or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › What led you to the decision not to circ.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What led you to the decision not to circ.

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
So after having a discussion on facebook with a "friend" who had some bad information about the intact penis I made me wonder what is the best way to educate others. What were the reasons that led you not to circumcise? For us it was our Bradley teacher who provided us with information about circumcision. It was actually a really easy choice for my dh and I to make. Once we found read about the history of circumcision, what circumcision actually was, and what the purpose of the foreskin was we decided not to. It is such a difficult topic to educate others on becuase there is so much misinformation. Appreciate any information you can share.

I also wanted to share that my younger sister said that she would have circumcised her first had it been a boy but after I didn't circumcise my son she researched it and now has two intact boys. She also educated her sister in law about it and she was planning still to do it but my sister gave one last chance and talked to her about it right after her sister in law gave birth and now she has an intact son
post #2 of 115
This board led me not to circ. Well, specifically the article in Mothering mag, and then being directed here. I didn't think of it as a big deal before because I was never challenged to. All it took was a tiny bit of info to get me questioning the necessity of it, and then the more I read, the more resolute I became
post #3 of 115
I was pregnant with my twins in 1994, before I had internet access, and I didn't even realize that circumcision was controversial. When DH and I talked about it, we both had the same attitude (luckily!), that circumcision was more of a social thing than medical, and we didn't feel compelled to perpetuate the trend. I remember one of us saying "It is going to end eventually - it might as well start with us!"

Some aspects of our discussion (again, strictly from gut feelings, not research):

1. That's GOT to HURT!
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
3. Boys are born with a foreskin; it must be there for a reason.
4. "Look like Daddy" wasn't a concern.

We did ask our family doctor if there were medical reasons to circumcise, and while he mentioned UTIs and STDs, his opinion was that they weren't significant enough to justify infant circumcision. That's lucky too, because we trusted this doctor, and probably would have had it done if he had pushed.

Now that I know a LOT more about both circumcision and foreskins, if I would to boil it down to one sentence it would be "There is nothing wrong with my son's penis - thank goodness he doesn't need an operation!"
post #4 of 115
From the time I learned what circumcision was, I have been against it. I just didn't understand why one would remove a natural part of the body. It didn't make sense.

It wasn't until I decided to have children that I really looked into the issue and became informed on the the anatomy of the foreskin and the procedure of circumcision. But before I had the facts, I had an instinctual sense that it was wrong.
post #5 of 115
Unfortunately it wasn't this one fact or aha moment for me. I do not have a boy, but when I was pregnant and we didn't know if DD was a boy or girl, someone gave me a little pamphlet on caring for intact penises. Which was great, it got me thinking. The pamphlet was not very in-your-face at all, just basically saying circumcision wasn't necessary, and cleaning of an intact penis was no big deal.

Unfortunately that line of reasoning, while enough to put a question mark in my head, was not enough to make me decide against circumcision. Rather than researching it further, which I should have done but I already felt so overwhelmed by all the research and unconventional decisions I was making (I was having a home birth, I was getting concerned about vaccines, etc. - but was doing each of these on my own, not as part of a community or a global set of natural parenting values) I just talked to my husband. He's circ'd. He said we should do it.

I can only hope that if we found it was a boy (we did find out with an u/s) that I would have looked into it further. But I never really felt strongly for or against circumcision until reading through some of the threads here for a while. I think that the pamphlet I read could have served me better if it was a little more assertive about the issue - that circumcision is an injury to the body, that it carries the usual risks of surgery, that it's not just a little "snip" (I definitely thought of it that way, like a little flap of skin with no nerves or something - a really dumb assumption in retrospect), that it's not cleaner and in fact the foreskin's purpose is partly for protection and cleanliness.

I am honestly not sure how I would have reacted to an analogy to female circumcision at that point - if it were used, I would have needed to address the "male and female circumcision are not at all the same" argument. Because I certainly used to believe that they were not the same and that it was crap tot compare them. I mean, obviously there are differences in the procedure, it's different anatomy and the results are a bit different, but it's still genital mutilation. But I'm not sure if I was ready for that line of reasoning right away.
post #6 of 115
What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
post #7 of 115
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
I don't think that comment was helpful at all. Obviously the culture in the USA supports circumcision as being a good choice. There are threads that ask "Why did you decide to home birth" and I could say "What a weird question. I never had the desire to go to the hospital when I wasn't sick." But I wouldn't want to be that judgemental toward people who had been told all their lives that the hospital is the only safe place to have a baby - just like we've all been told that circumcision is necessary, cleaner and safer.
post #8 of 115
Well, we had just found out we were having a boy and I made a wise-crack about 'don't worry honey, I'm not going to be one of those crazy women who insists that her child not be circumcised'. Later that week, I was baby shopping and came across an issue if Mothering that was featuring circ. All I had to do was read the article that included a drawing of what happens, and I got that horrid knot in my stomach and knew it was something we really would NOT be doing. That led me to MDC and these boards where I found an extensive list of books to research further. Thankfully, he saw all the reading I had done and trusted it and it hasn't been an issue since. I am forever thankful that our first child was a girl because if she had been a he, I wouldn't have even known what was involved. Now I'm that crazy lady who posts pro-intact articles on my facebook and occasionally starts heated conversations about 'choice'. Somewhere in there, I know that I am opening the door for friends who have never even thought about RIC, and hopefully educating them in the process.
post #9 of 115
i didnt really know better, so i circ 2x and regret it, but what caused the paradigm shift for me was being present at ds2's circ in the peds office at 1wk old, and yes he had pain meds, it didnt make a difference, the screaming was primal and horrific and my 7yo son and i held each other and cried but it was too late. i dont plan on ever having any more kids, but if i did i would not circ.
post #10 of 115
We don't have any boys yet, but they'll be intact if we do.

