28th November, Mass circumcision ceremony today.

The weekend 28th-29th November is the date set for a mass circumcision ceremony for the Kikuyu people in Kenya. As of Thursday 974 boys had enrolled and the total is expected to pass the 1,000 mark. It's not just a quick snip, the program involves group counselling and talks on cultural history. To read more click here. Thanks to RS for the news.

7th October, 2015 Council of Europe Circumcision Ban overturned.

In October 2013, the Parliamentary Assemply of the Council of Europe (PACE) Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee approved a resolution by German rapporteur Marlene Rupperecht stating that ritual circumcision violates children's right to protect their physical integrity, and calling on member states to ban religious circumcision. PACE motions are not binding on member countries, but they are taken seriously. This led two two years of intense lobbying from both Jewish and Muslim deputies, which bore fruit on October 1st when a motion supporting freedom of religion was passed with a 73 to 6 majority.

The wide-ranging motion covered many aspects of religious freedom, but the right to circumcise was specifically endorsed. The council recommended that states require circumcisions to be performed by people trained to do so, in appropriate medical and health conditions, and that parents be informed of any medical risk to their child. Read more at the Jerusalem Post . Thanks to Brian Morris for this information.

11th July, 2015 Norwegian circumcision law

Since January 1st, all of Norway's state-run hospitals have become legally obliged to offer circumcision of newborn baby boys. The program has, however hit opposition from doctors. In the first few weeks only a small proportion of hospitals were complying. Since the law had all-party support in Parliament it seems likely that sense will prevail. The aim was to save the children of Norway's large immigrant population from local unqualified circumcisers, but it is not restricted to religious circumcision. Read more at the NewsinEnglish.no Thanks to András Jóvágásúfiú for this information.

18th June, 2015 Promoting circumcision in South Africa

The Xhosa people practice circumcision (see below) but many other South Africans do not. Because of the AIDS crisis the government is keen to promote circumcision, but a conventional program launched in the Western Cape region in 2010 had very little success. A new, fun program called "Clever Dick" has had much more success, with a 300% increase in the uptake of circumcision. It will now be rolled out nationwide. Read more at the South African Times

14th June, 2015 Transplanted penis works!

The recipient of the world's first penis transplant (see below) will soon be a father! He obviously didn't waste any time since the surgery took place only 6 months ago. Sydney Morning Herald, June 14th.

25th May 2015 : Bjorn Lomborg on circumcision

Lomborg is commonly thought of as a global warming denier. He maintains that this is not the case but he feels that the money spent on combating warming is not working and would be better spent elsewhere. So where exactly? He has a list of 40 projects which he sees as giving best return for money, and one of them is circumcision for preventing the spread of AIDS. On his figures, every dollar spent on circumcision will deliver $28 in returns.

Source: Good Weekend Magazine, May 23rd

23rd May 2015: Florida circumcision battle.

A long-running battle over the circumcision of a 4-year-old has taken a few new turns. The parents, who are not married and separated before the child was born, were given equal custody of the child. In a parenting agreement filed in court, the two initially agreed to the boy's circumcision. However three months ago the mother changed her mind and fled with the boy. The courts have all agreeed with the father and the mother is in jail for breach of custody agreements and failure to appear in court. While the mother was on the run her lawyer sougt to take the case to the Supreme Court on the grounds the circumcision was unconstitutional. This was withdrawn with no explanation on Wednesday. Then the mother apparently agreed to the circumcision in a deal which would see her released from jail. However, on Friday she was still behind bars.
Read more ...

1st May, 2015: Pointed or rounded?

New Scientist, April 18th, reports the discovery of a new species of monkey in Tibet. It is distinguished from a very similar known species by having a rounded tip to its penis instead of a pointed tip. Does this means that if aliens visit Earth they will regard Homo sapiens as two species?

16th March 2015 : World's first successful penis transplant

An 18-year old Xhosa man in South Africa sufferend major complications from a traditional bush circumcision. After surgery he was left with just a 1cm stump. Now he has had a replacement penis transplanted in a 9 hour operation. The operation took place last December and by this month he was able to urinate, get erections, orgasm and ejaculate, though full sensation hasn't yet returned. This is a much faster recovery than the surgeons expected, and they are confident that full sensation will return in time.

Source: BBC News, Health,13th March

4th March 2015 : Nearly all worries about penis size are unwarranted

A British meta-analysis of surveys of penis size has investigated the flaccid and erect size of more than 15,000 adult penises. They found that the average penis length is 13.12 centimetres when erect and 9.31 centimetres when flaccid. The vast majority of men were between 11 and 15 centimetres (4.3 to 5.9 inches) when erect. Only 2.28 per cent of the population have an abnormally small penis.

Racial differences in size were not apparent in this survey. Women reported that girth was much more important to them than length. The vast majority of men are between 10 and 13cm in girth when erect.

For details see: SMH, March 4 2015, or the original journal paper at Veale et al., BJUI

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