The New York Times Reports the "Steep Drop" in U.S. Circumcision

A friend and fellow intactivist, Candice Young, said she couldn't think of a better headline to appear in The New York Times today - her birthday. I'd have to agree as I picked up my copy of TNYT and flipped open to the front page of the Science section to see the (above) tag line.

The New York Times, Roni Caryn Rabin, reported on the "steep drop" of circumcision in the United States (the last nation that continues to cut newborn baby boys at a rate of 32.5%). While I was at first hesitant to fully acknowledge these statistics (having not seen the data set myself) the CDC is reporting them as such. I agree with Intact America who said, "We are taking the CDC at its word, that these are reliable figures. From our perspective, it's an excellent opportunity to show that keeping babies intact is now the norm in the United States, and the majority of parents [nearly 68%] are choosing to keep their sons intact."

The "photograph of a slide from the [International AIDS Conference] presentation" that Rabin mentions in the article's fourth paragraph is this one (below).

I am indeed thankful for the 68% kept whole in 2009! The bogus 'locker room' argument is no more (although I am not convinced it ever held much water as all the intact men I've worked with or interviewed who grew up amidst cut peers have said they were (1) never teased and (2) very much opposed to having a part of their penis amputated in an effort to 'match' with their friends).

I am, however, appalled that there could be pro-cutters in big lobby groups who are still (somehow?!?!) attempting to find justifications to continue MGM. All myths and misconceptions have been repeatedly refuted - for the past several decades, actually. It is time to put down our knives and step away from the babies.

I encourage you: Dig deeper. Become fully informed. There is far too much research on this subject today to ignore.

Click on the article image above to read in full screen, or read The New York Times article online here.

Related information in response to the article:

Dr. Dean Edell and others discuss HIV and circumcision (the U.S. has the highest numbers of HIV positive persons of any developed nation, and the U.S. also has the highest numbers of sexually active adult circumcised men). Circumcision does *not* prevent HIV.



  1. Re: "the locker room" -- this was one of my husband's arguments in trying to get me to agree to have our sons cut. Apparently, there were only one or two guys at school who were intact, and they were pretty ruthlessly teased for being different. My husband said he didn't want our sons teased like that. When I pointed out that circ rates are lower now than they were then, so if we circ'd, we might find that our cut boys were in the minority, and they'd be teased for being cut; and that we were planning on homeschooling, so the whole "locker room" thing would probably not be likely anyway, he didn't have much more to say.

    However, I don't know how the boys my husband's schoolmates mercilessly teased felt about being teased and/or intact -- they may have been teased, but not really cared. Or they may have cared, but were still glad to have been kept intact. Plus, children can be cruel and will find things to tease others about, so we should work with our own children to learn how to defect or accept teasing, rather than modifying our bodies to be more acceptable to peers.


  2. Dr. Diekema was interviewed on Sunday, August 22, 2010 on NPR's "All Things Considered." He is a "bioethicist" on the AAP's Circumcision Task Force, which is coming up with it's new policy on circumcision. Diekema can be reached at

    Diekema promotes circumcision for alleged medical reasons in this interview, and he says the arguments of those opposed to circumcision are "largely emotional." Those opposed to the serious complications of circumcision, the botches, the MRSA infections, the loss of human rights for males, the loss of the sexual function of the foreskin for both males and females, etc. are just "emotional"?

    Diekema goes on to say, "just the fact that they (intactivists) insist on referring to this (circumcision) as genital mutilation tells you that they're refusing to recognize whether there may be any medical benefit to the procedure."

    "Their use of that term is intentional. I think they're trying to make a point that if it's wrong on girls, it's wrong on boys. But there are some significant differences with boys ..."

    Remember that this year the AAP first came out in favor of ritual nicking of the genitals of infant girls, with no medical benefit.

    Diekema's use of the word "they" when referring to intactivists implies that this is an "us" (him and his colleagues at the AAP) vs. "them" situation.

    It appears that the AAP is no longer "dedicated to the health of ALL children" (males and females alike). Rather, the AAP is now "dedicated to the financial health of its pediatrician members!" They can't afford to lose all those millions of dollars they are making by performing medically unnecessary circumcisions upon baby boys.



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