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Aug-28-2012 01:49printcomments

Circumcision Harm Far Exceeds Claimed 'Benefits'

Personal, cultural, financial, and professional conflicts lead to flawed circumcision report.


(BOSTON) - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the first national medical organization in the world to state that the "preventive health benefits" of circumcision outweigh the risks. Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center in Boston, a nonprofit educational organization that opposes circumcision, notes that in Europe, where circumcision is rare, there is no increase in the incidence of STDs. He adds that other countries recommend against circumcision or are discussing restricting it. They recognize the inherent physical, sexual, and psychological harm of circumcision and that it violates medical ethics to cut off a natural, healthy, functioning body part.

The AAP report mentions studies that claim reduced HIV transmission in Africa for circumcised men. However, Goldman says that professionals have challenged these studies for various reasons. (See HIV page for more information and links.) For example, about 60 circumcisions were required to prevent one HIV infection; the studies were not consistent with other evidence; and condoms are much more effective (99%), less invasive, much less costly, and they protect women from infection. In its discussion of preventing STDs over three pages, the AAP report does not mention the word "condom."

Goldman describes some of the harm of circumcision. "Studies show that circumcision is significantly painful, traumatic, and affects the brain. Some infants do not cry because they go into shock. After circumcision infants change behavior, and there are disruptions in mother-child bonding. Anesthetics, if used, do not eliminate circumcision pain." The effects of circumcision pain were not mentioned in the AAP report.

Then he summarizes the sexual harm. "The adult foreskin is a double layer, a movable sleeve equivalent to approximately twelve square inches. Medical studies have shown that the foreskin protects the penile head, enhances sexual pleasure, and facilitates intercourse." In a 2011 survey, circumcised men were 4.5 times more likely than those who were not circumcised to use an erectile dysfunction drug. The AAP report does not mention the functions of the foreskin.

Some dissatisfied men report wide-ranging psychological consequences of circumcision including anger, a sense of loss and sadness, and sexual anxieties. Most circumcised American men (and doctors) may seem satisfied because they do not know what they are missing. The AAP report does not mention psychological harm.

Goldman concludes, "We have not had the courage to admit we are making a very serious mistake with circumcision. For Americans, circumcision is a solution in search of a problem, a psychologically-motivated custom disguised as a medical issue. Defending circumcision requires minimizing or ignoring the harm and producing overstated medical claims." He urges prospective parents to watch a circumcision video and trust their feelings.

For more details about the CRC response to the AAP report, see

Circumcision Resource Center informs the public and professionals about the practice of male circumcision. Its mission is to raise awareness and facilitate healing. Since 1991, the Center has been a valuable source of male circumcision information for parents and children's advocates; childbirth educators and allied professionals; medical, mental health, academic, and media people; Jews; and others.

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D ., is the author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma and Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective. His books are endorsed by dozens of professionals in mental health, medicine, social science, and Jewish rabbinical leadership, and he has participated in over 200 media interviews with radio and television shows, newspapers, wire services, and periodicals. He is quoted in the Associated Press article about the new AAP report.




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Arnoldo October 21, 2012 4:59 am (Pacific time)

Circumcisers and their victims who in this case are also the dcveieed parents and people in general, even our judges and politicians, are obviously not aware that circumcision is OUTLAWED. Everybody needs to know that they are breaking the most basic laws of every Democracy, the US Constitution and the International Laws of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of the Child which clearly state that inflicting preventable injuries on others is a Human Rights violation and a severely punishable crime. THE GREATEST CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY IS THETORTURE & MUTILATION OF CHILDRENThe First International Symposium on Circumcision in Anaheim, CA on March 1-3, 1989 and again at the Fourth International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations held at the University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland on August 9-11,1996, affirms that the genital mutilation of children is torture and is in violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and Article 37 of the U.N. CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: (a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. U.S. Federal Law makes female genital mutilation a crime and baby boys/children are protected by the equal protection of the laws of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Any intelligent and compassionate person will have to agree that freedom of religion does not mean that you can harm others. Circumcisers purposely misinterpret the First Amendment of the US Constitution as they want to force their religion onto others by deceiving and coercing religious people with lies about God and medicine so they can mark their child victims in the flesh. They torture and mutilate for profit and to make obedient and dumbfounded little slaves out of people and with it they also break the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the basic laws of every Democracy. They take away their victims’ right for intact genitals, their body integrity and the choice not to look like belonging to certain religions.Awakened people from all over the world are uniting to bring all perpetrators to justice if they don't stop preaching and committing this crime immediately. All their further actions are being recorded and their data is being kept as evidence for the day when they are getting sued, arrested and trialed by the people. Nobody will be exempt from punishment if they further preach, promote, enable and commit this crime on defenseless and non-consenting children.We demand from our governments to obey and enforce our Superior Laws.

Clarity September 3, 2012 5:01 pm (Pacific time)

I don't see this statement as long-lived. I think the medical community, those outside the realm of profiting from circ anyway, see this for what it is and will bring professional pressure to bear on this statement which is backed by cherry-picked and non-applicable data.

Anonymous August 28, 2012 11:20 pm (Pacific time)

Ok, Anonymous. If what you say is true, would you care to explain why European nations where circing is extremely rare, have LOWER instances of STDs than the States, where three quarters of the men are circed? This is undeniable, empirical, evidence that the foreskin has dick all (no pun intended) to do with a man's chance of contracting STIs.

Stephanie August 28, 2012 5:35 pm (Pacific time)

condoms reduce std's actually. You don't need to cut anything off. Condoms. mutual monogamy, abstinence. Pretty simple!!

Harmed August 28, 2012 5:19 pm (Pacific time)

It's very clear from the content of their statement that they are trying dearly to get the lost profits bck for their members. They are begging for insurance and medicaid funding

Anonymous August 28, 2012 9:23 am (Pacific time)

Complete BS.... Circumcision will reduce STD's.

Editor: Yeah and monkeys are going to fly out of your ear right?

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