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Friday, March 11, 2011

The Big Boy Debate: Circumcision

As of late I have seen article after article and Facebook status after Facebook status addressing the issue of circumcision.

My fellow natural-mommy-bloggers all seem avidly against the act of circumcision. You can read the recent post from Peaceful Parenting and one by Living Peacefully with Children entitled Top 10 Reasons to Leave your Son Intact.

The veterinary technician in me gets the argument, just as I feel docked ears and cropped tails are an unnecessary cosmetic surgery... I can see where that label would fall unto our infant sons.

And for me it has been several years; I have read articles, reviewed information, talked with other parents, with my children's Doctor, and I don't know..... after all that,  I still feel like I would make the same decision if I had another son- I would have him circumcised.

Regardless of that, here is why I think this issue has me all fired up! SO MUCH JUDGEMENT! Really, you want to be all "natural" that's great- but share your info and reasons without the preaching.

Just like drop side cribs kill your kids, and every year they change if infants need to sleep on their backs or stomachs, and the divided camps of co sleeping suffocates children etc..... science will support both sides of circumcision. So all in all, it's a personal choice. And yes, we as parents HAVE to make personal choices for our kids. It's going to be a lot less painful now than if they're 14+, and a heck of a lot quicker recovery!

So let's just let bygones be bygones... because frankly, I'd like to see how many of these moms coming out of the woodwork against circumcision don't have their daughter's ears pierced, or their dogs ears cropped or tails docked, have had their pet neutered... you get where I'm going with this...

Myself, I think it's just one more issue to start a coup over... there are a lot bigger issues today to deal with my friends. Let's start with world peace and saving the planet, and let's leave individual parenting decisions up to the individual parents.


  1. I love this post! I agree that this seems to just be the next issue that parents want to get on a soapbox about. Parents are so passionate about parenting (which in itself is great) but seem to use that passion in vain to criticize other parents. I wish folks would spend their energy information-sharing and supporting one another rather than judging. What good does judging do, anyway?

    We had our first in August and circumcised him. At the time I didn't have any idea what a hot-button issue it was, but I'd make the same decision today. It's a personal decision for our family and despite the compelling arguments Ive heard, we stand by it and would do it again.

  2. thanks for sharing! I appreciate your honesty and hope others will follow suit! :)

    I have a bestie who completely and utterly disagrees w me, but you know what, we're still besties :)

    thanks for reading!

  3. To get down to the bare bones of it, I think the phrase "personal choice" is key.

    The people making this choice for a baby are not the "person" that "personal choice" refers to. The baby is.

    It can't be undone. Why not let the person make the personal choice? It won't hurt anything to just leave it there...and odds are extremely good the person won't want it done, anyway.

  4. Im not a mother, and im not judging, but why not just leave him whole as he was made, and then he can make the decision later, when he is older. things like this
    happen all of the time.. (there is more than one gallery there, warning: graphic) a lot of men are very unhappy about being circumcised. Most of the world is NOT circumcised, and they are perfectly okay. For myself, i wish my mother-in-law had not made this "personal choice" for her sons.. and i will never make it for one of mine. the choice is theirs, its their body, i dont own it. -best of luck.

  5. For me, it ahas nothing to do with being "all natural". My son was formula fed, I think organic food is a lie. But it's not my right to chop off parts of my son's penis. And it's not your right either. That this is even a debate says a lot about the state of our medical community. They promise to do no harm, unless they can make a few bucks off it. (No, I'm not bashing the entire medical establsihment, just the ones who justify needless surgery for profit).

    So, what exactly is the reason you want to remove a normal healthy body part from any future son? Vengeance against people who have the nerve to stand up to the status quo and say, "THIS IS A HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION!"?

