Want to open up another can? Circumcision!

[deleted account] ( 436 moms have responded )

Did you have your sons circumcised or not? If so, why? If not, why not? Discuss. This is mainly an American issue, I know. I've lived in Europe and it did affect my thinking on the topic.

I did NOT have my son circumcised for 3 reasons:

"To look like Dad" is not a compelling reason to me. To look like everyone else is also not valid anymore, in my area it's about 50/50.

There is no medical reason for routinely doing it. The reasons that people usually use are either old wives tales or are extremely rare.

I've seen it done several times and there is no way I could live with myself for doing that to an infant unless there was a life or death good reason for it.

I do think valid reasons exist, as in religious reasons or individual issues that had to be addressed. I just wondered what everyone else's experience had been. I'd also love to hear from Europeans as to what your take on this issue is.

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Mel - posted on 06/02/2009

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Quoting Ashley:

i love how some ppl are sitting there saying it's torture or we are sick in the head for doing it. hmmmm funny how my son doesnt remember one bit of it. he loves me to death and cries whenever i leave the room but yet i tortured him? you guys have your opinions on it and that's fine. but DON'T EVER say that i'm sick in the head for doing it. you dont know me and if i recall Melissa, in another thread you were quite upset because people were judging you for the way you raise your daughter so who do u think you are saying that ppl that circumsize are sick in the head? that's the RUDEST thing i have read on here. keep your nasty comments to yourself.


 



doesnt matter if he loves you now im sure he didnt love you back then im sure he thought why is my mummy putting me through this and hurting me. funny how alot of otehrs feel the same way. dont diss me for my views, you'll find many otehrs think the same thing. if you think thats the rudest thing written you havent seen the half of the crap people write on here. if theres a genuine medical reason to do so im all for it

[deleted account]

I do think a lot of the problems that people have with not being circumcised are due to ignorance. When I read up on it, I found that some guys are not fully retractable until PUBERTY. People get hysterical that the foreskin should retract "to clean it" and push it back way too early. That just creates raw areas and exposes areas to infection that didn't need to be exposed. One reason why it is attached in the first place is so that germs don't get in there. The stream of their urine rinses out the unattached part of the foreskin and there is no need to retract it until it can be done easily. I think the biggest problem people have is NOT LEAVING IT ALONE. It's a natural body part in its natural state.

Lily - posted on 06/02/2009

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After doing lots and lots of research on this and finding out everything that I could we decided to not have it done. It is an elective surgery! I could not fund any valid reason as to why that foreskin needed to be removed except as an aesthetic reason so that it looks more 'normal' or so that my son would 'fit in'. Not a good enough reason to subject him to surgery.

Ashley - posted on 06/02/2009

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i love how some ppl are sitting there saying it's torture or we are sick in the head for doing it. hmmmm funny how my son doesnt remember one bit of it. he loves me to death and cries whenever i leave the room but yet i tortured him? you guys have your opinions on it and that's fine. but DON'T EVER say that i'm sick in the head for doing it. you dont know me and if i recall Melissa, in another thread you were quite upset because people were judging you for the way you raise your daughter so who do u think you are saying that ppl that circumsize are sick in the head? that's the RUDEST thing i have read on here. keep your nasty comments to yourself.

Amie - posted on 06/02/2009

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Everyone's reasons are great. My husband and I decided before our son was born that he would probably be circumcised. We never had it done, however. I am still "on the fence" about this issue. I will not have my son done now, unless my doctor says he has to for medical reasons (I hope not). We wanted to have it done because I know that men who aren't circumcised can sometimes develop problems if the foreskin doesn't release or be able to be pushed back as they get older. Maybe this is caused by parents forcing it back to early? I'm not sure. Either way, we were worried about problems later in life if we didn't do it. But then we realized that in Canada the procedure is not that common anymore...and it would be fairly expensive to do. The hospitals wouldn't give any information and I didn't want to search the internet and "hope" to get a reputable clinic.
Looking back now, I'm glad we didn't do it.

Tamara - posted on 06/02/2009

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It is plain and simple mutilating a child's genitals. How anyone can do it is simply beyond me.

