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#1 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi..I haven't posted here before..I'm pregnant and the early ultrasound looks like a boy. My first boy. One of the first things I thought about was circumcision. I don't know where I stand on the issue. On one hand I like the idea of not choppping off parts of the body and putting a baby through undue pain and suffering. I'm a cloth diapering, homeschooling, organic foods, extended bf type of mama...so the idea of staying all natural sounds good to me.
On the other side, all the men and boys in my family are circ, my husband (though not an entirely religious man) says in the bible God says to Abraham to circ his boys, there's this issue..I hear that un circ penises produce a natural substance to keep it clean and keep good bacteria around...It may be shallow but that kinda grosses me out...(as I think a prospective wife may be) My husband also says there was a boy in his high school who was so embarassed, he had the procedure done at 16, which in my opinion would be more traumatic.

To make matters kinda worse, the birth center has a usual 4 hour afterbirth stay and circs aren't performed until the baby is at least a day or two old...so I would actually have to make an appt..where? the pediatrician? the hospital I was trying to avoid?
and bring my baby to its pain.

well thanks for listening..I know this is a dilema each mother must take a side on with her boy, I appreciate your thoughts.
Stacey
mama to Chloe 3.5
due with #2 July 2004

~mama to some wonderful kids
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#2 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 01:51 PM
 
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I don’t have a son and the circumcision issue would not have been a big issue for us because my husband and I are both on the same side and we have no religious conflicts.

But one thing that has always confused me about the circ debate is the issue of the son “looking” like his father. A male child is going to look different from his father until puberty circ or no circ …unless the father is shaved (edited to change "saved" to "shaved) down below, which I hear, is the trend now.

Seriously, my daughter’s body looks quite different from mine and we have NO issues with it. I know this is a serious issue for your family right now but I think it is easy to forget this one thing when thinking about the fear of a child’s genitals looking exactly like the parents…they won’t anyway and we have gotten by forever that way.

I just read your post again and can see that I didn't address even ONE of your questions. If the above is not an issue for you, please excuse me as I take up space on your thread...hey, at least this will bump you up!

Good luck and congrats on your baby boy!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#3 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 02:25 PM
 
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Welcome! Good for you for even questioning routine genital mutilation (which is what I now consider circumcision)!

If you had a baby girl would you circ her? Of course not - that's insane, horrific, disgusting. Then why do it to your precious, perfect, intact baby boy?

I'm sure someone more knowledgable than I will have the exact numbers, but I believe that 2004 will be the first year that intact boys will outweigh their cut counterparts. Also, circumcision didn't become prevalant in the United States until doctors started reccomending it in the 1890's as a "cure" for masturbation.

My dh's family is Catholic and sil is trying to get pregnant. In preperation for the conversation that I will be having with her, I posted the question, "What is the official Catholic teaching on circumcision?" to a group called "Galations 5." Since I'm not sure what the rules are here as far as posting emails, if you pm me, I can forward the emails to you, if you like. (They are religious in nature, which is why I won't post them here.)

This is a link to Circumcision Information and Resource Pages. They have a lot of information regarding circumcision for both secular and religious reasons.
http://www.cirp.org/

As far as having a circ done at 16, well if that's his choice, then perhaps the parent's should allow it, but it's not my penis, you know? The foreskin is equivalant to your or my clitoris and I'm ever so thankful that my parents left it alone.

If your husband was born without a toe, would he want that toe to be removed from your son so that they would "look the same?"

Ok, enough rambling for now, 2 hours of sleep make me cranky and not so coherent, but if you get a chance, search the archives and you will find all the posts in the past that changed me from a "to each his own" to a proud "intactivist."
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#4 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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Congrats!!! All I can say is reseach, research, research....




Procedure,
http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/methods.html
http://www.intact.ca/video.html

General info,
http://www.mothering.com/10-0-0/html...cision85.shtml
http://www.circumcision.org/info.htm
http://www.noharmm.org/separated.htm
http://www.mensjournal.com/healthFit...cumcision.html
http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/ilearned.html

MGM vs FGM,
http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html
http://www.noharmm.org/comparison.htm
http://www.circumstitions.com/FGMvsMGM.html
http://www.circumstitions.com/Develop.html

Rates,
http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/bollinger2001/
http://www.courtchallenge.com/refs/rate1m.html
http://www.icgi.org/Downloads/normal...ircumcised.htm

Medical communities,
http://www.nocircnc/medicalstatements.htm
http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm
http://www.intact.ca/saskmemo.html
http://www.icigi.org/Downloads/FullDisclosure.pdf

Risks and Complications,
http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/complications.html
http://www.nocirc.org/consent/form.html
http://www.infocirc.org/uti2.htm

Breastfeeding,
http://www.nocirc.org/statements/bre...ement2002.html

Cancer,
http://www.cirp.org/library/statemen...s/1996-02_ACS/

Personal experiences,
http://circumcisionquotes.com/menumen.html
http://www.circumcision.org/mothers.htm

Intact vs Circed penis care,
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/4pam.pdf
http://www.nocirc.org/publish/5pam.pdf
http://www.tornwing.com/peacefulbegi...ysgenitals.htm

Hygiene & problems
http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/vanhowe/

News articles,
http://www.cirp.org/news/

Pain,
http://www.circumcison.org/response.htm
http://www.infocirc.org/babypain.htm

