New circumcision research is changing minds

Katherine - posted on 02/24/2011 ( 389 moms have responded )

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re-posted from cafemom

It's hard to find a more contentious parenting issue than male circumcision. Okay, extended nursing in public -- that might do it. But if you want a fight, simply declare, loudly and proudly, that you're an intactivist. Or you just got back from a bris, and wow was it magical!

To add another element to the argument, new research has not only the Center for Disease Control but also the American Academy of Pediatrics coming out with a strong stance on circumcision, whereas before they stood back and let other people duke it out. And one side of this penile debate is not going to be happy.

After research showed that circumcision helps prevent not only STD transmission, but also HIV, the AAP and CDC are drafting a pro-circ position. Of course, we don't know what the two authoritative organizations are going to say exactly, so it could still lean "but you go ahead and do what you think is best." Which, quite frankly, is what today's modern parent is going to do regardless of the recommendations.

Because if you think circumcision is mutilation, this study isn't going to sway you. Although if you were somewhere in the middle and had a big decision to make, it's possible you would go with the circ to help with the odds of your son contracting a disease down the line. That is what intactivists are afraid of: a trend that has turned back the recent progress in the movement.

Today about 50% of baby boys are circumcised, which is the lowest rate seen in modern times. Having two well-respected medical sources endorse the health benefits of circumcision could change those stats. As someone who believes it's no one's business what goes down in anyone else's pants -- cut or uncut -- I know it would make me think twice if faced with the option again today. Whether or not it would actually sway me? I dunno.

I would hope the kid always carried a condom, but as a former teenager, I also know that's not realistic. So yes, this throws a monkey wrench in the argument when you start thinking about the safety of your own child.

What do you think about this new research, and the CDC and AAP taking a new position?

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/116633/n...

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389 Comments

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Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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I guess the reason I never really thought twice about circumcision is because it's so commonly done where I am from. I worked in a daycare for several months & ALL the boys were circ'd. My husband is circ'd. Everyone he went to high school with was circ'd. All my friend's kids are circ'd. So, it just seems the norm to me...at least where I am from.

Like I mentioned before, my son was NOT circ'd at birth because he has hypospadias. I WOULD have gotten him done at birth if he could have been, but that's just because at the time, I didn't even realize such a strong debate existed regarding circumcision.

My first concern with my son is getting his hypospadias repaired so he can function normally. Circumcision, in my case, isn't that much of a concern to me considering what my son is already dealing with. I'm not strongly for OR against either side of the debate, I'm just more familiar with circumcision because it's so popular around here.

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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yeah thats awful Katherine :(
the start of that link sounds like what laura posted about her son earlier.
perhaps that woman should have joined the "online controversy in which parents call each other names on message boards like “mutator,”" then maybe she wouldn't have made a silly uninformed decision leading to plastic surgery on a baby!
anddd when i say its mutilating, i don't mean the parents are mutilators or the baby is mutilated, i just mean the procedure is mutilating.. if that makes sense :D

*edit to add: oh she said 'mutate' my bad :)

Johnny - posted on 03/01/2011

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Oh, that just hurts my heart. One of the stories in the comments section is also quite terrifying. Those poor little guys :-(

Stifler's - posted on 03/01/2011

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In Queensland lol I was sitting in the doctors surgery in another town waiting to get in and there was a sign explaining that one of the doctors there did circumcision but only before 6 weeks old and it wasn't covered by Medicare or something. The hospital here told me when I gave birth that I'd have to go to a paediatrician in Rockhampton if we wanted it done because the hospital doesn't offer it here and neither do any of the doctors in town.

[deleted account]

I'm from Australia too and I don't know anyone who had their baby boy circumcised. It's not routinely done.

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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wow! what a cultural difference! That really helps me to understand why there are so many pro-circs on this site when i don't know any circ'd men, kids or babies... not that i ask around too much lol. I guess its brainwash by media. We are taught to hate it and in america it's just a standard procedure. Stats wise 15% of boys are circumcised here, and thats declining and i think its 50% there.
In my antenatal classes they actually discouraged it and said the hospital would not do it.
Whats the go with premmi babies? are they able to be circumcised as routine in america or do they have to wait til after the due date?

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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Wow that is really interesting. Here it's very common practice. You can get it done anywhere and it's actually recommended like BF is. Sickening.

Ez - posted on 03/01/2011

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Most Australian doctors started refusing to perform RIC in the mid 1980s. In my city now (roughly 600,000 people) there is one doctor who does it in private practice. I have since been made aware there is another one doing it as an elective procedure in a private hospital. That's it. The one in the private practice only does them on Sundays, because it is that frowned upon that he was getting backlash from his regular patients.

