Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Circumcision for baby boys back in vogue?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
We did not circumcise our son. Like others have mentioned, we don't circumcise women and I see no reason to do so for men either. Like Jas, I live in Canada and it is not a procedure that is considered routine or necessary here. I believe that the majority of baby boys now in Canada are not circumcised.

Regarding some of the issues that have been raised, the article was very interesting, though as a researcher myself I am always sceptical of how research results are presented in the mass media. All too often they are over-simplified. If indeed circumcision *caused* a decreased rate of HIV infection I would be compelled. But since those were probably correlational studies I can imagine a number of compelling third variables that could explain the decreased rates of HIV in circumcised males--the most obvious being socio-economic factors related to rates of circumcision within both the African male population and the African American male populations that were studied. Still, for *those specific populations*, given the high rates of HIV infection, it could be worth considering the procedure as a prophelactic measure. But given these issues with generalizing the resultss, and given that my son if neither living in Africa nor is he an African American, these findings do not affect my feelings about circumcision.

As far as cleanliness goes, I see cleaning one's foreskin as being no differet for boys than is cleaning one's labia for girls. There are many many diseases and illnesses that can arise from improper cleaning for both genders and I think it is silly to assume that boys or men will not wash themselves correctly if taught from a very young age, and if you tell them that girls will not want to date them if they don't keep clean
that may be all the motivation they need.

I think many of the health issues associated with uncircumcised penises likely come from the fact that this is the first generation where there are lots of uncircumcised boys, and parents don't have a clue about how the proporly care for intact little penises! For example, one of my baby books says to pull back the foreskin when cleaning *from birth*. In fact, this can cause scar tissue and pain since the foreskin is connected to the glans until the boy is older, sometimes much older! So the advice parents are given is often wrong and may contribute to later issues.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
3,747
Both of my boys were circumcised, I guess I never really ever thought not to do it....my boys are 12 and 23...
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Date: 4/1/2009 6:51:38 PM
Author: dreamer_dachsie

Regarding some of the issues that have been raised, the article was very interesting, though as a researcher myself I am always sceptical of how research results are presented in the mass media. All too often they are over-simplified. If indeed circumcision *caused* a decreased rate of HIV infection I would be compelled. But since those were probably correlational studies I can imagine a number of compelling third variables that could explain the decreased rates of HIV in circumcised males--the most obvious being socio-economic factors related to rates of circumcision within both the African male population and the African American male populations that were studied. Still, for *those specific populations*, given the high rates of HIV infection, it could be worth considering the procedure as a prophelactic measure. But given these issues with generalizing the resultss, and given that my son if neither living in Africa nor is he an African American, these findings do not affect my feelings about circumcision.
While I haven''t looked into the studies myself, my ped has and has told me that all of the ones that he has reviewed that show any significant medical benefit are flawed. He sees no medical reason for routine infant circumcision.

DH and I aren''t going to circ because there are benefits to having a foreskin, plus it''s our child''s body and we feel that it should be our child''s decision. As for the locker room argument, fewer and fewer Americans are doing it these days and I think that the percentages are getting pretty close to 50-50.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
Please don''t equate female and male circumcision. Female circumcision is often done for very different reasons, and results in qualitatively different levels of sexual function, with different rates of serious complications. Not to say that there aren''t valid concerns with male circumcision, but they aren''t the same procedure.

DD, there have been randomized controlled trials of circumcision in African adult male populations which show a reduction in HIV infection in those that received circumcision. The results were compelling enough to stop the study prior to completion and recommend circumcision for all men in the study. Here is a link to the CDC factsheet summarizing the finding, and citations to the original articles, two of which were Lancet publications, if you have access and want to read the originals. But you are right that the HIV infection rates and typical method of transmission are different for African populations as compared to US, Canada, Australia, England, etc. African HIV rates are much higher, and typical transmission is heterosex. But who is to say where your son might end up? Highly educated Westerners are a pretty mobile bunch.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
Author: CDC factsheet
In national probability samples of adults surveyed during 1999–2004, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) found that 79% of men reported being circumcised, including 88% of non-Hispanic white men, 73% of non-Hispanic black men, 42% of Mexican American men, and 50% of men of other races/ ethnicities [30]. It is important to note that reported circumcision status may be subject to misclassification. In a study of adolescents¸ only 69% of circumcised and 65% of uncircumcised young men correctly identified their circumcision status as verified by physical exam [31].
The last sentence of this paragraph was my favorite from the CDC factsheet... Yet another example of unreliable self-reporting! My favorite is the metric used by ER docs regarding drinking. Take the self-reported number (ie. 1 drink per week) and multiply by 2 to 10 to estimate actual drinking level. Who knows what the unreliable circumcision reporting means for this discussion...
 

