Circumcising Your Son: It’s Your Choice

Circumcision is a private, family decision

infant boy wrapped in blankets

Circumcising newborn boys has health benefits that make the procedure worthwhile, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Academy’s new policy, issued in August, is based on evidence that circumcised males are less likely to get urinary tract infections, penile cancer and some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 2012 policy makes a stronger case for circumcision than the Academy’s former policy, issued in 1999, that referenced only “potential” health benefits. 

But the Academy still refrains from recommending the procedure for all baby boys — acknowledging that there are risks and that circumcision is a private, family decision.

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“Ultimately, it is up to parents to decide whether or not to circumcise their sons,” says Audrey Rhee, MD, pediatric urologist at Cleveland Clinic. “Parents need to weigh the benefits of the procedure with the risks.”

Along with religious, ethical and cultural beliefs, parents should consider:

  • Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin at the tip of the penis. It’s usually done by an obstetrician or pediatrician before a newborn boy leaves the hospital. Although anesthetics are used, the procedure can cause discomfort as the patient heals.
  • In sterile environments, complications are rare — especially for infants. However, as with any surgical procedure, risks include bleeding and infection. Rarely does circumcision cause penile injury. There is no evidence that circumcision affects sexual function or performance.
  • Circumcision is not essential for your child’s hygiene. However, by removing the foreskin, germs can no longer grow under it, making it easier to keep the penis clean.
  • Circumcision is not essential for your child to be healthy. However, circumcised men have lower risk of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases and penile cancer.
  • Slightly more than half of American males get circumcised, although the percentage has been declining gradually.

“Your doctor can explain more about the procedure and how it is performed,” says Dr. Rhee. “It is important to talk with your doctor regarding your questions, concerns and preferences so you can make an informed decision about circumcision before your baby is born.”

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  • TLCTugger

    Foreskin feels REALLY good.

    The AAP, a trade association representing people who SELL circumcisions, is not the last word on whether circumcision is a good or bad thing to force on a male.

    HIS body, HIS decision.

  • Page

    I am shocked that such a reputable organization is promoting the non therapeutic cutting of healthy and VALUABLE tissue from a NON CONSENTING AND VULNERABLE NEWBORN. Normalize foreskin! His body, his choice.

  • Barefoot Intactivist

    “There is no evidence that circumcision affects sexual function or performance.” This is patently false. Frisch’s 2011 study (not included in AAP’s review, which used a 2010 cut off), showed that cut men and their partners were OVER 3X MORE LIKELY TO HAVE FREQUENT ORGASM PROBLEMS. Cut men’s wives are also more likely to suffer from painful vaginal spasms. Why? Because the foreskin is an integral part of the penis that is not only filled with erogenous nerve endings, but also provides a natural gliding action that reduces friction.


    I wouldn’t want to live without my foreskin and anyone else who has one would feel the same way – that’s if they’re didn’t grow up in a country where the education regarding the foreskin is unbelievably poor (ie, the US).

    Amputating healthy, functioning body parts of unconsenting minors, causing immense pain that most go into shock is completely insane, not to mention UNETHICAL and violates HUMAN RIGHTS.

    You should be ashamed.

    Europe has lower rates of HIV, STI & STD’s, erectile dysfunction and their circ rates are near zero. US has high rates of circ, and funnily enough, higher rates of HIV, STI & STD’s and much higher rates of erectile dysfunction.

    The only thing Circumcision prevents is a full functioning penis.

    Grow a brain, do some REAL, unbiased research from countries that have a high level of knowledge regarding the foreskin, instead of taking the word from someone who has no idea except how to destroy it.


      Germs don’t “grow under there” morons. Urine is sterile, it’s flushed out multiple times a day when urinating. Smegma is mostly dead skin cells anyway…Then you shower every night, a WHOLE 5 seconds worth of effort, it’s clean. Just like any other body part.

      I’ve never had a problem with my penis, yet I’ve had plenty of ear infections over the years. Why is there no miracle amputation to stop them? Oh right, because removing body parts to supposedly “prevent” things that are VERY rare and VERY easily treatable to begin with is so damn stupid!

