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A Case Against Circumcision

Lissa Rankin's picture

When I was an intern, just starting my OB/GYN residency, someone handed me a list with a dozen names on it and said, “Go. It’s your job to circumcise these babies.” My mouth flung open. Say what?

Do you know what you just made me do to your son?

Sure enough, as it turns out, it’s the intern’s responsibility to wake up sleeping newborns, strap them down to a board that looks not unlike the electric chair (called a “circumstraint”), clamp their unanesthetized foreskins with the sterilized Gomco or Mogen instrument, and cut away the foreskins from the tips of the poor baby penises while they scream bloody murder, turn beet red, and pee in your face. I hated it. It was just awful.

The nurses would line them up, one after the other -- then, after wrapping their little post-operative pee-pees in Vaseline gauze, I would deliver them back to their Mommies. The whole time, I wanted to say, “Do you know what you just made me do to your son?”

Before doing the procedure, I always had the Mommy sign a consent form that basically says that this procedure is completely unnecessary, that it’s purely cosmetic, and that the baby might bleed, get infected, or have its penis accidentally lopped off. And they would sign away on the dotted line without blinking. It baffled me.

All in the family

During my residency, I performed at least a thousand circumcisions, many of which left me blubbering like a child because it just broke my heart to have to hurt these poor babies. When I complained about having to do them to my physician father, he said, “I’m so glad nobody ever did that to me.”

Until he said it, I had never thought about whether my father was circumcised. My family grew up pretty open about bodies and sexuality, so yes, I had seen my father naked. But I guess I’d never really scrutinized his genitalia. Then it occurred to me. I had also seen my brother naked -- and he was circumcised. If Dad was happy to be uncut, why did he choose to circumcise his son?

When I asked him, Dad said that he didn’t want Chris to feel different, and at the time, everybody was circumcising their boys.

I thought back to the Somali women I had cared for, all of which had been victims of female genital mutilation. My job as their doctor was not only to care for them but to help educate them in order to prevent them from putting their daughters through the same disfiguring surgery. When I asked them why they would want to do something so traumatic to their daughter’s genitalia, they all said, “We don’t want her to look different than the other girls.”

So we don't feel... different?

Listen to us! Why are we cutting our children so that they don’t feel different? I just don’t understand. Why did my parents feel the need to cut my brother when his own father wasn’t even circumcised? What is wrong with our bodies the way they’re born? Why do we feel the need to mutilate our bodies in the name of religion, cosmetics, or societal acceptance?

Contrary to some reports, there’s no proven medical reason to circumcise a boy (or a girl, for that matter). Pediatricians agree that, as long as a child is taught to clean under the foreskin, penises are perfectly healthy and beautiful just the way they’re made, and there’s no health benefit to surgically altering the penis.

So why do we do it? I understand that there’s a long cultural history in Judaism around circumcision, so I can cut them some slack (although there’s also a long history around cutting a woman’s genitals in Africa -- does that make it right?).  As for the rest of us, why are we even doing this? Do we think God made a mistake by creating penises with foreskins? And if we’re doing it for purely cosmetic reasons, don’t you think we should allow the child to make his own decision when he’s old enough to choose? What message are we giving our newborns? Why are we whisking them off hours after birth to have surgery -- usually with no anesthesia? What kind of welcome to the world is that?

Loving yourself exactly the way you are

If you’re a parent who chose to circumcise her sons, I’m not trying to make you feel bad. What’s done is done. You made the best decision you could at the time, with the guidance of those who were helping you make this decision, and I fully support you for doing what you thought was right. But if you don’t have kids yet or are pregnant and have to make a choice soon, please consider allowing your boys to keep the bodies they were born with.

Owning Pink is all about encouraging you to be authentic, to love yourself exactly the way you are, to appreciate and honor your bodies -- imperfections included -- and to live life with loads of mojo. Why not raise our boys to Own Pink as well? So what if your son looks different in the locker room. Encourage him to embrace his difference, to celebrate his wholeness, to honor diversity. And if he decides later on that he wants to undergo an elective, cosmetic surgery, support him in his autonomous decision but remind him that he’s beautiful and perfect just the way he is.

7 Reasons Not to Circumcise Your Baby
  1. There’s absolutely no medical reason to do so. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision does not make the penis cleaner -- it just crosses off one more area that needs attention in the shower. It doesn’t reduce the risk of STDs, bladder infections, penile cancer, or penis infections.
  2. The surgery carries risks -- and yes, while I have never been personally responsible for pulling a Lorena Bobbitt on a poor, defenseless baby, I have seen little boys get the ends of their penises cut off as the result of circumcision. And remember, if you give birth at a hospital that has residents, it’s often the intern performing the circumcision!
  3. Many swear that having foreskin helps prevent premature ejaculation and can lead to longer lovemaking.
  4. God doesn’t make mistakes -- and the body was made with foreskin.
  5. Most countries do not circumcise their boys. Why should we?
  6. A person should have the right to choose whether they undergo a purely cosmetic surgery that cannot be undone.
  7. Circumcision HURTS! While some swear that babies cannot feel, I have watched them when I cut their little foreskins. And they definitely feel pain. Maybe they don’t remember it, but somewhere in their little budding psyches, they might. Do we really want a child’s first experience in life to be this pain?

My colleague, best-selling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom Dr. Christiane Northrup (who also wrote the foreward to my book!), agrees with me. We need to stop circumcision. We just do. It has to start somewhere. Please spread the word.

What do you think? Did you circumcise your sons? Are you glad you did? Do you wish you hadn’t? As a lover, do you prefer circumcised penises? Uncircumcised ones? Do you think we should be promoting this procedure? Banning it? Speak up -- and feel free to disagree with me! This is worth talking about.

Protecting foreskins worldwide,
Lissa

n/a

Comments

RD's picture

"I have seen little boys get

"I have seen little boys get the ends of their penises cut off as the result of circumcision."

That is a totally compelling reason to refuse to do it for the rest of your career.

It is hard to operate on a small newborn penis. It is even harder to do so when the owner is screaming as loudly as he can. Mistakes, even tragic ones, can and do happen. It is much easier to operate on the larger adult penis. At that stage of life, the foreskin has fully detached from the glans, and guesswork is not required when deciding how much to cut off.

American medical research is not honest about how often complications and serious surgical accidents occur. American sexual research is not honest about the number of men who are sexually damaged because of routine neonatal circ, and the number of women with sexual difficulties because their sex partners are circumcised.

Anonymous's picture

It's a penis, not a "pee-pee".

