My friend is in her first trimester with her 2nd child.
Her first was a boy (now 2.5yo). He had a NICU start, and was circ'd because the baby next him was intact and they saw what a hassle it was to clean him. (Yup. The hospital retracted, even these tiny NICU babes! horrified!) However, I'm thinking that experience merely was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm pretty sure Daddy is circ'd as well, so the conventional nonsense arguments had to have factored in as well. They don't really research these things. : (
I plan to PM just a few links over FB, keeping it short and sweet; matter-of-fact. I am nervous--- I do not want to hurt our friendship, but I cannot consider myself a decent friend if I don't share the valuable information in my back pocket.
I would love some guidance finding links that address their specific concerns:
1) Above all, sensitivity and sobriety
My friend is an extremely sensitive person anyway, but even more so when she is pregnant. She doesn't need the inflammatory, loaded, accusatory words and phrases that frequently appear in our literature. They have their place, but it definitely isn't here. Remember she is hormonal, and she has already circ'd her first son. She needs articles and studies that will appeal to her logic, and use the utmost empathy when addressing mothers of circ'd sons. Also, she is a victim of sexual abuse, so anything linking circ to sexual abuse might be way too much, and might actually repel her (especially if she's seen circ as "no big deal"). The point of this is just to convince them to keep their baby intact, not beat them over the head with every point.
2) Acknowledging and addressing their faith
I can almost guarantee that their Christianity informs this decision. They probably agree with thought processes such as "God wouldn't command something that is harmful" and "If it is good enough for Jesus..."
Articles that discuss the differences between Old Testament and modern-day circ'ing, and that impress that their faith does not require it, would be very helpful.
3) Prepuce function and care; basic explanation of circ procedure.
Like I said at the beginning, they made the decision with their first sons based off of witnessing improper care. They need to know exactly how to handle an infant's intact penis--- don't retract, wipe like a finger--- simple, easy. It's a given that they do not know what the prepuce is for, so basic explanation about its value would help. Also, a basic explanation of the circ procedure--- I don't see videos being appropriate for them, though I might very briefly mention that there are videos of circs on youtube, and they might look them up.
4) Perspective from medical professionals
These folks abide by what the doctors say. They need credible articles written by medical professionals to appeal to them. They also have a nurse in the family who frequently advises them regarding medical matters. I do not know what the nurse's position on circ is, but I would be surprised if they don't run to her with these links. This part needs to be very strong in case this aunt tells them "it's really no big deal".
5) Addressing Daddy concerns
You know, the conventional pile of nonarguments. Ridicule in the locker room. Needs to look like Daddy. It's cleaner. etc.
6) Ethical dilemmas
It needs to be said, but as matter-of-factly and as sensitively as possible. FGM v MGM and his body, his choice.
I THINK that is it.
Also, when should I share this info? Now, ASAP? Or do I wait until after their big gender scan if it is a boy?
32.) Fathers don't spend time comparing penises with their sons. If your son does notice that his penis is different from Dad's (other than size and hair), you can simply explain that Daddy had an operation when he was a baby. My dad lost half of his ring finger in an accident, but I was never bothered by having all of my fingers.
believe in God, why did he give men foreskins? Did they screw up?
*these two points taken from the above link
On the religious angle, I found an interesting site that talked about how circumcision was used to identify land owners in the time and place of the Old Testament. I've looked, and haven't found it again. I'll keep checking as time allows.
In the meantime, I found something else that may help with the religious aspect. According to this, circumcision was not complete in biblical times. I'm not sure if that's true, but it could help instill doubt as to whether circumcision is something that should be done today.
Edited to add more :
Hope these help. If her reasons include religion, entire amputation was not originally performed, according to these sites.
Here's something regarding Christianity and circumcision.
In Place of Circumcision
Furthermore, Paul notes that baptism has replaced circumcision (Col. 2:11–12).
I really think this article is great.
also really good:
this one isn't super anti-circ, but a gentler reasoning from a dad that chose not to:
Here are some good ones that should fit the bill. First is one that is quick and too the point. More importantly, it is by doctors, so has good credibility and should be good for the first concern you mentioned.
Here is another, interactive site that might be good:
Here is a very thorough discussion of how to care for an intact male, and why this seems so confusing. The care is a simple as can be, this mainly gives the background so you understand the why.
The daddy concerns are caused by fearmongering among advocates. The above links should help with that. Other than that, you really need to simply show the ill-logic of these "daddy" concerns. They are easily dealt with if you can get past the fearmongering brainwashing that they were subject too. For example, all you have to do i be able to think a bit to realize that the "look like daddy" argument is silly. What parent would glue hair into thier infants face or genitals to make them look like daddy? What if the dad was missing an arm form the war? Would he seriously advocate removing his son's arm?
Likewiase the "will get teased/traumatized by peers" or "won't find a woman". All you have to do is think a bit to realize that only fearmongering and blind acceptance of that fearmongering would sway anyone.
But if you want credible references for her, try this one on these issues:
As far as ethics, that same article has a section on that:
An even better one:
Hope these help.
I would start when you feel it is best, earlier the better.
Oh! I need to update!
My friend brought it up in December totally out of the blue! We had a good conversation where we shared what we know, and we recommended the Penn and Teller Bullshit video and The Vulnerability of Men.
She still wasn't sure what their decision will be when the conversation ended--- her husband was very adamant about circ'ing; but a seed has been planted and nurtured! I am SO proud of her being open to challenging her POV.
The fact that her first boy was cut may be an speedbump in this effort, but it is still worth trying on behalf of the helpless baby. It might help her to know other moms have left their younger sons intact even though older brothers are not.
Here is a sweet story about this mom's first son being happy his little brother was not circumcised:
Here is another, the mom has 2 younger intact sons
Here is the Facebook "Keep future sons intact" support page:
And also I might mention, what my friend did to convince me was she casually sent me an email about her having left her sons intact, that it was not a big deal to keep up with, and that I should do some research on it before I go through with it. Well I took her advice and discovered a video of the procedure which convinced both me and my hard-headed husband. I am SO thankful to her up to this day that I must have thanked her 100 times already. Thank God for gutsy friends!!
You can send an anonymous info card from the Whole Network. It costs around $2 to send one and will not include your information. I would personally go that route with this one because her first son is cut and she may feel judged and defensive. If she gets an anonymous card, she may just assume she ended up on a mailing list or something and will feel more like it was "her" idea and not some friend judging her. That is just my opinion though. If it were her first baby, I'd lean more towards just talking to her, but I'd lean this way and see if planting the seed gets her to do more research.
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