XTRA: Robert Darby on Circumcision
December 6th, 2016

David interviews Robert Darby, a very knowledgeable opponent of circumcision.

This discussion was prompted when a doctor had his paper in opposition to one of Darby’s retracted, because the only peer reviewer turned out to be a frequent co-author. The discussion passes through the touted benefits, the rare and common harms, the anatomy and purpose of the foreskin, the changing positions of governments and health authorities around the world and, of course, its role in some religions. It is very interesting to compare male genital cutting with female genital cutting (usually called mutilation, i.e. FGM). Even when FGM is less significant than circumcision (e.g. a symbolic nick in the labia) it is still banned in most countries, yet few want to question the right to circumcise. Preventative mastectomy and tonsil removal are also compared with circumcision. One of the fundamental questions is ethical. Is it right to perform a permanent, irreversible procedure on an infant in order to obtain speculative benefits (which may not even exist), the most significant of which, will only occur when the child reaches sexual maturity?

Robert’s website on this topic is: http://historyofcircumcision.net

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