There are some subjects where a writer of a pediatric blog expects to provoke internet trolls (lurkers on the web who pounce on controversy, looking to stir the pot) — vaccines, of course, breastfeeding, and even cochlear implants. But circumcision?
Circumcision has done me no favors! I love when my wife and I partake in one of the most intimate and beautiful experiences in life, but for me it can be a very dark experience on occasion because part of my body was altered against my will.
Yikes! The rest of his lengthy and detailed comment cannot be published on this blog, except the last line:
Even those who survive still have problems like mine, though they are seldom discussed.
Note to parents: circumcision does not kill!
Another commenter on last week’s PediaBlog post lets me know what others in the world think about circumcision:
This is what some other national medical organizations say about male circumcision:
Canadian Paediatric Society
“Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”
He says people in Australia, the U.K., and The Netherlands don’t think much of this procedure either.
Another comments from the U.K.:
Did the members of the AAP’s circumcision “task force” who produced this policy statement declare anywhere in the report that:
1. Almost definitely, none of them actually possess a foreskin themselves?
That guy disqualifies himself because… well… how does he know that?
This reader compares the obvious benefits of childhood immunization against common vaccine-preventable diseases that sicken and kill to the less certain benefits of circumcision that adult men may see to prevent rare diseases:
Vaccination offers proven, strong, protection against deadly, contagious diseases of children (now rare precisely because of vaccination – and it is this rarity that anti-vaxxers exploit, leading to sporadic outbreaks of those diseases).
Circumcision offers only debatable or disproven slight reductions in already-rare diseases of late onset that can be better prevented by other means, or treated as they occur.
Finally, this guy asks politely:
Please consider adding to your blog information about the functions of the foreskin. The foreskin is erogenous tissue, and contains thousands of sexually sensitive nerve endings. It also provides a mechanical gliding/lubricating action during intercourse.
He links me to a site that gives scientifically accurate information about the anatomy and physiology of the male foreskin. The site (coloradonocirc.org) does not refute the scientifically accurate medical reasons why circumcision is recommended in this country (prevention of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections, and penile cancer), but simply informs on the foreskin’s reason for being and function.
This is one subject where both sides can make scientifically sound arguments and parents can make the ultimate decision. (Unlike vaccines, where there are only rare and very specific scientific reasons not to vaccinate.)