The Circumcision Discussion - page 51

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... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    There are many long threads regarding circumcision. Mostly in the ob/gyn forum.

    Welcome by the way!

    steph
  2. by   Tweety
    Custom and tradition primarily.

    Britain still has a Queen, not the same, but certainly Britons understand cultural traditions?
  3. by   pkohm
    i personally was not circumcised at birth and i wish my parents would have done so. I had my foreskin rip at about 18 years old, so i had to get a circumcision and let me tell you, it's not fun getting circumcised at 18 years old. Being this old i was able to compare and contrast better than most people i think. It's definetly nicer this way, easier to keep clean, and less problems can arise now. Now i know most of you are debating about doing it at birth or not, which i know is different, but i do wish my parents would have done it to save me the trouble i went through.
  4. by   not now
    I don't know about anyone else but for me and the man the main reason is that he's Jewish and it's required. Other reasons are the same as The Commuter.

    As for barbaric? Yes, but hate giving IM injections because I also think that's barbaric.
  5. by   wtbcrna
    Male circumcision has also been shown to reduce the transmission of HIV. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/fac...rcumcision.htm

    As far as being barbaric the same thing could be said of ear piercings, body piercings, tattoos etc. The pain associated with circumcision in an infant, before full development of their nervous system, has shown to be mild and most of the anxiety caused in the infant is actually from being tied down and not from the actual circumcision.
  6. by   mauxtav8r
    Ditto PKOHM. I worked with a young mom whose little boy wasn't circ'd at birth. She was, well, challenged by motherhood and frankly baths were last on her list, to at 18 months the little guy had a bad infection and had the circ done then. Glad I didn't have to handle him when they got home.

    I've witnessed two modes of circumcision. One was not what I'd prefer, the other ok. Neither showed more than a drop of blood loss, but one took longer. Babies didn't cry near as much as my own did for those newborn baths.
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from Tweety
    Custom and tradition primarily.

    Britain still has a Queen, not the same, but certainly Britons understand cultural traditions?
    That is the answer!:hatparty:


    steph
  8. by   TazziRN
    Some customs and traditions from the UK can be considered barbaric too, as well as other countries. Didn't your mother ever teach you that slinging mud at someone else's house is rude?
  9. by   np_wannabe
    Prior to my son's birth, I spoke with my (male) best friend about this very topic. As a jew, I feel an obligation, as a mother, it feels barbaric. My best friend told me that his partner (in his mid-30's) is not circumcised and is very self-conscious about it, that they cannot be intimate together unless he showers first, and on-and-off considers having the procedure done at this point.
  10. by   ElvishDNP
    There are lots of reasons. Most of what I hear (mother/baby nurse) is that "it's cleaner" and "we want him to look like his daddy." (We don't have that many Jewish patients, and our Muslim patients are about half-and-half circ vs. non.)

    This is what I have against circ:
    1) It really doesn't serve a purpose. Yes, I have heard the studies about it preventing HIV transmission. Those studies were done on adult men. If adult men want to line up to have their weenies whacked, fine. (I didn't think so!) But to put a baby boy through something like that, well, I can't see what the logic is. If it gives us pause to imagine a grown man going through something like that, why shouldn't it bother us to think about babies? Also, while we're on the HIV topic....are you (universal you here) telling me we should be preaching circumcision instead of abstinence, monogamy, and condoms? I hope not.I still believe that circumcising baby boys is not necessary if you want to prevent HIV transmission.

    2) Over and over I have seen it in my work as a mother-baby nurse: people who would not think of having their little girls cut in ANY fashion (not even under local anesthesia and in a sterile room, not even a little pinprick), the same folks will send their little boys off without a second thought to have essentially the same thing done. If one is child abuse, why is the other okay?

    3) Again, over and over I have seen this: Babies who are nursing like the little champs they are do great til they get circumcised. Then it all falls to pieces. Numerous studies have suggested that babies' pain response often resembles going to sleep. In actuality, they are shutting down because they cannot tolerate the pain. I have had so many moms get frustrated with nursing after their babies are circed because they will not wake up to eat.

    4) The hygiene argument is a really non-applicable one, especially in the era of soap and water. Either way you have to wash down there, right? It is not that difficult to retract a foreskin, wash & rinse under it, and put it back. If it is, maybe you ought to invest in a protein shake or something. And you really don't even have to do that til the darn thing goes back on its own, which may not be for several years. Believe me, a 3-year-old can do it. My 3-year-old does.

