The Circumcision Discussion - page 69

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   hypocaffeinemia
    Quote from BroadwayRN
    I think circumcision is a good thing. Sure it's painful but within minutes the baby is quiet again. They cry the first few times they pee but again within minutes the baby is quiet again. I don't think the act of infant circumcision has destroyed anyones mental health. I haven't heard any men say they feel as though they were raped, mamed, abused, whatever by their parents because they were circumsized.

    We had a small boy in the ER with phimosis and it was horrible! He had to undergo an emergent circumcision. I visited the child several times afterwards (I happened to be their neighbor) and that poor child was in agony for several weeks. The mother had been berated about having her son circ'd when he was born and she gave into the pressure and did not have him circ'd. She said she will never ever again have a son without having him circ'd before they leave the hospital. The little 3 year old boy was on a narcotic pain med for almost 3 weeks and took 5 weeks to completely recover.
    This is equivalent to advocating prophylactic amputation just because there's a chance your son might break his leg in the future.

    It is genital mutilation, no matter how you slice it.
  2. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Quote from BroadwayRN

    Phimosis may be uncommon but if you're the one with it then it automatically becomes a 100% probability!
    This line of logic is incredibly silly and could be used to justify...damn near anything.
  3. by   rn/writer
    I have asked some of the men in my family how they feel about circumcision. To them the whole topic is no big deal. And this is regardless of age. They all seemed to feel that this is a private family decision. None of them felt that their folks had made the wrong decision. None of them mentioned anything close to feeling traumatized. They looked at me funny when I mentioned that possibility.

    For the record, all but one were circumcised. The exception wouldn't have minded if he had been, so long as it had been done in infancy like the rest of the guys. He doesn't think he would do it now, but that's because he is a big weenie (pardon the pun) when it comes to pain.

    They were all a bit surprised that this would be such a controversial topic on a nursing discussion board. Again, the feeling was that this is a private and personal matter to be decided within the family. Of the ones who have boy children, they have all opted (with their significant others concurring) to have their sons circed and would do so again with future children. Their biggest concern was that proper anesthesia was used.

    These are loving, decent men who care about themselves and their kids. They don't see themselves as having been harmed by being circed. They certainly do not equate it with mutilation. They are mentally and emotionally intact, regardless of the state of their genitalia.

    That said, they would not look down on anyone who chose not to circ. That "personal and private" attitude goes both ways.
  4. by   hypocaffeinemia
    rn/writer, with all due respect, they don't mind because it is largely a cultural norm.

    I guarantee you females in traditional Chinese families probably aren't all that concerned with the practice of foot binding from birth, nor are the cultures where female genital mutilation practiced. Such practices are equally traditional cultural norms, and in my opinion, equally barbaric. I could retype your entire post substituting foot binding or labial removal/suturing and it'd be as true for those in such cultures.

    And yeah, I'm a guy.
  5. by   rn/writer
    I see what you are saying. There is some truth to the idea that it is a cultural norm, but I respectfully disagree with equating infant male circumcision with either foot-binding or labial suturing/removal.

    Both of the practices you mention have subjugation of the female as a primary goal. They result in severe ongoing pain and crippling of normal function. Foot binding is a lengthy and excruciating process designed to keep girls and women hobbled and subservient. Labial suturing/removal is done without anesthesia or sterile technique (not that either of those would make it acceptable), and is meant to instill a subordinate attitude toward male domination and eliminate any possibility of female sexual pleasure.

    Male circumcision is not done for the purpose of crushing the male spirit and rendering men unable to enjoy sex. It isn't meant to exercise crippling gender-based authority and domination. Some may say that it disfigures, but others would challenge that view. At any rate, it doesn't cause the extreme (and ongoing) suffering that females endure with the above-mentioned "procedures."

    Yes, circumcision is a controversial practice, and it's doubtful that there will be a meeting of the minds any time soon. But putting male circumcision on the same level as foot binding or labial suturing/removal does not acknowledge the vast difference in intent or results, and it introduces an element of emotional manipulation that doesn't play fair.
  6. by   AirforceRN
    Quote from rn/writer
    Male circumcision is not done for the purpose of crushing the male spirit and rendering men unable to enjoy sex.
    Agreed...but why is it done? Nowadays I would suspect the main answer is "tradition" which, to me at least, isn't a good enough reason to undergo surgery...especially on a penis.
  7. by   2curlygirls
    I think the onus is on the ones who want it done to explain why it is done.


