, 15 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
Wow. @WHO claims 2 have 'voluntary' medical male circumcision (VMMC) program, based on data from studies of sexually active *adults* - but now pushes non-voluntary circ of infants, for which there is no controlled evidence of a protective effect against HIV. Plot thickens ...
Their manual 4 performing non-consensual circ argues "cultural & religious" factors should be considered, in contrast 2 @WHO policy on FGM which says even ritual nicking of the vulva is a *human rights violation* regardless of consent, culture, or religion apps.who.int/iris/bitstream…
One of the lead authors of this new @WHO manual for American-style non-consensual circumcision of boys, now being introduced to countries with no such cultural practice -- citing studies of *adult* circumcision & conflating the two -- is David Tomlinson of @BrownUniversity.
Would it surprise you to learn that @WHO's Tomlinson applied, in 2005, for a patent on a device he invented for removing "excess foreskin" (i.e., normal, healthy foreskin) from specifically the "neonatal" penis? patents.google.com/patent/US78790… - again, no evidence this reduces HIV risk.
How much money will Tomlinson earn from mass infant circumcision in African countries w. no existing tradition? In @WHO manual he touts his own invention to reduce risk of penile laceration & hemorrhage, which occurs "even in developed countries with excellent training programs."
If such penile laceration & hemorrhage occurs even in developed countries with excellent training programs, using existing clamps and procedures, then surely Tomlinson's new device should be preferred for mass circumcision in developing countries with less excellent training?
@WHO now simultaneously claims Type IV ritual 'nicking' of vulva (which does not remove tissue) is *human rights violation* regardless of consent, culture, or religion, while decision 2 remove 1/3 or more penile skin system in non-consenting babies should factor culture/religion?
The "health benefits" used to bolster the latter claim come primarily from studies of sexually active adults undergoing *voluntary* circumcision. So what are the health benefits of voluntary vulva modifications & should these be extrapolated to non-consenting baby girls? Recall
that @WHO definition of health is very broad. Not just absence of disease, but "mental & social" wellbeing included. Do social & religious benefits of having vulva modified to fit local cultural norms, avoid teasing, promote marriageability etc., count as health benefits then?
Defenders of "female circumcision" now argue this, seeing that "health benefits" seems to impress Western arbiters of which forms of child genital cutting are permissible. You even see claims of "cleanliness" in parallel with male circumcision now raised gypsyonexploration.com/female-circumc…
More claims of health benefits for "female circumcision" below. Even cosmetic labiaplasty in West is touted as conferring mental & sexual health benefits to women who choose it, well within @WHO definition of health. If @WHO conflates adults/infants in males, why not females?
@WHO has sacrificed all credibility on male & female genital cutting. If ritual nicking is human rights violation regardless of cultural/religious significance, & if 'cosmetic' labiaplasty is wrong to perform on infant girls even though it has WHO-scope "health benefits" in women
then it should not publish manuals for removing 30-50% of motile, erogenous skin system of penis in non-consenting boys based on "health benefits" in consenting adults (in conjunction w. "religious & cultural" considerations) written by inventors of circ devices. Shame on @WHO.
*WHO has sacrificed ...
P.S. Study thanking Tomlinson, inventor of "AccuCirc" device (safecirc.com/read-me-2-1) & one of lead authors of @WHO manual for non-consensual circumcision touting his own device, recommending @WHO pre-qualification of AccuCirc for mass African scale-up: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
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