    5) I really wish people would not use the "we wanted him to look like Daddy" argument. Number one, he's not going to look like Daddy for a very long time anyway, and by the time he does, he and Daddy are probably not going to be comparing. Second, how many adult men (don't raise your hands) know/care whether or not your dad was circumcised? Third, he may notice that he and Daddy look different but that doesn't mean it will bother him. Whose hang-up is it, really? Is it the boy that will feel funny not looking like his dad, or is it the other way around? With friends that I know whose husbands are circed but their boys aren't, a simple "Daddy had a surgery you didn't need" does the trick if they ask. Also worth asking: what if Daddy has had a leg or arm amputated? Are you going to chop off your son's limb so he'll look like Daddy? Why not? (Ok, that was rhetorical. I'm NOT advocating the aforementioned idea.)

    6) The locker room argument. You don't want your son to be made fun of for being 'different.' With the current circ rate running at about 60% in the USA, that leaves 40% uncirced. He'll probably have some company. Also, what are they doing looking, anyway? And what message am I sending my son having his body unnecessarily, irreversibly altered as a baby so he'll fit in?

    7) I have heard people say that men who aren't circumcised don't look 'normal.' Um....ok. 75% of the world doesn't circumcise. Most Latin Americans don't. Most Asians, Europeans, and Aussies don't. Canada's universal health care doesn't cover it anymore, as far as I know. Many places in Africa don't. That leaves....hmmm....the USA. I had a nurse colleague tell me once, "It's all what you're used to." It's all about what I'm used to? I'm going to put my son through something unnecessary so he can look some way that I'm 'used to'?!

    This post is not intended to offend anyone who has had their sons circumcised, nor outrage anyone reading this who has been circumcised (no need to raise hands), nor imply that people who have had their boys circed should be arrested on the spot and jailed. And I realize that a generation or two back, it was something that you just did. You didn't ask questions. I know that. I just want people to think about it.

    I didn't realize that I had such strong feelings about this until I started working as a mother-baby nurse. Fortunately, we had not had our son circumcised as a baby because we did research & found that the AAP no longer endorses it. But having seen over and over what it does to the babies, and having seen a few botched/bleeding circs, I just can't see having it done to any baby, period. It's essentially cosmetic surgery, and no thank you. Not for my boys until they are consenting adults & can decide for themselves that it's something they want (I'll think they're crazy, but I'll make the appts if they want them).

    I'm the happy mom of an uncirced boy and the proud wife of an uncirced husband. And no, they don't have much smegma at all.

    ETA: For those who may not know this - once the penis is erect, the foreskin retracts and they all look the same anyway....
    Last edit by ElvishDNP on Jul 9, '11
  11. by   leslie :-D
    awesome post, arwen.

    leslie
  12. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from Arwen_U
    There are lots of reasons. Most of what I hear (mother/baby nurse) is that "it's cleaner" and "we want him to look like his daddy." (We don't have that many Jewish patients, and our Muslim patients are about half-and-half circ vs. non.)

    This is what I have against circ:
    1) It really doesn't serve a purpose. Yes, I have heard the studies about it preventing HIV transmission. Those studies were done on adult men. If adult men want to line up to have their weenies whacked, fine. (I didn't think so!) But to put a baby boy through something like that, well, I can't see what the logic is. If it gives us pause to imagine a grown man going through something like that, why shouldn't it bother us to think about babies? Also, while we're on the HIV topic....are you (universal you here) telling me we should be preaching circumcision instead of abstinence, monogamy, and condoms? I hope not.I still believe that circumcising baby boys is not necessary if you want to prevent HIV transmission.

    2) Over and over I have seen it in my work as a mother-baby nurse: people who would not think of having their little girls cut in ANY fashion (not even under local anesthesia and in a sterile room, not even a little pinprick), the same folks will send their little boys off without a second thought to have essentially the same thing done. If one is child abuse, why is the other okay?

    3) Again, over and over I have seen this: Babies who are nursing like the little champs they are do great til they get circumcised. Then it all falls to pieces. Numerous studies have suggested that babies' pain response often resembles going to sleep. In actuality, they are shutting down because they cannot tolerate the pain. I have had so many moms get frustrated with nursing after their babies are circed because they will not wake up to eat.

