Reasons to Circumcise

Let's take a closer look at some of the most common reasons given for infant circumcision:

Look Like Dad
Hygiene
Phimosis
Penile Cancer
Urinary Tract Infections(UTIs)
HIV/AIDS



Look Like Dad

One of the most irrational excuses for infant circumcision is the notion that it is of such vital importance that a son's penis look like his father's penis that his foreskin must be amputated. When the circumcision frenzy began in earnest about 55 years ago almost all of the fathers were intact. The circumcision promoters told parents for over two decades that the father-son penile difference was so unimportant that it should not be a factor in the decision to circumcise. In most cases, if there were a consideration of the son having a foreskin like dad, the doctor went ahead and circumcised him without parental assent. Once more than 50% of males in the child rearing age were circumcised, the promoters began telling parents that it was important for the son's penis to look like his father's. It is very fortunate that any scars on the father's face or other parts of his body, missing fingers or other physical incidents which changed his physical appearance, and noticeable at most or all times, were not also important enough to maim infant boys in a similar manner to look like dad. In the 1980's and 1990's over 8 million circumcised fathers and enlightened mothers have taken the action to guarantee and protect the genital integrity of their sons and are raising healthy, happy intact boys. As one intact young man in high school replied when asked about looking different than his father and many of his friends, "Yes, delightfully different!" It will not be long before the grateful intact boys are the majority in the U.S. as they are in the rest of the western world.

It is much easier for a man with a circumcised penis to explain to his intact son why his penis looks different. Old excuses invalidated, exposure of the possible benefits as frauds, new information on the sensuousness of the foreskin and all of its parts and attachments, the importance of that moveable part, its function and protection, and that the father was denied all of this due to the advice given his parents and accepted by most people at that time. On the other hand, an intact father cannot tell, or will find it very difficult to tell his son, that he was circumcised because there is any benefit. The first question that will come to the boy's mind and remain there for years is, "If it is better, or there is some benefit, why don't you have your foreskin cut-off, too?"

There would be benefits for both the circumcised father and his son if the father restored a facsimile of his foreskin and insured his son's genital integrity. The father will realize sexual and physical gains by creating that new foreskin, the son will not be forced to suffer the loss, and their penises will look the same - if such a transparent physical similarity is that important to the father or mother.

Regardless of the foregoing, every person, male or female, has the basic human right to all of their body parts and any decision to remove, modify or alter any body parts must be the decision of the adult, reasonably informed owner of those body parts.



Hygiene

Many people continue to believe the myth that a circumcised penis is somehow cleaner than the natural, intact penis. In reality, the intact penis is cleaner due to Nature’s meticulous design of the foreskin and the protection it affords the glans and inner foreskin mucosa from all forms of harmful foreign substances detrimental to penile health. The natural penis was designed to be self-cleaning.

All body parts, external and internal, should be protected from natural and unnatural deleterious pollutants. The glans penis is an internal organ. The penis is not enhanced, but diminished by subtracting from this natural design. It makes no sense whatever to remove a seal, wrapper, cover, sheath, cap or lid until the time the protected product is ready for use. After use, the product is re-sealed, re-capped or re-wrapped to protect the contents until future use. A book without a cover quickly becomes soiled, deteriorates and falls apart. The same is true of any man made or natural object being protected from damage. The penis is no exception.

When the penis becomes erect, the glans is usually fully or partially exposed when the foreskin (sheath, cover, wrapper) removes itself (retracts), enabling the male to experience full sexual sensuousness. This includes the unique tactile sensations of the foreskin itself. The glans is then re-covered to protect it from foreign substances, cold, abrasive action of friction with clothing, etc. When bathing, after natural foreskin/glans separation, the foreskin is retracted for a couple of seconds, rinsed and replaced.

