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Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:01 AM

 

Studies showing "benefits of circumcision" highly flawed

When bad science kills, or how to spread AIDS
Published May 22, 2012 | By Brian D. Earp


http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/05/when-bad-science-kills-or-how-to-spread-aids/

Must read in full. Proceeding from a longer study by Boyle and Hill (2011).

Key excerpts:



A handful of circumcision advocates have recently begun haranguing the global health community to adopt widespread foreskin-removal as a way to fight AIDS. Their recommendations follow the publication of three [1] randomized controlled clinical trials (RCCTs) conducted in Africa between 2005 and 2007.

...

While the “gold standard” for medical trials is the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the African trials suffered [a number of serious problems] including problematic randomisation and selection bias, inadequate blinding, lack of placebo-control (male circumcision could not be concealed), inadequate equipoise, experimenter bias, attrition (673 drop-outs in female-to-male trials), not investigating male circumcision as a vector for HIV transmission, not investigating non-sexual HIV transmission, as well as lead-time bias, supportive bias (circumcised men received additional counselling sessions), participant expectation bias, and time-out discrepancy (restraint from sexual activity only by circumcised men).


...


What does the frequently cited “60% relative reduction” in HIV infections actually mean? Across all three female-to-male trials, of the 5,411 men subjected to male circumcision, 64 (1.18%) became HIV-positive. Among the 5,497 controls, 137 (2.49%) became HIV-positive, so the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%.


...

Some major issues with trying to roll-out circumcision in particular include the fact that the RCCT participants—who were not representative of the general population to begin with—had (1) continuous counseling and yearlong medical care, as well as (2) frequent monitoring for infection, and (3) surgeries performed in highly sanitary conditions by trained, Western doctors. All of which would be unlikely to replicate at a larger scale in the parts of the world suffering from the worst of the AIDS epidemic. And of course, circumcisions carried out in un-sanitary conditions (that is, the precise conditions that are likelier to hold in those very places) carry a huge risk of transmitting HIV at the interface of open wounds and dirty surgical instruments. So this is a serious point.



He notes that even accepting these highly flawed studies, condom use has been found to be about 95 times more effective in stopping the spread of AIDS. The propaganda about circumcision is actively dangerous due to "risk compensation," or the effect of alleged protective measures causing people not to bother with real ones. One of the cited reports supports the misconception engendered by the propaganda about the magic powers of circumcision among some Ugandan men. Once circumcised, they believe they no longer need to use condoms.

The full article from Boyle and Hill (2011): "Sub-Saharan randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission," is available in PDF at http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/23477339/1441224426/name/JLM_boyle_hill.pdf. This file has safeguards against copy-paste, or I would quote their abstract.

See also my deconstruction in detail of the insupportable Auvert et al. (2005) study that started the new wave of propaganda for foreskin removal.
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/JackRiddler/1093

Here are Earp's credentials, from:
http://oxford.academia.edu/BrianEarp


Brian Earp is a Research Associate in the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and a Consultant working with the Institute for Science and Ethics at Oxford's Martin School. Brian recently completed his MSc. in experimental psychology as a Henry Fellow of New College, Oxford; and received his undergraduate degree from Yale, where he studied cognitive science and philosophy and was elected President of the Yale Philosophy Society. Serving as Editor-in-Chief of both the international Yale Philosophy Review and the Yale Review of Undergraduate Research in Psychology, Brian also conducted extensive experimental research in a number of areas, generally touching on unconscious or automatic mental processes, and has published refereed work on this topic. Brian's paper on the psychology of free will, co-authored with Professor John Bargh, was published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and is the #2 trending philosophy paper on Academia.edu as tracked by nationalacademies.org. The #1 trending paper, "Can science tell us what's objectively true?" is Brian's as well, originally published in the graduate journal of New College, Oxford. Brian's senior thesis at Yale was awarded the Robert G. Crowder Prize from the Department of Psychology, and was recently covered in over 50 newspaper articles, from the Telegraph and Daily Mail in England to the Sydney Morning Herald and the Times of India. Brian has given interviews on his work with BBC Radio as well as Highland Radio in Ireland. A recipient of the Ledyard Cogswell award, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior in Yale's Calhoun College, Brian is also a professional actor and singer, with nearly 50 leading roles to his credit, and was called "one of the most audaciously talented young actors seen on any Seattle stage in many years" by talkinbroadway.com. With Professor Julian Savulescu, Brian is authoring a book on the neuroenhancement of love and marriage, to be completed this year.

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Reply Studies showing "benefits of circumcision" highly flawed (Original post)
JackRiddler Aug 2012 OP
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #1
qb Aug 2012 #2
Trillo Aug 2012 #3
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #4
randome Aug 2012 #19
pnwmom Aug 2012 #76
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #85
pnwmom Aug 2012 #86
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #92
Curtland1015 Aug 2012 #5
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #6
Curtland1015 Aug 2012 #7
lightcameron Aug 2012 #9
Fumesucker Aug 2012 #12
HangOnKids Aug 2012 #16
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #20
Bonobo Aug 2012 #38
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #39
4th law of robotics Aug 2012 #18
Romulox Aug 2012 #50
lightcameron Aug 2012 #8
Prophet 451 Aug 2012 #10
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #13
Alduin Aug 2012 #11
Prophet 451 Aug 2012 #14
Alduin Aug 2012 #22
Whisp Aug 2012 #15
Mariana Aug 2012 #25
cr8tvlde Aug 2012 #27
Whisp Aug 2012 #29
laundry_queen Aug 2012 #102
Whisp Aug 2012 #107
4th law of robotics Aug 2012 #17
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #21
snooper2 Aug 2012 #23
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #35
musiclawyer Aug 2012 #24
unc70 Aug 2012 #30
cr8tvlde Aug 2012 #26
madinmaryland Aug 2012 #28
Confusious Aug 2012 #31
Confusious Aug 2012 #32
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #33
Union Scribe Aug 2012 #34
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #36
Confusious Aug 2012 #54
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #58
Confusious Aug 2012 #60
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #62
Confusious Aug 2012 #66
DemocratSinceBirth Aug 2012 #108
Confusious Aug 2012 #55
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #57
Confusious Aug 2012 #64
DemocratSinceBirth Aug 2012 #109
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #112
Confusious Aug 2012 #119
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #125
Confusious Aug 2012 #131
Confusious Aug 2012 #120
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #124
Confusious Aug 2012 #132
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #135
Confusious Aug 2012 #136
Bonobo Aug 2012 #37
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #40
Bonobo Aug 2012 #41
Bonobo Aug 2012 #44
Bonobo Aug 2012 #48
TPaine7 Aug 2012 #42
Bonobo Aug 2012 #43
DemocratSinceBirth Aug 2012 #111
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #113
DemocratSinceBirth Aug 2012 #114
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #118
cpwm17 Aug 2012 #45
Bonobo Aug 2012 #46
My Pet Goat Aug 2012 #52
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #59
Bonobo Aug 2012 #47
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #49
Bonobo Aug 2012 #51
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #61
11 Bravo Aug 2012 #53
ldf Aug 2012 #56
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #63
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #65
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #67
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #71
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #73
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #79
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #82
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #91
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #134
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #68
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #69
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #70
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #72
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #74
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #77
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #81
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #83
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #84
apocalypsehow Aug 2012 #133
4th law of robotics Aug 2012 #75
Scootaloo Aug 2012 #105
4th law of robotics Aug 2012 #115
The River Aug 2012 #78
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #80
Bonobo Aug 2012 #87
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #89
Bonobo Aug 2012 #97
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #100
The River Aug 2012 #88
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #90
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #93
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #94
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #95
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #98
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #116
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #96
Bonobo Aug 2012 #99
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #101
Scootaloo Aug 2012 #103
blueamy66 Aug 2012 #104
Bonobo Aug 2012 #106
Scootaloo Aug 2012 #117
lynne Aug 2012 #123
blueamy66 Aug 2012 #128
liberalhistorian Aug 2012 #110
Mariana Aug 2012 #121
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #127
lynne Aug 2012 #122
JackRiddler Aug 2012 #126
blueamy66 Aug 2012 #129
liberalhistorian Aug 2012 #130

Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:03 AM

1. How about we avoid the usual juvenilia in this space...

 

And have a real and serious discussion? Thanks.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 10:27 AM

2. Thank you for posting this rebuttal against those with a blind agenda.

If some people see things aren't going their way, they cheat.

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Response to qb (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 11:28 AM

3. But what is their "agenda"? NT

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Response to Trillo (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 11:56 AM

4. Justifying more than a hundred million foreskin removals

 

conducted on infants involuntarily? (I think that's the big one. Doctors who have been doing it would like to hear that it was all for the good.)

Defensiveness among those who were subjected to this irreversible procedure? (We see alot of that here, such as those who are insulted by the very concept that removing a functioning, healthy part of the body - half of the penile skin and nerve endings! - does not constitute damage to that organ.)

Reaching for a "scientific" justification for blind belief in "tradition," whether this is cultural and religious or as in the US mainly a medical tradition?

Angling for grants to do more such "random trial" research? Angling for positions and prizes from the academy?

Profit motive within the foreskin industry? (No kidding: There is one. Foreskins have profitable applications in cosmetics and medicines. Quite apart from the revenues from insurance companies that cover this procedure.)

Sheer need to be right, once one has adopted an opinion either way?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:46 PM

19. Most of your points could apply to anyone who takes a one-way position on something.

 

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Response to qb (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:29 PM

76. Does the World Health Organization and the UN have a blind agenda?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #76)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:08 PM

85. What about the entire medical establishment of Europe?

 

What about all the medical doctors, including Nobel Prize winners, who decry the practice of "circumcision"?

Do they have a blind spot? Sombebody here does!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #85)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:09 PM

86. The "entire" medical establishment except for the members of the WHO.

That's a significant exception, IMO.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #86)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:39 AM

92. Doesn't matter: You can't cite doctors per se as authorities...

 

When circumcision is recommended by a minority thereof.

You have to actually wade in and learn for yourself. It's tough, I know.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:03 PM

5. My 89 year old grandfather-in-law needed to get his removed.

Due to medical complications.

I'm of course not saying that's the NORM... hell, the guy lived with his foreskin with no issues for almost 90 years!

But at the same time, if I had to get it removed, I'd much rather that happen as a baby than as an old man.

That's just me though...and again he was fine before that.

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Response to Curtland1015 (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:09 PM

6. Is this some kind of joke logic?

 

So we should preventively remove part of an organ just in case someone comes down with a genuine medical reason to remove it ... at age 89?!

Did you ask him how much he enjoyed the use of his fully intact member for 89 years? Did he tell you he wished he'd had it removed as an infant?

Furthermore, you don't know what the baby thinks, do you? This is not a minor procedure. How do you know it's not as painful to the infant as it would be to the adult? Is it okay to cause trauma on an innocent, unwitting, helpless being since the direct memory will be lost?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:11 PM

7. What the hell is with the hostility?

I was just trying to contribute to your topic.

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Response to Curtland1015 (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:14 PM

9. Psych 101

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Response to lightcameron (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 01:03 PM

12. Welcome to DU!

I hope you enjoy your stay!

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:18 PM

16. Nailed it!

 

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Response to Curtland1015 (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:00 PM

20. All right then. Thanks.

 

I'm not hostile, I just didn't like this comment:

"But at the same time, if I had to get it removed, I'd much rather that happen as a baby than as an old man. "

For the reasons stated, because it seems to justify the practice on the basis that babies don't feel the same pain.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #6)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:14 AM

38. Is that post the model you wish to set for "not being juvenile"?

It is the perfect model, in fact, of the kind of assholery that gets these threads so worked up.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #38)


Response to Curtland1015 (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:42 PM

18. Removing body parts without consent or medical necessity cannot be justified

 

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Response to Curtland1015 (Reply #5)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:14 AM

50. My grandmother had a hysterectomy at a much younger age than that... nt

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:13 PM

8. Again? When will the "No, really, it's fine..." agenda tire out?

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:53 PM

10. Circumcision is rare here

I'm British and circumcision is rare here. Apart from observant Jews, it's only really practiced for actual medical need. We don't have noticeably more STIs than you would expect from a statistically normal population.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:04 PM

13. Indeed. Empirical population studies...

 

make absolute mincemeat of the hypothesis that circumcision is a significant factor in HIV infection, or clinically advisable for this purpose.

This is why some pro-circumcision funders pay pro-circumcision doctors to go pay impoverished South Africans to participate in a non-random, uncontrolled, and in every way methodologically biased and corrupted study, so that they can then pretend to process the results into something they outrageously label a "random controlled trial." Scientific and medical malpractice on a very high level.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 12:56 PM

11. There's a surprise.

 



There is never any need in any developed nation to remove part of a man's penis. NEVER.

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Response to Alduin (Reply #11)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:12 PM

14. Not quite

There are a few rare medical conditions where it's medically necessary. For example, heavy scarring of the foreskin can make it too inflexible to be retracted and so, a circumcision may be necessary.

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Response to Prophet 451 (Reply #14)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:46 PM

22. Well in cases such as those, it's fine.

 

Getting permission from the male is key.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:16 PM

15. good info.

 

every instinct and intuition I have cannot make me think I can bring myself to chop up my little baby boy or advise anyone to do that.

it makes no sense - it's some evil pointless ritual from throwback ignoramuses of generations ago.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #15)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 05:56 PM

25. I believe it was/is another ritual sacrifice.

Considering the way that particular god liked to demand real, tangible sacrifices from his worshippers all the time, I have a hard time believing that the circumcision ritual isn't just another one. And I believe the reason it was ordered to be done to babies, rather than waiting until the boys were old enough to choose it for themselves, was because too many older males would have said, "Hell, no!"

