But the more interesting and sympathetic article had to do with circumcision. You may know that there has been discussion in the medical literature for at least 40 years regarding the usefulness of circumcision in preventing STDs and penile and cervical cancer, and more recently the spread of HIV amongst heterosexual populations in Africa. Recently there has been some activity in the opposite direction in and around San Francisco. I'm not sure why that particular city should be more interested than other progressive cities in what they call "intactivist" political and legal wranglings. The article gently considers the situation. Recommended reading.
I sometimes think I get more useful medical info from the WSJ than other more orthodox sources: e.g. I came across another article a few days earlier in the WSJ, written by a woman who believes, with at least some reason, that her husband's circumcision saved her from having his HIV infection transmitted to her. Here is the main pull-quote:
"But here is the reason I am alive today: In the same way that circumcision vastly diminishes the chance of infecting women with the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, studies suggest that circumcision also helps guard against the transmission of the HIV virus. In both cases, cells on the inside of the male foreskin are implicated in spreading the virus. But if the foreskin is removed, a source of infection is also removed."
Of course, voting on questions partly biological, partly religious and partly psychological probably won't settle the matter. The above cartoon is from the intactivists. There is other useful information from both sides. This is a sensitive matter as you might imagine. Sorry, I couldn't resist.