The Truth About Circumcision

Circumcision is a hot topic these days – to have your child circumcised or not? That is the question – or perhaps the questions is do you want to be circumcised? About half of men are circumcised and the other half aren’t and there are a lot of myths surrounding circumcision, so here’s what you want to know – the truth!

Dear Dan and Jennifer,

Some men are circumcised and some aren’t – should you get circumcised? Does it hurt? What’s the right age for circumcision? Will it improve sexual pleasure or increase the risk of getting STD’s? What’s the truth?

–Will, TX

 

Religious Beliefs

Circumcision actually stems from old religious beliefs, in the days where the lack of running water, soap and an abundance of sand and dirt made it difficult to keep a penis clean. Today’s families who do not have religious reasons to circumcise their children may still get their boys circumcised for cleanliness and even appearances. It is true that a circumcised penis is easier to keep clean, but as a modern society, we have the ability to teach our children how to clean their genitals properly, circumcised or not. So what is circumcision, really?

A Cosmetic Procedure

Now that we have evolved as a society – you know, one with soap, running water and the whole works – there are no medical reasons that suggest not getting circumcised is harmful to a boy’s health. There are also no medical reasons suggesting that the final outcome of a circumcision is harmful, aside from pain and possible infections that may arise during the healing period. So essentially, a circumcision is a cosmetic procedure.

Be Informed

Before making the decision to circumcise your child, or to have your own penis circumcised, it is important to research the topic yourself. Be smart about it – don’t make the decision blindly, just because your father had it done, or you don’t want your child to look different from other boys in the locker room. Actually sit down and read the information available on circumcision – and there’s a lot of it – to make an informed decision for yourself.

The Truth

Does circumcision hurt? Yes! Babies and men who are circumcised are anesthetized during the procedure, but the healing period is quite painful for both babies and adults. Adults do have a reduced risk of post procedure infection however, as their fresh wounds aren’t sitting in a diaper all day, exposed to excrement. If you do have your child circumcised, ask your doctor how to best reduce the risk of infection and how to keep your child’s wound clean in spite of the fact that a diaper must be worn and the wound will be exposed to urine and feces. Does circumcision increase or decrease the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases? No! Does circumcision increase sexual pleasure? No – in fact, it can do just the opposite. The foreskin that is removed from the penis is packed with nerve endings that are extremely responsive to sexual pleasure in the same way that a woman’s clitoris is. So it’s safe to say that uncircumcised men do, in fact, have greater sexual reception than circumcised men.

If your religious beliefs or morals mitigate getting circumcised or having your child circumcised, go for it! But think about it first – what would your child say if he could choose? How many men have been circumcised only to learn later in life that they’ve lost a part of their anatomy that could have given them greater sexual pleasure – and they never had a choice about it? When it comes to circumcision, just think about it first!


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