutely nothing to do with it.

It would be no different than a Muslim doctor, who happens to perform sunnat on girls, claiming there are “benefits” to female circumcision.

Self-serving hogwash.

I’m afraid the AAP is but one medical authority in the world, and they are embarrassing themselves with their new “statement.”

jordan681 says:

Argumentum ad populum doesn’t exactly mean that anything the AAP is any more true.

Quite a lot of people believed in slavery before it was banned, and millions of faithful Muslims believe they should circumcise their girls.

But of course, only Jews and Christians that want to circumcise matter…

And it should have every baring on the standard of care that doctors have for non-Jewish children…

jordan681 says:

Yes, that is why there have been lawsuits recently against professional mohels that chopped a little bit too much off the top, right?

I’m sure every mishap was at the hands of an “inexperienced mohel.”

Why, if you dismiss all the mishaps as done by “inexperienced mohels,” then you can claim that “procedures are always successful if perform by experienced mohels.”

Hogwash.

jordan681 says:

I want readers to consider this for a moment; the AAP says infant circumcision
should still be an option for parents, and public coffers should pay
for it, based on “evidence” that they could not use to bring themselves to recommend the practice. Does that make sense?

jordan681 says:

And, of course, the more news outlets publish a headline, the more it is true…

jordan681 says:

Would you mind furnishing the mechanism whereby circumcision prevents HIV transmission?

HINT: You can’t. There is not a single “researcher” than can demonstrably prove circumcision does anything. What they HAVE been able to physicially, visually demonstrate is that circumcision makes absolutely no difference. (Dinh et al)

FACT: Circumcised men can and do contract HIV, as evidenced by HIV transmission rates in Israel, Indonesia, the United States, and other countries where circumcision has failed to prevent anything.

jordan681 says:

Arugmentum ad verecundam.
The WHO has been wrong before.

Here is something no “researcher” or organization can deny; circumcision fails to prevent HIV.

It fails so horribly that the very “researchers” cannot stress the use of condoms enough.

According to Malaysian AIDS Council vice-president Datuk Zaman Khan,
more than 70% of the 87,710 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country are
Muslims. In Malaysia, most, if not all Muslim men are circumcised,
whereas circumcision is uncommon in the non-Muslim community. 60% of the
Malaysian population is Muslim, which means that HIV is spreading in
the community where most men are circumcised at an even faster rate,
than in the community where most men are intact.

http://www.mmail.com.my/content/39272-72-percent-aidshiv-sufferers-malaysia-are-muslims-says-council

In the Philippines, the majority of the male population is circumcised,
as it is seen as an important rite of passage. In the 2010 Global AIDS
report released by UNAIDS in late November, the Philippines was one of
seven nations in the world which reported over 25 percent in new HIV
infections between 2001 and 2009, whereas other countries have either
stabilized or shown significant declines in the rate of new infections.
Among all countries in Asia, only the Philippines and Bangladesh are
reporting increases in HIV cases, with others either stable or
decreasing.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20110102-312124/Philippines-HIVAIDS-problem-worries-UN

jordan681 says:

Circumcision hasn’t stopped HIV in the US.

http://data.unaids.org/pub/Report/1998/19981125_global_epidemic_report_en.pdf

And, it hasn’t stopped other STDs either.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/01/13/us-infections-usa-idUSTRE50C5XV20090113?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

In America, the majority of the male population is circumcised,
approximately 80%, while in most countries in Europe, circumcision is
uncommon. Despite these facts, our country does poorly.

http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=419&Itemid=177

In fact, AIDS rates in some US Cities rival hotspots in Africa. In some
parts of the U.S., they’re actually higher than those in sub-Saharan
Africa. According to a 2010 study published in the New England Journal
of Medicine, rates of HIV among adults in Washington, D.C. exceed 1 in
30; rates higher than those reported in Ethiopia, Nigeria or Rwanda.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1000069

The Washington D.C. district report on HIV and AIDS reported an increase of 22% from 2006 in 2009. According to Shannon L. Hader, HIV/AIDS Administrator, Washington DC, 2009, “[Washington D.C.'s] rates are higher than West Africa… they’re on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya.” Hader

once led the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work in Zimbabwe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/14/AR2009031402176.html

jordan681 says:

But none of this matters to you. At all. It’s remarkable that, given your background, you can actually sit there and pretend to feign an interest in public health…

Bottom line; circumcision fails, and there are more effective, less invasive ways to prevent disease.

