Routine Infant Circumcision
is performed because it has many health benefits.
Routine Infant Circumcision
has no health benefits and is performed for cosmetic, social reasons.
Infant Circumcision, or RIC, has no proven health benefits, though the
American Academy of Pediatrics acknowledges that there might be some potential
benefits. The AAP and other medical organisations consider RIC to be a cosmetic
social custom rather than a necessary surgery.
RIC is not painful; anesthesia
is used and even still it happens very quickly, and is just a snip.
RIC is painful. The anesthesia
does not give adequate pain relief and is only used by a small percentage of doctors.
an infant's foreskin is considerably smaller than an adult foreskin, studies show
that the procedure is more painful for infants. One reason for this is that the
foreskin on an infant is fused to the glans of the penis and must be torn free
in order to be removed. In adults, the foreskin is no longer fused. Also, adults
may use stronger painkillers during and after the procedure, which infants do
not receive due to the risks of anesthesia on infants. Studies indicate that only
4% of infants actually receive anesthesia because the risks it brings.
RIC lessens the chance
of urinary tract infections.
RIC is a dramatic way to
treat an infection, when it can be treated with antibiotics.
to some studies, circumcision decreases the risk of UTIs in the first year of
life. Studies are, however, very conflicting. Most studies show little or no statistical
difference. Also, the risk of UTIs in males is extremely low and can be treated
safely with antibiotics.
Circumcised males are more
visually appealing, and will not have to worry about getting made fun of in the
locker room, or by a girlfriend.
Teach self esteem, not
America, circumcised males were more common, and studies show that among women,
cut men were viewed as more appealing. However, in recent years, the rates between
children that are cut and intact are very similar, showing that intact males will
not be in the minority in the future. In the rest of the world, intact men are
valued more and are in the majority. Over 80% of the world's males are intact.
Children are often circumcised
so they will look like their fathers.
Male infants do not need
penises that "look like" their fathers.
show that male children neither know or care about the circumcision status of
Circumcision lowers STD
rates and the rate of cervical cancer in women.
Circumcision is NOT protection
against these things.
are very conflicting on these issues. The American Cancer Society says that circumcision
is not a valid way to protect against either of these problems, and does not lessen
risk. Both can be prevented with safe sex or abstinence.
Circumcision lowers the
risk of penile cancer.
Penile cancer is very rare
and treatable for uncut men.
In America, circumcision is correlated
with a lower risk of penile cancer. However, in many countries it is associated
with a higher risk, indicating that circumcision has little to do with
penile cancer rates and that factors such as smoking and sexual habits are the
important issues. Also, if an intact man has penile cancer on his foreskin, he
will be circumcised as treatment. If a cut man gets penile cancer, his penis will
be partially or completely amputated.
The benefits or circumcision
outweigh the risks.
There are no benefits;
are no proven benefits of circumcision. Some possible benefits, such as protection
from infection or from penile cancer are counteracted by the risks: a child is
just as likely to get an infection from a circumcision wound as there are from
a UTI, and is just as likely to die from penile cancer as he is from circumcision
Circumcision does not affect
Circumcision severely hinders
one study suggests that there is no sensitivity difference, circumcision removes
the thousands of nerves, including the frenulum, which is the most sensitive part
of the male body. Also, without the protection of the foreskin, the glans kernatises
over the years to protect from abrasion, burying nerves under up to 10 layers
of lightly callused skin. The foreskin's gliding mechanism during intercourse
is lost upon circumcision.
Doctors would not support
RIC if it wasn't necessary or healthy.
Doctors support RIC for
the money that they make from it.
doctors do not support RIC and all admit it is not medically necessary;
America is the only country that routinely circumcises infants. Whether these
doctors do it for monetary reasons is debatable; most claim that they do it because
there is a demand to circumcision for social reasons.
Infants will not remember
Even though infants will
not remember the trauma, RIC is still a violation of their rights.
will not remember being circumcised, but several recent studies suggest that there
is a high correlation between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and circumcision.
Furthermore, even babies that appear to "sleep" through circumcision
show elevated heart rate, blood pressure, difficulty breathing and bodily stress,
indicating that the sleep-reaction may in-fact be shock, which can cause lasting
effects on an infants body and mind.
No man in his right mind
would ever complain about being circumcised, though many intact men chose to get
It is better to have the
choice that an intact man has, than to not have the choice, the way an unhappily
cut man does.
intact men do NOT chose to get cut later; the circumcision rate among intact men
is less than .5% percent in America. In other countries, it is even lower. Also,
due to recent information about circumcision, there is a large movement of cut
men seeking to restore their lost foreskin through non-surgical and surgical methods.
There are no statistics on this underground movement, though the network contains
several mailing lists each with nearly a thousand members, and a recent book about
restoration sold over 20,000 copies. There are also currently several lawsuits
from men who are upset at being circumcised without their consent as infants.
while back, I wrote an essay on the ethics of routine male circumcision (the edited
version may be found here). During my search for sources
in writing this paper, I found very few pro-circumcision sources because so few
doctors recommend the procedure today.
that, many Americans are still very much for Routine Infant Circumcision. This
is my page outlining both the pro and con arguments for the procedure, followed
by a brief on the truth of the situation.
true I do not support the procedure. However, I feel that the best way to change
the minds of these parents who support the procedure is through education rather
than name-calling. This is my attempt to offer that educational information.
for the summary at right are listed belong the links.