Johnny - posted on 03/01/2011

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Where I live there are a couple of private clinics that do them. But unless it is medical necessity, no hospital does the procedure and it is not covered by our public insurance. I know that my private insurance does not cover it and I believe that is the norm. If you lived in a small remote town, you'd probably have to travel quite a distance to get it performed.

Casey - posted on 03/01/2011

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Yeah I am from Australia and public hospitals here will actually refuse to do it, they won't try to change your mind if you desperately want it done but they will just refer you to a clinic in Melbourne. I haven't come across a doctor yet that recommends it anymore here in Australia.

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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Where do you live Emma? You mean they refuse? Or they just aren't equipped.

Stifler's - posted on 03/01/2011

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they don't do circumcision here either. if i wanted logan done that badly i would have had to travel 300km and most places will only do it before 6 weeks old.

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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And there is always new information about certain topics that many of us may be interested in.

Tara - posted on 03/01/2011

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Thanks for those comments Sarah, it's nice to know someone new is reading! Some of us regulars have been over some of these topics so many times, it's really quite astounding. However we keep posting to familiar topics mainly because there is always the chance someone new is here and who may be educated or informed by our posts. So thanks for the confirmation.
:)

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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Why would *I* start another debate? I'm the OP!!!!!





Edit to add: I see what you mean now.

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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oh and to those who are having that silly mini debate here,
perhaps one of you or Katherine should open a new debate in a different group if you are not happy with the direction this debate has taken :)
I am enjoying the circ/intact debate because for me, it hasn't been beaten to death, i'm relatively new here and am enjoying seeing everyone perspectives on the matter, so can we get back to that please? :D

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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@Sarah, I wouldn't say you are a horrible person.. but i honestly cannot understand where you are coming from at all! What are your reasons for being pro-circ if you are educated on the lack of benefits and all of the dangers and definite negative effects? If it's for cosmetic reasons, i can't understand that either. Aside from all the awful reasons i hate circ, i actually prefer the uncircumcised look :) lol to me the circ'd penis looks a bit silly. perhaps your community is a little bit brainwashed?

@Casey, yeah there's pretty much no where to get it done! I think there's 1 or 2 clinics in the city (melbourne) i know tassie has none and i dont think WA or SA have any either. i'm just assuming you're from australia lol i know theres a melbourne in florida too :/
I have a baby girl, but i can't imagine anything worse than taking her to get bits chopped off her!
The hospital i was at didn't do circ either and said no other public ones did. We learned this in the antenatal classes :)
Males very rarely get any problems, way less than women do.
Do you think a circumcised man would be less likely to use protection that an intact man because of all this talk about how they are less likely to get STDs or UTIs?

Casey - posted on 03/01/2011

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As a mum of a little boy I could not bring myself to get him circumsied it felt so cruel and wrong and I kept thinking if he was a little girl we wouldn't even be thinking about cutting bits off her genitals.
The hospital where I had my son will not even consider doing a circumcision anymore actually the closest place we could have it done was in you capital city of Melbourne which is a 3 hour drive away so I figure if so many doctors and hospitals were against it then it couldn't be a good thing.
My partner is 32 years of age and is "intact" and has never had any infections or stds ect, I think so long as you are hygenic and clean regulary and use protection when having sex (everyone should not just "intact" males) then there really is no need for circumcision, it's one of those old fashioned things that was common practice years ago when hygine was pretty much unheard of.

Ez - posted on 03/01/2011

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I think it shows how much RIC really is about the parent's personal preference. Which is where a lot of the moral objection stems from. Let it be the personal preference of the owner of the penis!

Tara - posted on 03/01/2011

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I'm always curious too when someone says "I would have had it done but we couldn't because..." I always want to ask "Do you mean to say 'you wish your son had no foreskin?' " Unless there is something medically wrong with your child's foreskin requiring surgery to correct it, why on earth would you "liked" to have had it done. Even when the child is older some moms have told me "I really think he should have been done" but not because they have any problems, just because they wanted it done and couldn't get what they wanted.

Johnny - posted on 03/01/2011

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@ Sarah: I am honestly curious to understand why, despite the fact that your son is not circumcised, you continue to strongly support it and would do it if you could. Has he suffered from not having it done? Has he had physical problems from it? Are you concerned that he may be the subject of future bullying or have women reject him because he's not cut?

Minnie - posted on 03/01/2011

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I wouldn't ever say you're a horrible person, Sarah, it just utterly baffles me why someone who is educated on all aspects of circumcision and has truly stopped to consider what circumcision actually is and what it means for the parents, the boy (eventually man) it is done to, and society as a whole, still is for it. It leaves me scratching my head.

