I also wanted to share that my younger sister said that she would have circumcised her first had it been a boy but after I didn't circumcise my son she researched it and now has two intact boys. She also educated her sister in law about it and she was planning still to do it but my sister gave one last chance and talked to her about it right after her sister in law gave birth and now she has an intact son
Zane (3/09): : : :
Some aspects of our discussion (again, strictly from gut feelings, not research):
1. That's GOT to HURT!
2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
3. Boys are born with a foreskin; it must be there for a reason.
4. "Look like Daddy" wasn't a concern.
We did ask our family doctor if there were medical reasons to circumcise, and while he mentioned UTIs and STDs, his opinion was that they weren't significant enough to justify infant circumcision. That's lucky too, because we trusted this doctor, and probably would have had it done if he had pushed.
Now that I know a LOT more about both circumcision and foreskins, if I would to boil it down to one sentence it would be "There is nothing wrong with my son's penis - thank goodness he doesn't need an operation!"
If the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.
It wasn't until I decided to have children that I really looked into the issue and became informed on the the anatomy of the foreskin and the procedure of circumcision. But before I had the facts, I had an instinctual sense that it was wrong.
Unfortunately that line of reasoning, while enough to put a question mark in my head, was not enough to make me decide against circumcision. Rather than researching it further, which I should have done but I already felt so overwhelmed by all the research and unconventional decisions I was making (I was having a home birth, I was getting concerned about vaccines, etc. - but was doing each of these on my own, not as part of a community or a global set of natural parenting values) I just talked to my husband. He's circ'd. He said we should do it.
I can only hope that if we found it was a boy (we did find out with an u/s) that I would have looked into it further. But I never really felt strongly for or against circumcision until reading through some of the threads here for a while. I think that the pamphlet I read could have served me better if it was a little more assertive about the issue - that circumcision is an injury to the body, that it carries the usual risks of surgery, that it's not just a little "snip" (I definitely thought of it that way, like a little flap of skin with no nerves or something - a really dumb assumption in retrospect), that it's not cleaner and in fact the foreskin's purpose is partly for protection and cleanliness.
I am honestly not sure how I would have reacted to an analogy to female circumcision at that point - if it were used, I would have needed to address the "male and female circumcision are not at all the same" argument. Because I certainly used to believe that they were not the same and that it was crap tot compare them. I mean, obviously there are differences in the procedure, it's different anatomy and the results are a bit different, but it's still genital mutilation. But I'm not sure if I was ready for that line of reasoning right away.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Mama to Ahnna-Bella (Dec 05) , Harrison (Oct 08) , and Kellan Wilder (Jan '12)
I remember reading about female circ at some point years and years ago and there was some cognitive dissonance there about male circ, but since I was far from having kids, I never took it any further.
When I was TTC I was looking for breastfeeding info and landed here at MDC. I had noticed the CAC forum, but for some reason thought that the case was a class action lawsuit or something (No idea where that came from )
Then when I was pregnant w/ DD I started exploring the other parts of MDC. I clicked on CAC and started reading and maybe 2 hours later, after viewing part of a circ video, I told DH that we weren't going to be circing any of our kids. After a few questions, DH said ok and that was that.
Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.
I even found out that my brother is intact after I told my mom about my decision. I had no idea! I just assumed that he was circ'd.
Zane (3/09): : : :
**The fact that the complications of circ (meatal stenosis, for example) are more common than anything the circumcisers claim that it fixes -- that some of the things that I thought were normal about penises are actually the results of a too-tight circ -- the fact that the later in life circs that you get threatened with if you don't want to circ your newborn are usually unnecessary -- etc
Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.
So for me it was a gut instinct from the beginning.
SAHMlovin' fan to DD 10/00 & DS 10/04 If your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumCirc, a personal choice, Your sons11/986/99anti-tobaccoThyroid cancer survivor. With & & (Boxer) wishing 4 &
The first thing I mention to women and men is that a man's foreskin has 2-3 times as many raw nerve endings as a women's clitoris and that any numbing agents are rarely used during RIC. To just women I mention the emotional side of circ as far as delayed bonding, how breastfeeding is effected negatively, and the motherly need to protect goes out the window. For men I use the later in life sexual side effects as well as how much of the penile skin is removed. That gets their attention 100% of the time!
