At the time this post was first written in 2011, 18 states, including Colorado and South Carolina, had eliminated Medicaid coverage for male circumcision. Furthermore, ballot initiatives, including one attempted in my hometown San Francisco, were being discussed that would ban the procedure altogether.

I always worry when politics and political agendas start to mess with public health. How about inserting some facts into the decision-making process?

Well, here goes: The American Academy of Pediatrics 1999 policy on circumcision, reaffirmed in 2005 and soon to be updated again states,

“The procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision.”

Ok, that is sensible…informed choice should be an essential part for all health decisions.

 

Medical benefits of male circumcision

So here is some more useful information that the public and policy makers should consider. Aaron Tobian, MD, Ph.D and Ronald Gray, MD, MSc, of John Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public, respectively, reviewed recent medical evidence about the risks and benefits of male circumcision in their commentary, “The Medical Benefits of Male Circumcision,” featured in the November 23, 2011 issue of JAMA.

Here is a summary of their key findings:

  • Studies in Africa have demonstrated that adult male circumcision decreases human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition in men by 51% to 60%. They go on to say that “there is substantial evidence that removal of the foreskin reduces the risk of male heterosexual HIV acquisition, however, the effect of male circumcision on reducing HIV acquisition among men who have sex with men is unclear.
  • Male circumcision reduces the risk of acquiring and transmitting certain heterosexually acquired sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as genital herpes, bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis.
  • The risk of acquiring high-risk human papillomavirus (a cause of penile and cervical cancers) is reduced by about a third.
  • Although these studies were conducted in Africa, STDs, including heterosexually transmitted HIV, are common in the U.S.
  • Neonatal male circumcision provides other potential benefits during childhood such as prevention of infant urinary tract infections, meatitis, balanitis, and phimosis.
  • The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the WHO have adopted a policy advocating male circumcision in countries with heterosexual HIV epidemics; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found economic benefits to the procedure based on reducing HIV infections alone.

 

Opposition to male circumcision

Opponents of male circumcision consider the procedure to be a form of genital mutilation sometimes comparing it to female circumcision which involves removing some or all of the clitoris, a procedure that is associated with a lot of morbidities and even mortality.

Newborn male circumcision is usually performed in the hospital a few days after birth. It is a relatively simple procedure that involves snipping of the foreskin.

I have attended a couple of brits, the Jewish ceremonial circumcision that takes place when the boy baby is 8 days old. Neither the hospital-performed nor the religious circumcision seem to cause much distress to the infant. They cry for a bit but are easily soothed by the parents (or by a drop of wine in the case of a brit).

Their reactions don’t seem any worse than after the first sprained ankle or skinned knee. Further, I personally don’t know any circumcised men who are obsessed by the trauma of their early childhood penile operation or their sprained ankle/skinned knees.

That being said, I must say that the torrent of comments from men after this post first went live in November 2011, suggests that there is a subset of men who believe strongly that circumcision has really messed with their lives. Many of them said that their circumcision is responsible for their sexual dysfunction in adulthood.

This is clearly different from the conclusions of Tobian and Gray who stated the following,

“The male circumcision trials evaluated sexual satisfaction in adult men and their female partners before and after the procedure and compared men randomized to male circumcision with uncircumcised controls. There were no significant differences in male sexual satisfaction or dysfunction among trial participants, and in one trial, circumcised men reported increased penile sensitivity and enhanced ease of reaching orgasm. In addition, 97% of female partners reported either no change or improved sexual satisfaction after their male partner was circumcised.”

 

Weighing in the facts

As is true with all healthcare interventions, consumers and policymakers need to weigh the pros and cons—but they need solid information upon which to base their decision. It would be a shame if, like the hysteria over vaccinations related to faked research, the politics surrounding male circumcision lead to public health policies that are not sound and safe.


Featured Photo Credit: Monash University


This post was originally written in November 2011 and updated on June 26, 2015.

