Circumcision Becoming Less Common in the United States

Written by dad - 21 Comments

According to a recent CNN/Health article, a growing number of U.S. parents are deciding against circumcising their sons. Apparently, the circumcision rate peaked at nearly 90% in the 1960s and began dropping in the 1970s. By 2004, 57% of all male newborns in the U.S. were circumcised. Interestingly, immigration patterns have played the biggest role in the decline, which is most apparent in western states with large Asian and Latin American populations.

As for us, all four of our boys are circumcised, and we’ve never regretted it. In fact, we have a couple of friends who opted not to have their sons circumcised and have regretted their decision due to frequent urinary tract infections. In one case, they ended up having their son circumcised much later — as in, when he was old enough to be fully aware of what was going on, and to remember it. Of course, this isn’t to say that circumcision is for everyone…

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer endorses routine circumcision, though they don’t recommend against it either (here’s their policy statement). However, recent evidence that seemingly shows decreased susceptibility to HIV in circumcised men has caused them to take another look at their policy. No, I don’t know the details of these studies and yes, I can imagine many ways in which circumcision could be confounded with other factors. Nonetheless, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Published on June 19th, 2007 - 21 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. If I have a son, we will probably have him circumcised.

    I can’t imagine going through the process when you are aware of what’s going on though…ugh…what an awful memory.

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Jun 19th 2007 @ 8:37 am
  2. That’s interesting that your friend’s son had infections. Our son has never had an infection. Were they taught proper care? i.e. don’t retract the foreskin of a baby and don’t use harsh soaps underneath it (just like you wouldn’t insert soap into a vagina), and too much chlorinated pool water can irritate it and look like an infection.

    Comment by Brian — Jun 19th 2007 @ 11:51 am
  3. Having been on boths sides of the comments. It was a great relief when I was “cut.” it should have been done before 18 or so. I was uncomfortable for over 40 years. The more info the better. Let your child/teen make their own decision………however I think being cut is cleaner and easier to live with. It is a medical decision……..I felt no discomfort after it was done.

    Comment by Jrffrey — Jun 19th 2007 @ 12:30 pm
  4. i spent some time researching the pros/cons before deciding the benefits outweighed the risks. however, i made darn sure to insist upon the appropriate anesthetic before allowing the procedure as too many people (including my ob & most of the pediatrician’s i interviewed!) think it’s ok to cut w/o any thought of pain relief: “they won’t feel anything/remember” ha!

    Comment by ammb — Jun 19th 2007 @ 9:30 pm
  5. It decreases HIV transmission because the cells can get caught in the foreskin area and are more likely to be transmitted through breaks in the skin. Also the cells in the foreskin are thought to be more susceptible.

    I’d get my son circumsized for hygenic reasons.

    Comment by Livingalmostlarge — Jun 19th 2007 @ 10:52 pm
  6. I’m one of five brothers and none of us are circumcised. And not one of us ever had a problem. I against circumcision at birth,but if a young man is eighteen and he wants to be circumcised that’s his business.

    And for this BS about hygiene – if you can brush your teeth, you can wash your dick. If you can’t do that, then don’t blame your foreskin for your poor hygiene habits.

    I would not want to give up full sensation in my dick for an unnecessary procedure that reduces male pleasure.

    Comment by west16th — Jun 19th 2007 @ 11:52 pm
  7. Here in the UK, circumcision is rare except when done for religious reasons. Quoting:


    In the UK, routine circumcision isn’t thought to be medically necessary. This is because the risks associated with having a surgical procedure that involves a general anaesthetic and the possible postoperative complications outweigh any possible medical benefits.

    Infection and bleeding are common after circumcision and, although usually easily treated, can be very uncomfortable and distressing for the patient and those close to him.

    Loss of the protection provided by the foreskin can allow abrasion of the penis head to occur. This can result in scarring and loss of physical sensation.

    Some teenagers and men who were circumcised shortly after birth describe feeling physically and psychologically traumatised, and robbed of the choice of whether or not to be circumcised. These problems can lead to difficulties with social and personal development if not addressed.”

    Comment by Mary-Ann Johnson — Jun 20th 2007 @ 12:09 pm
  8. There is more than one way to skin a cock. Sometime they cut the frenulum off, sometimes they cut around it. The prepucial frenular delta nerve, aka the masculine “Gee Stirng” and the feminine “G Spot”, trigger sexual arousal and erections when stroked or pulled. Causing sexual dysfunction by severing these nerves is an ancient form of eugenics on infants. Sure this will decrease the HIV rates but people won’t do it if they know what’s going on so they have to twist data around to convince people that the prepuce is the cause of HIV.
    HIV enters our blood through micro rips in the male and female prepuce from rough (dry) sex, and anal tissue, too.
    The largest organ, our epidurmis has natural anti viral defence Langerhans’ cell that produce langerin proteins that kill HIV and other viruses as they enter. These cells are all over our skin and consentrated in the male and female prepuce.
    Schizophrenia is a neuro-chemical brain malfunction mostly associated with sexual TRAUMA before the brain developes language skills. Circumcision induced schizophrenia is often delussional and paranoidal, and sometimes coupled with audio and visual hallucinations due from milk allergies cause from a disruption in first mothers milk nursing caused from trauma. I had to look into this because my dad and two of my brothers, and two of my mother’s sisters sons have developed schizo-dissorders. Two of my other brothers committed suicide from sexual dysfunctions in their twenties.
    Can anyone else see that the procircumcisionists are blaming the intact immigrants to hide the truth?

