Physician here. I am surprised by the ignorance of some of these comments in this thread. This procedure is best done in infancy, otherwise you'd have to get it under general anesthesia if you're older when it's associated with significantly higher rates of acute complications and reduced protective value.
As to how circumcision is medically justified:
- It is actually protective against STIs
- Significantly reduces risk of penile cancer as well as cervical cancer for the partner.
- Absolutely eliminates the risk of phimosis and paraphimosis (an extremely painful extension or retraction of the foreskin respectively)
- Reduces the risk of balanitis (inflammation of the glans).
Adverse effects are essentially equivalent to any local surgical procedure, which when done properly can be slim to none.
No studies have found any negative long term effects of circumcision.
The issue here is the ethical dilemma of having an irreversible medical procedure without informed consent, not that it's not medically logically sound, as some commenters suggested.
EDIT: If you're genuinely interested in educating yourself on the subject, there's plenty of literature online, I can't reply to every idiot who doesn't understand the basic concept of scientific data, and the truth is, most people have their minds made up on this matter and will refuse any facts that contradict their belief. "I am not circumcised and I haven't had any problems" is not a valid medical argument. "why don't we remove breasts of women so they won't get cancer" is invalid as well, since breasts actually serve a sexual / exocrine function, (and just as an aside, for some groups of women with high risk of breast carcinoma we do, it's called a prophylactic mastectomy). The only valid argument against circumcision would be that it's done without consent, and perhaps aesthetics depending on personal preference. The majority of the medical community agrees that for parents who opt to do the procedure the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and is medically justified.
With all due respect, what a load of shit.
Circumcision is strictly a religious practice that happened to go mainstream. Nobody should consider circumcising a child just because of these so-called "risks". As an uncircumcised man, I have had absolutely zero issues whatsoever, and most other circumcised might be with me on that. Cutting off a part of your body because of a teensy little "risk" doesn't mean it has to be done.
This is like saying that we should all consider shaving our heads because it reduces the risk of lice.