What’s your implicit model?

by Andreas Baumann

I recently read this article (nb: in Danish), where the pediatrician Morten Staberg argues against the legality of circumcision from a medical perspective. I’m not going to address his points, because I doubt that I’ll be able to offer valid points on the medical aspects per se.

Rather, I’d like to focus on one point, where I’m disagreeing with him: what’s the comparison model? He is (implicitly) comparing the current practice of circumcision in Denmark with a state of no circumcision – which is wrong! If you criminalize circumcision, you’ll reduce the number of circumcisions, but you won’t eradicate it. And those who illegally continue to perform circumcision on children will do so in worse sanitary conditions for being forced underground and will be more reluctant to seek out medical advice if adverse effects arise.

In this aspect, it ties in with the prostitution debate: making prostitution illegal won’t eradicate it, but it will lead to some bad effects for the persons involved. We shouldn’t compare the current legal state of prostitution with a state wherein nobody is a prostitute, because that’s not what will result from a ban. The same goes for circumcision.

It’s all about living in the real world.