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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so I mentioned on another thread how FIL called a couple nights ago and mentioned that, as an INTACT male, he "kind of wishes" he was circ'd... that's why he had his sons circ'd, because he heard it's a "much worse" procedure/healing when you're an adult <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Anywho... My dh and I discussed this (ok, I got all mama bear and was like "no way in he11 are we going to do this"), and in my 7 week postpartum hormone haze, I think at least the crying and yelling might have indicated to him that I won't stand for it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> So yesterday I went crazy finding websites with circumcision information. Dh wanted specifically to address issues that FIL brought up which were some embarrassing pee situations and also a few infections over the years, and also that it's worse to get circ'd as an adult. Soooo we focused on those issues. So last night, Dh wrote this e-mail to his family. I'm so proud<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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Dad,<br><br>
I have copied Mom and [Sister] on this since you seemed to imply that the topic of our choice not to circumcise Oliver was discussed amongst the three of you, at least to some degree. That's fine, I just thought they might like to know our reasons as well. And again, as I said on the phone, I very much respect and appreciate you giving me your thoughts and opinions, especially coming from an uncircumcised male. However, Oliver will not be circumcised.<br><br>
First I will respond directly to the two main points I recall you making.<br><br>
1) Uncircumcised urination issues as a child.<br>
Years ago, it was believed that to clean a baby's penis included retracting the foreskin. However, it is now widely known that this should not be done until several years later. This is because the foreskin is fully attached in a baby, and retracting it is actually ripping this attachment. The foreskin becomes less attached as the boy develops, and eventually becomes fully retractable. Retracting it before it is retractable causes a buildup of scar tissue, which can cause urination problems.<br><br>
2) Uncircumcised penises are at greater risk for urinary tract infections (UTI).<br>
It is true that uncircumcised males are at a slightly higher risk for UTI. However, infection rates are quite low in either case (1% vs .1%), are preventable with good hygiene, and are almost always curable with antibiotics. Therefore, I don't find this compelling.<br><br>
Now I will give my reasons for not having Oliver circumcised.<br><br>
1) Inhumane.<br>
First and foremost, I believe the procedure is inhumane and would not subject Oliver to it unless I was extraordinarily compelled to do so. Circumcision in babies is often done without anesthetics, since they can have complications of their own in such a small body. To watch a video or just see pictures of the procedure, go <a href="http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/plastibell/" target="_blank">here</a> . It has been argued infants don't feel pain. I find that argument ludicrous. It has also been argued that infants don't remember the pain. While I won't argue that a baby remembers it as an adult would remember it, I find it unacceptable to believe that such a trauma has no affect on the development of his brain when we believe that everything else does.<br>
Furthermore, I find it a strange cultural enigma that we find it acceptable and, was even previously believed, medically necessary, to circumcise males but find it unacceptable and inhumane to circumcise females. There are parallels. Circumcising both sexes involves surgically removing nerve-dense skin around the genitals, in both sexes reduces the risk of UTI, in both sexes can reduce urination "splatter", and in both sexes reduces sexual pleasure. In fact, circumcision became popular in the western white world in the mid to late-1800's because they believed the reduction of sexual pleasure would prevent masturbation, and masturbation was thought to cause all sorts of issues ("degeneracy", as it was then called), including insanity. In fact, recent studies have shown it has the opposite effect, that circumcised males masturbate more than uncircumcised males! (One theory to possibly explain this correlation is that circumcised males are not as easily satisfied, but no one knows, of course.)<br><br>
2) Reduction of sexual pleasure.<br>
I pretty much covered that above, so I'll just move on.<br><br>
3) It is a natural part of the body.<br>
I am, in many senses of the word, a naturalist. Whether you believe God designed it, we evolved it, or both, the foreskin is a natural part of the body. Unlike something such as the appendix, we know the foreskin has a purpose, including protective and sexual. To remove it is to remove a part of his body that was good enough for eons of ancestors prior. I firmly believe that, although modern knowledge and technology is to be taken quite seriously, we can still learn most of what we need to know from our ancestors.<br><br>
4) Chafing<br>
I have experienced chafing, and believe me, it is uncomfortable, but it occurs infrequently enough that I don't find this a compelling reason. It's just one more brick in the wall.<br><br>
5) Risks Inherent in Surgery<br>
There are, of course, risks inherent to any surgery, and they are greater when you're talking about the precision necessary to slice off just the right amount of skin on an infant's penis. Perfect jobs are rare, but, admittedly, so are jobs that impose serious complications. They can include things as minor as a curved penis (very common) all the way up to death (very rare, but there are several documented cases). In fact, even the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) official circumcision policy is that the risks do not outweight the benefits.<br>
( <a href="http://www.aap.org/pubed/ZZZJZMEMH4C.htm?&sub_cat=1" target="_blank">AAP Circumcision</a> ).<br>
Here is another good resource of un-emotionally-biased information: <a href="http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/FAQ/" target="_blank">Cicumcision FAQ.</a><br><br>
Finally, there is Oliver's choice to have it done as an adult. I will refer you to <a href="http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/garcia/" target="_blank">this article</a> , and specifically the section entitled "Adult Circumcision vs. Infant Circumcision" within it.<br><br>
James<br></td>
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I'm not sure all of the information is totally accurate, but I do know that he stood up and said "no fricking way" to his parents in the way that their family does that. I'm soooooo proud and excited!!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/carrot.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="carrot"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/broc1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Broccoli">:
 

