Cutting edge argument on joy of sex

News  Courier Mail (Brisbane), Page 5. Thursday, 10 October 2002.

Amanda Watt


Terry Russell reported to Queenland Medical Board

A BRISBANE doctor under fire for performing the state's greatest number of circumcisions has defended the procedure, rejecting claims it leads to reduced sexual enjoyment.

Dr Terry Russell, whose MacGregor practice handles almost half of new-born circumcisions in the Brisbane area every year, has been reported to the  External link Queensland Medical Board by a group of activists opposed to circumcision.

Statistics show Queensland tops the country with 21 per cent of all male infants undergoing the procedure, compared with a national average of 12.4 per cent.

Members of anti-circumcision lobby group  External link Circumcision Information Australia claim the operation is a form of institutionalised sexual abuse with no proven medical advantage. CIA executive and Sydney pediatrician George Williams said the procedure instead affected a man's sexual enjoyment and caused long-term psychological damage in some cases.

He has written to the Queenland Medical Board asking it to investigate Dr Russell's burgeoning Brisbane practice, which he claims is partly responsible for Queensland's over representation in the statistics.

But Dr Russell, a GP who has been circumcising Australian infants for more than 30 years, said the procedure had proven health and hygiene benefits.

Almost never do you see an uncircumcised penis that is not accumulating smegma, and old skin cells that act as a focus for infection, he said.

The presence of smegma can also be a predisposition to cancer later in life.

Ask any of your male friends who have been circumcised whether it has affected their sexual enjoyment and they will say no.

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