To Snip or Not to Snip. . .

That certainly has been the question of recent years, and one that has been highly politicised. And with all such politicisation, we tend to suffer – unnecessarily.
CIRCUMSCISION may offer gay men some protection from the sexually transmitted infection syphilis, but researchers are not recommending men get the snip.
Why wouldn't you recommend it, especially with evidence like this, this, this, this, this and this?
As new figures revealed a surge in syphilis rates, a study by Sydney scientists has found that rates of the disease are higher among men who have not had the procedure.
Of course, and for a raft of reasons, not least of which is simple hygiene on one hand, and the removal of the foreskin’s Langerhans cells on the other. Then we have examples of the old US army findings (large-scale research that has been around for half a century):
“During the North African desert campaign of World War II, > 146 000 servicemen were hospitalized with foreskin-related disorders, mainly balanoposthitis, paraphimosis, and phimosis; US Army urologists stated: "Had these patients been circumcised before induction, this total would probably have been close to zero.”
Fascinating that, especially when you read statements like this next one (a real fav’ among Australia’s PC community):
Circumcision did not appear to offer any protection from other sexually transmitted infections like HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia or genital warts.
Then again, we have others from overseas saying this:
“. . . Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was present in almost 20 per cent of uncircumcised men, but in fewer than six per cent of circumcised men. HPV is sexually transmitted and contributes to the development of nearly all cases of cervical cancer. Circumcision is important because the inner lining of the foreskin is thought to be especially vulnerable to infection.”
Let’s read on:
Researchers at the University of New South Wales tracked 1427 homosexual men, two-thirds of whom had been circumcised, over three years with regular testing for infections.

They found no association between infection and circumcision status for any disease except syphilis, they told the Australasian Sexual Health Conference on the Gold Coast today.
Oh really? Not what the evidence from overseas seems to be saying, guys – or common sense, for that matter. But then you read other extracts like this next one, vis-a--vis the African experience, and start to get a better handle on what it’s really all about:
"To date, studies have not examined the impact on the incidence among women, an absence that prompted Dr. Kawango Agot to remark “If it is not helpful for women, it is not helpful at all”. "

"The panel drew criticism on the absence of an anthropological perspective, and male-circumcision as a method of HIV prevention was accused of de-contextualizing male circumcision from its traditional cultural context."
Oh, for crying out loud. Fact is, though, when the touchy feelies among us are claiming there are no medical benefits from circumcision at all, they are either ignorant, or lying. Take your pick. But what is it with the PC brigade and circumcision? The benefits are demonstrable, and as a cervical cancer risk reduction measure alone (with benefit to both men and women), you have to wonder why they’re so prepared to ignore the evidence, and claim exactly the opposite.

And make no mistake, when performed after the newborn period, circumcision is considerably more complicated. So if you’re effectively telling an adult ‘you don’t need it’ (in the name of talking parents out of having it done to their male babies), then there’s a 99.999% chance he’s not going to do it – and why would he?

Fact is, there are a raft of excellent reasons why he should. This list sums up the lot:
Inability to retract the foreskin fully at birth is not a medical reason for a circumcision.
Circumcision prevents phimosis. . . paraphimosis. . .and balanoposthitis.
Circumcision increases the chance of meatitis.
Circumcision may result in a decreased incidence of urinary tract infections.
Circumcision may result in a lower incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.
Circumcision may lower the risk for cancer of the cervix in sexual partners.
Circumcision may decrease the risk for cancer of the penis.
There is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn.
Okay – no one’s asking for routine here, guys, but when Doctors around Australia are now refusing to perform this procedure on newborns, ‘routine’ isn’t on the table. Now read that last link, and think long and hard about the considered opinions delivered by the Australian anti-circumcision crew. Here are some snippets of the ‘anti-snip’ mind:
Despite this, a few die-hard enthusiasts for circumcision keep popping up in the media, full of alarmist claims about the terrible risks of retaining the foreskin.

This propaganda is contrary to the advice issued by responsible medical bodies such as the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and is intended to confuse and mislead parents, and scare them into demanding circumcision for their boys.

Most doctors are opposed to circumcision and will not perform the operation without genuine medical need (a rare situation).

The fanatics have given up trying to influence responsible medical and scientific bodies; instead, they aim to use the popular media to frighten parents into putting pressure on doctors to agree to their demands.

Circumcision was a Victorian medical fad which should have gone out with neck-to-knee bathing costumes, blood-letting, frontal lobotomies, and the idea that children should be seen and not heard.
Terrific, isn’t it? And after reading a load of emotive claptrap like that, I think we’d be forgiven for asking just who the fanatics here really are. . .

1 comment:

  1. Circumcision is ultimately the decision of the family of the child. However, despite the declining numbers of male circumcisions, people still choose this practice due to tradition, religion, or even for cleanliness. As far as cleanliness goes, I have know quite a few males who have experienced infections under the foreskin due to hygienic reasons.


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