Sexual side effects,
http://www.boystoo.com/medical/conversion.htm
http://www.reserach/cirp.org/
http://www.noem.org/lost.html

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians 2002 Position Statement. Routine Circumcision of Normal Male Infants and Boys - Summary Statement.
http://199.88.87.143/position/racp2002.htm

The American Academy of Family Physicians 2002 Statement. Position Statement on Neonatal Circumcision.
http://www.nocirc.org/position/aafp2002.html

The American Academy of Pediatrics states: "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/aap1999.htm

The American Cancer Society, states in a letter to the AAP: "We would like to discourage the American Academy of Pediatrics from promoting routine circumcision as a preventive measure for penile or cervical cancer... Perpetuating the mistaken belief that circumcision prevents cancer is inappropriate."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/acs.html

The American Medical Association:
http://www.nocirc.org/position/ama2000.html

The Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons states, "It is considered to be inappropriate and unnecessary as a routine to remove the prepuce, based on the current evidence available."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/aaps.html

The Australian College of Paediatrics, citing the Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons, states: "Routine male circumcision should not be performed prior to 6 months of age." In addition, it considers that, "neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication. It is a traumatic procedure, performed without anaesthesia to remove a normal functional and protective prepuce."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/acp.html


The British Medical Association Guidelines advise "The BMA opposes unnecessarily invasive procedures being used where alternative, less invasive techniques, are equally efficient and available."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/bma.html

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends: "Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."
http://www.nocirc.org/position/cps.html


For more go to: http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/
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#5 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sunfairy
Hi..I haven't posted here before..I'm pregnant and the early ultrasound looks like a boy. My first boy. One of the first things I thought about was circumcision. I don't know where I stand on the issue. On one hand I like the idea of not choppping off parts of the body and putting a baby through undue pain and suffering. I'm a cloth diapering, homeschooling, organic foods, extended bf type of mama...so the idea of staying all natural sounds good to me.
On the other side, all the men and boys in my family are circ, my husband (though not an entirely religious man) says in the bible God says to Abraham to circ his boys, there's this issue..I hear that un circ penises produce a natural substance to keep it clean and keep good bacteria around...It may be shallow but that kinda grosses me out...(as I think a prospective wife may be) My husband also says there was a boy in his high school who was so embarassed, he had the procedure done at 16, which in my opinion would be more traumatic.

To make matters kinda worse, the birth center has a usual 4 hour afterbirth stay and circs aren't performed until the baby is at least a day or two old...so I would actually have to make an appt..where? the pediatrician? the hospital I was trying to avoid?
and bring my baby to its pain.

well thanks for listening..I know this is a dilema each mother must take a side on with her boy, I appreciate your thoughts.
Stacey
mama to Chloe 3.5
due with #2 July 2004
Hi Stacey! I've never posted in this particular forum before, but have lurked here for awhile. I just wanted to give you my opinion on your concerns. Just for the record I have a daughter and an intact son. I can certainly empathize with you. The biggest conflict that my marraige has ever had to endure was the circ issue. About the Bible aspect...the way that I look at it is this - Many of the teachings of the Beble were appropriate to the times. In the time of Abraham things weren't very sanitary and I'm guessing that God was simply "giving people advice" I think many of the teachings are just that. God created the penis with foreskin and most Christians believe that God doesn't make mistakes.

About the natural substance (smegma) that the penis creates to cleanse the penis - the vagina makes a similar substance...do you think it's gross? Would you take offense if someone told you that your vagina was gross because of it's natural cleansing substance?

About the boy being embarrassed - first of all the majority of penises in the world are intact and that number is growing everyday...I don't think it's going to be such an issue for our children. Secondly, people get made fun of for all sorts of things, if it's not one thing it will be another. And I don't know think it would be more traumatic for a 16 yo..At 16 they can put you to sleep to do the proceedure and give you pain meds for recovery and it is a conscious decision. At a few days old none of those things are true.

I hope that helps. The way I convinced my husband was simply to say that we should at least wait for 60 days after the baby was born to make a final decision (we were having a homebirth too and wanted to give the baby a peaceful start) After just a few days my husband had bonded so much with my son that he couldn't go through with causing him that kind of pain.
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#6 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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I am no expert in the art of persuasion, but I am a mother of two intact boys. The fact that you are asking the question you are means that you are making an effort to make an informed decision about this issue and I applaud you for that. I certainly hope that you choice to leave your son intact, for his sake and for yours. I would love to see the practice of non-religious routine infant circumcision be gone from our culture. The U.S. is an anomoly in the world. The vast majority of men in other parts of the world (developed and undeveloped) are not circumsized (sorry, don't know the percentage). Our culture also has the shame of doing this practice to our unconsenting infants (as opposed to other cultures that use circumcision as a "rite of passage" into adulthood and so it has some religious or culturally significant meaning...not that I agree with the practice).

I have less opposition to religious circumcision (though I don't favor it). However, the early Christians used the circumcision issue as a way to seperate themselves from their Jewish forefathers and as a practice did NOT circumsize (goes back to Paul I think), and in fact said outright that Christians should not circumsize their sons. So saying that circumcision is Biblically mandated from a Christian perspective is, well, wrong.

