American Academy of Pediatrics Changes Stance on Circumcision

The group says that medical insurers should pay for the procedure.

Even as the circumcision rate for newborn baby boys in the United States reaches its lowest level in decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported Monday that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. It’s the first time that the influential medical group has updated its circumcision policy since 1999. The academy said that medical insurers should cover the procedure.  

A review of medical literature published Monday in the journal "Pediatrics" finds that circumcision may protect heterosexual men against HIV infection. The policy shift comes as circumcision becomes a charged political topic from the Bay Area to Germany, where a court ruled in June that circumcision is illegal. Jewish groups are asking the German government to pass legislation that protects the practice

The academy's position does not endorse circumcision, but suggests that it should be an option available to parents, according to an article in the New York Times. 

According to a federal study of circumcisions performed in community hospitals published in February, there were 1.2 million hospital circumcisions in 2009. California counts one of the lowest circumcision rates in the country with 22 percent. 

Last year, Berkeley's Peace and Justice Commission passed a resolution condemning a comic book character created by an anti-circumcision group called Foreskin Man that many deemed to be anti-Semitic. 

What do you think? Should circumcision should be banned, or should parents be allowed to have the choice, as the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests? 

Pleasanton Mom August 30, 2012 at 01:46 AM
No thou "chosen one", please do not be upset with me. I seek nothing more than to inform others of the presence of thou "chosen one" so they might be able to avoid upsetting you as I have. I've been distraught ever since thou "chosen one" expressed upset towars me. Please have mercy on me & accept that my being a single, minority, disabled mom means that I am less than you are. I know this to be true because YOU, thou "chosen one" told me so. Just knowing that I am "ignorant", "exploitive of children", "sick", "dumb", "small minded", "inbred", "neglectful" of my children, "hateful" towards others YOU deem as less than me and all the other things you've told me has shattered my world and I'm at a breaking point. Please thou "chosen one", have mercy on me & those that don't share your percieved intelligence. You must know that since you are "the chosen ONE" that there can be no other & that we therefore are not capable of thinking at your level. I am pleading with you not to call CPS on me with your false neglect claim that you stated you would report and ask that you consider you've not even met me or my chldren to know and that basing such complaints on nothing more than thou "chosen one's" opinion of the amount of time I spend posting is really not fair even coming from thou "chosen one". Also, I would ask you have mercy on my limited financial resources due to being poor, disabled & stupid and that you not file frivilous lawsuits to create "legal fees I cannot afford".
Rood Andersson August 30, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Where did you read that I'm in favour of abortion, Tamerlane. After all, I'm not a vegetarian for nothing. Tamerlane (Timur) quite a handle you have there. Tamerlane: the Muslim fellow who is estimated to have killed seventeen million people. It's rather like someone going by the name of Stalin ... or Hitler. Where are you coming from with all this anyway ... anti-abortion, but advocating Genital Mutilation, while using the handle of one of history's greatest butchers. Explain yourself, man.
Kirsten Schwartz August 30, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Not to mention the search in the Middle Ages for the holy foreskin of Jesus. Really. It was considered a sacred relic; after all, he was a Jew baby, and after his ascension, it would be the only piece of his flesh left on the planet. Really. It was as powerful a relic in its time as, or more than, The Grail.
Kevin August 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM
This is more than a health issue... this is a human rights issue. No one has the right to determine the physical fate of another without that person's approval. Even parents. Especially since, in the most all cases, the newborn is healthy and RIC is not without risks and lifelong losses. The losses significantly outweigh the benefits and that part of the story is not told adequately to us by our Physicians . The US Health Care System is broken and behind the rest of the world in many ways. All other developed and nonsectarian countries oppose RIC and ours does not. To me this is a great embarrassment.
Tamerlane August 30, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Also thought of using: Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Kim Jong-Il, Genghis Khan or Pol Pot, but Tamerlane won out. :-)
