Bulletin Board v207

Blackburn teen’s prison hell on false rape charge — A TEENAGER has spoken of his nine-month hell in jail awaiting trial after being accused of rape and kidnap. Daniel Rakestraw was freed on Tuesday after being cleared by a jury of tying a 16-year-old girl to his bed and attacking her. The jury took just 30 minutes to clear him of four charges of rape, one of kidnap and another of imprisonment. The 19-year-old, from Revidge Road, Blackburn, said he was abused by other prisoners and put in isolation for his own safety during his stay in HM Prison Preston.

London’s Human Trafficking Problem Growing — A study says officials are in denial about the scale of the problem – especially male victims who are often too frightened to report what’s going on. Report author Conservative London Assembly Member Andrew Boff says the issue is often misunderstood. “At least 40% of the trafficked victims are male and the majority of the people who are trafficked are trafficked for labour, not sexual exploitation.” However he also called for more rape support services to be available for male victims of trafficking.

Prolific paedophile is HIV positive — A prolific paedophile who groomed vulnerable teenage boys online with an accomplice before filming their sexual abuse is HIV positive, it has been revealed. And police fear that Anthony Marsh, 53, and Lee Davis, 39, who have already admitted a string of sex offences, may have had more victims. The pair used social networks such as Facebook and Bebo, as well as specialist gay websites, to befriend boys before committing what police describe as ” vile, horrendous offences”. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v183

Boys ‘worse at school due to stereotypes’ — Stereotypes about boys being intellectually inferior to girls affect children during the first years of primary school and prevent them fulfilling their potential, researchers found. Teachers should assure boys that they are just as academic as girls and avoid doing anything which could make them feel inferior such as splitting classes by gender, they said. In the first stage of the study researchers presented 238 boys and girls aged four to 10 with a range of scenarios related to behaviour or performance, such as “this child really wants to learn and do well at school”.

Circumcision DOES reduce sexual pleasure by making manhood less sensitive — Men who are circumcised are in for some bad news – it puts them at a disadvantage in the bedroom, according to experts. A study found those who’ve had their foreskin removed as children or adults experience less intense sexual pleasure and orgasm than their peers. ‘We’re not saying less sexual activity or satisfaction, but sensitivity,’ senior author Dr Piet Hoebeke, from Ghent University Hospital, said. The practice is common in the U.S, with three-quarters of men having the procedure for non-religious reasons.

Former area Boy Scout tells his story of abuse — The Boy Scouts of America are under heavy fire these days: first, for the group’s stance against membership by gays, and second, for the so-called perversion files. A judge in December ordered the release of tens of thousands of pages detailing decades of alleged sexual abuse by men inside the organization against Scouts in their care. Instead of turning these tips over to law enforcement for investigation, the Boy Scouts of America chose to keep them in private files.  Continue reading

Bulletin Board v178

7-year-old loses genitals after circumcision, fighting for life — A seven-year-old boy is battling for life after a circumcision surgery went horribly wrong at a private hospital in Alwar on Thursday. The boy’s genitals had to be cut off in an attempt to save his life, said sources. An FIR has been lodged against the hospital authorities after the relatives of the boy created a ruckus. The boy, Imran, was admitted to Sania hospital in Alwar town on November 10 for circumcision.

An altar boy’s tale of ‘fear, shame and guilt’ — A FORMER victim has applauded the Government’s announcement of a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, saying tens of thousands can now tell their story “without fear, shame and guilt”. Pete Dillon was an eight-year-old altar boy when he was “forced and coerced” into performing sexual acts by a Catholic priest in regional Victoria. He was warned he couldn’t tell anyone about the abuse, which went on for a couple of years, and he didn’t. He kept the truth hidden for 22 years.

Boy Scouts, Mormon church settle sex abuse lawsuit — The Boys Scouts of America and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a Portland man who said they didn’t do enough to stop a Scout troop leader from sexually abusing children. The Idaho Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/TksT4N) that a document filed Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in Boise said both sides agreed to an undisclosed monetary settlement. Oregon attorney Gilion Dumas represents the Portland man and said the settlement will be final once a judge approves a request from both sides to dismiss the suit.

Cyril Smith DID abuse boys, police confirm — The Crown Prosecution Service also said he should have been charged with the crimes more than 40 years ago. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the boys “were victims of physical and sexual abuse” by the late Rochdale MP. Despite not being charged, after inquiries in 1970 and the 1990s, the CPS said procedural changes meant a prosecution would have been pursued today. In a statement, Sir Cyril’s family said they were “deeply saddened and concerned” by the allegations “made so long after Sir Cyril’s death and at a time when he is no longer able to defend himself”. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v.67

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Let’s circumcise boys to prevent teen pregnancy

In Colorado, a proposed bill to reinstate Medicaid funding for circumcision failed to pass. It managed to get through one hearing, but died in the next. According to an article about the proposal:

Opponents, who included health professionals, budget hawks and anti-circumcision activists told health committee members on Thursday that circumcision is cosmetic and potentially harmful, and taxpayers should not fund it.

