Wednesday, April 18, 2007


clipped from
Now that three clinical trials in Africa have shown that circumcision helps protect men against AIDS and the World Health Organization has endorsed it, public health doctors elsewhere — including in New York City — are contemplating whether to recommend it. Then comes the difficult part — how to sell the idea.

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If circumcision does not have ties to any religion, how difficult is it to convince men to get circumcised?

Some supporting ideas include HIV prevention (only for those who penetrate but not on the receiving end) and a say that circumcised men get all women because they can make love longer (at the expense of lessened sensation). In Indonesia, at least, there is also a perception that a boy will grow faster after being circumcise.

Medically, circumcision reduces the incidence of cancer of the penis (yes, I also have never heard it before). And sexually, there is a survey of adult males using self-report that suggests more varied sexual practice and less sexual dysfunction in circumcised adult men. One even argues that circumcision should be mandatory.

On the other hand, circumcision may cause loss of sensitivity. Some also believe that it may reduce volume of or shorten the penis - an Australian survey found that the difference was statistically significant... ouch.

Other concerns include financial costs (vs. benefits) of getting circumcised and possible surgical complications.

In the U.S., however, a study shows that most women prefer circumcision for sexual reasons, with visual appeal and sexual hygiene being the predominate reasons...