In using that definition and looking at the number of procedures performed he's correct in saying that a small decline in numbers couldn't equate to an increase in popularity.
I think if you're talking of popularity in terms of "accepted but not done for whatever reason", you're right. A conclusion can't be drawn just based on the figures in the chart.
Personally I tend to think of popularity in terms of the number of procedures done
eg. if I hear that a procedure is becoming more popular, I'd assume the numbers have actually increased, and not just a decline in negative attitudes towards the procedure or an increase in acceptance of the procedure, without people actually getting it done (If this was the case I'd probably use the term "more accepted" rather than "more popular".)
*Definition from Merriam-Webster: accepted, followed, used, or done by many people
Growing opposition to this unique (surgical excision of normal, healthy, functional tissue without the consent of the person concered) practice within the medical communty along with a growing awareness among the population of the value and important (protective, sexual & immunological) functions of the foreskin are likely both factors in the inexorable decline of this strange social custom.
"Half of the Australian Doctor community believe that the circumcision of newborns is tantamount to child abuse and should never be performed, a survey reveals." Australian Doctor, 2012
There are 91,000 doctors registered to practice medicine in Australia (2012 figure). Given the strong financial incentive to circumcise (up to $800 a time) and the complete lack of regulation around the practice, it's perhaps surprising that for every doctor prepared to circumcise a normal, healthy child, there are several hundred that will not participate this this practice.
Dr John D'Arcy sums-up the broader position of the Australian medical community in 30 seconds flat.
For the financial year 2013-14 there were 16,879 circumcisions performed on children aged under 6 months (out of a birth cohort > 150,000 boys) by 223 doctors, according to Medicare.
I was wondering if you might be able to provide statistics for baby boys being circumcised at or above 6 months, rather than just those under 6 months; the reason I ask is that although the statistics you provide certainly account for circumcisions performed in what might be termed the newborn period and early infancy, I wondered if there might not be any increase/decrease during what might be called 'later infancy'. I am just interested as to how accurate the numbers you provide are in terms of the overall picture they give of circumcision of baby boys, as I thought that the 16,879 figure (slightly over 10% by my calculation, given the approximate overall birth cohort) could not, by your definition, take account of the percentage all baby boys circumcised. Also, I am interested as to how accurate the Medicare figures are in terms of the view of circumcision they provide, given that, as I understand it, circumcisions not generating a Medicare rebate (e.g. circumcisions by private practitioners, ritual circumcisions etc.) would not be included in the statistics as given. I realise that my view of these statistics may come across as cynical given my pro-circumcision perspective, but I am purely interested in getting the most accurate view of the number of baby boys being circumcised at present. I hope you don't mind me asking these questions.
For the financial year 2013-14:
MBS item 30656 (Over 6 months but under 10) =3,509
MBS item 30659 (Over 10 years) = 978
For the previous financial year 2012-13:
MBS item 30656 (Over 6 months but under 10) =3,886
MBS item 30659 (Over 10 years) = 975
You can see the state breakdowns by putting the item numbers in the report generator here: https://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au...mbs_item.shtml
(MBS items 30653 for under 6 months, 30656 over 6 months but 10 years and under & 30659 for over 10 years)
Edited to add:
In WA, the increase in the last year (2012-13 to 2013-14) for boys 10 and under was 4.15%
Overall increase for all males in WA was 3.8% as there was a decrease in the number of males over 10 having the procedure.
Last edited by sky1; 19-10-2014 at 10:45. Reason: Adding info for WA
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