Circumcision, to circumcise. This is surgery to remove the penis’s foreskin permanently. The foreskin is a hood of flesh that covers the head (glans) of the penis; you can pull it back to expose the head. Circumcision can be done for medical reasons, often when the foreskin is too tight and painful to pull back. In some parts of the world or in some religions, circumcision is done on newborns or infants for cultural reasons, or as a rite of passage during puberty. A circumcised penis has had its foreskin removed; an uncircumcised or intact penis still has its foreskin. People use the slang terms “cut” and “uncut” as well. Female circumcision is rarer: it’s either removing the hood that covers the glans of the clitoris, or removing the glans of the clitoris itself. This is a rite of passage for girl during puberty in some cultures. There’s controversy around carrying out circumcision on children without a compelling medical reason, and around female circumcision especially. Female circumcision is illegal in many countries.
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