expecting redux...

So, I posted a while ago that BM and I are expecting our third. We had "the" unltrasound on friday and the tech said it appears to be a boy. So, that lends the question. To snip or not to. Up until this point, I haven't had to have an opinion on the issue but now that it's an issue, I need to form an opinion. I've talked to the doctor, friends, etc. Apparently, in the midwest, it's still done about 90% of the time. Checking on the American Academy of Pediatrics, reasons are given for and against, but no recommendation.

I know how opposed FairNymph is, but wondering if I could get some other opinions AND justifications.

Forums: 
kalinka's picture

Postulant

I am also extremely opposed. If you want some really good coverage of it, Andrew Sullivan has been covering this topic FOREVER. He's obviously opposed, but he talks about it a lot.

I don't know if you care about the Christian perspective, but he covers it here:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/why-does-go...

Another:
(graphic picture, warning)
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/09/mutilating-...

He always makes a point of having opposing views, and this person supports it:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/08/foreskins-l...

That one links to an entry he wrote against it, with a REALLY graphic photo, so warning.

In this one he links to a more recent study about it:
http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/06/male_genita...

Obviously you should draw your own conclusions, and he is obviously against it. But he's one of the few bloggers I've seen who constantly talks about and looks for information about this topic. I hope this is helpful.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Why are you opposed to it? Because of Andrew Sullivan's argument, personal experiances, or ??

kalinka's picture

Postulant

Well, for a few reasons. Not much personal experience.

1. I think doing something like this to child without consent borders on abuse. I realize that there are a lot of things parents do to children without consent (introducing religion, for example, but that's another debate), but to me this one is different, as you're cutting off a piece of their body.

2. It can go terribly wrong. There are many, many stories about men whose penis (pl?) are horribly mutilated. Some don't realize it until they're older, but that is something no man should ever have to realize.

3. One of the areas lost to circumcision is one of the main sources of pleasure for a man. "The Frenar Ridged Band, the primary erogenous zone of the male body. Loss of this delicate belt of densely innervated, sexually responsive tissue reduces the fullness and intensity of sexual response." I mean, obviously lots of men do not have foreskins or this band and are sexually active and happy about it. But I would rather give my son the chance to have the full experience, and decide for himself if he wants to get rid of it or not, if it ever even comes up in his life.

4. The "sheath" provided by a foreskin can be helpful and provide more pleasure during sex, adding to lubrication with it's facility for motion.

Overall, it boils down to the fact that I don't think this should be done to infants. If a grown man wants to be circumsized due to religion or some other factor, that's fine. And what's taken away is really more than just a piece of skin.

Edited because of a gross grammar mistake.

Requiem's picture

Petitioner

I can't find any real benefit to doing a circumcision for an American kid (it'll reduce the chance of getting HIV in African males, but the disease spreads a different way there than here).

Frog Princess's picture

Devotee

Till now I thought that only in Jewilsh and Muslim families it was rutine to circumsize the boys. If your family is neither Jewish nor Muslim, why is it even an issue?

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... in the US are circumcised these days. That rate has been steadily declining over the last century from somewhere near 90% or so. Unlike with jews and muslims, where this is a religious thing, routine infant circumcision in the US is a remnant from those wacky Victorian puritans who thought that RIC made a good preventative measure against that most vile and sickening of habits, masturbation.

There is, in short, no good reason to do it. The medical benefits, questionable as they are, don't by any means outweigh the potential complications. This is true for the purported HIV prevention effects in Africa (the studies claiming to show those are so horribly badly done that essentially no conclusions should be drawn from them), and it is doubly true for your average male baby in the US.

I am, as you might infer, rather opposed to the idea.

Ethan Emrys's picture

Petitioner

I'm against circumcision and haven't heard any convincing argument for it (I haven't looked for one though).

(edited 'cause I hate to spell things wrong)

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

Not for the same reasons as most. Health benefits, negligible as they are, can be equaled by teaching your son how to clean himself properly, but that isn't why I'm opposed. I figure if you do it, and it goes wrong, the kid will hate you for it later. If you don't do it, and the kid wishes you had, he can make the choice to have it done when he's older.

