From Iceland — Icelanders Sharply Divided Over Possible Child Circumcision Ban

Icelanders Sharply Divided Over Possible Child Circumcision Ban

Published March 2, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Beth/Creative Commons

Only 50% of Icelanders support a proposed ban on the circumcision of infants, according to a new poll from Market and Media Research.

39% said they were strongly in favour, while 11% were slightly in favour, of a complete ban on circumcising infant boys. At the same time, 29% said they were strongly opposed to it, while 8% said they were slightly opposed to it, and 13% had no opinion either way.

Slightly more men (57%) than women (49%) support the proposed ban. Support for the ban also increased with education and income level, but decreased with age. In terms of party affiliation, the highest levels of support came from voters of the Pirate Party (59%), the Left-Greens (55%) and the Progressives (54%), who were the ones who introduced the circumcision bill to parliament. Support was lowest amongst voters of the Centre Party (44%), a party comprised in large part by people who left the Progressives, and voters for the Independence Party (42%).

The bill in question has grabbed international headlines. While Icelandic doctors have been very supportive of the ban, it has come under criticism over questions of religious freedom.

Furthermore, a glaring contradiction in the law still concerns intersex children in Iceland, who are themselves also subjected to non-consensual and cosmetic surgery on their genitalia. However, there is no currently pending legislation seeking to ban this practice.


The Controversy Of Circumcision: Questions Of Body Integrity And Religious Persecution Clash

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