Jenny McCarthy circumcision and autism

Thank you Jenny McCarthy. Since I wrote about you my readership has doubled. That is still not enough to offset the harm that will ensue if even a tiny fraction of your TV audience swallow your message that the MMR vaccine caused your son’s autism. But here is a chance for you to make amends. Have you heard of the theory that circumcision causes autism? I only ask because in an earlier book you describe how you had your son circumcised.

“If you don’t know what an uncircumcised penis looks like, you will once you baby boy is born. When I saw my son’s for the first time, I thought it looked kind of like a wrinkled french fry. I had the hardest time knowing that I would have to be the one to tell the doc, “Go ahead.” How could I do anything to cause him pain? But I did, and my main reason was that I wanted him to have a pretty penis.”

Way to go, Jenny! Cosmetic surgery on your infant son’s penis. The evidence for this causing autism is every bit as strong as the evidence for vaccines. So, if you could just mention this on your next TV appearance, it may not save any children from autism, but it may persuade some parents to spare their child from painful and unnecessary surgery.

34 thoughts on “Jenny McCarthy circumcision and autism

  1. A “pretty penis”?? Please! There are some parts of the body that are just inherently funny-looking, such as elbows, the vermiform appendix, feet, or male genitals. But, I guess considering Jenny McCarthy’s background, pretty penises are something she’d be concerned about.

    Speaking of pommes frites, there’s another site out there that says it’s French fries that cause autism! ::eyeroll::

  2. I just don’t understand your malice. Supporting Autistic People your website says. Well, I don’t “feel” the support here and I’m sorry I found this dumb site. I’ll tell you a similar story — my son got an MMR shot, had a 104.5 fever for four days and then started stimming all the time. With an adult son with asperger’s do you even remember back to a specific vaccination he might have had? I’ve spoken with at least 30 other families of autistic children in the last two years and they offer similar experiences. I didn’t prompt these parents to tell me their similar stories of problems with vaccines, so why are they all saying the same things?

    If you’re such an advocate for people with autism, you might gain more credibility by not bashing others so much. Are you one of those people that wants me to accept my son’s autism as being part of who he is? Well, isolating one’s self from social situations and stimming on trains is not my idea of a life. Bye bye to this website.

  3. Renee,
    lots of people believe the MMR caused their child’s autism because onset of symtoms often occurs around the same time as your child gets the shot. But correlation does NOT equal causation.

    Lots of people believe the MMR causes autism because of a concerted media campaign in support of Andrew Wakefield. Never mind that a team of lawyers and scientists went through 14 million pounds sterling of taxpayers’ money over seven years building the case against MMR. It never came to court because they could not find the results that would support their theory.

    The MMR scare was finally dying down when a minor celeb with no scientific background got the Oprah treatment and now it is all over the media again. Now McCarthy has gone on the Larry King Show and said that if she has another child it will not get any vaccines at all. Where is the sense in that?

    If people give me anecdotes and I ask for data, where is the malice in that?

    If people say dumb things about autism and I correct them where is the malice in that?

    I may have to borrow from a phrase on Orac’s blog and add the byline,
    “A statement of fact cannot be malicious.”

  4. I’m really weirded out by how interested Jenny has been in her son’s future sex life. As in, from the time he was born she’s been planning for it. (This circumcision comment isn’t the only one like it I’ve read from her.) I’ve never heard of a mom write and talk about their young child’s future sex life as much as Jenny does.

  5. Renee dear – we’ve gone quite a bit past advocating for autism here. Now, I think, we’re trying in our small ways to protect the general population from the combined fem-illiteracy of Mesdames Winfrey and McCarthy.

    There should be some price exacted from those who ought to know better. At least a disclaimer that the views expressed are simply those of a lass who had trouble coping with anything in school beyond the cheerleading squad. Or does the grand Ol Oprey feel no responsibility whatsoever for dissemination pernicious nonsense?

  6. amomanous – you have to wonder what poor Evan is going to say when he grows up and is going to high school and finds that his mom has splashed all the private details in her books. I agree with you, it is weird.

  7. I’m still looking for a theory that fits my son. Well, I’m not really looking but you know what I mean. It seems every new (or recycled) theory is quickly discounted in our family.

    He was autistic from a very young age, way before he was vaccinated (his were delayed for unrelated reasons). He’s uncirc’ed. I laugh at the tv one. Nope, that’s not it here either. There isn’t really any people in the family who are similar. I suppose it could be a genetic combination/mutation with myself and my husband. I wonder if we’ll ever sort through all the different causes/effects/circumstances that are involved. Unfortunately there’s a lot of garbage theories to sort through.

    Also, I wouldn’t take my son’s ‘train stimming’ away for the world. It’s something he loves and makes him happy. He may be an engineer some day.

