Moral Landscapes

Living the life that is good for one to live

Pro-Circumcision Culturally Biased, Not Scientific: Experts

Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a report that infant circumcision is beneficial to infant boys for several reasons, including preventing penile cancer. But infants do not get penile cancer. The arguments were flawed and biased according to a group of doctors representing medical organizations outside the USA. Read More

Political Agenda

Your post is sub-headed "Does Pediatric Academy have Political Agenda Advocating Infant Circumcision?"
The post reeks of your own political agenda since the science you so conspicuously rely upon, is even more conspicuously absent in your own arguments.
You write "Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics put out a report that infant circumcision is beneficial to infant boys for several reasons, including preventing penile cancer. But infants do not get penile cancer. The arguments were flawed and biased according to a group of doctors representing medical organizations outside the USA."
Your initial argument is flawed and biased.
The prevention of penile cancer is not aimed at infants. Circumcision targets the reduction of penile cancer in later life and is not aimed at the reduction of penile cancer in infants.
Such an egregious error so early on in the piece.
Nuff said.

I agree. The author has a

I agree. The author has a SERIOUS agenda.

Reply to Mike

Perhaps Darcia does have a political agenda but it is an altruistic and noble one - the protection of the fundamental human right to the autonomy over the integrity of one's own body.

Dr Anne Lindboe the Ombudsman for Children In Norway started an initiative that led to on September 30, 2013 five Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) to pass a resolution that formally declares non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors to be contrary to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

On October 1, 2013 the Council of Europe representing 47 European nations (parent to the European Court of Human Rights) passed a resolution ‘Children’s Right to Physical Integrity’ – Document 13297 that formally declares non-therapeutic male circumcision of children to be a Human Rights violation.

Darcia clearly forewarned of her approach and in fact did provide the science behind her arguments in the referenced "Cultural Bias in the AAP's 2012 Technical Report and Policy Statement on Male Circumcision". It contains clear explanation complete with references including many that were used in the AAP's 2012 Circumcision Task Force Report.

Re: your assertion that infants do not get penile cancer is a flawed argument. It definitely is not flawed. Infants do not get penile cancer - they don't. This very rare disease usually affects old men & has a very high survival rate. When mature they can decide if they are concerned with diseases that affect the foreskin and choose to make a decision as an adult if they wish. It certainly does not justify preemptive amputation of a body part from an child that can't consent. Darcia may have written in a sarcastic tone but she was not in error.

Re: your assertion that the doctors outside the USA are biased. The report was based on 38 medical professionals representing 16 nations. The AAP's report was based on 8 medical professionals(plus~5 liaisons/consultants)representing one organization from one nation. The AAP Circumcision Task Force contained some members of a religious background for which male circumcision is a central tenet. (Also, likely all male members of the task force are circumcised & likely the female members have not experienced sex with an intact male). You may want to review Ron Goldman's "The Psychological Impact of Circumcision" BJUI 1999 (83) to see how being circumcised is more likely to bias your viewpoint Vs being intact.

Since non-therapeutic circumcision of minors is still significantly prevalent in North America clear there has not been "nuff said". It is time for our society to rid ourselves of our cultural bias and look at this issue from an outside perspective and see it for what it is - an ABUSE of HUMAN RIGHTS; an ABUSE of THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD!

I have read many comments

I have read many comments from circumcised men regarding this topic. I am going to put something out there as a woman who has had sex with plenty of men, both circumcised (cut) and uncircumcised (uncut.) This is something that no doctor will tell you, and chances are that if a woman has never been exposed to sex with uncut individuals, she's probably not going to know the difference. I do. Sex with an uncut men is way more pleasurable all things being equal.

I know that this is just my own personal experience, but I have talked to other women who have had sex with both cuts and uncuts, and their experiences are similar to mine.

Pervasive pro-circ cultural bias

Penile cancer is a very rare cancer of old men who neglected their hygiene (and probably smoked). Even the AAP itself admits that the risk factor for non-circumcised men is not a normal foreskin, but an abnormally narrow (phimotic) one (which is easily detected and readily treated); in fact the AAP itself admits that a man with a normal foreskin is at LESS risk of penile cancer than a circumcised man.

The AAP replies to the charge of cultural bias by saying the 38 top European paediatricians are equally biased in the opposite direction. This is nonsense. Leaving children's genitals alone is the default position. The 38 are no more "biased" towards it than towards not cutting off babies' earlobes or little toes. The AAP has a "Task Force on Circumcision". No country has a "Task Force on Leaving Babies' Genitals Alone". US cultural bias towards circumcision is pervasive, from the many derogatory references to the foreskin and the men with one on TV sitcoms, to the medical textbooks that show a "normal" penis as circumcised.

Most men in the world, and especially the developed world (outside the USA) have all our genitals and wouldn't have it any other way. We enjoy excellent health. For example, the vast majority of the Tour de France teams and the players at Wimbledon will have foreskins.

As if it had to be said...

Thank you! ("political agenda" whatever. I didn't know protecting children's rights is now considered a political agenda.)

I knew all this when the

I knew all this when the report came out.

The report was basically saying to use a flamethrower to light a candle because a match could burn you if you are not careful.

I think it is more an evolution vs religion thing in the US. People are amazed that my sons are never hurt by not being cut even though humans evolved to be like that. The idea that nature knows more than the bible is something I think they find upsetting.

Cut'em good

Cutting a boys forskin off is not unlike cutting a female genital area up. It's wrong. This is nothing more then an archic Middle Eastern religous tradistion that was trasnfered to the U.S. via monotheism. This article is right on the mark, thank you Darcia Narvaez for such vivid examples of the how absurd this pratice is and how unhealthy for men it is. People in America get all frazled when they hear of little girls in the Middle East or Africa being mutilated but do the same thing to thier boys here in the states. It's a bit of the pot calling the kettle deal. It time to lose these outdated ideas and follow the science.
Again, thank you form one greatful guy,

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Darcia Narvaez is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame and Executive Editor of the Journal of Moral Education.


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