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That is a great well thought out letter <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"> you have a great dh there mama <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I am half in love with him myself after that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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your hubbie rocks!<br><br>
my professor actually does studies on infant mice, pain studies...that have PROVEN that pain changes the chemistry of the brain. she's using these studies to advocate that pain medication be given for circs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually ran across some stuff on my frantic search for info that suggested that because newborns are so small (maybe?) it's the anesthesia that can cause some of the more serious complications from circ. UGH why do ppl do this???
 

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That is true Juvysen. The numbing cream they use EMLA is actually not supposed to be used at all on the genitals and it specificly states on the paper that comes with the cream that it is not to be used for circ. but dr continue to use it anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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As far as embarrassing pee situations go, I imagine a great number of circ'd boys also have that thanks to the common complication of meatal stenosis. In fact it's downright dangerous to have the meatus close up. Even after they "fixed" mine it took a good year for it to settle down where I had any chance of aiming right. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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he done did do good!<br>
REAL good!<br><br>
Much better than my customer care representative idea <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MCatLvrMom2A&X9089728</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The numbing cream they use EMLA is actually not supposed to be used at all on the genitals</div>
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Oooh dear, better not tell <i>that</i> to the young lady whose vulva I coated with it this morning! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Actually, I <i>know</i> she's safe even if this is "off-label" use, but there is technically a risk in babies of causing "methaemoglobinaemia" because they <i>are</i> so small and have a different metabolism. The exact risks are a matter of numbers, and you can play with them at length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Unreal</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9090045"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Much better than my customer care representative idea <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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But that *would* be funny.... Maybe if harassment continues, I'll just leave that message on our answering machine... or maybe my version "Your call is important to us but, we don't give a flying f*** what you think, so please back off"<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I don't know how to change the title so it says *update* but here it is...<br><br>
I was so excited, I had to share!<br><br>
FIL's Response...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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Thanks for the response on circumcision, very informative. Until the subject came up with Oliver, I have never given much thought to reasons for the procedure. The subject was never discussed much with me as a youth and your mother and I didn't discuss the subject much regarding you or your brother. The procedure was common and consequently I assumed medically advisable. As I mentioned to you, when Grandma was given the choice regarding me, she rejected the idea because of what she had been told other little boys had experienced. I have experienced some discomfort over the years, as I told you, but, as you have confirmed, circumcised men experience some discomfort as well.<br>
For me at this point, I guess the basic question comes down to: why? I have seen no compelling reason for having it done in any of the information that you have sent nor in any of my experiences in 58+ years. Arguments can be made both for and against the procedure regarding cleanliness, discomfort, and disease potential with still no persusive evidence to have the procedure done. Apparently some of the information on the subject that I recall from my college years is erroneous.<br>
I guess the lesson for me is, as you say, natural. We don't have our tonsils or apendix removed for no reason, then why should we (men or women) be circumcised for no reason. We need to both, take care of our bodies (cleanliness, etc.) and pay attention to our bodies (watch for disease, etc.) in any case. Again, I have experienced no serious ill effects in 58+ years of being uncircumcised so now I am curious where our culture came to the conclusion that circumcision is important for young boys.<br><br>
DAD<br></td>
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YAY!
 

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What a well-thought-out letter your DH wrote to your FIL and such an encouraging response!!! It must have made your day! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Wow, what a great letter and an even better response (I say better response, since most people get defensive when it comes to this). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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wonderful! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Great letter! I'll be interested to hear the responses.<br><br>
I thought the appendix analogy was really interesting. Even though they say the appendix no longer serves any purpose, no one advocates having it removed unless there is a problem with it first. I know it's not quite the same because people view removing the appendix as more invasive than circ, but a lot of that is cultural because circ is "normal" and accepted.
 

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Way to go dh and what an awesome update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Please give your husband a big hug for me. As a (non-consenting) circumcised male, I loved reading this. It seems so rare that guys stand up against this issue, which often makes me feel alone. This makes me feel better about the world. :)
 

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Well that's fantastic! Sounds like you have some very intelligent, well-spoken males in your family.<br><br>
I'm excited that you FIL accepted the info so readily! It sounds like he is on the road to becoming an outright intactivist ... He's asking all the right questions!
 
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