A few weeks ago I wrote about the cruelty of male circumcision. I wrote that I am opposed to male circumcision because of the fact that the foreskin has many important functions.
Since my post some interesting posts with interesting subsequent discussions has appeared on other blogs. If you understand swedish, take a look on ergo ateism here and here, or you can also take a look at Tobias Malm's excellent blog here. In the discussions following these posts some objections to the circumcision objections appeared, that is there were some people who defended circumcision. The four main objections that I recall were.
1. People who have their foreskin cut off can have sex for a longer time without ejaculating.
2. Circumcision protects against all sorts of different diseases
3. "I am circumcised and I haven't noticed anything bad about it"
4. Sometimes circumcision need to be done for medical reasons (e.g. foreskin in too tight).
The first objection I think is a really bad one for several reasons. Without getting to concrete, I have heard from experts that sex is not just about how long the guy can do it. Furthermore, according to some studies that I have read (see my previous post for references), people who have been circumcised often suffer from too early ejaculation as well as delayed ejaculation. Doesn't sound so great if you ask me.
Concerning the second objection I actually asked the guy who claimed that circumcision protects you against all sorts of diseases whether he could be a bit more precise. He admitted that he may have overstated it a little. In fact, I am aware of only one disease which circumcision provides some marginal protection against: HIV. If circumcision provided a really good protection against HIV, then I think it might have been worth it, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Also if you are really serious about sacrificing your penis in order to get protection against disease, then why not cut off the whole thing while you are at it? Then you would really get protection!
The third objection is not a valid one either because just like I cannot know what it feels like not to have a foreskin, a person without a foreskin cannot know how life would have been like with a foreskin. It is a fact that the foreskin has many important functions, and based on that I assume that removing it will take away those functions.
To me, only the last one of the four objections above sounds reasonable, and of course I am not opposed to circumcision when it occurs for medical reasons. I mean, sometimes we need to amputate someones’ leg to save the patient, but that doesn't make it alright to saw off everyones' leg at birth (I think these two examples are actually almost perfectly analogous).
To sum up, sure there are cased in which I think circumcision is ok. If there are medical reasons why the foreskin should be removed then go ahead. I also don't mind very much if a grown man decides to remove his foreskin, I think it is stupid, but it is not my decision to make. I do have a problem when parents want to cut off the foreskin of their baby without a good reason, in fact, I think this should be prohibited.