The majority of Americans don't think twice about infant circumcision. They deliver the baby in the hospital and circumcise the little one without a second thought.
But that isn't the norm in the entire world, and it's becoming more and more unpopular as parents learn the truth about circumcision.
Circumcision is not harmless. Every year in the U.S., around 100 baby boys die from the procedure, which is actually the same number which die from SIDS, but you don't hear anyone balking at that number.
Aside from hemorrhage, botched procedures are a real thing. This leaves many men incontinent, sexual discomfort, urinary issues, and even infertile every year.
Fifteen square inches of skin is removed, not just a small snip.
And it's extremely painful. Whoever thought it's less painful for a child and not for a consenting adult should not be practicing medicine.
Contrary to popular opinion, no medical agency promotes routine circumcision. Most who do promote a few studies on uncircumcised hygiene that are conveniently from rural Africa where clean bathing water isn't available...so there is no real hygiene. Great science, guys.
Up to half of U.S. boys are not being circumcised at birth today, thanks to education and good ol' insurance being cheap and not covering the procedure any longer. So, you also can't say that the child will be ridiculed. (Maybe be more worried about your child being seen naked consistently in front of other children in a public setting.)
I was hoping to dispel other circumcision myths, but I actually just read that a child could get an infection, such as meningitis, from not being circumcised on parenting.com, which is beyond uneducated. I can't handle more dumb than that.
In addition, foreskins are removed and sold by hospitals for a huge profit. Think that's gross? They're put into face creams and more for public use.
Uses of the Foreskin
The foreskin is an important part of a man and his partner's sexual experience. The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis, and provides lubrication during sex for both the male and woman. Science has noted that this part of the penis actually senses female hormones and adjusts its own hormones - possibly for sexual purposes and/or reproduction. During erection, the foreskin accommodates the increased size of the penis. You got problems if you don't have the skin...
The foreskin actually protects the glans within from infection and keeps it moist. The glans is an internal organ - it should be be exposed to air, clothing, and bacteria like the rest of the outer skin. However, without protection, men's glans are exposed to all these elements and lose feeling within a few years.
I'm not a man, but I imagine I would be pissed to learn that a doctor cut off one-third of my penis skin.
What To Know If You Leave Your Son Intact
Uncircumcised males are called "intact," because they have all their pieces intact. If your child is uncircumcised, you should be prepared to educate your physician on routine care. In Europe, this is the norm, but in the U.S., your physician suffers from poor education and likely has no idea how to really deal with a real penis.
They may try to "retract" the penis, and you will need to inform (or demand) them that this isn't necessary, that the penis will retract on its own during puberty. This keeps all of the bad bacteria out of your son's delicate glans. Otherwise, intact boys need no other special care or cleaning.
Many cite the need for circumcision on religious reasons, but this is heavily debated. The routine western circumcision procedure is not the same as ancient, biblical circumcision. Circumcision was traditionally a small cut or small ring cut of the penis, not removing a large part of the skin. This is called a milah circumcision, and can still be done by traditional and Messianic Jewish rabbis.
Why Not Wait?
It's always an option to allow the consenting adult to circumcise himself later in life. It's also an option for those who were circumcised and regret it, to regrow the foreskin. The procedure is too risky, has zero benefit, and is not the parent's body to make a choice about.