Incidentally, I have the same view toward baptizing them into a church and raising them in the faith from infancy, but my history in the area of religion is a bit more complicated than most people's.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

an opinion per se, but some time ago I came across a few articles about self circumcision. Basically, teen-aged boys were performing this procedure themselves all to be more aesthetically pleasing to the female eye. Granted this is not a medical opinion, but it is something to take into consideration. Once your son is old enough to engage is said activities, what would be the effects on his self esteem if said girl has an adverse reaction? I know the first time I saw an uncircumcised penis I was a bit startled, mainly because up until then every penis I'd seen had been "cut" so to speak, and the guy was a bit hurt by my reaction and he was an adult.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

That was similar to BM's first reaction when she had a similar situation. And later she wouldn't sleep with a BF if he wasn't cut...

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

to that I don't actually mind. My reaction was, as I said, due to have never seeing one before. I know there might be plenty of women out there who don't care whether the guy is cut or not, but what if the first person he encounters is one who does mind?

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I don't really see that much difference between them. I mean, it's obvious if it's flaccid, but I don't think either one's particularly pleasing to the eye then. I don't see that much of a difference once erect...

Then again, I'm not really terribly attracted to any genitalia in the first place, so I may be too objective an observer for my opinion to be relevant.

Sundrop's picture

It's a thorny debate, and one my husband and I wrangled about for months while expecting our little boy. I was against it, he was originally for it. Points we considered in favor of circumcision: easier to keep clean, Daddy is circumcised, arguable disease prevention, my own family's preferences. Against circumcision: not that hard to keep clean, just teach him that extra step when taking a bath, loss of sensitivity during sex later on for him, possibility of going badly or healing badly, pain involved in the procedure/recovery.

We decided against it, and I won my husband over with what I consider the most important point: You can't undo the decision. Your boy can always decide later he wants it - if my son does, and we'll discuss it now and then as he grows up - I will help him choose the right doctor, pay for the procedure, and help him with any recovery issues - despite the fact that I am entirely and vehemently opposed. (I'll also shut up once he decides, promise.) I think that every argument for circumcision, save for the religious component, can be very easily countered - keep yourself clean, use protection, and my family, much as I love them, shouldn't get to make a permanent decision about my son's body.

Ok, that didn't come out as even-handed as I was trying to make it - I really do feel strongly about it, and the above is about the best I can do in trying to represent my husband's original viewpoint. At seven years old now, we do have to make sure our son does a good job washing up in the bathtub, and we really did have to be careful with diapers as an infant, but it wasn't really extra trouble - you have to be thorough cleaning your baby anyway. Oh, and don't forget to have that next diaper ready to swap on - those little guys don't have to draw their guns to shoot. My son's personal best was right into my ear - at Sears, waiting for baby pictures! (I'll note, he never once got his father. Not once! It's a conspiracy, I tell you.)

Marri's picture

Supplicant

I'm not bringing this up as a way to persuade anyone either way, just feel like this conversation is very lopsided Biggrin

The AAP article included this:

"Circumcision may be more risky if done later in life, so parents should decide before or soon after their son is born if they want it done."

So, if parents don't get their kid circumcised, but he then decides he wants it later in life, it'll (probably, dunno what the information behind that quote is) be more risky. I have no information on this one past the AAP article on this, just want to hear people's thoughts on it.

Also, in response to all the people who say that this amounts to child abuse: No one's said anything on the piercing thread about getting your toddler's ears pierced as being child abuse. Yes, I know cutting off part of their body isn't the same as poking holes in it, but piercing is far from a painless process (or at least it was for me) and there are (less severe) risks of complications there as well. So to those who think circumcision is child abuse, do you also think child piercing is a less severe form of the same thing? "The child wanted pierced ears" not accepted as an argument unless the child in question was of an age where you'd allow them to make their own choice about circumcision Blum 3

So... thoughts?

kalinka's picture

Postulant

I wouldn't pierce my child's ears until they were older and expressed an interest. I'm not sure how much older. But to me it goes in the same category. Maybe not as extreme, but still needs consent.