The issue of smegma (that is what the white protective secretion is called). Yes, sure, in theory it could be seen as "gross". But ya know what? It is the same secretion that women make to protect their genitals. I hope that you are not suggesting that we hack off our clitorises and vulvas, so that we won't make smegma anymore (that is essentially what we do to boys when we circumsize them for this reason). We are taught to wash ourselves, boys and men can (and should) be taught the same thing. It isn't that hard.

It is also my opinion that if an adult man wants to alter his genitals to conform to a warped cultural norm, than that is his choice. I do not believe that I have the right to make that choice for my sons. I am my child's protector. I do not want to be the source of his pain or his future sexual disfunction. Other people on this board can talk more to that issue (the sexual repercussions) that I can, but it is my opinion that any alteration to such a sensitive organ is bound to cause long term problems with penile function.

How did I come to the conclusion that I should not circumsize my sons? I honestly cannot say that I researched it a whole lot. I was young and didn't know AP from anything else. However, in the bits and pieces I gathered over the course of my life before children I came to the realization that:
1) Circumcision is not "normal"...leaving my babys' bodies the way God/nature made it is normal.

2) It is painful...regardless of whether they use anestetic, you are sticking a raw open wound into a diaper with urine and fecal matter and a little Vasoline isn't going to do much to protect that.

3) It is completely unneccasary...what is the point? Is a man's penis really "prettier" with part of it removed? It just seems so absurd to me. And the level and frequency of complications scared me.

4) I saw the visual relief in my doctor's face when I told him he was not circumsizing my baby and I in turn felt completely at peace with my decision and following my instinct and spirit on this issue. In retrospect, I think that was the first truely AP decision I made and it started me on a healthy road.

I should note that my sons are the only intact males in my or my husband's families. In the course of my adult sexual experience I met only one man who was intact, and I never had sex with him, though we were physically intimate in other ways (I regret that now, I am totally curious now about what it would have been like :LOL...I never even got to LOOK at it ). I had never seen an intact penis until I was 20 and lived in India for 6 months..saw LOTS of kid penises, but no adult intact penises...come to think of it, I have NEVER seen an adult male intact penis in real life.

Wow, the things I've missed in life....(but that is completely OT)

I hope that helps. I try not to be strident on the issue, but the older I get and the more I read, the more militant I have become. I literally wanted to vomit and cry about a month ago when I went to help my brother and SIL with their newborn son and saw what they had done to him. I was so sad for him and apologized to him in tears when they were not around. But critisizing their desicion would not have gotten him his parts back, so I did my best to be supportive in the ways I could be (providing info and support on BFing, co-sleeping, slinging, being attentive to his needs and cries, etc.). I hope that you feel supported in the choice you make. Just remember, you can wait to circumsize. But once you do it, it is irreversable (yes, there are techniques for stretching the skin back, but they never get all of the sensation back). So make you decision wisely and understand all of the short-term and long-term repercussions and understand that you are making a life long decision for your son that he (and you) may come to regret later.

I also wanted to say that my DH had no say in the matter. He couldn't come up with any legit reasons TOO circumsize, so he didn't oppose them being left intact, but quite honestly, I would not have allowed it regardless of his feelings on the matter....it was non-negociable.

Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi
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#7 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 04:24 PM
 
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Well. I have a 1yo intact son and I do not know 1 man who is NOT circd including his daddy. I knew I didn't want to circ as soon as I started researching the procedure. The religious aspect of it did warrant some concern for me so I started reading up on it. When it came down to it though, I just could not hand over my son so some stranger could hurt him in such an irreperable way. Mothering instincts took over and I just could not do it!


Galatians
1So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.
2Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you. 3I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses. 4For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace.
5But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith. 6For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, it makes no difference to God whether we are circumcised or not circumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
Here are some other verses that you can look up.


Genesis 17:9
(Whole Chapter: Genesis 17 In context: Genesis 17:8-10)


Exodus 4:26
(Whole Chapter: Exodus 4 In context: Exodus 4:25-27)


Luke 1:59
(Whole Chapter: Luke 1 In context: Luke 1:58-60)


John 7:22
(Whole Chapter: John 7 In context: John 7:21-23)


Acts 7:8
(Whole Chapter: Acts 7 In context: Acts 7:7-9)


Acts 11:2
(Whole Chapter: Acts 11 In context: Acts 11:1-3)


Acts 15:1.
(Whole Chapter: Acts 15 In context: Acts 15:1-2)


Romans 2:25
(Whole Chapter: Romans 2 In context: Romans 2:24-26)


Romans 2:28
(Whole Chapter: Romans 2 In context: Romans 2:27-29)


Romans 2:29
(Whole Chapter: Romans 2 In context: Romans 2:28-30)


Romans 3:1
(Whole Chapter: Romans 3 In context: Romans 3:1-2)


Romans 4:11
(Whole Chapter: Romans 4 In context: Romans 4:10-12)


Galatians 2:12.
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 2 In context: Galatians 2:11-13)


Galatians 5:2
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 5 In context: Galatians 5:1-3)


Galatians 5:12
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 5 In context: Galatians 5:11-13)


Galatians 6:13
(Whole Chapter: Galatians 6 In context: Galatians 6:12-14)


Ephesians 2:11
(Whole Chapter: Ephesians 2 In context: Ephesians 2:10-12)


Titus 1:10
(Whole Chapter: Titus 1 In context: Titus 1:9-11)

I know the Bible can be interpreted so many different ways. These are just some passages that helped me.

|
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#8 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 04:28 PM
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Welcome! I'm so glad you decided to join us!

