ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have issued a new report that indicates a drop in the rate of newborn circumcision in the United States.
The report factored in data collected on circumcisions performed in hospitals between 1979 and 2010, and found that the rate went from 64.5 percent at the beginning of the studied period to 58.3 percent by the end of it.
The CDC found the amount wavered over the years, hitting its peak in 1981 at 64.9 percent.
After that peak, the rate went down as the decade went on, but rose again in the 1990s. However, in the 2000s, it fell yet again, reaching its lowest point of 55.4 percent in 2007.
Circumcision rates especially decreased in the West, where the 63.9 percent rate in 1979 dipped to just 40.2 percent in 2010. It was even lower in 2003 in that part of the United States – only 31.4 percent of male newborns were circumcised that year.
Experts hypothesized that a change in the ethnic make-up of the nation could be responsible for the shift in societal attitudes toward and requests for the procedure.
“Some of the decline may be related to the fact that our demographics have changed,” Dr. Michael Brady, a pediatrics expert and Physician-in-Chief at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio told LiveScience.
On their official website, the CDC noted several risks that could come with male circumcision, including possible decreases in sensitivity and sexual functioning.