A new campaign against bloodsucking circumcision.

Science, technology, and life.
Jan. 6 2006 9:12 AM

Oral Sects

A new campaign against bloodsucking circumcision.

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American parents are debating whether it's OK to sleep with your kids. A survey indicates one of every five parents shares their bed with the baby till it's at least 8 months old. That's a threefold increase in a decade. Arguments against it: 1) It's sick. 2) It stunts the kid's independence. 3) You'll roll over on him and smother him. 4) You're too weak-willed to endure the crying. 5) You're really doing this so you don't have to be intimate with your husband, aren't you? Arguments for it: 1) You critics have an unhealthy obsession with independence. 2) You're sick to assume sleeping together is sexual. 3) It feels good. 4) It makes breastfeeding easier. (For a defense of the practice in Slate, click here.)

Adult circumcision is spreading as an AIDS-prevention measure in Africa. Hundreds of men in Swaziland have undergone the half-hour procedure this year; hospitals have two-month waiting lists. Critics' objections: 1) It's genital mutilation, like what Africans have done to their women. 2) South African men who've been circumcised feel so safe they've taken on more sex partners. 3) Ouch! Supporters' rebuttals: 1) Even with more sex partners, circumcision reduces AIDS. 2) If we don't supply and subsidize it, unmet demand will lead to unsanitary, back-alley circumcisions.

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