Incidence and Distribution of Circumcision
Who Aren't Cut - and Who Are
Over 75% of the world's living men are intact
No national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision
Who Aren't Cut - and Who Are
The penis consists of several major parts, but one useful way of looking at it is to divide it into an erectile portion (the part that gets stiff) and a non-erectile portion (the part that does not). The foreskin is the non-erectile portion. A more conventional definition would be to describe it as the soft, sensitive double-fold of tissue which covers the lower half of the penis shaft, extends in a sleeve over the head (glans) and usually ends in a tapering nozzle or spout. The outer layer is tender skin, the inner layer a sensitive mucous membrane. There is no agreed anatomical definition about where the foreskin ends and the skin of the penis shaft begins, and hence no exact surgical definition of what circumcision is meant to remove. As a consequence, the amount of tissue cut off by the operation is highly variable (some doctors take more, some less), but a typical circumcision carried out in a western hospital will remove about 50 per cent of the surface tissue of the penis.
The foreskin is not just a flap of skin, but a complex web of mucous membrane, muscle fibres, blood vessels and nerves: in fact, it supports one of the densest concentrations of nerves in the whole body. The underside of the penis (just beneath the glans) is called the fraenum, and this carries ridged bands which are densely packed with fine-touch nerve receptors and a very rich blood supply. The main nerve supplying the penis goes down to the end and then doubles back, allowing the foreskin to slide backwards and forwards, and showing that this is exactly what it evolved to be able to do. To operate at its best, the penis is meant to be covered with a mobile sheath of responsive flesh. - Dr. Robert Darby
Circumcision is the surgical amputation of a some or all of this tissue. By routine male circumcision we mean the removal of the foreskin from the penis of normal male babies or boys, on the decision of adults (usually parents or guardians), without the boy's consent, and in the absence of any genuine medical indication, and particularly in the absence of the sort of critical injury, malformation or disease which would be required for the amputation of any other part of the body without the subject's consent. In the past the procedure was referred to as Routine Neonatal Circumcision or Routine Infant Circumcision, abbreviated here as RNC.
Strictly speaking, RNC is no longer practised even in places where it was once common, since most doctors are opposed to the practice and only do it in response to parental insistence. Each case today is thus an individual decision, not a matter of mere routine. In the heydey of circumcision in the 1950s, doctors pressured parents to agree to have their baby boys circumcised and would automatically do it unless they strenuously objected; sometimes they did it without even parental consent, as still occurs in the United Sates from time to time. The essential elements of routine (medically unnecessary) circumcision as practised today are (1) decision by adults; (2) absence of medical indication or need; (3) lack of consent on the part of the boy. - Dr. Robert Darby
The above list was compiled from various sources by George Hill.
Most physicians who perform circumcisions do not use anesthetics even after they are taught how. – Circumcision Resource Center
Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves forcefully separating the foreskin from the glans and then cutting it off. It is typically accomplished with a special clamp device ( see Fig. 2 ). Over a dozen studies confirm the extreme pain of circumcision. It has been described as “among the most painful [procedures] performed in neonatal medicine.”( 2) In one study, researchers concluded that the pain was “severe and persistent.”( 3) Increases in heart rate of 55 beats per minute have been recorded, about a 50 percent increase over the baseline.( 4) After circumcision, the level of blood cortisol increased by a factor of three to four times the level prior to circumcision.( 5) Investigators reported, “This level of pain would not be tolerated by older patients.”( 6)
Cancer of the penis is very rare, with a lifetime risk of between 1/600 and 1/1300. It strikes mostly older men. Even if circumcision could prevent it completely (which it does not), about a thousand foreskin amputations would be necessary to prevent one cancer of the penis. A thousand infants would be mutilated, and several would die to prevent that one case of cancer. Who could scientifically advocate foreskin amputation for this reason? – Dr. George Denniston
Infant male circumcision is an irreversible surgical operation. It is not medically required. Performing an irreversible, medically unnecessary operation on a minor is generally viewed as a breach of medical ethics. - Association for Genital Integrity
If women can be afforded this safety in our society there should be no reason that men should not be afforded a similar safety for a similar procedure with similar consequences - Dr. Arif Bhimji
Our offspring receive no physical characteristics that are identical to ours. They are a blend of two different people. A child may have eyes similar to his mother's and a nose like his father's. Why, of all things, are we so obsessed with the notion that the rarely exposed genitals of a father and son must be exactly the same? Until a little boy reaches puberty, this is impossible to achieve anyway. The absence of pubic hair will be just as noticeable, if not more so, than the presence of a foreskin.
If a boy notices pubic hair or skin missing from his father's penis, each peculiarity can be explained in a way he’ll understand. Do we manage to simplify why our son's and daughter's genital features are not alike? Certainly. Likewise, we can easily clarify any distinctions between father and son.
If the need arises, parents who chose to keep their son intact can easily explain why he has something his circumcised father does not. "Daddy [and/or your brother] had the foreskin removed in an operation because doctors used to think it was unhealthy. It is actually healthy and necessary, so we chose to leave your natural body alone." – taken from:
"If God didn't intend for men to have foreskins, they wouldn't have been born that way."
The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that you should NEVER retract your son's foreskin. This may/will cause problems. Just cleanse like you would a finger. He will retract on his own. He may not retract until his teens. THIS IS NORMAL.
A major reason for the idea that the natural penis is difficult to clean is a small, but feared word: "smegma". It even sounds ugly, so who wouldn't believe what they might hear about it and the non-circumcised penis? Actually, the word itself comes from the Greek smegma translated as "detergent", "cleansing medicine",and "soap". Smegma can be found between the glans and the foreskin and between the clitoris and its hood, as well as between the labia. (Both the penis and the clitoris form as the same tissue in the womb during the first trimester of pregnancy.) In both sexes, its job is to lubricate and cleanse. If it is washed away too frequently, the mucous membranes of these parts can become dry and irritated. The picture that is sometimes given of smegma is of a flowing, cheesy substance which smells. (I picture feta cheese, myself, when I hear this comparison!) Frankly, if smegma were to be allowed to build up to this amount, the man or woman would surely know about it before it began to smell, as going that long without washing would make one itch - and not only in the genital area either! In actuality, it is a whitish, pasty substance which doesn't really have much of an odor. It does not "flow" and is easily removed with a rinse with water, or soap and water if one prefers.
Many doctors are not adequately educated about the normal, intact penis and its growth and development from infancy through puberty. Many often recommend circumcision for every conceivable minor problem when only minor treatment, or even no treatment at all, is necessary.
For more information dispelling many of the common medical myths about the normal penis, see the following:
In particular, many doctors are concerned and may recommend circumcision if an intact boy is not retractable by a certain age. However, it is totally normal for a boy not to become retractable until the teen years, or even beyond. Even when non-retraction is a genuine issue for an older teen or adult, there are many solutions short of surgery. See:
For more information, please feel free to comment and I will answer to the best of my knowledge.