Doctors Pushing Routine Circumcision


scalpelThe last thing most moms think of when they look at their newborn son for the first time is a sexually transmitted disease. But that's what some doctors would like them to think about.

A group of medical experts from Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health are pushing the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the sanctioned mother of all parenting advice, to recommend routine circumcision for infant boys.

The JH and NIH docs dumped years of studies on circumcision on the table, poured over the papers, and decided that the little snip-snip of the foreskin reduces the risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases enough to warrant such a request.

Getting the AAP on board would probably lead to a big boost in circumcisions, according to these doctors.

But the AAP doesn't agree that the evidence is that clear cut. According to the Wall Street Journal, it's been reviewing data on circumcision for a year, but will probably stand on its current recommendation that there are risks either way and it's up to the parents.

Which is a good thing because CafeMoms love to debate this topic. Check out a few of the current heated discussions. Even when the original poster is on a simple fact-finding mission, it almost inevitably takes a turn:

Moms of Boys -- Circumcision Question

CDC May Promote Routine Circumcision for Infant Boys

Should I Get My Unborn Son Circumcised?


How much does advice from the AAP and other big child health organizations sway your parenting decisions? Should the AAP back routine circumcision? 

circumcision, health


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athenax3 athenax3

I take any medical research of finding or recommendations with a grain of salt, but I do read or listen to them. I do definitely apply the information to my thought process about a topic. I circ'd my son, but I recognize that this is an individual decision and is considered "cosmetic" in nature. There are pros and  cons either way and I don't care what others choose to do, I take no personal offense whatsoever to their choice and put as little thought as possible into tiny little penises that weren't born of me, lol...those who think it's mutilation, abuse, horror, etc.- i don't bother with, their too far gone in thier own line of thinking about the topic to have a rational discussion with, and I don't even really think it's something that needs to be discussed beyond the realm of your family and your doctor. Do it, don't do it no one, including your son is likely to actually care either way- I know you all think your son is going to mourn and pine for his foreskin or cry because he has one or some other atrocity, but boys are basic beings, if it's there, in any shape, and they can play with it, pee with it and eventually get someone else to play with it, they're happy.

Cynthje Cynthje

The evidence is not clear cut at all and its still safe sex that prevents STD's not circumcision. Its horrible that doctors would use this as a reason to try and push parents into circumcision, what if there was research that proved that circumcised females have lower risks of certain cancers? Would doctors then try to push female circumcision: i dont think really makes no sense to me to use it as a reason.

I am still waiting on the research that compares american circumcised males to european intact ones, you cant compare african males to american ones because the circumstances are totally different, its comparing apples and pears.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Wow, this'll be a bad can of worms.

There ARE proven medical benefits to circumcision, everything from reducing the risk of UTI's and penile cancer, to preventing contraction and spreading of different diseases.

The AAP has always said that they held NO stance as they didn't feel there was enough evidence to recommend it ROUTINELY (for every baby), but with all the research that's come out in the last few years, I'm not surprised they're starting to take a little more solid stance.

What people need to rememeber is this is your decision that you should research based on FACTS.  Ignore emotional arguments.  If we did all our parenting based on emotions, kids would never be vaccinated or get necessary surgeries.  Read FACTS, from CREDIBLE sources.  If it says "procirc" or "anticirc", it's not going to be very reliable.  "Recommended routinely" just means they suggest all parents circumcise their boys.  It doesn't mean they are going to make anyone do anything, so it's your job to learn why they make their recommendation, what other benefits there are, but also the potential risks of doing it, as well as the risks and benefits of NOT doing it.

No choice here is wrong, as long as it's educated by TRUTHFUL FACTS instead of the lies that are so danged popular.

ml66uk4 ml66uk4

In Europe, almost no-one circumcises unless they're Muslim or Jewish, and they have significantly lower rates of almost all STI's including HIV.

Even in Africa, there are six countries where men are more likely to be HIV+ if they've been circumcised: Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Swaziland.  Eg in Malawi, the HIV rate is 13.2% among circumcised men, but only 9.5% among intact men.  In Rwanda, the HIV rate is 3.5% among circumcised men, but only 2.1% among intact men.  If circumcision really worked against AIDS, this just wouldn't happen.  We now have people calling circumcision a "vaccine" or "invisible condom", and viewing circumcision as an alternative to condoms.

The one study into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw.


ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms) is the way forward.  Promoting genital surgery will cost lives, not save them.


RanaA... RanaAurora

OH, and by the way... the title?  Misleading.  A recommendation is NOT pushing anything.

nonmember avatar Michelle

My husband wanted our son circ'd, and I said ok, as long as painkiller is used. BUT my son cried so much while healing that I really wish we hadn't done it. To top it off, no one told me how often to clean it, and it really hurt him to touch it, so I didn't clean it much, and it healed wrong. By that I mean the skin from the shaft fused with some of the skin of the glans and covered part of the corona. I don't have a penis, so I really don't know how to properly care for one, and I regret that my son's penis is now "different." He's only one, so we won't know if he will have any problems until puberty.
My mother told me that when my brother was circ'd (in 1983) they used two plastic rings that snapped together, cutting off ciculation to the foreskin, so it just dried up and fell off, no pain (kind of like what they do with the umbilical cord.) Why was that type of painless circ not given as an option when I was given the paperwork to sign for my son's procedure?
What I would like people to learn from my story is, make sure you do your research on ALL the pros and cons, and know how to properly clean and care for a circ, if you do decide to have it done. Personally, I believe it is the boy's body, it should be his decision. I do not believe that circumcision is necessary, and no one should put a little baby through that kind of pain.

1stti... 1sttimemommy198

I am 100% for circumcision...however I am also 100% against abortion....but with both these issues I feel that it is up to the parents and no one else...

tyrel... tyrelsmom

The only benefits to circumcision is a slightly lower chance of UTI's, which are very uncommon in males, anyway, and a slightly lower chance of penile cancer, which is one of the rarest forms of cancer.  Much higher chance of having a badly botched circumcision.  The link between STD's and circumcision is pure bs.  And RanaAurora, I'm surprised.  You seem to be a mostly all-natural mom, but here you are arguing FOR the routine amputation of a body part.  That's not natural in any way. 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

RanaA... RanaAurora

tyrelsmom, it's incredibly rude of you to tell me that I should fit into some bubble you've put me in.

I am a PRO-RESEARCH mom.  It just so happens that research shows that MOST natural things are incredibly beneficial.  However, there are MANY more benefits to circumcision than just a 10x reduction in the risk of UTIs.  

I support parental CHOICE on this issue - EDUCATED choice... but I wish that the opposing side would stop with it's sensationalist propoganda.

tyrel... tyrelsmom

The propaganda comes from the pro side, sorry to say, with their complete idiocy of conducting studies in Africa and applying them to North America.  Do we live in even slightly the same conditions?  Umm, no.  The US is the ONLY 1st world country where circumcision is routine.  Do they have lower levels of STD's than Canada or European countries where circumcision is much less common? Nope, in most cases much higher. 

Hey, maybe they should start recommending routine double mastectomies for all women who are past childbearing age.  I'll bet it would significantly reduce the chances of breast cancer.  And that's a cancer that commonly kills women.  Penile cancer is FAR rarer, and usually easily treated.  But most women can't even get that paid for by their insurance, and often can't find a doctor who will do it even if they pay out of pocket. 

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