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Looking specifically at HIV, she said, “the potential impact of adult male circumcision on HIV transmission rates in the U.S. is hard to predict, given differences between HIV epidemics, differences in prevalence of male circumcision and gaps in knowledge regarding the potential impact of circumcision on HIV transmission by male-to-male sex.”
But the debate over health benefits and costs is only a part of the picture. Nationally, circumcision rates are lowest in large, central Metropolitan areas and highest in suburbs and rural areas, according to health department data. Hispanic people are much less likely than black or white people to circumcise their children.
For many parents, the decision to circumcise their child is based on whether they themselves were circumcised.
A World Health Organization study, published in 2007, noted an earlier study in Denver, which found that 90% of circumcised fathers choose to circumcise their sons, compared with 23% of noncircumcised fathers.
Lori Green, whose parents are both from Europe but who lives in Colorado, said her two sons were circumcised against her judgment, because her now ex-husband, demanded it.
About a year ago, she told her eldest son, now 23, how she “agonized over the decision.” “He said“ ‘Thank God Dad did put his foot down. I wouldn’t want to be a freak.’” Green said.
She added: “I was, and still am, baffled by the strength of conviction men in this country have regarding this issue. I just don’t get it.”