iluvcarats

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2008
Messages
2,473
This is a touchy and personal subject, so I want to preface my post by saying I do not want to come across as judgmental.
I ran this by my DH, who is a urologist.
He said that just today he had to do a circ on a 90 year old man whose foreskin was so infected he couldn't pee. He sees this quite often.
He also said he has never seen a case of penile carcinoma on a circumcised man, only uncircumcised.
As mentioned before, I am sure personal hygiene carries a lot of weight.
Just food for thought.
 

Jas12

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,330
I think the ''infection argument'' is kinda silly. We humans get all sorts of infections all over our bodies due to poor health practices, but we don''t remove these body parts simply because of the possibility or in anticipation of a problem. We work at prevention and deal with the problem if/when it arises.
I am sure there are dozens of examples of men with infections of foreskin, just as there are dozens of men who get teeth removed when they are start to deteriorate or have an infected ingrown toenail removed.
I think if most ppl are being honest the main motivation is cosmetic/acceptance in a community

Not convinced about the evolution argument either. As others have noted, there seems to be a sexual sensitivity ''advantage'' to having intact foreskin--although i am sure this is hard to study or prove b/c you need a sexually experienced sample that got circ. as an adult--in any case it does serve a protective function.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,162
HI:

Certainly working in the Health Care Field (and in HC research) I have a lot of exposure to opinions that I may otherwise not have; regardless on this subject I didn't not rely soley on my own or/ friend physicians "opinions", I searched the literature. And I felt informed when I decided to opt for circumcision when my son was born. A decision I did not regret--not even when my sister called me to tell me circumcision was a form of mutilitation.

Our opinions differed and I respected hers--and did not revisit that conversation when she called me to tell me she was going to have her (now) older son circumcised b/c of recurrent infections and skin restrictions affecting urination. Their regret was considerable.

cheers--Sharon
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/1/2009 3:41:18 PM
Author: EBree
Thank you for posting this, Lara!
it can be avoided if little boys and men keep things clean, but what if they don''t? I have a hard enough time making sure my husband keeps his desk clean.
Not to mention teenage boys are notoriously lazy.
Right now, my thoughts sound something like this: The procedure could cause discomfort, but is it worth it to spare him the chance of infection down the road when he''s old enough to remember it?
I have a bit more reading to do.
Actually, and obviously I can''t talk about the other posters who have mentioned family or friends that have had troubles with foreskins, but I don''t think it''s necessarily got to do with ''keeping things clean'' as far as problems go.
My friend is a fanatically clean person, I can''t imagine him forgetting to wash his privates!!! And yet, he has had a LOT of pain, doctor visits (embarrassing!!) and LOTS of problems when he gets erections!!


Also, I get the distinct impression (but what would I know really) that the surveys done on the experience regarding spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, (AIDS) in Africa, were really comprehensive, not bodgy ones involving, say, seven participants....
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/1/2009 3:59:56 PM
Author: iluvcarats
One of the biggest problems of infection in uncircumcised men is within the elderly population.
Gad, didn''t even think of that! My son, when he''s old!!!
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/1/2009 4:04:44 PM
Author: cara
I wonder if its really even possible for them to evaluate the (potential) sensory effects, since they can't go back and experience the other outcome.
When I mentioned the 'circumcision issue' to my mum when bub was born, she said that the understanding was (at the time her children were born) was that circumcision made for better lovers!! Presumably less prone to *whispers* premature ...
How very seventies of her!

Also, and this is very important to me personally, Thank you so much for pointing out that male circumcision and female MUTILATION are not at all the same thing... male circumcision would be a closer approximation to female 'circumcision' if we simply chopped half the penis off, or perhaps sewed it down into the surrounding skin!!!!
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Date: 4/1/2009 8:55:59 PM
Author: Jas12

I think if most ppl are being honest the main motivation is cosmetic/acceptance in a community.
If I''m being completely honest, yes, I have considered this- but it certainly wouldn''t be my main motivation. The thought that foreskin became infected didn''t even occur to me until I started doing the research, because I don''t have a penis and never gave it much thought. And as I was saying before, for every person who calls the infection argument silly, people such as iluvcarats/canuk/Lara show us the other side of the argument- they (or a relative) have seen or suffered these infections/complications not even related to hygiene. On the flip side, I''d also consider the argument of a man who claims he wouldn''t have wanted it done (for whatever reason), a man who felt his sex life was better with foreskin, or tales of complications that occur during or after the procedure.