I have SO been where you are. When I was pregnant, I agonized over this "decision." I said all the things you just said--I want everything to be natural, but what if he gets teased, etc.

Long story short: I left my son intact (which means that I didn't circumcise him), and I now believe, with my uttermost being, that this was never my "decision" to make in the first place, just as I didn't "decide" whether or not to cut my daughter's genitals.

I didn't "decide" not to cut off part of my son's ear, or his big toe, or any other body part that I could have messed with.

AND HE WILL GROW UP KNOWING THAT. He will grow up knowing that it wasn't my decision to make--he has a RIGHT to his bodily integrity. If he ever gets teased, which I doubt, that is what I am going to remind him of.

Besides, why in the world should you put your son through all of that intense pain on day 2 or 3, for something that MAY or MAY NOT happen on day 5,475? It just doesn't make sense to me. I will not let high school bullies (especially future imaginary ones) dicate how I raise my son.

I tell you what--in my heart I apologize to my son every day for ever even THINKING about cutting off part of his body.

AnnMarie gave you a ton of good links--please read through all of them!

And come back here and post, as often as you want to.

And, I don't think you specifically mentioned what religion you are, but, as has been said by others, if you are Christian, then there is no religious reason to circumcise. Christ states in the Bible that his blood atonement means that circumcision is no longer necessary.
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#9 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 04:35 PM
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PS. Some women are "grossed-out" by breastfeeding. (Sad, but true.) But what grosses us out should NOT get in the way of what our babies deserve.
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#10 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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Ok, so if you get him circed now he may regret it when he grows up but there will be very little he can do about because once it is gone it is gone. There have been some advances in the area or regenerating/stretching whatis left etc. . . but from what I have read it sounds painful, tedius, time consuming and really more trouble than it is worth. yet many men are finding it totally worth while.

Now if you don't circ him and he regrets it all he has to do is go have the procedure done. Just because he can while about the pain doesn't mean it hurts any more than it would his first few days of life. Also having it done when he is older has the advantage of the anastesiologist (sp?) wil be absolutely sertain the pain killing drugs are working before they begin the surgery and a skilled plastic surgeon will be doing the procedure. With newborns, they rarely give the anastesia time to take effect (at least 30 - 45 min) and then it is done by whoever is handy (nurse, Dr. or med student with little training *shudder*). Also on a post pubesent male they have a better idea of what they are working with. Sometimes with the tiny parts of newborns they take to much, take the whole thing (*shuddering more*), or do it crooked whatever. Infant circ isn't a real exact science. They pretty much just lop some off.

I would say research. What tipped the scale for me was seeing pictures of the procedure. A completely awake baby strapped to a baord, cold and naked, then blood everywhere. No thanks. It is his body he can make the descision.

The argument I hear most is that "I want him to look like his dad. Well if you were concerned about your dd looking like you would you give her breast implants so she wouldn't feel diffent. No? of course not. That is a descision she would have to make herself when she was an adult. It might be less trumatic for her as an infant but it is easy to see how it isn't your body to do that with and children don't get that upset about not looking like htier parents.

As to the religous arguments, I don't know if it is OK to discuss that here but feel free to PM me and I would be more than happy to give you my POV on that.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#11 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 05:58 PM
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I may be a senior member but I still double post! :
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#12 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 06:00 PM
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A couple of points:

1. "I'm a cloth diapering, homeschooling, organic foods, extended bf type of mama...so the idea of staying all natural sounds good to me."

Seems to me you're a rebel already, why be worried about what people will think if you leave your son intact?

2. As my circ'ed brother said about his intact son, "Sure he doesn't look like me but he doesn't look like his mother either."

3. I was in the hospital the day they did the circumcisions. The babies screams echoed throughout the maternity ward and the mothers were all standing in the hall crying.

4. My husband is intact and I have never seen any smegma.
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#13 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 06:13 PM
 
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Stacey:


You've gotten some great information here. I'm not going to belabor what others have said but just make a few points.

The whitish stuff you are talking about is called "smegma." That's a terrible sounding name, isn't it? The name is almost enough to turn you off but it comes from the Greek and translated, it means "soap." There is a hint there about it's function. It is true that women also produce smegma and I have seen it first hand so I know this is true. I have an intact friend that claimed that men don't produce smegma and that it is all a myth. I told him not to wash inside his foreskin for a couple of days and report back to me. Sure enough, after 3 days, he found smegma so it is not something that is not manageable and a man who bathes daily will probably never see it. Washing an intact adult penis is just like washing a circumcised penis except for the 1/2 second movement of pulling the foreskin back. An infant or child penis is actually easier to take care of if it is not circumcised. Imagine that!

I keep hearing about fathers who want to have their sons look like them. Whose benefit is that for? Certainly not the child's! If it is so important for the child to look like the circumcised father, why doesn't the father go in for some plastic surgery instead of violating the childs rights and putting him through all of that pain and suffering? I imagine few fathers would find it important enough to look like their son to have surgery performed on themselves. Whaddya think?

