Mothering Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, as a guy, it's hard coming to the "Mothering" site, but there's a lack of active forums on the topic of circumcision anywhere I could find. In an odd twist, my wife is dead set on circumcision if we have a boy, and I'm dead set against the barbaric ritual. We haven't found if she is pregnant with a boy or girl yet, and she wants to wait because it's kind of a tradition in her family. I wouldn't care (and I think that can be exciting), except that the topic of circumcision came up at a dinner and I casually mentioned that I thought it wasn't necessary. I got verbally attacked by her family who literally called me a "liberal nutjob."

After doing a little bit of research, I came to the easy conclusion that circumcision is a terrible thing to do to a newborn. I printed out some medical info for wife and her family and again the emotional reaction was intense. The acted like I was calling everyone in their family stupid for choosing circumcision.

While I don't mind having an all out argument and calling out someone being bullheaded, it seems like I'm dealing with emotions and not rational thought. I'm struggling to find a way to talk about it,. I'm also legit concerned that they will do it with or without my consent since the OBGYN doc is a family friend and "has a very safe way to do circumcisions."

She's still in the second trimester, so I have some time, but it seems like an impossible battle to convince her because her entire extended family is on her side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm not sure what you can do. Maybe a video of a circumcision might help. Maybe some other mothers who have experience. It sounds like no matter what you do or say, you are wrong and shouldn't be involved in your child's well being.

I think you might want to start by finding out her beliefs. In other words, why. Could be "cleanliness," could be "tradition," could be religion, could be a pile of ignorance and prejudice. Once you have some arguments from her, you can find responses that speak to those arguments since, I will inform you, there is no medical reason for circumcision; no, your relative's anecdote about "problems" or "infections" or "what that doctor said" does not count.

For more specific help, I suggest asking this question at http://www.restoringforeskin.org/forum , which is a site where men who are displeased with what was done to them try to mitigate it - and we do of course spend time and effort discussing advocacy; this, I feel is the "circumcision forum" you need for experienced help. This kind of thing happens all the time.

Stop in and see what resources you might employ to put that emotion to work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
After doing a little bit of research, I came to the easy conclusion that circumcision is a terrible thing to do to a newborn. I printed out some medical info for wife and her family and again the emotional reaction was intense. The acted like I was calling everyone in their family stupid for choosing circumcision.
.
You are absolutely correct -- circumcision is a terrible thing to do to a child. It is physiologically damaging and often psychologically damaging as well. It is a procedure originally instituted into American medicine to stop boys from masturbating. It has been a cure in search of a problem ever since, as each theory was proved false. And don't believe the "He won't remember it" claim because implicit memory begins in the mother's womb , and everything that baby is subjected to leaves a trace on its brain. It may not be a recallable event, but it does have an impact. Men have been diagnosed with PTSD that was traced back to their circumcision as an infant.

You are also correct in identifying the reaction from your wife's family as EMOTIONAL. Most men who have been circumcised cannot bring themselves to admit that what was done to them was not beneficial and that their "package" is not the best it could be. Most women who have had sons circumcised are loathe to admit that they made a bad decision and have harmed their child.

Learn all you can about the the form, function and value of a foreskin. Also learn how circumcision detracts from the enjoyment of sex for both partners. That way you will be in a position to counter anything they say and back it up with facts, not emotion. To that end, here are some good websites:

www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org

www.cirp.org

www.intactamerica.org

www.savingsons.org

www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/foreskin-why-is-it-such-secret-north-america

Psychological implications:

www.cirp.org/library/psych/goldman1/

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201501/circumcision-s-psychological-damage

Also, on Youtube:

"Circumcision, the whole story" & "Discussing circumcision" both by Dr Christopher Guest. They are just narrative discussing all aspects of circumcision and intact penises.

Now, how to persuade your wife? There are two avenues you can pursue. One is the human rights aspect - Does anyone have the right to cosmetically alter another person's body? The penis in question belongs to your son. Should it not be he that gets to decide if bits get whacked off it? Ask her how she would feel if she discovered that her parents had had her clitoris removed? Female Genital Mutilation did occur (occasionally) in the U.S. until made illegal in 1996, I believe.

Take a look at: www.genitalautonomycanada.org

The other avenue is to challenge the logic and benefit of circumcision. THERE IS NEITHER. Did nature make a mistake? Every mammal on the face of the earth has a prepuce - in males it is the foreskin. In females it is the clitoral hood. If you can get her to sit down and watch a half hour video, pull up Youtube and watch "An Elephant in the Hospital" by Dr Ryan McAllister. Better yet, have all her family watch it. The logic is inescapable !

