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I am trying to decide whether to circumcise - Page 2

post #21 of 81

My husband is a doctor who believed that he had to perform circumcisions as part of his residency training in order to pass.  He did a few and thought that it was the most brutal, horrible experience he had ever been a part of in his life.  While it is true that most of the doctors did give a lidocaine injection, very few of them waited the recommended time for the anesthetic to take effect.  The babies were generally in terrible agony, and he witnessed one get botched to the point that the baby would need extensive reconstructive surgery.  He found it to be completely unethical to perform a painful, unnecessary surgery on a healthy, unconsenting newborn baby, and told his supervisors that he would not continue to be a part of it for which I am very proud of him. 

post #22 of 81

I kind of think that there are all these men in the U.S. walking around not complaining, either (a) because they don't know what they're missing, or (b) if they are having issues related to circumcision, they might not be comfortable talking about it. 

 

My husband is intact, because he is European. He was shocked and horrified to learn that most men of his generation in the U.S. are circumcised. From the perspective of a woman, I can say from my experience that sex with an intact man is much more comfortable for me. The skin that is cut off of a baby's penis would be the size of a 3x5 card on an adult man. That is a lot of missing skin!

 

It never occurred to me until we were watching a movie where a teen boy was embarrassed to be caught using his mother's lotion to masturbate, that DH had no idea what that was all about. 

 

Anyway, I don't really see myself as "freaking out" about this, but I am really glad that DH is intact. We have all girls, but there is no way a son in our family would be circumcised. It wouldn't have anything to do with looking like his dad, though. It's because an intact penis is the healthy standard, because an intact man has more nerve endings and thus more sexual pleasure, and because circumcision carries risks. I have a problem with causing unnecessary risk to my child. There are risks with any procedure, and looking like dad doesn't seem like a good reason for taking those risks, however small. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

So, I am new to Mothering but I'm pregnant and am having a boy. I'm trying to decide whether or not to circumcise. We're not religious, but I want him to look like his father, who is circumcised. I have done a lot of reading on the internet and am pretty convinced that there's no medical reason to circumcise. In fact, I found a blog post on this that I wanted to share. She says that there's really no evidence to support circumcising.

 

http://www.squintmom.com/?p=442

 

The thing is, though, I don't know if I believe that circumcision is really harmful. It just doesn't seem like with most of the men in the US walking around circumcised and they're not complaining (it seems like it's women who freak out about it more than men), is it really a problem?

 



 

post #23 of 81

it's your SON'S penis.

you will be changing his diaper for a few years and helping him bathe for maybe a couple years more.

after about age 5, it's all HIS business.

and he will keep his penis, whole or part of it (you get to decide) for the rest of his life.

what if someday he wishes he had a foreskin? 

about 2 out of every 3 boys born in our country today are getting to KEEP their foreskin.

google "sex the way nature intended" for a gentle but graphic look at the way a foreskin functions. 

congratulations on your upcoming child. i hope that by posting in "the case against circumcision" forum you will take to heart the advice you receive here. this place is a great repository of knowledge and strength for mothers and fathers who are interested in breaking the cycle of circumcision in their families. (just think, if you give in to circumcising your son because his father's parents circumcised him, then will your son be having to circumcise his own son someday? and for what?? it's not cleaner, it's not better for his health, it's excruciatingly painful and deprives a male of a lifetime of full sexual function... and also deprives his future partners of a full sexual experience, the way nature intended.)

 

best to you!!

post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

it's your SON'S penis.

you will be changing his diaper for a few years and helping him bathe for maybe a couple years more.

after about age 5, it's all HIS business.

and he will keep his penis, whole or part of it (you get to decide) for the rest of his life.

what if someday he wishes he had a foreskin? 

about 2 out of every 3 boys born in our country today are getting to KEEP their foreskin.

google "sex the way nature intended" for a gentle but graphic look at the way a foreskin functions. 

congratulations on your upcoming child. i hope that by posting in "the case against circumcision" forum you will take to heart the advice you receive here. this place is a great repository of knowledge and strength for mothers and fathers who are interested in breaking the cycle of circumcision in their families. (just think, if you give in to circumcising your son because his father's parents circumcised him, then will your son be having to circumcise his own son someday? and for what?? it's not cleaner, it's not better for his health, it's excruciatingly painful and deprives a male of a lifetime of full sexual function... and also deprives his future partners of a full sexual experience, the way nature intended.)

 

best to you!!



