What to think about circumcision statistics.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 06-30-2011, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just read this blog and thought I'd post it here to see if any of you non-circumcision parents know anything about these statistics.

virg.co/9kL48

I didn't circumcise my son and don't feel like I made a bad choice but am wondering if these statistics even pertain to those of us who live in developed countries and have things such as running water to clean ourselves. Thoughts?
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#2 of 20 Old 06-30-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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There are a lot of people here who are more knowledgable about this than I am but one of the flaws of that study I recall is this: So they had the circed group of men and the non-circed group of men. After circ, the men were told to abstain from sex for six months (I think) out of a 1-year study - is it a big surprise that those men who had six months LESS of sex were less likely to test positive for HIV? No. I think they were also instructed to use condoms (to protect the circ scars) which (duh) also prevent HIV.

 

There is a good thread on this in "case against circ," forum.

 

Bottom line; I don't regret my son's intact status for a heartbeat.


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#3 of 20 Old 06-30-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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What I always tell folks is that the United States is full of cut adult males (though this won't be true in another 10 years) and we have the highest HIV transmission rates... even though we have access to condoms and clean, running water. So much for the "circ keeps them safe from the hiv" nonsense.

My son is 15. He's never had any issues being intact.
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#4 of 20 Old 06-30-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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I think the study is horribly flawed.  Real-life statistics show that.  The U.S. has one of the highest circ rates in the world, but also the highest rate of HIV out of the industrialized nations.  If circ is SO protective, why are our citizens getting it at this rate?  It doesn't pan out in real life.

 

In any case, it's not a reason to circ a baby.  If a MAN feels that circ would help protect him from HIV, he can go have it done.

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#5 of 20 Old 07-01-2011, 12:10 AM
 
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That link didn't work for me but it looks like you're referring to the info that circumcision prevents HIV.

Regardless of the study, and even if it's true, we should not rely on circumcision to prevent our sons getting HIV. We should rather be educating them about safe sex and making sure they have access to condoms. Safe sex is the only known way to prevent HIV, the end.

Also, if circumcision really prevented HIV, then why are HIV rates way higher in the US, where most men are circ'ed, than in Europe, where men are mostly intact?

I think it is a very lame reason to circumcise an unconsenting baby. What the folks in Africa (and elsewhere) need is education and condoms, THAT is how you get the HIV rate down.


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#6 of 20 Old 07-03-2011, 07:20 AM
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Read this:

 

http://www.intactamerica.org/dangerousmistake

 


"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#7 of 20 Old 07-03-2011, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Ladies,

 

This subject is always so controversial and I loved the website A&A.  That had a lot of great info I can reference now. 

 

And P.J., I also have a Max born May 2010.  He was born on the 11th, when was your Max born?

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#8 of 20 Old 07-03-2011, 01:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calizacar View Post

Thanks Ladies,

 

This subject is always so controversial and I loved the website A&A.  That had a lot of great info I can reference now. 

 

And P.J., I also have a Max born May 2010.  He was born on the 11th, when was your Max born?


The 24th....the due date was the 12th though!

 


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#9 of 20 Old 07-03-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calizacar View Post

see if any of you non-circumcision parents know anything about these statistics.

virg.co/9kL48


There can be no mistake, EVEN IF I trusted the figures (I don't) they expressly pertain to adult voluntary circumcision and high-incidence HIV epidemics, and have nothing to tell us about overiding a Western infant's basic human right to decide for himself which exquisitely pleasure-receptive parts to give up and which risks to take. 

 

Among the reasons I don't trust the figures:

 

-1) The results have no real-world predictive power.  Most of the US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth.  The US with its mostly-cut adult populaton has three times the HIV incidence non-cutting Europe has.  Half the nations in Africa have their highest HIV incidence among their circumcised men. 

