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Posts tagged “Circumcision


Posted on 12/05/2018

Newborn male circumcision is the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S. and is widespread around the world. It is an adopted practice amongst major religious faiths such as Islam, Judaism and Christian Catholicism.

It’s a common misconception that there are tangible health benefits to male circumcision, but the truth is no medical society in the world recommends it. This invasive procedure carries serious health risks, including infection, hemorrhage, surgical mishap, and death, as well many ethical considerations.


Myth – Circumcising baby boys is a safe and harmless procedure.
Fact – Surgically removing part of a baby boy’s penis causes pain, creates immediate health risks and can lead to serious complications. Risks include infection, hemorrhage, scarring, difficulty urinating, loss of part or all of the penis, and even death. Circumcision complications can and do occur in even the best clinical settings.

Myth – Circumcision is just a little snip.
Fact – Surgical removal of the foreskin involves immobilizing the baby by strapping him face-up onto a molded plastic board. In one common method, the doctor then inserts a metal instrument under the foreskin to forcibly separate it from the glans, slits the foreskin, and inserts a circumcision device. The foreskin is crushed and then cut off. The amount of skin removed in a typical infant circumcision is the equivalent of 15 square inches in an adult male.

Myth – Circumcision is routinely recommended and endorsed by doctors and other health professionals.
Fact – No professional medical association in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as medically necessary. In fact, leaving boys intact is now the norm in the U.S., with circumcision rates well below 40%.

Myth – The baby does not feel any pain during circumcision.
Fact – Circumcision is painful. Babies are sensitive to pain, just like older children and adults. The analgesics used for circumcision only decrease pain; they do not eliminate it. Further, the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7-10 days it takes to heal.

Myth – If I don’t circumcise my son, he will be ridiculed.
Fact – Times have changed and so has people’s understanding of circumcision. Today, although the popularity of circumcision varies across geographical areas, more than 60% of all baby boys born in the U.S. will leave the hospital intact. Most medically advanced nations do not practice child circumcision. Three quarters of the world’s men are intact.

Myth – A boy should be circumcised to look like his father.
Fact – Children differ from their parents in many ways, including eye and hair color, body type, and (of course) size and sexual development. If a child asks why his penis looks different from that of his circumcised father (or brother), parents can say, “Daddy (or brother) had a part of his penis removed when he was a baby; now we know it’s not necessary and we decided not to let anyone do that to you.”

Myth – Routine circumcision of baby boys cannot be compared to Female Genital Mutilation.
Fact – Rationales offered in cultures that promote female genital cutting – hygiene, disease prevention, improved appearance of the genitalia, and social acceptance – are similar to those offered in cultures that promote male circumcision. Whatever the rationale, forced removal of healthy genital tissue from any child – male or female – is unethical. Boys have the same right as girls to an intact body, and to be spared this inhumane, unnecessary surgery.

Myth – To oppose male circumcision is religious and cultural bigotry.
Fact – Many who oppose the permanent alteration of children’s genitals do so because they believe in universal human rights. All children – regardless of their ethnicity or culture – have the right to be protected from bodily harm.

Myth – Circumcising newborn baby boys produces health benefits later in life.
Fact – There is NO link between circumcision and better health. In fact, cutting a baby boy’s genitals creates immediate health risks. The foreskin is actually an important and functional body part, protecting the head of the penis from injury and providing moisture and lubrication. Circumcision also diminishes sexual pleasure later in life.

Myth – Male circumcision helps prevent HIV.
Fact – Claims that circumcision prevents HIV have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or false. Only abstinence or safe sex, including the use of condoms, can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.


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Circumcision: The double standard of genital mutilation

Posted on 12/05/2018

August 19, 2014 By Joe Wilson 7 Comments

The debate on circumcision, male genital mutilation, is once again gaining attention. On August 1, on behalf of their wives, 12 men were ambushed and forced to undergo male genital mutilation without anesthesia. The men were stripped naked, smeared with mud, and paraded around the town of Moi’s Bridge in Western Kenya. Their crime? Apparently they lacked hygiene and were not sexually satisfying to their women.

Besides the barbaric nature of the attack, equally disturbing but predictable is the mainstream media’s lack of coverage of the crime. Had this been done to women … ah yes, we would have heard about it. But for males, circumcision has evolved from a cultural ritual to a routinely practiced procedure. Debate brings out strong opponents both for and against the procedure. I can understand the “against” proponents since the procedure is rooted in ancient rituals and the science behind the practice is at best quackery, but the “for circumcision” group really stumped me until I began researching.

