Researchers from Australia and America say circumcision should be offered to parents in much the same way as a vaccination because of significant health benefits associated with the procedure.
They said the benefits outweigh any negative effects by 100 to one. The study stated that nearly half of uncircumcised men will endure physical ailments directly related to not having their foreskin removed.
This includes urinary tract infection — which can potentially damage the kidneys. Previous research showed nearly 30% of uncircumcised men will suffer from such an infection.
Brian Morris, a professor at the University of Sydney School of Medical Science who led the study, said:
“The new findings now show that infant circumcision should be regarded as equivalent to childhood vaccination and that as such it would be unethical not to routinely offer parents circumcision to their baby boy. Delay puts the child’s health at risk and will usually mean it will never happen.”
During the 1960s, 83% of men were circumcised in the U.S. Today, it sits at 77%. The lack of circumcision is prominent among certain ethnic groups such as Latinos who are not as familiar with the practice.
About a week after this study was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a second was released pointing to further health benefits tied to circumcision.
Circumcision reduces rates of prostate cancer
Researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada stated that men who had circumcisions after the age 35 were 45% less likely to have prostate cancer than their uncircumcised counterparts.
This benefit was most noticeable among the black population where the decrease in prostate cancer among men hit 60%, no matter what age circumcision took place.
The report further stated that prostate cancer is the lowest among Jewish and Muslim men who are typically circumcised at a young age — both groups trace circumcision back to the Old Testament requirement. For those circumcised as infants (before the age of one) there is a 14% reduction in prostate cancer.
The researchers interviewed men from the Montreal area — half of whom had prostate cancer.
The two studies support a recent announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics promoting easier access to male circumcision.
Circumcision was God’s idea
Many look at the Old Testament Law as series of random edicts that served little practical purpose other than ritual. In fact, I believe God instituted many of these laws for important health reasons.
The first Biblical mention of circumcision occurs in the book of Genesis when God told Abraham circumcision would be a sign of the covenant between him and Jehovah:
“And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.” (Genesis 17:11 NASV)
Why was circumcision chosen?
I believe God chose circumcision for two reasons. First, it expressed personal identity with the covenant people. Any who were not circumcised were to be cut off from the people of God (Genesis 17:14).
Secondly, I suspect God chose it because of the inherent health benefits attached to the procedure.
When God created man, he was expected to live in a world free of disease and immorality. However, after Adam and Eve sinned, their world instantly changed and health issues became vitally important.
Since any number of rites could have been used to seal God’s covenant with Abraham, I have wondered if there was something about this particular procedure that had a health benefit as well. To have a study compare circumcision to a vaccination against sickness certainly endorses this idea.