Thank you all for your replies and posts. I appreciate what you have to say. I do appreciate all the info you've given, and a lot of it I have already researched and know. I believe my dh knows as well. Here is the thing: Our decision to circ. son #1 wasn't as concrete as "because we want him to look exactly like daddy." Obvously he'll still look like daddy, and obviously all people are different. It was much more of the abstract. I'm not sure how to explain it more clearly. I'll try though. After much debate and talk and all of that, it did come down to "looks" as one of our main decision factors, but it wasn't because of superficial reasons.
The reason we keep talking about "us", is because right now, within this society, the decision does in fact lie with us. Perhaps it shouldn't, but the fact that the debate even exists is proof that is just how things are in society, and I do agree with most everyone on here when I say that doesn't make it right. The female circ. customs in other cultures are very common and I don't agree with them, but I say that as a person who has grown up in a much different culture with different societal views. I studied cultural anthropology for a long time and its still a fasinating subject for me. If my mother was circ and wanted to circ me out of mere tradition how would I feel? Honestly, I don't know? Its a 50/50 sort of question that would depend a lot upon my upbringing and our belief systems and how strongly I felt about upholding tradition and the reasons for it. I've seen lots of stories about women who do go along with female circ. or other "barbaric" customs within their culture because it is what society expects of them. Now I don't agree that it is right at all, but who am I to tell them that my way is better? It really comes down to a matter of belief, and belief isn't something that can be proved, its not science.
Again let me assure everyone that I'm not defending circ or anything like that by saying that, I'm merely pointing out that different people have different traditions and cultures and those traditions and cultures have strong ties within society. This also does not mean that there are people within said societies that don't agree with traditons, for certain there are, but again, it goes both ways. In American society it has become customary to circ. boys. As far as I know every boy in our family has been circ at birth. Breaking that decision, even with all the logical points against circ. isn't so easy, even for academics and scholors who like to educate themselves. When I found out I was having a boy, I was terrified, not just because of the circ. issue, but because the majority of people in my family are women and we are very much a family run by the women. I had no idea how to take care of a little boy. My own father wasn't very active in my life, and the only other boys in our close family were married to my 2 aunts and out of our 7 cousins and siblings only 2 were boys. Only one of them was I somewhat close with. My grandmother raised my twin sister and I and she had raised 3 girls herself.
Okay, so that is a bit of my history, so when I found out I was expecting a boy...I had no basis for comparison. I always thought of myself as open minded and educated, and a feminist. I was definately raised in a family of strong women with strong opinions, but little boys...babies too...remained a mystery to me. My husband, on the other hand came from a huge family. He had an older brother, and a father in his life. His mother has a strong influence on him and raised him with feminist ideals. His sister had 2 little boys as well. He had 25 first cousins alone. Its not a cop out to say that I didn't know anything about little boys, even as educated as I wanted to think I was, I was afraid of making any kind of decision having to do with a penis. Thus, because in our society it is a question asked of the parent "do you want to circ." it was something my dh and I discussed and it was something I did say, "I'll support you whatever you decide."
I hope that clarifies that bit a little. You should also know that as into "natural parenting" as we are, my husband and I are also people who have in the past modified our own bodies. Now we would never tatoo our child or pierce our baby, but I wonder how much of that reasoning would be because its not "okay" within our society to do such. For their are many societys that do tatoo and pierce their infants and children as is custom to that society. Again, I'm not condoning these customs and/or traditions, but merely pointing out that I am the way I am because of the customs and traditions I was raised in.
Yes, babies are born beautiful with their forskin, but my husband and my 1st son are no less beautiful without it. My husband does not feel any animosity towards his mother for circ. him, nor does he want her to appologise for what was the custom of her time. He has no regrets about her decision. I agree with you, he doesn't know what it is like to have an intact penis, but I do have a friend who was circ. and his brother was intact. My friend did not circ his son, he wanted to, but ended up not doing it because their insurance didn't cover it at the time. He says, "if my son has any questions, he can ask his uncle". Another gentleman I met says he was not circ. at birth and later on decided to have it done ( I believe his girlfriend wanted him to do it) he said that he doesn't regret doing it, but it did feel different and that if he could change anything it would be to have his parents have it done to him as a baby so that he wouldn't notice the difference. He said it was noticable, but not enough to make him regret his decision. (It was a very interesting class topic that day and he met with a lot of flaming from the others in the class against circ.)
So you can see why I feel so conflicted, don't you? I'm not debating the evidence, I'm merely saying it isn't as logical as calling circ. "abuse" and "mutilation" b/c within the majority of American society it is such an accepted tradition. Obviously my family and I have considered breaking this tradition or we would not be here discussing it, you know. Its just such a strong emotional tie. Thats is where it gets harder to explain b/c its not really religious, its not really academic...I suppose its more of the tradition of the parents deciding. I don't know anyone who is pissed off that his parents had him circumsized and I'm sure if I did, that would heavily push me to be against circ. but I can't justify being against something when my husband (nor the men in our family) have really no disagreement with. Does that make sense?