My mom was a “for circumcision” advocate but had later changed her position. I had been circumcised—and I was the only one in my family. My mom told me that the doctors convinced her to have it done (neither my dad or brothers were circumcised). She regretted it after I developed an infection and had to go back to the Montreal Children’s Hospital several times over the course of a month. But before regretting the decision (which came years later), she told me that she often took a stand to strongly defend the procedure when discussing it with her circle of friends. As I probed her stand, she stated it had more to do with avoiding guilt than anything else. She had made the decision to have me circumcised and couldn’t live with the idea that her decision was in retrospect wrong and would result in actual harm to her child. There had to be some “benefit” to justify the ordeal.

My mom’s position could be the reason a lot of dissenting voices come out at the calls for abolishing circumcision. After being coached into making the decision—which is easier done if the father is circumcised—they justify their actions (because frankly there is no going back). If the mutilation takes a turn for the worse (i.e., infection, complication)—or more commonly after witnessing the pain experienced by the boy—parents feel it even more necessary to back up their original decision. It has more to do with lessening their own guilt than validating the purported benefits of circumcision.

The Benefits of Circumcision
Then there are those out there who will vehemently argue with you that male genital mutilation (circumcision) IS NOTHING like female genital mutilation. They (usually feminist who don’t like to share the victim podium) will quote that male circumcision is a benefit. I am here to tell you that they are correct! There is a tremendous benefit—but NOT TO THE MALE. The real benefit goes to the institutions that gain to profit from this barbaric procedure.

In the fall of 1989, I was a graduate student at a prominent Montreal university. I was heading back to my tissue cell culture lab when I stumbled upon Dr. G. After exchanging greetings, she asked me how things were going with my research. I told her “not so good.” I had been having challenges getting my V79 human fibroblast cells to work for a series of experiments. And that’s when she told me. She gets her cells from the [redacted] hospitalfrom circumcised boys! And how exactly does she do that? Well, [redacted] conducts a huge number of circumcisions each year and yes the foreskin … they sell them! They make excellent cell cultures, she said enthusiastically.

This revelation on the whereabouts of discarded foreskin rubbed me the wrong way. There was an ethical component, but on a more personal level there was an intuitive feeling that somehow perhaps the whole procedure was a sham. But like most people I shifted attention to other issues, and had it not been for the recent red pill revelation I most likely would never have given a shit.

Global Conspiracy?
Besides guilt-ridden parents or religious zealots, why would anyone else want to ensure that male genital mutilation continues unhindered?

Could it be because circumcision is a BILLION-DOLLAR industry!

The foreskin of a Caucasian newborn male will set you back $431. That’s if you’re buying it for profit (i.e., cosmetics); if you’re buying it for research, then it’s $359.17.

What cosmetics?

Human male foreskin is the latest sick trend in the cosmetics world. For instance, facial cream from SkinMedica is a cream that contains boys’ foreskin. It is a product that is promoted by Oprah Winfrey. One of the side benefits of using human foreskin is that it doesn’t have to undergo animal testing!

The circumcision procedure itself is a valuable cash cow as well. Each year, 55% of the approximately 2 million men in the US are circumcised. This number has decreased recently and has the medical establishment fuming mad. But the reasons they are upset of course isn’t because they fear revenue lost … no … it’s because of their concern for the health of men. Yeah right! Because we care so much for men that we have national commissions set up for their welfare! We’ll look at the so-called benefits a little later on and dispel any reason these so-called intellectuals have. Back to the question, What does eliminating circumcision mean? Well, in the US, a circumcision could cost you about $250. When you multiply that out, it comes to about $275 million (in the US alone) each year.

As for the rest of the world—consider that one-third of all males are circumcised!

But Circumcision Is NOTHING Like Female Genital Mutilation, Right?
The foreskin is a specialized, functional organ designed for enhancing pleasure. Nature has designed it with a GREATER variety and concentration of nerve receptors THAN ANY PART OF THE PENIS. Those who condemn female genital mutilation say it’s because it removes part of the girl intended to enhance sexual pleasure. Well, the same could be said for the foreskin. An average circumcision will remove as much as 240 feet of nerves, and more than 20,000 nerve endings! Without the foreskin, the glans (tip of the penis) also becomes desensitized to touch—further robbing the male of sexual pleasure. A circumcised male’s glans becomes keratinized (addition of successive layers of skin), becoming much tougher and dryer as a result.

