Oh, Boy! Circumcision vs. The Great Uncut

Oh, Boy! Circumcision vs. The Great Uncut

With the upheaval of the results of my first trimester blood screen (hint: higher than normal likelihood of birth defects. Boo.) I still found a silver lining in the cloud. Since we're passing on the invasive genetic testing . . . we're getting a rad, sci-fi ultrasound!

Normal babies get the grainy black and white scans you're used to seeing. They are boring 2D images of  . . . is that a foot? Heart, check. Lungs, see ya in the lobby. But us - we're getting the latest, greatest most supersonic ultrasound Northwestern can cook up. It will be technicolor (not really) and made of Epcot-exhibit-worthy technology. We'll be able to see if that child has a mole on his or her thumb. This also gives us a much greater opportunity to see something definitive between the legs.

I was pretty excited about this until I realized we may see something new and definitive between the legs. Like a penis. Which means a son. Which threw a ton of bricks in my lap as I realized for the first time ever, I could be faced with the jarring decision of whether or not to circumcise my child.

I'm not trying to criticize anyone's decisions or turn the world on its end, I'm just trying to gather facts. Here is my mind so far:

The pros to circumcision

- His nether regions will match 90% of other white American males

- Apparently it is easier to put a condom on a circumcised penis. Not that I care now, but when I have an 18-year-old I'm sending off to (an Ivy league, scholarship funded) college I want it to be easy to make the right decision. Like not making me a grandma in my 40s.

-  I'm not a guy, but they say on the interwebs it's a hygiene issue. Let's pretend I'm not mortified right now. Exhale.

Arguments against circumcision: 

- Why are we systematically mutilating males for no apparent reason when there are federal laws against doing such things to females?

- Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't make it right. See: Segregation, the Holocaust, restaurant employees not washing hands.

- If my son wants it done, it can always be done later. The key here is consent. Surgically removing 20% of the surface of a sensitive, healthy organ isn't reversible like piercing your ears. 

- According to some theories, Pfizer is staying in business selling Erectile Dysfunction drugs because of circumcision. The "natural" man has a fully functioning organ. The western man has a mutilated organ that has been desensitized over time after being robbed of its protective gear. (Also, the western man probably has devalued real estate, a sinking 401k and a nagging wife. I'd be taking fun drugs too!)

Hey, maybe I am embarrassed to think and write about this. How do you think I felt googling "uncircumcised penis" with my husband? But if I've learned anything about this mom stuff it's that your own ego doesn't matter anymore - just a healthy baby. And maybe avoiding mom jeans.

 

Picture 518.png

"Not cool, Western Civilization." - baby

 

 

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  • I was not circumcized as an infant, but was circumcized later as a child (some doctors, or at least mine at the time, recommend it if uncircumcized male children get a UTI). I never really had an issue with it one way or the other, but I can tell you that getting circumcized was one of the most painful things I experienced in my life, and I'm talking about the recovery because they used general anesthesia for the actual procedure. I would not want to go through it again. I was pre-pubescent when I was circumcized, so I can't really compare sensation before and after very well.

    My advice would be to either do it to your child as an infant or not at all. And, honestly, I'm not sure I'm a big fan of doing it to infants. It seems like a fairly pointless operation to me, and as someone who was definitely old enough to remember the operation and recovery, I can tell you that it is incredibly painful. My brother is not circumcized and he has never talked to me about wanting to be circumcized or having trouble with girls thinking his penis looks weird. Of course, I don't talk to him about the intimate details of my sex life either, so take that for what it's worth.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    I really appreciate your honesty!

    Just wondering, but if you didn't have any problems, why did you have the circumcision done later?

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I had a UTI and the doctor recommended it as a hygienic thing.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    See, that seems so wrong to me. Girls have plenty of UTIs, but no one would dare suggest circumcision. Double standard! You poor thing :(

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Yeah, I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a UTI treatment, that's for sure! I didn't know how painful it would be going into it. As a child you'll pretty much do whatever a grownup suggests. That's why I'd say either do it as an infant or not at all.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    This was the HARDEST decision for me! Ultimately I left it up to Tim, but let me tell you that on the morning he got circ'd, I about cried myself to death. Literally. You have to remember your hormones are in super overdrive, so the idea of your new precious baby being away from you getting part of his penis chopped off is almost more than you can handle. But if this one is a boy, I feel we almost have no choice but to circ him, too. Now that Ben is and all. It's a TOUGH, TOUGH, personal choice. I will at least say that Tim went with him to have the procedure done and he said he really didn't appear too bothered by it and by the time they brought him back to my room (just a few minutes later), he was totally asleep again.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Did he cry much in the hospital or seem bothered by it? I'm trying to imagine a baby crying less than Bee did. I guess she wasn't bad at first, but man, at 4-6 weeks she was wailing if she wasn't asleep. I'm trying to picture "recovery" on top of that.

    How long did it take to heal? Did he cry when he wet his diaper?

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    He didn't cry much, but he wasn't a crier so I don't know if it's saying much. If I had it to do all over again, though, I would fight tooth and nail to convince Tim that his son didn't need to "look like him." As for healing, he was never bothered by it at all, surprisingly. He never cried when we touched it or cleaned it or anything at all. It healed really quickly. I do know it's MUCH more difficult a procedure as you get older, though.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    You can find all these medical society quotes at their own websites:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    "Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."
    "Circumcision is a 'non-therapeutic' procedure, which means it is not medically necessary."
    "After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions."

    Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    "After extensive review of the literature, the Paediatrics & Child Health Division of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians has concluded that there is no medical reason for routine newborn male circumcision."
    (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. "Routine" circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia in all states except one.)

    British Medical Association
    "to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate."

    The Royal Dutch Medical Association
    "The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children's rights to autonomy and physical integrity. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision can cause complications - bleeding, infection, urethral stricture and panic attacks are particularly common. KNMG is therefore urging a strong policy of deterrence. KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications."

    drops in male circumcision:
    USA: from 90% to 57% (33% according to a recent paper from the CDC)
    Canada: from 48% to 17%
    UK: from 35% to about 5% (about 1% among non-Muslims)
    Australia: 90% to 12.6% ("routine" circumcision has recently been *banned* in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
    New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
    South America and Europe: never above 5%

  • In reply to chibbz:

    I say don't do it! It is cutting off a huge piece of your child's penis! Our parents did it because they didn't know any better, we know better, we know that we are changing a part (a very important part) of our child's anatomy. A part that they will need in the future.
    About the rate of infection, etc.... many boys got/get infections when uncirc'ed because some old fashioned drs tell parents they have to retract the foreskin to clean-DON'T do it, don't do anything to you intact boy's penis but wipe the outside. Retracting causes tiny tears that lets bacteria/infection in.

    I did not circ my child and always tell babysitters, drs, nurses, etc, DO NOT retract my child's foreskin. (We also put it in our babysitting notes to prevent premature retraction). If you are careful about this, your child shouldn't have any problems with being uncirc'd. In our country it is pretty much 50/50 for circ/uncirc. In my part of the country it is 60% uncirc 40% circ.
    When I was preggo, I told my DH that if he wanted to circ our baby he would have to have a VERY good reason and that reason couldn't be "beacause DH(he) is"! I also said DH had to go and be with the baby.
    Anyways, long story short, (ha ha) I am so against cutting off a part of our child that God put on him for a reason. Maybe we humans (or Americans anyways) aren't understanding that!!!!!

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    Good idea about telling babysitters, nurses etc. I've heard that before, but what I don't understand is WHY anyone would be messing with your child's crotch anyway! People.

    I'm still undecided just because I have never heard a man complain and I assume all of them have had it done.

    What country are you in?

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Ha ha:) Funny, I am in USA..... Western WA to be exact!
    I get so worked up over people cutting off part of their child's penis!! I am a mild mannered, quiet person, but this topic really gets me bent out of shape.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    This was a tough decision for me as well...and ultimately one that was made for us. Dawson was born with a penile torsion which meant that there was a tiny twist in the skin on his penis. It wasn't a problem now but if it didn't correct itself it certainly could be a problem later on in life with painful erections and other things like that. The urologist recommended a torsion correction that when done requires that the foreskin is removed. If Dawson had not had this done, Daniel demanded that he be circumcised anyway. I said no. It didn't matter to me, I certainly wasn't concerned about it, and since the overall circ rate is only 50% I figured he'd be okay in the long run. DH still demands that any boys we have will be circ'ed. We'll see. I just know that I was thankful that ultimately the decision was made for me.

  • In reply to mivie0513:

    Ouch for D, but that does sound like an easy call!

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Oh, I forgot, the torsion correction was done under anesthesia and it healed literally withing 2 days and Dawson did not cry when he would pee. Matter of fact, a little bit of motrin and all was well. (he was 7 months when it was done)

  • In reply to mivie0513:

    Really! Wow, maybe little peens are quicker healing and less sensitive, which is why they do it then?

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Velvetjinxx, the currrent circumcision rate has just been announced by The CDC as 32.5% and only about 80% of adult American males are circumcised. However, those 80% are not going to mean much to your son. He won't be looking at old men's penises but instead at his contemporaries if at all. If he learns that most of his classmates are not circumcised and asks you, what are you going to tell him about your reasons? This could be an embarrassing conversation/confrontation.

    There is little difference in putting on a condom. You just retract the foreskin and from there on out, it's the same.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the female vulva/vagina is a far more biologically "rich" area than the male prepuce. Would you consider removing a daughter's genital parts in the interest of genital hygiene? Is this not discriminatory and sexist to do to a male?

    Chelsea: There are many families that have "mixed" circumcision status and I've never heard of any problems. As a matter of fact, I come from one of those families and never a problem. Those who want you to circumcise imply some sort of psychological damage from having these mixed families. Oddly they always imply damage to the child who has not been circumcised instead of the other way around. This is evidence of an agenda. In fact, no medical or psychological research has ever found this psychological damage. It's just an urban myth of a circumcising culture. It doesn't exist.

    You are also correct that it is a personal choice. One that rightfully belongs to the only one it affects and that is not you or your husband. When your son was returned to you, was he asleep or in a sleep like state to deal with the pain? The latest survey found that only 16% of infants undergoing circumcision get any pain relief at all and less than 4% get truly effective pain management. Which category was your son in?

