RECAP recap - Page 2


I read a press release that actually listed circumcision first among a list of preventative methods: "All avenues and approaches toward prevention need to be pursued, including circumcision, condom usage and antiretroviral drugs..." I suspect that circumcision does not hold a candle to the efficacy of a condom or a sensible approach to sexual conduct. And what of education? That American doctors might start using this as yet another reason to circumcise babies (despite the fact that the United States happens to have one of the highest HIV rates in the modern world and by far the highest routine circumcision rates) is a whole other topic.

Dear Concerned:

Well, it is, and it isn't. I think you're having a perception problem. While you understand intellectually that routine circumcisions are in fact less common every year in the US, your intense investment in the subject is making it hard for you to see that there is no evil scalpel-wielding cabal for you to rally against. The American Association of Pediatricians is officially anticirc. Even I am on your side. You're winning.

Africa is another question. The sad truth there is that no, education is not enough, and no, condoms are not enough. There has been no shortage of either, and still the epidemic rages. Right now circumcision looks good — very good — as an additional weapon (nobody's arguing against education and condoms) against a disease that is wiping out villages and leaving generations of children to starve in the streets. Up against that, a foreskin really is just a few inches of expendable flesh.



Andrea is home with the kids and going stir-crazy. Write her a letter! Ask her a question! Send her your tedious e-mail forwards! On second thought, don't do that. Just ask her a question.

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