Finally, here is what I think is one of the most important things to consider:

July 18, 1995; Houston, Texas: A 5-year-old boy goes into a coma while being circumcised. He dies a week later. Jeremie Johnson. Doctor's Hospital-Airline Dr. T. Jose Tovar was suspended July 18

Then Dustin Evans died, in 1998.

Dimetrius Mannaker – Died 1993 – Carol City, Ohio

"About 1,350,000 newborn American males are circumcised annually, and about 230 of them die as a result of this operation."
(Sex by Prescription, by Thomas S. Szasz, MD, Syracuse University
Press, 1990)

According to Robert Leon Baker, MD, former rear-admiral in the US Navy Medical Corps, an estimated 229 babies die every year due directly or indirectly to circumcisions. (Sexual Medicine Today, Vol. 3, No. 11, November 1979).

Christopher Dolezal – Died 1982 - Des Moines Iowa

"Circumcision doctor killed boy, 9, with heroin overdose" The Independent (40 City Road, London, England, ECI 2DB), July 9, 1994.

Allen A. Ervin – Died 1995 – Spartanburg, South Carolina

Andrew Ryan, 20, of Durham, NC, Dead

T.H. Houston, Texas – Died 1979

Joshua – Died April 1998

Steven Christopher Chacon, who died in his crib three days after being circumcised. 11/26/86


There were 7 little boys that one Brooklyn hospital "surgically reassigned" into girls in the last 10 years after botched circumcisions amputated their penises!






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#14 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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Oh, yeah, I forgot. There was also a boy who died of his circumcision at Penticon hospital in Vancouver, BC in August, 2002. We need to remember every single boy who has given his life to:

1. Be cleaner
2. Have prettier genitals
3. Look like Daddy
4. Satisfy the grandparents, neighbors or a girl he wouldn't have met for another 20 years
5. Avoid ever seeing smegma
6. Avoid probably non-existant teasing in the locker room
7. Avoid a later circumcision that was highly unlikely anyway
8. Avoid another 1/2 second washing his genitals each day






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#15 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 06:33 PM
 
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Stacey, just in case you need more information (HA HA) I thought I would offer my humble opinion.

My husband and his whole family were adamant about ds getting circed the day of his birth (we chose not to find out the sex of our child until the birth so didn't know it was a boy). My sil and mil actually tried to do this with my husband behind my back while I recovered from a c-section. Luckily I was in a hospital that allowed me to be with my babe at all times even after operation.

When I was pregnant, I didn't know much about the issue but during my pre-natal class something was said that convinced me that I would never circ. a child of mine. The instructor went into vivid detail about how the newborn is strapped down, all four limbs while the cut is made. She said the baby, who has been in the womb for so long only wants to remain in the fetal, curled up position and it's extremetly unnatural to be retained in this way, much less by force. Some mothers say their babies never cry during the circ. I am convinced that it is because the baby goes into shock.

My husband was told by his mom and 3 sisters that our son would be like a freak in school and wonder why he looked different from his father. I asked my husband how much time he intended to spend naked together (we live in Maine!). Plus everyone looks unique. Also, most boys now are in tact so it won't be an issue in school.

One other thing, there are a few men out there who got circ'd as adults who can attest to the fact that their sexual pleasure and sensation were decreased after the cut. The moisture put out by the in tact penis has also been said to be more pleasurable to the woman.

Good luck!
Mary
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#16 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sunfairy
[B]Hi..I haven't posted here before..I'm pregnant and the early ultrasound looks like a boy. My first boy.
Congratulations on your pregnancy Stacey!

Quote:
One of the first things I thought about was circumcision.
I think it's really sad that so many people have to entertain frightening, confusing and distressed feelings because they percieve a societal expectation to cut a part of their child off.

I think you might benefit from reading the book "The Secret Life of the Unborn Child" by Thomas Verney

I think this expectation (circumcision), in and of itself, is a form of agression against motherhood... it's a way of taking our sons from us... A power play of the status quo over your own moral standard. I feel it's like a test... like a lecher pushing further and further up your skirt... only it's your maternal virtue that is being tested... "can I touch him here? " "how about here?" "with a knife" "Yes?" "oh comon... everybody does it..." "I know you are nervous... you can trust me... it will only hurt for a second..."

At what point are you allowed to say "no" if you have already allowed the status quo to get that far with your child?

Once they have their scar on your child, they have proof that your boundries are crossable. I think that is what this is all about- what this whole cultural genital marking thing is... it's about prepping you, as a parent, to lay down.

Quote:
I don't know where I stand on the issue. On one hand I like the idea of not choppping off parts of the body and putting a baby through undue pain and suffering. I'm a cloth diapering, homeschooling, organic foods, extended bf type of mama...so the idea of staying all natural sounds good to me.
On the other side, all the men and boys in my family are circ, my husband (though not an entirely religious man) says in the bible God says to Abraham to circ his boys, there's this issue..I hear that un circ penises produce a natural substance to keep it clean and keep good bacteria around...It may be shallow but that kinda grosses me out...(as I think a prospective wife may be) My husband also says there was a boy in his high school who was so embarassed, he had the procedure done at 16, which in my opinion would be more traumatic.
actually, the way you broke this down does not sound like the two ways YOU feel about the issue... it sounds like the way you feel about it... and they way everyone ELSE is prepping you to lay down... all the subtle little quiet coercion... "shhh... comon ba-by, it's in the Bi-ble ...how bad could it be?"

