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Circumcision

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
PSers with boys, what did you decide to do?

If you and your SO disagreed, how did you resolve it? How did extended family feel about it?

We're not even TTC yet, but it has come up as a very emotional disagreement. My culture sees it as a bad thing to do, and I have slight "naturalistic" tendencies that make me think it is unnecessary. It's a normal, required thing in his culture and the religion of his family/ancestors. If it ever comes up, whatever we'd choose, one pair of in-laws would be outraged!

Lots of good info in an older thread here on the pros and cons: https://www.pricescope.com/forum/fa...ision-for-baby-boys-back-in-vogue-t111424.htm
 

kelpie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,362
Agree it's emotional, personal and scary to make that decision either way for a baby. One thing is to consider is that circumcision was recently proven to reduce transmission of HIV by 60% so there are some very real health benefits, it's not just cultural.
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
Kelpie, I completely agree that it might be a good preventative measure in some countries, especially when men can't be convinced to use a condom, or don't have access to it.

I'm just not sure that justifies the surgery on my (potential)(future) child...

There are much lower rates of STIs in continental Europe where most males aren't circumcised than there is in the USA, where most males are. I'm not saying the circumcision itself causes the difference, but rather behaviors and condom use. What I'm saying is that if safe-sex is practiced, it should not be relevant.

As an aside, does anyone know of any studies of whether or not circumcision affects later likelihood to wear condoms? It seems that most anecdotes I have heard of males not wanting to wear condoms was because they couldn't feel anything. When I was back in Europe, I've never heard of guys using that excuse - I don't know if Euro guys are just more indoctrinated to not complain/take risks, or if the sensitivity levels were different and affected their attitude...

I'm mostly bothered at the elective and irreversible aspects of it.... And am curious as to how people handled the cultural aspects if they happened to come from a different background than their SO.

(edited for clarity)
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I live in the UK, I don't have a son, my husband is from a jewish background.

Neither my husband nor his 3 brothers were circumcised - it is not a requirement for being jewish (check out 'jews against circumcision' online for the theological arguments) - and over my dead body would any child of mine be circumcised.

In the UK, hospitals and the National Health Service will NOT carry out circumcision expect for clinical reasons. I believe the circ. rate in the UK is around 6%. It's similarly low in other European countries.

Penile cancer is exceptionally rare. My father was a GP for over 25 years and only saw one case (and statistically that was still too many) and the man was exceptionally promiscuous.

None of my friends or relatives have circumcised their sons and not one has had any issues with a too-tight foreskin or similar.

The only person who I knew who did was an Italian ex-bf of mine who had one done in his 20's. He said it had massively reduced the sensitivity and he wished he hadn't had to have it done. I will say that I noticed he was less sensitive than non-circumcised men. It stands to reason - by removing the foreskin you are exposing a mucocutaneous skin which then rubs continually on the fabric of underclothes etc thus hardening the skin and reducing sensation. He was not a condom fan for that reason.

There really is no reason to do this and MANY good reasons not to. As far as I can see it appears to be a mainly cultural position in the USA - which Europeans find a bit odd...

Oh, and just to gross everyone out - in burns units, they use the foreskin to make new eyelids for people who have been badly burnt as it's the only skin on the body that doesn't form keloid scar tissue... (you wanted to know that didn't you?)
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
vsc|1314314103|2999683 said:
Kelpie, I completely agree that it might be a good preventative measure in some countries, especially when men can't be convinced to use a condom, or don't have access to it.

I'm just not sure that justifies the surgery on my (potential)(future) child...

There are much lower rates of STIs in continental Europe where most males aren't circumcised than there is in the USA, where most males are. I'm not saying the circumcision itself causes the difference, but rather behaviors and condom use. What I'm saying is that if safe-sex is practiced, it should not be relevant.

As an aside, does anyone know of any studies of whether or not circumcision affects later likelihood to wear condoms? It seems that most anecdotes I have heard of males not wanting to wear condoms was because they couldn't feel anything. When I was back in Europe, I've never heard of guys using that excuse - I don't know if Euro guys are just more indoctrinated to not complain/take risks, or if the sensitivity levels were different and affected their attitude...

I'm mostly bothered at the elective and irreversible aspects of it.... And am curious as to how people handled the cultural aspects if they happened to come from a different background than their SO.

(edited for clarity)
Uncircumcised penis' are more sensitive than circumcised penis'. If the foreskin is not cleaned well it can become a breeding ground for bacteria later in life - that is the primary benefit that I can see to doing the procedure
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
1,793
This is a tricky subject, which is always a heated debate in my circle of friends. I would really stick to making the decision with your DH. It's your baby, your rules. I was indifferent about it (meaning I saw each sides of the issue), and my DH was strong one way, so we went with what DH wanted.

