I certainly agree that on a long-term view, the decline in infant circumcision has been dramatic. I would also suggest, however, that the 12.4% (or thereabouts) who continue to be circumcised are not a statistically insignificant demographic in itself; 12.4 % of all baby boys is quite sizeable, in my view. What I am wondering, therefore, is whether the other 70-80% of boys who would once have been circumcised are now not being circumcised because the possibility of doing so appears to have been closed-off to their parents (e.g. couldn't find a doctor, too expensive or whatever), or because even if it was very readily available in hospitals as it used to be, the parents are actually opposed to it in a deep sense. In other words, I wonder if the present rate is what it is because parents don't want their son(s) to be circumcised, or if in fact they do want to, but don't see it as a possibility that they could actually pursue...Of course, I realise that a lot more parents are now genuinely opposed to the procedure 'at heart' than used to be the case, but I also wonder if part of that long-term decline is attributable to parents simply not circumcising due to various practicalities involved, rather than not circumcising because they are against it.
I find this distinction in motivations behind choosing not to circumcise interesting, because if there are a significant number of parents who would have circumcised if the procedure was as readily available as it once was, then it suggests that the relatively low rate of infant circumcision in Australia is not necessarily reflective of negative parental attitudes toward circumcision.
However, it should be noted that when the State hospital systems progressively stopped offering elective circumcision over the last decade, rates were already low (< 20%) and there was little in the way of adverse reaction from parents. This is pretty good evidence that the decline is driven by falling demand rather than lack of supply.
Last edited by JohnC; 11-02-2014 at 19:11.
My (private) ob asked me if I wanted to. I was quite surprised tbh since I hadn't been thinking about it at all.
I think there has definitely been a shift in many parents towards leaving their sons intact as information has become more available and more widely discussed.
I think part of the reason is because it is now specialised drs that perform the procedure whereas before it used to be performed by GP's and in public hospitals which is no longer allowed. It would be interesting and surprising to see the stats of the procedure being performed when boys are older. I know many parents who have been frowned upon when enquiring about the procedure when birthing in public hospitals and have therefore put it in the too hard basket not pursueing it. Having worked in the health service for 15yrs including a childrens hospital I know the procedure has been performed on many children when they are older. My ob also asked us if we wanted the procedure performed if we had boys, I also had a nurse ask after delivery which surprised me. I delivered in a private hospital and the specialist performing the procedure did it within the hospital. It really is a personal choice depending on your beliefs or religion. Hubby and I researched the procedure thoroughly, it isn't a decision anyone would make lightly. We believe strongly in the benefits and have no regrets having our boys circumcised at birth and we have already spoken to the specialist about doing the procedure should we have a third son. We wouldn't have it any other way. Not having our boys done was not an option, that's how strongly we feel about it.
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