Andrea's picture

Supplicant

About this: "Circumcision may be more risky if done later in life, so parents should decide before or soon after their son is born if they want it done."

I'm no health care professional, but from what I know about nerves/neurology and phantom limb sensation, I think it would be easier for a boy to sort of reroute the nerves that normally feel sensation from the foreskin if the foreskin were removed earlier in life. Like, say Part X of his brain that would normally receive information from the foreskin. If you remove the foreskin very early in life, his brain will be like, "hm, Part X isn't receiving any sensation. Maybe I'll just stimulate it whenever the nearby Part Y is stimulated." If you wait until later in life, I'm guessing that this would be more difficult for the brain to do.

I haven't read this argument anywhere, but it's definitely one of my main concerns.

ETA: grammar

Andyl's picture

Embodiment

It's possible that it might be easier, but the "phantom limb" sensations that people experience after losing a limb are the exact same thing - often the sensory neurons reassign to another area of the body, such as the face, but when stimulated we still interpret that as from the missing limb. And phantom limb happens with people of nearly any age who lose an arm or leg.

Sundrop's picture

I don't consider ear piercing to be in the same league as circumcision, but no, I wouldn't (and didn't) pierce my baby daughter's ears. That's something she can decide to do when she's old enough to take care of pierced ears. I was allowed to do it when I was around nine. I know that in a lot of areas, it's a cultural thing. I think that any choices, saving for necessary medical procedures, that require needles and incisions, are usually best left until the child can participate in the decision process.

I have to admit, however, that it's a bit easier for me to toss my opinions out there. I couldn't have pierced her ears, as it turns out, because she has very sensitive skin - reacts to any detergent that isn't free and clear, reacts very badly to any diaper ointment with a metal base (aquafor works GREAT though.) She's better now at five, but still, if she has metal sensitivities, I think we'd better wait anyway. And with my son, while we'd pretty much made up our minds against, we wound up not being able to make a choice anyway - he was born with what is called a natural circumcision. I'd never heard of it until our little guy came along - he had almost no foreskin when he was born, and has grown a partial one since. I'm not actually sure if he'll wind up with a fully developed foreskin or not, but the doctors were unwilling (and I think rightfully so) to mess with anything for at least the first year when they didn't know exactly how he would develop. At this point we have to wait and see - but while I've never read any research on the point, I agree that it does seem like recovery is probably easier earlier rather than later. There's just no way to know, is there?

I do worry about how this will all turn out as he gets older. Most of his friends, so far as I know, are circumcised. So is his dad. All I can think of is to keep up on my research, and keep an open ear, free questions policy.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

Sundrop wrote:
I don't consider ear piercing to be in the same league as circumcision

Me neither, like I said, I just thought there's a lot of parallels no one had pointed out.

Sundrop wrote:
(aquafor works GREAT though.)

Aquafor is awesome. My skin is boring and normal but my sister and father have very problematic skin, so we have Costco-sized collections of Aquafor everywhere and it's lovely <3

Sundrop wrote:
he was born with what is called a natural circumcision. I'd never heard of it until our little guy came along

Huh, never heard of that either. Kinda cool though Smile In that case, I would think he'd have an easier time of it. He's not the one kid with the weird parents who decided not to have him circumcised even though his dad and everyone he knows is, he was just born this way. Like, he's got a medical reason to sit out of a sports game rather than being made to skip by his parents. Dunno. I'll leave it to the men here to say how they think boys his age would react to a natural circumcision; if they'd think it was cool, or weird, or whatever.
Gudy's picture

Embodiment

Marri wrote:
I'll leave it to the men here to say how they think boys his age would react to a natural circumcision; if they'd think it was cool, or weird, or whatever.