Pleasanton Mom August 30, 2012 at 04:04 AM
When my children were born it was a foregone (sp?) conclusion that if they were boys they would be circumsized. I had two girls do never had to make this decision. After reading the posts on here I think I can honestly say I would decide against circumcision if I were making the decision today. I truly had no appreciation for the magnitude of the decision.
Trader Lu August 30, 2012 at 07:54 AM
There is an easy solution for all you progressives. Outlaw the procedure on non-adults unless it is done intrauterine. That is, it has to be O.K. because the child inside of the womb is not a real person with any rights.
T. Gunter August 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Great idea!
Rood Andersson August 30, 2012 at 09:31 PM
That's sick, Timur, as is Male and Female Genital Mutilation.
Rood Andersson August 30, 2012 at 09:39 PM
English Lady wrote: "Of course if you are a lady I suppose there are certain advantages to having a lover with reduced sensitivity ..." It's the other way around, English Lady. Male Genital Mutilation negatively affects a man's female partner's experience. Check out Kristen O'Hara's book Sex As Nature Intended It. http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com Circumcised sex results in painful chafing and endless pounding, as circumcised men attempt to achieve a modicum of the subtle sensations which are characteristic of the the gentle, loving intercourse women can have with intact men.
Rood Andersson August 30, 2012 at 09:54 PM
You are really clutching at straws, Trader Lu. You would better serve your point-of-view by directly addressing the question at hand. Attempts to conflate the issue of Male Genital Mutilation with the controversy over abortion demonstrates how little you seem to know or care about the rights of living children. Using this ploy suggests you lack any valid defense for the tradition of Male and Female Genital Mutilation. As a consequence you refute your very premise, which casts doubt on the reliability of your argument.
Rood Andersson August 30, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Like endless pieces of the True Cross, enough to make a small forest if put together, the number of foreskins held as sacred relics in Christian Churches must be numbered in the dozens. It would have been so much simpler if the holy penis had been left untouched.
frankie d August 31, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Funny how no one has stones (or foreskin) enough to take on the psycho sadistic god who came up with this abysmal idea. Chris T was right that Deni, despite her mounds of favorable medical data to support the practice, was being insensitive to the point of abusiveness. The impetus for lopping foreskins was not hygiene related, but ritual behavior serving a god who seems to get off on violence and abuse. If my parents had thought this through, and realized that there was an alternative to conforming my body to please the god of the Jew, they would have done exactly the same thing. They are violent too. OK with my penis. Not OK with the lack of choice. Absolutely detest the symbolism. Is that clear?
Emilie Raguso August 31, 2012 at 01:32 PM
In case folks don't know, you can always click the "stop following" button right above the comments if you'd like to stop receiving comment email alerts.
Chris Nicholson August 31, 2012 at 02:12 PM
LOL. I call that the "TMI button." I clicked it about 100 comments ago.
Jim Beller August 31, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Emilie forwarded another reader's request to seek my input on the circumcision controversy. Here's the text of my response, which E. thought I should "totally" post: In my endless quest of virality, before your fwd, I drew an initial sketch of a penis running away from the doctor with a scalpel. Product of the Victorian Age that I am, I couldn't even send it to you for an opinion. It definitely would need the NSFW label. Then we had a disagreement with a friend over whether it even portrayed an uncircumcised penis correctly. I'm afraid to use Google Image search for clarification - who knows what spam that might attract! Then I considered some non-NSFW options -- like a dog pondering the problem -- but nothing really grabbed me. I'd say the entire issue has been blown out of proportion.
Winifred Owen August 31, 2012 at 03:55 PM
How about just scrubbing it from the Albany Patch altogether? Most of the commenters are from elsewhere - as the article originated on another Patch. This topic has run its course. Quite a while ago, in fact.
Winifred Owen August 31, 2012 at 03:58 PM
A cartoon is the last thing we need. Can't this thread just die a merciful death? Please.
Emilie Raguso August 31, 2012 at 04:01 PM
