Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The foreskin: Why is it such a secret in North America?

Note: Never have I gotten so many comments and emails in response to a blog post, much less rumors that I'm a man. I'll keep that in mind.
` And for the record, it wasn't until 2014 that I had the opportunity to put a man's intact penis in my very much female vagina -- that is, after I regained sensation in it. Long story. This frictionless appendage made me realize that sex doesn't have to be painful or cause hazardous inflammation. And with that image in your mind...

I was nineteen or twenty years old when a male friend of mine, we'll call him Bill, let me in on a most shocking fact: He was missing part of his penis, and so were almost all boys and men that I had ever seen in my entire life, as well as all the anatomical diagrams that I had ever seen. Ever.

Sure, I had heard of circumcision as a Jewish religious practice, but thought myself unlikely to ever see its results. Little did I know, all the male genitalia I had seen both in real life and as depicted in American anatomy books, had been edited in exactly the same way.
` The shock from this revelation overwhelmed me for weeks, especially since I considered myself to be fairly knowledgeable about anatomy. (My interests included biology and drawing biological structures.)

Why would anyone selectively remove foreskins, not just from real people but from scientific anatomical texts, which I had thought were meant to represent the natural human form?
` And why did no one ever tell me about this? It was as though a basic feature that males (of all mammals) are normally born with was not to be understood or even acknowledged.

I spent the next few weeks at the local library, immersing myself in primary and secondary source materials on the relevant anatomy, medicine and history, before I was satisfied that I had an accurate understanding of what was going on. To summarize what I had found:
` The foreskin (or prepuce) is a man's most sensitive erogenous zone, more well-developed in humans than in other species of mammal. It has unique sexual functions (more on that later), which circumcision effectively destroys -- and this is intentional:
` Although foreskin-chopping was once a purely religious or cultural practice, it was introduced to American medicine in the late 1800s, as a 'cure-all', thanks to the trend of pathologizing (treating as illness) normal human sexuality and healthy genitalia.

At the time, many doctors believed that sexual stimulation and ejaculation literally drained men of their vitality and caused all manner of illnesses and mental problems. Semen was thought to take a lot of blood to make, and losing one ounce was considered the equivalent of losing a quart of blood.
` Painfully severing the man or boy's most erogenous zone was recommended, and in orphanages, it was more common to sever the penile nerve as well. This was meant to traumatize and discourage him from masturbating, lest his health deteriorate from excessive ejaculations (which was diagnosed as "spermatorrhea").
` Yes, really.
` There were many quack remedies in the 1800s to improve men's virility and erections, and to keep them from losing semen via masturbating and nocturnal emissions. This was not considered a contradiction because a man's purpose was thought to be saving his sperm for making babies.

This may be a shock to some, although my readers may be more familiar with the ancient belief that women suffered from a vague illness called "hysteria", some of whose symptoms are sexual desire and vaginal lubrication.
` Typically, this was a "disorder" of women who didn't have husbands, or whose husbands left them wanting in bed, and it was thought that the buildup of sexual fluids such as "female sperm" (ejaculate) were poisoning them.
` In order to relieve "hysteria" symptoms, the two-thousand year old wisdom of treating it involved "massage" techniques of the "womb" (vulva), in order to induce a "hysterical paroxysm" (orgasm).
` For doctors in the 1800s, this was hard work, so often they recommended a midwife to do this, and later on invented a number of vibrators and water jets that were much more effective.
` The fact that vibrators were the fifth household appliance to become electrified is a testament to the pathologization of women's sexuality, not to their sexual freedom, as is popularly imagined. (That part happened later.)

Importantly, this treatment was not openly considered to be sexual because it did not involve penetration, thanks to the male-centered view of sex.
` This is how masturbation (that is, without a medically-sanctioned device) could be thought of as causing illness in females.
` However, there was another, less popular "treatment" to discourage "irritation" and "over-stimulation" in females -- excision of the external clitoris. In other words, medicalized 'female circumcision'.
` Various forms of this practice appeared sporadically until the 1970s, and were even funded by Medicaid and promoted for the same reasons as male circumcision (appearance, reduction of 'dirty' smegma, health, etc).

It may come as a shock to find that in the U.S., many widespread popular beliefs about the penis today are actually based on the same Victorian Era quackery rather than today's medical science.
` Indeed, the non-therapeutic circumcision of infant boys has continued to be medicalized in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in Canada, due to such persistent beliefs.
` Thanks to Lewis Sayre, notable surgeon and pro-circumcision quack of the 1870's, one example is the pathologization of completely normal infant foreskins:
` This continues today in hospitals, thanks to continued ignorance about penile gross anatomy: Attempts to 'fix' the child's normal foreskin normally result in severe injury and pain. More about this shortly.

Non-therapeutic circumcision of boys by medical professionals did spread to a few other countries -- most of which have long rejected it on the grounds that it is extremely harmful, with no significant medical benefit.
` As for the few cultures that continue to give routine infant penis-reductions a veil of medical validation, the justifications for it depend on the culture and era. In other words, it is based on local beliefs, not science.
` The scientific literature reveals the physical, neurological, and psychological harms of this tradition, but these are creatively ignored or glossed-over in much of the U.S. medical community.

Yes, that's me with the weird hair.
This past April 28th, the Seattle Atheists invited John Geisheker to correct some of these myths. He is Executive Director and General Counsel for Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC), an organization which opposes the unnecessary genital surgery of any child.

His presentation was video-recorded and uploaded on YouTube, so if you're interested, you can open the link in a new tab before reading on:
Circumcision: At the intersection of Religion, Medicine, and Human Rights
` Either way, I have handily rehashed most of what he says in the rest of my article. This is partly thanks to the notes I took -- which you can see me doing in the center of the frame.

So, how did an anti-sexuality practice of the Victorian Era ever become normalized and progressive? And, what was missing from all those anatomy books, anyway?
` Even anatomy books I've seen that include the foreskin do not have a detailed visual representation of it, nor do they have much description beyond saying that's skin that 'covers the tip of the penis'.
` But it isn't:

An anatomy lesson that a medical professional should not need:

The male prepuce, or foreskin, is a highly mobile and extraordinarily sensitive double fold of tissue that is the end of the penis. During an erection, it rolls back and inside-out, unfolding until it covers much of the penile shaft.
` Typically, the swelling glans (head of the penis) extends "through" the foreskin until it is mostly or completely exposed. (Sometimes, the foreskin is so long that the glans is unable make it across -- a feature which was prized by the Ancient Greeks.)
` When there is nothing holding the foreskin back, so to speak, specialized mechanisms cause it to spring back into place over the delicate mucus membrane of the glans. In this position, it serves as a protective function similar to one's eyelid.
` Even in its 'neutral' position, it can be retracted simply by pulling the skin of the shaft toward the body:



While Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, and most other people may wonder why anyone would need to explain this most mundane fact, the truth is that the foreskin is not well-understood in U.S. culture and medicine:
` One of Geisheker's jobs is tracking cases of American doctors who are so outrageously ignorant of intact penile anatomy that they cause serious pain and injury, usually to infants.
` They don't even know the following basic facts, so read carefully:

At birth, a boy's foreskin is fused to his glans via a membrane called the balano-preputial lamina (BPL). Much like the membrane that fuses the fingernail to the finger, it acts as a living 'glue'.
` (The same is true of the prepuce and glans of the clitoris: The female foreskin is also called the clitoral hood.)
` Over the years, little 'pearls' of the membrane die off, thus gradually separating the foreskin and glans, creating the preputial space. (This is also true of the clitoris.)


Important to this process is a compilation of sebum and other protective secretions that mix with these dead cells, thus creating the same stuff that coats the squishy bits of females.
` This anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substance works its way toward the tip of the penis so that these 'pearls' can be ejected. It is still known by the Latin word for 'soap' -- smegma.

In U.S. popular culture, smegma is contradictorily regarded as completely benign in females, yet as a volatile disease agent of the male foreskin. (More accurately, I should say, it is not recognized as smegma in females.)
` By around 10 to 15 years of age, the boy is able to fully retract his foreskin. This is an everyday fact in most people's experience, except in cultures where infant circumcision is so common that doctors exist who have lost almost all knowledge of the foreskin.

Such is the case in the U.S., where there really are medical professionals who think an infant's healthy foreskin is abnormally tight. Thus, they may forcibly retract it, tearing the membrane and causing lots of bleeding, excruciating pain, and further problems -- much as tearing off a fingernail would.
` This injury can leave scar tissue, causing the foreskin to actually become abnormally tight. Such problems, as well as its natural non-retractibility, can be enough for such a doctor or nurse to decide this part must be be defective and needs to be removed.

Another supposed abnormality of the infant foreskin is the free-moving tip, which can extend well beyond the glans. It contains muscle fibers which allow it to close itself like a drawstring over the urethra (urinary opening).
` These fibers relax when the baby urinates, keeping the foreskin wide open and pulled back, away from the urethra. At other times, they draw the end of the foreskin together to prevent contaminants (such as what may be found in his diaper) from getting inside.
` This normal contraction of the foreskin's muscle gives it a long and narrow appearance and can be misinterpreted as being "too tight" or "redundant". Smegma also creates an oily, waxy barrier which protects the infant's glans from the irritation of urine.
` Without these layers shielding the urethra from E. coli and other nasties, the infant is more predisposed to urinary tract infections.

Buildup of smegma is completely harmless, yet it has been demonized in the anti-masturbation craze as causing illness. Thus, frequent cleaning of smegma is recommended by doctors who still believe the B.S. -- yet, the foreskin gets in the way.
` Both the normal fusion and muscular contraction of the infant foreskin is considered a disorder in American medical literature, called 'phimosis'. This false diagnosis must be corrected repeatedly in the literature by doctors from abroad, as well as such organizations as DOC.

Premature forced retraction, a colossal failure of some medical professionals (an estimated 100,000 cases in the U.S. per year), is what Geishsheker calls 'the gateway drug' to circumcision.
` Near the end of his presentation, he also reads a recent and heartbreaking letter he received from a woman whose pediatrician did this to her son, without even asking her first.
` The boy was traumatized by this, screamed in pain every time he urinated or was washed, and woke up screaming for five nights in a row. On top of this, she was billed $100 for 'penile surgery'.

The foreskin has long been ignored in American medical training, and Geisheker cites a study showing that 67% of U.S. medical books do not depict a foreskin at all. Not surprisingly, that seems to be consistent with my own observations of various medical and anatomy books over the years.

In 2005, Avery's Neonatology said that circumcision is so common in the U.S. that observations of the foreskin must be made in countries where it is not usually practiced. Even so, the U.S. medical community isn't paying enough attention to these observations:

A survey taken at a 2009 meeting of the American Academy of Family Practice found that only 3 of 113 participants understood how to care for an intact penis. (Of course, this also suggests they didn't have their own point of reference.)
` An American Academy of Pediatrics survey in 1981 showed that 78% of pediatricians gave obsolete or dangerous advice concerning an intact penis. This organization consists of both pro- and anti-circumcision doctors, and that wasn't the last time it issued bad advice:
` In 2012, the AAP's recommendation for cleaning babies' foreskins is to retract them -- thus tearing the foreskin and glans apart -- and to wash the bleeding wound with soap and water.
` The soap, of course, causes inflammation and can lead to infections and other serious problems. Yes, this is an erroneous example of "medical advice" for infants in the U.S., although in most of the world, the advice is, basically, "leave it alone, it takes care of itself".
` In fact, a male should not use soap (unless it is very mild) beneath his foreskin for the same reason that a female should not wash her own internal bits with it: It changes the pH of those areas and causes inflammation, which can lead to imbalances of microflora and infection.

The AAP also said that "adhesions" (the natural fused condition of the foreskin) will "resolve" by 2 to 4 months of age. As I've mentioned, the foreskin doesn't fully retract until around puberty, when the boy is most ready to use it.
` "I just find this astonishing," says Geisheker, of the fact that there are still medical professionals who don't understand this ordinary, basic bit of anatomy.


So, how did all this ignorance start, anyway?

Circumcision, as I mentioned, has been a tradition of some religions and cultures going back thousands of years, including the priests of Ancient Egypt.
` Geisheker explains a bit of the history centered around the Hebrew blood sacrifice of penile bits, and how it changed in Ancient Greece from removing the tip of foreskin to removing the whole thing.
` During the middle ages, Jews were discriminated against for this practice, which includes the mohel (ritual circumciser) sucking blood out of the wound with his mouth. Anti-semitic Christians invented superstitions about how this was how Jews drained babies of blood and ate their flesh.
` However, none of this explains the complete lack of foreskins from so much of the U.S. culture and population -- which is only 2% Jewish.

This modern-day phenomenon has its roots in the 1800's, when sexual pleasure was considered immoral. It was also when doctors had all sorts of strange beliefs about 'vital energy', and weren't quite sure what caused diseases.
` You know, the good ol' days, when magical water was a better bet than some of the treatments of medical doctors. One outmoded belief was that people start with a certain amount of energy and inevitably run out.
` A pre-scientific model of disease based on this idea was called 'Reflex Neurosis', which pathologized genital stimulation. It literally meant 'self-nerve overstimulation': If you touched your highly-innervated genitalia (whether sexually or not), you would drain yourself of energy, and a disease would occur in your lungs, eyes, heart, etc.
` It was also believed that men would eventually run out of sperm, and that ejaculation was injurious to the health -- and moral constitution! Many people not only shunned masturbation, but were terrified of losing "life force" through nocturnal emissions.

In order to prevent boys from having emissions, as well as erections that are part of a normal sleep cycle, some parents were conned into buying all manner of horrific devices designed to associate pain with the genitalia.
` There were penis-cooling devices, contraptions with spikes on the inside, and even one that activated a phonograph player.
` Chastity belts were a product of this era, rather than medieval times, as is commonly believed. They were invented, along with armored night-wear, to sell to parents as a way to keep their kids from causing themselves "harm".

In Battle Creek Michigan, anti-masturbation big shots such as surgeon John Harvey Kellogg, recommended punishing both girls and boys for "self-abuse" by holding them down, kicking and screaming, and excising their most "abuse"-prone parts.
` The trauma of genital mutilation, as well as the resulting loss of sensitivity, were meant to keep these adolescents from wanting to do it again, lest they make themselves sick. (This is clearly stated in Kellogg's Treatment of Self Abuse and its Effects.)
` A bland vegetarian diet was believed by many to curb sexual feelings, and so Kellogg also invented Corn Flakes, and provided them at his sanitorium in Battle Creek Michigan -- along with yogurt enemas and electrifying baths. (Yes, very much like in The Road to Wellville.)

Kellogg believed that all sex was harmful, claimed to have never had sex himself, and adopted 42 foster children -- who I don't envy. He would travel around the country, paying various medical societies to have a Chair of Circumcision for promoting genital mutilation as a health measure.
` In girls, he preferred using carbolic acid to burn off the external clitoris. (Later forms of medicalized 'female circumcision' were not usually as extensively harmful, or even done for the same reasons.)
` When this was being promoted in the U.S. and some other countries, even the female circumcision rituals of foreign cultures were interpreted as being done to get rid of 'foul-smelling' smegma in females, thus ignoring their religious significance.
` This eventually came to an end in the twentieth century, partly because it was so widely believed that women had no sexual needs unless they were mentally deranged.
` The fact that we know sexual stimulation is healthy is a great reason to stop circumcising both girls and boys:


A Unique Erogenous Zone

Although the technical details are known today, the foreskin was already well-understood by Renaissance anatomists as to be the most erogenous part of the penis, while the glans was known to be the dullest.
` This knowledge carried on into the 1800s, which is why the Americans (and later, other Anglophones) targeted it in their anti-masturbation crusade. Let's take a look at its role in sexual function, as understood by modern medical science:

The Semmes-Weinstein esthiometer is used to test skin sensitivity for patients with burns or neuropathy. The readings from a man's foreskin, particularly the mucus membrane of the 'lip' and inner surface, go off the high end of the scale.
` A 2007 study, published in BJU international, mapped the fine-touch sensitivity regions on circumcised versus intact penises, concluding that:
"The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis." (Emphasis mine.)
The authors' fine-touch maps can be seen below, but first a bit of explanation about what is pictured in their illustration:

The foreskin is packed with fine-touch nerve endings called Meisner's corpuscles. You can sort coins by feeling the edges using the front of your hands, which are dense with Meisner's corpuscles, whereas this is not true for the backs of your hands.
` In the U.S., the glans is popularly imagined to be the most sensitive part of the penis, but in fact it is dominated by free nerve endings, which primarily sense pain. It has about the same fine-touch sensitivity as your earlobe, and wouldn't be of much use for penile coin-sorting. (If you're into that.)
` The glans is less of an erogenous zone and more of a device to hold the foreskin in its proper shape and to keep the inner surface moist: Its presence only makes functional sense when one considers it is meant to work with the foreskin.

Since most people of the world know this next part, I feel as though I'm trying to reach folks of some remote, uneducated village when I explain this:
` As the penis becomes erect, the foreskin is pulled back, rolling inside-out, as I've already mentioned. This everts its most sensitive areas, and (usually) exposes the glans to some extent. It can also be retracted simply by pulling the skin of the shaft toward the body. (You can view an animation and videos here.)
` When fully retracted, the foreskin is just about sufficient to cover the entire shaft: Although the length varies, it makes up approximately one half of the skin on the penis.
` What is removed by circumcision is about three inches long and five inches in circumference -- think of a 3x5 index card. That's the actual size. Although it is sometimes described as a 'tiny little piece of skin', this is only true of tiny little infants, not sexually active men.

