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A friend of mine is about to have a baby boy, and is wondering whether to have the child circumcised.

I did a little googling, and unearthed the following factoids:

(1) In the developed world, the prevalence of circumcision is quite low, with the exceptions to this rule being the United States, Canada, and Australia. (Prevalence means how many males in the population are circumcised.)

(2) Even in these three countries the incidence — what percentage of male babies are circumcised each year — seems to be falling fast. Good statistics are a bit scarce, but it appears that incidence rates in the USA have fallen to not much over 50%, and may be a lot lower in places where Bob Marley’s Legend is usually playing on the PA while you make your selections at the Whole Foods hot bar, and a lot of houses cost $4 million but still have a statuette of the Buddha out front, to remind you that suffering is caused by desire (cough, Boulder, cough).

(3) The medical benefits of circumcision seem real but fairly minor for the most part.

(4) I was kicking this around with other friends of our mutual friend, and an argument broke out in this exclusively male conversation about whether straight women had an aesthetic preference in this regard, and what it was. I have no opinion/information on that side of the matter.

This is I believe is one of only five topics that have never been discussed on LGM, so let’s get that number down to four.

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