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Old 01-27-2005, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH and I are torn on this subject. We just want what's best for our son and cannot decide whether to have him circumcised or not. My main concerns are hygiene, infection, pain from the procedure, and being different from his peers.

What are your thoughts on this subject? If you're having a boy, will you have him circumcised?
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Old 01-27-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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My husband and I were really divided on the circumcision issue, but I didn't think we'd have to deal with it because I was sure that our first child was going to be a girl... Everyone but the old farmer at the market was wrong, and we had a perfect boy on 10/8/2003, a month pre-term due to complications of mine, but healthy and beautiful. We had to deal with the circ issue after all.

I had done a little research while pregnant with DS, mainly just reading the excellent Mothering articles on circumcision, and challenged my husband to come up with a better reason to circ than that they would have matching penises. He couldn't, and the arguments against circumcision are just so compelling.

It really came down to one thing, though: Our son developed in my body, grew on my milk, and is under our care as he grows, but ultimately, his body belongs to him. If, after growing up intact, he chooses to have his foreskin amputated, he's free to make that decision, but we didn't want to alter his body without his consent.

Please do your research, and read though the very active "Case Againist Circumcision" discussions here on the boards!

good luck!
-katie

Growing babies, fruits, veges, and chickens on our little urban homestead in the frozen north
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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Before my first was conceived, I was pro-cm. I believed the myths and was also concerned with the matching penises issue. Once I got PG and started doing research, I found no good reason to do it. I found all the common reasons were bunk. I found the matching penises issue was irrelevent. I looked at the stats and saw that its not abnormal in this day and age (even in America) to not be cm. And for me, the deciding factor was the same as katie's. Its his body and I'm not cutting anything off it off. If he wants to later, that's his deal - he can do it when he's old enough to handle pain meds, and to make that choice for himself.
GOOD LUCK, mama!
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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: I try to avoid answering these, but here I am...

Let me say we don't know the sex, but I have some feelings it's a boy and have pushed for more talks about it this pregnancy than I did last time with dd.

I'm against and dh is for. Nothing, not one article, not one argument has swayed his view. It is something he's put his foot down on (not typical of him). I feel as strongly against as he does for. But I don't think it's something I'm willing to divorce him over...

So far the compromise is we're going to wait 7-10 days post birth to at least establish breastfeeding. I've asked that if this is something that he feels so strongly about, then at least make it a more ritual experience rather than merely surgical. Religious reasoning is the only way I can justify it.

Please don't flame! I'm just being honest with the OP!
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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There is lots of great info over in the Circumcision forum about this. My baby's daddy is intact, and if we had had a boy we would not have circumcised. In Britain where he is from most people are not circumcized. He is gay, and he said when he came to Canada he thought he was having sex with all these Jewish men... :LOL

Re being different from peers - the rate of circumcision has declined lots in this generation, so I think an intact boy will have lots of company. Not sure of stats exactly... perhaps someone else can chime in.

My baby's father swears sexual senstation is more intense in an intact penis, and much less rough stimulation is needed to have an enjoyable sexual experience. He should know, he's been around. (He's my main source of penis related info, and when I got pregnant I knew almost nothing about the pros and cons of circumcision).

Anyway, good luck with your decision.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:16 PM
 
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We circed DS1 mostly because I just wasn't strong enough to fight the mainstream current. Let me say, I still feel guilty every time I see his penis. Now I'm expecting another boy and really don't want to circ. I feel so bad for ds1. Will he hate me for doing it to him? Will ds2 hate me for not making him like his brother? It's really, really hard. I guess we can't see into the future, we just have to do what appears to be right now. So I'll be fighting the circ this time, I need to bring it up with DH really soon but I think he'll be agreeable if I give him some articles, etc.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:29 PM
 
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The risks of circ. really do outweigh the "potential benefits" of circ.

It's not cleaner to circ. "Smegma" is the same lubricant that our vaginas produce; it is nothing foul or infection-prone. "Smegma" is actually the Greek word for "soap".

It's estimated that as many as 31% of circ'ed males have some kind of dysfunction as a result. Come to the Case Against Circ. forum and you can find all the relevant studies and statistics there.

