The Circumcision Discussion - page 12

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   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from mvanz9999
    I think where your argument fails is that circumcision is amputation of the foreskin. It never, ever, ever, ever grows back (nor do the nerves). In addition, babies are not offered the choice. It's an irreversible procedure, and once it's's GONE for good.

    When you are old enough to understand the pros and cons, you can make a rational choice. Babies cannot.

    Shaving it's not the permanent removal of hair follicles. You can shave as much as you want, and then stop. You will still have hair. Nothing has been permanently removed.

    Why any sane, circ'd adult male would want his own son circ'd is beyond me. Even though I am circ'd, I would never, ever allow this on my own child.
    Agreed. My son (and future sons) will all be uncut, thank-you. Of course several folks in good 'ole KC commented that the girls might think my son's uncircumcised penis will look that is even relevant.

    "Oh gosh, I should make medical decisions about my son based off of what some girl in the future might think! He might be ostracised and BLAH BLAH BLAH!"


    But back to the original intention of the thread. Should circumcision be suggested as a means to combat HIV infection in Africa? I tried to suggest before that we need to know if it is effective (by eliminating confounding variables), how much it will cost, and if any other alternatives are more effective and/or cheaper. And if we give lifestyle education and people still have unprotected sex (this goes for the US as well), should we burden the cost of treating them? How much responsibility should the individuals burden and how much should we?
  2. by   RN mom of 2
    Quote from zashagalka
    so, you're opposed to women shaving their legs and armpit hair, too? i mean, if god didn't want you to have it, you wouldn't be born with the ability to grow it. . .

    besides, i would point out that the major reason that circumcision is as prevalent as it is: god decreed it. that might not be the major reason most americans turn their kids' 'dinkies' into convertibles today but, surely, god can't be opposed to an idea originally sanctioned by him.

    i'm sorry, but this is the kind of illogical thinking that really upsets me. it doesn't hurt, or cause you to pass out from shaving your legs! hair grows back, but a foreskin does not. why don't we just remove everyone's finger nails while we're at it? i mean, they just protect the fingers....right? no need for them really. this is why so many people still circ their boys. the foreskin is considered unimportant, unnecessary, disposable, not really worth anything. it makes me very sad. this is part of a male's body, their genitalia for goodness sake! it's just not right.

    timothy, i understand the points you are making in regards to the unbelievably tragic epidemic occurring in africa. i do. it's something that needs to be addressed. there is so much sickness in africa, and i don't just mean the diseases that are being passed around. there is poverty, government corruption, corruption amongst the people, promiscuity and rape occurring daily. it is a "sick" place and they desperately need help, because this illness runs deep.

    this is why i don't feel the circ solution is a good one. it attempts to fix the problem, but not the true "sickness" that is occurring there. it doesn't get at the root of the issues. i liken it to treating a diabetic surgically, but not using preventive measures to control the disease. let's just forget that they have diabetes, don't educate them, or treat the illness. instead, let's just keep cutting off parts of their body. this is how i view circumcision in africa.

    these people need to be educated on the affects of promiscuity, rape and why condoms are a must. the government must be challenged and encouraged to take care of their own people. not an easy task by any means, but one people like bono and bill gates (and others) are working on. other countries need to realize this is a global problem, and work to get pharmaceutical aid to these people. to me, the circ argument dismisses the emotional, moral and spiritual side of the problems africa faces, and in a way, makes those problems seem acceptable. they are not acceptable.

    the one area i can understand the argument for circ saving some lives, is that many children would have one, or both parents to care for them. the amount of child orphans in these places is beyond tragic and overwhelming. i still don't think it's the way to go, because i think the real solutions will be put on the back burner if something like this is put into practice.

    this is one of my favorite quotes on the subject of circumcision:

    "nature is a possessive mistress, and whatever mistakes she makes about the structure of the less essential organs such as the brain ans stomach, in which she is not much interested, you can be sure that she knows best of the genital organs." sir james spence

    if any one is interested there is an organization called nurses for the rights of the child.
  3. by   mandana
    Quote from Jelli_Belli
    3. The foreskin also helps prevent UTI in males by keeping the head of the urethra covered and away from bacteria covered foreign bodies (ie. pants and undershorts).
    Absolutely untrue. 95% of UTI's in males occur in uncircumsized males.

    Since we know that female partners of uncircumsized males are at a higher rate of contracting STD's, including HPV, it seems to be a fairly logical conclusion that HIV transmission could be increased by non-circ'ed males.

