Differing views about circumcision - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 12-27-2013, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone. We are expecting our first child together (we both have children from previous relationships). My hubby (is circed) and I have very different views about circumcision. I do not circumcise. This was brought up in conversation and I stated my views, my DH's jaw dropped when i said if our child is a boy he will not be circumcised. My husband said he most definitely will. My son was not circumcised had a circumcision as an adult (his choice of course). He begged me for years and years to let him have it done. I have never personally met any intact males, nor known anyone to choose to keep their babies intact. I have all kinds of literature, have had two different doctors tell my husband it is not a needed procedure and he has seen videos of it being done. He is still not swayed. Does anyone have any advice or even words of encouragement? 

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#2 of 19 Old 12-27-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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All I have is encouragement. I'm so sorry this is happening. I have no idea what I would do. :-(

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#3 of 19 Old 12-27-2013, 03:16 PM
 
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I'm so sorry. All I can say is to stand your ground. Who is your care provider? I would tel, that person to put in your file that you do not consent to the procedure being done on your child. And then the only thing I think you can do is stand your ground.

I thi k it's really hard for men to accept that they have been circed without cause. I have a good friend who wanted his son circed. He did agree with his wife to look at the literature and upon discovering all that he had lost, was quite upset. He said since he was missing out on so much sensation that he wanted some extra... So he went out and got a piercing! LOL. (I have noida if this restored some sensation or added new sensation).

Anyhow it just sharing that because accepting that something has been taken is really hard for men to do. My circed DH has a bit of a "well, that sucks" attitude as well. Maybe your DH is having some feelings about this and is unsure how to cope? Maybe being empathetic (while firm in refusing to circed your child) will help him work through those feelings.

Good luck!
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#4 of 19 Old 12-27-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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Just stand your ground. No way, no how. If necessary, never leave your infant alone with him and let your ped know that you do not consent to circ! Let the hospital know as well that they should not circ your son without YOUR permission.. not just your hubby's.
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#5 of 19 Old 12-28-2013, 08:09 AM
 
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I applaud you for not having your first son circumcised.  I do find it interesting that he chose to undergo the procedure as an adult.  If you care to share, I would be most interested in his reasons and how he felt with the end result.  Very few intact adults willingly part with their foreskins it seems.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters that with your new baby you will just have stand your ground. Make sure that all your health care providers are well aware of your wishes. Then do not get in a big argument with your DH because that will just stress you out. He will get used to the baby being intact in time.

 

We are all here for you.  Good luck!

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#6 of 19 Old 12-28-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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I too would be interested in his reason for circ as an adult. Everyone I know who has a foreskin is so in love with it, they would never want to part with it! Do you know how he felt after his procedure was done?
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#7 of 19 Old 12-28-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Wow! Sorry dh isn't on board. What a tough thing to go though. I think I would bring it up at a prenatal visit and have the doc go over pros n cons maybe that could help!
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#8 of 19 Old 12-30-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS decided to have a circ mostly because he didn't like the way his penis looked intact and he also had never met anyone with an intact penis. I went to a few different doctors with him once he decided to have it done and all three said they have seen an increase in adult circ's. Mostly early adults and then elderly gentlemen. While my son never had horrible experiences with being teased about being intact, he still felt "weird." Since his procedure, he has mentioned that he likes the way he looks much better and that he has no complaints. He has also said that he enjoys sex more after being circed. 

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#9 of 19 Old 12-30-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to add- we did bring it up with my ob and my nurse practitioner mother. My ob (who is pregnant) said her sons are circed and plans on it with the new baby. She gave me more literature, both pros and cons. My mother told me that they have many elderly men in to have it done and recently had a 17 yr old. I have yet to meet one single person where I live that believes in keeping our boys intact. Maybe it is because I live in the Midwest (Kansas City). I appreciate the kind words and I know ultimately the decision will be mine. I just wish my hubby would understand my point of view. :irked

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#10 of 19 Old 12-30-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Welcome.

 

Here is why your dh has had such a strong reaction.  Please read it & let us know what you think: http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html  This is my go-to article to explain how otherwise completely rational men can go ape-shit in mere seconds.

 

Best wishes,

Sus

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#11 of 19 Old 12-31-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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I would argue that your husband has to do a lot more than say it will be done. He has to give a solid reason why. He needs to make a rational argument that RIC is the better choice for your son. He has to show why cutting off a healty body part that is highly valuable for sexual pleasure and function, for both your son and his future partner(s) is outweighed by some benefit. He has to show why doing it now, is better than waiting until your son is old enough to make the decision himself.

Otherwise, your husband is really using irrational arguments that are not valid. Perhaps even getting into emotional abuse territory. That is not how reasonable people make important decisions. That is not a valid way to find a postion that both of you can live with.

