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What is a circumcision?
Circumcision means cutting off the foreskin, or ring of tissue, that covers the head of the penis. It is usually done the day your newborn 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 is the history of circumcision?
Followers of the Jewish and Muslim 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. And while the procedure grew in popularity in the states, circumcision never became a common practice in most parts of the world. In fact, over 80% of the men in the world are not circumcised.
What is the purpose of the foreskin?
The foreskin on the penis is not some cosmic error. The foreskin has a purpose.
What are the pros?
Even though, the foreskin serves an important purpose, there are plenty of "pros" to consider as well. Some of the reasons you may want to circumcise are:
What are the cons?
Along with that list of pros, there are plenty of cons to consider as well. Some of the reasons not to circumcise include:
You must decide quickly. If you initially decide not to have your son circumcised, and then change your mind after you son is 2 months old, the procedure will require a general anesthesia. So try to make your final decision during the first month of life.
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. 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. So please, consider the decision with your spouse prior to delivery so you can both make an educated decision that you feel is best for your child.
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