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PARENTING

Denmark to once again look at circumcision ban

A poll showing 74 percent support for banning male circumcision comes as parliament prepares for a new round of political discussion on male circumcision.

Denmark to once again look at circumcision ban
Male circumcision has been heavily debated in Denmark in recent years. Photo: Colourbox
Nearly three fourths of Danes are in favour of banning male circumcision, a new poll revealed. 
 
In a survey of over 1,000 Danes conducted by YouGov for Metroxpress newspaper, 74 percent of respondents wanted a full or partial ban on the practice while just ten percent supported giving parents the right to circumcise their sons.
 
The poll results come as parliament prepares to hold a hearing on the practice of circumcision on Wednesday. Left-wing party the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) and libertarian party Liberal Alliance are in favour of a ban, while other parties report internal disagreement on the issue.
 
The debate about circumcision is a frequent topic in Denmark. Following extensive media coverage in both 2012 and 2013, the Danish Health and Medicines Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) carried out a study on the potential health risks and benefits of circumcision. In June 2013, the agency determined that there was neither enough risk to justify outlawing circumcision nor enough documentation of its benefits to generally recommend the practice. 
 
Despite the health authorities’ findings, Wednesday’s hearing in parliament may be the first step toward an eventual ban. 
 
“We will handle this topic politically within a few years. As I see it, it goes against the [UN’s] Convention on the Rights of the Child to circumcise children. I’m leaning toward a ban until the person is of legal age,” Venstre MP Hans Christian Schmidt, a former health minister, told Metroxpress.
 
According to Sundhedsstyrelsen, somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each, primarily on Jewish and Muslim boys. Male circumcision is almost universal in the Muslim world and highly prevalent in many African countries. It is also a popular practice in the United States where more than half of all boys are circumcised and in Canada, where a 2007 survey put the percentage at 31.9 percent.
 
Jair Melchior of the Jewish faith group Mosaisk Troessamfund cautioned politicians to not let opinion polls affect their stance on circumcision. 
 
“The problem is that there are so many assertions in the debate on circumcising boys. If it was so dangerous, the Jewish community would have been the first to stop it. But it’s not,” Melchior told Metroxpress. 
 
Like Denmark, neighbouring Sweden and Norway have also been discussing a ban on male circumcision. Following intense debate in 2012, Germany passed a law allowing religious circumcision
 
Female circumcision is illegal in Denmark.
 

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NAMES

These are Denmark’s most popular baby names

Ida and William are the names parents in Denmark chose most often when naming their newborns in 2018.

These are Denmark’s most popular baby names
Photo: londondeposit/Depositphotos

A list of the country’s most popular names is released each July by national stats agency Statistics Denmark, once all the births from the prior year have been registered.

Since parents have a six-month period in which they can register their baby’s name, the list is not finalized into halfway through the following year.

This year, William and Ida are again the most popular names, retaining their spots at the top of the list from 2017.

2018 saw 15 in every 1,000 baby girls named Ida, while 19 out of every thousand boys were called William.

Ida was especially popular in the Southern Denmark and Central Jutland regions. In the Capital region, Ella was the most popular name for girls, while Sofia was most popular in the rest of Zealand. In North Jutland, the Nordic name Freja was top of the list for girls.

A similar trend was apparent for boys’ names, with William the most popular in two Jutland regions – Central and North Jutland – while Noah and Malthe were the favourites in Zealand and South Denmark respectively.

Oscar was the most-favoured choice for parents of babies born in the Copenhagen area.

Meanwhile, Hugo saw a jump in popularity, moving from number 56 in 2017 number 27 on the national list for 2018.

For girls, Ellie moved 12 places up the list, from 36 two years ago to 24 in 2018.

Parents’ preferences do not appear to have changed dramatically since 2017, however.

The top ten list for boys saw only one new name, Valdemar, with two newcomers – Clara and Karla — on the girls’ list.

William has, with one exception in 2016, been the most popular name every year since 2010. Ida has boasted a top-10 place without exception since 2007.

Top 20 Danish names for girls in 2018:

  1. Ida
  2. Emma
  3. Alma
  4. Ella
  5. Sofia
  6. Freja
  7. Josefine
  8. Clara
  9. Anna
  10. Karla
  11. Laura
  12. Alberte
  13. Olivia
  14. Agnes
  15. Nora
  16. Lærke
  17. Luna
  18. Isabella
  19. Frida
  20. Lily

Top 20 Danish names for boys in 2018:

  1. William
  2. Noah
  3. Oscar
  4. Lucas
  5. Victor
  6. Malthe
  7. Oliver
  8. Alfred
  9. Carl
  10. Valdemar
  11. Emil
  12. Elias
  13. August
  14. Aksel
  15. Magnus
  16. Frederik
  17. Arthur
  18. Felix
  19. Anton
  20. Elliot

READ ALSO: Babies wanted: Nordic countries crying out for kids

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