By the way, I'm a guy who is more than pissed that my foreskin was amputated - it really has had a negative effect on my sex life. I find it therapeutic to help persuade those contemplating it to decide against it and leave their sons whole. There are many more resources out there, but this will give you a good start.

Good luck with convincing your wife and her family that what they propose for your son is BARBARIC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
I'm not sure what you can do. Maybe a video of a circumcision might help. Maybe some other mothers who have experience. It sounds like no matter what you do or say, you are wrong and shouldn't be involved in your child's well being.
.
Hunter has good advice. If you can target specifically what triggers your wife's desire to have your son circumcised, it would be easier to address than a blanket approach.

There are a lot of videos on Youtube depicting circumcisions being performed. They make your hair stand up, and I know at least one couple who viewed a video in prenatal class - it changed their mind immediately to leave their son whole.

There are other forums that might help also. Go too www.babycenter.com - the most active is "Questioning circumcision and raising intact boys" or something like that. There is also a group called "Regret Moms" and I can tell you that there are some powerful stories there ( also a few videos on Youtube about regret ). That's the thing about circumcision - once that foreskin is gone , it's gone for ever.

With all the information available on the internet, boys will know what was done to them and the circumcised ones will discover what they are missing. I often wonder what the parents of a son that they had circumcised would say when confronted by an irate teenager demanding to know why they had the most sensitive part of his penis whacked off !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Play a video of a circumcision loudly...when she's out of the room, but within earshot. I've heard that can work.

Another idea is to bring up the option of letting *him* decide what to do with his healthy penis...but it seems like this may not be an option with her.

Just looking at the ethics alone...
Being circumcised:
Cons? Yes.
Pros? Perhaps, but the studies are bogus and the reasons to circumcise have changed by the decade.

Being intact:
Cons? There could be some.
Pros? There are absolutely good reasons.


Just that little bit alone *should* get any rational human to let the child decide about his own penis.

Ask her if she'd remove skin from a girl so that the girl wouldn't have to worry about cleaning her parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Hi, while I don't really want to advertise another forum this one on Mothering is just about dead. I'm the GO on two Intact forums on Baby Centre US. Yours is the first post in ages and while I have reported some troll activity on here nothing has been done about it.

Recently on there a mother was asking about a few concerns, so if you don't mind I will copy and paste my two reply from there to here.

Hi, welcome to the board. So to take each of your concerns, which I understand if you are American. The practice is very ingrained in American culture and so are the stories. Some of the stories are based on incorrect care, some on old outdated studies and people who want to find an extra excuse.
"I thought the whole point of the foreskin was to protect the penis"
Yes it is.

