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Circumcision as Mutilation

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I have heard that circumcision reduces the possibility of infection and the spread of STDs. Is there any truth to this?

This mistaken assumption is giving some males a false sense of security about STDs which results in more risky sexual behavior and as a result higher rates of STDs.

From the immunological point of view, the foreskin naturally moisturizes the glans penis, keeping it in optimum healthy condition to resist infection. It also contains lyzosyme, an enzyme that attacks and destroys the cell walls of bacteria. Thus the absence of the foreskin is significantly associated with bacterial type infections among men who have had many sexual partners. For other types of infections is is more of an equal chance (and thus contradicting reports - much of the studies showing a difference suffer methodical errors).

Unsafe sexual behavior and number of sexual partners are two the most important factors in terms of STDs. The highest rate of infection in females occurs between the ages of 15 and 19. In males, the highest rate of infection occurs between ages 20 and 24. It is clear that circumcision is not a factor here.

I was circumcised when I was 10, and not only was the wound painful, but I was out of action for a few weeks. It's much more convenient for a baby to go through than an adult.

It is not less painful - I would think more as newborn's skin is much more sensitive. Also in case of a newborn, the wound is repeatedly exposed to stool of liquid consistency and urine.

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At least as a lay person, whenever I've seen a claim about circumcision being negatively correlated to STDs, it has been in a third-world country. I'm immediately reminded of a study of milk-powder done in Bangladesh, where the babies fell ill more frequently because the milk bottle lay around, and was not quite sanitized to begin with. These types of results simply do not apply to better cultures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it would be helpful to isolate and identify some of the various issues that are involved in this discussion.

1. The rights of babies/children.

2. How should government determine legal adulthood (when can a young person make full judgments about their body).

3. The rights of parents to use their judgment.

4. What are objective parental obligations.

Circumcision deals with these issues:

Is there a health benefit to circumcision?

What is the esthetic significance of the practice?

Does the practice of circumcision strongly impact male sexual pleasure?

I do not think it is moral to circumcise babies or children unless there is a strong medical reason for the procedure, such as a birth defect, abnormal function or something of that nature. I would have a difficult time supporting laws to make the practice criminal though.

Morally, the good is anything that supports, furthers, enhances the life and the happiness of a rational being. I believe the pleasure of being uncircumcised outweighs the medical risks (if there are any) of being uncircumcised. And personally I think it does look better.

I am wondering if anyone has sued over being circumcised against their will?

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