Is Male Circumcision Ethical?
Circumcision in men refers to the removal of the foreskin (Penile prepuce). The exercise is carried out for various reasons, such as treating diseases, and non-therapeutic purposes such as aesthetic, religious, and prevention of diseases (Earp 42). When circumcision is carried out in the early stages of development, it is considered less uncomfortable and safer. There are other parts of the world where circumcision is executed when male youths have attained such an age, mostly teenage. Male circumcision, especially in infants, has attracted a lot of attention recently. For instance, Activists from San Francisco have made various efforts to have the exercise criminalized. In Germany, a court ruling was made in 2012 that found male infant circumcision a violation of human rights among infants hence terming the ritual as a criminal act (Jacobs 63-64). However, research carried out by the American Academy of Pediatrics identified that male circumcision, especially at the early stages of development, has more benefits that outweigh speculations and other risks that were thought to be associated with the activity. The benefits resulting from male circumcision over the risks, among other factors, influence my conclusion and consideration of the exercise being ethical.
The argument against male circumcision
Debate holding that male circumcision is unethical, especially for infants, is based on three major arguments. First, those who oppose male circumcision argue that exercise is dangerous and is likely to affect the quality of life of males being circumcised (Frisch 797). However, no sufficient data has been provided to support the argument. Secondly, male circumcision is said to be incompatible with both genders. It is argued that only the male gender is exposed to the risk and pain associated with the activity. Males are considered more favored since there is no equal rite set aside for the female gender. Lastly, opponents of the rite argue that the action violates human rights, especially to infants who may not necessarily be of a similar ideology as to the purpose of circumcision. The act is performed on them without their consent.
Benefits of male circumcision
Male circumcision, especially on infants, has very minimal outward impacts, although the rite is considered riskier when performed on people at an old age by people without proper skills. Currently, circumcision is carried out in health facilities, among other settings of a similar kind where males to be circumcised are given appropriate analgesia, making them experience minimal pain (American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision 585). When males are circumcised at an early age, there are very rare complications that have been recorded. Recorded revision of surgical has been experienced in about ten patients out of 20,000 victims that have undergone the exercise. Of the ten patients that required surgical revision, 9 had a successful revision of operations.
Research has identified that circumcision helps in minimizing the spread of infectious diseases. Transmission of the heterosexual human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is estimated to be reduced by more than 50% through circumcision. The role it plays in minimizing the spread of communicable diseases made circumcision be endorsed by WHO (World Health Organization) (American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision 585). In female contacts, circumcision has been identified to reduce the incidences of cervical cancer and virtually manage penile cancer. Circumcision lowers incidences of trichomonas, herpes simplex, and HPV in male adults and their counterparts.
Different trials that have been carried out randomly on male adults who went through circumcision opposed the narrative from those against circumcision of males that the act lowers their sexual satisfaction. Results acquired from the trials indicated that sexual satisfaction among male adults was not lowered by undergoing circumcision—studies conducted on male adults who had undergone the exercise while infants were retrospective. The highest percentage concluded that circumcised men had very low rates of erectile dysfunction and greater satisfaction in sex compared to male adults that had not passed through the rite (American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision 586). The findings proved that speculation that circumcision of male sat infants impaired their pleasure or sexual performance is just but anecdotal or speculative narrative. From the research, when views from women were acquired and taken into consideration in the study, irrespective of their religious or cultural background, most women preferred having men who had undergone circumcision.
The highest percentage in hundreds of millions of men who underwent circumcision is found to have successful lives with their sexual partners. Thinkers behind opposing ideology on circumcision being ethical argued that circumcision is imposed on children without considering their opinion. They argue that later in life, it is not a must that children must align with their parent's religious and cultural practices and beliefs. In communities where the circumcision of males is done as infants, it helps in the spiritual, emotional, and physical integration of boys with benefits associated with one's culture or religion.
Authorities in various nations need to abstain from making any interference with the act of circumcision unless there is evidence of actual harm that has been inflicted on victims or people that have undergone the rite are outside the involved community and are being forced to undergo a rite contrary to their belief (Jacobs 63). The rite can have some risks, but the benefits acquired from the exercise exceed the risks assumed to be involved. Some of those against circumcision base their argument only on speculations but do not have any concrete evidence. When health issues are considered, in them alone, circumcision can be regarded as an ethical practice when performed.
American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision. "Circumcision policy statement." Pediatrics 130.3 (2012): 585-586.
Earp, Brian D. "Sex and circumcision." The American Journal of Bioethics 15.2 (2015): 43-45.
Frisch, Morten, et al. "Cultural Bias in the AAP's 2012 technical report and policy statement on male circumcision." Pediatrics 131.4 (2013): 796-800.
Jacobs, Allan J. "The ethics of circumcision of male infants." The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ 15.1 (2013): 60-65.