It seems almost a joke to think that so many adults in such developed Western regions as the entirety of North America are completely unaware of this. Sadly, it's not:
` I was once inspired to show a few such people two pictures of the same intact member -- one hanging and one standing tall -- and most of them thought that the erect one was missing its foreskin. They didn't realize that it had simply rolled itself back.
` This relates to misconceptions I've heard that the glans is most sensitive, that the foreskin impedes sexual function by covering the glans during intercourse, and even that circumcised men have more sensation and a richer sex life because of this.
` This is maddeningly contrary to the facts, as we shall see, with a detailed understanding of what this sexual structure is and does:

The human foreskin contains up to 20,000 nerve endings, which is significant, since they make up about half the nerve endings of the entire penis. In fact, the human penis has a more innervated and well-developed foreskin when compared to other mammals -- including our close cousins, the sex-crazed bonobos.
` So, we must ask ourselves, why would millions of years of natural -- and sexual -- selection, result in humans having an unusually large and highly-developed foreskin (and a larger glans to work with it), if it were somehow harmful, disadvantageous, or "vestigial" as is popularly believed?

True to its retractile nature, the foreskin is made to be pushed back and inside-out as it slides into the vagina, so that its more sensitive inner surface is exposed to the vaginal wall.
` As the penis is withdrawn, the foreskin is pulled forward again, so that it squeezes against the sensitive ridge at the base of the glans, and perhaps farther.
` This inside-out motion, partly aided by the foreskins' own muscular action, is unique in human physiology: It allows the man to roll the skin of his penis against itself, either during sex or just by grasping his shaft with two fingers and thumb.
` This creates a gliding sensation that is not abrasive or drying to the partner. Indeed, the foreskin adds its own lubrication and erotic scent from smegma, which is laced with pheremones.
` This scent is revealed only when the man gets an erection, so it's not as though he always smells, as my friend Bill had imagined. It is important in chemical signaling for the female, just as female smegma is an important signal for the male.
` In most cultures, the smell of smegma is widely considered a turn-on in both females and males. It is unclear exactly how important this is to human sexuality, but it is interesting to note that circumcised male lab rats have trouble finding a mate.

Without the foreskin's action and natural lubrication, the glans may tend to 'squeegee' away the vagina's own fluids, often requiring the repeated addition of artificial lubricant. [This is no joke: It's a real problem for me.]
` Another common complaint is that the non-moving skin of the circumcised penis (even with a condom) creates friction and even microtears in the vagina or anus of the partner. This, as you may guess, can precipitate the transmission of HIV and STDs in general. [Also, the pain stays with me for days.]
` However, the movement of the foreskin (with or without a condom) prevents any friction at all. This is generally preferred by sexual partners who have had experience with both, although the percentage varies somewhat by culture.

At least since the Taylor study in 1996, the specialized structures of the foreskin have been known -- although I have yet to see an anatomy book that mentions them at all. Two are rather important for this discussion:
` The most erogenous tissue of the foreskin is to be found in the frenulum and ridged band. A frenulum is a cord-like fusion of flesh which holds a moving structure to a fixed structure, like the one found under your tongue.
` The penile frenulum anchors the foreskin to the underside of the glans and is highly sensitive to stretching (which it does a lot of during intercourse and masturbation). It is partly or totally removed with circumcision.

Contiguous with the frenulum is the ridged band, a ring of ridges just inside the tip of the foreskin. Each ridge has three times the density of Meisner's corpuscles as your fingers.
` When the member is flaccid, this band serves a protective function in sensing foreign objects/substances around the urethra: The sensitive ridges in your lips and anus partly serve a similar function in guarding those orifices.
` While engaged in vaginal intercourse, the ridged band is rolled far back on the penile shaft, facing outwards. This may have evolved to encourage deeper penetration, thus getting the sperm closer to the eggs.
` Much like condoms with large 'ribs', the outwardly-projecting ridges stimulate the sexual partner. The ridged band also 'catches' on the clitoris and inner labia of the female, suggesting that these structures co-evolved for this purpose.
` On the out-stroke, these ridges are pressed between the partner and the coronal ridge of the glans. The ridged band is usually removed entirely by circumcision.

You can see the ridged band and frenulum in red here, which indicates the highest sensitivity level (or lowest pressure needed for the subject to notice it) as measured using Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments. The yellow of the glans indicates the least sensitive tissue, requiring 1.1 grams of pressure.


I have also learned of many pleasurable acts that can be done with a foreskin that circumcised males cannot do. For example, a partner can pull the foreskin forward over the glans and slip his/her tongue between them, thus stimulating two surfaces at once.
` Another technique involves pulling the foreskin forward and outward and directing a jet of water to flow underneath it. Even just pinching the foreskin shut during urination, allowing it to 'balloon', activates its stretch sensors in an unusual way.
` (This also can happen naturally when a boy's foreskin is partially separated, which is harmless, but sometimes confounds parents.)
` Such inflation can also be achieved with air -- a different type of "blow job", shall we say? It is also possible to use the muscles around the ridged band to stimulate the nipples, clitoris, or other parts of the partner:
` In the case of male-on-male sex, there is the practice of 'docking', which means to pull the foreskin forward so that it envelops the partner's glans. If both partners are intact, they can do 'double-docking', with one foreskin within the other.
` In fact, stimulating only the most erogenous areas are enough to elicit an orgasm. Indeed, the foreskin is thought to play an important role in controlling and modulating male orgasm.

Geisheker challenges the audience to find a book in the University of Washington medical library that says the foreskin is the seat of sexual sensation. Most medical books do, but all the books at UW he has seen have incorrectly said it is the glans.

This is also what Bill had told me, back in 2002, after revealing his shocking news. (But who could blame him? He got that from a medical text!) He also said that the foreskin was the least sensitive part of the penis, which is also a common belief I have heard.
` He insisted that the part's only function was to protect the glans, and is no longer needed because humans wear clothes. What I discovered at the library was that the glans is covered in mucus membrane and is meant to be an internal structure which can be exposed -- much like the tongue:
` When left exposed to the outside world for weeks, the glans develops a layer of dead, dry skin -- especially when there is clothing rubbing against it -- thus blocking the sensitivity of the underlying nerves.
` If the foreskin is restored and the glans is re-internalized, this callus will actually dissolve within two weeks, improving sensitivity. (BTW, this can be done via 'tugging' devices or even tape, which expand the tissue without surgery. Such techniques are becoming more popular as awareness of these facts spreads.)

Bill had been right in saying that the foreskin has a protective function, but he was wrong about the details: One aspect of this function involves the dartos fascia, the layer of muscle fibers that pulls the scrotum towards the body.
` As I have hinted at already, this layer is also found in the foreskin, which allows it to close over the glans and pull it inward. This is handy in cold water, and even helps to prevent frostbite.
` The smegma of the inner surfaces also contains chemicals and immune cells which protect the penis from microorganisms and viruses. For more information (and citations) on foreskin functions, you may want to start here.

To say that circumcision has no effect on sexual pleasure or function is to be dishonest about how the penis works, or neurology, for that matter.
` Indeed, removing such an extensive amount of penile nerve feedback can cause a number of problems, from erectile dysfunction to premature ejaculation. These are more common among circumcised men, and are known to occur after circumcision in sexually-active adults.
` Other problems include tingling, numbness, a significant decrease in sexual sensation, and even debilitatingly painful over-sensitivity:
` Results vary because when you destroy part of a complex, densely-innervated structure, the remainder of the nerves must then heal and re-wire themselves to the brain in one fashion or another.
` Although the literature shows that men who are circumcised work harder for sexual satisfaction, and to this end must practice more types of stimulation, this data is re-interpreted by pro-circumcision advocates to mean that circumcised men have more fun and get more oral sex.

At TAM 2012, I talked to a man from Denmark, who told me that some girls get the idea from American porn that vigorous motion and lots of lubricant is needed to stimulate a man.
` As they become more experienced with Danish men, who are almost all intact, they find this not to be the case. I actually wrote about this encounter near the bottom of this post.
` Indeed, there are a few studies that purport to show that circumcision has no effect on penile sensitivity or sexual function: That is because of fatal design flaws, including that the scientists are measuring everything but the foreskin:

What they found was that the sensitivity of the glans and shaft skin are not that much different whether or not you have a foreskin, yet they are completely silent about the sensation that comes from the foreskin itself.
` So, nearly half the penis' sensitivity is entirely omitted and ignored, rendering this research worthless. To conclude that removing the foreskin doesn't affect the penis is to pretend that the foreskin is not part of the penis.
` This page gives a pretty good analysis of these studies in detail, as well as the effect on sexual partners. It even compares infant versus adult circumcision's effects on sexual function.

As for the idea that the foreskin is not part of the penis, this is actually a deeply-rooted cultural belief. I remember this occurring to me in 2006 when riding in the backseat of a friend's car one rainy night.
` The rear windows were fogged, and the person next to me made a mark by touching the glass, saying "I think I'll draw a penis." Because it is difficult to draw anything in a moving vehicle, it turned out a bit mishapen, so he said, "Well, it can be an uncirumcised penis."
` Something clicked in my mind. To him, a penis was always circumcised, unless it had a foreskin "added" to it.
` Wait... what?
` That would explain why I had heard the foreskin described as "extra" skin. If it's normal (standard equipment), how can it be "extra"? As though it truly is freakish, like an eleventh finger (which in itself might be a bonus feature).
` This parallel reality was no doubt created as a way to make this operation more palatable to people who don't want to believe they or their loved ones were harmed by it.

Some have said that I'm against letting a man have the freedom to harm himself in this way if he wants, but this is not so: I would, however, insist that he understand the consequences, as he will have to live with them.
` Many adult men who chose circumcision for themselves have regretted it, and some who have chosen it as medical treatment were misled into thinking that it was the only or best treatment option when it was not.
` For example, a genuinely tight foreskin can often be fixed with stretching, steroid cream, different masturbation techniques, or even surgery which loosens the foreskin but does not remove tissue.
` Some guys, unfortunately, did not educate themselves and were misled into believing that foreskin removal was their only hope.

In 2005, I interviewed a guy who had at age two, bizarrely, retracted his own foreskin. The injury this caused to his frenulum later led to pain and bleeding during sex, and his doctor told him that it needed to be removed, along with the rest of the foreskin. He went along with the operation, if reluctantly.
` After the intense pain had subsided, he found that he had lost a lot of sensation, responsiveness, intimacy, and confidence. He had to learn how to achieve orgasm all over again. He had traded a medical condition for an overall decrease in sexual satisfaction.
` He felt a very strong sense of loss and grief for two years before he was able to pull himself back together and adapt, which you can read about on my ancient blog post here. It's just one anecdote among many, but along with the scientific data, it shows that there can be a real difference.

In European, Japanese, and other cultures in which circumcision is very rare, they have developed a substitute surgery called a 'sleeve reduction', or removal of a section of penile skin from the shaft.
` This permanently retracts the foreskin and gives the look of circumcision, while exposing the most erogenous tissue on the outside. Although this is still damaging and painful, it shows that the people of some cultures value the foreskin too much to cut it off.

When a man voluntarily has his own genital bits cut off, it is his choice, based on the information that he knows. But how can we justify his doing it to another human being who has no idea of what is going on and cannot defend himself?
` I am talking about the infant, usually screaming in pain, or the young boy who only knows what others tell him about what is being done to him. Most intact men would not choose this for themselves.
` Although circumcised boys are usually told what was done to them and that it was for the best, some reach adulthood before they learn what was done to them. If this was so shocking for me to learn, imagine how shocked they must be at the ignorance of their own bodies!

Because Bill was a hardcore believer in the myths his parents taught him, he was so stunned at the information I found that he refused to believe any of it for some time. I brought him photocopies and printouts of journal articles and medical texts, but he rolled his eyes at them.
` "The foreskin can't have any real function," he said, "otherwise they wouldn't cut it off." ("Appeal to Consequences", anyone?)


Fraudulent Diagnoses, False Benefits, and Questionable Ethics

As we know, the reason it is cut off is because it has a very definite function, which was most threatening to many Americans of the Victorian era. Even more, a tight foreskin was thought to cause all manner of illness, from hydrocephalus to lunacy:
` In his presentation, Geisheker brings up the 1881 assassination of James A Garfield by the insane lawyer, Charles Guiteau. Famously, Guiteau danced to the gallows, recited a poem, and shook hands with his executioner before hanging.
` Upon autopsy, it was discovered that his foreskin was tight, and so his insanity was blamed on that. Such was the mentality of the people at the time.

This 'diagnosis' can largely be blamed on a medical doctor named Lewis Sayre, who claimed to have cured a boy of Polio by circumcising him. Like many others of his ilk, he had no proof of this, he just assumed so because the patient never returned.
` I wouldn't have, either.
` In 1870, Sayre gave a speech about the harms of normal foreskins, which he called 'congenital phimosis' (cannot be retracted) and 'Adhered Prepuce' -- in other words, the normal fusion found in boys, usually until ten years of age or so.
 ` Today, there are still some doctors who apparently think that a normal, healthy foreskin is 'adhered' in 'congenital phimosis', or even 'redundant' for its long, tapered look.
` In the billing book for medical procedures, a Code 605 refers to "redundant prepuce and phimosis, adherent prepuce, phimosis congenital."
` Many healthy children are fraudulently diagnosed and subsequently circumcised under this billing code -- because there is nothing wrong! Wait, what?

The process of circumcising infants has been brutal, especially since it was once assumed (also thanks to 1870's pseudoscience) that infants do not feel pain. That's right -- even open-heart surgery has been performed on infants using a drug to keep them paralyzed so they can't move or scream.
` [I was once forced to have surgery without pain control, and it was achieved by injecting me with a paralytic drug. I temporarily lost my memory and developed conversion disorder for nine years before I was able to recover. To think that infants are normally treated in this way is unbearable to me.]
` In reality, the younger a child is, the more pain he or she experiences, and it is especially acute in newborns. These facts, and their relation to infant surgery, did not begin to be explored until the 1980's.

In 1934, the Gomco clamp was invented to minimize the likelihood that the infant would bleed to death if someone other than a surgeon did the operation, and without any type of pain control.
` The erogenous tissue is torn from the infant's glans and crushed, excruciatingly, into goo. When the clamp is removed ten minutes later, the wound doesn't bleed.
` The shallow bell is actually meant to maximize the amount of erogenous tissue that is lost. And yes, it is commonly used today in U.S. hospitals, with little pain relief, if any: This is because anesthetics are dangerous and not fully effective in infants, including nerve block techniques.

Another circumcision device is the Plastibell clamp, which strangles the erogenous tissue over an entire week. The pain and discomfort from this process commonly interferes with breastfeeding, sleep cycles, and parental bonding.
` Whatever the method used, the glans is afterward revealed as a raw, open sore, and the infant is almost never prescribed pain relievers. When he urinates, the ammonia burns the open sore.
` This wound takes weeks to heal, and complications (besides the intended damage) are not as uncommon as is widely believed:
` Meatal stenosis (which can block urination) isn't counted as a 'complication' because it doesn't occur until some three months after the procedure: Sexual problems of course do not count because they become evident much later on.
` And there are more problems which are not mentioned:

Ironically, the study of anesthetics on infants during circumcision has had to stop because it has come to be considered to be grossly unethical: The intense pain (measured in infants' stress responses) is far too high to justify further study.
` Typical pain responses include an extremely fast heart rate, very high levels of cortisol (stress hormone), and high-pitched screaming, sometimes until the infant turns blue from lack of oxygen. The fragile newborn's heart, lungs, and other organs can be damaged or ruptured from being overworked.
` Although some parents may believe that their own son "slept through" his circumcision, this is what they are told when their baby goes into shock and doesn't respond to any stimulus.
` These are exactly the type of responses that we would expect in an adult whose genitals are being torn apart, yet this may be framed as 'discomfort'. Wouldn't 'torture' be more appropriate?

This extreme trauma is known to cause a sort of PTSD in infants, similar to the effects of other types of surgery or a traumatic birth, and can lead to a variety of psychological and emotional problems later on in life.
` It doesn't matter whether the individual has any conscious ("explicit") memory of this because most types of memory are stored outside of conscious awareness in the involuntary ("implicit") systems of the brain and body.
` Similarly, circumcised infants, as with preemies given a heel stick or scalp IV, show neurological changes that cause a permanent increase in sensitivity to pain. In other words, intense pain in an infant re-wires the brain for life.
` I should also note that compared to intact boys, the circumcised ones tend to be more irritable, have trouble eating, sleeping and thriving, and demonstrate a significant increase in 'colic' (crying for no apparent reason) for up to a year after this 'procedure'.
` A whole spectrum of emotional reactions to being put through this in one's infancy become evident later on, and they (naturally) include a sense of loss and grief.
` Although foreskin reconstruction is becoming more popular today, with its own market, it was only in 1990 that desiring one's lost foreskin was suggested to be "diagnosed" as a form of "body dysmorphia".

For more information, and citations, you may want to start here.

As though that wasn't bad enough, what about unintended injuries and trauma? Surgical mistakes and infections can result in more problems, including more tissue having to be excruciatingly cut away from the infant, sometimes his entire penis or more.
` Infections can also, more rarely, cause brain damage and death. Even if this procedure goes 'right', the penile skin often attempts to re-fuse itself together, resulting in abnormal adhesions, which require further tearing apart.
` In the long-term, the boy's shaft may grow too large to fit within the skin that is left, and an erection can cause his penis to bend or tear open. This may require further surgery to add skin to his penis.
` Indeed, a seemingly long prepuce in infancy can turn out to be quite short in the adult, and this cannot be predicted in infancy. This is another good reason to allow the person to decide whether to be circumcised when his penis is fully-grown.