FredSusan - posted on 06/02/2009

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Had a friend who did not have her son circumcised when he was an infant, but had to have it done later because he kept developing infections that caused him a lot of pain. So much easier and less traumatic to have an infant circumcised than for a 5 or 6 year boy. The infant recovers faster and doesn't remember it.

I realize that these are opinions about circumcision, but please be careful in the way you are stating your opinions because some of you are coming across judgmental. Others I appreciate your diplomacy. We are all loving parents and do the best that we can with what we know. Please consider this in stating your opinions.

Mel - posted on 06/02/2009

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im with Emily would never torture my child in that way it sickens me. anyway who does is screwed in the head.

Ariel - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Tammy:

Wow. Great feedback. Thanks to all of you. I'll keep reading. As much as I am against both, I do have to take issue with comparing male circumcision to female circumcision. There really is no comparison. When a male is circumcised, he retains the majority of his sexual function (he won't know what he is missing if he had it done as a child). In all of the cases that I have heard discussed in the media (and I think I saw the video mentioned by someone, above) female circumcision REMOVES ALL erectile tissue leaving the girl completely unable to feel sexual pleasure or achieve orgasm. I know it's the difference between bad and worse but there is a difference.


Not always.  I spent a lot of time learning about this in my anthro classes.  It actually depends on the culture.  Some cultures simply make a cut similar to the male circumcision, others go so far as to remove all erectile tissue, or even sew up the vaginal opening.  The cultures have their own reasoning as to why these things are necessary, sanitary, and attractive; and generally the women themselves follow their societies dictates on it as easily as Chinese women followed the dictate to bind their feet, and American women follow societies belief in hairless legs and peirced ears.  The media likes to hype these things up, but the women themselves see it as an important part of becoming a woman, and from their standpoint the biggest issue at hand is that it isn't always done sanitarily and infection and even death can occur.  Admittedly to any women's studies majors out there this is an obvious example of male control of the female body and is a frightening and upsetting concept, but again it's an accepted practice in their own cultures.



 

Ashley - posted on 06/01/2009

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my son is circumsized and my 2nd son is due in july and he will be circumsized as well. i have my issues with it it's a personal decision and i do not regret my decision one bit. my bf isnt circumsized and he completely agreed with my decision on it. people have their opinions on it and if i cared what others thought then i wouldnt have had it done. i would rather him have it done when he's a day old then at 30 like my uncle did or like a friend of mine who's son is 8 and has to be done

[deleted account]

Hi, Im in the UK - and my little boys foreskin is exactly where nature intended it to be - and thats where its going to stay!
My personal opinion is that its a barbaric practice that has no justification whatsoever. Someone has recently written a book on the psychological trauma that is caused by this mutilation of newborns...but as ever, i cant remember the name of the book.
I also read recently that foreskins are sold for use in the cosmetic industry - I am appalled by this and think the sooner this act is outlawed the better.
I have no idea why any parent would choose to inflict pain on their newborn.
If as an adult someone decides they want to be circumcised then its possible to have that done fairly easily.
Every boy should have the choice.
The 'justification' I hate above all others is the: 'We had it done so he looks the same as his Daddy in the changing rooms' one.
I always think - 'NO he doesnt does he? Because Daddy has pubic hair, or possibly a hairy chest. How do you get round that one? Scrape hair out of the plug hole and GLUE it on your child???!'
OK - rant over!

[deleted account]

Wow. Great feedback. Thanks to all of you. I'll keep reading. As much as I am against both, I do have to take issue with comparing male circumcision to female circumcision. There really is no comparison. When a male is circumcised, he retains the majority of his sexual function (he won't know what he is missing if he had it done as a child). In all of the cases that I have heard discussed in the media (and I think I saw the video mentioned by someone, above) female circumcision REMOVES ALL erectile tissue leaving the girl completely unable to feel sexual pleasure or achieve orgasm. I know it's the difference between bad and worse but there is a difference.

