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What’s the deal with male circumcision and female cervical cancer?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Recently, while I was getting drinks at a pub with about a dozen or so other biologists, I was involved in a very animated discussion about circumcision — because that’s what biologists argue about when they’re drinking, apparently.

"They do it to increase stamina. It desensitizes the penis," said a microbiologist. (There’s some evidence to the contrary on the bit about stamina, actually.)

"Actually there are studies that show that circumcision decreases the risk of cervical cancer," added an entomologist.

"I have a foreskin and I’m proud of it. I promise you none of my partners have cervical cancer. I think it has more to do with whether or not they practice good hygiene," said an animal biologist (thanks for sharing that with us, by the way).

By this point we were starting to get funny looks from the other patrons, and the conversation dissolved without much consensus as to whether circumcision inherently prevents the spread of HPV and cervical cancer, or if not being circumcised merely compounds the issue of poor hygiene.

Being the good scientist I am, I decided to dip into the literature to get to the root of the discussion. For now, let’s ignore the debates over whether or not circumcision reduces genital sensitivity or the spread of HIV, although these are certainly important things to consider when deciding whether or not to circumcise your children.

Does male circumcision reduce the risk of cervical cancer in their female partners?

A 2002 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine studied men in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and found that circumcision was correlated with a decreased risk of penile HPV infection (this correlation is corroborated by a 2009 study in African men), but that there was not a significant correlation between circumcision and incidence of cervical cancer.

When they restricted their dataset to women with only one sexual partner, there was an increased risk of cervical cancer in women whose partners were uncircumcised only if their partner was already considered at high risk for contracting HPV (as determined by age at first intercourse, number of sexual partners, and sex with prostitutes). So, in men who already engage in risky sexual behavior, circumcision does offer an advantage for protecting their partners from cervical cancer.

A more recent paper published this year in The Lancet studied HIV negative men and their partners in Africa, circumcising half of the men immediately and the other half after 2 years. Their female partners were tested for high risk genotypes of HPV that are known to cause cervical cancer at the beginning of the study, as well as 1 year and 2 years afterwards.

After controlling for lifestyle variables, the women partnered with men who were circumcised had significantly reduced rates of infection with both low and high risk HPV genotypes. However, the women in this study were overwhelmingly monogamous (only 4% of female participants had more than one sexual partner in the year prior to the study), so the results cannot be extrapolated to women with multiple sexual partners.

How does circumcision offer an advantage in reducing the risk of HPV?

Most of the penis is covered by keratinized epithelium that is typical of most other parts of the body. Keratinized epithelium, which has an outer layer of dead cells called the stratum corneum, offers many advantages for protection against viral infections. It is more durable and less likely to tear, so it offers a physical barrier between pathogens and the inside of the body, as well as various chemical defenses against infection and dead outer layers that are constantly being shed, taking any external pathogens with them.

However, the inner foreskin has a mucosal lining that is not keratinized, therefore more prone to minute tearing and infection. This mucosal inner surface is pulled back and exposed during intercourse and made susceptible to the transmission of HPV and other viruses. Circumcision reduces the mucosal surface area, thereby potentially minimizing the interface for abrasion and transmission of viruses.

So then what’s the problem here? What are the other viewpoints?

From the letters in response to the 2002 study [PDF]:

"Human papilloma virus causes cervical cancer; the foreskin does not. Safer sex, not circumcision, prevents the spread of HPV," says George Hill of Doctors Opposing Circumcision.

"Because infants are not sexually active, they should not be required to bear the burden of preventing sexually transmitted infections. Sexually transmitted diseases will be prevented by practising safer sex, not by circumcising infants. If circumcision is touted as a prophylactic, it could confer a false sense of security and encourage high-risk sexual behavior," writes Arif Bhimji and Dennis Harrison of the Association for Genital Integrity.

