The UNDENIABLY GROWING risk that a circumcised boy will grow up to a man who (quite reasonably) would have preferred that he had the FULL set of genitals and erogenous tissue his DNA coded for him and that the only mobile skin on his penis–not to mention his erogenous inner foreskin–was not replaced with a scar should trump any nominal benefits circumcision might offer in the first world and should cause any reasonable person to conclude that circumcising a normal, healthy minor apart from true medical need–and only then when less invasive treatment options have been exhausted–is unethical.
Genital autonomy for ALL. Her body, her rights; his body, his rights. We wouldn’t even think of removing anything down there from a baby girl–who have more folds of skin and issues down there than boys do over the course of a lifetime–so why do we even consider removing something down there from a baby boy? Moreover, the vulva contains the same tissue as the male foreskin. Why research cutting only one gender’s genitals and why does this have to be the male gender? Males have rights to genital integrity, just like females.
Put simply, the U.S. FGM law is based on the assumption that ALL baby girl genital cutting is wrong on its face, regardless of any potential health benefits (which have never been researched in sterile, anesthetized Western conditions–the conditions in which we examine male circumcision). If this is the reasoning for protecting baby girls’ genitals, how is it not sexism under the law to not apply the same reasoning to baby boys’ genitals?
And with respect to health, come now. Let’s look at the real world. South Korea circumcises teenage boys; Japan circumcises no one. Israel circumcises week old boys; Greece and Italy do not circumcise at any age. The circumcision rate among middle class white native born adult American men is at least 90%. In Europe, only Jews and Muslims are circumcised. There is no evidence that the first nation in the above pairings is healthier than the second nation. The USA has the highest HIV+ rate of any advanced nation, except that it is tied with Portugal, where needle drugs are legal. The UK (New Zealand) gave up routine circ in the 1950s (1970s). That rate in Australia (Canada) has fallen to 15% (30%) since 1970. No evidence that health has deteriorated in any of these countries.
And at the end of the day, if one simply disregards the cultural/societal/religious norms and looks at circumcision for what it is, there is truly nothing that is more bizarre and brutal: slicing into the genitals of a newborn infant. Then putting the open wound into the septic environment of a diaper. Great way to welcome your son into the world. There is just no way it makes sense. Most of the civilized world happens to agree.
And with respect to sexual pleasure, it’s probably not a good idea to believe the guys without foreskin and their partners (*cough* Americans at the CDC, AAP, etc.) when they tell you that the foreskin doesn’t have much sexual value when the guys who actually have foreskin and their partners (Europeans, for instance) claim that it does. Common sense, really. Ever read Aesop’s fable of the fox without a tail? It might be illuminating for you.