I would have never questioned whether or not snipping the tip was the right thing to do. I think at one point or another, we have heard that uncircumcised penises are unclean, will more easily contract STD's, and increase men's chance of getting penile cancer. Aside from the health issues that may occur, we have developed a wide-sweeping opinion about what a "normal" penis is supposed to look like. But what if our idea of normal has been skewed by years of irrelevant data, misconceptions, and personal taste? I wanted to get to the bottom of this, and find out what has led us, as a country, to perform infant circumsicions to nearly 80% of our baby boys, and if it really benefits them.
Here are the facts. Did you know??
- Medicalized circumcision began being practiced during the 1800's in the U.S. to prevent masturbation. http://www.nocirc.org/.
In cases of masturbation we must, I believe, break the habit by inducing such a condition of the parts as will cause too much local suffering to allow of the practice being continued. For this purpose, if the prepuce is long, we may circumcise the male patient with present and probably with future advantage; the operation, too, should not be performed under chloroform, so that the pain experienced may be associated with the habit we wish to eradicate. [Athol A.W. Johnson. On An Injurious Habit Occasionally Met with in Infancy and Early Childhood. Lancet 1860;1:344-345.]
- In 1900 only 18% of penises were circumcised, by the year 2000 it had reached 70% http://www.boystoo.com/history/statistics.htm
- Gellis (1978) said there are more deaths from circumcision than from cancer of the penis. American Journal of Diseases of Children
- The incidence rate of cancer of the penis is 0.3 to 1.1 per 100,000 men per year in developed countries http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/FN/fn96-01.htm#CANCER%20OF%20THE%20PENIS
- In its 1996 Statement, the Canadian Pediatric Society noted: that the cost of circumcising 100,000 male infants is $3.8 million and that this maneuver would prevent only two cases of cancer of the penis. ... they estimated that the cost of prevention would be 100 times the cost of treatment
- The World Health Organization in 2007 endorsed male circumcision as “an important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired H.I.V.” However, this study was ONLY conducted in Africa where the rate of HIV accounts for two-thirds of the world total.
- The American Medical Association in 1999 wrote, "Virtually all current policy statements from specialty societies and medical organizations do not recommend routine neonatal circumcision, and support the provision of accurate and unbiased information to parents to inform their choice."
Some parents (especially men) would argue that an uncircumcised member looks unappealing and therefore promotes ridicule from other men or detracts from female sexual partners. If my son ever asks me why his "little man" looks differently then other boys I'll tell him this... I didn't want to hack off a piece of flesh from one of the most sensitive places on his body and deprive him of the amazing sensation that is enhanced by the extra skin. And honestly I couldn't give two shits about the amount of action my son may or may not get. I'm not sleeping with him.
How do you feel about circumcising infant boys?