Click to embiggen.
The intervals are 0%-20%, 20%-80% and 80%-100%, plus no data available. That's pretty much useless =_=
I wonder if the stats for the countries in the former Yugoslavia come from their Muslim population rather than a society-wide trend for male circumcision. They're something of an exception in Europe.
The data is from WHO -- as the info page says. See this file: http://www.who.int/entity/hiv/pub/malecircumcision/infopack_en_2.pdf
I meant to also say -- there are many maps like this on Wikimedia Commons. See also http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Maps_of_the_world#Social_world_maps .
The clicking isn't enbigening for me. :(
Male circumcision is an interesting public health topic at the moment. Right around the time American parents are questioning what their parents before them hadn't, why get a male infant circumcised? In American it was mostly being done in hospitals, without religious ceremony (but possibly Christian parents take comfort in knowing it is recommended by both their doctor AND the bible.) But now, there's a trend in not having it done. What are the benefits?
Well, now male circumcision is being promoted as an intervention against HIV. In studies, it was found to have a statistical protective effect against HIV. Ironic, right? Pendulums shift at different times in different places. It should be noted that such interventions are concentrated in Southern Africa, where, according to the map their is less prevalence- probably due to a lower Muslim population. It would be interesting to compare a map of Africa circumcision prevalence with HIV prevalence.
One more thing, the circumcision debate in America is so hot that a Huffington Post article on FGC prompted threads comparing FGC with male circumcision on infants. This, of course, angered other commenters.
"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man", indeed...
Wow, look at South Korea all out there by itself! I wonder what that's about?
I agree with the first commenter that the data would be more valuable broken down further, i.e. in 20% bands. The 20-80% band is so broad as to be totally useless. Australia, for example, is shown as the same colour as the US, but I believe (anecdotally, I admit) that our circumcision rate is much lower than the US's. Certainly no recent parents I know have opted for circumcision. Really, all we can tell from this chart is which countries are at either extreme.
"The 20-80% band is so broad as to be totally useless."
I agree -- this map ends up implying that Canadian rates are as high as American rates, which is nowhere near true.
Melanie - while it might be interesting to see more shading, I think the very fact that there are so few cases in this large middle group - US, Canada, Australia, that place in Asia that I don't remember which country it is, and a handful in Africa - is itself very telling (although, frankly, not quite surprising).
And I still think that presenting circumcision as helpful against HIV is a crime against humanity - it is essentially sending the message that people who were circumcised can be more careless with sexual contact, which is clearly false.
I would be interested in seeing the numbers of men who are allowed to make the decision to be circumcised vs. those who have it done at birth.
I did a paper on circumcision, actually two papers, when I was in college. One professor asked why I chose the subject after I showed a video of a male baby being circumcised. My response was "I hear about female circumcision and how horrible it is all the time but never about male circumcision. It's hypocritical for American women to be aghast over FGC but not about MGC. As far as I'm concerned it's child abuse. The doctor should have her/his license taken away and both the doctor and the parents should be in jail."
That, of course, didn't go over well. But I stand by my opinion.
I'm not here to be for or against male circumcision, but I will say the data is strong about its protective affect against HIV. And I have to take issue with the logic here:
"And I still think that presenting circumcision as helpful against HIV is a crime against humanity - it is essentially sending the message that people who were circumcised can be more careless with sexual contact, which is clearly false."
Because this argument could be made against the HPV vaccine, a future HIV vaccine, condoms or any other intervention other than abstinence. And abstinence doesn't work.
As an uncircumcised man, I'm a little uncomfortable with all the fact that circumcision is being accepted as an effect deterant to HIV. If circumcision became a health regulation mandate I wouldn't get circumcised.
