German court: circumcising a child is bodily harm

KingGorilla wrote:

And Kraint. Male circumcision has been shown by this lengthy study, and the WHO to significantly decrease the chances a male will contract or transmit an STI. That is all the study has shown. If HIV, or any other STI is a disease we wish to seriously limit, male circumcision has to be a part of that. If you honestly think a parent, or an individual has some sort of right to be a carrier or breeder of disease, that is an interesting position to take. Public health should trump individual freedom to harm self or harm one's ward every time. Public health issues are not and cannot be optional.

I don't think this is about individual freedom to harm self. I think it's about individual freedom to not have to alter a very intimate part of your own body. It's a balancing of freedom to do something good (be in control of your own body) that has indirect negatives (more likely to get sick/get someone else sick) with the public health issue. It's a complicated discussion, but don't start it off by boxing people not as convinced as you are into defending "right to be a carrier or breeder of disease."

I cannot think of another way to put it if you are of the opinion that sexual health is a matter of 100 percent personal decisions. This issue is a close cousin of anti vaccinations.

You say one should not mandate circumcisions. We cannot mandate the use of condoms, we cannot mandate abstinance or condom use for those already infected. In essence, we cannot combat STIs.

In order to get some effective immunity from STIs, we need to get past 95 percent of people using some combination of comdoms, testing, and abstinence for those infected.

Now then looking to MMR and Polio vaccines, without a mandate we will never reach herd immunity from a disease.

Kraint wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

And Kraint. Male circumcision has been shown by this lengthy study, and the WHO to significantly decrease the chances a male will contract or transmit an STI. That is all the study has shown. If HIV, or any other STI is a disease we wish to seriously limit, male circumcision has to be a part of that. If you honestly think a parent, or an individual has some sort of right to be a carrier or breeder of disease, that is an interesting position to take. Public health should trump individual freedom to harm self or harm one's ward every time.

Wow, that's a hell of a strawman you've constructed there. I'll be sure to give your thoughtful point of view all the consideration it deserves.

I am not sure if that means what you think it means.

I am addressing the articles and literature I have been presended with, any misrepresentation you are free to point to. Including circumcision of males as a child abuse issue. Circumcision of males as human rights violation. Circumcision as body modification so a boy looks like the father. To the exclusion of the genuine health concerns. It is pitting emotion and rhetoric against study and science. I see few differenced between this and climate change denial or vaccination denial; because the tactics are the same.

I am just asking questions, answer them scientists.

Genital mutilation

Front page of Intact America is awash decrying the American Associatrion of Pediactric's findings, other parts of their site defer to their expertise because previously they stated no benefit to Circumcision. Experts are useful only so far as they carry your message.

KingGorilla wrote:

I cannot think of another way to put it if you are of the opinion that sexual health is a matter of 100 percent personal decisions.

Okay--I'll help you think of some! : D

This issue is a close cousin of anti vaccinations.

You say one should not mandate circumcisions. We cannot mandate the use of condoms, we cannot mandate abstinance or condom use for those already infected. In essence, we cannot combat STIs.

In order to get some effective immunity from STIs, we need to get past 95 percent of people using some combination of comdoms, testing, and abstinence for those infected.

Now then looking to MMR and Polio vaccines, without a mandate we will never reach herd immunity from a disease.

I think you are seriously overstating the benefits of circumcision in comparing it to vaccinations. One of the reasons we mandate vaccinations is because vaccinations are just so damn good. They're so effective! To get herd immunity, you first need individual immunity. Circumcision is a long way away from immunity.

That's why I called it a balance between factors. If circumcision were as powerful as the MMR or Polio vaccine, a lot more people would be on board, myself included. It's not though, and in a balancing between factors, you can't pretend that circumcision is as 'heavy' as stuff like the MMR or the Polio vaccine.

If anything, you're giving ammunition to the vaccination denialists by comparing vaccinations to circumcision.

I can certainly grasp that you do not see circumcision as near vaccinations.

There has been a general global rise in seeing public health issues as a matter of personal choice. I see little difference between HPV or AIDS and Small Pox, Polio, Mumps, etc. I see these as diseases that can decimate populations.

In these arenas, anything demonstrably capable of limiting or controlling the spread of the diseases must be done.