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    I know the rates are lower here on the coasts and even as low as 40-something percent around San Francisco where there's a big anti movement. And not to argue with you, because I think it's terrible, but the rates of circs seem to be *up* since 1970!

    Also, please do not criticize my friend for her choice. She is a great mom! This post is trying to open up a dialog about how to go forward, not to criticize what has been done.

    Thanks :)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Actually, California and the west coast region has the lowest circumcision rate in the nation. The last tabulation by The CDC put it at slightly less than 30% and it is down drastically since 1970.

    Circumcision advocates will attribute this to a large Hispanic population but when The CDC first started tabulating the circumcision rate in the mid 1960's, they only included those of European and African descent and have continued this method for continuity. The Hispanic population is not included in the results and do not affect the results.

    California and probably all of the west coast region probably have the lowest circumcision rate because California was the first to defund Medicaid circumcisions in 1982 and that set the tone for the future.

    Frank

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    When I was on high school, the one guy with the "turtle-neck" took a lot of kidding from the rest of us in the locker room. Of course, that was a long time ago; maybe things are different now.
    --JRS

  • In reply to JohnSchmidt:

    Lol, poor guy.

  • In reply to JohnSchmidt:

    Thanks for the article :) I appreciate the levelheadedness in comparing both sides of the argument.

    I have to admit, though, that I find some of the medical benefits dubious at best. The recent 2010 list of the world's healthiest countries (http://www.greeneroilco.com/index.php/2010/08/top-10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world/) does not include a single circumcising country. The vast majority of their men are intact and have longer life spans and much lower rates of all STDs and HIV than the US- a country that routinely circumcises a majority of their boys. I would find the medical justifications more plausible if it wasn't for the fact that the majority of the world does not circumcise and men aren't dropping like flies from UTI's or penile cancer or phismosis.

    In actuality, the chance a man will get penile cancer is only 1 in 100,000. In comparison, 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer. Not only that, but according to the American Cancer Society a man is more likely to develop male breast cancer than penile cancer. Cutting off breasts reduces the chance of getting breast cancer by up to 99%. This would save millions of more lives than circumcision ever could in the US.

    I think one man named Adrian Colesberry said it best in regards to the hygiene argument :
    "Did we really need technology and science to weigh in on this little barbarism left over from our most primitive days on this earth? Did we need proof that a penis with a foreskin removed was measurably cleaner or that a woman without labia or a clitoral hood or any folds at all is also measurably cleaner. Of course that kind of thing is going to make someone measurably cleaner. If we ripped out people

  • In reply to willowtree:

    Wow, amazing point. America is so puritanical, so the cleanliness thing (and futility thereof) makes total sense.

    Here's my real dilemma. It's like the public school thing. Do I stand up for what is right for everyone in the long run with visions of social justice, or do I refrain from using my child as a pawn in a social agenda to his or her detriment?

    In an ideal world, Chicago Public Schools would be well-funded and backed by a unanimous supportive community and everyone's penis in the locker room would be natural. But these are uphill battles and my baby is a precious casualty.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I think I am understanding your view point, but why do you view it as detrimental to your child to not circumcise him?

  • In reply to willowtree:

    I'm hearing stories from uncir'd men who suffer socially, be it girlfriends who think it's gross or teasing from other guys in locker rooms. All I'm saying is there is an opposing side to this and I'm looking at all angles. Is a lifetime of humiliation not worth a few moments of snip?

    I haven't decided what to do, but I feel that point is a valid facet to the debate. Maybe it's not detrimental per se - I need more info and time to process this!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Oh I see what you mean. It certainly is a valid concern. Sorry about that last comment, it came off snarky when I didn't mean for it to! I was genuinely asking which aspect of leaving them intact you thought was detrimental.

    For what it's worth, I do think some of the teasing fears are blown out of proportion. Even before these recent numbers showing only 33% (I still think the rates are higher than that) the national rate was still hovering very close to 50 percent. Even since the rate of about 56% several years ago, which is the closest estimate I believe, the numbers have been declining. So being one of the 25+ guys out of 50 with a foreskin isn't as big of a deal :)

    I think a decent point is made in that this day and age getting caught looking another guys "junk" in the locker room would result in more teasing than actually having foreskin ;)

    It's funny, if you ever ask a man if he knows the circumcision status of any of his friends/coworkers/non immediate family almost all will say they don't. Unless a friend is Jewish.

    In all honesty though, kids are going to get teased in school for a large variety of things. Girls get teased for having small boobs. Or extremely large ones. Kids get teased for having glasses, or having freckles, or having red hair, or being chubby or having big ears or having a big nose. I don't think many parents would condone their young teenage child getting liposuction or breast implants or bleaching their skin or surgically altering their ears to fit in.

    I do applaud you for looking at both sides of the argument. Too many parents these days are unwilling to look at more than one side of a discussion.

  • In reply to willowtree:

    You're totally right - I would NEVER let my daughter get a boob job just because of some girls in a locker room and even less so if a boy expressed disapproval!

    I think all I really need is one girlfriend of mine with an uncircumcised son. I just have yet to find one - literally all my boy mom friends are doing it. Peer pressure!! Haha, and I don't even know if this baby is a boy anyway. Imagine, all of this for nothing.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Seriously don't let your friend's children or the area you live in dictate your decision because you never know where you will live in the future!
    Also, as an adult I have seen both a circ'd and uncirc'd man. Honestly the circ'd man is the one with the scar, yes you can see a scar! Although he is not traumatized by being circ'd, he also doesn't know what sexual feelings he lost when he was circ'd.
    Quite honestly, a woman who says ANY penis looks gross has sexual issues of her own. An erect penis looks the same with or without.

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    BTW, I wanted to say that a lady in my mommy group (yes recently) had to have her son re-circ'd 3 TIMES because it was botched the first 2 times. She really regrets her decision now!
    Also, in my area the drs don't circ in the hosptial, you have to bring your healthy child into the drs office to have the procedure done (and my insurance won't pay for it so be prepared to pay out of pocket if you do it). My children where premature so we were at the drs office a lot for weight checks. I saw this poor baby who was having a horrible reaction to the circing that was done while we were there (I was eavesdropping). I was almost in tears myself, but that poor mom was hysterical. The nurse had them sitting in the waiting room and kept bringing meds out to him.

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    "BTW, I wanted to say that a lady in my mommy group (yes recently) had to have her son re-circ'd 3 TIMES because it was botched the first 2 times"

    Yes, I know of an instance of this. The mother thought not enough was removed the first time and had her son circumcised a second time. Doctors learned of the complications of tight circumcisions in the late 1980's and started doing much looser circumcisions but these looser circumcisions have problems all their own.

    This woman was warned but ignored the warnings and the second circumcision resulted in a condition called "buried penis" where the penis is pulled back into the pubic mound. His penis literally looked like a second navel!

    The only cure was a skin graft from his inner thigh that left not only an ugly scar on his thigh but a band of skin around the penis that was a completely different color and texture than the rest of his shaft skin.

    After all of this, she finally decided that circumcision was not a good idea after all.

    Frank

  • In reply to willowtree:

    " Even before these recent numbers showing only 33% (I still think the rates are higher than that) the national rate was still hovering very close to 50 percent. Even since the rate of about 56% several years ago, which is the closest estimate I believe, the numbers have been declining."

    A drop such as this is predictable as it is with any fad (and that is what infant circumcision has always been) With a fad, there comes a tipping point where the fad will take on a life of it's own. When people start noticing a fad, they start adopting it and when they notice it is ebbing, they will quickly abandon it and no one will be embracing the fad any longer.

    I suspect we have reached the tipping point for infant circumcision. I suspect the tipping point was somewhere near 50% and now it is in an expected decline that will continue and accelerate with time.

    Usually, this decline is associated with a specific event. In England it was the publication of a study by Douglas Gardnier that showed that circumcision did not have the medical benefits that had been claimed and the government stopped paying for the procedure. In Canada, the circumcision rate was 17% when Ryleigh McWillis died from a circumcision complication. The Registrar of The Saskatchewan medical fraternity had recently published a paper addressing the professional liability associated with infant circumcision and Ryleigh's death brought the warning to reality and virtually all Canadian physicians took heed and stopped offering the procedure. In The US, it appears the defining moment will be the rise of the Internet giving parents access to reliable information.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Velvet, have you considered your son might be humiliated for other things? i.e., being to short? Too tall? Too skinny? Too fat? What about minorities? In a white-dominant school, a black person would stand out for example. A chinese person. Or vice-versa: a white kid in a mostly-black school is going to stand out.

    Bottom line is, he would eventually have to learn to stand up for himself. Wouldn't circumcising him so that he could be part of a perceived majority be kind of defeatist?

    Have you heard of white parents that adopt asian children and then have them undergo eye-surgery to make their eyes more western-looking? Would you do that to your child if your husband were Chinese and your child had Asian eyes?

    Just saying. Teach your son to stand up for himself, not to conform to others' expectations. Circumcising him to "fit in" tells him he is not important from day one. His body is not important. What matters is that others like what they see. Is this what you want to teach your child?

    On a different note, it looks like the CDC is reporting a drop in circumcision. If you circumcise your son, he might very well be the one being teased nowadays.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    Oh, on top of it I'm giving him a super hippy name! For some reason "aw, kid, be who you are" works for me in that instance.

    I think the discrepancy lies in that your name will adapt to fit you, whereas doubt in your sexual organs can cause a serious complex. Right?

    Maybe I'm way over thinking it. I never had any major hang-ups about my body and it just seems like it would suck if you did.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    You probably read my post above - but even though I felt insecure about my genitals for a few years it didn't really affect me because no one saw them at that time! I'd forget about it in my daily life. I don't have a complex. Not that I can speak for everyone, but I suspect most people with potential hang ups end up like me.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    "I'm hearing stories from uncir'd men who suffer socially, be it girlfriends who think it's gross or teasing from other guys in locker rooms."

    This is a different generation that your son's generation and there are different realities for those generation. There are some reports of teasing in the older generation but reports from the majority of older intact men do not support the apparent myth. A study performed in 1992 found that only 6/10's of 1% of intact men would consider a circumcision while 20% of circumcised men wished that they hadn't been circumcised as an infant. Logic and reasoned thinking supports this. Why would a man want to lose part of an important organ?

    " I need more info and time to process this!"

