Google+ Authentic Parenting: The Truth about Circumcision

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Truth about Circumcision

Written by Angelita Williams

While infant circumcision—the act of surgically removing the foreskin of a newborn male’s penis-- is most popular among those who follow the Islamic and Jewish faiths, in America, circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons is surprisingly popular among the general population, whether or not they are religious. The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of circumcision in the United States is 75%, while for our Canadian neighbors to the North, the prevalence is only 30%. Circumcision in America is a perfect example of following a practice blindly just because it has always been done, while research shows no demonstrable medical reasons for doing so. Before you consider circumcising your baby, consider the following facts:

Circumcision is painful, both psychologically and physically.

There’s no getting around the fact that circumcision is a painful process, both during surgery and after, even if an analgesic is used. Surprisingly, many physicians do not even use any anesthetics. In some European countries like the Netherlands, the medical consensus is that routine, non-therapeutic circumcisions of infants violates their "rights to autonomy and physical integrity." The Dutch Medical Association issued a report that calls on doctors to inform parents of the risks and absence of medical benefits of routine infant circumcisions.
For infants, however, therapeutic reasons for circumcision are very rare.

Circumcision does not, as many think, promote penile hygiene. 

This is one of the non-religious reasons that many parents decide to circumcise their babies. However, the American Association of Pediatrics maintains that there is little evidence suggesting that circumcision promotes hygiene.

Theories about the historic reasons for circumcision are frightening.

If you consider the various reasons that circumcision may have started in the first place, you’ll realize that it’s a superstitious and rather provincial practice. For example, at one point in time, circumcision was used as a “cure” for masturbation. In other cultures, it may have started as a practice used only on slaves and prisoners to symbolically castrate them.

Circumcision may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. 

One study showed that adult males who voluntarily circumcised experienced substantially less sensation during intercourse after circumcision. Another study indicated that female partners experienced less pleasure as well. Depriving a person of a more enhanced and healthy sexual life without their consent is another reason that one can consider circumcision cruel.

Even if you are considering circumcising your child for religious reasons, remember that there are many religions traditions practiced for centuries that people today of that faith don’t follow. You can still be a faithful member of your religion without circumcision.

About the author:
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7



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