Dirt, all forms of dust and particles (soil, coal, metallic, wood), chemicals and other compounds and pollutants can easily be embedded in the exposed and toughened glans of the unprotected penis. Any embedment, sometimes quite deep, is caused by the friction between glans and clothing with the foreign debris acting as abrasive material between them. The head of the intact penis is untouched and a man simply washes any debris from the outer foreskin when bathing and retracts to was the naturally clean, undisturbed and naturally lubricated glans and inner foreskin. The circumcised peris of an infant and toddler is exposed to feces and other pollutants on his glans, urethral opening and scar tissue. Parents must be alert to anyone interfering with this protection by probing, stretching and retracting their son’s foreskin.

How does the circumcised penis protect itself? The constantly exposed glans grows layers of nerveless skin cells (cornification) in an attempt to protect itself and the head becomes an abnormal, unnatural, desensitized and toughened organ. Constant friction with clothing destroys most of the near surface nerve endings in the glans. The layers of skin cells that are grown for protection do not protect the glans from the dirt and debris that will continue to be embedded in the added layers of skin cells. Circumcised men have written of problems with accumulations of debris in skin tunnels and suture holes from their circumcision causing abscesses and “blackheads” that require constant attention, as well as sores on the scar and glans. Nature’s system of keeping the head of the penis clean, lubricated and protected is gone when the foreskin is amputated.

Does absence of of smegma mean a cleaner penis? A definition of smegma must be given as it is misunderstood and ill defined. Smegma is NOT the micro-fine film of natural which protects the glans, enables the foreskin to glide easily back and forth over the glans and insures the very soft , smooth texture. A dried out, rough glans and innerforeskin is not natural and just wouldn’t work very well! Smegma is NOT the fragrance released after the glans has been covered for a period of time. Some people mistakenly consider just the film of lubricant or the aroma as smegma. Smegma IS the substance created by discarded cells of the epithelium of the glans and inner foreskin mixed with the natural glans lubrication. All organs of the body undergo this constant process of cellular regeneration, the replacement of dead cells, and the penis is no exception.

Natural males seldom, if ever, experience smegma or “accumulation” of smegma. Most will only experience the lubrication and occasionally a very subtle aroma.

Females also produce smegma under the clitoral foreskin and in the folds of the labia minora and labia majora. Would this be a reason for female circumcision or infibulation? Of course not! This natural substance present among natural men and women is beneficial.

Joyce Wright, M.D., in an article for Sexology: HOW SMEGMA SERVES THE PENIS, “Nature’s Assurance That The Uncircumcised Glans Penis Will Function Smoothly Is Provided By Smegma.” relates, “Is smegma useful? Yes, certainly. It lubricates the cavity between the foreskin of the penis and the glans, thus allowing smooth movement between them during intercourse.” (The lubrication is not “smegma”)

In The Circumcision Decision, Edward Wallerstein says, “Not only is smegma not harmful, but beneficial, serving as a protective coating for and lubricant for the glans.”

“Wash, don’t amputate,” is the advice of Dr. Alex Comfort.

“Hygiene is another misplaced concern: The foreskin keeps itself clean by shedding dead cells.” says Dr. Marguerite Kelly in The Family Almanac.

Dr. Loraine Stern in Off to a Great Start, says, “It’s true that boys without foreskins don’t have these secretions, but that doesn’t mean that the foreskin is unclean.”

In Your Child’s Health, Dr. Barton Schmitt says, “The foreskin is not some cosmic error, it is there for protection, especially the sensitivity of the glans.”

Cleanliness is a mental state! There will be a certain percentage of people who will remain unclean. We may inspire good habits, but mostly a sense of cleanliness is a gift, which a certain number of humans, no matter where they may be found, whether in palaces, hovels, mansions, or huts, rich or poor, circumcised or natural, do not possess. A human with a sense of cleanliness, or one who is conditioned by good training and habits, will avail himself of a little soap or a handful of water to render himself clean. Men with a circumcised penis must practice genital hygiene as often as natural men. If a male, natural or circumcised, is constitutionally incapable of keeping himself clean, his penis is the least of his worries!

