Archive for the ‘science’ Category

NYC penises

April 6, 2007

Working from the new statistics from Africa that show male circumcision can reduce the transmission of HIV, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is initiating a campaign to encourage men in the Big Apple to undergo the procedure. Cyberspace finds this plan controversial, not least because Africa is not New York City.

Joe at politics, technology, and economy blog Joe At Large is himself uncircumcised and can appreciate the backlash of “uncut” men to this new health campaign. He says, “[B]efore we go out making any recommendations to health departments and male populations I think it’s important to get at all the facts and address the criticisms. I think it’s a valid point that there is a very big difference between straight men in Africa and gay men in New York City.”

Stuart Rennie at the Global Bioethics Blog elaborates: “There are a lot of unknowns and issues raised by the use of male circumcision as HIV prevention strategy in a place like New York. One is that the African studies were about the reduction of HIV risk among circumcised men in hetrosexual relations. The high-risk groups in the US are mostly injection-drug users and men who have sex with men, and the studies say little to nothing about that.”

The blogger at anti-circumcision site Male Circumcision and HIV is incensed by the fact that Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former New York City health commissioner, was remiss on cracking down on Orthodox Jewish mohels who spread herpes to circumcised infants by orally staunching the blood of their cut penises—a practice known as metzitzah b’pei: “Because Dr. Friedan is living in a city that has a very large voting block who hold circumcision as sacred, it’s not surprising in a way. But it is still shocking that religion and culture has a death grip on public policy in an era of the scientific method and democracy.”

How Am I Doing? How Are They Doing? New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a quintessential New Yorker, offers his candid reviews of new releases on the big screen.

Based on a book and true story, the film covers an event in Vichy, France, when the local French collaborators in the Vichy government cooperated with the Nazis in the roundup and murder of Jews.
The movie opens with the roundup of seven French/Jewish males who are lined up and commanded to drop their pants to verify, by their circumcision, that they are Jews. They are then shot.