or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › Help decide whether to have circumcision on next son.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help decide whether to have circumcision on next son. - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Well, I appreciate that there may be intact men out there who (for whatever valid/not valid reasons) wish they had been circ'd as babies ...

however ...

I feel that number is far outpaced by the number of women with circ'd partners/husbands who wish their partners/husbands were INTACT.

Count me as one, and I *know* I'm not alone here, on this board.

hugs
post #22 of 38

It's HIS penis. Let HIM decide.

Hi whoami. Thanks for being concerned and wise enough to reach out for information and help on this important matter.
One way to think about this is to see that there are four basic hypothetical possibilities here:
1) Circumcising is right for your second son and you do it. No mistake has been made and there is no problem.
2) Circumcising is wrong for your second son and you don't do it. No mistake has been made and there is no problem.
3) Circumcising is right for your second son and you don't do it. A mistake as been made and there is a problem.
4) Circumcising is wrong for your second son and you do it. A mistake has been made and there is a problem.
Since there are no problems with 1) or 2), I think we can forget about those possibilities. What worries us are the possible mistakes and problems involved in 3) and 4).
I think the central thing then is to realize that IF 3) circumcising were right for your son (I don't believe it is, by the way) and you don't do it, he can always "correct" your "mistake" later, when he's an adult, but that if 4) circumcising is WRONG for your son (I believe circumcising is always wrong for every healthy child) and you DO it, NO ONE can correct it later. EVER.
If you're going to make a potentially serious mistake - circumcising him can and might kill your child; pretty doggone serious if you ask me - make one that the person most affected by it can correct later, not one that NO ONE can EVER correct, whether it kills him outright, injures him severely but doesn't kill him, causes him emotional and/or sexual problems later, or kills only the most sensitive part of his penis, which it certainly will do, whatever other problems it may or may not cause.
Of course, from my own viewpoint (I've studied and thought deeply about this issue for over 50 years), not circumcising a healthy child is never a mistake in the first place, but IF it were, at least it's one that your son can "correct" on his own later. Give him that option. Preserve his options for him. Preserve his freedom. Preserve his living, healthy body parts, all of them. You're his mama bear. That's your job. Be as fierce as necessary to do it. You'll feel much better about yourself for the rest of your life if you do.
On the issue of two sons in the same family one intact and one not, I have good friends who circumcised their first boy and not the second. They say that circumcising the first was the worst mistake of their lives, and they could never do it again to anyone. The boys love each other and understand the parents' decisions. Don't even think about circumcising the second child because the first one is circumcised. That's not a good enough reason.
It seems to me that one should never harm or even risk harming one person unnecessarily trying to spare the tender emotions or feelings of someone else. In the first place, it might make the older son feel worse, not better, knowing that his brother was harmed permanently and unnecessarily and maybe even killed to try to prevent him from feeling badly about himself.
More importantly, each person has a human right to his or her own intact body. This isn't about the first son. His situation is already whatever it is. No one can go back in time and do that over again now. This is about the SECOND child - I AM one so maybe this is easier for me to understand - as an INDIVIDUAL. It's HIS life and bodily integrity on the line now.
Just to make the point in the most vivid way I can, worst case scenario, suppose a parent decides to circumcise a second child to make him "look like" the first (to try to cover up for a little while within the family, between the two children, that circumcising healthy children is wrong, which they will learn later on anyway), and the day after the circumcision of the second child, done "for the sake of" the first, the first child dies. The second child then lives an entire lifetime, perhaps a hundred years or more, with an incomplete sex organ because his parents didn't want to have to face telling the first child that they had made a mistake with him and he never even lived long enough for them to do so! Or reverse it. The first child lives 100 years knowing his baby brother was killed by a circumcising meant to spare his own tender feelings. Not good, for EITHER child!
We must respect the human right to bodily integrity of EACH person, no matter who else in the world might have had their human right to bodily integrity violated earlier, or how.
Anyway, after over 50 years of thinking about it, that's how ChildProtector sees it.
My best wishes to you and your growing family. Good health and wholeness to you all.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post
Thanks for all the support and links! We clicked through a couple sites yesterday but we're going to have to look through it again when we have more focused time. Actually, it will mostly be me doing all the reading. My honey is supporting me and is open and eager to learn about this with me.
Glad to hear that.

Quote:
I also talked to my brother and he said "what?! mom did that to x but not to me?!" - like what she did to our older brother was a good thing or something. So I guess he thought they were both the same all this time, which might be the case and I guess I'll find out when I talk to my mom. But anyways, he says he used to wish he was circumcised but not anymore and he thinks intercourse feels better. At one point he thought of getting circumcised but then the chance of losing sensation wasn't worth it to him. If he ever has a son he would choose to circumcise him though, or leave it up to his wife. Funny too, his friend was there when we were talking and he was saying to absolutely circumcise. He had no real reason as to why though.

