Sunday, September 19, 2010

Touchy Subject

For those of you who have (or are expecting) little boys, what is your view on circumcision?
My husband and I are considering leaving our son intact.
Here are some interesting sources I've found:
Circumcision Resource Center
Kids Health: Circumcision
Peaceful Parenting: Circumcision Sources
Mothers Against Circumcision
CIRP: Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

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  1. I personally am athiest and don't believe in circumcision because it was started as a religious practice that I think is silly. Today's parents that aren't even Jewish continue to follow this trend because they are told its more hygenic. There is no research that supports this claim. I do not want to circumcise my future child but my husband who is uncircumcised wants to because he says he has had a hard time with it. Growing up other boys make fun and the first encounters with a woman and thereafter is embarassing. People are used to circumcision so when they see an uncircumcised penis for the first time they act as if they are disgusted. I obviously don't have any problems but he has put his foot down.

  2. We are planning on having our son circumcised when he arrives, due to a few different points. One, if you don't have a boy circumcised when he is born in is much hard to clean and more likely to get infections if the penis is not cleaned properly. Two, yes it is true the circumcision will be painful for the baby, but think of how much more pain he wil be in when he chooses to become circumcised down the road. Thirdly, the social aspect, it is generally accepted by society the most men have circumcised penis', and when they are not circumcised it is looked at as "gross" or "disusting". Those are the reason we are doing it, so we have a healthier more socially accepterd baby boy.

  3. Wow, oh wow anon at 9:52am... Before I address your foolishness let me just fess up and say that my husband and I are against circumcision. That being said what might work for one family won't necessarily work for another. Religion is another story but this reasoning upsets me. Let me explain.

    1) An uncircumcised penis is harder to clean.

    Seriously? Wiping a bum, vagina or penis is all the same. Wipe until clean. Of course if he isn't circumcised you simply push back the foreskin. How is that a problem?????

    2) Pain now versus pain later.

    The fact that people will knowingly inflict pain upon their sons is always shocking to me. You're also assuming that he will want one later on. If that is his decision though at least it's HIS DECISION.

    3) It is the social norm.

    This point infuriates me the most. I completely though unfortunately agree that it is the social norm. Hopefully you plan to raise your son to be proud of his body and are open with him about reasons why some boys are and others aren't circumcised.

    The people that comment on uncircumcised penises in a negative way are uneducated. They've only been fed ridiculous reasons from their peers and parents. So yeah thanks for fueling that stupidity even further anon.

  4. If I have a son we will leave him just the way he is! Then again my husband in intact so there is no question. While in the US it may be the norm to be cut (and even then the rates of circumcision are dropping in the US), I really don't think that people regard intact men as disgusting or gross. From my husband's experience no one ever mentioned anything about his penis at school/locker room/etc. (that would be kind of weird if they did!). My husband also never had an infection growing up, neither did his brother. Cleaning an intact penis is really not that difficult (especially as you aren't supposed to move the foreskin at first anyway!).

    And Jess for your specific situation I think it would be really dangerous for you to subject your son to any more surgery than he will already be having. I don't think hospitals typically perform circumcision on seriously ill infants in the NICU, which would mean you would likely have to wait a few months for the procedure.

  5. As for the "social norm" I think now as many babies are being left "intact" as are being circumcised so when they're all in the locker room in 16 years I don't see there being any problem either way because it will probably be close to half and half!

    As for us, our baby WILL be circumsized because we want him to look like his father. I understand that may sound selfish or foolish but I have always said that I don't care if he is or isn't, I just want him to look like his dad and my husband completely agrees.

    I agree with BreAnna though that since Elliot will be in the NICU it is the best idea to not do it!

    Either way our children will be perfect and I honestly think they will be ok with the decision either way later in life!

  6. Thanks for the feedback, ladies. I already talked to the head NICU nurse about this subject, and she said they usually wait to do circumcisions until right before discharge, so my husband and I would have plenty of time to "practice" cleaning him in the meantime.
    When we were TTC, my husband and I both agreed that we thought it was a silly and unneccessary procedure- especially since most other countries DO NOT routinely circumcise. And of course, if it truly bothered our son, he could always opt for the surgery when older (although that would be painful!).
    I don't know if we've COMPLETELY made up our minds, but we're about 90% sure that we WON'T be requesting this surgery.

