Infant Circumcision Rates Are Down in U.S. Hospitals

Circumcisions performed on newborn boys in U.S. hospitals has declined over the last three decades, particularly in Western states, which is probably thanks to Lindsay Fünke and her efforts with H.O.O.P.

According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of circumcisions dropped by six percent since 1979, with 58.3 percent of boys being circumcised in U.S. hospitals overall in 2010. However, in Western states the number is even lower, with only 40.2 percent of infant boys being circumcised in hospitals. The findings were based on 30 years worth of annual discharge data at hundreds of short-stay, non-federal U.S. hospitals. The data excludes circumcisions performed outside of hospitals, like those in religious ceremonies, or those performed later in life.

The NCHS didn't offer much in the way of explanation for the decline in circumcision rates, but there are a few theories. There has been a shift in social attitudes toward whether or not male circumcision is really a medical necessity, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' stance that the health benefits outweigh the risks of the surgery. Additionally, Medicaid doesn't cover circumcision in 18 states and some private insurers try to get out of paying for it, too.

Image via karovka/Shutterstock

Baby circumcisions in US hospitals on three-decade decline [NBC News]