Women

Opinion | Sexuality

The Case for Male Circumcision

Why the arguments from sentiment and sexual pleasure don't cut it for me.

What mother hasn't, in the halcyon days after the birth of a son, felt her ferocious she-wolf instincts kick in when it comes time for her boy to be circumcised? Having perhaps suffered violence to her genitals during the birth, the physical ache to all that is vulnerable in her world can seem unbearable. And then it is done, and life goes on.

Anti-circumcision activists would have us believe that life does not in fact go on, that boys grow into men whose sexual pleasure (and that of the women they love) is compromised by this act of "genital mutilation." While increasing numbers are swayed by both argument and sentiment, I'm stupefied by the controversy.

Male sexual pleasure is not my highest priority, having rarely witnessed a lack thereof. Nor is my own, if in fact I'm speaking out of my ignorance of the delight foreskin can deliver. What I am concerned about is sky-rocketing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and the gender inequality evident in these rates.

A 2008 Centers for Disease ...

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