    4) The hygiene argument is a really non-applicable one, especially in the era of soap and water. Either way you have to wash down there, right? It is not that difficult to retract a foreskin, wash & rinse under it, and put it back. If it is, maybe you ought to invest in a protein shake or something. And you really don't even have to do that til the darn thing goes back on its own, which may not be for several years. Believe me, a 3-year-old can do it. My 3-year-old does.

    5) I really wish people would not use the "we wanted him to look like Daddy" argument. Number one, he's not going to look like Daddy for a very long time anyway, and by the time he does, he and Daddy are probably not going to be comparing. Second, how many adult men (don't raise your hands) know/care whether or not your dad was circumcised? Third, he may notice that he and Daddy look different but that doesn't mean it will bother him. Whose hang-up is it, really? Is it the boy that will feel funny not looking like his dad, or is it the other way around? With friends that I know whose husbands are circed but their boys aren't, a simple "Daddy had a surgery you didn't need" does the trick if they ask. Also worth asking: what if Daddy has had a leg or arm amputated? Are you going to chop off your son's limb so he'll look like Daddy? Why not? (Ok, that was rhetorical. I'm NOT advocating the aforementioned idea.)

    6) The locker room argument. You don't want your son to be made fun of for being 'different.' With the current circ rate running at about 60% in the USA, that leaves 40% uncirced. He'll probably have some company. Also, what are they doing looking, anyway? And what message am I sending my son having his body unnecessarily, irreversibly altered as a baby so he'll fit in?

    7) I have heard people say that men who aren't circumcised don't look 'normal.' Um....ok. 75% of the world doesn't circumcise. Most Latin Americans don't. Most Asians, Europeans, and Aussies don't. Canada's universal health care doesn't cover it anymore, as far as I know. Many places in Africa don't. That leaves....hmmm....the USA. I had a nurse colleague tell me once, "It's all what you're used to." It's all about what I'm used to? I'm going to put my son through something unnecessary so he can look some way that I'm 'used to'?!

    This post is not intended to offend anyone who has had their sons circumcised, nor outrage anyone reading this who has been circumcised (no need to raise hands), nor imply that people who have had their boys circed should be arrested on the spot and jailed. And I realize that a generation or two back, it was something that you just did. You didn't ask questions. I know that. I just want people to think about it.

    I didn't realize that I had such strong feelings about this until I started working as a mother-baby nurse. Fortunately, we had not had Daniel circumcised as a baby because we did research & found that the AAP no longer endorses it. But having seen over and over what it does to the babies, and having seen a few botched/bleeding circs, I just can't see having it done to any baby, period. It's essentially cosmetic surgery, and no thank you. Not for my boys until they are consenting adults & can decide for themselves that it's something they want (I'll think they're crazy, but I'll make the appts if they want them).

    I'm the happy mom of an uncirced boy and the proud wife of an uncirced husband. And no, they don't have much smegma at all.

    ETA: For those who may not know this - once the penis is erect, the foreskin retracts and they all look the same anyway....
    Wow, interesting observations...any research to support your arguments on 1, 3, or 4? I would especially like to see any research on #3.
    Having taken of elderly men w/o circumcision I would have to say hygiene becomes a big issue for a lot of men as they get older.
  13. by   czyja
    Quote from earle58
    awesome post, arwen.

    leslie
    Totally awesome post Arwen.

    I look at this issue from a human rights perspective. It strikes me that both boys an girls have the right to grow up without having their genitals subject to cosmetic surgery. Can you imagine saying "You know, I don't like the way the may daughter's labia looks - let's trim it a bit - it will be easier for the poor dear to keep clean - and it wont smell so nasty. Oh, and she wont feel a thing becuase her nervous system isn't developed yet." Jimminy Crickets - you would go to jail!

    A friend of mine is a nurse in France. She explained that if you ask to have your boy circumcised there you recieve a psych consult and a visit from social services. In essence the same response one would get here if you asked to have your infant daughter's genitals cut. Needless to say they won't circ your boy absent medical necessity.

    Oddly, it is often women that strongly pro-circumcision. Men need to start speaking up on behalf of their boys. Women - are you happy with your clitoris the way it is? Good, then leave your boys penis alone.

    Oh, don't believe that "There nervous system isn't developed yet." This is the hogwash they told mothers in the 1950's. The foreskin is important sexual tissue that is loaded with nerve endings. Them nerves is there when the kid is born.

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