"This is idiotic. Why not just start chopping the penis right off? That'll lower the number as well."
Given the limited information already released about the study parameters and controls we will have to wait until it is published to get a better idea as to whether it is good science or not.
Although it is common practice today for Jews and non-Jews alike, there is little evidence that circumcision serves any medical purpose. Nor are the arguments of Philo (for hygene) and Maimonides (curbing lust) particularly convincing. What makes circumcision important is its larger symbolic resonance, as a brit/covenant, a linking of a newly born Jew to a four-thousand-year-long history, a sign of the relationship between Jews and God. Like many other mitzvot, circumcision can be explained by a variety of not very convincing rationales, but ultimately it is a mitzvah one performs for its own sake as a subordination of oneself to a larger entity. (page 146) Perenthesis added.
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