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Go Ask Aunt Becky


Hi Aunt Becky,

My husband and I just found out we are having a boy, so our house will be a sausage factory too. After recovering from hearing the news, I picked a fight with the husband about circumcision. He’s pro sausage casing removal, and I’m kind of anti. He is “jewish” (mom is catholic dad is jewish), but he doesn’t have any religious reasons for his feelings.

He’s worried the little snot will get teased in the locker room and also thinks they look better. I think there isn’t a good medical reason to do it, they don’t look THAT weird, and circumcision rates are falling, so by the time he gets to school more boys will look like him. I would love it if you could please be our tie breaker.


*looks frantically around for cover*



Oh Prankster, how I am afraid to touch this question beyond all others before or after it because circumcision is the new abortion in terms of making people want to hurl things at each other at maximum velocity. But you asked and I can try and help you here.

First, let me start by saying this: I do not court controversy on my blog because, well, I don’t like it. Second, I am neither pro nor anti-circumcision in terms of what you do to your child because frankly, I have better things to get worried about, like why Househusbands of Hollywood got canceled.

That said, there are a WHOLE LOT of people who feel beyond strongly about it and I have no doubts that they will come and discuss it here. I have hopes that my Pranksters, being the awesome people that they are, can keep this discussion civil. Because opinions are like assholes (everybody’s got one) and what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander.

I think that means that this decision is personal and personal attacks don’t need to be made against one another here. In fact, I will not tolerate it.

Lengthy disclaimer aside, I decided to go ahead and do some research for you, Prankster, because I do not like to give emotional responses to such a topic. Specifically, I went to the Centers For Disease Control’s Website to see what THEY said about the matter. They tend to have good, non-biased EVIDENCED-based material, and they did not disappoint.

I was looking for the medical reasons to circumcise, because while it used to be a standard procedure for all male infants in the hospital, that’s come under fire recently as being medically unnecessary. I wanted the FACTS. Here is what I found (information can be found here):

*Male circumcision has been associated with a lower risk for HIV infection in international observational studies and three randomized controlled clinical studies performed in Africa.

*The reason for the lower risk of HIV infection is due to the makeup of the skin of the foreskin which may have a greater susceptibility to tears during intercourse, providing an entry for pathogens (including HIV). The space between the foreskin and the penis may also provide an ideal environment pathogen survival as most flourish at normal body temperatures.

*Male circumcision has been proven effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection through insertive vaginal sex.

*That said, there are risks associated with male circumcision, which is generally performed in the hospital by the obstetrician before the mother and infant are sent home.

*The most common risks are bleeding, pain and infections and those are very rare. No long-term complications have been noted in the studies the CDC was referring to, and because the Internet is a vast and oftentimes incorrect place, I wasn’t about to Google it.

*The results of effects of male circumcision on penile sensation and sexual function give us a mixed picture: there is a report of decrease in sensitivity to fine touch. But several studies among adult circumcision patients report that there is no change or an improvement post circumcision.

From the American Medical Association (will open up a PDF if you click on it, but has a TON of information about it), here are the numbers for you number people, updated January, 2010:

*Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was reduced by 53%
to 60%.

*Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was reduced by 28% to

* Human papillomavirus (HPV) was reduced by 32% to 35%.

*Among female partners of circumcised men, bacterial vaginosis was
reduced by 40% and Trichomonas vaginalis infection was reduced by 48%.

(many of those studies were done in developing countries so the numbers may be lower in the US)

Probably the best, most medically sound information I could find was here, on the National Library of Medicine’s Website. The links are sound and up-to-date. Plus, none of them involve the same emotional tone that I so hate when it comes to this topic.

*The American Academy of Pediatrics takes this stance on circumcision: “The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that circumcision has potential medical benefits and advantages, as well as risks. The existing scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend routine circumcision. Therefore, because the procedure is not essential to a child’s current well-being, we recommend that the decision to circumcise is one best made by parents in consultation with their pediatrician, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child, including medical, religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions.”

The Center’s For Disease Control and Prevention are launching an evidence-based study into the topic of male circumcision and have made no final recommendations.

And as for you, Prankster, I find it to be a very personal decision that should be made once you know all of the risks and benefits. Education is key here, and I hope that I’ve done an okay job gathering the facts for you.


Now I turn the table to you, my Pranksters, to discuss this topic. She asked for a tie-breaker, and I’m not giving her one because, well, that’s not my style. So have at it. Just be nice, yo.

posted under Go Ask Aunt Becky
85 Comments to

“Go Ask Aunt Becky”

  1. On May 30th, 2010 at 1:41 am Kate Says:

    Foreskin is there for a reason. Don’t cut it off. Would you volunteer your daughter for elective surgery without anesthesia when she is just a day or two old? How about yourself? Would you let someone cut off some skin from your genitals without anesthesia just for cosmetic purposes? If not, then why would you do it to your son?

    Google infant circumcision videos and have your husband watch one in action. That might help make your decision easier.

  2. On May 30th, 2010 at 7:13 pm Zakary Says:

    AGREED. Our midwife had us watch a video of a circumcision to help us make up our mind.

    Our son is not circumcised. In Colorado, only half of the male babies born are circumcised now. If he wants it done when he’s older, I’ll pay for it for sure. I just couldn’t do that to a teeny baby.

    P.S. My husband’s mother decided to have him circumcised when he was four. He woke up in the middle of it and he remembers it. Mostly the blood everywhere. It’s um, not very straight either, but he refuses to have it fixed. (HE WILL KILL ME IF HE KNEW I MENTIONED THAT.)

  3. On May 30th, 2010 at 1:12 am Kate Says:

    We chose not to circumcise our son (luckily for the state of our marriage my husband was on the same page since I wasn’t about to back down). My reasonings in no particular order

    Here’s the thing about the “benefits” of circumcision when it comes to STD’s and other infections; none of it makes a difference if your son is using a condom like he should be.

    It’s a elective surgery that carries very real risks. It’s unlikely but tragedies do happen with some regularity. My best analogy here is Laser eye surgery. A good friend of mine used to work at Johns Hopkins in the vision department. He once told me that almost all of the doctors there wore glasses and had no intention of having the surgery because there was a risk of damaging or even losing your eyesight. Yes, lots and lots of people have had successful outcomes but to them, the ones “in the know” so to speak, the risks outweighed the benefits.

    The sensation issue is a little trickier because there are conflicting statements. However, the origin of regular (non religion based) circumcision was an effort to eliminate masturbation so that says something to me.

    The ick factor. They use foreskins to make expensive face creams. Apparently they grow really well (similar to stem cells) so they take the foreskin (which was sold to them although the parents never see a dime), grow the cells in a lab and then use them to make anti-aging face creams.

    Mostly though it’s an issue of bodily integrity. It’s my son’s body; not mine.

