Circumcision Not Recommended

There are no state or federal laws at all requiring parents to circumcise their son1 any such law would, in fact, be unconstitutional. No medical association in the world, American or foreign, recommends infant circumcision, and many even recommend against it.2 Some religions, however, may request it for membership. If you have any other reasons for considering circumcision, go back to the DECIDE page and examine them.

Our expert panel's consensus, after an extensive review of the literature, is that the only possible justification for circumcision is to treat boys or men with penile diseases or disorders—never as a preventive measure. The foreskin is a vital, functional part of the male genital anatomy. It is not a birth defect. Therefore, if there is not an absolutely urgent reason for removing it, it should remain intact—for ethical, psychological, and sexual reasons. The boy himself, when he is old enough, is the only person who should make any decision affecting the looks and function of his penis.

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. Fox M, Thomson M. Short changed? The law and ethics of male circumcision. International Journal of Children’s Rights. 2005;13:161-81.
  2. Canadian Paediatric Society, British Medical Association, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australian Association of Paediatric Surgeons, New Zealand Society of Paediatric Surgeons, Urological Society of Australasia, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and Paediatric Society of New Zealand
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