Emily - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Stacey:

I got my son circumcised and will if i have another boy. I dont look at it as cosmetic rather than for health reasons. My fiance and I discussed it before our son was even born. We didnt mutalate our son. He did fine and healed in a week. Besides it's better to do it while they are young so they dont remember. Men have MORE problems with it as they age so letting them decided when he get older wasnt an option. Ask any man...they dont care they have a piece of skin missing. It still works. Seems the only people with problems are women.


 



I dont get this logic. Why would it be "better" to mutilate a 3 day old child? That child has NO idea whats going on. He just came out of your cozy womb where he lived for 9 months. Now he's suddenly strapped to a cold table and there are strangers standing over him literally ripping and peeling his skin off with knives. I wonder if that 3 day old thinks that thats life now. This is whats going to happen to me from now on. I can see how a child that young would lose his trust in people. It's also worse because he didnt make the decision himself to be permanently mutilated. It's HIS body, HE should decide what he wants and doesnt want. If he chose to be circumsiced at age 16, I would have no problem with it. He's old enough to know why its being done, he can take prescription drugs afterwards to help with the pain, and he chose to do it.

Katie - posted on 06/01/2009

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We did not have our son done; my husband however, is circumcised. My husband’s entire family wanted us to have him done and put a lot of pressure on us but I would not budge. I see absolutely no point.
I had our doctor come in and explain the pro's and con's to hubby and I before we left the hospital. He said the majority of male infants are not done anymore and that he’s seen just as many complications from circ’d vs. uncirc’d. A lot of doctor's (including mine) refuse to perform them anymore as they are considered to be unnecessary.
In my opinion, circumcising your son is like having your infant daughters ears pierced. If my son opts’s to have his penis circumcised when he's older, all power to him, but I think it is a decision that should be left up to the child not to the parent.

Kylie - posted on 06/01/2009

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If you teach your son how to clean and dry himself properly just as you teach little girls to, there's a very low chance of infection. If it does get infected, its sore for a little while and he may need some antibiotics, apparently my brother had an infection when he was about 14 and that made him to be more vigilant with cleaning himself. I agree with most the mum's it is a barbaric thing to do to a baby boy and why should it be the parents choice how their sons penis looks? he is perfect they was he was born.

Angie - posted on 06/01/2009

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I had my child circed because I saw a little boy who was 2 and several adult men HAVE to have them (I worked for a urologist) and I didn't want to take the chance that my son would be in that position. If I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I would have made the same choice. My son was only in pain for a few minutes so the pain issue wouldn't deture me, I'm just in a different place in my life now............

Melissa - posted on 06/01/2009

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I did have my son done but only as I seen what all 3 of my nephews have gone through and an uncle with a mature circumcision and how much pain they had to go through before getting a refferal for the circumcision to be done. I would not have been able to live with myself if the same happened to my nephews and even my doctor said looking at my family genes chances did not look good. So he was cir'd at 5 days old it wasnt y favorite day but he had no reaction he just wanted to eat when it was done.

Heather - posted on 06/01/2009

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I did not have my son circumcised while his dad was from Europe that wasn't my reason my top 3 are
1. Its his body and I think its wrong to make such a personal choice for him if he wants it done later he can do it if he wants to. unless a problem develops I don't see the reason to take that choice away
2. my sister worked as a med asst and said after watching one done she could never do that to a baby since they stick a long needle into the groin area to numb it that is one painful shot.
3. it got popular in the states because they felt it would make the penis less sensitive and thus the boys would be less sexual lol (I know old time thinking )

Ariel - posted on 06/01/2009

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I did not. For all of the reasons stated above. My husband wanted to, so he would look like him. We actually asked a bunch of our friends what they thought, and it was fairly unanimous that among the men those who were circ'd thought he should be, those who were not thought he shouldn't be. The women generally agreed with their husbands. Interesting how the whole "be like dad" thing went. In the end, our son wasn't because we are both too stubborn, so we had an impartial party flip a coin for us. Heads, no circ; tails he gets cut. It landed heads up and my little man is in one piece. Since the issue wasn't one that was life or death, or would in any way affect his happiness or health we felt that the coin flip was the best way to end the argument without anyone feeling upset that things didn't go their way.
As far as the debate on whether or not circumcision is reasonable, I think that barring religious reasons (which may seem ridiculous for some but are important to those who practice them) and actual medical reasons, if a man really wants part of himself cut off then he can go do it, but I'm not gonna make that choice for my son.