  • a violated child

    Prepucectomy has no health benefits, unless it is medically necessary for the treatment of an affliction. Being born male is not a disease. Our sons deserve the same rights to their own bodies as our daughters. Cosmetic surgery on minors is unethical.

  • Vincent

    It is the owners choice! Not the parents, not the doctors, no one elses! No one asked me about it and I want mine back!

  • 1finogoos

    It is a private decision…to be made by a man old enough to sign his own consent form. His body, his choice.

    • Brad

      It is absolutely wrong to amputate someone else’s body simply because you “feel like it”. This isn’t a “choice” to be made. It’s a fundamental principle of causing harm to others.

  • Mybodymychoice!

    It isn’t up to the parents, not your body not your choice!! There are some men out there that are outraged about the violation of our rights!

    You want to learn of the risks

    We are supposed to trust our doctors, the fact that there is a significant amount of doctors against this surgery maybe you should reconsider these said “benefits”.

  • Mamaa

    How is it YOUR choice, when it’s not your body? What’s wrong with letting them decide, later?

    • Dolores Sangiuliano

      Letting a boy decide later? Deciding not to do it means the good doctors at Clevelend Clinic will make less money. Don’t you know that the doctors need to pad their pockets, and what easier way to make $$$ than to dupe ignorant parents and perform a quick unnecessary surgery on a helpless victim who cannot escape. Cha-ching.

  • Kristin

    There are zero medical benefits to routine infant circumcision. It is a purely cosmetic surgery. The patient should be an adult when they make such a serious decision. Women have much less risks being circumcised, but the surgery for women is illegal. For men it has been ingrained in our minds that this procedure fixes something, when in fact God put it there. (Or if you believe us to be evolved) it is there for a REASON. We no longer removed tonsils or appendixes willy-nilly. So why r we removing a vital part of the most sensitive organ on a baby male? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Jen Bl

    circumcision is a private family decision? Since when does the child’s penis become a family decision? This is seriously unethical. There is nothing wrong with having foreskin. It is a perfectly normal and healthy part of the male genitalia. Funny to note that the functions of the foreskin is absent from this article.Talk about biased. You expect parent’s to be informed after reading this? You want informed, please put up a video of this surgery being performed on an infant. Let everyone see what this is about. The ugly truth of this unnecessary procedure. Let parents know that there are risks to this procedure and that every single risk is 100% preventable by not doing it. This is just as bad as advertising for female circumcision. Shame on you. You are part of the problem. There is no other instance where performing surgery on a healthy child to remove a healthy body part is acceptable. Why is it okay here? This is a personal choice for the person that has to live with the consequences. It is a personal choice for the OWNER of the penis.

  • AndrewandDebbie Stacey

    —-Rarely does circumcision cause penile injury—-

    Does anyone writing this realize that cutting into a penis, is CAUSING a penile injury?
    This comment makes you appear stupid and ignorant of the procedure and what it entails.

    Do you recommend circumcision of infant girls? As I hear, the potential benefits are the same, so shouldn’t that be a “private family” decision as well?……..wait, it is illegal to cosmetically alter a girls genitals.

    The AAP are hypocrites.

  • Locuta de Bjorg

    Why all the emphasis on “private” and “family” decision? That sounds very suspicious to me. Nobody batted an eyelash about a federal public law banning the modification of girls’ genitals in 1996. It’s not a “family” decision to circumcise a boy any more than it is a “family” decision to circumcise a girl. The “family” will not be using the child’s genitals and it is not the family’s future sex life. The only person who should be making this decision is the adult owner of the genitals. The AAP and the for-profit medical industry in the US is desperately trying to promulgate phony “health benefits” of foreskin amputation to justify proxy parental consent of what is really nothing more than a genital mutilation cultural custom.