While there is evidence to show that circumcision offers an advantage in preventing cervical cancer, it is by no means a cure. The number of sexual partners that individuals may have is a confounding variable, as increased number of partners or risky sexual behaviors result in an increased incidence in HPV and cervical cancer across all groups.

In addition, while it is true that women with circumcised partners are less likely to get cervical cancer, they are not immune. Women with circumcised partners still contract HPV and develop cervical cancer! They just do it at a reduced rate.

There are other methods that are much more likely to reduce a woman’s chance of contracting HPV and developing cervical cancer, such as vaccination and condom use. Therefore, from a public health standpoint in the United States, it may not be necessary to circumcise male babies solely for the purpose of reducing the risk of cervical cancer in his future sexual partners (of course, this doesn’t take into account the possibility that the child might not be heterosexual).

This would also be true in similar societies where there is sufficient access to education on safe sexual practices, condoms, and HPV vaccinations. However, the decision whether or not to circumcise a child is a complex one involving cultural, religious, health, and geographic variables, just to name a few.

As for my friend the animal biologist, I shared these papers with him and he came to the same conclusion that I did (though in slightly more colorful language). As long as you and your partner are willing and able to practice safe sex, an uncircumcised penis isn’t any more likely to give you cervical cancer than a circumcised one.

About the Author: Michelle Clement is a graduate student in organismal biology at the Ohio State University. Her thesis research is on the ecophysiology of epidermal lipids and water homeostasis in house sparrows, and she is a graduate teaching associate for an introductory human physiology class for non-majors. She blogs about human physiology, weird animal biology, and the interface of science and culture on her blog C6-H12-O6. She also has a personal website and you can follow her on Twitter (@physilology).

 

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.






Comments 28 Comments

Add Comment
  1. 1. rshoff 12:37 pm 04/4/2011

    It’s disgusting to think that I was mutilated to save someone else from themselves. Thank you.

    Link to this
  2. 2. Giuseppe Verri 56124 Pisa Italy 1:12 pm 04/4/2011

    Please let US Consider the

    "SelfMade-Child-Preputial-Opening" ?!

    G. Verri
    56124 – PISA Tuscany Italy Europe

    Link to this
  3. 3. jtdwyer 2:17 pm 04/4/2011

    Apparently all of the studies mentioned here evaluated non-circumcised men and those who were recently circumcised as adults. While it might seem that adult circumcision might produce the same results as infant circumcision, there are potentially behavioral/hygienic factors that could influence results.

    While these studies were apparently directly intended to evaluate methods of reducing diseases in adult Africans, results tend to be generalized beyond the scope of study – as they are here.

    Link to this
  4. 4. Cooperific 2:35 pm 04/4/2011

    "As long as you and your partner are willing and able to practice safe sex, an uncircumcised penis isn’t any more likely to give you cervical cancer than a circumcised one."

    Isn’t that like saying, "As long as you and your partner are willing and able to practice safe sex, having a parter with HIV will not increase your risk of getting HIV"?

    Link to this
  5. 5. saluki68 3:00 pm 04/4/2011

    "because that’s what biologists argue about when they’re drinking, apparently." Must have been the Pork Rinds..

    Link to this
  6. 6. MichelleClement 3:03 pm 04/4/2011

    That is only true for the second study. The first study was on already circumcised males from Europa, Asia, and Latin America.

    Link to this
  7. 7. MichelleClement 3:25 pm 04/4/2011

    Europe*

    Link to this
  8. 8. Parus 3:43 pm 04/4/2011

    Your explanation for how circumcision could protect men from getting HPV doesn’t fit the data; there are no studies that demonstrate a difference between uncircumcised and circumcised men becoming infected with HPV (though, granted, that is the explanation given by the authors of one of the studies you cite). There is a recent JAOA review article that explains some of the problems with this model and how it came about. Part of the confusion comes from most studies reporting prevalence data, which can’t tell the difference between acquiring the virus vs the body’s ability to clear the virus. From the data, it looks like the main way circumcision "protects" from HPV infection is by somehow shortening the duration of a man’s HPV infection, not affecting transmission in the first place.

