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DH and I just found out today that we are having a boy. I asked DH what his views were of circumcision and he is very pro-circ <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I asked him why and he said for two main reasons 1). it reduces the risk of STDs (he cited that darn AIDS study that just came out) and 2). for cosmetic reasons (DH is circ'ed). Does anyone know of any unbiased reputable papers/resources that can refute the AIDs study? DH will not be swayed by passionate arguments.
 

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nearly impossible to find unbiased information, but you can find factual, scientificly proven information, which all falls on the "anti" camp's side of things. For a very good rebuttal of the recent HIV stuff, Doctors Opposing Circumcision has a link on their site. It is science based and well written, with lots of links.<br><a href="http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/HIVStatement.html" target="_blank">http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcisi...Statement.html</a><br><br>
As far as the cosmetics reason, well, it's crap. If I had a eye color preference, would I do something permanent to my kids' eyes to change them? Or if he just wants to match, how far will he go to do so? Is he going to glue hair onto your son as well? Honestly, it would be easier, safer, and better for all involved for him to do something about <i>his</i> penis's state than alter his son's. But maybe that's a passionate arguement, lol.<br><br>
Really, matching is not what it's cracked up to be. My dh is circumcised, and my children are intact. It's been a non-issue. My brother is intact, and our dad is circumcised. When my brother found out why they looked different, he cried for our dad and asked why he let his mother let them do that. My dad said that he didn't get a choice in the matter. I look different than my children, they look different than my dh as well. We look like a family because people see how we interact and we look similar enough and the love we have comes through. I've never had anyone ask to see our genitals to prove we were a family.<br><br>
sigh, again with the passion. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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DH is circ'd (same with his brothers and my brothers), but our two sons are intact. No biggie at all there. I'd point out to him that circumcision rates are not what they used to be, that most circumcisions done these days are looser than when we were born (meaning circ'd boys look almost uncirc'd) and that intact penises look almost exactly the same as circ'd ones when the foreskin is pulled back (it doesn't happen until later in childhood, which you probably already know).<br><br>
The problem with the HIV studies is that they found a pretty modest <b>absolute</b> difference in HIV infection rates between their groups. You hear "60% reduction in infection," and it sounds good, but the difference was 1+% in the circ'd group and 3% in the intact group - not too impressive. Plus, the difference between the two groups was getting smaller and smaller toward the end of the 2-year study, suggesting that the circ'd guys were going to catch up with the intact ones, since if they're having sex with HIV+ women without a condom, they're probably going to eventually contract HIV regardless of circumcision. The study did not actually look at exposure, either, so who knows how many men in either group actually had an encounter with an HIV+ woman? Since the number of men contracting HIV during the study was low, even a little difference in exposure could have thrown it off.<br><br>
I think the most important thing to consider is that a condom is the great equalizer. Circumcision is not as good as condom use and does not offer any extra protection when we're talking about circ'd vs. intact men wearing condoms. Female-to-male HIV transmission is very, very uncommon in the US, so it's quite a different scenario than offering circumcision to grown men in endemic areas of Africa, especially areas where condom usage is low and the situation is desperate. In addition, with all of the really good HIV research going on these days, it's very likely that there will be an HIV vaccine and/or superior retrovirals by the time our boys are adults.<br><br>
Some circumcised men are a little sensitive about the issue, and not circumcising your son might make your DH feel like you're saying that his parents made the "wrong" decision or that his penis is not in its optimal state. He just needs to keep in mind that different generations made their decisions based on the prevailing beliefs of the time, and we are not living in that same time.
 

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If circ prevented HIV then the USA wouldnt have such a high infection rate.<br><br>
As for the cosmetic reason what other body part would he be willing to change so that ds matched him?<br><br>
I hope that you can get him to see the light without to much conflict. Do you think that showing him the circ video would help any?<br><br>
The only persons that are going to eventually care what your ds's penis looks like is him and his partner. If he chooses to do it later he can do so with adaquate pain releif and since it will be done after puberty has taken hold then they can know how much to take so as not to run the risk of complications of it being to tight.<br><br><br>
There is a thread that I posted a few weeks back that has several links disputing the studies done on circ and hiv. If you do a search for it here you can probably find it.
 