  • Intactivist Canadian Mom

    The penis in question belongs to the baby boy, NOT the parents. It is NOT their decision to make.
    All of the points for circumcision can easily be debunked just by doing a little research. Should parents start removing the tonsils and appendix of their babies at birth?
    What about removing the breast tissue from baby girls so they don’t get breast cancer later in life, which is far more prevalent than penile cancer or HIV/AIDS?

    Anyone who believes that the natural way a baby boy is wrong or imperfect needs to really think long and hard on that.

  • Catie

    Is it also my choice to circumcise my daughter? How about we cut the crap and realize that circumcision is HARMFUL, and we should be leaving this permanent decision to the person it actually affects- the boy who will be a man some day.

  • Jen

    This is unbelievably biased. All the arguments against RIC are tempered by a “but…” reprehensible.

  • Hugh7

    Cutting a normal healthy, functional non-rewable body part off is not a parental choice that parents have to make about any other such part of the male baby, or any part at all of the female.

    The foreskin is not a birth defect that needs to be removed ASAP at parental whim (a contradiction built into the AAP policy). Outside the US, medical organisations such as the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) roundly condemn infant circumcision, refraining from recommending it be made illegal only because religious forces would drive it into the back streets. There is dissention even within the AAP, only some of which has been published in its journal “Pediatrics”.

    It is unlikely even one member of the AAP Task Force on Circumcision (NB, not “Task Force on Infant Male Genital Health”) was an intact man. (The chairman circumcised his own son on his parents’ kitchen table. There are legal, ethical and surgical issues with that)

    The task force didn’t actually find that male genital cutting has medical benefits.
    * They cherrypicked a lot of studies claiming to find it has medical benefits and threw them at the page.
    * They said they outweigh the risks without ever actually weighing them against the risks.
    * They washed their hands of the major complications and death because they found no statistical studies of them.
    * They cited studies showing it removes the most sensitive part of the pen!s and impairs sexuality but ignored those facts.
    * They discussed one circumcision clamp without mentioning that its makers have gone out of business after losing lawsuits worth millions to the families of boys who lost part of the heads of their pen!ses in the clamp.
    Here’s an annotated version of their policy:

    The rest of the English-speaking world tried the experiment, Australia and New Zealand circumcising almost all boys in the 1950s, but the public health systems meant there was no money in it, and it has died out – with no ill-effects. The rest of the developed world has never done it, and now in Europe there are moves to restrict it to consenting adults except for clear medical need.

    Two years ago the AAP proposed to allow a token ritual nick to girls “much less extensive than neonatal male genital cutting” but had to back down following widespread public outrage. It should do the same again.

  • June Park
  • David

    Not so fast, profiteers. His penis, his decision!

  • Hugh7

    “urinary tract infections”
    By the most conservative estimates, it would take more than 100 circumcisions to prevent one UTI, which can be treated as it occurs, as it always is in girls, who are at about three times greater risk

    “penile cancer”
    More than 1000 circumcisions to prevent one cancer in an old man with an abnormal foreskin (phimosis – the AAP itself noted this strong connection) who neglected his hygiene – and probably smoked.

    “some sexually transmitted infections”
    The evidence is contradictory

    The evidence is dubious, and it was only for female-to-male transmission, one of the rarer directions in the USA

    Circumcision is a “cure” looking for a disease, an intervention in search of an excuse.

  • Alea

    There are ZERO benefits to circumcising an infant.

    The “scientific facts” behind the pro-circumcision debate are seriously flawed. (Compare the sci-facts between other countries and American facts, if you don’t believe me.)

    “Rarely does circumcision cause penile injury.” -> What? Circumcision in itself is penile injury!

    2% of boys will have a urinary tract infection… urinary tract infections aren’t horrific and absolutely insane to base such an illogical and inhumane procedure on.

    “Ultimately, it is up to parents to decide whether or not to circumcise their sons” -> No, it is not the parents right to make a life changing decision that is 100% not medically necessary…. especially a decision that is torturous.

