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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Once the Baby Arrives > Circumcision

Circumcision


If you just delivered a baby boy in the United States, 80% chances are that your son was circumcised.

How did circumcision evolve from a strictly Jewish and Muslim ritual to a standard medical procedure performed on a vast majority of American males, irrespective of religion? This practice is not so common in India, nor is it routinely practiced in any other non-Muslim or non-Jewish countries of the world.
 

What is circumcision?

In some countries and cultures, the foreskin of a male baby is removed by an operation known as circumcision. No anesthesia is used. For thousands of years the only people who were circumcised were Jews and Muslims, until the mid-1800s, when circumcision started being regularly practiced in the United States. 
 

If mothers could see their sons being circumcised, it is almost certain none of them would opt for it. The operation is violent, done without anesthesia, and unspeakably painful to the infant. The screams, shaking, and frantic attempt by the newborn to escape this unexpected and unbearable pain can be horrible to watch. 
And millions of children born in America routinely undergo this procedure.  Most parents don't really know why. Why does this happen?
 

Decreased sexual sensitivity

Within minutes, three feet of veins, arteries and capillaries, 240 feet of nerves and more than 20,000 nerve endings are destroyed; so are all the muscles, glands, epithelial tissue and sexual sensitivity associated with the foreskin. Finally, what nature intended as an internal organ is now externalized and your child has a circumcised penis - sleek, streamlined and modern.
 

It is cleaner?

One of the main arguments in favour of circumcision is that it is more hygienic, as it makes the penis easier to take care of and clean. While it may be slightly easier to clean, common sense and regular cleaning practices makes an uncircumcised penis just as easy to clean. In addition, the foreskin proms a protective covering, and if this covering is removed, the penis is exposed to abrasion and dirt, making it more unclean.

Veneral diseases

It is believed that venereal diseases are less easily contracted by the circumcised male. However, statistics show that the US has both the highest percentage of sexually active circumcised males in the Western world and the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. The loss of the protective foreskin leaves the urinary tract vulnerable to invasion by bacterial and viral pathogens. 
 

Those in favour of circumcision feel that cancer of the penis, which to be sure is extremely rare, is even less frequent in the circumcised. Similarly, a tight foreskin occasionally becomes tighter as the child grows older and may necessitate circumcision in adulthood. At this time the operation is very painful and requires several days for convalescence. But then again, the appendix serves no purpose either, but would we want to remove it at birth to prevent appendicitis later on? 

Should an unnecessary operation be undertaken? European and Indian males, for example, are not circumcised at birth, and are no more vulnerable to veneral disease than their American counterparts. They go on to lead normal, healthy lives. 

Violence
As far as violence in society goes, America statistically has the highest crime rate. Is it possible that the brutality of the early circumcision could be one of many factors affecting men who grow up and eventually give this violence back to society? Does circumcision at birth kill certain sensitive cells in the male child born in the United States? Are circumcised males colder and a little more insensitive than their uncircumcised counterparts?
 

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Jamie.7 years ago
i think that you are absolutely right avout it creating more voilance here but also to women who are often often subjected to more dometic violence by the men/families they love. a brain study needs to be performed on infants who are circumcised before and after for say about 15-20 years as well as males who haven't been circumcised at all. i think that there would be interesting shifts in the brain patterns of mails who were circumcised than not.
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James.7 years ago
interesting point of view. unfortunately, it appears biased to me for the following reason.

1. the mention of highest number of sexually transmitted diseases in america and its relation to circumcision is unrealistic and absolutely unfounded. americans practise unsafe illegal, extramarital/pre-marriage sex. this is the primary reason for these diseases. even if a male who isnt circumcised has sex, his additional tissue over the penis moves out of the way hence is no means of protection from sexually transmitted diseases. infact, if by chance, the bacteria hadnt managed to enter the penis during the sexual intercourse, there are more chances of them remaining within the additional unwanted tissue, increasing the chances of being infected later on.

2. there is highest crime in america because of their life style where every household owns a gun and no moral values exist in the society. if one needs to consider the crime statistics then a muslim country should be an ideal choice as it would have a 100% cicumcised population. no! i dont mean the few so called terrorists but main stream population. saudi arabia would be interesting choice, where theft, rape and crime is the minimum throughout the world!

3. an uncircumcised penis is unlikely to be cleaned even by water, if not soap, hence within 24hrs(average time between two showers) the chances of infection by the dormantly held urine particles within the tissue can be extremely dangerous and the main cause of the cancer.

4. appendix is an extremely painful operation. it involves cost and risk. it is not as unsafe as the most unwanted part of the human body, the extra tissue covering the penis.it is also not exposed and prone to external infection. by the way, circumcision can be perfomed using local anesthesia to avoid the pain!
 
 
 
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bash.7 years ago
obviously things in the usa have not gone forward, in the uk a local aneasthetic is usedand no pain is felt, i work in a circumcision clinic and so far i have never seen a baby scream, it is about time that the usa started to use the same procedure.
 
 
 
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indianphantom.7 years ago
the author seems to be quite prejudice on this issue which, i feel, is very unprofessional of him...

such biased and exaggerated comments should not be entertained by the publishers. this site has a lot of popularity, and article like this as an 'expert advice' might give this website a 'biased' look.... think about it.... people look up to you for a professional advice.... please give them that.....

thanks
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W.7 years ago
"male circumcision provides a degree of protection against acquiring hiv infection, equivalent to what a vaccine of high efficacy would have achieved. male circumcision may provide an important way of reducing the spread of hiv infection in sub-saharan africa."

auvert b. et al., 2005, "randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of hiv infection risk: the anrs 1265 trial." plos medicine vol. 2, no. 11.
 
 
 
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W.7 years ago
local anesthetic is sometimes used in the u.s., although probably not as often as in britain.

there is no evidence to support the assertion that circumcision has any effect on brain "patterns," structure, or function.
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