  4. On May 30th, 2010 at 1:20 am Wicked Shawn Says:

    So glad The Narcissist’s dad and I didn’t do battle over this one. Tough. I am with you, though. Totally a personal decision. A great deal of information you have given her, reliable sources of information. Good luck Prankster! More importantly, Congrats on the upcoming addition of a new little guy!!! 🙂

  5. On May 30th, 2010 at 2:22 am Andra Says:

    I have to vote for the “no way” on this site. Although, not having a penis at birth, I cannot vouch for the missing anatomy, and the personal loss at having something taken from you, without your consent. But, because I need a hobby, and have too much available time in the middle of the night, I have read opinions of men that had it done at birth, and are now having their foreskin restored (who knew?). And opinions of men whose parents did not have it done, and how badly they wished they had.

    I, too, read that it began as a way to stop male children from masturbating. Which, they now know that is normal. So, why, in this day and age, would a parent do that to their child? Its only my opinion, but to me it isnt any different than female genital mutilation

  6. On May 30th, 2010 at 3:47 am Ami Says:

    My son is just now 1 year old and while my husband was very FOR The Cut (he was raised jewish), I was on the fence about it. Here’s why we decided to do it, make of it what you will (some of these are dumb but we’re people so there):

    1. Stupid reason but I didn’t feel like explaining why Daddy’s penis doesn’t have a turtle neck like his does. (and if you don’t think the kid will ever see it you don’t have small children and therefore get to use the bathroom by yourself…)

    2. My doctor is a big fan of pain management. She had me numb it w/ some sort of cream (I filled a nipple like you use on a bottle w/ the cream and then stuck his weenie in it and put the diaper back on) for a half hour BEFORE she did the injections to make sure all sensation was gone. He screamed cuz he was TICKED about being tied down and didn’t seem to notice at all when she performed the operation. And he didn’t show any signs of discomfort at all over the next few days which I was worried about.

    3. I liked the health benefits. I’d read up on all the studies about lower disease etc, and yes as one person pointed out SOME of those are moot if you use a condom, however teenagers do not always make the best decisions, no matter how well you teach them, so I’d rather not count on that.

    4. I was concerned about the decreased sensation, but our doctor recommended what I thought was a nice compromise – she didn’t COMPLETELY remove the foreskin, theres a little something there for the sensation thing.

    So thats our reasons. Chose whatever you’re comfortable with. I would however like to comment on the individuals who compare circumcision to female genital mutilation (FGM). Having studied both fairly extensively in college I personally don’t feel there is any real comparison for the following reasons:

    There is no analogous portion of the female genitalia. We’re not comparing apples to apples, we’re comparing apples to oranges. Namely: FGM usually involves the removal of the clitoris, the analogous portion of the male anatomy is the glans penis or head of the penis. The male equivalent of FGM would be to chop the head of the penis OFF. Trimming excess foreskin isn’t even in the same ball park in my opinion.

    The other most popular method of FGM involves sewing the labia shut. The only male equivalent I can think of would be wrapping scrotum up and around the penis and sewing it over the top. Not remotely comparable to circumcision.

    Additionally, I can respect the argument that you are taking something from them with out their permission to a point but I would also like to point out that as parents we make a number of choices for our children with out their consent to improve their health. We vaccinate them to protect them from disease. If necessary we remove all manner of organs and administer all manner of medications to prevent or treat illness. It’s called being a parent and some times as the Mommy you have to make some tough calls.

    Last thought: always remember, your kids are going to need something juicy to tell their therapist when they’re older.

  7. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:24 am Badass Geek Says:

    The bun, or without the bun… That is the question.

  8. On May 30th, 2010 at 5:43 am Sara @ Life With the Two Says:

    Having only girls, I must say I am glad I got to avoid this subject. However, I know lots of people who go with what daddy looks like. This way, there are NOT the weird questions later.

    Not sure what I’d decide to do but I do love all the info that Aunt Becky provided. Very informative!

  9. On May 30th, 2010 at 5:46 am Tracie Says:

    I know a couple of men who had to be circumcised later in life due to ‘complications’ (a vague term but that’s all the info I was given) and they said it hurt like a motha. They highly recommend that all newborns be circumcised to avoid this pain later in life.

  10. On May 30th, 2010 at 5:49 am Dana Says:

    I chose not to circumcise my now 14 yo son – not such a common occurrence almost 15 years ago.

    I was a single mom at the time and had no loyalties to anyone but my son. The decision was an easy one for me.

    I will say that parents making the decision NOT to circumcise need to be honest about their comfort level in teaching personal hygiene (talking to your son about pulling his foreskin back to insure ALL parts of the penis are properly cleaned). There are differences and person hygiene is critical in the optimal success of choosing not to circumcise.

  11. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:12 am Cyndi Says:

    Wow, that’s some excellent research, Aunt Becky!

    I haven’t ever had to make the decision myself because all mine are adopted and came whatever way they were, but in my family it’s pretty normal to be circumcised. With my youngest son, we’ve had to teach him how to clean under his foreskin very carefully because he gets eczema under it and the whole sausage swells up and gets red and purple. It’s not pretty.

    I compare the decision to piercing a baby’s ears. It’s cultural and it’s easier to take care of while they’re babies than when they’re bigger and you can’t hold them down. Other than that, it’s nobody’s business what’s going on in your child’s pants! Anyone who wants to get on you about the choice you eventually make deserves a big STFU!

  12. On May 30th, 2010 at 7:12 am JulieHG Says:

    I had an adult male co-worker who tended to ‘overshare’ and he told me about his experience. He choose to get circumcised as an adult and already sexually active, so he had the before and after point of view.

    In his experience, he had a strong increase in sensitivity and sexual gratification AFTER the circumcision was performed.

  13. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:13 am Kate Says:

    I’ve heard this before. I’ve also heard that this causes to men to not “last” as long; something your collegue was unlikely to share with you.

  14. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:23 pm Maria Says:

    Imagine your clitoral hood and all the skin and fat padding around it was removed. You’d initially be VERY sensitive, but eventually, you woudl lose most sensation having your clitoris dry out and rub against your underwear all day for years. Just sayin’

  15. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:32 am Margaret Says:

    Well done on the finding Real Facts!

    But emotionally? Uncut ones are GROSS.

  16. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:01 pm stephen geevers Says:

    Natural is not gross.

  17. On June 1st, 2010 at 2:00 am TeDiouS Says:

    My husband is uncut and I would thank his parents profusely on a regular basis, if that wouldn’t be…weird. Definitely not gross…he is as he was intended to be, and I prefer him that way.

  18. On May 30th, 2010 at 7:33 am Kori Says:

    Ever notice how the positive effects of circumcision actually effect his future female partners in a bigger way? Males are much more likely to spread STD’s and AIDS than females, so I chose circumcision to protect my son’s future partners.