    I can understand that. The problem is that you have precious little time to fully investigate it. A good place to start is www.cirp.org, a database of medical studies both for and against the procedure.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    As an uncircumcised guy, I totally understand the people who are against it, but that doesn't change the fact that I would rather I had been circumcised. The first two things you mention - social stigma and difficult condom use - are real issues that I have dealt with (hygiene not so much - showering is easy). I've considered circumcision as an adult but thus far the cost and potential pain have dissuaded me.

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    Sadly, there are thousands of men who wish they had remained intact.

    Fortunately you still have the option to get circumcised as an adult :) The social stigma isn't what it was 15-20 years ago.

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    So you're not so blown away by your "experience" in life that you're happy to be intact? Interesting! I had this idea that uncirc'd guys were these Don Juan/Pepe LePew types, lol. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Nope, wouldn't say I am a Don Juan - it's definitely been an issue with some of the women in my life, so it's something I'm self-conscious about. If I could magically become circumcised I would do it. Basically what I'm saying though is that the "it should be his choice" argument is really also making a choice for him, because of the barriers to adult circumcision. And it's fine to make that choice, but I don't like when people use that argument to take a moral high ground.

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    The sad thing is that a lot of men are circ'd at your age so the women have seen a lot of circ'd penises. This is not a reason to have your penis chopped off. Who cares what they think?? Be proud of who you are and know that your parents protected you from potentially having your penis cut wrong. If you get circ'd you may regret that choice too. Sometimes the grass is greener....

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    (I didn't mean "circ'd at your age" which would imply I meant circ'd as an adult, I meant circ'd the era you were born in.)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    " I had this idea that uncirc'd guys were these Don Juan/Pepe LePew types, lol. Thanks for sharing your opinion :)"

    This is an urban myth perpetrated by circumcised men and parents who have circumcised their child. The "aroma" of the intact penis is virtually identical to the uncircumcised vulva. Would you cut those parts away from your genitalia to rid yourself of your natural aroma?

    Frank

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    OMG! No, I meant "Don Juan" in the sense that these guys were really romantic and sex-crazy, the type of guy who wont let you have a moment's peace.

    I mean, if their penis is that much MORE interesting to them than the type of man I'm used to, I'd never be able to get a night's sleep! Lol, not that affects the decision.

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    Upon reading this, I wonder whether you actually grew up with your genitals intact.

    Difficult condom use? Really?

    Uh, I happen to have grown up with anatomically correct genitalia. Condom use is NOT difficult for me. It is difficult for other reasons, namely that I have to make sure I find large enough ones (hate to brag), but other than that, I've had no problems.

    At one point I myself considered circumcision, because I felt that I should have been circumcised like all Americans. But then, the more I read about circumcision, its history and why it continues today, the gladder I got that I was spared the knife.

    Actually, at one point, I had disdain for my parents for not having circumcised me. Now, I can't thank them enough. I probably would have never wanted to talk to them again after leaving the house.

    And that's the thing people should consider; it may be (or may have been?) difficult to grow up intact, but times are changing. The rate has dropped drastically. Men are increasingly becoming aware of what has happened, and a growing number of them are angry this has happened to them.

    The internet has made the exchange of information so much easier now. Back when, men didn't know what they were missing, and in my case, what I had. But now, the chances are your child will grow up and read about circumcision and become informed.

    Perhaps he'll be glad first that he was cut, and that it happened as a child initially. But then, what if he reads about all this and changes his mind?

    Intact, he could always get circumcised if he really wanted to. But circumcised? He has to live for the rest of his life with an altered penis for the rest of his life.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    There is a facebook group called "Thanks Mom and Dad!" that shows a growing trend of teenagers/young adults researching and coming to their own conclusions about the procedure.

    It makes for an interesting read. http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2234965184&topic=14602#topic_top

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    Not sure how you expect me to prove that I'm not circumcised, but a quick google search will reveal that I'm not the only uncut man with condom issues. Maybe at some point I'll come to appreciate being uncircumcised as you have, but I'm not there yet.

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    Hi VelvetJinxx
    As a mom of boys I certainly understand your feelings right now. Looking over your list of pros and cons, to me looks like a no brainer do not cut your son wins, hands down. The current US circ rate is 32% that mean over half of the boys born LAST YEAR were not cut and that number is steadily decreasing. This is a huge drop from the rates of 2006 which were 56%.

    When I had my first son 14 years ago I didn't have access to all of this information regarding intact or circumcised and the father was not around (thank goodness) to discuss any of these issues with. All I had was my mothering instinct, my gut, to guide me. My instinct said don't do it! Why put your child through a painful procedure when there is no medical reason to do it? The only thing I knew was that other countries did not circumcise and I knew there had to be a reason, I just didn't know what it was. I am glad my gut told me to leave him alone, it's his body not mine to make those kinds of cosmetic alterations to.

    Fast Forward 4 years and I am married and pregnant with son #2. My husband also has a son who is just a few months younger than my 1st son and he is circumcised. These 2 boys grew up together from the age of 3, ran around naked, took baths together, shared a room, clothes toys etc Not once did either of them ever say hey your penis looks different than mine. When the topic of circumcision came up with us I was vehemently against it being much more educated on the intact penis than I was 4 years prior. My husbands sole argument was "I want him to look like me" I had to hold back an incredulous laugh because that argument just seemed so silly to me. Nobodies penis looks the same regardless if they are cut or uncut! I asked him simply when the last time was he checked out his dads penis and did he even know if his dad was cut or not. That was all it took because he had no idea the status of his fathers penis and couldn't ever recall really seeing it.

    My boys are now 14, 13 and 9. They all play sports, they all have to change in the locker room before & after games as well as before & after gym. No one has ever made a comment to the intact boys about being "different". And really what is it any other boys business to be checking out another guys junk!

    Kids are going to be teased and humiliated over stupid things and big things but we don't go out and cosmetically alter them for the sake of peer pressure do we? I used to be teased relentlessly for my large teeth (which are still very large) and my flat chest (which is still very flat despite 4 breastfed children!) and my long hair and my glasses and my braces and my social awkwardness and my being a virgin and my late tart to getting my first period. These are all things that I dealt with on a daily basis in elementary through high school and yet I didn't have my teeth filed down, I didn't get breast implant, I didn't cut my hair. The things I wanted to change were MY choice and it was my body to make those choices about. Which ultimately this is what the argument boils down to. Everyone says that circumcision is a choice but they fail to see that the person who should be making that choice often gets that right taken away from them at birth. That penis belongs to your son, not you and not your husband. It should be his choice to have it altered or not. You can always have the foreskin removed but once it's gone, you can't get it back.

    And just to touch on our "pros" List

    -80% of the male population in the world is not circumcised, the majority of those cut are here in the US, yes but as you see the numbers have fallen steadily over the last 30 years and even more dramatically just in the last 3 years.

    -putting a condom on an intact penis is no different than on a cut penis, you simply pull the foreskin back and slip that baby on

    -hygiene is a non issue, you clean your vulva and vagina just fine and we teach our daughters to clean themselves just fine, aren't boys just as capable of cleaning themselves? It really doesn't take much when they are young you never retract and only clean what is seen with water. Once they are retractable (which can happen anywhere from the age of 3-18!) then you slip the foreskin back and rinse under it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy as my kids say.

  • In reply to JennC:

    Yikes, it's teaching lessons about how to shower and how to put on a condom that I do not feel are my department. Maybe I'll just buy my son a book. YEAH!! I wonder if there's "an uncircumcised male's guide to life" out there?!?!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    It has to start young, being open and honest and frank with your kids. My kids and I all have very open lines of communication and my boys (even my stepson, whom I raised) will come to me and tell me things other teenagers wouldn't dream of talking to their parents about. My husband is the skittish one with sex and body talks and since I am doula training to be a childbirth educator with dreams of one day being a midwife those talks fall on me, which is no big deal. We talk about periods, wet dreams, std's, cleaning, sex all of it. My boys know just as much about the female reproductive system as they do their own, something I feel is extremely important for once they do become sexually active. Too many boy have no idea how the female body works, hell too many females have no idea how their own body works.

    So anyways point is, that stuff is jut basic hygiene and even if you feel you can't openly discuss those things yes there are books and websites you can direct your child to when the time is right. :)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    You're citing social stigma as a possible justification for permanently and irreversibly mutilating your son's genitals? REALLY?!

    You are NEVER going to be able to shield your kid from stigma, humiliation, bullying, embarrassment, and all the other crap stupid people inflict on each other. What you CAN do is teach him to work through it and get over it.

    Circumcision is absolutely stupid and barbaric, and arguments to the contrary are also stupid and barbaric.

  • In reply to devolve:

    So I assume you have a son who is uncircumcised?

  • In reply to ejstevens:

    The situation for your age group and the current group of men being born today is much different. In your age group, about 80% (or more) were circumcised. In today's age group, somewhere between 32% and 50% will be circumcised and the circumcision rate is on a definite rapid downward trend. I suspect the trend in another decade will be less than 10% of infants will be circumcised if we follow the example of other countries that have abandoned infant circumcision. At one time, all of the English speaking countries circumcised a very significant percentage of their infants but The US is the only one still doing it. I definitely see the current trend as irreversible despite the attempts by special interest groups to reverse the trend. I think the decline is the obvious result.

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I live in the midwest, with the highest circumcision rates in the country - and the world. We chose definitively and unanimously NOT to circumcise our son. Me, because I have always felt it is barbaric to mutilate a newborn's penis and because I dated a European man while living in Europe and he and his friends were all so intrigued and weirded-out that the American norm was to chop. Sex with the uncircumcised man felt no different to me, except that his penis didn't look scarred as American penises do. My husband, because his circumcision (as well as his three younger brothers' circumcisions) were all botched very badly. They failed to cut the skin all the way off and in an even pattern, and this left a piece of skin still attached. As a consequence, my husband dealt with massive itching throughout the first eight years of his life. He rubbed in an attempt to get the itchy fragment off and finally, it tore off. He tells me that this led him to begin masturbating at a very, very young age (ironic, because the old American reason for circumcision was to keep boys from masturbating). Now, he is 28 years old and the scar from the circumcision (which you can see on EVERY circumcised penis once they stop looking "normal" to you), often becomes inflamed and painful just from having sex. His mother sobbed to me (when we told her we were definitely NOT circumcising her grandson) that she circumcised her sons against her will, because their father wanted it done. She said she's dealt with the guilt for 28 years now and she will regret it eternally.

    When you're holding your newborn baby in your arms - so tiny and helpless, completely dependent on you, and with the million things you worry about with your newborn baby, the last thing I can imagine adding to the list of worries is the chunk of his genitals you've just consented to be lopped off. We remarked to each other as our son was growing into his second, third, fourth week of life how very, very glad we were that we didn't have to worry about a penis wound in addition to everything else. His penis is beautiful to me - natural and perfect. His foreskin protects him from the roughness of diapers, the astringent of urine, from his occasional bouts of nudity where he's crawling across rough surfaces.

    It won't be an issue at school. Even *if* the CDC's new reported circumcision rate has been tampered with, the rate is still less than 50%. ALWAYS stand up for what is right when it comes to your child, as I'm sure you will. If your son's future girlfriends think it's "gross", then they are clearly not right for him. And by the time our sons are old enough for sexual activity, girls will be just as likely to date boys who are intact as they are circumcised. They seem like uphill battles, I agree (just wait until your child is injured by vaccines - THAT seems like an uphill battle!), but they are the battles we must fight as mothers. There are many of them, but they are the most worthwhile battles you will ever fight.

    My son is one year old yesterday, and he has never had a single urinary tract infection, has never had a single problem with his intact penis (although his older sisters do love to point out that their brother has a penis - but that's ANY penis, intact or chopped up). ;) I am 100% happy with our decision. And if you forgo the unnecessary surgical removal of a part of your son's body, and you do regret it, you can always do it later.

  • In reply to kaitka:

    This is really giving me confidence to do what feels so "cutting edge". (Me with the puns, sorry).

    Maybe we can be friends?! My heart is telling me to leave it natural, but I still feel really alone in that.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    You are definitely NOT alone!!! It speaks volumes that you, even before your son is born, are struggling with these battles. I know many, many mothers of sons who didn't struggle with these things until AFTER the fact - and now live in regret that they allowed the hospital/baby's fathers to do the automatic thing. Trust your heart! :) Your son will be so thankful he has a mother like you. What child can say "How dare you, Mom!? You opted NOT to cut off a piece of my penis! I WANTED that piece gone!" lol. I can't think of any. All the intact men I know (although few here stateside) are happy with their parents' decision to leave their bodies alone.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    PS

    Went out with 3 girls before settling on my current fiancee.

    Two of my ex's never batted an eye on the fact that I had a foreskin.

    My last GF didn't really mind that I had anatomically correct genitalia, but she was vehemently pro-circ. We talked about this when we discussed the possibility of us getting married and having kids.

    Long story short, I made a believer out of her. We broke up because of other differences, but we remained good friends and we still keep in touch. She has a 9mo baby boy who was left intact because of me.

    Not sure about any other guys with whole dicks in here, but I'm a clean guy, I keep things fresh down there and my intact organ was never a problem with the ladies.

    My fiancee loves me intact and whole, just the way I am, we've talked about it and if we have any boys no one is coming near their penises with a knife. Any doctor or nurse that dares come and asks us if we want to let them mutilate our child or not is going to get an earfull from us.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    I hope you guys are Chicago people!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    You are hysterical Jenna!

  • In reply to JohnSchmidt:

    Yes, but in my area, now the child who is circ'd will be the one teased.... oh how times change! We are better educated now and just because our parents may have circ'd us---that is no reason to do it to our children!

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    Well I have very personal experience here, so I can actually speak to this and defend my husband's choice. My brother was not circ'd and my dad is. It was always an EXTREMELY difficult situation for my brother and he was teased relentlessly in school. He is still contemplating getting it done at the age of 21.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    See, stuff like that makes me want to do it. I can't imagine if I walked around with a weird vagina I hated. Teenagers have enough problems!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Teenagers have enough problems, but as with all other problems, couldn't your son learn to get over it?

    My experience: Born and raised in CA, and I was left to have my anatomically correct genitalia. Unlike the chap above, wasn't a problem for me. Lockerroom wasn't an experience for me K-12, and when I did start going to the pool w/ my friends etc., no one said anything.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    Maybe I need to move to California! Seriously, I'll bet tolerance is a regional thing. I live in an progressive neighborhood here in Chicago but about 5 minutes out and it's Midwestern, USA.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    Closing statement:

    Velvet, consider a few things:

    1. Lockerrooms and changing in front of others have become rare. In my case, I went K through 12 without ever having showered with other guys. After gym, at least in my case, boys that wanted to change went into bathroom stalls, or used a towel to cover up. Where I grew up, the tension of not wanting to be labeled a "fag" was high. No one dared to even pretend to look, and no one would dare risk giving anyone a free show. People still made fun of each other though, for other reasons. IE, race, being hairy, smooth etc... what you COULD see. Your child is going to have to put up with other teasing. I think you should teach him to stand up for himself.

    2. The rate of circumcision in America is falling. According to the CDC, that rate has fallen from 56% in 2006, to 33% in 2009. Cut boys are becoming the minority. If you circumcise your child, he may very well be be the one that is teased. You'll be back at square 1 when it comes to the lockerroom.

    3. Please be wary of people promoting circumcision for supposed "medical benefits." Ask a butcher if you think it would be a good idea to become a vegetarian and the answer will always be the same. It's hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it. There is absolutely no "medical benefit" that can't be gained by any other means.

    UTIs clear right up with antibiotics for example, and they are more common in girls than in boys. Incidentally, are you aware of the study in ISRAEL of all places, where circumcision was found to UP UTI?

    "Cleanliness" has always bothered me as an excuse. As if boys are simply so stupid to learn to clean themselves like girls do. Because girls get smegma and a stinky odor too. They take care of their problem with soap and water, and there is no reason boys can't learn to do the same. I certainly have.

    The current hot potato is "it reduces the risk for STDs." Oh yeah, well so can a condom. Actually, circumcision is so ineffective at preventing STDs that the very doctors and scientists that push this "reason" to circumcise stress that circumcised men still have to wear condoms. So then what's the point?

    Let's look at some of the hard numbers some doctors use:

    Circumcision is supposed to reduce the risk for HIV transmission by 60%, for HPV by 35%, and for herpes by 28%. But let's look at the reverse; a man would still be at 40% risk for HIV, at 65% risk for HPV, and at 72% for herpes. That's the big "medical advantage?" When condoms are cheaper and way more effective (over 90%), not to mention unwanted pregnancy?

    Incidentally, has it been pointed out that even though we have a mostly circumcised male population (over 80%), we still manage to have one of the highest rates of HIV transmission in the industrialised world? That some of our cities, such as Washington DC and Philadelphia rival HIV hotspots in Africa?

    In the 1980s, when the HIV epidemic broke out, 90% of all US men were circumcised. Is there any kind of "study" that could explain why this was?

    Bottom line: Circumcision cannot, does not prevent HIV or any other STD. There is not a single study, doctor, or researcher that can refute this fact.

    Circumcision is no "vaccine." A vaccine works by strengthening the immune system against microorganisms that cause disease. When a virus invades the body, the immune system effected by the vaccine fights it, thereby protecting the human body. It is erroneous to be marketing circumcision as any kind of "vaccine," when it cannot even begin to work like one.

    Circumcision "studies" are unique. Whereas most other medical research seeks to avoid surgical intervention, if not displace it completely, circumcision "researchers" try and find ways to legitimize it, if not make it a necessity or requirement, especially in healthy, non-consenting newborns.

    Has it occurred to anyone how "STD prevention" is relevant in newborns who do not engage in risky sexual activity? Does anyone else not think it is backwards to promote radical, invasive, irrevocable surgery in healthy, non-consenting sexually inactive newborns as a "prevention method" that is easily supplanted by cheaper, more effective modes of prevention? (i.e. CONDOMS?)

    One last think to consider:

    Boys aren't born sick. The foreskin is not any kind of genetic anomaly like a 6th finger. It isn't this birth defect or congenital deformity like a cleft that commands correction.

    Without any medical condition present to address, how is it doctors can even be performing circumcisions in healthy, non-consenting infants, let alone be letting parents make any kind of "choice?"

    A doctor's duty is to medicine, not to cultural rites, or parental prerogative. Have you stopped and wondered why it is you even have to mull over this?

    A doctor went to med school for at least 10 years. He hangs his hard-earned PhD in his office and demands you call him doctor. Suddenly he is bewildered and demands it be you that pores over books? Suddenly it's parents who may have never once seen a textbook on human anatomy that must be wiser than the doctor and make this "big decision?"

    How is it parents are being elicited for a "decision," where there is absolutely none to make?

    Does not charging to perform non-medical procedures in non-consenting individuals constitute MEDICAL FRAUD? In taking advantage of naive parents to perform medically unnecessary procedures on healthy children, are doctors not engaging in ABUSE?

    Good day to you, Velvet.

    PLEASE do the right thing and don't let this happen to your son. Unless there is some pressing medical reason, it should ultimately be up to HIM to decide, since it is his body. Cutting off any other part of your child's body would immediately be labeled abuse. It should be disconcerting to Americans that with infant circumcision, this is not immediately obvious.

  • In reply to Joseph4GI:

    I just thought of the best idea for you. Can you write an uncircumcised guy's book?! No seriously, it should be for boys whose mothers chose not to do it, but who have circumcised fathers who can't teach them about hygiene and whatnot. It would be totally up your alley and the world needs something like that.

    BTW, guys, my name is Jenna :)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    lol you're too funny Jenna! I can write an uncircumcised guy's book for you right now!

    "The Three R's" - Retract, Rinse, Replace. That's it! No harsh soaps (just like with females).

    Funny thing is that uncircumcised penises look virtually identical to circumcised ones when erect. Unless you are in super bright lights and looking for a circumcision scar a woman is unlikely to know the difference from just looking at it :) Just a fun fact.

  • In reply to willowtree:

    Actually, here is a link to a picture of an uncircumcised penis flaccid and erect.

    NOTE: NUDITY!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Erection_Homme2.jpg

  • In reply to willowtree:

    "Funny thing is that uncircumcised penises look virtually identical to circumcised ones when erect. Unless you are in super bright lights and looking for a circumcision scar a woman is unlikely to know the difference from just looking at it :) Just a fun fact."

