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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel a little weird starting this since I neither have a son yet nor have a dh who is pro-circumcision... BUT I noticed that there are many many mamas in this DDC who are discussing circumcision with their dhs and finding it to be a heated topic. So I thought it would be good to have a thread devoted to talking about circumcision with dhs/dps so that the info doesn't get lost in the weekly threads. This way mamas who had pro-circumcision husbands can also weigh in on what worked for them and nobody has to go to CAC if they aren't comfortable with it (that forum can definitely get intense for pregnant hormones...).

A really good article to read (but not show your dh) is here:

http://www.circumstitions.com/men-vuln.html

The article discusses some reasons why circumcised men are often set on having their sons circumcised. It also discusses the importance of being very sensitive about this when talking to a circumcised father.

And FWIW, my dh is intact and FIL is circumcised. My dh never wondered why he didn't "look like his father" in that way. When he did notice his father's penis it was to notice how large and hairy it was. He also just assumed that his father kept his foreskin pulled back all the time
And now, as an adult since learning about circumcision, he's very happy and grateful that his mother and father decided to leave this decision up to him (and so am I)
So... that's how much weight the "look like daddy" argument holds with at least one son.

You mamas are awesome for sticking up for your sons! I wish you the best


love and peace.
 

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Thanks for the link. With dh he is not concerned about the "look like me" argument. His primary concern is cleanliness with a secondary concern being "the locker room" concern (growing up he had a friend who was intact & it bugged the friend enough to get circ;ed as a teenager).

But I told him what my ob-gyn & mom said today (see the weekly thread for details, but basicallythey said that its a cosmestic procedure only) & he said, well, I'll take a closer look at that research again.

Like I said in the previous weeks thread - luckily my dh is very open minded & our initial dialogue went great at least on the level we listened to each other & agreed to think more about each others POV. And now I think having IRL medical professionals back me up today (ob & mom) was a great influence.
 

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We haven't talked about it yet. I have a feeling he's going to side with me, though. He's reluctant to get a vasectomy, I doubt he's going to want to have someone chop off part of his son's penis!
 

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I was fortunate when pregnant with my first, my DH came to me and said that he didn't want to circ if it was a boy. That was before I had even heard of not circumcising. He explained some of the reasons to me, and I was on board right away. He is circed, but learned about the negatives of circumcision in medical school. (Yes, this is in the U.S.--there are some very informed docs out there!!)
 

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I could've posted Stacy's thread exactly... well, except for the dh learned about it in medical school part...
Too bad I wasn't very close with dh (not close enough to talk about circumsision, anyway... we were pretty dear friends while I was pg w/ Bray, but we just never discussed it until we were talking about *our* children) until after my first son was circ'd.
I will say that dh is circ'd and is almost to the point of furious that someone had that much CONTROL over HIS body at the most vulnerable time in his life. He understands the respect that needs to be shown for baby boys and he's totally dead set on keeping his son whole. i luv him...
:

Alayna
 

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I wanted to share that DH and I argued about this even before we concieved. I know that he still isn't anti-circ, and if it was up to him completely we would be doing it.

But, it's not.

I gave him the facts. I gave him the Bible verses (Paul's letter to the Galatians, especially). I think a big part of it is the "So, you think I'm 'damaged' or something," and he's a little defensive. I know on the Circ board there's a thread somewhere about communicating with a circ'ed husband/partner about this in a way that doesn't make them feel like they're damaged, or deformed.

And in the end, I told him that my foot was down, and there was no way that anyone was taking my baby, boy OR girl, out of my arms to do an unnecessary and painful procedure, and then be over and done with their job, and leave me for the next ? weeks (months? years?) to try to help them heal or feel better or whatever. And he has conceeded that we will not be taking our baby from the birth center (where the midwives obviously won't do it) to somewhere else to do it. I'm so relieved that in the end, this baby was the one to win.

Clara
 

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my DH is circed, and has said that no way in hedes is anyone going to be chopping off part of his sons penis (if we have a son). because the only person who should be allowed to make that decision is the person who the penis belongs to.
as far as cleanliness its SO much easier to keep an uncirced penis clean in the first month (while the huge open wound is healing) you just wash it on the outside like you would a finger. then as they get older you teach them how tot ake care of their penis, just like would teach them how to take care and wash every other body part.
and the "locker room" thing....
dude. circ is declining, and, really.... no two penises look the same. circed or not. so they arent going to have a penis that looks like anyone elses. and from what i have heard, its not the circing they are comparing, its the size. and when you cut off part of the penis, you are cutting off some of that size that the teenage boys long for.

circing my son/s(if we ever have them) is NOT an option.
 