  7. if we ever have a boy he will be circumcised.

    simply because i'm ok with it either way & the hubs prefers the snippity snip.

    simple :)

  8. If we ever have a son, he'll be circumcised, just because it seems cleaner to me and I've never really felt it to be such a bad thing- in fact, I only realized recently how strongly against some people felt towards it and I can't really figure out why. It seems a pretty simple procedure that has been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years and thus doesn't really seem like a big deal to me. FH has always appreciated being circumcized because he says he's always comfortable and clean feeling, which is probably good for him on deployments, long flights, etc. when long, nice showers don't really exist.

  9. Whoever said that if if you want to circumcise your son it's because 'you're uneducated', that's ridiculous. People have their opinions and what they feel is morally right, and that doesn't make them wrong in any way. My husband was circumcised, as were all the men in both of our families, so yes, we plan on doing that for our son as well. The idea of letting our son choose is fine and dandy as well, but I've met MANY guys who's parents did the same thing and they were very upset that at the age of 20 they had to choose to have this surgery - they were picked on, made fun of, and had girls laugh in their faces. Not saying this happens to everyone or that it's right that it happens, just that it does. And to act like it doesn't is more stupid to me.

  10. we chose to have parker circumcised just because for US it's the social norm. i know world-wide it isn't, but amongst friends/family that he'll grow up associating with, it is.

    as far as "putting my baby through that pain", he cried a whole hell of a lot more when they pricked his heel to get blood for the disease screenings than when he was circumcised. sam & i were both there for the procedure. he just laid there & licked sugar water off the nurse's fingers throughout the whole surgery & couldn't care less.

    take away lesson - it's totally a personal decision & in my opinion, to each their own. there's no right or wrong choice.

  11. I know both "types of men" and if I ever have a son, he will be circumcised just for the simple reason that it looks so much more beautiful!!!

  12. To: Anon 09/20 @1:33pm
    While I think that wanting one's son's penis to be beautiful is probably the last reason one should use to justify cutting him, I would argue that the scarred shaft and keratinized head resulting from circumcision make the penis much less attractive.

    Jess, I hope you and your husband will find your son's intact penis to be easy to care for. The rates in the US really are dropping, I can't imagine that he will experience teasing as a good number of his classmates should statistically be intact. (Plus I think the teasing element is really over exaggerated in the first place.)

  13. I will have to preface this with the comment that here in Australia it is really quite rare to circumcise unless you are in the Jewish community (and I actually know some Jewish families who have intact sons!)

    I think that its unnecessary. I think it's unnecessarily cutting off a piece of your childs body.

    People universally think that female circumcision is horrific - calling it "genital mutilation" (which it is, so is the male version) but so many in the US somehow think male circumcision is the best thing.

    Makes no sense to me.

    Your decision to leave him intact is wonderful to hear. And as someone said, the rates are going down in the US every year, so by the time your little one is in high school, it won't be an issue as there will be many intact boys like him :)

  14. I came across your blog through top baby blogs. We are Jewish so as much as I argued with my husband about we still, against what I wanted, had our son circumcised. If we weren't Jewish I would never have relented. And something that is not much mentioned is circumcisions don't always heal properly. Our son's circumcision developed a "bridge" which is where the cells that were cut try to grow back. This is apparently more common then you'd expect. Not every circumcision regrew so heartily but, my best friend's son and my nephew both had adhesions (smaller areas of regrowth). With my son we had to bring him to a pediatric urologist and have him resnipped. My nephew and friend's son only needed their pediatrician to yank the foreskin down (ouch!). Now, the adhesions weren't because we did not care for the circumcisions properly but because these things can happen. So, if you do circumcise keep in mind all the, albeit minor, complications that can arise. Good luck with everything.

  15. We did not circumcise our son. I live in Canada and circumcision is not offered in the hospitals as it is not deemed medically necessary.

    I strongly disagree with circumcising a baby for any other reason other than medical. It is not necessary. It's easy enough to explain to your son how to clean his penis when the foreskin is retractable (at around the age of 3 or 4). Caring for an uncircumcised penis is not difficult at all.

    The medical reasons for circumcision are rare and unlikely to ever occur to your child.

    I absolutely hate the statement that people want the son's penis to match the father's. Come on! How many sons and fathers are standing there matching up their johnsons to each other? Ridiculous.

    As time goes on less and less boys will be circumcised and uncircumcised will be the norm. I think that's a good thing.


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