  6. It's only a personal decision if it's a choice you are making for yourself. I am not circumcising my son because it's HIS penis and he will have to live with it NOT me or his husband. My husband was circed as an infant and wishes he was not. Not only would I be taking away my son's choice, but I would be risking his life in doing so because the surgery can and does kill otherwise perfectly healthy infants every year. Drop-side cribs killed 32 infants in 10 years....circ surgery kills more than 100 EVERY year. I'm not taking a chance by removing something that is obviously supposed to be there in the first place. Parents who do it without knowing the risks aren't bad parents. They had good intentions...but I do not understand ignoring the information if you've been exposed to it. My SIL did with her son...and now that he's having complications and adhesions she is completely torn up about it and wouldn't be repeating it with another child. When you know better you do better.

    By the way, I would never piece a child's ears (no decent piercer would do it anyway...and piercing guns are unsanitary besides the fact that they are the child's ears and NOT mine). I wouldn't dock a pet's tail or clip their ears either! The only way I'd have a pet that had been modified in such a way is if it was a rescue that came to me like that (we only adopt rescues). That's just cruel and I don't see how you can think that removing a healthy foreskin isn't just that as well.

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  8. This is not a parenting issue, it is a human rights issue. All children have the right to their whole body.

    Genital integrity, it's not just for girls.

  9. I don't have my daughters ears pierced and have no pets. And we are NOT circumcising and that's really all I'm gonna say cause I'm not in the mood to argue with what, well if I am being frank, is pure idiocy. Call it judging if you will but there it is.

  10. My first born son was circ'd without me researching anything about how and why. I didnt think twice until it was too late. It was horrific and was done wrong and my baby almost died and almost lost his penis exaggeration . I urge every parent to research, educate yourself before deciding what's important. My newborn son will NOT be cut.

  11. I have to ask...After you "'have read articles, reviewed information, talked with other parents, with my children's Doctor'", what part of the information in favor of circumcision are you using to make that decision? If you were to have another boy, what would be your reason for having him circumcised after having reviewed that information and those articles?

  12. I don't dock my puppies' tails (and they are a traditionally docked breed) OR my kids' genitals. I have this funny thing against hypocrisy.

  13. Just to say really this blog is totally mind boggling that in 2011 women are still getting their beautiful baby boys foreskins cut off.

    In New Zealand which is where I live 99.9% of babies are normal. We go to the doctors, no one ever says oh they are not circumsised. I also find it boggling that in America which usually prides itself on being right all the time is actually still practising this.

    the gp's and peads and nurses in NZ all deal with babies all the time never once not knowing what to do with a babies penis..... you just let it hang in the water to clean and thats it.... never once pulling back the forskin.

    If i came along and said that we need to pull fingernails out at birth without pain relief would you not question why this would need to be done.

    Other parents that you have talked to prob never have dealt with a normal penis but feel free to ask there is a whole country of women in NZ who deal with this every day. I never have heard of a baby with a std or infection i have heard of girls with infections.... never boys.....

    we need as parents to stand together and stand tall and speak out in the support of our baby boys. Please look at all the anti circ information as well and the pro cir stuff that you have been looking at.

  14. just a post note if find it interesting that you are a eco lady yet still considering that with all the world issues that this is a minor one...

    I would rather have my baby boy in a disposable drinking formula with his normal penis....

    btw he is breast fed... just making a point really

  15. I'm from a Jewish family, and my penis was cut shortly after I was born, and I'm not happy about that. For the rest of my life now, I'm without the 20,000+ nerve endings and the sensual skin and the protection of my glans. So let me ask a question to the author Theresa here, and to everyone else who says it's the parents' choice:

    What makes it ok that MY PENIS was cut against my will? What gave anyone the right to do this and to take that choice away from me?

    I know circumcision is considered "normal" in this country, and especially among the Jewish people, but what gave anyone the right to take that choice away from me? To cut off a perfectly healthy, normal, and functional part of MY BODY.

    My parents won't be using my penis. Their rabbi won't be using my penis. I don't even want to practice Judaism. So why should they have the right to cut MY penis? And no, this isn't a rhetorical question. I really want an answer if anybody has one.

    I've posted this question on a number of different forums, but so far none of the "parental choice" people have been able to come up with an answer for why anyone should have had the right to take away my choice? Is there an answer?...

