Circumcising 14-year-olds

Does raise interesting questions around the age of consent…

A quarter million boys

The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has just published its latest statistics for mass circumcision campaigns in Africa (click here).   Since December 2011, about 2 million African men from countries or tribes that don’t normally practice circumcision have been operated on, courtesy of Uncle Sam, i.e. funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The idea is that if you can’t or won’t wear a condom, circumcision halves your risk of catching HIV via sex. We can debate whether that’s really true, but I guess if well informed adults think it’s worth the bother, good luck to them.

Table 3 (click here and scroll down) shows the age distribution (excluding neonates) for operations done in CDC centres, about half the total. Well over a quarter, 265,000/986,000 (27%) were on boys aged 14 or under. If non-CDC centres are similar, about half a million boys…

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