Take condoms for example. Even if the research were “correct,” circumcision fails in lieu of condoms.

jordan681 says:

Parents have been waiting for an absolution form the AAP to ease their guilt.

I’m afraid that, even after much ado, the AAP has failed to deliver.

Clarity their new statement lacks, not to mention the endorsement you and other circumcision advocates were hoping for.

“This could lead to an increase in the number of non-Jewish boys benefitting from circumcision.”

More of your “neutrality” I see…

ricky2B says:

“all circumcisions are medically beneficial” Oh thank you for this wisdom. I’d sort of come to doubt the benefits of Orthodox mohelim giving boys herpes in NY City, or for the 117 to 230 boys US doctors kill with it every year.

My posts are on the record. It is not just a matter of my having general doubts about your allegations against the qualifications and moral integrity of these men, but in the case of Dr. Brian Morris (not “Mr.”!), whom I have researched, I have found, and given, on the record, irrefutable evidence that the accusations against his scholarly standing and authority are utterly false. Nothing more need be said on the matter.

Anyway, on to other more interesting subjects: an article came out just this past week or so, “Cutting out circumcisions could cost billions: Study,” by Dr. Tiffany Chao on the ABC News website (seehttp://abcnews.go.com/blogs/he…, whose first four paragraphs read:
Declines in infant male circumcision in the United States could add more than $4.4 billion in avoidable health care costs for sexually transmitted infections, experts warn in a new report.

In a paper in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a team of health economists and disease experts at Johns Hopkins cite the declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision — from 79 percent in the 1970s to approximately 55 percent today — as responsible for billions of dollars spent in the U.S. on preventable infections.

The decline in circumcision rates has already cost the nation an estimated $2 billion, the researchers say, and if rates decrease to the 10 percent levels seen in Europe, this could mean an additional $4.4 billion for the nation.

The cost of treating sexually transmitted infections in both males and females that could be prevented with circumcision accounts for most of this total. Circumcision removes the foreskin at the end of the penis, which would otherwise potentially serve as a haven for bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases including HIV, herpes, genital warts, bacterial infections and urinary tract infections. Research has also suggested that circumcision can cut risk of penile and prostate cancers in men, as well as cervical cancer risk in their female partners.

I am not interested in pursuing the matter of Waskett per se, since there is no point in wasting time repeating myself in a futile attempt to present clear evidence of scholarly standing and qualifications, as I have done in regard to the lead author Professor Morris, only to be met with continuous stonewalling and refusals to accept that evidence. At least you have been brought to a grudging admission that you might “possibly be wrong about Brian Morris holding a PhD,” but you immediately qualify that statement, and in later posts continue to speak of “Mr. Morris.” So it is pointless to continue this discussion.

Circumcision does not “fail” to prevent HIV-related diseases without condom use, only lessens the incidence of such diseases by 60% according to the World Health Organization, or even more, up to as much as 76% according to some researchers. Nothing more than that lessening effect is claimed by its advocates. They do not present it as a miracle preventative that works regardless of all other factors 100% of the time, as is stated above, in derision. It is not hard to knock down a straw-man, and that is what that argument is. People who persistently indulge in dangerous sexual contacts can certainly contract the disease even if circumcised, and advocates even stress that; no prophylactic is effective 100%, especially in the face of persistent disregard of personal hygiene measures.

Nevertheless, circumcision is the most effective single preventive measure currently available for high risk populations. It has been shown to be much more effective than condoms used alone as a preventative measure. The American incidence of AIDS, by the way, is in relative terms very low, certainly lower than for example in Europe where circumcision is much rarer, and far lower than in most third-world countries. So it is no disproof of the effectiveness of circumcision in helping to prevent the spread of HIV diseases.

