The down-low on circumcision

L Moore | Sex Columnist

Although the American Medical Association does not recommend routine circumcision as a procedure to prevent health problems, more than 30 percent of males and 3 percent of females are circumcised worldwide. In the United States and Canada, although there is little data on how many females are circumcised, it is estimated that three-fourths of males become circumcised in their infanthood or adolescence. Here, at least, that leaves the vast majority of males with a removed foreskin. In fact, most Washington University female students I’ve talked to have never seen an uncircumcised penis!

But let’s get back to the basics. In male circumcision, a physician surgically removes the foreskin of the penis, usually within the first few weeks of birth because doing this practice later is more likely to lead to complications. Male circumcision is a common religious practice across all monotheistic religions—especially Islam.

In Judaism, most follow the Covenant of Circumcision, or the Brit Milah (or “Bris” in “South Park”—don’t we just love this show and what it teaches us about sex?), taken from the Genesis and Leviticus books of the Old Testament in the Bible. The father must have the son circumcised eight days after birth; or, if the father is not present, the son is obligated to be circumcised as soon as he reaches adulthood.

In Islam, male circumcision is considered a rite—as part of the fitrah or natural part of human creation. Many parts of the Quran reference circumcision, relating it to Abraham just as Judaism does. Circumcision in Islamic families is also usually performed directly after birth—around the seventh day of infancy. Although circumcision is most commonly associated with Judaism, the World Health Organization measured that 68 percent of circumcised males worldwide are in fact Muslim.

In Christianity, the origins of circumcision are much more diverse. While it is not a required ritual across denominations, several sects practice it routinely. For instance, the Nomiya church in Kenya requires male circumcision for membership, in reference to Jesus’ circumcision in the New Testament. On the other hand, some churches believe modern circumcision practices are a form of torture and mutilation, mainly understood from a passage in the New Testament’s Colossians. The Catholic Church and its various popes have endorsed circumcision, but only if it prevents disease that cannot be prevented in any other way. In short, Christianity remains neutral about the practice.

But what about female circumcision? The World Health Organization calls it Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and that seems to say everything. The practice is extremely controversial in today’s world, as millions of females, especially in Africa, have been unwillingly subjected to it. In male circumcision, there are some known health benefits, such as helping to prevent HIV and other STDs (it cuts down transmission by about 50 percent for HIV), preventing infant urinary tract infections, and severely reducing the risk of developing penile cancers. FGM, on the other hand, has absolutely no known health benefits in any of its four major types: the partial or total removal of the clitoris (clitorectomy), the removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, the narrowing of the vaginal opening through use of manipulated labial flesh, or any other type of vaginal manipulation.

There is little evidence that FGM has any religious backing—in the Quran, the Bible or otherwise. It is mostly a procedure conducted by midwives or other birthing doctors as a cultural tradition, believed to have originated from ancient Egypt. Although I cannot cover all of the difficulties and the cultural and political issues surrounding this practice, I can say that it is sometimes motivated by the cultural idea that a woman’s libido is taboo and needs to be controlled—even if that means dangerous surgery. FGM can cause everything from hemorrhage to infertility.

As for sex, obviously FGM not only can make vaginal intercourse impossible or severely painful, but it can also readily cause recurrent urinary tract and bladder infections, as well as remove all physical pleasure from the act. Male circumcision, on the other hand, has no known sexual drawbacks—it actually has been proven to improve sexual pleasure for women in some studies and, again, reduce the risk of contracting STDs. Although some say that removing the foreskin can reduce sensation during sex, there are no accurate studies correlating the surgical process and sexual pleasure. On the whole, it seems male circumcision has its benefits and drawbacks, whereas FGM remains dangerous and only intrudes on a female’s natural reproductive organs.

  • RolandDay

    While the adult prevalence of circumcision probably is about 75 percent in the United States as the author reports, the incidence of circumcision of newborn boys has greatly declined and is now about 50 percent.

