As psychologists, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced CDC guidelines promoting circumcision for all males, and in particular children. The CDC guidelines are based on a sharply criticized 2012 policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The 2012 statement was condemned by a large group of physicians, medical organizations, and ethicists from European, Scandinavian, and Commonwealth countries as “culturally biased” and “different from [the conclusions] reached by physicians in other parts of the Western world, including Europe, Canada and Australia” (Frisch et al., 2013).
The new CDC guidelines highlight methodologically flawed studies from Africa that have no relevance to the United States. They chose to ignore studies that were conducted in the United States and show no link between circumcision and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (Thomas et al., 2004).
Worse, the CDC has completely ignored the psychological effects of genital cutting on male children.
This article outlines the psychological research that demonstrates the relationship between circumcision and psychological harm. The authors, along with other psychologists, have appealed to the CDC and Congress to reevaluate this policy in light of the psychological harm it will cause infants, children, and teens….
Medicine is like the cartoon coyote who has raced over the edge of the cliff but has not yet looked down.