 

-2) There is something about the motivations of the researchers and those publicizing these results that doesn't wash.  Five to seven years ago when these results were found first in a small South Africa trial and then "verified" in large trials in Kenya and Uganda, the researchers were all over the media, and the WHO finally came out with a 2007 policy statement saying adult voluntary circumcision progams had a role to play in places with rampant HIV and poor condom access.  Now in 2009 the SAME Uganda research team (Wawer/Gray) reported that the men they cut were 50% MORE likely to infect female partners, and the SAME Kenya team (Bailey) reported in 2010 that the men of Kisumu were no less likely to have HIV if cut.  The WHO has not incorporated these newer findings into a policy statement and the researchers aren't doing the interview rounds with these results. 

 

-3) The study methodology is extremely flawed:

 

* * The took only men who WANTED for cultural reasons to be cut as adults.  Half were cut immediately and the others were offered free circumcisions later after the trial.  Because being cut meant something to these men (and to prospective partners) in terms of coming of age/being a responsible adult, there is no end to the list of confounding behavioral factors that could skew the result. 

* * The cut men were necessarily abstinent for six WEEKS after the cut, and since the trials were ALL cut short to only 25% of their agreed-to lengths, this effect was magnified.  HIV is not always detectable in the blood until months after exposure, so a longer (not shorter) study period is needed to wash out that effect.

* * The cut men had many more encounters with the clinic (due to surgical follow-up) than the men left intact did.  At each visit the men were given safe sex counselling and condoms. 

* * The men were paid for their participation and they knew their benefactors were trying to prove the value of circumcising. 

* * Three to five times as many men dropped out of the study (status unknown) as contracted HIV.  The researchers assume these men got HIV at the same rates as the men they didn't lose track of, but that is not foregone.  Some may have gotten sick and sought help in city hospitals, some may have been ashamed to have gone through the losses of foreskin amputation and contracted HIV anyway.  Who knows?  Certainly not the research teams. 

 

-4) The findings are irrelevant to Western infants.  Medical society panels of experts in Autralia/New Zealand and in Holland have revised their official male circumcision polices in light of the Africa research, and they say the numbers of AIDS cases avoided (even if the numbers are true) in places with already low HIV rates would not justify the known and predictable complications of routine infant circumcision and the known losses of sexual function and the questionable ethics of amputating healthy normal parts from someone who could just as easily be allowed to decide for himself later when it's relevant to him based on the best science of that future day.  See for example the 2010 Royal Dutch Medical Society statement: http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Diensten/knmgpublicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm and note that it says doctors must aggressively talk families out of circumcising due to "the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."


-Ron
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#10 of 20 Old 11-01-2011, 05:18 AM
 
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I would like to add that the 3 (highly publicized) studies, which hang on a few dozen men out of 10,000 don't match real statistics in Africa.

 

There are at at least 6 sub-Saharan countries where circumcised men are more likely to have HIV. I think in about 6 its the other way round and in others no difference. No pattern really. Ethiopia has a lot of HIV and almost universal male circumcision. HIV has increasing fast in some countries where mass circumcision has been tried.

 

In Africa, tropical ulcers, chanchroids etc. can facilitate the spread of HIV. This and practices such as 'dry sex'  make the studies irrelevant outside Africa.

 

There is some evidence that circumcision in Africa may increase male to female transmission. In the US its likely male to female transmission is much higher in Europe.

 

Its likely a lot of HIV has been in Africa has been spread by non-sexual means, e.g. unsterilized medical equipment. Mass ritual circumcisions in which the same knife is used could easily spread HIV.

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#11 of 20 Old 11-01-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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It is actually possible that circumcision slightly reduces your risk of HIV infection. You know what else reduces your risk? Condoms. Let's go for the non-surgical option, shall we?

 

It's sort of like saying that pulling out all your teeth prevents cavities. Um... so does flossing. Which one should we do? Should we pull out everyone's teeth in hopes that we'll prevent cavities? Or shall we teach proper oral hygiene?

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#12 of 20 Old 11-03-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

That link didn't work for me but it looks like you're referring to the info that circumcision prevents HIV.

Regardless of the study, and even if it's true, we should not rely on circumcision to prevent our sons getting HIV. We should rather be educating them about safe sex and making sure they have access to condoms. Safe sex is the only known way to prevent HIV, the end.

Also, if circumcision really prevented HIV, then why are HIV rates way higher in the US, where most men are circ'ed, than in Europe, where men are mostly intact?