  19. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:25 am Dana Says:

    Not sure what research you are looking at to make this statement. I know that when I worked in the U.S. Army STD clinic, or data indicated that females (due to the lack of symptoms of STD’s) were far more likely to remain untreated and often infected multiple males.

  20. On May 31st, 2010 at 7:11 pm kris Says:

    I have to disagree in that I did not circumcise my son for many reasons. Not least of which, because I have no loyalties to any of his future partners. My priority is my son.

    My understanding is that removal of the foreskin will, with time, cause keratinization and desensitization of the moist skin that existed around the head of the penis as it dries out and rubs against his clothes. The foreskin itself is also a very sensitive area and thought to add quite a lot to sex in and of itself.

    As for the argument that female (circumcision) genital mutilation is different from male circumcision, there exist many types of female genital mutilation. In some cases, the labia and sometimes the hood of the clitoris are removed producing exactly the same effect that is mentioned above, wherein the very moist environment that usually exists there is dried out and desensitized to reduce a woman’s enjoyment of sex and offset her desires of the same.

    I have also heard the argument that there is a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction with older men who have been circumcised, though to be fair, I have not researched this to any extent.

  21. On May 30th, 2010 at 7:40 am Maria Says:

    I feel VERY strongly about the decision I made for my own child. I did all the research and talked to my ped. The research showing potential benefits of circ are kinda “meh.” No controlled studies in the U.S. have been done, to my knowledge.

    Research what the foreskin really does, watch videos of the procedure and make your own decision.

    No, my son’s doesn’t look like my husband’s but most of his body doesn’t look much like his either. A dried out, scarred, marred penis is NOT “normal,” even though it’s the norm in our country. I didn’t pierce my daughter’s ears either because I think it’s her decision!

    I know people like to think that their baby didn’t feel pain and that it was no trouble at all, but there is plenty of research showing that they sure as hell do feel pain, even going into shock.

    Every Mom of a circ’d boy I know IRL had trouble with keeping it clean, adhesions etc and almost every one admitted that it looked painful after and that he seemed unfomfy. Intact boys just need the outside wiped like any other part in the bath/diaper changes. When their foreskin retraccts itself, they can wash underneath.

    Look at the emptiness in the baby’s eyes post-circ.

    Anyway, as I said I feel very strongly that I made the right decision for my child. Get informed and make your choice. You sound like you don’t want to circ. Hope your research makes you comfortable in your choice!

  22. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:42 am Nuttermother Says:

    My general theory (having only a uterus myself) is you do what daddy is.

    And… turtle necks are weird.

  23. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:11 am Shin Ae Says:

    Well done with the fact finding, Aunt Becky, and also with tackling a hairy subject. So many strong feelings on both sides. I’ve listened to expectant friends tell me why they wouldn’t circumcise a boy and completely understood. However, I chose to circumcise my sons because (1) our families have always done it that way, with no ill effects that we’ve ever noticed and (2) the facts Aunt Becky gave, above. I get why you wouldn’t want to do that to your kid, I really do. It’s a tough call. My first son slept through the procedure. Second son did NOT. It was heartwrenching. BUT I will say that my oldest son is now 9 and I still have to floss his teeth to be sure it’s properly done, nuff said?

    (yes, I’m very serious about dental hygiene.)

  24. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:12 am Randa Says:

    I’ll say it again. My grandpa told me when we were discussing this with my dad. He said: “I’m uncut and I washed my self in a helmet during the war. I never got any infections.”
    you really can’t worry about showing your son how to fold the skin back…my three year old has already figured it out while in the tub. And how is a guy with foreskin going to spread AIDS if he hasn’t been exposed to it?

  25. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:33 am Melissa Says:

    Since AIDS has not been cured, nor HIV or lots of other STD’s what are you trying to say?


  26. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:59 am Randa Says:

    No Just saying I don’t get the point saying a man with foreskin can spread a disease he doesn’t have any easier than a man without. They’re basically trying to say that uncut men can give people diseases easier. But if you have a guy with hiv or aids or any other std he cam spread it…if he’s not protected. I didn’t even imply Abstinence

  27. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:59 am Randa Says:

    No Just saying I don’t get the point saying a man with foreskin can spread a disease he doesn’t have any easier than a man without. They’re basically trying to say that uncut men can give people diseases easier. But if you have a guy with hiv or aids or any other std he cam spread it…if he’s not protected. I didn’t even imply Abstinence

  28. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:14 am strawbrykiwi Says:

    My BIGGEST comment is either way, please teach them to keep it clean. Please.

    I will say from my time working in nursing homes… the “non turtle neck” versions are easier to keep clean.

  29. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:24 am Melissa Says:

    Speaking as a barren former hussy, I have seen both, up close. Not much of a difference really when they are hard.

    As the mother of unborn children, I would have to say to cut. Most mothers would agree that it doesnt feel natural to pay ALL THAT ATTENTION to the penis while bathing their babies. And I KNOW for a fact that kids that are old enough to bathe themselves dont do it well until they are of the I want to have the sex age. So eww, skin cheese, with bacteria! And do you WANT to be asking your 8 year old if he cleaned his penis properly? It’s hard enough to check on the teeth. How do you go about checking on the penis?

    My pain in the ass advise? (Which I insisted on when my godson (and my nephew who is also my godson). Have the pediatrician do it and not the OBGYN. Yeah, it probably hurts like a MUTHA, but I imagine everything does at that age, and they dont remember.

  30. On May 31st, 2010 at 6:23 am Coleen Says:

    OB’s perform the procedure because they are trained as surgeons (since they perform c sections and other procedures); pediatricians are not surgeons (well, unless it’s a pediatric surgeon, but you get what I mean)

  31. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:36 am Jenni Williams Says:

    I live in a sausage factory too. All three of our boys are clipped. I was on the fence, hubby was VERY pro, so we did it. It’s not a pretty process, but I can’t say I regret it. Little boys are FILTHY. I know as a grown man, they can keep the whole area clean, well I hope they can. But with little boys its not that way.
    In the time since hubby WAS a little more on the fence than he used to be, but then our 4 year old nephew had to get circumsized because of constant infections. OUCH.
    If we have another boy, we will clip again.

  32. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:41 am 2bKate Says:

    Babies have died from circ. I just couldn’t take the chance. please review some of the information on before making your choice. There is a lot of good information on that site.

    I hope that everyone is teaching their boys to use condoms and not that since they are circ’d that they will not have to worry about STDs.

    Also you don’t have to wash it that much differently when non circ’d please never retract!!! we just hold the baby by the jet in the tub and he’s squeeky clean..

  33. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:38 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Where have you seen that babies have died from it? The CDC reported no studies where they found that babies have died from this procedure which really is quite minor. Again, I am neither pro nor anti, but I’m curious about that.