Jessica - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Jessica, I didn't think my post was judgmental, sorry if you took it to be. I was just trying to explain why I see male and female circumcision as related issues, since that had a pretty major impact on the decision I ultimately made with regard to my son.



Thank you, I didn't mean to be snippy.  I think I miss understood, I seem to do that often lately. 

[deleted account]

Jessica, I didn't think my post was judgmental, sorry if you took it to be. I was just trying to explain why I see male and female circumcision as related issues, since that had a pretty major impact on the decision I ultimately made with regard to my son.

Jodie - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Stacey:

I got my son circumcised and will if i have another boy. I dont look at it as cosmetic rather than for health reasons. My fiance and I discussed it before our son was even born. We didnt mutalate our son. He did fine and healed in a week. Besides it's better to do it while they are young so they dont remember. Men have MORE problems with it as they age so letting them decided when he get older wasnt an option. Ask any man...they dont care they have a piece of skin missing. It still works. Seems the only people with problems are women.



i have known some men who have a problem with it as they feel that because they have lost that piece of skin the end becomes less sensitive because there is nothing there to protect it any more!! They sat the sensation of sex is not as climactic! I don't feel that it is only women who have a problem with circumsition i think some men do to! Afterall we're not the ones who have to live with that missing skin!!

Jessica - posted on 06/01/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:



Quoting Jessica:

I have two boys and they are both circumcised. To be completely honest I did it because that is what I've always known to be done. I don't know if I would compare it to female circumcision, since females are circumcised to take away sexual pleasure and to make them more obedient to their husbands.
I'm not ignorant I know that their is no serious reason, besides medical to have it done but I did it no the less. My sons are both fine and they've never had any problems.





I think that's a fairly simplistic view of female circumcision. Personally, the first time that I thought to question male circumcision was in college when i heard women defend the practice of female circumcision. They said the reasons for doing it were cleanliness, looks, etc - the same justifications for male circumcision. And they sounded pretty confident in their choices, too. I totally agree that the experience of circumcision (male or female) in a hospital would be completely different than with a piece of broken glass without anesthesia - but I still don't think either are necessary or beneficial.





The knowledge I have about female circumcison was based on a documentary from a woman who had gone through the torture and her explanation for it being done as she understood are what I mentioned before.  It might be a simplistic view but I'm basing it one at least one womans experience and to her it was not for cleaniness or looks, it was for obedience.  



I'm not trying to argue with anyone but several people were comparing a medicated procedure to a brutal procedure inflicted on girls, anywhere from birth on.  I respect women who feel strongly enough about this topic that they don't have it done, but in my family it has always been done so on the basis of that is how its supposed to be done I did it.  I don't look down on it, I don't think it's dirty, it was just a foriegn consept to me.  When my boys were first born was actually the first time I had ever seen an uncircumcised penis.  I don't judge you and your decision, so please don't judge mine.

Stacey - posted on 06/01/2009

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I got my son circumcised and will if i have another boy. I dont look at it as cosmetic rather than for health reasons. My fiance and I discussed it before our son was even born. We didnt mutalate our son. He did fine and healed in a week. Besides it's better to do it while they are young so they dont remember. Men have MORE problems with it as they age so letting them decided when he get older wasnt an option. Ask any man...they dont care they have a piece of skin missing. It still works. Seems the only people with problems are women.

