Circumcision Advocates Fear Debate with Critics


It has been observed that when circumcision advocates have a speaking platform, they make efforts to avoid debate and limit or prevent critics from participating in the discussion. Perhaps they are aware that their position does not withstand knowledgeable scrutiny.

In 2013 Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Circumcision Resource Center, was invited to participate in a written debate in a national newspaper. The pro-circumcision advocate was to be Susan Blank, M.D., chairperson of the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision. Dr. Blank soon changed her mind about participating. The producer had to ask a few other circumcision advocates before one agreed to be part of the debate.

In 2012 another circumcision critic was on a radio show. The show producers had tried to get someone from the American Academy of Pediatrics to be on the show with the critic to speak in support of circumcision. They could not find anyone who would accept the invitation.

In 2010 Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., was scheduled to be a studio guest on a Boston talk radio program to discuss circumcision. The program also invited Daniel Halperin, Ph.D., researcher and lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Halperin is an outspoken proponent of circumcision and seeks to expand its practice here and in other countries. When Dr. Halperin learned that Dr. Goldman would also be on the program, he was uncomfortable facing a knowledgeable critic of circumcision and cancelled his participation.

Previously, Carole Lannon, M.D., the chairperson of the 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision, was asked to be on an NPR talk show. When she learned that Dr. Goldman was also asked to participate, she threatened to cancel her appearance unless the show’s format was changed to limit Dr. Goldman’s participation and prevent him from speaking directly to Dr. Lannon.

In recent years professional conferences dealing with HIV/AIDS have had sessions for circumcision advocates to speak. Circumcision critics are routinely prevented from participating.

There is nothing scientific about a process that excludes opposing views.

See About Cultural Bias.