    “Although anesthetics are used, the procedure can cause discomfort as the patient heals.” -> Anesthetics used aren’t nearly enough to enable the baby to remain comfortable during the procedure. The heeling process is just as atrocious as the procedure… imagine skinning for your finger and having it wrapped in fecal matter and urine… can you imagine the irritation you would face?

  • Dolores Sangiuliano

    Cutting apart the sex organ of a helpless and non-consenting human being is a violation of medical ethics and human decency. Shame on Cleveland Clinic. History will not look kindly upon you for promoting this barbarism. I have a few questions for these health care professionals who presume that parents and doctors share ownership of the genitals of males infants: 1) What do you know about the purpose and function of the foreskin? 2)How much have you studied the anatomy and physiology (and growth and development) of normal human genitalia? 3) What are your parameters for this amputation? How much cutting do you have to do to satisfy your belief that you are preventing future disease? I ask these questions in all sincerity, and await a reply.

  • Aurora Bird

    I want to cut off my sons ears. I feel they’re dirty & I KNOW they’re prone to infection. When can bring him in to have them cut off?

    • Dolores Sangiuliano

      He is YOUR baby, Aurora. It is YOUR choice. The doctor may tell you that removing his ears is unnecessary and all you have to do is simply clean the outside…..but if those nasty ears are gone, no one will ever have to clean them. And besides, your doctor does the BEST ear amputations…you don’t want some inexperienced ear-amputator…and if you wait, it will have to be done when he is an adult, and ear amputation is too much pain and misery for an adult to endure. Get those ears off now….it will hurt your baby and he will scream and bleed and cry and try to escape, but that’s okay…he is too young to remember! It’s fine to hurt a baby as much as you want when they are too young to remember..

  • Marya

    As a Nurse Practitioner, I can tell you that circumcision is a complete ethical violation of the laws of consent. Why this barbaric mutilation surgery is continued to be allowed is alarming to me. It should not be a “family” or “parental” decision anymore than circumcising female infants should be allowed. And to suggest that circumcision does not effect sex lives of men and women is completely false. Many female patients of mine over the years have lamented their sex lives with circumcised partners after having had previous boyfriends with foreskins. The difficulty achieving orgasm and staying lubricated are the major complaints. In fact, circumcised penises cause many vaginal infections by way of drying out the mucous membrane is what I have seen working in OB/GYN practices. This has been documented in studies as well as personal stories. It is total baloney to think that you can mutilate a sex organ and that it won’t have ramifications on the sex life. It is completely unethical to continue amputating sex organs of infant males in this country while every consent law is broken. Where are the medical ethics? Poor defenseless infants….

  • April

    The American Cancer Society does not recommend circumcision for the prevention of cancer. In fact, they say that good hygiene in the uncircumcised penis will reduce the risk. Penile cancer is very rare.

    Anesthetics are only used in 45% of circumcisions and if they are they’re not given time to take effect. It causes much more than “discomfort” watch the procedure, you’ll see babies shrieking and gasping in pain, some have seizures, some stop breathing, others go into shock. There is no reason to inflict such massive amounts of pain on someone who has 0 pain threshold. And no, a sugar water pacifier does not count as pain relief.

    It’s crazy easy to care for an intact infant. You wipe it off like a finger during diaper changes and do the same in the tub. No retracting.

    Only 1% of healthy boys ever get a UTI, which crazy enough, can be fixed with antibiotics. Also, breastfeeding helps reduce the baby’s risk of a UTI thereby helping lower the risk even more.

    If circumcision prevented HIV and STD’s wouldn’t the US have the lowest rate of both? We don’t, we have the highest rates. Condoms work much better and don’t cause a child immeasurable pain, the loss of a very important part of his boy nor does it damage the bond with breastfeeding and his mother.

    It should be a personal choice, the person who’s own the penis is question should choose. And no, as a parent you don’t own your child’s body. Therefore, it’s not your choice.

    It started in the Victorian Era for people who weren’t Jewish in order to prevent masturbation, at the same time it was recommended to pour acid on girls clitoris for the same effect. Even then it was the cure looking for a disease.