ETA: your link sent me to the PS homepage.
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
Lanie, thanks for fixing the link! I was just trying to figure out what was wrong with it.
 

icekid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
7,471
We did not circumcise our son. There are medical reasons to have it done at a later time, but nothing that pushes us over to have it done at birth. The HIV stats are promising, but still not enough grounds for me.

And really, I had no desire to have an obstetrician cut my son's penis! I did speak with one of the pediatric urologists that I work with occasionally and she said she would not have done it for her son either, except that her husband really wanted the circ.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
We chose to circumcise our son for a few reasons:

-I DO believe it'll reduce his risk and his future partner's risk of STI.
-His dad is circed and I think that would be weird for a boy to not look like his dad.
-In this area, everyone KNEW who WASN'T circed. It became a big deal and as wrong as it may be, I don't want my son to be harassed because of the look of his penis.
-Lastly, I know that as the mom, I'd have to pull back the foreskin and make sure it's clean. There's a certain point when I don't want to be touching my son's penis regularly, ya know? Even at 5-6-7 yrs old, I would feel I would still need to check that it was cleaned and dried properly and I don't think a 5-6-7 yr old wants mom near his penis.

I've heard men say that circumcision lessens the pleasure during sexual intercourse. And, while that is most likely true, I think the pros far outweigh the cons. Besides, who wants a minute-man anyway?? (alright, don't flame me for trying to lighten the mood.)
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,647
My chief concern about circumcision is that it's irreversible not medically indicated surgery. I don't feel comfortable having this done on any child of ours. Rather, I'd prefer our child to make that decision on his own later in life. (I feel the same way about pierced ears for little girls, just for the record.) It's not my penis, so not my choice. I would hate for my child to come to me later in life asking why I did that to him.
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,660
No circumcision here. I think our bodies evolved corrected and no parts need to be removed from males or females.

Besides, if my son chooses to get curcumcised it will be his own decision to make. His penis, his decision. So far he has not complained about having foreskin and has actually thanked us for respecting his body.

By the way, a grown man's penis looks so different than a young boy's that comparing penises will not be an issue. By the time they are the same size and level of development there won't be much looking going on.

Boys can learn to clean themselves WAY before 5-6 years old. They can be reminded to do what needs to be done. I mean they already handle themselves when they urinate. It's not much different.
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,500
I would never circumcise my child unless there was a medical indication to do so. There is indeed very strong evidence that it prevents the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, but that is hardly the context that I live in (metropolitan Australia!). I understand that some groups must do it as mandated by their religious or cultural practices, but I abhor the practice of circumcising boys without anaesthetic, I really think it's barbaric. It is a surgical procedure. GIve the kid a general anaesthetic!
 

DivaDiamond007

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,828
My 3 year old son was circumsised at birth. DH and I feel that the health benefits outweigh the risks. It is a very personal decision and I think you should do what you feel is right for your family and ignore what either set of parents will say/think.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
We are Jewish so there was no question we would circumcise. Pandora, it is a commandment that Jews are supposed to follow. It doesn't "make" you Jewish and certainly if you don't do it you would still be Jewish (so long as your mother is Jewish- Judaism is matrilineal). However, it is a commandment and it signifies the covenant orginally between Abraham and G-d and is the first commandment specific to Judaism. I converted to Judaism before getting married as my father was Jewish but not my mother (so technically I wasn't Jewish and couldn't be married in the synagogue, my children wouldn't be Jewish, etc.). There was a man in my conversion study class and as part of his conversion, although he had been circumcised as a baby, since it wasn't for the "Jewish" reason at that time, had to have the ceremony performed and a drop of blood shed from the site to signify that now it was for the religious rite and no other reason. It was required for him as part of the conversion process/ceremony. At least in the Conservative sect of Judaism.

We live in an area with a very small Jewish population and there was no mohel to perform the circumcision in our state. So we had to fly someone in for the day to perform the circumcision. I'm not sure if I would have done it other than being Jewish, but since we are, it wasn't something I contemplated not following through on. Just wasn't on my radar to consider otherwise. We are Jewish, we circumcise as part of the brit milah, end of story.
 

meresal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
5,720
Vsc... are you married yet?

Based on your other thread (re: wedding band budgets, etc...), it leads me to believe that you aren't... and if that is the case, I think this is something that you all need to discuss in great detail prior to making that decision. For lots of people it wouldn't be a "deal-breaker", but the way you explain your situation, it sounds like it could be pretty serious.