Actually I am very concerned about the health of all of those around me. They too are human beings whose lives are precious. That is why I keep stressing the larger health benefits of circumcision. But regardless of the wider society, Jews have every right to continue their religiously mandated practice of circumcision. I have also vigorously argued that point too. There is no contradiction between the two arguments.

Circumcision does not “fail” in lieu of condoms, it is only less effective in preventing AIDS, etc., but it still has a remarkable lessening effect just by itself of around 60%. That means that 40% of circumcised men who have indiscriminate sex will get HIV-related illnesses. The figure would be lower if they used condoms. Another factor is the number of sexual partners. If a person, whether circumcised or not, has more than one sexual partner, if he has many in fact, and his partners are also very active sexually, it is much more likely that he will get a sexual disease regardless of whether he is circumcised or not, or uses condoms or doesn’t, or even takes both precautions. Condoms by themselves have even greater ineffectiveness than circumcision in preventing sexual diseases. HIV rates can be very high amongst populations that use condoms, as many statistics from various countries and scientific meta-studies have shown.

jordan681 says:

I call shennanigans.

You couldn’t care less about public health. You are Jewish, and circumcision is important to you for other reasons you cannot pretend you don’t care about.

If Jews have every reason to circumcise their boys, then everyone else has every reason to circumcise their girls. Judaism isn’t the only religion around you know.

And yes, circumcision DOES fail in lieu of condoms; that is why no self-respected “researcher” cannot end on that note. No, not 60%, but a mere 1.37%. And it’s funny how you say “the figure would be lower if they used condoms.” Maybe American HIV transmission rates would be lower than Europe’s if they wore condoms too then, eh? I suppose you’re now going to argue that Americans simply have more sex partners than Europeans?

Can you share with us the secret? How does circumcision prevent HIV? Perhaps when a man is circumcised, this makes his body produce anti-bodies that guard against it. Is this how it works, genius one?

Hint: Scientists are hard-pressed to present the causal link; they keep finding out circumcision makes no difference, if not that the foreskin actually helps COMBAT HIV…

But why am I arguing about “health benefits” with someone who has a religious conviction with circumcision…

Because “religious freedom” is increasingly a meaningless alibi for circumcision.

That’s why.

Read again the statement I quoted just above from the WHO website on the preventative effect of circumcision: “60%” is what it said. The figure of “1.37%” is not used. This is not by accident. Also read again the article from Zimbabwe that Minami cited, and which I quoted from, further above. Neither claimed what you say, namely that circumcision alone is sufficient to prevent all HIV infections, and that condoms, actually for both men and women, are not needed nor advisable. Without them, both Zimbabean health authorities and WHO itself says, circumcision is only 60% effective. That is very high, but it is not 100%. No one is claiming 100% — not for any preventative measure at all.

For the mechanism of transmission of HIV viruses through the foreskin, see the article “HIV-1 Efficient Entry in Inner Foreskin is Mediated by Elevated CCL5/RANTES that Recruits T Cells and Fuels Conjugate Formation with Langerhans Cells,” by Zhou, de Longchamps, Smith, et al., published in the peer-reviewed PLoS Pathogens, June 2011 (available at: http://www.plospathogens.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.ppat.1002100). Also see the article in the medical journal AIDS for 2009, Oct. 23: 23 (16):2209-13, entitled “Foreskin surface area and HIV Acquisition in Rakai, Uganda (size matters),” coordinated by the Rakai Health Sciences Program, Entebbe, Uganda and Kigozi, Wawer, Ssettuba, et al., at:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19770623 These articles state that circumcision helps reduce changes of HIV infection by 60%. They explain how that operates. There are lots of other articles out there affirming the same thing.

jordan681 says:

I could care less what your corrupt authority has to say. They distort the truth. The absolute reduction was 1.37%, not the inflated 60%. Circumcision doesn’t prevent anything.

It sounds like you’re reiterating what I’m saying; even the most pro-circumcision authorities cannot promote circumcision without falling back on condoms.

Because circumcision is worthless and superfluous.

No, as a Jew (or, more appropriately, stark adherer to Judaism, not all Jews believe circumcision should be practiced), you are concerned about the welfare of only your “traditions” and are eager to silence any critique of it, particularly this one point of contention, which has been a historically problematic custom for Jews and other circumcising cultures, hasn’t it.