... what I've so far perceived as merely some personal or cultural gap is in fact an immeasurably vast, uncrossable chasm. Seriously, is body image that tightly normed in the US, or where does this apparently near-obsessive preoccupation with comparative peniology in the average US male come from? I mean, I can't remember, or even imagine, a stage in my personal history where my reaction would have been other than "Looks a bit weird. Does it work? Yes? OK. Shrug Let's get out of the shower, the hot water is running out."

But since this, or the female equivalent of the size and shape of the labia minora, seems to be such a huge freaking deal, could someone please enlighten me as to what the frell is going on?

Marri's picture

Supplicant

It's probably more from years of swim lessons. I was at an all girls elementary school and there were 60 girls in that locker room, and if you looked weird or different for some reason, the other girls will bring it up immediately. (I developed late, it came up a lot). I have no idea if this was just those particular girls, my geographical region, girls in general, that age group in general...whatever. Just that I kind of assume children would focus on locker-room oddities. Nothing specifically about it being a penis, just children being petty like the ones in my life were.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

On that theme, when I was in middle and high school any reason to pick on another guy in relation to his junk was pounced on. After gym class, sports practice, didn't matter. In the showers were a particularly fertal area. Granted some guys were targets more than others and I gladly stayed out of both sides. One story does come to mind of a guy (uncut) that thought he was in the shower alone so he did a through job of cleaning himself. Particularly around his sack. He was holding his dick out of the way to scrub and was picked on visicously for "spanking it" in the shower.

Don't know if it was just this area, but are there other similar stories and how would proper hygiene of cleaning around the area of the foreskin have resulted?

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

Yes, I would say that Americans are particularly obsessed with appearance. Not just appearance being normal, but appearance being held to an impossible ideal standard. Combine that with kids being petty, and I think this can be something to worry about. Do I have any specific examples? No. Because 1) I'm female and thus not privy to male locker room behaviour and 2) I'm from the Midwest, where the overwhelmingly vast majority of boys are circumcised. However, I don't think I'm being unreasonable to worry about a child being picked on for something that makes them different and having that impact body image.

As Marri mentions, girls most definitely get teased and/or socially ostracized for developing breasts earlier or later than their peer group. It can certainly make a young woman uncomfortable with her body. I knew one petite and busty girl who was teased a lot in her early teen years and as an adult never happy with herself until she had reduction surgery.

My brother had the misfortune to be very smart, small for his age, and incredibly pale in coloring. This made him stand out and get beaten up in gym class a lot. He has a scar on his side from where an older boy tried to impale him with an archery spike. With this sort of genetics in the family, yes, I would worry about giving my son one more reason to feel different. My brother developed a compulsion of pulling his very fair hair out during this time period, so I don't think it's unreasonable to think a boy might become ashamed of his penis if he got beaten up for it being different from everyone else's.

I don't have enough experience with childhood in other countries to know if Americans (or Midwesterners) are somehow overly critical in this regard, but I certainly think I'm justified in being concerned about how being singled out for abuse based on unusual genitalia could impact a boy's development.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

that what's really coming across here is that kids are mean, and they'll use any excuse they have to make you feel like crap. I think it's possible that it's coming across a lot more strongly than is maybe true, but I think that's because we have a lot of people on this forum that are smart bookworms that are interested in fantasy/fiction/sci-fi, and I think many of us play video games (please excuse the gross over-generalization...I'm sure not all of us fall into those categories). I get the impression that a lot of us had trouble with other kids at school, and it makes sense that none of us want our offspring to repeat the horrible experiences we had getting made fun of for everything.

That being said, I think making a big deal out of this with kids is going to make the problem worse than if you do leave them uncircumcised when their peers are circumcised. It's more important to instill confidence in your kids than to make sure that they are exactly like their peers. If you start there, you're basically teaching them that they need to be identical to everyone else, and they're going to be more likely to become followers, to cave to peer pressure, and to be insecure about their other differences. I know everyone wants to give their kids the biggest advantages they can, and not naming your child Edmerka or something is a good start, as is generally teaching your children to be friendly and likable, but I'm not sure teaching them to be unilateral conformists is going to help. If other kids want to make fun of them, they'll find *something* to make fun of. Kids always do. Even if your kids are *perfect*, if other kids don't like them, they will be made to feel like crap. It really is part of life. I think the decision to circumcise or not circumcise should be made based on practical differences, not on what other kids are going to think. Otherwise, you're just passing that mentality on to your kids, and I'm not sure that it's going to help them in life.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... I can't seem to wrap my mind around: Without fail, in any discussion about whether or not to have your little guy circumcised (outside observant jews etc.), the wish to have him look like either his dad or his peers invariably features reasonably prominently.