  • CrunchTime

    No, it’s NOT a family decision. It’s NOT the families penis, the penis belongs to whoever the penis is attached to. Only HE should be making such a decision. It’s HIS body, nobody elses. Parents need to do their research instead of listening to and reading such garbage. Can’t believe in 2012 America that this is still an issue….leave the babies alone!

  • Protecthisrights

    Why oh why do we Americans think we “own” our babies like they are dogs? We are entrusted with their care. We do not own our sons’ penises, we just need to care for our sons until they are old enough to make decisions about thier bodies themselves. What a shame that we harm day old baby boys and yet protect baby girls by law. HIS BODY=HIS CHOICE Circumcision-the more you know, the more you’re against it.

  • CircEsAdreim

    It’s a PERSONAL decision for the OWNER of the penis. The child isn’t property and this isn’t a decision that belongs to anyone else. Not even parents.

  • Mary Lanser

    If being born male without a foreskin is a birth defect called Aposthia…..then what is it called when a doctor cuts off the foreskin, a normal functional part of a healthy infant boy??? A CRIME.

  • AMB
  • LuvMyKids

    As a foreign national, it is incomprehensible to me why American parents think THEY have the choice to amputate a healthy body part of THEIR SONS! Any American mother who was born before FGM became illegal in the United States in 1997 needs to ask herself whether she would have liked to have lived with only part of her genitals, you know, since chopping them off was HER PARENTS’ CHOICE at that time… Same with any American boy born today – amputation of part of HIS GENITALS should be HIS CHOICE, not a private, family decision!

    • LuvMyKids

      Nevermind, the answer is above – because American doctors tell American parents that it’s THEIR CHOICE :( So sad for the little babes :(

  • Hawk

    Let me just address one of the uninformed points presented in this article: “…circumcised men have lower risk of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases and penile cancer.” Had a foreskin my whole life (in my 40s now) and never suffered any of these problems. In addition, I don’t have keratosis, nor any loss of sensitivity, nor early onset E.D., nor any other sexual dysfunction, and my wife loves the gliding action provided by my foreskin. If you don’t have a foreskin you don’t know what you’re missing and neither does your lover. Routine infant circumcision is a clear human rights violation and seriously damages a male’s sex organ. Learn the truth.

  • Sarah

    Your description of circumcision serves to minimize the procedure and does not take into account the function of the foreskin during childhood and adulthood.

    Circumcision does not involve removal of the skin at the tip of the penis. Circumcision removes a fold of tissue, including outer skin, inner mucosa after tearing this mucosal tissue away from the glans (it is fused at birth). It is removing tissue that would sit below the corona of the glans; it does not only remove that which extends beyond the end of the penis.

    During the removal of this “skin”, along with it the boy and man he will become loses the majority of the fine touch receptors in the penis. The skin removed amounts to up to 2/3 of the penile skin. In an organ that is designed to increase in size, this skin is essential to normal function; accommodating its full erect size. It removes all the blood vessels, smooth muscle cells, fascia, contained in this band of tissue, which can even lead to iscemic (poor blood flow) ulceration to the tip of the glans until blood flow is redirected.

    He loses out on the protective function of the foreskin; it is fused to the head of the penis to protect it during growth and development. He loses the protective function of the foreskin during adulthood, the glans is constantly in contact with clothing and dries out. We don’t cut off eyelids to prevent eye infection and they’re pretty wet and can get bacteria growing in them. His penis may end up smaller once he is fully grown. He loses the function of the sensory nerves and the gliding action of the skin.

    Circumcision is a decision that can only be made by a fully informed adult male as it is his body, not his parents, that is altered by this procedure. The majority of the alleged benefits of this procedure can be better achieved by proper hygiene (too much soap and manipulation causes UTI in infant boys) and use of condoms during adulthood. With the loss of nerves and decrease in sensitivity, intact men tend to be more compliant with condom use than circumcised men! So this can actually increase risk long term by increasing risky behaviour.

