Friday, July 18, 2008

circumcision -- the man perspective?

tee hee, I couldn't resist. (and of course I can't just pop off a quick post either, I have to give lots of unnecessary background -- maybe someday I will conquer that compulsion).

so -- I mentioned my younger brother/wife are pregnant. We "know" (via ultrasound) that it is a boy -- and so inevitably the discussion of circumcision came up. I shared my personal story of making this decision with them -- and then last week she pretty much confirmed that she had decided to have the baby circumcised. I was mentioning this to my mom (in a "we have a success" way...) and she and I, as we generally always do, had to rehash the entire topic as if it were new somehow and we were the only people on the planet with brains large enough to solve this great world problem... alas, both of my older very grown brothers, who have grown sons of their own, were at mom's this morning sitting on the porch with her while I was on the phone with her. So, as a quick survey (which is by the way, how I eventually was swayed to having my son circ'd) she asked my older brother "what do you think of circumcising a new baby boy" and my brother said "thats the time to do it" -- smirk. Like she was asking about the timing, not the if it should be done. We both laughed hysterically -- okay now that I'm typing this, not as funny -- maybe you need to hear him "say" it. Anyhow, I have this much post typed, so I'm not erasing it just cuz it lost it's pow in translation to the "page".

And for anyone who is trying to make this decision -- and it is a VERY IMPORTANT decision. I am a survey person, when I have a big decision I will ask everyone I think might have any little tid bit of value -- and w/o exception those grown men (or the women who are intimate with them) that were surveyed by me -- and we are talking probably in the multiple dozens (and multiple generations) -- that were NOT circumcised wish they had been -- and most had to be circumcised as a young man or adult -- which was not at all pleasant. Also, my son, when he had this procedure done -- did not cry, he made a little gaspy sound as though he felt something, but he did not cry and scream as circumcision opponents would have you believe. Lastly, the Doula that my sister-in-law and I met with last week, let us know that her two grown sons are both un-cut, and the one who is active in the Army wishes he had been, "in the field" it is difficult to maintain the level of hygiene needed. Her other son (who is not in the military), does not have an opinion and is neither grateful she didn't nor does he wish that she had. Like I said, this is an important decision, and yours should be respected whichever way you go -- I am happy that I got all of the information I possibly could and spoke to people who I trusted about it -- and in trying to change my husband's mind to have the boy un-cut, I ended up being convinced that doing it was the right decision for us. I am only sharing my research as a helpful tip -- I think you should not do it for appearance (as my brother says -- if the other guys are looking at it his son can say "what the hell you lookin at my pud for?") and I don't think you should do it "cuz it's always been done" -- you should find out the health reasons for that decision and use that as your guide.

And if you are doing it -- I do agree with my brother -- when they are a baby "that's the time to do it!"

40 comments:

laughingatchaos said...

By the time we got to that decision, I was wiped on decision making and totally left it up to Tom. Ergo, both boys went under the knife. ; ) I figured I didn't know the difference, not having the equipment, so the decision wasn't mine to make. Haven't heard them complain....

baseballmom said...

My first son had it done the traditional way, but our second one had the little plastic thingie. The plastic thing didn't seem to bother him, and I'm GLAD we did it--my nephew is not circumcised and it just creeps me out. My younger one saw him with no diaper and said, "What's WRONG with his penis?!" Also, we've known a couple of kids who had to go get it done at 12 or so, and they were MISERABLE.

Mark Lyndon said...

It's his body, so let him decide. If he wants to have it done later on, it hurts *less*, it's safer, and the results are better cosmetically. Less than 1 in 150 men that are left intact need to be circumcised later in life.

drops in male circumcision:
USA: from 90% to 57%
Canada: from 47% to 14%
UK: from 35% to about 3% (less than 1% among Christians)
Australia: 90% to 12.6% ("routine" circumcision has recently been banned in public hospitals in all states except one, so the rate will now be a lot lower)
New Zealand: 95% to below 3% (mostly Samoans and Tongans)
South America and Europe: never above 5%

It's worth remembering that we wouldn't even be having this discussion if it weren't for the fact that 19th century doctors thought that :
a) masturbation caused various physical and mental problems (including epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, tubercolosis etc), and
b) circumcision stopped masturbation.