As for the ponts they have put up against your innate human maternal instinct- here we go one by one...

Unless you are Jewish, the presence of circumcision in the bible is of no relevance to your family. In fact, circumcision of Christians would be a step away from the purpose of Jesus being born, his teachings, and ultimatly, his death. In fact, today, this is the day Jesus was cicumcised... eight days after the day he was born. His circumcision was the circumcision to end all circumcisions... with the coming of the Messiah, the purpose of the blood ritual of circumcision has been finished. If you need more help researching the christian aspects of circumcision- please say so, we are nt supposed to discuss religion here, but I think we can help to point you to some resources.

You say all the men and boys in your family ARE circ.

Do you KNOW this for a fact? How far back? And for what PURPOSE were they circumcised? My husband thought this was the case for his family too- turns out he was the very first male to be circumcised in his family on either side and his circumcision was done without any parental consent (permission) He was just in the nursery and the Dr. did it to him without even asking anyone... THAT is hardly a reason to start a family tradition "we are circumcisers!" And yet- everyone was all clammed up about it and no one told my husband the truth about his circumcision when I was pregnant.

What if your grandad had been circumcised so he would not masturbate... and then your dad was circumcised because his dad was... and so on... would the fact that it HAD happened be reason enough to do it... or do you think the original motivation should be reassesed each and every generation? Would you circumcise your child to make it harder for him to masturbate? Is that purpose appealing to you? That was the motivating purpose that got circumcision rolling in this country... what if each generation had a different "line" that was fed to them by their seducer? ... a different foot stuck in the door they are willing to open only because they had an idea that this visitor had been entertained by the family in the past?... what if one generation they want to stop masturbation (they sell this excuse to intact people who get it ... but by the next generation (a circumcised generation) the Dr.s don't want to continue to dwell on this idea of sexual damage... after all- the circumcised dad is listening now, and he want to think he is undamaged... so they say "it's cleaner"...(that makes circumcised dad feel good) then maybe the next generation they say "to look like dad" but that excuse would not work for the first generation they sold it to... they keep switching lines. Then we have to fit in with our peers... then we have to make it nice to get a blow job... on and on.

How many excuses do Americans have to circumcise their children?

How many excuses do Europeans have?

If these "excuses" were "reasons" don't you think loving health minded regular christian Europeans who have heterosexual relationships would be wrestling with this decision just like you? But they don't. It doesn't even enter their mind.

You say you heard about some substance that has you grossed out... have you heard that you also happen to have that substance on your genitals? Who would be grossed out by you? Who would cut you because of it? Is it fair that men should have externalised and dried out internal aspects of their genitals to please the learned prefrence of women who have been offered this option on "our men" do you think that men should have this option for "their women" if they like it that way?


Quote:
To make matters kinda worse, the birth center has a usual 4 hour afterbirth stay and circs aren't performed until the baby is at least a day or two old...so I would actually have to make an appt..where? the pediatrician? the hospital I was trying to avoid?
and bring my baby to its pain.
Well, that sure makes it tough for you. But the responsibility is the same. Hospital circumcisions are sure easy where all you have to do is sign the paper and then roll over and put the pillow over your head and cry... it would be a lot harder on YOU if you had to really do a lot of work, reseach, scheduling and driving to get a piece of your son's penis cut off... straping him back in the car seat with the strap right across his penis, a bloody munched up wound in a bunchy diaper- that's got to hurt... and it's probably hard to drive after you have been sobbing in the waiting room listening to him scream...but ultimatly- he is the one who is losing the sexual anatomy, it's not about you.

You can find an GP, a PED, a Urologist or a Jewish Mohel (ritual circumciser) to do a circumcision. Different circumcisers have different methods, philosophies, pain relief methods (or lack) prices... this is all stuff you will have to research locally. The regional chances of finding a circumciser who also uses anesthesia is touch and go... you have to be your child's advocate... you must speak up on his behalf... :
http://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../full/101/6/e5

This is something that many parents will live to regret. Maybe if you read some of their stories you can discover if your sympathies are similar enough to these people's... I can't say that you WILL regret this if you do it... from what you say about yourself I get the feeling that you would be one of those people- but I don't know... see if their warnings might ring true to you,or if you think your situation is not similar enough to apply:

http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/mothers.html


Quote:
well thanks for listening..I know this is a dilema each mother must take a side on with her boy, I appreciate your thoughts.
I guess we all have to take sides, but this was not a dilemma for me. Because I have had intimate relationships with intact european men, I would never dream of cutting a part of my child's sex organ off. Just because my husband is a fantastic lover and is circumcised... does not mean that what was done to him was without harm... it was HIS penis and no one had a right to take any part of him. The foreskin is not something that is "not necissary to cut off" it is a functional part of errogenous anatomy... it is more than "not necissary" or "painful" to cut off my clitoris... it's WRONG.

Love Sarah
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Originally posted by lilyka
No thanks. It is his body he can make the descision.

Again, I don't even see it as a decision. We WON'T be chopping any body parts off around here, now or later! If my son ever wants a circ, I'm going to have his head examined! After all I have done to protect that foreskin of his! Off-topic, sort of.