    Link to this
  9. 9. Spin-oza 4:10 pm 04/4/2011

    IT’s sort of like religion… there are those who despite convincing scientific studies, continue to cling to their "natural, god-given" foreskins.

    The medical literature builds a rather solid case for neonatal circumcision as a public health prevantative measure, with benefits far exceeding risk, on many fronts. To that end, I will list those benefits, supported by the data, that I am aware of:
    1. Fewer cases of neonates and children with infections of the urinary tract… which is not a trivial matter in this age group.
    2. Elimination of phimosis (retraction disorders) and related inflammatory conditions (balanitis) which make circumcision indicated (and a more morbid procedure) later in life.
    3. Reduces the risk of transmitting not only HPV, but herpes virus (HSV2) and more importantly HIV (The WHO recommends the procedure to prevent HIV!)… not to mention likely lower rates of trichomonas, bacterial vaginosis… and perhaps syphillis and chanchroid.
    4. Aside from lower rates of cervical cancer in partners (multiple studies) is the lower rate of penile cancer… duh.
    Finally, proper hygiene, particularly in school-age boys, is greatly facilitated… duh.

    Best leave these "debates" to those qualified: physicians. I have done over 2000 newborn circumcisions without a significant complication (in fact, performed 2 this AM). The maximum benefit accrues over a lifetime.

    If any other minor procedure provided these health benefits, there would be NO debate whatsoever. Cheers!

    Link to this
  10. 10. MichelleClement 4:58 pm 04/4/2011

    @Spin-oza: A few points:

    1) I am not inherently anti-circumcision. I won’t be circumcising my kids, but I’m pro-choice on the subject. I’m not interested in getting into a debate here on whether it should be the choice of the parents or the choice of the penis-wielder, although that is a debate that needs to be had.

    2) I am glad that you perform safe circumcisions (people in other parts of the world should be so lucky), but that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    3) Your assertion that the debate over circumcision should be left only to physicians smacks of paternalism. Everyone has a stake in this, and everyone should be part of the conversation.

    Link to this
  11. 11. rshoff 5:07 pm 04/4/2011

    It is my body. It is neither ignorance nor religion that affects my attitude. I’m not religious. It is my body and to have had someone cut off a part of my sex organs out of my parents beliefs in a medical paradigm is not acceptable to me. And for the medical community to continue to pressure parents today is horrible. There are examples throughout history where medical practices were entrenched in ignorance. We live in a time when parents won’t even vaccinate their children, but they will surgically alter their infants sex organs!

    Link to this
  12. 12. Spin-oza 5:46 pm 04/4/2011

    Amazin’… the ignorance and knee-jerk responses.

    First of all, there is NO paternalism involved. All parents of newborns received a very conservative "informed consent" form that lists the benefits and risks… and if anything, tilts toward the alleged risks. Of course, it is the parents who make this decision… the physician is only in a counseling role for clarification.

    Secondly, the mantra "it’s my body", as if your body is some sancrosanct edifice borders on adolescent simplicity. What if "your body" produces a big honkin’ benign tumor in your neck making breathing and swallowing extremely difficult… still want to keep that "natural growth"? How about a cancerous growth? Do you cut you hair or trim your toe/finger nails? How about prolapsed hemorrhoids… keep ‘em? What if you were born with an extra digit… or extra-mammary glands… what those as well?
    Get real: a neonatal circumcision involves free the phimosis or adhesions at birth a removal of typically about 1.5cm of foreskin, using a local anesthetic for comfort. The "risks" are miniscule in competent hands… and the benefits are many. Neonates can die from sepsis due to delayed treatment for an urinary tract infection. To equate this medical procedure to "mutilation" is patently absurd. However, adults mutilate their bodies and pay to have it done, on a regular basis.

