History of Circumcision and the AAP

The AAP issued its first statement on circumcision in 1971 when it said, "There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period."

The AAP first convened a Task Force on circumcision in 1975. That Task Force issued a more lengthy statement which reaffirmed the 1971 statement and concluded, "There is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn."

In the 1980's new medical studies about the pain, stress, and trauma of circumcision appeared. There were also some studies that appeared to show a slight reduction in urinary tract infection rates in circumcised boys as compared to intact boys. In 1988, the AAP convened a second Task Force to study these new developments. The chairperson of that Task Force was Edgar Schoen, MD, a California pediatrician.

The new report appeared in 1989 as an addendum to the 1975 statement, which was never revoked. However, a number of items in the 1989 report were very unclear. The AAP recognizes that its stance is now in need of clarification.

(Click here to review the previous statements of the AAP on neonatal circumcision.)

(For further background, including a discussion of the media's coverage of the 1989 AAP statement, read this excellent article in the Medical Tribune, 30:16, 8 June 1989.)

(Return to CIRP's AAP Task Force Monitor Page)