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Response to Mariana (Reply #25)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:21 PM

27. This was from the same group that thought killing animals

and splashing the blood on the doorway was a good idea to keep away evil spirits. And one of their heroes is hailed because he was willing to kill his son...who apparently got a last minute pardon. This is historic fact....at least the story is historic.

I'm thinking that either of these practices would likely not fly today and hopeful that civilization has moved beyond this, in a literal sense, anyway.

(I pinned my OB doctor to the wall with this circumcision BS and he admitted it...but still "strongly recommended" it.)

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Response to Mariana (Reply #25)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:33 PM

29. I really object to the idea that a baby will forget the pain

 

or I've heard here and there that they don't really feel pain like us (ha! anything to justify ridiculous voodoo (actuall voodoo probably makes a lot more sense than this cutting a baby) I can't accept that because we know that we have very early memories and even if we can't recall them, we carry them with us all our lives.

boggles the mind.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:06 AM

102. A baby's brain

is a delicate thing. There are numerous studies of babies being traumatized by pain as infants (a lot of these studies were done on micropreemies) tend to have different pain tolerances and responses than normal as they get older. When even something as subtle as mild emotional neglect will mess up a baby's brain for life, how can we so arrogantly assume that a major traumatic event will not have any effect at all?

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #102)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:22 AM

107. What's done iis done

 

I guess some parents may feel guilty for doing this or some kids might feel that there had to have been some sort of justification.

But what is done is done. There shouldn't be any guilt if society puts fulls pressure on you to do this. If I had boys way back maybe I would have let it be done - family and cultural pressure is a heavy thing and I may well have submitted even though I talk strongly against it now.

Time to change those social pressures on this and many things we have been falsely marinated in for generations.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 02:41 PM

17. They got the *right* answer, who cares how they arrived there?

 

It was never about an objective study.

It was intended to prove the circumcision was right in order to justify established cultural practices.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #17)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 03:10 PM

21. This.

 

Exactly. These studies are a cultural ritual, above all to justify the practices prevalent in the United States. Even if the results were supportable, which they are not, they are an absolutely laughable way to approach the problem of HIV-AIDS. Condoms almost completely solve the problem by preventing transmission almost all of the time, whereas foreskin removal is supposed to lower the overall chances of transmission by 1%, solving nothing! HIV-AIDS transmission is more generally the problem of education, health care systems, development, poverty, economic opportunity, health generally and so much more. Westerners generally (for or against foreskin removal) don't want to talk vectors, that's expensive and implies Africans might not be fully responsible for their fate. Africa is there for the resources and opportunities to multinationals. If they've got problems, give them fake individual solutions: tell them to cut off their foreskins.

Now that we're on a different part of the crotch, we're in full agreement.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 04:50 PM

23. This is a little early, then next circumcision thread isn't due till September 3rd--

 

I may have to take this up with the board....

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #23)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:54 AM

35. Actually, the "next circumcision thread"

 

is always due whenever the latest rehashing of the fraudulent studies set in Africa is recycled through the lapdog press. I thought to go counter-cyclical and actually talk about the facts.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 05:00 PM

24. How come no one who is uncut never posts in these threads

I would like to hear first hand why someone healthy and uncut would prefer to be cut

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Response to musiclawyer (Reply #24)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:52 PM

30. Those uncut do not want to be cut

I'm uncut and strongly oppose circumcison of infants. Adults can make their own decisions.

When the original research first appeared, I debunked it here on DU.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:10 PM

26. I am the mother of a son who figured out that the only real reason for

genital mutilation, otherwise neatly termed circumcision is that males can't keep themselves clean. Perhaps back in 2,000 BC there was a shortage of soap and water and information about cleanliness. Not today. I call BS. It's no harder for a male to keep himself clean than a woman. And unclean privates...male or female...can cause infection.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 06:31 PM

28. First there was a pubic hair thread, then one about small penises, and now circumcision.

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #28)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 07:03 PM

31. Oh, the circumcision one is ongoing

The other two were anomalies.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Aug 21, 2012, 07:05 PM

32. A guy who has a blog and a philosophy degree

vs the CDC and medical doctors.

Who to believe... who to believe.... so hard...

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Response to Confusious (Reply #32)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:44 AM

33. I knew that someone would employ this outright lie.

 

Shame on you.

It's like you're depending on no one even reading the OP. I anticipated this anyway, which is why I quoted his simply incredible resume in full. He has a lot more degrees, not just in philosophy - from Oxford - than you are ever going to accumulate.

Not that there is any shame in philosophy. It's about taking care in thinking for yourself - you should try that some time, instead of scanning down to the part where you can locate something for an ad hominem attack. Your cheap resort to imputed authority and avoidance of actual facts and argument is merely your own declaration of intellectual bankruptcy.

He commands logic and method, unlike the fraudulent studies he dismantles.

By the way, is anyone who isn't a doctor allowed to have an informed opinion? Up to the late 18th century, would you have supported the still-prevailing belief in bleeding the patient? Because the big lie about circumcision as a preventative to AIDS is the modern analogue, and just as dangerous.

(What about politics - should that only belong to designated experts?)

However, and this is the kicker, the blog entry (and he has publications, obviously, as well) is a treatment of a report by medical doctors. As my own post makes clear. The main arguments come from them. And I included the link to that study. Which of course you ignore.

If the media had any integrity, they would have made news of that report, rather than treating every pro-circumcision press release as though it were news.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #33)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:54 AM

34. He has no medical credentials.

It is not "ad hominem" to point that out. And it's more than ridiculous to attack someone for appealing to authority, properly, when you attempted to prop up the author in your OP.

You are way, way, way too hostile on this topic.

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Response to Union Scribe (Reply #34)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 01:59 AM

36. It is absolutely ad hominem...

 

when one avoids the argument altogether and attempts solely to debunk the person delivering it on the basis of their supposed credentials. (And actually a good training in philosophy is exactly the right credential for addressing faulty scientific methodology. Not that the fraudulent carcass of the Auvert study needs a genius to debunk it.)

It is also deeply dishonest when you ignore - now as the second one here - that the author himself is mainly delivering the findings of papers by medical doctors. You pretend that he alone is speaking as a "philosopher" (didn't he win enough prizes for his psychology work?). Did you even read the OP, or his blog post? I doubt it.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #36)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 09:52 PM

54. Ad hominem

Doug Walton has argued that ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, and that in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue,[13] as when it directly involves hypocrisy, or actions contradicting the subject's words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Walton

Your thinking is fallicous. If every criticism is an ad hominem, then no one could criticize anyone.

If a ballet dancer decided they wanted to criticize NASA for the way it's sends people into space, or the way it constructs it's satellites, it's not ad hominem to say she has no place to criticize becuase she has no education, training or experience in that field.

In your world, the ballet dancer opinion has just as much relevance as the engineer, and to say as much is an ad hominem attack.

Let the denials begin.

PS, you're using the fallacy of argument from authority. He is no authority.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #54)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:00 PM

58. No relevance to anything that you say.

 

This isn't even ad hominem anymore - you're not going to address the argument.

Also, you're not going to admit that he cites at length from medical doctors. (Now you can go question their credentials. Just make sure you don't address their arguments.)