Presently sex ed is mostly non-existant in the US, and sex misinformation has a major foothold in many areas. The majority of people with STIs have no idea that they have them. The US from this has a major problem with STIs, among the top in the world per the WHO and CDC. I think the prospect of making the effort perfectly volutnary is just a recipe to breed the diseases.

Do we mandate blood screenings for STIs? Do we mandagte HPV and HEP vaccines Do we mandate circumcisions? Do we allow the AMA, and the American Association of Pediatrics do their job and recommend those procedures deemed necessary? I agree, mandating HPV and HEP vaccines is a much easier sell for me as well. What a wonderful world it might be causing 2 STIs to go extinct like Small Pox. But even the vaccinations are seen as optional, or violate religious freedoms.

And this still is not doing much to my conclusion that the anti-circumcision people, anti-vaccination people, anti-climate change people occupy the same airspace. Same writing tactics, same flip-flops, etc. I can only judge one side based on what they present. Call me crazy logic, reason, scientific study wins out over FUD.

For me, any measure that can with negligible risk compared with significant benefit aid in decreasing instances of disease should be mandated. I am a nut case though; I think the US has an STI problem run amuck. What the American Assiciation of Pediatrics did was alter their list of reccomendations and conclusions on circumcision based on study and research. The AMA suffered a similar issue when it reformed its stance on Mamograms (but not when it changed on anal prostate exams). IE these screenings did more harm than good without genetic history of the cancers in these cases. Here circumcision, per their study and the WHO has demonstrated significant benefits relative to the risks. Demonstrable decreases in risks that males would contract or transmit an STI.
Counter-point from locations like Intact America- ussupported FUD. Decreased sexual sensitivity, never significantly studied, comparrisons with female circumcision in Africa and other genital mutilations. That is as apt as the FBI warning comparing torrenting with carjacking.

Looking at their report, they don't appear to take condom use into account at all. I think their recommendation for circumcision is a bit premature. I think efforts would be much better spent (and more effective) on improving sexual education and increasing condom use than trying to convince people to circumcise their children. Circumcising people apparently does decrease STI infection rates somewhat (for some STI's, not all, and not the most common ones), but condoms do a far better job and don't leave a person permanently altered. To be clear, I'm not saying that circumcision is inherently bad, just that it's a choice that I think should be left to the individual.

KingGorilla wrote:

I can certainly grasp that you do not see circumcision as near vaccinations.

There has been a general global rise in seeing public health issues as a matter of personal choice. I see little difference between HPV or AIDS and Small Pox, Polio, Mumps, etc. I see these as diseases that can decimate populations.

And it is possible for me to see little difference between those diseases AND not see circumcision as near vaccinations. I don't have to choose between those two statements the way it seems you think I do.

In these arenas, anything demonstrably capable of limiting or controlling the spread of the diseases must be done.

...

And this still is not doing much to my conclusion that the anti-circumcision people, anti-vaccination people, anti-climate change people occupy the same airspace. Same writing tactics, same flip-flops, etc. I can only judge one side based on what they present. Call me crazy logic, reason, scientific study wins out over FUD.

No, you are not judging them on what they present. You are judging them based on the strawman you are making out of what they present, like this idea it seems you are pushing that if someone does not agree with you and see circumcisions near vaccinations, that must mean they also must not agree with you in seeing little difference between HPV or AIDS and Small Pox, Polio, Mumps.

I'm not calling you crazy; what I'm calling your stance is illogical, unreasonable, and unscientific in this attempt to turn the fact that the consensus of doctors regarding circumcision has changed means circumcision is the equivalent of a vaccine for purposes of this issue.

edit (forgot the damn conclusion!): I understand you believe that anything demonstrably capable of limiting or controlling the spread of the diseases must be done. However, in making your case, don't do like the people you're complaining about: don't fudge the science to say something it isn't. Make the argument based on what circumcision is, not based on the vaccination-like magic bullet I'm sure we all wish it was.

CheezePavilion wrote:

I'm not calling you crazy; what I'm calling your stance is illogical, unreasonable, and unscientific in this attempt to turn the fact that the consensus of doctors regarding circumcision has changed means circumcision is the equivalent of a vaccine for purposes of this issue.

