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The Circumcision Decision

  1. edelweiss

    grapefruit / 4923 posts

    my husband felt pretty strongly about it--i think he was concerned that in the long run, an uncircumcised penis would require more care/maintenance on our part and we didn't want to add to our plate. i could have gone either way.

  2. pui

    bananas / 9899 posts

    I think it's an outdated practise and besides religious reasons, I don't see the point. The health benefits are negligible in our culture where we have good hygiene and easy access to condoms. I think most people just get it done in North America these days because everyone else does it, without too much actual thought. If I had a boy, I wouldn't do it personally. If he wants to do it later in life because he feels that there are benefits, that's his choice to make. I don't believe in making irreversible decisions that affect a child's body unless it's required, which circumcision isn't at all.

    Check out College Humor's "The real reason you're circumcised" on YouTube. lol it's great.

    Also, I think removing the foreskin just because "it looks better" or "to fit in" is insane.

  3. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    I don't think there's a compelling medical reason to do it but as a woman I prefer circumcised aesthetically and a couple of boys I went to middle school with got teased relentlessly for being uncircumcised, so I really don't know what we would've done. Kinda glad we didn't have to make that decision!

  4. spaniellove

    honeydew / 7916 posts

    @shortcake: They can get circumcised later, but the risk of complications goes up with age so if he's going to have it done I'd prefer that it be right after birth. And I think the best way to prevent HIV is always going to be safe sex practices, not circumcision.

  5. mamimami

    grapefruit / 4120 posts

    @Espion: I can't speak for everyone but in our social circles in Mexico, circumcision is a given, and definitely not for medical reasons. So I don't think it's correct to say it's just the U.S.

  6. littlek

    GOLD / squash / 13576 posts

    We had it done and no regrets. It was DH's decision and DH felt strongly about getting it done. But I would not base your decision on HB.

  7. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5524 posts

    We both did our own research and came to the conclusion that we wanted DS to have it done. We did, and have no regrets.

  8. Sunshine1810

    pear / 1556 posts

    I don't have children yet, but DH and I both decided that we would with a boy, but we have different reasons. DH wasn't circumcised as a baby and then it turns out he has a rare condition that caused complications and made him have to get circumcised as an adult. He still has a lot of problems from the condition that probably wouldn't have happened if he was circumcised (incidences of it happen in less than 1% of circumcised males). We are concerned that this might "run in the family" and don't want to take the risk.

  9. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    We don't know the gender of our baby yet. Pre-marriage I just thought that everyone does it (or I even though it was required). However, DH is not circumcised, and he says he just has to pay more attention to hygiene (which everyone should do for their private parts anyway!) so we're strongly leaning towards not getting it done of we have a son.

  10. meredithNYC

    pomegranate / 3314 posts

    Our LO is a girl so we didn't have to make the decision. However, should any future children be boys we would opt out of circumcision. My husband is English and it is not the done "thing" in the UK, so that plays into it. Aside from that, I just can't imagine putting a baby through the procedure when I just don't feel strongly about it.

    Related: to each his/her own re: reasons for circumcision. But, I do think the aesthetic reason or worse, the "matching" reason is really kind of weird. Like, imagine a woman wanting her daughter's vagina to look similar to hers. Just... what?

  11. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    We didn't and even though that was my husbands decision, I wouldn't now for a variety of reasons.

    Also I think non circumcision is so much more common now there's not really a risk that boys are going to be made fun of for not being cut later in life. Fwiw my husband is not cut and I prefer that.

  12. Anagram

    eggplant / 11710 posts

    @mamimami: How interesting! I have lots of mexican friends and the guys have always said circumcision rates in Mexico are much lower.

    A quick google search turned up the statistic of 10-31% in Mexico which is a pretty wide range. Have no idea how accurate it is though.

    Do you think it has any relation to class or religion or region?

  13. Anagram

    eggplant / 11710 posts

    @meredithNYC: I think about that too, when I think about "matching". Yikes.

