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Monday, October 4, 2010

Top 12 Myths about Circumcision

This is a must have article for all intactivists!!  Author Jen Coias covers every single angle, every myth ever perpetrated to convince parents that they should circumcise their son.  The article very clearly debunks each myth, and backs it up with several links and studies to make sure there can be no misunderstanding:

Male Circumcision is Wrong.

Top 12 Myths

Twelve Common Misconceptions About Circumcision and the Intact Male.

Please use the resources following each topic for more information.  I have also posted additional resources following this article.  I have spent a great deal of time and energy  in writing this, all in the name of LOVE.  

MYTH 1:  Circumcision protects boys from developing harmful medical problems.
TRUTH:  NO medical society in the entire world, including the USA, recommends routine infant circumcision.  Circumcision does NOT:
-prevent infections
-prevent or reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections
-prevent penile cancer
-prevent transmission of the AIDs virus
-prevent the transmission of STDs
There are absolutely no proven medical benefits to circumcising infant boys routinely.  EVERY medical association in the entire world, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Medical Association (AMA), has made statements that routine infant circumcision provides no proven medical benefits and is a non-therapeutic operation with known risks and guaranteed consequences.  These risks and guaranteed consequences do not outweigh any potential benefits.  Infant circumcision is purely cosmetic and has been falsely justified as having “medical benefits” thanks to a history of flawed studies performed by doctors who have tried to justify the tradition for over a century.  In fact, circumcision has been fabled to protect against more illnesses than any other single surgical procedure; epilepsy, seizure, paralysis, polio, mental illness, cancer, you name it.  View the last link, a video about the “medicalization” of circumcision, for more information about this.  More recent studies have now proven that foreskin actually protects against UTI and other infections.

MYTH 2:   Having an intact boy means more work and extra cleaning to prevent infection.
TRUTH:  It is actually easier to care for an intact boy.  Only clean the exterior of an intact boy, a swish in the bath is sufficient.  People are severely misinformed about the anatomy of foreskin.  During the infant/childhood years the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis (glans) and the opening is only wide enough to allow for urine to pass through.   This protects the developing penis from urine, feces, and other harmful pathogens.  An intact boy should NEVER be retracted for cleaning or for any other reason.  Premature retraction causes tearing, pain, and can result in many complications, including infection.  The proper care for the intact penis is to LEAVE IT ALONE, only the exterior gets cleaned.  Should poop get on the penis, all you do is wipe it like a finger.  Throughout childhood the skin will slowly separate from the glans and the foreskin opening will widen.  Self-cleaning excretions prevent the need for cleaning during that time.  Through self-discovery a boy will learn to retract his own foreskin.  After retraction is possible a boy can easily clean himself with a quick rinse in the same way that girl cleans her privates.  It is a good rule of thumb to never let anyone touch your intact son’s penis.  Many people, including care providers, will ignorantly try to retract the foreskin.  Fact is, the US medical profession cut off so many foreskins in the past that the doctors rarely if ever saw an intact boy and have lost the base of knowledge of diagnosis and treatment.  Now, they are operating in a vacuum of information or even worse, in an environment of false information.  The only tool you need to care for an intact boy is a ruler to smack the hands of those curious people who attempt to retract his foreskin.  :)  Retraction happens at a different times for each boy.  Some boys do not retract until puberty, this is perfectly normal.