    Of course we all know behavior is the single biggest factor in transmission, but we also know how hard it is to change behavior. I have lived in Africa at various points in my life, and you can send all the antiretrovirals you'd like - a significant portion of the population will not take them for cultural reasons.
    You can teach safe sex all you want - a significant portion of the population will not listen (which is true around the globe). You can provide all the condoms you'd like - I'd wager that only a few would actually use them.
    If circumsizing babies would cut the transmission rate in Africa, then yes, that should be encouraged. Am I sure that it would? No, of course not, but it does stand to reason, given the information we currently have.

  4. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Part of the problems endemic to Africa are man made pure mismanagement. Agreed. But the problems of HIV only far exacerbate such problems. You can't put the cart before the horse here: fixing the 'problems' of society will not solve an epidemic whose chief disaster has been the wholesale destruction of society.

    If you cannot depend on either having a stable work force, or being part of one due to a rampant epidemic, then how do you propose providing any stability to the region. Imagine, if you will, 10% of your co-workers dying this year of a disease. Imagine that 25% of them have the disease and will not finish their careers. Tell, me, which occupation could survive that? What society could survive that? Which family could survive not knowing if their primary breadwinner will be dead in 2 yrs?

    Why invest in a fix if you'll just die anyway, long before you see any tangible results?

    This epidemic isn't some diabetic complication to a foot: it's a flesh eating bacteria. Deciding not to operate is a quick death sentence. Dire consequences require drastic efforts. I would say: before it's too late. Sadly, THAT was probably a few years ago.

  5. by   buddiage
    Glad to have a husband and I went around and around with this, because we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl.

    My 2 cents: if you can keep it clean, then leave it. I would wonder about being in a nursing home and how often that duty actually gets done, so there's a pro to it.
  6. by   RN mom of 2
    Quote from Focker
    Are you guys not aware that they use local anesthesia when they do a circumcision?
    Have you even seen a circ performed?

    I have, and this baby passed out from the pain with a local. The doctors are known for not using enough, or not waiting long enough for it take effect. Time is money, you know. I asked the nurses if this was a common practice and if other babies pass out, and they all said, yes.

    Frankly, until we can remember what it's like to be a newborn and experience the pain, it's really not fair for us to assume it's not unbelievably painful. From what I is. Personally, I think ALL parents should witness one before they decide to send their own child in. I can pretty much assure you the rates would drop.

    Pain free, or not, it still should not be our right to take a way a perfectly healthy part of a male's body.
  7. by   RN mom of 2
    Quote from mvanz9999
    Why any sane, circ'd adult male would want his own son circ'd is beyond me. Even though I am circ'd, I would never, ever allow this on my own child.
    Seriously, bless your heart!

    My hubby felt the same exact way. Once he heard about the baby passing out he wanted nothing to do with it.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Unofficial Anecdotal Poll of my 17 yr old son:

    "You're discussing THAT online? . . . Mine, specifically????"

    Followed (after a few faces of disgust) with a sheepish: "I don't care, I'm just glad I don't remember it."

    I'll take that as validation of BOTH my right as a parent to make an informed decision AND the timing of said decision.

  9. by   GardenDove
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    the idea that circumcision was begun to prevent masturbation is completely out of the loop..cleanliness was believe to easier and is probably the primary reason that this study showed the results that it did
    the longer the virus remained in contact with penis the more likely it would be to enter host body
    and i thinkthat men have a sexual drive regardless of foreskin or no
    i am not for or against circumcision but sometimes facts get mixed with passion
    You are incorrect. I happen to have an extensive collection of antique and vintage nursing books and medical advisor books from the 1860's to the 1940's. In books from the late 1800's there is always a chapter on the deleterious health effects from masturbation and other non-coital seminal emmissions. By the 1920's there was more of an understanding of germs, but still a strong moral imperative to prevent masturbation in young men. It's in books from the 20's where the practise of circumcision to prevent the habit from starting came into being. I will quote a passage from one such book below.

    Care and Feeding of Southern Babies Copyright 1920
    Owen R. Wilson M.D.

    Masturbation is common in children about the second year, especially girls. There is no way of breaking it except by watchfulness and tact. Jave an examination made to eliminate any source of irritation. A leather cuff around each leg near the knee connected by a wooden bar between them usually prevents by keeping the legs separated. In boys, circumcision will cure. Children should be taught from early infancy not to touch their genitals.

    This is just one example. I have another book from the 1920's somewhere with very similar advise. The idea was that circumcision eliminated the need for the mother to retract the boy's foreskin for hygiene, therefore reduced the stimulation and risk of him developing any "nasty habits"

    I have a large collection, these books are very interesting reading.:chuckle
  10. by   RN mom of 2
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Unofficial Anecdotal Poll of my 17 yr old son:

    "You're discussing THAT online? . . . Mine, specifically????"

