Why do people in the United States amputate complex, God-designed parts from their baby boys shortly after birth? Some believe the following myths.
MYTH: Modern circumcision is healthy.
Removing a body part means that body part will no longer be around to experience any problems, but missing body parts isn't a health benefit. Cancer and other health problems in this area are extremely rare (men are more likely to get breast cancer), and we wouldn't cut any other body parts off our babies to prevent a tiny risk of cancer decades later. (For instance, testicular cancer is much more common, but we would never consider half-castrating all babies.) The foreskin is a complex of intricate parts that provides multiple important functions, all lost to modern circumcision. Justifying the removal of such a structure would require much more than doubtful, irrelevant alleged medical benefits.
The benefit perhaps most commonly stated is a lower incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in circumcised boys, but even the highest reasonable claimed reduction ignores the big picture (see graphic).
Besides, compare this benefit with circumcision's risk of short-, medium-, and long-term complications (including very common complications like meatal stenosis) and the other harms and permanent losses caused by every single cut. In light of all of these, the claimed benefits of modern "circumcision" offer no justification for removing so significant a part of God's careful design.
Recently, some research has suggested that STD acquisition (not transmission) rates are lower for circumcised men. The actual experience of the countries of the world raises serious doubts. In at least 10 African countries, HIV rates are significantly higher among circumcised men (see here, page 109). Despite near-universal circumcision in the USA for much of the 20th century and no circumcision in Europe, HIV and other STD rates in the USA are higher than in European countries. Multiple studies suggest this claimed STD "benefit" is false (also see commentary here).
But even if it were true, should Christians cut healthy, important, God-designed parts off of their children on the assumption that they'll be both promiscuous and careless decades later? No.
All of the claimed health benefits are doubtful and irrelevant, and modern circumcision fails nine tests of contemporary medical ethics. And we Christians believe babies are made by the design and in the image of a wonderful, wise Creator – so we have even more reason to protect our children from genital cutting.
MYTH: Doctors recommend it.
No major medical organization recommends circumcision. As the chief Dutch medical organization KNMG has concluded, doctors should "actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications." Although it avoids an actual recommendation, the American Academy of Pediatrics currently states that the benefits of circumcision seem to outweigh its risks, but it stands alone in the world. Medical professionals and organizations elsewhere, looking at the same studies and evidence, attack the AAP’s current stance as culturally biased and deeply flawed. In addition, they say the statement completely ignores both psychological damage and ethical problems. Other countries officially state that routine infant circumcision “should not be performed.”
Again, no major medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision.
"The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity ... Circumcision can cause complications – bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common ... KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications." ~The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG). Affirmed by all associated medical organizations.