    His body, his choice. His parents should have no say in how his penis looks or functions.

  • CircumcisionIsACrime

    I must say that whoever wrote this article has provided compelling arguments to coerce uneducated and misinformed parents into this horrible atrocity of a surgery! As someone who was circumcised barely breathing on his own, I am so angry that this is still being done to our defenseless baby sons! Where is the love and respect for his body? We are so quick to defend our personal rights; why is it so hard to stand up and defend our sons’ rights? Circumcision IS a penile injury! I am seriously considering suing the doctor who tortured me with this and left me with so many emotional and psychological problems. I have never been the same since.

  • Tora Spigner RN MSN

    The only choice it belongs to is the boy who will be impacted forever! The foreskin has a purpose and is no more prone to disease or infection than any other body part. 85% of men in the world have a foreskin and think that Americans are barbaric and backwards by removing it from non-consenting minors. If a man wants his foreskin removed, he can decide that himself when he is an adult. The foreskin allows a fully experienced sexual life and without it, a man will never experience a normal and natural sexual life. As an RN and a mother, I advocate that circumcising your son not be a choice for parent’s, only a choice for the boy and the man he will become.

  • Joseph Lewis

    Without a medical or clinical indication, how is it a doctor can even be performing surgery on a healthy, non-consenting minor, let alone be stoking a parent’s sense of entitlement?

    Let’s recap the latest AAP statement shall we?

    After dancing around the so called “benefits” which supposedly “outweigh the risks,” they STILL couldn’t bring themselves to endorse circumcision in newborns.

    In short, parents are being asked to make a “choice” on an elective surgical procedure based on “benefits” that couldn’t convince professionals at the AAP, to endorse?

    How is this not the epitome of medical fraud?

  • Brad

    As a man who had this done when I was a baby and had no choice in the matter I can very strongly say that I am now paying the price for my parents’ decision. It’s not them paying the price, it’s me and my wife. It’s permanent, cannot be fixed and I was damaged for absolutely no legitimate reason.

    When my problems started, I discovered the full price of circumcision: It removes 90% of the nerves and hugely reduces sensitivity and sexual performance. This is unavoidable and gets worse as you get older because the penis structure is designed to be protected and lubricated by the foreskin. The sales of Viagra and similar products closely track circumcision rates. This is because circumcised men, later in life need pills to overcome the problems caused by their parents’ decision to amputate 90% of their sexual sensitivity!

    This is not a “decision”. It’s simply wrong to cut off bits of someone
    else’s body simply because you feel like it. Even if it’s your religion
    to do so. It’s YOUR religion. Let him grow up fully protected from harm
    by you. If, as a fully informed adult, he then freely makes the choice
    to remove a part of his penis, that’s then his choice.

  • UpChuck3

    Your son will not look like this happy baby if you circumcise him. He will look angry, betrayed, sad, and scared. His healing penis will ache for days. Thereafter it will lose much of its sensitivity over the ensuing years as keratinized cells build up on the glans. This photo is nothing but propaganda designed to soothe parents’ consciences when they agree to a mutilating, dangerous, and totally unnecessary surgery that profits the doctors and clinics that do it.

  • Dreamer

    “Circumcision is a private, family decision” … Ok, make your mind. Is it private or is it a family decision?

    We call it private parts. A private decision is a decision made by the owner of the private part. Parents don’t own the child’s body. Parents have no place cutting parts of it.

    The foreskin is not something attached “at the tip of the penis”. The foreskin is 30% to 50% of the skin of the penis. There is no dotted line with neat lettering “cut here”.

    Circumcision ALWAYS causes damage:

    * Drying and hardening of the glans over years of friction with clothes, growing new layers of skin cells and becoming dull and less sensible.

    * Loss of the ridged band or Taylor band, which includes a high concentration of Meissners corpuscles specialized in feeling pleasure.

    * Loss of the gliding function of the skin which is an important component of intercourse for both male and female, causing chaffing of the internal walls of the vag. If the cut is too tight it can result in pain during arousal, soreness and bleeding.

