Will Obama Appoint a Circumcision Czar?

The Centers for Disease Control Are Preparing to Recommend Mandatory Circumcision for American Boys as an AIDS Prevention Measure.

Patterico explains why this is stupid:

He and other experts acknowledged that although the clinical trials of circumcision in Africa had dramatic results, the effects of circumcision in the United States were likely to be more muted because the disease is less prevalent here, spreads through different routes, and the health systems are so disparate as to be incomparable.

Clinical trials in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda found that heterosexual men who were circumcised were up to 60 percent less likely to become infected with HIV over the course of the trials than those who were not circumcised. There is little to no evidence that circumcision protects men who have sex with men from infection. Another reason circumcision would have less effect in the United States is that some 79 percent of adult American men are already circumcised, public health officials say.”

I gotta say, the Obama CDC considers it reasonable to fight STDs with circumcision, but it’s crazy-talk to teach people about abstinence.

Snippin' for Bammy.

Snippin' for Bammy.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Will Obama Appoint a Circumcision Czar?

  1. The Mole

    Now THIS is why Ms. Andie Sullivan will turn on her dreamy boyfriend, Obama.

  2. Cylar

    Clinical trials in Kenya, South Africa and Uganda found that heterosexual men who were circumcised were up to 60 percent less likely to become infected with HIV over the course of the trials than those who were not circumcised. There is little to no evidence that circumcision protects men who have sex with men from infection.

    These two sentences seem to contradict each other. Can someone explain to me what the author is trying to say?

    I’m having trouble understanding what circumcision would have to do with STD’s, particular those born by blood or semen. Like say, HIV.

  3. Cylar, since heterosexual men are men who have sex with women, those two sentences don’t contradict each other, but they sure take a lot of explaining. The CDC is also weasel-wording around the fact that circumcision does not just fail to protect women from infection by men, it may actually increase the risk to them – and they are at greater risk already.

    The fact is there is far too much dogmatic nonsense coming out of the CDC about the wonders of circumcision, that have simply not been borne out in the real world. The intact men of Europe, Scandinavia and the rest of the English-speaking world, and their partners, are not coming down with any of the dreaded diseases they try to frighten us with, in anything like the numbers that would justify wasting money and resources on mass circumcision.

    (This nonsense started long before Obama, it’s got nothing to do with him.)

  4. Cylar

    Hmm, OK. I didn’t see the “men who have sex with men” part the first time around. And I keep forgetting that a lot of men in other western countries aren’t circumcised. My girlfriend spent about a year over in the UK before I met her, and she said that most of the guys over there aren’t.

    As you can see from the statistic in the original article, it is a common practice in the US, usually done at birth.

    I guess I’m failing to see any connection between circumcision and STD’s, but maybe that’s what the original article was trying to get across to start with.

  5. It’s not as common as it was. Only about 55% of babies are cut nationwide, much less in the west – so “being teased” will be nothing like the issue it was.

    (Worldwide, only 30% of men are cut – mostly Muslims.)

    It looks as though the circumcision lobby (and there sure is one) is starting to panic, now that their favourite operation is going out of fashion, so they’re trying to frighten the US back into doing it. But they may have overreached themselves with references to “mandatory” and it’s putting people’s backs up.

    Study after study has shown no, or only very marginal, effects of circumcision on STDs, but the media – and sometimes researchers themselves – report them misleadingly.

  6. The Doktor

    3 out of 4 of my sons have ”hoodies” for their woodies.

  7. John

    I was at a conference once where this was discussed and a European speaker spoke up and noted that culture was influencing the decision. The fact is Western Europe has the lowest HIV rates in the world (2-4 times less than the US as a percentage of population) and those countries rarely have a circumcision rate of more than 2% (mostly religious, which is not related to health at all). We’ve already tried this experiment: in the 80s, the sexually active men (born in the 50s-70s) were of the most circumcised generation in US history and they did a very effective job of spreading the disease quickly and across the country. It’s just another health rationalization from the circumcision fetishists.
    I also think it speaks to age. These doctors, being high up in their organization, are probably much older. I was born in the 80s, in an area where circumcision was popular (due mostly to lack of education and outdated medical practices) and even so, I’d say a good 2/5 had their whole package. It’s just worthless to circumcise and not something that would ever enter my mind when and if I have sons.

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