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7th January, 2021. The going gets weird in Turkey

VR headsets as distraction during circumcision - for the mother!

In Turkey boys are circumcised some time after age 5. Apparently this is more stressful for the mother than the child - really? An article in the International Journal of Nursing Practice "The effect of virtual reality on mothers' anxiety during children's circumcision: ..." describes an experiment where 30 mothers were shown video on VR headsets during their sons' circumcision while 30 others were not. One one measure the 'VR mothers' showed less signs of stress, on another there was no difference. One might think that if the mothers were not going to see the procedure a sweet cup of Turkish coffee and a cake would have been better stress relievers than a video. Also, a video might have been an effective distractor for the boy.

You can read the abstract at PubMed. The full paper is behind a paywall. Thanks again to both JH and Brian Morris for sending in this item.

7th January, 2021. Circumcision does not lead to sexual risk-taking

Comprehensive African study debunks the myth

One line peddled by opponents of the African VMCC programme is that the sense of immunity that circumcision confers will lead young men to take more risks in their sex lives. This is really extraordinarily demeaning to Africans, implying they are little better than animals. Previous studies have suggested that this was untrue, and now a substantial, prospective, study in the South African Journal of HIV Medicine: "Sexual risk compensation following voluntary medical male circumcision: Results from a prospective cohort study amongst human immunodeficiency virus-negative adult men in Botswana" by Lisa Spees and colleagues confirms that the myth is just that.

You can read the abstract at PubMed or the whole paper (free) at PMC. Thanks to both JH and Brian Morris for sending in this item (Jim always gets there first!).

1st January, 2021. The Danes are at it again

Now there is a split in the neo-Fascist DF party

A Danish task force was set up to report on guidelines for infant and child circumcisions, but the Danish Pediatric Association withdrew from it for strange reasons. Surely they should be promoting circumcision? Do they like seeing baby boys suffering from urinary tract infections? More cynically, perhaps they see more money in treating UTIs than in performing circumcisions. Now the citizen petition to ban circumcision of under-18s, first launched some years ago, has finally reached parliament. But the far-right populist DF party has split, since some members want to permit Jews to follow their religion, but not Muslims! The mainstream Social Democrat party opposed the ban, so it will not pass.

Read the whole sorry story in the Fair Observer. Thanks to DC for sending in this item.

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