And the best part... even with the increase in statistical benefit, the AAP still does not recommend routine circumcision and, again, leave the ultimate decision to the parents.
If circumcision granted ANY immunity to STIs or other penile afflictions then I could see them make an actual recommendation. At this point it stands in the same place as it did the last time they published: (Paraphrasing) Gosh Circumcision is neat if your filthy man-child grows up to be promiscuous with at-risk individuals!

Rezzy wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'm not calling you crazy; what I'm calling your stance is illogical, unreasonable, and unscientific in this attempt to turn the fact that the consensus of doctors regarding circumcision has changed means circumcision is the equivalent of a vaccine for purposes of this issue.

And the best part... even with the increase in statistical benefit, the AAP still does not recommend routine circumcision and, again, leave the ultimate decision to the parents.
If circumcision granted ANY immunity to STIs or other penile afflictions then I could see them make an actual recommendation. At this point it stands in the same place as it did the last time they published: (Paraphrasing) Gosh Circumcision is neat if your filthy man-child grows up to be promiscuous with at-risk individuals!

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I think, Rezzy, that you don't comprehend the material completely if you think that no recommendations were made, and that it was identical to the last taskforce report. Word around the, er, "watercooler" is that it was delayed for so long because it was deemed too controversial a change.

Stengah:

Why either or? I think that medical professionals have also given recommendations on education and condom use; I believe that the consensus is overwhelmingly for both of those.

Grubber788 wrote:
Rezzy wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'm not calling you crazy; what I'm calling your stance is illogical, unreasonable, and unscientific in this attempt to turn the fact that the consensus of doctors regarding circumcision has changed means circumcision is the equivalent of a vaccine for purposes of this issue.

And the best part... even with the increase in statistical benefit, the AAP still does not recommend routine circumcision and, again, leave the ultimate decision to the parents.
If circumcision granted ANY immunity to STIs or other penile afflictions then I could see them make an actual recommendation. At this point it stands in the same place as it did the last time they published: (Paraphrasing) Gosh Circumcision is neat if your filthy man-child grows up to be promiscuous with at-risk individuals!

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

Changing "promiscuous with at-risk individuals" to "irresponsible" would be better. One can be promiscuous and be responsible by using protection and getting regularly tested, and one can get an STI their first time if they're not responsible.

LarryC wrote:

Stengah:
Why either or? I think that medical professionals have also given recommendations on education and condom use; I believe that the consensus is overwhelmingly for both of those.

I'm not saying they shouldn't recommend it, I was more addressing the idea that they should be treated on the same level as vaccinations, since they're more than just a needle prick.

I think it's important to really focus on the quote from the NPR article:

"I think that all healthy newborn babies should be circumcised," says Edgar Schoen, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. "I feel about newborn circumcision the way I do about immunization: It's a potent preventive health procedure that gives you a health advantage."

Schoen isn't explicitly saying that vaccinations and circumcision are on the same level, much less the same thing. He's merely drawing a parallel between the medical benefits of both procedures.

Grubber788 wrote:

I think it's important to really focus on the quote from the NPR article:

"I think that all healthy newborn babies should be circumcised," says Edgar Schoen, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. "I feel about newborn circumcision the way I do about immunization: It's a potent preventive health procedure that gives you a health advantage."

Schoen isn't explicitly saying that vaccinations and circumcision are on the same level, much less the same thing. He's merely drawing a parallel between the medical benefits of both procedures.

He's not exactly an unbiased source on the subject, though.

Stengah wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

I think it's important to really focus on the quote from the NPR article:

"I think that all healthy newborn babies should be circumcised," says Edgar Schoen, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. "I feel about newborn circumcision the way I do about immunization: It's a potent preventive health procedure that gives you a health advantage."

Schoen isn't explicitly saying that vaccinations and circumcision are on the same level, much less the same thing. He's merely drawing a parallel between the medical benefits of both procedures.

He's not exactly an unbiased source on the subject, though.

Sure, but neither is Intact America. NPR obviously went to both sides of the debate for quotes. I think the AAP sources are more interesting anyway.

