It's hard to find a more contentious parenting issue than male circumcision. Okay, extended nursing in public -- that might do it. But if you want a fight, simply declare, loudly and proudly, that you're an intactivist. Or you just got back from a bris, and wow was it magical!
To add another element to the argument, new research has not only the Center for Disease Control but also the American Academy of Pediatrics coming out with a strong stance on circumcision, whereas before they stood back and let other people duke it out. And one side of this penile debate is not going to be happy.
After research showed that circumcision helps prevent not only STD transmission, but also HIV, the AAP and CDC are drafting a pro-circ position. Of course, we don't know what the two authoritative organizations are going to say exactly, so it could still lean "but you go ahead and do what you think is best." Which, quite frankly, is what today's modern parent is going to do regardless of the recommendations.
Because if you think circumcision is mutilation, this study isn't going to sway you. Although if you were somewhere in the middle and had a big decision to make, it's possible you would go with the circ to help with the odds of your son contracting a disease down the line. That is what intactivists are afraid of: a trend that has turned back the recent progress in the movement.
Today about 50% of baby boys are circumcised, which is the lowest rate seen in modern times. Having two well-respected medical sources endorse the health benefits of circumcision could change those stats. As someone who believes it's no one's business what goes down in anyone else's pants -- cut or uncut -- I know it would make me think twice if faced with the option again today. Whether or not it would actually sway me? I dunno.
I would hope the kid always carried a condom, but as a former teenager, I also know that's not realistic. So yes, this throws a monkey wrench in the argument when you start thinking about the safety of your own child.
What do you think about this new research, and the CDC and AAP taking a new position?
Image via Ran Yaniv Hartstein/Flickr