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Men's Health > Penis Health > Circumcision

As you are reading, you are either circumcised or not. Circumcision is a cultural phenomena, some cultures do it others don't and there is no clear rational explanation why.

There is a view that Jewish people practice circumcision because of God’s commandment to Abraham (in Genesis 17:11–14). However for most Jewish people as with many African tribal groups, the reasons may be more to do with a sense of belonging than with any divine command.

What is Circumcision?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis and is usually done in Western cultures within the first six months of a boys life, but in many less developed countries circumcision is a rite of passage and may occur anytime up to when the child is a teenager.

Why do we have a foreskin?
There is a lot of evidence that the foreskin is useful; it helps the sliding action of the penis by acting as a rolling bearing during intercourse and masturbation.

Does Circumcision have any Value?
This is a continuing argument in many societies. Many argue against circumcision as it disfigures the penis and may cause some psychological damage to the child and later the man. Many also argue that circumcision reduces sensitivity to the head of the penis and therefore reduced sexual pleasure.

Is there any evidence to support circumcision?
As an uncircumcised skeptic against circumcision I must finally admit there is one important benefit to circumcision as explained:

Medical Research
What researchers have recently discovered is that circumcision reduces the likelihood of contracting and passing on sexually transmitted diseases.

To understand this we need to know that our skin has an outer layer of a substance called collagen. This is a barrier which prevents bacteria and viruses penetrating through our skin and it covers our entire body except for the underneath of the foreskin. So the underneath of the foreskin is like an internal body tissue and when a bacteria makes contact with it, the bodies defences act to eliminate the threat.

When the immune system encounters an pathogen, it stimulates a huge production of clone lymphocytes that produce and secrete an antibody that will bind it signalling to phagocytes and killer T-cells to destroy the pathogen.
In the case of the foreskin, the pathogen is drawn into the body and this is the perfect scenario for HIV which resists the actions of the bodies immune system and soon begins to replicate.

This means that the path of disease transmission is via the underneath of the foreskin, so if it is removed the possibility of contracting or passing on an std is reduced by about 60%.

This does not mean that by being circumcised, you cannot get and std, but it improves the odds of not getting one. The scientists researching this predict that if every African male was circumcised, the aids epidemic in Africa would soon be over.

Why Not Circumcise?
Circumcision has absolutely no impact on the ability to perform sexually and impregnate a woman, however painful intercourse (dyspareunia) is more common in women whose husbands and lovers are circumcised and there is a widespread belief that uncircumcised men suffer more from premature ejaculation. The foreskin contains many sensitive nerve endings that provide pleasure and here are another 38 reasons not to circumcise.. 

Your Childs Penis
It is usually a parents decision to have their child circumcised based on a religious ethic, however based on a review of medical and psychological literature and our own research and experience, we conclude that circumcision causes serious, generally unrecognized harm.

The medical need to have a child circumcised is rare and foreskin problems such as phimosis and preputial stenosis in accordance with standard medical ethics, these treatments avoid unnecessarily radical surgery, and preserve normal physiologic function of the patient's body.

External irritants and other environmental factors may cause the foreskin to tighten and prevent the foreskin from sliding back. One such irritant that is suspected are the chemicals contained in bubble bath so boys should avoid the use of bubble bath.

When tightness of a previously loose foreskin occurs (acquired phimosis), environmental factors and general state of health should be investigated before circumcision or conservative treatment is considered. For example, circulatory problems may cause edema of the prepuce and result in non-retractable foreskin.

Circumcision is a personal choice which helps men feel like they belong in communities where circumcision is practiced.
Circumcision will remove some sensitivity and pleasure.
Circumcision is good for public health in that it helps reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Circumcision does not make the man bullet-proof against diseases and good sex education and the correct use of condoms is vital.

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