What Is Circumcision?

Is circumcision safe? Healthy? Better? On the internet and in the bedroom the circumcised vs. uncircumcised penis conversation continues. Get the lowdown.

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Circumcision (of the penis) is the surgical removal of the hood of skin—called the foreskin—which covers the head of the penis. During the procedure, the foreskin is separated from the head of the penis and the excess skin is removed.

While circumcision is a commonly accepted procedure in the United States, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East, it is much less common in other parts of the world. Circumcision has been performed for centuries, for a variety of motives including religious, cultural, and medical reasons.  

Why Do People Get Circumcised?

If done for medical purposes, circumcision will generally be performed by a medical professional soon after birth. Some religious customs include performing the procedure at home by a religious leader in the newborn stage, whereas others are performed by medical professionals during puberty.

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, which covers the head of the penis.

Cultural circumcision traditions vary, but may be performed on babies or during adolescence or young adulthood. Circumcision is sometimes regarded as a rite of passage, and may be accompanied by festive celebration and gathering.  

Benefits Of Circumcision

Like any surgical procedure, circumcision boasts several benefits, but also carries risks. Some of the believed benefits of religious and cultural circumcision include abiding by and demonstrating religious faith, and it is often culturally perceived as an initiation into manhood.

Medical benefits of circumcision include reducing the risk of infection like Urinary Tract Infections, yeast infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases; reduced risk of certain cancers; and making it easier to keep the penis clean. For uncircumcised penises, it is often recommended to pull back the foreskin while bathing to clean underneath the foreskin.

Risks Of Circumcision

The risks of circumcision vary depending on the specific procedure being performed, which depends on the culture and age of the person being circumcised. Some of the potential risks include potential surgical complications such as local infection and bleeding, pain associated with the procedure (which is reported to increase substantially with age), and potentially less sensitivity in the tip of the penis.   

Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised Penises: How Are They Different?

In terms of physiology, there is not much difference between circumcised and uncircumcised penises. Both circumcised and uncircumcised penises are sensitive to stimulation and can feel pleasurable when touched, can get erect when aroused, and can ejaculate.

In terms of physiology, there is not much difference between circumcised and uncircumcised penises. Both circumcised and uncircumcised penises are sensitive to stimulation and can feel pleasurable when touched, can get erect when aroused, and can ejaculate.

Aesthetically, it is often difficult to tell the difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis when erect. When flaccid, the head of a circumcised penis appears more pronounced than that of an uncircumcised penis. During erection, the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis retracts naturally, exposing the glans (another name for the head of the penis).  

Either Is Fine!

Just like all body parts - including the face, vulva, breasts, and legs - there is great variation and diversity in how penises look. Whether circumcised or not, all penises have the ability to provide and receive pleasure, and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Rather than shame bodies - or their owners - for looking a certain way, we should celebrate the beauty in their diversity.

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