    I have no problem with anyone modifying THEIR OWN genitals, but they have no right to force it on someone else.

  16. One more thing to consider: Just about everyone would consider it wrong if the parents were to have their 18 year old son (who wasn't circumcised) forcibly held down and circumcised against his will. Everyone would say that as an adult it's his decision.

    But when you circumcise a baby, you're also taking that choice away from the adult he will become. For every day of my adult life, I have been, and will continue to be, denied the right to choose for myself as a result of what was done to me as an infant.

    Of course what happened to me can't be undone, but as a society we CAN decide that this won't happen to anyone else. That it's not acceptable to take away someone's right to choose about THEIR OWN genitals.

  17. Looking at the first picture with the little boy that has a bow on him with a note that says from GOD, why would someone want to remove a part of such a wonderful gift? All children are wonderful gifts and boys should have the same rights as girls.

  18. Circumcision is a personal choice! The personal choice of the boy (who will become a man and a lover and a father) to whom the penis belongs. Like someone else said, it is not a parenting issue, it is a human rights issue. For everyone who feels guilt or remorse for having their son circumcised before they knew all this, it's ok! When we know better, we do better! Please put an end to routine infant circumcision and leave the choice up to the individual who's life will be changed by it!

  19. Well, I can tell you, I would consider myself a pretty natural mama too. I home birthed 4 kids, breastfed them all for years, babywear them all, co-sleep sometimes .. you get the picture. For me, I didn't KNOW anyone who WASN'T circ'd when my first baby (a son) was born. We decided to do it. There has never been a more hostile regret in my 8+ years of parenting than that one decision and I do believe it's because I watched the procedure. I really felt like (for me) shame on me!!! I made the effort to have a healthy pregnancy, exercised, ate well, prepared well, read, talked ... then I decided to put my newborn who trusted me, through that awful gruesome procedure. I know it has to be different in a hospital birth. Nurse comes in - takes baby - brings him back 15 minutes later and tells you reassuringly "he did GREAT" and you believe it, but only because he's sleeping so peacefully, unfortunately not because he's tired, but because his little body is in a state of shock. Looking back, I am grateful for this experience because it made me make a different choice with the second son.

  20. My baby's body is not my body, so it's not actually my choice. It's cosmetic, and it's up to my children if they want to alter their own genitals in whatever ways they see fit to choose for themselves as adults.

    I'm a grown woman who's never had her ears pierced, and I'm SO glad that my parents left that choice to me.

    Also, I'm genitally intact, which is another thing for an American female in her thirties to be grateful for since female circumcision has only been illegal in the US since 1997.

    Just some food for thought about whose choice we're really talking about here.

  21. A sincere thank you to all who posted!
    In all honesty- you all have given me a lot to think about.

    Call it the 'back woods' here of New England, I'm not sure- but I just didn't get information like this when my son was born.

    I thought I had done my research. I had discussions with my doctor, and the NICU doctors, and his pediatrician, and friends and family, and had read books, and articles online....

    ....but many of you personally emailed me links to some great articles or just general tidbits that really stuck with me (and thank you all for being respectful :) )

    * I now see the other side of the fence more clearly. And for that, I deeply thank all of you.

    * I'll be making a compilation of the articles and posting them as well so everyone can view them. Many of them are actual statistics/scientific facts and others are more opinion based- but there is a good mix! :)

  22. Just as after-thought... my eldest daughter is now 12. I did not let her have her ears pierced until she had asked repeatedly, she had to demonstrate that she had read up on how to take care of her ears, both newly pierced and beyond and she had to explain what she understood about the possible pain involved. She met all those requirements when she was 8, actually. My 4 year old and 2&1/2 year old daughters will have to do the same. My 15 year old son and 5 &1/2 year old son are both intact with never a problem, whatsoever...

  23. Fiddlestix... for some reason, my 1st post (prior to my afterthought)did not make it...? If you have it and are previewing, I will not bother to re-post.

  24. got it Lori!! Thank you for sharing! and a great idea for ur daughters for sure, I like that they had to do the research themselves. :)

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