"If there were a vaccine to prevent HIV acquisition, genital herpes, HPV, penile and cervical cancer, bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis, the medical community would rally behind this intervention as a game-changing tool to reduce sexually transmitted infections."
An Argument FOR male circumcision
America is a sort of circumcision capital. While in the rest of the world, it is mainly a religious procedure, in America those who have no religious or medical reason to do it have simply participated in the practice because it is considered a cultural norm. Our rates are far higher than that of Europe's. However, in the last few years, circumcision rates have begun to drop rapidly.
A new study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reports that this trend of declining circumcision rates could cost America billions in dollars over coming years. If our rates were to reflect that of Europe's (where only about one in ten boys is circumcised), it would actually cost us $4.4 billion dollars in medical expenses over their lifetimes.
The same study also argues that people cannot look at Europe and compare their STD rates, because sexual health practices are so different. (Look at the Sexis article on distributing condoms to twelve year olds!)
The study claims that people who are trying to simply cut costs now are actually going to run a bigger bill down the line.
My main issue is the comparison to female genital mutilation. Circumcision originated as an original practice that has been shown to reduce the transmission of STD's and infection in both boys and their sexual partners. Although inactivists claim to have mental trauma, a correctly done procedure has a relatively low risk of complications. Female genital mutilation does not have any medical benefits. Often, the procedure involves the complete removal of the clitoris, making orgasms extremely difficult if not impossible. Males who have had circumcisions are still perfectly able to have orgasms. There have been inquiries into situations in which males have had late in life circumcisions and they actually report an increased sexual satisfaction.
Also, there is no actual mutilation going on in a circumcision. The penis is not deformed; it has simply been slightly altered. The penis is still perfectly able to function normally. In female genital mutilation, the labia are often sewn together. This leads to difficulties in tasks as simple as urinating. It can also lead to extreme complications when the woman is first penetrated (instead of just breaking a hymen, the man is now breaking through a sewn labia). Women who have had this procedure are much more likely to get infections and die as a direct result of the procedure.
Male circumcision however leads to a DECLINE in infections and STD's. In a time in which people are rallying around increased condom use and HPV vaccinations, it seems odd that people would not rally around a low risk procedure that has so many benefits.
I view the foreskin the same way I view the hymen. Yes, the body was born with it. But it's something to do away with. Remove the skin and get to the sex, because foreskin just leads to an increase in UTI, cervical cancer, genital warts, HIV and other STDs. And that just doesn't put me in the mood.