To be or not to be circumcised?

After watching one of the series of the famous series “Sex and the City” (in the Ukrainian version it is called “Sex and Misto”), I thought about circumcision. In one series, one of the main characters refused sex with a man for the reason that he was not circumcised. For her, it was something disgusting and terrible. Moreover , according to this man’s own admission, this brought him many similar difficulties with other women. 

It was such a shock for the heroine of this series that the man was not circumcised, that I wondered why this was so, because circumcision is usually done for religious reasons. And for us with our mentality, this fact is not something worthy of very much attention. Our women and men are more likely to be scared by circumcision than not being circumcised.

Imagine, in America, 80% of men do circumcision as a teenager. But why? After all, our men are scared to even think about it.

The ancient rituals of Jews and Muslims prescribe circumcision of newborns, but for non-religious purposes in most countries, circumcision is usually not performed. The United States is an exception to the rule. For most of the twentieth century, American doctors considered circumcision as one of the hygiene measures designed to prevent infections and cancer of the penis. They were convinced of the extreme usefulness of this matter. But this belief was based only on common sense, that is, everyone believed that it was useful, and did not bother checking the consequences and collecting evidence. The same reasons at one time were the reasons for the mass removal of tonsils in children in America, as well as the cutting out of the appendix simply because it is a rudimentary process (not needed by a person, but inherited from our ancestors).  

But since about 1970, many doctors began to oppose the routine execution of this operation. In 1971, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that there were no specific medical indications for circumcision of newborns. Doctors took this into account, and the number of circumcisions began to decline from almost 90% in 1971 to less than 70% in 1990.

But ironically, it was at that time that there was compelling evidence of the benefits of circumcision. Studies have shown that uncircumcised boys are prone to urinary tract infections in childhood 10–39 times more often, and from adolescence to adulthood, 2.5 times more often than circumcised. Although such infections are treatable, their small percentage nevertheless leads to irreversible kidney damage. Moderate infections, along with most sexually transmitted diseases, also affect uncircumcised men more often. As a result, some specialists began a public campaign in defense of circumcision, and in 1989 the same American Academy of Pediatrics changed its mind and this time announced the undoubted benefit of circumcision.   

And since then, there has been debate about the benefits and futility of circumcision. Those now in favor cite scientific evidence of the benefits of circumcision. Opponents turn to common sense, insisting that proper hygiene prevents all predictable complications in the future. In addition , they argue, the nose or mouth also cause a lot of trouble, easily transferring many tedious, inevitable and sometimes very serious infections to the body. They bring much more unnecessary trouble to a man than a penis with uncircumcised foreskin, but this does not mean that the nose or mouth must be somehow removed, changed or shortened.   

Disputes on this issue are ongoing now, because the penis is a matter of pride and the center of rarity of emotional debate because of its extreme importance to men.

So to do or not to do circumcision? For our men, this is not a question at all.

event_note February 6, 2020

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