Both of those sound ridiculous today I know, but if you don't believe me, then check out this link:
A Short History of Circumcision in North America In the Physicians' Own Words

Over a hundred years later, circumcised men keep looking for new ways to defend the practice.

Anonymous said...

Circumcision? No argument in my household. My son is intact. If he wants to cut off a hunk of his fun bits, it'll be his choice.

And yes, I'm a circumcised male who wishes he had a choice in the matter.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 healthy, intact natural sons. They have no regrets and have told me they appreciate having their whole body. As a Christian, the New Testament tells me genital surgery is not consistent with Christian teachings. Thankfully many parents today no longer cut their babies.

Confused said...

I am always surprised to read posts like this one. Boys having to get circumcised at 12? Something like 80% of the men in the world are not circumcised and both infant circumcision and circumcision ostensibly for medical reasons is practically unheard of. Not a single intact guy I have ever ask has ever wanted to be circumcised most recoil at the very idea, myself included. What on earth are you Americans doing wrong that a boy of 12 would need to be circumcised?

Anonymous said...

A very interesting subject and one full of strong emotions. I live in the UK, where circumcision is comparatively rare. I am cut (gladly so, and not through any religious beliefs, but because my parents thought it healthier) and have my son circumsised (which much difficulty as it's quite hard to find a doctor to perform the procedure. Anyway, in deciding to get my son circumcised I did a load of research with my wife to ensure that we were makign the right decision.

What it boiled down to is that if a circumcisions is to be perfromed any doctor will tell you that it is best done when a person is young - preferably under 2 years old. secondly, there have been numerous requirements for grown men needing a circumcision but there's never been a medical need for a man to have a foreskin restored, so we considered this a good preemptive measure. lastly, over the past years as more and more unbiased research has been carried out, it has been proved time and time again that circumcision does have signifcant medical benefits. It can significantly reduce the chances of contracting HIV (as the HIV virus enters the body rapidly through the underside of the foreskin. Circumcision hass also been proven to reduce testicula cancer, a number of unrinary tact infections and also cervical cancer (in female partners).

Bearing the above in mind we felt as parents that we had no choice but to circumcise our son. As one doctor told us, if you put all the benefits of circumcision and made them available in a tablket or injection, or even in a procedure like the removal of the tonsils, everyone would put their clid through it. Just because it's the penis we get overly sensitive about it. You have to get over the whole 'let my son make the choice' - if they do it, they will be an adult and will, in all liklihood only do it if there was a problem, and most paretns decisions to do this are to prevent the probelms in first place. So act like a resposnible parent and do what's best for the long term life of your child.


One other thing; the earlier post about circumcision rates should not be taken as given. Firstly, althought circumcisions is still relatively low in the UK, the rates of adult circumcision have risen drastically - it is now the most common adult procedure performed on men and now stats are approaching around 20% of men being circumcised.

In the US, you have to take into account regions. There are some areas where circ rates are still in the 90 percent range. Moreover in areas where rates have dropped drastically, it is primarily driven by immigration of people from countries where circumcision is rare (such as latin america, eastern Europe, Russia and parts of the far east). It is interesting, though that Americans are hilighting statistics that show a decline in the procedure where, in reality, most countries are actually showing an increase (maybe not to dramatic levels, but an increase nonetheless).

Anyway - I was done and have never looked back. I'm glad my parents made this choice for me and I know our son will be too.

Hugh7 said...

There's a simple reason adult circumcision has risen in the UK that has nothing to do with "penile problems" - the earlier decline in the rate means there are now more intact men to circumcise!

Why on earth perform surgery on a newborn baby for problems that have a rate like 1 in 100 (for UTIs) or 1 in 1000 (for penile cancer)? And there is considerable doubt that circumcision even prevents these conditions. The "science" claiming it does is heavily biased by circumcised men's compulsion that all males should look like them.

