Friday, February 18, 2011

The Kindest Cut

New research reported shows there may be health benefits resulting from circumcision: research on potential health benefits of the procedure could turn the tide once again.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, currently neutral on whether to circumcise, are drafting new policies in light of recent studies suggesting circumcision helps prevent transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Both agencies say they plan to publish their new recommendations this year, though they've been saying that for the last two years.

Anti-circumcision activists — dubbed "intactivists" because they advocate leaving penises intact — fear official endorsement could encourage more parents to subject their sons to what they consider an unethical and purely cosmetic procedure.

"That would be a disaster," said John Geisheker, executive director and general counsel for the advocacy group Doctors Opposing Circumcision. "We hope they waffle again."

...Though 79 percent of U.S. adult men are circumcised, it's become an increasingly unpopular procedure. Fifty-six percent of infant boys were circumcised in 2008, down from 60 percent in 1998 and a peak of more than 80 percent in the 1960s, the most recent data from the CDC shows...

Join the off-with-it club.


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