Male Circumcision: To circumcise or not?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the prepuce (foreskin), the tissue covering the glans (head) of the penis. It is an early 20th century practice in America originally done by physicians for health and hygienic reasons. Because indoor plumbing was virtually nonexistent (particularly in rural areas), hygiene was of great concern (people couldn’t so didn’t bathe frequently as they do now). So by removing the prepuce (foreskin) a man was less likely to contract STI’s or the smegma (a creamy thick sebaceous secretion under a man’s foreskin) produced by the glans (head of the penis) to keep it moist and lubricated might turn it into a paste-like substance which could cause the foreskin to stick permanently to the shaft of the penis not allowing for it to be pulled back therefore painful. In 1829, the Tremont Hotel of Boston was the first hotel of its kind to feature indoor plumbing for guests; and, Chicago was the first city in the country to have a comprehensive sewer system thereby reducing the health risk and eventually circumcision became a choice not a necessity. If you opt not to circumcise your son, then teach your son proper daily hygiene….show your son how to pull back his foreskin and wash his penis with mild soap and water.
Circumcision reduces the bacteria that can live under the foreskin. This includes bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections or, in adults, STIs. A newborn must be stable and healthy to be circumcised. If a parent(s) decides to have their baby circumcised, the procedure is usually performed in the baby’s first few days/weeks of life (assuming the procedure will not be taking place during a religious ceremony).