The glans was never designed to be an “external organ.” The circumcision process requires tearing foreskin from the glans and “pieces” of the glans could be torn off as well. Sometimes “shreds” of skin left over from the mutilation will hang from the glans.

Depending on how much foreskin is removed during circumcision, as much as 80 percent or more of a boy’s penile skin could be removed. This results in a significantly SMALLER PENIS—as much as 25% shorter.

Removing the “extra skin” also prevents penile skin from moving freely over the shaft and glans of the penis. This results in destroying the process that normally works to stimulate the glans. A circumcised male also lacks sebaceous glands, which were designed to lubricate the penis during coitus. Without the lubrication, the dry penis dries out, making it susceptible to cracking and bleeding.

Circumcision Is Illegal
Doctors’ Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.”

EVERY doctor that has performed a circumcision procedure on a healthy boy has in fact broken the Hippocratic Oath they were sworn upon. Removing otherwise healthy skin is doing harm to the boy. In addition, in some countries, the existing laws make it unlawful to circumcise healthy boys. As Jacqueline Hooman stated in her recent article, circumcision in Canada violates the law and medical ethics. Despite this, Canadian practitioners continue to circumcise boys. Where are the legal advocates? Why hasn’t the law been addressed?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” (Section 15-1.) While females are protected from even a prick of their foreskin, males continue to be subjected to ancient barbaric practices with no medical or legal basis. The Canadian Medical Association’s Code Of Ethics maintains that medical personnel have a duty to “consider first the well-being of the patient” and “refuse to participate in or support practices that violate basic human rights.”

Furthermore, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons deems that for consent to be valid it must be “related to treatment, informed, voluntary, not be obtained through fraud or misrepresentation.” In Layman’s terms, the Physician is obligated to inform the patient of all potential risks associated with a procedure, along with the risks of not performing said procedure. But infants are incapable of giving consent. In the instance of proxy consent (parental consent) to treatment, the O.C.P.S. states, “A physician must provide the substitute decision-maker with the information that would otherwise have been given to the patient to enable him or her to make an informed decision as to consent.” (18.) and that “A physician must consider whether the substitute decision-maker is complying with the principles set out in the HCCA. If a physician is of the view that the substitute decision-maker is not acting in accordance with the HCCA, he or she can call the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.” In other words, doctors are not allowed to amputate healthy, functional body parts just because the parents request them to do so.

In addition, the circumcised foreskin sold actually violates (at least in Canada) The Human Tissue Act: “A person shall not buy, sell or otherwise deal in, directly or indirectly, for a valuable consideration, tissue for a transplant or a body or part of a body, other than blood or a blood constituent for therapeutic purposes, medical education or scientific research.”

So What Are the So-called “Benefits” of Circumcision?

  1. Fighting Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
    According to the latest information, approximately 1% of boys will develop a UTI within the first years of life. However, there is absolutely NO evidence (in the form of random controlled trials) that links circumcision to a reduction in UTIs. If anything, an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—one of the instigators pushing for male genital mutilation—showed scant evidence that 100 circumcisions would have to be conducted to prevent only one case of UTI. And what about a MORE SERIOUS infection resulting from circumcision? Well, as we’ll see in a minute, no one’s bothered to collect data!

In reality, the “urban legend” arose from an extremely flawed study back in 1985 (Wiswell 1985). The study didn’t even accurately count whether the boys were circumcised or not!

  1. Penile Cancer
    You hear this one a lot. Circumcision prevents penile cancer. Penile cancer is perhaps one of the rarest forms of cancer—occurring in only 1 out of a 100,000 males. And when diagnosed early it has a good survival rate. But let’s face it, who wants to get penile cancer? So how effective is circumcision against preventing penile cancer? Well, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study,you would need to conduct up to 322,000 circumcisions to prevent one case of penile cancer! In addition, penile cancer is thought to be linked to infection with human papillomaviruses, which is contracted during sex. If you were really concerned about it, you could use a condom!

One conclusion we should consider: since penile cancer associated with human papillomaviruses is such a concern, then why not let the boy reach adulthood (and hence age of sexual activity) and after reviewing the evidence decide for himself whether the surgery is necessary? Given the choice to use a condom or have an irreversible penile mutilation, I would expect that would help the young adult come to a decision rather quickly.