    Comment by fredr — Jun 20th 2007 @ 12:50 pm
  9. Funny how when it has to do with girls, everyone gets in a tizzy, labels it “mutilation” (FGM), and outlaws it.

    But when it’s boys: oh, yah, great idea, break out the mohel.

    If an adult chooses to snip or clip–fine; but let that adult decision be done by the owner of the targeted area.

    As one father said to me once, “But if we let the children decide, then it would never get done!”

    Uh, yeah: exactly.

    Comment by Hieronymus — Jul 30th 2007 @ 11:00 am
  10. fredr, you are a twit. The Islets of Langherhans are found in your pancreas, and have nothing to do with immunity. They secrete insulin and glucagon to control the level of sugar in your blood. See here:

    Eugenics by circumcision? Please.

    Stop throwing up big words to make yourself look smart. Do some research instead.

    Personally, we elected NOT to have our son circumcised at birth. However, he developed some problems and we had to have him circumcised at three years old, two weeks ago. He’s fine — he walks around telling people how the doctor “fixed” his penis and now it doesn’t hurt anymore.

    We will have any future boys circumcised at birth (with proper anesthesia) to avoid the painful problem experienced by my current son.

    Comment by Rachel May — Jul 30th 2007 @ 2:49 pm
  11. Rachel May:

    Search for Langerin Proteins, not Langerhans’ or langerhans’ cells.

    Scientists Discover ‘Natural Barrier’ to HIV

    Who’s the twit now.

    You blaimed your son for developing a problem with his foreskin when if you knew how to take care of it as you know how to take care of your prepuce, committing circumcision could have been avoided. Sounds like witchcraft at work. You!? I hope you only have daughters from now on.

    The reason I know these big words is from doing research to find out if I was going to develope schizophrenia like my dad and two of my 6 brothers and two of my mother’s sisters 3 sons. Two other brothers committed suicide from sexual dysfunction. We were all cut at birth.

    Some times it is refered to as the psycho-sexual nerve. It’s called the prepucial frenular delta nerves. It comes out of the glans of the male and the glans clitoris of the female. AKA the masculine “Gee String” and the feminine “G Spot, it relays sexual arousal back to the reproductive parts of the brain when stroked or pulled. Sometimes they sever these nerves during neonatal circumcision resulting in disuse atrophy after puberty’s brain chemistry sets in, this leading to psychological and neurological sexual nerve damage trauma. This in turn leads to various sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction, suicidal depression, and even paranoid schizophrenia. These weird side effects can reduce the risks of acquiring HIV from unprotected rough dry reproductive sex with infected prostitutes that causes rips in the male and female prepuce, from not being able to keep it up long enough to finish the job. Adult males who know of the function of the frenulum’s nerve bundle will not allow the anti intactivist’s to cut them, so they are trying to push neonatal circumcision to cause the infants to grow up sexually dysfunctional. They cut my frenulum off as an infant and I have a psycho-sexual nerve disorder causing me not to be able to keep it up around others, male and female. It appears to be some type of natural eugenics to diminish the men of masculine god worshipers. That is why the Jews have to trace their ancestors back by their mothers blood line as the males keep dying off from wars and disease, and suicide bombings in the Muslims case. It also engrams into our brains at the infancy time, a subconscious need to attack the enemy. Can you think of a better reason for why 9/11 happened? It’s all psychosexual nerve trauma related. The creator had nothing to do with it. Nature’s first commandment would be, if she could speak, “I am your child, put no god before me.”

    Comment by fredr — Aug 7th 2007 @ 7:00 pm
  12. fredr,
    I’m sorry to tell you that the article you linked is just plain wrong. Your epidermis does not have Langerhans’ cells. In case you want to know how I know my big words, I have a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Microbiology.

    Next time try reading and referencing a scientific publication. The media love to use big words to impress people. Unfortunately, they’ve caught you in their web.

    If you really want people to take you seriously, learn to spell and write properly.

    I’m sorry your family has a history of mental illness. From what you’ve described, odds are that it’s genetic, not caused by environmental factors. I hope you get the help you need.

    Comment by Rachel May — Aug 7th 2007 @ 8:44 pm
  13. I’m not taking sides in the larger debate going on here in the comments, but according to WikiPedia:

    “Langerhans’ cells are dendritic cells abundant in epidermis, containing large granules called Birbeck granules and can be found in other organs in the condition Histiocytosis.”

    I realize that WikiPedia isn’t the be all, end all of knowledge, but a Google search of Langerhans’ cells indicates that fredr is correct, at least with regard to the relationship between epidermal tissue and Langerhans’ cells.

    While we encourage debate, please try to keep it respectful and refrain from name calling. Thanks!