    And you’re ABSOLUTELY right. Condoms are MUCH more effective at stopping STD’s than circumcision EVER will be. PERIOD. Good, excellent point. Thank you.

  34. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:43 am Tweets that mention Go Ask Aunt Becky | Mommy Wants Vodka -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aunt Becky and Amanda G., Neil Thrower. Neil Thrower said: RT @mommywantsvodka The great circumcision debate: […]

  35. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:45 am Miss Britt Says:

    We did not circumcise.

    My son is 10. Teaching him to clean was as basic and “comfortable” as teaching my daughter to wipe properly.

    This is definitely a time when you have to be honest with yourself and each other about your priorities. Are you willing to make a decision based on avoiding “uncomfortable talks”? (and if you are, great – but you need to admit that, I think)

  36. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:56 am Peggy Brister Says:

    I have 3 kids- 2 of which are boys. I didn’t have my first son circumcised until he was 4. The hospital I had him in in Dallas didn’t perform the procedure and I had to wait until he was a few years old before I did it. They were able to treat it like a surgical procedure and sedate him to do it. He never cried about it or expressed discomfort afterward. With my second son, 15 years later, the hospital would perform the procedure and I had them do it right at birth. If I had 5 more boys I would have them all done too. I didn’t want my boys to be different, b/c let’s face it, UNcircumcised boys are different than most other boys who are clipped. No matter what statistics you want to read, the norm in the states is a circumcised penis. It is also not as clean. Little boys don’t clean themselvesd properly and I didn’t want to be pulling and jerking around with my young son’s penis to clean it for him, seemed kind of weird to me. SO, that’s my opinion. Do your son a favor and have it done when he is a baby.

  37. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:50 pm sky Says:

    I think the norm *was* a circumcised penis. When we were younger. Not so anymore.

    In fact, in Canada it’s no longer even a covered (paid for) procedure because it’s considered unnecessary by the medical governing bodies.

  38. On August 12th, 2012 at 11:27 pm Grant Says:

    As an adult that had to have it done to relieve chronic irritation and tight foreskin and tearing during intimacy, I encourage pain managed circumcision at birth. I only wish I had been done as a baby, or had not avoided help for so long as an adult.

  39. On May 30th, 2010 at 8:59 am Rayne of Terror Says:

    Explaining the difference between father and son is easy. We said something like, WAAAAAY long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth (the 1970s), everybody cut their baby sons thinking that was the only way to go. Now parents have a choice because we know more. We decided not to cut you. When you are a parent there will probably be things that we do that you will not do because you will know more than we do now.

    I also find teaching good hygene to be easy thus far. I did have to teach daycare providers proper hygene though and that was an unwelcome surprise. By the third daycare room I figureed out to take in a Dr. Sears book highlighted and flagged to each teacher until my son was independent in the bathroom.

    We did not circ our sons and we are very happy with the decision. I know of two boys in our social circles that had their surgeries botched by student doctors and that was enough to help me decide.

  40. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:06 am Katie Says:

    It is a difficult topic to address, and I read all of the opinions given. I have to agree with Ami. Most guys I know are circumcised, and they have NO recollection of the event, and face no psychological trauma from the event. I have also never had a guy say that he was angry with their parents for doing it. I can also agree with the cleanliness factor. Even into their 20’s, boys aren’t always the cleanest, and you can get some bad infections from not cleaning carefully under there.
    In response to the one commenter’s statement about how the boy should be wearing condoms, so it shouldn’t matter…there are A LOT of boys who do not wear condoms. They rely on the female for birth control and expect to be safe. We can hope that our kids wear condoms, but it won’t always happen. For me personally, I would rather take the precaution. I understand it’s painful for the child, but if it hurts them that much for the rest of their life, I will pay for the therapy!

    But. I think that this is a decision that needs to be made between you and your husband. You also need to accept that you may be the one who has to teach him how to clean himself properly, as you husband may refuse to do it since it’s kinda…awkward and he is circumcised. Good luck with this decision, and know that either way, your son will still love you 😀

  41. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:13 am CatPS Says:

    Wow, I’m really surprised at the people who think uncirc’d penises are “gross” or “weird,” and have very little else to say on the issue. Strikes me as pretty judgemental. We rail against men who look at women and judge based solely on breasts, or butt, or thinness, or whatever… but you have no problem coming out and declaring a natural human body part gross/weird. Interesting…

    My husband and I have discussed it, and provided our doctor(s) don’t have a specific recommendation, I will let hubby make that decision (should we have any little sausages joining the family). I have no firsthand experience (hehehe!) with personally possessing said organ, and also don’t have a strong opinion either way based on the research I’ve read.

  42. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:26 am Melissa Says:

    They really arent weird when in action. Or otherwise. If I were able to have a son my decision would include the hygiene issue, the disease spreading issue.

    You are right. The LOOKS of it is a moot point. Just because we are used to looking at a mushroom head doesnt make the argument valid.

  43. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:28 pm Maria Says:

    It’s sad that we think that normal, as God made us penises look “weird.” Let’s be honest, most genitals ain’t exactly pretty. Any hussy who doesn’t like my son because of his penis doesn’t deserve him! How would we feel if a man wrinkled up his nose at our labia??

  44. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:15 am sharon Says:

    We have two boys and decided not to circ. It’s such an emotionally charged debate but everyone here is great – because the bottom line is it really is a personal decision. The whole looking like daddy thing wasn’t an issue for us because kids being kids, they noticed the size difference before the turtle neck or crew. Part of my decision was because I couldn’t help but think how they used to take out our tonsils a lot when I was growing up (put up your hand if you’ve had yours taken out) thinking they didn’t really do anything and lo’ and behold…they were there for a reason.

    For the sensation thing – in doing research on males who were circumsized as adults, I kind of question that. Their penises (or is it peni?) were covered and protected by the foreskin for their whole childhood into adulthood – so common sense would dictate that yes, there’s more sensitivity now that the head of the penis is explosed. Circ at birth means the head is always exposed decreasing sensitivity. I’m not saying this is the case – just thought I’d throw it out there.

    So my oldest is now 8 and has a tight foreskin and we don’t have any problems with him cleaning it. In fact, he spends an inordinate amount of time on it – It’s actually harder to get him to brush his teeth. 😉

  45. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I wondered about the sensitivity study too, especially since I couldn’t help but picture doctors asking tiny babies about what they’d remembered about their foreskin. But yes, I wondered about that as well.

    That was done by the CDC, who is still doing more research, and I’ll be VERY interested in seeing what conclusions they draw.

  46. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:19 am MGSUCH Says:

    Everyone I know who had a son, and is not jewish, felt the best option was so that the boy looked like his father. Apparently that is good for the boy. Personally, I prefer crew necks to turtle necks.