Anecdotal research is very inclined to lead to whatever conclusion you want it to. Stories of babies getting "infections" and "having to be" circumcised are vivid and get remembered and passed around - and acted on. Stories of intact babies having no problems are not. There are plenty of men who bitterly resent having had the most sensitive part of their penis cut off without any choice in the matter. And well they might: whose penis is it, anyway?

Mark Lyndon said...

Loads of misinformation in the post at "10:53 PM, July 18, 2008".

You circumcised your son because you didn't want to admit that it was a mistake for you to have been circumcised. Nothing more, nothing less. You might have found some websites which told you want you wanted to hear, but you didn't really do any research.

Your comments about the rate of circumcision in the UK are simply bogus. Hardly anyone has it done any more except for religious reasons, and it's certainly not the most common adult procedure performed on men.

it has been proved time and time again that circumcision does have signifcant medical benefits

So how do you explain the following:
Canadian Paediatric Society
Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed

http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/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.

After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.


RACP Policy Statement on Circumcision
"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, and almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision in Australia in 1950 was about 90%)

These are policy statements from doctors, mostly circumcised. If the medical benefits are so great, why are national organisations of (mostly-circumcised) doctors, against it?

But you "felt as parents that we had no choice but to circumcise our son"?!? Yeah right.

"I'm glad my parents made this choice for me and I know our son will be too."
What are you going to do if he hates you for it?

If my son wants to be circumcised, I'll pay for it, and help him find a good surgeon. If your son wants to be intact, you've got a problem.

And no, it's not best done when young. People just say that to justify doing it to non-consenting infants. In fact, doing it straight after birth is the worst possible time.

Bobby said...

Doctors Opposing Circumcision believes that genital integrity (non-circumcision) is most likely to produce the highest level of health and well-being. They have a lengthy statement on their website to support their position. See

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/statement0.html

baseballmom said...

GEEZ, GIRL...looks like you opened up a can of worms there! I would think that there would be discussion forums for all of these experts to hang out at...interesting.

Mark Lyndon said...

GEEZ, GIRL...looks like you opened up a can of worms there! I would think that there would be discussion forums for all of these experts to hang out at...interesting.

Guess what, there are discussion forums and we hang out there too. Problem is that most new parents don't really know too much about circumcision. In Canada, the UK, and Australia, it's actually very difficult finding anyone who'll do a circumcision any more, but in some parts of the USA, it still seems to be routine. Many new parents really don't understand the decision they're making.

I don't have a problem with people choosing for themselves that they want to be circumcised. If my son wants to be circumcised when he's 18, I'll pay for it and help him find a good surgeon. Until then, he stays intact. His body - his decision. If he wants to be circumcised later, it's easy to fix (it hurts less. it's safer, and the results are cosmetically better). If we'd had him circumcised, and he wanted to be intact, it's a problem.

Even if I was circumcised, and thought it was the best thing I ever did, I just don't think I have the right to cut off part of my son's penis.

Another link for you:

Canadian Children's Rights Council policy on circumcision

The Canadian Children's Rights Council position is that there is no medical benefit to the routine genital mutilation (circumcision) of any children (defined by U.N. as those under 18 years of age). Further, all Canadian children, both male and female, should be protected by the criminal laws of Canada with regards to this aggravated assault. Currently, the protection provided by the Criminal Code of Canada includes only genital mutilation (circumcision) of female children.

baseballmom said...

And who am I to argue with the experts...I'm out. Peace, Mark, and all the anonymous' (anonymi?) out there. Momumo? Good luck, chickster, sorry for stirring the pot in your comments.

moosema said...

Looks like she got busy and hasn't checked her blog for awhile. Believe me, she's going to laugh her ass off when she does and then I can't wait to see what she has to say.

Come on guys ... this is just the ramblings of a middle-aged American mom. Chill.

baseballmom said...

No doubt!

momumo said...

oddly enough I did comment -- but somehow my comment on my own damn blog didn't post!

