May I just say first, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH"
Why do these people want to cut baby penises so desperately? What is wrong with them? Their devotion to cutting child sex organs is simply fanatical.
The "evidence" the AAP has put forward in support of circumcision is so poorly supported they might as well have built a house of cards on a Florida beach in hurricane season. Just to prove that yours truly will now, despite my utter lack of medical training, refute some of the reasons the AAP has given for circumcision. I know it seems crazy but you don't need years of med school to figure this out. It just requires a little empathy, some ethics, and the ability to think for yourself.
1) "Circumcision helps prevent HIV/AIDS"
I placed this at number one because physicians developed this idea in the hopes it would really grab people. HIV is not as scary of a subject as it was in the '80s and early '90s, but the idea that it can be prevented still gets people's attention. The problem is the studies they are basing this claim on are flawed. Don't even worry about the numerous articles in academic journals refuting the HIV/circumcision studies done in Africa, JUST USE YOUR BRAIN. The United States has six times the HIV rate of Sweden and 3 times the HIV rate of the Netherlands yet a far higher circumcision rate than either of those predominantly intact countries. Comparisons with other industrialized European nations yield the same outcome. What happened there? If circumcision really helped prevent HIV than Europe with all of its intact penises should have a higher infection rate than the thoroughly circumcised US shouldn't it?
The truth is circumcision does NOT help prevent HIV. Just ask all the circumcised men in the US that are infected with HIV. If you want to prevent HIV transmission wear a condom.
2) "Circumcision helps prevent the spread of HPV"
Since when do we as a society perform surgery on infants without their consent for the sake of public health initiatives? If it was discovered that the female labia helped promote the spread of HPV would the AAP promote the removal of the labia at birth? Oh heavens no that would be genital mutilation. How is removing part of a baby boy's penis any different?
3) "Intact penises are driving up health care costs"
Hmmm. This got me thinking: how much does our country spend on breast cancer? I'm judging a lot just based on all the walks and ribbons that are out there. I'll bet if we removed breasts at birth that would save billions in health care costs. What, no one thinks that's a good idea? How about we remove everyone's appendix after birth so they don't have to worry about paying for emergency appendectomies in the future?
4) "Circumcision prevents UTIs"
Seriously?!?!?! This is the reason Susan Blank leads with on her interview that was aired on NPR this morning? You're telling me the hope of preventing a minor infection is reason enough to perform surgery on a baby without his consent and remove part of his body that he needs for healthy sexual functioning? Are these people crazy? If they found out removing one of the male's testicles would forever cure the common cold, would you sign your baby up? Would you sign yourself up? How about your earlobe? What parts of your body are you willing to have cut off for some supposed medical benefit? It's a tough call isn't it? It's better to let your son make his own decisions about which parts of his body he wants to remove.
5) "Circumcision prevents penile cancer"
Hmmm. I've heard mastectomies prevent the return of breast cancer but we don't do those at birth do we? I'll bet removing a boy's testicles at birth would prevent testicular cancer. What, you say he needs his testicles for healthy sexual functioning? News flash: he needs his foreskin for that too! Circumcision is the removal of healthy tissue that men need for good sexual functioning. In what other case do doctors remove healthy tissue to prevent cancer? I don't see anyone signing up for a proactive colostomy and TONS of people die of colon cancer.
The bottom line is male circumcision is something that, unfortunately, has been around for many years and people, usually ones that are themselves cut and/or do the cutting, are always looking for reasons to justify circumcision to salvage their ego and pad their wallets. Monetary concerns and ego drive the AAP's decision today NOT what is best for our sons. If you circumcise your child you take away his right to his whole body and you will forever alter his sexual identity and experiences. If you leave your child intact he can make his own choices about his body. If he disagrees with your decision then when he's 18 he can sign up for circumcision if he chooses. If you circumcise him at birth and he disagrees when he grows up there is nothing you can do to return that part of his body to him. (By the time he asks you where his foreskin went it will have already been sold for research or skin cream.)
This is not an issue of medical evidence. This is an issue of ethics. Do you trust doctors/mohels that are cut themselves and make money from cutting babies or do you trust independent researchers from intact countries and the millions of unpaid Intactivists working every day to spread information about why circumcision is wrong? Circumcision is yet another place to apply that old cliche: Follow the money.
Do I trust doctors? Sometimes. I trust a doctor to treat my trauma in an ER if I'm in a car accident. I trust him/her to mend my child's broken bone. But I always keep in mind that not all that long ago doctors used to say smoking was good for you. Doctors also used to put icepicks in people's brains to "cure" mental illness. And let's not forget they also used to think circumcision could "cure" masturbation or epilepsy. Doctors make mistakes just like other people do, especially when their own paychecks are involved.
Upton Sinclair: 'It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.'