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Circumcision should be a personal decision

By Lady Marmalade, September 29, 2017 — 

The reasons parents decide to circumcise a newborn baby can vary — it could be based on religion, ideas about cleanliness, health or maybe just what other penises in the family look like. Canadian doctors no longer recommend parents circumcise all male babies and they’re right to. Infants are unable to consent to the procedure before it is conducted. Whether or not you’re circumcised, here are some tips to help people with penises take care of them.

Many people think that the removal of foreskin allows for better cleaning of the penis, but the reality is that if you don’t know how to clean your penis, there will be issues regardless of how the end looks. If you’ve been circumcised, use warm water to clean yourself. If you haven’t, pull your foreskin back and do the same. Take care of your body regardless of its configuration.

Some other claims about circumcision surround how sexually transmitted infections are spread.  Your ability to become infected doesn’t change whether you do or do not have foreskin. Use common sense and know that the easiest way to prevent STIs is to use a condom or abstain.

Circumcision is a tricky topic. Religious and cultural practices play a role in people’s decisions. But the rate of circumcision is declining, dropping to 32 per cent in 2015. The Canadian Paediatric Society stopped recommending circumcising all male babies in 1996, now encouraging parents to allow their children to come to the decision on their own. This is important because it shows that the idea of consent is necessary for discussions of health care. This means individuals can have discussions with their doctor instead of undergoing the procedure before they can even remember it. Parents should be able to openly talk to their children about their biology and this conversation should not be taboo.

No matter how your penis looks, don’t be ashamed of your body. Never be pressured to change because of what others think. This applies to more than just some extra skin on the tip of your penis. The bottom line is, take care of your body. No matter how it looks, being clean and healthy should always be a priority, not just for partners but also for yourself. Don’t let aesthetical preferences influence medical decisions. If you don’t like having foreskin and wish to have it removed — go to town. Always be safe.

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