Circumcision was introduced to North America to aid male’s “moral hygiene,” to reduce, or prevent masturbation. They used penis and body restraints, acid and caustic solutions on the glans and foreskin to deaden and limit the penis and even castration and penis amputation to stop males from masturbating. They found that circumcision would produce the same results to the penis as acids and caustic solutions as well as limit movement of the shaft and promoted circumcision for the boys’ moral hygiene. But males didn’t masturbate any less. When that fact was discovered, the circumcision promoters changed the phrase from moral hygiene to physical hygiene, both hoaxes. Recent research (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that circumcised males masturbate and engage in anal intercourse more frequently than the intact males.

Parents, all males and females have the basic human right to whole, natural, sensuous and self-cleaning sex organs. Allow your sons to have the natural, normal, sensuous, protective and functional foreskin that Nature intended him to have.



Phimosis

Non-existent “phimosis” is widely used as a medically fraudulent excuse to circumcise many children, some teens and a few adult males. Phimosis is a rare condition of the foreskin that is widely misunderstood and very conveniently misdiagnosed. The myth that circumcision is the only solution to either a real or imagined pathology must be smashed. Medical treatment, not surgical intervention, should be the approach to a true diagnosis of phimosis.

We must have some definition that has some degree of accuracy and understand what phimosis is not. What is acquired phimosis, or iatrogenic (doctor caused) phimosis? How can doctors label early natural and normal fusion as phimosis when it is not? Is it a real concern, or does the presence of the foreskin trigger some psychic need to create a phantom diagnosis with circumcision the underlying intent? Is pathological or physiological phimosis rare? Is it a fact that medical treatment is often initiated when phimosis is not present due to physician ignorance of the intact penis? Do some doctors and nurses force retraction on purpose, fully aware it is damaging, in the hope of future circumcision due to that deliberate damage?

Definition? “The term phimosis (from the Greek word for muzzling),is often incorrectly applied to any foreskin that cannot be retracted. The underlying difficulty is the imprecision of the term phimosis.” 1 “This term used to be used in hospital records to justify social circumcision. It is easier to define what phimosis is not.” 2 It still is a term used to justify contraindicated circumcisions! “...a non-retractable foreskin beyond the age of 3 years.” 2 “Phimosis: Inability to retract the foreskin after the age of puberty.”3 Is this confusing? The doctor’s personal motives determine his particular definition and almost always it is incorrect.

Acquired phimosis is the condition of non-retractability due to the ignorance of the doctor, ignorance of the parents or other care givers due to misinformation or no information from the doctor. Consequently, the infant’s foreskin opening (at the ridged band or “frenar band”) is probed and widened unnecessarily or the foreskin is partially or fully retracted by force causing slight tears in the foreskin. This invasion of the foreskin may narrow and constrict the foreskin opening when the tears heal, can obstruct urine flow, can scar the glans when the mucosa is torn away and cause re-adhesion of the mucosato the glans after the tearing apart.

Boys can also cause their foreskins to be quite snug to very tight, and in some cases unretractable (self-acquired phimosis) when they discover masturbation. 4 Instead of drawing the foreskin back and forth over their glans mimicking vaginal penetration and intercourse (using their glans as a natural dilator) which naturally increases the size of the opening and adding foreskin suppleness, some boys will masturbate by rubbing their glans under their foreskin and only pulling their foreskin forward instead of toward the pubis. This will sometimes result in a longer, narrower, more tubular (as in childhood) foreskin which can be more restrictive. 4

Parents should talk with their sons about the natural and normal pleasures of masturbation which virtually all males will indulge. Make a suggestion or suggestions of method (or if embarrassed to do so,leave some information around the house that he will find). If he does have a rather tight or restrictive foreskin, masturbation by stroking the entire shaft and glans, allowing the foreskin to travel back and forth over the glans and down the shaft, will relieve a restrictive opening. Some men have experienced self-acquired phimosis by stretching their foreskin in the desire to have a longer, more substantial foreskin.