@LarryC

The comments on the NPR article are quite interesting (a welcome change from the utter vitriol spewing forth across the rest of the internet's comment sections). I'm wondering that if as a doctor, you could shine some light on the most recommended comment:

I am a medical student who just finished a 2 month rotation in pediatrics and I would like to address a few points:
1) Everyone needs to stop making the comparison to female genital mutilation, as it is anatomically the same thing as removing the whole head of the penis, not the foreskin.
2) For everyone who will make the appendix comparison, if an appendectomy had as few risks as a circ, I don't know any doctor who wouldn't recommend routine appendix removal at birth. It is a risks vs benefits comparison, and in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks.
3) The AAP isn't trying to force anyone to circumcise their children. A recommendation from a group such as the AAP will influence what insurance companies will cover. This group has done the research and decided that there are medical benefits, and if parents want this medical procedure they want people to be able to get it.
This is certainly anecdotal evidence, but I saw about 15 febrile UTIs (a UTI in a neonate frequently leads to sepsis and requires hospitalization and IV antibiotics as it is life threatening) at the hospital and every single one was an uncircumcised male.

Is that true about female circumcision? That in order for male circumcision to be comparable to female circumcision, you would have to remove the entire head of the penis? Is it more akin to clipping a puppy's tail then?

Grubber788 wrote:

@LarryC

The comments on the NPR article are quite interesting (a welcome change from the utter vitriol spewing forth across the rest of the internet's comment sections). I'm wondering that if as a doctor, you could shine some light on the most recommended comment:

I am a medical student who just finished a 2 month rotation in pediatrics and I would like to address a few points:
1) Everyone needs to stop making the comparison to female genital mutilation, as it is anatomically the same thing as removing the whole head of the penis, not the foreskin.
2) For everyone who will make the appendix comparison, if an appendectomy had as few risks as a circ, I don't know any doctor who wouldn't recommend routine appendix removal at birth. It is a risks vs benefits comparison, and in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks.
3) The AAP isn't trying to force anyone to circumcise their children. A recommendation from a group such as the AAP will influence what insurance companies will cover. This group has done the research and decided that there are medical benefits, and if parents want this medical procedure they want people to be able to get it.
This is certainly anecdotal evidence, but I saw about 15 febrile UTIs (a UTI in a neonate frequently leads to sepsis and requires hospitalization and IV antibiotics as it is life threatening) at the hospital and every single one was an uncircumcised male.

Is that true about female circumcision? That in order for male circumcision to be comparable to female circumcision, you would have to remove the entire head of the penis? Is it more akin to clipping a puppy's tail then?

Female genital mutilation comes in a few different varieties, but one of the common components is the removal of the clitoris, which is what would have developed into the head of the penis had the fetus developed into a male. So yes.

I also think the NPR headline and some of the reporting is just a tiny bit sensationalized, as, if you read what the AAP actually said, it's less about an outright recommendation, and more a statement about access:

AAP wrote:

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.

They're basically saying, "We shouldn't ban it."

Forgive me if this is skimming, but I was reluctant to even approach this thread again...

I'd like to offer my own take as a professional here.

The material and the recommendation is NOT on the same level as immunization. That's just rhetorical nonsense, anyway. Circumcision stands or falls on its own merits. Comparing it to vaccination is just a way to explain it to laymen; and a rather exaggerated claim at that, based on the material from the AAP. It immediately suggests that whoever said it is biased for circumcision.

Note the careful wording. "I feel... " not "It is..." If circumcision were as potent and powerful as vaccination, there would be none of this "feel" crap; he would have surely gone for the more powerful statement.

Stengah:

I'm not saying they shouldn't recommend it, I was more addressing the idea that they should be treated on the same level as vaccinations, since they're more than just a needle prick.

They're a bit more; not really that much more. They figure more in your consciousness because of the cosmetic changes; that part is obvious to laymen and has a larger mindshare than it really ought to.

Infecting someone with cow pox perforce also leaves scarring, often in obvious and unsightly places. Moreover, this is a real and intentional infection; not a body alteration. Even so, widespread use of cow pox as a measure against smallpox was instrumental in its eradication.

Clearly, cosmesis is considered secondary to the primary goal of eradicating disease and death.

The primary objection here should be that the preventive effects are not on par with vaccines; not that they include a cosmetic change incidentally.

Grubber788:

Is that true about female circumcision? That in order for male circumcision to be comparable to female circumcision, you would have to remove the entire head of the penis? Is it more akin to clipping a puppy's tail then?

Yep. Female circumcision involves extensive removal of tissue, not just skin. Another analogy might be that male circumcision is like cutting the webs between your fingers; female involves finger amputation.

