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Question for dads who want sons to look like them

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who's baby is due in May and she's told me that if it's a boy, she's going to have him circ'd. She knows how I feel about it as I've explained every medical, emotional, religous, and sexual reason not to do it. She countered with the fact that dad wants son to look like him.

Later, I asked my husband if he felt more confident or secure or anything knowing that he looked like his father. He admitted that it never crossed his mind. I'd be willing to bet that that's the case with most men. They don't care that they look like their father, but they want their son to look like them. Odd, huh? DH hypothsized that it's the idea of creating something in his own image. It seems pretty darn selfish to me though.

A few more thoughts just because I need to rant (again, sorry). The same friend mentioned that some coworker didn't have her son circ'd at birth, but there was an infection and it had to be done when then boy was 14 or so, and she didn't want that to happen. Ok... first, I think finding a good doctor is a key. Just like with BF'ing, if there's a problem there are some doctors who will send you to lactaction consultant, and others will tell you to switch to formula without trying. Some doctors will try to heal the penis, other want to chop it. But the big thing was, why is it not OK to circ a 14 year old for medical reasons buit it's OK to do it to a helpless newborn for no reason? Even though they now use pain killers during the operation, it still has to hurt afterwards! I went through a c-section. I didn't feel a darn thing when they cut me and put me back together, but the next three weeks I was in pain! At least as an adult I could take some medicine. A 14 year old can tell you, "mom, the tylenol wore off, I need some more." A newborn just has to suffer.

This friend mentioned her birth plan and how all the way through it's, "we want to be involved," until the circ. Then neither mom or dad want to be near the kid. They don't want the baby to associate pain with them. So obviously, she acknoledges she's gong to have her baby be hurt. Whatever. I'm hoping that some of the things I said about why I didn't want my son circ'd will sink in.

OK, I feel better again.
post #2 of 19
This is my favorite respose to the what if they don't look like dad question. "We usually keep thier penises covered during family pictures"

the idea of creating something in his own image
I think that what it really is, is that if a man admits that his son will be better off with a foreskin, then he has to admit that his penis might be missing something. Not all men are big enough to do this.

I would not be able to send my 14 year old to get a healthy part of his body chopped off. I think the damage would be just as great. But I could send any age child in to get something fixed for medical reasons. Ya know? Even if I knew that at some point in his life he would need surgury, I could explain to a hurting or sick toddler or teenager that we have to do this to help him. But it would be terrible to do it years ahead of time, how do you explain that?
post #3 of 19
As I read this, I kept thinking that my son is a spitting image of his Granfather, but I have never seen grandpas penis! lol

That reason is so goofy, Dads penis must look like sons penis? Heck, one is a child one is an adult, that alone is (I hope for the Dads) a BIG difference!
post #4 of 19
The "look like Dad" justification is just that. It justifies (they think) doing something that they know there is no reason to do. It's an effort to do divert you, to get you to shut up. They have decided that they want to do it whether it has purpose or not.

The "look like Dad" justification is presented as a benefit to the son. It is really a benefit to the insecure father. Circumcision brings nagging questions for the father like "how will I be able to tell him about it? I don't have one." "I'll have to face the fact that I may not have my full sexuality." and "how could my parents have done something that was harmful to me?" For a man who is not very secure in himself, these can be very troubling questions.

Maybe the answer is to empower the father to learn the truth and prevent this for his progeny. It could be a wonderful legacy and a fond memory to be passed down if presented correctly and reinforced with those generations.

post #5 of 19
Not that this is anything new, but dh had no idea that his father was un-circumcised. None. Never got a real reason out of MIL why she did it to her sons. So, I don't think kids would ever care if there was a difference.
post #6 of 19
My son looks more like me and is intact so my poor circed dh lost on both of these "look alike" issues.ag
Take care!
post #7 of 19
I have 2 unrelated foster sons right now. One is intact, one isn't. They are almost 5 and almost 6 yo. They see each other naked every day, getting dressed, at bath time, etc. They have never commented on the difference.
post #8 of 19
Perhaps this could help.

post #9 of 19
What is the big deal with dads wanting their sons to look like them? Everyone is different! As I said in another thread, I was around girls in the locker room back in middle and high school who had bigger breast than me. This didn't make me want to go out and get implants. Believe me, larger breasts do appear different from smaller ones, but I never really took notice or thought it was a big deal.

