or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › Circumcision on Dr. Phil Show
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Circumcision on Dr. Phil Show

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've gotten the word that a mother who feels guilty because she circumcised her son will be on the Dr. Phil Show Tuesday April 8th.

It will be interesting to see what Dr. Phil says.

post #2 of 21
I don't even want to watch. I extremely dislike Dr. Phil. And he probably was circ'd himself, which may color his answer. He should have stuck to trial psychology.
post #3 of 21

That's the transcript of what he told her. He was condescending (surprise). I don't care for him either. ESPECIALLY after the infamous co-sleeping "advice"

"The American Academy of Pediatrics says there's really no indication for it medically,"


"but there also is no risk or downside,"

now that's a load of crap.

Example of risk: FDA Warning - Potential Injury from Circumcision Clamps

Downside: loss of sexual sensation, etc..

"such that you certainly should respect family practice, cultural practice, or religious practice. You need to let yourself off the hook here."

I agree she needs to let it go. So do I.

But he was completely useless (what a surprise) to her. She needs to go to a real marriage counselor/therapist. (That helped me to forgive DH, but now I need to find a way to stop beating myself up over it.) I think she needs to have a good cry and then let it go. She needs some emotional support. She got no understanding from Dr. Phil.
post #4 of 21
Sheesh, he's a JERK alright.

post #5 of 21
Two steps forward, one step back....
post #6 of 21
Dr. Phil is such an idiot. I didn't watch the show but I just read it on his web site. Whata load of ____ he told that woman.
The only part I agree with is that she needs to let it go. I feel bad for her and the fact she was reaching out for help and Dr. Phil let her fall.
post #7 of 21
The real answer (IMHO) is for her to educate herself thoroughly about the male anatomy in order to become proactive in the event someone is in need of information. The issue does not stop at the moment of truth when the procedure first presents itself. There are the retraction questions and the later-in-life let's-circ-him dilemma's. Kinda like the stuff we talk about here. We should inundate the "Talk About This Show" section on Phil's website. ps. Does he even have a foreskin? The myths abound.
post #8 of 21
I'm watching Dr. Phil right now and he is a condescending jerk alright.

He states "One day old children do not attribute pain..." I want to know HTF does he know???

I understand that he wants to help her get over it but he doesn't need to discredit her feelings.

The audience is eating his words off a plate. Who goes to his shows anyway!!!

I'm very angry here as I think that many of the moms who go to his shows and watch his programs are thinking okay circumcision is no big deal and while I think this mom does need to move on, I don't think her feelings are invalid. Maybe, it's time America stopped and realized that many ppl feel guilty about this practice, WHY???

If someone had come on to his show saying "I regret having my daughter ritually circumcised" , he would have been all over them with a stick. He's a jerk.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

post #9 of 21
I just feel really sorry for this mom. He can be such an a$$! I was fortunate that I had a friend who was in nursing school and I flipped thru her text book one day while bored. I saw pictures of how it is done and began to question her about it. I honestly do not think I would have ever questioned itotherwise. I just wasn't raised to question the "system".

We did not circ either of our boys and are now advocates to anyone who cares to listen. But BTW my hubby IS circed. It was really HIM even more so than myself who insisted they remain intact. I just didn't like the implications above that Dr. Phil's insensitivities may be partially attributed to the state of his own foreskin. I think he can be a real jerk whether or not he is circ'ed.
post #10 of 21
There's a feedback section, and this is what I sent.

Dr. Phil, I watched yesterdays show and was very curious about your response to the mother who felt guilty about having her son circ'd. I knew how the mother felt to a certain extent. When my son was born, he wasn’t in the best of health and I allowed the doctors to do all sorts of tests including a spinal tap without thinking, without feeling, without questioning. The doctor wasn’t very adamant about the tap being performed, there wasn’t any really indications that it was necessary. And I knew that spinal tap was going to hurt him, but I allowed it. I felt like a pretty bad mother for allowing my baby to be hurt for no real reason. Now I can somewhat comfort myself because I realize that after the birth (which didn’t go they way I hoped and worked for) I was pretty well numb and in shock. I don’t know what Angie went through to bring her little boy into this world, but I guessed she might have had a similar situation to mine.

