One Little Snip? The Lowdown on Infant Circumcision

Dear Vera,
What’s your take on circumcision? My wife and I are pregnant, and as the due date looms, I find myself increasingly uneasy about the idea of some doctor taking a pair of scissors to my little guy’s little guy. I’m circumcised, and I don’t really have any complaints, or remember anything about the event itself, and yet the idea of inflicting that much pain on my newborn son still makes me uncomfortable. Is there any research on the subject? A sort of pros and cons list? I guess hygiene is the main reason I can think of for getting it done. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Cut-Daddy

Dear C-Daddy,
Glen Callender is the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project—an advocacy group that wants circumcision performed on male minors to be made illegal in Canada under the Criminal Code.
His site states 4 main reasons for skin to stay attached.

  1. Circumcision is unnecessary surgery.
    No medical association in the world believes routine infant circumcision is medically justified. Today, most Canadian doctors do not circumcise infants—even if parents request it—because they recognize it is unethical to force a child to undergo unnecessary amputation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
  2. Circumcision diminishes sexual enjoyment for life.
    A 2007 British Journal of Urology study* found that the five most sensitive parts of the penis are removed by circumcision. Foreskin is not “extra skin”—it is functional erogenous tissue containing almost half the skin and well over half the nerves of the penis. Cut it off and those nerves are gone forever, taking with them any chance of enjoying foreskin-based orgasms. Plus, the now-unprotected penis head loses sensitivity from exposure. A circumcised infant will never know the full, natural sexual experience his whole penis would have given him—and that’s a tragedy.
  3. Circumcision violates children’s human rights.
    All children (male, female and intersex) have a human right to a whole and intact body—so no child’s sex organs should be amputated without an urgent medical reason. A boy’s foreskin doesn’t belong to God, the government, or his parents—it belongs to him. His body, his choice!
  4. Circumcision denies children’s religious freedom.
    Some faith groups argue that ritual child circumcision must be permitted on the grounds of religious freedom. However, this ignores the fact that forcing a child to endure ritual circumcision—the permanent modification of the genitals to signify religious affiliation—denies the child’s religious freedom. In Canada, we have the right to follow the religion of our choice, and to decide which religious traditions we wish to observe. As such, ritual circumcision should be delayed until adulthood, when the owner of the penis can freely ask to be circumcised as an expression of his chosen faith. Circumcision is for consenting adults only!

I personally have heard that in the city of Vancouver it is now difficult to actually find a physician who will perform the procedure and there is a financial cost for it as well. The hygiene issue is no longer a reason to have the procedure done in the context of prevention. Washing well and regularly is the cure!

North Americans have about 60% of their cocks cut and worldwide its only about 15%. The 60% is a shrinking number as less newbie parents opt out of the cut concept. My vote is to leave it on.

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