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July 16, 1997

Advantages and Disadvantages of Neonatal Circumcision

Author Affiliations

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center Oakland, Calif

JAMA. 1997;278(3):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550030041020

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Laumann and colleagues1 supports the conclusions of the 1989 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision (of which I was the chair) that newborn circumcision has potential benefits as well as risks. The authors present new information that indicated circumcised men had slight benefit in terms of sexual satisfaction and less likelihood of sexual dysfunction. This complements a 1988 survey of women that demonstrated female sexual preference for circumcised men.2Although the subjective survey method reported by Laumann et al is valid for the issue of sexual satisfaction, it is not applicable for studying sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). As the authors point out, self-reported STDs will be underreported because patients with STDs may be asymptomatic, and the diagnosis carries a social stigma. Relying on the memories of men ranging in age from 18 to 59 years on this sensitive

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