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What to say back?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi Mama's,
I've been reading alot lately about circ. and even though I'm not pregnant yet I know if I have a son I would not want to circ. him. As I broached the subject to my husband (chiro) he says he wants to even though he would agree with me and not do it. But he would if it was up to him. He says that it helps protect against AIDS and UTI. My sister also said this. However I said that no medical institution has medical benefits for it. Who is right? Are they right about UTI and Aids. Any help on how I can reply to that?? Thanks!!
post #2 of 24
Re: AIDS: here is what the AMA has to say: "...behavioral factors are far more important risk factors for acquisition of HIV and other sexually transmissible diseases than circumcision status, and circumcision cannot be responsibly viewed as "protecting" against such infections."

I.e. if he practices safe sex, being circumcised adds no appreciable benefits; if he doesn't practice safe sex, he'll be at high risk for HIV and other STDs, whether he's circumcised or not. So leave his foreskin alone and resolve to teach him good responsible sexual behaviors as he grows up.

See also NOCIRC's brochure on HIV and circumcision:

As far as UTI's: UTIs in baby boys are fairly uncommon, e.g. a baby boy has a 99% chance of NEVER having a UTI, whether or not he is circumcised. UTIs can be effectively treated with antibiotics, just as they would be in a circumcised boy or a baby girl. Also, breastfeeding decreases the chance of UTIs by a factor of three.

In general, when people bring up medical rationales as an excuse to circumcise, you can point out several things:
1) the potential benefits do not clearly outweigh the risks, harms, and losses of circumcision
2) there are less invasive and destructive ways to obtain the hoped for benefits
3) aside from UTIs in infants, most of the medical rationales given for circumcision do not apply in infants, i.e. it is not something that HAS to be done at birth, rather it is something that can be decided by the male in question when he is old enough to weigh to pros and cons for himself.

Make sure your husband knows the risks of circumcision, the functions of the foreskin, and the fact that no medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. Also, make sure he sees a video of a circumcision, so he knows what is actually done to a baby. Links to all of these have been posted here a lot, so I won't dig them up right now.

Ask if you need anything in particular, or if he throws out any other reasons. We've pretty much heard them all, and there are answers for anything he can come up with.

Welcome! I'm glad you're doing your research so early in the game.

post #3 of 24
In addition to what glongley posted I would add the following two handouts regarding HIV:

The Australian Federation of AIDS Organization's July 2007 statement.

And one that they did in September. Where they also say: How a man factors the known risk reduction alongside the unknown variables into his sexual decision-making is the important thing. Unless he opts to use condoms with all sexual partners whose HIV status is positive or unknown, he remains at risk of acquiring HIV (and if he does this, there is no need to be circumcised for added protection).
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
So I showed him your posts and he won't back down. Actually he got mad and left. He says there was a study done in Africa where HIV rates are higher and how it helped that they were circumsized. Or something along those lines. He had to learn about circ. in school. He agrees with me on everything..homebirth, nursing, no vax, clothdiapering. But this we butt heads. I don't know what to do to make him see my side. I even said what if girls were circ. would he agree and he said its not the same. GRRRR.
post #5 of 24
cak1207 -

It will take time for your husband to come around on this; someone here will sooner or later point you to a resource that will tell you why. That is why it is great that you are coming in to this early.

Don't worry you are right on this one. As Gillian posted UTIs are both uncommon and easily treatable. And while there were "studies" in Africa the results are disputed but even if we took them at face value (and you shouldn't) they are context-specific and don't apply to first world countries with low prevalence; the absolute risk reduction would be insignificant. This is why the AFAO published the sheet I posted.

I am sure more people will be along to help you out tonight. So hang around, read, post, ask questions and hang in there; as Gillian said they've seen it all before and can defiantly help you turn your husband around.
post #6 of 24
The study done that linked UTI to intact used preemi intact boys with full term circed boys. Premies are a lot more likely to get UTI anyway so the study was inherently flawed.

As for AIDS ask him if it is so good at preventing AIDS why is one of the highest rates found here in the USA were the majority were circed? It is totally silly to think that cutting off part of the penis will prevent AIDS.

Here are links on both the UTI and AIDS thing.

UTI myth http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/UTI/
In fact, UTI's are so rare in any case that, using Wiswell's data, 50 to 100 healthy boys would have to be circumcised in order to prevent a UTI from developing in only one patient. (Using more recent data from a better-controlled study, the number of unnecessary operations needed to prevent one hospital admission for UTI would jump to 195.
FORESKINS: Seek Elsewhere for Infants' Urinary Tract Infections

UTI Neonatal circumcision revisited

The incidence of Geniturinary abnormalities in circumcised and uncircumcised presenting with an initial urinary tract infection by 6 months of age

http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/ http://www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003362.html

Comparison of North America to other non-circ countries HIV status

And here are some other facts that he may not be aware of:
Reasons to leave your son intact:

- The owner of the penis should be the one to decide what to do with it.

