It has been known for quite some time that circumcision cannot be justified on medical grounds. It carries significant risks and minimal, if any, health benefits that can easily be achieved without surgery. In fact, this is the consensus among nearly the entire modern world. This raises the question of why the U.S. is an outlier among nearly every developed country when it comes to circumcision.
It is most often performed in a medical setting, by parents who are told by their doctors that it is normal, routine and healthy. Despite this, it has been known since the 1980s to be unnecessary and potentially even unsafe. In 1980, Edward Wallerstein, a prominent medical writer, wrote a 197 page heavily footnoted book entitled Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy. In it he writes
“Today circumcision is a solution in search of a problem. The operation, as prophylaxis, has no place in a rational society.”
Since then, there has been a slurry of academic research showing that circumcision has significant risks, downsides, complications and is ethically and legally questionable.