Published with permission.
-Actually it’s not ‘just a piece of skin.’ The foreskin acts in a protective manner much the way our eyelids protect our eyeballs. It covers the glans (head) of the penis keeps it lubricated and moist. In a circumcised penis, the glans is always exposed and rubs against clothing and underwear all of the man’s life-it becomes dried out and loses some sensation.
- Thanks to the internet and other resources, parents are finding out more and more that circumcision is not necessary and the practice is declining. In the 1980’s the U.S. circumcision rate prior to leaving the hospital was at 83%. In 2005, the number had reduced to 56% and continues to decline. Also, with the increase in the Hispanic population (a culture that does not routinely cut their boys) the number will continue to fall. So, no fear on this one, he won’t be alone. Plus I don’t know any group of young men that stand around and look at each others penises. I asked my husband “During the entire time you were in football, did you or anyone else stand around and look at each other’s penis or compare them?” His response: “That’s the gayest thing I’ve ever heard. No, most of us went home and took showers after practice anyway.” So, what he said was not the most politically correct statement but you get the point…
-Numerous medical studies have shown that simply rinsing the foreskin with water is enough to clean it and keep the man healthy. Women’s genitals have many more “nooks and crannies” than an intact penis does and we don’t routinely cut off parts of our little girls (side note: Female circumcision was LEGAL in the United States until 1995). We also teach girls to wipe front to back to prevent infections, so why can’t we just teach our boys to wash? Circumcision is also very uncommon in many parts of the world—Worldwide, 80% of men are intact. If it is such a health issue to be intact, than 80% of the world’s men must actually be doing perfectly fine or they are hiding their problems well.
- No, you do not have a penis. However, this baby is just as much your child as he is your partner’s and circumcision is a life-long choice that needs to be discussed together and a decision made together.
- True, he won’t be able to remember the procedure, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have affects from it that will last his lifetime. Most circumcisions are performed with a local anesthetic but that does not mean that they are pain free.
So, the argument that it’s better to get it done when they’re small is just nonsense. It’s better to leave it alone and let the man choose. A grown man who chooses the procedure is afforded the option of general anesthesia, he gets narcotics when he goes home, and he doesn’t have to pee or poop on an open wound. A baby goes home with no pain medicine and then has to urinate and defecate multiple times on an open wound.
- Circumcision is a surgery with real risks and complications including the possibility of death. There is nothing “simple” about it.
- Like I explained earlier, the foreskin is fused to the penis at birth and separates over time. As an infant, the care of an intact penis is easy. Just wipe it off like a finger. As the boy ages and the foreskin is retractable, just pull it back, rinse and put it back. Easy enough.
- Really? I don’t know how someone can use that as an excuse to do something painful to a baby. Plus, he may no think it looks “prettier” when he gets older and realizes all the benefits he has lost from being cut.
- If my child meets someone who judges him based on how his penis looks than he/she is obviously not ‘the one’ for my child. We’re all different and it’s an important part of life to teach our kids not to insult or make fun of others for their differences. Plus, if my sons meet a woman of European descent, I doubt she will think it looks “better” since being intact is their norm.
- You don’t know that for sure. In fact, just the opposite could happen. There are numerous stories of men who have had botched or even “successful” circumcisions who grow up resentful of their parents choice. They feel like something was taken from them without their consent-which is true. Leaving your baby intact gives him the freedom to make choices about HIS body.