  8. Some parents attribute autistic regression to the MMR vaccine. I’m not sure how many nowadays, but it’s probably a minority, and likely explained by coincidence.

    Several years back more parents attributed regression to some family stress such as the birth of a sibling, than to vaccination. This was post Wakefield. There are surveys on this. It’s not something I’m saying because “some friends with autistic kids told me.”

  9. I agree 100% with renee on the 3rd reply! I couldn’t have said it better!!!! BYE BYE stupid web site!!!!

  10. hmmm… Vaccines don’t appear to have caused my son’s autism – no severe reaction after a vaccine – no sudden change after a vaccine (he’s only 4.5, I remember) – and thimerosal or however you spell it was drastically reduced in vaccines by the time he was born.

    and circumcision didn’t cause it either – my husband’s was apparently someone botched, according to him, and so he didn’t want his son to have it done (even though 20+ yrs later, I’m sure they do it better)

    I am inclined to believe that for those with severe reactions to the vaccine, it might cause autism, but I’d rather an autistic kid than one with measles, mumps or rubella.

    and no, my son isn’t particularly ‘high functioning’. He doesn’t talk, he did regress (though walking, rather than a vaccination triggered the regression), he’s not potty trained yet, and he as of yet does not appear to have any savant abilities beside being able to pick up and project other people’s moods (something people seem to think autistics can’t do).

  11. Well Mike..
    I’m so sorry that you work with autistic children ‘coz you seem to be rather mean spirited and angry to me. You might want to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror.
    Jenny has received tons of e-mails from people that are seeing great improvements in their autistic children just as she has.

  12. Please exclude all the letters from TACA and DAN! followers. Then tell us how many parental positive letters of support Ms McCarthy has received.

  13. Sue,
    testimonials do not equal data. And if you want real examples of mean spirited anger you ought to see the emails I get from McCarthy supporters wishing violence upon me. I do not publish those. I send them to a lawyer.

  14. Just ‘coz what Jenny found works for her son and many others, doesn’t work for everyone desn’t mean she is wrong. Not everyone gets cured of cancer with the same treatments either.
    Many people thought Suzanne Sommers was out of her mind ‘coz she took an unconventional route in her breast cancer treatment. It worked for her.

  15. Gee, Sue. Way to represent the TACA/DAN/Jenny crowd.

    Tons of emails? Really? I’d love to see those. Can you provide proof of that?

    At least Mike works with Autistic kids. What do you do? Other than leave mean spirited comments on other people’s blogs that don’t necessarily agree with you, of course.

  16. What really gets me is that my daughter is on the spectrum, and no, she wasn’t circumsized, obviouly! 🙂 She was also the way she was from birth. She screamed in the hospital for hours. She had the loudest voice in the hospital. She didn’t have a sudden change with the vaccine, even though she did get a slight fever.
    She hit al her milestones, just barely in time, except for asking why questions. Those didn’t come until she was 4 1/2. How could vaccines have caused her autism, when she was like she was the whole time. She is nevertheless developing, as children do, and therefore improving, without any chelation therapy.

    Why doesn’t anybody comsider amalgam fillings in the mother’s tooth, toxins in breast milk, electric waves in the air from all of the cel phones and other wireless devices, auto exhaust, pesticides in food, vitamin supplement additives taken during pregnancy, genetics, toxins in father’s sperm, flouride in the water supply and toothpaste? There are so many possible causes. why does it have to be the vaccines?It seems as though the studies have been done. And even if, the vaccines are responsible, the vaccines are saving lives! I feel sorry for al of the unvaccinated children out ther who might suffer from epidemics in the future therefore. Autism stinks, but death by horrible illnesses is worse.The people aren’t making them to be evil and poison our children. They are making them to SAVE LIVES.

    I still agree that the medical community needs to step up and train the pediatricians to notice signs and listen to parents. That will take the power away from these quacks.

    I don’t bame anyone for going that route, because I myself am tempted, just because the medical community has been so apathetic and unhelpful. But that doesn’t mean that Jenny McCarthy has the answers.

    It’s like a ot of quckery. I’m sure the real Medical community would JUMP to do the same treatments if they had scientific proof and validity! They would make $$$$$. Many are also interested in that, but I believe they are mostly(not all) wanting to help people get well.At least they have standards and guidelines, checks and balances to keep them from doing things unproven and dangerous. What damage could chelation be doing to these children? Isn’t that also a toxin? It’s just like people saying that herbal medicines are all good because they are natural. Well, natural can kill. It’s best to be guided by science.

    We in the autistic community just still have to wait. Of course , some laternative therapies wind up being proven, like acupuncture, but in the meantime, we are guinea pigs.

