E-mail from my dad... Did I handle it well? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dad sent me an e-mail and had a paragraph about us needing to circumcise our son that is going to be born soon. He told me the reasons he had for doing it to his sons. He also told me that it was based on some of what his dad said. He mostly talked about hygiene and how it is easier on the kid to have it done as a baby vs. an older child or adult.
He did it in a respectful, kind manner. My brother just had a baby boy and they circumcised him... in retrospect I wonder if this is part of why my dad said anything. We generally aren't that close about certain topics.
My g-pa, dad, brothers and nephews lalalalala, all of them are circumcised. Ours will be the first intact male in the family in 90+ years.


My response...


Dear Dad,

Thanks dad for your guess (((about when our baby will be born))) and your concern. I appreciate the fact that you care that much about your grand kids.
Actually, there are no major medical boards who recommend circumcision anymore... in the world. The world wide circumcision rate is about 80%. The 20% who are circumcised (the majority) are in Israel and in the US. And the circumcision rate in the U.S. is only (about) 50%.
We believe that since the foreskin is a natural part of a human body, there aren't any reasons to do it, and actually it could be more detrimental. It is considered a cosmetic surgery anymore. And actually over 100 babies die from complications from it every year.
What happens when the foreskin is left on is that it will naturally separate as the boy gets older. The average age for separation is 10 years old. Back in the day they would tell parents who didn't circumcise that they had to forceably retract the foreskin to clean under it. If they did that before separation it would feel like ... Imagine your fingernail getting ripped off. It is that connected. And because it is that connected it can't get dirty. It would be like washing the inside of your baby daughter every time you changed her diaper or gave her a bath, it isn't necessary or recommended. By the age that it separates the boy will be taught proper hygiene just like a little girl.
Oh, and about keeping the foreskin from closing off, it does that itself. It is a sphincter, like the anus, or the esophagus. Poop comes out when it needs to and food stays in your stomach.. (unless you throw up obviously)
So with the foreskin, it will contract and expand as needed.

Part of the belief that the foreskin won't retract comes from the damage of parent's or Dr.s forcing that retraction before it is ready. It causes micro tears and those will scar and can cause it to not retract later on... which sometimes can lead to circumcision later in life.

We were going to circumcise, like if E had been a boy we probably would have. But I wanted to know what it entailed, I wanted to know why it was done, and then I wanted to know what would happen and how the foreskin would react if we didn't do it.

I am not getting into the function or purpose of the foreskin at this point, but the hygiene is important enough.

Oh, and yes, to be honest, in some kids separation can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful... but it is a natural function of the human body.

Also... if he wants it done later, he can choose to.

I think that you did the best for your kids with the information you had Dad. No worries on that front. But, we won't be doing it for any of our kids.

But I hope it comforts you that we have taken the time to research it and make sure with the information available now that we are doing the best for our kids. And if you have any more questions or concerns I will be glad to talk to you about it or send you to where I got my information.

Love you,

A
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#2 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:04 PM
 
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I think that is a great response, and it really warms my heart to see such a respectful and loving discussion about such a touchy subject. Cheers on being part of such a nice family
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#3 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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It looks like you handled it beautifully, especially the part about "You did a great job with your own kids." I think most "grandparent meddling" comes from feeling defensive.

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#4 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObliviousAnnette View Post
The world wide circumcision rate is about 80%. The 20% who are circumcised (the majority) are in Israel and in the US. And the circumcision rate in the U.S. is only (about) 50%.
You mean 80% are not circ'd, right?

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#5 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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good letter.

You made an error here:
"The world wide circumcision rate is about 80%. The 20% who are circumcised (the majority) are in Israel and in the US. And the circumcision rate in the U.S. is only (about) 50%."

You mean to say that world wide intact (uncircumcised) rate is 80%.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#6 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oy! Thanks for pointing out that rather important typo!
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#7 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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Your letter was thoughtful and informative. Good work!

I highly suggest your Father view the following. It helped us when we had the same issue with our Dads.

Good luck!

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=.../8/GQiVdAq-U4s

'09   
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#8 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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You handled it wonderfully! I honestly don't think you could have handled it any better than you did

Wife and mother to 2 kiddos - 17 yr old DS jammin.gifand 13 yr old DD energy.gif.. and a cat that thinks he's a dog dizzy.gif
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#9 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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I think your letter to your father is wonderful!

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Pardon the typos - CWOK (cat walking on keyboard)   signcirc1.gif

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#10 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I was concerned about information overload or misinformation. I appreciate those of you who pointed out my typo about circ rates.

I guess we will see if he has anything to say back.
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#11 of 22 Old 01-04-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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Excellent response.

I would have added some informationb about the value of a foreskin becuase I feel that is a very improtant point, however, I understand your reasons to wait on that point.

Very nicely written.

Regards
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#12 of 22 Old 01-05-2010, 05:52 AM
 
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That's a very loving and respectful letter!

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#13 of 22 Old 01-05-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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You did wonderfully! I have a hard time not getting angry or upset, so I'm really impressed with what a wonderful calm letter you wrote your dad!

 
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#14 of 22 Old 01-06-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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What a wonderful, gentle, and respectful response! Let us know how he takes it.

