I have been trying to figure out what to say to people who still believe circ helps prevent cancer in both the man and the partner. I can discount the transmission of hiv, and cancer in the man's penis, but what about those who think it prevents transmission of the virus that causes cancer to the woman?
I only have daughters and it's so frustrating trying to teach people about something I have no experience with!
drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.
Do you mean HPV? That's disprovable, too.
The association between circumcision and lessened chances of HPV came about because there was observed an association between being Jewish and lower incidences of cervical cancer. However, it was determined later that many Jewish women of Ashkenazic descent are more resistant to cervical cancer, as a similar association between circumcision and lower incidence of cervical cancer was not seen amongst Muslim families.
Also, as I just saw in a link to the Elephant in the Hospital YouTube video that's posted on the front page of this forum right now, it was shown that circumcised men and their wives had different strains of HPV present -- so the presumed association between circumcision and lower HPV transmission was not shown by that study.
Totally anecdotal, but I and many other women have gotten HPV from circumcised partners. The thing about HPV is that it's REALLY hard to avoid, even with condoms --- it's totally easy to spread by pretty much any skin to genital contact, so really circumcision wouldn't provide a whole lot of protection anyway.
More here: http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/
And if you use the search engine on that site for HPV, you'll find more, too.
It's also extraordinarily problematic from an ethical perspective to remove part of a baby's penis at birth on the off chance that it will prevent disease in a future partner. Just put the shoe on the other foot -- if female genital cutting were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to prevent penile cancer, would American doctors advocate for it? No. Male circumcision is a cultural phenomenon in search of a rational medical justification, and over time as certain justifications have gone the way of the dodo (circumcision prevents masturbation....syphilis....paralysis....tuberculosis....etc.) new ones have sprung up to take their place. But it's all cultural -- even the researchers who think they're being driven by objective science don't understand their own cultural biases towards male genital cutting.
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Regarding female cancer, it is grossly unethical, dispicable even, to forcibly alter one person to possibly protect another. It is also sexism. When you add in the age differences, it is nothing short of being Mengelian.
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