Has dad considered the fact that his son mught not wind up being the same size as him when he grows up?

It must simply be the dads insecurity since I cannot think of any other vaild reasons.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your insight. That article was great.

*sigh* I keep thinking that I'd love to convince them that circ isn't the best way to go; but when push comes to shove, it's not my choice. It finally clicked that if something happened, and they had a non-supportive doctor, any problems would be blamed on me if I've influenced them. They honestly think they'll be better parents for doing it, so if they don't then they'd be worse in their hearts. So sad. They're such good firends, I love their baby for their sake already. Odd for me to feel more motherly towards the baby than the mother.

Just for my sake, does anyone know how often the surgery results in complications vs how often intact boys need surgery afterwards?

Thanks for your support! =)
post #11 of 19
There's no hard and fast numbers because often the surgery is performed in the doctor's office. Plus thre is a different doctor in many cases, OB/GYN vs. Pediatrician. There are some numbers that are estimates and a few that are documented

Meatal stenosis = as low as 10%, probably closer to 30% but Dr. Paul Fleiss quotes 60% . . . Who knows?

Circumcision accidents such as partial or complete ablation of the glans = Probably 1:10,000 or more.

Degloving: Partial or complete is not as common as it once was due to doctors realizing the problem and changing to conservative cuts. Partials at one time = Probably 1:200 and complete 1:10,000. Now it is probably more like 1:1,000 and 1:25-30,000.

The biggie - death - is still too high at about 1:7,000

Intact boys that need later *Justified* circumcisions - Less than 1:1,500 and many researchers will say significantly higher than that. That number is from traditionally non-circumcising countries where they are knowledgeable about intact penises and the treartment of *rare* problems.

Here in the U.S. the reported cases will be much higher because the doctors will recommend circumcision when there is absolutely no problem to cure. I see this on an almost weekly basis.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Frank! =)

Another question to ask dads (thanks to your input) would be something like... "so, if the baby doesn't have your nose, are ya gonna take him into a plastic surgen to "fix" it?" And you're right, at least the nose would show up in family pictures. =)

In other threads, it was brought up that circ'ing girls is a social no-no here... but it's OK to mutliate boys. Go figure.

I just keep collecting reasons not to have it done. The more I ponder on the subject, the more rediculous it seems to circ. *sigh* Thanks for letting me verbalize my reasoning. =)

post #13 of 19
My ex tried this argument on me when DS#1 was born, I told him that 1) I doubt DS will ever ask and 2) if he does, someone will just have to explain that Daddy's is the one that is not the way it came. DS #1 is now 13 and he hasn't asked about that at all! In fact, he is really proud and relieved to have his foreskin still.

He never really thought about it (to my knowledge of course) until DS#2 was born last May and I had to convince SO that it wasn't necessary. DS#1 overheard and chimed in with his opinion that he didn't understand why anyone would do it, that it was mean to the baby and that, obviously, nature intended it to be that way for a reason. He even said he was very glad that I'd not had him circumsized. Phew, not only did he help me win SO over but I'm no longer afraid that peer pressure might make him feel insecure about being different from the others in the locker room!
post #14 of 19
There has been a 13 year old soaking up information on another discussion board I haunt. Wonder if . . .