Lastly, it is excruciating pain that frequently puts newborns into a state of shock and can permanently alter the neural pathways of their brains. It takes 5 - 10 minutes of ripping, cutting, slicing, and clamping. And adequate anesthesia is never given to newborns because it's considered too dangerous. Many people are duped into believing it's some kind of quick snip. It is a very bloody, brutal practice. There are lots of actual videos available... I've never known anyone to see what ACTUALLY happens during a circ. and still choose to do it, considering there are zero benefits and it is cosmetic surgery.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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cielle - When you know better, you do better. It's better to explain to the first child that you really believed circumcising was healthier and better but learned differently before the second was born, instead of telling your first that you thought it was the best choice but you knew better with your second and decided to do it, anyway!
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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I chose not to for many reasons. One being that I didn't find it to be a necessary surgical procedure. Another being I didn't see how hygenic it was to have an open wound in a diaper. I also thought about how painful it would be to have urine/feces on that open wound. When I was in the hospital after dd was born, the 'newborn channel' that gives all sorts of caring for your baby info showed how to take care of a circ and I couldn't believe how gross that wound looked. I had never seen a baby penis, circ'd or not (there are mostly girls in my family and I had the first grandkids), so I never really thought about it, but when I saw that, I was decided that it wouldn't be done to my kids.

'Because everyone else does is' isn't really a good arguement for me b/c I remember my parents with 'if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?' too well. I just do what is right for me and my family.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 01-28-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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We didn't. DH was raised Jewish and his parents gave me terrible grief over our decision, but it's not their boy.

For me, it came down to this. He is intact and can still have it done when and if HE wants. If I had had him cut, I would have taken away his choice forever.

The circ rate is right at half here, so peer stuff has not been an issue.
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:51 AM
 
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We're having girl #2, but if we ever have a boy, we won't be circing (and my dh IS circumcised). My dh totally agrees with me. In my opinion, it's like giving your boy a nose job at birth because you're worried about what his wife will think of his nose when he grows up. It's a cosmetic proceedure. In the hospital where I work, only 55% of the boys are circ'd. The other 45% are not. If half the boys are & half aren't, then fitting in isn't an issue.

Don't flame me, but when I see my friends son who is circ'd, his penis looks like it's been partly amputated or something. Like something is missing. Even though my dh is circ'd, it still seems odd to me.
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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Remember, if you change your mind, it can't be "undone".
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:31 PM
 
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I know I will have an unpopular view : but you asked...

It is my personal experience that a circumcised penis is most definitely cleaner. There is no medical study that can replace these personal experiences for me, sorry. Also, our uncle had infection problems in his 30's-40's and got circumcised... infections ceased. I promise you that a circumcision at 1 week is not as painful as one at 30 yrs old (just ask anyone who had tonsils out later in life!!!).

I'm not "officially" Jewish but I am of Jewish decent. The practices of the culture/religion are based on some pretty basic principals, one being cleanliness. Although we have come a long way since those times (daily showers, etc), the basic idea that it is cleaner is just common sense (as the fold holds so much more bacteria, odors - i could go into detail here but will refrain). The jewish practice of waiting 8 days is probably also related to the infants ability to clot properly (aka: the Vitamin K debate).

As per sensation... my former (pre-marital) experience with it was not very enjoyable. TOO much sensation made sex and various touching (even light) too overly sensitive to be enjoyable. Was sad not to be able to experience many intimate things. The experience was with a very nice, clean all-american boy and engagement was pending (before anyone accuses me of having a unique bad experience with some dirty guy).

I do have one friend who always had uncircumcised boyfriends and thought it was just fine.... as for me, Europeans can keep this one!!!
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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why fix it when it's not broke!?

i don't buy the "it's cleaner" argument because just as many ciced men have "issues" down below from time to time. i do not believe it has anything to do with whether or not they are circed.

i don't buy the "so he'll fit in" argument, because it's half and half.

i just do not have the right to cut off a part of another person's body without his permission!

i know i don't express my views as eloquently as some of the others here,
but this is how i feel!
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Old 02-01-2005, 05:03 PM
 
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We did circ my first born only so he would look like his daddy. Luckly #2 was a girl . But now I don't know the sex of this baby and have done tons of reserch WE have decited to not circ this time if it's a boy. I have big brests and when my daughter hits puberty I won't support a breast agumentation so she looks like me either. We all are made differently and I'm sure self love can be achevievd either way. Someone said to remember you can't go back and UN circumsize your son that's a huge issue for me! I should have protected my son when he needed me and I did not!- Laura
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:04 PM
 
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I personally prefer a circ'd guy to a non-circed guy because IME it is cleaner in cases where the guy isn't vigalent about his hygene and also I just prefer how it looks.

