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Dear *****<br><br>
I am so glad that _____ is having a baby!<br><br>
Here is some information about circumcision. This used to be done in the USA without parental consent, and without any anesthesia (they used to do even open heart surgery on babies without any anesthesia, on the belief they could not feel any pain.) Nowadays, about 50% of boy babies in the USA are circumcised (far fewer in the west coast) and almost none in Canada, Europe, and Australia.The rate is dropping every year.<br><br><b>Some reasons not to circumcise:</b><br>
* Interferes with the breastfeeding relationship <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
* Risk of severe infection, bleeding, and other complications including narrowing of the urethra (which requires more surgery under general anesthesia) <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
* In the United States, babies have died as a result of circumcision. <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
* The procedure removes a significant amount of skin and nerves endings from the penis, reducing sexual pleasure later in life. As an adult, an "intact" male experiences more sexual pleasure than a circumcised male. Not just because they have more nerve endings, but because when the foreskin removed, the head of the penis becomes dry (keratinized) resulting in decreased sensation. <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
* Circumcision is a cosmetic surgical procedure (not medically necessary) and infant cannot give informed consent.<br><br><b>Circumcision and AIDS</b><br>
A recent study (not published in a peer-reviewed journal) has claimed that circumcising reduces the risk of contracting HIV. In some African countries, adult circumcision is being suggested to allegedly reduce HIV infection rates (in males) There are three good reasons not to apply this to infants in the USA. One, it has not worked. USA has the highest rate of circumcision of any industrialized country AND the highest rate of HIV infection. Secondly, HIV is frequently spread through IV drug use. Obviously circumcision will not change this. And finally, the infants born today will not be sexually active for another 14-18 years. During that time, an HIV vaccine could be developed. Condoms are a proven way to prevent HIV infection. <a href="" target="_blank">http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...Statement.html</a><br><br><b>Circumcision and UTI</b><br>
Circumcised boys may have a slightly lower rate of urinary tract infections during infancy (incidence is equal later in life). 195 circumcisions are required to prevent ONE UTI. UTI is easily treatable with antibiotics. When you consider complication rates of circumcision (meatal stenosis, requiring surgical correction), a complication in a circumcised infant is more likely than a UTI in an intact one. <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><b>A religious alternative to circumcision</b>:<br>
You can find an officiant here <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><b>Why is this still done?</b><br>
* Hospitals and doctors make money off of circumcision. They even sell the skin removed, to cosmetic companies or pharmaceutical companies. Reportedly for $35 each.<br>
* Doctors are trained to detach themselves from the feelings of their patients. In many cases, a life-saving medical procedure may cause pain. Doctors do the procedure anyway. When it comes to circumcision of infants, doctors are not able to connect to the feelings and experience of the baby. After all, they have done it hundreds of times, so how could it be wrong?<br>
* Lack of follow up. In the old days, OB/GYNs did the circumcisions and pediatricians dealt with the mistakes. Now, Peds do the circumcisions and refer to pediatric urologists for any complications. This makes it easy to not know about, or to ignore, any problems caused.<br>
* "Cultural sensitivity" Some religions have done this for a long time (though reportedly the "old" type of Bris removed much less skin then is the current practice.) Female genital mutilation is not legal in the United States, and is being discontinued due to outside pressure in many parts of Africa.<br>
* Sexuality, and botched circumcisions, are not talked about.
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"Strandjord himself was a victim of a botched circumcision, which occurred at the University of Chicago Hospital. The event remained unspoken of throughout his childhood. Strandjord’s father died when he was 15 without ever having acknowledged the complication"</td>
<a href="" target="_blank"></a><br>
* Liability. If doctors admit it is not a good idea to circumcise, this could encourage lawsuits from past procedures. In a similar situation, the American Dental Association tries to prohibit dentists from telling patients that amalgam fillings may harm them. <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><b><br>
Why am I telling you all this anyway?</b><br>
This is not something we usually talk about, the genitals of our husbands and partners. I believe it is really important that mothers-to-be are informed that they have a choice, and make a decision based on the facts. Not just based on a doctor or nurse at a hospital repeatedly handing over a consent form to be signed. (When my son was born, they repeatedly offered, and I kept saying no.)<br><br>
My former partner ____ was circumcised as an infant, probably without parental consent, and definitely without any anesthesia. This is back in the days where the mother was given drugs after the birth, so she would not have any memory of it, and also an injection to dry up the milk supply. I feel very sad for ____. He spent almost 20 years as an adult, trying to convince himself that he did not "need" anyone. This includes the 5 years that he was off and on in a relationship with me. He is married now, and just had young son (his first child) at age 38. I wonder if he would have been more capable of love, trust and bonding as an adult if he had not been traumatized as a baby, and if he could have enjoyed the complete experience of sex, instead of the experience of sex with just 60% of the skin and nerve endings of the penis.<br><br>
A lot of people argue over which type of penis is better, some without knowing what they are talking about. Let me tell you that I have tested both, with and without the use of condoms. I am shocked at the difference between "intact" and circumcised. The intact male, as created by God, enjoys sex to greater extent, as does his partner. The use of condoms may slightly decrease the <i>benefit</i> of intactness for the woman, but the intact male will have a longer, more enjoyable, more emotionally consuming experience either way. In any case, an intact adult male can choose to be circumcised. But a circumcised adult cannot reverse a decision made by a parent.
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