This question was asked a couple of times in the Advanced Forum which I am not allowed to post in. So I started this thread where I am able to post.
Shortly after the end of WWII and the soon to be Baby Boom Dr. Benjamin Spock first published his book "Baby and Child Care" which became a best seller. One of the spin offs of WWII was modern science/medicine/technology, the US population in general became very aware of this because of the major break throughs brought about by WWII and helped end the war. In this book Dr. Spock advocated male circumcision at birth for hygienic reasons and prevention of cervical cancer in women. Which probably appealed strongly to young mothers (fears), whom also wanted to appear as modern and progressive.
Most males in the US prior to WWII were not circumcised routinely. After WWII and with Dr. Spock's book "Baby and Child Care" became a runaway best seller, Circumcision became routine procedure for male babies. Often the medical community would press to have the procedure performed. In many hospitals including military circumcision became routine and the only way to prevent the procedure was to object. In the late 40's through the 60's male circumcision rates hit about 90%. I have even read published accounts of some military branch recruiters requiring recruits to be circumcised prior to admittance to the service.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin McLane Spock (May 2, 1903 – March 15, 1998) was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care (1946) is one of the best-selling volumes in history. The book's premise to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."
Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children's needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals. However, his theories were also widely criticized by colleagues for relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence rather than serious academic research.
Spock was an activist in the New Left and anti Vietnam War movements during the 1960s and early 1970s. At the time, his books were criticized for propagating permissiveness and an expectation of instant gratification which allegedly led young people to join these movements—a charge that Spock denied. Spock also won an Olympic gold medal in rowing in 1924 while attending Yale University.
In the 1940/50s, Spock advocated circumcision of males performed within a few days of birth based on a belief that it would lower the chance of cervical cancer and avoid psychological trauma to older children.
The 1976 revision of Baby and Child Care he concurred with a 1971 American Academy of Pediatrics task force that there was no medical reason to recommend routine circumcision, and in a 1989 article for Redbook magazine he stated that "circumcision of males is traumatic, painful, and of questionable value." He received the first Human Rights Award from the International Symposium on Circumcision (ISC) in 1991 and was quoted saying, "My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone".[