This is so true. My son is 16, I don't think I've even glimpsed his penis since he was 6.
post #25 of 81

When my son was 4 and was looking through the book, "It's So Amazing" he noticed a drawing of a circumcised penis next to a drawing of an intact penis. He asked if his penis would look like the circumcised one when he grew up (his daddy is circumcised). It took me about 30 seconds to explain to him why his was different from daddy's, and he was fine with it. I would not suggest allowing a risky, painful cosmetic surgery to avoid 30 seconds of talking.

post #26 of 81
Thread Starter 

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father. Having a penis that looks like his father's penis is very different than a little girl not having breasts; she can be told she will grow them later, and that they are a distinguishing feature of a mature woman. In the same vein, a boy obviously doesn't have the same size penis as a grown man, but knows he'll get there. A fundamentally different-looking penis, however, can impact his feelings about his genitals. Similarly, having a penis that looks different from those of most of the other boys in the locker room (when he's in school) might make him feel uncomfortable. MOST middle class, white boys are circumcised in the US (whether this is right or not), so uncirc'd boys in that demographic are in the minority. In the end, what bothers me is that circumcision is a much bigger deal for an adult than for an infant, and what if I don't circumcise him and he later wants to have it done?

 

Squintmom, the same science blogger who said there are no benefits, has another post about the risks that I think is new, and I just read it earlier today. http://www.squintmom.com/?p=509

 

I think she makes some good points.

post #27 of 81

Is anyone else suspicious about the OP and her rah-rah-ing for SquintMom's blog?

post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father. Having a penis that looks like his father's penis is very different than a little girl not having breasts; she can be told she will grow them later, and that they are a distinguishing feature of a mature woman. In the same vein, a boy obviously doesn't have the same size penis as a grown man, but knows he'll get there. A fundamentally different-looking penis, however, can impact his feelings about his genitals. Similarly, having a penis that looks different from those of most of the other boys in the locker room (when he's in school) might make him feel uncomfortable.

 

I actualy do not agree with this line of thought. I could not care what my Dad's penis looked like - I would much rather have kept my foreskin.  I spent all 12 years of grade school in boarding schools, and was shocked, at the age of 6 to discover what had happened to me on the very first night, when we were all herded into the communal shower room for our evening bath. About 2/3 were circumcised and it was never a big deal - everyone just accepted that some penises were different, and I cannot recall one single instance of teasing based on circumcision status.  However, as the years have gone by and I have learned more and more about the form, function and value of a foreskin, I  have become more and more angry and disappointed that I was deprived of mine.

 

Incidentaly, circumcision does not only have physical ramifications. The procedure can often have a  psychological impact too. See: www.cirp.org/library/psych/brain_damage/index.html .

post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father. Having a penis that looks like his father's penis is very different than a little girl not having breasts; she can be told she will grow them later, and that they are a distinguishing feature of a mature woman. In the same vein, a boy obviously doesn't have the same size penis as a grown man, but knows he'll get there. A fundamentally different-looking penis, however, can impact his feelings about his genitals. Similarly, having a penis that looks different from those of most of the other boys in the locker room (when he's in school) might make him feel uncomfortable. MOST middle class, white boys are circumcised in the US (whether this is right or not), so uncirc'd boys in that demographic are in the minority. In the end, what bothers me is that circumcision is a much bigger deal for an adult than for an infant, and what if I don't circumcise him and he later wants to have it done?

Squintmom, the same science blogger who said there are no benefits, has another post about the risks that I think is new, and I just read it earlier today. http://www.squintmom.com/?p=509

I think she makes some good points.

Actually the cut rate has dropped to closer than half. And don't assume that all your friend's boys are cut. Some folks never consider it "up for discussion" but you might notice later on when you take the boys to swim lessons or something.

Back to dads, my son never said a word about his intact self vs the look of his cut dad. I'm was never so proud of my hubby as when he agreed to keep his son whole. My son is 16, he's never had any negative peer interaction to having an intact member. Also, I moved him mid-childhood from a high circ area to a low circ one... the boys here are just not done unless their family's Jewish traditions prevail upon them.

Adult circumcision, ... the adult male can at least be properly anesthetized for surgery. Sadly , infants are almost never numbed properly and they do feel intense pain that disrupts bonding and breastfeeding.
post #30 of 81

Hi and welcome.  This blog helped me decide.

http://9davids.blogspot.com/2010/11/50-reasons-to-leave-it-alone.html

As far as looking like daddy, how many constantly compare with dad?  How many girls compare with mom?  That is just such a strange argument to me.  My DH doesn't know what his dad's looks like and isn't interested.  

 

post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father.



I really haven't found that to be true.  DS saw DP naked many, many times when he was younger and *never* asked why their penises look different.  I think most boys would just assume that their dad's look different because they are older and bigger (I mean, they're also covered with hair there, too).  That said, DS did wonder why he and his same aged cousin had different looking penises and he was shocked and a bit sickened to hear that his cousin had had part of his skin cut off.   I'm glad I was on my side of the conversation--- I have no idea what my sister told her son about it :(

 

Statisitcally, of course, especially where we live he is in the majority of his peers by being intact.