    Quackery relies on the desperation of people who have no answer for problems through medicine. It’s funny how people talk about Doc’s greed, but they don’t ever seem to think that these alternative people are also making $$$$$$$$.

  17. One more thing- I forgot to include hormones as a cause, but I’ve read that people are curious about testosterone. My daughter doesn’t seem to have an overload of it, but who knows?

  18. What in the world is wrong with trying fresh fruits, veggies, fish and chicken for a few days? It’s a healthy way to eat and if it produces good changes so much the better.

  19. Hi Sue,

    I don’t know if you were writing to me directly. Do you mean the GFCF diet? I don’t see anything wrong with that at all. I just wonder about chelation. But, I admit, I am no expert. I am just very skeptical. But the diet thing certainly doesn’t bother me. getting my daughter to d that and taking bread out of the house with my bread-loving husband is another thing!

    I’m sorry I sounded so adamant. I am just frustrated with false promises. I’ve been down the alternative road for myself with little results and some money gobe, so I am a bit weary on controversial medicine…

  20. Hi Sue,
    there is nothing wrong with healthy eating. But there is no reason to believe that it has anything to do with autism. McCarthy has an agenda that there is an autism epidemic caused by vaccines. That is the message she is promoting on prime time TV and in high profile print media like People Magazine. Her advice is not only to eat a healthy diet, but also to avoid vaccinating your child.

    I have criticized the vaccine/autism/epidemic link. I do not think I have condemned the diet. So, what is your point?

  21. I have looked at all the comments here and am concerned. Thank the lord I have a high functioning autistic child. But it all starts with the parent when they find out this has happened with their child. I found out when he was 2 1/2 years old and it took 1 year to get him into the Wisconsin Early Autism Poroject. Which has a 52% success rate. he has now graduated from this program and can now have eye contact with me and can speak FULL sentences. I read Jen McCarthy’s book in one night and Laughed and cried as well. We may never find out what causes Autism, but, we need to do is make sure that we get the appropriate services to get them where they need to be at. I’m sorry for the one’s who’s children can not be functioning like my son. But any improvement is better than none. I jusy wish there was a program around to inform parents of “what to expect”, like the seizures, ADHD, and other medical problems associated with this disability. I’m hearing about this special diet and would like to learn more for my son. Anything is worth a try. As far as speculations of how or who did it, Please I hope they can figure this out for hte future of all children. But mine has this and NO matter how much therapy he has it’s not going to go away. It’s up to us parents to make the most of their life. As far as Jens wanting a love life for her child Evan. DONT WE ALL WANT OUR CHILD TO EXPERIENCE LOVE TOO AS WELL AS US!!! COME ON!!

  22. I am awed and humbled. As a pediatrician, I spend way too much time educating parents on the true risks and benefits of vaccinations (not to mention the risks and benefits of viewing celebs as a source of medical advice, rather than engaging in an informed decision with your physician). It is a never ending source of frustration that I spend time with families defending good science against the attacks of the vaccination-conspiracy-of-the-moment, rather than thaking time to explain their chid’s behavior and development, and explore the challenges that parents may face in the time between our visits. I am so happy to see that there are parents who are willing to considder the whole picture! I recently read _Founding Mothers_, a book about the women behind the men of the American Revolution and the early days of the United States. It was heart-breaking read over and over again about their children dying (often terrible deaths) from vaccine preventable diseases. Unfortunately, our vaccines do such a good job that it’s hard to find parents to go out and write blogs about the horrors of having a child who is killed or neurologically devistated by vaccine preventable disease!

  23. There is a ten fold increase in autism from the time I was born in 1969 and received about 5 vaccinations until now when our pediatrician reccommended about 30 vaccinations for our daughter who is now 4 years old. Do the math. Nevermind.

  24. But that’s with at least two, perhaps three changes/additions to the DSM. Furthermore, the number of antigens is considerably fewer. Do the complete math, please.

  25. Over twenty scientific studies have appeared in peer-reviewed journals, and NOT ONE has found a definite link between vaccinations and autism. Jenny McCarthy’s book unfortunately will only perpetuate an already refuted myth.

  26. I have to say that it’s very irresponsible of you to claim that there is no evidence between vaccinations and autism. There is a definate link. I’m not saying that vaccinations are the only reason behind autism, I believe that there a number of factors (genentics, envoronmental conditions, hormones and antibiotics in food) that cause autism, but that vaccinations do play a part. I believe that there a large number of reasons for the CDC to deny the link (compensations for one) between the two. And remember the general medical community also denies the connection. However, there are doctors who not only believe the link between the two but who also have treated children with autism on a biomedical treatment plan and have reversed some childrens severity of autism. I believe as a website that claims to support austic people you owe it to the families to examine all beliefs that claim to help the austic community. It’s a scary thought to think that our government is allowing vaccinations that have the potential to help so many children inflict our children with autism, it’s even scarier to think that there is evidence to believe this is happening and people are turning their backs on it. Regardless of where or not your belief is with or aganist the connection between vaccinations and austism, I think it’s extermely important to help fight autsim in America (and around the world) by approaching the treatments in different way. Biomedicial treatments (which is combining medicines with vitamins and supplements and eliminating certain foods from the diet- mainly wheat and dairy products), which have very positive results in not only treating autism but reversing it, need to gain more crediblity within the medical community, and that will not begin until families research and understand the benifits behind biomedical treatment and demand it from their pediatration. We owe it to all autistic children and adults to look at all types of treatment.