It isn''t an easy decision, that''s for sure.
 

LtlFirecracker

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
4,837
This is an interesting topic to me, as it is something that comes up often for me, and so a lot of discussion comes up. Here are some random thoughts.

There are some minor health risks that come with being uncircumcised. UTI''s in infancy is the biggest one. And no, it has noting to do with cleaning. The hispanic population does not circumcise their males, and neither do Europeans who have moved here, and I still see this (I just had an English couple last week who''s 20 day old had a UTI). I don''t think you can say these populations have inexperience with keeping foreskin clean. However, the risk is low in the grand scheme of things, so I don''t think it justifies having the procedure. When consenting families for this procedure, they are made aware of the UTI risk, but told that it is so low, that it does not justify a circumcision. It is stressed that circumcision is an elective procedure being done for cosmetic reasons.

The data out of Africa is very interesting, but I do not apply it children in developed countries, if studies done in developed countries are done, and show similar results, than I will look into it more.

I had a German couple pin me down a couple months ago and ask me why Americans do this. They thought we were the most barbaric people in the world! I tried to explain, and found it very complicated. It is interesting, it is usually the father''s who push for it, because they want their child to "look like everyone else." I wonder if that is going to change now that Medicare has stopped paying for them. People are paying out of pocket now, but even lower income families are forking over the $300 for this (the going rate in my area last time I asked).

Anyways, I know that is kind of random, you guys hit a subject I could spend a lot of time talking about. One more thing. My BF doesn''t want his children circumcised. Before I met him I did, but if we get married, I am going to respect his decision.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
You are right, male circumcision and female circumcision are not the same, and it lessens the importance of fighting to end FGM to equate them. I do think there is a shared element of barbarism to circumcising male infants without anathetic, but that is not done anymore. Still, on some level, when I look at my son''s body and think of its perfection, I cannot imagine cutting him and taking a part of him away, especially from a body part that is so important to his identity. I suppose that is an irrational or emotion-based feeling, but there it is.

Cara Thank you for that information! Unfortunately, I don''t have time to read the source materials since I spend a lot of my day dealing with my 5 weeks old son''d forskin and surrounding areas
, but I will take your word that the randomized study was well done. And in that case it is certainly a good argument for circumcision in those areas of the world. Still, if you have not read the original article and assessed the quality of the study for yourself, then I would hesititate to even accept the CDCs word. Too often I have seen errors that results in large PSAs. not saying that is the case here, but it is always best to read the original source material in the journal in which it was published. And Lara the types of issues with the studies in question need not be so blatant as poor sample size etc. It can be as simple as this (hypothetical): Most men who are circumcised in area X in Africa are Christian, and Christians in area X tend to have greater education levels and wealth, and it is these factors, not circumcision at all, that influence the lower HIV rates. Although it seems obvious that large scale epidemiological research would control for such alternatives, it is sometimes not possible or is simply overlooked.

I agree with Jas''s argument that we do not remove our teeth or toenails, or perhaps a better parallel, our uvula or tonsils prophelactically. And that is what male circumcistion amounts to. Yes, many of us know men who have had issues. I persoanlly know a man who had a circumcision in his teens for probably similar reasons that Canuk-Gal mentions. But, once again, to remove every male infants foreskin to avoid such relatively infrequent procedures seems overkill. I think that some people who make the prophelactic argument on some level think it is less traumatic for an infant than for an adult male. I am not convinced of that.

Cleanliness is likely not the only cause of these adule issues. But I think "mismanagement" of the foreskin may be
For example, pulling it back too soon and damaging the connections between the foreskin and the glans.

And Cara I will be sure to tell me son when he gets older that if he wants to travel to Africa and other countries where HIV and other STIs are common, that he should consider a prophelactic circumcision
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
Date: 4/1/2009 9:47:43 PM
Author: LtlFirecracker
...
There are some minor health risks that come with being uncircumcised. UTI''s in infancy is the biggest one. And no, it has noting to do with cleaning. The hispanic population does not circumcise their males, and neither do Europeans who have moved here, and I still see this (I just had an English couple last week who''s 20 day old had a UTI). I don''t think you can say these populations have inexperience with keeping foreskin clean. However, the risk is low in the grand scheme of things..
This is a key point. Too often when we talk about risks we simply say it is higher and then freak out. It is important to understand the actual rate of increased risk before determining whether or not something is truly risky.