    Like all things in life, there is no absolute position… all is relative. If the parents, upon careful consideration of the benefits:risks listed denies his newborn male a circumcision, then so be it… but just realize, there is nothing rational about such a myopic decision. There are studies that show that parents are far more likely to regret not circumcising the newborn versus the reverse… and they usually cite lack of information (likely due to a biased care provider).

    Link to this
  13. 13. MichelleClement 6:00 pm 04/4/2011

    Like I said, I am pro-choice. This post is not an anti-circumcision manifesto, as you seem to believe it is. You are the one spouting absolutes.

    Link to this
  14. 14. jack.123 6:24 pm 04/4/2011

    After reading the comments posted I saw no description of why most circumcisions occur in America.To put it simply neither mothers or fathers wish to wash the foreskin of their child,because of the erections that happen.Nor do they want to teach the child to do it himself.

    Link to this
  15. 15. Spin-oza 8:09 pm 04/4/2011

    Uh… wrong again bucko… I am "spouting" the conclusions regarding the health benefits of circumcision, based on scientific study, as reported in the current medical literature. The current "State of the Art" on this topic, so to speak.
    Who said anything about an "anti-circumcision manifesto" anyway… Oh, that was you.
    Yes Michelle… we are all "pro-choice" here. Not to worry dear, no one will coerce you to have your child’s "sex organs mutilated" (LOL).
    Ok… my work here is… done.

    Link to this
  16. 16. rshoff 8:34 pm 04/4/2011

    If the foreskin were a precancerous tumor then I would understand the position, but it is not. If an individual’s sexual health, a fundamental aspect of our humanity, were not at risk I would be more sympathetic. And if one considers the concept of "it’s my body" to be an ignorant mantra then I agree that neither should we be responsible for our own health, which we are. Furthermore, if one considers the needs of others to always be more important than his own needs to the extent that he abdicates control of his own body, then he is doomed for a sad life. And yes, I responsibly get the flu shot and other immunizations to not only protect myself, but to help fend off epidemics. Which is more than I can say about the parents who are unwilling parents to subject their daughters to the HPV vaccine while they are choosing to circumcise their sons. So I must disagree with your assessment, at least when it comes to the boundaries of my own body; Lest someone swipes my nails out of their beds while I’m not looking. After all, ingrown nails can result in hard to treat staff infections -which can be deadly and communicable.

    Link to this
  17. 17. jtdwyer 8:40 pm 04/4/2011

    Thanks for the correction. I was confused by the two papers reporting the 2009 study in Africa?

    I don’t personally have a problem with encouraging circumcision in men in order to reduce cancers in women, but IMO this article seems to include a lot of jumping to overgeneralized conclusions in order to rationalize your agenda. Your statement, "from a public health standpoint in the United States, it may not be necessary to circumcise male babies" may relieve many of this publication’s readers, but I’m not sure how uncircumcised African adult males should feel about this perspective.

    Personally, I’m more concerned about the global population that has quadrupled since 1900 and will soon have tripled since 1950, as I suspect that much more human suffering will be produced by this condition than HPV infections. Would you be in favor of some method of involuntary sterilization as the most humane and effective method of controlling population?

    Link to this
  18. 18. bsand 12:43 am 04/5/2011

    It sounds like circumcision is like a condom for a number of stds. Sounds like a good deal.

    Link to this
  19. 19. Joseph4GI 6:07 am 04/5/2011

    So it’s "sort of like religion," is it? What other surgeries do you perform on healthy, non-consenting children in the name of "religion?" Shouldn’t there be any actual compelling evidence? Oh say, an actual medical or clinical indication?

    You can throw all the "medical literature" you want at me, doc, but you won’t be able to get past this one thing; unless there is a medical or clinical indication, you have no business performing non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less stoking a parent’s sense of entitlement.

    Charging money to perform non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud. Convincing parents that they are entitled to that which you cannot even be performing is professional abuse of the parent and the child.

