Monday

to snip or not to snip?

L. over at Suburban Turmoil is trying to decide whether to CIRCUMCISE HER SON.

Me, I AM STRONGLY ANTI.

I don't plan to circumcise our new baby, whether it's a boy or a girl.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are anti as well. My wife told she read that some org (WHO?) may start recommend because it increases risk of AIDS transmission?
Anyone heard that?

Katie S. said...

Yes, I heard a similiar news story about it reducing HIV and I also heard it reduces some sort of cancer in that region too. I debated this too with my son. In the end, I had my husband decide since he knew what it was like to be teased in the locker room. He hit puberty at a very early age and was harry. To this day, he urinates in a bathroom stall and never a urinal. Kids can be so mean and it can create ever lasting scars. I do think everyone should consider the pro's and con's and the likely hood of your beliefs down the road.

Katie - What do your two sons thinks. It would be interesting to know there perspective on it.

clara said...

Totally opposed here too!
God didn`t screw up when designing the vagina so why would he screw up the penis & make it so defective it needs surgery upon arrival?

The new AIDS study is pretty flawed and didn`t even report how much more sex the intact men were having or some of the cultural sex practices that make HIV transmission easier in some of those areas. I think the whole thing smacks of subtle colonialism. We would never tell a bunch of American men, hey go out & have tons of sex with your circumcised penis, don`t worry its protection enough! No circed man would hop in bed with someone HIV + and count on their lack of foreskin to protect them. The study showed a 50 % reduction in Hiv transmission if the man was circed, but the overall numbers were still low and half of the cirded men STILL got HIV. Crazy!

clara said...

The rates are now 50 % and dropping so the locker room is not an issue any more. My family is all intact and the guys in my fam say that staring in a locker room at another guy`s package is far worse than having a normal uncut package.

Anonymous said...

I would get fewer ingrown toenails (I really get bad ones, often leading to infections that require antibiotics) if my mother had simply removed my pinky toes at birth...

Seriously, cutting off a body part to prevent POSSIBLE infection later in life is crazy. Why not do mastectomies on little girls to prevent the possibility of breast cancer?

Katie S. said...

Actually to me breasts are primarily for breastfeeding so once i am done with it and if I were to find out I was had aprediposition for getting breast cancer I would highly consider removing mine. I have several family members die from breast cancer and it seems like an unnecessary way to die.

Anonymous said...

many women with a strong family history DO in fact have prophelactic (sp?) mastectomies for just this reason. I don't think you can say "God didnt screw up so circumcision is wrong"...first off, assuming you believe in the Bible, what then do you do with the commands to the Hebrews? Second of all...there are other bodily parts that are prone to infection and are removed: tonsils, appendices..none of these is removed till it proves a problem, but still I think most people would vote for an infant circumsion before its needed than one in an older person. Just for the record, I let my husband decide since it IS his son's penis and my son was not snipped. Honestly though with what I know of the health stuff now I sorta wish I had had it done. However it was a very emotional issue for my husband and no amount of reason could have prevailed. And I think it IS the fathers prerogative to decide what will happen to the peni of the males in the family. Sorry, I just don' t think its moms place to override dad on this one in whichever direction.

Naomi said...

Women with the breast cancer genes sometimes choose prophylactic mastectomies, but despite the fact that apparently it's a lot easier (and probably more effective, from a cancer-prevention perspective) to remove the breast buds before the full onset of puberty, no one suggests that we do this routinely on little girls, even those at extremely high risk of breast cancer. (There has been one well-publicized exception, but her circumstances are pretty unusual.)

On the other hand, if I could remove my child's appendix in infancy with a routine outpatient procedure done under local anaesthesia, I would probably do it. It's not useful for anything and if it ruptures it can kill you.

(I have only daughters.)

Katharine said...

Neither of my sons (now 5 and 12 years old) were circumcized. My husband gets angry when he thinks about how he was circumcized without anyone thinking it through, just because "everyone else" was circumcized.

The United States is one of the few nations where circumcision is common for other than religious reasons. I think of circumcision as being the equivalent of clitoridectomy. Everyone in the United States gets outraged about clitoridectomy, but many think nothing of having their male baby's foreskin cut off.

Anonymous said...

I am circumcised. I wish I wasn't. I'm one of those guys who almost never achieves orgasm with intercourse.

I've read that uncircumcised men have both more nerve-sensitive tissue, and abrasion shielding for the head. All this adds up to a bit more sensitivity during intercourse. Which is exactly what I could use right now.

I've considered "tugging" as possible way to uncircumcise myself. Haven't tried it yet. Even so, I'll never restore the lost nerve tissue.

I just add circumcision to the list of things I'm angry at my parents for.


---

I saved my nephew's foreskin... I mean.. I talked his mother into letting him keep his. Six years later, they lopped it off anyway. They forced it to retract (I'm guessing for cleaning) and then it split and scarred tighter. (ouch, but treatable) If we are going to talk people into keeping their sons intact, we need to remind them not to attempt any forced retraction of the foreskin.

That was a big disappointment for me. So I'm not going to try to convince anybody any more.

Suzette said...

