As of the last 2007 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the estimated prevalence of circumcision in the world of men aged over 15 is:
- 70% intact (non-circumcised)
- 20% circumcised are Muslim (nearly 100%)
- 10% circumcised are American, Jew, African, South Korean, Filipino, and few others.
Great Britain (8.5% rate)
It is truly ironic how Great Britain that exported circumcision to America during the “masturbation hysteria” of the Victorian era, took the lead to break away from its practice.
In 1948 it was revealed that between 1942 and 1947, 16 boys had died every year from circumcision complications, which put the practice under scrutiny. In 1949 after the newly formed National Health Service (NHS), the lack of consensus on notable health benefits offered by circumcision led to its removal from “covered” services, turning circumcision into an out-of-pocket surgery; gradually leading to its decline, even if from a purely financial concern. The rate of circumcision in the past decade has dropped to a low 8.5%. Consider that 5% of the population is Muslim and the other 0.5 is Jewish (both religious groups who are known to circumcise virtually all males).
Unlike the AAP, the NHS only recommends circumcision for therapeutic reasons, and when no other alternatives are available. They also highlight the long-term adverse effects from circumcision such permanent descreased penile sensitivity.
Canada (32% rate)
America’s neighbor to the north also became influenced by the Western circumcision “mania” of the 19th century. Although since the 50s the rate has dropped to an estimated 32%.
The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) published a position statement in 1996 stating that “circumcision was not recommended as a routine procedure for male newborns because the benefits and harms were evenly balanced“. Although a slightly less-biased approach to its neighbor’s AAP position (“health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks”), the CPS stated in 2015 that the latest and reaffirmed “benefits” by the AAP has prompted their re-evaluation of this “medical” information.
How Will Infant Male Circumcision Stop in America And The World?
Although the demand for “routine” infant male circumcision has declined substantially in the past 70 years around the world, there is still a matter of parental “choice”; which gives parents supreme rights over their children’s bodily integrity. Many countries may have discouraged the practice but there is no law currently in place that protects underage boys from circumcision – religion being the greatest motive behind it.
Is banning the answer to stop infant male circumcision in America and the world?: in short Yes, a ban on the practice would make infant circumcision illegal. Its counterpart practice on females is now considered “genital mutilation” and being banned around the world including America. And I can’t help to wonder why boys aren’t being protected on the same basis of “genital integrity”, just like girls are.
Pro-circumcision advocates refuse to acknowledge that male circumcision (MC) is equivalent to female genital mutilation (FGM), claiming than the latter was always meant to suppress sexual stimulation, and that it disfigures the genitals. But male circumcision originated in America with the sole purpose of suppressing sexual stimulation by the removal of the foreskin, which scars the penis, even more noticeable than on females given than the penis is an external organ as opposed to the vagina which is internal.
From any angle you see it, and whatever they call it (“sign of the covenant”, “rite of passage”, “preventive care”), the harmful outcome from infant male circumcision remains the same today as of thousands of years ago.
I see circumcision as a purely parental selfish choice. They don’t do it for the benefit of the child, they do it for their own piece of mind, personal interests, or to comply with their traditions; without any regards for the long term damage of a useless outdated procedure on their boys. That’s why only a ban will stop this mass barbaric practice.