Does Circumcision Have Health Benefits?


Credit: Max Kim |

Does Circumcision Have Health Benefits?

The debate overِ surgically removing anِ infant’s penis foreskin hasِ continued overِ the years, withِ proponents touting circumcision’s health benefits, andِ opponents arguing againstِ what theyِ sayِ isِ the barbaric nature ofِ the procedure.
An anticircumcision group inِ San Francisco isِ the latest toِ join theِ fray, pushing forِ a ban onِ the practice.
Circumcision proponents, however, argue againstِ the proposal, citing theِ procedure’s history asِ a religious ritual, asِ well asِ its sexual health benefits — someِ research suggests thatِ circumcision helps prevent theِ spread ofِ HIV.

An ancient tradition

Circumcision started asِ a ritual act byِ the Egyptians asِ far backِ asِ 2500 B.C.
Other proposed reasons include: asِ a marking toِ distinguish thoseِ ofِ higher social status; asِ a male menstruation, orِ sign ofِ the onset ofِ puberty; andِ as a wayِ toِ discourage masturbation.
Circumcision isِ widely believed toِ prevent diseases, suchِ asِ HIV, andِ there isِ some evidence thatِ itِ reduces theِ risk ofِ male-to-female HIV transfer.

Put it to a vote?

A proposal toِ ban circumcisions inِ San Francisco hasِ moved forwardِ asِ proponents ofِ the ban delivered moreِ than 12,000 signatures toِ theِ Department ofِ Elections thisِ week.
If theِ petition hasِ enoughِ valid signatures fromِ registered voters, theِ ban willِ appearِ on theِ ballot inِ the November election.
The CDC disagrees thatِ the procedure isِ painful.

Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @LLMysteries.

This story was provided by Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience.