According to at least one researcher, male circumcision rates in the U.S. dropped from 56% in 2006 to less than 33% at the end of 2009—that is almost a 50% drop in just three years. In a recent interview, pediatric bioethicist Dr. Douglas Diekema cited several factors that may have impacted this steep decline: (1) the American Academy of Pediatrics’ rather neutral stance on the matter beginning about ten years ago, which resulted in insurance companies dropping coverage of the procedure, (2) anti-circumcision activists using emotional pleas—referring to male circumcision as genital mutilation, and (3) increasing Hispanic populations that do not traditionally practice male circumcision of infants.
Dr. Diekema went on to highlight the benefits of male circumcision that will likely be lost with the declining trend, such as a significantly decreased risk of infant urinary tract infection (which can be a dangerous condition) and a significantly decreased risk of sexually transmitted disease transmission, including HIV. Dr. Diekema also pointed out that the risks inherent in infant circumcision are far less than those at older ages (NPR, August 22, 2010).
As the U.S. moves away from its Judeo-Christian roots, practices that were once commonplace are now becoming taboo. Although God no longer requires circumcision for spiritual reasons (see Acts 15, Romans 2:25-29), the health benefits are still well known in the medical profession. But today, anything associated with biblical beliefs is being rejected—regardless of the benefits to children and adults alike.