Letters: Circumcision -- who needs it?

Re “Perhaps the kindest cut of all?,” Opinion, Aug. 12

Like most apologists for routine circumcision, Charlotte Allen populates her argument with studies suggesting modest reductions in viral infection rates and negligible differences in penile sensory function.

The proper legal and moral ground on this issue does not rest on statistics. It rests on the most basic principle of human rights: A person is entitled to his or her body, and any structural or functional operation performed without consent or without a compelling medical need is unacceptable. Prophylactic or cosmetic rationales are never sufficient.

Routine infant circumcision is a barbarism.

Peter Marston



Although I agree with Allen that circumcision should not be criminalized, I was offended by her attitude toward men who oppose it, especially those who had suffered trauma as a result of circumcision.

Her sexist comment telling them to “man up” is equivalent to a man saying that the pain of childbirth is no big deal. What would her response be to that sexist comment?

The final straw was her comment, “If circumcision was good enough for Jesus, how bad can it be?” Maybe that was just intended to promote her book on the historical Jesus, but it suggests that even nonbelievers should be influenced by a biblical character.

Bert Bigelow


Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend routine circumcision. Still, parents need to decide what is best for their sons based on their own beliefs.

However, Allen’s tone was disrespectful to parents who do make decisions on raising their children. She disparages the “crunchy” parents who choose to breastfeed beyond their child’s first year of life. Breast milk continues to provide immunological and nutritional benefits as long as a child breastfeeds.

And what does Jesus being circumcised have to do with anything?

Barbara Schwartz



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