Guðmundsdóttir, Jóhanna Birna:
The practice of male circumcision has been around for thousands of years. It has been practiced for variety of reasons related to culture and religion. Since the late 19th century it has also been practiced for variety of medically related reasons. This paper, which uses a normative method with an argumentative structure, will defend the right of the child to bodily integrity, and aims to demonstrate why the practice of male circumcision of infants and young boys for non-therapeutic purposes should be considered a violation of this right. The argumentation will include a discussion and critiques regarding the proclaimed medical benefits of the procedure and conclude that they appear to be built on weak grounds. Further, the conflict between the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their religious beliefs and the rights of children to bodily integrity as well as their own right to freedom of religion, will be discussed. The conclusion maintains that male circumcision for religious purposes at the earliest stages of development, should be considered a violation of the child´s right to bodily integrity, as well as a violation of the child´s right to choose its own religion in the future. The paper concludes by stating that all children, no matter what gender they are, should be protected from genital cutting.
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