Male Circumcision Is Good For Boys And Girls

Simon Harding was frustrated by ignorance on the issue of male circumcision. So, here's a guide to why male circumcision is good for boys and girls.edge.

male circumcision

Right. Male circumcision. Where to start?  

First, the impetus for writing this piece was a conversation I had with a colleague who characterised male circumcision as a form of mutilation. I strongly disputed his position.

I’ve been circumcised and I’ve had my son circumcised, so I know there are a lot of myths that surround and distort the issue.

I felt it was time to set the record straight, and dispel the falsehoods and fictions.

However, as a first-time author writing in my third language, I didn’t feel confident enough to submit this article without help.

Therefore I enlisted the help of the editor of KinBox, Paul Connolly, who helped me put together this story.

So, from the outset, let’s get one thing clear.

Male circumcision is an entirely different proposition to female circumcision.

In fact, the term “female circumcision” is inaccurate and misleading – it’s how evil people (generally men) try to justify and hide their misdeeds. The correct name for this barbaric practice is “female genital mutilation” (FGM).

It’s the act of deliberately cutting, injuring or butchering female genitalia for no good medical reason. It is a sadistic, misogynistic tool designed to prevent women enjoying sex, and nothing more.

Put simply, FGM is a crime against women.

Male circumcision, by comparison, is not banned anywhere

While there is at least debate about the benefits, or otherwise, of male circumcision, that is emphatically not the case when it comes to the cruel practice of FGM.

No respected medical organisation or practitioner has extolled its virtues; quite the opposite, in fact, and throughout Europe pressing is growing to carry out more prosecutions of complicit parents and of those doctors found carrying out the practice, often upon young daughters of fellow countrymen from northern and northwestern Africa, especially Somalia.

Male circumcision, by comparison, is not banned anywhere. In Iceland, there was a recent attempt by five MPs to ban male circumcision but was dismissed by parliament; the same progressive country banned female “circumcision” [sic] in 2005 (what took so long?).

There is a strong indication that the recent attempted ban was motivated by racial and religious intolerance, since such a ban would overwhelmingly impact the Jewish and Muslim communities.

So why is it that female circumcision is rightly viewed with repulsion and male circumcision is not? Quite simply, the first is a gross surgical invasion designed to prevent a woman experiencing orgasm. Male circumcision, by contrast, is simply the removal of the foreskin, the retractable flap of skin that covers the end of the penis.

There are three reasons why male circumcision is carried out. The first, most common, reason is religious or cultural. Circumcision is a common practice in Jewish and Islamic communities, as well as in many African countries that do not fall into those two groups.

The ceremony to remove the foreskin is known as “brit milah” or “bris” for Jews, and is carried out on the baby’s eighth day after birth; in Islam, although not as universal as it is for Jews, “khitan” is in practice carried out on the vast majority of Muslims – the preferred age is usually around the age of six or seven but many are circumcised on the seventh day after birth.

So, why did my wife and I opt for circumcision for our son?

The second reason is medical. It could be that the man in question is experiencing repeated and frequent infections under the foreskin, or others complain of discomfort from a tight foreskin. Typically, patients present for such procedures later in life.

The third group is that of elective circumcision, where adult males choose to do it for one of a number of various personal reasons. These range from cleanliness, cosmetic or aesthetic considerations or for increased sexual pleasure (or so some claim).

Take-up and practice of male circumcision can also be affected by where one is born. In the US, for instance, the American Center For Disease Control and Prevention reports that as many as 80% of American males are circumcised.

In the UK, in contrast, it’s fewer than 20%. In fact, the global average is nearer to that of the UK, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) stating that 33% of the world’s male population is circumcised, and that 70% of that figure is accounted for by Muslims.

Based on a population of 7.8 billion, of which around 52% are men, that would still leave us with a little less than 400 million circumcised males who do it for cultural or medical reasons.

So, why did my wife and I opt for circumcision for our son, Julian? The simplest, and most honest, reason is that I am circumcised myself so it seems natural. It’s not something, in my opinion, that others should read too much into.

I suppose, if I thought about it at all, I simply thought, I had it done and I am fine, so my boys should also have it done – and they’ll also be fine. It really isn’t different from the many things parents indirectly impose on their children in the early years.