    This is so true! I've known women who thought their lover was circumcised for months before they learned the truth. It was only when they eventually saw him naked and not aroused that they discovered he was not circumcised.

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    No, I am a 40 year old male who was cut at birth, and have regretted it since the day I found out there was a difference.

  • In reply to devolve:

    I am so sorry to hear that. Please understand I'm not relying on social stigma as an excuse to do it. I'm just trying to figure out what is best for my son. There are some commenters on here who hate being uncut and I'm trying to see all sides.

    Thanks for your input! I hadn't heard from a regretful circumcised person yet, which is really the demographic I'm looking for.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    There is a show on Showtime called Bulls**t which did an episode on circumcision. They found some guys who were extremely regretful...so much so that they've stretched the skin on their penis to make a new foreskin. So, yeah, it does happen. I think it's probably worth a watch (you can find it on DVD): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0672524/

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    My husband is a regretful cut-ee. We discussed circ long before we discussed having children and originally he was ambivalent if not pro circ. As soon as he looked into the origins in America (non religious) and saw a video of the procedure he was vehemently against it.

    When we did have our son and saw what a perfectly designed protector the foreskin is it only cemented our decision.

    I

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    HOLD. THE. PHONES. That animated gif just made my day!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    EXACTLY! How a man (or woman) could see that and then not understand what the benefit of that would be is beyond me! Also it's not a little "snip" what is missing in an adult male is 15 square inches of skin or a 3x5 index card if you need a visual.

    Also a question for your husband, if in having your son circumcised held even a .000002% chance of damaging his penis to where he could not have pleasurable sex would he do it? It does happen much more often than reported, even the skin just being too tight, I mean how do they know if your son's penis is a shower or a grower, how to they gauge how much skin to take off?

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Do what YOU think is the right thing for your child. When people start using words like "mutilation" and "chopped up," it's purely an emotional argument. It's like people calling pro-choicers "pro-abortion." There is always the extremist, radical side, and blogs draw out that crowd.

    If you talk to your friends, girls on the board, etc., you'll see that most baby boys we know are circ'd. The CDC has already come out and said the numbers from the new report are completely inaccurate. I hope someday it IS the case that it's a rarity to get circ'd. But if it IS important to you that your son feel normal or not deal with self-esteem issues related to his sexual organ (which I am absolutely not here to judge about - totally your own personal choice!), then you might want to ask around a bit more and see what the trend is. If those types of things don't matter to you, then I would say absolutely forego circumcision! Also - I'm curious what Niko thinks!

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Niko is going along with whatever I want. When we first had the conversation, he was anti-circumcision . . . until we googled some images and found some ugmo looking uncut penises. The ones posted in these comments look fine, I guess lighting matters! Lol.

    He is circumcised himself, but my FIL (his dad) was uncircumcised until he was in his 50's. I guess he had some sort of complication and now the entire family is shoving circumcision down my throat. Seriously, some of his relatives might try to turn me into Child Protective services if I didn't circumcise my newborn.

    (You know this baby will end up being a girl, right?)

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    EEK and LOL, if they try to use that to sway you, (his late life circ) my dad had to have a hip replacement in his 50's should I get a preemptive one now in my 6 year old ;-)

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    That's what I said to my hubs. Like, should we extract their molars at birth too? Plenty of people have trouble with those. And why leave the hospital with your gallbladder when it might rub you the wrong way in your 60s? lol

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    The most common medical reason for later life circumcisions is a complication of diabetes and very few diabetic men suffer this complication. It can be avoided by carefully monitoring their blood sugar levels. A man who doesn't monitor is blood sugar levels is likely to have complications much more severe than this.

    Frank

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    Yup, that's my FIL. I don't think he's too careful with the monitoring because he's always drinking Brandy.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    That's sad. Uncontrolled/undiagnosed diabetes is a condition that slowly destroys the body and results in early death along with other complications such as losing body parts such as fingers and toes especially. The sad part is that the victim doesn't recognize the cumulative damage until it's done and at that point, there is no recourse. If he is not addressing this, he will eventually come to regret it.

    Frank

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    I resented my parents for a while after learning that they had my cut. No amount of "I'm sorry" will bring my skin back like it was. I have not been able to get off with my girlfriend(s). I have been regrowing my skin but it will never be the same. It is an extremely slow process of 1milimeter of growth every month. I feel incomplete as a man.

    I dont really see the hygiene thing as a big issue as a big deal b/c if you tell a teen age boy to clean his penis when he jumps into the shower it wont take much prodding after he gets started. Yes there is more maintenance but thats like not having a car b/c changing the oil is too hard to do.

    Im sure it seems like baby is not in as much pain because they baby cannot express its feelings and babies cry a lot anyways.

    I could not circumcise my son after what I have gone though.

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    Every male in my family is circ'd, and my son was too the day after he was born. It Healed super fast, had no issues. And didn't seem uncomfortable. It was hard to send him off for it. But in the end I don't think he will ever hate me for it.

  • In reply to savannahm:

    I appreciate the "silent majority" opinion!

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    "- His nether regions will match 90% of other white American males"
    Not 90% these days, and only ~55% of males his age, much less if the latest report is correct. In other words, no matter what you do today, he'll match a good proportion of his peers. And if he comes home and asks why his is different, which would you rather have to tell him - "Because their parents all had part of their euphemisms cut off, but we didn't"? Or "Because we had part of your euphemism cut off, but their parents didn't"?

    "- Apparently it is easier to put a condom on a circumcised penis."
    Boy, they do scrape the bottom of the barrel for reasons to circumcise, don't they? That is going in http://www.circumstitions.com/Stitions&refs.html with the other 417 bad reasons. In fact, it's perfectly easy to put a condom on an intact penis, especially now that they make them with a flared end to cope with the movement. See http://www.circumstitions.com/condoms.html

    To understand more about how the foreskin works, there is an animated cross-sectional drawing (NSFW but not sexual) at http://www.circumstitions.com/Works.html

    Circumcised and intact penises are not the same when erect; the two are compared at http://www.circumstitions.com/comparison.html

    @Chelsea: "I hope someday it IS the case that it's a rarity to get circ'd." How do you think that will ever happen if people keep doing it, especially for conformity's sake?

    @savannahm: Well, we'll see. But if that's all the reason you can give, he has every right to.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    I disagree, I think this is a great informative discussion with lots of great information.

    And Jenna there may be many more people who you know who did not circ but who are not very vocal about it. You don't know how many people are in the same position as you are in, be the Leader, be the voice, you may find many more than you think!

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    Oh, boy. Before you know it I'll be the voice of circumcision, Down Syndrome and whatever other ailments come my way. I'm like a snowball for niche awareness!

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    I am a son who was circumcised at birth and never thought about it. But, as I got older I lost a lot of sensitivity in my penis and had a harder time staying hard and it took me longer and longer to ejaculate during sex. As soon as I learned about circumcision and foreskin restoration, I immediately began restoring my foreskin.

    I really wish my parents had not had me circumcised. It is my body, it should be my choice. Many men who feel likewise are also restoring their foreskin. Thanks to the Internet, many teenagers and young men are learning what circumcision has done to them and they are upset with their parents. Many question why their parents choose to circumcise them, why they were circumcised when there was so little, if any, true benefit to the surgery. They are questioning why their parents consented to the surgery when there was all sorts of information available about how circumcision is primarily a cosmetic surgery performed for the benefit of the parents.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    How do you know we aren't from the board. I am.... :)

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    And why do you think most baby boys from the board are circ'd. Maybe just the vocal mommies!

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    High five!

  • In reply to chibbz:

    "The CDC has already come out and said the numbers from the new report are completely inaccurate."

    This is not true. The CDC report says it doesn't account for boys circumcised outside the hospital and this is a very small figure that would include some/most Jews (1.75% of the population) and a very few that were circumcised in a doctors office. They also say that it does not include those whose parents paid for the operation instead of an insurer. This would also be a very small number as evidenced by the numbers in the states that have defunded Medicaid circumcisions. The drop in the percentages almost exactly dupicates the percentage on Medicaid.

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    We had our oldest circumcised and it was probably the worst mistake i've made so far as a parent. He had reattachment complications and bleed pretty bad. Even 5 years later his penis gets red/irritated sometimes. He will complain that it hurts and we have a special cream for him. That does usually make him feel better. We've been told by a few doctors there is nothing they can do now(as his penis will grow so much over time, and i defiantly would not put him under the knife again anyway). I wish i knew then, what i know now. My youngest son is intact and has never had one issue, nor do i expect him to. Most boys who have issues, is because some stupid doctor messed with his foreskin(ie forcefully retracted it or told the parents to do so). Complications do happen with circumcision and i do NOT think they are addressed often enough. To think your child is immune to the possibilty of a complication is niave. I've been told many things about this...they tend to be "well, i have/had a great surgeron and trust him completely". Or "well all surgery involves risks". To the first quote, many times it isn't even the surgeons fault(although sometimes it is of course), alot of times it is just how a particular penis reacts to being circumcised. My son's penis was just trying to heal itself(and yes we took care of it exactly as we were suppose to). To the second quote, yes all surgery involves risks. The difference is all other surgery involved on a child is to fix a problem, correct pain, etc. There is a reason for these surgeries and the Benefits OUTWEIGH the risks, while that just isn't true for circumcision. Sure,an intact boy can get an infection of some sort(but very very uncommon if you leave the foreskin alone). But like a girl, we can treat it with antibiotics or other medicines, etc. The whole reduces HIV/STD argument is just flawed and BS. All you have to do is look at the US circ rate and Europe's circ rate(almost non existant), then look at boths HIV/STD rate. Guess who has the higer HIV/STD rate? THE US does, not Europe. Those are plan facts, not some study that some idiots swayed in their favor.