In other words, you've invented a whole new level: you just don't read it, do not refer to it, and pretend you did.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #58)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:06 PM

60. You accused me of ad hominem attacks

I responded.

Now you want to change the subject.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #60)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:11 PM

62. Yes, you engaged in ad hominem response.

 

Ad hominem doesn't even have to be an attack. Any response that ignores the substance and talks about the speaker instead is ad hominem.

Also, at this point: deliberate omission. Earp mainly reviews the findings of medical doctors who criticized the studies by Auvert et al. for their simply breathtaking flaws.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #62)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:17 PM

66. Repost, seems you didn't read it the first time

Doug Walton has argued that ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, and that in some instances, questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue, as when it directly involves hypocrisy, or actions contradicting the subject's words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Walton

Your thinking is fallicous. If every criticism is an ad hominem, then no one could criticize anyone.

If a ballet dancer decided they wanted to criticize NASA for the way it's sends people into space, or the way it constructs it's satellites, it's not ad hominem to say she has no place to criticize becuase she has no education, training or experience in that field.

In your world, the ballet dancer opinion has just as much relevance as the engineer, and to say as much is an ad hominem attack.

Let the denials begin.

PS, you're using the fallacy of argument from authority. He is no authority.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #54)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:41 AM

108. BTW, The American Academy Of Family Physicians Is About To Release A New Statement

In the new statement they will not go as far as to recommend the procedure for every new born male but they will say the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #33)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:04 PM

55. So I guess if you're a philosophy major

You can do medicine, rocket science, physics, and everything in between, becuase you command LOGIC.

He can't even do math.

"What does the frequently cited “60% relative reduction” in HIV infections actually mean?"

He subtracts numbers when he should be dividing numbers.

If he can't even do math, he really has no business criticizing the study.

Critical thinking doesn't involve agreeing with everything you post, or everyone and everything you agree with. Critical thinking involves calling bullshit when you see it it.

And I'm calling bullshit.

(besides which, speaking of biases, according to an earlier post, seems he doesn't agree with circumsion, so his analysis is already suspect. (a little more critical thinking))

I addressed your claim of ad hominem down below, I fully expect you to ignore it and disagree with it.

He agrees with you, so he must be right, right?

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Response to Confusious (Reply #55)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 04:57 PM

57. You show no evidence you've read what he wrote...

 

Or else no integrity, since of course he cites at length from studies by medical doctors. And he has a stack of fucking degrees in cognitive psychology among other things. At Oxford.

And enough of the 60% nonsense - it's the widely cited figure from the Auvert study, not something he made up on the spot.

All you can do is provide misleading headlines to your post. Pure sophistry.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #57)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:13 PM

64. Citing doctors doesn't mean you are one

His "host" of degrees doesn't include a medical degree.

I'm not talking about the quoted 60%, I'm talkin about his lack of understanding about where the 60% came from.

And no, I didn't read the whole thing. I skim articles first, looking for glaring errors to see if if they're worth my time.

He had a glaring error, so it's not worth my time.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #64)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:56 AM

109. Appeal To Authority

Appeal to authority is only a logical fallacy if the authority you are appealing to isn't an authority in the field you are appealing to him or her in.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a great philosopher but I'm not appealing to him if I have a pain in my chest.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #109)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 10:38 AM

112. Wrong. (What is appeal to authority?)

 

Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy if it is used as a means to avoid the substance of an argument, which Confusious admitted in the last post. He says he skimmed the OP or Earp for a short time, and has since spent a multiple of that time here attacking the misconceived notion of the argument he got from skimming, and attacking the author for not being a medical doctor, without dealing with the substance.

In this case, appeal to authority furthermore ignores that Earp is not just citing but explicating the works of medical doctors critical of the Auvert et al. studies, who are linked in the OP also, and who should qualify for the same mantle of authority that Confusious wishes to allow only for doctors in this case.

As for the ad hominem part, let's say you are not a doctor but cites a doctor who makes a claim. I then purport to refute this, not by addressing the claim, but by pointing out that you are not a doctor, and completely ignoring that you have, in fact, cited a doctor. You then point out that you have cited a doctor. I then say, "you're not a doctor," and ignore your citation of a doctor. You then say again that you have cited a doctor... Repeat 30 times, and that gives you about half of this thread.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #112)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 08:32 PM

119. You keep doing that

You keep mischaracterizing what I say. ( Someone said "The people quick to point out fallacies are usually the ones most guilty of using them"

You sure mentioned that I skimmed the article, but you forgot to leave out the reason why. To remind you:

I'm not talking about the quoted 60%, I'm talkin about his lack of understanding about where the 60% came from.


You still haven't answered the question "Why should I listen to someone about science who can't even do basic math?"

"As for the ad hominem part, let's say you are not a doctor but cites a doctor who makes a claim. I then purport to refute this, not by addressing the claim, but by pointing out that you are not a doctor, and completely ignoring that you have, in fact, cited a doctor. You then point out that you have cited a doctor. I then say, "you're not a doctor," and ignore your citation of a doctor. You then say again that you have cited a doctor... Repeat 30 times, and that gives you about half of this thread."

Again, I have no problem with the quoted 60%. Your link makes the claim that the doctors are WRONG and the actual reduction is only 1.3% or some shit. If you wanted the actual numbers of a reduction in cases you would divide. NOT SUBTRACT.

If you can't even understand basic math, then I don't really have any hope you understand the rest.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #119)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:58 PM

125. Why have I spent any time on you?

 

You still haven't figured out the difference between relative and absolute, or that the 60% figure came from the Auvert study and is widely cited, and if you read anything of Earp, you're not showing any evidence of it.

Thanks for the kick!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #125)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 06:06 AM

131. I don't know why have you?

Your argument about relative and absolute is bullshit.

if there had been zero cases in the circumcised group, the reduction would be only 2.49% or whatever. You'd be saying it was a failure with only 2.49%. Like you're saying 1.18% is a failure.

But relatively, that would be 100% less cases.

And that is why your argument is bullshit.

(That is what is called "an example." There are A LOT of things quoted relatively. Crime statistics are always relative from one year to the next, disease numbers one year to the next, or comparisons one decade to the next. It just shows your lack of understanding, or intellectual dishonesty. You decide.)

Whether he cites anything isn't the point. The point is is that he, and you, don't understand what you're reading and what they're saying.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #112)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 08:43 PM

120. Seems you think every

fallacy is an attempt to avoid the argument. Wrong.

Fallacious arguments from authority often are the result of failing to meet at least one of the required two conditions (legitimate expertise and expert consensus)

You fail on both counts.

Your boy ain't no medical doctor, and expert consensus is changing.

So... any other fallacies you'd like to abuse?

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Response to Confusious (Reply #120)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:42 PM

124. How about you acknowledge it's doctors, too?

 

To your post: Nope. I don't think what you say I think. I think this particular fallacy, the one you're implicitly admitting, is an obvious attempt to avoid the argument.

Especially since you're evading for about the 20th time on this thread the fact that Earp mainly treats the findings of medical doctors. So not only are you appealing to authority to shut down the argument, you're not acknowledging that equivalent legitimate expertise disagrees with your preferred authority.

Furthermore, the worldwide "expert consensus" is mainly against the practice of genital cutting, except within a limited sphere that, unfortunately, includes our country. But as usual there are Americans who want to pretend only the US exists.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #124)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 06:11 AM

132. Well you keep saying it

On pretty much everything. Should I go back and count the number of times?

The point, AGAIN, is that he doesn't understand the point of what he's trying to critique. and neither do you with your "absolute and relative" excuse.

He can't do simple math, every study uses AT LEAST simple math, and if he can't get it right, there is no reason to listen to him.

My preferred "authority" is people who have degrees and experience in the field they're talking about. He has neither.

Your preferred "authority" seems to be anyone who agrees with you, and they seem impressive enough.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #132)

Mon Aug 27, 2012, 06:05 AM

135. Earp mainly treats the findings of medical doctors "with degrees and experience in the field."

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #135)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 04:51 AM

136. I could "treat" Einsteins' math

Doesn't mean I understand it.

Obviously this guy doesn't understand the simple math used in the study, and neither do you.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:12 AM

37. Wait, what? Look at those numbers.

What does the frequently cited “60% relative reduction” in HIV infections actually mean? Across all three female-to-male trials, of the 5,411 men subjected to male circumcision, 64 (1.18%) became HIV-positive. Among the 5,497 controls, 137 (2.49%) became HIV-positive, so the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%.

-------------------------
The "decrease" you cite as 1.31% was derived by subtracting 2.49% minus 1.18%???

That doesn't make any sense.

It should be 64 divided by 137 =46.7% decrease.

What the fuck?

Whoops, I got the numbers slightly wrong. It is a 53% decrease, or a 46.7 increase in the number of people who DID get HIV.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #37)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:31 AM

40. Sigh.

 

The frequently cited "60% relative reduction" is actually from the Auvert paper. Then he gives the cumulative numbers from three studies that went into the meta study, which is a different total.

His point is that the absolute reduction being so small as to render foreskin removal irrelevant as a prevention strategy, especially given a) that the studies were methodologically faulty and biased in the first place and b) that condoms are 95 times more effective and c) that the myth of circumcision encourages risk displacement. Also, I'd add d) as opposed to non-random non-controlled and dubiously designed studies falsely hyped as experimentally sound, the empirical population numbers tell a radically different story.

Just read it once without looking to murder it as you do so, okay?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #40)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:37 AM

41. Sigh... the numbers still don't make sense. Please address the math only for a minute.

What does the frequently cited “60% relative reduction” in HIV infections actually mean? Across all three female-to-male trials, of the 5,411 men subjected to male circumcision, 64 (1.18%) became HIV-positive. Among the 5,497 controls, 137 (2.49%) became HIV-positive, so the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%.

Did or did not the author derive the "decrease in HOV infection was only 1.31%" claim by subtracting 1.18% from 2.49%?

The answer is yes he did.

Now, please tell me how that number represents the correct way to determine the actual decrease in HIV infections? Maybe I am missing something and you can educate me. This would be a great learning opportunity for me.

But it seems to me that the only way to get the decrease would be to take percentage difference between 64 and 137 cases (adjusting slightly for the fact that there were more control patients)

Looking forward to your answer.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #41)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 03:00 AM

44. I wonder what the benefits of circumcision on crickets are... nt

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #40)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 05:21 AM

48. These crickets aren't going to die soon if you don't give them some air. nt

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #37)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:49 AM

42. Unless I having a brain fart, the percent reduction is

 

((unreduced-reduced)/unreduced) X 100%

So using these numbers,

((2.49-1.18)/2.49) X 100% = 52.61% in this case.

Using the raw 64 and 137 numbers ignores the fact that they are infections out of different sized samples (64 out of 5,411 and 137 out of 5.497) and it also compared raw numbers instead of comparing the reduction to the unreduced number as my equation does.

It's a percent change in percentages, and that can make the calculation look funny, but googling "percent change" should yeild the same formula I gave—at least for a percent reduction.

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Response to TPaine7 (Reply #42)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 02:55 AM

43. Thanks, math was never my strong suit but I was always a decent logical thinker.

The OP's repetition that those numbers only represent a 1% or so reduction in the rate of HIV reduction sent my antenna twitching but I wasn't sure how it should actually be calculated --I just knew it wasn't the way that Jack Riddler presented it.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 10:03 AM

111. The Condom Argument Is A Bit Of A Red Herring

It assumes compliance.

If there was one hundred percent compliance it is logical to assume that there wouldn't be forty two million abortions per year in the world.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #111)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 10:46 AM

113. "The condom argument" includes the idea...

 

that the pro-cutting propaganda creates the false impression that the cut have been protected, when they have not, and discourages condom use.

So even if forcing cutting on all males would indeed assure "compliance," it still wouldn't provide protection against getting HIV from an infected sex partner. That would still require the condom.

"The condom argument" also asks, what's the rational use of resources? Reducing someone's odds of getting it by an absolute 1.3% or encouraging a far more effective means?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #113)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 11:01 AM

114. I Don't Think Anybody Is Arguing Circumcision Is A Substitute For Using A Condom

They are arguing that if a man is going to have unprotected sex his chances of being infected with the HIV Virus are reduced by approximately half if he is circumcised.

And if you reduce the rate of infection from 2.5% to 1.25% you are reducing the incidence by 50% and not by 1.25%*

I also think its of some consequence that the American Academy Of Family Physicians is moving from their neutral stance to suggesting that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #114)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:40 PM

118. But that's only if you accept the numbers from highly flawed...

 

uncontrolled, non-random, not blind and seriously skewed studies that violate several standards of experimental science.

If you look at the numbers from large population sets, the lowest HIV infection rates are in countries that don't engage in almost any genital cutting.

Clearly, if there is any effect to circumcision (and the Africa studies don't even posit definitively what the mechanics of it may be), it is incredibly minor compared to actually taking effective safe-sex precautions.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #37)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 03:14 AM

45. I don't know where they got the 60%

 

(I just noticed TPaine7 beat me to it)

But since the pool of test subjects wasn't the same for each group (5411 vs. 5497) you can't compare the 64 to the 137 directly. I now see that you have fixed one error, so your results are much better. Since 5411 is close to 5497, your results are almost correct.

To me, the way to find the percentage of all people that would be saved from HIV by having a circumcision: 2.49% - 1.18% = 1.31%.

This would be a percentage reduction of: 1.31/2.49 x 100% = 52.6%. So the rate of HIV infection would be a little less than 1/2 if all people got circumcised as compared to if nobody got circumcised. I'm doubtful of these results, especially if applied to Americans and the rest of the developed world.

I opposed circumcision. Evolution doesn't do everything right, but the foreskin is probably there for a very good reason. Circumcision drastically changes the male anatomy. Circumcisions very likely reduce the ability to enjoy sex.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #45)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 03:25 AM

46. All of the things you say could be true.

Foreskin may or may not be there for a very good reason.
From an evolutionary perspective, it could be vestigial as long as it its existence or lack of does not confer a survival advantage.
As to whether or not they reduce the ability to enjoy sex, I think that is ultimately unknowable. Certainly I enjoy sex though I am circumcised. But there is no way to compare my enjoyment with YOUR enjoyment for example, so it is a moot point. I suspect sex is something in which the engagement of the mind is at least as important as the feeling on the tip of your penis.

As for the numbers, 53% is a far cry from the 1% the OP claims, basically destroying any claim that it may have.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #46)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 11:46 AM

52. Earp wasn't referring to percentage reduction...

As for the numbers, 53% is a far cry from the 1% the OP claims, basically destroying any claim that it may have.


The Earp article stated "the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%," not a percent change in reduction. Why are you reading this to mean percent change in reduction?

IMO Earp meant the percentage of all people that would be saved from HIV because he was comparing the "absolute decrease" against a "60% relative reduction" that compared "two vanishingly small percentages."

Regardless, both calculations are debatable for the reasons cpwm17 mentioned. This however only points back to the inconclusiveness of the African trials, which is one of the basic claims of the article.

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Response to My Pet Goat (Reply #52)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:03 PM

59. Why bother?

 

These people are not in this thread to discuss the data or the arguments. They will take one tiny bit, deliberately misunderstand it, use the standard buzzwords of modern pseudo-skeptical sophistry, and make sure to always stick an attack headline on it (figuring a lot of people read about as much as they do). Like, where is the admission that Earp mainly does an exposition of studies by medical doctors? Good luck. Repeat 30,000 times. I engage it because it kicks the thread, and hopefully more people read the OP.

EVERYONE! If you're in this thread, please make sure you read the OP, Earp's column, and the studies he cites, and my own analysis of Auvert (linked in OP). Read the Auvert study and the pro-"circumcision" propaganda, also. Thank you.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 03:52 AM

47. No they don't. Until you address posts #41, #42, #43, et al, you have bombed DU with misinformation.

Unless you can address such a serious misstatement of the percentage decrease in HIV, I think you owe it to the DU community to delete this highly misleading OP.

There have been 4 separate studies and ALL of them show a decrease in HIV reduction in circumcised people.

NOW WHO is causing the death of WHOM?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #47)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:11 AM

49. Your one post that brought up any point was addressed

 

In Post 40. Your repeat hammering doesn't say anything except that you've imbibed the first lesson of sophistry ("repetition makes fact."

Boyle and Hill went into several Africa studies in detail here:
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/23477339/1441224426/name/JLM_boyle_hill.pdf.

I addressed the Auvert study's atrocious methodology including manipulation of the numbers given, in detail, here:
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/JackRiddler/1093

Thank you for kicking this thread! One can only hope people are reading the OP and the various links therein and making a careful consideration before moving on to the comments. Especially, carefully considering before they cause irreversible damage to their children's genitals.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #49)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:16 AM

51. You did not explain the grievous math error.

And I am happy to kick so everyone can see that your opinion is decided and completely disconnected to the facts.

Embarrassingly so, in fact.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #51)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:07 PM

61. I explained you grievous error of understanding...

 

Since there is no math error, but a citation of the commonly given "60% reduction" claim which comes from the Auvert study.

Everyone! Read the OP! Read Earp's column! Then come back here and laugh at bonobo!

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #47)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 12:23 PM

53. Circumcisions should only be performed at an Olive Garden by nursing mothers who own a pit bull.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Aug 22, 2012, 10:10 PM

56. blah, blah, blah

the only way you are going to remove my foreskin is if you slice it off my cold, dead penis.

discussion closed.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:11 PM

63. Oh good lord...there should be a dungeon for circumcision threads, just

like there is for conspiracy theory nonsense and the like. A lot of us get tired of seeing this non-issue bandied about GD, with all the attendant flames and jury duty summons and so on.

They renamed the 911 forum and changed the TOS on "Creative Speculation" when we moved from DU2, and much for the better I might say; perhaps we could have a circumcision dungeon, "Foreskin Fascination" or "To Cut or Not To Cut?" Something reflective of the absurdity that what amounts to a medical procedure often performed for religious reasons by private parties should somehow be politicized or banned.

Regardless, the topic does not belong in the main forums.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #63)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:13 PM

65. I'm so sorry you were forced into this thread at gunpoint.

 

Maybe you can find something more interesting, about Katy Perry or Obama's dog.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #65)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:17 PM

67. We shouldn't have to see this nonsense non-issue in the main forums,

where it is posted to generate the maximum number of flames (and one wonders about that) anymore than we should have to see faked moon landing speculations or the like.

Now, you can snark all you like, but that doesn't change the fact that this non-issue is not a political issue, but a medical/religious one.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #67)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:22 PM

71. You seem to have a strong opinion on it.

 

Fine, you think male genital mutilation is a "nonsense non-issue." That happens to be an extreme view, in its own way. Your apathy about it isn't very convincing if you're here to protest how unimportant it is. There are a thousand threads you could be visiting instead. Go. Scoot!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #71)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:26 PM

73. My "strong opinion" is that it is none of JackRiddler's business if people

wish to circumcise their sons, anymore than it is apocalypsenow's business if people wish not to. It is a medical/religious issue, not a political one.

"Go. Scoot!"

Uh-huh.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #73)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:04 PM

79. That's not directly the topic of this thread, is it now?

 

This thread is about the scientific frauds being perpetuated to encourage male genital mutilation for ostensibly medical reasons. This manner of public fraud should be exposed, especially when it is so often given uncritical and celebratory coverage in the corporate media.

In this country, male genital mutilation is a religious issue only for a minority of those who choose to remove the foreskins of infant children. For the majority who are subjected to mutilation, it occurs because of a medical, not a religious, tradition. That is also of public interest.

I believe in the human rights of individuals to decide whether they want to have half of their penile skin removed. The defenders of the far more horrible female genital mutilation that is illegal in this country and rightly abhorred in our secular culture also claim that it is a religious issue, and sometimes even trot out claims of cleanliness and hygiene.

Although people in the US for the most part do this irreversible physical damage to their male children without even feeling strongly about it, or thinking anything about it, but simply because a doctor recommends it and they trust doctors, the historic roots of all forms of genital mutilatin are in authoritarian social control and ideologies that seek to suppress sexual pleasure.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #79)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:56 PM

82. Yes, it is, Jack; and, further, all the rest of your rattle & hum

has been dealt with here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1188118

Read it as often as necessary to get the flavor of it, if you can't tackle the plain meaning all in one go.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #82)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:38 AM

91. All of which has nothing to do with what

 

you'd like to ignore and deny, which is here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021171713

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #91)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 11:43 PM

134. Try reading it again, Jack: you'll get there eventually:

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #65)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:18 PM

68. BTW, haven't seen much of you in "Creative Speculation" since the TOS

was changed.

Interesting stuff...

