It seems to me that using sanitation to justify this barbaric custom is analogous to saying that removal of your eyelids will prevent eye-boogers. Am I right?

Well, there is at least one good reason for circumcision that I know of. Removal of the foreskin seems to significantly reduce the chances of contracting HIV. However, doing it as a matter of course in places where HIV rates are low isn't justified, at least to my mind. If it's done at all, it should be done close to sexual maturity and with the consent of the person whose penis it is!

If you want to see what people who are pro-circumcision (and there are many 'out there') have to say see: http://www.circinfo.net/benefits_outwei … risks.html
More measured comments on the effects of circumcision re. disease transmission, etc. can be found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 01691.html
One thing for sure, I’ve heard it’s quite a painful experience for those who are circumcised later in life!

Last edited by Steve Lolait (26th Oct 2010 18:25:30)

Aside from the health question (and you can see there are arguments for and against), the presence/absence of a foreskin is also going to be related to physical sensation & therefore (probably) to pleasure associated with sexual activity.

Obviously few men are in a position to form make a comparative judgement on this, but it does strike me that this is rather overlooked in the debate about the medical benefits/dangers of male circumcision. For instance, whether it is playing sport, engaging in sexual activity, or eating too much chocolate cake most people are willing to accept some  health risks in pursuit of happiness and pleasure!

Well, there is at least one good reason for circumcision that I know of. Removal of the foreskin seems to significantly reduce the chances of contracting HIV. However, doing it as a matter of course in places where HIV rates are low isn't justified, at least to my mind. If it's done at all, it should be done close to sexual maturity and with the consent of the person whose penis it is!

Not sure how this is preferable to condom use (which has a much much higher rate ofHIV prevention than circumcision).  But to each their own!

John's point is well take - see below
http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/malecircu … index.html

As to the "preferability" of circumcision vs condoms to prevent HIV transmission the former once performed is absolute whereas many men in sub-Saharan Africa do not use the latter, hence the problem!