To circumcise or Not circumcise?!?!?!

Star - posted on 06/26/2011 ( 152 moms have responded )

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What percentage of boys, these days are still getting circumcised? I have 2 boys, a 12 and 2 year old (both not circumcised). My 12 year old was when I was a young, single mother. I did not have him circumcised primarily due to not being able to afford it, but also not liking the idea of it happening to him. When deciding on whether or not to have it done to my now 2 year old, my husband was ‘for it’ (being circumcised himself) but my oldest didn’t want his brother to be different than him. So we opted against it. My husband is growing more and more concerned that we didn’t do it. His main concern is the social implications it may have on them (teasing/locker rooms/dating/etc). Having talked with our 12 year old, who understands the difference, has said he’d be interested in doing it- if there was no pain involved and expressed that he wished I did it when he was a baby.

The pediatrian says that getting circumcised is becoming less common these days and I was just curious if that were true. I’m torn on whether or not circumcise them now (better late than never?) or just let it be a decision they make as an adult. How many boys out there are circumcised?

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Charlie - posted on 06/30/2011

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Tera said :

"i never even imagined not having in done, my son was circumcised at 1 day old. my biggest fear for him is to have a self image problem"

I find it odd that you dont want him to have a sellf image problem and yet from birth just by circumcising him for this reason you have essentially made it be known that his perfect little body was not good enough and had to be altered.

How about we teach our children to love themselves for who they are , love themselves in the body they were born in instead of conforming to possible bullies in the future .

The only way to teach good self image is to teach them to love themselves not to be slaves to ignorant bullies and bow to pressures, what next ? lipo for kids because people may call them fat ?

Jodi - posted on 06/29/2011

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Actually, Lauren, I think you will find that your experience is not indicative of the trend at all. In Mass. over 30% of boys are currently not circumcised. I wouldn't call that rare. And that statistic is acutally from 7 years ago, and given circumcision rates in GENERAL in the USA have dropped from 56% to 32% since 2006, I think there is a distinct probability that the circumcision rates in Mass. have also dropped.
http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/U...

http://www.circumcision.org/others.htm

Great website BTW:
http://www.circumcision.org

Krista - posted on 06/26/2011

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Your pediatrician is correct -- the numbers ARE dropping. You'll still see some regional variations, but overall, it's just not being done anywhere near as often. More and more medical bodies are recognizing the fact that there are no real medical benefits to circumcisions. It's now commonly viewed solely as a cosmetic procedure.

Your 12 year old might be asking about this due to your husband's attitude about it. He really should be more careful to not make your son feel ashamed about his natural body.

Personally, I'm very against circumcising babies unless there is an existing medical condition, and all other treatments have failed. It's his penis, it should be his choice. He won't experience any more pain than he would have as an infant -- people just think that babies don't feel the pain because more often than not, they go into shock and "sleep" through the procedure.

Kate CP - posted on 06/26/2011

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My son is intact and I'm happy to report no issues what-so-ever. If your sons want it done later then they can make that choice for themselves.

My feelings on it? Not my penis, not my choice.

Kate CP - posted on 06/30/2011

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An uncircumcised penis is NOT weird. It's natural, normal, and healthy.

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152 Comments

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Kathy - posted on 07/01/2011

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I felt that the choice of circumcision was up to my husband. He is not circumcised so my son is not also. I have gotton a lot flack because of my decision. My sister stressed that i should of don it. My son's doctor suggested it. but I stood by my decision and did not do it. so for any mom out there like Kate Capehart said "Not my Penis, Not my Decision"

Leslie - posted on 07/01/2011

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Hi Star, this is a very tough desicion but I believe that the desicion was already made? Mabye when the boys are grown and can decide for themseves what they would want to do it would be better?

Minnie - posted on 07/01/2011

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Ugh, yeah, does no one see the irony in circumcising a boy so he won't have a self-image problem?



"Love yourself, have good self-esteem, son, don't let anyone tell you you're not good enough, appreciate the differences in everyone, but remember, your penis is disgusting, so we had to chop part of it off."

Karin - posted on 07/01/2011

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We both chose not to circumcise after research and discussions with doctor, our parents and others. We did not feel that it was necessary. My son had to have a circumcision when he was 4 years old and I really wish we had done it when he was born. It was a tramatic experience for him at that age.

Charlie - posted on 06/30/2011

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In the US only around 30% of boys were circumcised as of 2010 when the last statistics were taken and this number is falling .



World wide 85% of men are intact .



No medical association world wide reccomends circ further more in most western countries ( apart from America) ver few doctors will even perform it.



Its good to see Americas finally catching up to the rest of the world who have known for a long time that RIC is a cosmetic procedure performed on an unconsenting person.



In the end it comes down to the childs basic human rights to genital integrity.



By the time your child is an adult if he remains intact he will be in the majority .....Circumcised boys in his age group are the minority.

Jennifer - posted on 06/30/2011

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Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared it is completely unnecessary and holds no medical merit. They do not suggest having it done unless there's a specific medical problem with your soon.

Jennifer - posted on 06/30/2011

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It's a matter of personal opinion. There are no medical ramifications for not circumsizing your son. I would not personally inflict pain that is not necessary on my own flesh and blood, but everybody's different.

Minnie - posted on 06/30/2011

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When my daughter was one week old we subjected her to a chest x-ray. I was a brand new parent and the nurses were worried about RSV...it turned out to be a head cold in a newborn, but I digress...



The gut-wrenching horror I felt in my maternal instincts as I had to hold my one-week old's arms straight above her head while a nurse held her legs straight down, and her on her back- I can't even describe the feelings.



A newborn wants NOTHING but to be nestled between his or her mother's breasts, nursing, arms and legs folded under the body. To be strapped, spread-eagle for the time it takes to prep for circumcision and the procedure itself goes against every fibre of that baby's being and you are so right, Michele, we have no idea how this affects babies subconsciously. We already know that periods of hard crying raise blood pressure and intracranial pressure and create similar effects as one going through a stroke- even if the baby is completely numbed up- this is seriously a detrimental procedure.



It's not just a little snip. I agree, what a way to enter the world.

Nadia - posted on 06/30/2011

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circumcision is definitely recommended i have 3 boys n all of them got it when they were few days old only, there is no much pain involved and its benifits are definitley way more than otherwise. i'll say go for it you'll be helping your kids and saving them from lots of diseases.

Tera - posted on 06/30/2011

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i never even imagined not having in done, my son was circumcised at 1 day old. my biggest fear for him is to have a self image problem, because his penis was weird. i know that might sound weird, but i didn't want that to be the reason he might resent me in the future, if that make any sense at all. i would say do it.

April - posted on 06/30/2011

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All i know is that I will never do it again to another son. It's a barbaric and strange custom.

Michele - posted on 06/30/2011

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In Canada it is free, but alot of parents feel the need to have it done. easier, cleaner, but my belief has been to the effect, "we don't alter our girls, why should we alter our boys, and didn't god give us what we have for a reason, I didn't think twice until 'peaceful parenting' circulated an article about how many deaths occur due to circumcision then I found out I was pregnant, then read an article by a nurse who was present during a circumcision and the fear, terror and pain she could hear in the babies crying, and right then I decided against it, what a way to bring a child into the world, then I attempted to watch a circumcision video, and could hardly get thru the part when they strap him down, I don't know how moms can sit and watch, especially with their own child....I am happy my boy is fully intact....no judgement, just my opinion.

Lauren - posted on 06/29/2011

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i am 25 and i again have all girls so i wouldnt have to make that decision..but i have only seen actually myself men/and changing diapers 2 uncircumcized penis' they are rare in mass as well USA

Amy Leeanne - posted on 06/29/2011

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@Katherine, it's pretty much 50/50 here in the US, and dropping. Here in California it is much less than that who are being circumcised.

Amber - posted on 06/29/2011

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The first time I had ever seen somebody uncircumcised, I was 23 years old, after that though, they started coming out of the wood work. Me, being as blunt and forward as I am, started asking all my guy friends, and their friends. That is when I started realizing it was more common than I had thought. I had done my research when I was pregnant with my first child, before I knew she was a girl, about not circumcising. I can't remember if the father was on board with it or not at the time, but that's where I had learned about how there are no real reasons for having it done. It's no dirtier than somebody who is, granted, it takes a couple extra seconds to keep it clean, but what's wrong with teaching a child proper hygiene in the first place? LOL I feel most kids who aren't circumcised have better hygiene habits because of the fact that society makes them believe that it's easier to get infected or catch a disease, so they tend to grow up paying better attention to that area. Probably one of the more positive things our society's fears have imposed on those who aren't circumcised. ^_^ I had one heck of a fight with family about my decision, only a couple were behind me on my decision. It's when I pierced both his ears at 3 months old that they showed more concern over him not being circumcised. Now, though, I only have a handful still saying I should get him cut, but the rest have accepted it. Now my biggest fight with family was over me having gotten both his ears pierced when he was 3 months old, but they are slowly getting over that too. My current boyfriend, he wants a boy (well TWIN boys) in 4 years, much to my dismay of having another kid. :/ Him and I are already in arguments over whether or not to circumcise. I'm hoping, if we make it that long, that his interaction with, and watching my son grow up, he will change his mind on the matter.

