Family Chat: Circumcise Newborn

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The World Health Organization recognizes three types of female circumcision. Type I removes the clitoral hood and/or the clitoral tip. Type II removes the clitoral hood, clitoris, and part or all of the labia. Type III, also known as infibulation or pharaonic circumcision, involves removal of all external female genitalia and suturing of the vaginal opening.

Male circumcision can be compared to type I or II female circumcision. Although the glans is not harmed at the time of circumcision, the loss of protective structures causes it to dry out and lose sensitivity over time. It is also important to note that most of the nerves and pleasure receptors present in the clitoris are, in the male, present in the foreskin and its associated structure, the frenulum. Removal of these nerves constitutes a loss that can be most adequately compared to a partial clitoridectomy.