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I personally think that the locker room argument isn't a valid one in this day and age. As far as I know, showering at school and taking your underwear off doesn't happen anymore. Who knows? DH and I are glad that we don't have to cross this bridge yet.
 

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My boys are both circed. DH was adamant that our oldest be circed, and I didn't argue, or do much research to tell the truth. I knew I didn't agree with it, but I left it up to the man. With our younger one, I had done lots of research and wasn't in favor at all. But, I acquiesced to DH's insistence that the boys not be different. HOWEVER.......should this baby be a boy also, it's not happening. Dh has asked me how I feel, he's not terribly happy about it but he does realize it serves no real purpose other than cosmetic. He's been quite insistent that *I* be the one to field any "why me and not him" questions that might arise, which I honestly don't anticipate for a while yet, as my oldest hasn't asked about any of his friends or the infant I babysit for.
 

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Try to find the Penn and Teller video. You may be able to find it on youtube. The have a show called 'bull S#@t'. And they devote the show to why you shouldn't circ & how all the arguements are bs. It was a good show & I think guys would like the delivery.

I mentioned something to my dh's cousin a couple weeks ago about how I wouldn't do it to my baby if it's a boy. She said that a nurse told her it's fine until they get old. then, the old men get infections. I don't think she did enough research on the subject, imo.
 

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Thanks trmpet player for posting that link. I'm building up the courage to confront this issue again with dh (I know that sounds so lame). I tried to talk with him about it last week and got completely shut down so I think I need to change my tactics. I like the article that's attached to the one you posted about a circed Father's views on his intact son....I'm thinking of getting dh to read that one so that he can try to relate. I'm just not eloquent on the subject of anti-cirumcision because this is all so new to me and I'm Jewish (dh is not) so I have been around circed men my whole life. I just know that I can't bear to have my new little one hurt in any way
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CherylDec&Jul View Post
Thanks for the link. With dh he is not concerned about the "look like me" argument. His primary concern is cleanliness with a secondary concern being "the locker room" concern (growing up he had a friend who was intact & it bugged the friend enough to get circ;ed as a teenager).

But I told him what my ob-gyn & mom said today (see the weekly thread for details, but basicallythey said that its a cosmestic procedure only) & he said, well, I'll take a closer look at that research again.

Like I said in the previous weeks thread - luckily my dh is very open minded & our initial dialogue went great at least on the level we listened to each other & agreed to think more about each others POV. And now I think having IRL medical professionals back me up today (ob & mom) was a great influence.
You know what a friend of mine did when her dh did this? She called the 3 local hospitals and asked them their circ rate and ALL of them were 50%. In your dh's generation I'm sure the hospitals were prob more like 90+%. Anyways if only 50% are getting circ'd then it goes to show you that in the locker room it will prob be pretty even. It's not going to be like 30 yrs ago where there was ONE boy in a room of 30 that was intact...it will be 15 kids circ'd and 15 intact.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shelsi View Post
You know what a friend of mine did when her dh did this? She called the 3 local hospitals and asked them their circ rate and ALL of them were 50%. In your dh's generation I'm sure the hospitals were prob more like 90+%. Anyways if only 50% are getting circ'd then it goes to show you that in the locker room it will prob be pretty even. It's not going to be like 30 yrs ago where there was ONE boy in a room of 30 that was intact...it will be 15 kids circ'd and 15 intact.
Well, according to a link in CAC forum we live in one of the highest circ areas (and the recent article posted in this thread), but thats a good point about calling the hospital. . . even if the rate is 80% circ thats still not 95% or whatever it was 36 years ago when dh was born!

But I really think the cleanliness one is the big concern anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ashersmum View Post
Thanks trmpet player for posting that link. I'm building up the courage to confront this issue again with dh (I know that sounds so lame). I tried to talk with him about it last week and got completely shut down so I think I need to change my tactics. I like the article that's attached to the one you posted about a circed Father's views on his intact son....I'm thinking of getting dh to read that one so that he can try to relate. I'm just not eloquent on the subject of anti-cirumcision because this is all so new to me and I'm Jewish (dh is not) so I have been around circed men my whole life. I just know that I can't bear to have my new little one hurt in any way

You can do it! What are your dh's concerns about leaving your son intact? I really like the article about the circumcised father and the intact son as well (I was hoping those links at the bottom would be helpful too!). I would like someday to ask FIL why DH was left intact and how he felt about it... my MIL passed away before I knew much about circumcision so I can't ask her
:

Cheryl - The cleanliness issue is interesting... the intact penis is actually a self-cleaning organ like the vagina is. Arguing that a circumcised penis is cleaner would be like arguing that a vagina turned inside out is cleaner than a normal vagina. The main thing that gets me about hygiene and cleanliness and circumcision is that when a boy is circumcised you end up with an open wound that sits in urine and feces quite a bit of the time (because newborns pee a LOT and unless you EC, even if you change their diaper every half hour and as SOON as they poop, they are going to be sitting in waste at least some of the time). It really doesn't sound very hygienic to me...

When boys are born, the foreskin is fused to the glans so the glans is protected from urine and feces. All you have to do to keep an intact penis clean is to wipe the outside as if it were a finger. The only person who should ever pull back the foreskin is the owner of the foreskin himself. Neither you, your dh, or a DOCTOR need to be messing with his foreskin. Nobody should even be pulling it back the tiniest bit because that can cause tears in the skin.

The foreskin usually retracts between the ages of around 2 and around 7. Some boys retract before then (and all you would need to do would be to pull it forward if it got pulled back) and some boys don't retract until puberty (which is totally normal though not common).

Once your son's foreskin retracts (you might notice in the bath or when he plays with it if he's on the young side) you just need to instruct him to swish it around and play with it in the tub - that will keep it quite clean enough. When he's a teenager you can just tell him to wash it with either MILD soap or water just as you would instruct a daughter to wash her labia.

You and your dh would really have much less to do with keeping an intact penis clean than with a circumcised penis. I've changed diapers of both circumcised and intact boys (my little brothers are circumcised and all my friends' sons are intact) and there are no ridges for poop to get stuck behind on intact penises. They are smooth and much easier to clean, IME


Here is a well-referenced article about the hygiene of the intact penis:
http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

And honestly, I have never had any complaints about my dh's hygiene. His parents never even told him to wash under his foreskin. It was just common sense to him
I asked him how he knew to do it, and he seemed amazed that I would even ask such a thing. My parents never taught me how to wash my female bits either (fundamentalist Christians - my parents' sex talk to me was "Sex can be pleasurable, but it's for when you're married. If you have sex before marriage you will go to hell."), but I figured it out. Boys are intelligent and don't need to have parts of their bodies chopped off just in case they don't wash someday any more than girls need to have parts chopped off in the name of hygiene (and let's face it, we have WAY more crevices and such to get "dirty" than intact or circumcised men do).

This has nothing to do with cleanliness but it's a great little quiz about circumcision that's easy to read and understand. It was also written by a doctor:
http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...ision_quiz.htm

I'm sorry about all the rambling
I hope some of that helps with some dhs! In some cases it's just the fear of the unknown... especially in high circumcision areas.

Oh... and the locker room thing - neither dh nor my ex-boyfriend were ever teased about being intact (the rates here NOW are about 30%, but 24 years ago when they were born the rates were at least 80% if not higher). My trusted male friend and I talked about circumcision once and he said that he noticed whether other boys were intact or not (he was gay - and I don't think straight boys would be noticing or admitting it if they did!), but that he didn't care either way. He also said that he had noticed intact penises were bigger and that he wished that he had been left intact...

love and peace.
 

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Hey, how did I miss this post yesterday and today...

Apologes in advance, ds broke the "y" on my keyboard and damaged the "i" it doesn't always work and its taking forever to edit...

I think I mentioned this in another thread, but dh and I fought about this bitterly till AFTER our son arrived. As stressful as it was (on top of the brth and postpartum being stressful) it was worth every fight, tear, sleepless night, to air the issue and not back down.

My dh is Jewish, I am not, so I did have a little more complicated of an issue to deal with (in my opinion). On one hand my dh agreed that there was no reason for it, except for religous tradition. However, dh doesn't really practice Judaism, so it was hard for me to feel compelled about doing something that could be harmful when dh doesn't care to even be "religious" (and I know that's a typical interfaith theme.... but the problem was that he wasn't choosng circ for him, he was imposing it on an infant).

The tradition of bris shalom (bris w/o the cutting) made a lot of sense to me. Here's one link (there are others on www.nocirc.org) http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.com/ its a little long but at the end you can click on and see some sample ceremonies. My husband didn't even wish to have a bris and so he never felt compelled by bris shalom (ironic). My interest in researchng alternatives and tryng to understand the tradition went a long way in helping him understand that I was struggling with the issue and wanting to compromise or find a way to honour the tradition WITHOUT compromising on something that I felt was physcally damaging to our son.

My family norm was circumcision and so I started wth the assumption that we would circumcise, but as soon as I heard that it was not medcally necessary and read a descripton in a mainstream book (What to Expect...) I felt a little nagging fear/doubt and huge desire to explore the issue to understand what would happen if we did it, what to look for, aftercare etc. I was very concerned about pain relief, especally hearing that most doctors opt out.