They can have at it -- I'm interested in what everyone has to say -- and I still think that circumcising my son was the correct decision for us -- if (G-d forbid) we were pregnant again with a boy, I would do it again. I'm pleased that my brother and his wife have made the choice to circumcise and all the statistics about how many people are or are not having their baby boys circ'd doesn't sway me -- a lot of people do a lot of things that are not compatible with my life. If I put enough energy into it, I could find some similar numbers saying that devil worship or fast food consumption has increased at a far greater rate than circumcision -- both decisions that would not be right for my family (not that we never "dine" on fast food -- don't be silly, we are a baseball family first!)

baseballmom said...

Well said...you rock, girl. Funny, I was just feeling guilty about the fast food thing the other day. Then I remembered that there was practice that night and well, you know.

Jim Moore said...

Only men circumcised as adults are qualified to comment. Here is one such comment.
“I am against circumcision because I was not circumcised until I was 45. I lost so much sensitivity it’s almost unbelievable”.
See: http://clinicahealth.usnews.com/comments.pl?sid=07/12/19/1911229
Circumcision has been promoted to prevent various diseases, most recently AIDS or HIV. However, in the United States, where 75% of adult men are circumcised, circumcision has done nothing to prevent HIV, or any other disease. For example, HIV prevalence in the USA is 3 to 7.6 times that in many European countries, where circumcision is rare. See: World Health Organization Database. www.who.int/whosis/database/core/core_select.cfm

momumo said...

And in my own PERSONAL survey of people I KNOW -- those who were not circumcised as babies, (or their wives/partners) were the comments I heeded -- they ALL wished they had been circ'd as babies -- those that had to undergo it as an adult and a few who had not, but had battled various health/hygiene issues relative to being 'intact' (what a stupid term!)

I totally honor the decision of those who choose not to circumcise, and I respect anyone who looks for valid information while making this decision. I personally hesitate to make decisions based solely on the opinions of strangers (no matter how official their organization's name sounds or how overwhelming their statistics are) -- a person must trust their information, and you can only trust information from trusted sources. Please, if you are considering this decision, allow this thread to motivate you to do more research, but please, do not make a decision based on my beliefs or those of the other posters -- we are strangers to you and we could be encouraging you to move to Guyana and drink some poisoned koolaid as well -- use trusted sources for your information... the internet is NOT a trusted source!

oh yeah, ps. none of the men (/partners) that I spoke with who had undergone adult circumcision mentioned anything about decreased sexual enjoyment -- I'm sure it is a concern, but again, I'll put money on it that there are widely varying opinions.

Mark Lyndon said...

In the UK, only about 1 in 150 men left intact at birth needs a circumcision later, and that rate is dropping as some new alternatives to circumcision have been found. No-one there or in Europe seems to have to "battle various health/hygiene issues relative to being 'intact'"

In the USA, where most men were circumcised 30 years ago, it would be unusual for you to even know one man that really needed to be circumcised for medical reasons. Some American doctors seem keen to find reasons to circumcise men though.

Most circumcised men are very happy with sex lives, and that's great, but there are many men who were circumcised later in life who report a huge drop in sensation (I can send links). It's possible to tape up, or even anaesthetise the inner foreskin to mimic the effect of a circumcision, and the few people that have done this report a sharp drop in feeling.

This Korean study included 255 men who were circumcised after the age of 20:

http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06646.x

"RESULTS
About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision."


Even if circumcision were a good idea, doing it right after birth is the worst possible time. It hurts more, it's more dangerous, and the results aren't as good cosmetically. There's also a chance that a "revision" (a second operation) will be needed for a baby, whereas this is virtually unknown for adults.

Sure, I'm just some stranger off the Internet, but I've posted the links for what the Candian Paediatric Society and Royal Australasian College of Physicians have to say about circumcision. Most of the men reponsible for those positions will be circumcised themselves, so if they recommend against circumcision, I really think it's worth listening to.