  • William

    Cutting off healthy human body parts -genitalia- from non-consenting infants is more than just a violation of medical ethics, it is a criminal human rights violation and an assault on a person’s sexuality regardless of what sex’s genitals are being mutilated. This author illustrates, unwittingly, exactly the type of dismissive, self-centered, and non-thinking mindset that allows these crimes to continue. In this case, continue against boys in the US and Muslim countries.

    Pic your decade and there is a corresponding disease for which circumcision is the “cure”, all backed by shoddy science and doctors eager to profit on a simple surgery. The study (single, one) claiming circumcision prevents AIDS failed to account for the most basic confounding variables, such as sexual behavior. It is laughable that a study conducted without regard to any rigorous scientific methodology is cited often in major news publications and even in this article.

    If the author were to ask people living in a culture that circumcises women, rather than referring to a women’s rights organization (why didn’t the author refer to men’s rights groups regarding male circumcision?), she would discover that the reasons given for circumcising women are the same given for circumcising men in the US. False notions of hygiene, health, and aesthetics are used as excuses for the religious and cultural violence caused by circumcision.

    The author culminates with a glaring example of her ignorance; claiming that male circumcision causes no sexual harm while female circumcision destroys a woman’s ability to experience sexual pleasure. This is completely false and the author clearly didn’t consult a single valid medical resource on this issue. Male circumcision removes half of the sexually specialized erogenous nerves on the penis, nerves that don’t exist anywhere else on the body. The most common types of female circumcision, apparently unknown to the author, are ‘nicking’ of the very tip of the clitoris (Type I) and removal of the clitoral hood (Type II). These are very similar and very comparable to male circumcision, given that the foreskin and clitoral hood are homologous. It is impossible to argue Type I or II female circumcision are worse than male circumcision without completely ignoring male anatomy or being a hypocrite.

    It’s also worthy to note that protecting girls under law from non-consensual genital cutting and not boys is a violation of the 14th amendment. Seems like a feminist such as the author should care about this little fact, assuming she has any integrity whatsoever, given how often feminists drum up the importance of equal rights.

  • As reported at the OGBYN convention a few years ago, most US circumcisions are not done with any anesthetic.

    Nelson Mandela described his circumcision as blinding white light of electrical fire that burned throughout his veins. Zulu #circumcision decree criticised: (pain of circ.=) I never even saw the knife. You just black out. #i2 3,928 island villagers males&females all ages forced circ’d into Islam by Muslim clerics #i2 Imagine having penile wounding that must be torn apart everyday for a year. #i2 Research during Male Infant Circumcision by Dr. Paul D. Tinari Ph.D. #i2

    Human Rights Part 1&2 #i2

  • There shouldn’t be any talk of circumcision (male and female) without FIRST talking about ETHICS. But on to this ARTICLE MISTAKES:

    Circumcision is NOT surgery, nor it is an operation. (1. The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of injury, deformity, and disease by manual and instrumental means.)

    Circumcision is commonly referred to removal of ALL or PART of the foreskin. It is also the cutting or large piercing. The flower cut is one done with a dorsal slice. No African tribe does the same circumcision. And no circ. anywhere is the same as different methods are used with different results and not to mention all penises are different.

    There are more complications resulting from infant circs. than when done later. Just look up circumcision revision costs compared to circumcision costs. Circumcision and revisions cost $2 billion annually. I’ve personally talked to one pediatrician who says all he does is circumcision revisions for botched circ’s and these are usually the results from the same obstetricians. OGBYN’s have no formal training on the penis. Does it make sense they should be cutting penises? Also 100 to 200 infant males die from circ. every year in the U.S.. Worldwide deaths:
    That there is no formal tally reflects the elephant in the room. There are less complications when the patient can verbally communicate any problem and when the penis is bigger it is easier to adjust the calculation and tension of the skin to be cut off. At this time also the patient can also choose what kind of cut he wants. High/low, tight/loose, or PRESERVING ALL of the sexual receptors by having a sleeve resection at the penile base.