 

post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father. Having a penis that looks like his father's penis is very different than a little girl not having breasts; she can be told she will grow them later, and that they are a distinguishing feature of a mature woman. In the same vein, a boy obviously doesn't have the same size penis as a grown man, but knows he'll get there. A fundamentally different-looking penis, however, can impact his feelings about his genitals. Similarly, having a penis that looks different from those of most of the other boys in the locker room (when he's in school) might make him feel uncomfortable. MOST middle class, white boys are circumcised in the US (whether this is right or not), so uncirc'd boys in that demographic are in the minority. In the end, what bothers me is that circumcision is a much bigger deal for an adult than for an infant, and what if I don't circumcise him and he later wants to have it done?

 

Squintmom, the same science blogger who said there are no benefits, has another post about the risks that I think is new, and I just read it earlier today. http://www.squintmom.com/?p=509

 

I think she makes some good points.


How many penises have you seen?  I've seen LOTS and none of them looked "the same".  They are as different as noses!  Cosmetic surgery on either noses or penises to look like someone else just isn't really what i want for my kids.  There's only validity in the argument if you think there is.  And if he is older and he is acquainted with his penis and wants half of it lopped off there are a great number of urologists in the world who will be happy to do so for him.  If on the other hand he wants to look like his circ'd friends without having any of their loss of sensation or functional problems well, he'll just have to figure out that dichotomy for himself, just like i have to get over the idea that i'd like little teeny perky boobs, even though it'd mean lost sensation and function if i got them surgically reduced.

 

FWIW i'm in the UK where almost no one gets their kid arbitrarily circ'd and where urologists will try EVERYTHING for several years before they suggest circumcision as an answer to medical issues.  Don't do it.  It's not your penis.  Let the owner of the penis make the decisions about it.

 

post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

I think there's a lot more validity to the "looking like father" argument than you all give credence to. A boy WILL see his father naked early in life (though, obviously, not later on), and he'll develop his early feelings about sexuality and his sex organs from comparing himself to his father. Having a penis that looks like his father's penis is very different than a little girl not having breasts; she can be told she will grow them later, and that they are a distinguishing feature of a mature woman. In the same vein, a boy obviously doesn't have the same size penis as a grown man, but knows he'll get there. A fundamentally different-looking penis, however, can impact his feelings about his genitals. Similarly, having a penis that looks different from those of most of the other boys in the locker room (when he's in school) might make him feel uncomfortable. MOST middle class, white boys are circumcised in the US (whether this is right or not), so uncirc'd boys in that demographic are in the minority. In the end, what bothers me is that circumcision is a much bigger deal for an adult than for an infant, and what if I don't circumcise him and he later wants to have it done?



I was circumcised, both of my sons are intact.  I am very casual about being naked around the house.  They have seen my circumcised penis growing up.  This has had no impact on them as they grew up, as far as I can tell.  Complete non issue.  Zippo.  Nada.  They are fine, comletely normal, as far as I can tell.  Unless you can cite something with credibility that evaluates this and concludes it is a problem, I will say it is no problem.

 

Violating a person's rights to gentital integrity, is a BIG problem.  Doing it for a non issue like "the father looking like his son", is ridiculous.  It is fearmongering, plain and simple, used to irrationally justify infant circumcision. 

 

Circumcision is not a bigger deal for an adult.  That too is fearmongering and biased reasoning.  Simply think about it rationally.  First define what is meant by a big deal.  I would say it is a combination of the 1) physical pain, 2) changes in behavior and 3) how supportive the patient is in the whole thing.  So take an infant:

 

1) Huge amount of physical pain, and no safe way to eliminate the pain, best that can be accomplished is a slight reduction in the pain.

2) causes dramtic changes in behavior.  They go into shock, have trouble breast feeding, and do not act like one would expect a normal baby to act.  We have no idea what the later ramifications of this trauma are for adults.

3) Infants are dead set agianst this, based on everything I can see and read.  There is no way to convince them to go along with it.

 

OK, compare that with an adult:

 

1) pain management is easy. 

2) They have to deal with tenderness for a short time, then are acting normal again.

3) they are doing it because they want to.  Huge difference.

 

So why do they say it is worse for infants?  All they are talking about is how easy it is for the surgeon, really.  In an infant, the inner and outer foreskin is fused together.  The operation is easy, cut the skin and let it heal. 

 

In an adult, the inner and outer skin are mobile and independant.  So the surgeon must also stitch the two skins together for proper healing.   