And my hubby was also staunchly pro-circumcision until just before our son was born. What changed his mind? Two things. One, his best friend didn''t circumcise his son (there''s the social norms!) and two, a cousin who did circumcise his son talked about how terrible it was to watch and how his baby screamed bloody murder! Anyways, my point is that you never know how attitudes change over time! I said I would never change my name if I married, but here I am 4 years later, Mrs. Dachsie
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
I''m surprised to hear of so many experiences where people saw babies screaming horribly after circumcision. I''ve been to many brit milot where eight day old babies were circumcised and they''ve always only cried out for a second, and then that was it. Perhaps it''s the technique?

I''m planning on reading all the links everyone posted about this, so thanks to all.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,360
Date: 4/1/2009 10:24:03 PM
Author: Haven
I''m surprised to hear of so many experiences where people saw babies screaming horribly after circumcision. I''ve been to many brit milot where eight day old babies were circumcised and they''ve always only cried out for a second, and then that was it. Perhaps it''s the technique?
Or maybe the baby, I only heard one story.
 

LtlFirecracker

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
4,837
Date: 4/1/2009 10:24:03 PM
Author: Haven
I''m surprised to hear of so many experiences where people saw babies screaming horribly after circumcision. I''ve been to many brit milot where eight day old babies were circumcised and they''ve always only cried out for a second, and then that was it. Perhaps it''s the technique?


I''m planning on reading all the links everyone posted about this, so thanks to all.
Some doctors still don''t do nerve blocks (a large percentage of OBGYN''s don''t and last I read about 20% of pediatricians don''t). I think that is very important. However, I have seen children scream the night of even with the nerve block. Back in the day, people used to say that babies'' brains were not developed enough to feel pain, and that they will not have any memory. Those things have both been proven wrong by the literature. I have seen and done many procedures on babies, and I see their faces and wonder, how could anyone thought that????
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
Prophelactic circumcision when traveling abroad, on the list below the exotic vaccines...

Things that make you go HMMM!

Yeah, circumcision of an infant seems perfectly reasonable to me, but for some reason circumcision of a college student before study abroad seems... overkill! Nothing like a concrete example to change thinking. 'Use a condom, young man!' seems a bit more appropriate. Except... the HIV infection rates in some countries are pretty horrifying, and one of my sister's friends did study abroad in Africa and she and three of her classmates all brought back African boyfriends or husbands acquired during their stay! So I'm pretty sure than some crosscontamination was possible and likely.

I've haven't read the studies myself, nor am I medically trained, or trained in epidemiology enough to be 100% confident if I had read them, but they have created something of a sea change in terms of evidence for health benefits of circumcision... They were randomized, and the effect was fairly large. At least my husband was leaning away from circumcision of a hypothetical son many years ago due to lack of a reason for it, and the African studies (along with other lesser health risks discussed in medical school) have at least changed his opinion on whether or not there is a health justification for it. And there are other studies with consistent findings for other STDs. Whether or not the risks are large enough and relevant enough to our population enough to go through with it? Not 100% sure. But if living in a high-HIV area? I think answer is yes.
 

kennedy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
284
Date: 4/1/2009 8:22:18 PM
Author: iluvcarats
This is a touchy and personal subject, so I want to preface my post by saying I do not want to come across as judgmental.

I ran this by my DH, who is a urologist.

He said that just today he had to do a circ on a 90 year old man whose foreskin was so infected he couldn''t pee. He sees this quite often.

He also said he has never seen a case of penile carcinoma on a circumcised man, only uncircumcised.

As mentioned before, I am sure personal hygiene carries a lot of weight.

Just food for thought.


With all due respect, anecdotes do not make a science. It makes perfect sense your husband would see all kinds of foreskin problems -- he''s a urologist: this is where people go who are having problems.

This next question is not directed at you, iluvcarats. I''m just thinking aloud:

If circumcision carries with it such overwhelming health benefits, why wouldn''t insurance (privatized and socialized) continue to pay for the procedure? In the end, wouldn''t it end up saving them money?