There is a conflict of interest between safeguarding what is known to be a very important custom that Jews (and others) have been fighting to protect for hundreds of years, and a feigned interest in public health. Kind of like how Japanese, who are fighting to protect whale hunting because it’s part of their culture, are also suddenly interested in “whale research” (that involves killing over 800 creatures a year).

This isn’t about a “hate for Jews,” so there’s no need for you to whip out the bible and your “messages of love.” This is about respecting the bodies and rights of healthy, non-consenting individuals. It is not “religious freedom” when you are forcing a religious mutilation on the body of another. Circumcising a child to brand him with your religion is as bad as tattooing a Jew with a barcode to brand him as such.

No one is against circumcision per se, just forcing it on others. If someone wants to circumcise himself because he believes doing so will earn him a special place in heaven, fine. But it should be his choice. Otherwise, where’s the freedom.

It’s disingenuous to be presenting circumcision like it’s universally practiced amongst Jews. Not all Jews support the practice anymore. Even in Israel, a large number of Jews are choosing to forgo circumcision and give their children a choice. Additionally, some of the most outspoken voices against circumcision happen to be Jewish.

So stop trying to make this about “the persecution of the Jews.” It’s not about Jews; it’s about circumcision. Remember that, at least in the US, the overwhelming majority of circumcisions that happen are gentile, secular circumcisions in hospitals. We’re against ALL of it, religious or no. Circumcising a healthy, non-consenting minor is WRONG. It violates his basic human rights, it violates his religious freedom, and it’s wrong on so many other levels.

Shalom alechem to you.

You still won’t go on the record about this Waskett guy. You are accusing me of stonewalling, but I actually acceded to your claims about Brian Morris because I cannot disprove them. So do you care to try to defend why this Waskett guy shows up on so many of Brian Morris’ papers? Do you want to share Mr. Waskett’s educational credentials? The fact that Brian Morris associates with people like Jake Waskett certainly casts a dark cloud over his “research.” You continue to dance around the questions that I have asked, yet you continue to engage me. Something is fishy here, Tzur. I remember a few posts back you referred to Jake Waskett as Dr. Waskett. Care to back up that claim?

Google “HIV foreskin” and find out the answer for yourself. There has been plenty of research showing the link, and explaining the mechanism through which HIV infections spread through the Langerhans cells in the foreskin.

Brinxster says:

As a community leader of a Jewish community I think we should adapt to modern times, recognize that children also have human rights. If you wouldn’t want me to grab you in a subway and mutilate your vagina, why do you think a baby wants it done to his genitals?

It’s time we move on, this issue isn’t worth losing our religion over.

Your comments are abusive, Jordan681. As for the rest, trying to outlaw infant male circumcision would effectively outlaw just one religious community, the Jewish one, although in the U.S. it is certainly true that many Christians who take their Bible seriously have also accepted its benefits. That a distinct minority of less observant Jews might not take circumcision all that seriously does not remove the problem, since circumcision remains a central part of traditional Orthodox Judaism that its adherents will not give up, and the same is true in the Conservative movement and for most Reform and even secular Jews.

Circumcising an infant is not wrong, and it is not a matter of “human rights,” nor does it interfere with bodily integrity, good sexual function, diminished sensation or any other dire consequence. It has also been shown by over a thousand studies by medical scientists to have beneficial medical aspects, as discussed above, and as is stated by the American Association of Pediatrics. The allegation that this would unethically coerce the infant without its consent into being a Jew and member of the Jewish people is itself wrong and unethical in several respects.

If when a circumcised child grows up he does not want to be a full Jew, all he has to do is to stop going to synagogue, Jewish community events, etc. His circumcision does not force him to be a Jew in adult life. The decision will always be up to him and always has been. So it is not “coercion.” But if, as just about all Jewish males down through the ages have done, he does want to be Jewish in actual fact, belief, and community affiliation, his circumcision will be considered by him a welcome sign of his bodily engagement in this commitment, and he will very gladly endorse it. Just about all male Jews do. Depriving them of this, and forcing them to undergo circumcision in adult life, constitutes a penalty imposed on them by the surrounding secularist or even anti-Judaism society for affirming Judaism. This is a coerced punishment.