I am glad you are speaking out against circumcision. However, what kind of medical doctor refers to boys' penises as "pee-pees"?!

Part of learning to respect children is to call their body parts by their proper names, and not childish words that belittle them.

George's picture

It doesn't surprise me

Parents sign away because they have a deep seated hatred for male bodies, and it falls in line with the idea that men are somewhat expendable. So when they grow up not caring or feeling, people wonder why. If they grow up sensitive and feeling, they are called "pussies". So which is it? What are men supposed to be? How are they supposed to love anyone else if they are told that their bodies are disgusting in not so many words? Actions speak louder than words, and the act of "circumcision" on babies can lead to a range of results not only from the physical but to the psychological. Different people react differently because no two people are alike.

Until we get rid of the "tough guy" expectations, which includes the homophobia accompanying it, parents will continue to sign on the dotted line for the mutilated penis. However, doctors make the ultimate choices, and refusing to perform them would put an end to it. There are too many doctors who cave into pressure when they could refuse claiming that it is in fact malpractice, especially when it's performed on the non-consenting child. There are the other "doctors" who simply want the extra easy cash, and those are the most despicable.

RD's picture

George, you are one of the

George, you are one of the very few people I have read who sees that the adverse consequences of circ are a tricky matter, because they vary a lot by individual. They also vary by stage of the life cycle. It is entirely possible for a man to be perfectly happy with his bald penis at age 15 or 30, and to be depressed about it at 50 or 60. But let me make it clear: routine circ does a lot of harm to a few penises, and that is ample reason to stop the practice. That it does not do roughly the same harm to all penises only makes it harder to blame anything on circ, and does not alter the ethical conclusion.

Routine circumcision died out in the UK and New Zealand because more and more doctors and hospitals refused to do it. British and New Zealand medical schools stopped teaching it in the 1950s. In 1970, 90%+ of baby boys born in urban hospitals to mainstream white parents in Australia and Canada were circumcised. That figure is 15-25% now (we don't know for sure because circs in those countries are mostly done in outpatient clinics). That decline too was doctor-led.

Only in the USA do doctors not feel free to refuse to circumcise routinely, in good part because the AAP's policy, while not recommending routine circ, also says that parents have a right to have their infant sons circed without having to give a defensible reason. This is the only cosmetic surgery performed on infants that does not give rise to legal exposure. The AAP does NOT support conscientious objection by obgyns working in hospitals (pediatricians are free de facto to refuse to do outpatient circs).

That said, I do not agree with George when he says that deep-seated misandry pushes parents to circumcise their baby boys. I suspect that the real reason circumcision became popular is that prudish parents did not want to think about the private parts of a son. Moms in particular wanted their sons to have penises that Mom did not need to look at and talk to a son about. It was believed that merely sitting in the daily bath sufficed to keep a circumcised penis clean. Doctors should have pointed out that circumcision could have adverse consequences for sexual pleasure and functionality, but that pleasure and functionality were not a priority 80-120 years ago.

When prudishness declined, circumcision in the USA continued simply because millions of American parents did not want their son to look like an odd duck. When Dads became more involved with child rearing, Dad did not want to be reminded of his missing foreskin every time he gave Junior a bath or changed his nappy. So parents began to say "it is important that a boy look like his father."

Vicki's picture

sexual sensitivity

was the exact reason they started circ mr kellog stated specifically that was the reason:

In cases of masturbation we must, I believe, break the habit by inducing such a condition of the parts as will cause too much local suffering to allow of the practice being continued. For this purpose, if the prepuce is long, we may circumcise the male patient with present and probably with future advantage; the operation, too, should not be performed under chloroform, so that the pain experienced may be associated with the habit we wish to eradicate. - Kellogg

they knew and that was the reason. He has a point but it is but one point and one reason there are many evils behind it's continued practice.

Brian's picture

It doesn't surprise me...

Well said George- unfortunately most Americans cannot dig that deep to comprehend that.
Especially men who have been cut and those involved in aiding in that action. Being honest with oneself
Is too difficult for most people. Children are the innocents who suffer.

RD's picture

Women to the rescue

Brian and George, women don't have the hangups you disagree, which is why they, by and large, dominate intactivism.

George's picture

Women's involvement

Women are involved with anti "circ." because society gives them permission to express anything they want. Not true for men, though the common believe is that men dominate. If men dominate, then why are they victims of each other, and those imprisoned goddesses who adopt the attitude of the patriarchy in creating a double standard for males and females? This is an issue of human rights violation, and regardless as to the history of "circ.", or the excuses people make up for doing it, men are the unrecognised victims. It's a good thing women are involved, because men are basically scoffed when they voice their dismay over "circ.", a euphemism for genital mutilation.

Do you think Betty Friedan, or Gloria Steinem would have put up with this crap if the tradition were practiced on women? Hell no! Most men are trained to hate themselves, and each other by a society that practices misandry. How many men torture each other, how many women torture each other? More men kill themselves than do women, and more are substance abusers. Have a look at the videos on youtube under the search "misandry" if you don't believe that men are considered secondary. Misandry is prevalent throughout history and today. Count the number of advertisements that portray men getting kicked in the testicles in the context of humour. If anything like that happened to women, would we hear the end of it? No.

Parents who know better than to allow "circ.", and allow it anyway, have a misperception of the penis based on Victorian hatred of men's functions coupled with learned misandry. Doctors have an obligation to stop this misperception. The "fitting in" business is a cop out, because no one was concerned with my not matching my intact father, who I had no idea was intact until he told me in my 30's, when they robbed me of 60% of my penile skin system (no such thing as a foreskin as it's all part of the penis). if I could have had the power to psychically killed the quack who cut me, or any other who tried, he would have hit the floor before he ever strapped me down. He permanently placed me into a minority category, by the world standard, without MY permission, which is the only permission that should have been considered. It's a good thing I don't personally know an adamant "circumciser", because I might get myself into trouble. I HATE THEM! They deserve every bad thing karma sends to their doorsteps. Now, my anger would be reconsidered if I were a woman with a missing clitoris (Yes, Blue Cross covered clitoridectomies until '77).