I am against circumcision. It doesn''t make sense to me on an intellectual level as I have yet to see convincing research to suggest that, for babies born in the developed world, the benefits outweigh the risks. And it definitely doesn''t make sense to me on an emotional level. I have a 2 year old daughter and I can''t imagine what it must be like having your 2 or 3 day old newborn subjected to such a procedure. I would certainly do it if there were sound medical research suggesting it was in my child''s best interest, but I can''t imagine doing it for cosmetic reasons or so that he can "look like dad" (I hear that argument all the time).
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,654
Good discussion going on here. It's really good for people who are planing to have children to think this through. Most of the people I know think circumcision is a barbaric procedure (when it's not for religious reasons) and have saved their boys from it. The doctors (in California) are reluctant to do it and insist that both parents watch a video of the procedure before they sign for it just so they know the pros and cons and will see what their baby goes through for the procedure.
 

iluvcarats

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2008
Messages
2,473
Date: 4/1/2009 11:16:26 PM
Author: kennedy
Date: 4/1/2009 8:22:18 PM

Author: iluvcarats

This is a touchy and personal subject, so I want to preface my post by saying I do not want to come across as judgmental.


I ran this by my DH, who is a urologist.


He said that just today he had to do a circ on a 90 year old man whose foreskin was so infected he couldn''t pee. He sees this quite often.


He also said he has never seen a case of penile carcinoma on a circumcised man, only uncircumcised.


As mentioned before, I am sure personal hygiene carries a lot of weight.


Just food for thought.



With all due respect, anecdotes do not make a science. It makes perfect sense your husband would see all kinds of foreskin problems -- he''s a urologist: this is where people go who are having problems.


This next question is not directed at you, iluvcarats. I''m just thinking aloud:


If circumcision carries with it such overwhelming health benefits, why wouldn''t insurance (privatized and socialized) continue to pay for the procedure? In the end, wouldn''t it end up saving them money?


I am against circumcision. It doesn''t make sense to me on an intellectual level as I have yet to see convincing research to suggest that, for babies born in the developed world, the benefits outweigh the risks. And it definitely doesn''t make sense to me on an emotional level. I have a 2 year old daughter and I can''t imagine what it must be like having your 2 or 3 day old newborn subjected to such a procedure. I would certainly do it if there were sound medical research suggesting it was in my child''s best interest, but I can''t imagine doing it for cosmetic reasons or so that he can ''look like dad'' (I hear that argument all the time).
An anecdote is a "short, amusing account". He sees this several times a week. It is not a little story, but a fact. His partners see it several times a week too.
He sees more infections on uncircumcised men. That is a fact. He has only seen penile carcinoma on uncircumcised men. Also a fact. I have a 10 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. He had a circ because we believe it is healthier, and we are jewish and it is a tradition. He has no recollection of it. Yes he cried, and I felt bad. But he cried just as hard when he got all of his immunizations, and I would do that again too, because I believe I am keeping him healthy. Do what you will, and believe what you want, it is your business. But please don''t trivialize what I said, because they are facts.
 

LtlFirecracker

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 29, 2008
Messages
4,837
Date: 4/1/2009 11:43:12 PM
Author: swingirl
Good discussion going on here. It''s really good for people who are planing to have children to think this through. Most of the people I know think circumcision is a barbaric procedure (when it''s not for religious reasons) and have saved their boys from it. The doctors (in California) are reluctant to do it and insist that both parents watch a video of the procedure before they sign for it just so they know the pros and cons and will see what their baby goes through for the procedure.
Well, I practice in California and my hospital doesn''t do that. I really try not to impose my personal beliefs on others, and I think watching the video crosses that line. If they have a proper nerve block, they won''t feel it. However, all babies cry when they are restrained, and that is usually what they are reacting too. If you don''t want to restrain them, than you have the sedate them, which is very risky in a newborn baby. In our hospital, it is stressed that it is an elective procedure done for cosmetic reasons, not for health reasons, and that the procedure is being done because they are asking us to do it. If they still want to go forward, than they sign the consent, and that is it.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Just mentioned this topic to my workmate. She told me that a good family friend of hers'' had mentioned to her once that every single one of his grandsons - all seven of them - had had to go through circumcision at an older age (from age 4 through to teenage years) as they had an hereditary tendency towards urinary tract infections and other problems related to having a foreskin....
I really had no idea that troubles like this were so common.
 

kennedy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
284
Date: 4/1/2009 11:45:50 PM
Author: iluvcarats
Date: 4/1/2009 11:16:26 PM

Author: kennedy

Date: 4/1/2009 8:22:18 PM


Author: iluvcarats


This is a touchy and personal subject, so I want to preface my post by saying I do not want to come across as judgmental.