The claim also ignores that people born into every religious culture have not asked to be in those cultures, but nevertheless they just about all grow up to affirm membership in them. Births are not neutral. They are already and as such entry into very different cultures and worlds, which are each so rich and deep they shape the very first moments of life and every day after it for each human being, making people very different as adults. The illusion of sameness at birth is a sentimental fallacy. In fact, it is an unethical fallacy, since it strips from the infant his or her birthright, namely to be born to those specific parents, themselves part of and products of that specific culture, religion and society. Every person has a birthright to their own family, society and history. No one has the right to strip that from him. That presumption that ethics demands this, however, is basic to your argument. It is, as I have said, unethical.

The causal link is well established. Scientists are not “hard-pressed” to present the causal link. They know what it is. Neither does anyone claim that circumcision is 100% effective against AIDS, etc., only that it is 60% just by itself. That is a very significant reduction in the odds. It would further be improved by other prophylactic practices, such as condoms, few sexual partners, etc.

The route of infection involves the Langerhans cells of the foreskin. Put in a Google search, using the terms “HIV foreskin,” and you will find a number of medical scientific research articles, published in the usual peer-reviewed medical journals over the past decade, showing the exact mechanism of transmission of HIV infection via the foreskin.

Funny, Tzur that you’ve decided to stop responding one I really pushed you to go on record with your findings about Mr. Waskett. So allow me to go on record. Brian Morris, the lead researcher in many of the most prominent studies having to do with Circumcision frequently collaborates with a man named Jake Waskett. (You can find his name of several of Brian Morris’ research papers.) It is common knowledge that Jake Waskett holds no academic degree of any kind. Jake Waskett doesn’t work in the field of medicine. (He is a software designer.) Jake Waskett is a known circumfetishist who has written a length about how excited he was to choose be circumcised in his mid-twenties and is now working with Brian Morris to make circumcision mandatory for all baby boys effectively removing the ability for them to make the choice that he did. Jake Waskett’s own writings show that he has a sick fascination with the act of circumcision and that he finds circumcision erotic. How does this not concern you? The mere fact that this sick freak has his name listed on so many of these studies irreparably taints them. All of these claims are verifiable. If you want to see first hand the sort of things that Jake Waskett writes on the internet, you can go to circleaks.org and check for yourself. All of their information is clearly spelled out and verifiable.

Just because you say: “Circumcising an infant is not wrong, and it is not a matter of “human rights,” nor does it interfere with bodily integrity, good sexual function, diminished sensation or any other dire consequence,” doesn’t make it true, Tzur. There are scores of men who would have preferred to be left intact, but that choice was made for them and cannot be changed. You can try to compare this with any other aspect of parenting in terms of making choices on behalf of the child, but name another choice that is made on behalf of a child that permanently changes their body. Choosing what school, or what neighborhood, or what values to teach to your children are all important choices that we make on behalf of our children, but none of these choices permanently modifies their bodies (save for body piercings which I don’t agree with either). That is the key distinction here. Another distinction is that school choice, neighborhood, immunizations, are choices that HAVE to be made before the child reaches the age of consent. Infants don’t HAVE to be circumcised. That choice can be deferred until later. Unless your newborn is sexually active, I see no impetus to force a surgical alteration of non-consenting minors without urgent medical indication. Please Tzur, explain how amputating tissue from and infants genitals doesn’t interfere with bodily integrity. Definition of integrity: the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.

Circumcision = The great cure, just waiting for a disease to justify it.
People, do your research. You will find that for thousands of years, people have tried very hard to find a justification for mutilating the genitals of children. Today that justification continues. The arguments used to be that it would curtail masturbation. Then it was hailed as more hygienic. Then it was hailed as a way to decrease common STI’s, and now it being pushed as a way to curtail the spread of HIV. Let me ask a question: Which would you rather rely on to protect you against HIV: condoms or a circumcised penis? Anyone who thinks that circumcision will protect them from HIV is misguided and is needlessly putting themselves and others in harms way.