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #68)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:20 PM

69. I have no interest in that forum.

 

Nor do I have any obligation to be seen or not seen by you, whoever you are.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #69)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:21 PM

70. Uh-huh. n/t.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #70)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:23 PM

72. By the way, I haven't seen that much of you...

 

in the Ukrainian Cricket Forum. Or the Katy Perry Fan Club, or anywhere else.

Of course, it might be related to not having any idea who you are, or caring.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #72)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:26 PM

74. Uh-huh. n/t.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #74)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:34 PM

77. BTW, anyone who wants a good laugh at this breezy hand-waving

away of the topic broached in my reply above should go here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_topics&forum=125

...and scroll down. So much for both "I have no interest" and "I don't know who you are."

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #77)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:12 PM

81. I suppose it's flattering that you remember my username...

 

But I don't know who you are, and judging from the generic conventional thinking and juvenile repetition of your posts here, there's probably good reason. My barnacles with their prefab talking points and pedestrian mockery fade into anonymity.

I don't know what you think a link to the 9/11 research forum at the old DU says. There is no 9/11 forum on the current DU.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #81)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:58 PM

83. Uh-huh. Once again, to onlookers: check out that link for yourselves.

It'll put paid to this dual business Jack has been peddling, to wit, conspiracy theories?!? Never heard of 'em!" and "you're just a total stranger, wandering through my thread!"

Fun stuff.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #83)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:05 PM

84. "Conspiracy theories" are more your thing.

 

I don't use your attack terms. And I honestly don't remember you. And what does this stuff have to do with this thread? Nothing of course.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #84)

Sun Aug 26, 2012, 11:41 PM

133. Uh-huh. n/t.

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Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #63)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 05:27 PM

75. Personal body integrity and choice are not acceptable issues to discuss here?

 

Or are they non-issues only when boys are concerned?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #75)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:55 AM

105. 4th Law, you and I don't agree on a damn thing, ever

 

...Except this, it seems.

I suspect that this means that our shared position here is either unquestionably right... or that the Elder Gods have finally awakened and will devour us in a matter of moments.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #105)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 12:33 PM

115. I'm going with the Elder Gods thing

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn . . .

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 06:17 PM

78. Speaking From Personal Experience....

(which most (all?) of the replies (including the OP?) seem to lack)

20 years with, 42 without.
Never regretted the decision.
The advantages far out weigh
any tangible any loss.



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Response to The River (Reply #78)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 10:07 PM

80. So, you made a decision.

 

Good for you.

That's what everyone else should get to make: a decision.

The experience you do not have is the experience of being denied that decision, as millions of infants are denied that decision when it is made for them while they are helpless and unknowing.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #80)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:14 PM

87. Parents make decisions for kids all the time.

Health decisions, which is what circumcision is much of the time.

Ask a doctor. Here in Japan, it is recommended to all mothers now although it was not in the past and certainly has nothing to do with religious views.

I guess you probably think all the doctors have been "taken in" by propaganda and just don't know as much as you about and this philosopher about medical issues, huh?

Listen, if you have leftover emotional, ummm, "issues" because you feel part of your birthright was taken away from you and you feel a kind of resentment, THAT is a PERSONAL issue that YOU have. You can't/shouldn't conflate it into an international conspiracy.

Frankly, this crap belongs in the Creative Speculation dungeon along with the moon landing stuff.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #87)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:35 AM

89. Most doctors in the world do not recommend male genital mutilation.

 

So regardless where you stand, some large number of doctors have been taken in, yes.

You continue to engage the lie that it's simply a "philosopher" who wrote the blog post cited in the OP. He has a stack of degrees including in cognitive psychology. Not that a philosopher (at Oxford, no less) isn't equipped to use logic and facts in dismantling the dramatic methodological flaws of the studies purporting to show that male genital mutilation lowers HIV infection rates.

You continue to ignore that this philosopher's blog post mainly treats studies by medical doctors. So again it's doctor vs. doctor, as well as people who respect individual rights to bodily integrity vs. those who think "tradition" is an acceptable excuse to do damage to children - exactly the same rationale used by the female genital mutilators.

Fewer than 1 percent of Japanese males have had their foreskins removed as infants. How about I don't believe your claim independent of an actual citation?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #89)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:22 AM

97. I only have anecdotal info.

As for the info about doctors these days advising it, I will admit that my only knowledge of that comes from asking a young mother a few weeks ago who told me that.

Having said that, your 1% claim is only for adults, and as I said, I am referring to new births.

If you look at the circumcision rate in S. Korea, you will see it is quite high and I assume that Japan is beginning to follow that trend.

In doing some research, I learned a lot about phimosis, pseudo-phimosis, loss of circulation to the tip of the penis as a medical emergency in non-circumcised people.

I learned about penis yeast infections, increased chance of HIV infections, glans discoloration, smelly discharges, etc.

So thanks for the education. I am glad, though, that I am circumcised so I don't have to worry about those things. I am also glad I had my sons circumcised so they won't have to undergo a painful and expensive procedure when they get older.

I hope people who want to restrict rights so that they are in line with their own prejudices do not have their way.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #97)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:48 AM

100. Just imagine how much better it would be to just cut the whole organ.

 

Then you wouldn't be just preventing phimosis but STDs as a category.

Sure, there are diseases of the foreskin you won't get if it is removed. The same is true of the breasts, or any other body part. This is not a serious preventative measure, and requires the additional idea that the foreskin (a natural part of the body with nerve endings representing 50 pecent of penile skin) is some kind of alien presence or disgusting mistake of evolution.

As for the supposedly lower chance of HIV-AIDS, that is based on some seriously flawed and biased studies. See OP!

Empirical population studies make mincemeat of that claim. I'm sure Japan has a relatively low HIV infection rates among developed countries, is that not so? How do they do it despite the foreskins?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #80)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 11:15 PM

88. And Having Experienced Both Sides

of the issue I recommend the procedure.
The younger the better. Who remembers the trauma
of birth in general? Better done sooner rather than later when the
trauma/pain is all too real and memorable. (big ouch)

You seem passionate about the issue, but infants don't get to decide much
about about the circumstances of their birth. Life isn't fair but it's
better than the alternative.

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Response to The River (Reply #88)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:36 AM

90. Missing the point: YOU made the decision.

 

Infants don't get to make that decision. So your experience doesn't speak to those who were cut as infants.

Plenty of people who were forced for genuine medical reasons to lose their foreskin as adults (very few people actually choose it) claim it did make a difference. They count, too.

Then there is objective reality: 50 percent of the total penile skin is removed in the procedure. It's fully functional and full of thousands of nerve endings.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:42 AM

93. I question this person's intellectual honesty

 

I read the following and could not believe they stated this:

"Among the 5,497 controls, 137 (2.49%) became HIV-positive, so the absolute decrease in HIV infection was only 1.31%."

Another way to say this is it decreased the rate by over 50%. However, that would not fit their clear agenda. I call "hack."

