No debate – circumcision is great!

Why is there still any debate among the masses as to whether circumcision of newborn males is a good thing, when there seems to be no debate among scientists and medical experts?

A new analysis of the studies conducted thus far on whether circumcision affects sexual function in any way concludes:

“The highest-quality studies suggest that medical male circumcision has no adverse effect on sexual function, sensitivity, sexual sensation, or satisfaction.”

This comes about a year after the American Academy of Pediatrics declared:

“According to a systematic and critical review of the scientific literature, the health benefits of circumcision include lower risks of acquiring HIV, genital herpes, human papilloma virus and syphilis. Circumcision also lowers the risk of penile cancer over a lifetime; reduces the risk of cervical cancer in sexual partners, and lowers the risk of urinary tract infections in the first year of life.”

The AAP went so far in its statement to suggest that, since the health benefits of infant male circumcision are so well-established, the procedure should be covered by insurance!

“The AAP believes the health benefits are great enough that infant male circumcision should be covered by insurance, which would increase access to the procedure for families who choose it.”

Then why do we still have some courts in Europe trying to ban circumcision?  If it’s not for health reasons, then…?

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8 thoughts on “No debate – circumcision is great!

  1. John

    Friendly opinion: I don’t think a freethinking person should say there’s no debate. Perhaps he could say there are some strong findings supporting a conclusion.

    Reply
    1. Freethinking Jew Post author

      Touché. 🙂
      When I say, “No debate,” I don’t mean it as prescriptive – “No one should debate this,” but rather as descriptive – “We do not find any debate on this issue amongst the experts in the relevant fields.” E.g. there’s no debate about whether the Earth is flat or evolution is true, etc. Nonetheless, perhaps there are medical experts who oppose circumcision and I’m just not aware, so maybe your wording would have been better in this case. But “No debate; circumcision is great!” is a far more catchy title, no? 🙂

      Reply
  2. tesyaa

    Circumcision is one of the Jewish practices that is one of the last discarded by the secular and lapsing/lapsed Jew. For some reason, there’s a very strong cultural need to conform in this way. I’m not sure why, and I’m sure glad I’m not having any more kids that I would have to decide whether to mutilate.

    But feel free to ascribe the desire to keep this practice to the health benefits. I’m sure the benefits exist, I’m just not sure they justify mutilation. If it’s so much healthier, wouldn’t natural selection have already done away with the foreskin?

    Reply
  3. John

    I saw 2 youtube videos about it (with scientific basis) that didn’t seem pro-circumcision. That’s just a basis for saying there might be a debate about it.

    Reply
  4. Paul Sandberg

    The claim made by pro-circumcision activists (such as Brian Morris) that circumcision has no adverse effect on sexual function is misleading, and needs to be taken with a “pinch of salt”. Those “high-quality studies” alluded to above relate primarily to removal of DEFECTIVE or PATHOLOGICAL foreskin, rather than to normal, healthy foreskin.

    The great majority of studies that Brian Morris and John Krieger depend upon to come to their conclusion that circumcision has no adverse effects on sexual function are based upon medically indicated circumcisions (about 90% of which were due to phimosis). So, although it is true that the study subjects were able to compare the before-and after- effect of their circumcision on sexual pleasure, their testimony is not relevant to the sexual consequences of amputating healthy foreskin. Therefore, those studies in no way justify the routine, non-therapeutic circumcision of minors (which removes healthy foreskin). I would actually argue that those study findings are disquieting, since IN SPITE of the fact that the circumcisions were supposed to be corrective,, most of the patients reported no IMPROVEMENT in sexual function or pleasure – not the result to be wished for a surgical correction! The findings were typically “no better and no worse” after the circumcision.
    The remaining studies which Morris and Krieger use to support their claim relate to circumcisions in Africa, in which the men WANTED to be circumcised, In many cases, their motivation to be circumcised may have derived from peer pressure or to comply with cultural or religious norms, and such motivations my lead to highly biased findings or testimonies, which have limited relevance to circumcisions pertaining to western nations, where there is little peer pressure or cultural reason to want circumcision (medical indication is the prime motivator for circumcision in western nations). There is a further limitation to those studies in Africa which Morris and Krieger so avidly employ; the study subjects were all recruited by the same research team or personnel who were actively recruiting for circumcision subjects. This represents a clash of vested interests, since the team investigating the sexual effects of circumcision should be independent of the team recruiting or attracting circumcision patients..

    In conclusion, the medical literature available gives no grounds to assert that routine infant circumcision is innocuous or not harmful. What is clear is that neuro-anatomists confirm the dense sensory innervation of the foreskin, as well as its rich blood supply (capillary network). Rich vascularisation attests rich functionality..

    Reply
    1. Freethinking Jew Post author

      Thanks for reading and offering an alternative view, Paul.
      Obviously people who circumcise their boys for religious reasons aren’t doing so because of any perceived health benefits. But, of course, if it’s actually harmful, that would be a problem.
      It would be quite a conspiracy or fraud, though, if all these different studies were suffering the fatal flaws you bring up. But I’m always a fan of critical thinking!

      Reply

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