The inner foreskin mucosa is naturally fused to the glans of almost every infant (96%)5 as the development of the penis is not complete at birth. The synechia is the membrane attaching the foreskin to the glans. The desquamation of the cells of the synechia will cause the foreskin to naturally separate from the glans in most boys by the age of 5 or 6 (90%), by early teens (99%) or later teen years. This fusion is a natural design of oneness to protect the glans and meatus from feces, urine and foreign debris and protection against infection which obviously prevents the foreskin from retracting over the glans. This is NOT phimosis, but natural fusion. It is, however, the leading excuse to circumcise young boys when their foreskin has not yet retracted.

“The time to pull the foreskin back is when the child is old enough to do this himself.”2 For parents of intact sons, please tell them, “No one should pull your foreskin back unless it’s OK with you. If your doctor wants to check it, you can slide it back yourself.”6

Phimosis, then, is the inability to retract the foreskin over the glans of older boys and men due to one of the following etiologies: Pathological, Physiological, Iatrogenic, or Acquired Phimosis. In almost all cases, a normal degree of retractability will be achieved through treatment.

Most of the circumcisions performed using the excuse of phimosis are fraudulent or “sham diagnoses” of children with perfectly normal foreskins which are still naturally fused to their glans. Such circumcisions are contraindicated and the perpetrators should be reported to their respective medical society, ethics committees, state medical boards and prosecuted. This is as evil and fraudulent as telling parents that their son’s foreskin is “redundant” (too long)! Circumcision for these hoaxes make as much sense as telling a well endowed man that his nine inch penis must be reduced by three inches due to penile redundancy!

It must also be stressed that some men with phimosis are perfectly happy with that condition, will not consider circumcision nor treatment to achieve retractability. This is and should be a personal choice. Treatment published in medical journal literature reports a 90% success rate with conservative treatment using a topical steroid (betamethasone valerate 0.5%2 or clobetasol propionate cream, 0.05%7). Some individuals in the 10% who are still unable to retract opt to leave their foreskin or their son’s foreskin alone. This is also a successful treatment for the restriction of the opening if urine flow is obstructed. Balloon dilation is another treatment that reported a 100% cure rate among 512 cases.8

Pathological phimosis, due to balanitis xerotica obliterans (lichen sclerosis et atrophicus), is usually not responsive to treatment and the patient or his parents must decide whether to leave it alone, try other foreskin saving options (surgical - see below), or circumcision. Physiological phimosis, perhaps a fibrotic disease, is not understood and may be iatrogenic or self-induced.

It appears that the vast majority of the phimosis diagnoses are false - either through ignorance on the part of the physician or an excuse used to fulfill some need to circumcise his patient without medical indication. In this case, the pathology of the circumcisers should be studied.

Investigating the literature and figures in journal articles and removing all misdiagnosis of phimosis of the naturally fused glans and inner foreskin as well as iatrogenic phimosis caused either intentionally or unintentionally, very few intact males will ever experience this. Perhaps one male per thousand will experience a totally unretractable foreskin. With treatment 90% successful, one intact male in 10,000 would have to make the decision to just leave it alone, try Prepucial Plasty or Y-V Plasties, other interventions, or circumcision. About 5% of our children are being circumcised because of this fraud!

Paraphimosis is the strangling of the penis behind the glans at the sulcus. This is a rare condition caused by a tight foreskin (ridged band) which passes over the glans, tightens, will not allow theforeskin to pass back over the glans and restricts blood flow. The same treatment for phimosis will cure virtually every case of paraphimosis. If a child’s foreskin is found to be in this position, apply pressure to his glans and slide his foreskin back over.

The Solution: Phimosis would be very rare if medical staff and parents would leave the foreskin of infants and children alone and physicians educate themselves on what is and what is not phimosis and the treatments available should they ever encounter a real case.