  14. Anagram

    eggplant / 11710 posts

    Here are country-by-country stats, plus info by ethnicity in the U.S. on who gets circd and in what percentage. It's interesting!


  15. mamimami

    grapefruit / 4120 posts

    @Anagram: I have heard that too -- especially from Mexicans in the U.S. -- "we don't do that!" Totally does not jibe with my experience (second hand hahaha) but I suspect it might have to do with region/class etc. I have heard from a couple different people that there's always one guy in the group they call "the cheeto." So bad. Anyway, my husband didn't want our kid to be the cheeto.

  16. indi

    clementine / 984 posts

    Here's a map that is made to demonstrate hospital circ rates in the US by state, for those that are curious. *note, it's from a clearly anti-circ page.


  17. Mrs.Someone

    pomelo / 5228 posts

    We're only doing it for religious reasons. However, if you have it done, I'd suggest looking into using a mohel (we found one who is also a pediatrician), I think they use a different method than the hospitals do, and a more experienced man would be doing it. All the ceremonies I have been to have been minimally painful for the baby, and the procedure is over pretty quickly.

  18. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Anagram: thanks for posting that link, there's some interesting information on that site.

  19. Anagram

    eggplant / 11710 posts

    @looch: It's definitely a pro-circ site, so I have no idea how biased the info might be. But I like the country-by-country stats all the same.

  20. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @Anagram: I like the history section, fascinating!

  21. Espion

    pomegranate / 3577 posts

    @Lemonlong: They aren't doing it for aesthetic reasons, but because it has been suggested by the AAP for the reasons you state. They wouldn't do it otherwise.

  22. Cherrybee

    papaya / 10570 posts

    @looch: @indi: WOW! The stats on these two sites are really, really interesting! I had no idea circumcision was so common still in the US! I thought 16% in the UK was high (approx 5% of our population is Muslim, around 0.5% are Jewish so I expected perhaps a little over 6%) then I saw the rates in some of the US states! Wow! I just had no idea.

  23. Espion

    pomegranate / 3577 posts

    @mamimami: Thats interesting and good to know! All the Latino families I know are uncircumcised and have told me that, culturally, they do not circumcise. Not to generalize, but do you think this is a class difference?

  24. hilsy85

    squash / 13764 posts

    @Adira: it was my understanding that the AAP statement was written in that way to ensure that families who DO choose to circumcise will be able to have the procedure covered by insurance...hence the wording "justify access".

    I don't think their actual stance on circumcision has changed, i.e. they still do not find enough health benefits to routinely recommend it, and would probably only recommend it in certain cases/high risk situations (in those cases I would also agree it would be a good idea--LO does not fall into either of those categories).

  25. mamimami

    grapefruit / 4120 posts

    @Espion: I suspect it may be. Among the people I know who have been open about it, the only ones who have NOT circumcised have been families who identify strongly with a Spanish heritage (that was the case with the person I mentioned whose son chose to be circumcised as a high school student.) My "sample" is very limited to urban upper-middle/upper class people of my generation....

  26. mrsjyw

    GOLD / wonderful apricot / 22646 posts

    I didn't have a strong opinion one way or another, DH did want it done, so I agreed and no regrets! Everything went smoothly and the healing process was relatively quick for DS.

  27. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts

    @hilsy85: Oh, I agree. They aren't actually recommended it, but they do mention the health benefits and are saying that families should have access to trained professionals to have it done and insurance should cover it. I wasn't trying to say they actually recommend it, since they do not (although they aren't against it either). Thanks for the clarification!

  28. oliviaoblivia

    pineapple / 12793 posts

    As a lady, I prefer uncut. I was actually shocked by the difference in feeling between cut and uncut guys.
    So on behalf of any future girlfriends of any future sons of mine, we will not be circumcising.

  29. Mrs. Pickle

    blogger / wonderful cherry / 21628 posts

    If I have a son I don't think I want to circumcise. I don't see any medical reason to do it.

    I grew up in the south (Georgia), and my first boyfriend wasn't circumcised. It didn't bother me any. He actually apologized to me for it and I told him he didn't have anything to worry about.

