The Foreskin

The United States has been a predominantly circumcising culture since the mid 20th century, a time when childbirth and infancy began to be heavily medicalized through childbirth interventions and the aggressive marketing of infant formulas.   Along with the loss of knowledge of normal childbirth and breastfeeding, Americans have also lost their knowledge of the normal intact (non-circumcised) penis.

In this lecture, the first in our Intact Boy series, Gillian Longley RN, BSN, explains the anatomy of the intact penis, and shows how its unique structure and specialized tissue support a wide array of protective and sexual functions. The development of the foreskin in the fetus and child is also discussed, particularly the gradual natural separation of the foreskin from the head (glans) of the penis.  This information provides the rationale for a discussion of correct care of the penis in the intact boy, and the normal variations that may occur during penile development in childhood.  This presentation concludes with a discussion of the problem of forcible, premature retraction of the foreskin by incorrectly informed health care professionals. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically recommends against forcible retraction, as circumcision rates drop in North America more and more boys are subjected to this inappropriate, unnecessary, and harmful practice that is obsolete in most of the world.

This presentation is 90 minutes in length.

Cost: $7.50

Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).

Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.

* Warning: This program is liberally illustrated with photographs and diagrams of adult and infant penises. These images are intended for educational purposes only, but some viewers may find them offensive or disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

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