I appreciate that your intent was to make her feel better, but I disagree with how that was done. It felt like you were making fun of her for not wanting the procedure ("Do you think when he's 18, he's gonna look down and go 'Wo!'?"). I feel that your explanation that circ is OK because millions of people do it is logically incorrect. Millions of people have affairs, commit murder, and steal - that doesn't make it OK. I feel that you belittled the feelings and first sensations of newborns. I agree that what you read about babies attributing pain to their mother is a bunch of crap; but I do feel that a baby boy's introduction to this world being of such intense pain (that doesn't go away as soon as the procedure is finished) will influence how he feels about his world. That seems to make sense to me, but I'm just a mom, not a doctor.

I think you had an opportunity to tell people that it's OK to break tradition and not circ your son, but you made it sound like it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. We are the only country that hurts our boys like this, it makes no sense. It doesn’t make us more “civilized,” it's not as if it's been a tradition that defines America for centuries-doctors started the procedure to prevent boys from masturbating. When that wasn't a good enough reason, they tried to come up with medical ones and told us how wonderful it was. Then they did studies on these supposed benefits and found them all to be wrong. We were lied to and the doctors got paid while our sons were being hurt. Now we continue because fathers want their sons to look like them.

Why do we allow a tradition that removes a healthy, functional part of our sons’ bodies? Does the circ’d son feel any more confident, secure, or happy knowing he looks like his father? My husband admitted it didn’t really cross his mind. Why do men have a need to make their son’s genitals look like theirs? Who’s going to know? If the son’s nose is different, is the father going to take him to a plastic surgeon? The nose will show up in family photos, penises usually don’t. Do men greet each other, “Hi, I’m Tom and I was circ’d. Were you?” and if the other person wasn’t, will that prevent them from being friends? Do you think on his wedding night, a son will think, “Well, I’m missing the most sensitive part of my penis, but at least I didn’t have to rinse it with water when I took a shower!” or his new bride will think, “Well… he’s about 25% smaller than he could have been, but at least he looks like my father-in-law!”? My personal feeling is that fathers who insist that their sons’ genital look like them are being selfish. I think it is a security issue for the father. For a circ’d father to allow his son to remain intact, the father is admitting that he is not whole.

To be perfectly honest, I think the procedure should be made illegal when done for cosmetic purposes. It is unethical, and especially wrong for a doctor to perform it. I feel it is a doctor’s job to make people healthier, circ’ing doesn’t fall even remotely close to that category.

Most moms are like Angie and want to protect their babies, I think that makes her a great mom for even considering not just going with the flow. I think you could have told her she was a good person still, that her son wouldn’t blame her, she did the best she could at the time, and still admitted that circ’ing may not be the best way to go. You were brave enough to stand up to spanking (ideally inflicting pain for the purpose of teaching), I wish you could have stood up for not circ’ing (inflicting pain for cosmetic purposes).

Just the thoughts of the mother of a six month old baby boy.
Melissa Evans

Well, that was it until I realized there's a 2000 char limit. So he's getting a reduced version.

I hope more people respond. =)
post #11 of 21
I do feel that a baby boy's introduction to this world being of such intense pain (that doesn't go away as soon as the procedure is finished) will influence how he feels about his world. That seems to make sense to me, but I'm just a mom, not a doctor.
Beautiful letter, Melissa! I wish he could get to read all of it. You're right "Why do we allow a tradition that removes a healthy, functional part of our sons’ bodies?"

post #12 of 21
I guess I am going to be alone in my pro-Dr. Phil stance. I like him! I have liked him from day one. He does tell it like it is - and I agree with him in most cases. But I don't catch his show more than once a week at best - and often much less so I can't claim to agree with him on every topic.

I went and read the transcript someone linked to from his site. He didn't say one day old babies don't feel pain - he said they don't attribute it to their mothers. He also said that it (circ) wasn't medically necessary - which is a good message to get out to mainstream America!

