Circumcision is Down, Down, Down

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that,

Once a routine procedure for newborn boys, circumcision is falling rapidly out of favor in the United States — even as growing evidence suggests that the surgery may reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
In recent years, many doctors and medical groups, including the influential American Academy of Pediatrics, have stopped recommending routine circumcisions because they believed there wasn’t enough evidence that it’s medically necessary.
More states also have been cutting Medicaid funding for circumcisions, which typically pays for about a third of all circumcisions each year. Sixteen states — including California, Florida and Maine — no longer cover the surgery. A number of private insurers also have stopped paying for the procedure.
As a result, overall circumcision rates in the U.S. have fallen to the lowest level in more than half a century, from 63.5% in 1993 to 55.9% in 2003, the last year for which federal data are available.
Removing the foreskin from the penis can’t prevent transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. The best prevention techniques remain reducing the number of sexual partners and using condoms.

Yesterday, the JTA made the controversial statement that, “The rate of circumcision of Jewish boys is believed to be higher than in the general population.”
You don’t say.
But hey, what Jews do for cultural reasons and what gentiles do for health considerations have nothing to do with each other.
Or do they?
According to the largest Jewish anti-circ organization, there is a connection.
“Though American circumcision practice is generally believed to be independent of Jewish circumcision practice, it is not. Jewish practice and the American practice are connected. For example, of all the letters to the editor in response to the 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Circumcision Policy Statement, the most strongly pro-circumcision responses were from Jewish doctors, including two who also perform Jewish ritual circumcisions. Of course, there are also Jewish doctors that oppose circumcision, and Thomas Wiswell, a strong circumcision advocate, is not Jewish. However, some of the most outspoken advocates for circumcision tend to be Jewish. This suggests a religious or cultural bias on the part of these advocates. According to a MEDLINE search, Edgar Schoen, a strong Jewish advocate, has been published 20 times in the medical literature on the subject of circumcision.
Regarding the medical profession’s attitude toward circumcision, a physician at a major hospital in Boston who wrote the hospital’s circumcision information sheet for parents defended its pro-circumcision bias by stating that “the religious aspect of circumcision plays a significant role. According to this physician, discouraging circumcision would put doctors “in a position of attacking religious belief. This stance suggests that religion may be a factor that inhibits the full disclosure of medical information and medical views on circumcision. In our experience, this example appears to represent a pattern suggesting that American discussion or questioning of the issue is affected by the Jewish presence. Therefore, we believe that when the subject is circumcision, mentioning religious affiliation is relevant to assessing potential bias.” [Footnotes deleted] If true, this is problematic. The Jewish community, who screams like an eight day old infant when someone plants a tree in a public space in December, should be more sensitive to foisting our own religiously inspired cultural preferences on others in the name of AIDS prevention.

19 thoughts on “Circumcision is Down, Down, Down

  1. Hmmm, I thought it were the atheists who were screaming like 8-day old infants when people plant trees in public spaces.
    Anyhow, I’m a little concerned now that in 30 years we will see fewer and fewer circumcized penii in porn flicks and that would be tragic in terms of “educating” the female population about the inherent beauty in our stately cones. I’ll check with the Committee for Influencing Gentile Penile Preferences tomorrow to see whether there’s been a slow-down in planting hidden messages on cereal boxes to influence gullible gentiles to be eternally rid of their smegma.

  2. I hate firefox 1.5, my bbcode extention doesn’t work anymore, and adblock is screwed up too. I want 1.0.7 back.

  3. Don’t take this the wrong way, but could the Jews all powerful influence in major motion pictures be effecting whether or not uncircumsized actors get work? maybe you could cross check the rate at which circumsized penii appear in movies as compared to uncircumsized penii. I’ll be willin’ to bet that the circumsized actors outweigh the uncircumsized 10 to 1, to pun a phrase.
    Are the Arquettes all circumsized? Are the Baldwins? I smell a conspiracy….

  4. i may just be misunderstanding something but what is the concern over others’ practices. we’re doing this as the covenant we have (or perhaps as part of “jewish culture” , some might see it as a tie to the past). anywho, regardless of medical benefit, lack thereof, insurance, etc its something we do. right?

  5. Jonny, we are doing something different, and have been since the 20th century. Many Jews are Mishpatizing the Chukkim, insisting they are logical laws, not ones which the Torah claims defy rational thought. Then, we look for secular sources, no matter how dubious, to justify them from a rational perspective.
    The ramifications may exceed those of our own community.

  6. There are an awful lof of uncut actors.Marlon Brando, Alan Alda, Gene Kelly, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster,Ewan McGregor, Nick Nolte,Peter O’Toole, Aidan Quinn,Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Frank Sinatra, Donald Sutherland,Sean Connery, just to name a few. Most actors and actresses don’t make a living showing their genitals except for maybe in porno movies

  7. what are all these anti-circumsision peoples’ problem? It’s one thing to be against medical circumsision of babies, who are not given and anisthesia to calm the pain. At least, at a bris, a baby is given wine to make the numb the excrutiating. These misheggas, don’t know what they’re talking about when they say that it’s breaking a child’s right to free choice. Babies at 8 days old are not capable, mentally or otherwise, to say no, so it’s not like they can argue. And, children are under the responsibility of their parents until the age of 18, so that means that parents make the decision.

  8. btw dameocrat,
    most of those actors are English, or something other than born in this country, and it is well known that most men outside of the US are not circumsized

  9. ALSO!
    on http://www.jewishcircumcision…. #5, that fact is WRONG. a child born to a jewish mother is jewish by nature, but a boy has not entered the covenant (brit/bris) unless he is circumsized with the proper rituals, therefore, a boy born of a jewish mother but is not circumsized is not a jew, and is not one of the “chosen people”/bnei israel

  10. Sometimes it seems like people who accept other types of violence go out of their way to decry the “violence” of circumcision.

  11. “so that means that parents make the decision.”
    The penis does not belong to them and the foreskin is doing no harm.

  12. What is all the fuss about? Circumcision is a very healthy
    procedure for men. It’s clean, sexy and turns the ladies on.
    Some people have their noses fixed, or faces lifted or tummies tucked. What is the big deal? Inthis case LESS IS MORE!

  13. For your information, there are a variety of Jewish and Israeli anti-circumcision groups.
    Gonnen: Protect the Child (in Hebrew)
    Kahal: Giving Up Brit Milah (in Hebrew and English)
    Beyond the Bris: A Jewish Intactivist Blog
    Jews Against Circumcision
    Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective

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