Circumcision – Tradition or a Matter of Health?


With the birth of the son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, people remembered old traditions related to the royal family and the upper class of Great Britain. Among them has always been circumcision, but now it seems not so trendy and classy as it was once considered, but more a question of culture and religion.

In the 1980’s, as well as in the 1990’s, New Yorkers thought it was just a good practice to circumcise all boys. In Britain, the procedure has always been associated with being highborn, at least until the 1970’s. While we can be positive about whether the royal family turned to the tradition back in the days, now it seems quite impossible for Kate and William to decide on circumcision. After all, the Duke of Cambridge is not circumcised himself, or so it is said. So, what should parents do? Is it risky, or it benefits somehow the boy? According to many people in the past and still today, the procedure has medical benefits and maintains the hygiene. However, only 3.8 percent of British male babies are circumcised compared to nearly 20 percent in the 1950.

Several studies have already proved that circumcision lowers the risk of transmitting HIV by up to 60 percent. According to the World Health Organization, the procedure may prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, although still many scientists don’t fully agree with this notion. However, circumcision reduces the transmission rates of syphilis and herpes by around 30 percent. The secret hides in the foreskin – it traps bacteria and all kinds of viruses. When it is removed, the risk of infection drops – the viruses simply don’t have a home to live in.

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics said the benefits are definitely more than the risks, so it recommends it to parents. But a new report by the U.S. government reports that the popularity of circumcision in the country has been reduced by around 10 percent in the past three decades. There are many different opinions and believes, but religious tradition still remains in many parts of the world. If you are parents and wonder what the best option for your baby boy is, first check all medical data you can find. And most of all, see medical care workers and ask for their professional advice.