  47. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:28 am Lindsey Says:

    We just had a baby boy and we decided to get him circumsized. My husband was when he was a baby and we both thought it was important to be the same. Sadly we didnt look at the medical facts to make the decision for us.

    Oh and if your worried at all about how it will be on the baby, my son took it like a champ. He didnt seem bothered by it at all. I am sure it hurt like a real bitch getting it done but afterwards he was fine.

    Good luck on this whole thing!

  48. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:40 am Laura Says:

    As a doctor who counsels patients and performs the circumcision, the decision is generally a bigger deal than the actual procedure. Most boys don’t even cry during the procedure since the area is numbed up, and I give them some sugar water on a nipple or cloth.

    One of the big deterrents against circumcision now is that many insurance companies are not paying for them. The cost ranges from $50-2000 depending on where it is done (residency program vs by pediatrician in the hospital). At least in the midwest, since the cost is so much at the hospital, we are doing the circumcisions at clinic within 2 weeks of birth. Also, OB docs are not doing them here as much as pediatricians and family docs.

    Also, for my personal opinion, my husband is Jewish and circ’ed himself, and we will be getting it done for aesthetics.

  49. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:49 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I used to assist with circumcisions when I worked in OB and I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s over before it starts especially now that the area is numbed up prior to removal. It’s not nearly as barbaric as it may appear in videos and most babies hate the standard newborn hearing screening more.

    Thank you for speaking up.

  50. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:13 am Laura Says:

    I forgot to add: I have about half of parents choosing circs and have not. I don’t think it will be a deal AT ALL in the locker room. Some have it, some don’t.

  51. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:30 pm Maria Says:

    If some dude was looking at my son’s weiner in the locker room he’d probably punch ’em in the nose. 😉 Also, it is common to get naked in school locker rooms? I only took undies off when we were swimming??

  52. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:52 am Kristi Dorson Says:

    My son is 5. We decided to circumcise him when he was born; my husband too is “half Jewish”, not really a practitioner at all, but he is cut and it was important to him. I felt like it wasn’t the right thing to do but I was overwhelmed at all the changes in my life (first baby, getting married to someone I’d only been dating a short while when I got pregnant (we had already planned to marry BEFORE I got pregnant but not for a year or two, then the pregnancy changed our plans, heh), planning a wedding in four months, moving, etc) and I didn’t do a lot of research, and I went with what made my husband most comfortable.

    It is the single biggest regret of my life. I have shed countless tears over it, and I am not an overly emotional person. It is a decision that, since having it done, I have read a TON about and have come to believe that it is wrong, plain and simple. It is a wrong, harmful thing that I did to my child, that I can never take back.

    My son has had complications. The skin at the base has fused to the head more than once. We’ve had to pull it off (doctor’s orders, or have it done by the doctor) painfully several times. he is almost six now and it is fused to the head AGAIN. I am dreading having to take him to the doctor to fix this. I am so worried my son is going to have sexual hangups or trouble in the future because of all that we’ve had to do to him. (This is not the only reason I believe it is wrong; even if we’d had no troubles at all, my research would have brought me to the same conclusion.)

    There are a TON of resources out there, both for and against. I am happy to provide links if you’d like, but they’re easily found through quick google searches. I strongly advice you to do your research on pros and cons before making your decision. Please don’t leave it up to (what I consider) silly reasons like “oh, everyone does it” and “he should look like his father” (who among us all look exactly alike anyway?). I do believe it is genital mutilation. Becky, I do wish you’d looked up some of the ‘con’ facts if you were also going to list ‘pro’ facts, even though you didn’t officially take a stance 🙁 It just sounds like you looked up medical reasons TO circumcise but not medical reasons NOT to. :/

    If you’re having a boy and you’re on the fence, PLEASE do your research on both sides. I’d hate to see anyone else end up in the same boat I am in. I did something to my baby that I can never, ever take back. I’ve been sitting on a blog post about this for weeks, actually, because I can’t seem to get my thoughts together in anything resembling a coherent matter. I did wrong, and I am deeply ashamed.

    On a final point, my husband was very pro-circ (obviously), and I’ve brought him to my side of the issue over time. It’s hard for him to really admit that it’s “wrong”, especially because HE is circumcised and it makes him feel bad about his own penis, but we have mutually agreed that we will never do this to another child if we should ever have more sons. So it is possible, even likely, that you might change your mind from pro to con if you do enough research.

  53. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:33 pm Maria Says:

    Thank you for your point of view!! I know I need ot just stay out of this but it hits home for me. We didnt’ find out the gender of either of our kids. My daughter was first and thank goodness. We were jsut like ok yeah we’ll do it. We didn;t REALLy research it, just saw the fuzzy facts, were told it was no big deal, the whole look like dad crap etc. Before I was even pregnant the second time, I REALLY researched and the facts tore me up. It makes me ill to think we would have done that to my daughter! I know it’s a personal decision, btu I hate that people make the decision without really knowing all the facts.

  54. On June 1st, 2010 at 7:22 am melanie Says:

    I am amazed that your doctor made you pull the skin off! My son also had some reattaching, and the doctor told me that they USED to pull it back again, but that they have come to realize that as the child grows (and his penis grows along with it) that it sort of resolves itself, and so far I have found that to be the case… I do not regret the decision, my son has had no pain, and I left the decision up to my husband, he LIKED being circumcised so that was the decision we made for our boy.

  55. On June 1st, 2010 at 3:51 pm Kate Says:

    I’m not surprised the dr. told her to do that. Doctors, I’ve learned, don’t know everything and often give outdated knowledge. When my daughter was about 4 months old, and exclusively breastfed, she went from 5-7 bm’s a day to one only every other day. My family doc had me giving her glycerine suppositories because he said she was constipated. A lactation consultant I ran into was horrified!! Turns out it’s normal for some breastfed babies to go to that schedule.

    This is the same doctor who attempted to have his nurse give my child a live polio vaccine when they’d come out with the dead strain that is supposedly safer. Their reasoning to use the live? “We have some left we’re trying to use up.”

    That’s not even the worst doctor I’ve been to. My advice? Do research BEFORE you see the doctor so you can ask questions and make sure the advice is up-to-date and correct. They are expected to know SOOO much, and for a human being it’s impossible to keep up. Some of the research you come across may be bogus, faulty or just plain crazy. Weed it out and take it in for a discussion. If you can’t do research before, do it after the appointment and call back with questions.

  56. On May 30th, 2010 at 9:52 am Kate Says:

    The majority of the “statistics” against circumcision are correlational; that is, there is a correlation between HIV and circumcision. Stop and think about it: there is nothing with a foreskin that would make you more likely to get an STD. Your penis is your penis; if you stick it somewhere it doesn’t belong, you’re going to get VD with or without a foreskin.