Here are two statements from the UK:

British Medical Association: The law and ethics of male circumcision - guidance for doctors
"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."

National Health Service (UK)
"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."

Most European or South American countries don't seem to have any policy on circumcision - unless people are Muslim or Jewish, they don't even consider it.

I just think it should be up to the person whose body it is. If my son wants to be circumcised when he's 18, I'll pay for it, and help him find the best surgeon. Until then though, I don't think I have the right to have part of his penis cut off.

baseballmom said...

Boy there are a lot of links flying around here...to me, it's interesting that in my relatively small corner of the earth I know 2 kids who had to get it done at 12 for health reasons/infection prevention, etc., and NO it was not because of lack of cleanliness. I guess there's no changing someone's opinion, and obviously, since I'm done having babies it's not going to change mine...I'm happy with my decision. I also really like the way you said it, Momumo, the internet and the people on it, no matter how many sources they quote, are not reliable sources of information on such a personal decision. Campaigning one way or the other isn't going to change the world a whole lot anyway, if you're gonna do it, you're gonna do it, and it's because it's the right choice for YOU and your family.

Hugh7 said...

Since as momumo says, it is such a VERY IMPORTANT decision, and since you totally honour those who decide not to do it, and since as baseballmom says it's such a personal decision, the question arises, whose decision should it be? The person whose penis it is, or someone else?

And then the question arises, how can the person whose penis it is decide not to do it (and be totally honoured for making this very important, very personal decision) if the decision has been made on his behalf when he was in no position to resist? (Supplementary question: what are you going to say when he says "I wanted to make this very important, very personal decision myself - why didn't you honour THAT?")

There is no deciding to cut any other part off his body, no deciding to cut any part at all off her body, and if you decide to cut the foreskin off an adult man without his informed consent, you go to jail. Why is the male baby's foreskin alone of all body parts subject to such caprice? The answer comes in two parts:

1. because it's relatively easy to remove (but damned hard to put back).

2. because of 1, removing it has become customary in a varity of cultures for a variety of reasons, (most if not all of them bogus).

Both of those are very poor reasons for going on doing it.

Mark Lyndon said...

I've quoted the policy statements of the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the British Medical Association, and the Canadian Children's Rights Council. They're reliable sources even if you don't think I am, and all anyone has to do to look at their policies on circumcision is to click on the links.

These are the official policies on circumcision of national doctors' organizations, comprised mainly of circumcised men. I really think parents should read them before having genital surgery performed on their children.

It's highly unlikely the two children you know who "had to get it done", would have been circumcised if they'd lived anywhere other than the USA. People only get circumcised if they're Muslim or Jewish, and no-one seems to have any problems. It seems likely that either:
1) the kids you know had their foreskins forcibly retracted. All the medical associations say not to do this as it causes problem (I could post the links), but people keep doing it anyway.
2) circumcision was recommended when it simply wasn't necessary. Some of the reasons given to circumcise in the US make no sense to doctors elsewhere.

momumo said...

Mark Lyndon said... In the USA, where most men were circumcised 30 years ago, it would be unusual for you to even know one man that really needed to be circumcised for medical reasons.

Are you implying that I would have a need to lie on my own blog to my whopping four or five readers (who are done having children to the best of my knowledge)?

Mark Lyndon said... Even if circumcision were a good idea, doing it right after birth is the worst possible time. It hurts more, it's more dangerous, and the results aren't as good cosmetically. There's also a chance that a "revision" (a second operation) will be needed for a baby, whereas this is virtually unknown for adults.

what the hell... you are able to aks a baby who you tell us repeatedly can't speak for himself to compare pain with an adult? I have 6 brothers, 10 brothers-in-law, 21 nephews and a gazillion cousins -- all circ'd -- NO "revision" whatever the hell that is, has ever been spoken of in my lifetime -- not even with all my research on this subject.