More popular myths that Bill told me was that the foreskin is prone to disease and is too hard to clean under to be worth the bother. In reality, the easily-retracted adult foreskin only needs to be briefly rinsed in the shower; therefore, it is easier to clean than behind one's ears.
` As we shall see, this misunderstood and vilified body part has not been shown to be a vector for disease. If it was, our ancestors wouldn't have evolved it in the first place, much less a particularly extensive one.
` Indeed, you don't see other species scrubbing their penises -- not even bonobos.

The cleanliness myths were popular in the late 1800s, with the idea of 'moral cleanliness' in the eye of God as he watches you masturbate. By the early twentieth century, the meme had changed to physical cleanliness and preventing STDs.
` However, when all the literature over the years is taken together (including many reviews), it shows that circumcision slightly increases one's chances of getting certain STDs, while slightly decreasing the chances for others, and there are different statistics between cultures. All in all, it's a wash.
` Child circumcision was not common in the early 20th century, but because of the STD-prevention belief around World War I, the militaries of English-speaking countries were practically forcing sailors and soldiers to be circumcised -- as most of them refused to go along with it.
` (In Geisheker's audience, one guy said his uncle was an aircraft mechanic, but at 45 years old he wasn't allowed on a Naval aircraft carrier to do work unless he was circumcised for some health and safety code. So, he was, and regretted it. Scary stuff.)

In the 1930's, childbirth had become medicalized, and those doctors who were experts in female health (yet knew little about male health), were enthusiastic in promoting and performing circumcision on the newborn males. Their inexpertise was what the Gomco clamp was invented for.
` By the start of World War II (during which we find the "sand myth"), newborn circumcision was beginning to gain popularity in the U.S., It became almost as popular in Britain, although this changed when the U.K. was devastated by the war.
` With so few resources, U.K. doctors didn't see any point in continuing unnecessary and dangerous surgery, so they put an end to it. At the same, the practice took off in the U.S., because it was funded by most health insurance packages, and fueled by advice from the popular press.
` This includes the influential child expert, Dr. Benjamin Spock, although to his credit he later recanted his position. By the end of the 1950's, almost all newborn boys in the U.S. were subjected to this procedure, whereas almost none were in the U.K.
` Although child circumcision had spread to a number of English-speaking countries during the early 20th century, nowadays this practice is long-gone from most of them. And then, there's South Korea.

During the Korean War, MASH doctors imposed circumcision on the South Koreans, claiming that it improved cleanliness. Now South Korea has one of the highest penile abridgement rates in the world, and it is typically done as a rite of passage around age twelve.
` At the library way back when, I remember reading a very detailed report about the history and cultural beliefs about this South Korean phenomenon.
` Most of the South Koreans who were surveyed believed that people from all developed countries practiced routine circumcision -- which is a popular belief in the U.S. as well.
` These South Koreans also believed that if it wasn't done, they had a very high chance of developing "phimosis" and needing to be circumcised anyway. So popular was this misconception that they called it "the phimosis operation".
` I also recall that many adults in South Korea had this done to themselves, partly due to a combination of collectivist culture and public baths -- everyone must do the same or else be looked down upon!
` Interestingly, those men who said that they experienced sexual problems after this operation were able to describe what was wrong, whereas those (fewer) men who said it helped their sex life did not explain how. Were they just saying what was expected of them?

And then there is the medicalized circumcision of the Philippines, which is partly influenced by Americans. Slitting the foreskin of eight-year olds (without removing tissue) has morphed into outright foreskin-severing as a rite of passage.
` The Filipinos have their own unique cultural myths about medicalized routine circumcision, such as that it stimulates growth in the boy, and that it will increase his virility as an adult.
` When you think about it, this is just as silly as the myth that a normal infant's penis has a medical problem, that females don't produce smegma, or that the foreskin gets in the way of sexual pleasure -- and I am surrounded by people who believe these things!


Culture versus medicine

Besides cultural beliefs and customs, the only thing which supports circumcision is religious rituals. This is why the second-largest group of people to practice circumcision, after Americans, are the Muslims of the world.
` It is worth mentioning that most Jews in South America and parts of Europe don't bother with this ritual anymore. As for the handful of Jews in N.Z., they fly mohels in from Australia for $5,000.
` And, if you're tempted to accuse Doctors Opposing Circumcision of being anti-semitic, it should be noted that the VP is an observant Jew who has restored his foreskin.

I do think that people should be allowed to express their own religious beliefs on their own bodies, but they should not be allowed to impose their beliefs on other people's bodies, especially children, who cannot consent or understand.
` The practice of withholding medical treatment from children, especially when they have cancer, diabetes, infections, etc. is widely looked down upon as severe religious abuse of children. So are 'female circumcision' rituals.

In many cultures outside of the U.S., male circumcision is viewed in the same way. Most industrialized cultures do not give routine circumcision on minors the legitimacy of medicalization.
` During my first library endeavors, this became clear to me when I noticed a very interesting difference between relevant entries in an American medical encyclopedia and a very similar-looking British medical encyclopedia:
` Both contained nearly the same information -- basically, highlights of what I'm covering in this post -- but the American version was written with a completely neutral tone whereas the British one had a distinct note of relief at the news that Americans are finally starting to learn not to chop at their infants.
` As for today, infant circumcision rates in the U.S. are continuing to drop, and are now around 50% or lower.

Even so, the Americans who have not learned have instead been inventing and recycling ideas each decade in order to justify continuing it. This includes the continuation of the old idea that it prevents sexually transmitted diseases.
` It is worth pointing out that New Zealand, where Geisheker is from, they stopped routine infant circumcision 40 years ago and have lower rates of STDs than the U.S.. Clearly, there are scientifically valid ways of prevention, such as sex education and condom use, which is often lacking in the U.S..

More importantly, I feel that I should point out the obvious -- that infants don't have sex. Would it not be more appropriate to wait until the individual is old enough to make a judgment about his own sex life?

The same could be said in the case of sexually transmitted HIV prevention, which is re-gaining popularity in the U.S. as an argument for circumcising infants.
` This connection was first proposed in a 1986 letter, by Canadian urologist Aaron Fink, who had self-published a book advocating circumcision. He promoted the unsupported claim that the callus that forms over the glans of circumcised males creates a barrier to HIV.
` In February 1996, Scientific American printed an article about the Caldwell retrospective analysis of HIV and its prevalence in those African populations who circumcise versus those who do not.
` They concluded that HIV is more prevalent among those who are intact, although they did not examine any of the patients. Vincenzi and Mertens (1994) pointed out serious flaws in the design of this study.
` This was exposed in two letters to Scientific American, but they were heavily edited for publication, and the criticisms went unaddressed by the Caldwells in their rebuttal.

Even since then, most similar studies have a small sample size and contain many flaws, including guessing whether or not a subject is circumcised based on which culture he is from.
` Dozens of such studies did not take into account other confounding factors such as the practice of 'dry sex', which creates lots of friction and tears in the vagina, nor genital ulcer disease, viral load, or female circumcision, which is only done in cultures where male circumcision is practiced.
` This is compounded by the fact that studies which are purported to show a connection between HIV and circumcision are more exciting, and thus more likely to be published than studies which show no correlation at all -- a phenomenon called publication bias.
` A 2003 Cochrane review points out all these flaws, and "found insufficient evidence to support an interventional effect of male circumcision on HIV acquisition in heterosexual men."
` Also, it is worth mentioning that researchers who are white males of nations that have had a history of circumcision are the main proponents of this correlation.

The resurgence of this meme is based on three recent and incomplete studies, which were done in Africa, partly because the ethics committees in other parts of the world would not approve. Only one of these studies (Auverts, 2006) was actually published in a peer-reviewed journal.
` The clock for the experiment started when half of the volunteers were circumcised at random. While the intact men went off to have sex, the circumcised group had to wait four to six weeks, as they were in too much pain for intercourse.
` Also, they had to come back to the clinic twice more to make sure they were healing properly, where they got additional safe sex counseling and condoms. Not only were the circumcised guys unable to have sex for most of the duration of the study, but blood exposure and homosexual intercourse were not controlled for.
` On top of this, the researchers used an HIV antibody test, which only gives results from three months since the last exposure. However, they did not wait to administer the test, so half the cases of HIV came from before the study even started.

Based on this dubious data, the conclusion was that heterosexual men are 60% less likely to catch HIV from infected females with each exposure. And how did Auverts et al determine this?
` As Geisheker explains it, this study showed a very low incidence of HIV in the intact subjects, and a slightly lower incidence in circumcised subjects. It's like comparing 1.5% versus 1%, and declaring that there's a huge difference between the two.
` So, the 60% rate is relative, not absolute. If this were a vaccine, it wouldn't be considered very effective. And the Gates Foundation is funding this.

Contrast this with condom use, which is almost 100% effective at preventing the transmission of HIV. Also, condoms protect women as well, whereas pro-circumcision researchers themselves say that circumcision only protects the man.
` If circumcision did protect men as they claim, the condom would still be needed. However, condoms are so effective that any small positive effect from circumcision, if real, would be superfluous.
` Thanks to government campaigns for always using a condom in Lesotho, Tanzania and Thailand, there are dramatic reductions in HIV. This could not and has not happened with circumcision and HIV.

There has long been plenty of evidence against the foreskin/HIV connection, even for adult men who might want to protect themselves from HIV in Africa. Even worse, some of these circumcised men believe they are protected from HIV and don't necessarily need a condom at all.
` On top of that, this newest wave is inspiring some journalists and even doctors to spin fanciful tales that these African studies justify doing circumcision to infants living in quite different conditions in the U.S..
` There is also some evidence in industrialized cultures that circumcision does not decrease HIV transmission, simply because the U.S. has by far the highest circumcision rate and highest HIV incidence of any industrialized nation.

Another popular justification for slicing infant dicks which is trumpeted to this day is the claim that it protects against penile cancer.
` This idea started in the early 20th century from the circumcision-promoting Dr. Wolbarst, who proposed that smegma is carcinogenic (which was disproven), and that circumcision stops "epileptic fits" (actually orgasms) in boys.
` Of course cutting off a body part will prevent it from getting cancer -- you can't get cancer on what isn't there! However, penile cancer is extremely rare, even more rare than earlobe cancer.
` If we think that the risk of penile cancer is worth cutting the foreskin off, then why don't we cut off our earlobes if that is even more likely to help? Also, why don't the folks at the American Cancer Society agree that this is a reason to circumcise infants?
` According to them, "it would take over 900 circumcisions to prevent one case of penile cancer in this country." That's a pretty extreme health measure, don't you think?

An oncology nurse in Geisheker's audience said that there isn't any association at all between penile cancer and foreskins. It's just a meme, but if you're a lazy journalist, you'll pad your article with these types of dubious claims and statistics.
` She said that when debating this issue with a urologist, she brought up breast cancer, which 1 in 12 women will eventually develop. "Would you remove breast buds off a girl?" she asked.
` The urologist said, "You're right, we shouldn't do it." Besides, statistically, infants are more likely to die of the circumcision itself than to die of penile cancer as adults.

Indeed, infants don't get penile cancer at all, men do, especially older ones, so again, it would make more sense to wait and let the individual judge this matter for himself.

A similar argument has been made that circumcision prevents transmission of HPV, and thus cervical cancer, in women. This is also completely untrue and based on fatally-flawed studies, which you can read more about here.
` What is most outrageous with this claim is the idea of causing significant and irreversible harm to an unconsenting infant, in anticipation that it may have some effect on a hypothetical female sexual partner in the future.
` It's not meant to help the infant who's being operated on, but rather, someone he may never meet. He may, for all we know, turn out to be gay. Also, such a concern of HPV should be outmoded, since there is now an effective vaccine against it.

Then, of course, there is the the tired old argument that foreskinlessness prevents urinary tract infections. This began with the Wiswell study (yes, really), which compared the rate of UTIs between circumcised with intact babies.
` There were a few fatal flaws, including instructing the parents of the intact boys to repeatedly retract the foreskin and wash under it. Which, as we know, is a known cause of infection -- this includes UTIs.

The larger picture here, of course, is that UTIs are generally no big deal -- they are highly treatable with antibiotics. In fact, young girls are four times more likely to get UTIs than intact boys, and no surgery is recommended for them.
` There is also no evidence that circumcision prevents UTIs in adults, even though it is sometimes recommended for chronic ones. It shouldn't be, because chronic UTIs are caused by internal problems, not external ones.
` In any case, it is ludicrous to put weight on foreskin-chopping in infancy as a treatment for such a minor and treatable problem, even if the literature did show a benefit. The treatment is far worse than the sickness!

Interestingly, in the United States, the highest rate of circumcision centers around Michigan, home of Kellogg -- coincidence? Of course, the Midwest also has more Medicaid subsidies that pay for it.
` Out here in Seattle, and other U.S. locales where circumcision is not nearly as common, the children are no sicker than the ones in the Midwest.

In New Zealand, Geisheker's home country, they completely gave up routine circumcision 40 years ago, and NZ children are healthier than U.S. children today.
` Also, the rate of circumcision in Australia has plummeted in recent decades, while at the same time, health among children has improved, due to better healthcare.
` Geisheker also works with European and Australian doctors, who think that Americans are a bit backwards when it comes to chopping babies' perfectly healthy genitals. According to most doctors of the world, it's a bad idea:
After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.
 -- The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 2010.

Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.
-- The Canadian Paediatric Society, 1996.

There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene... circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications... Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child's right to autonomy and physical integrity.
-- The Royal Dutch Medical Association, 2010.

While most doctors of the world discourage this practice, doctors in the U.S. frame the situation differently. Their arguments for child circumcision center around motivating parents to feel comfortable with choosing this for their unconsenting children.
` The parents don't want to hear that they, or loved ones, have been harmed, and so are more willing to believe that it's for the best.

Extraordinary claims sometimes require extraordinary justifications, and we can see some level of parallel with female genital mutilation.
` In one African culture (whose name I don't remember), it is believed that when a woman gives birth and the baby's head touches her clitoris, both will die. We know this is ridiculous, since we see that it doesn't happen.
` In the same way, outsiders ridicule the "disadvantages of a foreskin" that I hear all around me, as these "problems" are unusual or nonexistent in real life.

In college, I wrote a paper on child genital mutilation (yes, really) and I remember reading an article about immigrants to the U.S. from someplace in Africa. They believed that the clitoris causes women to like sex "too much" and engage in excessive sexual behavior.
` When they saw a pregnant teenage girl, they would say, "See? Americans need to circumcise their daughters. I would not let my daughter keep her clitoris!"
` If this is shocking to you, then good: This is basically how most people of the world regard parents who say their son needs to have his most erogenous zone cut off.
` Many of the immigrant women did not know what a clitoris is, nor what they were missing. You may feel dismayed by this, and I have a similar response when I am asked by a full-grown man what a foreskin is.
` Even worse is the ones who don't know, or only think that they know, but they don't really want to know because that would mean that they had been harmed.

Only a few years ago I heard of a controversy in Egypt, where 90% of women are circumcised, over whether the female practice should be medicalized.
` As per Egyptian culture, some doctors recommended removing the prepuce of the clitoris, with the belief that there was medical evidence that this protects against HIV.
` They called this procedure 'female circumcision', but they called removing the entire clitoris 'genital mutilation'. Other doctors said that was an unfair characterization and that all of this is female genital mutilation.

Since the bias against some genital parts over others is based on cultural beliefs, I wondered about other body parts that might be discriminated against. One example is to be found in a book by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson.
` The title should give you a clue -- Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.
` It's about how people solve their cognitive dissonance between their image of themselves as a generally good person, and facts which seem to contradict this.
` The book opens with the Nuer and Dinka tribes, and a much stranger coming-of-age ritual: Surgically extracting the front teeth with fishing hooks -- two on the top, and up to six on the bottom.

This is extremely painful, somewhat risky, and in the long-term, causes a gradual atrophy of the jawbone, especially a caved-in chin. What could possibly possess anyone to do this to their own children?
` It is thought to have been their solution to an outbreak of tetanus, in order to keep children from starving to death through clenched jaws. Over the years, it became a coming-of-age rite, 'normal' for everyone in the tribe.
` Now the general opinion amongst tribe members is that people who have all their teeth look frightening like cannibals, or silly like donkeys. They also say they prefer the whistling sounds they make when they talk.

These post-hoc justifications are a way to resolve the cognitive dissonance between causing harm to children, and having had harm caused to them. Besides, it's just how people's mouths "look" to them.
` This very same point is repeatedly made by researchers concerning the U.S. bias against foreskins, and the billion-and-a-half dollar industry based on cutting them off.
` Indeed, there are a million routine infant circumcisions done in U.S. hospitals each year -- it is among the most common surgeries in the United States.

Instead of allowing the individual to enjoy his own erogenous zone, it is tossed in the incinerator, or sold to companies such as Invitrogen for other people's profit and benefit.
` That's right -- genital parts ripped from uncomprehending infants are made into Apligraf Magic Skin Treatment, and even Oprah has been criticized for pushing a skin cream made from baby penile cells.
` It seems that in the U.S., the male prepuce is valued more as a commodity than as a rightful part of a person's own body. (Yet, the reverse is true for the female prepuce.)
` There's a difference between donating an organ and stealing an organ. Which is this? Whose body is it, anyway?

I once made this point to a former housemate of mine who was pregnant with a boy.
` Although I had previously talked with her about this subject, twice, it evidently had no effect. She personally didn't like the look of a normal, intact penis, and so wanted her boy to match his friends.
` I explained to her that only 30% of newborn boys are circumcised in the Seattle area, so he would actually be unlike most of his friends.
` She replied, "So?"
` Then I told her why most other societies in the world look down upon chopping off the most sensitive part of the penis.
` She said, "Who cares what they do in other countries? I want to do what Americans do!"
` I switched tactics and asked her, "Whose penis is it? Is it yours? What if your dad had part of your genitals cut off because he didn't like the way they looked? How would that make you feel?"
` Unable to answer in a rational manner, she started screaming about how it was her right as a parent to make this decision and how dare I tell her what to do, or even care about it at all, as it was none of my business.
` "It's my child, it's my choice!" she shouted, and stormed out of the room, slamming the door. Although her emotional reaction was quite strong, it is not that different from other incidents I have seen or heard about.

