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Circumcision: Should You or Shouldn't You - Myths and Facts

Author: Sexual Diversity
Published: 11th Oct 2014 - Updated: 30th Jan 2016
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Male Adolescence Publications

Summary: Facts and information regarding circumcision of males including common myths.


Main Document

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the human penis. In a typical procedure, the foreskin is opened and then separated from the glans after inspection.

Shall our boys go through this pain for their benefit? I personally think it is a completely elective surgery, meaning that it is not necessary. And for this reason I would prefer to leave my newborn boy uncircumcised. Let him decide what suits him best once he has been an adult.

The positions of the world's major medical organizations range from considering neonatal circumcision as having no benefit and significant risks to having a modest health benefit that outweighs small risks. No major medical organization recommends either universal circumcision for all infant males (aside from the recommendations of the World Health Organization for parts of Africa), or banning the procedure. Ethical and legal questions regarding informed consent and autonomy have been raised over non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision.

Myth: Circumcised penis is more penile hygiene and cleaner. A substance consists of oils, dead skin an antibody called smegma will accumulate beneath the foreskin of uncircumcised penis thus provide an ideal environment for bacteria colonization. This condition will increase the risk of infection, unhealthy and unclean.

Fact: Smegma has been wrongly accused as unclean or dirty. In fact, it is very clean. The antibodies in fresh smegma actually prevent bacteria colonization. It is true when the accumulation of smegma went unchecked could be unhealthy but any penis that is not properly washed is at high risk of infection since dirt and bacteria can collect everywhere from your foreskin, scrotum and your pubic hairs.

Myth: Foreskin does not have any significant function in our body but to provide away for gems causing UTI, HPV and HIV to easily invade our body thus circumcision serves as diseases prevention. It is minor surgery and not so painful.

Fact: The foreskin is a functional organ with a purpose, which is to protect the penis from bacterial infection, to provide lubrication during intercourse, and to enhance the sexual experience of the man.

The truth is that gems causing UTI, HPV, HIV and other diseases can be absorbed through membranes in our the penis, mo matter you are "foreskin captain" or "cut lieutenant". Another fact is that circumcision is very painful even when pain relief is administered to the patient; the penis is sore throughout the recovery time and prone to infection.

Myth: Circumcision effectively prevents UTI (urinary tract infection)

Fact: There is no reason to recommend circumcision to prevent potential or recurrent UTI, as there is no indicator that having a foreskin creates a greater incidence of urinary tract infection.

Although there are many studies conducted to prove it a significant increase of UTI rate among uncircumcised but there is not enough evidence for pediatric organizations and AAP to recommend routine infant circumcision.

Myth: Circumcision can reduce cervical cancer rates

Fact: The above statement probably derived from an article in New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 that claimed that circumcision reduced the risk of causing cervical cancer. Despite the study being flawed and the conclusions exaggerated, many still cite it as "proof" that circumcision can reduce cervical cancer rates.

That fact is most medical institutions such as American Cancer Society, The Cancer Research UK, The American Academy of Pediatrics and Canadian Paediatric Society do not link non-circumcision to cervical cancer.

Consider this fact: 91% of American men born in 1970 and 83% of American men born in 1980 were circumcised and U.S is considered to have very high rate of circumcision rate but strangely U.S is also reported as country with highest cervical cancer rates compared to countries with the lowest rates of circumcision like Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, the U.S.S.R., China, and Japan. It is obvious that circumcision rates do not affect the cervical cancer rates across the globe.

Myth: Circumcision may offer some protection against HIV for men.

Fact: You are equally at the same high risk of getting infected by HIV no matter you keep your skin intake or cut. There are many other factors may be involved in the likelihood of us to contract HIV. An even better way to protect oneself against HIV might be to practice safe sex than cutting your foreskin.

Myth: Circumcision is more aesthetic look

Fact: Hmm.... As to personal taste, I will let it to you to decide.

Myth: Circumcision provides better sexual experience, stronger erection and bigger penis

Fact: Come on...Don't be silly. You know it has nothing to do with it

New Circumcision Policy "Warmed-Over Myths" - Doctors Opposing Circumcision.

The AAP policy claims "...the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, and the procedure's benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it."

The AAP cited urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and the prevalence of HIV as major reasons.

Says Dr. George Denniston, President of the international group, Doctors Opposing Circumcision, based in Seattle, Washington,

"This is yet another blatant attempt at 'medical marketing and upcoding. The AAP is the same organization that tried to introduce genital cutting for Muslim girls in both 1996 and 2010, and was shouted down both times. Those were also lucrative business opportunities."

"Doctors are finding their livelihoods squeezed by HMO's and Medicaid restrictions, and are trying to find new sources of income and maintain old ones - this time by scaring young parents - again."

Says Denniston,

"A urinary tract infection bothers only one in 100 infant boys and is easily cured with antibiotics. Even if circumcision helped, statistically it would require 111 circumcisions to prevent one easily treated UTI. Some of those 111 boys would suffer circumcision complications much more serious than a simple UTI."

Denniston adds,

"Penile cancer is the rarest of all male cancers, affecting only one in 100,000 very old men, and circumcision does not fully prevent it. Circumcision of 100,000 males to prevent, maybe, a single case of penile cancer would cost $75-100 million. This is money better spent treating the cancer victim himself. Among the 100,000 circumcisions would be thousands of unavoidable complications further draining medical resources."

"The only new reason for circumcision the AAP offers is HIV. The seriously flawed HIV 'studies' they cite are of adult men in areas of high HIV prevalence in Africa. No one can legitimately claim that circumcision has a protective effect with respect to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, in the developed world," says Denniston.

Concludes Denniston,

"European medical associations avoid genital tampering and over-treatment, and provide full access to actual medical care for their healthy, natural infants. They would not dare issue a word of this latest AAP policy, which is driven by American physicians' monetary insecurities, a sense of compulsion, and is only supported by old myths."

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• (APA): Sexual Diversity. (2014, October 11). Circumcision: Should You or Shouldn't You - Myths and Facts. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/adolescent/boys/49.php


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