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Here are another couple of well-written and well-documented articles that put the HIV business in perspective.<br><br><a href="http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/vanhowe2005a/" target="_blank">http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/vanhowe2005a/</a><br><a href="http://www.nocircofmi.org/AIDS.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.nocircofmi.org/AIDS.pdf</a><br><br>
To see through the HIV hype, two basic distinctions need to be made.<br><br>
First, it is necessary to separate out the African situation (high prevalence of HIV in the population, and high proportion of cases due to heterosexual transmission) from the US situation (relatively low prevalence rate, and only about 10% of those cases are in males who got it from heterosexual contact). I.e. the likelihood of it making a difference in any given male's chances of getting HIV is extremely low, and virtually nil anyway if he practices safe sex behaviors, whether or not he's circumcised. Bottom line: You will still have to teach your son to use condoms and practice safe sex consistently, whether or not he is circumcised, or he will be at risk for sexually transmitted infections.<br><br>
Second, it is also necessary to separate voluntary circumcision on fully informed adults from circumcision performed on non-sexually active infants without their consent. Big ethical difference, especially since the foreskin is a normal body part with important sexual functions, circumcision provides only partial (and quite possibly marginal) protection, circumcision is not risk-free, and circumcision is irreversible. Bottom line: Babies are not at risk for sexually transmitted infection; and it's his body, so only he should be the one to decide whether cutting off part of his penis seems to be a reasonable or desirable way to alter his HIV risks, when he's old enough to understand the implications.<br><br>
If your husband doesn't know anything about the sexual function of the foreskin, he's missing a big part of the ethical equation. Google: foreskin function.<br><br>
Good luck! Gillian
 

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you could ask him how often he saw his dad's penis. My dh says he can't ever remember seeing it.<br><br>
The DOC articles are really great.
 

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Here is a logical argument about the HIV study.<br><br>
The results found a 60% greater reduction in transmission of HIV from women to circumcised men than to intact men -- over the course of 18 months. (Note that ALL of the studies were ended early, as soon as they discovered this "protective effect," and all of the intact men were offered circ, so there's no way to follow these study subjects over the long term and see where they are 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. Keep in mind that many if not most men will be sexually active for most of their adult lives -- decades.<br><br>
But assume the study is correct and getting circed reduces your chances of catching HIV by 60%. Just for ease of discussion, let's round down and say 50%.<br><br>
If you were playing Russian roulette with a 10-chambered revolver, and the "bullets" are your chances of contracting HIV, being intact means 2 bullets in the chambers, and getting circed now means 1 bullet -- a 50% reduction in bullets. So now you have 1 bullet in a 10-chambered revolver. How many times do you have to play Russian roulette before you will get HIV? On average, every 1 in 10 games will mean the bullet gets you. How many times a year is a man going to have unprotected sex with an infected woman? If he's circumcised, maybe he will take longer to get HIV -- but he WILL get HIV in the long run, if he has enough unprotected sex with infected women.<br><br>
And then factor into the equation that circumcision drastically reduces sexual sensation -- and now you're going to tell men that they still have to wear condoms, so they'll feel even less sensation? It simply doesn't add up to good health care policy.<br><br>
And then, getting down to the level of your son, realize that you've got a good 14 or 15 years after he's born before he becomes sexually active (we hope that's a minimum, but let's be realistic.) Who knows what's going to happen in that time? Maybe there will be a vaccine for HIV. Maybe the scientific community will debunk the HIV/circ studies. There is absolutely no reason to make a permanent, body-altering decision about your son's penis when he's not going to use it for anything except peeing for many years to come. When he becomes sexually active, see what the state of knowledge is then -- and let him make his OWN decision about his OWN body.<br><br>
Setting HIV aside, the largest studies done show that there is no difference in rates of other STDs between circed and intact men. Again, condoms and safe sex/fidelity prevent STD transmission, not circumcision. (I will try to find the references to these studies later and post them).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you ladies, please please please keep the info coming. I am formulating how I can best approach the issue with DH. I would love to show him a video of a circumcision, but the website needs to be a fairly neutral one (like a video they would show to a med school class) - I saw one being done (I was working in a hospital) when I was 15 years old and it TOTALLY changed my opinion on the whole procedure. Back then they didn't even use pain meds so it was all very horrific.<br><br>
A couple of other arguments I have read/thought about include...<br><br>
Would you cut off ANY other part of our son's body if it would provide the same reduction (which I agree is very little) in STD/AIDS transmission?<br><br>
Only 55% (or something like that, I will need to get the exact stats) of boys in the US are being circ'd these days. I'd LOVE to have some European stats too (I know it is lower than US) - DH is American but grew up in Germany.<br><br>
Talk about female "circumcision" and ask whether he agrees with THAT (I am almost 100% sure he doesn't).<br><br>
Explain that circ is permenant. However if we leave our son intact, then HE can make a choice for himself later in life.
 