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#15 of 22 Old 01-06-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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Posts have been removed. The Case Against Circumcision forum does not host religious reference or discussion. Further posts that reference religion will be removed and members alerted. I'm really sorry for the inconvenience this may cause, but these are the rules of the forum. If you have questions about our forum's policies, please PM me, QueenOfTheMeadow or To-Fu. Thank you.

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The discussion of or reference to religion is outside of the scope of this forum. Any posts which bring any aspect of religion into the discussion are not appropriate and will be removed.

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#16 of 22 Old 01-07-2010, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sooooooooooo.... All he said was that he hoped we stayed warm this winter, that everything goes well, and thanks for listening.
My MOM said that I was overreacting and the circ is still cleaner, and maybe a compromise is like... taking only Part of the foreskin off. I think the old school transition is hard sometimes.
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#17 of 22 Old 01-07-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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I hope he will read it, it's a great letter!

Mom to two intact boys here!

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#18 of 22 Old 01-07-2010, 04:30 AM
 
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I would just like support OblivousAnnette in a factual statement she was making in her email to her dad. She was technically correct for the point she was trying to make; we always run up against the issue, when talking about circumcision, of whether we are referring to rate of newborn circumcision, rate of circumcision by adulthood, or the odds one will be circumcised by the time they die. It's 3 different statistics, really. Just like when people argue whether the circumcision rate in the US is 53% or 80% -- are we talking about baby boys born today, or all American males alive today?

The truth is that some cultures traditionally delay circumcision of their sons. Virtually the only ones that do it at birth can be identified by 2 markers: one which is outside the scope of this forum, and Anglo/US culture. The latter trait is becoming decidedly less consistent about circumcision since England abandoned the fad they helped start ("Really now, we never thought you Yanks would take this silly idea quite so seriously; you really do tend to take the rugby ball and run on with it, don't you?") and Canada, NZ and Australia have seen rapid declines in recent decades. Though given the worldwide numbers, it's still reasonable to say that the biggest risk factor to a newborn's foreskin remains the English language.

Fact is that 97 out of 100 boys worldwide under the age of 1 are intact. Guess where the other 3 live.
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#19 of 22 Old 01-07-2010, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObliviousAnnette View Post
My MOM said that I was overreacting and the circ is still cleaner, and maybe a compromise is like... taking only Part of the foreskin off. I think the old school transition is hard sometimes.

Hoo-boy. Well, you did handle it well with your folks, though. Talking about the weather was about the best response you could have hoped for.

Anytime I hear someone say, "Well, wouldn't it be OK to just take a little off?" I have to think that they have a completely different understanding somehow of what penile skin is and how it works. I've heard some people discuss it like it's a haircut, or just a trim to, you know, shorten and tighten things up a bit.

For better or worse, because of the nature of how the body forms such a clever folded-over and continuous structure at the end of the penis, there is no such thing as "just a little less." Any surgical intrusion there causes the remarkable structure to short-circuit... the best two analogies I can think of are folding a shirt sleeve cuff-to-shoulder, and cutting out the elbow (obviously a problem holding the whole thing together then) and those snowflakes we used to make in elementary school by folding paper, snipping bits of the ends, and unfolding. Voilà! Beautiful snowflake, but problematic when you're talking about a complex nerve- and blood vessel-laden part of the penis.
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#20 of 22 Old 01-09-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ObliviousAnnette View Post
So .... All he said was that he hoped we stayed warm this winter, that everything goes well, and thanks for listening.
My MOM said that I was overreacting and the circ is still cleaner, and maybe a compromise is like... taking only Part of the foreskin off. I think the old school transition is hard sometimes.
Your response was very well said. Not a rant or emotional outbreak.

Certainly not 'over reacting'! Good job, Annette.

DJ
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#21 of 22 Old 01-09-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObliviousAnnette View Post
Sooooooooooo.... All he said was that he hoped we stayed warm this winter, that everything goes well, and thanks for listening.
My MOM said that I was overreacting and the circ is still cleaner, and maybe a compromise is like... taking only Part of the foreskin off. I think the old school transition is hard sometimes.
I just saw this great article you could send them:
(actually everyone here will like it I think)

http://www.esquire.com/women/sex/get...rcumcised-0210

Quote:
Only 25% of the world circumcises, and not necessarily the good 25%.
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#22 of 22 Old 01-11-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObliviousAnnette View Post
Sooooooooooo.... All he said was that he hoped we stayed warm this winter, that everything goes well, and thanks for listening.
My MOM said that I was overreacting and the circ is still cleaner, and maybe a compromise is like... taking only Part of the foreskin off. I think the old school transition is hard sometimes.
sounds like you handled it beautifully.

the smart-aleck in me would want to say something along the lines of "sure! we plan to compromise by cutting off just a little AND we are going to do the same thing with his lips to reduce the risk of oral infections too! those pesky, warm, wet folds of skin around his mouth harbor SO MUCH BACTERIA! we want to eliminate that risk as fast as we can. who would you recommend for trimming off part of his eyelids also?"

......'sprobably better, what you said.

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." â E.B. White
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