There is a possible link between autism and circumcision. Autism is a disorder that affects the brain and manifests itself at an early age. Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the penis of a newborn male. This is one of the most bizarre connections to autism made, and many do not take the theory seriously. There is some evidence that there may be truth to this theory. The thought process goes by population, and the percentage of that population that is circumcised. The most obvious reason for this thought process is the fact that there is more autism in nations where circumcision is more commonplace. For instance, the United States.
One theory is that the trauma of a circumcision is to blame. The argument states that the trauma from the surgical procedure with no anaesthetic puts the young mind in a state of shock. The young mind, being so underdeveloped, stays in a state of shock to a certain extent. This is the supposed reason the person turns out to be a person with autism. The mind is trying to keep itself in a state of good health, but it is difficult to do this when such trauma is experienced when the brain is forming its first memories and cognitive developmental abilities.
Another theory is that if an anesthetic is used during circumcision, it can take a toll on the brain. Remember, at this point the brain is very susceptible to anything. It is still developing and can be swayed in any direction. Anesthetic may have a negative effect on the brain of a young child.
It seems like a “no win” situation for this case. Without anesthetic you risk trauma, and with it you risk brain damage. Either way, the brain is affected. Whether or not it is affected in a way that promotes autism is still unknown. Also, this is generalized only amongst the male population, since females are not circumcised. Furthermore, there are uncircumcised males who have autism. In the end, it may not be the only cause, but may very well contribute to autism. The extra care for a penis with foreskin left intact is also harder for the autistic child to take care of and clean properly. This presents yet another problem for the autistic child and the autistic child’s caretaker and/or parents. Whether or not there is a link between circumcision and autism is still unclear, but the evidence shows that it may. However, a circumcised penis is probably more manageable for an autistic child. Again, this is a no win situation.
If female circumcision is performed, the female newborn is much more likely to become traumatized by the incident. In female circumcision, which is relatively uncommon, the clitoris is most often removed. This is much more likely to end in neuron damage and a state of shock that permanently damages the brain to cause symptoms of autism. While, again, this seems to only affect the genital area, it does have an affect on the brain as the nerves are connected to the central nervous system.
In conclusion, while it would seem that the majority of children with autism are circumcised, there seems to be little evidence to prove that the the circumcision is to blame. However, while female circumcision is uncommon, it would seem that this is more likely to cause brain damage than male circumcision (although both are traumatic). The general verdict is that there is no connection between circumcision and autism. However, circumcision may be the better choice for a male with autism in terms of care and cleaning.