America overdue for an end to circumcision

Article here. Excerpt:

'Ritual circumcision is a common practice for Jews and Muslims around the world. It is a legacy of God’s commandment to Abraham to circumcise his penis as a sign of their special bond, as chronicled in the Book of Genesis, and it persists as a kind of tribal marking.

In America, even irreligious Jews still embrace this initiation rite. Some blame peer pressure: “I didn’t want him to look weird,” my brother-in-law explained about his newborn son. Others take comfort in the fact that this tradition has also been blessed by the American medical establishment. Neonatal circumcision has been the most common surgery in America for over a century. Nearly six out of ten newborns are released from hospitals foreskin-free. The practice is so widespread, in fact, that one study of 90 active American medical textbooks and models found that less than a third featured a penis with foreskin intact.
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Because male circumcision is so common in the states, few Americans realize how rare it is most everywhere else. The practice has fallen by the wayside in Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand, and fewer than one-fifth of all male Europeans are circumcised. In December, the Danish Medical Association recommended ending the practice for boys, arguing that because it permanently alters the body it should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men make for themselves.

In Germany, a district judge ruled in 2012 that ritual circumcision of juveniles is a crime that violates “the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity.” South Korea is the only Asian country to embrace the procedure, as a kind of physiological souvenir of America’s occupation following World War II. But there, too, circumcision rates are declining fast, as the adolescent boys who would otherwise go under the knife (as per local custom) gain access to research about its purported benefits online.'

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