ALL MBRS: Please download & send this Complaint (re: disgusting pro-circ article) to Australian Press Council (Deadline 3 Mar 11) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 02-17-2011, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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All Members,

Please download both of the documents from the following links, type your name and e-mail address in the appropriate fields of the Word document and then e-mail both documents to with the subject 'Complaint Forms' (before 3 March 2011 0730 GMT).

Important: The above procedure is based on the Australian Press Councils own guidelines and must be followed for a successful submission.


This is a formal complaint to Australia's press regulator about an article published in several Murdoch newspapers here entitled "Big snip heads for big debate, circumcision is rising in private procedures say doctors". This article, which comprises largely of quotes from doctors who make money performing circumcisions, can be read on-line here:


The main body of the complaint reads:


The newspaper deliberately misled and misinformed readers through omission by failing to discuss the functions of the foreskin. Circumcision removes the most sexually sensitive parts of a boy’s penis, including the foreskin, the frenulum, and the ridged band of nerves [1]. The male foreskin is also designed to protect the glans of the penis throughout a man’s life, ensuring that the internal mucosal tissue remains moist and sensitive (much the same way that a woman’s clitoral hood protects the clitoris). In addition, the foreskin acts as a natural gliding mechanism to reduce chafing and dryness during intercourse [2]. Instead, it presented the commissioned views of doctors who gain financially performing circumcisions that there are vague "good reasons" to circumcise. The meaning and context of the final quote from Dr David Forbes has been obfuscated by the use of square brackets ("We may never change the view. It's hard to say when or if there will be [enough] evidence [to support it],").

There is a gross lack of balance in this article as the group most directly affected, infant boys, cannot represent themselves, no parents of intact (uncircumcised) boys were interviewed, no intact (uncircumcised) men happy with their status were interviewed, no men who resent being circumcised were interviewed and no doctors advocating alternatives to circumcision for preventing contraction of HIV/AIDS (e.g. condom use) were interviewed.

The right to privacy of two minors who had been circumcised was violated by naming them in this article.

It is impossible to distinguish fact from opinion in this article as it is not clearly stated that the doctors in this article profit financially performing (via Medicare subsidisation of the procedure [3]), and thus advocating for increased rates, of circumcision.

The article includes a disgusting and unrelated image of baby boy spread-eagled, which could reasonably be expected to cause offense.

There is gratuitous reference to religion in the article ('Circumcision is also widely accepted in some cultures for religious reasons and is seen as a rite of religious passage in the Jewish community.') which otherwise does not discuss circumcision as a religious practice, fails to mention the many religions that do not practice circumcision and consider the practice abhorrent (e.g Sikhism), does not quote religious officials of any faith, and does not quote Jewish parents who chose not to circumcise their son(s).





(Australian Press Council guidelines mandate a limit of 400 words)


Please leave a reply so that I may gauge the number of complaints sent (and to keep this post prominent until the deadline).

Thank you in anticipation.

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