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #93)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:44 AM

94. I question whether you even read the OP or the blog post...

 

other than to cherry pick the official numbers of the "success," which he then thoroughly debunks, showing a sorry wealth of flawed methods, biases and deceptive interpretations in the pro-'circumcision' studies.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #94)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:50 AM

95. Is that your way of saying you will not address the CLEAR attempt at deception?

 

If I do not address EVERY SINGLE POINT he makes, then I cannot point out a failed attempt to deceptively lead people to believe the way he wants them to by reporting a stat that is signficant (50% reduction) in a manner meant to minimize it?

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #95)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:42 AM

98. Earp addresses this quite well, and not at all deceptively...

 

and I recommend reading his text, and better yet the Boyle et al. study on which it is based.

The numbers claimed in the Auvert and other studies are themselves the result of many flaws and biases. I cover this for the Auvert study at length in my own piece, linked at the end of the OP.

Earp's point is also that a 1.3% absolute difference may be statistically significant, but clinically irrelevant. Even if the numbers are accepted despite the fixed nature of the studies that arrived at them, genital cutting is effectively useless compared to condoms. No one who is cut can simply have unprotected sex with an infected person and expect not to be infected. Cut or uncut, they still need to use the only effective protection is a condom. The pro-cutting propaganda is creating the impression that cutting is an effective protection, however, and according to news reports ends up discouraging condom use. Where should limited resources go? To a pro-cutting campaign that, according to the fixed studies, may make a small difference in the chances of getting HIV in the course of unprotected sex with an infected person? Or toward promoting and providing condoms, which provide highly effective protection, close to 95%. The emphasis on cutting as some kind of miracle preventative is thus exposed as a cultural bias. Those studies get all this attention here because they justify the widespread and highly dubious practice of male genital cutting here.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #98)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:08 PM

116. As I point out below, he claims condom use CURES AIDS.

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:56 AM

96. This guy also sucks at math

 

He says the infection rate in the study was 2.49% and that circumcision reduced the rate to 1.18%. He then tells us if we accept this as true, condom use is still 95% more effective. Thus, if I multiply the decrease of 1.31% by 1.95, I get a decrease of 2.55%. HOLY SHIT, using condoms not only prevents AIDS, it apparently CURES it as well.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:43 AM

99. I wonder if you are a contributor at this place.

http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

After doing some internet sleuthing I discovered this. It seems to want to brand people who support circumcisions as pedophiles and torture-loving sadists.

If you did contribute to it, it might explain some of the fire-breathing I sense behind your posts.

Maybe a little more balance would be a good thing.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #99)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 02:51 AM

101. Nope.

 

I wonder if you're going to try some kind of guilt by association?

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:25 AM

103. The bottom line is this...

 

Whether or not circumcision has health benefits, the decision to get cut or not should be made by whoever the penis in question belongs to.

Threads like this just show me that many DU'ers still don't "get" the concept of bodily autonomy... And in some cases, makes me suspect that a few posters just think that certain people don't deserve that particular right.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:30 AM

104. I asked my 1 year old great nephew about this

 

Last edited Fri Aug 24, 2012, 01:55 PM - Edit history (1)

when I was washing the frosting from the cake off of him last week....he said....ooooeyyy, wahattty....and then said....I totally remember when my Mommy circumcised me. I am traumatized and will never be able to shoot a cap gun EVER.

Please people...please

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #104)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 04:57 AM

106. A testimony to how privileged living leads people to search for causes of outrage

Forget about the fact that no one is forcing them to perform a circumcision on their children.

They want to take away other people's rights to make their own decisions.

And they cannot show any harm from circumcision.

Where are the studies that show the damage caused by circumcision that warrants these cries of bourgeoisie outrage?

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #106)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 03:05 PM

117. Bonobo, you're making a bad argument.

 

"They want to take away other people's rights to make their own decisions," I assume, refers to the parents' "right" to decide if their child is circumcised?

Do you believe that the husband should have a "right" to determine whether or not his wife uses birth control or has an abortion?

Because yes, that IS the exact argument you are presenting. You're arguing in defense of someone's "right" to control the body of another person, to shape it as they desire, regardless of what that other person might want.

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Response to blueamy66 (Reply #104)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:11 PM

123. I'll tell you what I remember -

- When I had my daughter, they put me in a hospital room that was close to the room where they were performing circumcisions. Well, I didn't see anything but I heard the most high-pitched, piercing, and horrific infant screams of my life. Not once did I heard it but I heard it numerous times during my 3 day stay.

That was when I first began to think about not circumcising my son should I ever have one. And I did have a son 4 years later and didn't circumcise him. He's 20 and he's never had a problem. No regrets from either of us.

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Response to lynne (Reply #123)


Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:59 AM

110. My son is 21 now and, when he was born,

I opted not to have him circumcised. I didn't really see any medical reason for it and the "because everybody else does it" position has never really done it for me in almost anything.

Well, you would have thought I'd decided to leave him naked outside in the cold at night or something, given how so many people reacted. Yet, no one could give me a real, tangible reason to do it, other than the usual "everyone else does it." That's never been good enough for me. My son has never had any problems being uncircumcised and I doubt that he ever will.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #110)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:01 PM

121. People whose parents had it done to them

and/or who've had it done to their boys, often really freak out at the slightest suggestion that circumcision is not an absolute necessity for a male's health, happiness, and general well-being.

I believe most people in the US have it done to their children for purely cosmetic reasons - they do it so the kid will "look like his father", or because they simply prefer the appearance.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #121)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 10:03 PM

127. Ultimately that is what we see on these threads...

 

and, beyond that, it's the driving force that produces these incredibly biased and flawed studies that make claims about the amazing health benefits. With every generation, there is a discovery of yet another amazing health benefit (always based on the obsessions of the time). It's a kind of elite hysteria.

Basically, since it's been done for generations (originally to cure masturbation!) to so many people by so many doctors, and 90% of it for the supposedly medical and secular reasons, there is an establishment who can't bear the thought they've been wrong. There is also an industry of sorts, including for fashioning cosmetic products out of the amputated foreskins.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #110)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 09:04 PM

122. My son is 20 and not circumcised -

- Like your son, he's not had one problem in those 20 years. Yes, my mom about had a hissy-fit when I told her I wasn't going to circumcise him. I did have a long talk with my pediatrician - who is now head of medicine at the hospital - and he told me he would not circumcise his own son as it was not medically necessary. He also said that only about 50% of mothers in my area were circumcising so my son would not be the "odd man out" in the school showers.

I'm proud to say that we're now into our second generation of non-clipped sons as my daughter opted not to circumcise my grandson since her brother had no problems.

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Response to lynne (Reply #122)

Fri Aug 24, 2012, 10:00 PM

126. Bravo & thanks for the story!

 

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Response to lynne (Reply #122)


Response to lynne (Reply #122)

Sat Aug 25, 2012, 01:12 PM

130. Glad to hear your son, like mine,

hasn't had any problem with it and doesn't feel "odd". My son has said that he's actually glad that he isn't circumcised, because it should be his own decision in the first place, which is true. And I doubt that he will ever voluntarily change things.

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