I ran this by my DH, who is a urologist.



He said that just today he had to do a circ on a 90 year old man whose foreskin was so infected he couldn''t pee. He sees this quite often.



He also said he has never seen a case of penile carcinoma on a circumcised man, only uncircumcised.



As mentioned before, I am sure personal hygiene carries a lot of weight.



Just food for thought.




With all due respect, anecdotes do not make a science. It makes perfect sense your husband would see all kinds of foreskin problems -- he''s a urologist: this is where people go who are having problems.



This next question is not directed at you, iluvcarats. I''m just thinking aloud:



If circumcision carries with it such overwhelming health benefits, why wouldn''t insurance (privatized and socialized) continue to pay for the procedure? In the end, wouldn''t it end up saving them money?



I am against circumcision. It doesn''t make sense to me on an intellectual level as I have yet to see convincing research to suggest that, for babies born in the developed world, the benefits outweigh the risks. And it definitely doesn''t make sense to me on an emotional level. I have a 2 year old daughter and I can''t imagine what it must be like having your 2 or 3 day old newborn subjected to such a procedure. I would certainly do it if there were sound medical research suggesting it was in my child''s best interest, but I can''t imagine doing it for cosmetic reasons or so that he can ''look like dad'' (I hear that argument all the time).

An anecdote is a ''short, amusing account''. He sees this several times a week. It is not a little story, but a fact. His partners see it several times a week too.

He sees more infections on uncircumcised men. That is a fact. He has only seen penile carcinoma on uncircumcised men. Also a fact. I have a 10 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. He had a circ because we believe it is healthier, and we are jewish and it is a tradition. He has no recollection of it. Yes he cried, and I felt bad. But he cried just as hard when he got all of his immunizations, and I would do that again too, because I believe I am keeping him healthy. Do what you will, and believe what you want, it is your business. But please don''t trivialize what I said, because they are facts.

Perhaps I didn''t make myself clear. I''m not questioning the veracity of your husband''s reports nor am I suggesting that what he sees is trivial. I know someone who needed to have a circumcision at 60 and it was a very painful, difficult experience for him. When I said that anecdotes don''t make a science, I was referring to the rhetorical fallacy of using a story or stories (even ones that are true) to stand in for evidence-based scientific research. For obvious reasons, we wouldn''t make public health recommendations for the general public based on one doctor''s medical practice. I was also pointing out that a urologist is likely to see all kinds of penile problems because that is where people go when they have problems. I''m sure a gastroenterologist sees a lot of appendicitis -- does that means we should take out everyone''s appendix as a prophylactic measure?

The last part of my post was not directed at you. Those are just my personal feelings on circumcision. I said that it didn''t make sense to ME on an emotional level -- I didn''t say that it was bad if other people felt differently. I have no doubt that parents who circumcise believe they are doing what is best for their child. I happen to be Jewish as well (although I am not at all observant), so I understand the tradition behind it. I think it''s important, though, not to confuse the scientific arguments with the religious ones (not saying you are -- just speaking generally).
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/2/2009 12:59:39 AM
Author: LtlFirecracker
Date: 4/1/2009 11:43:12 PM

Author: swingirl

The doctors (in California) are reluctant to do it and insist that both parents watch a video of the procedure before they sign for it just so they know the pros and cons and will see what their baby goes through for the procedure.

Well, I practice in California and my hospital doesn't do that. I really try not to impose my personal beliefs on others, and I think watching the video crosses that line. If they have a proper nerve block, they won't feel it. However, all babies cry when they are restrained, and that is usually what they are reacting too. If you don't want to restrain them, than you have the sedate them, which is very risky in a newborn baby.
I agree that being made to watch a video of crying children is a type of emotional blackmail, and while the Australian system doesn't make a parent do that, it basically has taken away the right to even enquire after the procedure.

Imagine the uproar if doctors forced parents to view videos of children crying their heads off as their vaccines were administered!