I think it is a very lame reason to circumcise an unconsenting baby. What the folks in Africa (and elsewhere) need is education and condoms, THAT is how you get the HIV rate down.



The Catholic Church has a big dog in this fight, and they strongly discourage use of condoms.  Recently the Pope did say that use of condoms to prevent HIV was licit, if somewhat morally ambiguous (prevents the greater evil of HIV, but is still evil, though licit), but that doesn't change that Catholicism is a pretty large part of many of these cultures (even if not directly).  I'm not trying to argue about the religious aspects of circ, rather explain the reason why condoms are very unpopular in Africa.  In a continent where HIV is as rampant as it is, I think it's understandable that they'd try  literally anything to reduce that.  The problem is that those theories/snake oils/etc don't apply anywhere else in the world, because there's no where else with all the circumstances that contribute to this problem besides Africa.  It's a really sad situation.  It's just not applicable to us.


nocirc.gif winner.jpg femalesling.GIFfambedsingle2.gifhomebirth.jpgdiaper.gif No Circ/EBF/Babywearing/Co-sleeping/Homebirthing/CDing Dr. mama to 4 boys and 4 girls.

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#13 of 20 Old 11-04-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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Here's a statistic: More than 100 American baby boys have died this past year from circumcision-related causes. The never learned to walk or talk. They didn't get a chance childhood. They will never have a first kiss. They won't grow up to have families of their own. Why? Because their parents didn't think they could teach him how to wash himself.

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#14 of 20 Old 11-04-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dan Bollinger View Post

Here's a statistic: More than 100 American baby boys have died this past year from circumcision-related causes. The never learned to walk or talk. They didn't get a chance childhood. They will never have a first kiss. They won't grow up to have families of their own. Why? Because their parents didn't think they could teach him how to wash himself.



Do you have any actual statistics to support this, or just the 'guesstimate' study?


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#15 of 20 Old 11-04-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Welcome Lonely Page Turner to MDC where we do not support the cutting of infant boys!


http://www.thewholenetwork.org/8/category/deaths%20from%20circumcision/1.html


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#16 of 20 Old 11-04-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LonelyPageTurnr View Post



Do you have any actual statistics to support this, or just the 'guesstimate' study?

It is from my study "Lost Boys: An estimate of U.S. circumcision-related infant deaths" published in Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies. 
 

 

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#17 of 20 Old 11-04-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:

Originally Posted by LonelyPageTurnr View Post



Do you have any actual statistics to support this, or just the 'guesstimate' study?

It is from my study "Lost Boys: An estimate of U.S. circumcision-related infant deaths" published in Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies. 
 

 



 

Yeah, that was the study I was referring to.  Unfortunately it's more of an article than a study.  It's not something that I think should be cited, since it's pretty much just supposition on the part of the authors.  I'd like to see an actual study done on this, but unfortunately there isn't one, and in my experience, bringing this up does nothing for our credibility.


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#18 of 20 Old 11-05-2011, 05:50 AM
 
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For the sake of clarity, the link is to a review or press release of the study, not the actual study itself published in the peer-reviewed journal Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies.

 

 

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#19 of 20 Old 11-05-2011, 12:00 PM
 
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This is one of the pieces of info I refer people to:

 

http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/clinical/clinicalrecs/guidelines/Circumcison.html

 

American Academy of Family Physicians lists the complication rate as anywhere between .1 and 35 percent. If I recall correctly that complications are only measured within a few weeks after the surgery. Of course, many complications would not present for months or even years, so that's somewhat flawed to start.

 

But at the very least, a 35 percent chance of complication is a ridiculous risk for a "cosmetic" surgery on a newborn that has no real health benefits.

 

 


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#20 of 20 Old 11-05-2011, 05:25 PM
 
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Dan - I've read the entire study.
 

Whozeyermamma - the complication rate for circumcision is exceptionally high if you count adhesions.  The complications can go into adulthood, so I think the numbers are extremely flawed on the complication rate.  Usually I only see complications listed for during surgery and immediately post-op, which is completely inaccurate.


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