    If you choose to keep your son in intact, you will have to educate yourself and maybe your doctor(or just tell your doctor to never touch your son's penis). So many US doctors are just not taught intact care in school(which really isn't any care at all). The foreskin is fused to the head of the penis at birth and will slowly dettach over time(just by erections and the boy playing with it). No one else should ever retract the penis. If your doctor tells you something along the lines of "he is 5(or 10) his penis should have retracted by now", no that that isn't always the case. Alot of time boys don't fully retract naturally until puberty or later teenage years. If boy can pee fine and not in pain, his penis is FINE. When cleaning a baby/child's penis, all you do is wash it like a finger. No special care needed. Once it is retractable(remember naturally happened that way), you teach your son to pull the foreskin back and rinse with water and then return the foreskin back to its forward position. Easier than teaching them to brush their teeth and floss

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I wanted to add, that my boys are 2 and 5. My oldest kind of notices their penises are different, but he doesn't think much of it. Like his brother's hair is curly and his is straight. Like his friend has glasses and he doesn't. He just think everyone is different and it is ok to be different. He doesn't quite get that he had a surgery and his brother didn't. I do plan on telling both of them when they are older what happened. I think they will understand too. We don't give children enough credit sometimes

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    Good for you for questioning this. I have a 2 1/2 year old son who is intact. We have never had a problem or issue. My partner is circumcised and our son has never batted an eye or asked questions while being potty trained by his Dad. For me, the choice was simple, not my body, not my decision. I mean, if my son wants it done one day, fine. But it seems silly to me to cut off a perfectly normal, healthy, functioning part of his genitals. My partner does have issue with being circumcised. At first he wanted his son to look like him. But then I asked him to watch a video of the procedure with me.

    http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4813345/12842144

    How can this seem like a good idea? The thought of putting my baby through that made me, and still makes me, want to vomit. Sadly, less then 4% of babies get proper pain relief before during and after. The numbing creams just dont work and the DNB has been shown largely noneffective. As a doula, I have witnessed a circumcision. They are brutal. This can't just be a personal decision on the parents behalf because these aren't your genitals. This is your sons decision ultimately. If your heart is telling you don't do it, don't do it. A mothers intuition is the best guide.

  • In reply to ChiMel:

    It looks like you have heard about every aspect of this issue, and I couldn't read every word, but did want to make sure you heard this.

    I work for a plaintiff's medical malpractice attorney. They sue when doctors mess up. I have seen what can happen when circumcision goes wrong, and your son will NOT believe that not being teased would be any consolation if he looses all of his shaft skin or other parts of his penis. search me on youtube for more...

    Being able to deal with being different is a preparedness issue. All you have to do is let him know he's different and why. This is an easier job if you're explaining that you felt he had the right to his whole body, instead of saying something that implies you didn't think he would be able to wash, or cope with other people's opinions. =) best of luck.

  • In reply to whatUneverknew:

    I went to UChicago and there is/was a man who would stand outside the bookstore most days (it seemed, at least) wearing a sandwich board which advocated the U of C stop performing circumcisions at their hospitals. The man's parents had both been doctors in the U of C hospitals and had a botched circumcision when he was born there. Obviously, it had a horrible impact on the rest of his life...so much so that he goes out there almost every day to wear his sign and talk to people. He's certainly a minority (thank god), but things can go horribly wrong.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    That's mighty brave of him! Geez. How terrible.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I'm the guy who has been protesting outside the U of Chicago hospital for 6 years now. You can read about it in the full page Chicago Tribune article "Under knife, under scrutiny" published Aug 26, 2009. (Happy article anniversary!) Actually "gotamd" got some of my details incorrect. Yes, the person who circumcised me has been described by other doctors as having been incompetent. However, knowing what I know now about the issues, I do believe I'm in much shape physically/sexually than most circumcised men. That said, I wish I had not been circumcised in the first place. I should be back at my protest on Sep. 15. I'm currently visiting my sister in New Zealand. She is a pediatrician and has been working at Wellinton Children's Hospital for the last 16 months. She has not seen a circumcised boy here! New Zealand used to circumcise about 90-95% of infant boys. For more than 30 years it has been very difficult to find a doctor to do a circumcision. The rate in N.Z. is now < 1% in their hospitals and is really only done for "cultural/religious" reasons. Of course, some of those boys grow up to be very unhappy that they were cut. So, come visit me at my protest. I'm usually there from about 2:30 to 4 pm. My name is Dan Strandjord (and, only my father was a doctor at the U of C, maybe gotamd was confused when I mentioned my sister is a pediatrician).

  • In reply to dts6b:

    Ouch! I think my post got circumcised! Was it too long? Anyway, I was trying to say that less than 1% of baby boys are being circumcised in N.Z. hospitals. Virtually all of those are for "cultural/religious" reasons, not medical! Also, I meant "Wellington" not "Wellinton".

  • In reply to whatUneverknew:

    Well, if this baby is a boy I guess he'll be plenty different. He'll have a long, crazy greek last name, a hippy first name, there's a possibility he might be special needs AND he will have a crazy blogger for a mother. I guess a different-looking penis is just one more thing in the soup.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I am from Europe and have lived here and all over Europe. As a kid I always laughed at the idea of the circumcision. I always thought is was funny to have your penis look like a mushroom. I guess it makes sense that not having the extra skin can help you avoid bacteria but I never had an issue. I have never had issues with any of the women I have been with. I have always had positive feedback but I am not sure if the extra skin makes a difference sexually. I just don't get the idea of cutting off a piece of your body. I actually like mine a lot more then having it changed. It looks distinguished and sleek, kind of like a submarine.(just kidding)Anyway, I would hope to not have my sons penis changed from its natural state. It is his penis, not mine. If he wants a circumcision, that can be discussed as he gets older.

  • In reply to SeanO:

    I will remember you in the hospital. "But honey! It's a submarine!" Lolz.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I think it ultimately comes down to whether you view circumcision as a horrible mutilation or not. The procedure is simple and low risk, and there are real health benefits, but they are not so great that it's an essential thing. So, if you think it's mutilation, don't do it. Your kid will probably be fine. But if you don't think it's mutilation, it's probably a good idea.

    Note that I'm not considering the religious/social angles here - just the medical.

  • In reply to jenbones:

    Honestly the thing that got me thinking about the issue was a hospital website that showed a baby's penis right after the procedure. It horrified me! That poor little boo was all red and sad looking. The healed version looks perfectly normal to me, of course, but that picture changed my feelings.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Our pedi told us the rate of infection/cancer from being uncirc'd is 1% and the rate of possible disfigurement/infection/etc with circ'ing is 1%. So your odds are the same medically speaking. Now if old fashioned drs and nurses wouldn't prematurely retract intact boys the infection rate of uncirc'd boys would go down(and possibly the cancer rate, who knows what causes penile cancer).....

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    "Now if old fashioned drs and nurses wouldn't prematurely retract intact boys the infection rate of uncirc'd boys would go down(and possibly the cancer rate, who knows what causes penile cancer"

    Penile cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus. There is now a vaccine against this virus. Which is more appropriate, a needle prick or surgery to address this?

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    The best site I've found for TONS of info is http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html. I highly recommend reading the many articles. We have 3 intact sons, who have never had any problems at all. I didn't know anything about this subject when our oldest was born, but I sure wasn't going to have part of his healthy, perfect penis cut off! That makes no sense at all, when you strip away the fact that it is done to babies every day in this country and is often considered normal. So is cutting off clitorises in other places. My husband initially wanted our oldest cut so he wouldn't be "different." Now, he greatly wishes he was also intact. He never knew what had been taken from him. Now he knows he is missing the most sexually sensitive part of his penis. What man wouldn't want all the penis and feeling he can get? :) I've never heard anyone say they regretted keeping a son intact, but have read many heart wrenching letters from parents who regret more than anything having a son cut. I know two people who watched their sons get circed, and they both said how horrible it was. Oh, and our boys are horrified at the idea of having part of their penises cut off, and do NOT want to "match" Dad. I'm so glad you are doing research on this critical decision, and I wish you all the best with your new baby. :)

  • In reply to jenbones:

    "Your kid will probably be fine."

    But what if he's not? Every year, more than 200 infants die of complications of their circumcisions and many more are left horribly disfigured. Two recent court cases awarded more than $13 million in compensatory damages from botched circumcisions and that was just one lawyer!

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    The only reason boys were circumcised was due to religion. If you look at all the studies nothing conclusive has come about to make it a health issue. A great place to start would be a facebook group called "saving penises". Lots of good reference material that can be researched beyond their site to prove its the real deal. Both my husband and my son are not circumcised and I have never ever had a problem with my son and my husband has never had a problem either. its not as big of a deal as it is put out there... very easy to clean and teach him to clean. My boy was doing it alone by 2 years. For me not doing it to my son was all the scary news articles I read about it going wrong and ending up with a boy that had no sensation or even worse, no penis at all. I could not imagine cutting the perfect baby I created when he had no medical problems! He was born just the way he should be. :) Good luck with your decision:)

  • In reply to klmomma:

    It makes so much sense that it would be a religious thing. Of course. Well we're not even religious so this really makes no sense!

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    My 2 sons are uncut and it was never an issue because I had them in Guatemala where it's not a common practice. You have some good points but let me just say A) I wouldn't worry much about what other people think, more and more parents are choosing NOT to cut and by the time the kid grows up, he won't be the minority, B) It's SO easy to clean uncut penis' you wouldn't believe it. Just like you wouldn't be washing inside a girl's vagina, there's no need to poke around under the foreskin. When your son gets older and the foreskin naturally retracts, he can pull it back and soap up, easy peasy.

    And, on the condom issue . . . it's not a big deal, trust me. :) A slight difference in technique, but it's definitely not something that would make a guy think "Meh, why bother?"

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    "Thanks for your input! I hadn't heard from a regretful circumcised person yet, which is really the demographic I'm looking for"

    I'm one of those! I discovered the difference at about 7 years old and have hated it ever since. You can go to www.norm.org and find many more. About 4 or 5 years ago, their membership crested the 100,000 figure so we know there are at least that many that disagree with their parent's decision to circumcise them.

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    For what it's worth, my brother wasn't circumcised, and I asked him what life was like, and he never once was teased about it or had any problems. I asked him about it when we found out we were having a boy, and he helped make it easier for me to leave my son with his foreskin.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    The trend to not circumcise is relatively new only gaining momentum in the past 10 years or so. You simply can not compare the experiences of men more than 20 years apart in this issue. Those widely divergent age groups will not be comparing their equipment.

    Frank

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    I thought about that and then realized I'd rather walk around with 'weird' genitals that are natural than 'weird' genitals that have had surgery. I didn't circumcise my sons. Teenage boys have the potential for unhappiness either way, and I realized I'd rather a son who was unhappy with the natural state, and could get it changed of his own volition, than a son who was unhappy with what I'd done, and had no options to change it.