Ob-gyns are copping out by claiming that they have to follow AAP guidelines (which are also a cop out). I know of a few remorseful Ob-gyns who have stopped performing "circs.". If Paediatricians don't have to perform them, then neither do Ob-gyns. Besides, Ob-gyns are women's doctors, and have no business cutting on an organ of which they know little. It's not their area. Quacks let this cat out of the bag 100 years ago, and they've been trying for decades to justify their malpractice by making excuses for it. It's that simple. If they came out tomorrow and said, "we were wrong", imagine the lawsuits that would concur! They keep dumping crap in the river to make dumping crap in the river okay. Now do you get it? Doctors are responsible, not parents, because I know several recent parents who were never asked, and my mother doesn't remember signing the permission form (forgery)!!! They were/are criminally negligent!

Vicki's picture

come on now!

While I see the point to a degree ...women couldn't vote for how long? And that was the norm in ALL countries that voted. Women are the ones circed in Africa and female circ is more prevalent around than world than is male circ! People are all people, and we have all been oppressed and shifting the blame and looking for a nich to hide in for too long!

It's time to just wake up and realize that people will be victimized as long as there are bullies to victimize and a society that will allow it! It doesn't matter who or for what reason...Evil is evil and it will promote evil for whatever reason will stick with whoever they are up against. Until we stand up TOGETHER as humans we are doomed to one tradition or another. Doomed to one evil fighting to suppress another good. There are thousands of "Evils" and many have the same common interests.

Until the meek and caring who are the majority gain strength of conviction and stand up together and the oppressed man with the victimized woman stand up together and honor each other's plight as equal we can never win the war. We can only hope one group proves their point better than the other one and we win a battle. It will always be a dead lock and rooting for the lesser of 2 evils until we make ourselves the majority and quit dividing ourselves by fighting over who was most victimized. Wallowing in self pity only takes the point away from the issues and gives us something else to fight about.

I completely understand your feelings on the issue and believe me I do know it is somewhat rooted in truth however it was not an outright attack on men they also started it on women at the same time. It just didn't catch on as well or stick so much. Men are the hunters and testosterone is what makes them prone to violence it's not a conspiracy theory in my opinion but I value your feelings on the issue. however there is a flip side to it count the number of adds break a woman bown into body parts and only focus on her lips or her eyes or her butt. Count all the your too fat commercials to make us think we need to lose weight or get an operation. There is an entire regiment out there meant to break us down and think we need to change and not be comfortable in our own skin and it ALL plays an ACTIVE roll in circumcision!

Amy Barton's picture

George - I totally agree

I dislike the way the word 'feminist' is spat out nowadays. I consider myself to be a feminist, and I believe that at the core of all true feminism is a conviction in the entitlement of all individuals to basic human rights. It is my opinion that anyone who considers themselves a feminist or wants to bang on about the rights of women, yet has no regard for the rights of small boys to not be cut, is a hypocrite and not worthy of consideration.

The USA, supposedly the 'land of the free' has frighteningly little regard for human rights. It is not inconceivable, based on real events over the last few years and the law as it stands, that a woman could be court ordered to be cut (forced c-section) have her baby cut by the hospital without his (nor his parents) permission, then lose custody of him for photographing him being breastfed. It's a twisted and perverse disregard for human rights. If an individual does not have rights over his or her physical person, then he or she has nothing. All other 'rights' are rather superficial and irrelevant if you don't have autonomy over the one thing in life that you can, with any certainty, ever call your own.

RD's picture

Amy, things will look up in the USA

I am fairly confident that the Baby Mario case in Miami will firmly establish that to circumcise a baby boy with his parents prior written consent is actionable for sure and perhaps even an assault. I am confident that any past brouhaha about photographing mothers feeding their babies will not long carry into the future. Women are a majority of USA voters, and damn near every women is proud of breastfeeding or at least having the capacity to breastfeed.

Court ordered forced c sections for the claimed good of the baby could well persist.

RD's picture

You raise good points

If you look at the rates of criminal convictions, incarceration, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolare disorder, psychopathic & sociopathic personality, substance abuse, mental retardation, retiring before age 62, and longevity, men are obviously the more troubled sex. More than that, screamingly obvious. The unemployment rate for men during the ongoing recession is much higher than that for women.

Ob-gyns are copping out by claiming that they have to follow AAP guidelines (which are also a cop out).
ME. I have read a bit about the internal politicking in the AAP Task Forces that draw up those guidelines, and can confirm that the guidelines are a meaningless compromise. A cop out as you say.

I know of a few remorseful Ob-gyns who have stopped performing "circs."
ME. I am very disappointed that more have not.

Besides, Ob-gyns are women's doctors, and have no business cutting on an organ of which they know little. It's not their area.
ME. Edward Wallerstein's 1980 book made this point.

Quacks let this cat out of the bag 100 years ago, and they've been trying for decades to justify their malpractice by making excuses for it. It's that simple.
ME. It was started by quacks, and embraced by parents because it marked a man for life as having been born in the middle class.

If they came out tomorrow and said, "we were wrong", imagine the lawsuits that would concur!
ME. I have wondered about this myself.

Doctors are responsible, not parents, because I know several recent parents who were never asked, and my mother doesn't remember signing the permission form (forgery)!!! They were/are criminally negligent!
ME. My mother cannot recall being asked about my younger brother, born in the early 1950s. Doing it without written consent should give rise to serious monetary damages.

Irish Dad's picture

WHY??

This baffles me. Why do some parents in some countries insist on circumcision? I don't get it.

There is no medical reason for it...in fact I see no reason of any kind for it at all.

Here in Ireland it's not offered as an option. And I know it is the same in many other European countries. I am sure if you requested it it could be done but you would get strange looks, I mean why the heck would you want to do this to your child??

Do the right thing and let your child decide for themselves later on in life.

RD's picture

Why Americans cannot let go of the bald penis

Ireland is the only English speaking country to have no truck with routine infant circumcision. And the main reason for this fact is its Roman Catholic heritage. That church did not countenance routine circumcision until middle class Roman Catholics in the USA, Canada, and Australia began circumcising their boys in the 1940s.

In the late Victorian era and Edwardian era, it became fashionable among upper middle class and well educated British and American families. Australia and Anglophone Canada followed suit. In 1910, almost no New Zealand baby was circumcised. By 1940, about 80% of boys boarding in New Zealand's main elite boarding school for boys were circumcised.

Having a bald penis marked a boy in the changing rooms as coming from the better sort of family. The natural penis was taken as a sign of foreign origins, of home birth with a midwife, of having a mother who was clueless about hygiene and odours, about having parents indifferent to boyhood masturbation, then seen as a moral horror.
The natural penis required that a mother or nanny look at a boy's penis and talk about it. A mother had to verify progress to full retractability. When this was achieved she had to explain to a boy how to wash under his foreskin. This was all seen as too much to ask of a proper middle class Mum. It put her at risk of inappropriate thoughts.

