Fewer Boys Getting Circumcised
According to a new report, released by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), circumcisions are declining for the first time in over a decade.
Between 1999 and 2010, less than 12 million out of almost 20 million new-born boys got snipped, lurching from a high of 62.5% of all male births in 1998 to 56.9% in 2008.
Observers are searching for explanations, but it’s believed that a statement made by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1999, which cited lack of proof regarding health benefits to the procedure, might explain the reversal.
As well, the CDC report notes that insurance coverage might play a role in the trend. Of note, circumcisions are about 24% more expensive in hospitals where the procedure is covered by Medicaid, compared to hospitals without the coverage.
The decline in circumcisions rides a wave of controversy surrounding the practice. Last spring, an anti-circumcision group tried the ban the procedure in San Francisco, and in June, the San Francisco Chronicle launched a scathing review of Foreskin Man, calling the comic “anti-semitic”.
And yet, the rumors of health benefits to circumcision persist. The CDC also notes that there’s recent evidence to suggest that circumcision may greatly reduce risk of HIV through heterosexual sex. The procedure might also reduce risk of other STDS, including Chlamydia, genital ulcer disease and HPV.
There’s also evidence to suggest that women are at greater risk of cervical cancer from having sex with an uncircumcised man.