I've got too much time on my hands at school...but I think this thread is interesting. To be clear, I don't think there's any program in Africa mandating men to be circumcised, but rather program to promote it, to suggest it. Like I said in an earlier comment, it would be interesting to overlay the maps of male circumcision in Africa with HIV prevalence. Muslim-majority countries, where most men are circumcised, are usually not the countries with the highest rates of HIV. Usually. Even in a country like Mozambique, it is clear the lowest rates are along the coast, where Islam is predominant. It could be social behavior; it could be that circumcised men are less vulnerable to the virus.
Female circumcision also has a correlation with reduced risk to HIV. The same type of "evidence" that was used to commission the three RCT in Africa. Here is a link to evidence of female circumcision reducing HIV transmission, to the dismay of the author.
I'm with you Muriel. I have not always thought about it this way, but male circumsicion and female genital mutilation are the same in kind, just different in degree.
There is absolutely no reason to mutilate a baby's healthy genitals. Condoms also protect against HIV, and they don't do irreversible damage to a non-consenting child's body.
I'd be interesting in seeing a similar map on female circumcision.
All I know is, my 32-year-old circumcised boyfriend hates the fact that he is circumcised, would never circumcise a son (were he to have one), and wants his own foreskin back.
Yes, fortunately, there is an increasing awareness in much of the world, I think, of the immediate and enduring physiological and psychological damage induced by circumcision. I honestly believe that, were there not a large share of people who practice religious circumcision (Jews and, increasingly, Muslims) among the powerful international allopathic medical community/lobby, we would have already seen the practice declared a crime against humanity by the WHO. I hope that someday soon we nevertheless shall. No child deserves to be sexually violated and mutilated, regardless of gender, religion, or culture.
You know, I googled the authors of that study in Africa linking circumcision with lower HIV rates. They had connections to right-wing theocrat think tanks. These are the same people backing abstinence-only sex-ed. The just don't want to acknowledge that condoms are the only way to prevent HIV. Further more, from the begining there were claims that male circumcision prevented syphilis, gonorrhea, and HPV. All of which have been shown to be false. In fact, circumcision in America was originally touted (along with corn flakes and graham crackers) as a way of preventing alcoholism by stopping masturbation. Ultimately, male circumcision, like female circumcision is only about control of sexuality, nothing more.
Wow, like I said before, I have no interest in promoting male circumcision, but I have to say I am really disturbed by the amount of people on this blog who are equating FGC and male circumcision. They are very very different.
Removing the entire clitoris is not the same as removing the foreskin. Men do not have high rates of paternal mortality as a result are their procedure. Most men don't have problems urinating or menstruating as a result of their procedure. While I feel bad for men who feel they have been cheated out of something in life because they were circumcised, don't make it out to be the same as FGC.
"male circumcision and female genital mutilation are the same in kind, just different in degree. . .
There is absolutely no reason to mutilate a baby’s healthy genitals."
Exactly! It's a religious thing anyways, so as an atheist, I see absolutely no value in it. If I had a son, this would not be done to him. If he wanted it done when he's old enough to decide, fine, but I would not make that decision for him.
1. Not all FGM removes the clitoris. Some just remove the hood, or the hood and the labia majora. A radical clitorectomy is not the only kind of FGM.
2. The studies showing circumcision leads to lower rates of HIV transmittance have been reproduced, with much more ambiguous results, which leads me to think that the ones done in africa with the abstinence-only funding were flawed. http://www.nocirc.org/publish/11-HIV.pdf
3. There are a lot of similar attitudes about male circumcision and fgm. http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html
Who said male circumsicion and FGM are "equal" Heatherleila?
There are reports that wikipedia is not foreskin friendly by not allowing certain information at its site. This map demonstrates its pro-circumcision bias lumping the same circumcision rates of the US and Canada. One has to look at who is controlling wiki to understand.
On the issue of HIV/circ. protection: '(PRWEB) October 17, 2008 -- Results of the new study, “The Cost to Circumcise Africa,” published this month in the International Journal of Men’s Health, that compares the cost of male circumcision to the cost of lifetime distribution of free condoms in sub-Saharan Africa, found that condom distribution is 95 times more cost-effective in preventing the same number of infections.'
