Why Not Say Uncircumcised?

portrait of thinking baby boy

The term “uncircumcised” suggests that to be circumcised is the norm, the standard. This is an assumption made by a culture that practices male circumcision. However, nonreligious male infant circumcision is not “normal” in any culture outside of the United States. From a global perspective, to be “uncircumcised” is to be normal, the way males are born, and the way most of the world’s males remain.

As the American debate about male circumcision develops, the words “intact” and “natural” are being used in place of “uncircumcised” to reflect this global view. This website uses the three words interchangeably. “Intact” means “not altered, complete, whole.” “Natural” means “formed by nature, inborn, in its original state.” For various reasons, circumcising cultures generally do not recognize that the circumcised penis is not natural or intact.