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Circumcision???

So its not the Ball thread....but i have a serious question. I am so torn about whether or not to circumcise this little guy. I was convinced for a while that I was not going to, but today after talking to a different pediatrician, I felt like it would be ok if I did.

I know there is no medical reason to do it....I've researched it a bunch but I'm just not sure what's best for the boy~now and for his whole life. I don't want him to feel funny if he still has his foreskin, but on the other hand, it seems like such a pointless surgery (purely cosmetic) and that it would hurt!

It seems that there is a recent trend of NOT doing it, and in most parts of the world it is not customary....

I'd love to hear from both boys and girls on this topic, and share any experiences you have had with circed and non-circed penises. Do you prefer one type over the other?

I have (heard) sex is better with penises that are still intact (non-circed) for both the boy and the girl.....and in many ways I feel like its there for a reason (even heard that the foreskin secretes a lubricant)

What would you do???!!! 
If you had a penis, would you want it circed or not???

(another reason I was hoping for a girl.....)

If you are looking for any info on circumcision, I would recommend checking out my group:
http://www.cafemom.com/group/13109/
I was with my sons when they were circumcised and they honestly didn't feel a thing. Here is a video link of a (modern) circumcision if it would help:

If a mother has her daughter's labia cut off, it would help for local anaesthetic to be used, but it wouldn't make it right.

That's a pro-circumcision group, so only really worth checking out if you want pro-circumcision information.  In common with most other pro-circ forums, they don't allow anyone to present opposing points of view.  On their front page, they say
We do not want to debate whether this procedure is "right" or "wrong".

Says it all really.  (anti-circ forums generally allow pro-circers to comment, and debate with them).

If anyone's going to check that out, then they should also check out this group for the opposing view:
http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/

Or better still, why not see what the medical organisations say:
American Academy of Pediatrics
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;103/3/686
Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision.

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/clinical/clinicalrecs/circumcision.html
Neonatal circumcision is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. However, little is known about the long-term risks and benefits. There have been few methodologically generalizable prospective studies concerning medical outcomes.

The AAFP Commission on Science has reviewed the literature regarding neonatal circumcision. Evidence from the literature is often conflicting or inconclusive. Most parents base their decision whether or not to have their newborn son circumcised on nonmedical preferences (i.e. religious, ethnic, cultural, cosmetic). The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son.

Canadian Paediatric Society
http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/fn/fn96-01.htm
Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed

Canadian Pediatric Society: Information for parents
http://www.cps.ca/caringforkids/pregnancy&babies/circumcision.htm
Circumcision is a "non-therapeutic" procedure, which means it is not medically necessary. Parents who decide to circumcise their newborns often do so for religious, social or cultural reasons. To help make the decision about circumcision, parents should have information about risks and benefits. It is helpful to speak with your baby’s doctor.

RACP Policy Statement on Circumcision
http://www.racp.edu.au/download.cfm?DownloadFile=A453CFA1-2A57-5487-DF36DF59A1BAF527
After extensive review of the literature the Royal Australasian College of Physicians reaffirms that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision. (their bolding.  The circumcision rate in Australia and New Zealand was over 90% in 1950, so most of the the doctors responsible for this policy will be circumcised themselves, or married to circumcised men.)

British Medical Association: The law and ethics of male circumcision - guidance for doctors
http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/malecircumcision2006?OpenDocument&Highlight=2,circumcision#Circumcisionformedicalpurposes
Circumcision for medical purposes:
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.
...
Non-therapeutic male circumcision:
There is a spectrum of views within the BMA’s membership about whether non-therapeutic male circumcision is a beneficial, neutral or harmful procedure or whether it is superfluous, and whether it should ever be done on a child who is not capable of deciding for himself. The medical harms or benefits have not been unequivocally proven but there are clear risks of harm if the procedure is done inexpertly.

National Health Service (UK)
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?articleId=649
Many people have strong views about whether circumcision should be carried out or not. It is not routinely performed in the UK because there is no clear clinical evidence to suggest that it is has any medical benefit.

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Maybe this belongs in the EFF Club, but I think it's interesting that for men it is only called 'circumcision' but for women it is called 'genital mutiliation'.  Sort of like calling cows 'beef' to make it sound nicer.  I think we should all start calling male circumcision 'genital mutilation', too.

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It is really a personal thing.  Since I had my son at home, I didn't take him in to have healthy tissue cut off of his body...I have never done anything "special" hygiene wise and he has never had any issues. 

