Hispanics are largely considered to be responsible for the decline in circumcisions in the United States, primarily because the Hispanic population is growing rapidly and is less likely to have baby boys circumcised at birth. But Hispanic parents may want to reconsider their decision, however, based on new data from Australian researchers.
According to the new report, circumcision should be as important as vaccination in infants when it comes to disease prevention. The researchers concluded that approximately half of all uncircumcised men will contract an adverse medical condition as the result of their remaining foreskin.
“As with vaccination, circumcision of newborn boys should be part of public health policies, wrote the study authors in their conclusion. “A risk-bene?t analysis of conditions that neonatal circumcision protects against revealed that bene?ts exceed risks by at least 100 to one.”
In an interview with Medical News Today, Brian Morris, professor emeritus in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney, indicated it could almost be considered unethical for doctors not to recommend the removal of penis foreskin because of how drastically circumcision can impact disease prevention.
Hispanics, however, continue to have the lowest circumcision rates in the United States.
“Hispanic families tend to be less familiar with the custom, making them less likely to circumcise their baby boys,” the news release claims.
Only 44 percent of Hispanic men are circumcised compared to 76 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 91 percent of non-Hispanic whites.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate circumcision is likely one of the best defenses for men against the transmission of HIV. A number of studies have shown the cells of the foreskin are more highly targeted by HIV, and the folds of the foreskin are an ideal place for pathogens to harbor.
“In addition, although the prevalence of circumcision may be somewhat lower in U.S. racial and ethnic groups with higher rates of HIV infection, most American men are already circumcised; it is not known whether men at higher risk for HIV infection would be willing to be circumcised or whether parents would be willing to have their infants circumcised to reduce possible future HIV infection risk,” states the CDC.
Not everyone is sold on the benefits of circumcision, however, and some experts believe it is too early to claim a recommendation against circumcision is unethical.
“I would be highly suspicious of any study that showed circumcision having this kind of benefit,” said Larissa Black, director of The Whole Network. “We have seen numerous studies showing the exact opposite of Brian Morris’s findings – even that circumcision actually increases the likelihood of HIV and various other STDs. Circumcised males are still at risk for all of these conditions, and damage caused by circumcision is not being taken into account. What benefit can be reaped when the child dies from circumcision-related complications?”
The Whole Network is an anti-circumcision group who advocate against the practice of removing the foreskin. According to Black, the practice not only removes the most sensitive skin areas of the penis, but has been linked to premature ejaculation and orgasm difficulties later in life.