-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP – the science-based one) has recently published the results of its task force on circumcision. The AAP evaluated the recent evidence and determined that “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it.” We have previously discussed the ruling of a German court that parents who circumcise their sons based on religious beliefs are committing child abuse.
The specifics benefits of circumcision include
- prevention of urinary tract infections,
- penile cancer, and
- transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
However, the AAP notes that the health benefits are not great enough to warrant routine circumcision.
The AAP notes that the benefits warrant reimbursement via medical insurance policies. We await the Christian conservatives’ outrage, claiming that circumcision, and it accompanying reduction in sexually transmitted diseases, will increase male promiscuity.
The AAP Technical Report recommends that “circumcision should be performed by trained and competent practitioners, by using sterile techniques and effective pain management.” The Task Force notes the problems with finding competent providers.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found that “twenty years of falling circumcision rates have cost the country $2 billion in preventable medical costs.” Eighteen states have dropped their Medicaid coverage of the procedure.
Those who claim that the uncircumcised penis is natural and hence, better, commit the naturalistic fallacy. The argument that circumcision violates a “right to bodily integrity” would also apply to any number of surgeries to correct birth defects like fused limbs and the removal of vestigial tails.
While circumcision for health benefits has a rational basis, circumcision to demonstrate a commitment to an imaginary being is not rational.