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I'm not trying to be offensive here, I'm genuinely curious. If there were an African study proving a link between labiaplasty and lower HPV transmission rates to men (HPV is a risk factor in penile cancer), would you write an article about that? Do you think that it would it be morally right to do so? I'm guessing the answer is a resounding "no," and now I'll explain why I think the answer should be the same for the article you've just written.

No medical association in the world recommends recommends routine male circumcision. The Royal Dutch Medical Association goes even further, stating that "there are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation."[1]

Male circumcision causes many problems, not just for men, but for women as well. There are immediate risks caused by the surgery, such as hemorrhaging and infection, and also rare but severe complications such as an amputated penis, amputated glans, or even death[2] (117 boys die every year in the US as a result of unnecessary neonatal circumcisions[3]). Circumcision reduces sexual pleasure for men by removing the most sensitive external part of the penis[4], and it reduces sexual pleasure during intercourse for women by increasing loss of vaginal lubrication, and making painful intercourse more likely.[5]

I do not think it makes sense to put men at risk of all problems I've just listed for only a 28% reduction in HPV transmission rates to women, especially since there are other more effective prevention methods available, such as practicing safe sex, and, most importantly, getting the HPV vaccine. It's been mentioned that some parents are critical of the HPV vaccine due to possible side effects - I sincerely hope they give equal consideration to the possible side effects of circumcising their sons.

[1] "Circumcision: Medical Organization Official Policy Statements" - http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

[2] "The Complications of Circumcision" - http://www.sexuallymutilatedchild.org/compl-rr.htm

[3] "Lost Boys: An Estimate of U.S. Circumcision-Related Infant Deaths" - http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201004/2026622071.html

[4] "Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis" - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x/full

[5] "Male Circumcision and Sexual Enjoyment of the Female Partner" - http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/ohara/

January 26, 2011 - 7:08pm


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