    The Islamic holiest of books the QUR’AN NEVERS MENTIONS CIRCUMCISION. (from wiki): “In Islam, circumcision is mentioned in some hadith (it is referred as Khitan), but not in the Qur’an. Some Fiqh scholars state that circumcision is recommended (Sunnah); others that it is obligatory.[40] Some have quoted the hadith to argue that the requirement of circumcision is based on the covenant with Abraham.[41] While endorsing circumcision for males, Islamic scholars note that it is not a requirement for converting to Islam.[42]”

    Islamic and Judaic circumcisions do have in common one thing their religious earlier books do not say anything about circumcision. Interesting read from GLICK’S “MARKED IN YOUR FLESH”: “that the Lord’s covenant and his two definitive promises (prodigious reproduction success and a lavish land grant (all of Canaanite land) appears first in GENESIS 15, an earlier J text but with one crucial difference, there is no mention of circumcision.” “To seal this covenant the only requirement is that Abram offer several sacrificial animals- a heifer, goat, ram, dove, and one other bird. Here we find no mention of circumcision, no change of name, no mention of Isaac or Ishmael.” “Like a number of their neighbors, the ancient Israelites had practiced circumcision, but not as a mandatory rite and probable seldom on infants; nor did they associate it with the idea of covenant.”

    It was the Judean Priests who wrote Genesis 17 (P text) 13 centuries after Abraham’s putative lifetime that called for male circumcision of infants. A initiation rite not so much for the infant but of the father who must circumcise his son himself for he is cognizant of the event whereas the infant is not. These type of circ.s were the cutting off the acroposthion (the part that hangs past the glans). No damage of tearing the foreskin from the glans (thus results scarring from the cut up to the tip of the glans) and no amputating the part covering the glans. The radical circ., also medically known as penile reduction, as we do happens centuries later. The Torah says not to mark the body, the original Covenant jives with the earliest Judea.

    There are studies showing female circumcision to be equally beneficial. These of course are not front page or any page of anyone’s most read news source because it flies in the face of a circumcising male society that this would equate male and female circumcision. But really what is good for the gander is good for the goose. They are derived of the same flesh. Step outside the box! of a brainwashed circumcising society. On female circ. and HIV google Stallings female circumcision OR more complete:
    (Know the foreskin’s Langerhans cells secret langerin that kills HIV dead in its tracks. Langerhans cells are what the African studies scientists say might be the route to HIV infection. Truth is they don’t know the transmission route at all. They are guessing!) What is known to cause African HIV infections: 1/5 HIV Infections Caused by Medical Staff (5million/yr,Africa,09) papers backed by Royal Society of Medicine.

    Actually here, Lucy Moore, you come off as a righteous (female) secure in her knowledge that she is safe from circumcision whilst smug in being intact. Have some compassion for those that have had half to 85% of what matters cut off. Size isn’t it though any restoration group will tell of the increase in size, girth and length, from restoring.

    And what do circumcised females have to say about circumcision? These circumcised females all see the horror of female and male circumcisions. After all, even here in the U.S. female circumcision was paid by BlueCross up to 1977! This happened enough to also include a writer, PATRICIA ROBINETT, at age 8, white, from Kansas. Read her book “THE RAPE OF INNOCENCE”. Feel through her journey what many men have journeyed in discovering one’s own circumcision.

    Lucy, your thoughts on female and male circumcision are exactly what many feminists argue. To make any comparison between male and female circ. would be to undermine the feminist movement to stop female circumcision. Now that females are protected in the U.S., 1996, they are now slowly joining the intactivist movement to also protect males. Many feminists will not be joining though because they are for females not males, not for equality. Equality is such an easy thing, wherever it says male it should say female. Likewise support this belief by supporting (A better reality would also have this bill protecting intersexed children.)