WHY?!

I get that kids are mean, even if I was 'lucky' enough to be on the receiving end of this shit only for a couple of years from a group of guys who were a year above me and never from my peers, and then only for no good reason whatsoever - they just seemed to like to cuff me around and extort a bit of money here and there. But why, of all the countless things kids are mean about to each other, would any sane parent fixate on the shape of the foreskin? I mean, I can't recall a single incident of school yard bullying - whether or not I was the victim of it - where the shape of one's genitals was the subject of ridicule.

kawaiikune wrote:
It's more important to instill confidence in your kids than to make sure that they are exactly like their peers. If you start there, you're basically teaching them that they need to be identical to everyone else, and they're going to be more likely to become followers, to cave to peer pressure, and to be insecure about their other differences. I know everyone wants to give their kids the biggest advantages they can, [...] but I'm not sure teaching them to be unilateral conformists is going to help. If other kids want to make fun of them, they'll find *something* to make fun of. Kids always do.

Egg-fucking-zactly!

Cheez-it's picture

The pain is supposedly greater later in life...although who ever asked a newborn how much it hurts? They scream and then usually sleep for the rest of the day, poor little guys. And what else would you expect? I have run across people who say the actual risk is greater later as well, but no one who says why.

I have actually never found anything or heard anyone really making a clear argument in favor (other than Jews & Muslims, for religious reasons) of infant circumcision--we chose not to circumcise our son and since most people don't see him diaperless, it hasn't been an issue. Those who object, we explain our reasons (pain, infection, risk of mutilation) and they say "huh, I never thought of that" and that's the end of it.

To comment on the several asides comparing infant circumcision to raising a child in faith: Your concern makes perfect sense, but only if you are without faith yourself. If you found a reason for living, a way of looking at the world, a relationship more influential and wonderful than anything else in your life, and you had children whom you loved--surely you would share it. Surely, if you were convinced you had found the Truth, you wouldn't try to live as if you hadn't. You would tell everyone, and you would feel lucky, blessed, to give your children the gift of living their whole lives with the truth, a wholeness, a center, which had taken you years to find. That is what it means to a faithful person to raise their children in faith: an act of love, not of control.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I have a reason for living and I feel complete. I don't need religion to do that for me, and I'm troubled by your implication that to live any other way is to lack something.

That being said, baptism was never meant to be something for children. Baptism used to be done at the same time a person made their confirmation and became a full member of the church. It was a decision to be made by the person being confirmed. A baby is incapable of accepting God into their lives. They are incapable of making the decision to join the church. Baptism and confirmation were supposed to be a decision made by someone old enough to make the commitment and understand fully what that entailed, and no matter how much faith you raise a child with, they don't understand what any of that means before a certain age. That is why it bothers me. We started baptizing babies because parents believed that if their child died before being baptized they would go to hell.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

when I was younger, and because of it I was on a quest to get baptized. However, I had a conversation with a very cool pastor and he told me it wasn't true. Specifically what he said was, "You don't have to be baptized to see glory, and there are some people who are "saved" and I hope to see them when I pass."

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I don't think the poster meant anything negative towards anyone who doesn't have a particular faith, just that if you *do* have one, and it's integral, positive part of your life, why wouldn't you want to share that with your children?