The mucosa contains Langerhans cells that produce a protein called Langerin that destroys HIV. Cut off the foreskin and you cut off part of the body's immune system. The African studies are fraudulent. They are unethical, have flawed methodology and manipulated data. They are contrived
- by requiring cut men to wear condoms for one third of the study - to create a lower infection rate for cut men. And then, for "ethical" reasons that are really unethical, all men are circumcised early to eliminate the possibility of any long term studies. This is cargo cult science at best. Do not give any ground to anyone who cites these studies.
The USA has the highest HIV infection rate in the developed world and has the highest circumcision rate. In the US, we have an experiment that involves 300 million people over 30 years. The statistics speak for themselves and blow the conclusions of the fraudulent African studies right out of the water. People need to know this. And you are the people who
must pass the truth to those you know.
Heather Leila said:
"I’m not here to be for or against male circumcision, but I will say the data is strong about its protective affect against HIV. "
That may or may not be the case. There are several countries in Africa where the opposite is true and the US has both the highest rate of circumcision in the sexually active age groups and the highest rates of all STDs including HIV amongst all industrialized countries.
Heather Leila Said:
"but I think this thread is interesting. To be clear, I don’t think there’s any program in Africa mandating men to be circumcised, but rather program to promote it, to suggest it."
That is not really true. The problem is that when public health officials in Africa talk about voluntary adult in the context of circumcision (and typically HIV), they NEVER mean voluntary and the NEVER mean adult. They always have infants and children on their minds because they know that a circumcised boy will inflict it on his future son with little thought. It's a way of trying to ingrain it into society. Just look at how things are here in the US. There is no medical reason to circumcise boys in the US, even if we were to take the 'data' from Africa at face value, its practical impact in the US would be vanishingly small. Yet American parents have been doing it for no apparent reason since the 40s despite the fact that the AAP has known and published that there is no good reason since the early 70s. Circumcision is a pernicious practice with no medical value and for some reason wears a cloak protecting it from any kind of ethical scrutiny.
If groups want to use circumcision as an HIV prophylactic they should truly limit it to consenting adults only, perhaps 16 at the earliest in high prevalence areas. This is for two reasons: First it is unethical to circumcise an infant or a boy. Second, in these same areas, where resources are scarce, you should be spending time and money circumcising those who don't really have to make that decision for at least 15 years. Offer it to the at risk population only thats what should be done from both an ethical perspective and a resource perspective. But just watch that they won't. No rational thinker can defend routine infant circumcision.
I think this debate was interesting because it highlights where public health and other fields diverge. Public health is different from sociology, so I can see how I'm standing alone in presenting my opinions here. But I'm not making stuff up. In my field, the CDC and the WHO are the gold standard, and they both support the idea that male circumcision has a protective affect. These are not institutions that have a bias against condoms. The WHO is not funded by theocrats. Condoms work. But can you get people to use them? They aren't the only answer. There isn't an only answer- there are many ways to prevent HIV, this is just one possibility. Anyway, here's a link to the WHO's statement on it, http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/malecircumcision/en/
It's pretty clear they're talking about interventions on men, with consent. Ethics are a pretty big part of public health now, even if they weren't in the past. They are not mandating it or forcing it on anyone, conspiracies aside.
And, as I do read this blog and I understand words get picked on...I do see comments equating, or comparing, holding on the same plane FGC and male circumcision, and I think they are incomparable.
"...but male circumsicion and female genital mutilation are the same in kind, just different in degree." SarahMC
No more posts from me about this topic. Promise.
"They are very very different."
"and I think they are incomparable."
Leila, they are similar in the fact they both take parts of a body without the owner's consent.
"But can you get people to use them? "
yes. it's a profitable market.