IBCLC to be & newly single mama to Ariana Raen 8/31/08
What a weird question. I have never had the desire to cut off a part of my child's body.
I grew up in a family of intact men, and never really gave circumcision a thought until I was pregnant for the first time. It didn't take a whole lot for me to dismiss newborn circumcision as a twisted phenomenon, so it does indeed seem like an odd question for one to ask...."Why did you not surgically alter your child's genitals at birth?"
But for those who have been surrounded by circed men and the general mainstream, I suppose it doesn't sound like a weird question. It really IS an issue for them, because a lot of people seem to think the foreskin is a sort of birth defect.
At age 16, I thought to myself, "If even ONE male is not happy being circ'ed, then it is not fair to do it to any baby since we can't know what they would choose."
I didn't do any more research until I was expecting my first, but I'd already laid the foundation that it was wrong to alter a child's body so drastically. More research helped me find this board, and helped me learn about proper care and basically everything else I know now.
What I've found out from conversations from people is that you can argue every fact, statistic, medical article, your doctor's opinion, ect but nothing makes people "get it" like saying that a boy should have a right to choose what happens to his own penis. At least in my experience.
I'm from a non circumcising culture, he's a circ'd American. I said no way, he asked questions did some research and returned furious, depressed and adamant that that would never happen to his son.
Up until the conversation he was of the opinion, if someone asked him if he'd circ a son, that yes he would, it's just what's done.
This is an incredibly intelligent, logical, rational and caring man but as an American, the culture was so ingrained with him, he'd actually never given the subject any thought and would've automatically maintained the status quo because, well that's what happens when you have a boy.
I bet there are millions just like him which is why you should never pass up the opportunity to stick up for the foreskin (I know I've saved at least one future one) even if it means being the weird penis lady (or man).
Like some of you other parents, I was thinking that it instinctively felt wrong even before I read stats. Actually I didn't learn a lot about circumcision until after he was born and the decision to not circ had been made...I was kind of like ehhh, about the whole thing. But still didn't do the circ because it felt wrong.
After...I've read things here, watched a vid and that vid made me a thousand times glad that I hadn't done the circ. That was worth a thousand words and a million stats alone. I watched that Penn and Teller vid and that though, maybe meant to be funny, made A LOT of sense. My baby son, made me feel like an activist about this subject whereas beforehand I didn't care so much about the whole thing either way. So my son actually being here and seeing pics/vids of poor crying baby boys are the two things that made me not want to do it. Just the thought of someone doing that to my son makes my skin crawl and makes me want to flip out.
Lastly, a tiny part of me was glad I was sticking it to my inlaws. My mother inlaw asked, "WHY?!?!" when I told her I wasn't going to do a circ. It was just like she had never heard of such a thing. My father inlaw said you need a circ so your (and I quote)..."d*** will look right." and I said, "It does look right, that's why he was born that way" and he said nothing else. And lastly...I'm kind of a "Take THAT society!" kind of girl.
The feelling I get knowing that I've saved my son from this harm is one of deep compassion and peace. I truly believe it's a humanitarian act and that this act of protection for my son radiates out into the universe. I hope he's a gentler more peaceful soul for not having to experience this pain and have it a part of himself to carry for life. Much as violence begets violence - the child spanked grows up to be a spanker with their own children - I hope that gentleness begets gentleness.
The point I am making is that I see it as a much bigger isue than just my own specific son. How we treat the young and the elderly speaks volumns about our society. I think we have a long way to go but I am eased to know that I have contributed kindly to the shaping of a new person.
Then later that year I became pregnant and started to think, what if this is a boy? Dh and I talked about it, and he said we might as well go ahead and do it because he didn't know anything about intact penises. But that wasn't a good enough reason for me. So I started asking other moms about it. And pretty much the consensus was that if they had, they wish they hadn't; and if they didn't, they were glad they didn't. At the same time, I was still in college and a girl in my film class was doing a short film on female circ. And that really made me want to educate myself a bit more too. So I think it was all of these things combined that really got me to do some investigating. Also this is what what was running through my head the whole time, "The decision to circ. will change a part of my son's body FOREVER, I'd better have a good reason for doing it." And I never found a good reason.
One of his first pro- arguments was the typical "we need to match" thing. And then I pointed out he only had one testicle - should we get rid of DS's extra? That ended that particular defense.