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Research Shows Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the health benefits of circumcision in infants surpass the risks involved in the surgery. However, the physicians group said it is still up to the parents to make the call. Evidence shows that circumcision reduces the likelihood of urinary tract infection among infants as well as the risks for penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

“We’re not saying you have to have it,” Dr. Andrew Freedman said. “We’re saying if a family thinks it is in the child’s best interests, the benefits are enough to help them do that.”

Dr. Freedman is a pediatric urologist at Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also chaired the AAP’s circumcision task force.

According to the AAP circumcision task force, male circumcision does not affect sexual function, penile sensitivity or sexual satisfaction. The group, however, emphasized that its advocacy is to give parents unbiased information regarding circumcision, its procedure and effects. That way, parents can make intelligent decisions.

Circumcision is a ritual obligation common in Jewish and Muslim males. This surgical procedure involves removing the foreskin of the penis.

While the general population in the US adopted this practice for its health benefits, circumcision is still the subject of debate, particularly in San Francisco and Germany, where there are efforts to ban the practice.

An unidentified doctor in Germany filed lawsuits against a Jewish rabbi for performing circumcisions on infants. Just two months after, the court in Cologne banned the practice, infuriating both Jews and Muslims.

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin of the Ahavath Torah congregation in Englewood, New Jersey stressed that these circumcisions are performed for religious purposes and do not involve pain medication. He added that every procedure is quick.

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