Circumcision is such nasty business.  Wrap it in culture, wrap it in religion, wrap it in tradition, wrap it in parental personal preference, it is still wrong. It is still repulsive. It is still cruel. It is still medically unethical. It is still wanton cruelty on the helpless no matter how one tries to rationalize it. Baby boys and minor males should no more be subjected to foreskin amputation than female minors should have some or most of their genitals cut off for cultural reasons in America or Somalia.

So we folks who have been speaking out against this indecency for 40 years were heartened today when new data found that the rate of circumcisions in America has fallen from 56 percent of babies and infants in 2006 to 33 percent in 2009.  That is dramatic.  Of course, that is still one in three helpless males whose human rights are violated and their genitalia altered forever.

Parents and doctors are waking up to the reality that circumcision is medically unethical. Certainly pure economics have contributed to the decline.   We have 16 American states, including Arizona,  that have stopped paying for Medicaid circumcision for several reasons: It is mere cosmetic surgery, this cutting off of foreskins, this trimming off of live flesh to satisfy misinformed parents, this false belief that not having a foreskin make males healthier and cleaner.  If parents are going to have to pay $150 to $350 for it, then circumcision quickly becomes a less attractive option.  The silly TV sitcoms that have fixated on the foreskin (“turtlenecks,” “anteaters” or “elephant trunks”) aren’t funny anymore now that more and more realize they have been mocking a body part that has true function and purpose.

I would like to think that our years of raving about such genital mutilation, such de facto sexual assault, had some influence in parents ending the perversion in their families.  Certainly, the Internet’s advent has made expectant parents and family members easily aware of the considerable issues involved.   There you can see the screaming babies who have gone into shock to counter the pain. You can see the macabre tools that are used. You can see or hear the shameless words of the circumcisers struggling to remain relevant in the face of truth.

Outstanding and passionate doctors and activists, ethicists and resentful males have relentlessly pounded the message home.   Lawsuits against doctors and hospitals for botch circumcisions, scarring and death of babies have served to make some parents take a pass on the option.   Not amazingly, some circumcisers have developed enough empathy to tell parents then cannot  in clear conscience any longer do that to a baby.

Today, a story with a dateline of Vienna, Austria, by Global Medical News told of the marked drop of circumcisions in the U.S. from 2006 through 2009.  A review of 6.5 million U.S. newborn circumcisions was reported at the 18th International AIDS Conference said the drop is the continuation of a trend that had picked up steam in the early part of the decade. It said from 1979 to 2006, the rate hovered around 61 percent.

The report also said that circumcisions ran into less trouble when performed on the very youngest. Infections were one problem, along with skin tags. Correctional procedures had to be done for 58 in 100,000 males for those under 1, compared to 4,527 for those 10 years or older.  So?  Don’t circumcise and none of those problems come up.

Elsevier Global News found that five western states — Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — had the lowest rates of circumcision, 0 to 25 percent of boys being circumcised. Nineteen states, including the Midwest and Plain States, were the worst with more than 50 percent.   The results were announced at a conference funded in great part by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who, regrettably, has been a big funder of cutting foreskins in Africa to combat HIV/AIDS.  The otherwise good man is misguided on this one. suggested the research “takes a pro-cutting slant by attempting to demonstrate that genital amputation of newborns is ‘not as bad’ as previous research has shown it to be.  Although they do not come out and say it directly, it seems as though they ar suggesting we’d better step up the cutting in the U.S. before we see the extinction of MGM (male genital mutilation) and a rise among babie (?) getting HIV when having careless sex without condoms. Funny … the U.S. already has the highest rate of HIV of any developed nation, and we also have the highest rate of circumcised sexually active men.”

Folks, check out and to get the truth.  Make expectant parents aware that if they cut their baby boys, their sons might grow up the “odd” boys and they may grow up resentful that the self-determination of their bodies was taken away out of ignorance.