Bro also said he felt better knowing his risks for stds are lower, which i always thought it was higher? And that he just has to clean better than if he weren't intact.
I don't know exactly how old your brother is, but he was probably left intact when there was still really bad advice on foreskin care (okay - there still is, but people also have access to good advice). It's quite likely that he had tearing, scarring and adhesions from the "care" your mom was told to give him. His comment about cleaning suggests the same to me. A circ'd man, ime, just has to get his penis wet, with the rest of his body, during a shower or bath. An intact man? Same thing...although retracting while in the shower or tub does reduce odour which is obviously hugely important in this culture (just have to walk down a stinky supermarket aisle full of soap to know that). Your brother really doesn't have to do anything special in the way of cleaning at all. And, his sons (and yours) wouldn't be in the same kind of minority that he probably was. The situation is changing a lot.

The cleaning/hygiene argument always blows my mind. We should all keep our genitals clean (although not as "clean" as douche and scented tampon manufacturers would have us think), and foreskin doesn't change that. However, there is nothing clean about an open wound in a diaper. Every time I even think about a newborn with a circ'd penis having a bowel movement, I want to vomit.

I can also say that ds1, who is 17, is intact. I've talked to him a little about some of the pro-circ stuff I come across online and he's absolutely horrified by it. He doesn't get why people chop pieces off of baby's penises, and I think he'd fight to the death if someone tried to do it to him. While he's never thanked me in those words, he did once say, "I'm awfully glad you never thought like that".
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post
I also talked to my brother and he said "what?! mom did that to x but not to me?!" - like what she did to our older brother was a good thing or something. So I guess he thought they were both the same all this time,
That's something interesting for parents to keep in mind. Sometimes parents feel, even if they've changed their mind about circumcision since having it done to a first son, that they still need to do it to later sons so they all match. But here's your brother, who went all through childhood and into adulthood without ever noticing a difference between himself and his brother!

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post
If he ever has a son he would choose to circumcise him though, or leave it up to his wife.
Funny thing, at first reading I thought that meant he would leave circumcision of the son up to the son's future wife. And you know.... maybe that's not such a bad idea

Jen
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana731 View Post
The US circ rate has been declining for some time. It was 33% in 2009, the lowest it's ever been in this country for quite a while. So your son will most likely be in the majority if you keep him intact, and the minority if choose to circ.

33% nationwide last year?

Sometimes in Ohio, however, it seems like it's 33% intact. I bet it's still higher out east. I was reading something a few years ago that suggests that the immigrant Latino population in the west and southwest makes things a bit lower than what it seems.

What this article said was basically that the further southwest you get, the more things turn "intact." The more north and east you get, the more things turn "RIC."

Anyone know more into regional stats?
post #26 of 38
I'm an elementary special ed teacher, and most of our boys need bathroom help when entering kindergarten. So I've seen tons of little boys. And around here? More are not circd than are circd. Which I think is cool. My point being, it's unlikely these days that any boy would be alone in it. At least around here (Eugene, OR).
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post
What this article said was basically that the further southwest you get, the more things turn "intact." The more north and east you get, the more things turn "RIC."

Anyone know more into regional stats?
I'm not vouching for its accuracy, especially in light of this summer's CDC figures, but this map is really pretty clear. Scroll to the middle of the page, then hover your mouse over each state.

The two pockets of greatest resistance to keeping boys intact seem to be the clusters of MI-IN-OH-KY-PA and WI-IA-NB-WY. All over 80%. If it weren't for the cosmopolitan nature of Chicago and the fact that MN has ceased Medicaid payments for MIC, the entire US Midwest would be bright red. An interesting visual.
post #28 of 38
Ugh. Ohio is tied with Michigan for 85%, the MOST in the nation and probably the world. Ugh. Thanks for the site, though!

I'm assuming this is only RIC and religious-type doesn't count?
post #29 of 38
Yes, it's based on hospital discharge statistics.

Sorry, in my earlier post I meant to say WV instead of PA, although PA and SC are also pretty high MIC states. It looks like the epicenter of that particular clear-cut zone is around Dayton, OH. My friends in Cincinnati still fret to this day whether they did the right thing, even though their happy intact sons are 15 and almost 21. All -- and I mean all -- of their friends circumcised their boys. (And like so many other couples report, their pediatrician refused to advise them what to do, but when they told him they weren't going to circ he said, "Thank goodness. It's really unnecessary. Both my sons are intact.")
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
Alright so both my bros are intact. I guess my little bro wasn't wrong all this time. We talked again today, he didn't understand why I am thinking so much about this, but after our chat he gets it now. I even forwarded some of the links to him, just so he could be more informed.

So far most of what I'm learning is making me lean towards keeping new baby boy intact. I've read more to my honey and he's given the nod on some things, but I'm feeling I'll have some convincing to do as it gets closer. I've asked him to find me stuff about the benefits of circumcising if he feels strongly about this, but I'm sensing he won't. We've still got time to think about this though.