At no point did I think, I’ve had a piece of my penis removed and so I must punish my son by inflicting the same upon him

We indirectly impose our religious beliefs (or lack thereof), food choices (meat-eating, vegetarian/vegan and so on), and habits such as hygiene – how many times we brush our teeth each day is something we impose upon our children without thinking about it, after all.

At no point did I think, I’ve had a piece of my penis removed and so I must punish my son by inflicting the same upon him. That’s simply not the case; I could make a list of other things that my parents imposed on me that haunt me to this day. This is categorically not one of them.

There are people out there who claim that imposing circumcision upon a baby or young boy is wrong, akin to abuse; they say, among other things, that in doing so, their parents ruined their sex lives. This baffled me; how could you say it ruined your sex life? You would need “before” and “after” experience to say that with certainty.

So I researched it. I sought out comments by adult men who had had a circumcision later in life, and more importantly, by choice. And I was surprised to learn that many of them said that it was a great decision. They said that they felt better, that sex was also better, and some said that an odd odour that they had sometimes noticed had now gone.

One comment, though, drew my attention. The writer said that all four of his siblings had been circumcised but that he hadn’t, and that he had always felt “discomfort as a child”.

Adult men who were circumcised showed 81% fewer penile bacteria

This point about feeling cleaner and more comfortable is one that comes up repeatedly; perhaps it is is one reason that, despite medical advancement and hygiene in the 21st century making circumcision not quite as essential as it once was, the practice continues to endure.

That said, I believe it’s cleaner and more hygienic, despite never having any problems nor anything to compare it with, given the young age at which I was circumcised.

While many in the medical community say that it is no longer necessary to the extent it perhaps once was, nonetheless, a recent study has shown that adult men who were circumcised showed 81% fewer penile bacteria one year after the procedure.

And there are other tangible health benefits, it seems.

In fact, the American Medical Association, the WHO and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) all state that circumcision can reduce the chance of infection, of cancer of the penis (yeah, it’s a thing) and even assist with HIV prevention. Several trials carried out in Africa and reported on the NHS website show evidence that circumcised men have an up to 60% lower risk of getting HIV from infected women.

There is also evidence that it can reduce the chance of contracting infections such as gonorrhoea and herpes.

One study in Uganda showed that in couples where the woman is HIV positive, none of the circumcised men contracted it, while 29% of men who were not circumcised were infected. There is some evidence that men who are circumcised are less likely to transmit sexual diseases.

So let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind. How does it affect sex?

And if you are thinking, I only have girls so why should I care about boys and their toys?

Well, you should. Take the HPV virus which is the leading cause of cervical cancer – while men are not affected by the HPV virus, they are carriers and can transmit it to their partners. A circumcised male reduces this risk for his female partners considerably.

So let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind. How does it affect sex? A study of 47 men who reported suffering from premature ejaculation showed that after circumcision they reported lasting ten times longer than previously, and their partners were more satisfied.

Though a word of warning, ladies, before you reach for your knives and meat slicer: you should know that, according to the NHS, there is a risk of bleeding and infection during a circumcision procedure.

As for us, our son had his circumcision carried out at the hospital within a couple of days of his birth. A female doctor undertook the procedure; I told my wife afterward that I was glad that it was a woman rather than a man who was circumcising our son. I told my wife that I just had a feeling that a female doctor would be more careful “not to ruin it”.

When was the last time men willingly did anything that would reduce their own sexual pleasure?

As for my son, he didn’t even flinch or cry – he was completely oblivious.

Finally, for those of you still unconvinced that male circumcision is not a conspiracy to hurt boys, one question. When was the last time men willingly did anything that would reduce their own sexual pleasure?

In fact, don’t tell anyone about my research – if they knew there was evidence that male circumcision would increase your sexual fun by even a smidgeon, every religion and culture would find a way to ban it.

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

The above piece represents the personal views and beliefs of the writer. You are advised to speak to your doctor before making any decisions regarding circumcision.

If you have a story to share, please email KinBox’s editor, He helped me tell my story – he can help you tell yours, too.

