Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
Im not circumcised and I wanted to know what the difference was between being circumcised and not being circumcised. Which is better?
Either way is normal and healthy — there is no “better” or “worse” option.
The foreskin is the retractable tube of skin that covers and protects the head (glans) of the penis. All healthy boys are born with a foreskin. A guy who has a penis with a foreskin will need to pull it back and wash underneath it in order to prevent secretions from building up and attracting infection. Depending on the guy, the size of his foreskin, and his personal preference, he may want to also retract his foreskin when he puts on a condom.
The foreskin retracts during erection in most guys. Other guys prefer to keep their foreskins from retracting during sex because the glans underneath may be too sensitive.
A guy who is circumcised has had his foreskin removed. In the United States, if a boy is going to be circumcised, it’s usually done at birth. Parents usually decide whether or not to circumcise their sons based on family traditions, religious beliefs, and cosmetic preferences, among other reasons. The most common reason is for a son to match his dad in that department.
In the United States today, about 60 percent of baby boys are circumcised, which means about 40 percent have intact foreskins. However, in most African, Asian, European, and South American countries, it’s much more common to be uncircumcised.