46 COMMENTS

  1. A completely impartial and objective overview of the issue from one Dr. (((Slaber))) – what a farce.

    To liken the removal of such an incredibly sensitive part of an infant boy’s anatomy to nothing more than a sprained ankle or a skinned knee is disgusting. The procedure has no medical benefit, and of course should be banned from being performed on minors. Those arguing against such an obviously morally just stance need to be deported to Israel, where they belong.

  2. Doctors who perform, advocate, or otherwise equivocate for unnecessary mutilating surgery for infants should lose their licenses.

    What happened to do no harm? This is not the middle ages. This is supposedly a new, modern day. The risk of circumcision far outweighs any benefit, if one could successfully parse any supposed benefit from that merely being claimed for sociopolitical reasons.

    And that’s before we get into the pure ethics of unnecessary infant mutilation that a portion of these victims will later regret as adults.

    Circumcision is time limited in the West, and those who were advocating for it may one day regret doing so in terms of their reputations.

  3. I am a 29 year old circumcised adult male and HIGHLY resent that this natural, normal, sensitive part of my body was stolen without my consent. Without any knowledge of which aesthetic I prefer, whether I’d find it more pleasurable to have a foreskin, and whether I’d prefer to live the ENTIRETY of my life without one. This absolutely is a human rights abuse and needs to be outlawed.

  4. Oh Please spare me, circumcised doctor. You say any anti circumcision is politics yet ignore the cultural bias in these alleged very small benefit studies. You people trump up the benefits and never deal with the obvious it is a sick sick sick surgery and much money is made in the US by doing them.

  5. I suppose these same “doctors” could amputate 9 fingers, then measure touch sensitivity of the one remaining finger and fraudulently claim no loss in sensitivity or function of that one finger. The basic flaw in the public’s reliance on the medical industry’s pro-circumcision marketing is it’s coming from the same people doing the cutting. It doesn’t occur to the public that “hospitals” and “doctors” are abusing their respected position of authority to betray patient’s trust to fund their $1 billion a year circ industry. The alternative is to publicly admit circumcisers are child molesters who damage men. I use quotes here because circumcisers are no longer doctors because they abandon their hippocratic oath to first do no harm. Amputation of healthy functioning tissue with no pathology or patient consent is not medicine. It has strayed into something else.

  6. This is the most bizarre and obviously false load of crap I have ever read:

    The male circumcision trials evaluated sexual satisfaction in adult men and their female partners before and after the procedure and compared men randomized to male circumcision with uncircumcised controls. There were no significant differences in male sexual satisfaction or dysfunction among trial participants, and in one trial, circumcised men reported increased penile sensitivity and enhanced ease of reaching orgasm

    Most of the nerves are in the foreskin; common sense dictates the above is horribly false. As a mutilated individual myself, my penis has almost no sensitivity. I have to ask my partner to use teeth and be aggressive, else I can’t even feel anything. It is impossible for me to climax from mouth or hand work… because the sensitive portion of my penis was taken away from me, for no reason. I don’t see how it’s horrible and barbaric to do it to a woman’s sensitive organ, but not a man’s… oh wait, I do… because men can’t possibly be victims; only women can.

  7. Daniel’s pro-circ response is typical of a circumcised male in denial that he has been damaged by circumcision. No man wants to admit his manhood is less than that of other men.
    Because a man circumcised as an infant has never experienced a fully functioning penis, he may think he is “normal” and that the foreskin is “just a piece of skin.”
    There is also the “I’m circumcised and I’m fine” syndrome. The amount of high nerve density mucus membrane foreskin inner lining removed by circumcision varies widely. Men with a fair amount of sensitive inner foreskin remaining can lead a reasonable sex life (although not nearly as satisfying as an intact man.) Men with most of their inner foreskin and frenulum removed have little feeling in their penis and have great difficulty ejaculating. Particularly troubling is reading younger men’s posts in the grief section of a counseling website I visit concerning men’s lives damaged by unwanted circumcisions. These young men are acutely aware they are non-functional sexually at a time in their lives when they are looking for life mates. All are despondent, and some suicidal.

  8. “David Peter Reimer (August 22, 1965 – May 4, 2004) was a Canadian man born biologically male but reassigned as a girl and raised female following medical advice and intervention after his penis was accidentally destroyed during a botched circumcision in infancy. Reimer later went public with his story to help discourage similar medical practices. He later committed suicide after suffering years of severe depression, financial instability, and a troubled marriage.” – Wikipedia

    Yeah, no harm done, expect the total destroying of the penis, ruining a life, making a person’s life so miserable that he did commit suicide before the age of 40. But hey, circumcision is totally safe, right?

    To Daniel: Maybe you don’t miss it, since you never lived with it. You don’t know the positive side of having it.

  9. I am circumcised . I have never missed the foreskin. I have learn about the. Unpleasantries that. Can and do occur with poor hygiene .
    What I object to I d’interférence of groups in the parental rights over their children’s health. Plus there is the the thin veil of anti sémitisme . Under the guise of fighting for. Children’ s rights.

    The Muslim and Jews practice the ritual and those who are of theses faiths. Butt out.
    If parents accept the béni fits of infants circumcision for theirs sons… butt out …

    What i have observed is the the uncut male uses his foreskin for masturbation. Mostly and. Most uncut men. Have found that penis with the foreskin retracted is far more pleasurable.
    What ever, if parents want their sons cut… butt out from preventing their exercising their rights.

    Male circoncision is not female circumcision. There ais a big difference between removal of a clitoris and a piece of skin. A cut penis functions just as well as an uncut and it does have researched bebnifits that uncut group do not have .

    • A vagina functions without a clitoris, as well. It carries the sperm to the ovaries, just like it’s supposed to. The only difference between male and female circumcision is one is inside and therefore more risky in bad medical conditions. Both the foreskin and the clitoris are the nerve clusters of the genitals.

    • Do you clean your ears of that nasty yellow smegma? If you do, you can save yourself the trouble by having a pinnectomy (cutting the outer ear off). No more having to take 2 minutes to clean them.

      Ever get dirt under a fingernail? You could avoid this problem by having your fingernails and nail beds removed.

      Tired of the trouble and expense of haircuts? Shave it all off and have the roots killed. The scalp is easier to wash also.

    • Clitorectomy/clitoridectomy is NOT female circumcision. Female circumcision is the removal of all or part of the clitoral hood (prepuce), the front extension and joining of the labia minora.

  10. I was seething when I read this article until I read the comments, and then faith in society was reinstalled once again. Women are more susceptibile to STDs because of their meaty labias. However, I don’t see anyone going around cutting off their labias. Articles like this have led me to the realization that I need to become a legitimate intactivist.

    Can you imagine the outrage from society if we told women, “You have meaty vagina lips, and no man would ever want to stick his penis in that so you should just cut them off.” You do realize that people are going to look back on guys like you and you guys are going to be on the wrong side of history? We WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CUT OFF ANY PART OF A FEMALE INFANT’S GENITALS FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. Period. Men on the other hand? Omg, that looks so gross, like a turtle! Cut that off you grunting caveman!

    People like you are D I S G U S T I N G. How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?

  11. Genital mutilation is defined as:
    “Cutting or removing part of or all of a persons genitals.” So, yeah.
    Circumcision removes half of a males errogenous tissue and desensitizes the remaining tissue. Its called mutilation and parents have no right to force it on their children. The fact that you’re even defending it is truly disgusting.

  12. The ethical problems with infant circumcision are manyfold.
    1) Circumcision is a last ditch option when all other treatments fail, where the trade off of illness vs. loss of sexuality has been weighed. Routine infant circumcision is performed on healthy babies with no pathology.
    2) The infant is not in a position to make an informed decision on a surgical procedure that redesigns how his genitals operate.
    3) Circumcision amputates 50% penile shaft skin, and 50% to 80% of high nerve density mucus membrane.
    4) Without the protective hood, the glans hardens and calluses, becoming less sensitive.
    5) The web is replete with men who are in despair because their severe infant circumcision has rendered them sexually impaired. Medical journals don’t acknowledge that harm, nor infant circumcision fatalities.
    6) Circumcision has little tort or criminal recourse against “doctors” who maliciously amputate all the sensitive mucus membrane inner lining. Those male patients only find out they have no sexual functionality years later as they enter adulthood, 15 years after the crime has been committed. Such legal oversight attracts sexual predators to obstetrics. I believe the medical profession protects those molesters.
    7) Because insurance covers routine infant circumcision, ethical doctors and nurses employed by hospitals who refuse the procedure or advise parents against it are terminated from employment. Hospitals are addicted to the easy income stream.
    8) The US medical system is a kind of organized crime syndicate with “researchers” at prestigious medical institutes publishing questionable studies supporting routine infant circumcision to support the several hundred million dollar circumcision enterprise. Just because someone has a high IQ, doesn’t mean they have ethics, doesn’t mean they won’t abuse their trusted position of authority and power. Politicians lie all the time. These “researchers” are typically they themselves circumcised, and are spreading the surgery to feel more normal about themselves.
    9) One has to ask, if grown men are reporting despair and sexual disfunction from their infant circumcisions, where is the “First do no Harm” ethics of the medical community to stop the practice?
    10) Groups of doctors are speaking up against routine infant circumcision as unethical and sexually damaging.

  13. More men are unsatisfied and regretting having been forced to getting a circumcision than men who did not have it done and want to get it done.

    That is a simply indication that circumcision is not welcomed in a society where people have a greater ability to think for themselves and figure out if they have been wronged.

    Western society has no place for this kind of usurpation of individual rights.

  14. Heterosexual? Really there is minimal to no diffemce between the transmitting of STI between same and opposite sex couples. You sound ignorant

  15. One benefit to banning circumcision is that Jewish boys can’t be singled out and herded to the concentration camps like they were during WWII, and Muslim boys can’t be singled out like they were during the partition of Pakistan and India.

  16. Wow i can’t believe a woman is actually weighing in on this! Nothing against women, i love ladies, but its like if a man tried to write an article about PMS! Listen chick, unless you have a penis and can relate to the violation of bodily autonomy, the loss of feeling, the loss of the natural rolling sensation, and many other functions of the foreskin, naturally evolved over millions of years that have been brutality ripped from the majority of men in the usa without their consent, kindly shut your mouth.

    Jesus Christ the unwhitting bias in this article is offensive and ignorant.

  17. Lynn,

    The clinical studies you refer to are anecdotal at best. They circumcised a bunch of adults in Africa and tracked how many contracted HIV randomly. There are way too many factors to consider those studies definitive science. Maybe those men simply did not have sex as often or were forced to be abstinent for a long period of time following the operation because of the operation… Not to mention the so many other unknown factors about the participants’ lives. The only way to definitively do such a study would be to circumcise a group of men and force them to have sex with women whom they knew were infected with HIV. But that would be highly illegal and immoral. So the study is garbage and was likely funded by some group who benefits from the practice. And really if that’s all you have as a pro, I suggest we simply make condoms free and available. Condoms have a 100% success rate against HIV transmission, circumcision by your quoted study only has a 60% rate at best. How do you feel about 50/50 odds of contracting a deadly disease??? Is that really worth torturing and killing infants?

    Maybe we can try reducing breast cancer by amputating women’s breasts at birth…

    • Condoms do not have 100% protection against HIV. Condoms burst, tear, slip off and the latex has tiny pores (HOLES) that are many times as large as the HIV. What prevents most HIV (a very small, as viruses go, virus) is that the mucuses carrying the virus is too thick to pass through the pores. Mostly usually.

  18. It’s ironic that the same people who claim that male circumcision is harmful to boys or child abuse have no problem with abortions. These same narrow minded individuals come across as anti-religious bigots hiding behind so called modernism They refuse to consider the “SCIENCE” (clinical study) that has proven male circumcision to reduce HIV by leaps and bounds. These same folks claim the other side if bias, yet they refuse to accept something the medical community and Jews, Christians and Muslims have been practicing for years. I challenge any of you to refute the African trial studies on HIV and adult male circumcision.

    • That’s fine, but adults should have the right to make that decision for themselves. The issue is removing a person’s choice by doing it to them as a baby.

    • Alert: logical fallacy – linking opposition to circumcision with pro-abortionism. I am staunchly opposed to MGM, FGM, and embryonic-fetal and infant murder.

      If an adult female, fully informed, chooses to modify her genitals, she needs a psychological evaluation. Sometimes women who have enormous or very long clitorises want them shortened, and some women who have large flapping labia minora as do some African ethnics want them trimmed. It should be realized that preserving the nerves of the clitoral glans is very “iffy” and that the edges of the labia minora are finely enervated. Simply trimming them destroys many thousands of sensitive receptors. Few gynecologists know about these matters. Female gyns are trained by male gyno instructors, so tend to harbor the same prejudices and opinions. Physicians are technicians, not scientists.

    • Wooooow, who would think it, that someone who is for the rights of baby boys might also be for the rights of women to not be forced to give birth without their consent? Wow, and another funky observation, isn’t it interesting that someone who is pro-forced birth for women might also think it’s ok to slice pieces off of baby’s penises all willy nilly!

  19. A biased report, using a single flawed study to support its conclusions. This person should be stripped of their medical license.
    In today’s modern world in the fight for children’s rights. how can any justify taking those rights away from one who literally has no voice to perform such a barbaric act upon them to comply with some ancient religios text. Those that perform these actions when not medically necessary should lose any license, ability to practice , be fined and jailed. Parents who subject their children to this barbaric practice should lose all parental rights as well as being jailed, I would even support them being forcibly retrained from having further children.
    Body autonomy applies to infants as well as children adults and even corpses (which is why we don’t have implied consent for organ donation).

      • I’ll take that in the spirit that it was meant to be. I’m very passionate about this subject, both as a person that has had this done to them as an infant and as a member of a community that regularly does this to their infant children. I’m even against parents piercing the ears of their infant children (mostly young girls). If one would be opposed to a person stabbing them (with either a sharp object, or forcing their penis into you) or slicing parts of your body off without your consent, then it goes to reason that one should be against these actions being performed upon children that can’t even voice their opposition to it, just because its tradition or part of our religion. It should be classified as a criminal act and be punished accordingly, to do otherwise says that children, especially male children have no rights to body autonomy.

  20. Male circumcision is a form of child abuse and female circumcision is no worse. Female circumcision is just talked a lot by feminists who care less about men. Parents please don’t be stupid and do some research.

    • It depends on the TYPE of female “circumcision.” Putting a nick in the clitoral hood is no worse, probably not even as bad. Removing the clitoral hood might be worse as the clitoris is sensitive and needs the protection. Removing the entire clitoris is like removing a boy’s entire penis. Removing the clitoris and inner and outer labia and sewing the area shut…imagine if a boy’s penis and the flesh around it were all removed.

      • It’s nothing like removing the entire penis. The clitoris has no necessary function toward reproduction… a foreskinless man and clitorisless woman can reproduce, just fine, and both be largely indifferent to the process.

  21. Funny…this doctor says nothing about the 100+ newborn American boys that die every year because of this procedure -a procedure that is unnecessary. I’m sure nature made an error when it gives foreskin to every boy born.lol. She doesn’t want to say it’s unnecessary and that maybe instead we should teach people about proper hygiene of their genitals and to use condoms. But that wouldn’t fill this doctors pockets with money would it?

    • Physicians are/were taught this shit in medical school and by older physicians after they graduated. Anything they encounter later is dismissed.

      Ancient “circumcision” in the Abrahamic tradition isn’t. The Hebrew doesn’t mean “cut around,” rather, “dock,” “clip,” “shorten.” Zipporah, Moses’ Egyptian wife, cut the tip, the part that extends out past the tip of the glans, of their sons’ foreskins short. She did so with a sharp stone, not an ideal surgical instrument for removing the entire foreskin back of the corona.

      Radical circumcision, the kind used today, was introduced by rabbis trying to deter “Grecian” Jews from exercising in the nude. The Greeks thought it shameful to get an erection in the gymnasium (“gymnos” = “naked”). The radically circumcised Jews had exposed glans, making them appear to be perpetually erect.

      An entire industry of foreskin stretching arose, as did the fitting of soft leather glans covers tied on.

  22. To mutilate any childs genitals against their will is child sexual abuse and a foundation of rape culture. In order to circumcise a male infant the penis needs to be erect so I consider it a form of pedofilia. Dealing with 25 centuries of male genital mutilation requires examining unconscious negative loyalty transmission of intergenerational genital trauma. Doing surgery for no necessary medical purpose is barbaric. It’s clearly a profit motive to site bogus statistics and studies as one would follow logic and see that the spread of HIV and cervical cancer in non circumcising nations (most of Europe) would be epidemic. That is not true. This is a practice to create more war like infants, breed psychopathy and certainly impair both attachment and latching behaviors in an infant. It’s time we look at the double standard of legally protecting an infant girls genitals since 1997 and ask why infant males are not afforded the same protection. If it’s a covenent issue with god then I would ask you to examine what kind of a god would condone harming an infant? If it’s the use of blastocysts from harvested foreskins then I would ask what the profit motive is to have a foreskin to wipe on your face as a facecream or use to create new skin for other profitable medical procedures!

  23. This woman is bias!

    She has the audacity to talk about wanting “balance” information and gives a bias opinion.

    She did not discuss any of the reasons, purpose or need for foreskin.

    Whoever provided this bias so-called doctor with a medical degree should have that person’s head examined, too!

    I will never read another article from such incompetence again!

  24. Circumcision is so barbaric that I cannot understand how people can justify it for any reason. First of all, we have no right to remove part of someone’s anatomy without their permission. This is basic human rights. My son was not circumcised but had to hospitalized with a beta strep infection. I told the staff no circumcision but a young unwed mother was confused about whether to do it.. I gave her all the reasons including the pain, trauma, its a natural part of the body, losing nerve sensation, etc.. but mostly the FACT that it is not your body. Infants should have rights that make this illegal. Well the doctor told her it was for the best. They took the little 3 day old infant into a room next to our nursery. I listened to screaming and yelps of pain for about 20 minutes.. It was brutal ! Then the staff came out and we saw that there was a lot of blood on the blankets. They told her that the bleeding was not stopping. Baby would have to be hospitalized longer for a week and he could get an infection. The young girl became hysterical and started yelling at me saying why didn’t you stop me over and over ? It was horrific to say the least. But for all of you that believe the heartless science in this article, you may want to take a look at this website. Most men I know say they wish they had their foreskin and my European friends are in shock that Americans actually do this to their youngsters. Maybe it is why American men are so violent. They were violated at birth and are full of rage.. Circumcision is sick, inhumane, brutal, and violent. Anyone who does this to their child needs to watch a film on it and see what its really like. It is not just a little snip. There is a lot of skin.. Here is the website.. Be prepared to face the truth. http://www.noharmm.org/anatomy.htm

    • Is the only recourse a load of birdshot in the quack’s crotch?

      I can guarantee you that if I, as an adult, was confronted by someone who wanted to cut pieces off my body that if I was able I would do anything necessary to stop him including deadly force.

      Just because little infants don’t have loaded pistols, quacks think they have a right to hack pieces off of children’s bodies.

      The sex pervert who chopped a piece of my penis off has long since gone to hell but the institution that harbored and enabled him in carrying out his perverse fetish is still in existence.