Katherine - posted on 06/29/2011

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Wow that's pretty amazing. I live in Michigan and everyone I know is circumcised.

Amber - posted on 06/29/2011

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@Katherine Collins - I live in the US...Illinois at that ^_^ My friends range from Illinois to Missouri

Katherine - posted on 06/29/2011

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@ Amber, where do you live? Just curious because here in the US it's so predominant to circumcise. I would be SHOCKED if you lived here.

Amber - posted on 06/29/2011

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My, now 8 month old, son is not circumcised. His father, a friend of mine and that friends son and another friend of mine aren't either. I also have a number of guy friends (ranging about 20) that wished they hadn't been circumcised. I got a lot of praise from the nurses at the hospital I delivered at for not caving in to the pressure of doing it. I did a lot of research on the matter and asked a lot of questions before having made my decision. Knowing everything I do about it, makes me glad I made the decision not to circumcise.

Lauren - posted on 06/29/2011

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My personal opinon may or may not count seeing as though im working on my third GIRL.. but i think it should be done when they are infants hours or a day or so old due to health reasons and they plain old do not remember "it" (the skin) even existed.... BUT on the other hand your son being old enough to make a decision bny himself is also GREAT!! I also thought it would be great for daddy to be the same for potty training reason i think that i would automatically do it if i were to have a boy!! i would be torn myself!! Good Luck!!!

Minnie - posted on 06/29/2011

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Honestly, I think people are just trying sooo hard to make it sound logical- but it's all stemming from fear that our culture has produced.

We don't preemptively cut off any other healthy body part at birth but circumcision has been such a part of our culture that they just INSIST that this is different. That scary prepuce, just waiting to muck everything up!

People, circumcision was instituted in the US to stop masturbation. Doctors perpetuated the practice because it lined their pocketbooks. And thus circumcision has become this incredible panacea for such a wide range of ills it's as laughable and unscientific as homeopathy. Circumcise for 'bad humors.' For epilepsy. For itching and twitching. For madness. For smells. For upset stomachs. Eye problems. Dizziness. Joint pain. Now STDs.

Alecia - posted on 06/29/2011

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if i have a son he will not be circumsized. my hubby isnt and there's nothing the matter with it...actually i prefer it that way (he's the only one ive been with who isnt). there is no medical reason behind to do it usually and i actually feel there are a quite a few pros for having them be "intact".

Minnie - posted on 06/29/2011

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Oh, and Anna, did you know that a study showed decreased transmission of HIV with female circumcision as well? Perhaps we should be running out and cutting off that clitoral hood and labia?

Krista - posted on 06/29/2011

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Exactly, Lisa. Why is there no talk about cutting off baby girls' labia so that she won't be as prone to UTIs in the year 2095?

FFS, people. For all we know, by the time our kids are THAT elderly, the way technology is going, they very well might have ultrasonic cleaning machines for the patients, that get into every crevice. Heck, how do we know our kids are even going to be IN a nursing home?

It's absolutely INSANE that people are lopping off bits of their kids based on things that may or may not happen 80 years from now.

Minnie - posted on 06/29/2011

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Again, why are we only focusing on men in the nursing home? Women have way more folds and crevices than any intact male. What if SHE doesn't get cleaned properly? No doubt cutting off all those folds would make it much easier on the nurses. Just a quick 1-2 wipe up and down, no?

I've mentioned before, my mother is an RN who has worked with the elderly for 21 years now. No hygiene issues with intact men. She is quite competent at cleaning.

Stifler's - posted on 06/28/2011

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I've worked in a nursing home and trust me, we don't like dealing with people with UTIs so everyone cleans under the foreskin.

Kate CP - posted on 06/28/2011

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Uh, yea, I do. By the time my son is THAT old (which will be about 80 years from now) I'm sure he'll be well cared for wherever he is. He may never have to GO to a nursing home. He may die at 35 (I hope to hell not!). He may decide he wants to be a woman at 22! All these things COULD happen but I'm not about to cut off bits of him for the "what ifs".

