Circumcision isn’t something I had to research much since I knew early on we were having a girl. Also, even without research it was a no brainer for me. I wasn’t going to permanently disfigure my child’s body through surgical mutilation of his genitals. Let’s just be straight about it – religious reasons aside, genital mutilation of minors should be illegal. This is honestly a human rights issue.
However, my cousin is pregnant right now with a baby boy! Her baby shower was yesterday and it was so fun. Anyways it prompted me to dig a little deeper into this practice. Here’s what you need to know:
- There is no medical reason for circumcision. No medical association recommends circumcision. It is entirely without medical merit. Although some small studies claim an increase in STDs for intact males this has been debunked.
- Circumcision is painful. Many doctors will claim that the baby cries due to being tied down and not due to, as Dr. Greene puts it, “What a preposterous idea that little boys don’t feel pain when part of the penis is first ripped from the underlying tissue, crushed with a clamp, and then amputated! ” Furthermore, this pain has a long term effect on the infant. This effect is analagous to post traumatic stress disorder.
- Circumcision diminishes sexual pleasure. Of course you aren’t really thinking about sex when you look at your little baby boy but one day you do want your son to have a well-adjusted and happy sex life, right? Removing the foreskin exposes the glans of the penis to friction. In response this skin thickens and loses sensitivity. This leads to decreased tactile sensitivity and can cause sexual dysfunctions such as premature ejaculation and curvature of the penis (source).
- Circumcision as an adult is a simple surgery that an adult male can choose. However, foreskin restoration can take 2-4 years of daily stretching and will never completely approximate the sensory characteristics of a true foreskin. In other words, if you fear your son will be embarrassed about having an intact penis it is easily remedied. It is easier in this case to take away than to put back.