To Cut Or Not To Cut.

March 20, 2011 at 1:06 am 2 comments

There comes a point in the life of every parent of a son.  That time is deciding whether or not to circumcise your baby boy.  It appears to be somewhat of a hot topic in the pregnancy and new parent world, though I am not exactly sure why.  I guess the same reason co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and other common “issues” (if we can even call them that) are – everyone seems to have an incredibly strong opinion about them, and of course, sometimes those people think their opinion is clearly the right one.

I debated whether I was going to write about this, but after watching a video of a boy being circumcised, I decided I just wanted to share what our decision was and what we based it on.

Kyle and I opted to not circumcise Cade.  Looking back, we never went back and forth as to whether or not it was something we wanted to do, we were always adamant that we would not be circumcising our baby if it was a boy.  Even though we had already made our minds up, we still did reading about the reasons not to circumcise, as well as talked to our doctor about it.   I’m not even sure I can really pinpoint one particular reason why we decided not to snippity snip, other than the exact opposition reason – why would we?

There are no religious or cultural reasons that would have inclined us to circumcise, so essentially, we saw no medical (or otherwise) reason to go through with that procedure.  And if we had decided to have Cade circumcised, there is no way in hell that I would have gone to the appointment.  Okay, I realize that sounds terrible, because of course I want to soothe and comfort my son, but I do not think I could bear hearing him scream like that and walk away feeling good about it.  Again, a personal choice.

One prevalent reason for circumcision that I had read about, was to prevent penile cancer and the possibility of diseases and infections.  While this was maybe thought to have been the case several years ago, it is no longer medically recommended, and besides, the possibility of infections or cancer is apparently so so minimal that it is still not seen as a benefit to circumcise.  Oh and pssst, has anyone heard about David Reimer, the boy whose penis was essentially destroyed as a result of a recommended circumcision at 8 months old due to a condition called phimosis?   I read a book about him years ago and it did not sit well with me.  There’s much more to the story, involving a sex reassignment surgery after the botched circumcision, years of depression and eventually, suicide.  Not cool.

I’ve heard from and read about people deciding to have their boys circumcised if their father was circumcised, so as to create ‘sameness’ and also because at the time, circumcision may have been the norm.  Again, these are not concerning to us.  Two reasons why, are because 1) when Cade is old enough to even notice a difference between himself and Kyle, we can explain to him what this difference is and why they are different and 2) I don’t believe circumcision is as commonplace now as it was years ago, and so this will likely not even be an issue.  And plus, as an added bonus for Cade when he is older, we are leaving him with his foreskin, which is filled with nerves and one of the most sensitive parts of his body.  The foreskin also protects the glans of the penis from chafing and rubbing which could thereby become desensitized over the years if the foreskin were to be removed.  Darn foreskin, just does a world of good doesn’t it?

So while our decision may not be super backed by detailed and in-depth research, it is backed by an intuition which feels good about this particular decision, and that is what is important here, especially given the medical/ethical climate surrounding circumcision.  Though I doubt he will want to, if circumcision is something Cade is wanting to have done when he is older, then he has that choice.  It is his body and we feel that it is important that he can choose what he does to it, rather than what is done to it.

Did you choose to circumcise or not?  What were your reasons for doing it or not doing it?

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cristin  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:36 am

    We decided not to circumcize. We figured that the foreskin was therefor a reason. I also could not in a million years give my baby over to be cut like that. Will has a kidney problem and risked surgery from the start and I didn’t want him to have to deal with anything else on top of it.

    Reply
  • 2. Random Ntrygg  |  June 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    There is a lot of emotion and noise around this issue, but there are lots of things we don’t know, such how many intact (uncircumcised) men are comfortable with their condition and how many wish they’d been circumcised as infants, or how many circumcised men are resentful about the reduction of bodily integrity that was imposed on them, or how many circumcised men have had problems with their circumcision scar.
    Please participate in this survey, which is an attempt to answer these and many more questions. The survey is trying to remain neutral on the issue. Information is needed from both men and women.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6R2MTBF

    without any cynicism, I say, think of the children.

    Reply

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