-The foreskin, not the head, is the most sensitive part of the normal, intact penis.

- The movable shaft skin of an intact penis facilitates intercourse, reducing friction and prolonging pleasurable sex for both male and female.

- The foreskin aids in foreplay; lubricants are optional.

- An intact penis will have no circumcision scar, will often have less hair drawn up onto it shaft, and will on average be somewhat larger than a circumcised penis.

- The foreskin protects and lubricates the head or “glans” of the penis for the life of its owner. The glans or the head of the penis was never meant to be a external organ it should be inside the foreskin to protect it and keep it sensitive.

-80-85% of the world’s male population has intact genitals, including nearly all European males (please note that HIV/AIDS rates are actually lower in Europe than in America). Circumcision does NOT prevent AIDS wearing a condom does.

-Male circumcision permanently diminishes the sexual feelings for both male and female.

- When people from non circumcising countries hear that we in the USA still do it they are usually shocked, and often don't believe it to be true.

- Care of the intact infant penis is actually much easier as there is no wound care, you just wash it like a finger, it should never be retracted by anyone other than the child. The age it becomes retractable varies greatly normal range is childhood to adulthood.

- The foreskin contains three to four feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of nerves, and 10-20,000 specialized nerve endings.

- When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it. Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

-The circumcision rate in the USA has fallen from 90% in 1970 to roughly 56% today.

-Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late 1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for all sorts of ailments - all of which have been scientifically disprovable. Including but not limited to it being a cure for baldness, mental illness, cancer etc. Etc.

The History of Circumcision

Warning disturbing pictures "The medicalization of circumcision"

A Short History of Circumcision in the U.S.A (this one is really scary when you read it)

The Ritual of Circumcision

-Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic, pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed sex/intact sex to someone who is color blind they can see just fine but the full "color" is missing.

-Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical circumcisions is less that 0.05%. Circumcision for phimosis should only be done as a last resort. After trying stretching, steroid cream and a dorsel slit.

-No medical organization anywhere recommends routine infant circ.
Here is a list of statements from several countries including the USA and Canada.

- Circumcision is EXTREMELY painful, even if anesthetic is administered. Studies have proved that babies feel pain even more acutely than an adult would. It is a very great breech of trust for a baby to be taken from his parents and cut. It is very violating. Long after any anesthesia that might(most only get a sugar dipped rag or paci to suck on) have been used wears off there is still a raw open wound sitting in urine and feces with no pain relief.

-The intact penis, if left alone, has no greater risk for UTI's, STD's, Penile Cancer, HIV, causing Cervical Cancer in women.

- Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we don't cut off parts of their genitals to prevent them.
Cancer Society:http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/co...evented_35.asp
In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile cancer. This suggestion was based on studies that reported much lower penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men. However, most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because they failed to consider other factors that are now known to affect penile cancer risk.
Gellis (1978) said there are more deaths from circumcision than from cancer of the penis.8
Boczko et al . found numerous reports of penile cancer in circumcised men, thus conclusively disproving Wolbarst's false claims of protection from penile cancer by circumcision.9
In "Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy," Edward Wallerstein writes14: "If infant circumcision reduces penile cancer we could expect to see proportionately less penile cancer in circumcising nations as compared to non-circumcising ones. No such difference is found."
Preston established quite clearly that there was little evidence to support a relationship between lack of circumcision and penile cancer, cervical cancer, or cancer of the prostate in 1970 but he was unable to identify the causative agent at that time,6 while Leitch did the same in Australia.
- The times the intact penis has trouble are when it is forcefully retracted before it is ready. The penis should only be retracted by its owner, when he’s ready. It is normal to not be retractable until after puberty. It is not a problem.

- Circumcision is SURGERY and as such poses significant risks of infection to the wound.
Possible complications include but are not limited to:
  • Infections;
  • Botched circumcisions that have to be redone;
  • To tight circumcisions that cause extreme pain with erection;
  • Hair on the shaft;
  • Loss of sensation in the glans (head), it becomes keratinized (hardened) without the foreskin; (this one always happens)
  • Amputation of the part or all of the penis;
  • Ruptured stomach, bladder, and or intestines from crying so hard;
  • Skin bridges(very common)
  • Adhesions(very common)
  • Scaring on the penis shaft(very common)
  • Meatal Stenosis http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/persad/ around 10-15% of circs result in this complication if not more.
  • DEATH (I have read that as many as 5 infants die every year from circ complications)
and much much more.
It is estemated that between 10-15% of all males will have at least 1 or more of the complications listed above. But none of these side effects are present when leaving a boy intact.