 

That is the only basis I have ever found for saying it is better to do when an infant.  True, they will also say that an infant doesn't remember the pain and trauma, but I think that is debatable.  And they conveniently ignore the fact that an infant's penis is not fully developed, so a good argument can be made that circumcision as an adult, with a fully developed penis, gives far more predictable results.

 

And, finally, as has been said, it is not accurate to say most middle class white boys are circumcised.  Of course, until you define waht you mean by "most", it is hard to do much more than say, I disagree.

 

Regards

 

 

 


Edited by Greg B - 2/20/12 at 9:30am
post #34 of 81

^ My dad is circumcised and I am not. I remember seeing his penis when I was young. Even at a young age I understood. I don't understand why having matching penises is one of the main reasons to cut your children nowadays..

 

Weird stuff.

post #35 of 81

Middle class white boy reporting in as well. From Canada though, in the early 90s rates were about 50/50.

post #36 of 81
The only difference my ds has noticed between him and his cired dad is how much bigger dh was than him and the hair.
post #37 of 81

Laney, you seem to be really hung up on the "looks" thing.

 

My DH and his brother are both circumcised. They were in their 40's when they learned from their Mom that their Dad had been intact. They had no idea - and they grew up on a remote cattle ranch, where there was a lot of peeing outside. Obviously neither of them paid close attention to what their father's penis looked like.

 

My twin boys are 17 years old. They certainly saw their Dad naked, and as I said earlier, what made an impression on them was hair and size.

 

They were 8 years old when they learned about circumcision, and they were appalled. "Why would anyone want to do that?" We explained that most men don't choose it for themselves, but their parents have it done when they are babies. They were horrified. We told them that their Dad had been circumcised as a baby. One said "Poor Dad - he's missing the best part!" As we discussed further, one of my sons said "I just thought Dad kept his foreskin pulled back". You see, when a boy can retract his foreskin, the glans are exposed, just like on a cricumcised penis, so the difference isn't really that great. The same way that a girl might expect that she will have breasts like Mom when she grows up, our sons thought that their glans would remain exposed when they grew up. Their foreskins were certainly not a source of concern to them (on the contrary, they were a source of delight!)

 

Locker room issues? My sons are seniors in high school. We live in the midwest, were the circ rate is very high. I expect that the vast majority of my sons' friends and classmates are circumcsed - but they have no idea. They don't shower in gym class; when they do undress completely for swimming, all the boys are careful to not look at each other. To be caught looking at another boy's equipment is asking for ridicule (sad, but true). Besides, my sons are glad that they have all the parts they were born with - they feel sorry for circumcised males, and would have no problem whatsoever standing up for themselves, on the off chance that someone did comment (yes, we have talked about it). My sons HAVE been teased for being lousy at basketball, for having acne, for being identical twins. We didn't run out and try to surgically correct any of these things - why on earth does it make sense to operate on a healthy newborn to appease some mythical bully of the future?

post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyMeyer View Post

So, I am new to Mothering but I'm pregnant and am having a boy. I'm trying to decide whether or not to circumcise. We're not religious, but I want him to look like his father, who is circumcised. I have done a lot of reading on the internet and am pretty convinced that there's no medical reason to circumcise. In fact, I found a blog post on this that I wanted to share. She says that there's really no evidence to support circumcising.

 

http://www.squintmom.com/?p=442

 

The thing is, though, I don't know if I believe that circumcision is really harmful. It just doesn't seem like with most of the men in the US walking around circumcised and they're not complaining (it seems like it's women who freak out about it more than men), is it really a problem?

 

Haven't read any other posts but I know they messed up my DHs circ and it's way too tight and he has issues with it. My BFFs ex had half of his head sliced off and sewn back. 117 babies in the US alone die every year from it. Also this is my friends story of what happened to her son http://www.drmomma.org/2011/03/circumcision-gone-wrong-lantz-story.html
 

 

post #39 of 81
post #40 of 81

Laney,  

 

Here's a good response to the "look like dad" reason: "This reason gets a lot of attention despite the obvious problem that dads and sons don’t spend a lot of time comparing penises (or at least we hope not!). And, even if your son does make a comparison, the only differences he’s likely to see are size and pubic hair. Boys grow into men by mimicking their father’s personality and attitudes, not by being look alikes, otherwise adoption wouldn’t work.1 If he does ask why he has a foreskin, a simple explanation is easy: “When I was born, doctors thought it was cleaner if boys were circumcised, but now we know better. We knew you would be smart enough to wash all of your body parts.”"

 

The current US circumcision rate is nearly 50/50, so the "locker room" argument is no longer valid.

 

For other reasons you might have, check out Circumcision Decision-Maker.  

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