I remember reading about female circ at some point years and years ago and there was some cognitive dissonance there about male circ, but since I was far from having kids, I never took it any further.

When I was TTC I was looking for breastfeeding info and landed here at MDC. I had noticed the CAC forum, but for some reason thought that the case was a class action lawsuit or something (No idea where that came from )

Then when I was pregnant w/ DD I started exploring the other parts of MDC. I clicked on CAC and started reading and maybe 2 hours later, after viewing part of a circ video, I told DH that we weren't going to be circing any of our kids. After a few questions, DH said ok and that was that.
post #11 of 115
I don't even remember what it was that convinced me...I didn't even find this board until my DS was a month old. But I remember thinking about it and thinking that even if it was for the better, I just knew I couldn't bring myself to do it. Once a saw a video of one being done that was it for me. After I found this board and read up on it some more I was so relieved that I went with my gut instincts.

I even found out that my brother is intact after I told my mom about my decision. I had no idea! I just assumed that he was circ'd.
post #12 of 115
With the first circumcision I witnessed in nursing school, I knew it was something I would never, ever do to my child.
post #13 of 115
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I have never read the Mothering articles on the case against circumcision do you think if I had this it would useful to give to other moms or would you recommend other resources?
post #14 of 115
Finding out from crunchy friends that the foreskin is (among other things) fused to the glans like a fingernail. I couldn't imagine ripping off a baby's fingernail so that gave me the first gut reaction to say "maybe not" (since my husband is 110% pro circ). Then I looked for more information** here and on the web and my "maybe not" became an "over my dead body."

**The fact that the complications of circ (meatal stenosis, for example) are more common than anything the circumcisers claim that it fixes -- that some of the things that I thought were normal about penises are actually the results of a too-tight circ -- the fact that the later in life circs that you get threatened with if you don't want to circ your newborn are usually unnecessary -- etc
post #15 of 115
The very idea of allowing a Dr. to cut on the genitals of a child of mine made me sick. I was never going to circ long before I knew I had an option. I was just going to refuse until I went home with the baby. I didnt learn all the other things I know now until I got internet access and after ds was born in 04.

So for me it was a gut instinct from the beginning.
post #16 of 115
I sobbed while watching a video on youtube of a circumcision and that fueled my quest to educate myself as much as possible!

The first thing I mention to women and men is that a man's foreskin has 2-3 times as many raw nerve endings as a women's clitoris and that any numbing agents are rarely used during RIC. To just women I mention the emotional side of circ as far as delayed bonding, how breastfeeding is effected negatively, and the motherly need to protect goes out the window. For men I use the later in life sexual side effects as well as how much of the penile skin is removed. That gets their attention 100% of the time!
post #17 of 115
Bradley childbirth classes introduced us to the idea that it was optional and didn't HAVE to be done. Thank goodness.
post #18 of 115
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post
What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
I know this response sounded offensive to at least one poster, but I can see where Mum4boys is coming from.

I grew up in a family of intact men, and never really gave circumcision a thought until I was pregnant for the first time. It didn't take a whole lot for me to dismiss newborn circumcision as a twisted phenomenon, so it does indeed seem like an odd question for one to ask...."Why did you not surgically alter your child's genitals at birth?"

But for those who have been surrounded by circed men and the general mainstream, I suppose it doesn't sound like a weird question. It really IS an issue for them, because a lot of people seem to think the foreskin is a sort of birth defect.
post #19 of 115
When I was younger, I assumed that I would do whatever my child's father wanted to do. Then I had a partner who was intact and was surprised at how much I preferred a penis that wasn't altered. It was not "gross" or "dirty" or "smelly" as my mother had told me. It was normal and did not require any extra upkeep that I ever noticed. I then started thinking about any future child I might have and started to research exactly what happened during a circ, and realized that it had absolutely no medical reason behind it. I decided then and there that it would only be done to my son over my dead body. Luckily, there was no issue, as I was a single mama from the time my son was born. No cutting here!
post #20 of 115
I didn't even hear the term 'circumcision' until I was a teen. When I heard some kids gossiping about a boy that wasn't circ'ed I went home and looked it up on the internet. I found a few things about it not being necessary, but I still didn't understand what a foreskin was or what it looked like and how it changed the penis to have it cut off. I looked some more and came across a picture blog of a guy who was restoring. That was the first foreskin I'd ever seen and it wasn't even a natural one! I thought it looked funny, but I also knew that this guy was writing from his heart. He was hurt by what had been done to him. He was not happy with being circ'ed. He would not have made that choice, if it had been his to make.

At age 16, I thought to myself, "If even ONE male is not happy being circ'ed, then it is not fair to do it to any baby since we can't know what they would choose."

I didn't do any more research until I was expecting my first, but I'd already laid the foundation that it was wrong to alter a child's body so drastically. More research helped me find this board, and helped me learn about proper care and basically everything else I know now.

What I've found out from conversations from people is that you can argue every fact, statistic, medical article, your doctor's opinion, ect but nothing makes people "get it" like saying that a boy should have a right to choose what happens to his own penis. At least in my experience.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Understanding Circumcision
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › What led you to the decision not to circ.