The mainstream media sadly keeps disseminating the steady output of pro circumcision writing that comes from a very few authors who swamp publications with promotional material. One such example is below from The New York Times
Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks, Study Reports.
By NICHOLAS BAKALAR
A review of studies has found that the health benefits of infant male circumcision vastly outweigh the risks involved in the procedure.
But the study, published online in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, also found that while the prevalence of circumcision among American men ages 14 to 59 increased to 81 percent from 79 percent over the past decade, the rate of newborn circumcision has declined by 6 percentage points, to 77 percent, since the 1960s.
The authors conclude that the benefits — among them reduced risks of urinary tract infection, prostate cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and, in female partners, cervical cancer — outweigh the risks of local infection or bleeding. Several studies, including two randomized clinical trials, found no long-term adverse effects of circumcision on sexual performance or pleasure.
One cost-benefit analysis that considered infant urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases found that if circumcision rates were decreased to the 10 percent typical in European countries, the additional direct medical costs over 10 years of births would be more than $4.4 billion.
“Male circumcision is in principle equivalent to childhood vaccination,” said the lead author, Brian J. Morris, emeritus professor of medical sciences at the University of Sydney. “Just as there are opponents of vaccination, there are opponents of circumcision. But their arguments are emotional and unscientific, and should be disregarded.”
An excellent letter in response has been written by Steven Svoboda (left), Attorneys for the Rights of the Child.
We were disappointed to see the New York Times publish an article (“Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks, Study Reports,” by Nicholas Bakalar; April 8, 2014) so strongly at odds with the Times’ generally high standards. A team of mostly European physicians recently concluded that the only arguable medical benefit of male circumcision is a slight reduction in urinary tract infections, but these can more cheaply and less painfully be treated with antibiotics.
Claims regarding prostate cancer and cervical cancer were disproven decades ago. Studies have suggested that female circumcision may help prevent HIV but everyone correctly avoids proposing this on grounds of medical ethics and physical integrity. The same principles bar male circumcision, as has been recently concluded by the Council of Europe and the Royal Dutch Medical Association.
No objective person could seriously question what the vast majority of studies have documented, that removal of half the surface skin of the penis seriously impacts sexuality. The vaccination analogy is incoherent as unlike circumcision, vaccination doesn’t remove functional tissue.
The New York Times should know better.