The point about removing the entire head of the penis relates to equivalent structures. There isn't much that we can see of the female genitalia externally, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing there. In fact, there's just as many if not more stuff there; they're just not as obvious.

2) For everyone who will make the appendix comparison, if an appendectomy had as few risks as a circ, I don't know any doctor who wouldn't recommend routine appendix removal at birth. It is a risks vs benefits comparison, and in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Correct on risks; comment on recommendations is speculative. Appendectomy requires either spinal or general anesthesia, both of which carry their own significant attendant risks. Circumcision may be done under either of those techniques, but local techniques can be sufficient; it mostly depends on how squeamish you are about it.

3) The AAP isn't trying to force anyone to circumcise their children. A recommendation from a group such as the AAP will influence what insurance companies will cover. This group has done the research and decided that there are medical benefits, and if parents want this medical procedure they want people to be able to get it.

Hard to comment. I don't operate in your health care system; the implications of insurance and no pragmatic ala carte health care solutions is rarely immediately apparent to me.

I highly recommend getting Coldstream in here and getting his take on it for a second opinion.

NSMike:

The recommendation is a bit stronger: "We should fund it." "We shouldn't ban it," is the level of recommendations for bungee jumping and cosmetic cat-face surgery.

Yeah, I have no issue with it being covered by insurance, and am a little surprised that it normally wasn't.

Grubber788 wrote:

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I agree, it isn't a reasonable statement. That's why I didn't say or imply that. The various hoops you have to jump through to arrive at 'Everyone who contracts an STI is a whore' requires some pretty intense extrapolation, even accounting for the use of 'promiscuous.'

Reduced STI transmission rates only benefit an individual having sexual intercourse with an infected person. And only if that sexual contact is limited. Have sex with a single infected person often enough and you will share their infection eventually. Even 99.9% fails on a long enough time-line.

LarryC wrote:

I think, Rezzy, that you don't comprehend the material completely if you think that no recommendations were made, and that it was identical to the last taskforce report.

? I didn't say it was identical, but the ultimate steps are the same:
Before: Leave it to the parents to decide.
Now: Leave it to the parents to decide.

The only real difference I see in the new report is a larger emphasis on the reduced HIV transmission rates... reduced rates which really only manifest statistically and not individually. Tell me... what do you do with a 40-60% reduced HIV transmission rate? How does that influence your decisions?

A study from somewhere other than Africa[/url]]Overall, up to age 32 years, the incidence rates for all STIs were not statistically significantly different-23.4 and 24.4 per 1000 person-years for the uncircumcised and circumcised men, respectively.

Not quite.

Before: We should leave the parents to decide; benefits are equal to risks.
Now: We should leave the parents to decide, but it's a more highly recommended procedure, and we ought to fund it.

That's a substantial difference depending on whether or not your coverage included circumcision before this recommendation.

Rezzy wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I agree, it isn't a reasonable statement. That's why I didn't say or imply that. The various hoops you have to jump through to arrive at 'Everyone who contracts an STI is a whore' requires some pretty intense extrapolation, even accounting for the use of 'promiscuous.'

To be fair, I was also accounting for your use of the expression "filthy man-child"

Grubber788 wrote:
Rezzy wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I agree, it isn't a reasonable statement. That's why I didn't say or imply that. The various hoops you have to jump through to arrive at 'Everyone who contracts an STI is a whore' requires some pretty intense extrapolation, even accounting for the use of 'promiscuous.'

To be fair, I was also accounting for your use of the expression "filthy man-child"

I think that was used to cover the decrease in urinary tract infections due to improper hygiene, not to call people who have sex filthy.

Stengah wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:
Rezzy wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I agree, it isn't a reasonable statement. That's why I didn't say or imply that. The various hoops you have to jump through to arrive at 'Everyone who contracts an STI is a whore' requires some pretty intense extrapolation, even accounting for the use of 'promiscuous.'

To be fair, I was also accounting for your use of the expression "filthy man-child"

I think that was used to cover the decrease in urinary tract infections due to improper hygiene, not to call people who have sex filthy.

Perhaps, but I still think the overall implication of the original statement was somewhat troubling. It amounted to an assertion that the benefits of circumcision only affect those who choose to live certain lifestyles.

