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Circumcision is a practice of surgically removing the foreskin of the penis. Circumcision was, and still is, a normalized practice among many religion groups; and this is in fact the origin of where cutting the foreskin off was started. Circumcision is a widely accepted procedure, however this procedure is based off religious beliefs and cosmetics, NOT hygiene or health.
So why is it such a big deal, or why should it be? Well, because circumcision actually does more harm than good, yet it’s so normalized that people don’t actually look past the myths fed to them to see how problematic it really is. I’m here to debunk these myths and feed you some truth about male genitalia mutilation. I ask you to please click on the links, as they’ll help you understand where this is all coming from.
1: Why did you call circumcision mutilation? They’re two completely different things.
Actually, circumcision is a form of mutilation AND amputation. “Mutilation: An injury that causes disfigurement or that deprives you of a limb or other important body part (x).” “Amputation: A condition of disability resulting from the loss of one or more limbs. A surgical removal of all or part of a limb (x).” Circumcision alters the appearance of the penis and it’s function.
2: How does it alter the function of the penis? I thought it served no purpose.
WRONG! Every part of the body has a purpose (some more necessary than others), and that “flap of skin” covering the head of the penis is no different.
The foreskin is packed with nerve endings, over 20,000. The foreskin also serves an important role of protecting the head of the penis from kernelization. Without the foreskin, the glands callus, giving the penis a hard solid texture, which desensitizes the nerves. Males lose on average about 80% of feeling from being circumcised at birth. Take a look at the picture if you already haven’t. The cut penis has a very rough, dry exterior and discolored head. The intact penis, on the other hand, is soft, spongy and moisturized. The color of the intact penis is from the bloods ability to reach the surface of the glands. Foreskin also produces its own lubrication and has a lot of slack, both of which are an important part of making penetration comfortable and pleasurable for not only the owner of the penis, but their partner as well.
3: Isn’t it harder to keep clean if you’re not cut?
Actually, no. The foreskin doesn’t have the ability to retract during infancy, so as parents you should only attempt to clean what you see. Attempting to retract the foreskin before it is capable of doing so on its own could cause tearing, and the foreskin is self-cleaning like the inside of the vagina. If you think about it, that’s actually easier to clean than a cut penis. Once the foreskin has been cut off, the parent would have to take extra precautions to make sure it heals properly, because you’ve wounded the penis. If kept intact, once the foreskin is capable of retracting (around the age of 5-6) all the child would need to do is pull the foreskin back to clean it. (aboutcirc.com)
4: But circumcision helps prevent UTIs/ STDs.
Urinary tract infections are more common in women than they are in men. We tell women to fight off UTIs with cranberry juice and water. Why do we attempt to fight it off through mutilation in men? This myth has been debunked. A study has found that there is no relationship between circumcision and lower rates of urinary tract infection in men. Another study also debunked the myth that cutting off the foreskin lowers the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Circumcision is practiced more often in American than in any other country, yet America has one of the highest rates of STDs in the world. If circumcision and STD prevention were connected, America should have the lowest rate in the world.
5: Circumcision prevents penile cancer.
And removing a woman’s breasts would prevent breast cancer, but we don’t do that, do we? Amputation is not a logical method of prevention.
6: It’s better to have it done as a baby because babies don’t feel the pain. They stop crying after the first cut. Circumcision at birth is more ethical and less dangerous.
Yes, they do feel the pain. Don’t believe me, click here. Many babies go into shock during the cutting, which is why they stop crying. The doctor in that video used general anesthesia, but most don’t because anesthesia on someone so small puts them at an even higher risk of dying. The foreskin isn’t meant to be separated at infancy. Infant circumcision forces the foreskin to rip from the glands of the penis in order to be cut off. I don’t know about you, but the thought of ripping and cutting a penis makes me cringe.
Cutting at infancy puts your baby at a greater risk of death or botching. It only
takes about 2.3 fluid ounces of blood loss to kill a newborn baby. That’s not even enough to fill a shot glass. Doctors have to use clamps in order to keep the blood loss at a minimum (more ouch). Circumcision is less painful if the person is allowed the right to decide during adulthood. If an adult chooses to circumcise his penis, the foreskin can retract on its own and anesthesia can be used; making the procedure more comfortable and precise.
Lets talk about botched circumcision. Because the penis is not fully formed at infancy, botch circumcision happens often. Precision is increased when a person has their circumcision occur at adulthood. Look over at the picture on the right. I’m sure you’ve looked at latex balloons with messages or logos on them. When a company puts a logo or message on a latex balloon, they blow it up first because the design would look distorted if they placed the design on the balloon while it was deflated. The same goes for the penis; circumcision precision is better when the penis is fully formed.
7: Circumcision is done for religious purposes. You can’t deny someone their religious expression!
Everyone has their right to religious expression, however your child is his own person now that he lives outside your womb. You may be their parent, and you may have to make choices for them; but mutilating them for a divine being, that they haven’t had the chance to decide if they worship, is unethical and immoral. Religious freedom does not include the right to violate someone else’s body and rights.
Most religious circumcision rituals are practiced by rabbis or priests; not doctors. In some traditions, it’s normal for said priest or rabbi to suck off the foreskin after it’s been cut from the penis. Some unlucky infant males contract STDs from this mouth-to-wounded-penis contact; and, as a result, die at an early age.
Now, I don’t want to upset any circumcised men out there. If you honestly don’t care about the loss of your foreskin, that’s great! Some men, however, don’t feel the same way after reading information like this. Well, I have good new for you. You can restore your foreskin. Foreskin restoration is a non-surgical procedure, where all you need to do is provide a constant tension on the remaining shaft-skin. You can also tug on the remaining skin manually, but devices like these have more promising effects of restoration. This process takes on average 3-5 years, sometimes even 7, depending on how much skin was cut off in the first place. Many men are seeking foreskin restoration as a method to restore sensitivity to the penis, reverse the keratinization of the glands, and bring back the natural lubrication that an intact penis has.
I hope the information provided here will convince you to tell that doctor “no” when they ask you if you’d like your sons penis to be circumcised. If your curiosity and questions still aren’t satisfied, please visit stopinfantcircumcision.org.