Sunday, September 28, 2008

Circumcision Rates of Newborns Drop Dramatically Worldwide, Except in the US

Circumcision rates of newborns worldwide has dropped dramatically since World War II, except in the US where the rate has dropped from 64 percent of newborn males to 57 percent of newborn males. Doctors fear this is a serious public health issue since circumcision defends against many forms of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Arguments against the procedure include fear of desensitization of the penis, which doctors claim has never been demonstrated clinically.

Rates of Newborn Circumcision Have Dropped Dramatically Since WWII, Except in the US
Source: NewScientist, "Cut!", July 19-25, 2008

Female genital circumcision (mutilation) showed a drop from 35% to 20% in Ghana at the War Memorial Hospital from 1995 to 2003.

Prevalence of FGM among mothers delivering at the WMH (1996–2003)

Ghana Med J. 2006 September; 40(3): 87–92.

The WHO says that 3 million girls a year undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa.

"Prevalence of female genital cutting in Upper Egypt: 6 years after enforcement of prohibition law."

The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC) in Upper Egypt, after 6 years of putting prohibition law into action. A total number of 3730 girls between the ages of 10-14 years were recruited to participate in this study. They were mainly preparatory school students (three urban and three rural areas). Social workers interviewed them as to whether they had undergone circumcision within the last 6 years or not. Subsequently, a questionnaire was sent to parents of girls who were positive for circumcision as to the circumstances surrounding the procedure. The prohibition law of FGC seems not to have altered the prevalence of this procedure. The majority of girls (84.9%) had had circumcision within the last 6 years with high prevalence in rural areas (92.5%). Circumcision was done for a combination of reasons, according to parents, with high rates of non-medical personnel participation (64.15%). This study's results indicate that the practice of FGC in Upper Egypt remains high despite enforcement of law. Extensive efforts are needed both to revise public awareness and to change attitudes regarding FGC.

PMID: 18348787 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Actually, doctors do not fear a serious public health issue from the decline of circumcision. No medical association in the world, even in the US, recommends circumcising neonates. In fact, even though the US still has the highest rate of circumcision, it also has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS. Even though some studies were done in Africa that seemed to indicate circumcision may reduce a man's chance of contracting HIV, these studies have been found to be heavily flawed and even the studies' authors claim that the conclusions do not translate to males in the US. May I post a link that you may find interesting? This is the most comprehensive review of the African studies: