Is circumcision wrong? | The Tylt
Though 56 percent of newborn boys are circumcised in the U.S., that number drops every year. The procedure has been blasted as medically unnecessary and harmful, and American parents are increasingly opting out. Some cultures do it for religious reasons, and others say it's necessary for health and hygiene, but the medical benefits of foreskin removal are negligible at best. Is circumcising babies wrong?
Is circumcision wrong?
Intact America, an organization devoted to preventing circumcision, makes a powerful argument for discontinuing the practice:
There is no medical reason for "routine" circumcision of baby boys. No professional medical association in the United States or the rest of the world recommends routine circumcision. People in Europe, Asia and Latin America—where 90% of men are intact ("uncircumcised") and suffer no negative consequences—are often shocked to hear that American doctors and hospitals remove part of a boy's penis shortly after birth.
But writer Charlotte Allen argues generations of men were circumcised without long-term harmful effects. She calls it a religious freedom issue, and says we should leave the circumcision choice up to parents:
If half the new parents in America oppose the practice, they're welcome to decline it on behalf of their babies. But to make it a crime to choose circumcision—for religious, health or other reasons—would be absurd.
Some parents use the "locker-room argument" to argue circumcision is necessary so their sons' genitals will resemble those of their peers. But sex advice columnist Dan Savage doesn't buy it, especially as fewer and fewer American parents are choosing to circumcise their children. While he doesn't advocate for banning the procedure, he thinks circumcision should be left up to boys when they're old enough to decide—their bodies, their choice.
If someone wants to be circumcised, I say let him decide for himself when he's old enough.
Generations of men have been circumcised, and though intactivists say the harmful effects have been minimized, many studies of men who were circumciseD as adults show no significant decrease in sexual pleasure. Is the decision something we should just leave up to parents?