Presently in the US, a baby is circumcised every 25 seconds. The surgery involves cutting the foreskin off a part of a penis, generally without anesthesia, for absolutely no medical benefit in the hopes that a baby will look like their dad. Is this over exaggeration? Not exactly.
The foreskin is the most sensitive part of a male’s body – other than the head of the penis itself – with more nerve endings per square inch than any other body part. Surgical removal of the foreskin involves immobilizing the baby by strapping him face-up onto a molded plastic board. In one common method, the doctor then inserts a metal instrument under the foreskin to forcibly separate it from the glans, slits the foreskin, and inserts a circumcision device. The foreskin is crushed and then cut off. The amount of skin removed in a typical infant circumcision is the equivalent of 15 square inches in an adult male.
As journalist Sara Burrows puts it, “Circumcision has been likened to having a sharp metal instrument jammed under one’s finger nail, down to the base, and shoved around, back and forth, until the entire nail is separated from the nail bed, and then sliced off.”
So what does removing one of the most sensitive organs from a man due to his sexual ability?
Circumcising men takes away 75 percent of their capacity for sexual sensation and. They are 4.5 times (450%) more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, according to the British Journal of Urology International.
But, there’s a medical benefit to robbing men of sexual sensation, right? No. There are no professional medical associations in the United States or anywhere else in the world which recommend routine circumcision as medically necessary. In fact, leaving boys intact is becoming the norm in the U.S., as parents realize the risks and harms of circumcision.
Still, circumcision is readily done within the United States, and just as corporations make money off war, they also make money off the suffering of babies.
There exists a Holy Grail in the cosmetic industry to create a cream that sheds years off your skin. Scientists have discovered such a ingredient, fibroblast cells. Fibroblasts cause the skin to regrow the elasticity and elegance of youth for whoever uses a fibroblast-based cream. What is the best source for these wonder cells? Baby foreskins.
Infant’s foreskin has special cell properties , similar to those found in stem cells. Their versatility means that they can be used to cultivate skin cells.
Because of this, they’re not tossed out with the rest of the medical waste after a birth. Instead, hospitals sell them to companies and institutions for a wide variety of uses. Companies will pay thousands of dollars for a single foreskin.
Some of the strangest purposes they’re put to:
- Cosmetics: Foreskins are used to make high-end skin creams. The skin products contain fibroblasts grown on the foreskin and harvested from it. One foreskin can be used for decades to produce fancy face cream like the SkinMedica products hawked on Oprah.
- Skin grafts: In addition to making products for skin, a baby’s foreskin can be turned into a skin graft for a burn victim. Because the cells are extremely flexible, they’re less likely to be rejected. Currently, this technology can be lifesaving in providing a real skin “band aid” to cover an open wound while a burn victim heals. Researchers at Harvard and Tufts are working on advanced skin replacements that use human foreskins.
- Cosmetic testing: All those cruelty-free cosmetics you buy? Some of them are tested on foreskins. This yields better results, since they’re human skin. And it saves the lives of the rodents your shampoo would otherwise be tested on.
It is estimated that a single male foreskin can retail for around $100,000, which means that companies like SkinMedica – who use baby foreskin to create their skin care product – sell their foreskin facial creams for $150 an ounce.
Now, you also have companies like Pfizer—the creator of Viagra— making money off of Erectile Dysfunction that is directly linked to circumcision. So if you’re wondering why various institutions are backing such a barbaric practice, think about the amount of money being made. Is it really ethical to rob a male of their sexual pleasure in the name of religion or profit?
Now that we live in the age of information—and we have the evidence that conclusively shows that routine circumcision is heinous— there is no reason to continue this horrendous practice. We must remove the idea that babies need to be primed like domesticated dogs as soon as they come out of a woman. We must remove the blade from the birthing process, and stop mutilating children for no justifiable reason.