Of course babies are incapable of being willful followers of a faith. At least in my faith community, however, we don't baptize babies because we believe they're going to hell otherwise if they die. Yes, it is a temporary on-behalf-of-the-child-until-it-can-consent dedication to God, but it's also a ceremony where the parents, godparents, and whole church make a promise to love and support the child as it grows up, including supporting the kid in its spiritual growth as well. So while the term baptism is used for both infants and adults, they aren't exactly the same ceremony (at least in mainstream Protestant churches).

Exactly how/when/why the idea of baptism got moved to infants, I don't know. I'm somewhat skeptical that the story is as simple as "we started baptizing babies because parents believed that if their child died before being baptized they would go to hell" (with the conflation of a medieval worldview and contemporary theology/practice that I'm reading into that). Unless you have sources you can provide off-hand?

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

ETA: according to the infant baptism article, the denomination is important, and the fact that you're Protestant may be why this explanation for the practice is unfamiliar... and also why it never occurred to me that there were other reasons for it in different traditions.

My information originally came from my religion teacher in seventh grade. Which of course doesn't make her an objective instructor, but despite being a nun, she wasn't a bible thumper. She was never rude to my parents, despite knowing that they were Pagan, and she never tried to make me feel ashamed of them.

After having consulted wikipedia (if you're a wiki hater, you can find your own source :P) there is support for what she taught in these articles:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_baptism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine_of_Hippo
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a1.htm

I'll compare what I was taught with what the articles state. I was taught that the purpose of baptism in the Catholic Church is to purify the soul of sins, specifically original sin. The main baptism article indicates that the idea of baptizing an infant for salvation (by removing the only sin they are born with) originated with St. Augustine. The infant baptism article does not mention St. Augustine, but it quotes the Catholic Catechism, and the gist is that the purpose of baptizing an infant is to remove the taint of original sin, and that children who are not baptized remain in darkness and will miss out on the grace of God. It also suggests that the practice predates St. Augustine, though the reason for it may still have come from him.

blwinteler's picture

Supplicant

We had our son circumcised after birth. While we were convinced we were having a boy, we weren't entirely sure until he was born. But, being convinced, we did talk about it before birth. I let the bulk of the decision rest on my husband, as he is male and more likely to really understand the penis (it took me several attempts to figure out how to write that, and I still don't like the way it is worded, but can't think of a better way). My husband was circumcised. I think our decision came down to being like his dad and easier cleaning (quite likely in tandem, as his dad and I just didn't know anything about the care of an uncircumcised penis). I am pretty sure we also considered that, at the time, most boys were circumcised and didn't know how to effectively answer the "why am I different?" in that particular case, especially when it came down to not only being different from other boys, but his own father. We really didn't see anything enough against it to say no. I hadn't seen/read/heard anything about potential for mutilation. Honestly, after it was done, he didn't seem any worse for it. He didn't sleep more than any other infants I had been around (I'd been around plenty), he didn't cry more, or otherwise show any problems.
As for sex, well, I don't know anyone who is not circumcised who can tell me about the sensitivity. None of the men I've known have had any issues thoroughly enjoying sex.
I'd like to see some more opinions from the men here though. Would you have preferred to be circumcised or not? Has it had any effect on your sex life or anything else?

RandomScientist's picture

Petitioner

You mention rates in the midwest, which makes me think you're likely to be raising the child in that region. As someone born and raised in the midwest, I'll add one thought to this.

I don't have a firm opinion on the topic (although I suppose I'll have to come up with one if I have a son), but the most compelling argument I've heard in favor of it has to do with peer pressure. There are enough things a little boy can get made fun of or beat up for. If you live in the midwest where you say 90% of boys are circumcized, do you want yout son to be known as the one kid in his school who isn't and who may be teased or regarded as a freak for it? Locker rooms, school bathrooms, etc... the other boys will know. Midwesterners can have enough hang-ups and issues around sex; I would worry about having my son be ashamed of his genitalia because it's different from everyone else's.

As I said, I don't have a solid opinion myself, but as a midwesterner, this is the factor that most worries me.

Kunama's picture

Devotee

Trying not to repeat well worded arguments. I vote no to circumcision of either gender.

