1. What is meant by circumcision of boys?

The circumcision of boys is an operation where the foreskin is removed either partially or totally.

2. Who practices circumcision of boys?

The circumcision is practiced mostly among Muslims and Jews in Finland. Even if circumcision is considered to be a religious duty among Muslims and Jews, some of them decide to keep their boys intact nevertheless.

3. Where is it practised in the world?

Circumcision is practised in many countries. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in the world there are over 600 million circumcised boys. Circumcision is a common practice in Middle-East, North Africa and in Islamic countries. It is also practiced in USA and Australia. More information about its prevalence can be found here.

4. Is it legal to circumcise?

Non-medical circumcision violates rights of the child and sexual rights. Furthermore, Finland has ratified in 2010 the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine that forbids any removal of healthy skin or bodypart without the consent of the person.

The penal code of Finland interprets medically unnecessary circumcision as aggravated battery.

5. Is it a painless operation?

Circumcision is not a painless operation. The foreskin is a highly sensitive area where one has 80 metres of micronerves that are similar to the nerving of eyelids and lips.

6. What are the possible complications?

Possible immediate complications include:

  • Pain
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Shock
  • Failed operation
  • Malformated penis
  • Infection
  • Loss of penis
  • Loss of boy’s life

Possible long-term harmful consequences include:

  • Modified reaction to pain in general
  • Disturbed feeding and sleeping patterns
  • Pain
  • Infections
  • Harmful scarification of the operated area
  • Necrosis of penis
  • Painful erections, painful intercourse
  • Loss of or diminished sexual desire

7. What are the complications or problems if one does not have a foreskin?

The main functions of the foreskin are to protect the penis from chafing and changes of temperature and to enhance the gliding mechanism during sexual intercourse.

If the foreskin is removed either partially or totally the glans is left without protection and exposed of chafing, cold and heat. The glans may become dry and sore. Lack of the gliding mechanism may cause painful intercourses and painful erections. The scar of the operation may become rough and cause painful intercourses to both partners due to rubbing.

8. Can foreskin be restored?

Circumcision is a permanent, irreversible change. Foreskin is not able to re-grow so once it is cut off it cannot be replaced. If the foreskin is not totally removed, it may be possible to strecth it, but this takes years and demands a lot of patience and various methods.

9. Is sex better without a foreskin?

This is a highly personal matter, but a study was made in Denmark in 2005 where more than 2000 heterosexual couples were interviewed. In the results one can see that both partners had more painful intercourses and both experienced more loss of sexual appetite if the man was circumcised. See the study here.

10. Can one masturbate without a foreskin?

In the USA, boys’ circumcision was done to prevent masturbation, but later it was discovered to have opposite effect, i.e. circumcised boys tried to masturbate more than intact boys. Without a foreskin, masturbation is possible with lubricants, but the sensuality and feeling of pleasure are different as the erotogenic nerves in the foreskin are gone.