Infant Circumcision vs. Adult Circumcision

By John Baade © 2014

The differences between surgical amputation of the prepuce (foreskin) in infancy or adulthood are numerous. While the vast majority of men in the world are happily intact for a lifetime, and would never dream of removing this pleasurable part of their penis, should someone choose to be circumcised, doing so as an adult is far less risky, less painful, and more ethical than circumcising a newborn baby.

Infant Circumcision

• At birth, the foreskin is fused to the glans (head) of the penis like a fingernail to the finger. It must first be probed and ripped apart, before being amputated. This process can damage the glans or shaft of the penis.

• A newborn penis is incredibly small - increasing risk of surgical error, or accidentally cutting off ‘too much.’ Because of its undeveloped state, how much is cut depends on the individual holding the scalpel - there is no way to know how the penis will develop.

• A newborn has heightened senses in order to feel his mom and learn her touch. This dramatically increases the experience of pain. Research shows pain in the newborn period is remembered in the core brain - and is revealed in how we experience pain later in life (more pain in infancy, more pain in adulthood).

• A newborn cannot receive adequate anesthesia or pain relief during surgery, or during the weeks of healing that follow.

• Risks of hemorrhage, amputation, seizure, stroke, heart failure, and a wide range of surgical complications are significantly greater in the newborn period. A baby only needs to lose 1 ounce of blood to hemorrhage, and 2.3 ounces to die from blood loss.

• A newborn in a diaper (fecal matter, urine) increases pain at the surgical site. With this healing wound, and without the natural protection of the foreskin, there is an also increased risk of infection, including UTIs.

• The body of a newborn will do all it can to heal itself. After surgery, the penis will try to re-cover the glans, leading to adhesions that may be ripped open repeatedly, causing more pain and trauma to the penis.

• A healthy infant cannot consent to a medically unnecessary surgery. Part of the penis is forever removed from the body without his understanding, and he lives with the outcome - whatever this may be.

Infant circumcision vs. adult circumcision

Adult Circumcision

• The foreskin has already naturally separated from the glans (no probing or tearing is needed).

• The adult penis is fully developed, so how much or how little is amputated can be determined.

• The risk of additional/accidental amputation is minimal.

• An adult is able to receive adequate anesthesia during and after surgery, and is able to self-medicate with pain relief options during healing.

• Risk of surgical complications in adulthood are significantly reduced and the body is able to handle more interventions.

• Risk of infection is minimal.

• Because development is complete, the body does not try to compensate for removed parts (skin bridges, adhesions, meatal stenosis, etc. are not as likely).

• An adult can choose medically unnecessary surgical augmentation for himself, know the risks, side effects, and outcome potentials. It is HIS body, HIS choice.

WHO in the world is circumcised?

To learn more about the foreskin, and its reason for existing, see:

Foreskin Facts Printable Sheet

The above sheet is sized to fit standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
You are welcome to download and print in color for educational purposes.
Additional educational items can be found at the #i2 Materials tab above, or at Etsy.


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