The Absurd Reason Why America Circumcises Baby Boys

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There’s not much harm in circumcision, but there’s also not really any benefit. The key is to not let faulty reasoning and a bunch of 19th century prudes be the motivating factor.

FACT CHECK TIME. Here’s what our fact checkers found:

  • America didn’t adopt the practice of circumcision until the sex-phobic days of the 19th century, when puritanical doctors promoted it as a way to stop kids from masturbating. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)
  • Cleanliness is no longer an issue thanks to modern hygienic standards. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)
  • Circumcision has been found to marginally reduce the risk of HIV transmission, but condoms are still much more effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The foreskin is a natural lubricant, contains millions of nerve endings, and prevents desensitization. Psychology Today (Sept. 2011)
  • There’s no benefit to it. The Mayo Clinic lists some possible advantages but still says only that circumcision “might” be beneficial.

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