Critical evaluation of unscientific arguments disparaging affirmative infant male circumcision policy

World J Clin Pediatr. 2016 Aug 8;5(3):251-61. doi: 10.5409/wjcp.v5.i3.251.


We evaluate recent claims opposing infant male circumcision, a procedure now supported by the evidence-based policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics. We find those criticisms depend on speculative claims about the foreskin and obfuscation of the strong scientific evidence supporting pediatric policy development. An argument that circumcision should be delayed to allow a boy to make up his own mind as an adult fails to appreciate the psychological, scheduling and financial burdens later circumcision entails, so reducing the likelihood that it will occur. In contrast, early infant circumcision is convenient, safer, quicker, lower risk, healing is faster, cosmetic outcome is routinely good and the lifetime benefits accrue immediately. Benefits include reduction in urinary tract infections, inflammatory skin conditions, foreskin problems, and, when older, substantial protection against sexually transmitted infections and genital cancers in the male and his female sexual partners. Some authorities regard the failure to offer parents early infant circumcision as unethical, just as it would be unethical to fail to encourage the vaccination of children. In conclusion, the criticisms of evidence-based infant male circumcision policy are seriously flawed and should be dismissed as unhelpful to evidence-based development and implementation of pediatric policy intended to improve public health and individual wellbeing.

Keywords: American Academy of Pediatrics; Foreskin; Male circumcision; Newborn; Policy.

Publication types

  • Editorial