However, I'm not going to be sleeping with my offspring so I figure that I shouldn't allow personal views about aestics cloud my judgement about the moral implications of the descision to circ. I would never alter my dd's sexual anatomy just for looks and because it would be easier for my to clean. That would clearly be a) criminal and b) simply ridiculous. I think it only fair that the same standards that we demand for girls also apply to boys.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Dh and I went around and around prior to ds being born (we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl at the time) about circing. Bottom line - it's not my penis. It's not my dh's penis. Why do I have a say in it? I don't and shouldn't.

even the AAP (who we know is influenced far too often by the almighty dollar) says that it's not medically neccesary. One reason given for circing is often the "infection" issue. Far more male babies have ear infections than foreskin infections - should we amputate ears at birth "in case" they get infected? OF COURSE NOT! That's just silly. And silly is just the beginning of my feelings of circing, I could go on, but I think if you wish to be truly informed in this decision that you visit the Circ forum here at MDC and look at some links.

As a parent it's the least we can do to make informed decisions regarding our children's health, not anecdotal observations either based on ours, our friends or our families experiences.
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Old 02-01-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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kattie-
i think this is a totally personal decision. as an RN we were taught that there is NO medical need for a circ and that if the parents can teach their son how to care for himself, same as a parent has to do with a daughter, then there is NO reason to circ. that said, MOST parents still opt for the circ'd route. the numbers are going down but circ'd still outweighs uncirc'd.

as for my Personal beliefs. i would not do it. as a NICU RN i witnessed way too many circs being done. i hated taking the babies in there . no matter what the parents wishes are there just is NO humane way to circ a baby boy. parents often request to attend and i will tell you straight up, you don't want to see your son go through that. no way jose!!!!! it's hard enough as an RN having no blood relation to the child. i couldn't imagine a parent being able to stomach it.

ultimately, you have to make a decision and wether you decide to leave it be and let your son decide when he grows up, or you choose to have it done now, just make sure it's a choice you and your DH made together and one you can both live with. i'd say if you are really anit circing right now, then ask your DH to wait a while and then have it done when your son is a little older......... you know, compromise .

best of luck with your decision, and please remember, it's YOUR decision. there is no right or wrong answer
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:17 PM
 
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Hi - I'm popping in from the September 2005 board! I was doing a search, and this thead came up, so I thought I would add a linkn to this study:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/11/prweb180294.htm

This study showed that circumcision is NOT cost effective.

From the study:

Quote:
The analysis is based on published data from multiple observational studies, comparing boys circumcised at birth and those not circumcised, using the Quality of Well-being Scale, a Markov analysis, the standard reference case, and a societal perspective. Neonatal circumcision increased incremental costs by $828.42 per patient and resulted in an incremental 15.30 well-years lost per 1000 males. The only ones to gain from this unnecessary and harmful surgery are the attending physicians and hospitals.
For the poster whose husband has 'put his foot down' about circumcision, you might find the following article helpful in understanding where your husband is coming from:

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:W...ient=firefox-a

You said that you felt very strongly about this, but you didn't see it as an issue that you would divorce your husband over. I really feel for you - your husband is vulnerable on this issue, and it is so hard on a wife in your situation.

However, I think it is worth flipping the 'divorce' question around - is this an issue your husband is willing to divorce you over? Would he divorce you because you protected your son from painful, sexually damaging surgery? Something to think about, anyway.
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Old 02-07-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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i just wanted to throw this out there too. find out who would be performing your son's circ. in some states it's the OBs and in some states it's the peds. in my experience (only my experience) OBs HATE doing circs. to them it's a waste of their time. which is one reason that they are not really into "following parents' wishes". the peds seem to be a TAD more accomodating, but still not really INTO it.

if you guys do decide to do it. have a chat with the care provider that will be performing it, before you deliver and make it VERY VERY clear that you want things the way you want them. maybe even ask them how they feel about doing circs and their opinion on the necessity for a circ.
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Old 02-07-2005, 03:11 PM
 
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On the heals of Dana... you could also wait a few months & have a Pediatric Surgeon do it & general anesthesia if you still felt strongly about it.
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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I had a terrible time in the beginning trying to convince DH to leave our baby intact if it is a boy. I posted on the circ forum and got so much advice. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=230236
Check it out. It worked for me and my DH. He's now convinced!

