It has been variously proposed that circumcision began as a religious sacrifice, an offering to ensure fertility, a tribal mark, a rite of passage, an attempt to emphasise masculinity, a means of humiliating enemies and slaves, or as a hygienic measure.


The use of circumcision for medical or health reasons is an issue that continues to be debated. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn males stating the evidence was not significant enough to prove the operation's benefit.

Centers for Disease Control

Whatever the content may include, CDC's final circumcision recommendations will be completely voluntary. While CDC has not yet determined if male circumcision should be recommended for any population, ultimately the decision will rest with individuals and parents.


Men's Health - The debate over circumcision

Now, no one believes that the potential health benefits for American males are nearly as great, or as urgent, as they are for men in Africa, where HIV is spread mostly through heterosexual intercourse. Still, similar study results are turning up on this continent, as well.

Mothering Magazine - The case against circumcision

The radical practice of routinely circumcising babies did not begin until the Cold War era. This institutionalization of what amounted to compulsory circumcision was part of the same movement that pathologized and medicalized birth and actively discouraged breastfeeding.

Science-Based Medicine - The case for neonatal circumcision

Imagine if we could save lives from a dread and often fatal disease simply by performing a minor surgical procedure. People would hail this simple victory and rush to adopt it... Not exactly. The disease is HIV and the simple surgical procedure is circumcision and anti-circ activists oppose it under almost any circumstances.

Intact America

Circumcision is a painful, risky, unethical surgery that deprives over a million boys each year of healthy, functional tissue, while wasting health care dollars that could be spent on medically necessary services... No professional medical association in the United States or the rest of the world recommends routine neonatal circumcision.

Circumcision of males represents a "surgical vaccine" against a wide variety of infections, adverse medical conditions and potentially fatal diseases over their lifetime, and also protects their sexual partners. In experienced hands, this common, inexpensive procedure is very safe, and can be pain-free.