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Circumcision in boys and girls: why the double standard?

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 16 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d978


As a medical student in a muslim country, I never heard from peers or as a GP in East London any request for reversal of circumcision. The obsessive disorder with size and shapes of different parts of the body is a medical rather than ethical issue. The young boys with phimosis as a result of poor hygiene were referred for circumcision. Evans has ignored the scientific proof in BMJs (8th and 15th jan.2011) printed under short cuts or Guardian (21.6.2010) reporting 4 year study confirming male circumcision reduces HIV by 60%, hence 80% of Zimbabwean men aged between 15 and 29 are targeted in circumcision (painful stage) scheme aimed at reducing HIV infections. To outlaw circumcision in the USA (70% male circumcision) or stop vaccinations in third world is unscientific and young children should be covered by existing UN regulations on prevention of disease. Islam and Judaism recommend male circumcisions (Jesus peace be upon him was circumcised on the 8th day too). The female mutilation is cultural in some parts of Africa which predates Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Finally when woman goes in labour parity of sexes disappears.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 February 2011
Manzoor Memon
Chigwell IG7 6AQ