@Jim -- LOL -- thank you for that. @WInifred -- actually this story was on Albany Patch within minutes of its initial post on Patch. It was, a very short time later, shared with a number of other sites. You're right that this gets away from our mission of keeping the conversation local. But every once in a while I think that can be interesting for people too. I definitely suggest you simply un-follow this conversation if you don't want to see the comments. Then it should be easy enough to ignore. Stick to the rest of the home page if you're looking for local. :)
"The Black Panther of Poetry" August 31, 2012 at 08:03 PM
and Patch deleted my comment to Cmilio about Black Beauty on this date and time:6:12 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Daniel Archuleta August 31, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Really? Thank you Patch!!!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" August 31, 2012 at 08:59 PM
and Patch deleted my comment to Cmilio about Black Beauty on this date and time:6:12 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 After we finish talking about how evil Circumcision is...Can we then talk about how evil racism is?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" August 31, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I mean out of all the vulgar stuff that has been said on and about this topic. I was the lucky one to be censored because I made a statement about a movie about Disney Movie about a horse called Black Beauty (Whos' mind is in the gutter)
Rood Andersson August 31, 2012 at 09:22 PM
The "psycho-sadistic god" who originated such violence was actually a group of Jewish Priests and scribes who had been forcibly relocated to Babylon during the "Captivity". That's when they inserted Genesis 17 into the Biblical narrative to replace Genesis 15 ... the "Original" covenant. No longer able to demand animal sacrifices for their covenant fires at the Temple, they cleverly substituted the old Arabian tribal tradition of genital mutilation. Their attempt to transform that ugly ritual into a "religious" rite was done largely for political purposes. Get a man to mutilate his son's penis in the name of "god" and you can get him to do just about anything you wish.
frankie d September 01, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Thanks Rood for your intelligent response. Unless god is manufacturing loads of cosmetics, we should seriously withhold this mountain of foreskins...or charge an appropriate fee for their release. Sorry to bore young Winifred with all this trifling ; )
Trader Lu September 02, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Rood, I did not bring up the other topic. Someone mentioned it way back in the thread. Also, my opinion about the topic at hand was given earlier in this thread. Yes, I do care deeply about the rights of living children. Why do you have to resort to personal attacks?
Rood Andersson January 07, 2013 at 07:13 PM
On Monday, 7 January 2013 Nadja Adolf wrote: "I agree with you Mary. Uncircumcised penises (I've seen pictures in books, and on a public beach in Oregon, so I must admit I haven't seen a wide range of them) look like a dog's penis to me. So it is probably a good thing I haven't seen many, especially before lunch. B^)" Yes, Nadja, and though I haven't seen the genitalia of many females, I must say that I'm very happy not to have witnessed any before breakfast this morning. I'm sure I would have lost my appetite, straightaway. I mean how can women go around displaying themselves like a bunch of female dogs and cats with their rumps up in the air, begging for attention. It defies imagination. I'm sure you agree with me that we'd all be better off if women would have those ugly flaps removed. Then we could all eat our meals without undo concern.
Mary Smith February 07, 2013 at 08:43 PM
OH FOR GOD'S SAKE! This article was printed SIX months ago!!! LET IT GO ALREADY!!!!!!!
Rood Andersson February 07, 2013 at 09:54 PM
May Smith: Apparently male promiscuity is a fact of life in Africa, and one of the problems in HIV transmission in that continent is that women comprise the majority of the HIV cases (each HIV positive man infects several women). If men can reduce their susceptibility of catching HIV from one of those infected women by amputating their foreskin ... they can continue being promiscuous. Authorities have thrown up their hands about getting men to use condoms ... or to be monogamous, and so they hope against hope that genital mutilation will reduce transmission. Gay men who have anal sex, on the other hand, pass bodily fluids from one to the other, and male geital mutilation doesn't seem to make any difference in rates of transmission.
Rood Andersson February 07, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Mary Smith. I don't know what your point is, but in those 6 months close to a half-million infant American males have suffered throuth the pain and trauma of genital mutilation. Six months? Golly, this injustice has gone on a lot longer, so yes, we should have let it go six decades ago.


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