I do think that the procedure is done with out anesthetic, which just seems cruel.  My son will soon be seven, so I haven't researched it in a while....I think at the time around 50% were not having it done.  So if you are concerned about him feeling "different", there will probably be a lot of other intact boys/eventually men in his age bracket.

Circumcision seems normal in the US. In some countries girls are circumcised and we freak out about how awful that is but ironically we do the same thing to the boys here.

I guess that an intact penis "feels" better to the man and his partner...and supposedly helps prevent problems such as impotence or loss of sensation on the head...um, is this tmi...lol, I used to research this a lot, can you tell?

Its really up to you and your family. I'm sure whatever you decide will be fine.  Did you have Noah circumcised?  Do you think it would matter to the boys if one was and one wasn't?

The process of a male being circumisized is totally different than a female being circumsized. When a male is circumsized just the foreskin is taken off when they are a newborn and too  young to remember when they are older. When a female is cicumsized, she is held against her will when she is usually about four to eight years old usually and her clitoris is cut off, sometimes along with her labia and sometimes even more cruel things are done. I don't know about anyone else, but its not really a fair comparison

I think it is a fair comparison.  I don't think that we as adults have the right to surgically remove healthy tissue from a child regardless of age or methods. 

I understand your point that female circumcision "rituals" are much more horrendous than the newborn surgery done in the US.  However, I don't feel that is what this thread is about.

I feel all genital mutilation is wrong and neither is the lesser evil. 

eta:  mdv, kinda summed up what I am feeling.  As vegans, we always hear arguments about how some methods of killing animals are more humane than others...or that animals don't recognize pain as humans do...to me this is all bunk.  I feel all methods of slaughter are wrong.  None are more "friendly", regardless of the terminology used to describe it.

Same goes for circumcision.  I believe it to be fundamentally wrong at all levels.  Often it is defended on the premise that the infant is too young to remember or doesn't feel pain the same way, etc...

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Yeah, I know there are different kinds of female genital mutilation, but I read somewhere (don't ask me where it was a while ago) that those were the most common kind. I just think this is worse than with males because the clitoris is removed or damaged and its sole purpose is for sexual pleasure. Men don't seem to lose any ability to enjoy sex when their foreskin is removed.
I guess it's just a matter of opinion as to whether its worse or not than with males and to me it seems much worse.

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as many of you know, i teach soc of gender courses. i put this reading in my reader for my fall class, and i think it fits in here.

The Tyranny of the Esthetic
http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/1998summer/su98coventry.php

it is a story written about female genital surgery and intersex children. i was debating about commenting on the "genital mutilation" m/f circ discussion but opted out.

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Yeah, I know there are different kinds of female genital mutilation, but I read somewhere (don't ask me where it was a while ago) that those were the most common kind. I just think this is worse than with males because the clitoris is removed or damaged and its sole purpose is for sexual pleasure. Men don't seem to lose any ability to enjoy sex when their foreskin is removed.
I guess it's just a matter of opinion as to whether its worse or not than with males and to me it seems much worse.

It is true that there are various degrees of FGM from symbolic pin pricks to total mutilation. So depending on the society the 'version' of FGM practiced could be more or less damaging but in much of the world ALL forms of FGM are illegal even the 'symbolic' ones. My feeling is that boys deserve the same consideration. Nothing is lost leaving the choice to the boy and the vast majority wouldn't choose it anyway.

as many of you know, i teach soc of gender courses. i put this reading in my reader for my fall class, and i think it fits in here.

The Tyranny of the Esthetic
http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/1998summer/su98coventry.php

it is a story written about female genital surgery and intersex children. i was debating about commenting on the "genital mutilation" m/f circ discussion but opted out.

I don't know if this fits into your curriculum but you might be interested in this article published in this article published late last year in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, it's an Australian publication I believe.

Its very thought provoking. 

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JC, This really got me thinking.....
I guess if I was circed at birth I would be used to whatever I had left, but then if I found out about it later I might be curious or angry as well, and there's no going back!
I feel bad for your bf right now!
Hopefully later on it will weed out the superficial girls for him (as many of you have said!)

I have been with both, and at first when I saw that an ex-boyfriend was uncircumcised, I was like "Woah! I've never seen THAT before!" I was surprised, but then I really didn't mind. It's as someone said... if a girl is going to leave based on that... well... he'd be better off.

It seems that not circumcising is becoming more common, so it may be that he wouldn't even need to worry about a girl being surprised.

Also, I mentioned this thread to my boyfriend because VegWeb makes me think of all sorts of things I normally wouldn't consider... like how I feel on the subject of circumcision. Well, he said "Am I circumcised?"