Fiona - posted on 06/28/2011

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"Uhh...cleanliness is something that MUST be done for health. So, yea, even if Mr. Smith doesn't want his willy touched unless he can properly do it himself it's GOING to be cleaned. "



Absolutely ... IN A PERFECT WORLD.



I'm not saying it happens in every establishment, but until the aged care industry can get the funding that they NEED (which is unlikely at best), are you ABSOLUTELY sure that the nurse looking after your son is the one that does the job "properly"? (not just enough to tick the box so to speak).



(Again I'm not having a go at nursing staff, they have a hard job that is made even harder by a sector that is profit driven.)

Leonie - posted on 06/28/2011

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I have a son who is now 3 and not circumcised although his father is. We were going to get it done when he was a baby but found that most drs were not willing to perform the small operation. Now I'm not so worried about it as I have found that most young boys do not have circumcisions anymore so as for the social implications I would doubt that there would be any issues. I have also heard that it is quite a painful surgery for older children and thus the reason they do it while the child is young. I would advise against the 12 year old having it done for this reason. Hope that helps :)

Stifler's - posted on 06/28/2011

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Mine isn't and I only really know about 3 people who got their boy done. I don't see the point of it anymore.

Kimberly - posted on 06/28/2011

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I did not have either of my boys circumcised (7-yr-old twins). The moms I know with children the same age did not have theirs circumcised either. The prevailing opinion among them is that it is culturally acceptable genital mutilation. The pediatrician had given us a list of pros and cons. On the pro side was it is "culturally expected" and that there was a tiny bit lower incidence rate of cervical cancer in the sexual partners of circumcised men. The cons were numerous (search "circumcision consequences" for over a million hits). After extensive research and consultation with several doctors and nurses, we opted against it.

Kate CP - posted on 06/28/2011

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" A lot of children in Africa are orphans and therefore don't have the parents to teach them about safe sex."

There ARE schools and women's clinics there. Oh, wait...we keep cutting funding for those.

But I digress. That's a whole separate can of worms. My point is: the information is there and is being spread that condoms are the best form of protection against pregnancy and STIs in Africa.

In the US and other developed nations the most common cause of HIV and AIDS infection is IV drug usage. People share dirty needles and end up with HIV and Hep C. It has nothing to do with whether or not you have a foreskin.

Bobbie - posted on 06/28/2011

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Wow, I am so surprised that the 12 year old would want it done. Faith has a major role in the peers that your son is around. If they are mostly Jewish they will be circumcised. However natural, not circumcised is becoming the norm. The major reason is that we now know that the sensitivity during intercourse is deadened to different degrees by the procedure, As well as removing length. The practice has been found to be more of a social thing and fear of poor hygiene and infection was the reason, other than religion to have done. Now the only reason to entertain the thought would be due to health issues. But to do it only for social pressure to be like everyone else? Put it this way, your children are perfectly healthy. The decision to put them through it or not in no longer under the same conditions. It was one thing to make the decision when the pain was managed with laying still as an infant with gauze and pain cream to wait for the healing. You have NO IDEA the pain that it involves. Pain that could be devastating and emotionally traumatizing to them. There is also the issue of major infections, and complications that could scar them for life. My son, circumcised as an infant seems to have had too much skin removed on one side and his erections were very painful through puberty. He has massive scaring on the underside and has lost all feeling in that area due.

Just because a 12 year old understands and wants it done means nothing. At 12 a child can ask for a many things but without comprehension of what all is involved or the true long term issues. For example he could ask for pierced ear, as many do only to look at you in surprised pain and shock to accuse you for allowing him to do it when you KNEW how painful it would be. Take that example into consideration them magnify it to think about him touching the painful area to urinate. At 12, how clean is he going to be to maintain the stitches? How will he feel about walking, riding a bike, playing outside? Bleeding is a real issue with this procedure as well. A dear friend who had a mangled circumcision had a corrective surgery at the age of 22. He was in so much pain that he had to take short term disability at his job. He couldn't bare to move around for the first 3 weeks of healing and that was with a catheter. Urination was horrible for him for a very long time. He cringes when he speaks about it still. Something to really think about.

Kate CP - posted on 06/28/2011

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"Nursing staff are required to take into consideration the needs AND wants of their patients. If a patient doesn't want the nurse to wash them, and there is no good reason why the nurse has to, then the patient can wash themselves and the nursing staff can do nothing about it..."
Uhh...cleanliness is something that MUST be done for health. So, yea, even if Mr. Smith doesn't want his willy touched unless he can properly do it himself it's GOING to be cleaned.

