send your questions to
Aren't you giving medical advice? We do not offer
medical advice. The contents of this website are for information only
and are not intended to replace consultation with the appropriate
medical practitioner. However, whether or not one should circumcise his or her
son's normal penis, is NOT a medical question. Even the American Academy
of Pediatrics and all the North Dakota physicians we have spoken to
agree. This is a question of ethics and law, laws that have failed to
protect male children.
How or why did circumcision begin?
this academic essay on the topic.
Am I circumcised?
does a foreskin look like? (Italtics and > indicate an
off-site link.) Photos: Warning: May be considered
Why do you think you can change this social custom?
that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
the only thing that ever has."
is responsible for continuing the cutting?
"I have always maintained that even though we are all directly or
indirectly responsible for this cultural tragedy, it is the one who
holds the knife that is the most culpable; it is they who have the
highest degree of responsibility. I have said many times, if I can find
the information, so can they. The difference is, as physicians, they are
professionally responsible to stay current on medical information and
are obligated to protect the interests of their patients. With the
abundance of information available over the last 20 years, being behind
the curve on this one is simply unacceptable--legally, ethically,
morally and professionally. 'No, I am sorry, I just can't let you do
this,' is probably the easiest way for a parent to protect his or her
child.... For the doctor, it is just as easy to say to a parent who has
requested their child be circumcised, 'We don't do them any more. Our
license to practice medicine and our malpractice insurance precludes
physicians from amputating part of some one's body without consent, even
at the request of a parent.'" Jody McLaughlin.
Why do we occasionally refer to circumcision as
... implies the cutting off or removal of a part essential to
completeness, not only of a person but also of a thing, and to his or
its perfection, beauty, entirety, or fulfillment of function." Webster's
Dictionary of Synonyms, Springfield, Massachusetts: G & C.
Does circumcision affect penis size?
recent article found that the mean penis erect length was 16cm, i.e.,
about 6 3/8
inches. It further found
that the average erect
in circumcised men was 3/8" shorter than in normal men, viz:-
J, Gerofi J, Donovan B. "Are condoms the right size(s)?
a method for self-measurement of the erect penis." Venereology
part of a study investigating the adequacy of the Australian Standard
latex condoms, we arranged for self-measurement of the erect penis
volunteer sample of 156 men, predominantly Caucasian. The kits
illustrated instructions and paper tapes which the respondents
back to us marked with creases to indicate their dimensions. Mean
length was 16.0 cm (95% confidence interval (CI) 12.2-19.8 cm)
circumferences were: base 13.5 cm (95%CI 0.7-16.2); shaft just below
ridge 12.4 cm (95%CI=10.0-14.8); glans 11.9 cm (95%CI 9.6-14.2).
measurements of 15 men showed intraclass correlations (r) of 0.90
length, 0.68 for base circumference, 0.87 behind ridge and 0.87
Non-users of condoms were more likely to have narrower penises.
subsample of 66 men who reported on perceived condom comfort, men
wider penises (base circumference) were more likely to find condoms
tight. Men with longer penises were more likely to complain that
were too short. Circumcised men had shorter erect
(p<0.05). The paper recommends that the measurement
described in this study should be applied to other
and that condoms should be manufactured and marketed in a
range of lengths and widths.
the circumcised penis more normal? Here is a letter in a
major medical journal: "Techniques
for performing neonatal circumcision." Am Fam Physician. 1996;
the editor: Over the decades, and particularly in the
past, perhaps more heat than light has been shed on the issue of
male circumcision. The
recent series of letters offers what
only be viewed as confusing interpretations of normalcy. The
used in these letters is revealing: Dr Reynolds opines that his
"removes the foreskin in an anatomically correct fashion." Dr
boasts of a "superior cosmetic result" and "a more
of a penis without the foreskin." Dr Philgreen describes a
appearance." Dr Hopper claims a "nicer looking" outcome.
Clearly these writers are basing their
interpretations of "normal" on
construct of aesthetics different from one based on natural,
anatomy. A penis without a
foreskin may be seen as "nicer
by some persons, but it is in no way natural, and it is hard to
of a situation in which any amputation or surgical scarring can be
to as "anatomically correct."
Male circumcision has supporters
opponents, but no rational discussion of this subject should include
misinterpretation of "normal" or inject personal taste into a
W FILARDO, MD
is the advice physicians are giving in recent baby-care books?
WHETHER OR NOT TO CIRCUMCISE YOUR BABY BOY--This is a decision that many
parents face. There are many misconceptions and
information that parents may read. Here is a summary of the
issues that you should consider when making this decision.
benefits - THERE ARE NONE! Do not circumcise your baby because
there are some medical benefits...." >
But isn't circumcision a harmless procedure?
All circumcisions are painful during and/or after the
operation, but they all cause losses
and many require reconstructive surgery--and some lead to >death.
Links to Off-Site URLs