Often people have the incorrect view that this is a parent's choice and decision to make. That irrational feelings abouot what should be done are valid. But you can see that this is not the case, by a little mind game. Assume that someone felt that amputating a finger was a good thing to have done to their child. See how wrong and terrible that sounds? Why would amputating the foreskin from an infant for no medical or other rational reason be any different?

The reason RIC seems more reasonable is because so many in our society refuse to accept that the foreskin has value. Instead, we are inundated with information making it seem to have little value and lots of problems. Even from the medical community, who hide behind an appearance of objectivity.

It is your child's body and choice. Not your husband's. There is no reason why this decision cannot wait until your infant is a man and can make the decsion himself. If your husband feels differently, he needs to give you a rational argument that makes you feel comfortable that he has a valid argument. That you can see how the benefits of RIC outweigh the costs in terms of violating your son's human rights, pain, trauma, risk, complications, reduced sexual pleasure, reduced sexual pleasure for your son's partner(s), etc.

If your husband cannot do that, then the default choice should be do no harm. Leave him intact.

A good video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=player_embedded

A good rebuttal to the AAP:

http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/08/the-aap-report-on-circumcision-bad-science-bad-ethics-bad-medicine/

A good book to help you navigate these difficult discussions:

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second/dp/1469266822

Be strong.
Be rational.
Protect your son's human right to bodily integrity and safety.

Best wishes
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#12 of 19 Old 12-31-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Greg B View Post

I would argue that your husband has to do a lot more than say it will be done. He has to give a solid reason why. He needs to make a rational argument that RIC is the better choice for your son. He has to show why cutting off a healty body part that is highly valuable for sexual pleasure and function, for both your son and his future partner(s) is outweighed by some benefit. He has to show why doing it now, is better than waiting until your son is old enough to make the decision himself.

Otherwise, your husband is really using irrational arguments that are not valid. Perhaps even getting into emotional abuse territory. That is not how reasonable people make important decisions. That is not a valid way to find a postion that both of you can live with.

Often people have the incorrect view that this is a parent's choice and decision to make. That irrational feelings abouot what should be done are valid. But you can see that this is not the case, by a little mind game. Assume that someone felt that amputating a finger was a good thing to have done to their child. See how wrong and terrible that sounds? Why would amputating the foreskin from an infant for no medical or other rational reason be any different?

The reason RIC seems more reasonable is because so many in our society refuse to accept that the foreskin has value. Instead, we are inundated with information making it seem to have little value and lots of problems. Even from the medical community, who hide behind an appearance of objectivity.

It is your child's body and choice. Not your husband's. There is no reason why this decision cannot wait until your infant is a man and can make the decsion himself. If your husband feels differently, he needs to give you a rational argument that makes you feel comfortable that he has a valid argument. That you can see how the benefits of RIC outweigh the costs in terms of violating your son's human rights, pain, trauma, risk, complications, reduced sexual pleasure, reduced sexual pleasure for your son's partner(s), etc.

If your husband cannot do that, then the default choice should be do no harm. Leave him intact.

A good video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=player_embedded

A good rebuttal to the AAP:

http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/08/the-aap-report-on-circumcision-bad-science-bad-ethics-bad-medicine/

A good book to help you navigate these difficult discussions:

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Conversations-Talking-Stakes-Second/dp/1469266822

Be strong.
Be rational.
Protect your son's human right to bodily integrity and safety.

Best wishes

I appreciate all of your helpful information. We sat down earlier and went over most of it. My husband mostly has been against intact because he has never known anything other than being circumcised, negative experiences from intact males (my son, cousin and two mothers in my LLL group) who later chose circumcision. Plus he was present when I asked an ob roughly the percentage of intact/circumcised  newborns- at my hospital hardly any are left intact. I received an estimate of probably 1 out of 150-200 and he (ob) said these numbers were probably generous. He also mentioned that mothers that receive Medicaid come up with the cost for the procedure prior to it being done. Which initially it was thought the extra medical cost would be a deterrent.  - it wasn't. (Medicaid in my state does not cover circ). 

Sorry for rambling. once again, thanks for the info. 

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#13 of 19 Old 12-31-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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I'm sorry that this is a source of disagreement for you and your husband.

 

If nothing else, I hope that you can help him recognize that it doesn't make sense to cut off a healthy body part just in case.  At the end of the day, our daughters are more likely to have breast cancer than our sons having a penis/foreskin-related issue, yet we don't do routine mastectomies on infant girls.  I've found this OpEd piece (and the citations within) in response to the AAP's report on circumcision to be well-written and comprehensive.  This is really a decision for your son to make.  Good luck.

 

http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/08/the-aap-report-on-circumcision-bad-science-bad-ethics-bad-medicine/

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#14 of 19 Old 01-01-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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Sorry about this!  My husband and I have a girl and aren't planning on another for another year or so, but we have had the circ discussion a few times.  Husband currently admits that, all things going well, there is no good reason to have the the procedure done.