He's been very nervous about his parents knowing.

post #15 of 19
The "look like Dad" justification is presented as a benefit to the son. It is really a benefit to the insecure father. Circumcision brings nagging questions for the father like "how will I be able to tell him about it? I don't have one." "I'll have to face the fact that I may not have my full sexuality." and "how could my parents have done something that was harmful to me?" For a man who is not very secure in himself, these can be very troubling questions.
Yup, this sounds like the real reason & thank you for saying it. We aren't sure yet if we are having a boy, but I am so proud of my DH for dealing with the above & not having to pass on this issue if we have a son.

I was no-circ from reading Mothering & my nephew being intact. DH learns alot from me as we go thru each of our birthing/parenting decisions & has agreed with me so far. But on this he would hesitate & "well, I guess" me. So finally, @ a MW appt we brought it up & she just handed him a sheath of info with diagrams of how they do circumcision, & that it is not medically neccessary. I made my point of why should our newborn go thru so much pain, & DH looked up & said with a laugh, "Well, I think I should find the guy that did (circ'd) mine & sue him" & that was the end of it.

I think it is probably pretty hard for women to advocate for their sons when their husbands don't seem to mind being circ'd (husbands in denial?). In my case, I knew that with time DH would be convinced, but it was tempting to "let him have his way" since I was getting mine on all else reagrding the birth (home birth, midwife, etc). But it was just too big an issue to do that to our kid.
The biggie - death - is still too high at about 1:7,000
I did not know that was so high! What is up with Drs? I *think* that 1 in 10,000 babies dies from GBS infection (that stat may not be 100% accurate, it is late, sorry) & they have us pregnant ladies jumping thru hoops & taking all kinds of tests & antibiotics to *try* to prevent that, yet with they are totally unconcerned about 1 out of 7000 deaths for an *elective* procedure? Yikes.

Just wanted to add my 2cents, Maria
post #16 of 19
There's a horrifying paragraph in the Fleiss book in which he talks about a father saying, "I understand all this, but I don't see any reason why my son should have any more sensitivity than I do."

Fleiss says, "His brutal rivalry toward his unborn son so shocked the mother that she was even more determined to protect her son from this man's baser instincts and cowardly approach to parenthood. Never have I seen a wife so disappointed and disillusioned with a husband."

This is just the most excellent book! Buy it!

I hesitated to do so because my DP & DS are both intact & natural and so are my friends' children, so I didn't think I really needed it.

I bought it to lend to two women I know who are pregnant and might need a little guidance & support to leave their children whole. I was so impressed and learned so much from this book!
post #17 of 19

for dads who want sons to look like them

My front teeth would have to overlap to look like my dad.
I'd also have to get get brown contact lenses or grow a mustache.

Why do only the genitals have to look like his?
Why don't they consider whether the child wishes to look like him?

There is a horrible Q & A board by a Dr. Greene. He chose to circumcise his son "because I wanted to share that bond with him." Get that. There is no bond with a child unless you perform painful surgery on him RIGHT away at birth; it can't wait. Some bond. Nothing you might ask if the son wants to share.
post #18 of 19
There is no such person as a "Dr. Green." That is a site owned by one of the circumcision fetishist groups masquerading as a medical information site. There is also one called "Ask Dr. Parker" which is owned by another fetishist group.

If you ever need to contradict the information on one of these sites, you can do a "domain name" search to get the name and address of the owner.

post #19 of 19
I agree that men who say they want their sons to look like them don't want to face the question of why a circumcision was done on them (the dads).

I am so glad that my son didn't come along until after I had been a mom to three girls for a while. I was not very well informed when my first was born, and had she not been a girl, I might have gone with circumcision.

I have asked my husband if he wonders what it would be like if he was intact, or if he feels at all upset that he was cut, but he just shrugs and says you can't miss what you never had.

As for "looking like dad," my husband said that he has never seen his father's penis. He comes from a family where if someone still had their pajamas on, they better be wearing a robe over it. My father-in-law was born in 1919, so he may very well be intact. My husband and his two brothers, however, are circumcised.
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