Also talked briefly today with mom but that was just about me bugging my bros about their feelings towards their intact penis lol. Thinking I'll ask her in person this weekend about why she chose against circumcising. And also ask why she never thought to bring up the topic when I was pregnant with our first son.
post #31 of 38
Like you, my oldest was circumcised. I feel bad about it now, but I honestly didn't know better, I just thought that was what you did when you had a boy. After I had him, I learned more about how unnecessary and potentially harmful circumcision is and chose to keep my next two boys intact.
post #32 of 38
I just wanted to give you a little encouragement. My 2 boys are 10 years apart. The first one is circumcised, the 2nd one isn't. We did the first one for similar reasons as you - DH is circed, and we thought that's just what you do. Fortunately we learned more and made a better decision the second time around. But having 2 boys who are "different" has not been an issue at all. Penises are different, circed or not.
post #33 of 38
My answer will always be the same - if you're not sure about the decision, DON'T MAKE IT.

Let your son decide if he wants to be circumcised or not. It's his penis, after all. He should have the right to decide if he keeps his foreskin or not.

I'm not anti-circumcision; if adults want to be circumcised, fine by me! I have a problem with infants being subjected to painful, unnecessary cosmetic surgery without their consent.
post #34 of 38
Thread Starter 
So I think we are settled on not circumcising. Mom didn't circumcise brothers because she thought it was cruel. Talked to older brother and he did circumcise his son. Him and his wife didn't give it much thought and just said yes when they were asked for consent. Didn't seem like an issue to him.

My honey is still on the fence though because he has a friend in medical school who says there's issues with guys who are intact. Something about higher stds and infections.
post #35 of 38
There are more risks from the surgery - and it's surgery - of mutilating the genitalia of boys than the risks of leaving boys the way Nature intended, with their foreskins.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoami View Post
So I think we are settled on not circumcising. Mom didn't circumcise brothers because she thought it was cruel. Talked to older brother and he did circumcise his son. Him and his wife didn't give it much thought and just said yes when they were asked for consent. Didn't seem like an issue to him.

My honey is still on the fence though because he has a friend in medical school who says there's issues with guys who are intact. Something about higher stds and infections.
The friend in medical school needs to spend more time studying. Last I checked, they debunked the MYTHS that removing foreskins = less STDs.

I've had two former boyfriends who were intact, I've had a couple that were not intact (including my now-DH) I can say from experience that men with foreskins um, are better.
post #37 of 38
Dear Whoami, Here is an American male's response:

WHAT IS LOST TO CIRCUMCISION:
About 50% of the penile skin: The double layered foreskin (prepuce), along with the rest of the shaft skin, is a mobile skin system and can freely move up and down the penile shaft, even during an erection.

The Pleasurable Sensations of the “Ridged Bands”: The 1/2 inch wide bands of tissue near the tip of the foreskin is the most highly innervated and erogenous part of the penis containing thousands of nerve endings called Meissner’s Corpuscles. The loss of this tissue along with the adjacent sensitive frenulum, reduces a man’s pleasure and full range of sexual response.

The foreskin’s Gliding action: This is the hallmark mechanical feature of the natural human penis. The non-abrasive gliding of the penis in and out of its own sheath of skin facilitates smooth, comfortable, pleasurable intercourse for both partners.

The Comfort of a covered glans: The foreskin’s inner mucosal tissue provides a warm, moist, protective covering for the sensitive glans. The glans of the circumcised penis becomes dry and calloused from exposure to air and rubbing against clothing.

Choice: A man who was circumcised as an infant has lost his right to an intact, normal, and whole penis and the right to control what happens to his own body.

BOTTOM LINE: HIS PENIS, ONLY HIS CHOICE.
Men (and women) who are allowed as children to keep their whole, intact, normal genitalia, DON’T choose to amputate parts as adults! Please Protect ALL children's genitals from unnecessary amputations.
Best Regards & Many Blessings to your Perfectly created, whole, normal, intact little boy!
Devin
post #38 of 38
Quote:
My honey is still on the fence though because he has a friend in medical school who says there's issues with guys who are intact. Something about higher stds and infections.
I can think of several ways to get around that issue:

Teach him not to sleep around
Teach him to wear a condom
Teach him to only sleep with trusted partners who have been tested for STDs.

Which I hope you're planning to do anyway. It seems a bit harsh to cut off part of his penis on the grounds that he might be sexually irresponsible when he's a teenager. When he turns 13 (or whatever age), of course, you could explain the situation to him: "Son, some studies show that if you cut off the most sensitive parts of your penis, you might be able to have sex with more women before you contract HIV. There are also conflicting studies, and you should also know that you will gradually lose penile sensation as your glans keratinises, you will be more likely to cause pain and chafing to your female partners, you won't have the gliding action of your foreskin any more, and if you happen to be gay there won't be any protective effect anyway. Oh, and it'll hurt like hell, and if the doctor removes too much foreskin you might experience painful erections for the rest of your life. What do you think?"

If you suspect he'd say "No thanks", there's your answer. If he isn't likely to go for it as an informed adult, don't do it to him when he's too helpless to resist.

Also, circing can interfere with establishing a breastfeeding relationship, and causes long-term changes in the pain response of newborns. One study showed that babies who had been circed were more upset and seemed to be in more pain months later during vaccinations. That's a pretty scary thing to mull over - they don't "remember", but it changes the way they think about pain on at least a semi-long-term basis.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Understanding Circumcision
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › Help decide whether to have circumcision on next son.