.

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Circumcision

The American Academy of Pediatrics' new policy says circumcision should be covered by insurance, and that the health benefits far outweigh any risk.


To circumcise or not to circumcise — that has been the controversial question posed to every parent of a newborn boy for decades in the United States.

Circumcision rates peaked at over 90 percent in 1964, according to Circumstitions.com. Since then the practice has declined in regularity to nationwide estimates that range from 33 percent (MGMBill.org) to 55 percent (CBS News).

Despite circumcision's steep drop in popularity, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its official stance on the procedure on Monday. According to Parenting.com, the AAP is now saying that "the preventative health benefits of infant circumcision clearly outweigh the risks."

In both 1999 and 2005, the AAP remained staunch that circumcision was "not essential to the child's current well-being."

After several years of study, Michael Brady, M.D., chairman of the department of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, said "it’s now obvious there’s a preventative effect" associated with circumcision. 

Namely, circumcision has been shown to be positively correlated with lower HIV rates in heterosexual males in Africa, low HPV rates and smaller risk of contracting syphilis and genital herpes. In addition, studies have shown that circumcised babies are less prone to urinary tract infections, and that the procedure can reduce the risk of penile and prostate cancer later in life. 

Some opponents of circumcision cite decreased sexual pleasure, but according to Parenting.com, "study participants in Africa who had been circumcised as adults reported either no effect or increased pleasure." Other opponents claim the operation is barbaric and unfair to the infant, who has no ability to choose.

Dr. Brady, who serves on the AAP Task Force, suggested that circumcision be included in Medicaid coverage. A study at Johns Hopkins found that opting not to circumcise could cost $313 in related health care expenses to a person over a lifetime. The projected health benefits of circumcision are used to justify the AAP's recommendation for universal coverage for the procedure. 

According to MGMBill.org, just 22 percent of baby boys in California were circumcised in 2010. West Virginia lead the country with a circumcision rate of 86 percent that same year. See MGMBill.org's graphic of circumcision rates by state in the photos above.

What do you think of the AAP's revised stance on circumcision? Do you agree? Disagree? Do you think the reported health benefits are enough? Tell us in the comments!

 Do you have an opinion on parenting or health? Blog for us

Get our daily newsletter | Like us on Facebook |Blog for us | Follow us on Twitter |

Jack Perry August 29, 2012 at 01:18 PM
The AAP should withdraw its circumcision policy the way it withdrew its female genital cutting policy after a storm of outrage two years ago, when it recommended a token ritual nick to baby girls, much LESS extensive than neonatal male genital cutting. If that was unacceptable, how can this be acceptable? So many cut guys are in denial or are ignorant (as they have no reference). They just don't want it discussed that they have been sexually harmed and they don't have a fully functioning p@nis. The severe harm to sexual function and pleasure are ignored or downplayed by the p@nis part removal pushers. The long term harm is huge with nerve damage and harm to the sensory system. It is estimated that from about 10000 to 100000 specialized nerve endings are cut with this WOUNDING. The knowledge of the cut affecting sexual pleasure and function goes back years so there is NO IF as to SEXUAL HARM, it is a matter of HOW BAD IS IT for any particular guy. Maimonides (the Torah scholar) noted that the act that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. Kellogg declared a ‘war on masturbation’ at the end of the 19th century and advocated circumcision to curb male sexual urges by removing the main male pleasure parts.
Urology Nurse August 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
For starters, the baby girls were NOT babies, but fully grown adults who were maimed in the name of preventing infifelity after marriage. I have seen the effects of this, up close and personal as I was a urology nurse for many years. Most of yhe time no surgical intervention possible to repair the damage done to the urethra, labia, clitoris, and vagina due to extensive scar tissue. I have also treated numerous men, far too many to mention, with everything from infections to penile cancers directly related to lack of circumcision. Of the adults who had circumcision as adults there were no complaints regarding lack of sensation afterwards. Gain some knowledge before you make definative comments.
Hans Castorp August 29, 2012 at 02:43 PM
The AAP report indicates that circumcision can lower your chance of getting infected with HIV. Meanwhile, virtually every European country has a significantly lower HIV rate than the US; ditto for China, Japan, and Australia. All places where circumcision is relatively rare.. The AAP task force report is based on studies in sub-Saharan Africa, and contains the following gem: "Specifically, the Task Force recommends additional studies to better understand the impact of male circumcision on transmission of HIV and other STIs in the United States because key studies to date have been performed in African populations with HIV burdens that are epidemiologically different from HIV in the United States." That is, the AAP is throwing it's weight behind slicing the genitals of male infants in the United States based on studies which it admits may not even be applicable! Not really great for their credibility. Then there is the troubling comparison to female genital cutting. In the case of baby girls, would the AAP even dare to conduct studies designed to determine "potential health benefits"? Absolutely not, because girls are rightfully protected by law against ANY form of cutting, even a symbolic ritual nick (as previously recommended by the AAP), with no legitimacy given to arguments based on "health benefits", "parental choice", "religious tradition", etc.”
Urology Nurse August 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Hey Hans, Jack- do yourselves a favor n google phimosis and paraphimosis images. If you think that's healthy or sexy, then you are special. Both of these problems occur with alarming frequency and are extremely painful. Many men actually lose their penis due to these conditons. You are quite fortunate if you have never had a problem thus far.
Anon August 29, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Study was performed in African community and Americans policies are getting changed! These guys should move to Africa. I have no doubts American parents know how to keep their babies private parts clean. The only thing that's supposed to be cut is Umbilical cord... move off of everything else and do not play with nature to get yourselves advertised
Anon August 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Study was performed in African community and Americans policies are getting changed! These guys should move to Africa. I have no doubts American parents know how to keep their babies private parts clean. The only thing that's supposed to be cut is Umbilical cord... move off of everything else and do not play with nature to get yourselves advertised
Ari Kcindalg August 29, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Are penises being lost in large quantities in Europe, China, Japan, and Australia? I don't think so. Men in those areas tend to think we're a bit overboard with the cutting thing, and with good reason.
John Anon August 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I was cut as an adult and wish it had been done at birth. You are delusional if you think there's severe harm to sexual function. The AAP spent 5 years reviewing hundreds of studies to come to their conclusion. You on the other hand can't even support the numbers you posed for nerve endings.
John Anon August 29, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Thank you Urology Nurse! You are right on the money. But no evidence, no matter how compelling will convince the anti-circumcision fanatics that there are health benefits to being circumcised at birth.
John Anon August 29, 2012 at 05:39 PM
You and others who claim the AAP based its statement only on the African studies haven't read the report. Table 2 in the report says that 231 articles were included in the topic area of HIV/STI.
tom smith August 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Of course the recommend it. It's another billable transaction.
Hans Castorp August 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
@John Anon The table you refer to doesn't say a word about the geographical location of the studies covered in the articles, or which articles the task force found to be most significant On the other hand, the task force report explicitly contains the following on page e777, as I quoted previously: "Specifically, the Task Force recommends additional studies to better understand the impact of male circumcision on transmission of HIV and other STIs in the United States because key studies to date have been performed in African populations with HIV burdens that are epidemiologically different from HIV in the United States." I don't know how much clearer that can be.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something