    Now for your last paragraph. Gee I now see Lucy is not about to be educated. She has her mind made up tight like a fist. But here goes: most female circumcisions are not of the most extreme type she thinks all are. And if she had done any communication with females that have this extreme type of circ. she would find that they too can orgasm. It is very hard work but possible. Lucy hasn’t read O’HARA’S book “SEX AS NATURE INTENDED”. Doesn’t know the study showing that the average 45 circ’d man has keratinization as thick as 1 to 2 condoms. (um, what permits more feeling cornified flesh or latex, I’m guessing latex). Does Sorrells et al. touch test study say sensitivity is better? No, it says the most sensitive parts of the penis are removed. And what? is circumcising males not as dangerous? More male harms and deaths are reported worldwide than female. This doesn’t mean more dangerous, it means all circumcisions, male and female, are dangerous. Europe thinks we’re crazy to circumcise and it’s barbaric. 70% of the world doesn’t. They’re right.

  • jj5498

    FGM is deeply and totally unconscionable. No religion advocates it. Many Moslems think that their faith requires it, but they are horribly mistaken.

    When present-day Wash U undergrads were born, the male circumcision rate was about 65% in the USA and 45% in Canada.

    The rates today are 55% and 9%. There are plenty of uncircumcised students at Wash U. Simply talk to the foreign born. Or to the Latinos. Or the South Asians. Or Californians. We anteaters simply don’t draw attention to ourselves, unless we are gay.

    I agree that most middle class American woman who have grown up east of the Rockies have never seen an anteater. There are American women who remain unaware of the foreskin until they take their first prenatal class. This is part and parcel of the provinciality of USA sexuality.

    Circumcision at any age has no place in Christianity. That is clear from Acts and from passages in the letters of Paul.

    “Male circumcision, on the other hand, has no known sexual drawbacks”


    “—it actually has been proven to improve sexual pleasure for women in some studies”

    Wrong. Quite a few women have testified to the contrary.
    Many more women say they don’t care.

    “… and, again, reduce the risk of contracting STDs.”

    Only under Third World sanitary and medical conditions. STDs result from casual sex without condoms. From misuse of the penis, in other words.

    “Although some say that removing the foreskin can reduce sensation during sex, there are no accurate studies correlating the surgical process and sexual pleasure.”

    When the foreskin is put under the electron microscope, nerve structures are revealed that are consistent with the foreskin being highly erogenous tissue. The sexual damage of circumcision many not set in until after age 40 or 50. There are no “accurate studies” of the occasional damage resulting from routine circumcision. Just how circumcision interacts with sexuality and sexual pleasure is not well understood. This is not a reason to continue cutting, but to refrain from cutting.

    America, wake up. The rest of the western world finds your obsession with the bald penis sexually weird. It is also callous to baby boys, many of whom are still cut without lidocaine.

  • JackieNO

    Sorry for the typos above.

    As someone else has noted above, FGM is believed to lower risk of HIV transmission for the same reason as MGM. US circumcision pushers did MGM “trials” in Africa and claimed to get about a 55% reduction of risk of catching HIV. That is actually from about 3.2% risk to about 1.8% risk. Condoms provide almost zero risk. There are many issues with these trials including lost participants, no sex for a large part of the study for the cirucmsied men and condom advice for the circumcised men. Anyway, FGM was said to provide the same benefit, based on a study of HIV and Tanzanian women that were circumcised (mostly labia and clitoral hood removed). This is said to be because of the cells (similar for males and females) being attaked by HIV and /or the moist places tha natural genitals provide. Like other STD claims, for MGM real world and 1st world studies do not show these risk changes (about 1.7% risk change is alleged for MGM) and this is not seen in real life. However, the Africa MGM studies did show a higher risk for women having sex with circumcised men.

    The studies are certainly not worth acting on. If the CDC pshes MGM, it certainly must aslo consider pushing FGM. However, it is outrageous to do this to somone without consent.

