The Circumcision Discussion - page 44

I know this can be a HUGE debate, and I'm not looking to start any arguments. I was just wondering as you are OB nurses. I'm expecting a boy in July and not sure if we should circ. or not. My husband says yes, it's better... Read More

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    Quote from rock
    a very interesting article regarding circumcison appears in the following web page:

    http://cirp.org
    thanks, i checked it out the first time you posted it, very interesting.
    [color=#483d8b]
    [color=#483d8b]i also want to say thank you to everyone so far for participating. i have no children yet but this has been really informative and quite an eye opener in many ways.
    [color=#483d8b]
    [color=#483d8b]i've learned and that's always a great thing. i guess i never realized there was so much controversy regarding this issue.
    [color=#483d8b]

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    Each Person Wants To Believe S/he Has The Right Answer.
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    There are a bazillion opinions (pro and con) concerning circumcision, but we have yet to hear from anybody was was legitimately traumatized by the procedure and/or remembers it many years later as an adult.

    I have been complimented on my extraordinary memory (but I can't recall who complimented me ), but I really do not recall that barbaric session of torture that was inflicted upon me >54 years ago.

    When the topic is brought up, I seem to recall the Saturday Night Live program many years ago in which they spoofed the Ford Crown Victoria commercial where the jeweler cut a diamond while riding in the back seat of the CV..... he emerges from the car (holding the diamond on a pillow) and says, "perfect!". In the SNL version, a Rabbi is performing a circumcision in the back seat of a CV, and emerges (holding the baby), saying "poifect!"

    That goes back too many years.......
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    Quote from Jerry Falletta
    There are a bazillion opinions (pro and con) concerning circumcision, but we have yet to hear from anybody was was legitimately traumatized by the procedure and/or remembers it many years later as an adult...
    I get what you're saying, but under that logic, it would be ok to do anything at all to a baby under the premise that it doesn't matter because they won't remember it- burn them with cigarettes, hit them, anything. Believe me, I have been in situations where I've endured severe pain- worse than childbirth by far- and it certainly is not the mere memory of it that is terrible. The memory doesn't hurt me- it was having to live through it at the time.
    And if anyone says to me that a baby will not be in extreme pain while having a part of his penis cut off, VERY often without anesthetic (and certainly not with the luxury of GOOD pain meds that would be offered any verbal child or adult who would have to undergo such a procedure) is really fooling themselves. It wasn't so long ago that babies routinely underwent even procedures such as heart surgery with no pain relief at all, under the now-proven false assumption that they felt no pain. In fact, babies are likely more apt to feel pain than adults, due to the fact that they have no frame of reference for it or coping skills other than to scream of go to sleep. I would venture so far as to say that I'm betting you would not volunteer to have another part of your genitals cut off now with only a sweetened soother as pain relief. And if you had it done, some 50+ years ago, I bet you weren't even offered that. So no, you may not remember it, but you still had to endure it.

    And if you're looking for people who are traumatized by having this procedure done, I would urge you to have a look at http://www.cirp.org/news/
    You will find evidence of the many babies who have died as a result of having this done to them, or who have had to endure life-long pain or problems as a result, as well as many others who have had their penises accidentally amputated altogether. It is a well-known case that came out of Winnipeg, MB (where I'm from, actually) that a boy had a botched circumcision where his penis was cut off entirely. The resulting series of events results in him finally committing suicide in his 20's I believe. I bet he was traumatized.
    Is there any guy out there who would actually be willing to risk losing his penis altogether for these mediocre and debateable benefits?
    Last edit by jrsmrs on Mar 8, '07
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    Quote from Jerry Falletta
    There are a bazillion opinions (pro and con) concerning circumcision, but we have yet to hear from anybody was was legitimately traumatized by the procedure and/or remembers it many years later as an adult.

    I have been complimented on my extraordinary memory (but I can't recall who complimented me ), but I really do not recall that barbaric session of torture that was inflicted upon me >54 years ago.
    I don't think this issue is the actual procedure, but rather the end result. I am fully aware of the result.

    All I can think is that we don't routinely remove anything else. It does have a physiological function and therefore should be left alone.
  6. 0
    Quote from jax
    I've just been advised to have my almost 6 year old circ'd - the poor little thing has a foreskin that just doesn't move. I have been doing my reading, and my understanding is that I could leave it a bit longer to see it does begin to retract, but the thought of him having to have it done as a preteen is just too terrible. I think if it has to happen its better to do it now. This is something I did not even contemplate having done to him as an infant, now I wish I had had a crystal ball.
    Both of my boys had intractable foreskins one had a tight forseskin/phimosis and at age 5 I used a course of steroid cream to help loosen it as directed by a paediatrician. Neither boy required circumcision neither boy had any balanitis as the area beneath the intractable foreskin maintained health naturally. The instruction I got was not to try and retract, as this damages and causes scarring and infection. Both boys can now fully retract. One achieved this at 12 years the other at 10 years. Hope this helps.

    There are few routine circumcisions done in New Zealand,we have small Jewish and Moslem populations and they are not in vogue. Our paediatricians tend to recommend conservative treatment of phimosis and will respond to balanitis with surgery under general anaesthetic if indicated. I understand they were popular in the 60's which marked an era of increased medicalisation.I haven't checked but as far as I am aware our STD rates show no correlation to countries with high circumcision rates.