 

WIth your husband, try bringing up your son!  Let your husband know that if the boy you have together will have the choice of circumcision when he is old enough to make the decision.  On your part, encourage your husband to state why he wants this done to your baby and LISTEN to him.  You may not agree and you will be standing your ground on the procedure, but your husband does have feelings and thoughts on the subject and he deserves to say his piece.  In fact, that may be all he wants--just to be heard and considered.  You may have better luck on your argument after your husband feels you aren't full-out ignoring him (not saying you are).

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#15 of 19 Old 01-01-2014, 07:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kcurbanmama View Post

I appreciate all of your helpful information. We sat down earlier and went over most of it. My husband mostly has been against intact because he has never known anything other than being circumcised, negative experiences from intact males (my son, cousin and two mothers in my LLL group) who later chose circumcision. Plus he was present when I asked an ob roughly the percentage of intact/circumcised  newborns- at my hospital hardly any are left intact. I received an estimate of probably 1 out of 150-200 and he (ob) said these numbers were probably generous. He also mentioned that mothers that receive Medicaid come up with the cost for the procedure prior to it being done. Which initially it was thought the extra medical cost would be a deterrent.  - it wasn't. (Medicaid in my state does not cover circ). 
Sorry for rambling. once again, thanks for the info. 

And, given all of that information, it is very understandable that he would feel that way. And the need to conform to norms in society or a portion of society is strong. We are human, after all.

But as my parent's used to say, juast because someone else is doing it, doesn't make it right. And an OB is a poor source for statisitical information. He lis very likely biased, and we humans are biased to cherry pick information. And our society is highly biased, so we do not get good information for making this decision. For example, doctors in this country typically do not even know the proper care of an infant's foreskin, thus give advice that causes harm and then results in a percieved need for circumcision.

If you look into information from countries that do not typically circumcise, you will find a very different picture. One that says a foreskin is a normal, valued part of our body and rarely causes any issues.

As a circumcised man who has mostly restored his foreskin, I now know thew value of a foreskin fore sexual feeling and fucntion. It is huge and unless you have had both, you won't appreciate the difference. Just like me not able to understand what a woman's orgasm is like.

If a doctor's advice is helpful, check out DOC:

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/publications.html

Stay strong. Protect your infant from unreasonable pain, harm. Protect his human rights.

Best wishes
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#16 of 19 Old 01-01-2014, 08:11 AM
 
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OP,  You seem to have made all the right calls, as a mother, so far!  I was impressed that you left your first son intact, with the option to make his own decision when he grew up.  Then when he decided to get circumcised at 17, you supported him in that decision. If I had been in your place, that would have been difficult!  I am glad that he is happy with his choice - I hope he remains so.  I think this is the crux of the issue.  As parents, we do not have the right to violate our children's personal human rights and perform irreversible surgery for no good reason.  You have always understood that. All you have to do is get your DH to see the logic.

Again, good luck to you!

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#17 of 19 Old 01-02-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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 My mother told me that they have many elderly men in to have it done and recently had a 17 yr old. I have yet to meet one single person where I live that believes in keeping our boys intact. 

 

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 I went to a few different doctors with him once he decided to have it done and all three said they have seen an increase in adult circ's. Mostly early adults and then elderly gentlemen. 

 

While the phenomenom of elderly men getting circumcised may be true in North America - and I do not believe that it is "common", I have to believe that it is due to a lack of understanding of normal form and function of a foreskin within our medical community.  There is absolutely no doubt that when faced with a foreskin problem, be it real or perceived, they automatically jump to amputation. There are many ways to treat foreskin issues that do not involve any loss of tissue which are practiced in intact cultures, but sadly most of our urologists are ignorant of them. The intact men that I know with whom I have spoken about this would not dream of willingly giving up their foreskin - they all claim that is the best part!

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#18 of 19 Old 01-03-2014, 10:35 AM
 
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The whole idea of circumsion seems so weird to me. Why in the world would men be born with a body part that would need to cut off at birth? Obviously it is needed otherwise it wouldn't exist. That's my oppinion.
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#19 of 19 Old 02-08-2014, 04:24 AM
 
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I appreciate all of your helpful information. We sat down earlier and went over most of it. My husband mostly has been against intact because he has never known anything other than being circumcised, negative experiences from intact males (my son, cousin and two mothers in my LLL group) who later chose circumcision.

 

In that case, I'd raise the subject of all the men who've had negative experiences with being circumcised at birth (there are plenty). And point out that you can't know in advance what your son is going to want when he's an adult, and, either way, there's a chance you might make a decision on this that he ultimately feels is wrong for him - but, if you decide to leave him intact and he later wants to be circ'd, that's going to be a whole lot less difficult for him to manage than it would be for him to restore his foreskin if you have him circ'd and he decides he wants to be intact. So, the consequences of guessing wrong are going to be a lot worse for circ'ing than for not circ'ing.

 

(I also completely agree with Backroads - approach this discussion with respect for your husband and his views, no matter how much you disagree with him.)

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