July 16, 1997

Advantages and Disadvantages of Neonatal Circumcision-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Chicago Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1997;278(3):203. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030043027

In Reply.  —Collectively, the letters commenting on our article on circumcision are a microcosm of the highly contentious state of opinion on the wisdom of mass neonatal circumcision in the United States. Most of the authors make useful reference to other studies that bear on evaluating the impact of circumcision on such issues as penile sensitivity, sexual satisfaction, and transmission of other diseases to sex partners (eg, cervical cancer) that we could not examine because of the limitations on clinical data gathering imposed by a broad-based population survey such as ours.However, we take strong exception to Dr Schoen's observation that the survey method is simply inapplicable because of its invalidity for studying STDs. We acknowledged in our article the limitations of self-reported STDs from a lay population, especially with respect to underreporting becaused of selective recall, lack of awareness and of diagnosis of asymptomatic disease, and the avoidance of social stigma.