Do not circumcise your children

Rachel Suchan

Every day in the United States hundreds of thousands of babies are operated on in a painful, irreversible cosmetic surgery with no local anesthetic or pain management.

Did you know:

• Babies feel pain more acutely than adults, and the younger the baby, the more acutely the pain is felt, according to several medical professionals including Paul Fleiss, American pediatrician.

• The foreskin of a penis actually functions as a barrier to keep bacteria OUT of the urethra and prevent UTI’s, and a recent study published in the British Journal of Urology found that circumcision actually makes the penis dirtier.

• The surgery is non-essential and has never been recommended by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or any major medical organization.

• There are an estimated 20,000+ nerve endings in the foreskin of a penis, adding to sexual pleasure. Not to mention its natural lubrication effects.

• There are federal and state laws protecting girls of all ages from forced genital surgery, but no such law for boys.

• Circumcision did not become a common medical procedure until the 19th century, when doctors began recommending it primarily as a deterrent to masturbation, according to Dr. Robert Darby’s “A Surgical Temptation”, Dr. David Gollaher’s “Circumcision: A History of the World’s Most Controversial Surgery“ and several other health and medical history professionals.

It was believed that masturbation caused many illnesses, so doctors began surgically removing the foreskin to make masturbation less pleasurable. Since then, it has just stuck around as the thing that most people do.

And today that is the number one argument for circumcision—everyone else is doing it. Parents don’t want their children to feel different or to be made fun of for having foreskin. But today the circumcision rate in the United States is down to only 40 percent. That means more boys are actually uncircumcised—not to mention the complete unethical nature of that argument—I don’t want my baby to be made fun of for having a huge nose, either, but I’m not going to give him a rhinoplasty operation.

The fact is that circumcision is a cosmetic surgery that alters and even removes a functioning piece of a man’s sex organ. Do you really think that as a parent, or as any human being other than the one receiving the surgery, you are in an appropriate position to be making irreversible decisions about another person’s body?

As parents, we all want to promote a sense of self-confidence and contentedness in our children. We are terrified of them getting bullied in school and try to instill in them the knowledge that their bodies are just fine the way they are. Why, then, is the first decision we make for them, the very day of their birth, an attempt to simply “fit in”—to such an extent that we are even electing cosmetic surgery on an infant.

Merrium-Webster dictionary has two definitions for the word circumcision. The first is “to cut off the skin, called the foreskin, at the end of the penis of a man or boy.” The second is “to cut off the clitoris or outer sexual organs of a woman or girl.”

How interesting that the first remains a standard procedure while the second has been illegal for over 20 years and deemed “genital mutilation”.

Do your son a favor: Give him the opportunity to make his own decisions regarding irreversible cosmetic surgeries and his body.

The opinions expressed in Suchan’s column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Barometer staff.

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