The main reason some Australian and Canadian parents, and many American parents, want their boys to have bald penises is because that's the sort of penis the parents are accustomed to. That's what Dad has, and that's what Mum is used to playing with in the bedroom. That's what Mum saw on her little brothers when they were growing up. That's what she discovered when she began exploring my sex around age 16 or 18. Dad especially does not want to be reminded, every time he gives his son a bath or changes his nappies, that he is missing something very sexual. Many American parents are afraid that circumcised boys will ridicule and bully an intact boy in the changing room, unaware that group showers after sports are on the decline. Parents are afraid that an intact son will have trouble finding and keeping a girlfriend. I have been told a half dozen times that intact men never get oral sex!?!

What I write here has nothing to do with medicine, and everything to do with the social psychology of human sexuality. The USA has a deep and powerful unarticulated class system, the most powerful of any western society. And the natural penis was for several generations taken as a marker of inferior status. This is why the American circumcision mystique would be shattered if Oprah Winfrey and Dr Phil, or Julia Roberts, or Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt, were to make a public statement that intact is cool.

Being Irish, you may enjoy reading Robert Darby's history of circumcision in the UK, published by the University of Chicago Press. In 1990, a fellow named Hyam published a history of British sexuality in the 19th and 20th centuries. He claimed that circumcision began when the British army in India in the 1860s started doing periodic medical examinations of the rank and file. A fair fraction of soldiers had unsanitary conditions under the foreskin, because barracks did not have showers in those days. You and I would conclude that young men should be given an opportunity to wash under the foreskin. But the British concluded that well-bred boys should have their foreskins cut off.

In the 1930-60s, the USA did a lot of research on human sexuality. The big names here are Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, William Masters, and Virginia Johnson. Much of the "liberal" understanding of sexual practices is ultimately grounded in the writings of these people. However, none of that research mentioned that there might be sexual advantages to leaving the penis intact. That was unsayable in America, where circumcised men play squash and sail yachts and work in banks, while intact men play handball and race stock cars and work with their hands. The first time I saw mentioned that intact might work better for sexual pleasure and functionality was Edward Wallerstein's landmark book, published in 1980. The point did not really become mainstream in intactivist circles until the 1990s. American gay men may have had something to do with this. One result is that even though I am intact, I did not begin to understand the sexual value of being intact until my 40s. I suspect that American sex ed tiptoes around this topic to this very day.

Amy Barton's picture

Most of the world is asking that, Irish Dad

Few in New Zealand circ anymore either (except certain Island communities) and you'd be considered a bit weird and barbaric if you did it to your son now. I don't know a single man who has ever regretted having his foreskin. He'd probably be referred for a psych eval before a surgeon.

Irish Dad's picture

??

Just can't figure out why someone would go and request it, why it would even occur to someone to ask for it!

RD's picture

To understand, you have to have grown up in the USA

Irish Dad, to understand why many American parents circumcise, you have to have played sports in the USA, then showered with other boys afterwards. You have to have overheard a group of 19 year old American women sitting in a circle in the lounge of a university hostel, giggling in disgust as one of them narrates her horrified discovery that her date of the previous weekend "had all this weird extra skin on his penis I had no clue what to do with. Guys, it was soooo gross! I would NEVER put something like that in my mouth." You have to heard the way the word "smegma" was spoken in my varsity days in the 1970s. To have smegma under the foreskin was seen as a very grave faux pas, one that washing could not forgive. Once in the 1960s and another time in the 1980s, American doctors made a face at me when they discovered that I was intact. I now see that that was professionally inappropriate behaviour. American mothers of newborns who expressed reluctance to allow their baby boys to be circumcised used to be bluntly reminded that growing up intact in America was a humiliating experience. One set of parents who were treated in this fashion when their first son was born in 1989, donated 1 million dollars 2 years ago to set up Intact America, an anti-circumcision lobby group.

Anonymous's picture

No regrets

When I found I was expecting twin boys the thought of circumcision haunted me. If I was a single parent I would probably have chosen not to do it because I am a woman and cringe at the thought of my babies in pain. So I decided that it would be up to my husband to make the decision. He chose to circumcise and I chose to let him, and I support him wholeheartedly.
You can argue that in general a boy or man is not more prone to infection, and that is more than likely true. But what I know about my husband and his body chemistry (he's got a constant microscopic forest growing on his body, which sounds gross, but the only way I know this is because it affects my shower more than anything else). He IS more prone to infections on the skin, and is grateful for his circumcision. MY dad would have been more grateful to his parents had they chosen to circumcise him as an infant. He felt having to have one at 13 (due to multiple infections) was more traumatizing. And I teach my sons how to wash their hands the right way, but that doesn't mean that they do it every time! I have no regrets. Contrary to what may happen in "most" cases all three of my boys were anesthetized before hand (my husband witnessed all three), they were performed by their pediatricians, and they healed in about a week with no complications. I support parents in general, whatever they decide. I believe the right decision was made for our sons. I think it is great to get the information out there, to make sure that parents are making the right decision based on knowledge, not standard protocol, but if it is your goal to educate, simply supply facts, not opinions on the proceedures or the parents who choose them, otherwise your message turns preachy and self-righteous.

George's picture

You are in denial!

"Preachy and self-righteous", HA! What a fraud! You will regret it one day when you realise your own hypocrisy. Maybe in the next life, whatever you will be. Opinions and parent regret anecdotes are exactly what we need, aside from the fact that it is a sexist human rights violation. Like the mother who lost her baby in October as a result of blood loss from the quack procedure, maybe you will find yourself a little "preachy and self-righteous" then? That might happen if you grow a conscience.

Anonymous's picture

walking in someone's shoes

Boy what a remark to make to someone that you have no idea who she is! She is the mother and there for she has full rights over those two babies, it is just the same as a Dr. who doesn't set a bone correctly and so the mother orders it to be rebroke just so that it will heal correctly. A child does not have full rights until the age of 18. Making a child go through circs in later years is not pleasent because they remember it. Ask any man who was circed when he was baby, and find out if he remembers it. I betcha they will say no. Also all this bull pucky about the fact that Dr's don't use anestic is baloney because it is now required. When talking to my Dr. about getting my son circed he told me that yes it is a superficial surgery and it isn't needed unless I want my son to look like his father. My Dr. did warn me about the risks and that my only question was (any mother is going to ask) is it going to hurt? He said No because I am reguired to use a local anestetic in that area. My son is a perfectly healthy child. and anyone else who says differently because he is missing a little piece of skin should hold their tongue. Because ALL children are perfect no matter what is missing or different with them. If a mother chooses to leave the child's foreskin on the GREAT! If a mother wanted to bind her daughter's breasts so she can go to school well then GREAT. In every country you are going to find something offensive and put off. Boo Hoo we are all human and we all have certain tradions that we will follow.