Brinxster says:

So because of how long something has been done that automatically makes it… beneficial?

OH PLEASE.

Good that you bring up the financial angle on this, TD. It invites the following comment: an article came out just this past month, “Cutting out circumcisions could cost billions: Study,” by Dr. Tiffany Chao on the ABC News website (see http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/he…, whose first four paragraphs read:
Declines in infant male circumcision in the United States could add more than $4.4 billion in avoidable health care costs for sexually transmitted infections, experts warn in a new report.
In a paper in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a team of health economists and disease experts at Johns Hopkins cite the declining rates of U.S. infant male circumcision — from 79 percent in the 1970s to approximately 55 percent today — as responsible for billions of dollars spent in the U.S. on preventable infections.
The decline in circumcision rates has already cost the nation an estimated $2 billion, the researchers say, and if rates decrease to the 10 percent levels seen in Europe, this could mean an additional $4.4 billion for the nation.
The cost of treating sexually transmitted infections in both males and females that could be prevented with circumcision accounts for most of this total. Circumcision removes the foreskin at the end of the penis, which would otherwise potentially serve as a haven for bacteria and viruses that can cause diseases including HIV, herpes, genital warts, bacterial infections and urinary tract infections. Research has also suggested that circumcision can cut risk of penile and prostate cancers in men, as well as cervical cancer risk in their female partners.

“After all, despite all the hullabaloo, all we are talking about is a very small cut of a tiny flap of skin.”
Like when you cut off a little girl’s clitoral hood? Oh wait, this tiny flap of skin is attached to a GIRL, so it has NOTHING to do with male circ!
I’m deeply disgusted by how little respect you have for your own children’s body.

“by being given a few drops of wine”
Yeah sure because with a few drops of wine you can have a piece of your penis cut off without feeling pain! Hell I wonder why they even invented anesthesia!
Babies feel pain JUST LIKE ADULTS, it has been proven.

Jackno says:

No, I am not a medical doctor. That does not mean that I know less about the topic. The nerves are real. The dynamic action of the NATURAL genitals is real.

Why would I or anyone cut off genital parts of a baby. That is sick and creepy and I don’t have to do a sick and creepy thing to know it is that!

Minami says:

The urologist on the 2012 circumcision task force is Jewish and spoke about how he circumcised his son on a kitchen table. Dr. Andrew Freedman. How can a man like that put his religion aside when he freely admits performing surgery outside of a hospital on his son with no pain killers?

Miracle River says:

Here is a famous Jewish rabbi, physician and philosopher: Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), also known as “Rambam”, writing about why Jewish baby boys must have their genitals mutilated.

He is very clear as to why:

1. To reduce the man sexual enjoyment.

2. To reduce the bond between a Jewish man and woman after they had had sex (the “strongest” reason).

3. To reduce the woman’s sexual enjoyment

4. To reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse

5. To torture little Jewish baby boys by inflicting extreme physical pain upon them (the “real reason” for mutilating their genitals)

6. To mutilate the useful function of the penis by amputating the foreskin

7. All Jewish baby boys are born morally defective, and only by having their foreskin’s amputated, their penises mutilated and suffering extreme physical pain can they be “perfected”.

I quote:

“Similarly with regard to circumcision, one of the reasons for it is, in my opinion, the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question, so that this activity be diminished and the organ be in as quiet a state as possible. It has been thought that circumcision perfects what is defective congenitally. This gave the possibility to everyone to raise an objection and to say: How can natural things be defective so that they need to be perfected from outside, all the more because we know how useful the foreskin is for that member?

In fact this commandment has not been prescribed with a view to perfecting what is defective congenitally, but to perfecting what is defective morally. The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision. None of the activities necessary for the preservation of the individual is harmed thereby, nor is procreation rendered impossible, but violent concupiscence and lust that goes beyond what is needed are diminished. The fact that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. For if at birth this member has been made to bleed and has had its covering taken away from it, it must indubitably be weakened.

The Sages, may their memory be blessed, have explicitly stated: It is hard for a woman with whom an uncircumcised man has had sexual intercourse to separate from him. In my opinion this is the strongest of the reasons for circumcision”.

http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/maimonides/

2000

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