    I think if you look at studies and research stats you have to look at them with some scepticism since other factors need to be taken into account. J ust as Steven Levitt in "Freakonomics" challenged liberal thought when drawing the correlations between crime and poor and uneducated people breeding. There are multiple ways of viewing research stats. If for example the sample drawn is of a group of circumcised educated middleclass people then compared with uncircumised lower education lower class the correlation may have nothing to do with circumcision but everything to do with promiscuity. Perhaps correlations between monogomous individuals and those with multiple partners would have more relevance than circumcision than for example circumcision and HPV cervical cancer rates. It is puported that jewish women have less Cervical cancer because of their mens circumcision but perhaps there is a higher correlation for monogamy... just a thought not "proven ' or "scientific" but a warning that the "truth " is not as black and white as people like to believe. Science is all about educated guess nor "proof"
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    [quote=10
    It is puported that jewish women have less Cervical cancer because of their mens circumcision but perhaps there is a higher correlation for monogamy... just a thought not "proven ' or "scientific" but a warning that the "truth " is not as black and white as people like to believe. Science is all about educated guess nor "proof"[/quote]
    that has already been proven wrong, as the promiscuity rate went up, so did the rate of cervical cancer....heard that about 10-12 years ago
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    Personally I would get my kid circumsized.. Yes, I know it is 'said' to be painful, but I had a friend who got it done when he was 17 (because he was tired of being ashamed of it), and he told me that sex is much better circumsized... and I figure he is one of those people who can truly say the truth!

    Also, the last thing I would want would be my son to be ashamed of his penis, or to have girls making fun of it, calling it a sherpei (those wrinkly dogs), or saying that it was wearing a turtle neck or soemthing...
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    Quote from Ztrac1
    We had our son circumcised. My decision (my wife let me make the call) was based mainly on hygiene. I have found it hard enough to get my older child to wash her hands. I was circumcised and don't remember the procedure at all. I'm also really glad that I wasn't called foreskin, helmet head etc in highschool. I think that a circumcised penis is more aerodynamic as well.
    It's obviously a societal norm thing . Circumcision is not very common here in NZ. Boys who were circumcised were called "helmet head" or "Knobby" when I was at school because their penises looked different ie you could see the glans. Never heard of an intact penis called helmet head. Adolescent culture will pick on anything especially in the change room , goes with the territory.

    Hygiene really isn't an issue. That again is a cultural thing. I was aware of my shock at nurses with long fingernails (and painted fingernails) at work when I worked in New York. Here, long and painted fingernails are said to harbour bacteria and a real no no for " professional" nursing. Then I remembered when we had to fight to stop wearing pantyhose and have bare legs at work. "They" said it was unhygienic until someone did a study of the organisms living in the nylon compared to those living on the skin, no prizes for guessing the colony counts of each. We are encultured to think in certain ways conditioned like Pavlovs dog . I think it was someone like Foucault who challenged these dominant discourses and said try and turn it upside down and see if you can see things through another lens... it stretches your mind. Different subjectivities, none of us are unbiased or objective when it all boils down to it.


    The range of appearances of penises is quite remarkable. As there are more unc'd penises here, I've nursed men with exceptionally long foreskins and those with next to none naturally .I can't see what the fuss is about womens labia are all quite different to each other and our breasts are all different shapes and sizes. Viva la difference .
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    I'm Italian American and spent my summers on my Nonna's farm in Tuscany, Italy when I was young. I had my share of frolicing with American boys and Italian boys. Really there is no difference from my experience, and found both kinds equally attractive and hygenic. Have come to the conclusion that it's a cultural issue, and have an open mind about what others do.

    When I was about to give birth to my first born son 12 years ago, some teenage cousins came for their first visit to the US. After a day sitting around tired after sight seeing in San Francisco, we were BBQing in our back yard. I started commenting to my husband that we needed to make some decisions regarding the name, new car, circ issue, etc. My young cousins, new to emersion Englished asked what circumcision was. They had never heard the term. When I explained, they thought I wad kidding. One of them proceeded to whip out his penis so I could better explain. When they finally grasped the concept, he thought I was still kidding and then asked to see my husbands. Hub said No way. Both boys proceeded to chase my hub all around the back yard and eventually pants him so they could check it out themselves....it didn't help that we were all laughting so much so that they were sure we were kidding them and treating them like stupid old-country farm boys. I will never forget the looks on their faces when they realized we were telling them the truth. They both were shaking their heads and patting Hub on the back.

    I was suprised to learn that none of my Italian Family knew that we Americans tended to circ our boys. When my cousins talked to my Dad, their Uncle, about it, it turns out that my Dad felt forced to do this from the peds at that time and becuase he wanted to Americanize his family....but that he always felt it was a barbaric thing that he subsequently regretted doing, and that he was glad that his wasn't done (by that point, he had heard the unproven rumors from other 1st generation Italians that they were aging better than their Italian American cohorts).

    It was lucky Hub couldn't speak Italian, becuase his penis was the subject of much pity and scorn. I was placed in the strange position of proclaiming my experience with both types and how lovely I thought Hubs was to my family--which made me and my comments the butt of a long running joke that has gone on for more than 12 years now and can send my brothers and I into fits of laughter at the most unappropriate times (like at funerals as these intact old post-war guys are starting to die off).

    Needless to say, we decided not to circ our boys and it's never been an issue, but where we live in Northern California, it seems to be more the norm to be uncircd vs circd. However, if I lived anywhere else, I might feel a strong cultural pull to circ--much like my father did with his sons at the time when it was more the cultural norm here during the 60's and 70's. Hence my belief that it's more about cultural norms and having respect for the individual cultural norms of every family.

    I know this is a long post on a long post....but just had to share my funny story....won't get into all the family jokes it's turned into over the years....that's another post entirely.
    Last edit by Testa Rosa, RN on Mar 8, '07


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