Anonymous's picture

"She is the mother and there

"She is the mother and there for she has full rights over those two babies... A child does not have full rights until the age of 18"

What a dangerous belief system you have.

Children have full human rights. Do you know why this is? It is because they are human. As such, they are not the property of their mother, to be played with as she wishes. For the same reason we don't allow mothers to tattoo their children over whom they have "full rights", we should not allow mothers to have flesh amputated.

Perhaps you are confusing rights with responsibility? Certailny children don't have full responsibility, but they are entitled to bodily integrity. It is shameful that so many people disrespect that.

"Boo Hoo we are all human and we all have certain tradions that we will follow."

I'm sure you'll realise that the "boo hoo" is incredibly callous and insensitive.

Let's examine your defense of genital mutilation under the guise of "tradition", shall we?

How would you feel if, in the name of tradition, you had been tied down as a child and had part of your erogenous tissue of your genitals amputated? Would you think that perfectly acceptable? What about foot-binding? What about husbands beating their wives to control them? What about not allowing children to speak unless spoken to? What about caning children as a punishment?

These are all "traditions". Do you defend all these as well? Or do you only defended the outdated traditions that you choose to practise?

Anonymous's picture

Traditions

You want to know if I condone foot-binding and other such "outdated" practices... If in 10,20, or even 30 years my son comes up to me and tells me you know mother when I was a week old and you had me circed well it really hurt then I will change my ways but you know what I have yet to hear of anyone doing that. Foot binding is still done, you don't hear about it often because yes it is slowly going away, do I condone it? No but then again I have always been proud of having big feet and coming from a big footed family. My mother would always tell me that it takes a bigger foundation to build a temple than a outhouse. As far as husbands hitting their wifes to keep them in control (and wifes that beat husbands and parents that hit children) well gee that is against the law so no I don't condone that one. Children not allowed to speak unless spoken to...? does that really happen, cuz i have never seen that. If one does chose to do that well personally I guess that is the way the parent was raised and that is how they beileve children should be, I perfer children who are free to express themselves but also to know when it is time to be good. Caning children as punishment is this a over dramitized question about spanking? YES SPANK THEM but if you leave marks then you should definatly step back and rethink being a parent. When I was bad I was spanked with a 2x4 or a racecar track and they both left marks on my body. Would I hit my children with them HECK NO but I do spank them when it calls for it. No I didn't mix up what I said and what I meant I was always taught that children to not have full rights, as in children under the age of 18 can not get piercings with out a adult, children under the age of 18 are not allowed in to a R rated movie with out a adult. Responsiblity absoulutly! I would hope that parents are responsible for and to their children, what a tragic world it would be if adults weren't responsible for what they brought in to this world. Children do have rights to freedom of speak, freedom of life in general. They have the right to turn in their parents if the parents are abusing them, Rights given to any person. If you are saying that a mother deciding that due to family background to circ her son is horrible, What about the mother who tells the DR to operate on her child who has a club foot?
As to my boo hoo remark being "incredibly callous and insensitive" it is nothing compared to what has been written on here before. There have been a number of people who call others stupid and insensitive parents. Bad parents and even telling some that they obviously shouldn't be parents because of what they have chosen for their children. I am being told that I am incredibly callous and insensitive because I do not agree with what most of you are rooting for NO CIRCS Instead I stand up for a mother who stated her opinion on a opinion blog and got told that she chose wrong. Well then I guess I am incredibly callous and insensitive...

Vicki's picture

traditions

This is what you sound like to me:

My mom felt bad about having big feet and giving them to me so she made up a really cool saying to make us feel better about it!

Stand up for someone making choices over someone else body. stand up for someone deciding if a baby that will become a man gets to have all of his penis or just the nerve endings most sensitive to pain while taking away the ones most sensitive to pleasure.

yes beat your children but only within the measure the law allows!

Well gee Anonymous, Guess what? Children do have rights but we are talking about babies here babies that can only cry to communicate they have no words other than tears and screams to say they are being abused! We have ignored they screams too long! if it were against the law you would be against circ too! Guess what things don't get outlawed until rational human beings stand up for the rights that are being ignored!

Blacks would still be slaves if we followed the bible (slaves obey your masters in the lord for this is right-Ephesians 6)and separate but equal if not for the human rights movement. Someone at some point had to stand up for the rights of the mentally handicapped to be treated with dignity and respect and at some point in history to not be killed at birth! PEOPLE with compassion and heart had to stop it and it was hard work, people laughed at them, people fought hard against them they believed in what they said and traditionally they were right!

They used to lock the mentally ill up in sub human conditions and preform horrid experiments on them until people started speaking out and opening the eyes of people around them to reality! They used to think they didn't feel it and couldn't remember it and well they didn't care anyway because it was legal. could.

Anonymous's picture

So you're defending your

So you're defending your right to do whatever you wish to your son since he won't remember it?

Well, you'd better take your chance now to do other stuff he can't remember - cigarette burns, skull re-shaping...

The fact a person can't remember the pain of something does not make it okay. Anyone who thinks it does has some seriously disturbed ethics.

You have yet to hear of anyone complaining about feelings of violation as a result of their circumcision? Perhaps you simply have been closing your eyes and ears then, because I have seen many men like that. You need only look at the growing number of men restoring their foreskins to see that there are clearly a great many who are unhappy about what was done to them. But if you wish to continue living in ignorance of this simply so you can protect that it doesn't happen then that's your right.

Caning refers to.. caning. As in, with a bamboo cane. As in what was commonly practised in schools until fairly recently. Personally, I don't think it's acceptable to commit acts of violence against children, but clearly I have more respect for their rights than you do.

Your whole response is basically nothing but ethnocentrism. Tradition is totally okay. So long as it's YOUR tradition. Other people's traditions? Not so much.

Children have rights to turn to their parents if those parents are abusing them?

Well how do you think a newborn baby feelsw about being strapped down and having his genitals sliced apart? Does he have the "right" to turn to his parents and stop them? I say yes, he does have that right. Does he have the ability? No, he does not. That is why others ought to step in and consider what he might want, instead of selfishly thinking about their own concerns.

