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16 Responses to Our Circumcision Decision

  1. Lauren

    I find it fascinating that circumcision is such a big deal in America. I am American, but I live in England and have all 3 of my babies here. I know no one here who has circumcised their son. No medical professional ever spoke to us about it when we had our son. I presume people arrange a religious service with their rabbi if they are wish their child to be circumcised for religious reasons.

    I wonder why it is the done thing in the USA and virtually unheard of over here.

    (I also know no men who wish they had been circumsized as babies for any of the potential health reasons mentioned in the article. They all just shudder at the thought!)

  2. Jose

    Parents should research circumcision and make an informed decision for the health & well-being of their son.

    Male circumcision is a safe, popular, healthy & beneficial procedure for individuals & parents to choose. It provides benefits such as 12x less likely for UTI, +22x less likely for cancer, 28% less risk for herpes, 35% for HPV & 60% for HIV/AIDS. The risks are about 0.2% and are typically minor & easily corrected.

    • Mel

      I’m just wondering where your stats are from?
      Please remember also that correlation does not mean causation.

    • Lana

      Jose the UTI thing is a sham.. because the foreskin is stuck to the glans penis until the child is years old.. sometimes until puberty. Urine and feces cannot get under there and it is sterile unless retracted, even if this wasn’t so it wouldn’t give them a UTI it would just irritate the glans. UTI is caused by bacteria growing in the bladder or kidneys and often because the child has urinary reflux (some pee goes back up the urethra) circumcision neither fixes nor prevents this. Girls on the other hand DO get urine and feces in their genitals. and so they get 5X the UTI’s of boys but they get antibiotics. We don’t hack their genitals off. there are 20,000 fine touch nerve endings and a G-spot that are lost to circumcision. A woman only has 8ooo.
      As for the penile cancer thing- 5oo+ boys in developed countries world wide die from being circumcised. Penile cancer doesn’t even have a statistic it is lumped in with the 300 OLD MEN who die of other genital cancers- prostate and testicular cancer. And so I can not agree that it is a healthy decision to choose to remove the most sensitive part of somebody elses body. Check out Dr Sears for some facts. It is time to put this silly practice aside just like we have blood letting.. it’s got about the same effectiveness

  3. Ed

    As an intact male, I am glad you made the right decision.

    If it’s not supposed to be there, nature would eliminate it for us. Along with all the good reasons you stated 🙂

  4. Amy

    Wonderful post! I, also, had to make this decision and once I researched I realized, “Woh, there is NO reason TO circumcise.” My little boy is whole, thank you very much 🙂 My husband likes to say, “I didn’t have the choice, but my son does, the generations of genital mutilation has stopped with my son.” Here’s our story: http://amyelizabethsmith.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/the-circumcision-decision/

  5. {Not Quite} Susie Homemaker  

    Thank you for this post! It sounds very much like the thought process my husband & I went through when I was pregnant with our son- we ultimately left him intact, as well. I am glad you posted this though because I still get told from family members that we “should” have circumcised him, so it’s nice to have a very put-together article with sources & everything all ready for me so I can just point them here next time they say something! 🙂

  6. Amy  

    Thank you for this to-the-point article. As we considered circumcision my former husband, who was intact, wondered if it may be better. He was not circed because of being born at home and without health insurance. Although he never had any problems he wondered if there may be benefits.

    We found that the purported benefits were unfounded – research unreliable – and that more than anything it is not in line with a person’s genital-bodily integrity to remove a part of the body that serves a valuable function. Writing that brings me to the realization that even parts not serving a “valuable” function can still be left intact if they aren’t posing harm.

    When in doubt with the information you read about circumcision, seek an alternate source. There are organizations that are pro-circumcision and they will attempt to sway an opinion in their favor.

    Ultimately, it’s a boy’s penis and he ought to be the one making decisions about it. While I respect the fact that parents currently get to make this sensitive decision for their children, I often ask the bold question “Would you want a piece of the most sensitive part of your body, that serves a function, cut off at birth?”

    Truth is truth.

    We can only stick our head in the sand for so long. 🙂

  7. Alicia C.  

    Great post! Both of my sons are not circumcised and have NEVER had infections, etc. My oldest is 13 and he said that, in the locker room banter, he’s found that the “weird” kids nowadays are the ones who ARE circumcised! LOL

  8. Emily  

    Thanks for the responses! I’m so glad you found this helpful.

    And Alicia – I’ll be curious to see if that trend continues!

  9. Jennifer  

    As a mother who did not know the risks for my first boy, and was subsequently educated before my second arrived, I find it important to share where the perceived information could be misunderstood. Thanks for such a well researched and cited article that puts things in perspective.

    To address the few items the other comment mentioned:

    Circumcision is no longer as “popular” as it once was. The number of boys circumcised falls each year. It is no longer a popular decision. Circumcision is uncommon in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe. The American Association of Pediatricians (AAP) issued a statement in 1999 saying that the benefits of circumcision are not significant, that it is not medically necessary, and that the AAP no longer recommends it as a routine procedure.

    UTI can easily be dealt with by administration of antibiotics and is not a reason for surgery. Good hygiene is far more effective at preventing infections, without the lasting effects of surgery. There is also information that says breastfeeding lowers risk of UTI, as well. http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/how-foreskin-protects-against-uti.html

    The risk of penile cancer is less than the risk of complications from a circumcision. According to the American Cancer Society, the risk is decreased by less than 0.01%. They do not consider circumcision effective at preventing penile cancer. They do not list it as prevention. The risk of complication for circumcision is, according to all sources, at least ten times higher than the rate by which it supposedly decreases risk of penile cancer. http://www.fathermag.com/health/circ/acs/

    As far as STD’s go, nothing goes further than teaching our children about safe sexual practices. Circumcision is no substitute for a condom.

    For even more links to information then is even posted here, please check this article: http://codenamemama.com/2010/03/01/circumcision-common-concerns/

  10. Emily  

    Yes, thank you, Jennifer! I’d never heard anyone say that it reduces Cancer risk, and I’m glad that you addressed it.

  11. Alex

    http://www.motherchronicle.com/circumcision.html

    This is the best circumcision article I have found. Thought I would share it ….

  12. Jewish Intactivist

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity

    Beyond the Bris: Jewish Parenting Blog
    http://www.beyondthebris.com/

    Jews Against Circumcision
    http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

    Jews for the Rights of the Child
    http://www.jewsfortherightsofthechild.org/

    Bris Shalom Officiants by Mark D. Reiss, MD
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

    Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, PhD
    http://www.jewishcircumcision.org