Attitudes toward circumcision are changing because of new information. Results of the latest studies are arousing concern about this often misunderstood procedure. These selections present important information not generally available.
The controversy over male circumcision rages on. Meanwhile, some men are taking their penis into their own hands and using non-surgical methods to restore their foreskin. Where does the truth about foreskins lie?
Forty or 50 years ago, circumcision was unremarkable - as many as half of newborn male babies are circumcised on the grounds that it's more hygienic and could protect them against conditions such as penile and prostate cancer as well as urinary tract infections. Such claims proved to be unfounded, and the number of circumcisions has plunged to between four and six per cent, most of which are said to be done for therapeutic reasons.
Circumcision fights AIDS
Men who are circumcised have a dramatically lower rate of HIV infection than those who are not, according to new studies in Africa and India, suggesting that the ancient surgical procedure may play a role in helping prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Infant circumcision has a complication rate of up to 5 per cent. Possible consequences include infection, bleeding and damage to the penis. Serious complications such as bleeding, septicaemia and meningitis may occasionally cause death.
Two years ago, Carl Redmond decided he wanted to be circumcised. The 36-year-old Seattle man had no medical reason for going under the knife. "I thought about it for years," he says. "I just wanted to look like everyone else. It was a cosmetic decision. I thought it looked more normal."
Given the potential complications, it's clear that parents should be informed of the lack of clear-cut evidence of medical benefits from circumcision. While there are some cases in which removing the foreskin may be necessary, they are rare.
While I might be circumcised, as is sixty percent of the newborns born in the United States, mine was done when I was an infant and so I thankfully canít remember the experience.
Having a doctor perform a circumcision on you is scary enough to most men ... hell, having anyone touch me down there with a sharp object scares me ... but performing a self circumcision is just plain freaky.
What are some of the things you should do to prepare for your teen circumcision, besides running into the closet with a blankey and a box of tissues?