We’ve just added proposals on MGM, along with background information, to our public consultation document, which is downloadable through this link:
The full text of our proposals and background information:
As a party we respect freedom of conscience, however, the government should work with those in various faith communities (Jewish, Muslim, some Christian traditions, and others) who oppose MGM, or who advocate for far less extreme versions of the practice, and shape policy in this area to be sensitive to religious sensibilities but work to reduce or eliminate the practice.
Only medical practitioners should be permitted to perform MGM, and only in registered medical premises. All MGM operations should be registered, the reason(s) for them being carried out recorded, and the related information passed to the Department of Health. Key data to be made available to the public, including aggregated figures for the number of operations carried out on males for different reasons (e.g. medical reasons, a faith requirement…), by age band, for each of the different faith traditions.
MGM must only be performed after the application of local anaesthetic.
Taking males under the age of 18 abroad to have the operation performed in other countries should be a criminal offence.
Men may choose voluntarily to have MGM performed any time after their 18th birthdays.
The law in the UK doesn’t permit any form of female circumcision – female genital mutilation ‘FGM’. We believe men and boys should enjoy the same legal protection as women and girls.
In the vast majority of cases, MGM is performed solely for cultural or religious reasons. MGM frequently leads to complications – sometimes resulting in death, from bleeding – and it’s now widely accepted that at least in developed countries, MGM doesn’t have the health benefits (for males or their partners) which were at one time widely claimed. The practise is increasingly being opposed by people in religious traditions which have long required or recommended it.42
Quite apart from potential adverse physical and mental health consequences, a number of authorities are strongly opposed to MGM on ethical grounds.43
The British campaigner Glen Poole, who leads the ‘Helping Men’ organisation44 also runs the blog, ‘Ending Unnecessary Male Circumcision in the UK’.45
There’s clear medical evidence showing that one consequence of MGM is a marked reduction in the sensitivity of the penis, reducing circumcised men’s pleasure during sex.46,47