Foreskin = club foot in your little mind, does it?

Hmm, natural, healthy, functioning tissue which every male is born with is equated with a physical disability... I guess someone just hasn't switched their brain on to think this through before trying to make such a pathetic comparison. Don't you think it ridiculous that you have to convicne yourself that a wholly normal body part needs to be cut off? Tell me how you think this comparison makes sense, other than as a desperate, ill-considered attempt to defend circumcision.

It is inredibly callous and insensitive to dismiss the rights of newborns, and to forget that no-body owns a newborn except himself. It is callous and insensitive to disregard the feelings of those men who wish their parents had not interfered with them.

You, like so many others, speak about this issue with the blasé, closed-minded manner found among the pro-circ lobby all the time. You haven' properly thought through any defence for circumcision, you just know you want to continue it. Why? Because it's tradition. Well, sure, let's carry on with every tradition ever thought up, regardless of whether it's good or bad, eh? Or should we actually think about what we're doing to our fellow human beings?

George's picture

Blah Blah Blah

Try moving your comments to a site that promotes the "traditional" violation of the rights of boys to their whole bodies. If you don't want an "attack", then don't place your comments above a "reply" button. Its also a "tradition" to cut a girls clitoris off with Sunni "Circumcisions", or the hood, which is an even smaller "piece of skin" than the hood of a boy. If you don't support the rights of ALL children to remain intact, then you are a hypocrite.

The only thing wrong with an intact penis is in the damaged mind of the pathological person who wants to cut it. It's not his/her fault that he/she was raised in a sick society that promotes the cycle of sexual abuse that is "circumcision". The first step to coming out of denial is to admit that you have a problem. If "circumcision" is so great, then why are you so defensive? Because deep down you know it's wrong.

George's picture

Whatever

I know who she is, and I know you too. Her type is all too common, and don't think you are telling me anything I haven't heard from those in denial before. Neither she or you own children. They aren't objects, although you have been enabled to treat them as such. How sad that is for them.

RD's picture

Pain not remembered still matters

Should we cut off the foreskin of every baby boy because if we don't, something like 1% of intact boys will have to be cut in later life, and this is a sad thing, because pain experienced in later life is remembered, while pain experienced in infancy is not?

It is by no means the case that local anesthetic is standard practice in the USA. There are doctors who flatly refuse to use it, claiming that it adds to the riskiness. A major hospital in Silver Springs MD refuses to allow lidocaine with circ, telling parts to go to a pediatrician who does outpatient circs if they want lidocaine used. I infer that that hospital experienced a tragic accident with lidocaine, an overdose of which can be fatal.

Routine circ is not truly a tradition, but an innovation from the first half of the 20th century that got out of hand.

Anonymous's picture

Still matters

No I didn't say EVERY little boy that is born should be circ what I said was that a mother should have the right to decide if she is going to have her children circed or not and be able to voice her opinion about it with out having people attack her for what she chose to do. If a great great grandfather has been circed he is more likely going to have that done for his sons and they for theirs and so on and so forth... tradion. It may be a horrible way to look at it but like or not that is how some view it. My husband wanted it done to our son and I support my husband so I let him go with it. Does it matter? yes it matters but to console a infant who will not remember it is easy while trying to console a older child or a teenager or even a adult is harder. Luckly those that have to have it done later due to what ever diesease or just because do forget later, kinda like childbirth..Pain is there but a few months later it is forgotten.

Vicki's picture

Really so how many circed

Really so how many circed penises have you seen? notice how they all have different surgical flaws or more removed? Did the Doctor take your husband into the operating room and make the same surgical mistakes his doctor did to him were done to your son? You know to ensure your son has the same skin bridge, same amount cut off or curvature of the penis? Did he keep the frenulum or get it cut off like dad? cuz if that's different then they don't look the same do they? How about this THE SON DOES LOOK JUST LIKE THE FATHER! He looks exactly like his dad before he was surgically altered!

We teach our children that 2 wrongs dont make a right and that just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean we should too ...I mean if everyone is jumping off the Brooklyn bridge does that mean I should too? Yet ur so willing to hack away a baby's penis just because everyone else is doing it and it happened to dad. Think logically If you had been born in Africa and had a clitorectomy at birth you wouldn't know the difference or remember it either would u do it to ur daughter?

Anonymous's picture

//"to console a infant who

//"to console a infant who will not remember it is easy..."//

Uh-huh. About as easy as to console a rape victim who was given GBH and so doesn't remember the event...

The fact that a person can't remember having something taken from them against their will doesn't make it okay to do whatever you like to them.

//"while trying to console a older child or a teenager or even a adult is harder"//

This is another scare-tactic put about by the pro-circ lobby. If a man decides for himself to have a circumcision, then he needs no consolation, does he? If there is a medical need, then he will approach the amputation of part of his penis the same way he'd approach amputation of another body-part. Regrettable, but perhaps necessary. I say perhaps because it's very rarely necessary.

You speak as though if a child isn't circumcised, he has a chance of requiring one at a later date. In fact, the vast majority of men never require a circumcision, so why is this even an issue?

I think you're struggling desperately to defend something that you have no reason for other than you want to defend your decision.

Well, just because something has always been done, or has been done for several generations, that doesn't make it okay.

And how very courageous of you to leave the decision to your husband. Tell me, if he had been abused or bullied as a child, would you allow him to abuse and bully his son, so they had that in common too?

No, you would rightly question your husband's motivation for inflicting such behaviour on his child, and would conclude that your role is to protect your child, even from his own father.

George's picture

Attack?

You posted your comment on an anti-circ. blog above a "reply" button. If you didn't want an "attack", then you should have posted on a site that advocates the violation of boys rights to their whole bodies. I suppose you support the right of a muslim family to remove the clitoris of a girl, or maybe just the hood? If not, you are a hypocrite, and that is not an attack but an observation. Boy's have the same rights as do girls under the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

The only thing that is ever wrong with an intact penis is in the feeble mind of the person who wants to cut it for their own psychological hangups, which includes you and your sadly abused husband who was witness to the repetition of his own abuse by a quack who was also abused. It's not your fault, or his, that you are products of an abusive society that practices misandry.

Anonymous's picture

Attack

I was under the impression that this was a safe place to talk about differing opinions. Apparently that is not the case. Maybe you could get more of a discussion going (but maybe that wasn't the goal here), and not just this one sided pat on the back for those who make a different choice, if other parents felt they could express another side of this issue without being called names or being attacked. I didn't realize that despite the fact that I birth naturally, eat healthily and feed my family good things for their bodies, breastfeed my children as long as THEY want to be breastfed, co-sleep, baby-wear and home school, that that one choice to circumcise my boys made me such a horrible person and mother, so as to be called a hypocrite and without a conscience in a public discussion board.

