Male circumcision violates no rights


The practice of male circumcision has pretty much become the standard in American culture. Of course, someone always comes along to challenge societal norms, no matter how unmentionable they may be. In the case of circumcision, that someone is Lloyd Schofield, a San Francisco resident who is leading an effort to ban the practice in the city. According to Schofield, "This is a human rights issue. What you're doing is you're taking an infant and removing the most sensitive part of their body." While circumcision tends to go largely unchallenged, Schofield's movement suggests that maybe we should take another look at the practice. Is it comparable to, say, female circumcision, which has been decried by people the world over?

The short answer is, well, no. There is a tremendous difference between the act of female circumcision and its male counterpart. In most cases, female circumcision is an act of denial, in the sense that it seeks to restrict the amount of pleasure a woman can receive through sex. In this way, it is a complete and total human rights violation, for it forces a woman to forgo sexual pleasure against her will. Male circumcision, on the other hand, does not deny the male pleasure. Some argue that the removal of the foreskin makes a man less sensitive — but, even if that is true, the effects on male sexual pleasure are far less extreme than the effects of female circumcision on female sexual pleasure.

This is to say nothing of the religious repercussions of banning circumcision. The act plays a major role in Judaism, so banning it would be akin to France's decision to ban the burqa. It would be an act of the government infringing on the religious freedoms of the people — something our constitution guarantees. To ban circumcision would be unconstitutional. As much as we have to worry about the church infiltrating the state, we also have to worry about the state seizing control of the churches. They need to be kept separate in all situations.

Plus, there are benefits to male circumcision. We won't go into too much detail here (Who wants to read a long list regarding the pros of an absent foreskin?). But we will say that many medical officials agree that circumcision is good for hygiene and can also help to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. All in all, it turns out that banning male circumcision is not a move the government should make.


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