Circumcision is done for a variety of reasons. In some places, it shows how boys or men belong to a certain religion, ethnic group, or tribe. In other situations, parents have their sons circumcised for hygiene or health reasons.
Male circumcision around the world
The World Health Organization estimates that 30 percent of males worldwide are circumcised. Among some groups, such as Jews and Muslims, nearly all men are circumcised.
What are the advantages of being circumcised?
According to some research, compared to uncircumcised men, circumcised men have a lower risk of:
Some scientists believe that circumcised men have a lower risk of infections because, without a foreskin, there is less of a moist environment for germs to grow.
With a circumcised penis, the head may be less sensitive, so the man can go on longer during intercourse before ejaculating. For some men, this can be a bonus.
What are the disadvantages of being circumcised?
Circumcised men may find it much harder to reach an orgasm as they get older, research has found. This can also make sex less pleasurable for their partners.
Some people feel circumcision is a violent act and harmful to a boy's or man’s body. For example, the Royal Dutch Medical Society (KNMG) calls circumcision for non-medical reasons “an infringement of a child’s right to autonomy and the right to bodily integrity”. Society says the operation brings unnecessary risks of complications.
Finally, some uncircumcised men are very happy to have their foreskin!