    The other consideration was that I did as a teen walk around with what I thought was a 'weird' vagina. I was anxious about it for a few years because I have long labia. After some more research and growing up I figured it's not that unusual and I learnt to love it, when I got a partner I loved it even more because, TMI, but they're damn sensitive to a tongue. Imagine if my parents had cut my labia off! I most probably wouldn't have felt weird but I would have been missing out and not known it, as well as felt violated.

    Hope those convoluted thoughts made sense. Good luck.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    My father is also circumcised (as am I, story above), but my brother is not, and it has caused no issues in our family. There is no way I would want to be circumcised as an adult. Having stitches around the head of your penis, which is the most sensitive part, is extremely painful and uncomfortable. I can't remember exactly how long recovery was start to finish, but it was very unpleasant.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    I have to smirk a bit at that because I gave birth and yes, that is more natural than circumcision, the stitches are no picnic!

    I completely see your point though and you're right - OUCH! At least I got a baby out of my deal.

  • In reply to chibbz:

    It is a very different situation now and a child is most likely to be teased if he is circumcised since he will be in the minority. That's not the way it should be but will most likely be the way it is.

    Frank

  • In reply to chibbz:

    Hey mama..sad story for son #1..and if you almost cried yourself to death..that is NOT hormones it's maternal instinct to protect your infant from harm. I wanted to say there are many, many parents (moms AND dad) keeping future sons intact after cutting one...please check out these brave folks facebook pages:Keeping Future Sons Intact and 2nd Son/2nd Chance and as always use drmomma.org as a reference!!I also have a few momma friends who cut their first and left their 2nd intact after becoming more informed. Blessings!
    http://www.facebook.com/FutureSons
    2nd Son/2nd Chance :Parents who say NEVER AGAIN to Circumcision
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691889000&v=info#!/profile.php?id=1216298264&v=info&ref=ts

  • In reply to doulamomma:

    Also they *appear* to be sleeping or even asleep through the procedure but I assure it's called *neurogenic shock* google it..:(

  • In reply to doulamomma:

    This is a great thread and post by the way. Lots of good opinions and refreshing comments to stimulate the noggin.

    Anyway, I just wanted to add some comments regarding the reduction of incidence of HIV and STD's... the data that demonstrated decreased incidence of HIV/STD's among circumcised men came from trials done in Africa, not the US and Europe. I've read the data, and it is actually worth noting... not because this population is representative of an American cross-section, but rather the theories behind the data beg the question: why do uncircumcised men have less reported rates of HIV, HSV, and HPV? There is a good article in Scientific American that highlights these points (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=circumcision-penis-microbiome-hiv-infection), but I thought I would summarize.

    Different bacteria accumulate on the uncircumcised penis in comparison to the circumcised penis. It is these bacteria (anaerobic species) that create a chronic, smoldering inflammation of the penis that incites a persistent state of heightened immunity in that area. However, as with all areas of the body that deviate from a normal resting state of immunity, the penis may "burn out" its protection, and may not be able to ward off all the potential microbes trying to infect the it (namely viruses). It is this entry point in which the HIV virus, the HPV visrus, and the herpes virus has an advantage for entry in the uncircumcised penis.

    Ultimately, there is some science behind those theories and there may be added health benefits to an otherwise barbaric act. At least something to consider, but as it has been stated earlier it is a personal choice that each family makes... not necessarily a medical gold standard of care.

  • In reply to rabbit754:

    "Anyway, I just wanted to add some comments regarding the reduction of incidence of HIV and STD's... the data that demonstrated decreased incidence of HIV/STD's among circumcised men came from trials done in Africa, not the US and Europe. I've read the data, and it is actually worth noting... not because this population is representative of an American cross-section, but rather the theories behind the data beg the question: why do uncircumcised men have less reported rates of HIV, HSV, and HPV"

    The studies you refer to were performed by lifelong circumcision advocates and have major problems. The most glaring problem is that the expected results are not seen in countries where circumcision is prevalent and where it is not.

    They claim a prophylactic effect to the polio vaccine that eliminated the disease from this country in a single generation. This would have eliminated the chance of the disease from ever becoming established in The US. That is not the case and The US has the highest HIV infection rate of all the industrialized nations. Even more evidence is seen in The US. The demographic group with the highest circumcision rate, African Americans, also has the highest HIV infection rate by a wide margin.

    "Different bacteria accumulate on the uncircumcised penis in comparison to the circumcised penis"

    This is also not true. Bacteria, virals and fungals (yeasts) can not discriminate between a circumcised or uncircumcised penis nor can they discern or discriminate between male and female cells. This means that the bacterials, virals and fungals that males contract are the exact same bacterials, virals and fungals that females contract and they are equally susceptible to the exact same medications. Treatment for males and females and the expected outcomes of successful treatment are exactly the same.

    "Ultimately, there is some science behind those theories"

    Yes, it is known as "junk science."

    Frank

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    FrankOHara,

    Please read:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=circumcision-penis-microbiome-hiv-infection

    Bacterium don't "discriminate" where they populate on the body, but rather respond to the type of environment that is most favorable to their proliferation. The anaerobes or non-oxygen utilizing bacterium proliferate in greater numbers on the uncircumcised penis because there is greater redundancy of skin folds that favors a hypoxic environment. This not junk science... this is fact.

    I have no opinion either way for or against circumcision. When my child is born in November, my wife and I will be making that choice as well. I surfaced this article to help better inform the respondents on this thread... not to provide cannon fodder for the pro-circumcision camp.

  • In reply to rabbit754:

    "Bacterium don't "discriminate" where they populate on the body, but rather respond to the type of environment that is most favorable to their proliferation. The anaerobes or non-oxygen utilizing bacterium proliferate in greater numbers on the uncircumcised penis because there is greater redundancy of skin folds that favors a hypoxic environment. This not junk science... this is fact."

    jrwe00, do you realize that there are both beneficial and destructive bacterium? Certianly there are bacterium on all parts of the body and they are necessary for good health for the most part. For instance, after a regimine of antibiotics, it is helpful to eat yogurt as it contains the beneficial bacterium that is essential for good health. Eating yogurt re-populates the body with these bacterium that are destroyed by the antibiotics. After a regimine of antibiotics, a popular and effective homeopathic remedy is to rub plain unsweetened yogurt on the penis and/or vulva to re-establish these beneficial bacterial populations to avoid yeast infections.

    Congratulations on the impending birth of your child. You are fortunate to have found this discussion at this time. Either way you go, you'll be much better informed to make a right decision.

    Frank

  • In reply to rabbit754:

    While I did not read the posts from commentors, I did read the article, and I have a serious correction to make. I am certain that others above have probably already pointed this out, but the statement that your son will match 90% of American males is grossly inaccurate! That statement would have held true a generation ago, but a lot has changed in the last few decades. The national average when my son was born in 1996 was 65%. Since then it has been halved, and the latest official count was 35%, which means the circumcised group has officially become the minority, which IMO is great news.
    I also wanted to correct you about condom usage. It is no more difficult for a man with foreskin to use a condom. Trust me. :)
    Hygiene is simple. Wash every day. Women smell if they don't wash too! We don't cut their bits off, do we?? For cryin' out loud, what a silly excuse!
    I applaud your standpoint that a person should consent, and as you said, it can always be done later. He can take it off later, if he chooses, but he can never put it back on if YOU choose to remove it! It is HIS BODY. HE should decide if he wants to keep it whole. Plenty of men are "fine" with being circumcised, but there are plenty that are not. I can guarantee that what you DO know about circumcision pales in comparison to what you DON'T know. Look into it more. It is risky and painful. Doctors make a lot of money convincing people that this is a good idea. Doctors are now being sued by grown men that they circumcised,for removing healthy, functioning tissue without consent of the individual. Just google circumcision litigation and see what you find. You will be surprised. Bottom line, it is nobody's right to take away part of somebody else's body. The penis belongs to the boy it is attached to. Show that child, and the man he will someday become, a little bit more respect. From one Chicagoland mom to another, good luck with your pregnancy and delivery! Peace!

  • In reply to charleen:

    That figure is for all WHITE American males, not broken into age groups. The numbers may be slipping for the under-5 crowd but there are a lot of old circumcised men out there bringing the tally up.

    Source: http://www.circinfo.net/rates_of_circumcision.html

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    VelvetJinxx, the 90% figure is not and never has been accurate except on a very localized basis. The circumcision rate nationally has never been 90% for any race or age group except for Jews. Until the early 1980's, the circumcision rate for whites did exceed that of blacks but thanks to the Medicaid program, the rate for blacks exceeded that of whites and has ever since. The overall tally (for all age groups of adults) is +/- 80% but for those less than 10 years old, less than 60%. In immigrant populations, the percentage would probably be less than 10%.

    This is a trend that is changing rapidly. In just the past 10 years, the rate for white and black babies has changed from 59% to 32.5%. Most likely in the next 10 years it will fall again by half or more. Circumcision was a fad and like all fads, when it begins to go out of favor, it goes quickly. It is very unlikely that your grandsons if you have any will be circumcised.

    Those older circumcised males will not be important to your son. What will be important is the boys/men his age and they will be mostly left alone to glory in all their body.

    I'm curious. What if you do decide to have him circumcised and as a teenager, he discovers all the information posted here and does not agree with your decision. What will you tell him are your reason for cutting off what he may regard as a very important part of his genitals? My parents narrowly avoided an uncomfortable situation like this. My Dad had already passed away and my Mom passed away about the same time I discovered this issue. I am not happy that they took this away from me. I think I had a right to experience my penis the way it was designed to function.

    .

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Frank, I've given you plenty of voice in this forum, but I'm not going to respond to any more nastiness directed at me. I'm not changing my post and I have no obligation to report to you in regards to the decision I make.

    Honestly, the meaner the anti camp gets the less real voice you have.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Dear Mama of this post..your figures come from a Brian J morris site who is notoriosu for his circumfetish. The cdc and aap have ALL come out to say that his info incorrect and they DO NOT sanction his numbers...and that he has grossly misquoted them. Anything brian j morris is false and without basis. To learn more see drmomma.org.

  • In reply to doulamomma:

    I'm not changing my post. These are my thoughts and there is plenty of more information available from you nice people here in the comments if people would like to get their statistics from other sources.