Jenn - posted on 03/01/2011

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Exactly - why does it matter what the reason? So what if it's been debated over and over again - new people keep joining and want to debate things, or maybe there's new information. It's no different than any other topic that gets beaten to death over and over again LOL! Anyway, Erin - I guess you wouldn't know why he had infections or if the foreskin was pulled back, but that is a common reason why.

Krista - posted on 03/01/2011

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Me neither. It's like this weird meta-debate about the debate. Who really CARES what the original intent behind the post was? Debates have a life of their own, so the intent behind the post is utterly irrelevant.

Minnie - posted on 03/01/2011

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I'm probably not following you, Rebecca, so I apologize. Why does it matter what the intention behind the post was?

I guess I'm just not getting what the problem is...

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2011

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I WAS going to stay away from this topic but...

Is it absolutely horrible of me that I'm STILL pro-circ? Even after many many months of reading endless debates on how terrible circumcision is? This might be a very stupid thing for me to point out, but where I'm from, circumcision is very routinely done...no big deal. Let me point out that my son is not circumcised because he could not be at birth...but honestly, I probably would have had him circ'd if I had been able to. This is just one of those topics that, even after seeing all the negative things about circumcision, it still hasn't really swayed my opinion.

Mrs. - posted on 03/01/2011

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Cathy, if you'd actually read my posts, past this page - you'd see I'm not actually debating the merit of the topic, just how it was presented. I only brought it up, if you were to read the rest, because the OP put in point form that her intention of the post was actually different than what was originally posted...which would mean the OPer went off topic from what was originally put in the OP.



I'll admit I have said debates on the subject are pointless in a post a month ago....but not in this one. I'm just suggesting it would make more sense to make a new post just to vent about the article with other anti-circ folks and put it in the title not that it's should be discussed at all.



Everyone can feel free to go on talking about pulling back foreskin...

Mrs. - posted on 03/01/2011

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In the last couple responses I didn't even mention it was pointless. I said that in a previous post like a month ago and got a lot of flak for it - then politely bowed out of the post. Maybe you're mistaking this post with last month's one...that's cool. I'm not even debating the merit of it Erin. I'm saying it has a purpose, the one that Katherine originally intended, the one that was a buried in a debate, the original purpose (as she herself put in point form for all to see) was to share it with other anti-circ folks and talk about how ridiculous the study is. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. As I said before, it is a good idea for those who feel passionately about the anti-circ movement to have a place to rant and share with one another. I'm simply saying it might be a good idea to have presented it as such instead of framing the way she did - and that is not rocket science either.



So, yeah, no need for three exclamation points or having your posts "derailed", you too can ignore any point someone is trying to make in any given debate and choose to move on with another point. Truly, if what I say has no merit - why would it really matter or upset your point making?

Ez - posted on 03/01/2011

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The intent of the OP is not the issue. Anyone is free to respond however they choose. But if they do, they must be prepared for someone to oppose them.



But you know what is really pointless? Continually posting about how pointless a thread is! As long as members are continuing the discussion (which they were up until it was derailed by debating the merits of the OP) it is a worthwhile debate. If it doesn't appeal to you, or you think it's boring, DON'T OPEN IT!!! It's not rocket science.

Stifler's - posted on 03/01/2011

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I think the post was confusing for the fact that the AAP is seriously insinuating that STIs can help be prevented by circumcision! What a laugh! I don't care if you circumcise or not but don't say you did it to prevent sexually transmitted infections. That's just ridiculous. Only NOT having sex with someone who has one or wearing a condom can prevent that regardless of circ/intact.

Minnie - posted on 03/01/2011

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I typically don't care what the intent of the OP is in this community. If it's posted in 'Debating Mums' the general consensus is the subject matter is up for debate.



Regardless of why Katherine posted it- it was posted in Debating Mums and the subject matter was the AAP and the CDC reviewing their stance on RIC based on a few studies. Thus we debate the validity of the studies and circumcision.

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2011

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Rebecca, give it a REST. If you don't want to be part of the debate because *you* think it is pointless, then don't. But there are plenty of people who are quite happy to continue discussing the issue, so just let it be!!!

Mrs. - posted on 03/01/2011

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Well Lisa, that question can go both ways as well...

How was the original intent of the post not confusing?

I'm sure you can gather what I'm getting at from Katherine's post explaining the purpose of the post and my several posts after explaining why it was confusing or misleading. You just don't agree - which is fine.