Now you just look silly... I was very respectful of your ability to use this forum to put forth your opinion and for people to judge both sides of the issue -- but honestly, you look silly when you say stuff that is incomprehensible.

and to both Mark and Hugh... don't imply that because I took this decision very seriously and decided differently than you would have that I am somehow abusive -- would you say that I should not make any decision regarding my son's (or daughter's) personal life choices... perhaps I shouldn't have fed them until they were old enough to decide whether or not they wanted to consume meat or dairy products, perhaps I shouldn't have sought medical care for them until they were old enough to decide if they wanted to be of some faith that does not seek medical treatments?

Mark Lyndon said...

I didn't say you were lying, and I didn't think that. It's just that circumcision is so much rarer outside the USA, and I think it's unlikely that most of the people you know would have been circumcised had they lived outside the US. Most people in Europe don't know anyone that needed to be circumcised, even though hardly any boys are circumcised at birth (so you'd expect circumcisions later in life to be more common).

Revisions are rare even for babies, but they do happen, whereas I'm not aware of this happening for adults.

The reasons why circumcision probably hurts babies more than adults are:
1) you can't use general anaesthetic on a newborn
2) babies have to have the foreskin ripped away from the glans. This is the most painful part of the operation for a baby, but not necessary for an adult as the foreskin separates from the glans naturally, usually somewhere between the age of 5-15.
3) babies seem to be more sensitive to pain than adults (you can google this).

I don't think any of this is silly or incomprehensible, but this is all getting a bit too heated for my liking, so I probably won't post again. Maybe I should just have left it at the medical society statements. I think that anyone who's about to have a baby should be aware of them.

You said yourself that it's a very important decision, and I just think that reading the policy statements of doctors (many of them circumcised themselves) who have researched circumcision is more valuable than asking friends and family.

baseballmom said...

I would have to say that it's my place to make that decision because I am the PARENT. In our society these days, I believe that kids are being given too many opportunities to 'choose' their own way, and that's partly the reason for the problems going on (drop out rates, teen pregnancy, drug use, gang violence)in the world today. When you are a parent, you make choices FOR your children, the best way you know how, and hope that you made the right one, the one that's best for their health and well-being IN YOUR OPINION. I agree, people need to research this before they make a decision, but I would think that they would talk to their own doctors, friends, etc. and not click on links on the internet where the 'facts' are sometimes distorted to serve certain groups' opinions. Momumo-this has been a truly thought-provoking post, and I personally have enjoyed taking part in this discussion-peace!

Hugh7 said...

Baseballmom is right that you shouldn't trust everything you read on the Internet. There are many circumcised men who can't stand it that others have more in their trousers than they do, and this leads to bias even some "science". There are people who get off on the idea of circumcision, who promote it with prurient interest. That can't be said of those who just want babies left alone.

As to the rest, as I said 5 posts back: cutting part of someone else's genitals off is not like other "decisions that parents have to make for their children". Being left to decide for yourself how much of your own genitals you are going to keep (which almost always means deciding not to do anything, to leave them alone, to keep all of them) is not like being allowed to do something that will lead to dropping out, drug use or teen pregnancy.

The rest of the English-speaking world would not have given circumcision up if the health claims for it carried any weight, and they, and the developed world where circumcision was never fashionable (Europe, Scandinavia) are not experiencing epidemics of foreskin-related diseases.

When it comes to circumcision, you need to think not as a parent, but as a peer of the man your baby is going to become, and not try to second-guess what decisions HE wants to make.

momumo said...

I really doubt that most men ever even think of being jealous of a few square centimeters of skin -- that sounds like an uncircumcised man trying hard to convince the rest of the world what a wonderful sex life he has -- and when people try hard to convince me of something like that -- I wonder... are they trying to convince themselves?

OUR DECISION AS PARENTS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH "FASHIONABLE"; MAKING OUR SON EQUAL WITH HIS DAD; OR MUTILATING HIS GENITALS FOR OUR OWN PURPOSES -- AND YOU DO HAVE TO THINK AS A PARENT -- BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE -- A PARENT -- NOT A PEER!

baseballmom said...