Indeed, instead of centering this surgery around the person who is affected by it, and letting him make this decision about his own body, I have noticed that pro-circumcision websites are all about having the parent choose.
` Displayed on their front pages are comments from parents along the lines of "I have never regretted my choice," and "I agree, parents should be the ones to decide."
` What about his choice? Can it wait until he is old enough to fill out a consent form? He will probably prefer to keep what he was born with, thanks. Most do.

In response to making this very point, I've heard, "Of course he will want to keep his foreskin, that's why I shouldn't leave the choice to him!"
` Sound familiar?

This is why most male circumcision rituals of various cultures are done on young boys -- they are not large enough to fight back or leave the tribe. They also don't usually have lawyers to protect them, although those are employed in North America:
` Geisheker mentions the 14 year old boy by name of Bolt, whose father had converted to Judaism and wanted his son's penis to match his. Bolt's case was turned down by the Supreme Court, but by then, he was old enough to testify in court. He escaped unharmed and went to live with his mom.
` Defending male children from circumcision is tough in the U.S. because it can be done by anyone; mohels, midwives, nurses, or parents. No medical license is required, partly because it's not medicine.
` In New Male Studies, Geisheker published an article about this, called The Completely Unregulated Practice of Circumcision.

Indeed, in the U.S., most doctors, midwives, and OBGYNs bring up the question, and frame it as though it is a decision to be made by the parents. Although I've heard of doctors in Seattle questioning parents who want to do this to their children, they could do better:
` In the 1960's, doctors in New Zealand ended the practice by not bringing it up to parents, and if anyone asked about it, telling them it was an obsolete procedure that came from England. That was usually enough to dissuade them.

American medical culture is still full of bias on this topic, as many European doctors pointed out in response to the pro-circumcision points of an American Academy of Pediatrics technical report. Plus, out of eight people on the AAP committee, four of them had vested interests:
` One had circumcised his own son on his kitchen table; one was a doctor in Seattle at the children's hospital who promoted female circumcision; one was an expert in medical financing; and one refused to reign in a mohel for giving babies herpes via sucking their penis wounds.

Near the end of his presentation, Geisheker demonstrates what Bioethics 101 means. There are a few points to consider when you focus on the patient's immediate needs, from the point of view of the patient.

Beneficence -- Is the procedure necessary/beneficial?
Nonmaleficense -- Does it avoid harm/suffering
Justice -- Would we choose this for ourselves?
Autonomy -- Is the patient being treated as a separate person or as a member of a community? Can it wait for patient assent?
Proportionality -- Is the risk and pain worth the gain?

As I hope to have demonstrated in this post, non-therapeutic (including falsely-therapeutic) child circumcision fails every one of those requirements.
` He comes to the same conclusion that I grasped many years ago: It is plastic surgery, a phrase that means "adult".

This is so obvious to people outside of this sort of culture that they commonly assume that Americans don't do this, just as Americans commonly assume that the rest of the industrialized world does.
` The first time I discussed this with a non-U.S. person, a man from Ireland, he said he had no clue of this practice until he saw a variety of American pornography. He reported feeling repulsed by the strange, vigorous way that "mutilated" penises had to be stimulated.
` The people from Europe that I have talked to on this issue have all told me that in their countries, male and female circumcision are both regarded as pointless and culturally backwards.

Indeed, it is a bizarre double standard in North America and some other places that people can think that hacking at boys' genitals is good, but that hacking at girls' genitals is bad.
` I think that much of this is related to the deeply-embedded cultural attitude that the foreskin is not part of the penis. As I've mentioned, I've seen this phenomenon in person, as well as on TV and in movies.
` Another example is Robin Williams' comedy routine about how wonderful the male member is, yet his only allusion to the hyper-developed erogenous zone was "an optional covering". That is like saying that your lips are an optional covering, rather than a functional part of your mouth.
` I once even saw the episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit on this topic, and laughed hysterically when the doctor actually said they use a clamp so as not to "hurt the baby's penis", while he screams in agony (or "tolerates extremely well").
` It would be quite a feat to be able to amputate a huge section of any appendage without harming it, yet that is essentially the claim here.

"Cutting off part of the penis is not injuring it in this reality, only cutting off more than what you intended to leave," says physical oncologist Ryan McAllister in his presentation The Elephant In The Hospital, which I've linked to below.
` In 2011, someone I'll call 'L' posted this video on Facebook in response to his brother and wife's adopting what was about to become most-of-a boy.
` The wife claimed that this is a religious practice required in Catholicism, which is anything but true, yet is a common enough belief.
` The brother, who admitted to knowing nothing at all about foreskins, said that he was satisfied in the amount of research he had done and that he was making the right choice.
` Instead of clicking on the video, they simply raised a fuss, calling it a 'family crisis', and forbid L from ever meeting this boy.

In the hopes that someone would learn from this video, I posted it (where else?) on my own Facebook wall:


Ryan McAllister, PhD What is infant circumcision? Why is the practice common in U.S. hospitals and not in other countries? What does it remove...
He brings up most of the same things that I have brought up already, and takes a closer look at some of the phallic logical fallacies of this culture:
Poisoning the well: "It's cleaner, looks better."
Appeal to Majority: "Everyone does it."
Minimizing words: "Little snip", "useless", "flap of skin."
Special Pleading: "Babies don't feel pain or remember."
Appeal to Ignorance: "I can't imagine how it could be harmful."
He examines the cyclic view of a social surgery, that is, one that removes a healthy unique organ part. Many doctors know it's a social surgery, not a treatment, yet they take advantage of the parents' trust.
` They trivialize complications and don't tell the parents that the foreskin is a sexual part. They don't bring up ethical questions or conflicts of interest, such as profit for removing the tissue, and even selling it.
` He actually shows a video of the surgery: The infant is screaming in extreme pain, yet the physician doesn't seem bothered in the slightest.
` Losing one's job is one possible punishment for doctors and nurses who don't want to do this, or who tell parents not to. Even privately practicing doctors can lose an entire family as patients if they don't agree to do this to the infants.
` Not only does this harm children and their parents, it hurts the health practitioners because they are the ones causing this harm.

The AAP ethics committee has said that it is inappropriate to allow the individual to make his own decision about such a personal and life-impacting issue. Obstetricians claim that it's the mother's choice because she is the patient, not her child.
` McAllister shows a clip of (UK-born) Craig Ferguson interviewing the celebrity obstetrician Lisa Masterson. She said it really is a social and cultural procedure, and that any health benefits from circumcision can be achieved through washing.
` Then she says, "You have to choose as a parent."
` "That's a tough choice," Craig says.
` Do you have to choose giving your baby a nose job, too?

Because of the circumcision craze, David Gibbins, Pediatric Urologist said that in a two year period he was referred over 275 newborns and toddlers with complications from it, and almost half needed corrective surgery.

There is also the unspoken assumption that foreskin-chopping is inevitable. I have long noticed this, as in "My parents waited until I was six before they finally had me circumcised."
` Also, American culture tends toward the word 'uncircumcised', which implies that you're in line to do it eventually. I would not say that I am 'uncircumcised', or 'unmastectomized' for that matter. Women aren't viewed that way in this culture, so why are men?

To my surprise, I didn't get any dissenting comments on the video -- instead, it attracted the attention of an Australian man, who I was able to relate a few of my bizarre anecdotes to, some of which I have already related in this article.
` I'd display those comments here, but I'm saving them for my follow-up article.

I hope I have made thus far a fairly convincing argument that there is a clear cultural bias in this matter, based on ignorance, misinformation, and a motivation to justify the damage that has been done. 
` Pointing out the double standard of 'male circumcision is good' and 'female circumcision is bad', has earned me accusations that I'm discriminating against females:
` The truth is, I want everyone to be protected from having chunks of them cut off for other people's benefits, male, female, and otherwise.
` A friend of mine is a man who was born intersex, and whose penis and testicles were removed when he was an infant. His medical records were destroyed and the truth was kept hidden from him by his family and all his doctors until he finally solved the mystery himself in middle age.
` I know something of the anguish and impairment that social surgery can have on a person, and it goes beyond men with normal anatomy.

By the way, it's taken me until 2015 to finally publish this draft, and this was part of what motivated me to get going:
` I saw one of my skepticy friends had posted a quote from a Victorian Era doctor about keeping boys from masturbating. I tried to explain how the backwardsness of this is still with us in medicine, but it didn't work, as you can see.
` If I'd completed this article by then, and thus was able to link to it, this wouldn't have happened:
Circumcision existed long before America. It was done for religious reasons representing a covalent between God and Abraham. Here: "the procedure is most often elected for religious reasons or personal preferences,but may be indicated for both therapeutic and prophylactic reasons. It is a treatment option for pathological phimosis, refractory balanoposthitis and chronic urinary tract infection. " And "The WHO recommends considering circumcision as part of a comprehensive HIV program in areas with high endemic rates of HIV, such as sub-Saharan Africa,"... 

Nothing to do with masturbation.
I am snickering, thinking of God and Abraham sharing electrons. I will abbreviate my own responses, which threatened to become their own blog post.
First of all, the religious tradition is partly for desensitizing the penis and getting the man's focus on heaven.... It was promoted by the co-founder of the American Medical Association and his followers....

Various myths about circumcision and medical benefits arose, which persist to this day and are not generally believed in most countries, where it is not practiced or recommended....
...It also unnecessarily maims the penis by cutting off the most sensitive part. The foreskin is as sensitive as your lips, and the glans is as sensitive as your arm. That is because it serves several purposes, including controlling orgasm. Circumcised men have the most sexual dysfunctions.
...it's an unbearably painful thing to do to an infant's fused penis, and can lead to long term trauma reactions. It is outlawed in many parts of the world for this and the sexual repercussions.
I could go on, but you get the idea. It is a practice to suppress sexual pleasure. It is not done in Europe, other than for religious reasons....
He responded:
Proof. Where is the proof it is an American thing? Where is the proof there is higher sexual dysfunction? Where is the proof it was/is used to deter masturbation? It is not recommended nor is advised against...
Unable to do much of an internet search, or even paste links, thanks to my malfunctioning smartphone at the time, I replied:
...Last I checked the internet and online medical journals I found pretty much the same thing.
Why not do a few keyword searches and see what you find?
...

I often talk about it with men in other parts of the world and they all think it's nutty and wtf is wrong with Americans. One European guy said he broke up with his girlfriend from South Africa because she said if they had a son she would have him circumcised because she likes having sex with circumcised cocks. ...

What if a man said he prefers sex with circumcised women so he does that to his daughter? Is he planning to have sex with her? Is he seeing her as a sex object?...
He didn't respond to that well.
Proof. Where is your proof? If you are going to assert that male circumcision is an American phenomenon to deter masturbation you are making one hell of a claim. The original post had nothing to do with circumcision but about masturbation. I have seen not heard of no study that shows even correlation between circumcision and the desire or pleasure derived from masturbation
They exist. A few of them are even quoted here. I couldn't paste any such links, however, so I replied:
It's not based on science.

Also I did not say it's an American phenomenon, I'm saying that the medicalization of it started in Victorian America, as part of their cultural beliefs.

In the late 1800 it became a Christian-anti masturbation medical practice....

It won't let me paste the link, just [do a search] and the proof will magically appear, don't tell me I didn't give you any evidence!!

And to repeat myself, I often talk about how nutty it is with people from parts of the globe where it is not practiced as a medicalized phenomenon. ...

Also in parts of Africa, some doctors are fighting to medicalize female circumcision. Does it make that legit, too?
This hardly had the effect I had hoped:
As I said in an early post, there are religions that practice it and there are medical benefits in some cases. Googling as you recommended, yes there were some who thought it would stop masturbation in addition to health reasons. About one-third of males WORLDWiDE are circumcised (http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9789241596169_eng.pdf)

Male circumcision is not the same as female genital mutilation. 

I grow bored of this
Evidently, he was more interested in dismissing me than understanding my argument. I replied:
I didn't say it was . I pointed that out because it is fashionable in those cultures to believe that female genital mutilation is good. [It used to be in this culture as well.]

You are good at putting words in my mouth.

And where do those males worldwide live? In cultures where people have traditionally done so and come up with beliefs about why they do it -- mostly Muslims.

My point is, where it is done depends on the culture. Do you not see that?

Also, you should check out what Maimonides said about it, he was after all an ancient Jewish scholar. ;-)
[Maimonides says that circumcision is good because it decreases sexual pleasure for the man and the woman, so that they will keep their minds on God rather than the unclean flesh.]

He deleted the thread at that very moment, and I had thought it was because of me, although he later claimed otherwise.
` Later on, I was able to send him a link to a relevant article, one of a series. I don't know if he ever read it.
` By coincidence, Geisheker wrote two of the articles in this series, and suggests some further reading (if this post hasn't been too much for you already):

There's Robert Darby's account of circumcision as a fad in Britain, A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain.
` Also, there's Darby's commentary on the continued practice in America The Sorceror's Apprentice: Why Can't We Stop Circumcising Boys? 

Also, there's an interesting book by David Gollaher, Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery.

Anthropologist Leonard Glick wrote Marked In Your Flesh.

I also wrote up a follow-up article, which features a more detailed anatomy lesson via a video, biased anatomy books, a doctor saying that the foreskin is not fused at birth, crazy pro-circumcision pedophiles, doctors invented just to promote circumcision, and Facebook comments which show that indeed, it is "just a cultural thing".
` You can check it out at this link: Child Circumcision: Culture-based ignorance, fetish, and pseudoscience.

Alas, I am unable to respond to my commenters in blog comments, however, I would like to mention that the "pro-circumcision pedophiles" are behind websites such as 'CircInfo'.
` A link to this website has been pasted in the comments section, alas I am unable to reply with my own comments for some reason.

I really appreciate most of the comments, and the fact that they represent a cross-cultural perspective. I've also laughed at some of the trolling.
` I shall have to figure out how to make the comments work, but first, I could barely contain my excitement:
Thanks to the U.S. obsession with chopping baby penises, my blog has gone viral!

485 comments:

  1. "At birth, a boy's foreskin is fused to his glans via a membrane called the balano-preputial lamina (BPL). Much like the membrane that fuses the fingernail to the finger, it acts as a living 'glue'."

    I remember as a young boy going through this transition, thinking there was something awfully wrong with my penis that caused my skin to be sticked to it. Made me very scared for a few days until it totally came loose and after that I felt pretty good about it.

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  2. The best essay defending the male foreskin I have ever read.
    Mr Quine, Professor Roger gives you a well-earned A+.

    Francelle Wax, a secular Jew, refers to American hospital circumcision as the American Secret (the title of her forthcoming documentary film). Last century from WWII to about 1985, American obgyns relentlessly hunted down and cut off the America foreskin, turning the United States of America into an Empire of the Bald Penis. We do not truly know why this happened. But the common maternity ward practice of making RIC the default, and health insurance covering the cost without question, surely helped.

    You do not mention the book that turned me into an articulate intactivist:

    Wallerstein, Edward (1980) Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy. Springer.

    Wallerstein was a Jewish atheist, and an engineer by education.

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  3. Before the 1980s, the foreskin and its removal were deemed too rawly sexual to be talked about in polite company. So they weren't talked about. I learned what circumcision was by a chance encounter in an adult encyclopedia. Before starting college, I heard the word "circumcision" mentioned all of once in bawdy boyhood banter. (It wasn't mentioned all that often in college either.) Before the 1980s, the foreskin was almost never depicted in USA anatomy and sex ed texts.

    Much was written advocating routine circumcision in the British and American medical and parenting literatures published 1860-1920. This fact does not explain why parents too this advice on board. I propose three reasons that deviate from the narratives proposed by Gollaher and Darby.

    1. Boyhood masturbation was despised in that era, but not so much because it was allegedly unhealthy, but because it was deemed very immoral. It was immoral because all sexual release other than PIV in the missionary position between married couples was deemed immoral. Masturbation was seen as especially dangerous because it did not require a willing partner, and was easily concealed. This obsession with the immorality of masturbation declined after 1920, but the bald penis it gave rise to, became ever more common.

    2. To our Victorian-Edwardian ancestors, a great many social problems and moral failings were caused by excessive male sexual desire. Men were too horny for their own good, and the good of the societies they were a part of. It was further believed that male sexual desire inheres in the foreskin and its mobility. (The evidence for this belief was that men in mental hospitals, and unselfconscious toddlers play with their foreskins.) Hence cutting off the foreskin would attenuate these problems, with a flick of the scalpel.

    3. The years 1865-1915 saw a hygiene revolution, thanks to the installation of water taps and the discovery of the germ theory of disease. It was silently evident that a healthy penis required that the tip of the penis be cleaned. This required monitoring a boy's progress to full retraction, and talking to boys about the most intensely sexual part of their bodies, the glans and foreskin. The prim middle class mothers of that era saw this as a daunting part of motherhood. They eagerly embraced routine circumcision, thinking that sitting in bath water sufficed to keep a bald penis clean. No need to ever talk about the penis and its hygienic requirements. The need to retract the foreskin in order to clean an intact penis, was seen as encouraging masturbation.

    Circumcision became popular at a time when a daily shower was not the norm, and when farm houses and urban tenements had no hot running water, or even no running water at all. In the other English speaking countries, when hot running water became taken for granted, routine circumcision went into decline. In the USA, it the popularity of circumcision continued to rise until about 1985.

