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Fact or Fiction: Circumcision
by Staff
To some people, circumcision is an important cultural and religious step that improves cleanliness and reduces the rates of certain diseases. To others, it's an unnecessary, barbaric practice. Can you separate the facts and fictions of this procedure?

The American Association of Pediatrics endorses circumcising all infant boys.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The American Association of Pediatrics endorsed circumcising all infant boys unless there was a medical reason not to circumcise.

Muslims usually circumcise their sons because they are directed to do so in the Quran.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The Quran makes no mention of circumcision, but most Muslims choose the procedure for their sons because Muhammad was circumcised.

The Jewish basis for circumcision comes from the story in the Torah where God makes a covenant with Isaac.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: God made his deal with Ishmael.

If you’re a male born in the United States in the last 30 years, there's a 3-in-5 chance that you're circumcised.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The odds are 4-in-5.

The Midwestern United States boasts the highest rates of circumcision in the country.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The Midwestern United States boasts the second highest rates of circumcision in the country, right behind Southern states.

Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to circumcise male children.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanics to circumcise male children, with the exception of Jewish men.

Devices known as the Gomco clamp, Mogen clamp and Plastibell are frequently used in adult circumcisions.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The devices are actually used in infant circumcisions.

Phimosis occurs when the foreskin is too tight and won't properly retract from the glans.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The condition is actually known as paraphimosis.

A circumcised man is 60 percent less likely to contract HIV than an uncircumcised man.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: A circumcised man is only 35 percent less likely to contract HIV than an uncircumcised man.

The foreskin accounts for one-third to nearly one-half of total penile skin.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The foreskin accounts for more than one-half of penile skin.