    Also, consider this (and this is my number one reason to not circumsize): its full of nerves. My poor brother in law had to get circumsized at the age of 24. He said, on a scale of 1 to 10, sex went from being 9 to 10 to being a 4.

    I know its not kosher to think about your infant’s future sex life, but let’s face it: in the end, that’s what the damn thing is for. Why are you denying them that simply because you’re worried about getting teased in the locker room?

    Rates are coming down greatly because the majority of the reason people did it was religion, and they realize now there is no reason to mutilate a poor kids sex organ because your grandma might kvetsch and kids might snigger.

  57. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:13 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    The reason for the higher rates of STD infection among un-circ’d males is this (taken directly from the CDC’s website)

    Compared with the dry external skin surface, the inner mucosa of the foreskin has less keratinization (deposition of fibrous protein), a higher density of target cells for HIV infection (Langerhans cells), and is more susceptible to HIV infection than other penile tissue in laboratory studies [2]. The foreskin may also have greater susceptibility to traumatic epithelial disruptions (tears) during intercourse, providing a portal of entry for pathogens, including HIV [3]. In addition, the microenvironment in the preputial sac between the unretracted foreskin and the glans penis may be conducive to viral survival [1]. Finally, the higher rates of sexually transmitted genital ulcerative disease, such as syphilis, observed in uncircumcised men may also increase susceptibility to HIV infection [4].

  58. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:32 am Kate Says:

    I’m sorry if that came across as anti-semetic. It was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek. My father’s side is jewish, I really didn’t mean it that way.

    I’m glad to know better where that research came from; we just argued this in OB recently (where I’ve been in nursing rotations for a few weeks) and no one had that research; just a correlational study between STD rates and circumcision. However, digging into the studies, you’ll also find that the majority of the studies cited on the CDC site were performed in AFRICA. Quite a bit different HIV scene there.

    But that doesn’t change my mind, honestly; if you’re sleeping with someone who has HIV, your worry shouldn’t be based on whether you’re circumcised or not. Raising a child with a better understanding of safe sex and the consequences, not with the belief he’ll be safer without a foreskin.

  59. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:44 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Absolutely no reason to change your mind at all. Just wanted to make sure that you knew the facts, and the cellular makeup of the foreskin doesn’t change, even though the studies were performed in Africa. The laboratory tests on the skin cells were done, presumably, in the laboratory.

    You’re correct, the studies were mostly performed in Africa, where HIV is more rampant and due to ethical reasons, we cannot perform any sorts of controlled studies. I’ll be interested to see what the CDC ends up saying about the whole thing.

    I’m mostly indifferent to what other people do because frankly, I’m still upset about Househusbands of Hollywood. Plus, I’m not having more children.

  60. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:09 am Melissa Says:

    WOW – anti-semetic much?

  61. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:26 am Melissa Says:

    You left out the important part. WHY did your BIL have to get circumcised at 24? An infection of some sort?

  62. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:53 pm Kate Says:

    Hah, I left it out because its embarrassing (to him). He had a …clamp…of sorts…that he left on too long. It’s teeth cut into him, cut off some of the blood supply, and because of how long he left it in, got an infection. He was on antibiotics, but it was too far gone.

  63. On May 31st, 2010 at 10:19 pm Katie Says:

    Ohhh…that doesn’t sound like much fun… I would be curious as to whether the loss of sensation is actually due to the circ, or due to the uh…clamp and subsequent infection.

  64. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:59 am Yancito Says:


    I remember when I was a boy, there was only one kid in school that was cut. I didn’t grow up in the states. The rumour was he wasn’t a virgin anymore.. We thought it would eventually happen to all of us. Life is full of surprises at the age of ten. Mine is still like it was when I was born.
    When I pull my skin back or I’m woody, It looks like I’m circumcised. But I can’t really leave the skin pulled back and just go on… Too sensitive. If my bare head rubs on my underwear it’s uncomfortable, so I keep it in my built in case. There is always a little moisture in there.. I’m guessing it’s similar to a vagina in that sense. If a vagina were to be spread open a little and left like that, it would dry up a little…Not the biggest deal.. But the skin would adapt to the new dryness. Just like the African women and men with their huge lip/mouth stretch ornaments.
    When I imagine not having my foreskin.. I would never be mad at my parents had they cut it.. I don’t think it matters that much.. I would still be who I am. So it’s really not that different.
    The cleaning is what gets me.. Is it better to get rid of stuff that is hard to do..? Plus washing my dick is fun..

    Had this country for some reason way back in history cut the ears off of people.. One could argue similar things. It’s too hard to keep clean, I want him/her to look like us… It has no real function…

    So to end I say: no matter what you hear there is no real wrong or right.. It just sucks you can’t ask the one getting the surgery.

  65. On May 30th, 2010 at 10:59 am Yancito Says:


    I remember when I was a boy, there was only one kid in school that was cut. I didn’t grow up in the states. The rumour was he wasn’t a virgin anymore.. We thought it would eventually happen to all of us. Life is full of surprises at the age of ten. Mine is still like it was when I was born.
    When I pull my skin back or I’m woody, It looks like I’m circumcised. But I can’t really leave the skin pulled back and just go on… Too sensitive. If my bare head rubs on my underwear it’s uncomfortable, so I keep it in my built in case. There is always a little moisture in there.. I’m guessing it’s similar to a vagina in that sense. If a vagina were to be spread open a little and left like that, it would dry up a little…Not the biggest deal.. But the skin would adapt to the new dryness. Just like the African women and men with their huge lip/mouth stretch ornaments.
    When I imagine not having my foreskin.. I would never be mad at my parents had they cut it.. I don’t think it matters that much.. I would still be who I am. So it’s really not that different.
    The cleaning is what gets me.. Is it better to get rid of stuff that is hard to do..? Plus washing my dick is fun..

    Had this country for some reason way back in history cut the ears off of people.. One could argue similar things. It’s too hard to keep clean, I want him/her to look like us… It has no real function…

    So to end I say: no matter what you hear there is no real wrong or right.. It just sucks you can’t ask the one getting the surgery.

  66. On May 30th, 2010 at 11:15 am Angela Says:

    I know this has been said, but I can’t help but comment on those whose biggest contribution is “it looks weird”. Or the argument that teaching a boy to clean it properly would also be a nuisance or weird.

    I have three boys none of whom are circumsized. My husband is. My boys have seen their dad’s penis and to date, at ages 6 and 3, have not asked why the difference. I don’t think they care. Furthermore, my oldest boy is 15 and I think when I chose not to circumsize him there were more getting done than not. Never once has he made a complaint about being different. Maybe there are more who are like them that I know but he is at locker room age and he seems more than comfortable with his ‘circumstance’. Pun intended.

    Teaching them to clean it has never been a problem. I also have two brothers who were not circumsized either. They are now 28 and 23. Neither of them have ever had any issues nor any complaints from ‘the ladies’ as it were.