I was like "Uh... yes, dear." Then he went about doing his own research on it... and he seems almost upset that his penis was altered and he didn't even have any choice! He's still reading about foreskin now... and I think he feels a little jealous and like he missed out. So... maybe that will help you out right there.

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I'm glad my post helped you out. I was hoping it would. After J's reaction to finding out he was basically "missing" a part of himself that he was born with and never even knowing about it, I'm really thinking if we ever have a son we won't do the circumcision thing. I would just hate to make that decision for a baby boy and have them grow up and say "Why did they do that to me?"

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I don't know if this fits into your curriculum but you might be interested in this article published in this article published late last year in Medical Anthropology Quarterly, it's an Australian publication I believe.

Its very thought provoking. 

looks interesting! i'll have to give it a read. i do a lot of stuff with surgury and intersexed children (big debate) but this might fit into the whole issue. we'll see.

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I say remove it. It is more hygienic since bathroom stalls don't provide any means of cleaning it (i've heard that being uncircumcised means you nead to clean under the forskin after peeing). Also, I think it is more "well accepted" visually by romantic partners later in life. If I'm mistaken or if "other factors" outweigh aesthetics I am interested to know. I'm biased though; heck I don't even like turtleneck shirts/sweaters (I think they were invented to hide hickies btw) 

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(i've heard that being uncircumcised means you nead to clean under the forskin after peeing).

I'm not sure if that's true.  I've only ever heard of daily washing during your normal shower.  ???

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(i've heard that being uncircumcised means you nead to clean under the forskin after peeing).

I'm not sure if that's true.  I've only ever heard of daily washing during your normal shower.  ???

That sounds reasonable. As I've said, I really don't know much on the subject but I really cant help wondering if the interstitial area wouldn't be a possible reservoir for yeast or anaerobe colonization. Presumably daily upkeep would prevent that, but what if the poor little guy has sensitive skin or some other predisposing condition?

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wouldn't TP work? women have a lot of skin "down there" and they use TP to dry off when they are done.

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wouldn't TP work? women have a lot of skin "down there" and they use TP to dry off when they are done.

I'm sure it would, I was just observing that in public restroom, men are typically expected to pee in the urinals which don't supply tissue. It's not a huge deal for a guy to pee in a stall, but that behavior usually makes other guys assume someone is insecure or possibly even feminine. (Het males are raised in a culture that values acceptance in the het community)

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I can't believe this is even being presented as a reason to cut off the most sensitive part of a baby's penis.  :o

Let him make his own mind up when he's old enough.  It's his body...

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I can't believe this is even being presented as a reason to cut off the most sensitive part of a baby's penis.  :o

Let him make his own mind up when he's old enough.  It's his body...

Is it really the most sensitive part??? Maybe I am missing out on something...

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I can't believe this is even being presented as a reason to cut off the most sensitive part of a baby's penis.  :o

Let him make his own mind up when he's old enough.  It's his body...

Is it really the most sensitive part??? Maybe I am missing out on something...

Umm, well yeah.  It's not just there to protect the glans.  The glans itself isn't actually all that sensitive by comparison.  The inner foreskin (close to the rim) has way more nerve endings.  If you're circumcised, the most sensitive part is likely to be the scar line, or the frenulum (which may or may not have been left after the operation).

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I can't believe this is even being presented as a reason to cut off the most sensitive part of a baby's penis.  :o

Let him make his own mind up when he's old enough.  It's his body...

Is it really the most sensitive part??? Maybe I am missing out on something...

Umm, well yeah.  It's not just there to protect the glans.  The glans itself isn't actually all that sensitive by comparison.  The inner foreskin (close to the rim) has way more nerve endings.  If you're circumcised, the most sensitive part is likely to be the scar line, or the frenulum (which may or may not have been left after the operation).

Yeah, that sounds about right. Thanks 

...You know, as an aside, I never ever thought I would be learning things about my penis on VegWeb  ::)

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My son was done and he never cried or anything.  My nephew was not circumcized and he had several problems with UTI's.  He actually was hospitalized when he was three for a severe one.  During the stay, his mother discussed the surgery with the pediatric urologist.  Dad, of course, was against it because he said that it would reduce his sensitivity.  The urologist's reply to this was "How would you know?"  In the end, they did it.  Its been four years and there haven't been any more problems. 

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i know that there can be some boys who have forskins that are too "closed" at the end, which can lead to problems with UTIs and whatnot. but i don't think this is the general case. (i was reading that in as nature made him, which is about a boy who's penis is burned off in a blotched circ. the parents were doing it b/c the forskin was causing medical issues for the boys b/c they were too small in the opening or something)

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