Tara - posted on 03/01/2011

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exactly Lisa, you wouldn't pull a little girls labia open and wash with soap inside her vagina, it's the same thing. There is no more extra care in washing an intact penis. And the foreskin will naturally separate over time, and one of the best things to encourage nature is to allow your son to play in the bath. My doctor told me with all my boys, just let him do what little boys will do. That's nature at work.
:)

Minnie - posted on 03/01/2011

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The pain of forced retraction (which shouldn't be done, but is often recommended, unfortunately) can cause little boys to be very uncomfortable having their diapers changed or being washed down there. It is also the source of most of those "so and so's son was intact but he got infection after infection."



A boy's penis typically requires no more care than one would give washing a finger.

Merry - posted on 03/01/2011

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Anyone else seeing little icons by the
Was this post....?
Helpful. Nice. Funny. Encouraging.
I'm seeing a lightbulb by helpful, a smiley by nice, an exclamation mark by funny, and a heart by encouraging.

Kinda cute, showed up out of nowhere I guess.

[deleted account]

To answer posts earlier... I was apparently wrong that adult men do yank their wanks in crazy ways like toddlers, my apologies.

In regards to my friend and pulling the foreskin back? IDK? I have NO idea why it occurred so early? My sons are circ'd I do not know the protocol for uncirc'd penises? The problem, whether it originated in pulling the foreskin back too early, reared its head when he was too embarrassed to let his mom clean him or see him naked so he failed to take care of it himself and ended up w/an infection. Just to clear that up...or make it more confusing?

Mrs. - posted on 03/01/2011

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Never said you weren't allowed to post on any topic. Katherine you were very clear in the post previous about your intention with the post:

To show how ignorant the AAP was being

To show how flawed the study was

*For the people who are anti-circ *

To point out that circumcision is now a recommendation

I've seen a few topics on here that say things like:

For those who are pro-spanking

For those who are pro-choice

etc..

I'm just suggesting if that's the intention, put it in the title and have a space for like minded people to share. I happens all the time here. Say it's not a debate. It save confusion. Then if someone starts to debate or has a contrary opinion, you can say, that wasn't the intention and to start another thread.

I sense some back pedalling here from your other post.

Katherine - posted on 03/01/2011

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Well in this case I think that maybe (since we have talked about circumcision) I could have said Pro Circ only. It doesn't matter I mean I would not have thought about that!

It was something I found and thought WOW, I can't believe this and I want to share it.

Amy we can post a topic about anything.

Amy - posted on 03/01/2011

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one way or another, I'm glad issues like this do get brought up -and often. New mothers are joining all the time and there is constantly new research, new information, and new testimonies from other mothers that can aide us in decisions for the best of our families.

are we not allowed to post a topic for debate that we already know our own stand on?

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2011

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Jodi later she said - as I suspected by the post directly after- that was not her intention. That's why some people are confused. It's a bit of a bear trap post wise. You walk in thinking it's one thing and then it turns out to be another (and your foot is caught in the teeth of anti-circ anger). I'm just saying if that was her intention, which is cool and fine by me, just say so.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2011

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Except that in the OP she said "What do you think about this new research, and the CDC and AAP taking a new position?" That is an opening question for a debate.....which is why there is a debate :D

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2011

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Sure it's a debatable topic. That was not the purpose of the post though, Katherine said as much. I just think it would be a lot clearer if she had stated as much up front. I got that from the beginning but everyone got on me for saying so. I'm just saying my observations were correct, Katherine actually listed why they were.



I think I've been quite respectful of people's need to be heard. I've only pointed out elements of the debate which are obviously flawed arguments, like the whole "you don't know if your baby is in pain cause it can't talk" not going both ways and Katherine's original intent in the post being just to speak of the matter with like minded folks - she says as much herself, I'm just pointing it out.



Plus, when someone tells me to shut my mouth I tend to open it wider. You ladies are all passionate folks - I'm sure a few of you have the same reaction.

Jodi - posted on 02/28/2011

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Rebecca, I think it IS a debatable topic, because if you don't agree with it, it is open for debate. This is called Debating Mums. If someone posts a topic and we feel like debating it, even if *THIS IS NOT A DEBATE* is written on it, then all bars are off. I mean, ALL debates and discussions here evolve. Any topic is up for debate should we so choose.

Personally, I think that if you find a topic pointless and not worth debating, just click the back button and keep your mouth shut. Simple.

Mrs. - posted on 02/28/2011

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Or you know, if you want to post it for the reasons you listed again - you could do that. Because you know it would make it clear what kind of post it is intended to be.

Katherine - posted on 02/28/2011

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I actually didn't even think to do that......next time if it's a topic that's been beaten to death and I find an article, I will ;)

[deleted account]

Katherine, they've changed notifications again. Now instead of saying what they were rated.... they're all just 'liked'. And my notifications are possessed. Sometimes I have 20. Sometimes I have 900 something and they go up and down in the 900's.......

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