Do the Benefits of Male Circumcision Outweigh the Risks? A Critique of the Proposed CDC Guidelines

Front Pediatr. 2015 Mar 18;3:18. doi: 10.3389/fped.2015.00018. eCollection 2015. FREE

Do the Benefits of Male Circumcision Outweigh the Risks? A Critique of the Proposed CDC Guidelines

Earp BD


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced a set of provisional guidelines concerning male circumcision, in which they suggest that the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks. I offer a critique of the CDC position. Among other concerns, I suggest that the CDC relies more heavily than is warranted on studies from Sub-Saharan Africa that neither translate well to North American populations nor to circumcisions performed before an age of sexual debut; that it employs an inadequate conception of risk in its benefit vs. risk analysis; that it fails to consider the anatomy and functions of the penile prepuce (i.e., the part of the penis that is removed by circumcision); that it underestimates the adverse consequences associated with circumcision by focusing on short-term surgical complications rather than long-term harms; that it portrays both the risks and benefits of circumcision in a misleading manner, thereby undermining the possibility of obtaining informed consent; that it evinces a superficial and selective analysis of the literature on sexual outcomes associated with circumcision; and that it gives less attention than is desirable to ethical issues surrounding autonomy and bodily integrity. I conclude that circumcision before an age of consent is not an appropriate health-promotion strategy.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Actors Blog Governments Guideline

Guidance. Female genital mutilation: guidelines to protect children and women

UK Home Office, Department for Education, and The Rt Hon Lynne Featherstone MP. 2011

Guidance. Female genital mutilation: guidelines to protect children and women

thumbnail_MultiAgencyPracticeGuidelinesNov14.pdfThese updated guidelines support and assist frontline professionals, such as teachers, health professionals, police officers and social workers, in safeguarding children and protecting adults from the abuses associated with FGM. This guidelines are applied in England and Wales.


This guidelines can be accessed in this LINK