Heather Leila Said:
"It’s pretty clear they’re talking about interventions on men, with consent. Ethics are a pretty big part of public health now, even if they weren’t in the past. They are not mandating it or forcing it on anyone, conspiracies aside."
I've read very closely the WHO recommendation and it only applies to countries with high prevalence and not first world countries like the US which makes me wonder why people try and use those recommendations to speak for the US.
Also I disagree on the issue of ethics and focus on men. It is been made very clear that these agencies are interested in targeting children which is wholly unethical.
"The UNAIDS country programme coordinator, Dr Kékoura Kourouma, has advised Rwandans to start circumcision with children at a tender age as one of the measures to protect them from acquiring with HIV/Aids."If the government plans to implement circumcision, it would...""
The problem is that when public health officials in Africa talk about voluntary adult in the context of circumcision (and typically HIV), they NEVER mean voluntary and the NEVER mean adult.
Heather, I've considered working for the CDC and pursuing epidemiology as a graduate, too. But the CDC and WHO are not the end all be all in human health and services. They are huge beaurocratic orgs that lack the flexibility of small and on the ground studies.
If you're at all interested in HIV rates, you'd know that they're almost always higher among women because women are more vulnerable to contracting all STDs than men because of the nature of penetrative sex. So circumcising men is not the best prophylaxis. Keeping men from vectoring it to multiple women and preventing women from contracting it will have the largest effect.
what is the best for man is to stay away from adultry.because ther is no different for circumsiced and uncurcumsiced and if my wife love me with those foreskin is ok
Where I live, it is very common to be circumcised. All the men in my family are, and so is my son. The circumcision was performed by a doctor, in a hospital. I know the pros and cons, and I've seen the procedure being done Penn and Teller's Bullshit). I told my husband I wouldn't do it unless he felt strongly about having it done - and he thought our son would be better off having it done, so that's what we did.
He slept through it. It was no big deal. He slept afterward. That is pretty much all they do for awhile, aside from eating and pooping. As far as his consent - pretty much everything going on with him is done without his consent. Sometimes he is against it in a big way - he hates riding in a carseat, for example. And he hated his vaccines in a big way. But that's life. He won't remember it, and it's done with the best intentions.
At about a month old was the first time I saw him in pain, because he had an ear infection - and when he cried, I cried - I felt so terrible that he was hurt. I cried when he had to have his shots, and I still feel guilty about it - even though I know it was for his health and we'll have to go through it again several more times over the years. The circumcision didn't hurt him. How can you call it child abuse? I could never abuse my son.
When I write an argumentative essay, I will more often than not write it for "the other side" because I feel I learn more that way. I have written papers arguing for don't-ask-don't-tell policy, against a woman's right to have an abortion, and for having religion in schools. None of them have made me change my mind, but they have helped me understand the other point of view is valid and not something horribly evil. The world isn't black and white. Perhaps if you choose to write a third paper on the subject, you could try this so you understand the viewpoint a little better. Maybe you could interview some parents and doctors. My husband is glad he was circumcised, and so are the other men in our family. I wouldn't want my son to have to go through the procedure as an adult, because it would be traumatic.
That's my two cents.
"I wouldn’t want my son to have to go through the procedure as an adult, because it would be traumatic"
And it wouldn't be for a baby? So I can cut off his earlobes too? Wow, some people. Circumcision negatively effects brain development in the infant and releases dangerous amounts of stress hormone that flood the brain. Please don't do this to a second son.
I think going by your logic that circumcision cause stress in in the brain we should not go ahead with it and the lady above should not get his second son circumcised, we should not give birth to kids as well because while a child is about to be delivered s/he go through so much stress that his brain produces chemicals (like ACTH). So you mean to say we should not deliver as well & let the humanity extinct.
[...] WorldWide Prevalence of Male Circumcision В» Sociological Images Mar 11, 2009 … It would be interesting to compare a map of Africa circumcision prevalence with HIV prevalence. … [...]
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