    If anything is to be concluded, male circumcision rasies the risk of women catching HIV. The CDC should warn against women having sex with circumcised men as there clearly is a higher risk of HIV transmission.

  • JackieNO

    This article has so much misinformation, it is difficult to know where to satrt.
    Actually, mutilating the baby boys genitals casues more complications than done to an adult. For babies it is difficult to determine where the cut should be made. This leads to problems and a large part of the baby boys cut in the US must be recut. Many men have a curved penis or painful erection based on an unevenor tight cut. Also, the pain is much more for a childdoing this practice later is more likely to lead to complications.

    The artcile fully misses that the practice in the US involves sutting erogenous tissue from someone without tyheir consent. This changes the dynamics and limits the sexual pleasure for life. It takes away the mechanism that helps gain and maintain an erection. The foreskin is not just skin and does not just protect the glans(head). Circumcision is now known to ablate the most sensitive parts of the male genitals. This surgery takes away the main male pleasure zones with about 20000 fine touch and stretch nerve endings amputated. The foreskin has several parts including the ridged band that is great for ones pleasure (that is why nutters like Kellogg wanted to chop em off, to curtail masturbation), Masturbation is important for a mans physical and mental health. The ridged band directly contacts the vagina for very great pleasure all around. The dynamics of sex and the actual mechanism of the penis are drastically changed by circumcision. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the penis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated. The only touch organ possessing as rich erogenous innervation as the foreskin is the clitoris. Circumcision deprives man of 2/3ds of the main erogenous zone constituted of the foreskin and the glans.

  • jono

    mutilating the bodies of helpless infants and children is a violation of their rights. gender is irrelevant on this one.

  • John D

    It is morally bankrupt to subject an infant to surgery to remove HEALTHY TISSUE for aesthetic (we want him to look like daddy!) or religious reasons.

    It is an *unnecessary* surgery, and since it is done on infants it is by definition done against their will.

    99% of newborn circumcisions are done w/out anesthetic because the newborn is a completely new blank medical slate and the doctors can’t take the risk of allergic reactions. The forcible retraction of the bonded prepuce w/out anesthetics is an extremely painful process.

    In a recent study of a numbing cream for immunization shots on infants they were recording the level of pain the infants registered on their face (using a proven science of facial cues like brow furrowing, level of crying, and lip quivering, etc…).

    What the studies recorders found was that a certain subset of boys reacted much much more strongly (to the pain of injections) than the other boys and the girls–and they cried 3 or 4 times longer after the injection.

    When they looked into these boys med history the study’s authors found that the boys reacting strongly were all circumcised. These baby boys were acting with classic symptoms of PTSD from the trauma of circumcision as much as 10 months after birth. Does anybody really think it’s coincidence that the USA has the highest rate of non-anesthitized circumcisions and the highest male crime rate? How much sense does it make to viciously attack a newborn infant when it can be said that their only “job” per se is to learn to bond?
    When we treat men in a monstrous fashion (from birth) don’t be surprised when we create monsters.

    Circumcision is morally wrong. It is hugely unethical for doctors to remove healthy tissue w/out consent of *the patient* meaning the newborn infant.

    Additionally, hospitals actually sell the 4 skins to cosmetic companies. I forget the precise terminology, but there are high-end (like $400 an ounce) anti-aging creams that state on their container something like: “contains human fibroblast material” which means baby 4 skins. As circ rates decline in the USA, they need a new source of prepuces for their creams.

    Additionally, the studies in Africa showing reduced HIV transmission were debunked, and they were cut short by the authors. Why?

    Because in the last few weeks of the study circ’d men were approaching the same level of HIV infection as intact men.

    Most scientists show that the slight (8% reduction in transmission) in circ’d men was most likely due to the 6 week healing factor from the surgery during which the circ’d men WERE NOT HAVING SEX (can you say duh?)!

    Thus why the study was cut short by 4 weeks! Rather than report the truth, the authors decided that they wanted to change the study to prove their whims.