During baby hood the foreskin is fully fused to the glans and the end is kept closed by a sphincter muscle. This open when he pees and closes again. This keeps the glans protected from urine, poop and bacteria.
Later when the foreskin becomes retractable it continues to protect the glans so it stays soft and protected from elements and also makes antibodies.
"cancer"
Cancer of the penis is something that can happen but it is rare, less than 1%. Penile cancer can be in the foreskin, glans or shaft of the penis in both intact and circumcised men. The major risk factors are smoking, HPV and being over 60. Like any body part it can potentially get cancer. It really isn't a good reason to circumcise a baby.
"higher risks of stds"
One thing we know for sure is that the US has both the highest circumcision rate and also the highest STD rate. If circumcision gave any kind of protection we would expect the US to be much lower then Europe where 80% of men are intact. Multiple partners and unsafe sex practices not a man's foreskin or lack of one that is the real risk. STD was at all time high in 2017 in the US. Babies are not having sex and not at risk of STDs.
"infections"
Often when a boy has an infection it is a case of yeast/thrush. Women still have higher rates of vaginal thrush then men have on the penis. Again the main culprit isn't the foreskin it's to do with the bodies PH balance. Soap and intake of too much sugar from something like soft drink tend to be more the cause.
Occasionally an intact boy might get a bacterial infection. The main way this happens is incorrect care. All a parent should be doing is wiping down the outside like a finger. Unfortunately in the US incorrect care is everywhere and promoted by a lot of doctors. One of the main risks to the intact American child is unfortunately his doctor. A 2009 study showed 2 out of 113 doctors knew correct care and development. You need to be upfront with any doctor and say right away that you want no manipulating of his foreskin. Rarely an intact boy will get an infection for some other reason and this will require antibiotics. Dirty jetted tubs and unclean pools have both been the cause along with a boy playing with grotty hands especially if he can partly retract and is still in nappies/diapers. If you check the posts on this board you will see yeast is what most boys have when a doctor mentions infection.
Frequently the reason for an infection is bad care. A parent is either told or believes they have to pull back their child's foreskin and clean underneath. Doing this creates small tears and allows bacteria off the adults hands to get under the foreskin and into the tears.
The reason we don't do this is because the foreskin is fused down to the glans by the synechia membrane and the end closed as I mentioned in the first paragraph. Boy's don't need help from adults for his body to develop. The membrane will dissolve and the sphincter muscle will open in it's own good time. The average age is 10.4 years but any age from 1 to 18 is normal.
UTI is much lower amongst boys due to placement of the urethra. For every boy with a UTI, there will be 6 girls. Intact boys have the foreskin as an extra barrier so long as no one is retracting them. Retraction will cause UTI.
My son is 15, he's never had a single issue, not even a bout of yeast.
Unfortunately the foreskin is demonized in the US when it simply a normal part of the male body. Like any part it can get an issue which you treat. Apart from protection and antibodies,the foreskins main function is for sex. it is less chaffing and adds lubrication.
Benefits of the foreskin https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/for-parents/reasons-to-keep-your-son-whole/
Mainly though its his body and he may want it. There are many men angry that they had no say in its removal and once gone its permanent.
Risks of circumcision.
https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/for-professionals/complications/
Full pain relief this cannot be guaranteed for a newborn due to their size and what can be used. Frequently far less pain relief is used then what parents are told, especially if done in a doctors office after leaving hospital. For maximum pain relief Emla cream needs to be applied and left on for a good half hour and 2 needles given into the base of the penis. While this can give 100% coverage it doesn't always and sometimes a strip down the back is not fully numbed.
Because the foreskin at birth is fully fused by the synechia membrane the first step of a circumcision is to use a probe around and down to pull it away. If full pain relief has not been given or not given time to work due to a doctor being in a hurry, this is the most painful part of the procedure since its similar attachment to the finger nails to the nail bed. saying an adult feels more pain is false since an adult has a fully detached foreskin.
Once a baby is circumcised the parent has wound care and once that has healed they need to be sure to push back the remnant skin at every change, clean under and apply cream. One of the most common side effects and quite often posted to on Baby centre are adhesions. The skin will try and reattach. Some doctors will leave it but most will gently pull until they release. For many this is no trouble but for others this is an ongoing issue for the first two years of life and numerous posts have shown doctors are not always gentle and some have had bleeding and pain from more forceful pulling apart.
A later complication of circumcision is meatal stenosis, this is where the urethra opening becomes narrowed restricting urine flow and may require surgical repair. Many doctors don't seem to realize this is a circumcision complication and will try and check your intact son for this by retracting, do not let them. At least 10% of males will get this and it is frequently recurring. If a doctor mentions checking the hole or says your son has adhesion, he is confused with issues that circumcised boys get.
There really is no good reason to remove your infant son's foreskin. If he wishes as an adult to get it removed he has the option to have it done by laser and it would be his own choice.
As you can imagine I don't really want to be writing out my full posts again.

Questioning Circumcision & Raising Intact Boys https://community.babycenter.com/groups/a6723799/questioning_circumcision_raising_intact_boys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi
You can talk her and show more videos and documents to satisfy her. But everything you do must in calm and prelaxing way and avoid anger.
I yhink you don't need to explain and fight more with her family.
It's about your family and between you and her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
The think her family is forcing her to do.
As a women how can she do that. Its totally your decision without your permission she can't do that.
From what I understand, most hospitals require both parents to sign the consent form, but not all. So, in theory, she could go behind his back and get it done - probably a fast way to end a relationship !

Having said that, from an ethical point of view, no parent has the right to have irreversible cosmetic surgery performed on a (non-consenting) child. Technically speaking, circumcision of minors is illegal anyway, because FGM is illegal and, as per the constitution, all citizens have equal rights regardless of gender, race....etc. Too bad the law turns a blind eye! The rationalization is of course, religion. But then the discussion has to be: At what point does a parent's religion trump an individuals basic human rights?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
That depends where he is from, some hospitals only require the mothers signature. In most cases this is a good thing as normally it's the father pushing for the procedure so the non signing mother has the advantage. Hopefully he lives where both signatures are required or should make it known vocally that he does not want it done.



I find it strange that a mother would want to go against not having it done by the father. Has she said why? What reasons have you said to her?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top