    That being said, I don’t knock anyone who does choose to circumsize their sons. VERY personal choice. All I would ask is you don’t make the decision entirely on appearance or perceived difficulty when it comes to hygiene.

    Good Luck and Congrats on the baby!

  67. On May 30th, 2010 at 11:46 am Grumble Girl Says:

    I know JUST how you feel – same-same-same reasoning all around here, though there’s no Jewish-factor, (other than what I feel in my heart – I’m a Jew inside) and daddy is circ’d, but we decided against. Indeed, less and less people are opting for the circ automatically, so come the locker-room years, I believe it will be an even split.

    And if any of our kids are having sex without condoms by the time they’re old enough to that kind of thing, then we’ll all have failed as parents. No transmission of diseases at all, by then, I hope!! HIV. Pfft. No glove, no love. Wrap it up… all that stuff. It will be normal for everyone. (Isn’t it already?!)

  68. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:02 pm Kate Says:

    Heh. Cutting ears off- that’s a decent analogy. (I said anal. *snigger*)

    So I went head-to-head with BabyDaddy over The Snip. The stats Becky has given are much, much more drastic than the ones I read about- the differences were somewhere in the 2-3% improvement range, not 40-60%. If those were the numbers, I may have not put up so much of a fight. That said, we teach our girls to be gentle, clean, and informed about the health and hygiene of their vaginas. I think teaching and expecting boys to deal delicately with their genitals will have a positive effect in their perception and respect for their bodies and the bodies, and genitals, of others.
    All in all, the stats can be scary. It was a personal decision (as it always is). My son had complications after birth, and I could not get past the certainty that circumcision was **mutilation of a newborn** (ah, hormones- they make everything so dramatic). I am also distrusting of “improving upon nature” and strongly believe that, barring obvious complications, we are made the way we should be. I’ve chosen to educate my son about hygiene, STDs, etc., and pray that he doesn’t get a crazy infection to throw it all back in my hippie mom face. 😉

  69. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:10 pm Amanda Says:

    So as a girl in her early 20’s….annnd one who had her fair share of fun, (don’t judge me) I can tell you girls can be cruel without meaning to.

    Case in point, I once screamed about how “foreskin?!” was “ewwww grossss!” Right in front of someone who still had the ol’ turtleneck. Embarrassing on my part? Very much so! But when my best friend (who was doin the nasty with said boy) told me that it was in fact a little weird when the flag wasn’t flying, I didn’t feel too bad.

    So yes your baby boy will find someone who doesn’t care, and will find someone who loves him just the way he is. Buuuut in the process he probably will encounter a few embarrassing moments. I’d never seen one, and when I did I was a bit grossed out. It isn’t the norm for those of us in our early 20’s. So maybe the times are a changin’. But my opinion is to just save them the explanation to those of us who aren’t as well versed in the peepee.

  70. On May 30th, 2010 at 2:59 pm CatPS Says:

    Well, in my (never) humble opinion, if you are headed to bed with a man and the presence of a foreskin is enough to “gross you out,” perhaps you are being too casual about sex. Or WAY too caught up in following “the norm.” I’m not one of those au-naturale women who refuse to shave their legs, put on makeup, cut their hair or wear non-natural fibers… but come on. Calling any penis that has not been surgically altered “weird” is ridiculous. Genitals aren’t for looking at, anyway 😉

    I don’t care what other people choose for their baby boys, but the perception of a natural body part in its intended form as somehow deviant is upsetting to me. We are so judgmental about so much in our society, can’t we leave the weewees be?!?!

  71. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:12 pm karen Says:

    We call uncut penises shift-and-shoot over here, and I had no problem because my guy is uncut, so he went with my preference. We figure that we’ll deal with problems that arise if/when they do. My husband said he had one small infection when he was a kid, so his dad showed him how to keep himself pristine and he’s been okay ever since.

    That said, I don’t understand the disrespectful attitude of “uncut is gross”. If you fell in love with a guy who happened to be of the shift-and-shoot variety, you would probably like the idea of unwrapping that yummy gift and seeing what it can do for you.

    Let’s face it, if a penis works to eliminate waste, get rock solid stiff and make you some babies (if you want’em) and is attached to a kind, loving and sexy motherfucker who knows how to keep it clean, use it wisely and treat you right, you’re probably gonna worship it.

    Great answer Auntie B. I like the facts. And good luck finding a decision your guy and you (and your son) can live with, Prankster.

  72. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:36 pm Maria Says:

    I’ve heard more than one woman say that she was with a man not realizing he was uncut initially, since they look very similar as we usually see ’em, LOL!!

  73. On May 30th, 2010 at 12:53 pm blueviolet Says:

    I think there are soooo many lil dudes with the protective wrapper these days that no matter what you choose for him, he’ll not be made fun of.

  74. On May 30th, 2010 at 3:24 pm Ms. V Says:

    Off with their heads! 🙂

  75. On May 30th, 2010 at 3:37 pm Tara Says:

    I’ve been a young toddler teacher at a preschool for 4 years and I would say that at least 1/3 of the little boys that have come through my class have been uncut. If not more. It might still be a minority, but ‘majority rules’ shouldn’t change this decision for you. It’s highly personal.

  76. On May 30th, 2010 at 5:38 pm LZ Says:

    I’m of the belief that making boys look like their dads is a good thing. When they shower and his ‘parts’ look different than Daddy’s, there will be questions. I’m kind of all for leaving this one in Dad’s hands…

  77. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:29 pm Amy Says:

    I am so glad both my husband and I are Jewish, and this never was a topic of discussion. We did it because it is a tradition that goes back thousands of years and I was not going to argue with that. Not only was my son circumcised at the age of eight days, but it was done by a rabbi, witnessed by our entire family and all our friends (including my older daughters). And afterwards we had a catered lunch in our home for about a hundred people. Add to the mix a hormonal post partum mother and you know what kind of zoo my house was for that whole weekend.

    The rabbi gave my son wine and literally got him drunk to lessen the pain, and he was not tied down but held proudly by my father. The only person not in the room during the procedure was me, I could not bear to see my son in any pain, but according to my husband he was too drunk to notice and barely made a sound. He came back to me, I nursed him and then he had a nice long nap.

  78. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:43 pm sky Says:

    “uncut ones are gross”

    “turtlenecks are weird”

    For shame. These statements make me sad. It’s opinions like this that are perpetuating male mutilation. It’s the human body in it’s natural form! How can it be gross???

    Obviously, we chose not to get our son circumcised but until I knew the facts and saw the procedure I probably would have blindly followed the herd and got it done.

    I’m so thankful that I didn’t. I can’t imagine putting my son through that. The argument that “they don’t feel it”? Denial for your own sake.