1. Gordon A., Collin, J., “Save the normal foreskin,” British Medical Journal, vol. 30, January 2, 1996.

2. Wright, JE., “Further to ‘the further fate of the foreskin’,” The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 180, February 7, 1994.

3. Ritter, TJ, MD, Denniston, GC, MD, MPH, Glossary, Say NO to Circumcision, Hourglass Publishing, 1996.

4. Beauge, M, MD, “Conservative Treatment of Primary Phimosis in Adolescents,” Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Antoine University, Paris VI, 1991. Translated by Dr. JP Warren.

5. Gairdner, D, “The Fate of the Foreskin,” British Medical Journal, December 24, 1949, p 1433-1437.

6. Noble, E, Sorger, L., MD, “The Joy of Being a Boy,” New LifeImages, 1994.

7. Jorgensen, ET, Svensson, A, “The Treatment of Phimosis in Boys,with a Potent Topical Steroid (Clobetasol Propionate 0.05%) Cream,” Acta Dermato-Vernereologica (Stockholm), vol. 73, No. 1, February, 1993.

8. From SURGERY, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Vol. 175, No. 3, September, 1992. (He Ying and Zhou Xiu-hua, Chinese Medical Journal, 1991).



Penile Cancer

The following letter from the American Cancer Society to the American Academy of Pediatrics should end to the disproved claim that having a foreskin increases the risk of penile cancer in older men. This is not an "official" statement of policy from the ACS. However, the ACS official statements on penile and cervical carcinomas do not include circumcision as any preventative. After this letter is a discussion of how this hoax was begun, perpetuated and proven false.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY NATIONAL HOME OFFICE February 16, 1996

Dr. Peter Rappo Committee on Practice & Ambulatory Medicine American Academy of Pediatrics 141 Northwest Point Boulevard P. O. Box 927 Elk Grove Village, IL 60009-0927

Dear Dr. Rappo:

As representatives of the American Cancer Society, we would like to discourage the American Academy of Pediatrics from promoting circumcision as a preventative measure for penile or cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society does not consider routine circumcision to be a valid or effective measure to prevent suchcancers.

Research suggesting a pattern in the circumcision status of partners of women with cervical cancer is methodologically flawed, outdated and has not been taken seriously in the medical community for decades.

Likewise, research claiming a relationship between circumcision and penile cancer is inconclusive. Penile cancer is an extremely rare condition, effecting one in 200,000 men in the United States. Penile cancer rates in countries which do not practice circumcision are lower than those in the United States. Fatalities caused by circumcision accidents may approximate the mortality rate from penile cancer.

Portraying routine circumcision as an effective means of prevention distracts the public from the task of avoiding the behaviors proven to contribute to penile and cervical cancer: especially cigarette smoking and unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners. Perpetuating the mistaken belief that circumcision prevents cancer is inappropriate.

Sincerely, Hugh Shingleton, M.D. Clark W. Heath, Jr., M.D. National Vice President Vice President Detection & Treatment Epidemiology & Surveillance Research 1599 CLIFTON ROAD, N.E., ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30329 404-320-3333

An unscientific paper by Abraham Wolbarst, published in the Lancet, January, 1932, began the fraud that penile cancer is found only among intact men. Wolbarst asked hospitals for the number of patients diagnosed with penile cancer and whether or not they were Jewish (not whether or not they were ircumcised). To achieve desired results, he added numbers from older studies (1907, for example). The birth dates of men with penile cancer in these "studies" were from 1830 to 1885, years when it was about as difficult to find a circumcised man in the U. S. as it was a circumcised horse. Nearly all cases in those years should have been intact men as almost all men were intact.

Circumcision promoters took the annual number of penile cancer cases at that time and multiplied by population increase and the number of years since 1930 and tell us, "Of 60,000 cases of penile cancer since 1930, only 8 (or 10, or 12) have been found among circumcised men." The paper by Wolbarst has been the source for this fraudulent claim for the past 65 years. The intent is clear - use a false cancer scare to convince parents to circumcise their sons.