Jenn, future midwife, mama to 2 sweet girls (6/05) and (5/07). 
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:30 AM
 
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Our son is not circumcised and but I almost did it. I had a hard time at first but soon realized that there is NEVER a need to do it. It is not my penis and if he wants it done later in life at least he has the option. Not to mention the options of anestesia both during and after the procedure. We have not had any problems ever in his 3.5 years of life. I know that since we kept him whole, the way he was intended to be, that he will be able to make that choice for himself. If it is done without consent then you can never undo it!!!! It is the same with vaccines etc. You have to be strong and do as much research as possible and have your DP do the same. I can't even see the religious aspect of the procedure because Jews have the option of the naming ceremony without the cutting. I will never understand those who do it after doing a FULL research on the subject.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:40 AM
 
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Here are my answers to some of the usual questions:

1)how hard is it to take care of an uncir penis?

Extremely easy. I have never had to do ANYTHING with ds' penis. I just bath him (no special care needed in that area) like you would a girl I guess (probably easier as there are no 'nooks and crannies' ).

2)My mother said a 16 yr old boy isn't going to want to take extra care of himself, is it that big of a deal.

It's really no work at all. I takes 2 seconds to pull the foreskin back and wash in the shower. (dh is intact so I know lol)

We also have to pull our labiae apart to wash (parts of genitalia are naturally 'inside' and protected) - it's just as easy for them.

3)Did you ever think of the above question?

yes, but I knew how easy it is because all the men in my family are intact (dh, my brothers, my dad, etc - no one has any problems )

4)Are you worried how he'll feel if he's different then most of the other boys?

no, it's not an issue here in Europe, there are almost no circ'ed boys (except for traditional Jews and Moslems). Here, circ'ed boys are very much in the minority.

5)Please give me just ONE MAIN reason why you choose to make the choice you did. JUST ONE please.

Because I believe that we are born with an amazing, perfect body in which all parts (including the foreskin) are important and have their function(s). As such the foreskin is a vital organ of my son's body. It belongs to him and he was born perfect just the way he is.

(ETA: I had my son in Germany, where infant circumcision does not exist, doctors there will not circ a healthy boy, so it wasn't really an option/ decision to make anyway which I was perfectly happy with.)

The following web sites and books are just a few of the excellent sources for more circumcision information:
www.nocirc.org
www.noharmm.org
www.norm.org
www.cirp.org
www.circumcision.org

A Doctor Re-examines Circumcision by Thomas J. Ritter, M.D. and George C. Denniston, M.D.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision by Paul Fleiss, M.D. and Frederick M. Hodges, D.Phil

Questioning Circumcision - A Jewish Perspective by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D.

Sex As Nature Intended It by Kristen O'Hara with Jeffery O'Hara


HTH!
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:37 PM
 
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Here is a link to a thread in the Circumcision forum: http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=248709

Although this thread is by a mom who is asking for ways to talk to her husband about circ (she is anti-, he is pro-), post #19 from e&r is very enlightening.

She is a teacher of small children, and writes of the experience of circed and intact boys at her school. When I read it, I wanted to cry for all of the circed little boys.

The thing about circumcision is this: once your son is circed, he is most likely to stay happy with his circumcision status the less he knows about circumcision. The more he finds out about what he has lost, the more likely he is to be upset about what he has lost (this is one reason, I believe, many circed men become almost frantic in their efforts to avoid reading any of the material their wives give them about circumcision).

But if a little boy is left intact - knowledge is his friend. As e&r points out, if a little boy is aware of the fact that his penis is different from dad's/his friend's because his penis was left alone and their penis had something cut off of it - he is most likely to be extremely grateful to his parents for allowing him to retain all of his genitals.
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Old 02-12-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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I would never circumcise a daughter. Doesn't a son have the same right to keep all of his parts intact? If he so chooses when he's an adult, he can be circumcised. However, if I were to have him circumcised as a child and he decided later that he would prefer to have a foreskin, he's pretty much out of luck. Yes, there are restoration procedures, but they can never replace everything that is lost with circumcision.