  30. loveisstrange

    pineapple / 12526 posts

    We will do it if we have a boy for 2 reasons. 1, because DH feels strongly about doing it and I don't (I feel like it's more his decision than mine, he has a penis) and 2, it's not as easy to get done in adulthood as people think. It's a much more painful, awful procedure on an adult male.

  31. MoonMoon

    pomegranate / 3382 posts

    I haven't read through all the answers, but I just want to mention you don't have to make the decision at the hospital! Often, it's your OB who would perform the surgery on your baby, and ours said to wait until he was 7/8 days old and was nursing regularly, etc.

    My husband and I were leaning toward circumcision, but decided not to. There's no real reason, and I was so emotional about inflicting that on my little perfect baby. Hormones, y'all! Lol.

  32. Arden

    honeydew / 7589 posts

    I won't get into the nitty gritty of the debate because I'm too passionate about the subject.

    For us, the answer is a resounding no. There are a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I absolutely will not make permanent irreversible body modifications to a child that cannot consent. We believe in bodily integrity.

    The "medical study" carried out in Africa that showed that circumcision could reduce the spread of HIV was disproven years ago and shown to be incredibly inaccurate. It was not a legitimate study. Afterwards, other studies demonstrated the exact opposite. So even if bodily integrity were not an issue for us, there is no compelling medical evidence to suggest that circumcision is better.

    There is some good info on the myths surrounding circumcision here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/more-circumcision-myths-you-may-believe-hygiene-and-stds

  33. pui

    bananas / 9899 posts

    @loveisstrange: I'd rather give my child the ability to make the choice himself than just go ahead with an irreversible surgical procedure that is pretty much only cosmetic. Plastic surgery often is painful and awful procedures people choose to endure, and that is their choice. I don't think many uncut men decide to become cut later in life anyway.

  34. lady grey

    pear / 1696 posts

    @Espion: yes! however the pediatric urologist said there isn't a compelling reason *not* to do it either (as far as risks, etc) So I think its really just personal preference.

  35. lady grey

    pear / 1696 posts

    @pui: I am totally not an advocate for circumcision, but I will throw out there that it is much more expensive to have the surgery as an adult then to get it as a newborn. Plus you'd have to take time off work as an adult for recovery, thus more costly. Just another thought!

  36. pui

    bananas / 9899 posts

    @Seattlemom: If someone decides to get any plastic surgery of any kind, it's usually costly and requires recovery time. Lots of people opt to do unnecessary surgery on their bodies (and genitals) later in life regardless. I don't see why this particular procedure should be decided at birth for the child just because it may be less expensive and a newborn doesn't hold a job. We wouldn't feel the same if the parents wanted to give their newborn a nose job, or a tattoo. I feel it's kind of odd that we do this surgery to people who can't consent to it... It just doesn't make sense to me. It's just so engrained in our culture that this is normal.

  37. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5628 posts

    I never considered not doing it until after I had already done it for our son. I'm not 100% sure I would make the same decision again since his circumcision was less than perfect (although doctors say he will "grow into it").

  38. indi

    clementine / 984 posts

    My brothers had quite the variety, too. One was snipped REALLY close, the other has a bit much left. That was another reason I'm not big on circ - so much variety and chances to "get it wrong."

  39. lady grey

    pear / 1696 posts

    @pui: Well put.

  40. shinymama

    persimmon / 1128 posts

    Both my sons were circumsized; no religious reason, no regrets, no complications. DH and I were 100% on the same page. Truth be told, it was more difficult for me to watch, then it was for them {both stopped crying less than a minute after it was performed}.

    @mamimami: @Anagram: I think that it's a generational shift among Mexican/Mexican Americans. Those in my parents' parents' generation {my great grandparents} were not big proponents of circumcision, but in turn their children {my parents} did go on to circumsize their own children {my generation}. We opted to circumsize, and I would venture to say that 95% of my friends and family - the portion that are also of Latino descent - did the same.

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