Separated At Birth:
A look at Routine Infant Circumcision
“To be or not to be,” (Shakespeare, III.i.55-59) aptly described the dilemma of the protagonist. Today, this very phrase suits the question that is baffling many parents who are striving to decide what is best for their child- to circumcise or not. To some in the United States today, male circumcision is not something that is considered a question, due to how common it is in our society, as well as religious reasons. Personally, the concept of circumcision was also a non-question when I established that I was giving birth to a baby boy, yet the question, posed by my midwife, inevitably came up. When I asked her official stance on the option, she responded with a bland, “Look it up, ask your friends and family, and measure the risks and benefits for yourself.” After doing some research, I questioned the people around me about their perspective on the subject, finding that the individuals who resisted the issue of routine infant circumcision were well informed in their decision while the opposing side seemed to support the impression “that it was just the way things were done.” It appeared as though a majority of the public is ill-informed about the dangers of circumcision, while professing vague notions about the benefits.
While processing the hazards and advantages of circumcision, one must be fully aware of what a circumcision actually entails. The act of circumcision is the removal of the prepuce from a person’s genitals, in male cases, which we are focusing on, this would mean the removal of the foreskin. The foreskin is approximately 15 square inches on an adult male (“Penis and Foreskin”), and protects the glans (head) of the penis, as well as serving multiple sexual functions during intercourse (Fliess). During circumcisions a bell-shaped instrument is inserted under the foreskin to separate it from the penis, after which the foreskin is removed using either a scalpel or a special clamp placed...