Sunday, February 17, 2013

Propaganda in action

As I mentioned before, in 2007, Catherine Hankins working with the WHO, wrote that "it is therefore critical that messaging about male circumcision for HIV prevention not only clearly distinguishes it from FGM but also contributes to efforts to eradicate FGM". As I mentioned before,  this is a manifesto of propaganda that creates a double standard. FGM is to be eradicated. MC is to be promoted for HIV prevention.

I just read about an upcoming multidisciplinary panel on circumcision by Professor Michael Rossental, who answered an interview about the reasons for this event. Reading the interview, I saw this propaganda in effect, see for yourself:

Q. How are the discourse and debates about circumcision different in the US versus Europe?A. Circumcision of male children is far more common in the US than in Europe.  Right now about 80 percent of American men are circumcised as compared to about 10% in Europe.  (The rates there vary.  In the UK it is between 10-15%, while in Denmark, only 1.6% of male children are circumcised.)  However, the rate of circumcision is dropping quite dramatically in the US.  Two thirds of boys born in hospitals were circumcised in the ’80s and ’90s, but in the last ten years the rate has dropped to around fifty percent.  At the same time, the World Health Organization has advocated male circumcision as a proven method to slow the spread of HIV infections.  It has adopted policies to promote male circumcision in Africa for this purpose, at the same time as it has worked to limit the practice of female genital cutting in the continent.
This double standard is fortunately acknowledged during the interview.

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