    Also, even in these flawed studies the reduction was only shown to be about 8% not 5 0 % !!!!!!! that this author states!

    Where she gets her facts I have no idea!
    She seriously needs to be reprimanded for this hogwash piece of ideological driven drivel.

    Parents, stop attacking your sons! Your baby boy deserves all the advantages in life that your baby daughter does.

    Lastly, as per the previous poster credible scientific research shows that the most sensitive parts of the penis are olbiterated during circumcision, and that the parts that remain are only half as sensitive. This is a severe traumatic procedure that is a horrific human rights violation.

  • Apparently the author doesn’t think it’s worth looking of men’s rights organizations, like she would if she were writing about FMG. Or at *least* look up info from anti-circ groups.

    Removing the male foreskin is gynecologically equivalent to the removal of the clitoral hood, one of three forms of female circumcision all of which are forbidden by law. See Darby, R. and Svoboda, J. S., ‘A rose by any other name?; rethinking the similarities and differences between male and female genital cutting,’ Medical Anthropology Quarterly (2007), Vol. 21, Issue 3, pp. 301-323.

    A recent study using fine-touch medical instruments for the first time ever to study the sensation on the penis found circumcision removes the most sensitive part of the penis and that an intact penis is much more sensitive than a circumcised penis. Sorrells, Snyder, et al., “Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis,” British Journal of Urology International, v. 99, issue 4, p. 864, April 2007.

    The full study is posted at

    A subsequent study in China confirmed the same thing. Yang DM, Lin H, Zhang B, Guo W. [Circumcision affects glans penis vibration perception threshold]. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue 2008; 14: 328-30, Dept. of Urology, the First Hospital Affiliated to Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou,Guangdong 510120, China.

    Both the Australian College of Physicians and the British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons have recently come out against routine infant male circumcision and the latter addressed the human rights violations involved as well.

  • elPeneCompleto

    “Male circumcision is a common religious practice across all monotheistic religions—especially Islam.”


    “In Judaism, most follow the Covenant of Circumcision, or the Brit Milah ”

    and yet…

    “In Islam, male circumcision is considered a rite—as part of the fitrah or natural part of human creation. Many parts of the Quran reference circumcision, relating it to Abraham just as Judaism does.”

    Isn’t religion JUUUST great?! Looks like it goes full-circle between those two hate-ridden “belief” systems? They ought to just go ahead and castrate themselves while they’re at it. I guess 4000 yeas ago they didn’t have enough running water to wash themselves properly, funny enough, most Europeans and Asians DID!

    No our fault if they couldn’t wash. As for the functions of the prepuce, we well know it’s an erogenous zone and it serves both to protect and lubricate the head.

  • Matt

    Anything she writes that appeals to tradition and religious observations can be safely thrown away since it’s a type of tu quoque argument, an appeal to tradition. Basically, it’s this: it was done before and someone else is doing it now so it must be right to go on doing it. Holds less water than an imaginary glass.

    The only question here is this: is it right to perform an unnecessary surgical procedure on a person without his or her explicit say-so? The answer is no. Her argument that it is not as bad for males as for females is specious.

  • fredr

    The function of the masculine and feminine prepuce is to enhance sexual desire. The function of the sacrificial punishment of circumcision is to decrease sexual pleasure. In females the G spot is excised along with the attached clitoris, in males the Gee string is excised along with the attached foreskin. The function of the foreskin and labias are homologous, their nerves routed through the frenulum delta to the glans penis and glans clitoris whose functions are homologous as well.
    All claims of benifits from circumcision are greatly exagerated to justify ones personal religious or cultural convictions. Humanity would benifit more from teaching function and care of the prepuce, like teaching oral hygene can prevent us from losing our teeth. You don’t pull teeth to prevent cavities.