Links of pictures Warning graphic pictures

- There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. It is a cosmetic surgery, and as such more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

- Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars every year. Doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths alive.

- A single doctor can make $20,000 a year doing circumcisions.

- A little known fact is that foreskins are then resold to the highest bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskins owner doesn’t have a say in the matter.

- “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin. All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.”

- Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know all that is entailed.

-What if your son wants his foreskin?

- A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very violated. (like my husband.)

- How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys? FGM type one, the most common form of female circumcision, only removes the covering of the clitoris and some of the labia. Those parts directly corrilate to the foreskin on a male penis.

- It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and so the Doctors say it doesn't hurt them. It does - they are in shock.

- Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

- When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to ripping off your fingernails. Than they crush the foreskin and cut it off. They also stimulate an erection so they “know where to cut.” A boys first sexual experience is one of great pain and trauma.

Common myths you may hear from others and even Dr's:

Why men may insist on circumcision article


Side by side comparison of MGM & FGM

post #7 of 24
The short answer is, your dh is circed and needs to believe that there was a good reason for it. That circ prevents something, somehow, and that it's cleaner and safer.

The alternative is for him to have to face the fact that he was strapped down as a baby and cut upon on the most sensitive area of his body, losing half the nerve endings and suffering a permanent alteration in the functioning of his penis, for no good reason.

This isn't about proof, science, facts. This is about emotion, feelings, irrationality. When you understand that your dh is putting up emotional arguments cloaked in a scientific rationale to justify what he went through and to avoid any thoughts that his penis is less than perfect, you'll get where he is coming from.

The bottom line is, your dh doesn't have to agree with you. It's your son's penis, so your son is the only one who gets to decide how his body should look and work. Just tell your dh that your son won't be circed, period, and then just don't argue about it any more.
post #8 of 24
cak1207, to MDC!!!

How incredibly lucky you are to have this knowledge before having children!

That link is really good. It'll give you an idea of the motives behind the "circ to reduce HIV study".

I'd tell your dh that since your newborn will not be sexually active anytime soon, there is no need to worry about your child sexually contracting the virus. Education and condoms is the best prevention. Circumcision is not. Circumcised men can and do get AIDS - from heterosexual intercourse.

Plant seeds and help them grow. This information takes time to digest. IF you force it it'll create a gag reflect.
I don't know what else to really tell you except that I hope you'll stick around. Good luck!

Quirky, I haven't seen you in a while. I've missed you! Good to see you again.
post #9 of 24


Girls have like, 10 times more UTIs than even an intact male and nothing gets cut off them to "prevent". Several parents here have HAD intact sons that got a UTI or two and the doctor told them circ would preven future UTIs. You know what? They STILL got them!!!!!!

This chart explains how STUPID it is to circ to prevent UTIs:
(please save or bookmark this picture for future reference)
post #10 of 24
Originally Posted by cak1207 View Post
So I showed him your posts and he won't back down. Actually he got mad and left. He says there was a study done in Africa where HIV rates are higher and how it helped that they were circumsized. Or something along those lines. He had to learn about circ. in school. He agrees with me on everything..homebirth, nursing, no vax, clothdiapering. But this we butt heads. I don't know what to do to make him see my side. I even said what if girls were circ. would he agree and he said its not the same. GRRRR.
It sounds to me as if your husband must have read something in passing about those studies in Africa without actually taking the time to get the facts straight.

The most important thing for you to tell your husband is this: sex in Africa is HUGELY different from sex anywhere else in the western world. Ask your husband if he knows what "dry sex" is. Chances are, he does not.

Dry sex is the type of intercourse that is the most frequently practiced in Africa. Africans find the idea of any sort of vaginal lubrication both disgusting and appalling. Women insert various things into their vaginas (many times these things are highly dangerous -- such as the insertion of bark or rocks) in order to become dry for sex.

Now, obviously if a woman is putting things inside her vagina and having dry sex a lot, there is a tendency, shall we say, for tears and abrasions to occur. If a man is having dry sex, he is MUCH more likely to contact AIDS from a woman who has tears and cuts in her vagina that may or may not be bleeding during intercourse. This isn't just a practice that people in tiny African villages do, either. This is something that is widely practiced in even most large African cities.