    Even now, a majority of American baby boys are circumcised within 3-4 months of birth. The American fixation with the bald penis is the biggest controversy in pediatric medicine, and the biggest open problem in the social psychology of American sexuality.

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    1. This article is full of so much false information and blatant lies. Do your own research and check your sources. I was so disgusted by all of the misinformation that I couldn't even finish reading it.

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    2. My son ( we're Jewish, and chose not to circumcise) is now 12. In the past 4-5 years he has had 2 or 3 infections, which caused pain.He took antibiotics, and they cleared up, but the last infection also caused scar tissue, so now the foreskin does not retract. The doctor is concerned that the foreskin will not retract as he goes through puberty in the next year or 2, and wants to circumcise now. We don't want to do it. Has anyone experienced this? My son has been gently trying to get the adhesions to release as he bathes. Thanks.

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    3. You should contact the people at Peaceful Parenting www.drmomma.org . Lots of info, resources, and readers to get info from about your question.

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    4. I had the same problem when I was the same age. My foreskin would not retract and I was advised that if it did not retract after a period of trying to stretch it in the bath, I would need to be circumised. After about 6-12 months it did finally retract, although it was tight to begin with so I did not leave it retracted. With continued 'stretching' it retracted with ease and is now normal. I have not had any issues except for rare small tear in the scare tissue but that occurs very infrequently. I am so glad I persevered with the stretching and am not circumised. I hope this helps.

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  4. Thank you for this extremely informative, well researched, and well written post. I am neither a man nor a parent, but I'm posting this on Facebook for everyone to read. I had a suspicion that male circumcision was barbaric, but I had no idea there were so many grievous effects. I want to cry. It hurts my heart that we do this to our males. Thank you again.

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    1. Angela you need to do more research before you believe everything you read online. This guy has an agenda and you are picking the low hanging fruit. It is not barbaric and is actually more helpful to women's health. Research more before you jump into this guys pool.

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    2. When people say stuff like what you just said, I wish they would question at least one particular argument made by the author, on include at least ONE citation to back up their claim. All I heard was "vague character assassination logical fallacy".

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    3. Are you serious? Did you read anything that "this guy" posted in the essay? Clearly not because you would have discerned that she is a she.

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    4. How is it more helpful to women's health? If a man keeps himself clean enough, there should be no problem, whether he's circumcised or not. All I know is that it is more pleasurable for the man & the woman when not circumcised because there is naturally more feeling & sensation because of more sensitivity.

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  5. My mother had to fight to get my brother left whole... I made sure nobody got at my son, either. Not necessary at all!

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    1. Did the same for my kids

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  6. If you're circumcised, get a Prince Albert piercing and you'll find new sensations in your penis that even the uncircumcised don't have access to. The rest of this article is...well, hyperbole.

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    1. You Sir, are an idiot.

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  7. Ew forskin is nasty af!! Not one decent guy I have ever known has had no wanted it! Even guys I grew up with had it removed because they hated smelly snail dick!

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    1. What's wrong with it? I still have mine and doesn't "Smell" you must be in ghetto's where no-one washes them-selves. Your ignorance is intolerable.

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    2. If they hated the smell of (smelly snail dick) as what you called it... only means they dont wash it probably

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    3. You sound like an uneducated whore. Perhaps you should spend less time looking at dicks and more time reading books. Smh

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    4. Lmao!!! Funny you should say such things, yet, you do not know why a whore is not did you read the simple things I stated, I never once said I stare at cock all day an I defanitly don't sleep around, especially for money... Try again.

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    5. I'm 45 yrs old and uncircumsized. I am and have always been very meticulous about hygiene and have never had a smelly snail dick. I don't presume to know where you are from or what manner of men you associate with, but I will say that if these men keep their penises cleaned properly, you won't have that problem.

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  8. My little boy is 3 years old, i tell him every night when he bathes to wash it. The foreskin is exactly as in the picture for boys between 3 and 10. Everyone told me that i had to go to a doctor because it had to go over the tip of the penis already. I disagreed because i read this article. I now know that you have to leave it, you cannot force the foreskin over. But by what age should the foreskin go over the tip? can it be any time between the ages of 3 and 10? I have another little boy of 1 year, and i dont want them to struggle someday with pain so i want to let it be done the correct way!

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    1. The inner foreskin should be washed only with clear, clean water ... never soapy water, as soaps tend to kill strains of friendly, protective bacteria, which tends to open the region to infections. The foreskin of newborn boys is attached to the glans, much like a kittens eyes are fused shut at birth. The ONLY person who should ever attempt retracting a boys foreskin is the boy himself. No one else. Not his doctor, and not his parents. Boys should not be discouraged from masturbating, either, as that harmless activity aids in the process of separation and, ultimately, normal retraction.

      I have no idea what you mean by the age the foreskin should "... go over the tip". The tip of what? However, it is not terribly unusual when a boy's foreskin won't separate from the glans until he is in his teen years, so leave well enough alone.

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    2. It's claimed to happen around the age of 10+, but i rememebr it happening to me around 5-7 years. Maybe grade 1 or 2.

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    3. It's my dick and I'll wash it as fast as I want to!

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    4. Leave it alone, the attachment actually protects that region from any infections. Also remember, urine is virtually sterile and has antibacterial pH, so you have another layer of natural protection there.
      Around age 10, the foreskin will start retracting by itself, no interference necessary. As that happens, smegma becomes the protective agent. Only then it becomes convenient to rinse with clear water, although still not medically necessary.

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    5. I have seen boys 10+ still waiting but who assured me it did go on its own. All in good time. Each boy is on his own schedule.

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  9. Interesting & exhausting -- but you're coming from "my mind's made up and don't confuse me w/ the facts".And you'll look for any reason to support your opinion. And bound for glory -- to convince all others. You do a great job. Except some of us think you're wrong to sway anyone. Here's why: as physicians we witness in great personal detail what happens when balanitis occurs, when cancer of the penis (albeit not common) occurs, when teenage males or older, (or any male not an infant) requires circumcision, or chooses it, b/c of ongoing untenable personal or dangerous problems. I didn't go deep enough to read every one of your words, to find out if you are or are not yourself circumcised. Maybe you won't tell. But if you are, and are resenting it b/c you think you've missed something -- look elsewhere. Pepi Granat, MD Family Medicine.

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    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penile_cancer

      Penile cancer affects 1 in 100,000 men but you would encourage everyone to be circumcised at a young age just in case? Even though "circumcision during infancy or in childhood MAY provide PARTIAL protection against penile cancer" (emphasis mine)?
      You are encouraging surgery (of dubious efficacy and with its own risks of complications) when it is completely unnecessary for 99,999 men in every 100,000. The suffering of the few who experience balanitis does not justify continued societal genital mutilation - learn some maths.

      zsolmanz, A-Level Statistics

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    2. AMA drone. Interesting side note: Did you know that the AMA is a trade organization instituted to help peddle for the pharmaceutical industry? It's not a regulatory agency for the protection of Americans. Well, I think it's interesting (and revealing).

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    3. Oh great another MD that doesn't understand genital autonomy ....... Adults can choose whatever they want ...... Babies can't. Performing genital surgery on a normal healthy infant violates medical ethics....... Stop with the lame excuses!

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    4. You guys attacking the circumcision are as uneducated and sheepish as they come. You take 1 article and consider yourself an expert in the matter. Spend a whole year in the medical field if you can somehow shove enough intelligence into that sheepish mind of yours. Then watch and see how many people come in with STDs and infections and cancer that you see on an uncircumcised person vs that of the extreme rarity of those circumcised. Also look at the fact that a vast portion of peoples foreskin never ends up fully retracting this trapping bacteria creating this unpleasant smell that you ignorant sheep seem to be attacking a girl for pointing out. You also need to grow the fuck up and not call a woman a whore who has most likely had less than half the amount of partners that your nasty ass has just because she points out a true fact about 99% of uncircumcised cocks. Circumcision protects your child from a plethora of diseases. Just like vaccines. You want to not give your child a better chance at a healthy life then you are the morons who are contributing to the end of mankind from the superbugs popping up everywhere that we had all but eradicated in the last 20 years. Do your own research and you will find that yes you lose some sexual pleasure or in most cases gain some, and that it actually does protect from disease then grab a mind of your own and stop believing everything you read on the internet. If you can’t do that do us all a favor and mix ammonia vinegar and bleach and get yourself high off the fumes in an enclosed space.

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    5. Sure, like all reasonable humans, the poster advocates the suicide of those with differing opinions, well said indeed. No bias or emotional compensation there, no way. At least its not sheepish, lol

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    6. If you ask me to weigh 1 in 100000 risk of cancer against a 1 in 100 risk of complications from circumcision, I know what my decision would be.
      A lot of people suffer get skin cancer on their arms and legs, yet I see nobody advocating to chop babies' limbs off to reduce that risk.

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    7. You're using the word sheepish incorrectly...

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    8. my 34 years of living with my foreskin leads me believe that people advocating circumcision with the reasoning they use are idiots.

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    9. I live in a part of Europe where nobody gets circumcised and I didn't hear of anybody getting cancer and other diseases by having a foreskin. Your mouth has 100 times more bacteria than you dick but you don't pull out your teeth because there is 1 in 100000 chance to get gingivitis. You wash it and it's good to go. You people are crazy with the reasoning you bring. Just saying.

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    10. Not only did he use the word "sheepish" improperly, he went ahead and over used it as well.
      I am thankfully in tact and I am just as grateful that I seemed to have narrowly escaped the plethora of complications all of you pro-circumcision westerners are, not only miseducated about, but some of you folks are dead set against leaving male newborns penises just as nature has designed the organ.
      I am well aware of some males having complications because their foreskins weren't removed. However the rhetoric of smells, pain, STDs and the like are not the norm and the problems that may plague an individual are more than likely not caused by not caring for the penis properly. I can imagine how many boys and men havd suffered from issues such as lack of understanding that the foreskin does not typically fully retract until the body experiences further maturity. I mean, of course a parent might be inclined to tug and pull it down to vigorously...if it's not pulled back far enough it's considered unclean if the entire glans is not scrubbed at.
      Again I am happy to be in tact and even as a minority American who's got a foreskin, I've been healthy, I have an enormous more amount of nerve endings and pleasure. I've also found that American women are initially not sold on the idea or reality of having sex with a man who has been unharmed. After a couple of initial real life experiences I have been told by many women that the uncircumcised penis is, in their opinion, far more pleasurable for them, just as I find it is for me.
      I'm not saying I am a superior sexual partner to most men. I'm just saying that I actually feel as if my foreskin does give me and also offers my partners far greater sensation than any circumcised man could dream to deliver. THAT is a fact but cut men and their women are accustomed to a lifetime of sex performed with a penis that is essentially 1/3 calloused and the skin intended to protect the head of your dick was tossed in a waste basket along with millions of nerve endings that far outnumbered the few you've got left.
      I feel bad for cut guys.
      Life is grand when your mommy and daddy don't want to see you mutilated.
      Just sayin...

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  10. My son is 13 and has not had his genitals mutilated. No problems whatsoever, outdated barbaric custom.

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  11. We need more people thinking about this. It really is genital mutilation. It's not fair to force boys to go through this without their consent as a man. I'm Jewish and I would never let my future son go through this barbaric custom.

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    1. lol how can you be jewish and not follow the religion?? being jewish is not an ethnicity, get the fuck over it you are not a little special snowflake.

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    2. http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

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    3. Good for you. All religions have some stupid rules that should be ignored. Glad for your son(s) that you are not a blind follower.

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  12. Pepi Grant, are you one of the physician's who make money from chopping up penis's? My own son had a partial circumcision at the age of nine and suffered not at all. It is my belief that if there is a problem then you deal with it - you do not cut something off because you may develop a problem later.
    Also, within the first couple of paragraphs it is obvious that the writer has not been circumcised yet you question it; not only question it you then accuse him of maybe keeping it a secret if he is, what a strange assumption.

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    1. Hmmmm, ever heard of women getting their breasts removed cause they might get cancer?

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    2. A *woman* *choosing* to remove *her own* breasts is a completely different story. Let adults choose what to do with their body when they can make an informed decision.

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    3. Obviously not stated by the several men that come in daily to get this procedure done and suffer threw worst pain not to mention humiliation of having that nasty thing and dealing with the risk that comes with it!

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    4. I think you're missing or ignoring the fact that the vast majority of the world's men have an intact (not circumcised) penis. The actual risk of having something go wrong with it is extremely rare.

      I'm sure if you asked those who had to have their appendix removed if they wish it would have just been removed at birth, they would all agree. Nobody wants to go through a surgery, but that kind of reverse justification doesn't work because we humans deserve the right to choose which parts of our body get operated on.

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    5. No, a mass majority of uneducated countries and lack of medical treatment have less circumcision due to those said reasons....

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    6. Not true.... I live in Germany and roughly 90% of the country is intact as is most of Europe. So according to your statement you make it sound like Germany(or Europe in general) is 'uneducated' and have a 'lack of medical treatment.' I am American and I find Germany to be superior in medicine than in the US. My husband is intact and has never had an issue being intact.

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    7. Like I said, uneducated and lack of proper medical expertise is obvious

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    8. The american ignorance in its prime. I've read through most of your comments and to everyone winning an arguement over you, you just state to them that they are "uneducated and ignorant" or even morons. Well, I would consider myself on your side when it comes to curcumcision. But please, you are just acting like a moron yourself... I won't say you are uneducated because I can't get any clue if you are just by analysing what you've written in a comment section of an article. The same for you.

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  13. "I'm Jewish and I would never let my future son go through this barbaric custom." And you are Jewish? drrrrr,,,

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    1. yeah all people of all religions have 100% uniform beliefs. that's why protestants take communion............ right?

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    2. Protestants *do* take communion.

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  14. It really is mind blowing that this outdated practice has held on for so long. Luckily more and more boys are being kept whole. More and more people are talking about it. This is a fantastic post. Thanks for your in-depth and well put together post. Our boys deserve to be protected from harm. <3

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  15. I'm English and my foreskin never detached and I had to be circumcised at twenty something. Sex is ok when circumcised but I wouldn't have chosen to have it removed but I don't consider myself to not be "whole" or to have been barbarically mutilated. Artifcial lubrication is something I've used more since circumcision, before the chop, I had been sexually active (albeit sometimes with discomfort) but not required lube. Interestingly I wasn't aware of how a normal foreskin was supposed to function so I didn't really know anything was wrong, none of my partners told me either (or knew?) In some respects I wish I was circumcised sooner or better yet that it could have been repaired. Anyway, sometimes circumcision is medically necessary I guess, certainly in my case it made sex less painful.
    I would never get my son circumcised unless his foreskin wasn't functioning correctly.

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  16. Great article !! It covered almost everything! I only missed some more anatomical sketches. Like intercourse function and surface with comparison to the cell phone. And also more links to the studies, for credibility. I wouldnt believe some things, if I didnt already knew source material.

    Thanks for this great reference!

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  17. I so wish this had been common knowledge when my son was born in the US in the '70s. His father was circumcised, and he talked me into it. I feel guilty almost 40 years later - but the medical community sold us a bill of goods.

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    1. This is one of the many reasons I hope I have daughters. My husband wants our possible future sons to be circumcised, in part because they'll look like him.

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    2. They won't look like him unless he shaves everything and has a teeny tiny penis. "Daddy had surgery on his" the end.

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  18. Anything that is touted by any religion or religious group should be doubted firstly. After that, one should only undertake what one has researched and come to conclusions upon, based on fact...other than that, it's clearly nonsense, superstition, and man made BS. End of story...enjoy your life and do not follow what the mob says is true. The mob is wrong most of the time!!!

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  19. The word circumcision actually originally meant to cut off just a small amount of tissue at the very tip. This was the Jewish tradition. After Christians began persecuting the Jews, some Jews would pretend to be Christian as their foreskin looked very similar to an uncircumcised Christian. It was then ordained to take the whole foreskin so a Jew could not pretend to be a Christian.

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  20. as a
    mother i have 3 sons all circumcised i could not get my oldest boy done i was devastated then he had a problem around 2 with his foreskin closing over i had to break the scab each time for him to pee ,it was horrible ,my doctor who was totally against circs told me it had to be done, so if 1 got done so did my other son the traditional way cutting never had any problems ,then when my 3 rd son was born again i had trouble but eventually had him done with the ring method so much better no cutting it just falls off . In my personal opinion it looks better and no not all men have good hygiene i am told ,
    my sons have never complained of not being satisfied they went through puberty like everyone else and it god damn looks better ,i have given my boys the chance to be porn stars lol you know why all porn stars are circumcised BECAUSE IT LOOKS GREAT , thank god most men in my era are circumcised is all i can say, yes its an individual choise so get of your high horses do or don't there was no harm to my sons they were thankful they had it done ask questions of a circumcised man ,not just what it says in really long winded(sorry but it was)article

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    1. You a complete fucking moron, and possibly the worst mother on Earth.

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    2. Anyone arguing for Circumcision has a Program running in, their Matrix Mainframe that they don't even know is running, but they believe their own stories and stories run the world, not medicine or physics. I pray for angry people to have their hearts and souls filled with Love and God's Grace...

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    3. Many pornstars are uncircumcised , and most girls I know, including an ex porn star preferred uncut Men. Your a tool of a Poster, I doubt you even, believe half the shit you type.