Simon Harding
Simon Harding lived in 12 different countries as a child, thanks to his father’s military career. He finally settled in the south of France, where he lives with his wife and three children. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, and enjoys wine-making and cooking for friends and family.


  1. Horrible.
    Non therapeutical infant circumcision is a human rights violation.
    With the option of delaying circumcision providing all of the purported benefits, circumcising an infant is an unnecessary violation of his bodily integrity as well as an ethically invalid form of medical violence.
    Routine infant circumcision should be absolutely forbidden except in cases of medical necessity.
    Sexual and general health is much better in most western non-circumcising countries than in USA. Plus, countries that stopped RIC (UK, Australia, New Zealand) didn’t have any health crisis as as some want to make us believe.
    Of course, adults can circumcise for cosmetic reasons. His body, his decision

    • The risks of male infant circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation, hemorrhage and even death.

      If you don’t know about these it’s probably because you haven’t bothered to look, or aren’t interested. It’s understandably so; parents intent on circumcising their daughters aren’t interested either.

      It is standard medical practice to turn to surgery as a very last resort, not because “there is no evidence that it’s bad.”

      “My family, my decision. I’m responsible for their health, not you,” says the man with an opinion on female circumcision. Oh, I’m sorry, “mutilation.”

      Your son is more likely to get prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Association, 1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. What’s the rate of penile cancer? Have you scheduled your son for early prostate removal? Didn’t think so.

      The WHO recommends circumcision for promiscuous adults in high-risk areas of Africa. Neither the AAP nor the CDC recommends male infant circumcision based on the current body of medical literature.

      You casually put “etc.” as if to say the rest of the world actually agrees with the AAP and CDC’s half-arsed non-approval of male infant circumcision. Have you bothered to see what other respected medical organizations have to say on the matter? The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS)? The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)? The Royal Dutch Medical Association? (KNMG)? I’m afraid the consensus of world medicine says it’s medically unecessary.

      What if the AAP recommended a “ritual nick” for girls? Would you do it to your girls? Oh that’s right! They did in 2010! (Google ritual nick AAP)

      When an act is a violation of basic human rights, it doesn’t matter what “studies” and your favorite medical organizations have to say.

      Abuse is abuse, and mutilation is mutilation.

      Stop trying to hide behind pseudo-medicine and pseudoscience to justify male genital mutilation.

  2. All children, regardless of gender, culture or parental religion, have a fundamental right to keep all their healthy, functional genitalia. Since an infant is incapable of religious beliefs, imposing an irreversible body alteration on him violates the freedom to choose his own religion as an adult. It differs from education, which can be changed. My body belongs to me!

    • you complain about people “forcing their opinion on others”
      what about people “forcing unnecessary body modification in others”??
      Latest thing is much worse than the first one, specially when performed in minors.

    • I like how you argue “parental choice” for you and you alone.

      Yes, parents who have their daughters circumcised “make decisions” too. Oh but those don’t count right?

      Interesting you bring up vaccines, which:

      – Do not remove any part of the body
      – Are scientifically demonstrably proven to immunize the body against pathogens that cause disease
      – Are recommended by every respected medical organization

      Unlike male infant circumcision, which:

      – Permanently destroys part of the penis
      – Is shown by research to be inconclusive
      – Is not recommended by any respected medical organization

      “Not being circumcised has its own risks,” you say.

      This logic is backwards. Would that be anything like “not having an appendectomy?” “Not having breasts removed?” “Still having a prostate?”

      1 in 6 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

      Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in women.

      Having eyes, ears, toes and a nose all have “risks” too.

      “This is not a human rights issue or the billion of people who have had it would revolt.”

      The billion of women who have had it. Are they revolting? No, they’re not.

      Yet you say it is “mutilation.”

      “Why do you feel the need to speak on our behalf?”

      Says the man with a penis, and not a circumcised vulva.

      Someone should speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

      “This is an issue with people who don’t know what they’re talking and forcing their opinion on others.”

      Says the man who circumcised his son and thinks female circumcision is “mutilation.”

      To a person who wishes to continue to do something that is wrong, “nobody knows what they’re talking about.”