  1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV
    The next argument for circumcision put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is that circumcision prevents two common viral STDs (genital herpes and genital warts). The studyfor this is based on a hardly relevant sub-population of adult men in sub-Saharan Africa.

With regards to HIV, again the science is sketchy. Evidence purports that circumcision prevents HIV in heterosexual men. In particular, the data seems to support a reduction of HIV in black men. However, the data shows that the effects of preventing HIV is MOST NOTABLE in men having the procedure AFTER THE AGE OF 35!

Again, with regards to STDs and HIV, if there is any concern, then the boy could decide for himself at an age of consent. If anything, at least with regards to HIV, it would actually be a benefit to wait until after the man turned 35.

Well, What About the Risks of Circumcision?
Again, uninformed trolls—and guilt-ridden parents—throughout the Internet will let you know that the risks with circumcision are minuscule … that the benefits outweigh the risks.

In reality, the risks are very real: infections (for one, I can attest to that), hemorrhaging, meatal strictures, and even incidental deaths and partial amputations of the penis. But incredibly, probably to the benefit of the institution, the EXACT NUMBERS FOR THE RISKS HAVE NEVER BEEN MADE AVAILABLE. That’s correct. We cannot say for sure what the incident rates are for circumcision complications because there are none to be referenced. Why would such a vastly routine procedure like circumcision not have any statistics? When AAP’s eight-member team recently decided that circumcision is a “good thing,” they hardly had enough data to determine the relative magnitude of the risk involved. Anyone versed in risk management will tell you that risk = severity x probability. Without probability, the level of risk is unattainable, and by default the regulators only ASSUME that it is low.

Let’s Look at the Risks in More Detail
We’ve already looked at the very real desensitization of the penis to sensual touch. As I’ve indicated, we have no idea exactly how much “damage” is attributed to circumcision—because frankly I don’t think they want us to know. But there have been numerous accounts of boys losing their glans … or having their entire penis cut off usually without anesthesia!

Let’s look in more detail to the harm circumcision results in.

  1. Meatal Stenosis
    A condition known as “meatal stenosis” can occur as a result of circumcision. Normally blood flows from the extra skin to the penis. Without the circumcised skin, blood flow is disrupted and causes a back flow of blood, resulting in an obstruction of urine flow. This condition is almost always associated with circumcised boys.
  2. Severed Lymph Vessels
    Circumcision results in the severing of lymph vessels. Lymph is a colorless fluid containing blood cells that is intended to bathe the tissues. When lymph circulation is hampered, it could result in lymphedema, a very painful and disfiguring condition that results in lymph not draining from the penis. This fluid becomes trapped and begins to swell.
  3. Effects on the Brain
    Wonder why men have lower pain thresholds than women? Studies (Taddio 1997; Anand 2000) published in leading medical journals have shown that circumcised boys have lower pain thresholds than girls or intact boys. Dr. James Prescott, a researcher in this area, suggested that circumcision could result in disturbing levels of brain damage (to the developing boy).
  4. Effect on Women
    The free-flowing skin of an intact penis allows the penis to move easily inside a woman in a much more pleasurable fashion. The sebaceous glands also aids in lubricating the inside of the vagina. Is it any wonder why most couples (where a man is circumcised) require an artificial lubricant?

Another effect of circumcision on moms (as well as dads) is the disruption that circumcision has on the parent-infant bonding that occurs during this crucial time following birth. Studies at the Washington University School of Medicine found that most boys would not nurse right after they were circumcised and most would not look into their mother’s eyes!

  1. Painful Procedure
    Before a boy can be circumcised, his foreskin must be removed from his glans. He is literally being skinned alive! In most cases, the procedure is done without anesthesia. But even when it is, studies performed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine showed that circumcised boys usually had unrestful non-REM sleep. This is in response to the boy’s bombardment of neural pathways, resulting in unbearable pain. The boys sometimes fall into a “semicoma” that can last days if not weeks. Think about it: Why do boys cry during and after a circumcision? It’s disingenuous to suggest that they DON’T FEEL ANYTHING!

Moreover, in the civilized West, only 45% of doctors (and even fewer obstetricians, 25%) use anesthesia. The reason they don’t is because it takes too much time!

Studies have shown that circumcision results in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, lower self-esteem, and issues related to intimacy (Goldman 1999; Hammond 1999; Boyle 2002).

But Doesn’t Circumcision Make It More Hygienic?

Perhaps the biggest myth about circumcision is that it aids in hygiene. That’s like saying cutting off a boy’s eyelid makes it more hygienic in caring for his eye! In healthy boys, the foreskin is COMPLETELY FUSED to the glans. It is designed to keep feces off the head of the penis. Circumcision causes the glans to be more susceptible to infection and more likely to bring invading germs in closer proximity to the urinary tract.

But what about the production of smelly smegma? Doesn’t circumcision prevent this?

Smegma is produced by both boys and girls equally. It is washed off easily during bathing. And NO, it doesn’t cause cancer. PERIOD!

In conclusion, we already know the outcry a single case of female genital mutilation would bring … nothing less than a candlelight vigil and 24/7 coverage on CNN. But because men and boys are disposable, their genital mutilation comes with benefits to society … the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Isn’t it time that we revisit why it is that we continue to do this … and perhaps even more importantly why we continue to pretend nothing is wrong? Circumcision should not only be less prevalent, but I would suggest it should be outlawed the way female genital mutilation is.

About Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson is a healthcare executive living in Toronto. In his spare time he runs a blog on men’s rights issues. He is particularly concerned with the challenges boys face, especially with regards to education. Today’s men’s movement is giving him new hope in humanity.


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Iceland proposes to ban circumcision male circumcision for the protection of boys

Posted on 25/02/2018


The Icelandic Parliament proposed a bill that makes it illegal for any parent to would penalize a parent circumcise their baby or infant son for non-medical reasons. To do so risks a conviction and sentence of up to six years in prison if the procedure is undertaken for religious purposes or non-medical reasons. I can only say “Hoorah to Iceland!” How can it not be seen as an abuse to deliberately mutilate a child for no good reason whether they be a girl or a boy? There are very doubtful medical benefits of carrying out such an atrocity against a defenceless child. The usual claims that cutting of the foreskin helps prevent various sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and lowers the risk of urinary infection is little more than a fiction. In fact in Africa where there has been a UN backed campaign to encourage the procedure has led people to mistakenly believe that they are immune to HIV and STis. What is more of  realistic problem is that, with any form of surgery, there is always a risk of it going wrong so why do it if it is unnecessary? There is a lot of bleeding and swelling and, in the case of babies whose immune system has not fully developed, an increased risk of infection.


The proposed ban would mean, in effect, that Jews and Muslims would be forced to break an alleged central command of their religious dogmas. Lets face it though, most religions should and must accept the need for adjustments. If it was the belief that the little finger of the left hand were to be severed would anyone not find that repulsive?

MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir of Iceland’s Progressive Party who introduced the bill earlier this year said : We are talking about children’s rights, not about freedom of belief. Everyone has the right to believe in what they want, but the rights of children come above the right to believe.”

Protests about the ban boil down to: The rights of the child versus freedom of religion. 


In 2013, The Council of Europe passed a resolution condemning the practice as a “violation of the physical integrity of children,” and in 2012, a German judge ruled that circumcision constituted harm against a child. In that case, it boy was a four year old boy who had suffered complications after the operation. The German government later clarified declared that it remained legal if performed by a trained professional. The Iceland situation has made the small country a test case for a ban since it only has a Jewish population of 250 and a Muslim one of 15,000 amongst a total population of 350,000. In spite of half the population claiming to be religious, Iceland is apparently in the top ten of the world’s most atheist populations. Perhaps this sets for another angle of the divide between secularism and human rights?  If the law is passed, there is a very good chance that the country’s Jews and Muslims would either disobey it or have the procedure performed abroad.

It is estimated that about a third of all men are circumcised. This is not far short of 100% for Muslims. It would be impossible for Canada, the United States, and any European nation to prevent their Jewish and Muslim populations, often numbering millions, to stop circumcising their sons. In the UK, it has been illegal to carry out FGM for many years but, to my knowledge, there have been no prosecutions to date while the practice continues to mutilate hundreds of girls.