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<a href="http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20070305/natural-hiv-barrier-snares-aids-virus" target="_blank">This article</a> tells about a Dutch study that says that there are cells on the foreskin (called Langerin cells) that PROTECT against HIV.<br><br>
ETA: Most places still don't use pain meds, or don't use effective ones.
 

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Try these maybe...<br><br>
Birth As We Know It<br><a href="http://mgmbill.org/birthasweknowit.htm" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5C1A34;">http://mgmbill.org/birthasweknowit.htm</span></a><br>
(full version for sale at: <a href="http://www.birthasweknowit.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5C1A34;">http://www.birthasweknowit.com</span></a>/)<br>
also at:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmX6RdRNoqk" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5C1A34;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmX6RdRNoqk</span></a><br><br>
Some of these require 18 and older:<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=mgmbill" target="_blank"><span style="color:#5C1A34;">http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=mgmbill</span></a><br>
Several listed here:<br>
They Cut Babies, Don't They?<br>
Facing Circumcision: Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories<br>
The Nurses of St. Vincent: Saying "No" to Circumcision<br><br>
Jessica
 

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Just wanted to chime in to say that in Europe, the only men who are circed (for the most part) are either Jewish or Muslim, and have been circed for religious reasons.<br><br>
Everyone else (male and female!) is intact. There is the odd exception, but 99% of circs over in Europe are done for religious reasons (my dh is British and intact - he went to boarding school when he was a preteen, and he says that out of all the guys there, there were maybe 2 who were circed - everyone else was intact.<br><br>
We also have a gay friend who...ahem...gets around. He's never known any of his male friends to be circed - all intact.<br><br>
85% of the men in the world are intact...so that is the norm, as well as being normal.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dctexan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7899364"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DH and I just found out today that we are having a boy. I asked DH what his views were of circumcision and he is very pro-circ <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I asked him why and he said for two main reasons 1). it reduces the risk of STDs (he cited that darn AIDS study that just came out) and 2). for cosmetic reasons (DH is circ'ed). Does anyone know of any unbiased reputable papers/resources that can refute the AIDs study? DH will not be swayed by passionate arguments.</div>
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#1 is completely bogus and the proof is in the pudding...just look at the USA.<br>
#2 is likewise bogus...you're taking away the child's right to his own appearance, and how many people are going to be looking at his penis to begin with?<br><br>
Men like this piss me off to no end.
 

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Unless your son hopes that your son will be promiscuous and not use condoms, neither of his arguments really has much relevance, do they? And even if that WAS what he wanted for his child, he still wouldn't need the circ for many years!!<br><br>
Seriously, perhaps he should read the actual articles about the circumcisions. They were not done in infants. They were done in adult African populations that are probably very different from the one your son will grow up in. In the Kenyan study, the rate of HIV in circumcised men was 2.1% over 2 years and 4.2% in those not circumcised (a "50% reduction" in statistical terms but really only 2.1%), and the complication rate of those circumcised was 1.5%. With these numbers, circumcision clearly does not provide enough of a benefit to advise someone that they are protected if they have multiple sexual partners and do not use a condom.<br><br>
Here is a good analogy similar to what you were asking for in your last post: <a href="http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/jason-rohrer/writing/nonfiction/labectomy/" target="_blank">http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/ja...ion/labectomy/</a><br><br>
Keep educating him! When I first told my DH that if we had a boy, we would not be circumcising, he told me that we would. Now, I think, after hearing me tell him so many of the problems with it, he would definitely not want to circ if we had a boy.
 
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