Vicki's picture

So you do everything right

So you do everything right yet chose to deprive your boys of their most sexually sensitive part of their body and raise their cortisol levels to astronomical levels and perminantly hard wire their brain for sex and pain being one? I am suppose to give you a high 5 for comforting your son on a pain you induced? Babies want to keep their body intact just as much as they dont want pinched and want a breast to latch onto! I applaud you for making good parenting decisions after the fact but you should respect the genital integrity of your children too. you dont stick your finger in your daughters vagina to clean her and you don't have to retract a baby boy to clean him! So there is no EXCUSE!

George's picture

So

It did make you a hypocrite. Now admit you were wrong because the only choice was their's as adults.

RD's picture

Like it or not, RIC has become un-PC

In most public forums, it is no longer politically correct to admit that one does not regret having circumcised one's sons, or that one sexually prefers the cut penis. These are blunt facts of life, and USA popular culture is undergoing a paradigm shift. I advise those who prefer circumcised to keep that fact to themselves, or to create and moderate their own blogs.

I am not at all surprised that this is a polarising issue, because the tip of the penis is man at his most sexual.

If a mother breastfeeds but does not cosleep, I celebrate the fact that at least she breastfeeds. But there are quite a few people who value the whole crunchy parenting lifestyle package. If any part of the package is missing, that is for them a grave problem. That's not the way I think, because I believe that half a glass is better than an empty one, but I understand those who do think that way.

Anonymous's picture

AMEN

AMEN!

Anonymous's picture

No regrets

When I found I was expecting twin boys the thought of circumcision haunted me. If I was a single parent I would probably have chosen not to do it because I am a woman and cringe at the thought of my babies in pain. So I decided that it would be up to my husband to make the decision. He chose to circumcise and I chose to let him, and I support him wholeheartedly.
You can argue that in general a boy or man is not more prone to infection, and that is more than likely true. But what I know about my husband and his body chemistry (he's got a constant microscopic forest growing on his body, which sounds gross, but the only way I know this is because it affects my shower more than anything else). He IS more prone to infections on the skin, and is grateful for his circumcision. MY dad would have been more grateful to his parents had they chosen to circumcise him as an infant. He felt having to have one at 13 (due to multiple infections) was more traumatizing. And I teach my sons how to wash their hands the right way, but that doesn't mean that they do it every time! I have no regrets. Contrary to what may happen in "most" cases all three of my boys were anesthetized before hand (my husband witnessed all three), they were performed by their pediatricians, and they healed in about a week with no complications. I support parents in general, whatever they decide. I believe the right decision was made for our sons. I think it is great to get the information out there, to make sure that parents are making the right decision based on knowledge, not standard protocol, but if it is your goal to educate, simply supply facts, not opinions on the proceedures or the parents who choose them, otherwise your message turns preachy and self-righteous.

Doulalee and Nature's Way Birthing Services.'s picture

Just say "NO"!!!!!!

Please, please, please. If you are an expectant or brand new parent, please leave your perfect baby perfect. Circumcision is mutilation flat out. Those of us that did this in ignorance have to live with this guilt forever, not to mention what our sons have to live with the rest of their lives. I will never forgive myself for being so cavalier, and allowing this to happen without the information or education I needed to make a good decision, which was not mine to make in the first place. I trusted what I was told, that this would be in the best interest of my son and his health. BS to the endth degree!! This is a sin against humanity driven by the profiteers that benefit from it. Your babies DO NOT benefit from this mutilation. This harms them much more than just physically. Sometimes it ruins their lives, or even kills them !!

Anonymous's picture

I believe the only person

I believe the only person making this cosmetic decision should be the person with the parts! It is a personal thing- personal as in the person with the penis! My son is intact :-) I am glad you had the courage to bring this issue up and I thank you for that. Still, I feel the need to say that as a medical professional and a human being I think that you had a responsibility to stand up for those little boys.

Christy's picture

Our sons are natural!

I'm so glad to hear a former circumciser speak out against this. Our three boys are all happily intact. My husband was circumcised as a baby, and wishes he still had his foreskin. I think it goes against common sense to amputate part of a new baby's healthy penis! They're born perfect.

Lippy Girl's picture

A comment for Amy Barton - re long labia

Don't be ashamed of long labia Amy, and don't even just think they're normal...

Your labia are NOT normal...they are utterly fabulous! Please join us at

http://hottentotapron.blogspot.com/

and learn more about the nasty politics behind the war on labia...(which is rather like the war on foreskin)

love Lippy x

Roze's picture

Circumcision

Thanks for your interesting comments Lissa.

From what I understand circumcision is more traumatic in an infant than in a young boy of say 7 or 8 years.Being from a Muslim community, we often circ our boys a bit later, preferably around 7 years, and they recover real fast within a few days.The only case I know of an infant being circumcised ended up in great distress to his mother who wanted it done early in the belief that the child would experience less pain. His penis became sore and infected and started bleeding for no reason and it took more than two weeks for it to improve. And all that time he was in terrible pain. His penis is still very unsightly.

Most of the mothers who took a look at the baby's penis had harsh words for his mother and said that it looked much nicer for boys to have a foreskin in their infancy, even stressing on its protective function in the early years.

Not that they are against circumcision. Being Muslims, they are for it and well realise its benefits. In fact, all of them happily had their sons snipped at 6-8 years of age, celebrating it with a party. But what they were against is to do it in their infancy. perhaps the US could take a lead from this and start snipping their kids a bit later in life.

What I also fail to understand is the double standards folk in the US have regarding it when it comes to the issue of female circumcision. Although girls in my country are often circumcised early in keeping with our Islamic traditions, my parents had neglected to have it done with the result that I had infections under my clitoral hood and recurrent UTI's. I was an adult and married when I chose to get snipped. The lady doctor who did it took off a good part of the hood and it has since worked wonders. Its called a hoodectomy and I hear its fast catching on in the west.

Anonymous's picture

No genital mutilation is acceptable.

You are missing the point. This blog is arguing against circumcision. Period. Cutting the genitals of another person is WRONG. There is no valid justification for it and what you are discussing are human rights violations, plain and simple. I feel sorry for you that you have been brainwashed by your religion.