    If there were data to support "benefits" in female circumcision, would you perform it? How much data would you need to perform a labiaplasty and/or a clitoral "unroofing" in an infant child? Not full on infibulation, you know, just a "ritual nick" like the AAP was supporting last year? Let me answer for you; YOU WOULDN’T. There would NEVER be enough data that would convince you to do this, because you know that no matter how much data given to you, this is WRONG. This is CHILD ABUSE. You are basically justifying yourself with "science" for making a living off of the genital mutilation of defenseless boys.

    Link to this
  20. 20. Joseph4GI 6:08 am 04/5/2011

    Let’s talk about your so-called "benefits."

    1. UTIs are 10x more likely to happen to baby GIRLS. Do you deny this fact? Do you also deny the fact that UTI is already easily treatable with anti-biotics? Why don’t you talk about that?

    2. Phimosis is a rare condition, and it doesn’t always necessitate circumcision. It will never happen to a child, because a child’s foreskin is ALWAYS attached to the glans until he nears puberty. Balanitis is another condition that can be easily treated by other, more conservative means. You don’t cut off the toe to prevent toe fungus.

    3. A child is at absolute zero risk for any STDs that you mention, because he does not have sex. Didn’t you know that? Additionally, even if your "studies" are correct, condoms far outperform circumcision. Could you tell us what is the logic of circumcising a child, when he could always use a condom which would do a better job anyway? What backwards "science." And did you know that STD rates are much, much higher in America, where over 80% of the men are circumcised, than in Europe, where circumcision is unheard of? Tell us, oh doctor, is there a "study" that explains this reality?

    4. There is not a single study that you can show us that shows how exactly circumcision stops cervical cancer in women. And penile cancer is so rare, something like 1 in 100,000. Where 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer. Using your silly logic, it makes more sense to remove baby boys’ prostates.

    And finally, for proper hygiene, there is this technological advancement called a shower. We’ve really evolved sir, we really have. Did you know that women produce more smegma than circumcised men, and a shower does just fine for them? "Duh."

    About the "debate," human rights concerns EVERYBODY, not just money grubbing physicians. Over 2000 newborn circumcision without a "significant complication?" All of the boys that you circumcised now have permanently deformed penises. They’re missing their foreskin. That’s not normal. There is NO "benefit" to purposefully mutilating a child.

    If the procedure were as "minor" as you’d like to lead on to believe, THEN there would be no debate. Sorry.

    "It’s hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelyhood depends on his not understanding it." ~Upton Sinclair

    YOU sir, are in the business of mutilating defenseless children, and one of these days it’s going to come back to haunt your pocketbook.

    Link to this
  21. 21. Joseph4GI 6:20 am 04/5/2011

    "First of all, there is NO paternalism involved. All parents of newborns received a very conservative "informed consent" form that lists the benefits and risks… and if anything, tilts toward the alleged risks. Of course, it is the parents who make this decision… the physician is only in a counseling role for clarification."

    You contradict yourself in your own paragraph. There needs to be a medical condition first, before you can even consider surgery, much less talk to parents about any kind of "choice" in the matter.

    "Secondly, the mantra "it’s my body", as if your body is some sancrosanct edifice borders on adolescent simplicity. What if "your body" produces a big honkin’ benign tumor in your neck making breathing and swallowing extremely difficult… still want to keep that "natural growth"? How about a cancerous growth?"

    Apples to oranges; the foreskin, which in normal, healthy human anatomy is comparable to a "benign tumor" and/or a cancerous growth HOW, sir?

    "Do you cut you hair or trim your toe/finger nails? How about prolapsed hemorrhoids… keep ‘em? What if you were born with an extra digit… or extra-mammary glands… what those as well?"

    More faulty analogies… I’m sure men have to trim their foreskin because it gets ever so long every month. And I’m sure that the foreskin is just like prolapsed hemmoroids…

    No, sir. The foreskin is NOT a birth defect. Neithre it is a genetic anomaly or a deformity akin to a cleft or a 6th finger.

    The foreskin is normal, natural anatomy, just like the labia, which are made from the same thing.