    Followed (after a few faces of disgust) with a sheepish: "I don't care, I'm just glad I don't remember it."

    I'll take that as validation of BOTH my right as a parent to make an informed decision AND the timing of said decision.

    Honestly, one of the reasons men who have been circ'd continue to defend it is, because the reality of something being stolen from you at birth that was your God-given right is too painful to fully accept. It's like you wouldn't even want to "go there," and honestly, I don't blame you. Men who have needed a circ later in life, are devastated when they realize how the loss of foreskin takes away from their sexual pleasure. Many of them become severely depressed over it. They compare the intact penis to a Hummer, and the circ'd penis to a Yugo. It sounds funny, but truly it is not. Not remembering the procedure, is really not the issue.

    It's easier and less painful to perpetuate the myth of circ'ing than to face the reality of it. This is why so many fathers want their boys to look like them and male docs keep encouraging their patients to circ their boys. This runs very deep in the male psyche, no doubt. We are talking about their PENISES! Enough said.
  11. by   jjjoy
    Millions of men through the ages have survived being circumcised without any worse trauma than the rest of life throws at us. Does that mean we should continue to do it just because others before us did? No. In the US, I encourage the trend towards toward leaving baby boys uncut. In the case of the potential for lowering the spread of HIV in places where it's ravaging the population, circumcision seems a reasonable option to consider. A one time procedure (which can be made less painful with proper analgesia and which doesn't seem to detract from the quality of life as evidenced by many circ'd men) that can be widely administered in a population that could save many from suffering and dying from AIDS is I think worth considering.
  12. by   GardenDove
    My 4 adult sons have never regretted being uncircumsized. There are many uncircumcized men in the U.S. and they weren't the only ones in the locker room. Their father, my first husband, was circumcised and he was the one who was totally against it.

    My second husband was uncircumcised, he was European. I found him very attractive and sexy. He died 9 years ago, unfortunately. Apparently, uncircumcised men have more sensitivity as they age, I've read. Anyways, uncircumcised is very attactive.
  13. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from RN mom of 2
    Honestly, one of the reasons men who have been circ'd continue to defend it is, because the reality of something being stolen from you at birth that was your God-given right is too painful to fully accept.
    Don't take this the wrong way, but that is not only extremely 'touchy-feely' (no pun intended), it is an attitude that, as a woman, you could only speculate about. You (women generally) should know by adulthood that men don't think in such 'touchy-feely' ways.

    YOU want to consider it 'something stolen' because that completely supports your viewpoints: 1. It shouldn't be done, and 2. The only way to force the issue is to paint it in extreme terms. It's not enough to inform your own opinions on the matter, you have to challenge the opinions of other.

    I think this above quote is somewhat crass. It would be equally crass for me to suggest that the only reason you want it banned is so your children aren't subject to inconvenient comparisons that would inflict 'too much pain to accept' that their God-given right to be circ'd without memory of pain was stolen from them by their parents. Because, you know, being circ'd is a God given procedure. But, just like the above quote, that would be over the top hyperbole.

    I'm not trying to be controversial here. If you don't want your kids circ'd, then, don't do it. But, on an issue that is highly personal and highly debatable, it is very forward to demand of others that your morality on the issue is more important than theirs. This is especially true in that practically every unbiased resource in the nation has adopted a neutral stance on the issue.

    Reasonable people can disagree. I disagree with you. That DOESN'T make me 'barbaric'. That doesn't place me in need of therapy to examine my 'painful' past that is all my parent's fault. It doesn't mean I enjoy sex, or life, less. It doesn't mean I consider my manhood less, anymore then you would consider your womanhood less for having to conform to society's notion of shaved legs and pits. In all probability, YOU see shaving your legs and pits as a function that highlights your womanhood.

    I've said this in other debates: at issue here is not a pure right or wrong debate. That being the case, everybody could arrive at their own opinions, and that would be that. At issue is an attempt to enforce your morality on others. Once you go down this road, you cannot complain when somebody else's morality is imposed on you. And, once we become a nation where the highest moral fervor is the determining factor in the outcomes of the decisions we make, yours had better always be the highest moral fervor, in any debate. And believe me, just like marathon runners, there are ALWAYS people out there better then you (and me) at just about everything, including taking the moral highground in any debate.

    I'm not being argumentative or personal. You've made your case in absolute terms. I'm entitled to present mine without it being considered a provocation. And with that, I have to go pay the man his dues so that I in turn, can get paid. So, I'll have to defer my participation in this debate for awhile.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Feb 23, '07