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I have seen a post circulating Facebook which is also cited by this source: http://joseph4gi.blogspot.com/2017/09/drs-may-ask-if-baby-is-circumcised-for.html (The source is clearly biased against the practice of infant circumcision, but that is besides the point of this question.)

Here is the Facebook post in question:

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Took my son in today to get his infant hearing test done.

Part of their medical questionnaire was if the baby was a male, was he circumcised?

I asked why that was a relevant question and was told because sometimes an ear drum can burst while they are crying during the circumcision.

My heart sank.

Is there any evidence for this? While I found information about pressure (e.g., kissing the baby's ear) to cause a rupture of the ear drum, I found no information on circumcision and ear drum ruptures.

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  • 3
    Did your source give you any evidence? As it stands, this is not a "notable claim". Sep 3, 2018 at 1:20
  • @DanielRHicks this link makes it sound slightly more notable: savingsons.org/2017/08/…
    – DavePhD
    Sep 3, 2018 at 13:41
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    @Human So the claim is that because infants are callously circumcised without painkillers their crying sometimes causes their eardrums to burst, resulting in deafness? Sep 3, 2018 at 16:35
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    To be honest, I doubt anyone is going to find anything on this, as it's a random Facebook post claiming what someone told them in the hospital, as well as a distinct lack of any search results beyond the above source.
    – user43646
    Sep 3, 2018 at 18:28
  • I question if this is answerable, but I came here because I had seen the exact same post on social media. I think it is notable enough.
    – Beofett
    Sep 3, 2018 at 22:39

1 Answer 1

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In a review article on adverse events in connection with male cicrumcision, no hearing loss was noted in 1.4M subjects... so I'd say that is a myth.

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    The study does not seem to me to have looked at hearing loss at all. I see no mention of it. Since they performed a literature review and looked at a number of possible adverse events, that's a hint that this is not a thing that happens, but it's very different from if the study had been open to finding something but had not found it.
    – Dan Getz
    Jul 10, 2023 at 13:13
  • @DanGetz They looked for all possible AE related to male circumcision: ---- "Possible MC AEs for this analysis were identified from (1) a review of PubMed using the search terms circumcision and adverse events and (2) the ICD-9 and CPT manuals for condi- tions that are not necessarily due to but could be related to MC." ---- if, as the claim states, hearing loss was a known AE for MC, they would have found it that way.
    – bukwyrm
    Jul 10, 2023 at 19:40
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    @DanGetz The original claim was that this is well known in medicine and common enough to be worth putting on a questionnaire. If so then it would certainly have been included in a review article on the subject. Jul 14, 2023 at 7:49

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