Hugh-what kind of a sick fucker suggests that people 'get off' on circumcising their kids? I know you've never given birth before, and you obviously don't know that after that? You're too fucking tired to 'get off' on anything. I'm also sure that you're dreaming when you say that you have 'more in your trousers' than a circumcised person. As momumo said--maybe a few square millimeters. This IS a parental decision, and it IS something that a mother who GIVES BIRTH to that child has the right to choose FOR them. My oldest is 12, and not once has he asked me why I did it. I'm confident that my boys will be happy with my decision, and if not? I'm the parent, and you can feel free to disagree, but that's the bottom line. The example of drug use, etc. was used in context to show that there has to be a time when you make decisions for your minor child because you care about them and because you feel that it is best for them, not because you 'get off on it'. There are WAY too many people who are friends instead of parents to their kids, and they are not doing them any favors, believe me, having worked with kids for 20 years, I've seen it.

Hugh7 said...

It's not "a few" square centimetres of skin, momumo, unless 100 is now a few. See this page. Denying they have lost anything is how circumcised men avoid having to face just how much they've lost.

Now that you mention it, momumo, why did you cut more than half the skin, 20,000 nerves and a sheet of muscle off your son's most intimate part, apart from following the views of a tiny handful of other people? I wouldn't ask, except that you say it's a very important decision (I say it's not a parent's decision at all, just leave them alone) and you've capitalised all the reasons you didn't do it, so I have to wonder - especially since you are proselytising for circumcision in your family, and gloating ("we have a success") to your mother. Doing it seems to matter a great deal to you.

baseballmom, nobody said parents get off on circumcising their own kids, but now that you mention it, there will inevitably be such, as you say, "sick fuckers". No, the "circumsexuals" as they call themselves get off on the idea of circumcising other men and boys, and they get off on the idea of being circumcised. They have websites where they exchange circumcision fantasies (sadistic female nurses abound), mailing lists and an annual convention. I couldn't make them up. I wonder how many are doctors?

I never said anything about my trousers, but by definition, an intact man has more than a circumcised man, as detailed above. Too many mothers know far too little about what is involved in circumcision and what it removes. See this video from Stanford University or this one.

Your son is 12, baseballmom, and hasn't complained yet? Plenty of time then. You can hardly expect him to be curious about it until he's sexually active. You still don't seem to appreciate that when you cut part off someone's genitals, it's not like a haircut that he can do his own way when he's older, it's for life. Maybe not now, but when he grows up, you will want him to be your friend. Informal surveys suggest that a much higher proportion of men are unhappy about having had part of their genitals cut off than are unhappy about having been left alone.

baseballmom said...

Whatev, Hugh-I doubt that he'll run off and say he's not gonna be my friend because I circumcised him when he was a baby. Also, you imply, by talking about it, that YOU in particular have 'more in you trousers' so in essence, you did say it. Also, you talk about 'those who get off' on circumcising, so really, you did say that too...go back and read your comment.

Hugh7 said...

Baseballmom: doubt if you will, but some do, and more will. I did not talk about or imply anything about my own state, so in essence, nothing. There are people who get off on circumcising, but I have not heard of any who have abused their own children in this way - yet. Read my comments more carefully.

Please explain further the bit about how giving birth to someone confers the right to cut parts off their genitals. Female babies too? If not, why not?

~T~ Another baseball mom. ;) said...

I was SO trying to stay out of this. ;)

I have two boys. One is 12 and one almost 8. My 12 year old was circ'd and had to go through two additional revisions. My 8 yro is also circ'd.

Do I regret the decision I made to get them circ'd? No. Have I ever once heard my boys question why the decision was made for them? No. But IF and or when they do question me, I will be honest and up front. I did my research and made the decision I felt was best.


I have read both sides of the of the story. After having my first child have some complications with his circ I was nervous about getting #2 circ's. I visited several forums and in almost everything I read, it was a parenting bash.

People who are against circ's do nothing but throw stats and insults at parents.

I had people challenge my LOVE for my child because I had put him through a circ and two revisions. Like I WANTED that to happen!?

