The day of the assembly-line circumcision is drawing closer.
Now that three studies have shown that circumcising adult heterosexual men is one of the most effective “vaccines” against AIDS — reducing the chances of infection by 60 percent or more — public health experts are struggling to find ways to make the process faster, cheaper and safer.
The goal is to circumcise 20 million African men by 2015, but only about 600,000 have had the operation thus far. Even a skilled surgeon takes about 15 minutes, most African countries are desperately short of surgeons, and there is no Mohels Without Borders.
I posted on something similar a while back for some research I was doing. The protective benefits are certainly real and what was once perhaps a purely “stylistic” cultural trait may end up being functional after all — if, in fact, it had some functional backing to begin with — with a different distribution among various populations.
I can imagine what future archaeologists are going to make of these devices. . . .