    Besides, caring for an infant’s intact (not circumcised) penis is very easy: Wipe outside and leave it alone. Only when the child becomes capable of retracting it (which can take until his teenage years) he should learn to retract it during the shower.

    Instead, caring for a recently circumcised baby requires a lot of attention, as you have an open wound inside a diaper with urine and feces, and there are chances for the skin to re-attach to the glans, which can require painful procedures to separate or even additional surgeries.

  • Anon21342

    Germs grow under your eyelids, and in your rectum but I don’t think you would advise your patients to scrub the rectum of their babies with a bottle brush. Lots of misinformation in this article about normal human anatomy.

  • Jae

    What a bunch of bogus claims really? Think logically for a second. Look at places that DON’T cut up their boys, they have lower STD/HIV rates (these things don’t have penis preference) and better overall sexual health (Circumcision is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction.) And HOW exactly is making an internal mucosa organ exposed not affect the sensitivity of said organ? COME ON! When it dries out it looses sensitivity. When it rubs on everything, it begins to form callouses and looses sensitivity. Common sense. Everything you have stated here in this bogus article can be, and has been, debunked by scientific research, medical studies, logic, and basic male anatomy. Do some real research, and stop promoting the forced genital cutting of minors!

  • Greg Hartley

    No, it’s HIS choice. Although parents have the authority to make medically necessary decisions for their child, excision of an infant’s foreskin is not medically indicated. The recent AAP policy statement is inconsistent with recent policies issued by medical societies across the world. The Royal Dutch Medical Society concludes that the foreskin is an important erotogenic structure whose routine removal is not justified. Circumcised men (and their partners) need to look past their own apparent satisfaction and learn about the prepuce (foreskin) and its functions. Whose Body, Whose Rights?

  • Jessica Swinson

    Pretty much everything that needs to be said has been said…circumcision should never have even become an option. Shame on your “Children’s Health Team” for spreading misinformation.

  • skye

    Wow cleveland clinic. i am very disappointed in this article. so many ignorant myths. Last i checked men who are circumcised still get hiv and stds, it is about education, and practicing safe sex.
    Also, girls get utis up to 5x more than any men, intact or not.. No excuse to amputate a healthy organ..
    Lastly, the american cancer society clearly states that they do NOT recommend RIC for the prevention of penile cancer, which is uncommon anyways.. And less uncommon than breast cancer in men. How about we just remove the breastbuds of infants also?? They wont remember after all, and i am the mom. I get to decide whats best, and if it means my daughter wont get breast cancer i will remove them! *eye roll* stand up and start telling parents the truth.. YOU only care about $$$..
    His body His choice.

  • Manaof3wholeboys

    “Slightly more then half american males “get” circumcised” … You mean FORCED to be….”although the % is declining gradually”…. I wonder why??? Maybe people in America are starting to have common sense like the rest of the world! Now only 33% of baby boys born in the US since 09 are cut.

  • whatUneverknew

    Just because some group of biased money makers say they can find some benefits, while admitting they don’t know the extent of the risks DOES NOT MEAN that men don’t deserve to refuse amputation of their healthy genital tissue. It’s time that we stop pretending that we don’t have to examine the ethics of amputating healthy tissue from someone unnable to consent just because it has become habit. This is a private decision all right, one that EVERY MAN deserves to make. /,,

  • Stephanie

    Will pediatricians be telling circumcised teenage boys that they don’t need to wear condoms because they are protected from HIV? Do they tell parents that their sons are more likely to get breast cancer than penile cancer? Or that UTIs are more rare in boys than girls anyway? That penile injury may be rare but when it happens is devastating, not to mention in light of these “benefits” indefensible. And as an OB nurse I can assure you that babies feel more than “discomfort”. This article is disgusting. Only cut your son’s penis to be cleaner if you’d consider a similar procedure for your daughter. And if you are horrified at the thought then ask yourself why we are so quick to do it to a boy. This procedure is unethical.