Jeanne - posted on 06/01/2009

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My son has not been circumsized and will not be unless it is medically warranted. His father is European and not circumsized and was totally against having the procedure done. He said that unless he needed it medically he didn't see the point in having it done since for thousands of years people have not had it done and without complications. I was not against or for having it done either way - it is something we discussed with our doctor and he said that unless he constantly gets infections he did not see a reason (unless for religious beliefs) to have it done. Mind you my doctor is South African and that might taint his judgement as well.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jessica:

I have two boys and they are both circumcised. To be completely honest I did it because that is what I've always known to be done. I don't know if I would compare it to female circumcision, since females are circumcised to take away sexual pleasure and to make them more obedient to their husbands.
I'm not ignorant I know that their is no serious reason, besides medical to have it done but I did it no the less. My sons are both fine and they've never had any problems.


I think that's a fairly simplistic view of female circumcision. Personally, the first time that I thought to question male circumcision was in college when i heard women defend the practice of female circumcision. They said the reasons for doing it were cleanliness, looks, etc - the same justifications for male circumcision. And they sounded pretty confident in their choices, too. I totally agree that the experience of circumcision (male or female) in a hospital would be completely different than with a piece of broken glass without anesthesia - but I still don't think either are necessary or beneficial.

Sara - posted on 06/01/2009

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I don't have a son, but my husband is circumsized. What I find is interesting in my experience is that I have known two men who were not circumsized at birth who then chose to be circumsized as adults. i didn't really discuss their reasoning with them, but I would definitely want their opinion if i found out we were having a boy. My husband has told me he would want our son circumsized...

Jessica - posted on 06/01/2009

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I have two boys and they are both circumcised. To be completely honest I did it because that is what I've always known to be done. I don't know if I would compare it to female circumcision, since females are circumcised to take away sexual pleasure and to make them more obedient to their husbands.

I'm not ignorant I know that their is no serious reason, besides medical to have it done but I did it no the less. My sons are both fine and they've never had any problems.

Minnie - posted on 06/01/2009

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I would go one step further and say that even religious reasons are not valid reasons to cirumcise (an unconsenting human that is). What if I wanted to circumcise my daughter in the name of my religion? And yet I can't, because it is illegal here in the US. So should male circumcision be.



Human bodily integrity rights trump religious reasons. Where is the line to be drawn as to what harm you can inflict on an innocent human being in the name of your religion?



I think that circumcision, male or female, is sexual abuse of the worst sort. It's purely cosmetic, there are no legitimate reasons to have it done.



Leave it to the OWNER of the penis to have it done if he so chooses. There is no reason to have an infant have part of his body ripped off in the name of religion, vanity, or misinformation.



No one ever considers the future wife of the little boy. The foreskin is NOT just a flap of skin but a very important body part full of nerve endings, and contains a muscle and mucosal layer. It provides gliding action and natural lubrication and prevents chafing in the woman.

Jodie - posted on 06/01/2009

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my brother had it done for medical reasons and as an adult now i know he really hates it he says it can be "uncomfortable" i've got an 8 year old son who has not been done! it's not something done in england as a rule unless you're religious or its needed for medical reasons! My friends in laws want her to have her son done for their religious reasons but she is saying that she feels its her sons choice and would rather wait till he's older and let him decide, i'm enclined to agree i think it's an unecessary procedure but thats just my opinion!!

Emily - posted on 06/01/2009

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No, I would never mutilate my child for purely cosmetic reasons. I would never put him through the worst pain he will ever experience when he is only 3 days old. I would never ask someone to rip skin from his penis because "i dont like it" or "its not normal" and no, its NOT cleaner either.

[deleted account]

I did with my 1st son, who was born when I was 19. I just didn't know what else to do since "everyone was doing it". I am now pregnant with son #2, and will NOT be doing it. There is no reason that I can find that makes any sense to have this done. I am glad to be more educated in my older and wiser years!

[deleted account]

Looks like we'll get all the hot topics going on here today! I did not circumcise my son, just like I wouldn't circumcise a daughter. I don't think cosmetic surgeries should be performed on people who can't consent. Like you, I know that there are some valid reasons for circumcising - like rare medical conditions or religious covenants. But even for religious reasons, ideally, I think that is a covenant the person who owns the penis can decide on for themselves. I live in the US - in Tennessee - and have seen surprisingly little resistance to my choice not to circumcise. My family didn't care at all, and most of the babies in my son's daycare are not circumcised.

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