The biggest thing by far, though, is that it isn't my body. Therefore, it's not my decision. It is my responsibility to protect my children, and this includes not having unnecessary surgery done on them.
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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I agree with many of the PP's ...it's not MY body so really it's not my choice. I believe this enough that I havn't even got dd's ears pierced ( even though I think it would be aesthetically appealing and so do the grandma's) because I want it to be her choice made when she is of an age to understand the consequences and the responsibility of choice. I have no right to modify anyones body but my own.

Dh is NOT circed ...and he is by far the cleanest man I have ever known!!! We've had many a discussion on the topic of circumcision though because several of our friends have had or considered having their baby boys circumsized (one couple didn't only because they were told at their birth prep class that the circ rate is only 15% in our city and they wanted their son to fit in). Dh thinks it's a horrible thing to do ...and had it been done to him he definately believes it would have irreparably damaged/impaired his sexuality as the end of his penis is very sensitive and would have been desensitized over time had it been allowed to rub on his clothes throughout his life ... the sad part is he would never have known what he was missing.

tireless sewer of teeny little clothes for Bamboletta dolls ...

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Old 02-21-2005, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommiska
The thing about circumcision is this: once your son is circed, he is most likely to stay happy with his circumcision status the less he knows about circumcision. The more he finds out about what he has lost, the more likely he is to be upset about what he has lost (this is one reason, I believe, many circed men become almost frantic in their efforts to avoid reading any of the material their wives give them about circumcision).
I think this is so true! DH and I reached an uneasy truce just before our ultrasound which revealed we were expecting another girl but I felt we had to talk about it beforehand. Dh really really didn't want to do any research. He didn't want to read any research. He wanted to believe there must really be some medical reason to do a circ. Even when I told him the AAP said there were no medical reasons, that no medical association in the world says there are medical reasons he didn't want to hear that. None of pro-circing arguments worked for me. It has no health benefits. It has clear health risks not to mention the detriment to sexual enjoyment. Dh really didn't want to look into it or think about it. He wanted me to just cave in and concede to him because he's a boy and has a penis too. Once I made it clear that I would flat out not give my consent to have this done to any child I had he pretty much stopped fighting it because really he knew he didn't have a leg to stand on. On another board I'm on a woman caved to her DH's wishes and let their DS be circed (supposedly for religious reasons though they're Christians and Paul made it clear on more than one occasion that Christians do not need to be circed). He had some issues with a clot and she says every time she looks at his penis she want to cry because it doesn't look normal. No one warned them this was a possibility. I think people like to think of this as a really safe, really quick not painful procedure and it's none of those things.

Also for the person who said it would hurt a 30 year old more than an infant there have been recent studies that indicate that the opposite is actually true. We are now beginning to believe that infants hurt more than adults do. And purely from an anecdotal standpoint DH and I were discussing our experiences with earpiercing. I had mine done much earlier than he did and I remember that they hurt. He had his done at like 18 and to him he barely remembered any pain at all. Who knows maybe the difference is because a 30 year old is making the choice to be circed and understands what is happening. An infant on the other hand has the compounding factor of having no idea why suddenly this horribly painful thing is being done to him. Ugh it actually makes me want to cry just contemplating what that must be like.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:21 AM
 
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My DH has been very reluctant to talk about this, and said more than once that I'm getting my way for financial reasons and that should be enough. THen at our last childbirth class, our instructor told us what happened to her friend's son (three surgeries by the age of 1 to repair urethral damage). DH really seemed to come around to the no-circ side after that, and he saw some pics from some websites.

I agree that the first reaction of a circed dad is often denial. It's gotta be hard to come to terms with.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:22 PM
 
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My ds is not circ. There was no question for us. My dh was born in England and was not circ. Then at age 18 he developed an infection in his penis. No one had ever showed him how to clean himself properly since he had moved to America with an American father. The docs convinced my dh that he should be circumcised even though a small dose of antibiotics would have taken care of the problem. Now dh is bitter about his circumcision and mad at the docs who persuaded him into getting circumcised. He said he is much less sensitive now and feels that he was talked into something he did not want. ds is now 3 and we have never had any problems with his uncirced penis. Many of his friends are also uncirced so it is no big deal.
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