The first intensive exploration of the unrecognized psychological and social aspects of this increasingly controversial American cultural practice. Endorsed by dozens of professionals in psychology, psychiatry, child development, pediatrics, obstetrics, childbirth education, sociology and anthropology.
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"What's done to children, they will do to society."
"Parents do not know what they are choosing, and physicians do not feel what they are doing."
"In response to circumcision, the baby cries a helpless, panicky, breathless, high-pitched cry!...[or] lapses into a semi-coma. Both of these states...are abnormal states in the newborn."
"Doctors who circumcise are the most resistant to change. They will not admit that they made a critical mistake by amputating an important part of the penis."
"In this case, the old dictum 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' seems to make good sense."
"A whole life can be shaped by an old trauma, remembered or not."
"If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children."
"We are interconnected. When a baby boy's sexuality is not safe, no one's sexuality is safe."
Contact: Ronald Goldman, Ph.D. For Immediate Release
Campaign to Promote Circumcision Wastes Resources
Lack of Open Debate Results in Flawed Policy
BOSTON - July 21, 2012 - Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center and author of Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, is concerned about the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC starting July 22. He says it offers a one-sided view by promoting male circumcision to reduce HIV transmission in Africa. "There is nothing scientific about a process that excludes opposing views. Circumcision advocates are afraid to debate circumcision critics," states Goldman. "This shows up at professional conferences where critics are not provided equal opportunity to participate. The fear of open discussion was also apparent when two circumcision advocates refused to debate me on two different radio talk shows." He also notes that circumcision advocates tend to be circumcised and have personal, political, and financial conflicts of interest connected with circumcision.
There is support for Goldman's critical view of circumcision. Many professionals have questioned the reliability and validity of studies claiming that circumcision reduces HIV transmission. (See link below for references.) Such studies were not consistent with other evidence. For example, African national population surveys in eight countries found a higher rate of HIV infection among circumcised men compared to men who were not circumcised. There are at least 17 observational studies that have not found any benefit from male circumcision in reducing HIV transmission. "The campaign to promote circumcision in Africa is a tragic waste of resources that could be used to make a real difference," he says.
There are better methods to prevent HIV transmission, according to Goldman. He states that research shows that most HIV infections in Africa are transmitted by contaminated injections and surgical procedures. "The advice is simple: sterilize any instrument that will be used on a person's body. For sexual contact, condoms are more than 99% effective, less invasive, and the cost of one circumcision in Africa can pay for 3000 condoms. Unlike circumcision, condoms also have the advantage of also protecting women, and there are no surgical risks and complications."
For more information on circumcision and HIV transmission see http://www.circumcision.org/hiv.htm which includes links to literature.