For years neither parents nor circumcision promoters have asked why the rate among European men, virtually all intact, is the same or lower than the more circumcised male population in North America. A circumcised penis is at approximately the same risk as the intact penis. The only means of preventing penile cancer is the amputation of the penis. Any living tissue is at risk of cancer, and this fact should be evident to the physicians who continue to believe this hoax.

Dr. Robert Van Howe has written a case study of a circumcised man who was told by his urologist that the neoplasm on his penis was nothing to worry about because, "Circumcised males can't get penile cancer." After two years and the continued growth of the neoplasm, he consulted a dermatologist who took a biopsy and found the neoplasm cancerous. Dr. Van Howe asks, "Is there a pattern here?" There may be. It is pathetic that the promoters have convinced not only the public, but many physicians of this fraud. How many circumcised men with penile cancer, told they couldn't have it, lost their penises, or lives, due to this hoax? Today, how many men with penile cancer are going without treatment due to this deception? Doctors, what do you say to these men later who, thanks to you, now have advanced penile cancer? Oooops?

The promoters of circumcision use this"study" as a scare tactic to circumcise male infants, despite the fact that penile cancer is one of the rarest of all carcinomas. This year there will be about 7 cases of penile cancer per million males, 2 deaths per million. Is this the same odds as death by lightning strike? Using data from a six year British study (Gairdner, British Medical Journal, 1949), the odds of the death of an infant boy due to circumcision is 1 in 6,000, or 167 per million circumcisions! "It is an incontestable fact... there are more deaths from circumcision each year than from cancer of the penis." (Gellis, S.S., American Journal of Diseases in Children). Please see the answer to a question in the letters section of this newsletter for an explanation of how these deaths go unreported. Male breast cancer is more common than penile cancer (SEERS Cancer Statistics Review), 6 times that of foreskin cancers and higher than all penile cancers.

The findings of the first case/control penile cancer study (Maden et al, an on-going study) was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, January 6,1993. 37% of the cases were circumcised men (which is close to the true percentage of men circumcised in the age group of the cases, born between 1910 and 1945). This study found cancers on the foreskin in 17% of the cases, (one case per 800,000 males). By definition, the difference between an intact and circumcised penis is the presence or absence of the foreskin. Therefore, 83% of penile carcinomas would be found regardless of circumcision status. The incidence of cancers on the foreskin are off-set by the higher incidence of tearing on the circumcised penis. Leading the risk factors for penile cancer, according to the Maden study, are penile rash, odds ratio 9.4 times that of men reporting no such history; genital warts, 5.9; penile tear, 3.9; over 30 sexual partners, 3.4; smoking, over 45 pack-year, 3.2; penile injury, 2.3. The intact, compared to all circumcised was a low 2.0 (1.5 is considered "chance").

Using figures from the Maden study and adjusting for the increased number of circumcised men in the age group at risk, the calculation of a national incidence of penile cancer suggests that in 1996 about 550 intact men and 450 circumcised men will be diagnosed with penile cancer. In the year 2000, when about 55% of the males in the group at risk will have circumcised penises, the data will show about 55% of the cases will be among circumcised men. The average age at diagnosis is 67 years. The circumcision boosters dare not look at the Maden study as the number is 1,400 times higher than the boosters claim! The Seattle area had 8 times more circumcised men with penile cancer in eleven years than the entire country was supposed to have had in 65 years!

In an interview with Dr. Janet Daling, study epidemiologist, she told this writer, "Penile cancer should never be considered in a circumcision decision." She said this statement was also given to the media, but never published. Dr. Daling's son is intact and twin boys born to Dr. and Mrs. Maden during the study are intact, which should be an indication that penile cancer is merely a scare tactic and circumcision does not prevent this disease - at least in the eyes of the researchers.

Circumcision promoters disregard this study and pretend it doesn't exist. They pretend the letter from the American Cancer Society doesn’t exist. They pretend the intact men of Europe with the same or lower penile cancer rates don’t exist. They continue to use the old fraud, the old scare tactic and continue to parrot the same lie over and over and over....



Urinary Tract Infections

Two facts must be well understood before addressing the medical literature on the incidence of urinary tract infections between the intact and circumcised boys in the first years of life. The first is the fact that most urinary tract defects are caused by urinary tract birth defects and it makes no difference if the boy is intact or not. Second, if the foreskins of infant boys were not probed, manipulated and inspected there would be no difference between the two cohorts and the intact boys may well have fewer incidents of UTI. The foreskin is designed to keep foreign debris and bacteruim from the urinary tract and when disturbed there is a slight increase in risk of a UTI. Circumcision promoters have been using fraudulent UTI and foreskin presence risk factors for about 15 years and tell parents that an intact boy will be ten or twenty times at higher risk.

UTI’s are actually quite rare. Paediatrics and Child Health, Vol.2, Supplement A, Page 55A, May/June 1997 (Canadian Paediatric Society), found, in following 61,543 boys in Ontario for the first five years of life (61% intact, 39% circumcised) that 511 boys were presented for a UTI over the five year period. The researchers found that the incidence of intact boys was 3 times higher than the circumcised. If 100,000 boys were circumcised, perhaps 160 cases of treatable UTI could be prevented according to this study. Urinary tract birth defects were not addressed, so the number would be much lower. Does it make any sense to circumcise a hundred thousand boys to maybe prevent 160 UTI’s when there are over 5,000 serious complications per 100,000 circumcisions (including deaths)?

“Understanding Urinary Tract Infection”, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “UTI’s are rarely seen in boys and young men. UTI’s may occur in infants with abnormalities in their urinary tract.”

“Urinary Tract Infection in Childhood”, (Infect Urol 8 (4), 111, 114-120, 1995): “60% of children with UTI’s have anatomic abnormalities in their urninary tracts.... In older children, UTI’s are significantly more common in girls and become as much as 50 times more common in girls by the age of five years. 0.3% to 1.2% of all infants will develop sympotomatic UTI’s during the first year of life.”

Removing 60% of cases with abnormailities, or urinary tract birth defects, the figures are now 0.12% to 0.48%. Removing the girls and circumcised infants leaves a figure between 0.04% to 0.18%, a mean rate of 0.11%. This means that there are 110 intact boys per 100,000 with a UTI in the first year of life. Since 70% of the male UTI’s in the first five years occur in the first year of life, there would be 157 in the first five years. Is it rational to circumcise 100,000 boys in an attempt to prevent or reduce 150 cases of a treatable UTI? And we must remember that these 100,000 circumcised boys are also at a risk of a UTI! Our studies are very close to the 160 per 100,000 in the Canadian study.

P These figures were checked against a study by Dr. Martin Altschul of 118,000 births and infants admitted with a diagnosis of UTI to Northern California Kaiser Permanente Hospitals. His finding for the intact boys is 120 per 100,000 in the first year of life. Although we do not have his figures for the first five years of life, using the 70% for the first year gives 170 cases.

Parents, allow your sons to have the natural, normal, sensuous, protective and functional foreskin that Nature intended him to have. Investigate the motives and agendas of the circumcisers and remember that a lifetime of very sensuous and complete sexuality and wholeness is in the balance. A complete penis not only enhances his sexuality, but there is the consideration of right and wrong and whose body it is that is being invaded. Subtraction does not add nor enhance.



HIV/AIDS

The suggestion that there is any correlation between the presence of a foreskin and a higher incidence in HIV infection is not only irresponsible, illogical and unethical, but totally false and dangerous. The promoters of circumcision have sunk to a new low grasping for another imaginary straw in their futile search to find a reason to justify circumcision. There is more conclusive medical literature that the absence of the foreskin may increase the likelihood of HIV infection. Should a male have either a natural or circumcised penis he must protect himself from exposure to this terrible disease by adhering to a monogamous relationship, 100% condom usage or abstinence.