    "Get real: a neonatal circumcision involves free the phimosis or adhesions at birth a removal of typically about 1.5cm of foreskin, using a local anesthetic for comfort."

    You are such a liar. Do you know that? No, not all doctors use anaesthetic. Actually most don’t. Would anaesthetic make the removal of the labia better in baby girls?

    That 1.5 cm of foreskin grows up to be about the size of a 3×5 card. Heck, the penis, which is real tiny at birth gets to be an average 6 inches. What is your point? You are really doing bad at justifying yourself.

    Link to this
  22. 22. Joseph4GI 6:21 am 04/5/2011

    "The "risks" are miniscule in competent hands…"

    Which include hemmoraging, full ablation of the penis, and even death, even in "competent hands." Let’s talk about the mohel who got sued last year because he chopped off the baby’s glans. He was supposed to be a "pro" right?

    "…and the benefits are many."

    And already achievable by non-invasive means.

    "Neonates can die from sepsis due to delayed treatment for an urinary tract infection."

    Which are 10x more prevalent in girls, and already easily treatable.

    "To equate this medical procedure to "mutilation" is patently absurd. However, adults mutilate their bodies and pay to have it done, on a regular basis."

    Adults have sex too. Only, when force sex on a minor, it’s called rape.

    Adults get tattoos and piercings too I’m sure. When a doctor starts offering these services to toddlers for "medical benefits," I’ll be at the front of the line.

    "Like all things in life, there is no absolute position… all is relative."

    Actually, like all surgeries, circumcision must have a medical indication.

    In a healthy, non-consenting child, what is it?

    "If the parents, upon careful consideration of the benefits:risks listed denies his newborn male a circumcision, then so be it… but just realize, there is nothing rational about such a myopic decision."

    There needs to be a medical indication before you can even prescribe surgery, much less talk to parents about any "decision." Your insistance on circumcising healthy, non-consenting children is "myopic."

    "There are studies that show that parents are far more likely to regret not circumcising the newborn versus the reverse… and they usually cite lack of information (likely due to a biased care provider)."

    Actually, all of the parents that I’ve talked to who regret circumcising their children cite lack of information; that they would have chosen differently if they would have known.

    The bottom line is this; unless there is a medical or clinical indication, you sir, have no business performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting infants, much less be consulting parents for any kind of "choice."

    You are a self-serving charlatan, and sooner or later, it’s going to catch up with you.

    Link to this
  23. 23. Joseph4GI 6:24 am 04/5/2011

    "I am "spouting" the conclusions regarding the health benefits of circumcision, based on scientific study, as reported in the current medical literature. The current "State of the Art" on this topic, so to speak."

    You mean you are spouting only those "studies" that aren’t devastating to your busine$$.

    "Not to worry dear, no one will coerce you to have your child’s "sex organs mutilated" (LOL)."

    No… actually, yes they will. Countless mothers on Facebook tell the tale that they were constantly harrassed with whether or not they were going to circumcise their sons. In some cases, the circumcision was billed, even though it didn’t happen.

    Self-serving mutilators will not only coerce, they’ll fly all the way to Africa to harrass mothers there too.

    "Ok… my work here is… done."

    One of these days, mutilator, one of these days…

    Link to this
  24. 24. Joseph4GI 6:35 am 04/5/2011

    Bottom line(s):
    Unless there is an actual medical or clinical indication, doctors have no business performing surgery on healthy non-consenting minors, much less stoke a parent’s sense of entitlement.

    If circumcision prevented STDs, STD rates would be far lower in America, where 80% of the men are circumcised, than countries in Europe where most of the men are NOT. Actually, the OPPOSITE is true. Let’s have "scientists" explain away that lie.

    And lastly, babies don’t have sex. They are at ZERO risk for STDs, and when they get older, they could learn to use condoms which, even if "studies" were true, they’d be more effective anyway. (Over 90% vs. only 60% prevention. If "scientists" started trying to peddle a condom that broke 40% of the time they’d be laughed out of the room!)