ETA: Our son was circumcised at birth. We don't have any religious views on it, so I left the decision up to my husband, since he grew up with one, and knew much better than myself. I did not disagree with his decision.
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
I don't have children, but I think that if I had a son, I would not have him circumcised. It seems completely unnecessary. Now, I have not discussed this with DH, so he might have a completely different opinion.

What I can tell you is this: I dated an uncircumcised guy in college. It DID look different (I remember thinking "Snuffleupagus"). He just said "oh, that? My parents were hippies." He did tell me he was extra shy in the boys locker room growing up because he felt different. The only difference sexually was that putting a condom on either required three hands, or the purchase of Magnums (not due to size, but the foreskin).

I read a statistic somewhere that said 80% of boys in the US were circumcised in 1980 and that number dropped to 60% by 2000. No clue if it's true, but the trend DOES seem to be waning.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,613
DivaDiamond007|1314328915|2999878 said:
My 3 year old son was circumsised at birth. DH and I feel that the health benefits outweigh the risks. It is a very personal decision and I think you should do what you feel is right for your family and ignore what either set of parents will say/think.
Ditto to all of this. I was not really sure, but once I read all the facts, DH and I felt there were definite benefits. The obstetrician did the circ. However, if we have a second son, I would get it done at a pediatric urologist next time.
 

vsc

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
104
meresal, I have been married for a few months.

We did discuss it before we got married, and it's come up a couple of times since, as the possibility of having children becomes more concrete. I've warmed up to the idea of going for circumcision, seeing how important it is to him and how it's not so harmful... (it's funny how one can feel maternal instinct towards a baby who does not even exist yet! When I first thought of it, I had such a protective gut reaction.)

It's a tough decision to make because there's no real compromise or middle-ground and there's no undoing it. We discussed letting a potential child choose when they are older, but ruled it out because of the procedure being much more of a "big deal" on a grown man (I might suggest it again, as it would be my preferred option).

All in all, I want to be truly comfortable now so we don't find ourselves in a bad situation later (me or him being resentful, or being OK now but changing my mind when it's time to do it). If it _is_ a deal breaker, we'd rather figure it out now than later... I wrote the initial post while still somewhat angry from the argument, and after a little bit of reflection, I'm really trying to tease out how strongly I really feel about it, or if I'm just struggling finding a balance between digging my heels in and letting things go (DH's way) too easily :)

Thanks for everyone for explaining your thought processes. It's really helpful, and also reassuring that it does happen that the men feel strongly about it and we let them pick!
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
 

Porridge

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
3,269
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
Ditto all of this :confused:
 

Echidna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
723
Pandora|1314315163|2999711 said:
The only person who I knew who did was an Italian ex-bf of mine who had one done in his 20's. He said it had massively reduced the sensitivity and he wished he hadn't had to have it done.

Oh, and just to gross everyone out - in burns units, they use the foreskin to make new eyelids for people who have been badly burnt as it's the only skin on the body that doesn't form keloid scar tissue... (you wanted to know that didn't you?)
Well there are my two new facts learned for the day :lol:

Good luck deciding, vsc. It sounds like you're on your way to making the right decision for the future three of you.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
somethingshiny|1314322417|2999789 said:
We chose to circumcise our son for a few reasons:

-I DO believe it'll reduce his risk and his future partner's risk of STI.
-His dad is circed and I think that would be weird for a boy to not look like his dad.
-In this area, everyone KNEW who WASN'T circed. It became a big deal and as wrong as it may be, I don't want my son to be harassed because of the look of his penis.
-Lastly, I know that as the mom, I'd have to pull back the foreskin and make sure it's clean. There's a certain point when I don't want to be touching my son's penis regularly, ya know? Even at 5-6-7 yrs old, I would feel I would still need to check that it was cleaned and dried properly and I don't think a 5-6-7 yr old wants mom near his penis.

I've heard men say that circumcision lessens the pleasure during sexual intercourse. And, while that is most likely true, I think the pros far outweigh the cons. Besides, who wants a minute-man anyway?? (alright, don't flame me for trying to lighten the mood.)
I 100% agree with SS. We chose to circ our son for the same reasons.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
Why wouldn't a little boy look at his father's penis? It's not gross or inappropriate for a child to see their parent in the nude.
 

Iowa Lizzy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
1,667
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?
I'm also confused about this. I'm thinking maybe for potty training? (I have no idea, as I'm child-free). In any case, it seems like one could make the argument that "little Liza needs implants to avoid confusion over her mother's different breasts."