Jodi - posted on 06/28/2011

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" A lot of children in Africa are orphans and therefore don't have the parents to teach them about safe sex."

Are you from Africa where you don't have this access to safe sex information for your children? Because if so, I could understand your concern. However, being from a more developed nation where safe sex information is readily available and widely taught, I don't have the same fears. My sons do know that condoms are the best and ONLY form of prevention from STIs.

Fiona - posted on 06/28/2011

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Just to clarify, by incapacitated I meant mentally, mildly physically not completely unable to help themselves. Obviously, complete physical incapacitation would mean that someone (relative or not) would be washing/cleaning them. With the other type of incapacitation the lines are blury. Nursing staff are required to take into consideration the needs AND wants of their patients. If a patient doesn't want the nurse to wash them, and there is no good reason why the nurse has to, then the patient can wash themselves and the nursing staff can do nothing about it. Old people can be less careful than they once were and it is more likely that overworked nursing staff will not take the extra 30secs (that is assuming they are in the shower with the patient to begin with) to ensure that the penis is fully washed, just that their patient has had a shower/bath. Being surrounded by nurses, the stories that I have heard are terrible and before anyone says it, these are good nurses who take the extra care. It would be great if every nursing home had all the staff required so that they could look after their patients to the standard expected but the relatity is that this is not occuring and likely to get worse.

Again, this is an emotive issue. If you are happy to have the boys circumcised, then go for it. It really is a decision that is made within the family and it doesn't matter what the hell anyone on here says.

Lissa - posted on 06/28/2011

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This is from AAP policy



Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.



Circumcision has been suggested as an effective method of maintaining penile hygiene since the time of the Egyptian dynasties, but there is little evidence to affirm the association between circumcision status and optimal penile hygiene



There is considerable evidence that newborns who are circumcised without analgesia experience pain and physiologic stress. Neonatal physiologic responses to circumcision pain include changes in heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and cortisol levels.36-39 One report has noted that circumcised infants exhibit a stronger pain response to subsequent routine immunization than do uncircumcised infants.



http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi...



If anyone wants a look. I am only citing this to be clear on what the AAP actually recommends.

Amy Leeanne - posted on 06/28/2011

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Either way, I'd rather follow the AAP's advice, who say the benefits of RIC aren't worth the risks. I'm not too concerned with the WHO and what they recommend in Africa.

Krista - posted on 06/28/2011

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Anna, people have already pointed out to you on multiple occasions that those African HIV studies were seriously flawed. Any health benefits resulting from circumcision are so negligible, that they're completely cancelled out by the risks inherent in the procedure...risks that you're conveniently choosing to ignore.

Mabel - posted on 06/28/2011

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@Anna Why don't you come over and let me cut off a piece of you and and then go out and have sex with a few.Are you going to trust that you are protected then???

Amy Leeanne - posted on 06/28/2011

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"So let's just lob off the end of their penis and let them go hog wild... it's all good, he's been circumcised!" Please. Common sense says that doesn't make a lick of sense.

Anna - posted on 06/28/2011

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and something whoevery they infect with a sexually transmitted disease has to deal with too

Amy Leeanne - posted on 06/28/2011

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Just because you "might" avoid an std by circumcising, is not a good enough reason in my opinion. Teach your kids to take care of themselves. It's your job. And once they get old enough, if they can't practice the health habits they need to, then that's something they'll have to deal with.

Anna - posted on 06/28/2011

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I would rather that everyone had access to condoms and was responsible but they aren't. Not everyone has access or education with regard to safe sex. A lot of children in Africa are orphans and therefore don't have the parents to teach them about safe sex.
You are looking at it from your own perspective and not for the greater good. If you are saying no circumcision whatever the good it brings then I hope your are also prepared to acknowledge that your view is a selfish one.

Minnie - posted on 06/28/2011

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It doesn't make sense, Kate. It's reaching, grasping for a justification. Jumping so completely far to the illogical.

Kate CP - posted on 06/28/2011

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So, you'd rather chop off a piece of a person's body to prevent them from POSSIBLY spreading an STD when a condom has been PROVEN to almost completely prevent STD infection and pregnancy? You'd rather just lop off a piece of flesh from a newborn infant who's nerves are already on fire from being born to save you the 5 frickin' minutes it takes to show a boy how to properly wash himself? You'd rather put a baby through a needless, RISKY procedure than take then time with them as an adolescent to teach them safe sex LIKE A PARENT SHOULD ANY WAY?

How the hell does that make sense?!

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