The skin should not be encouraged to move for an infant. These are things that happen during later childhood and adolescence. This can happen through self-exploration and masturbation, cleaning, or spontaneously. No help on the part of the parent is required. Just leave it alone. American's need to stop obsessing over their sons' penises and let Nature take its course. But then the USA is very sexually prudish and backward in so many ways.
You have some very strange ideas.
Well Anthony, I usually agree with pretty much everything you say on this topic.
But here I diverge:
-I am not from the USA, I'm a Québécoise
-"letting nature take its course" for all mammals, involves motherly licking, now unless you're saying that mothers in nature lick strictly in one direction...
Many instances of phimosis can be correlated to prudishness on the part of the mother resulting in lack of handling the penis and teaching the infant how to handle.
What I'm saying is a balanced behaviour, not "retracting", but not "white gloves" either.
As far as vaginas go, I can assure you that tho we do not use complete penetration, it is entirely normal to "tease" the opening a little during bathing. And girls who do not "tease" the vagina's opening are looking at disfunctional first copulations.
One should explore their body, explore its range of action and motility, and parents need to encourage such exploration.
I apologise for assuming you were American.
This idea of "lack of handling of the penis" is silly. My mother never interfered with my penis or my brother's and neither of us have had phimosis. This is also the case with every other guy I know. It is truly the case that "the uncircumcised penis of an infant requires no special care".
I am all for more liberal and mature views towards sexuality, especially when it comes to raising kids. But we must be careful not to go from one extreme (repression) to another (obsession).
Phimosis is pretty rare, but on those rare occasions... it was usually preventable.
from Wikipedia: according to Huntley et al. the foreskin is reportedly retractable in approximately 50% of cases at 1 year of age, 90% by 3 years of age, and 99% by age 17
It seems a little ridiculous to wait til the age of 17 to take care of prevention...
Finding a middle ground, that is all I am saying :)
"Silly" is not that silly. If girls spent more time exploring their vagina, from a young age, there would be significantly less "bleeding" on wedding nights, and consequently significantly less trauma. Similarly to males, vaginal opening is age dependant, 90% of infant females vaginas are opened within first year.
In some Bolivian villages it's even considered desirable that men bleed on their first copulation!!! I would not even be discussing phimosis had I not dated a young man who had a partial phimosis. He'd been raised in an extremely religious family and so I read everything I could on the topic. It is truly fascinating that in certain rare cases it does not hurt to have a little 'special care'. Parents need to keep an eye on things.
Usually boys begin masturbating before 17. A teenager should have a physical exam with a doctor at certain periods and the penis should be examined. Of course it would be nice if children could discuss these things openly and easily with their parents but that is not always the case. Most teenagers wouldn't even know what phimosis is, and many parents wouldn't either.
I believe the Wikipedia article is wrong, but I can't say for sure. I do know there have been various studies on the topic and each has unique results. My foreskin separated during adolescence, but I was probably a late developer.
Prudish and repressive religion is never helpful for a child's emotional and sexual development, or for the psychological lives of the parents for that matter.
Regard it without emotional attachment would great aid in evaluating why you're uncomfortable about the practice. For instance due you do it out of duty, or do you do it out of sexual pleasure? If it's the latter you're treading on dangerous ethical grounds in my opinion. However if you're someone cleaning a diaper for a male child the child shouldn't be circumcised just because you believe the act of cleaning the penis is easier. It should be based on logical reasoning first and foremost. If it requires you learn a new skill set then so be it, that is the price for bringing a male child into this world, and definitely the cost for caring for one.