I think I was almost relieved to hear that there was an option-- to do nothing. I did get some good info online (hadn't found MDC yet) and some moms that had already turned me on to exploring natural brth also stuck up for ntactness. brefly found MDC and read through the 'regrets' thread on the CAC, and fnally both the midwives and pediatrician basically agreed that circumcision was not medically necessary. The fact that most of the world is intact also appealed to me logically and stuck, although I didnt' have opportunities to personally confirm this face to face tll after my son was born (talkng to a couple moms of European descent)

It was still hard to weed through, but I guess I feel fortunate that I encountered a good bit of informaton on both sides, which many parents do not.

I certainly struggled from not always knowing what to beliieve, wondering if I was just beng an overprotectve hormonal pregnant woman, and wondering what the heck was wrong with the US (mostly) for promotng circ. in the first place. I'd go from being shocked and angry to feeling silly because so many men are circumcised and they are just fine, aren't they??

Keep researchng with an open mind. Keep questioning. Stand strong and trust your instincts and take each question/challenge at a time. Figure out what a partner or family person thinks is fact and what the real issue is and then tackle that-- or tell them to butt out, this is your decsion and not open for discusson. Partners are harder because you can just tell them to butt out, but the other tactic is that intactness is the norm.... make it up to them to provide the research to convince YOU otherwise.

Sigh, that one didn't work on my dh, I had to drag dialogue out of him, hence why we hadn't decided till after ds was born... It's okay to back off now and then but I strongly recommend ending any stress (whether it be this or any other issue) WELL before the due date (I ended up wth PIH and on bedrest).

And around 3 years later I still feel so compelled about this issue that I can't seem to stay away. But I have a beautiful intact boy around that is a powerful reminder of the issue.

I'm certainly willing to talk about anything both online or through email.

Jessica
 

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That was a really interesting article Trmpetplayr, about hygiene of an intact penis. I had no idea that you weren't supposed to retract the foreskin to clean it. A friend of mine kept her son intact (although they had every intention of circing) because he was born with a condition where his foreskin was naturally retracted a little and the doctor said circumcision was uneccessary. Anyhow I believe that she and her husband had not been given this hygeine information and have been retracting his foreskin to keep him 'clean.' He had a massive infection the other day - poor guy - which I'm sure was a result of premature retraction. He now by the way has developed into having a fully intact looking penis. Someone was definitely looking over him when he was born
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
I will say that dh is circ'd and is almost to the point of furious that someone had that much CONTROL over HIS body at the most vulnerable time in his life.
Alayna
This is exactly how my DH feels. Don't get me wrong, he loves his penis, but it makes him angry to think what was done to him as a vulnerable infant. Before having kids we both decided individually that we wouldn't circ a future son. It was so nice to be on the same page.

In regards to the whole cleanliness issue, as the mother of an intact son, let me tell you--it's not a problem. Once he had a diaper rash on his bum and the tip looked a little red, but other than that it's been perfect. He's still not fully retractable so I've never cleaned under the foreskin. He has been much easier to keep clean than my DDs.

trmpetplaya, you have some great information
. You know, before coming to MDC, I kind of resided in the camp of "It's not a choice I'd make, but it's fine for someone else." But, with all the information I've read the last few years, I find the whole idea of circumcism repulsive and wrong.
 

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When I did my research I was forever looking for something that was a side by side comparison... I found a pretty good one well after my son was born.

One side note: as a long term participant in the diaologue I feel compelled to mention that even these statistics seem biased (in favor of circing). They were probably collected from the US/North America where circumcision is not the norm. The incidence of foreskin 'problems' are much lower in intact norm countries where families and doctors are used to the foreskin and myths (such as the need to prematurely retract the foreskin) are not common.

THis is from the Canadian Paediatric Society:
http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/babies/Circumcision.htm

This is just a snippet as I need to limit the quote per mdc guidelines, but the whole website is very good.

Of every 1,000 boys who are circumcised:
20 to 30 will have a surgical complication, such as too much bleeding or infection in the area.
2 to 3 will have a more serious complication that needs more treatment. Examples include having too much skin removed or more serious bleeding.
2 will be admitted to hospital for a urinary tract infection (UTI) before they are one year old.
About 10 babies may need to have the circumcision done again because of a poor result.
In rare cases, pain relief methods and medicines can cause side effects and complications. You should talk to your baby's doctor about the possible risks.
Of every 1,000 boys who are not circumcised:
7 will be admitted to hospital for a UTI before they are one year old.
10 will have a circumcision later in life for medical reasons, such as a condition called phimosis. Phimosis is when the opening of the foreskin is scarred and narrow because of infections in the area that keep coming back. Older children who are circumcised may need a general anesthetic, and may have more complications than newborns.
 
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