    Comment by dad — Aug 7th 2007 @ 11:00 pm
  14. Rachel May,
    I’m sorry, i didn’t know of your BS and MS. I should trust you as much as the makers of VIOXX.
    It is easy to twist the problems with inherent traditions into inherent genes as we get both from our parents. If it were genetic, that would mean that my family was genetically unstable to sexual trauma. On my mother’s side, they did not practice traditional prepucectomy.
    Don’t get trapped in the web of pride and arrogance. It’s better to admit your mistakes so others won’t make the same mistakes.
    I did go to a MOTT psychiatrist with my concerns about developing circumcision induced schizophrenia. He said I was dellusional and wanted to perscribe schichotropic drugs. I told him that chemical restrainsts were illigal and that I would not let him chemically silence me.
    Then I when to a psychologist and told him of my concernes of developing circumcision induced schizophrenia and he analized me and I took a long test. He said I was not showing signs of developing schizophrenia and that I tended to look on the bright side of things.

    Comment by fredr — Aug 11th 2007 @ 2:32 pm
  15. You’re crazy.

    Comment by amy — Sep 16th 2007 @ 8:15 pm
  16. He’s hardly crazy.

    I understand Rachel May’s and your refusal to accept the truth.

    I think I have some authority on this matter as I am Jewish, genitally mutilated myself, and so are all of the males in my religion with few exceptions.

    Now I would normally say with few lucky exceptions but what good is being intact when you’re growing up in a society where most are mutilated. It’s like an episode of the Twilight Zone.

    Circumcision does cause sexual dysfunction. Reversal of this procedure through restoration is not an option due to the child’s brain already being hardwired for trauma. Intact children have had their right of playing with their genitals, whilst their mutilated brethren have had nothing but pain and discomfort.

    Comment by mike70 — Feb 2nd 2008 @ 11:33 am
  17. Societal impacts are also tremendous. If there were truly something so bad, such a precise attack on humanity, it would have to be circumcision.

    The penis is an internal organ that is being externalized.

    Men who are circumcised wngage in oral sex because the action quite literally ‘feels like a foreskin’ for the short time that they are engaged in it.

    Circumcision is a cruel and inhumane practice, and parents who are made to suffer the consequences of it later in life, deserve what they get.

    Comment by mike70 — Feb 2nd 2008 @ 11:38 am
  18. Look at how Jewish women behave. Manipulative, abusive, genital mutilating witches. They have become so sucked into this terrible cult blood ritual that they relish the mutilation of their boys so they can trounce on their manhood later in life.

    To claim that what fredr is saying – that circumcision doesn’t cause neurological disorders – is absurd. When you have lack of stress relief ability (Masturbating without a foreskin is like having sex with a hole in a teak tree), and building societal tensions, you get a country (US) with the highest prison population in the world and one of the most brutal systems to boot.

    Comment by mike70 — Feb 2nd 2008 @ 11:45 am
  19. It’s funny how the ever so succinctly naïve “phd rachel”, presents her “expert medical opinion”, justifying the mutilation of her two boys, and is rebutted with a simple reference to the Langerhan article, which has been available on the Circumcision Information Resource Page ( news section for some time now.

    Do you know what it feels like to have your bare glans rubbed against your underwear all day Rachel? Do you know what it feels like to have a terribly rude awakening in the morning when your erect genital’s unnaturally bared head is exposed to the elements?

    Do you know what it feels like to see evil females, these females that us males fought and died for, in horrific circumstances, only so that they could let our offspring me ruthlessly mutilated. Do we touch your genitals? No. You’re comfortably tucked away down there, I would ask that you please leave my male brothers the same way.

    America isn’t obese because we’re greedy. America is obese because we’re trying to deal with the stress of our circumcision. It is well documented in the bible how some of my ancestors used circumcision to weaken a nation such as in the case of Shechem and the Idumeans.

    It is well known how cortisone is released when you’re understress which causes you to overeat.

    Comment by mike70 — Feb 2nd 2008 @ 12:02 pm
  20. Yo! All you parents of circumcised kids! You were given an intelligence test, and you failed it.

    Religious reasons? Get a new religion.

    Circumcised men and women have forever-damaged brain engrams. The rearrangement of the brain after the cutting of nerves makes them something different than they might have been.

    Mutilation apologists sometimes claim that the elimination of penile cancer in six old men with bad hygiene outweighs putting the sex lives of 100,000 men in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. No one notices the psychological damage which occurs with circumcision.

    If your logic processes are so faulty as to bring you to support circumcision then how are we to give any credibility to you when you try to influence us on, say our choice for President, how to fix Social Security, where to peg the growth rate of the money supply…?

    Practice eugenics, folks. Don’t have any more kids. Let those of us with kinder, gentler dicks do it for you.

    Comment by Marco DiBieste — Jun 6th 2008 @ 1:17 pm
  21. Marco, everything you said up till eugenics was great.

    “Eugenicists” are the ones who introduced circumcision to America on such a mass scale.

    Eugenics is not a science. It is a pseudoscience.

    Comment by mike70 — Jul 23rd 2008 @ 7:47 pm

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