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September 14, 1970

Whither the Foreskin?A Consideration of Routine Neonatal Circumcision

Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Services, USAF Hospital, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

JAMA. 1970;213(11):1853-1858. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170370037006

Routine neonatal circumcision has been advocated as a means of preventing genitourinary diseases and genital cancers. However, the procedure has been found to be of questionable benefit and to be associated with both immediate and delayed risks and complications. These in turn may produce undesirable psychologic, sexual, and medico-legal difficulties. Circumcision is considered with respect to carcinoma of the cervix, penis, and prostate; there is little evidence that circumcision of the newborn affords protection against subsequent development of these cancers in individuals who practice good personal hygiene.