    Science is always trying to outdate itself; except in the case of infant genital mutilation. People have got to question why with circumcision "studies," the focus is on trying to preserve an old, ancient, controversial blood rite, and not trying to get past that. "Scientists" have been trying to "study" circumcision for what, the past 100 years? That’s so retro and so non-scientific. Talk about perfecting the guillotine… or the 3.5 floppy disk… or the 8-track tape… Is there a reason why "scientists" aren’t looking into disease prevention methods that DON’T involve having my child’s sex organs mutilated?

    That’s what I’d like to know.

    Have a doctor tell me "Success! We’ve developed baby formula that eliminates UTIs! Now we don’t have to circumcise babies anymore!"

    THAT would be "progress."

    Circumcision? That’s SO 2000 years ago…

    Link to this
  25. 25. markus 1:03 am 04/6/2011

    lol…actually, spin-oza, you are recused. rationalizing your own livelihood, physician functionary. tsk, tsk, tsk……

    Link to this
  26. 26. iamours 6:48 am 04/6/2011

    nice work and a ray of hope for all unmutilated genitals out there and those yet to be born.

    Link to this
  27. 27. question_everything 6:15 am 04/9/2011

    Dr. "Spin-oza" or is it "Spin Doctor"?
    First of all, doctors who rape male infants with circumcision have a bias for circumcision. Do you remember "First Do No Harm"? Where there is no urgency and no individual consent it is surgical rape!

    Urinary tract infections are higher in baby girls than in either type of baby boy (circumcised or uncircumcised)and baby girls because they are treated with more love and respect are treated with antibiotics. Dr. Martin Altschul who has a master’s degree in statistics and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins did a study on urinary tract infections in baby boys and found no statistically relevant difference between intact boys and cut boys. Dr. Altschul reminds us that UTI and boys is connected with a genital defect. One study that indicated that intact baby boys had higher UTI rates examined intact boys who were catheterized which is why they developed the UTI in the first place.

    Phimosis and paraphimosis in intact boys is caused by the doctors and parents forcibly retracting the foreskin "to clean" the penis. The foreskin on baby boys is stuck to the head of the penis like a fingernail to the finger and should never be forcibly retracted because it causes scarring which reduces the elasticity of the foreskin preventing it from functioning normally.

    Human papilloma virus which has been determined to cause cervical cancer can be transmitted by cut penises as well as intact penises. How convenient of you pro-circ doctors to leave out the connection of cigarette smoking and cervical cancer? I’m well aware how the American medical community manipulates things to perpetuate circumcision. I’ve also read where women can carry the cancer causing strain of HPV and never develop cervical cancer.

    As for the HIV/AIDS studies out of Africa, most informed people know how the study was ended early when it supported circumcision as a remedy. Two authors retracted their conclusions which did not hold up over time. Because of publishing bias in media these results have not been widely disseminated. The HIV/AIDS studies in Africa had numerous flaws. The men who were circumcised needed time to heal before engaging in sex, so ending a study prematurely would provide the desired pro-circ result. Circumcised men dropped out of the study and could not be examined for AIDS. The study sample had a higher HIV rate than the general public – very suspicious. Worst of all, more than half of the study sample acquired HIV/AIDS from non-sexual means. Forget not that doctors reuse needles in hospitals in Africa.

    Link to this
  28. 28. JewelD 1:17 pm 06/19/2013

    “There are other methods that are much more likely to reduce a woman’s chance of contracting HPV and developing cervical cancer, such as vaccination and condom use. ”

    A nice theory, but here’s the reality: low rates of HPV vaccination, plus the famously lower than 100% use of condoms worldwide (and it’s even lower re: anal sex – for those aficionados), support circumcision as simply the surer way to reduce both cervical and anal cancers.

    And we haven’t even included the surveys showing that women prefer having sex with circumcised men.

    Link to this

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