Newborn male genital cutting (a.k.a. circumcision) is the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S. But it is a common misconception that there are health benefits to it. The truth is no medical society in the world recommends it, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Falsehood – Circumcision is safe and harmless.
Fact – Surgically removing part of a baby boy’s penis causes pain, creates immediate health risks and can lead to serious complications. Circumcision complications can and do occur in even the best clinical settings. This invasive procedure carries serious health risks, including infection, hemorrhage, surgical mishap, death, and life-long sexual difficulties.
Falsehood – Circumcision is just a little snip.
Falsehood – Circumcision is recommended by doctors.
Falsehood – Circumcision is painless.
Fact – Circumcision is painful. Babies are sensitive to pain, just like older children and adults. The analgesics used for circumcision only decrease pain; they do not eliminate it. Further, the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7 to 10 days it takes to heal.
Falsehood - He won't remember it.
Falsehood – He'll be ridiculed if he isn't cut.
Falsehood – A boy should look like his father.
Falsehood – Circumcision cannot be compared to female genital mutilation.
Fact – Rationales offered in cultures that promote female genital cutting—hygiene, disease prevention, improved appearance of the genitalia, and social acceptance—are similar to those offered in cultures that promote male circumcision. Whatever the given reasons are, forcibly removing healthy genital tissue from any child—male or female—is unethical. Boys have the same right as girls to an intact body.
Falsehood – Opposing circumcision is religious and cultural bigotry.
Fact – Many who oppose the permanent alteration of children’s genitals do so because they believe in universal human rights. All children—regardless of their ethnicity or culture—have the right to be protected from bodily harm.