I was a bit disappointed reading through blwinteler's reply as it seems there wasn't much actual information seeking, but I am glad that there was sensible discussion and that there were no complications. (I'm not trying to insult, really I'm not.)

RandomScientist's point is one I'd never considered before (seeing naked people in change rooms weren't a common occurrence for me), thanks for bringing it up. Being teased over physical differences and being emotionally scarred for life because of it .. one of the more disappointing things to know.
(Slightly off tangent, I wonder if a male-to-female gender change is made easier if the foreskin is left intact?)

I did read somewhere about the foreskin actually being for protection for the head of the penis, similar to the eyelid being protection for the eye. I'd like to note now that I'm not actually male, but the idea of having clothing constantly rubbing up against my eyeball is painfully disturbing. (Sorry about lack of link. It wasn't that blog.)

I actually feel really strongly about this, partly because all the reasons I've read (apart from religious) that advocate circumcision seem like excuses for laziness; yes, risks of infection are real, but like many other diseases, a little more attention to hygiene reduces the risks significantly; just make sure both parents learn about how to clean the area properly until the boy is old enough to do it himself.

There's medical info for both sides of the argument; best support I can come up with from Google is that they won't do it in public hospitals here in Australia just because the parents say they want to, there has to be an actual medical problem that requires removal first. (http://www.chw.edu.au/parents/factsheets/circumj.htm)

Whichever way you choose, make sure you talk to kids early about anything regarding their genitals. Like, under 10 years old early. I remember getting curious around 6 and seeking out the info from the school library on my own.

...dear gods that got long.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

I would not circumcise my son. In general, I really prefer blowing guys with foreskins to those without one, and as oral sex ranks high on my list of favorite activities, I would likely be less excited about being with a circumcised guy. The moving parts offer more versatility (as in, things you can do), they allow you to tease for longer before you play with the head, and it keeps the head more sensitive, so deep-throating is more effective. On those grounds alone, I wouldn't circumcise anyone.

I've blown guys who were circumcised, but I've never had sex with one, so I can't really say anything about sex. I can, however, honestly say I've never heard a guy say "I wish my penis were smaller and less sensitive". That's basically what you're doing: decreasing the thickness and variety in texture, however slightly, and decreasing the sensitivity. I generally assume that I will teach my son about good hygiene, and if you're changing it for a cosmetic reason, I think if he cares that much, he can do it himself when he's older despite the risks. Just make sure you explain to him that the possibility exists that he may want it done someday, and if he does he should make sure a doctor does it.

shushubear's picture

having had sexual experiences with both types of penii, i can honestly say that pleasure has absolutely nothing to do with the presence or absence of a foreskin. it's all in how you use it!

but seriously, the points i've read here are all very valid. it really comes down to a personal choice for your child in your family. if your son is circumcised, then you've made the best decision based on the information you have. if he is not circumcised, then the same applies.

i know you were looking for some convincing arguments one way or the other, but in reality, there are pros and cons for each side being presented very well here. the one thing that i can second (it was said earlier) is that if not circumcised as a newborn, your son can make the decision for himself later in life. maybe leaving "the right decision" up to him is what may be the best call if you're unsure.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

very well put indeed!

Amy's picture

Supplicant

Having had partners who are circumcised and a several who are not, I can honestly say that the whole argument of & better sex from being uncut is false. The men who were cut had greater please that the men who were uncut from the things that I normally do.

I had the hospital circumcise my son a day after he was born & his girl friends have all told me that there is nothing wrong with his sex life.

I've also found that flaccid uncut men look like elephant trunks, & circumcised men when flaccid have to me a rather appealing look that rather invites a touch or two.

It is agonising for an adult man to be circumcised as an infant there are so many nerves that are not working down there because he is not pubescent, Adults have more working nerves there and will experience a lot pain being cut there.

that's my 2 cents anyway. Congratulations on the son in the oven.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

this article. It seemed timely, so I'm posting it, but I don't really have any comments one way or another.

http://carnalnation.com/content/30767/615/lube-life-masturbation-and-cir...

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