Grubber788 wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:
Rezzy wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

I don't think you're trying to say this, so I'm hoping for a clarification. That wording seems to imply that everyone who contracts an STI is a whore. Again, I don't think that's a reasonable statement, so I'm hoping you can clarify what you mean exactly.

I agree, it isn't a reasonable statement. That's why I didn't say or imply that. The various hoops you have to jump through to arrive at 'Everyone who contracts an STI is a whore' requires some pretty intense extrapolation, even accounting for the use of 'promiscuous.'

To be fair, I was also accounting for your use of the expression "filthy man-child"

I think that was used to cover the decrease in urinary tract infections due to improper hygiene, not to call people who have sex filthy.

Perhaps, but I still think the overall implication of the original statement was somewhat troubling. It amounted to an assertion that the benefits of circumcision only affect those who choose to live certain lifestyles.

In essence, that's true though. The UT infection benefit isn't much of a benefit if you properly clean your penis, and the lower STI infection rate isn't an issue for people who use condoms/other prophylactics.

Remember that the 40-60% rate being mentioned was just for HIV transmission. There's not much data for protection against syphilis , but what there is suggests it's non-significant if it exists at all. The data on herpes suggests both that there is a protective effect, and that there isn't one. No effect on chlamydia or gonorrhea (the two most common STI's). A potential 30-40% reduced rate in transmission of HPV, but the studies admit they don't account at all for the risk of acquiring HPV (good to know if you have it, but doesn't tell you if circumcision will help you avoid getting it). An incredibly small effect on penile cancer rate, and a non-significant effect on cervical cancer rates.

Stengah wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

To be fair, I was also accounting for your use of the expression "filthy man-child"

I think that was used to cover the decrease in urinary tract infections due to improper hygiene, not to call people who have sex filthy.

Yup.

Grubber788 wrote:

Perhaps, but I still think the overall implication of the original statement was somewhat troubling. It amounted to an assertion that the benefits of circumcision only affect those who choose to live certain lifestyles.

I believe it is more troubling that the healthcare and education systems in this country are at a point where the AAP felt it necessary to update their position. Apparently to pressure Insurance companies into covering an elective procedure because the children of poor people are more likely to be at-risk for STIs.
Let's look at some points that should be indisputable, even though I may state them from my bias. Consider that editorializing, but the factual component should be valid even if restated with a different bias.

-The majority of males are still getting circumcised in the United States of America, but the reported rate has dropped a few percentage points over the past decade.
-There are two groups of parents that do not circumcise their male children: those that believe the procedure is unnecessary, and those that cannot afford to pay for it if their insurance provider does not cover the procedure.
-The shrinking middle class in America is leaving more and more families without comprehensive insurance or sufficient financial buffers to cover elective surgeries.
-The pendulum of sexual education in America, especially in 'at-risk' districts, is swinging towards the "and let God sort them out" side of things. (This may be considered unfair to the faithful among us that appreciate the dangers of ignorance. I apologize, but abstinence only does not work.)
-Statistically we can only guess if the drop in circumcision rates will impact STI transmission in the US because the vast majority of infants from a decade ago should not yet be sexually active... but we have stats from other countries that are desperate for anything that might slow the spread of infections among their citizens. Adult circumcision seems to have an impact there, although a person worried enough about infection to get a circumcision MIGHT make different choices than one that doesn't. *shrug*
-HIV is scary, but even world-wide mandatory circumcision would only create a statistical blip in transmission rates with or without proper education and ready access to effective prophylactics.

To be clear, I have no problem with the AAP recommending that circumcision should be covered by insurance.
I just lament the fear-mongering they feel is necessary to achieve that goal in their report.

This post is a reply from a conversation that started up in the rape culture thread and that has been justifiably moved here. Quoting precedents for context.

Eleima[/url]]Disclaimer: my post describes Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in some detail, so skip the third paragraph if this might be a trigger or something you don't want to hear. Seriously, it's brutal stuff, you've been warned.

Oddity, so basically, what you're saying is that there's "rape" and then there's "rape rape"?... You can't be serious. I can't help but wonder if you've been paying any attention to this thread at all, if you've read what's been posted, and if you actually understand what victim blaming is. Please take a moment to actually read what's in this thread and its contents, as you don't seem to understand what rape culture is and how you're contributing to it.