While the issues of safer sex have brought up the issue for myself and my husband again - and it is not just about protecting 'my precious', but about a general social responsibility to women as well, by the way - I feel that as he has reached the age of 2, I would prefer him to be fully anaesthetised before the procedure. And a full anaesthetic seems overkill, and unnecessarily dangerous.

so... should we encourage teenage boys to have it done?
I would prefer not to have to have the discussion!

Adult men?
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
Date: 4/1/2009 10:13:28 PM
Author: dreamer_dachsie
YLara the types of issues with the studies in question need not be so blatant as poor sample size etc. It can be as simple as this (hypothetical): Most men who are circumcised in area X in Africa are Christian, and Christians in area X tend to have greater education levels and wealth, and it is these factors, not circumcision at all, that influence the lower HIV rates. Although it seems obvious that large scale epidemiological research would control for such alternatives, it is sometimes not possible or is simply overlooked.

I agree with Jas''s argument that we do not remove our teeth or toenails, or perhaps a better parallel, our uvula or tonsils prophelactically. And that is what male circumcistion amounts to. Yes, many of us know men who have had issues. I persoanlly know a man who had a circumcision in his teens for probably similar reasons that Canuk-Gal mentions. But, once again, to remove every male infants foreskin to avoid such relatively infrequent procedures seems overkill. I think that some people who make the prophelactic argument on some level think it is less traumatic for an infant than for an adult male. I am not convinced of that.
Interesting post, I thought I''d respond..
In relation to the usefulness of the studies, I may have been making light of it (this is a social chat Internet forum after all) but I do understand the issues facing medical studies, in relation to cultural constraints in interpreting data. However, these African studies are by all reports, well-received and have not been dismissed as faulty or weak.

I know we don''t like to dwell on the levels of sexually transmitted diseases in our own countries, and we don''t have anything like the tragedy of the African population percentages infected with HIV in Australia / US, but STDs (of all types) are a real health risk, not a remote or exotic one that is unlikely to be encountered, even within ones own country, and well within the parameters of culturally accepted ''norms'' of sexual behaviour... no body ''deserves'' to get an STD.

Also , there is no real morality in STIs. People who show much higher than ''normal'' levels of responsibility, reservation and caution can still acquire an STI, unfortunately...not all partners are fair, reasonable - or even aware of their own infection...

In relation to the removal of tonsils being perhaps a reasonable equivalent... a very interesting point! But, is tonsilitis a social disease? Is it catching? I know it does have serious consequences for infants (soaring temperatures), but does it have hidden complications (such as hidden infertility or cancer - for women - or incurability after infection - in the case of HIV/AIDS?)

Personally, I do find the ''vaccine'' comparison helpful, although the procedure is in itself not directly comparable, simply because vaccines, like circumcision, seem to offer a significant protection against socially transmitted diseases...
 

swimmer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
2,516
Has anyone seen a circumcision? I go to a lot of Bris events these days and the little fellow cries for about a minute. More if he is being held by strangers. Yes, this is an anecdote, but I keep reading words like "trauma" and "incredible pain" to describe the procedure. Babies are a versatile bunch. Heck, their skulls are still soft at that point and faces are a bit distorted from the birth canal. In looking around for any hard research to cite concerning middle class developed nations and circumcision, I just found pablum. Some of the anti-circ websites look a great deal like the pro-breastfeeding ones. And even as a pro-breastfeeding person, I think much of that bullies women and doesn''t allow people to make individual choices. We all see children all the time being raised in ways we are not so sure of (in the grocery knocking things down with mom smiling and ignoring, you know what I mean). But hey, it takes all kinds. I am still stuck on Cara''s CDC info that more than 50% of teens didn''t know if they were circumcised or not. Guess its not that much of a snip.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
My future sons will be circ''d soon after birth. Similarly, my daughters will have their ears pierced soon after birth. Call me a bad mom who inflicts barbaric cosmetic practices on her children, but I''d rather they go through the experience when they''re young and I can personally ensure that they heal well from it, then wait until they''re older and possibly see them go through more painful experiences. No man I know remembers the "traumatic" event of circ and likewise, I don''t recall having my ears pierced at 1 month. To each his/her own...

And personally (sorry if this is TMI), I''ve seen both and neither version bothers me on an attraction level, so I argue against the idea of it being for aesthetics/societal acceptance. For me the health risks of NOT doing it outweigh the benefits.

And I''m truly horrified by people comparing male circ to female. They are two completely separate acts done for very different reasons/motivations/agendas. Most importantly, unlike male circ, there is absolutely ZERO health benefit for female circ.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top