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February 1987

'Ode to the Circumcised Male'

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Kaiser Permanente Medical Center 280 W MacArthur Blvd Oakland, CA 94611

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(2):128. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460020018014

Sir.—Before the mid-1970s, the American standard of care included neonatal circumcision, a minor surgical procedure that promoted genital hygiene and prevented later penile cancer as well as cervical cancer in female sexual partners. More recently, evidence has suggested that adequate hygiene is all that is needed and that circumcision is an unnecessary and traumatic procedure. In 1983, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology jointly agreed that routine circumcision is not necessary,1 and third-party payers are increasingly refusing to pay for the procedure. Whether recent evidence of a decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants2 can stem the anticircumcision tide is questionable.

The purpose of this communication is to offer some solace to the generations of circumcised males who are now being told that they have undergone an unnecessary and deforming procedure, which may also have been brutal

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