No matter where experts fall on the controversial topic of circumcising newborn boys, there is one thing they can now agree on. Circumcision rates are steadily declining in the United States.
According to a report last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), routine hospital circumcisions of newborns have declined over the past 10 years. This news comes after more than a decade of consistent increase.
The CDC reports that the rate of in-hospital circumcision rose from 48.3% in 1988-91 to 61.1% in 1997-2000, the CDC reports.
To gauge current rates of circumcision, the researchers looked at numbers from three large, independent data sources, all of which collect discharge data on inpatient hospitalizations. Every data set showed a decline. For example, the 1999-2010 National Hospital Discharge Survey showed that fewer than 12 million of nearly 20 million newborn boys were circumcised over the past decade. The survey showed that the rate of in-hospital circumcisions dropped from 62.5% in 1999 to 56.9% in 2008.
Yet the reasons behind the decline may not be what many intactivists might hope for. Rather than determining the lower rates due to society taking a stance against circumcision, the report finds that the change may be largely financial. The report says that circumcision rates in hospitals in states where Medicaid routinely covers it were 24% higher that hospitals without the same coverage.
Still, the the drop in overall circumcisions is good news for this outdated and useless practice. When the option was presented to me when my son was born, it seemed barbaric to cut off a piece of a little baby’s body simply because it was what most people did. I thought the cleanliness claim and supposed increased risk of disease was a fear based, last ditch effort to keep the practice alive and well. It surely didn’t justify it in my eyes.
And I kept thinking, would we all be born- every single male baby- with a body part that needs to be cut off? I don’t think God, nature, or science would produce such a thing.
Do you think the decline in circumcisions is a good thing? Did you ever regret having your son circumcised?
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