Male Genital Mutilation/Circumcision
Male genital cutting is known by several names. It is most commonly known as circumcision but is also known as "male genital mutilation" (MGM). The practice of cutting of male infants is common in the United States, but it's a rare practice in much of the rest of the world.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in the United States since 1997. FGM is justifiably considered by the law and overwhelming public perception to be an unethical, medically unnecessary procedure that violates the rights of the infant girl who cannot understand or consent to the procedure. FGM has also been demonstrated to have negative effects in adulthood and has rightly been banned to protect the rights of girls.
Unfortunately, the same protections have not been extended to infant boys. Although MGM is commonly considered to be a harmless, even beneficial procedure, the data do not support this conclusion.
Like FGM, MGM commonly results in reduced sensitivity in the genitals, which results in reduced pleasure during sexual activity. In fact, surgical removal of the foreskin reduces the amount of penile nerve tissue by approximately 50%.
In addition, complications from MGM are more common than many people realize. Improperly performed circumcisions can cause symptoms ranging from painful erections to mental health problems, and even death.
Most importantly, MGM is a human rights violation because an infant cannot understand or consent to the procedure. Whereas an adult man is well within his rights to have himself circumcised if he chooses, an infant cannot make this decision for himself.
Because MGM has not been demonstrated to have clear health benefits and it is performed on infants who cannot consent to the procedure we seek to prevent the practice on infant male circumcision through our advocacy. MGM is a violation of male infant's human rights in the same way FGM is a violation of girls' human rights.