My best friend's 19 month old son is circumsicized (sp?) and my 22 month old son is intact. She was asking me if my son plays with his penis all the time because she was wondering if her son's behavior was normal? I asked her to elaborate and she said that he is constantly pulling his pants and diaper off and playing with himself and giving himself erections and saying "wee wee!! wee wee!!" over and over and even if she puts him in pants that are hard to get off he sticks his hands down his pants to play with himself. Personally, my son does not exhibit behavior of this kind. He sometimes will feel around there a bit during bath time or sort of tug on it for a second during a diaper change but he doesn't stick his hands down his pants with the sole purpose of feeling his penis and he doesn't take his diaper off in order to play with it, nor have I ever witnessed him give himself an erection. I told my friend that while I haven't witnessed my son exhibit those behaviors, I figured they are all curious and aware at different levels. However, sense my son has a foreskin I wonder if this decreases indirect stimulation like his diaper rubbing on him as he walks that maybe her son feels? I was just wondering what you know about how circumcision affects toddlers exploratory behaviors and what you think is probably normal.
First let me say how lucky your son is to have a normal penis. I think there is some merit to what you say about your friend's circumcised son's exposed glans (head of the penis) being irritated by his underwear. How could it not be? His glans will become calloused and more and more desensitized with age, making it easier to leave with an exposed glans but harder to enjoy sex as he ages. Your friend's son has a primal wound, so he'll circle that wound for the rest of his life, even if he doesn't realize it. Because he's lost 20,000-100,000 specialized, erogenous nerve endings, he will continue to try to get the sensations that were his to experience but will never arrive because the nerves are gone. Then, too, some little boys are more interested in their penises than other boys--circumcised or not. The same is true for men. Your son is lucky to have the wholeness of his body and to be able to have the fullness of his sexual experience for the rest of his life. Please tell everyone why you protected your son from unnecessary, non-therapeutic circumcision. It's truly a traumatic and harmful practice that needs to stop! Thank you for bringing circumcision to an end in your family!