America Today

There isn’t one simple answer as to why the demand for neonatal male circumcision still exists in America. But for the past century its people have embraced the practice merely out of comformity; conformity to social expectations, conformity to cultural “tradition”, conformity to “personal” preferences, to name a few. And the healthcare industry conservately calls the “choice” for circumcision neither right or wrong, while supporting a practice that was never rooted in medicine.

And although the neonatal male circumcision rate in America has dropped to 55% in 2009 from a high 80% in 1979, its practice is still a fate all male newborns are subject to.

  • The Recommendation

    Circumcision is usually recommended to parents during pre-natal care, and often while at hospital right after birth, which has led to countless uneducated decisions. Circumcision is preferred at birth on the premises of being “less painful and risky” (and less expensive) than if done later in life; and I can’t help to wonder how can they validate these claims when babies can’t assess the pain and recovery like an older boy or grown man can. Parents must be wary of biased recommendations for circumcision. Although doctors are supposed to explain parents of “benefits versus risks” from circumcision, a pro-circumcision doctor most certainly will recommend the procedure motivated by his own interests; either by his own circumcised “status”, cultural background, or religious traditions to name a few.

  • American Association Of Pediatrics (AAP)

    How does the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) play an important role behind “routine” circumcision in America?. It happens to be the entity that regulates and recommends medical practices on children. It was established in 1930 and it currently has over 60,000 members. The AAP has changed its recommendation on circumcision over the years, most notably since 1971 when they found it to be “medically unnecessary”. They even promoted the important function of the foreskin in publications up to 1984, then removed it on all subsequent editions. Currently the AAP doesn’t recommend “universal” circumcision on newborns, but doesn’t discourage it either; resting the responsibility to circumcise on the parents. In their last recommendation, they highlighted “health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks”; an strategic statement to favor circumcision for its low risks as a surgery, but failing to asses its efficacy as a therapeutic measure. And to think the future of millions of boys is influenced by a mere group of eight members from the AAP (referred as “the task force”), who wrote the latest recommendation on circumcision in 2012. Which was later echoed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2014 to further promote the recommendation for the practice; stating that circumcision offers “significant benefits” to warrant third-party payment (meaning health insurance “coverage”) – making the procedure even more accessible than before.

  • Opposition

    While we live in a country that favors circumcision, there is a growing number of medical professionals who are joining forces to abolish the practice in America, refusing to perform it while creating awareness of its harmful nature. Since 1995, Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.) has been leading the movement of medical professionals against “routine” circumcision.

Click here for more information on D.O.C.

Medical associations in developed countries such Germany and Netherlands have discouraged the practice of “routine” circumcision by stating that it “violates the rights of bodily integrity and age of consent”. Yet the AAP is indifferent to the position on circumcision by everyone else in the world.

Click here for statements from around the world

My Thoughts:

If you were to ask any American why they believe circumcision is “beneficial”?, like a broken record they would reply “health benefits”. And that’s the result of generations being manipulated by the healthcare industry. Parents raise their boys with a mentality that “circumcision was chosen in their best interest”, and those boys grow up thinking they are “healthier” that way and don’t question the practice, and the vicious cycle of this unwritten American “tradition” continues.

An upsetting reality in America today for parents who oppose to circumcision on their future children is the pressure and judgment they get from brainwashed family and friends, even to extremes of dividing them. It almost seems circumcision has such a profound significance to the way of life in many families who would otherwise consider themselves as outcasts if they didn’t adhere to the practice.