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← German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by ccw95005

The inconvenient truth on this issue is that circumcision does decrease the incidence of certain illnesses - HIV, HPV (and associated cervical cancer in women), and other STDs. In Africa routine circumcision would save millions of lives. Outside Africa, of course, the risk is considerably less.

I know that most people here see circumcision as strictly religion-based, and an assault on innocent boys. Removal of a body part at an age when the child is too young to object. Rare danger of mutilation. And the possibility that removal of the foreskin deprives the victim of a certain degree of sexual pleasure. Would I have circumcision done on myself as an infant if I could change what happened back then? Probably not, thinking that I would be able to protect myself. Would I have circumcision done on my sons? Probably not, but I would agonize, knowing that I would be putting them at a small increased risk of a deadly disease.

The evidence is actually pretty clear. There have been a number of studies done in Africa and they have consistently showed a remarkably lower rate of HIV and other STDs in boys who were circumcised. In 2007 the World Health Organization stated that circumcision should be recognized as an "efficacious intervention for HIV prevention."

Now the tendency on this forum and among humanity in general is to ignore evidence that doesn't fit with our own prejudices. But if we are honest with ourselves and consider ourselves engaged in a search for truth, we should admit that we don't like the idea of circumcision, but that it probably does reduce the incidence of certain diseases, some of them serious or fatal.

I believe that laws outlawing circumcision are well-meaning, but that decision is none of the lawmakers' business.

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 19:01:37 UTC | #949649