If you’ve looked at my blog for even just a minute, it’s clear that I’m opposed to circumcising non-consensual infants. Here’s a brief explanation of why I (and thousands of others) are so against it.
Circumcision is sexually damaging in three main ways.
1. The foreskin is the most sexually sensitive part of the penis, and when it is cut off, up to 20,000 sexually sensitive nerve endings are removed along with it. Those who are not circumcised indeed tend to claim that their foreskin feels more pleasure than any other part of their penis.
2. The foreskin is intended to cover the glans (head of the penis) and keep it sensitive. When foreskin is removed, the glans will dry out and develop a layer of keratin (essentially a callous) over the years. This greatly reduces sexual sensitivity. If you have a clitoris, imagine how much less sensitive it would be if it didn’t have its hood. This is what circumcision does to the penis.
3. Another function of the foreskin is to be able to glide along the shaft and over the glans during sex and masturbation. This mobility is often inhibited or completely destroyed as a result of circumcision. The possible consequences of this include dryer sex, vaginal discomfort for the partner, painful erections, uncomfortable masturbation, and overall a less “deep” sensation.
Overall, these three factors result in moderately to significantly less pleasure for a circumcised penis. By significantly, I refer to those who have almost completely lost the capacity for sexual pleasure as a result of circumcision. It doesn’t matter that a boy circumcised at birth will never know what he’s missing: he still has the potential to find out that he could be having better sex if a choice wasn’t made for him without his permission. And with the proliferation of the Internet these days, it seems quite likely that more and more people who were circumcised will grow up and learn about the negative effects the procedure had on them.
The arguments in favor of circumcision range from outdated to exaggerated to just plain false. There is no reason to circumcise for reasons of “cleanliness” or ”hygiene.” If you teach your son how to wash his foreskin for just 5 seconds in the shower, it will stay just as clean as a circumcised penis. The extra couple of seconds it takes to pull back the foreskin is not worth a lifetime to diminished sexual pleasure. As for claims that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV, take a look at Doctors Opposing Circumcision’s HIV Statement, which debunks these studies as fundamentally flawed.
Some other sources on why circumcision is unneccesary:
-The Circumcision Reference Library
-How the circumcision solution in Africa will increase HIV infections
-Doctors Opposing Circumcision - Does being born a healthy male require surgical correction?
-CIRP’s statement on circumcision, penile cancer, and cervical cancer
-Infant circumcision causes 100 deaths each year in the US
-Circumcision Not a Cure-all for AIDS
-Anatomy and Functions of the Male Foreskin
-How To Identify Circumcision Damage in the Adult Male
-Infant Responses to Circumcision, explaining the negative effects of severe neonatal pain
-Male circumcision and sexual function in men and women: a survey-based, cross-sectional study in Denmark
-Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis (most important from this: “Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision were more sensitive than the most sensitive location on the circumcised penis.”)
-Psychology Today’s series on circumcision: Surgical Myths, STD and Hygiene Myths, Social and Sexual Myths, Ethics and Economics, Forcible Retraction, Ignorance of Male Anatomy
It’s worth mentioning that one of the main reasons circumcision initiially took off in the United States was as an anti-masturbation measure suggested in the late 19th century. Routine infant circumcision was not initially begun not so much out of health concerns, but rather a sexually-conservative religious value.
A lot of people circumcised at birth DO grow up to resent it. I am clearly one of them, I could direct you to several others right here on Tumblr, and I could direct you to thousands (including myself) who are taking steps to restore their foreskins, through natural skin expansion methods that take YEARS to complete. Surely, circumcision is not a trivial matter if thousands of people will invest so much effort into regaining a portion of what was taken from them.
All in all, I believe it is a violation of human rights to circumcise an infant who cannot consent to the procedure. I’m fine with the idea of an adult deciding for himself to get circumcised, if it’s his own decision. But I do NOT believe such a sexually-altering procedure with dubious “benefits” should ever be forced upon someone else.
If you have any questions regarding my views, please feel free to ask, I’m happy to answer.