  25. Female Genital Mutilation isn’t what you believe it to be. The World Health Organization as well as nations such as the United States of America define Female Genital Mutilation as any harmful act which damages the female genitals of a minor without medical necessity which is proportional to a problem or likely problem or damages the female genitals of an adult without their informed consent. Hence this why the removal of the female prepuce which is the equivalent to the removal of the male prepuce (circumcision) is considered a form of Female Genital Mutilation. Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation such as Nawal El Saadawi, Aayan Hirsi Ali, Soraya Mire, and Patricia Robinett have made it clear that they believe that circumcision is mutilation comparable to Female Genital Mutilation.

    Circumcision has not been proven to provide any meaningful protection for sexually active men or boy nor their partner when they use safe sex practices. A study by the United States of America’s Navy concluded stated clearly that circumcision was not associated with HIV or STI prevention in the U.S. military population. UTIs are not common in intact boys just as they are not common in non-intact boys. True phimosis in which the glans has detached from the glans but cannot be retracted is a rare problem that rarely requires anything more than stretching to grow the foreskin with perhaps the aid of a steroid cream. Balanitis is not a common problem and nor is it a difficult problem to treat. Circumcision is a known causes of meteal stenosis due the foreskin providing protection against things which can cause meatitis. The Royal Dutch Medical Association and the German Academy for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine after reviewing the relevant data regarding circumcision both condemn the practice.

    There is not possible way that the pain of a sprained ankle or scraped knee is comparable to the pain circumcision causes especially for those done to infants who are more sensitive to pain. For a circumcision to be done to young children the foreskin must first be ripped apart from the glans penis, which is comparable in many respects to ripping a fingernail from a nail bed. Once the foreskin has been ripped from the glans it is often the slice vertically so tools the genital cutting may be used to crush the foreskin and protect the glans penis from being cut as the foreskin is excised.

    So can you call an act which deprives people of a part of their body, deprives them of their choice, violations their human rights, inflicts upon them needless pain and places them in harms way needlessly anything but mutilation? If you oppose all practices which constitute Female Genital Mutilation but support or tolerate circumcision how can such a belief not be rooted deeply in sexism?

    • wtf where did sexism come into this?

      You had me all the way till the end, friend. I am a female, I am against circumcision of any kind. However, saying we have male circumcision still because of sexism? are you high? It’s because of religion, not sexism. Women are still treated like shit comparatively to men in many respects (not all) and not necessarily in law but by social interaction, expectations, etc.

      There is no place in society for this anymore.This needs to be a decision for males to make when they are old enough to make it like 16-18. If they want it done for aesthetics or whatever health reasons they believe, unless there is a medical need, I would strongly consider this a violation of personal rights and genital mutilation.

  26. This article, unsurprisingly, is very one-sided. Not a word about the complex structure and many functions of the foreskin – hardly surprising, since they are not taught in US medical schools, only how to cut it off.
    Among developed countries outside the USA, infant male genital cutting is not offered to parents and very seldom asked for (and they’re not backward – the rest of the English-speaking world used to do it but gave it up, and has had no outbreaks of any of the things it was supposed to be good against.).
    38 top paediatricians (heads and spokespeople for the paediatric associations of Austria, Britain, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and senior paediatricians in Canada, the Czech Republic, France and Poland) have written:

    “There is growing consensus among physicians, including those in the United States, that physicians should discourage parents from circumcising their healthy infant boys because non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys in Western societies has no compelling health benefits, causes postoperative pain, can have serious long-term consequences, constitutes a violation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and conflicts with the Hippocratic oath: primum non nocere: First, do no harm”

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896

    Circumcision advocates Tobian and Gray themselves did the research on which they claim no sexual losses – on poor Africans paid to volunteer to be circumcised, hardly a random sample. Many men cut as adults disagree with that finding, saying it was the worst decision they ever made.
    And of course, not a word about human rights. “…I personally don’t know any circumcised men who are obsessed by the trauma of their early childhood penile operation …. Do you?” Here are more than 200 men who hate that this was done to them. http://www.circumstitions.com/Resent.html
    What does Dr Salber have to say to them?

    • Yes, it’s disgusting. Removing healthy,normal, functional sexual tissue from an unconcenting minor is unethical and should be banned.

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