  • Brandon

    It’s funny how you called the female circumcision an intrusion on the natural reproducing organ as if the male foreskin is not a natural organ. Females don’t NEED their clitorus to reproduce so why do they get to keep theirs while males get their foreskins cut off. The US has a high percentage of male circumcision yet the country is one of the countries withthe most people who have AIDs while Europe does not do male circumcision and they have some of the lowest. Tou sir, the author of this article, is just a sick freak who enjoys having males getting a part of their penis chopped off for no valid reason. Tell me this, why are ALL male mammals born with a foreskin? You must think its for no reason according to your logic from this article.

  • Trevor

    I would expect any one calling themselves a sex columnist would have researched the topic a bit more before making such wide statements.

    My penis was mutilated without my consent when I was a baby. Like many thoushands of men, I suffer pain as an adult from this horrific act, an act that is considered acceptible in the West….yet so is torture these days as we’ve seen by America’s actions recently.

    It’s yet another double standard of the West. What is good (or not good) for the Goose should also true for the Gander.

  • Paul

    You say “most Washington University female students I’ve talked to have never seen an uncircumcised penis!” The funny thing is, if your university was in England or the European Union the vast majority of female students would respond that they have never seen a CIRCUMCISED penis. So basically it is the opposite everywhere else outside the US except for Muslim countries. If the other advanced countries don’t do it what is wrong with the US ? Circumcision on an infant is just wrong. His body = His choice.

  • PJ

    The New Testament warns Christians to NOT circumcise. See Acts 15. In numerous passages, St. Paul makes it quite clear that Christians should NOT circumcise. In addition, the Catholic Church has spoken out forcefully against circumcision. Pope Eugene IV did so in a Papal Bull at the Council of Florence in 1442. The Catholic Catechism #2297, under “Respect for bodily integrity”, says that non-therapeutic amputations violate the moral law.

    Learn more about Catholic Christian teaching at:

  • Joshua

    Do you honestly believe that even if there were cold hard evidence that female circumcision prevented AIDS at all that people would consider forcing it on their daughters? How much research do you think is being done in the positive effects of female mutilation I’d be willing to bet it’s pennies for every hundred dollars they’re putting into male mutilation research.

    Ask an African woman why she would circumcise her daughter, and then compare those exact reasons why Americans/Jews/Muslims circumcise their sons.

    Do you honestly believe that because there is “research” to suggest that there may be a slightly reduced chance of contracting AIDS for a man. That anyone has the right to decide for an infant what normal/healthy body parts they are allowed to keep? Even more so when the body parts provide sexual pleasure and DO have a function.

    Do you honestly believe that because it was done for hundreds or thousands of years that it makes it acceptable to overlook the atrocious reality of what you’re doing to an infant?

    What makes a vulva more important than a penis? Why are a girl’s genitals completely protected where as a boy’s are free to maim at the whim of a parent?

    Most importantly, what forces are behind the American/Jewish/Muslim fetish for feeling as if it’s THEIR right to choose to NEEDLESSLY AMPUTATE EROGENOUS TISSUE FROM A NEW BORN INFANT!!!!

    If it’s not your penis, then it’s not yours to mutilate.

  • Actually, there are benefits to FGM. Researchers found that female circumcision reduced HIV rates. See “Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse?” at This research did not get much publicity because our culture abhors female circumcision (FGM).

    Also, there are several studies that have noted decreased penile sensitivity in older circumcised men. As circumcised men age, the keratin layer of the exposed mucosal tissue gets thicker. The thicker layer decreases sensitivity. So much so that the US consumes most of the world’s Viagra to allow older circumcised men to be able to engage in sex.

    Lastly, you ignored the issue of genital integrity of non-consenting individuals. Routine infant circumcision is elective surgery on the sex organs of boys who have not consented to that alteration. In the US we protect the genital integrity of girls, but allow genital alterations of boys.

    Based on the above, your conclusions are suspect. On the whole, the US has a circumcising culture that discounts the disadvantages of circumcision for men while not offering equal protection to male infants that is enjoyed by female infants with respect to genital integrity.