As the rate of boys who remain INTACT rises, what will you tell your son?



The rate at which baby boys have their genitals cut at birth for non-medical reasons in the United States is a statistic that varies from one study to the next. Even among advocates for genital autonomy, or from one CDC-organized study to the next, there is not a specific agreed-upon figure representing the rate at which American boys go home healthy and whole today. One thing is certain, however, and that is that with the continued spread of accurate information, the rise in research-based education, and the empowerment of parents (especially birthing mothers), there is also an annual rise in the number of young boys growing up intact.

Today's boys will know whether or not they have their full, functioning genitals, and it is statistically very likely that boys will grow up through the 2020s and beyond in many parts of the United States surrounded by intact peers. Those who are cut at birth are becoming a minority nationally, as they have long time been globally.

Statistics cited in this info graphic above are pulled from a CDC studies and reports, one of which (CDC 2010) was touted as the "most comprehensive" study conducted to date. Figures below were presented from this study by the CDC at the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Study findings as presented by the CDC at the International AIDS Conference, Vienna, 2010.

In our above graphic we rounded up to 40% cut (from 32.5%) in 2009 to allow for those boys circumcised in a manner that was not otherwise covered by insurance, or performed in a hospital setting. This was done in part because of the vehement outcry by some genital autonomy advocates in 2010 who were disgruntled at the "low" 32% rate.

Further reading on this figure:

Steep Drop Seen in Circumcisions in U.S. [New York Times]
NYTimes.com/2010/08/17/health/research/17circ.html

The Circumcision Reference Library (on this statistic and others):  CIRP.org/library/statistics/USA

32% of U.S. Baby Boys Circumcised in 2009: A Response to Critics Questioning the CDC Reported Rate: DrMomma.org/2011/09/32-of-us-baby-boys-circumcised-in-2009.html

This same CDC study did not address genital cutting rates of infants in 1999, so for this date's figure in the above graphic, we took the next "most comprehensive" studies, also put together by the CDC on U.S. hospital discharge rates of newborn circumcision, and looked at the 2009 figure. The rates found in these studies for 1999 range from 61.5% to 63.5% of baby boys cut. For the sake of counting whole bodies kept intact that year, we rounded to 6 out of 10 being cut, or 4 of 10 boys remaining intact.

SOURCE: CDC/NCHS, National Hospital Discharge Survey, 1979-2010.

Further reading on this figure:

Estimated number of male newborn infants discharged from short-stay hospitals, and percentage circumcised during birth hospitalization, by geographic region: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/circumcision_2013/circumcision_2013_table.pdf

Trends in In-Hospital Newborn Male Circumcision: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6034a4.htm

The Circumcision Reference Library (on this statistic and others):
http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/USA

Trends in In-Hospital Newborn Male Circumcision, CDC Weekly September 2, 2011/60(34);1167-1168

Regardless of the actual percentage of boys who go home intact today (be it 68% or 54% or anywhere in between), one basic truth stands firm: there is no medical reason to amputate the prepuce from any healthy newborn baby, regardless of sex. And there is especially no medical justification to perform this damaging surgery in a routine act of practice.




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