    There is definitely a cultural shift occurring with regards to circ. It will no longer be the norm with the cultural mixing that is occurring in this country. People in most of the developed world, aside from the US, do not practice routine infant circumcision.
  8. by   rn/writer
    Quote from 2curlygirls
    i think the onus is on the ones who want it done to explain why it is done.
    what onus? why do people of either persuasion have to answer to someone outside their own family circle and their own conscience?
  9. by   ElvishDNP
    So, if I want to take a needle and pinprick my baby girl's labia, is anyone going to come to my defense at the trial that is going to inevitably ensue ? Even if it's a cultural norm? Even if my intent is only to welcome my daughter into my cultural community?

    I have a friend who is a surgeon in Finland. The operation of choice in Finland for phimosis is preputiotomy. Most of the time it works. They work to preserve the foreskin, because they really believe that it has a purpose. My German friend asked me, "Why in the hell do you all do that?" My answer: Ummmm....
  10. by   Smurfette752
    The foreskin DOES have a purpose, protection, lubrication, sensation.....and the reason most people have a real problem with routine infant circ is because it is a human rights issue.....that baby boy has a RIGHT to decide what happens to HIS body....we're talking autonomy, informed consent, etc....I have seen some pretty horrible things that have happened as a RESULT of the circumcision.....and I also know men who have had ongoing/lifelong problems as a RESULT of the circ....it just sickens me that we continue to do this to our children....I will never understand why, especially when the information shows that it is unnecessary, and unwarranted....people do it because it is aesthetically pleasing...it is a cosmetic surgery plain and simple...it has little to no actual medical benefits.
  11. by   BroadwayRN
    Excellent Posts RN/Writer! I agree it should be a private family decision whatever they decide.

    Quote from hypocaffeinemia
    I could retype your entire post substituting foot binding or labial removal/suturing and it'd be as true for those in such cultures.
    This line of logic is incredibly silly and could be used to justify...damn near anything. Sorry couldn't resist the temptation to fit that line in here since it is appropriate. Touche'
  12. by   BroadwayRN
    Quote from Smurfette752
    the reason most people have a real problem with routine infant circ is because it is a human rights issue.....that baby boy has a RIGHT to decide what happens to HIS body.....
    So are we not to vaccinate our children because they have the RIGHT to decide what happens with THEIR bodies? I see that as no different. I have seen tragic things happen as a result of children being vaccinated. Just as tragic things can happen from not being vaccinated. Boys who are not cir'd are at a higher risk for STD's, infection, etc...yeah if they clean themselves there's not much of a risk, but who's going to go around checking their son to make sure they cleaned under their foreskin? Not I.

    The US is the only country in the world that generally accepts circumcision as a medically necessary practice. Why that is I have no clue? In England they do make a slit in the foreskin at birth so that the foreskin will retract more easily and removes the chance of phimosis.
  13. by   Smurfette752
    Quote from BroadwayRN
    So are we not to vaccinate our children because they have the RIGHT to decide what happens with THEIR bodies? I see that as no different. I have seen tragic things happen as a result of children being vaccinated. Just as tragic things can happen from not being vaccinated. Boys who are not cir'd are at a higher risk for STD's, infection, etc...yeah if they clean themselves there's not much of a risk, but who's going to go around checking their son to make sure they cleaned under their foreskin? Not I.

    The US is the only country in the world that generally accepts circumcision as a medically necessary practice. Why that is I have no clue? In England they do make a slit in the foreskin at birth so that the foreskin will retract more easily and removes the chance of phimosis.
    Vaccination and amputation are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even believe that people...especially nurses actually would say that "It is cleaner" AND ESPECIALLY "Uncirc'ed are at higher risk for STD's" that ISN'T true....that is unfounded and simply untrue, and is what is said to persuade people to circ.
    As far as the "checking" you son's penis....that is ridiculous!!! If you teach him properly...and it isn't hard to do...there will be no subsequent problems in the future.

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