Stacey, I know all of this is a lot to digest, but come back and post again when you've had some time to think about it, ok?
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#18 of 36 Old 01-02-2004, 07:16 PM
 
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Hi, I've never posted in this forum but I am compelled to simply say...

my husband is intact and I have never seen smegma on his penis...he tells me he has never really seen it either as he showers and cleans himself regularly. Neither one of us think that the possibility of it existing on either of us as gross.

(my son is also intact)

Comgratulations on your son.
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#19 of 36 Old 01-03-2004, 02:24 AM
 
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this has gotta be quick, but i will actually (gasp!) post my personal exp here for the very first time. the two experiences i've had with intact men were lovely; they were 'fresh as the daisy', as my 2 yr old would put it. who doesn't get stinky if they don't wash? my circ'd dh is plenty smelly if he skips a day's shower; foreskin has nothing to do with it.

pretty? i don't find scars and hair halfway up a shaft extremely appealing (a thousand pardons, you who were mutilated without your consent; no offense intended to *you*.)

and, i hope this isn't taken as a 'garsh, get them circ'd as infants, don't wait!' post (because i am skeptical if there are *ever* legitimate reasons to circ; a huge cancerous growth, i guess: how common is that?)... a fellow i was with that was circ'd as a teen ('phimosis', natch) could never, ever, get off again. (come to think of it, he had uti's constantly too, after his circ; gee, isn't that supposed to go away with the loss of those dreadful foreskins?)

anyway, lots of good info here, and congrats, and i think when you give birth you'll see your little boy's parts are just as nice as can be with no alterations needed.

luck! suse
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#20 of 36 Old 01-04-2004, 09:14 PM
 
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My older boy is circ'd, the younger one isn't. Although it seems strange to me now, 2 years ago, I, too, was struggling with the decision that you now face. Should I circ my 2nd son??? Some of my reasons were the same that you listed, plus I had the added questions of how will I explain to them both why they are different from each other.

Well, 2 years later & I am SO SO glad that we decided NOT to circ DS #2. Family questioned us at first, but no big deal. It never even comes up now.

DS#2 has the "normal" looking penis to me now--how strange since it is the ONLY intact one I've ever seen!! The cleaning & care has been no different to me than with DS#1--everything has been just fine!

Good luck--I know it is a lot to think about!
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#21 of 36 Old 01-04-2004, 09:51 PM
 
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Hi there! First, let me say congratulations on having a boy! My first was a boy too. Boys are awesome.

Anyway... I haven't read all the replies so forgive me if I repeat anything. My biggest argument in favor of not circumcizing is that I don't believe it's ethical to remove a functioning, non-diseased part of a person's body without their consent. Now to address your specific concerns:

"all the men and boys in my family are circ, my husband (though not an entirely religious man) says in the bible God says to Abraham to circ his boys, there's this issue.."

You might do some research into religious circ. There's a bunch of info on the internet (and some probably on these forums) about Jews (don't know about Muslims) who do not circ, or who do more of a "symbolic" circumcision, i.e., nicking the foreskin rather than cutting the whole dang thing off. For instance: http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/

"I hear that un circ penises produce a natural substance to keep it clean and keep good bacteria around...It may be shallow but that kinda grosses me out..."

Does your vagina gross you out? Same thing...
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#22 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of this information, I'm so glad the baby is not due til July! I also found out my cousin, who is pregnant with a boy is not going to cut him!
After talking about it with my husband, I found out just how set he is on circ'ing our son...so knowing they won't do it at the birth center, I told him HE would have to make the appt and take our child in against my will. Since he has never made a doctors appt in his life, I think we'll be ok


I kept thinking about it and its not something I could see myself doing to a child..its just not the way I mother my children...I mean, my 2 sister-in-laws and I were preggy at the same time when Chloe was born..I had a girl and they both had boys...they both circ'd, bottle fed and are not homeschooling..I kept comparing myself to them and its just not working..thats not me. They have beautiful children whom I love, but we just choose different paths.

thanks to everyone who posted about the smegma issue as well...hubby is just STUCK on that...

hugs,
Stacey
mama to Chloe 3 1/2
due with #2 July 31, 2004

~mama to some wonderful kids
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#23 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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I just have to second this comment:
Quote:
4) I saw the visual relief in my doctor's face when I told him he was not circumsizing my baby and I in turn felt completely at peace with my decision and following my instinct and spirit on this issue.
When we told our ob in the hospital that we weren't circumsizing, he said "Good, he will save money from therapy bills when he is older!" I guess I had a perception that all docs are in favor of this surgery. I wish that they would be more outspoken about their views if they are against it. I think it would help change peoples minds about circ if their doc took a real stance on the issue.
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#24 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 12:52 PM
 
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I had decided long before I was pg w/ds that I didn't think I wanted to circ. It just seemed wrong- not to mention unsanitary. An open wound in a dirty dipe, the initial pain of the surgery, etc. I had discussed w/dh when dd was about 4 mos old if we had a ds, I didn't want to circ- he was like 'WHAT!??! Of course we will.' I just let it drop b/c we weren't in the situation and with dh (and me for that matter) the more you fight, the more resistance you get. It's better to give space and time for things to set in

I was planning on discussing w/dh the whole time I was pg w/ds, but a time never came up. Ds ended up coming 5 weeks early, so in the hosp, the nurses asked me if we were going to do it- I told them we hadn't discussed it yet, so we were going to wait. DH was only at the hospital with me for the birth and for a few minutes at a time after ds was born b/c I wanted him to be home w/dd as much as possible. We still didn't talk about it, so the next day I told the nurses no, we weren't going to cut. I told DH on the way home.

