Lakeshore Pediatric Center
635 N Hwy 16
Denver, NC 28037
What is a circumcision?
Circumcision means cutting off the foreskin or ring of tissue that covers the head of the penis. If you decide to have your newborn son circumcised, it is usually done the day he goes home from the hospital.
Fewer children in the U.S. are being circumcised now than several years ago. In 1979, 90% of American males were circumcised compared to 60% now.
The following information should help you decide what is best for your son.
What are the cultural aspects of circumcision?
Followers of the Jewish and Moslem faiths perform circumcision for religious reasons. Nonreligious circumcision became popular in English-speaking countries between 1920 and 1950. At this time it was thought that circumcision might help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Circumcision never became a common practice in Asia, South America, Central America, or most of Europe. Over 80% of the males in the world are not circumcised.
What is the purpose of the foreskin?
The foreskin on the penis is not some cosmic error.
What are the pros of circumcision?
Some of the reasons you may want to circumcise are:
It can be emotionally painful to be a trailblazer about the appearance of one's genitals.
All in all, nonreligious circumcision is mainly cosmetic surgery.
What are the cons of circumcision?
Some of the reasons not to circumcise include:
Circumcision of boys for religious purposes will continue. The need to circumcise other boys is open to question. Just because a father was circumcised doesn't mean that the son needs to be circumcised. Because the foreskin comes as standard equipment, you might consider leaving it intact, unless your son will be going to a school where everyone else is likely to be circumcised. The risks and benefits are both too small to swing the vote either way. This is a parental decision, not a medical decision.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.