ETA: Found this article from the NYTimes. Gives both sides of the argument. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/health/research/17circ.html?ref=health
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
megumic|1314323121|2999803 said:
My chief concern about circumcision is that it's irreversible not medically indicated surgery. I don't feel comfortable having this done on any child of ours. Rather, I'd prefer our child to make that decision on his own later in life. (I feel the same way about pierced ears for little girls, just for the record.) It's not my penis, so not my choice. I would hate for my child to come to me later in life asking why I did that to him.
We have yet to find out if we're having a boy or girl, but this is the discussion we are having in our household right now. DH doesn't feel like the medical benefits are strong enough to warrant medically altering his son's body. And I completely respect that. I honestly worry about our kid feeling like he isn't "normal" since circumcision is the norm here in the States. I feel guilty that it enters my mind because logically I know it's not a good reason to consider circumcision, but I have this unfounded fear of him being picked on for being different. Blah, the circumcision issue is weighing on my mind more heavily than I imaged.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Hudson_Hawk|1314361975|3000096 said:
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
Why wouldn't a little boy look at his father's penis? It's not gross or inappropriate for a child to see their parent in the nude.

Ditto - kids look at their parents all the time. My 18 month old nephew wants to shower with my brother, be in the bathroom when he's using the toilet, is constantly touching himself and sometimes even pokes my brother. They're curious! I don't know if that's a reason to circ or not but I don't think it's weird for kids to look at their parents' bodies.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
2,389
I think the rates in the US now are more like 50-50%, so for children, it's just as common to see uncirc'd.

Anyway, unlike you and your husband, neither my husband nor I had particularly strong feelings or religious reasons either way. DH did lean one way in particular so we went that direction. I can tell you that once we made our decision, we haven't given it a thought ever since. I understand you both have strong and differing feelings, so any decision you make might weigh more heavily on you than it does on us.

Also, I generally don't talk about the state of my friends' sons' penises, so aside from a few friends, I have no idea who is circ'd and who isn't. I do have a friend whose husband and his brother are different from each other and I don't think it was ever an issue for them that one was circ'd and the other intact. Would your respective set of parents ask? My kids are being raised vegetarian for ethical reasons; neither my family nor DH's is vegetarian- in fact, it's almost an affront to his family, being the hardy Midwesterners they are. Too bad, so sad for them...my kids are not theirs to raise.

Just the first decision in a long line of many that might make our children question why we did X, Y, or Z to them, right?
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2010
Messages
2,357
Hudson_Hawk|1314361975|3000096 said:
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
Why wouldn't a little boy look at his father's penis? It's not gross or inappropriate for a child to see their parent in the nude.

My main question is not whether the boy would or wouldn't look at his father. I just mean there's no reason for the boy to see his father in the nude, much less to compare penises.

However, couldn't it all be explained as differences between adults and children? As someone else said, a little girl won't have breasts but should she get implants just to look like her mother? Once the boy is old enough to understand, it could be explained to him that circumcision was practiced across the board when the father was an infant, but has now fallen out of general use.
 

Logan Sapphire

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,389
mayerling|1314370109|3000217 said:
Hudson_Hawk|1314361975|3000096 said:
mayerling|1314342296|3000003 said:
There are two arguments I don't understand.

The first is the whole issue about boys not looking like their fathers. Why would a boy be looking at his father's penis in the first place?

The second is the worry about the penis not being clean enough. I come from a country where circumcision is not practiced, almost at 100%, and have never heard of little boys experiencing penile problems because of lack of cleanliness.
Why wouldn't a little boy look at his father's penis? It's not gross or inappropriate for a child to see their parent in the nude.

My main question is not whether the boy would or wouldn't look at his father. I just mean there's no reason for the boy to see his father in the nude, much less to compare penises.

However, couldn't it all be explained as differences between adults and children? As someone else said, a little girl won't have breasts but should she get implants just to look like her mother? Once the boy is old enough to understand, it could be explained to him that circumcision was practiced across the board when the father was an infant, but has now fallen out of general use.
Mayerling, we're not nudists by any means (!) but DH and I are naked around our children (1 and 3) quite a bit. If they are in our bedroom while we're changing or showering, they see us naked and we don't make any attempt to hide our bodies at this point. In fact, the 3 year old points a lot at both DH's parts and mine and it actually has been a great learning experience for her. So yes, there is a lot of opportunity for a child to see a parent in the nude. And I sit in the tub (naked) with my son during bathtime.
 
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