  • Crunchy Frog

    I exercised my personal choice to not allow any knife wielding maniacs to come anywhere near my children’s genitals.
    I’m disappointed in the Cleveland Clinic. I would have expected them to have higher standards than to use cheap advertising to try to drum up unnecessary surgeries on unconsenting persons

  • Keith Rutter

    Ladies, imagine that you were a patient of a doctor trained in the 19th century, one who believed that masturbation was sinful and dangerous to health, and who cut/burned your clitoris off. You would not be happy!
    Exactly the same applies to men. Then, foreskins were cut off to prevent masturbation, though it doesn’t, it just makes it less satisfying, so we do it more to compensate. Nowadays, masturbation is seen as normal, except to the most puritanical person. I was unlucky, I was cut by an old-fashioned doctor, just before the barbaric practice dropped out of fashion in the UK. As a result, my penis was damaged, and now in later life, intercourse is not the pleasure it should have been, with a dried up penis in a dry vagina, and no orgasm. Thankfully, cutting foreskins is going out of fashion in the USA, and not before time.

  • Brother K

    The evolution of a circumcised baby into a 21st century man of conscience:

    Victim > Survivor > Warrior

    Parents should be forewarned that America will have many such WARRIORS against their own circumcisions in the future. Don’t say that parents weren’t warned, that you didn’t have the wisdom to consider the implications of your behavior, or your son’s future, or his feelings.

  • Karen Goldis

    What a disappontment! Benefits? Are you serious? How on earth does altering the male sex organ benefit anyone? It isn’t possible for a surgically altered penis to feel or perform as a natural penis. Circumcision amputates erogenous tissue. No supposed “benefit” can outweigh the loss. Why even list benefits? Your benefits are your excuses to continue this human right’s abuse. I am ashamed of you, Cleveland Clinic, you should know better.

  • NIgel

    It wasn’t a “private family decision” when they incepted this nonsense as it was forced on the public by turn of the century and mid century quacks with dollar signs in their eyes. God! The Cleveland Clinic is so bogus when they promote this nonsense by passing the buck and copping out from the truth that boys are people and not objects to be fashioned into anything someone selfishly wants. How low is that? I wouldn’t let them treat my dog.

  • mark

    Could someone tell me, is the AAP support of this procedure supported by a Jewish board? If so I don’t believe this statement to be ethical at all, Jewish people would support circumcision because of there religious beliefs. It is sad that American parents would do this to there children, it ruins the function and mobility, it has to be impossibe for a circumcised man to have complete pleasure.

  • craig

    please dont try free the jews

  • craig

    you do you want to help the dead.
    the jews and everyone circumcised
    are dead people
    they believe in a dead religion
    if you uncut you are alive
    why are there no stats on how many circumcised people died compaired to uncut
    guys lets stop helping the useless
    let them get circumcised
    we only need one KING

  • craig

    oh one other thing
    every girl that has a circumcised boy friend
    wants to make him a jaket to cover his cock
    dumb hay
    stuped people dont deserve to live
    circumcise them all

  • craig

    who goes grey first???
    cut or uncut

  • craig

    its better at school to be circumcised
    but far beter in life not to be!!!

  • craig


  • craig

    any cut guys want a foreskin
    i got one you can come suck it

  • Jeff

    Cleveland Clinic, please read the AAP statement again; it states very plainly that circumcision INCREASES the risk of invasive penile cancer (OR 0.5) once phimosis is factored out. Today many men are treating phimosis without surgery using the various stretching kits available on the web. It is no reason to justify infant circumcision.

  • Angel

    Genital cutting habits exists in many societies and in many different forms – similarly driven by deeply rooted beliefs in proposed health, hygiene, social or other “benefits”. In some places it has evolved into a routine “medical procedure”. Even opinions of medical professionals are influenced by this culture which is why they try to justify this habit with curious “research”. Men and women can keep themselves clean and healthy in the exact same way, and treat or prevent issues in the same way also. Boys and girls deserve the same protection against forced genital cutting.