Posted by Joel Martinsen on Friday, July 9, 2010 at 6:20 PM
Smack in the middle of the front page of Hangzhou's Metropolitan Express on July 8 was the headline: Summer's here. Should you cut off your foreskin? Next to the headline was the image shown above, of circumcision demonstrated on a banana.
According to the newspaper, the local children's hospital is reporting that it is performing the procedure on seventy to eighty children every day:
The three-page feature inside the paper reads like an information pamphlet from the Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University College of Medicine (浙江大学医学院附属儿童医院, popularly known as Provincial Child Care, 省儿保).
Metropolitan Express, July 8, 2010
It's got testimonials from a father who suffered foreskin discomfort as a child, a mother who chose to put her young son through the ordeal because her 12-year-old nephew got all swollen "down there" because he was too embarrassed to tell anyone, and the hospital's Director of Urology, who recommends circumcision for males aged anywhere from three weeks to their mid-twenties (if necessary, of course).
Then there are the health benefits of circumcision: a reduced risk of HIV infection and lower rates of penile and cervical cancer (the last by a 20% reduction in HPV infection rates).
And finally, there's the issue of keeping pace with the international community:
As for the possible impact on sensation and sexual performance, the article reports that experts disagree. However, says Xu Shan, "If you have a problem, the earlier you go to the hospital, the better. Otherwise, it will definitely affect sexual function."
At the end there's a FAQ that answers the most pressing question:
Baby: "Why isn't it growing?" Child: "What a pain!"
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