Jul 23

Study: Adult Circumcision Minimally Effective at Controlling U.S. HIV Transmission

“Circumcision would not significantly reduce the spread of HIV in the United States, a new study suggests.

The study, carried out in San Francisco, indicated that circumcision as a tactic for reducing HIV transmission would only be minimally effective, reported an article posted at Scientific Computing.

Although studies in Africa have indicated that circumcision might help reduce the spread of HIV in straight men by removing foreskin cells that are vulnerable to the virus, the new study–which focuses on gay American men–does not arrive at the same conclusion, in part because circumcision is already so prevalent in the U.S. Moreover, only a very small minority of men surveyed for the study said that they would undergo circumcision even if it were proven to reduce their risk of contracting HIV.”


Jul 23

The Ethics of Neonatal Circumcision

Blog article about the subject of infant circumcision. An excerpt:

“The last couple months have seen a flurry of reports in the media (particularly American media) regarding male circumcision and its potential health benefits. However, most of the coverage in the U.S. of male circumcision fails to discuss what I think is the most important issue, the ethics.

Before continuing, though, it is critical to discriminate between the significantly different situations under which circumcision may occur. These include therapeutic and non-therapeutic circumcisions performed on either consenting or non-consenting individuals. A therapeutic circumcision is one which is performed to treat a disease or disorder; a non-therapeutic circumcisions are those done for any other reason. Unless noted otherwise, I am only focusing on non-therapeutic, non-consensual circumcision since it’s the kind most often practiced, particularly in the United States where in my opinion the circumcision debates seem to leave out the most important question, is neonatal circumcision ethical?”


Jul 18

$10M for circum-slicing

“A Brooklyn federal judge has awarded $10 million to the victim of a circumcision gone horribly wrong.”


Jul 10

Circumcision: Medical Organization Official Policy Statements – no recommendation for non-therapeutic circumcision for infants/children.

“This directory contains official policy statements of various medical organizations regarding non-therapeutic male circumcision, along with discussions of these positions. All known statements by national medical organizations are accessible from this page. No statement recommends the practice of non-therapeutic child circumcision.


Jul 09

Reasons Not to Circumcise Your Baby

“Circumcision rates in America are dropping as more parents and doctors learn of the physical consequences of male genital mutilation (MGM).

Famously promoted by Dr. Kellogg (of cereal fame) as a masturbation preventive, routine infant circumcision (RIC) is still widely practiced in the USA despite its lack of recommendation by any national medical organization. Circumcision is the subject of a number of widespread myths and misconceptions, including the false “uncircumcised penises are hard to clean” myth. Less well-known are the reasons against circumcising.”


Jul 09

Male Circumcision in the USA: A Human Rights Primer

From the writing:

“Despite the obviously irrational cruelty of circumcision, the profit incentive in American medical practice is unlikely to allow science or human rights principles to interrupt the highly lucrative American circumcision industry. It is now time for European medical associations loudly to condemn the North American medical community for participating in and profiting from what is by any standard a senseless and barbaric sexual mutilation of innocent children.”

–Fleiss PM. MD, MPH. Circumcision. Lancet 1995;345:927 [1]

“Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity.”

–George Bernard Shaw

“What is done to children, they will do to society.”

–Karl Menninger, MD


The American medical establishment has promoted male circumcision as a preventative measure for an astonishing array of pathologies, ranging from masturbatory insanity, moral laxity, aesthetics and hygiene, to headache, tuberculosis, rheumatism, hydrocephalus, epilepsy, paralysis, alcoholism, near-sightedness, rectal prolapse, hernia, gout, clubfoot, urinary tract infections, phimosis, cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix, syphillis and AIDS. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] But the only rationale which has clear, well established scientific support is the one originally and openly used by the medical establishment when medical circumcision was introduced as a “public health” measure in the Victorian era. That is, to punish and control the sexuality of male children. Victorian doctors knew something that modern medicine has chosen to ignore: the foreskin is at the heart of male sexuality.

A typical western medical circumcision results in the loss of approximately 1/2 of the total surface area of the penis and between 50 and 80% or more of its erogenous sexual nerves, [8, 9, 10] including:

  • The Taylor “ridged band” [sometimes called the "frenar band"], the primary erogenous zone of the male body. This unique, highly specialized and exquisitely sensitive structure is equipped with soft ridges designed by nature to stimulate the female’s inner labia and G-spot during intercourse.
  • The frenulum, the highly erogenous V-shaped tethering structure on the underside of the head of the penis.
  • Between 10,000 and 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of several types, which can feel slight variations in pressure and stretching, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations in texture.
  • Thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors called Meissner’s corpuscles, which are also found in the fingertips.

Also lost are:

  • The foreskin’s gliding action, the non-abrasive gliding of the shaft of the penis within its own sheath, which facilitates smooth, comfortable and pleasurable intercourse for both partners.
  • The “subpreputual wetness” which protects the mucosa of the glans (and inner foreskin), and which contains immunoglobulin antibodies and antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as the pathogen-killing enzyme lysozyme, a potent HIV killer which is also found in tears and mothers’ milk.
  • Estrogen receptors, the purpose of which is not fully understood.
  • The foreskin’s apocrine glands, which produce pheromones.
  • The protection and lubrication of the erogenous surface of the penis, which is designed by nature to be an internal organ like the vagina. Natural sex involves contact between two internal organs. [11]

In essence, medical male genital mutilation (MGM) is the pathologization and treatment of the “disease” of male sexuality. [12]

Full essay and downloadable PDF version available here:


Jul 08

Circumcision not enough to stop HIV, experts warn

“As thousands of young men in Nyanza Province troop to health centres to be circumcised in hopes of fending off HIV, new studies show it might be too early to claim victory. Although circumcision has been touted as one of the ways to prevent HIV infection, recent findings show an increase in HIV infection in regions where most males are circumcised.

According to findings of the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey (Kais) released last week, North Eastern and Coast provinces, where 97 per cent of males are circumcised, registered an increase in HIV prevalence.”


Jul 07

Circumcision health benefit virtually nil, study finds

“While it is the most common surgical procedure in the world, there is virtually no demonstrable health benefit derived from circumcision of either newborns or adults, a new study concludes.

The sole exception seems to be using circumcision to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-AIDS in adult males in sub-Saharan Africa, though it is unlikely that benefit carries over to other parts of the world where rates of HIV-AIDS are much lower.

The research, published in Tuesday’s edition of the Annals of Family Medicine, shows that, despite claims, there is little evidence that circumcision can prevent sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections and penile cancer.

There are also risks to the surgery that, while rare, range from sexual dissatisfaction through to penile loss [and death].”


Jul 06

Mothers’ Stories

A collection of stories submitted by various mothers, recounting their experiences with circumcision:


Jul 06

Circumcising boys for religious reasons ‘could breach Human Rights Act’

“Dr David Shaw, lecturer in ethics at Glasgow University, argues that circumcising boys for no medical reason is unethical.

He wrote in the journal Clinical Ethics that any doctor who does perform circumcision without a medical reason could be guilty of negligence and in breach of the Human Rights Act as the child cannot consent to the operation and it can be argued it is not in their best interests.”