Insults are NEVER going to convince people to see your side of things.

What REALLY gets under my skin is people ATTACKING parents and making them feel like dirt/stupid because of a decision they made. Anything to LASH out on a parent. geeesh! What happened to respecting someone's (parenting) decision.

Try educating people with your knowledge.Which by the way does not include throwing out numbers (stats). DO NOT try to insult them and make them feel like crap.


Weather you like it or not.... parents have the right to make decisions for their kids. They don't those making those decisions lightly.
I could go on and on- but I am going to stop. I think anything I have to say will fall on deaf ears anyway. Several people who have already commented here are not open to seeing both sides. That is obvious.
Have a wonderful day

Let the bashing begin. ;)

From a GOOD mom- who LOVES her boys more then anything.

~T~ said...

ooops that is was supposed to say

They don't TAKE making those decisions lightly.

not
They don't those making those decisions lightly.

sorry.

Jim Moore said...

Parents have the right to make decisions about circumcision, Doctors have no such right. They should know better. The following is a direct quote from a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan memo concerning non-therapeutic circumcision, issued in February, 2002: "You can, and should respectfully decline to perform the procedure just as you respectfully decline to carry out other requested medical acts that you regard to be inappropriate." See www.cirp.org/library/statements/sask2002
Circumcision is becoming uncommon in Canada and is uncommon in most of the world. Infant and child circumcision has been outlawed in South Africa. Circumcised men and mothers who have made this decision are understandably defensive. New parents owe it to their son to be fully informed long before making this very important decision. See www.nocirc.org and www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org

baseballmom said...

I'm done. I agree with T-the antis are NEVER going to see both sides, and it's pointless to respond to that. Hugh? I wish you luck in your quest to rid the world of circumcision. I appreciated Jim Moore's comment a lot more, because he, at least was not hostile (openly, or passive-aggressively) and stated the facts that he believes, without being judgemental. T, you said it well too. Hugh, is your last name Jass?

Hugh7 said...

Bye, Baseballmom. Thank you for your good wishes. (Such a change from calling me a "sick fucker" ... oh yes, and the "Jass" jab ... and she calls me hostile?)

Of course it's legal, T, to cut part off baby boy's genitals, but is it ethical? And as I asked before, if boys, why not girls?

T is quite right that there are "lies, damned lies and statistics". Among the statistics you don't hear are how very rare complaints such as penile cancer are, and hence how many circumcisions are wasted in the attempt to prevent them.

Sadly, not all parents do research the subject thoroughly, but cut their babies for literally hundreds of bad reasons, or they are pressured by hospital staff. Circumcision became customary often without parents being asked, and now many parents do it "because it's customary".

baseballmom said...

Really, I'm not hostile, I'm just sick of your holier-than-thou statistic spouting. I don't really get why you feel qualified to berate others for making this choice, because I'm not degrading you for staying 'intact' and choosing to leave any children you have intact too. It's YOUR CHOICE, it's OUR CHOICE, bottom line, no point in trying to change anyone's mind here, especially when the deed is done, and we're happy with our choices. I guess the only way to stop this debate is to agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

Hugh7 said...

"Holier than thou"? "berate"? You seem to be reading things I never wrote.

I don't know if you realised that Jim Moore was being sarcastic when he said "Parents have the right to make decisions about circumcision, Doctors have no such right. They should know better" as the quote that follows that shows.

"It's our choice" "We're happy with our choice" What about the penises' owners' choice? And acceptance after the fact is not choice.

This column is called "Circumcision - the man perspective?" The vast majority of men who have been left intact wouldn't have it any other way. A significant proportion of men who have had part of their genitals cut off, would rather they had been left as they were born. (And the tiny fraction of intact men who want to have part of their genitals cut off can do so - or put big holes in their ears, or get their tongues slit, or any other extreme body modification of their choosing. That's where circumcision belongs.) So I make no apologies for putting that man perspective up here.

baseballmom said...

Awesome, Hugh-I guess the only way to end it is to say nothing, so...
(crickets)