I have daughters so I can't add my own personal experience; except two of my nephews. Both of them were not circ'd at birth by choice of the parents. But later both boys ended up having the procedure because of repeated infections. Since they were nephews I don't know all the details. But I think the important thing is for parents to discuss the decision and research research research! Just because something is the "norm" doesn't make it the best thing.

Leslie said...

I had my first two boys done for all the usual reasons: everyone does it, it's no big deal, they will look like their father, etc. It went against my better judgment but I did it anyway. As I read more I knew I would never do it to another child. It was a hard job to convince my husband not to have son #3 done but I think what finally convinced him was showing him pictures of an actual circumcision and then telling him that if he wanted it done he would have to go along to be with the baby and watch.

Katharine said...

There are additional reasons that I didn't want my sons circumcized.

One: I am a medical copyeditor, so I've read a great many studies about how any kind of surgical procedure is stressful for the body. I long ago came to the conclusion that if a procedure isn't medically necessary, I don't want it for anyone in my family.

Two: Once a baby boy has been circumcized, his raw, cut penis must sit in his urine in his diaper until it heals. Imagine the pain you would feel if you had a fresh wound that had urine poured on it several times a day. The pain would be unspeakable. Back when American physicians circumcised baby boys routinely, they thought babies didn't experience pain. There have been many, many studies since then that show babies do experience pain and that it's even more frightening for them than it is for adults because they can't understand speech yet and so can't be comforted by explanations. I can't imagine intentionally putting babies through pain.

Anonymous said...

Have fun with the thrush and smegma buildup.

karrie said...

I don't really feel strongly about what other people do,but knew immediately that we would not circ our son.

It just seems totally unnecessary to me. (Religious reasons for doing so aside.)

Anonymous said...

My 7 year old son just asked me why, when he's in the bathroom at school, everyone else has a different penis. I explained that his was exactly the same as everyone else's, but that their parents decided to cut off the outside part when they were babies and that his looked the same under the foreskin. He was perfectly fine with the explanation :)

clara said...

The whole infection drama is only something that happens in the US because of ignorant doctors who retract too early. Now there are more doctors who know the basics of caring for intact kids, but a parent has to ask first and make sure the doctor knows not to retract. Its the equivalent of aggressively cleaning inside a little girl`s parts, like douching. Over cleaning the vagina is also begging for infections, narural flora keeps out bad bacteria. Both penis and vagina were designed as self cleaning, in the early years especially.

The foreskin is fused to the head of the penis with the same substance that keeps fingernails on your finger. It will loosen and retract on its own anytime between infancy and adolescence & the boy himself should be the only one to pull it back. Once it does retract it is WAY easier to clean than a female. Pull back, rinse, you`re done. Just like women, no harsh soaps. There is so much ignorance, there are so many problems caused by ignorance. This is a such a money maker for hospitals, there will always be an agenda behind it, until we ditch routine circ, like Canada and the UK. The foreskin being fused is also why infant circ is so much worse for infants, they don`t just feel pain, they are wired to feel pain much more intensely than we do as adults & their foreskin is not just "snipped" it is ripped off & then cut and there is no anesthetic yet given that is effective short of general anesthesia. Not to mention up to a month of excruciating pain every time they pee. All this for a surgery whose complication rate is as high as 10%, pretty ridiculous.

djuggler said...

Salon is thinking about you today.

I remember broaching this subject and getting some very passionate answers both ways. There is a lot to be said for the "what does daddy look like" agrument.

clara said...

there`s nothing to be said about what daddy looks like. Who cares? Only the dad cares. Once the kid is old enough to know the difference you explain to him that once upon a time they thought men needed surgery when they were born, they were wrong, so we left our kids alone. simple.

Anonymous said...

About the 'look like Daddy' part: if a woman has breast implants should she get them for her daughter so she will 'look like Mommy?'

Anonymous said...

That study is bull. The men who are circed are having less sex because they just had part of their penis cut off! Besides circ can reduce the semen count leaving some men infertile which would make the risk of STDs lower. I didn't have my son circed and I'm so glad. My friend has a 2 year old who has a "burried penis" and will never have a normal sex life. The scar tissue from his circ caused this. You will never know how much skin to take off because you never know how big the penis will be. In Anatomy and Physiology my Proff said the forskin is much like the eyelid. You wouldn't cut off your eyelid to keep your eye clean or would you pull it up and clean under it (retracting the foreskin).
The reasons that girls in Africa are circed is the same reason that boys here are. Religion or culture is NO reason to cut off part of someone's body. Besides the bible is written by PEOPLE who claim God spoke to them. PEOPLE who make mistakes. God, who made the foreskin, doesn't.

DJackson

Anonymous said...

Its such a relief to see so many people have discarded the myths and cultural garbage surrounding the foreskin and intact men. The few ignorant people with their 1950s "knowledge" really stick out.

Anonymous said...

Neither of my sons have ever gotten angry with their father or me because we had them circucised. My oldest son had a cap on his when his procedure was done. The skin heals very quickly. He doesn't seem maladjusted in any way. He's also never had a nasty infection to contend with.