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  21. المسلم يُنفذ أمر الله وهذا معنى الإسلام ومقتضاه ، وهو الاستسلام لله وطاعة أمره ، سواءٌ تبين له الحكمة منه أم لا ، لأن الآمر ـ وهو الله تعالى ـ هو الخالق العليم الخبير ، الذي خلق البشر ويعلم ما يُصلحهم وما يصلح لهم ، والختان من ضمن الأحكام الشرعية التي يُنفذها المسلم عن طواعية وخضوع ومحبةٍ لله وطلب للأجر والثواب من عنده ، وهو يجزم يقيناً بأن الله لم يأمر بشئٍ إلا وله فيه حكمة وللعبد فيه مصلحة سواءٌ علمها العبد أم لم يعلمها ، ولا بأس وقد ورد السؤال من طرفك أيها السائل الحريص على معرفة الفائدة الصحية من الختان أن نذكر هنا بعض الفوائد الشرعية والصحية للختان إجابةً لطلبك ، وليزداد المؤمنون إيماناً بالحكم ، ويعلم غير المسلم جانباً من عظمة هذه الشريعة التي جاءت بجلب المصالح ، ودرءِ المفاسد .

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  22. أولاً :

    الفوائد الشرعية :

    "الختان من محاسن الشرائع التي شرعها الله سبحانه وتعالى لعباده ويُجَمِّلُ بها محاسنهم الظاهرة والباطنة فهو مكمل للفطرة التي فطرهم عليها ولهذا كان من تمام الحنيفية ملة إبراهيم ، وأصل مشروعية الختان لتكميل الحنيفية فإن الله عز وجل لما عاهد إبراهيم وعده أن يجعله للناس إماماً ، ووعده أن يكون أباً لشعوب كثيرة وأن يكون الأنبياء والملوك من صلبه وأن يُكثِّر نسله وأخبره أنه جاعلٌ بينه وبين نسله علامةَ العهد أن يختنوا كل مولود منهم ويكون عهدي هذا ميسماً (أي علامة ) في أجسادهم . فالختان علم للدخول في ملة إبراهيم وهذا موافق لتأويل من تأول قوله تعالى : ( صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنْ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ ) البقرة/138 ،على الختان ، فالختان للحنفاء بمنزلة الصبغ والتعميد لعبّاد الصليب ، فهم يطهرون أولادهم بزعمهم حين يصبغونهم في ماء المعمودية ويقولون :الآن صار نصرانياً ، فشرع الله سبحانه وتعالى للحنفاء صبغة الحنيفية ،وجعل ميسمها الختان فقال : (صِبْغَةَ اللَّهِ وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ مِنْ اللَّهِ صِبْغَةً وَنَحْنُ لَهُ عَابِدُونَ ) البقرة/138.

    ...فجعل الله سبحانه وتعالى الختان علماً لمن يضاف إليه وإلى دينه وملته وينسب إليه بنسبة العبودية والحنيفية ...

    والمقصود : أن صبغة الله هي الحنيفية التي صبغت القلوب بمعرفته ومحبته والإخلاص له ، وعبادته وحده لا شريك له ، وصبغت الأبدان بخصال الفطرة من الختان، والاستحداد، وقص الشارب، وتقليم الأظافر ،ونتف الإبط ، والمضمضة ،والاستنشاق ، والسواك ،والاستنجاء .

    فظهرت فطرة الله على قلوب الحنفاء وأبدانهم."

    تحفة المودود بأحكم المولود - ابن القيم ص 351 .

    ولا يشترط أن يبقى الجنين على ما هو عليه عند خروجه من بطن أمه إذا كان ما يُفعل معه لمصلحة ومما أمر به الدين الحنيف ومن ذلك حلاقة شعر رأسه بعد ولادته لأن ذلك من مصلحته قال نبي الإسلام عليه الصلاة والسلام : ( أميطوا عنه الأذى ) .

    وكذلك غسله مما أصابه من الدم وقطع المشيمة التي كان متصلاً بها بأمه ونحو ذلك من إجراء الأمور التي تفيده .

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  23. ثانياً :

    الفوائد الصحية :

    قال الدكتور محمد علي البار (عضو الكليات الملكية للأطباء بالمملكة المتحدة ـ مستشار قسم الطب الإسلامي مركز الملك فهد للبحوث الطبية جامعة الملك عبدالعزيز بجدة ) في كتابه الختان :

    " إن ختان الأطفال المواليد ( أي خلال الشهر الأول من أعمارهم ) يؤدي إلى مكاسب صحية عديدة أهمها :

    1- الوقاية من الالتهابات الموضعية في القضيب : الناتجة عن وجود القلفة ويسمى ضيق القلفة ويؤدي إلى حقب البول . والتهابات حشفة القضيب وهذه كلها تستدعي إجراء الختان لعلاجها ، أما إذا أزمنت فإنها تعرض الطفل المصاب لأمراض عديدة في المستقبل من أخطرها سرطان القضيب .

    2- التهابات المجاري البولية : أثبتت الأبحاث العديدة أن الأطفال غير المختونين يتعرضون لزيادة كبيرة في التهابات المجاري البولية .وفي بعض الدراسات بلغت النسبة 39 ضعف ما هي عليه عند الأطفال غير المختونين ، وفي دراسات أُخرى كانت النسبة عشرة أضعاف ، وفي دراسات أُخرى تبين أن 95 بالمائة من الأطفال الذين يعانون من التهابات المجاري البولية هم من غير المختونين بينما كانت نسبة الأطفال المختونين لا تتعدى 5 بالمائة

    والتهابات المجاري البولية في الأطفال خطيرة في بعض الأحيان ففي دراسة ويزويل على 88 طفلاً أصيبوا بالتهابات المجاري البولية كان لدى 36 بالمائة منهم نفس البكتريا الممرضة في الدم ، وعانى ثلاثة من هؤلاء من التهاب السحايا ، و أُصيب اثنان بالفشل الكلوي ، ومات اثنان آخران بسبب انتشار الميكروبات الممرضة في الجسم .

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  24. 3- الوقاية من سرطان القضيب : قد أجمعت الدراسات على أن سرطان القضيب يكاد يكون منعدماً لدى المختونين بينما نسبته لدى غير المختونين ليست قليلة ، ففي الولايات المتحدة فإن نسبة الإصابة بسرطان القضيب لدى المختونين صفر بينما هي 2.2 من كل مائة ألف من السكان غير المختونين . وبما أن أغلبية السكان في الولايات المتحدة هم من المختونين فإن حالات السرطان هناك في حدود 750 إلى ألف حالة كل سنة ولو كان السكان غير مختونين لتضاعف العدد إلى ثلاثة آلاف حالة ، وفي البلاد التي لا يُختن فيها مثل الصين ويوغندا وبورتوريكو فإن سرطان القضيب يشكل ما بين 12 إلى22 بالمائة من مجموع السرطانات التي تصيب الرجال . وهي نسبة عالية جداً .

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  25. 4- الأمراض الجنسية : لقد وجد الباحثون أن الأمراض الجنسية التي تنتقل عبر الاتصال الجنسي (غالباً بسبب الزنا واللواط ) تنتشر بصورة أكبر وأخطر لدى غير المختونين ، وخاصة الهربس ، والقرحة الرخوة والزهري ، والكانديدا ، والسيلان ، والثآليل الجنسية .

    وهناك أبحاث عديدة حديثة تؤكد أن الختان يقلل من احتمال الإصابة بالإيدز بنسبة أعلى من قرنائهم من غير المختونين . ولكن ذلك لا ينفي أن المختون إذا تعرض للعدوى نتيجة اتصال جنسي بشخص مصاب بالإيدز قد يصاب بهذا المرض الخطير . وليس الختان واقياً منه ، وليست هناك وسيلة حقيقة للوقاية من هذه الأمراض الجنسية العديدة سوى الابتعاد عن الزنا والخنا واللواط وغيرها من القاذورات (وبهذا نعلم حكمة الشريعة الإسلامية بتحريم الزنا واللواط ...) .

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  26. 5- وقاية الزوجة من سرطان عنق الرحم : لاحظ الباحثون أن زوجات المختونين أقل تعرضاً للإصابة بسرطان عنق الرحم من غير المختونين ." انتهى نقلاً من كتاب (الختان) ص/76 للدكتور محمد البار.. والله أعلم

    يراجع : مقال للبروفيسور ويزويل نشرته المجلة الأمريكية لطبيب الأسرة العدد/41 ، سنة 1991م .

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  29. كشفت بحوث من المركز الأمريكي لمكافحة الأمراض والوقاية منها أن فوائد ختان الذكور أكبر بكثير من مخاطره، وظهرت مسودة للبحوث نشرت يوم الثلاثاء تشير إلى الأدلة العلمية التي تؤيد ذلك.

    ووجدت البحوث أن إجراء عملية الختان للذكور تحت إشراف طبي قد تساعد في تقليل خطر انتقال فيروس (HIV) المسبب لمرض الإيدز، كما يساعد في تقليل الإصابة بالأمراض الجنسية المختلفة، بالإضافة إلى الحد من الكثير من المشاكل الصحية الأخرى.

    وتأتي هذه البحوث في إطار توصيات تتضمن تقديم المشورة لذوي الأطفال الذكور حديثي الولادة، حول فوائد ومخاطر هذا الإجراء، في الوقت الذي تراجعت فيه نسبة ختان الذكور في الولايات المتحدة في الفترة الأخيرة بشكل ملحوظ.

    وطبقا للمركز الأمريكي لمكافحة الأمراض والوقاية منها فإن المعدل القومي لختان المولودين حديثا في الولايات المتحدة قد تراجع ما بين عامي 1979 و 2010 بنسبة من 10 إلى 58%.

    وأوضح المركز إنه قام بعمل مسودة إرشادية للتوصيات حول هذا الموضوع بناء على مراجعة منهجية للمخاطر والفوائد الصحية للختان عن طريق استشارة خبراء في الوقاية من الإيدز والعديد من المجالات الأخرى.

    كانت أيضا دراسات عديدة قد أجريت في أفريقيا أشارت إلى أن ختان الذكور قد يساعد في تقليل انتشار الفيروس المسبب لمرض الإيدز المنتشر في هذه القارة.

    المصدر: RT + "رويترز"

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  30. Research revealed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the benefits of male circumcision is much greater than the risks, and appeared draft of the research published on Tuesday, referring to the scientific evidence that supports it.

    Research and found that the procedure performed for males under medical supervision may help reduce the risk of transmission of HIV (HIV) that causes AIDS, and helps reduce the incidence of various sexual diseases, in addition to the reduction of a lot of other health problems.

    This research comes within the framework of the recommendations include providing advice to those with newborn male child birth, about the benefits and risks of the procedure, while the proportion of male circumcision in the United States declined in the recent period significantly.

    According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national average for the circumcision of newborns in the United States has declined between 1979 and 2010 increased from 10 to 58%.

    He said the center that he has done a draft guidance for the recommendations on this topic based on a systematic review of the health risks and benefits of circumcision by consulting experts in the prevention of AIDS and many other areas.

    Were also numerous studies have been conducted in Africa indicated that male circumcision may help reduce the spread of the virus that causes AIDS is rampant in this continent.

    Source: RT + "Reuters"

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    1. Unfortunately this idea that the benefits outweigh risks does not take into account long-term effects and risks. They seem to think the only "risks" worth mentioning are short term or immediate risks of the surgery itself, but there are numerous long term risks and outcomes they don't consider, things like meatal ulcers and stenosis, painful erections or need for additional surgeries later, erectile and sexual dysfunction, etc. Those things aren't seen right away, so they don't seem to play a part in the CDC's point of view at all.

      Reducing the risk of STIs may well be a benefit to circumcision, but the HIV research was done in social conditions not present in the United States (the most prevalent vectors for disease transmission are very different between subsaharan Africa and the United States), and was also deeply flawed (the men who were circumcised also received literature and information on safe sex, had to visit the clinic multiple times, and had to abstain from sex while they healed). If men want to experience thesepotential benefits, they should be able to choose it for themselves after considering the anatomy and potential drawbacks. STI prevention is not a reason to consider doing it to babies and children who cannot consent (and aren't out having unprotected sex anyway).

      Given that there is no hard information available on the number of infant deaths in the US from circumcision (it's estimated at around 117 per year but many of these deaths are labelled as something else, even if the procedure is what initiated the problem), I find it laughable that they can talk about benefit vs. risk in the first place.

      I find this deeply distressing as I look to the CDC for accurate information on disease control and evidence based medicine. It's extremely bothersome that the CDC and AAP seem to be ignoring or glossing over long term effects and risks for what appears to be a minor benefit.

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    2. The HIV circumcision studies are junk science, here's how it works: a group of researchers goes to Africa and pays a number of people to circumcise them. Understandably, that group refrains from sex for some time while they are healing, while the uncircumcised control group goes about their normal life. Just as the circumcised group is about to begin begin sexually active again, the study ends. Guess what the result is.

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    3. The risk can be reduced even further by total amputation of penis, right? What a seaming load of a gobshait this whole procedure is....But many things dictated by religions are anyway....

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  31. What idiot started the rumor you need lube if you're circumsiced? That's the stupidest thing I ever herd and honestly backs up my never touching a circumsiced cock!! Is it naturally lubed with moisture and sweat? Built up gunk?!!! Yuk...

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    1. Your moist vagina and folds are so nasty! You should get those flaps removed so it can be nice and dry!

      /sarcasm

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    2. Lmao! It's ok that your gay, but most men love a nice clean wet vagina! Can't say the same for dick!!! And ion not have flaps haha if vagina caused as many issues as nasty extra skin on a cock more woman would have them removed!

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    3. I have no problem with women choosing to remove parts of their body if they wish. I take issue when somebody is unnecessarily removing a body part from somebody else just because they perceive there is no value to it.

      If you perceived the "extra skin" of your vulva as "nasty", would you choose to remove it from your infant daughter?

      Delete
    4. If that said extra skin being removed proved more benefit over an obvious risk, absolutely! Many woman do remove this btw...

      Delete
    5. Congratulations. You now advocate genital mutilation of babies of either sex. At least we know you are consistent.

      Delete
    6. Congratulations to you! Your completly ignorant and undereducated... Probably from a country with lack of proper care. You can have your sadly made opinions.

      Delete
  32. We can sit here and debate all day whether the "benefits" of circumcision justify the act (hint: it doesn't in the long run), but my mind is pretty clear: If it's not your body, you do NOT have the right to alter your child's or anyone else's without their informed consent! And to the idiots in this comment section who circumcised their child so they wouldn't have to "worry about teaching him cleanliness" and asinine things along those lines: YOU HAVE FAILED AS A PARENT! Parenting involves talking about these things and other things which aren't always the easiest to discuss, and if you're too much of prude or too ignorant to discuss it, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE BECOME A PARENT and you're a disgusting excuse for a human being, too.

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    1. No one cares about your irritant uneducated opinion. Pick up a doctors journal

      Delete
    2. Maybe read the oath first that says, "First, do no harm."

      Delete
    3. Good thing their not! A good doctor informs the mother of the risks and greater the benefits and the parents makes an informed decision.

      Delete
    4. 1. It is not ethical to remove a part of the body that is not causing a problem from somebody who cannot say so. You have to do some serious mental gymnastics to convince yourself otherwise.

      2. It's easy to say the benefits outweigh the risk when you don't recognize any value to the foreskin and if you ignore the complications of circumcision which include (aside form the sexual dysfunction of removing a normal part of the penis) meatal stenosis, skin bridges, and painful erections/scarring.

      Delete
    5. Foreskin causes many problems, look it up. Actually talk to an educated dr that has studied it...

      Delete
    6. I am no longer wasting my time arguing with somebody who can't follow basic logic or step outside of herself to consider there might actually be other medical findings. In most of Europe where the vast majority of men are intact, they don't have these problems with foreskin because they know how to care for it and value it as part of the normal body.

      Statistically speaking, your breasts cause many more problems (and much more death due to breast cancer) than 1,000 foreskins would. I wouldn't advocate for either to be systematically removed. No rational person would.

      Delete
    7. Lmqo! Keep your sad opinions! And breast have no comparison. There purpose is to feed, extra skin that causes health problems and seals in nastiness is not necessary. Bye.

      Delete
    8. Hi, J! I'm a doctor! A pediatrician, in fact! Full disclosure: I learned to do circumcisions in residency. I have performed them. I do not do so any longer, because I've done my homework and I understand that the foreskin is an important anatomic structure. Removing the foreskin can cause many more problems than leaving it alone. Foreskin is not dangerous, it's not gross, and it's not a disease vector as so many would like you to believe. Want to talk to me about circumcision? GO FOR IT. I'm an educated doctor that's studied it!

      Delete
    9. Highly doubtful.... Otherwise you'd state the risks involved in keeping an extra sag of skin. It's unhygienic and completely disgusting! I'm glad the Drs in my country and the men around here like to keep their dicks clean and std free as well as avoid any unnecessary complications by keeping a gross thing like that.

      Delete
    10. You can doubt I'm a doctor all you want, but I am one! Your arguments about circumcision boil down to the following:

      1) It's "extra" skin and it's dangerous because of cancer/infection/STDs!

      Most skin cancers occur on the tip of the nose, because it sticks out the farthest from our faces and gets the most sun. Should I cut off the tip of your nose because it will reduce cancer risk? Or should I be a reasonable person and tell you to apply sunscreen? Similarly, should I cut away at your genitals in the name of preventing STDs, or should I be a reasonable person and tell you to use a condom and be discerning in the folks you have sex with?

      2) But it's icky!

      That's your opinion. I'm not saying I find foreskins to be so attractive I'd put a picture of one on my wall. I don't look forward to looking at them. I feel the same way about hairy feet, but I'd never suggest hacking them off someone else because I find them icky. That's not my right. You may have a phobia of foreskins, and that's fine. It doesn't mean you have the right to take them away from others.