Proponents for the bill argued that funding for circumcision for babies on Medicaid is a social justice issue. In general, insurance companies pay for the procedure for insured Colorado babies even though the American Academy of Pediatrics does not deem circumcisions to be “medically necessary.” Meanwhile, low-income parents who want their babies circumcised are being put on waiting lists for the procedure until parents can prove they’ve paid in advance.

It is worth noting that only one doctor testified in favor of circumcision.

But that is not the stupid part. Continue reading

“How the circumcision solution in Africa will increase HIV infections”

Originally posted on January 14. 2012

For several years, many organizations have argued that the best way to reduce HIV infections in Africa is to circumcise men and boys. These groups cite three randomized clinical trials (RCTs) as conclusive proof that circumcision prevents HIV. Since then, several governments have pushed for male circumcision. However, a recent paper challenges that effort.

Robert S. Van Howe and Michelle R. Storms dissected the results of the RCTs. They argue that the trials all shared the same “expectation bias (both researcher and participant), selection bias, lead-time bias, attrition bias, duration bias, and early termination that favored the treatment effect the investigators were hoping for.” These biases resulted in the assumption that all HIV infections come from heterosexual sex, and so none of the researchers bothered to actually check where the infections came from. The researchers may have potentially overstated the number of HIV infections from heterosexual sex:

In the South African trial, men who reported at least one episode of unprotected sex accounted for 2498 person-years and 46 HIV infections during the trial. Among the remaining men, who accounted for 2076 person-years, 23 become infected although they either had no sexual contact or always used a condom. These men, who had infection rate of 1.11/100 person-years (95%CI=0.74-1.67), presumably became infected through non-sexual means. The men at sexual risk of infection had an infection rate of 1.84/100 person-years (95%CI=1.38-2.46). It would be expected that all men in the trial shared the same baseline risk of non-sexual transmission and any additional risk could be attributed to sexual transmission. The infections attributed to sexual contact would be the difference between the total rate and the non-sexually transmitted rate (0.73/100 person-years). Consequently, only 18 (0.0073 infections per person-year * 2498 person-years) of the 69 infections in the South African trial can be attributed to sexual transmission.

Continue reading

Some common sense on circumcision

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned against using male circumcision as a safe-guard against HIV infections:

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has cautioned Ugandans not to consider male circumcision as the remedy and automatic control of HIV/AIDS infection.

He said messages promoting the practice were misguiding and may put the lives of many people in danger since it had not been proven to be scientifically true.

He said if male circumcision was the answer to HIV prevention, then Ugandans who conduct circumcision as a traditional belief or a religious practice would not contract the disease.

He, however, said there is proof that these people had contracted HIV and the disease prevails in their communities.

The President emphasised abstinence from premarital sex and faithfulness in marriage as the guarantee to a life free from HIV.

Museveni makes a great point: if circumcision prevented HIV in any way, then men already circumcised should never contract the disease. Yet that is not the case. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v122

Brooklyn Toddler Dies After Circumcision — New York City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is investigating the death of 2-year-old Jamaal Coleson, Jr. following a circumcision Tuesday at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center. “They gave him anesthesia, and after the circumcision he woke up he was fine,” said Jabbar Coleson, Jamaal Jr.’s uncle, who lives in Jonesboro, Ga. “He asked to eat, he asked for something to drink, and then he started complaining about pain in his stomach.” Jabbar said his nephew was in the outpatient ward when doctors noticed something was wrong. But four hours passed before the toddler was rushed to the emergency room, he said.

Canon woman charged with four child sex crimes — A 30-year-old woman faces four felony charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old Buena Vista boy who later committed suicide. Brenda Lynette Harding, 30, of Canon City, was charged Monday with sexual assault on a child, sexual assault on a child as a pattern of abuse, sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust as a pattern of abuse. The body of Tristen Hagen was found April 4 in the hogback hills area near Skyline Drive. He had been reported missing April 2.

Colleges Cut Men’s Programs to Satisfy Title IX — When the University of Delaware announced this year that it was demoting its men’s track and cross-country teams to club status, the news was sad but not surprising to many who follow college sports. Delaware is one of dozens of universities that have eliminated low-profile men’s teams like wrestling, gymnastics and swimming in an effort, the universities say, to comply with Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in education. But in cutting the men’s varsity track team, Delaware took the practice a step further.

Domestic abuse charity to help male victims in Surrey — A domestic violence charity in Surrey has set up a new service to help male victims as well as women. Your Sanctuary, formerly Surrey Women’s Aid, is offering confidential helpline advice and one-to-one meetings to men who have been abused. The charity said it was one of only about 20 services in England and Wales offering such services to men. It said this compared to almost 4,000 services which are aimed at female victims of domestic violence. One in six men suffer from domestic violence, according to the latest British Crime Survey figures.

Foster father goes on trial in sex abuse case — For nearly a decade, the boys from St. Paul lived with what authorities say was a terrible secret. Last summer, authorities were finally able to shine a light on the boys’ allegations: They’d been sexually abused as foster children by the man entrusted to care for them. Joseph L. Larson, 34, will go on trial Monday over the allegations, which prosecutors say are very rare. Because of his position of authority, prosecutors have already filed a motion to seek an upward departure from state sentencing guidelines if Larson is convicted. Continue reading