    "There are lies, damn lies and statistics."

    The truth is, most white American males, especially in my midwestern region of the US are indeed circumcised. This is one element of the pro argument and I am keeping it in the post.

    I have the option to close comments and I will utilize this option if I am further bullied to change the piece. It is precisely this bullying by the anti segment which shuts the open ears of the curious. People do not want militant badgering.

    I feel I presented this issue in a neutral, open-minded manner which is unique. Usually this devolves into the very anti-circ crowd preaching to its own choir. I have been MORE than open to the anti camp. The fact that I'm even giving this consideration and a voice on the Chicago Tribune server in mainstream media should be enough to satisfy the anti voice.

    The post is not changing. Thank you for understanding.

  • In reply to VelvetMinxx:

    Jinxx, no one is suggesting/asking/demanding that you change anything. You submitted a writing with space for comments and that is what you are getting.

    However, this latest post leads me to believe you are not getting the kind of comments you wanted. This is an issue that always gets many comments and if you will check out other similar sites, you will find that all of them show the same results. The American culture and especially those in their child bearing years have changed drastically in recent years. America is quickly changing to a non-circumcising culture. The recent statistics indicate the majority are the "anti-circ crowd."

    You are quite correct that " most white American males, especially in my midwestern region of the US are indeed circumcised." but men 40 or 50 years older than your son will not be very important to him. What will influence him most is his contemporaries and 67.5% of them will not be circumcised as shown by the latest survey.

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    Jenna,
    I agree, sometimes the anti-circ crowd can be very "down your throat" about their views. I know, I am part of that crowd. But I do want to say, please filter out the radicals and ignore the hate. I think humans should be able to talk about circ/no circ in an adult manner without using red hot words such as mutilate, etc.
    I think Frank (whomever he is...) has some valid points, but he does come across as over the top and annoying.
    If you ever want to chat privately about not circing your potential son and would like to speak with someone who is mommy to an intact boy (actually 2 intact boys), please email. I assume that my email address shows for you?
    Anyways, I hope some of the obnoxious people don't scare you away from this topic!

  • In reply to ejmeyer:

    I'm actually very pleased to see such a strong anti momentum! It's great and I hope the rest of the world starts to see it that way. But for me as a journalist I have to keep the article balanced with what I feel are the right facts. Stats can be debated, sure, but I truly took the one I felt was the most accurate.

    And with that, I will now close the comments on this article. If anyone would like to email me privately I can be reached at jennakarene@gmail.com.

    Perhaps I will reopen the topic in the future.

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    The pros to circumcision
    "- His nether regions will match 90% of other white American males"
    2007 US circ. rate is 32.5% reported be CDC worker at International AIDS Conference.

    "- Apparently it is easier to put a condom on a circumcised penis."
    You're not thinking. With the foreskin pulled back it looks much like a circumcised penis so does this statement make sense? You'll like this: Pulling the foreskin back and putting on a condom rather locks the condom from being pulled off. The condom can get caught between the glans and foreskin. Retracting the foreskin frees the condom.

    "- I'm not a guy, but they say on the interwebs it's a hygiene issue. Let's pretend I'm not mortified right now."
    If you can't teach you son to wash then this is really a bad refection on you. But I had a guy say he chose circumcision because he just couldn't keep odor down to HIS liking. His father was circumcised but if he had the father of another intact guy I've talked to who's intact father taught him to put a drop of baby oil on the glans this may not have been a problem. Problems are possible when using soap on the inner foreskin. The foreskin keeps a balanced pH. Soap unless pH balanced can wreck this balance. Logical if you think about the inner foreskin is like the inside of the mouth and vagina. One wouldn't put soap there. Bubble baths are the worst. Know that the foreskin has musk apocrine glands for attraction. Taking these away must too affect having sex. The foreskin naturally cleans itself- smegma (Greek for nature's soap). The moist environment under the foreskin makes for faster healing. And a personal experience, if I had my foreskin, I would not have a permanent dark mark at the my glans meatus. The foreskin would have protected and healed itself nicely. Again personal experience, the foreskin protects the glans from "hair guillotine" from mates long hair wrapping around the glans sulcus.
    There may be some STD protection, but assuming that your child is going to become a promiscuous sex fiend and punishing him on that assumption by amputating parts of his genitals is not only disrespectful to the child but admission of being incapable of parenting.

    Arguments against circumcision:
    I agree with everything except:
    "Surgically removing 20% of the surface of a sensitive, healthy organ.."
    Circumcision removes 1/3 to 1/2 of the penile skin. Most men can pullback their foreskin down to the base. That's 1/2.

    Circumcision cut off 65%-85%*, which leaves 15% located at the glans corona which fight the more populous pain/thermal receptors located throughout the glans, ratio 5%/95%. *(85% when the frenulum is scrapped off: infant; cut out adult). That's why men without their frenulum say "If I had anymore sensitivity, I would die of a heart attack." They are not feeling the 15% pleasurable receptors because they are overpowered by pain receptors.
    Circumcision cuts off the 5 most sensitive parts of the penis. (Sorrells et al)

    Circumcision destroys the sexual function of the Dartos Muscle. The dartos tenses with erection thus creating a one piece solid skin tube wher any action on the shaft is transferred to act on the erogenous TAYLOR"S ridged Band, and through its loop to the erogenous frenulum, this action is transferred to act on the frenulum. No action on the shaft is wasted. All action acts on these erogenous structures, the ridged band and frenulum.

    Circumcision always cuts off all of the Ridged Band and part to all of the Frenulum. All action on the shaft is wasted to act on the Ridged Band and Frenulum. Action must be applied directly to the Frenulum remnant, is any exists.

    Circumcision negatively affects male fertility. healthvene dot com/factors-affecting-male-fertility/Circumcision.

    Circumcision kills parts of the brain as cells no longer receiving neural impulses atrophy and die. Then adjacent brain cells grow into this space chaotically (brain reorganizing).

    Circumcision lowers the pain threshold without proper anesthesia. It's the body telling you to stop hurting yourself in order to protect yourself fro further harm. If you keep hurting in severe degrees, the body thinks your not getting the message and so lowers the pain threshold so you'll get the message. Newborn circumcision with local dorsal penile nerve block doesn't work. cpj.sagepub.com/content/25/8/412.abstract. Most infant circumcision are not done with anesthesia becuase they don't work well and carry many possible complications. Newborns feel pain more becuase their senses are heightened in order to survive. They will slide up the mother's belly, licking their hands of amniotic fluid in order to smell and find the breast sweat of amniotic fluid. Newborns are sensitive to light and dark and circular shapes to find the areola to latch on the nipple. So imagine this heightened pain when Nelson Mandela said his circumcision was blinding white light of electrical fire that burned throughout all his veins.
    The foreskin is so sensitive the Viet Cong used lit cigarettes to torture.

    Circumcision opens the possibility of contracting MRSA infection. MRSA-Warning: Baby boys in trouble at Beth Israel Hospital glorialemay.com/blog/?p=110

    Circumcision sexual handicaps. Circumcision upsets the delicate balance of spiritual & physical elements that holds our sexuality in harmony with Universal ideal.

    Circumcision make the penis smaller by average 3/8 inch. This can be gained back with restoration. Studies show infant circumcision may cause a "sense of reduced penile size" and a "diminished sense of maleness." ow.ly/13G4i

    Brain Visualization Research during Male Infant Circumcision by Dr. Paul D. Tinari Ph.D.
    (2010) Infant #circumcision causes 117 neonatal deaths/year in US, 115 die of SIDS, 44 die of suffocation
    Sanger chairing International Planned Parenthood: No-Brainer Syndrome: the HPV Vaccine and Male Circumcision
    bit.ly/ZDEfA Imagine having penile wounding that must be torn apart everyday for a year.
    James Prescott "The Origins of Human Love and Violence"
    Psychological Effects of Circumcision by Gocke Cansever
    "The Lost List" What is lost to circumcision and what can be restored.
    Scientists suggest infant circumcision may lead to "irrational rage reactions" and "anger and violence toward women." ow.ly/13Fk4 #i2

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    My husband and I never discussed having our son circumcised until the day that he was supposed to have it done. Actually, the doctor was on the way to the hospital. Being that our son was already in the NICU, my husband said he didn't want him to have it done. I called the hospital and told them to forget it. The nurse sounded kind of pissy, but I didn't care, we figured he's already been through so much in his short life, and I wouldn't get there in time to be able to comfort him. I am SO glad I listened to my husband. If this next baby is a boy. He's staying intact. Good luck with your decision, and it is yours and your husbands, don't let anyone tell you any b.s.

  • In reply to FrankOHara:

    Sure, jrwe00, the bacteria are different on a man's penis after he is circumcised, but so what? Is there any evidence that they are "better" bacteria? Our whole skin surface is covered with more billions and billions of bacteria than even Carl Sagan could imagine, and they usually serve a useful purpose - fighting off worse bacteria, for one thing.

    You can bet that the bacteria under an intact man's foreskin are very similar to those under an intact woman's clitoral prepuce, and around her labia minora, etc. Do you even think for a moment of cutting those away to somehow make her "cleaner"? If not, why not?

    The US has a phobia about "germs" and a fetish for "hygiene" that baffles the rest of the civilised world.

  • In reply to doulamomma:

    I would like to say as a proud mother of a intact son (one who was even hospitalized at two weeks fora UTI and is STILL intact) it's the best thing ever...I think that no matter what when you see your son..perfect at birth..beautiful as he is..it will help you make your decision the way all the facts never will. Hold him..look at him..nurse him at your breast and then imagine him being strapped down..screaming..babies have even cried so hard they've ruptured their stomachs..and having his most sensitive part of his body cut apart...I think you will have your decision. My husband is intact also and as a woman I can honestly say I do ONLY have that mythical orgasm from intercourse..EVERY.TIME..b/c DH is intact and his sexuality is fuctioning as it should or as it was intended and therefore MY body is experiencing sex as it was intended for me..with an amazing, gliding, self lubricating, intact member.WOOT!! your son will thank you for leaving him intact and so will his future wife. Circumcision hurts women too!!

  • In reply to doulamomma:

    Wow! You paint quite a picture! *blushes*

    (*considers waking husband up*)

  • I really respect your opinion! Thank you so much for weighing in. Maybe it's not as big of a deal as I thought?

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