In short, sex in Africa is much riskier than it is anywhere else in the world, and thus one is much more likely to contract AIDS there than anywhere else in the world either. Notice that I haven't even touched on the fact that grown men believe that having sex with an infant or toddler will cure them of AIDS -- just one of many myths that Africans believe in. And, as your son is highly unlikely to be having dry sex in the future, the odds are good that if you teach him to wear a condom while having sex, he will be just fine. The study that was done in Africa has no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the world as their sexual practices are so very very different.
post #11 of 24
You have gotten a wealth of good information already. I think Quirky hit the nail on the head, he is being irrational because he emotionally cannot deal with his circ. But here are some other points to consider.

First related to the circ protects against AIDS: They do not give the proper context for the study's results. I wonder why. At any rate, what you hear is a 50% reduction, whihc sounds huge. But it should more accurately be stated as circ’d men had a 1.6% chance of contracting aids, while the normal men had a 3.4% chance. Or if you were circ’d you had an incidence of 16 men out of a 1,000, while normal men had an incidence of 34 men out of 1,000.

This doesn’t sound as compelling. Or use the number in a more familiar and less frightening context. Relate that 50% to birth control, a similar situation in which you want to be very certain that you are safe. How many people will be satisfied if their birth control method only reduces the chance of pregnacny by 50%? Flip of a coin, in other words.

In addition, there are some morale/philosophical issues to consider:

Physicians have legal and ethical duties to their child-patient to render competent necessary care based on what the patient needs, not what someone else, including a parent, expresses.

The child has a legal right to bodily integrity. Upon reaching adulthood, the child may have a right to sue to recover damages for injuries or unnecessary surgery sustained in childhood.

The parent must ethically and legally make decisions for the child based solely on the best interests of the child.

The core issue is that it isn't your husband's penis. It's your son's penis. And your son is the person who has the right to decide how he wants his penis to look, function and feel. Not you, your husband, your relatives, or the Doctors.

post #12 of 24
I'm kinda surprised a chiro would be for circ. My chiro is vehemently against it. He considers it barbaric and completely unnecessary.
post #13 of 24
Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
I'm kinda surprised a chiro would be for circ.
Me too! It seems that wanting a routine circ goes against most chiro's philosophy of a holistic approach. I'm sure your dh has grown up hearing all the same lies about a foreskin as we've all heard. He's a smart man. Give him time. He'll come around.

In case these haven't been posted ( I am rushed & can't read all previous responses):
http://nocirc.org/publish/ (see #11 abrout HIV/AIDS)
http://infocirc.org/uti2.htm (about uti's)

And if he'd like a doctor's opinion:

And if all else fails, maybe the last line in this article will convince him:
post #14 of 24
My DH didn't want to look at any of the research I had done because it was all from "anti-circ sites, which are biased" Instead, he insisted on getting his facts from wikipedia... bleh... Anyway, what I told him was that I had seen pictures of a circumcision being done on a little boy (couldn't bring myself to watch the video) and I just could not let anyone do that to our little boy. He wasn't happy and thought I was giving him an ultimatum. I explained, no... just my mama bear insticts kicking in. I don't want anyone to hurt my baby.
post #15 of 24
You might like to let him know that the Wikipedia has been totally discredited as any source of factual information - anyone can edit it, and the circ pages in particular have been under the control of circumfetishists for a very long time. (Just google Jake Waskett and see what you come up with).

He might as well be getting his information from Sicklist, or The Acorn Society, or indeed the Gilgal Society, or any other of the societies formed by men and women with a sick fascination for circumcision and other genital mutilations.

Tell him he'll have to do a lot better than the Wiki. How about a real unbiased site?
post #16 of 24
You can try medical sites like the AAP and Canadian Padiatric Society;

They all say there is no medical reason for it, but the statemetns are not that strong against circumcision. Perhaps the statistics would help, though.

For example:
1% of boys circumcised will need a 2nd circumcision

and you can mention the complication of meatal stenosis for circumcised boys too.

Way to many risks for something that is not medically recommended.

post #17 of 24
Originally Posted by Daisyuk View Post
Tell him he'll have to do a lot better than the Wiki. How about a real unbiased site?

It doesn't really matter at this point because DH has agreed to leave our little boy intact. And every time I even bring up the topic (even for just general discussion) he gets annoyed and says something along the lines of, "we've already decided to leave Christopher intact, and I'm okay with that. So can we just drop it?" And you kow what? I'm pretty okay with that. As long as DH doesn't insist on circumcision, and as long as he knows not to retract (which he does), I'm not really concerned about whether or not he does more research. It's not really worth fighting over.
post #18 of 24
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
"we've already decided to leave Christopher intact, and I'm okay with that. So can we just drop it?"
He's getting it. Sometimes the best intactivists start like that!
post #19 of 24
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post
It doesn't really matter at this point because DH has agreed to leave our little boy intact.

post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Dang, I still wish mine would! We still haven't talked about it since.
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