According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of males around the world are circumcised, primarily for cultural reasons. Despite the commonality of circumcision in the United States—and other countries around the globe—this surgery comes with enormous, downplayed, and outright hidden risks. The purported benefits have been continually debunked and disproven, while the dangers of circumcision are becoming increasingly apparent as victims speak out and new studies prove the consequences are sadly all too real. Whether you’re a parent pondering the decision for your newborn, a medical professional seeking to broaden your understanding, or simply someone curious about this often-debated practice, these statistics about circumcision offer an eye-opening perspective on the risks associated with this age-old practice.
Statistics About The Dangers of Circumcision
1) Higher Pain Response
Circumcision Statistic: “According to one study, circumcised infants have a slightly higher pain response to vaccination 4 to 6 months after circumcision.” — ScienceDirect
The researchers who conducted the study postulate that circumcision may induce long-lasting changes in infant pain behavior because of alterations in the infant’s central neural processing of painful stimuli.
But what does this mean? Essentially, they are suggesting that the experience of circumcision could potentially alter the infant’s neurological development, specifically in terms of how the brain processes painful stimuli. In other words, this early experience of significant pain could rewire the brain’s pain-processing circuits in a way that changes how the child experiences pain in the future.
2) Infant Death
Circumcision Statistic: “Long-time intactivist Dan Bollinger published an estimate that in the year 2010, 117 U.S. infant deaths were attributable to the circumcisions of baby boys — all of which were entirely preventable.” — This Penis Business (Lucid House Publishing, 2024)
While male circumcision affects more than just newborns, when babies first enter the world, they are in an extremely fragile state. Newborns simply cannot afford to lose even a minuscule amount of blood during this cosmetic surgery, or it puts their lives in jeopardy. If circumcision were indeed medically necessary, as the mainstream medical institutions claim, the surgery could be justified; however, it is no secret that circumcision is not medically necessary. Doctors and other medical professionals know this. The vast majority of the world does not circumcise their baby boys and finds it abhorrent that we continue to practice male circumcision in the United States. So if circumcision is not medically necessary, then the risks it poses—including excessive bleeding, which can lead to death—are obviously not worth it.
3) Permanently Cut
Circumcision Stat: Approximately 1.4 million American baby boys lose their foreskins at the hands of medical professionals every year. — This Penis Business
Considering that doctors swear to a Hippocratic Oath that holds them accountable for looking out for their patients to the best of their abilities, it makes the practice of routine male circumcision even more heinous and doubly hypocritical. With the pretense of medical necessity stripped away, millions of boys are put at risk to ensure the profitability of “this penis business” and its various offshoot industries, such as foreskin trafficking.
4) A Disproportionately American Problem
Circumcision Statistic: “Circumcision rates have been decreasing in the United States, falling from 64.5% in 1979 to 58.3% in 2010.” – via Centers for Disease Control
It should be noted that the CDC has not updated the statistics above since 2010, largely because many more circumcisions occur in private offices and other settings, making the precise numbers extremely difficult to track. In comparison to other countries, circumcision is more prevalent in the United States. This is due to various reasons, such as medical advice and social customs. The practice of circumcision has been widespread in the U.S. for many years, which has led to a societal desensitization to the severity and barbarism of the procedure. As a result, some parents may decide to have their sons circumcised so that they can look like other circumcised individuals in their family or peer group.
Additionally, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, circumcision was wrongly advertised as a way to prevent different diseases and conditions and to discourage masturbation, which was considered harmful back then. Though these ideas have been proven incorrect, they may have played a part in the increase in circumcision rates, which made the practice even more prevalent.
5) Loss of Sexual Sensitivity
Circumcision Statistic: “Circumcised men are 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED).” – via International Journal of Men’s Health
Circumcision results in the loss of sexual sensitivity for several reasons, starting with the removal of nerve endings. The foreskin contains a high concentration of specialized nerve endings that sense fine touch, temperature, and positional changes. When the foreskin is removed during circumcision, these nerve endings are lost. Additionally, the glans (or head) of the penis is normally a mucous membrane, similar to the inside of the mouth or eyelid. In a circumcised penis, the glans are exposed to the air and constant friction from clothing. This can lead to keratinization, where a thicker layer of keratin (a protein found in the skin) forms on the surface of the glans. Keratinization can reduce sensitivity because the thicker skin layer can lessen the impact of sensory stimuli. Lastly, male circumcision can cause the loss of the gliding mechanism the penis is intended to have. The foreskin serves a purpose during sexual activity, providing a ‘gliding’ mechanism that reduces friction and enhances sexual sensation for both partners. After circumcision, this gliding mechanism is lost, which can affect sensitivity.
6) Increased Meatitis
Circumcision Statistic: “The rate of meatitis, inflammation of the meatus (the opening of the urethra), is increased in circumcised boys, due to increased exposure of the meatus in the absence of the foreskin.” – via ScienceDirect
Meatitis is inflammation of the meatus, which is the opening at the tip of the penis where urine and semen exit the body. It can cause symptoms such as redness, swelling, discomfort or pain, itching, and sometimes discharge from the penis. Meatitis is more common in circumcised males. After circumcision, the newly exposed glans (or head of the penis) and urinary meatus can become irritated, leading to inflammation and meatitis. This is particularly true in infants, as their diapers can lead to constant exposure to urine and feces, which can irritate the meatus.
7) No Significant Decrease in Penile Cancer
Circumcision Statistic: “There is insufficient data to establish a consistent relationship between circumcision status and the risk of penile cancer.” – via National Institutes of Health
This circumcision statistic is significant when you factor in how often the medical establishment has continuously spread misinformation around this point. For decades, doctors and medical institutions have erroneously claimed that circumcision drastically decreases penile cancer, when the reality is that there is no connection between circumcision and the risk of penile cancer. Additionally, penile cancer is already extraordinarily rare. According to the American Cancer Society, only 1 in 100,000 men in North America and Europe with cancer are affected by penile cancer.
8) Psychological Trauma
Circumcision Statistic: “Approximately 10% of circumcised males may later in life experience psychological trauma related to their circumcision.” – via ScienceDirect
Infants can display behavioral changes such as altered sleep patterns, feeding difficulties, and increased irritability following circumcision. This early traumatic experience can have long-term psychological effects, potentially influencing responses to pain or stress later in life. Furthermore, some men circumcised as infants or children report feelings of anger, sadness, or distress about the procedure when they are older, particularly because it was performed without their informed consent.
9) Emotional Impairment
Circumcision Statistic: “Research has shown that circumcised men suffer from alexithymia (impaired ability to identify and describe one’s emotions) at rates 20 percent higher than intact men and are up to 4.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction than their intact peers.” – This Penis Business
Some studies suggest that undergoing such a traumatic experience early in life can influence the brain’s development and response to stress, which may have long-term effects on behavior and emotion. Other research suggests that painful experiences in the early postnatal period can interfere with mother-infant bonding and feeding. This could potentially have downstream effects on emotional development.
10) Complicated Procedures
Circumcision Statistic: “The overall complication rate from circumcision is estimated to be between 2 and 20%.” – via Guttmacher Institute
Part of the reason why the complication rate is so varied in estimates is because of the wide range of what might be considered a complication. But given how frequently the medical establishment downplays circumcision trauma and its consequences, we tend to consider the higher end of the range to be likely closer to the truth.