RD's picture

Infant circumcision is more

Infant circumcision is more traumatic because it is usually done without anesthesia. The standard post-op pain killers are also not suited for week old babies. Finally, a 7 year old boy is always toilet trained while a week old baby never. I never saw the sense of creating a raw wound in the diaper area, where it will be exposed to urine and feces every day during the healing period.

That said, Islamic circ is still usually performed without local anesthesia, even though abstaining from anesthesia is in no way a religious requirement.

Infant circ is not unknown among educated urbanised Moslems. I have read that doing it in infancy is the norm in urban Iran.

Even Moslem mothers expect babies and toddlers to have foreskin. The main reason American mothers circumcise is because they are uncomfortable with a penis that is not bald like the one on their baby's father, and the ones on the brothers they grew up with.

The USA will not move to doing it later in life. The growing thing is not to do it ever. The claimed benefits of routine circumcision are a series of misunderstandings. The sexual benefits of having all the moving parts have come to be understood only in the past 10-20 years. When it comes to routine circumcision, American medical and sexual research is filled with flawed reasoning and with passing over important things in silence.

The idea that Islam requires altering the genitalia of girls in preparation for their eventual marriage, is a serious misreading of Islam. FGM is an animistic custom from Africa, carried over from the pre-Islamic past.

I have never heard of infections under the clitoral hood, and of UTIs in women, being blamed on the hood. To have just part of the hood removed, by a doctor, when you were adult and already married is not controversial, although I strongly doubt doing that would truly improve your sex life. There are plastic surgeons in the English speaking countries who will remove all or part of the hood of an adult upon request. But I would not say that this operation is in anywhere near to catching on.

RD's picture

Infant circumcision is more

Infant circumcision is more traumatic because it is usually done without anesthesia. The standard post-op pain killers are also not suited for week old babies. Finally, a 7 year old boy is always toilet trained while a week old baby never. I never saw the sense of creating a raw wound in the diaper area, where it will be exposed to urine and feces every day during the healing period.

That said, Islamic circ is still usually performed without local anesthesia, even though abstaining from anesthesia is in no way a religious requirement.

Infant circ is not unknown among educated urbanised Moslems. I have read that doing it in infancy is the norm in urban Iran.

Even Moslem mothers expect babies and toddlers to have foreskin. The main reason American mothers circumcise is because they are uncomfortable with a penis that is not bald like the one on their baby's father, and the ones on the brothers they grew up with.

The USA will not move to doing it later in life. The growing thing is not to do it ever. The claimed benefits of routine circumcision are a series of misunderstandings. The sexual benefits of having all the moving parts have come to be understood only in the past 10-20 years. When it comes to routine circumcision, American medical and sexual research is filled with flawed reasoning and with passing over important things in silence.

The idea that Islam requires altering the genitalia of girls in preparation for their eventual marriage, is a serious misreading of Islam. FGM is an animistic custom from Africa, carried over from the pre-Islamic past.

I have never heard of infections under the clitoral hood, and of UTIs in women, being blamed on the hood. To have just part of the hood removed, by a doctor, when you were adult and already married is not controversial, although I strongly doubt doing that would truly improve your sex life. There are plastic surgeons in the English speaking countries who will remove all or part of the hood of an adult upon request. But I would not say that this operation is in anywhere near to catching on.

doulakristyn's picture

I've experienced both, and can honestly say...

I have come to an understanding on this subject from a couple of persectives...
First, I did consent to circumcision for my son. Mainly because I did not take the time while pregnant with him to educate myself about why not to. And since then, I have had learned these reasons...so it's something that I very much regret consenting to.
Second, I've recently remarried. First husband was circ'd. My husband now is not. And after learning over the past couple of years the realities of circumcision, I was so thrilled to learn upon marrying this man, that he's intact! This has been such a gift to me. It truely is a different, much more gentle experience. As his marital partner, I'm able to understand the relationship that the foreskin has during intimacy. And so much of my regret lies in understanding now, what I've taken from my son. Any future sons will remain intact, and I couldn't care less about the difference in appearance...don't think they will either.

doulakristyn's picture

I've experienced both, and can honestly say...

I have come to an understanding on this subject from a couple of persectives...
First, I did consent to circumcision for my son. Mainly because I did not take the time while pregnant with him to educate myself about why not to. And since then, I have had learned these reasons...so it's something that I very much regret consenting to.
Second, I've recently remarried. First husband was circ'd. My husband now is not. And after learning over the past couple of years the realities of circumcision, I was so thrilled to learn upon marrying this man, that he's intact! This has been such a gift to me. It truely is a different, much more gentle experience. As his marital partner, I'm able to understand the relationship that the foreskin has during intimacy. And so much of my regret lies in understanding now, what I've taken from my son. Any future sons will remain intact, and I couldn't care less about the difference in appearance...don't think they will either.

doulakristyn's picture

I've experienced both, and can honestly say...

I have come to an understanding on this subject from a couple of persectives...
First, I did consent to circumcision for my son. Mainly because I did not take the time while pregnant with him to educate myself about why not to. And since then, I have had learned these reasons...so it's something that I very much regret consenting to.
Second, I've recently remarried. First husband was circ'd. My husband now is not. And after learning over the past couple of years the realities of circumcision, I was so thrilled to learn upon marrying this man, that he's intact! This has been such a gift to me. It truely is a different, much more gentle experience. As his marital partner, I'm able to understand the relationship that the foreskin has during intimacy. And so much of my regret lies in understanding now, what I've taken from my son. Any future sons will remain intact, and I couldn't care less about the difference in appearance...don't think they will either.

Kara's picture

@Stie87

Stie87: "When I talked to my husband he told me that the biggest reason for wanting to get this done maybe superficial but my husband didn't want my son to think he was different from his dad when it came to potty training him, How do you explain to a 2 yr old why daddy's little guy is different from his?"

I'm sorry, but a 2 year old's penis IS going to look different from a grown man's penis regardless of whether or not he was circumcised. I mean, did you have to explain to your son why your husband had pubic hair or did you husband shave it off so they wouldn't be different? My son has been potty trained since a week before his 2nd birthday and there was never an issue.He sees his father naked after showers or when they go to the bathroom together. He's NEVER asked why it looks different. If/when he does there is a VERY simple answer: "When Daddy was a baby they thought it was healthier to cut off that part of the penis. When you were born we knew that it wasn't, so we left it the way nature intended." Not a difficult concept to convey, even to a young child. I have a very hard time with parents who put their children through this because THEY don't want to have (what they see as) an uncomfortable conversation. Grow up and put your child first.

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