  27. Having searched the internet for over 10 years looking for support for parents who believe a form of autism WAS caused by a vaccination and diet or combo of both, I found it refreshing that Jenny McCarthy spoke of her experience. My son is now 15 and does exhibit many signs of autism. These signs have been not liking his head touched, wanting to be alone, talking to himself, rocking, no eye contact, repetative behaviours- i.e. making things even when he touched a door going outside he must touch each side to make it an even number. He goes to school and is in grade 9 and we have never had any behaviour problems with him but his ‘things’ he does are attributed to autism. Sometimes it’s not totally apparent but manifests itself in little behaviours. He also, within 3 hours of his 18 month DPT had a fever of 106 and went into cardiac arrest.
    Now I am NOT saying vaccines are wrong and never would however research into the ‘fillers’ is needed. That may be the problem not the vaccines themselves.
    Thank you for your time.

  28. There have been a number of studies by the CDC that have concluded that there is no connection between vaccination and autism. I would like to see an unbiased group, with government funding and availability to medical records, also study the link. The U.S. government also uses a number of European studies that test vaccinations with a much lower level of thimerosal then found in U.S. vaccinations prior to 2000 to illustrate that there is no connection. Also, these study groups tested a small number of austitic children and did not include the entire range of autistic children. I think that by looking at the number of cases of autism and the number of vaccinations given to infants that there is a connection. Are vaccinations the only factor in austism? NO! Otherwise all children who are vaccinated would have some form of austism. But I do believe that vaccinations, along with genetics, and environmental factors, play a role in who autism touches. The backing for my reasons deals mainly with heavy metal toxity. If you look at the sypmtoms of heavy metal toxity and austim they share many of the same traits. Also, when a child’s autism is treated with chelation therapy (which is an FDA approved thearapy for removing some heavy metals in the body) many begin to see positive results and in some cases the reversal of Autistic symptoms. This approach combines proper medications, patient specific diets, and supplements is known as a biomedical approach. This appraoch is the forefront of Dr. Kenneth Bock’s Healing Therapy. His approach has healed, and in some case reversed autism. I feel that regardless of whether or not we can agreee what is triggering the epedimic of autism in the U.S., we need to take a different approach in treating it. Embracing all treatments that help austitic children is more important then arguing over whats causing autism. This issue will not be solved until we can come together and put aside our own personal opinions and look objectively at the problem. I have looked into many other types of treatment for autism and I believe that the combination of chelation therapy, medication, supplements and specific diets has the most encouraging results.
    On a personal note, my cousin, now 19, developed austitic symptoms following his 18 month MMR vaccination. His mother, a registered nurse, caught his symptoms early and immediately took him to a biomedical treatment specialist. Together, with diet changes, supplements and detoxicifation they were able to reverse his symptoms. He had no further problems.

    I agree with you. The amount of mercury now found in vaccinations is no where near as high as it was before 2000 when the government decided to phase thimerosal out of vaccinations. There is still a percetnage of vaccinations that contains mercury and aluminum. Before 2000 vaccinations contain staggeringly high levels of thimerosal. By the time a child was six months of age they were recieving 187.5 micrograms of thimerosal. What does that amount of thimerosal mean? The amount of mercury in the vaccinations given at birth was 36 times higher thanthe EPA recommended as safe, and the amount given to a 2 month old was 99 ytimes higher than the EPA standard recommendations. This is truly alarming.

  29. Colleen,
    when you ask for “unbiased” researchers are you accusing scientists who work for the CDC of allowing personal bias to influence research results in order to demonstrate the safety of TCVs? Do you have any evidence for this?

    The European TCVs contain the same amount of thimerosal as their US counterparts. There were just less TCVs in the European vaccination schedules. That should not matter because a study carried out in 2002 by scientists at Rochester University found that the mercury products from thimerosal were expelled from the body much faster han previously expected – in days rather than weeks -and blood levels of mercury in vaccinated children were well within the safety limits. There is no credible evidence to connect vaccines to autism. Just as there is no similiarity between the diagnostic criteria for autism and the diagnostic criteria for heavy metal poisoning.

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