Anti-Science and the Lack of Need for Circumcision

To put the alleged anti-science position of those who oppose non-therapeutic child circumcision into perspective, consider what the most determined proponent of routine circumcision, Brian Morris, has to say on the foreskin’s risks (From his brochure¹ “Circumcision: A guide for parents”):

… 1 in 3 uncircumcised boys will, as a result of having a foreskin, develop at least one condition requiring medical attention. …

Another way of saying that is that 2 in 3 boys will not, as a result of having their foreskin, develop at least one condition requiring medical attention. A male will more likely than not maintain his genital health throughout his life and retain the benefits of having a foreskin. That is also science. That’s important to remember in the midst of the fear promoted to encourage circumcision.

Morris also provides an inference in that statement detrimental to his argument for non-therapeutic circumcision. He is stating that 1 in 3 intact boys will require medical attention for a foreskin-related malady. He is not stating that 1 in 3 intact boys will require circumcision. As I pointed out in my last post, the ability to treat maladies is also science. If that medical attention is for a UTI, the male can take antibiotics. If that medical attention is for (genuine²) phimosis, he can use topical steroids and skin stretching techniques. And so on. Morris provides no information in this claim about the actual risk of medically-necessary circumcision within an intact male’s lifetime. All we know is that it’s something less than 1 in 3 intact males. Yet he proceeds in all of his work with the primary assumption that all infant males should be circumcised because less than 1 in 3 will require medically-necessary circumcision.

The proper focus should be on how to keep males healthy, not how to wound their genitals upon birth. Science is the key embedded within our position against non-therapeutic child circumcision. We accept science. We know it works for all people and wish to apply it throughout a male’s life. His healthy foreskin and bodily autonomy do not need to be sacrificed to fear.

¹ I don’t provide hyperlinks to propaganda. The brochure is at:

² To understand the fallacy of Morris’ position, consider this warning from the Medical Journal of Australia:

A high rate of unnecessary circumcision surgery for phimosis – a pathological condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted – has been detected in boys aged under five, despite the rarity of the condition in children of this age, and a marked overall fall in the rate of circumcision in Australia.

The team adds that if the 1999 rate remains stable, about 4 per cent of all boys will be circumcised for phimosis by the time they reach 15 – a rate seven times higher than the estimated occurrence of pathological phimosis.

Remember that Morris (and Jake Waskett, Aaron Tobian, Ronald Gray, Robert Bailey, Daniel Halperin, and Thomas Wiswell, among others) published as fact a claim that “all boys are born with phimosis”. To be fair, their paper is newer, but they do not provide evidence to support the claim. An explanation for why they do not may be inferred.

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