      Medically, "risks" of keeping an intact, normal penis are few. You can get a minor infection called balanitis, which is really common in potty-training kids because their hygiene isn't so great. It's so minor we don't even provide antibiotics, and girls have their very own equivalent (called vulvovaginitis). Risks of circumcision are very real and include bleeding (that can be significant), infection, and injury to the surrounding tissues (which are pretty damn important).

      Delete
    11. From your comment alone, I can conclude you are either not a dr or a very bad one... I'll stick with a reputable doctor and the fact that forskin is a parents decision to keep their son healthy and less risk of infection and cancer and a lot of other nasty things that can happen with this extra skin. Not to mention, yes it is nasty and most woman, not all, but the majority especially in the cleaner part of the USA, rightfully won't ouch it! And I wouldn't blame them!!!

      Delete
    12. J, you are laughable. What, pray tell, is the "cleaner part of the USA?" Oh, never mind, no matter what you say I just can't take it seriously. You're hilarious. Enjoy your trolling!

      Delete
    13. Well I'm sure to compared to you any part is cleaner....

      Delete
    14. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    15. Rissa, I just went through most of ~J~'s comments and it's truly a good laugh! She states "uneducated!!" to almost everyone that doesn't support her side. If not uneducated: they're morons, especially if they could be considered to have won the arguement against her. It's like she defies "the laws of argue", if you know what I mean.

      Delete
    16. Not one person has stated anything contributing to a "winning" argument. Hence why they are clearly uneducated.

      Delete
    17. ~J~ I am also a woman who has had a handful of sex partners in my lifetime - ok, maybe a couple more than a handful... I can honestly say that the sexual comfort and pleasure I have derived from uncut men is far superior to what I've experienced with circumcised men. Due to the movability of the foreskin, there is a natural glide that makes intercourse much more enjoyable than with a circumcised man - which often has made me feel like my vagina is being torn, even with plenty of lubrication. Furthermore, when an uncut man has an erection, it's virtually impossible to tell by looking at it whether he is circumcised or not. And the ickiness factor? Completely non-existent! I find the appearance of a flaccid, uncut man to be very sexually stimulating. Incidentally, I have one son, who we had circumcised at birth because his dad wanted him to "look like him." Knowing what I know now - and having watched the imbedded video which showed a circumcision being performed on a baby - I truly regret taking that very personal decision away from him and causing him that level of pain. It's his penis, his foreskin, and he is the only one who truly had the right to choose to become altered. We usurped his right. I will never forgive myself for doing that, knowing what I know now. There aren't enough "benefits" to being circumcised to have it be a decision made exclusively by parents. Every boy should be allowed to make that decision themselves when they get older.

      Delete
    18. Don't really care what you'r personal preferable is, already made my point several times. I think it's disgusting and the begin it out weighs the risk. Not once has anyone I've known or me for that matter ever had to use lube or had dry rubbing... Just that thought that it "glides" as if lubes makes me shudder... I think it looks nasty and wouldn't touch one. You want to open your legs to a ton of men that's your issue. The risk becomes worse with age, it's a simple easy procedure while an infant and a much more complicated one as an adult. I've seen waaay to many teens and adults going threw this pissed because their parents couldn't be bothered

      Delete
  33. You have an agenda and are very misinformed. You are like Michael Moore and his supposed documentaries - he takes some piece of a fact and twists it to fit his talking points. That is what you have done here. Circumcision has more health benefits to both men and women than being uncircumcised does. Do you really care that little about the risks being uncircumcised has on women's health? HPV can hide in the folds of the foreskin as does other bacteria and diseases and that is an increasing risk to women. If men cleaned themselves more that would help reduce the risk and so would limited sleeping partners but both of those 2 things are not the average behavior for men are they? You need to do more research and get your facts straight.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Exactly, some people are just ignorant.

      Delete
    2. Speaking as a man, your health is not *our* responsibility. That's not how things work. If you can't look after your own well-being (hint: there's an HPV vaccine now), we're sure as hell not going to. Make your own decisions, and don't force them on us. Isn't that the same courtesy you ask for when it comes to things like abortion?

      Delete
    3. You are a moron, are you seriously saying its a woman's "job" to make sure your dick is clean and Std free? "Men" like you shouldn't be able to reproduce -_-

      Delete
    4. I think he just proved your point. It's your own responsibility to keep yourself clean and protected. This is exactly why people shouldn't be advocating circumcision on the (false) belief that it is "cleaner" and "he won't clean himself anyway".

      Delete
    5. Great argument lmao!!! It defanitly is!!!

      Delete
  34. I am an Englishman and in the UK circumcision rates are ridiculously low. Why? Our doctors don't get paid $100 every time they mutilate an infant. I'm sure if they did you would see the numbers rise very quickly. Just saying :)

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  35. This was a great read for me. My two boys are intact, and I intend it to be that way for any future children, boys or girls, that I may have. I had made a much longer, thoughtful post but unfortunately it was deleted before I could hit the button to publish it. What I got most from this blog post was the information I will need to help my sons appreciate their intact status when they ask questions about it someday, and the information of normal penile physiology and the hands-off hygiene approach, which is essential for any parent who chooses to opt out of the culture of circumcision. Since intact men are a minority in this country, it is important to regain the knowledge of how to take care and what to expect; and also the whys and wherefores if those come up in conversation. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  36. This article is extremely one-sided and the author's appeal-to-nature fallacy and lack of understanding of evolution is apparent. The issue is complex, like many things in life, and circumcision is neither all-good or all-bad.

    Circumcision is a ritual which has been prevalent in many human cultures for millenia. I understand the view of people who believe it is barbaric and unnecessary, allow me to provide a counterpoint.

    Evidence shows circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission from women to men by removing vulnerable layers of skin and preventing a foreskin pocket capable of sustaining pathogens.

    Phimosis is a real medical condition capable of causing pain, inflammation, and distress. Smegma harbors potentially harmful bacteria which can lead to infection and discomfort in men and women.

    Evidence that sexual sensitivity is decreased in circumcised males is lacking. Aesthetic preference for cut or uncut penises depends largely on cultural norms.

    The procedure is not without risk of complication, of course. Interestingly, the Talmud accurately describes familial conditions where a woman should not circumcise her son because of a risk of bleeding, thousands of years before the genetic inheritance of hemophilia was understood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally a logical counterpoint.

      I, for one, completely agree that those who are considered adults in their country should be free to choose circumcision or whatever other body modification as they wish. And if there is a problem with the penis that necessitates circumcision, then go for it.

      I hope we can all agree that removing foreskins for some potentially unseen benefits (while ignoring the benefits a foreskin provides including the sexual sensitivity) in somebody who is unable to object is just plain wrong. It is a gross violation of bodily autonomy.

      Delete
    2. "Evidence shows circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission from women to men by removing vulnerable layers of skin and preventing a foreskin pocket capable of sustaining pathogens."

      Okay. So wait until the man is sexually active and capable of choosing for himself.

      Delete
  37. As an atheist, I don't defend any religious practices or anything but as a former microbiologist, I must say I'm a huuuge fan of circumcision. The body of scientific research/evidence for the benefits of circumcision is SIGNIFICANT and undeniable. Everything from child's better health with fewer UTIs and fewer UTI and catheter related infections in hospital in older age along with so much else really makes quite a compelling case for the removal of foreskin.

    It's actually quite amazing what a big difference circumcision makes in rates of acquisition and transmission of HIV and HPV. The numbers are just astounding!!! And it's so much better for women's health as well (as sexual partners). Even rates of Trich and BV are lower in women partners of circumcised men.

    You've taken a biased stance and don't know the science!! I actually wish rates of circumcision were much higher worldwide; it would be of great benefit for public health!

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  38. The benefits of circumcision in reducing UTIs in babies are overstated. The study that "proved" this was flawed; they did not exclude premature infants. Premature infants are much, much more likely to get infections of all kinds, including UTIs, and they are also in general too small to be circumcised. Just some food for thought.

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  39. You just handpick a few studies about STDs and circumcision. There're hundreds and hundreds more..On this one, there's absolutely no doubt about it!!! Circumcision is one the best protective procedures that can be done for men (& their partners') sexual health!!

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. The Jews came up with this idea of circumcision because they thought they can make money with the off cut by creating dinky toys from them...LOL

    Losing your foreskin is like losing a finger....LOL

    On a more serious note, I'm happy my European parents weren't as gullible ( as the parents who swallowed the idea) to cut it off.

    Women who know about foreskins are turned on more..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For skin is nasty... Most woman who's seen em are rightfully turned off!!!

      Delete
    2. Really? So I guess that most women around the world just don't have sex then, right? Considering that their partners still have still have their foreskin. The vast majority of males worldwide have never been circumcised, have their whole entire penis, and they and their sexual partners are not grossed out of turned off by it- because they recognize it as the normal body part that it is. Are you even aware of what the foreskin is and does? Can you name any of its functions? Can you accurately describe what happens to a penis when this part of it is removed?

      Delete
    3. Actually I can, it's not my fault you and a lot of the uneducated do not have proper medical attention to know the risks and benefits.

      Delete
    4. Not hard when you have an article all about it just above :P

      Delete
    5. The article is a complete full of crap opinion...

      Delete
  42. Excellent and thorough coverage of an important topic.
    I am a woman and I am against this barbaric unnecessary removal of a very sensitive, and necessary, part of the male anatomy.
    Also, the sex is far and away better with an uncircumcised penis.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow. And I'm responding to the comments. I mean, yes, this person feels strongly about this and has an opinion that is supported by facts and logic. That's why people write.

    I grew up in America. Once my younger sister and I were watching TV as our father sat drinking heavily. The word circumcision was voiced in a program. My sister asked what it meant. I was 16, she was 13. I guess I kinda knew what it meant, but didn't know that there was such a thing as not having it done. My dad then went into an inappropriately detailed account of his own circumcision, citing the fact, then necessarily feeling the need to show the outcome...as the Dr cut him, he also twisted 3 marks into and beside the frenulum that, he claimed, were put there so he could better pleasure a lover. Yeah. He was bragging. Proud. From my current perspective find this loathsome and insidious.

    However, I remember voicing as a 20 something that if I had a kid, I would circumcise, because I believed it was more sanitary, and more aesthetically appealing, and I wouldn't want my child to be teased for being different.

    In my history of lovers I've had a few who were uncircumcised, and they were never smelly, nor cheesy, and each time I used a condom....so didn't notice a difference at all concerning internal sensation. I learned I didn't have to use lube or spit or lotion - not because the uncircumcised cock is greasy - because the skin moves with your hand, so you are not abrading the skin.

    Then I saw a film that outlined the specific practice and techniques used to circumcise, and spoke of trauma that resulted from this event, and it became very clear to me that this was a practice that was completely inhumane and wrong. It is the first shared sexual experience of the child. The penis is swabbed back and forth for a minute or so with alcohol - to disinfect - stimulating the infant. Then the sensitive foreskin is violently removed, causing extreme pain to that very same area that was purposefully aroused. Those two stimuli burned into, hardwired into the infant's brain and nervous system. Some of his first associations with his penis. This is, quite simply, mutilation and torture. This should never happen to someone unless they choose it themselves.

    If then, when they are over 20 years of age and well-developed in their pre-frontal cortex enough to make the decision to be circumcised, then, by all means, chop away. Like piercing, or tatooing.

    Why do people think men who have foreskins are less hygenicly inclined than those without?

    At 49, and having experienced quite a few lovers in my time, I find myself with a man who possesses his foreskin. He is one of only a handful whom I have been with without a condom. And I can say that the feeling of him inside me is one of the most amazing sensations ever. The way he is sensitive and responsive to being inside me is incredible. He is cleaner than any guy I've ever been with, and although he does use soap when showering, he only rinses the tip of his cock, while retracting his foreskin, with water.

    We don't live in times or places where we don't have access to water or sanitary conditions. We can teach our children that it is natural, and explain the process of retraction. We can show them how to properly clean themselves, and how to have safe sex and also do self examinations to check for things like HPV. We can educate them about their bodies then let them choose what to do with them.

    Circumcision is unnecessary infant mutilation. It is sadistic and I find it shocking that it is as pervasive as it is. It is the same as a clitorectomy. It is like foot binding. It is about cultural control, ignorance, fear, and vanity, a skewed vanity, as it reflects an acceptance of the concept that a natural part of a boys sexual organ is not acceptable and must be removed. We follow blindly. I find it sad.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You sick demented prick!!! No infant gets aroused!! Wth is wrong with you?! You clearly have never witnessed nor are you very knowledgable about this procedure at all!!! No child has pain except for the one shot of numbing medication, No one remembers anything as an infant! Nothin is hard wired and fewer then any ever have a complication from this safer procedure!!! Not to mention most normal men need need lube or spit! A dry vag has nothing to do with a cock!! And weather it has extra flap or not dosnt make a difference in lubercation except for the nastyness that isn't cleaned from under the unneeded skin! Having it actually lessens sexual feeling!! Get educated before you speak you sound so ignorant!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watch a video of the procedure. Their infant member stiffens, it becomes hard from the repeated swabbing, the infant does indeed become physically aroused. You are living in the 1800's as far as believing that infants do not feel pain. Research that, my friend. You don't need any lube with an uncircumcised cock, you can't even imagine it because you wont let yourself. There is no nastiness under the skin. People are so short-sided. You get some education, my poor misinformed and obviously inexperienced friend. Scaredy cat!!!!

      Delete
    2. Scary cat? Wtf? Are you twelve? Obviously you watched an uneducated procedure done by a moron in your trashy country. I've seen this procedure many times, and if you think a baby knows what sc is it can feel "pleasure" like that your are clearly perverted! Most babies don't even cry... They don't feel it AfTER the numbing medicine idiot.....

      Delete
    3. No, darling, that was, "Sacredy cat!"

      You've seen the procedure many times? Either pants on fire, or I am very afraid for the infants and people you come in contact with.

      Again, I am American, and their are extensive tests that prove that infants do feel the procedure, and pain for a week to 10 days while healing, otherwise analgesics would not be recommended as standard practice.

      Have you never cared for a male infant before? Although their state of arousal is not the same as an older person's, their little members do have erections from time to time. I googled the procedure and am linking the first video listed, in which, you can clearly see that the infants member is indeed in the state of erection

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvL5vOEdo8M

      Although this video is pro-circumcision, and states that the injection is effective at REDUCING (not eliminating) the pain of the procedure, note the infants breathing while receiving the shots, it is quickened, the infant does feel this. His breathing patterns are masked by the surgical covers during the actual incisions, and they don't show the infants face in the same shot that they are showing the incision being made. They repeatedly cut back to a close up of the infant suckling the pacifier calmly, although it is evident that the exact same take is shown several times, meaning the calm infant's face could have been edited in. And, after the anesthesia wears off, analgesics are required to REDUCE (not eliminate) the pain while the scab heals.

      I do hope you find some help with your erroneous aversion, and grow up enough to stop using offensive words like "moron" and "idiot" when discoursing.

      And as far as you touching an uncircumcised "peinus," the fact that you don't want to is perfectly fine. All of us whom have experienced it are saying is, you don't know what you are missing!

      Delete
    4. I know hat I'm missing an I'm happy about that, you are not even worth arguing with as nothing you state is valid..... I'm sorry but anyone dumb enough to think the baby is "edited" is just sad.... Baby cries when reciving a shot to eliminate the pain... And yes the cold and shock of a needle will indeed do that!! Yes baby experiences minor soreness after the procedure.... Deffanitly worth the lifelong effects of keeping such a disgusting thing!

      Delete
    5. well which is it J? babies don't feel pain or they do. if they experience soreness that must mean they feel pain. which means they feel the pain when being circumcised.

      I am gonna guess you must have had some guy that you fell in love with and he was the best you ever had and happened to be uncircumcised. He must have left you and you now hate all men who are uncircumcised. lol

      It's ok though i am sure you will one day find someone whose thrust was just as good as his and all this hate you have will come to an end.

      But until that day comes please put a couple dicks in your mouth so you can shut the fuck up.

      Delete
    6. Are you really that slow?? Not once did I say babies never feel pain, if that were the case I clearly would not of said they cry when getting a needle to numb the area -_- try taking the dick out of your but long enough to comprehend.... And assume all you want, that's nasty AF!

      Delete
  45. Nature/God doesn't make mistakes. The entire universe functions together harmoniously, and we are part of that. There is no mistake except that which man ascribes; and in this case, it is the foreskin.

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    Replies
    1. Lmao!!! Nature makes plenty of mistakes!!! Have you never seen a deformity before??

      Delete
    2. A mistake with every single human male born, ever? that's not a deformity.

      Delete
    3. Clearly not what was stated -_-

      Delete
    4. Clearly you are missing the point. Anonymous said that there are no mistakes. You pointed out that deformities are mistakes. I pointed out that it is not a deformity if it is present in every single normally formed male of an ENTIRE SPECIES. Ergo, foreskins are not deformities, ergo, foreskins are not "mistakes." -_-

      Delete
    5. Lmao!!! Nature makes plenty of mistakes!!! Have you never heard about the evolution before??

      Delete
    6. Nature does make mistakes such as J.

      Delete
  46. Geez ~J~, you clearly don't have much on in your life if you have to sit around trolling like this. Clearly you have a mental aversion to intact penises. This is YOUR problem and I'm sure there is therapy available if you ever want to overcome it.
    I thought the article was fascinating. Frankly, for the sciency-sciency people out there who can't actually think for themselves, how is it that you can't get your head around the rest of the world somehow still surviving and thriving even though they don't circumcise? How odd that you dismiss this simple obvious fact!
    As for sexual experience, I have definitely had enough experience to make a comment that sex with a man with an intact penis is much better. More sensitive, better orgasms. Obviously, it's what you do with it that counts but there is definitely a heightened level to the experience with an intact man.
    Unfortunately, back to you ~J~, you really do reinforce the 'Americans are nutty' idea.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Your ignorant to believe one artical with no true basis, you should probably pick up a dictionary on your way to getting an education..... There is absolutely no link with sensitivity and extra skin.... It's not my problem some nasty people want to touch that snail, I like a clean peinus, unlike your dirty used up vag, I don't sleep around with a bunch of men.... And would never even try to touch snail cock.... It's so unsanitary. I'll stick with clean dr approved all American. Glad it's common here instead of your clearly uneducated countries.