He was shocked, but asked why. I told him I watched videos and it just didn't seem right. His big mental hurdle was the locker room arguement. I figure, if ds really, really wants to be cut later, we can discuss it then. I tell dh it's not necessary, rates are now about 50/50, so he won't be the oddball, and it's painful. I told him if he wanted it done, I would show him the videos I found and he could make the appt and be fully responsible for diaper changes and baths until it was healed. He decided it wasn't necessary (he's also never made a dr appt as long as I've known him).

He talked to all his friends and family to get their opinions- they mostly thought it was weird. I think to DH, the more ds became 'real' the more he was against it. When ds was about 4 mos old- the ped sent us to a urologist b/c she said he had slight hypospadius and wanted it checked out. The urologist asked if we wanted to circ- I said no- he said we didn't need to. I asked how bad on a scale of 1-10 his 'condition' was, he said about a 1. I wasn't too upset w/the ped, she seems overly cautious and does recommend procedures and tests, but doesn't get upset when I turn them down.

I think once your ds is here, your dh will be fine with it. (The first intact penis I ever saw was my ds, but it looks natural and normal to me- which it is, of course.)

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#25 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by sunfairy

After talking about it with my husband, I found out just how set he is on circ'ing our son...so knowing they won't do it at the birth center, I told him HE would have to make the appt and take our child in against my will. Since he has never made a doctors appt in his life, I think we'll be ok
I think it's great that your cousin isn't going to cut her boy!

My .02 is that you may need to take more of a stand with your dh than just "fine, you want it done, you get it done." What if this is the first doctor's appointment he makes in his life? All it takes is a phone call and a trip to the doctor's office and your son loses half the skin on his penis.

I hope that your dh will see how normal the intact penis is once the baby is born and will recognize that he wants to leave him whole, but you can't necessarily bet on it given how powerful the voices are in our society saying that the intact penis is dirty, weird, prone to disease, etc. It's also really hard for a lot of circed men (my dh included) to wrap their heads around the fact that they are missing an important part of their sexuality because of what their parents did to them. I think too many men want to cut their babies so as not to have to deal with the implications of what they themselves are missing.

If nothing else, please have your dh read the Fleiss article (there's a good reprint at www.mothersagainstcirc.org) and watch the video of a circ at http://www.intact.ca/vidphil.htm

Good luck, and welcome to MDC! There are a lot of other great fora here, so check us out.


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#26 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 08:40 PM
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Congratulations on this important decision. However, I agree with Jane that you may need to take a firmer line than that. Once I made my decision, I simply stated to my dh, "we're not circ'ing our son." That was that. Fortunately he didn't try to argue, but this just wasn't something I was going to compromise on.
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#27 of 36 Old 01-05-2004, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jane

My .02 is that you may need to take more of a stand with your dh than just "fine, you want it done, you get it done." What if this is the first doctor's appointment he makes in his life? All it takes is a phone call and a trip to the doctor's office and your son loses half the skin on his penis.
I have to agree here. It's the same as giving him the go ahead to do it. Put your foot down. Your son will thank you for it later.
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#28 of 36 Old 01-06-2004, 09:21 AM
 
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I hope that once your son is born, your maternal instincts will be so strong that you will have no problem controlling this situation. If you trully believe it is wrong to circumcize, I don't think you will be able to let it happen. It will all seem so senseless when you see your newborn and his beautiful whole self.

I totally understand the pressure you are under. And it will be harder after the birth when you are particularly vulnerable.

The fact that dh will have to do it "against your will" could mean anything - could mean that you will stay home crying. In that case, I think it's wrong, imho, to abandon your babe while he goes through this trauma. I feel the mom should be right there. But once the child is born, "against your will" may mean "over your dead body". That's what it meant for me. But if you don't decide now, it may mean extra stress around birth time.


can you show him a video?

good luck, Mary
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#29 of 36 Old 01-06-2004, 10:35 AM
 
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Stacey: On the smegma issue...

There honestly isn't an issue. I live in the UK where boys are ONLY circumsised if they are Jewish or Muslim.

Therefore the majority of men are intact. My DH is intact , we have been together for 9 years and I have NEVER seen any smegma (and I have made close inspections of his genitals ).

I have never heard any woman complaining about it or talking about it since high school. At high school the only thing that was mentioned was "cheesy willy" and that was a reference to someone not washing himself. If men keep themselves clean then you don't notice any smegma.

In fact I only knew the word because "Smeg" was used as a swear word in the popular BBC show "Red Dwarf" and I ran to my dictionary to see if it was a real word or made up.

Your husbands worries are without foundation. I hope that you keep your son intact.

Best of luck with your decision.
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#30 of 36 Old 01-06-2004, 12:10 PM
 
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Hi - I bumped another thread for you - the one by Artsymom - 'Please Can Someone Educate Us' (or something like that!).

In that thread, you'll find a list of questions posted by Sarah - they are good ones to read and have your husband consider before he even BEGINS to think about circumcising your baby.
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