Sure, you and I wish he would have made a better anti-circ stance but I don't think he comes across as pro-circ either. He did tell her she did it with no malice or bad intent - did what she knew to do at the time - and it is a common practice in this country (sadly). There is no changing it now so she does need to get past it. Now she knows better and will do better if ever she has another son. Maybe helping other women learn about it before the births of their sons will help her. I would tell her to write her son a letter explaining and apologizing - for him to read when he is an adult.

I am anti-circ and (thankfully) in agreement with dh on the issue. So far we have two girls but expecting baby #3 (gender unknown to us) end of next month. Am sure our mainstream friends and family will freak if/when they find out we didn't circ.
post #13 of 21
Kristen, you're right. I actually usually like him too. I appreciate that he did say spanking wasn't a good thing and I think he really does help a lot of people. I just think he was way too accepting of circ and made fun of Angie. But if Angie wasn't insulted, I guess I don't have a right to be angry for her. *shrug*

post #14 of 21

I didn't see the show and it is hard to read tone of voice, etc. into the transcript I read. Sometimes I think Dr. Phil tries to use humor to diffuse an emotion - and that can come across as sarcastic or something other than positive. But I think your letter was great and it is good to make these points to him to get him to at least think about it more!

On not having the right to get mad for her (the woman on the show) if she was ok with how the conversation went - I have gotten furious when friends' husbands mistreated them (IMO) even when they seem ok with it. I have been horrified by the seemingly unnecessary c-sections of women I know - even when they are fine with it. No point in getting them riled up about it if they are dealing fine - but that doesn't mean I don't need to vent to dh or a friend about the mistreatment. That is hard to see! So I can totally understand your anger at him for her - even if she didn't have any - or show it on the show.

post #15 of 21

Dr Phil and the AAP

I don't watch television (although I have two of them), and I probably wouldn't have watched this show anyway. This Dr. Phil episode has been mentioned on a number of boards (including foreskin restore list) where I lurk (and sometimes post). I read the short version that was linked above, and all I could think when I finished is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has their collective head up their collective butt! No risk or downside to circ? Give me a break - please. These people are supposed to be doctors - "First, do no harm." What do they think that means? I can't believe that doctors don't know that circ is harmful. What do they think they are cutting off? I'm going to see if I can find the feedback section that Melissa mentioned...
post #16 of 21
Biggest hint to me that doctors were wrong was how they told parents that babies couldn't feel pain. And they went to school to learn that. Scary, huh?

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
The AAP doesn't have it's head up it's butt, it is in complete denial. Many people have been telling them for years that they are all wrong. If you will look at the membership of the Taskforce on Circumcision, you will see that it was carefully selected to achieve the desired outcome. Five of the seven members had published works strongly supporting circumcision (even mandatory circumcision!). One of the members was an opthalmologist who had applied for permission to perform circumcisions. There was only one other who did not perform circumcisions but it was never said why. One of the members was so old and sick he was unable to attend any of the meetings. The only anti circumcision doctor that was nominated to the panel, Dr. Robert Van Howe, was rejected for membership. Five of the seven members were Jewish. How much evidence do you need?

Many groups, including Doctors Opposing Circumcision, have called them to task to no avail. Here is the letter DOC sent in response to the 1999 statement:


This letter is also a valuable resource to those who are educating parents. It covers just about every subject and has numerous links to research.

They have been repeatedly called to task and have steadfastly refused to budge in the direction of a strong statement against circumcision. I'm sure they have their motives and I suspect I know what they are.

post #18 of 21
My guess would be those reasons are $$, pride, and more $$$. Did I mention $$$?

post #19 of 21
I was thinking about it, and something else Dr. Phil said on this show upset me. He said that babies can make it through the birth process, so circ isn't a big deal at all by comparison. <vent> Yeah, but most babies know how to be born. They know that they should be head down and they know how to do the keyhole trick to get out of the pelvis. They even know how to survive outside of the womb. They know they need to breath, they know how to nurse. That doesn't mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that they know how to deal with intense pain while part of their body is removed! </vent>

Ok. I'm done now.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just saw that Dr. Phil is coming to Atlanta. Want to be there? Ticket prices are $195.00 - $395.00. Tells me a lot!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Understanding Circumcision
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Understanding Circumcision › Circumcision on Dr. Phil Show