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  48. Humans are not broken by default. Unless medically necessary, there is no reason for circumcision. Get some education and learn, instead of being stuck to some garbage beliefs based on religious practices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you really that stupid?? Not morons would claim it's a "religious reason" try getting an education in a real medical field...

      Delete
    2. J, it is obvious from your lack of knowledge of the English language that you are missing some basic skills. Please consider going back to elementary/primary school for spelling and grammar. Educated people do understand and use the correct forms of your and you're when writing.

      Educated people do not call other people names for simply stating their opinion as you have in every post you have made.

      There are pros and cons to every single surgical procedure along with dangers. Each person and/or family has to make that decision for themselves.

      Obviously, you are a close-minded American. America has not been the greatest country in the world for many years now because of people like you.

      Open your mind. Ponder on what other people say. Get out of the recliner in your double wide and learn about the world!

      I am an American who is educated, clean and in-touch with the world. I am looking forward to you attempting to discredit me for bringing your your use of grammar and spelling.

      P.S. As you can read here, I gave no opinion one way or the other on the topic in this post, but I very much have one.

      Delete
    3. Non of what you said has a point here, trying to discredit me based off grammar? Well sir you must be a winner!! I've already proved my point. Article is poorly written crap from a biased source. There is a lot of proof linking to the benefits that greatly outweigh the risks. Not my problem a few irritant uneducated fools can't see that.

      Delete
    4. J, discrediting you for your grammar and spelling is just as legit as your frequent discrediting valid opinions with your battle screech of "uneducated, ignorant and with no proper medical care!!!!!"

      In other words, not particularly legit, but entirely fair.

      You have said that people should get a medical education before offering their opinions on this issue.
      This, of course, makes me intensely curious about which medical study/studies you have completed, seeing as how everyone but you (or possibly everyone but Americans) are ignorant and uneducated.

      Delete
    5. I've already stated my point, benifit outweighs the risk. Whine about all want. Nothing you said has any stand. Grammar has nothing to do with my point. Try again.

      Delete
  49. The worst part is, with the misinformation around people have no idea that they are cutting of one of the best sexual pleasure tool they have. I don't have circumcised penis and know how sensitive the skin connecting the head to rest of the penis is...especially on the bottom side. It protects the sensitivity of the bottom of the penis head and works miracles during sex or oral sex. It's almost like men's clitoris which gets destroyed by circumcision.

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  50. Similarly, the first time I saw an uncut cock, I didn't know the the hell I was looking at. A dog's cock?

    I've whacked off literally millions of times, and bust a nut at the drop of hat. Love it. Not sure I could handle having an uncircumcised donger in that sense. I mean, how would I ever get anything done? Still, it'd be nice to benchmark what it feels like for an uncut bloke.

    I guess I'll never know.

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  51. http://www.circinfo.net/

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  52. I find all of this a bit interesting. If a person wants to be circumcised then by all means do it however, as always this should be an informed decision.
    Parents should not make this decision for their baby sons rather they should allow their sons to make it. In reading many of the post and comments there is clearly a misunderstanding of the pros and cons. Sort of like limited health literacy which appears to be more of an issue in this case . For what ever reason one chooses to have this procedure just make sure it is for the right reason and not based on some hysterical notion or unfounded ideology. I for one do not believe in this procedure, However, sadly to say I grew up with the belief that all boys should be because your parents believed it and so. it was not until much later in life that I did the research and determined by supporting evidence that indeed this should be a choice not a standard of care as a result I feel I did a disservice to my sons. I do commend my daughter for doing the research and making an informed decision .....my 2 grandsons are not circumcised. If it is religious beliefs well we certainly can find scripture that supports the belief that we are no longer under the old testament and therefore we are not required to circumcise out sons. However, with respect to the religious belief that all boys should be then that is the choice they must make. We can not fault people for their beliefs. We all shudder to think of the idea of female circumcision Yet this is a belief. Is it right .......why is it ok to do this to boys and yet the mere thought of doing this to young female girls is an outrageous act ....... it is a cultural belief if you can justify one then you have to justify the other,

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  53. Thank you for the very good Post. I didn't know all of the details you wrote about the foreskin, thanks a lot.

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  54. Very interesting read. Learned a lot of new information and realized a lot more issues relating to the topic. Thank you for posting.

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  55. Not contesting your opinion, but you claim to promote scientific/critical thinking while your writing is highly opinionated. While your sources are appropriate and informative, scientific communication aims to convey all data/information in an unbiased manner so that the readers can form their own opinions/conclusions.

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  56. Am I the only one thinking -J- is a male troll?

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  57. As a circumcised male in my 20s, I can say that I've never had an issue with it. Anyone reading this who's on the fence, I haven't had issues with arousal or pleasure, and I've never felt that my member was dry. Obviously, I don't have the benefit of experiencing a foreskin, but I've never thought "gee, something must be missing that would make sex better..." Additionally, I've never felt traumatized or violated by the procedure. I was 8 days old; I don't remember it.

    My takeaways are:
    1) If the foreskin truly is as sensitive as this article makes it out to be, I'm pretty glad not to have it. Awkward teenage boners are bad enough without adding double the sensitivity. I also last a pretty nice amount of time during sex, which I might not be able to manage were my penis more sensitive.
    2) Parents make decisions for their children all of the time that affect their development and future health. Choosing to have a child circumcised is one way that they do this, but so is choosing how they wear their hair, what toys they play with, how often they use soap, etc. So many different factors influence a person's physical and emotional health, tying these to one controversial topic will always be incorrect.
    3) I'm not pro-or anti-circumcision. I think that it's entirely up to the family of the child, and banning or forcing it completely will never be the right solution.

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    1. I'm a 30 year old male, and I can best relate to your comment. I am also circumcised, but have never felt deficient or that something was absent with my penis. I remember in grade school when I saw my friend's penis, and it looked a little different than mine. I asked him about it, and he told me that he had to wash it often or else it would get dirty. Thus, as a child, I felt better about not having to deal with smegma, and washing was very easy.

      As an adult, I have of course learned more about male circumcision, and I have never, ever felt that my parents did me a disservice by having mine removed. Sex is wonderful -- I last sufficiently long and still feel intense pleasure. In fact, I always used to have a problem with premature ejaculation due to extreme sensitivity until I became more sexually active. I do not believe a circumcised penis is better or worse than an uncircumcised one. Every woman I've slept with (and I've slept with dozens) has never had anything but compliments about the look and function of my genitals. That said, I think it would be interesting having lived a life with foreskin. I'm happy the way I am currently, and have never (and probably won't beyond this article) give more thought to the issue.

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  58. J is a uneducated kid who uses grade school terminology. Very comical.

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  59. I wish I had know this 27 years ago before my son was circumcised. I would not have deliberately diminished my son's sensations before and during sexual intercourse. I feel really bad for all circumcised men after reading this article... the are missing out on so much sexual pleasure. It is unbelievable to me that the US still had such ridiculous notions that are seen as medical fact. Well, maybe I can believe it after all since there are so many unsubstantiated beliefs running rampant in our country. Perhaps our Puritan backgrounds play some part in the enthusiastic maiming of the mail genitalia.

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  60. J, all I can say is I hope you are barren and can't have children cause you should never be responsible for raising a child. Cause you are a child, and need to grow up. And that's what this article is really about, parenting and grown-up decisions. So just go away, this article is not for/about/concerning you.

    You sound like a shitty nurse who is a massive bitch. Unable to do anything other than call people idiots without once stating a fact, numerical figure or supporting study. Even worse than the demented mothers here who happily mutilated their sons so they can have a pretty cock (disgusting motive bordering on notions of incest).

    The author isn't writing a scientific study, but a thesis. Those have a point that is being argued. The argument is thorough and spans history, religion, medicine, psychology, and sociology... It's quite thorough. It's sad many people, regardless of being American or not, can't handle the information processing in their brain to make sense of it all.

    The first point superseding all is you shouldn't do what is best called an unnecessary and significant preventative plastic surgery on the sexual organs of infant boys. The second is that these studies out there supporting circumcision are all poorly done with cultural/religious biases, industry economics, study design flaws, and outdated circumstances (we have showers now unlike 1890). Lastly, even if you refute the real point that it's circumcision is "good" you now know a lot about it to make a decision and should consider the above two points if you can handle not being close minded.

    The fact that many people are referring to author as male or making trolling statements means they didn't read it or are incapable on understanding.

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  61. Don't care about your judgments or the pos badly written biased artical. if you are to stupid to see the facts that is your own issue. The facts are right infront of you and me repeating it over and over makes no difference. Have your uneducated opinion. Fact is benefit out weighs the risk 10-1! Bye Felicia ;)

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  62. You finally used a number, but it's an opinion and not a fact and meaningless. You are the definition of uneducated. Good riddance.

    For others... look up link between circumcision and ED and we are talking about 4000% increase in something affecting 18% of males resulting in sexual dysfunction for the second half of their lives... Not a questionable 30% reduction in a >0.1% occurring condition that will likely never happen if you shower and clean daily. The damage is done decades later as the human body is a complex biological machine.

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    1. Now if you link to those studies, you're well on your way to making your post both valuable and enlightening. :)

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    2. Lol there is absolutely no proof of that statement about Ed.... The same amount of circumcised and un experience Ed.... Actually, most circumsized men have a harder time getting stimulated!

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  63. J, you keep calling people ignorant, but you can't spell. That makes me wonder how educated you are. How old are you, and why do you think the natural design of any human is in your words, "nasty" Even if so, if people are made to be fixed, why do you think it is wrong for each person to decide on their own when and what to fix rather than to have this unsolicited fix bestowed on them. It is very interesting your obstinate dogma.

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  64. The truth Ruth:

    http://enkispeaks.com/2012/10/20/circumcision-an-ets-branding-decision-by-sasha-lessin-ph-d-and-janet-kira-lessin/

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  65. J was slapped by an uncut cock!!! that made her so anti. haha

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  66. I bet she's against vaccinating children too.

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    1. How is this related to vaccination?

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    2. Are you really that slow? Have you not been listening? I find them nasty... There for no, I would not be around it... And vac has nothing to do with anything? Anything else unrelivant you'd like to throw out?

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  67. I live in England. American TV has become increasingly popular here. I remember my confusion while watching a TV program in which two new parents were arguing about whether it was right to circumcise their son. I didn't understand why the topic came up or why it was a dilemma as they weren't Jewish. It seemed like a bizarre tangent in the storytelling. Then it happened again in another series (Sex and the City?): one of the female characters 'shokingly' discovered that a partner was uncut. I began to realise that circumcision is seen as 'normal' in America. How weird! All I can say about the prevalence of this cultural norm, without even being a religious rite, is 'WHY?!?' Why would a parent want to do anything to their new baby's genitals apart from help to keep them dry between baths and changes?

    I learned about circumcision initially when I was 13 or 14 in Religious Education classes. We watched a video about Judaism and Jewish rites of passage. After that lesson a lot of the boys were quite disturbed at the thought of circumcision, to the point of squirming if it was mentioned (which it was, a few times during the next day or two, as it seemed so shocking to us who were unfamiliar with the concept).

    As an adult, I've had a few circumcised partners, including one who feels a great sense of loss about it and wants to restore his foreskin as much as possible. He had a lot of difficulty achieving orgasm, as did another cirmumcised partner.

    It was confusing and frustrating for me to bring some of the circumcised men to orgasm when they were unable to achieve it after a long stint of penetration: there was no 'give' during manual stimulation so I had to use lube for fear of hurting them, and my usual oral technique, focusing on the top of the shaft (i.e. the foreskin as it sits on an uncut penis when erect), got little response. I tried a few different things and much persistence and succeded in some cases.

    In terms of my pleasure, an uncircumcised penis without a condom glides in with no need for lubrication and no soreness afterwards. The two look visually so similar when erect that I only tend to notice when it comes to trying to stimulate the penis (and finding no 'give', which is usually what creates a pleasant lubrication between the dry skin of the shaft and the inner tissues of the penis, allowing the skin to move with the hand rather than requiring additional lubrication for the hand to move across the skin in order to stimulate).

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  68. I find it completely stupid any guy would feel sad about a piece of skin they never had the use for to miss...

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  69. is it not pretty clear to everybody by now that "J" is a circumcised man who is feeling a little defensive?

    There's no reason that I can think of at all that a woman with such poor communication and reasoning skills would sit here commenting on every comment that comes along simply because she finds uncircumcised penises gross. OBVIOUSLY you've never been anywhere near an uncircumcised penis, because they don't smell, and are aesthetically barely different from circumcised penises.

    as an intact guy in his 20's in America, i can tell you that it has done nothing to prevent me from having many many sexual experiences, and no woman has ever once reacted in a negative way (let alone the hilariously hyperbolic reaction you seem to have, J). Not to get crude, but i've never even been refused a little oral stimulation. If a woman ever reacted to me the way you're implying that you (and many women) do, I would laugh in her face! What's not funny, is that growing up in this weird culture, attitudes like yours (ridiculous sounding as they may be) have made uncircumcised penises "weird" and stigmatized for youth. "i don't want my son to be picked on for being different" is a terrible reason to continue to perpetuate this bizarre practice.

    Having never been circumcised, I can only imagine that the difference in sexual stimulation would be PALPABLE. The foreskin is a sensitive area (aka feels great during sexual stimulation), not to mention the anatomic, mechanical necessity of it. It's like taking the hydraulics out of your car and driving your whole life on a bumpy road.

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  70. Obviously I already stated o wouldn't touch a nasty dick like that. I don't like it. But not once did I say that's the reason it's good to circumcise

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  71. I am a woman who has had a handful of sex partners in my lifetime - ok, maybe a couple more than a handful... I can honestly say that the sexual comfort and pleasure I have derived from uncut men is far superior to what I've experienced with circumcised men. Due to the movability of the foreskin, there is a natural glide that makes intercourse much more enjoyable than with a circumcised man - which often has made me feel like my vagina is being torn, even with plenty of lubrication. Furthermore, when an uncut man has an erection, it's virtually impossible to tell by looking at it whether he is circumcised or not. And the ickiness factor? Completely non-existent! I've never detected an odor and I personally find the appearance of a flaccid, uncut man to be very sexually stimulating. Incidentally, I have one son, who we had circumcised at birth because his dad wanted him to "look like him." Knowing what I know now - and having watched the imbedded video which showed a circumcision being performed on a baby - I truly regret taking that very personal decision away from him and causing him that level of pain. It's his penis, his foreskin, and he is the only one who truly had the right to choose to become altered. We usurped his right. I will never forgive myself for doing that, knowing what I know now. Every boy should be allowed to make that decision themselves when they get older. And every parent should be educated on how to properly care for an uncut penis and teach their sons and daughters.

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  72. Oh wow! You completely changed my mind and stated facts! Dumb ass! I'll say what I want how I want, yes I have an opinion about it being nasty, not once did I say every woman thought the same, I said a majority of woman like clean hygienic men. That's a fact. Uncircumcised junk is not very hygienic, it's been proven over and over again, hence why they circumcised, which btw, if you had a brain, would know there are many other benefits, that outWeigh the minimal risk. If your to dumb to look up the facts that's your problem. I'm not even going to go on to grammar as I could are less about proofreading every comment on a crap articul repeating myself using a phone that continually changes and screws up as it's not important nor relevant. I don't care about your opinion on me or circumcising. The fact is this artical is biased crap with no real facts at all, it's a crap opinion.

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  73. Wonderful article! I am European, living in North America since 17 years surrounded by pediatricians who do not know what to do with my 6yrs old boy's intact penis (as that of all our family members in Europe). I had to sign a document indicating that I did not want him to be circumcised after birth, and I found the process outrageous! No way anybody was going to mutilate my child!
    I was aware that a lot of the research on the advantage of circumcision was flawed because I read it :)
    But this article really helps me understanding the range of normal at his age, and what his intact dad tells me: "let it be"! It will allow me to be a more aware mom next time I got to a visit to the pediatrician.
    Many many thanks...

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  74. i sincerely wish i had this level of information available when i was deciding to get my son done, i am circumcised and chose to get my son done because of reasons my parents and doctor gave me (helps cleanliness and its a useless flap of skin) and to be honest i never knew as much about the foreskin then as i do now after reading this blog.

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    1. i am in tears after reading this, i was done when i was an infant and i had my little boy done, feeling some seriously strong regret right now

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  75. Why don't you decide whether or not you want to circumcise your kid and I'll decide whether I want to circumcise mine (which I did). It's none of my business what your parenting choices are and it's no one else's business what mine is. I would've circumcised my son regardless due to hygiene reasons (we all know little boys aren't hygiene experts) and because it's a prevalent practice where I'm from and I'd like him to fit in and not have problems with bullying. But in other parts of the world where less circumcisions are done that's not a problem so go for it
    My son also had medical issues with his and had to wait until 8 months old to be circumcised. I can tell you he had NO problem with pain afterwards. It is not traumatic for an infant to be circumcised. So if you're against it, fine. That's your choice and there's nothing wrong with it! But there's nothing wrong with being for circumcision either. It doesn't need to be slandered and no one has a right to act like I'm a bad parent for it either
    Also, maybe the having an intact foreskin does enhance sex for men but my husband is circumcised and he still enjoys sex like every other guy in the world

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