In our country, many Xhosa men go to the mountains to be circumcised. Personally, I would want my sons to be circumcised in a hospital where hygiene is of importance. I’ve heard and read many horror stories about those who’ve have it done traditionally, and in many instances the young men have no say. It’s merely “the next step” of life. I remember a few years ago the news reported on so many young men who had lost their lives after the procedure in the mountains.
One thing I do appreciate about the process, though, is that the man will get to see his penis before and after. Although I value tradition, this is not one of the things my sons will be taking part in.
While the procedure remains hotly debated and controversial, with some, especially in developed countries, deeming it unnecessary and even going as far as calling it genital mutilation, studies done over a 40-year period by the American Academy of Pediatrics have found many benefits.
The studies were conducted on both circumcised and uncut men, and concluded the following:
With proper care and attention there is no difference in hygiene of a circumcised and an uncircumcised penis.
The benefits outweigh reasons not to have the procedure done and these include reduction in your chances of contracting HIV as well as spreading the virus to your partner; and a reduced risk of contracting urinary tract infections, penile cancer and human papilloma virus. It also reduces the chances of your female partner developing cervical cancer.
In general, people who have sex with men have said they prefer a circumcised penis as it looks aesthetically better. And more appealing to perform oral sex on, even though, when fully erect, the difference is minimal.
Also less effort has to go into cleaning the foreskin if it’s not there. There is no age limit as to when to get circumcised but the sooner the better.
Most government clinics are offering the services of the procedure for free. I’ve heard rave reviews about Yeoville Clinic in particular.
Even with its many benefits, circumcision should be a choice for the individual. Men should be allowed agency over their bodies and not be dictated to by their parents or government. My own children won’t have to do it if they so decide. We’ll discuss the benefits and all that comes with circumcision and they will make an informed decision when they are old enough to understand.
There are other ways to bypass or prevent the negatives that come with not being circumcised.
Is it right to circumcise baby boys, or should they be given the choice later in life? SMS the keyword CIRCUMCISION and your thoughts to 35697. You can also email us at email@example.com. SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province
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