On the subject of circumcision specifically... You're making a grave mistake by comparing circumcision to female genital mutilation (FGM). A very, very big mistake. Please allow me to enlighten you as I've worked extensively on both. Circumcision is the act for removing the penis' foreskin, typically when the child is still an infant, for religious or cultural reasons. Usually, both parents are in agreement over whether or not this procedure should take place. From what I gather, male pleasure is intact, even when circumcised. Some studies have shown that being circumcised can lessen your chances of contracting sexual diseases such as HIV.

FGM usually takes place on young girls before they enter puberty or the beginning of it. Without any anesthetic and in atrocious conditions usually leading to major infections. It can take many forms, including cutting the larger labia and sewing the smaller labia shut, cutting all labia and sewing shut the vestibulum (that's the lower part of the vagina) and cutting away the clitoris. Women who undergo FGM suffer major complications. Immediate complications include major pain, shock, haemorrhage, tetanus, sepsis, urine retention, open sores. Long-term complications include recurrent bladder & urinary tract infections, cysts, infertility, increased risk of childbirth complications & newborn deaths. That's saying nothing of the psychological trauma. Needless to say, there are no health benefits.

So, please, please, please think twice before comparing circumcision to FGM. Seriously. And this has nothing to do with being for or against circumcision (I'm not a fan, it's just not a common practice in France, unless you're Jewish or Muslim). FGM is a horrible, terrible practice which should be eradicated and it's no small wonder the UN General Assembly accepted a resolution on the elimination of FGMs back in 2012 (better late than never, right?). At least read what others post before making such statements
(For the record, check Dee's WHO link, it's very complete)

sometimesdee wrote:

World Health Organization[/url]]to reduce a woman's libido and therefore believed to help her resist "illicit" sexual acts.

Kraint[/url]]Eleima:
Genital mutilation of either gender is utterly indefensible. Please stop downplaying cutting on other peoples' genitals because that style doesn't bother you. The supposed benefit of it is tiny compared to even half-assed condom usage, and is in no way sufficient justification.

Kraint[/url]]This is downplaying it, as in stating that it isn't a big deal. Yes, there are a lot of much more awful versions for women(and there are some for men, too). But there is a variant of female circumcision that is a direct analog - the removal of the clitoral hood alone(a rarer practice than the forms El is talking about, granted), which is the same tissue as the foreskin IIRC. I somehow doubt that anyone is in favor of that version, and if you are opposed to that you cannot reasonably hold any different opinion on male circumcision.

I've purposefully quoted my lengthy post on the matter so that you can take a look at it again, and actually read what I said. I never, ever dismissed male circumcision as anecdotal. I never stated that "that style doesn't bother me", you are putting words into my mouth. The only opinion on male circumcision that I stated, in both of my posts, was that that was something I wasn't for, that it's not done where I come from. My father, my grandfather, my uncles, my husband and my son aren't circumcised. Being circumcised is something Jews and Muslims do here, or that a medical procedure that we turn to in cases of phimosis, balanoposthitis & recurrent urinary tract infections. That's it.
You accuse me of downplaying circumcision, but clearly, you hadn't paying attention to the thread. Oddity had been downplaying FGMs which are an established factor in the oppression of women, mostly in Subsaharan Africa, not to mention absolutely horrific on the medical and psychological levels. I was simply explaining why you could not compare one with the one. You dismiss FGMs because there's "a direct analog - the removal of the clitoral hood alone". Let me tell you how rare that is, it's less than 0.1%. And in the small sample we worked on, there wasn't a single case.
Read my post again. All I'm citing are facts: cold, hard facts. I link to a WHO facts page on male circumcision being a protective factor against HIV, if you click on publication, you have the scientific evidence to back that up. That's not my opinion, that's scientific method speaking. You'll get no argument from me that correct condom usage trumps circumcision, but unfortunately, the reality is that most men don't want or don't like using condoms in Africa, where the HIV epidemic is rampant, and go without more often than not.

Since you're personally attacking me and calling me out on it, here's my opinion. Now you may think that I'm not equipped as a cis woman to have an opinion on the matter, but tough luck, here it is anyway. I don't think we should be circumcising our boys unless there's a medical condition which requires it.

Think I've gone on long enough, but this needed to be said, apparently.