    I still wouldn’t criticize anyone for choosing to do it but I encourage anyone who is considering it to actually look at the pictures. Get educated! Make your decision with your eyes wide open. If you choose to put your son through it you should be able to sit there and hold his hand (if it were allowed).

  79. On May 30th, 2010 at 6:56 pm Andygirl Says:

    oh good lord. I just realized this is a perk of being endlessly and pitifully single (almost wrote “dingle” hehe. I might be drinking). I don’t have to worry about the cutting of penises. at all really. I mean, in my world right now, all I care about is that it works and isn’t too big or too small for my hooha (hi, kids!). but one day, shiva willing, I might have a baby. and it might be a boy (50% chance you know). and I’ll have to worry about cutting the poor kid’s penis. good god parenthood starts with a bang.

    did I mention I’m drinking? it took all the effort I had to spell things with some kind of accuracy. you’re welcome.

    cut me off.

  80. On May 31st, 2010 at 7:59 am Brooke Says:

    Way to gracefully handle the subject, Aunt Becky! If we have boys, we will circumcise them. I asked my husband a while ago what his take on it was, and he said he’d want it done for our sons. Since he’s the only penis-carrying member of our family, I trust his opinion. Sure, there are risks. There are risks and benefits to just about every choice we’ll make for our children, starting before they’re even born. I just feel that, in this case for us, the benefits outweigh the risks.

  81. On May 31st, 2010 at 11:58 am Cranky-faced Knitter Says:

    I don’t really feel strongly one way or the other, and when the issue came up for our son, a lot of the research I did found so many opinions vehemently pro- or anti- with nothing to support their conclusions but anecdotes and emotions. What it ultimately came down to for us, was that it’s easier to explain how to clean/handle things if you have a visual aid – that is, if the father matches. We chose not to circumcise because his father wasn’t, and I admit, I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to hear my baby scream from the operation.

    And yes, there are always risks associated with each side. If a kid refuses to clean himself (or herself) properly and gets infected, that’s what I like to call a learning experience. Of course I worry about my kid getting a terrible disease someday, but I don’t think that this particular issue is going to be THE REASON he or she gets sick. If, after having all the facts (and I do not hesitate to present what facts are available), my child decides to gamble with his life, there are going to be other more important things for me to be concerned about than his circumcision (or lack of).

  82. On May 31st, 2010 at 11:22 pm Liz Says:

    My son is circ’d because I felt it was a decision I could let his father make. I offered him the pros and cons, and in the end, backed way the hell off and told him I’d support whichever way he went. I was personally leaning towards doing it, because of my days working in a nursing home as a CNA and bathing old men, but I didn’t mention that to my husband until way after it was too late because I wanted it to truly be something he got to choose. My son had no complications, and it was performed with anesthesia in the hospital by his pediatrician, not my OB. I am otherwise a very crunchy/hippie type person, but this is one area that I’m conservative, I guess.

    As for weird, different, whatever, what does it say about me that I didn’t notice my last boyfriend before I met my husband was intact until he pointed it out himself? It wasn’t gross, weird, or strange, or really even all that different. Any extra oomph between the sheets was his own skill and experience, not his anatomy. I will say that he was very proud of his foreskin, and decided to educate me on the difference after I laughed and said I hadn’t noticed.

    My husband has no complaints about being circumcised, and has mentioned that he’s glad he had it done. My MIL however, was so traumatized by the circumcision of her first son that she did not allow it for her second, and berated me soundly as she held her newborn grandson. Then she reached for a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and thank God I snatched it out of her hands. Apparently she poured it liberally over my husband’s poor member at every diaper change, and there was some plastic collar thing involved, Sounds gruesome. I can just imagine how much that must have hurt! Yes, the two brothers did compare and contrast, and my husband to this day makes fun of his brother and how dirty he used to be. Both brothers think they got the better deal.

  83. On June 1st, 2010 at 8:49 am Patti Says:

    My DH is ‘uncut’ and we discussed the big snip in depth before we knew that our son was, well, our SON. DH was against it from the beginning, but I did my research (cuz that’s just who I am). Do you know that in a number of civilized countries, circumcision is considered genital mutilation (which it is.. just as ear piercing is a form of mutilation) and unless required for religious reasons, it is not paid for. There are a number of hospitals in Ontario (Canada) where they will not perform the surgery at all. In fact, there are a number of OBs/Paediatricians that now refuse to do it. The US is one of the last first world countries to still do this regularly and has one of the highest rates of circumcision.

    I don’t understand the whole “Look like Daddy” issue and think it’s a moot point. No little boy looks like his Daddy anyway and, as I read somewhere, if Daddy had lost a finger due to an accident or surgery when he was small, would you hack off your son’s finger just so they’d look alike? Somehow I don’t think so. Also – if your daughter’s vagina didn’t look like yours – would you surgically alter it to look the same?

    As for cleaning – the penis is naturally self-cleaning – much like the vagina. You should NEVER pull the foreskin back over the penis – it will happen naturally as the little guy grows.

    I personally know of a number of Jewish people that have done a bris without actually cutting the foreskin. To them, it’s the ritual that’s important and not the actual cut.

    I have two brothers: one is cut and one isn’t. I asked them if they had ever talked about it when we were kids. The shrugged and said it was no big deal – just like one had dark straight hair and one had blond curly hair. They were both taught to keep themselves clean – much like my sister and I were taught to keep ourselves clean.

    I have heard that circumcision is akin to declawing a cat or taking the fingernail off your finger.

    I’m sorry if I sound so vehement about this but I just honestly do NOT see the point. However, I also respect that it’s a personal choice.

    All I can say is, do you research. Carefully.

    The American Medical Association in a report which was “…confined to circumcisions that are not performed for ritualistic or religious purposes,” states that “Virtually all current policy statements from specialty societies and medical organizations do not recommend routine neonatal circumcision, and support the provision of accurate and unbiased information to parents to inform their choice.”

  84. On June 1st, 2010 at 11:58 am Melissa Says:

    When my brother and his wife were trying to make this decision for their son, they found out that my father is not circumcised. My brother is, and his son is not. My brother never knew my father was not circumsized until my Mom told him while they were trying to make this decision. My nephew has never questioned his penis looking different from his father’s. He is now 7. I do think it is a very personal decision, but in the experience of my father, brother and nephew, none of the 3 have had any problems either emotionally or physically, so really, my experience tells me either way it will probably be fine.
    For my wife and I, not having a penis ourselves, we are pretty torn and were glad our first child was a girl and we did not have to make the decision because truly, I think I could be happy with either one. If one person feels really strongly one way, go with that because really overall your odds are good that your son will be fine no matter what.

  85. On June 7th, 2010 at 9:20 pm Elizabeth Says:

    Thanks for all the research Aunt Becky!! I really appreciate it. And also thanks for all the responses. We still aren’t sure what we are going to do, but I’ll keep y’all posted.

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