What is your role as a parent?

In most situations, the choices you make for your child are with best intention in mind. Typically, parents make choices for their children with the understanding it is in their best interest. When expecting, the parent will normally research carseats and carseat safety in the attempt to make their baby as safe as possible. If your child becomes sick you will discuss treatment options and choose the best one that has the child's best interest in mind. 

Your role as a parent is to protect, and to guide. 

In order to be open minded about the concept that a procedure that is A) normalized, and B) potentially done to you or your partner, there is a few things you need to be fully educated on.

The functions of the foreskin, the risks of circumcision, historical reasons circumcision was recommended, intact care, circumcision rates in other countries, and a few others.

In order to be in depth, and also informative for first time researchers who could feel overwhelmed, we will use this page as a synopsis, with each category hyperlinked to more in depth education. 

I'm sure at least once in your life you've heard that foreskin was "extra skin." The simplest debunking of this, is the fact that if a part of the body was flawed or defect, evolution would have made strides to start to remove this piece of the body. Realistically this isn't enough of a point to change a thought youve been programed to believe so we will dig deeper. When a fetus is in utero, before the sexual organs are fully developed, the foreskin of a penis and the clitoral hood of a vulva (vagina) are homologous. (Definition: same structure). This gives the clear indicator that this is a portion of the genitals that has some type of purpose. 

Functions of the foreskin include, 

Protection of the glans, also known as the head of a flacid penis. When not erect the foreskin stops friction from callousing the glans, which is always something that occurs in circumcised men. Lubrication, the foreskin is specifically designed to reduce friction and pain/ dryness during intercourse. The glans of the penis is a mucous membrane similar to the vulva, and is not meant to be dry. Contrary to belief, the foreskin has special cells in them called Langerhans Cells. which are specifically designed to protect the body against infection and foreign material. The foreskin has directly provides the majority of sexual sensitivity. It has the highest concentration of nerve cells and was proven in this study to be the most sensitive portion of the penis. 

The history of circumcision: This page provides a more in depth explanation, but for many years it has been done for reasons such as preventing men from masturbation, or STD prevention, which has all been debunked

When a child is not circumcised, the term is called intact care. Many parents choose to to circumcise because they are under the impression it is difficult to clean. Factually speaking, this is just not correct in any way. You can view specific intact care here,  but main point is, the skin should not be retracted. An intact penis ic cleaned like a finger with water from base to tip, a child's foreskin should never be pushed back by you or their doctor. It is incredibly important to choose a doctor that knows proper intact care and doesn't push untrue facts. 

Now what are the risks? For one, circumcision is stated by the AAP (the organization that nationally pushes for circumcision) that the benefits are not good enough to recommend it to every infant. "the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision. The AAP policy statement published Monday, August 27, says the final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs." So with this in mind, what are YOUR ethical beliefs? If you now know foreskin is not dirty, many children die a year or have permanent damage, it causes immense amount of pain,  and is NOT medically necessary; do your ethics push you in the direction of unnecessary cosmetic surgery of an infants genitals, or in the direction of "knowing better, doing better" as a society?