This misadventure by a very small number of circumcision boosters in the medical community, but with an almost unlimited access to the media to espouse their claims, was not going to be addressed in this series. However, since they have not abandoned the atrocious claim, this fraud must be exposed, too. Thanks to Dr. Robert S. Van Howe and his extensive HIV Meta-analysis and Dr. George Williams, The NOCIRC Newsletter from NOCIRC of Australia (July-December, 1995 edition).

A relationship between increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and a natural penis suggested by the late Dr. Aaron Fink was answered ten years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine (11 June 1987) by Dr. Robert Enzenhauer. He wrote, “Circumcision removes the protection normally provided by the foreskin. The absence of circumcision may actually protect against the transmission of AIDS by protecting the urethral mucosa.” The C.D.C. in Atlanta was called and asked if they supported any claim that circumcision protects against HIV transmission. They do not support that claim.

Dr. Van Howe’s meta-analysis, completed in late 1996, combined all published articles in which data was included. “When the raw data is combined, the man with a circumcised penis is at higher risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV. In spite of these findings, several North American physicians persist in promoting the myth that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV-infection. Based on the studies published to date, a cavalier call for routine circumcision in Africa, or elsewhere, is scientifically unfounded.”

The promoters of this correlation use small African studies only. A very insignificant study in Seattle is also quoted, where the HIV+ males were not examined to determine if they were circumcised or not. Two large studies in New York City found no correlation between HIV incidence and presence or absence of a foreskin and discovered another interesting fact. The men were asked whether or not they were circumcised and then, after physical examination, found that 15% answered incorrectly. They didn’t know what “circumcision” meant. The importance of physical examination among all study samples is obvious. If only two men in the Seattle sample answered incorrectly, the results would reverse!

If a population is going to be compared, it should have similar educational, medical and sanitary conditions; similar culture, religions and sexual practices; similar rates of intravenous drug use and size of the gay community. Western Europe is as close a mirror image as can be found. How can the fact that the predominantly circumcised males in the U.S. have an incidence of HIV infection four times that of a virtually intact European male population be so conveniently ignored? Although conclusions based on comparative epidemiology is considered less than reliable and unscientific, the comparison of the similar U.S. population and Western European population would be much more valid than would be the comparison of the U.S. population and the very different populations of Kenya, Rwanda, and Zaire.

In light of all of the above, The Backlash, issue 1994,carried an article by John Erickson which asks: “Does male circumcision contribute to the spread of AIDS? Isn’t it time we find out? One more question: If a positive correlation between AIDS and circumcision were in fact established, would it be fully and accurately reported by the media in this country, or, like so many other facts about the foreskin and circumcision, would it be distorted, censored and suppressed?”

“There is no evidence of a cause and effect relationship between having a foreskin and HIV infection. It has been strongly suggested that circumcision increases one’s risk of HIV because it creates a wound site.” Lancet, Vol. 345, March 18, 1995.

“The only logical means of protection against AIDS/HIV transmission is safe sex practices. By promoting circumcision as a protective measure against AIDS/HIV is irresponsible and could set a dangerous precedent for circumcised males who may ignore safe sex guidelines.” John Shanahan, The Newcastle Star, 6 September, 1995.

“Is someone really claiming that having an uncircumcised penis is a risk factor for HIV? Perhaps it depends on where you put it.” Dr. Brian Cheong, Australian Doctor, 27 October 1995.

  The most compelling summary for this article is a post from Dr. Van Howe of October 7, 1996: “I just received ‘A Physician Guide to HIV Prevention’ published by the AMA in conjunction with a host of organizations. It does not mention MGM as a method of HIV prevention. Enough said.”

~*~

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