Iceland Most Advanced State in Europe, Proposes Banning Male Genital Mutilation by Styxhexenhammer666

The European Jewish Congress spoke for most Jewish organizations when it said the ban would “guarantee that no Jewish community will be established” in the country, and that “Iceland would be the only country to ban one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition in modern times,” constituting an attack on Judaism “in a way that concerns Jews all over the world.” Numerous Muslim leaders have echoed those fears from an Islamic standpoint. Others go further, and have suggested that this is part of some greater campaign of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. This is an emotive and exaggerated claim since there are Jewish and Muslim people who support the end of FGM and MGM.

Not all Muslims and Jews favour circumcision. This is the Facebook address for Muslims opposed to MGM:


For a Jewish opposition contact the Jewish Circumcision Resource Center (an educational organization in Boston, USA). This is their statement on the practice: “”We want Jews to know that in this country and abroad, some Jews do not circumcise their sons. Circumcision is a choice, and now that we know the serious harm caused by circumcision, there are strong reasons to forgo it.”   Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Executive Director. Dr. Goldman is the author of Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, endorsed by five rabbis.

Dr. Goldman also suggests that Jews think about the ethics of causing significant pain and cutting off a natural, healthy body part that has important functions. “There are psychological effects of circumcision, too. Some Jewish men are very dissatisfied, angry, or distressed about being circumcised,” said Dr. Goldman. The Center’s statement also seeks to assure Jews that as the subject of circumcision gets more critical attention from Jews and others, the Jewish Circumcision Resource Center will reject any statement or action from circumcision opponents that may be disrespectful or insensitive to Jews and others. The Center’s primary intended audience is those Jews who generally evaluate an idea not solely based on its conformance with the Torah, but also in light of its agreement with reason and experience. For those Jews who decide against circumcision, there are over a dozen rabbis who will lead an alternative welcoming ceremony for baby boys called a brit shalom. Contact Details:

For Jewish people or those who are interested in a Jewish perspective contact the centre to find out more at:

Jewish Circumcision Resource Center
P.O. Box 232
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 523-0088

Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.
Executive Director


The UK Campaign

Prominent UK campaigners such as Mike Buchanan of the party Justice For Men and Boys included this in their 2015 election manifesto:

“The law in the UK forbids all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) including those which have less impact on females than male genital mutilation (MGM) has on males. FGM is justifiably regarded as a

human rights issue and the law makes no accommodation for religious or cultural considerations. MGM is a human rights issue too, but boys are not accorded the same rights to protection as girls.

It is right to be concerned about girl’s rights not to have their genitals mutilated, and it is right to be concerned about boys’ rights not to have their genitals mutilated. If genital mutilation is illegal for girls, why shouldn’t it be illegal for boys? Everyone in a modern society should be accorded the same rights irrespective of gender. With adults, it’s a different matter. It’s right that adults should be able to make decisions about their own bodies. Adults are in a position to give informed consent to surgical procedures, but babies and children aren’t in such a position.

In the vast majority of cases, genital mutilation is performed solely for cultural or religious reasons. This applies to boys as well as girls. Both MGM and FGM frequently lead to complications, however sometimes resulting in death, from bleeding. Furthermore, it’s now widely accepted in medical circles that MGM doesn’t have the health benefits (for males or their partners) which were at one time widely claimed, and the practice is increasingly being opposed by people in religious traditions which have long required or recommended it.

MGM can lead to numerous physical problems. MGM results in a considerable reduction in the sensitivity of the penis, reducing circumcised men’s pleasure during sex just as some forms of FGM reduce sexual pleasure in women. MGM can also lead to mental health problems, when men become resentful and angry at the assaults carried out on them when they were babies or children. Quite apart from potential adverse physical and mental health consequences, a number of authorities are strongly opposed to MGM on ethical grounds.


Brian D Earp, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, recently published, ‘Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Should there be a separate ethical discourse?’ Contact:

For me, if God has made us with the aim of us being perfect, then why is this piece of skin on a small child so offensive that it has to be hacked off? I am a believer in God, but I do not believe that that attacking a child with a knife is God’s will.

Doctors continue to circumcise little babies for a few main reasons:

  • They are business people who have bills to pay and circumcision is a quick, easy buck.
  • They have not yet been educated in the important functions of the foreskin.
  • They haven’t yet realized their legal liability. The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned its members to “take the high road of ethics,” but it has not yet been specific enough to warn them of the dangers of this simple, profitable, profoundly abusive procedure.
  • They have ignored the actual best interests of their patients and have put aside the pledge of their Hippocratic oath. “At first do no harm.” 

For More on the Iceland Issue




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