      Oh, we do, Safwan, we do. It sounds like you don’t, and you didn’t know what you were in for writing this self-justification piece.

      Let it be known; people aren’t as hesitant to ciriticise the forced cutting of children anymore.

      It’s simply no longer acceptable to forcibly mutilate children. “My religion, my culture, my parental prerogative” simply aren’t alibis anymore. If it doesn’t work for girls, it doesn’t work for boys.

      No more sexist, self-serving double-standards.

      Genital mutilation, whether it be wrapped in culture, religion or “research” is still genital mutilation.

      It is mistaken, the belief that the right amount of “science” can be used to legitimize the deliberate violation of basic human rights.

  3. you complain about people “forcing their opinion on others”
    what about people “forcing unnecessary body modification in others”??
    Latest thing is much worse than the first one, specially when performed in minors.

  4. Talk about having an axe to grind. The only difference in male and female genital cutting is your own bias.

    “I’ve been circumcised and I’ve had my son circumcised.”


    This is the real and only reason why this is an issue to you, and why you chose to write a piece about it.

    This happened to you, you perpetuated this on your own son, and now you feel compelled to justify your position, grasping at anything and everything to do so.

    You don’t think what happened to you and what you let happen to your son is “mutilation.” Parents who circumcise their daughters don’t think so either.

    Do you think any parent that goes through with this is doing this out of malice? No! Every parent wants to believe they’re doing the best for their children. You do, parents who have their daughters circumcised do.

    The fact that you choose to call what you did “circumcision” and what parents do “mutilation” has no bearing on reality; you are BOTH forcibly cutting the genitals of your children, but you want to only justify yourself.

    I think it’s interesting how you admit that you did this to your son because you were, and that’s all there really was to it, but now suddenly you care about “medical benefits” or what “research” has to say on the matter.

    Are you aware that the only medical organizations to even come close yo recommending male infant circumcision based on medical literature was the #AAP? And when they shy away from a recommendation? The American backed WHO of course approve it as “HIV prevention” for promiscuous men in high risk areas of Africa, but do you know what other medical organizations have started “mass circumcision programs” in their countries? NONE. You’ll find no one in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America etc buys into this. You need to ask yourself why the one country where circumcision couldn’t prevent HIV or any other STD actually has the nerve to push circumcision based on this.

    Your piece shows you don’t know too much about the history of circumcision. In the West, it began as a “cure” for masturbation. Read the Chabad website. Google “Chabad circumcision,” and you can read Jewish groups STILL believe male circumcision is meant to subjugate a man’s sexuality.

    You talk about “intent.” Ok, now “research shows” that male circumcision “might reduce the risks of STDs.” Are we seriously going to entertain the notion that whether or not it is morally permissible to cut part of another person’s genitals off hinges on the outcome of “research?”

    What if female circumcision could prevent HIV? “Bacteria” as you call it? (By the way, do you know how much bacteria exists on a vulva?) Would female circumcision suddenly stop being “mutilation?” So why do you pretend like this makes it OK to mutilate a boy?

    You are aware that the risk of male infant circumcision includes infection, partial or full ablation, hemorrhage and even death? There are ongoing trials of boys whose penises have been cut off. Google “mogen lawsuit” to see recent million dollar lawsuits.

    Oh but it’s nothing and your son was fine. Of course you want to minimize everything; you want to justify yourself. What about all the botches and deaths?

    This post is clearly biased and you are not interested in real discussion. In this sense you are really no different than a parent who insists on cutting their daughter.

    There is no “difference.”

    Forcibly cutting part of anyone’s genitals is mutilation, any way you slice it. Please stop pretending like this has anything to do with a genuine concern for public health, because it doesn’t.

  5. The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.

    The foreskin is not “extra skin.” The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, present in all males at birth; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.

    Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individuals is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.

    Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less be eliciting any kind of “decision” from parents.

    In any other case, reaping profit from non-medical procedures on non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud.

    Genital integrity, autonomy and self-determination are inalienable human rights. I am against the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors because it violates these rights.

    Genital mutilation, whether it be wrapped in culture, religion or “research” is still genital mutilation.

    It is mistaken, the belief that the right amount of “science” can be used to legitimize the deliberate violation of basic human rights