Thursday, December 21, 2006

Circumcize Texas (?)

Male circumcision has been discovered to prevent as much as 50 percent of infection for men. It is even protective for women, reducing their rates of infection substantially.

The discussion in Africa now is whether to promote male circumcision and even whether to make it mandatory. Tanzania, for example, is considering whether to implement "mass circumcision" for its male citizens.

This raises the question: should this policy be discussed in Texas?

20 comments:

James N said...

Isn't the question more about whether the infections occur due to lack of cleanliness (and therefore, more preventable).

On the surface, it could be argued that as society dictates that "touching oneself down there" is immoral, the idea of cleaning oneself correctly (involving having to not only touch, but pull the skin back, and clean oneself) might be considered inappropriate, and as such young children are not exposed to the need of cleaning the whole penis.

As a child growing up, cleaning oneself was taught as a necessity, and was never referred to as a dirty or sexual thing. I think society (especially in the USA) hasn't yet made that disconnect, and as a result, infections may have arisen due to cleansing practices.

Just one alternate thought.

As for the question, I think teaching children how to care for themselves properly, rather than chastising them for inappropriate "touching of oneself", might be a good first step.

Tony said...

I'm sure the infant circumcision rate in Texas shows that this policy is already in place with infants, although it's for cultural reasons rather than medical.

The better question is why do we want to teach children and adult men and women that circumcision will make them safe from HIV? Do we believe that they'll no longer need to use condoms during sex? Do we believe they can now sleep with anyone, indiscriminately, despite the person's possible HIV infection? Of course not. That's a recipe for increasing infection, not decreasing it.

Circumcision will only add that "50% reduced infection" in situations where the man is having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman. Public policy aimed at encouraging that would be stupid.

Remember, also, that the studies in Africa involved adult men who volunteered to be circumcised. That's significantly different than implementing a plan of mandatory circumcision of infants, which is what I obviously presume your question involves. There are important ethical questions surrounding infant circumcision that we already avoid. Adding a mandatory aspect would not only perpetuate our current system of violating infant rights, it would strip parents of the ability to protect their children from circumcision.

If you don't mean infants, but adults instead, that would never pass any sort of legal test to require it, and promoting it is not something government should be involved in. If it wants to be accurate, it should continue saying "don't have unprotected sex with HIV-positive partners".

No, mandatory circumcision is unacceptable and should not be considered.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory circumcision? Who is going to enforce compliance? Police? Well, in that case I would not hesitate to look at them through a crosshairs of my rifle. I have the right to protect life AND LIM of me and my family.

Anonymous said...

Circumcision reducing AIDS by 50%??? HA! Thats the silliest thing I've ever heard of! America has the 2nd highest rate of Circumcised Adult Males and the 2nd highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world! The studies conducted in Africa were flawed and inconclusive. It was halted for ethical reasons. Its nothing but propaganda created by circumcised men who wish to implement mass circumcisions on every male in the world. If you really want to believe it: think of it as a Cheep Condom that breaks 50% of the time. Real condoms are 100% effective against the AIDS virus and 95% more cost effective than surgery. Circumcised or not, you still have to wear a condom. It doesn't' protect women. In fact, a circumcised penis causes more rips and tears in the vagina thus creating portals for the virus. The women are more vulnerable now than they've ever been. Remember, we're talking about a country where men believe raping an infant will cure them of their AIDS! After the studies were used to promote circumcision in Africa, South African Parliament stepped in to create a Children ACT which gives significant legal protection against circumcision to children under the age of 16. The saw right through those researcher's hidden agenda and did what they could to protect their children. Mass circumcision on infants should NEVER be considered as a resource to curb AIDS. Infants and Children are NOT sexually active. Retract Rinse Replace is sufficient for hygiene on a retractable foreskin. The foreskin is adhered to the glans to protect the glans meatus. Only clean what is seen on an infant or child. NEVER retract an infant or child's foreskin! This will break the sealed natual protective barrier. The owner of the penis is the only one who should retract his foreskin. The average age of retraction is 10.5 yrs. During a circumcision a doctor has to literally rip the foreskin off the glans as if the doctor was ripping a fingernail off the finger. This results in a bloody wound. How is it cleaner to have urine and feces up against a bloody wound?

Zandt said...

Read the studies. They point to the fact that circumcision in countries with better sanitation and healthcare (of which the U.S. is one) shows no correlation to HIV infection.

Beyond that, circumcision is an extreme measure to combat a health condition that is better fought through healthcare access and improvements in health education and sexual practices.

Somehow, female genital mutilation is horrifying to people, yet male genital mutilation is a normal, acceptable procedure.

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Sharon said...

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Disease.com

Anonymous said...

It would also be helpful to start circumcising girls. Prevents cancer of the vulva, HPV, urinary tract infections, and an uncut vagina stinks. Millions of women are happily circumcised and will give their daughters the same benefit. Every woman who approves of male circumcision should be strapped down and cut with a dull knife.

Arizona foreclosures said...

On the surface, it could be argued that as society dictates that "touching oneself down there" is immoral, the idea of cleaning oneself correctly (involving having to not only touch, but pull the skin back, and clean oneself) might be considered inappropriate, and as such young children are not exposed to the need of cleaning the whole penis. Texas

stone said...

Remember, also, that the studies in Africa involved adult men who volunteered to be circumcised. That's significantly different than implementing a plan of mandatory circumcision of infants, which is what I obviously presume your question involves. There are important ethical questions surrounding infant circumcision that we already avoid. Adding a mandatory aspect would not only perpetuate our current system of violating infant rights, it would strip parents of the ability to protect their children from circumcision.

Nicholas Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicholas Sullivan said...

What a great post, I actually found it very thought provoking, you just never know sometimes when a golden nugget of information is going to land at your feet, thanks

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Anonymous said...

This is ludicrous. The studies in Africa, in NO way, compare to the US. Think about this---The majority of men in the US are circumcised (oh, by the way, learn how to spell it, if you're talking about making it mandatory.). The US is a world leader among industrialized nations when it comes to HIV/AIDS. The circumcision-prevents-AIDS theory is completely irrational.

Anonymous said...

CIRCUMCISE THE WOMEN TO KEEP THEM CLEAN AND STOP AIDS! WHO NEEDS CONDOMS, CIRCUMCISED MEN DO BUT CAN'T WEAR THEM AS CONDUMS SUCK IF CIRCUMCISED.

CIRCUMCISE WOMEN TO PREVENT AIDS!

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