The Circumcision Discussion - page 36

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   VivaLasViejas
    I have two sons, the elder of whom is a "crewneck" and the younger a "turtleneck". The older boy was circumcised because most baby boys were in those days, and I didn't know any better so I signed the consent and let the doctor do the deed.

    Thankfully, by the time I had my last one, I'd learned how circs were done, and decided to leave Ben the way God made him. Now, to my knowledge there have never been any feelings of inferiority on the part of either because of their differences---not in THAT department, anyway!---and the only time the question ever came up was when Ben was about three years old. He wanted to know why his brother's and father's penises looked alike while his "had a cover on it". I told him what the difference was, in simple terms, and he accepted just never was an issue.

    I don't look down on parents who decide to have their sons circumcised; it's an individual choice, and I know there are some good reasons for doing it. But there are good reasons NOT to as well, IMHO.
  2. by   labfreak
    religion was not a variable in these studies. Cleanliness was not a variable that I am aware of either. The study showed that uncircumcised men are more likely to contract and transmitt HIV. While anecdotal stories are interesting, I think that evidenced based practice is definitely the best route.
    In the study that was conducted they had I believe at least a thousand male participants.
    Also when something is visibly clean it does not necessarily mean that it
    is free of a virus, something that only an electron microscope can detect.
  3. by   mo-mo
    Quote from Balder
    I dont believe you can support that with scientific evidence. If so, please post for us links to 3 peer reviewed, published, scientific papers that support your statement.

    In regards to male circumcsion that is, this thread is clearly NOT advocating anytype of female circumscion and I fail to see how the two can be compared.

    Evidence based practice, right?
    In parts of Africa, girls are routinely circumcised, it's a Muslim practice. . All or most of the external genitalia is removed.
    If you think about it, probably these women have a slightly lower incidence of bladder infections and STDs: The labia, if proper hygiene isn't used, could harbor bacteria and viruses. Sans clitorus, a girl may not put her dirty hands in the area as often as a girl with an intact clit...

    Male and female circumcision are related because it's the same practice. Different sex and different motives, of course.

    I believe that Americans, in general, are misinformed about male circumcision. Although Jews have been performing this practice for thousands of years, nonJewish Americans have only been routinely circumcising boys for a few generations.

    What we didn't learn in 8th grade history class:
    During WWI, our boys were hip-deep in trenches frequently. They also spent alot of time in the many brothels in western Europe. This combination must have had some nasty results b/c the military started circ'ing our boys to keep em cleaner in those conditions. By the time the war ended, our docs were circ'ing our babies, as well. It was easier than doing it to full grown men, cuz they didn't have to worry about anesthesia, I suppose...

    When I was pregnant with a boy in 2000, I found this awesome article (can't think of the term for a paper that explores many different studies and summarizes a trend or a result, but that's what it was.) I was so excited! I finally was going to find out what science says is favorable for my child. (cuz, at the end of the day, thats what we all really want, right?) The paper compared many reputable studies, and guess what...It's a tie!

    He considered rates of infections and penile cancer and UTI's and STDs and botched surgeries and nonretracting foreskins, and more. He compared the pros with the cons and it's a wash. Sorry I can't remeber the title of the article, but it is completely unbiased and very informative.

    In the end, my husband and I didn't circumcise, but we definitely rode the fence on the issue.
  4. by   lvnmom2
    Quote from rock

    it"s barbaric and should be discontinued !
    i think it's absolutely useless. my son now almost 5 was not circumcised and hasnt had ant problems so far. knock on wood!
  5. by   GardenDove
    I'm glad to see so many non-circumcisers here. What's the current percentage in the U.S.?
  6. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from Arwen_U
    Now "looking like Daddy" is the very argument many people are using to justify circing boys now. Sometimes I wonder if it is not so much that kids will care what their dads look like but that dads will feel funny looking different than their kids. I'm not a man, so I don't know, and my DH and son are the same (intact). I just wonder sometimes.

    On a semi-related topic, as a woman, I don't know and don't care to know what my mom's stuff looks like. I don't think boys truly care what their dad's penises look like either. JMHO.
    Yeah...I never understood this argument. I feel strongly that this is actually the way you say. So the DAD looks like the son. Because for the life of me, I cannot ever recall seeing my Dad's stuff. Ever. Why would I need to, I have my own junk.
  7. by   crissrn27
    My children, ages 10 and 9, when asked just now if they wish I had left them intact, said uhhhh, yeahhhh. They didn't like the thought of having been cut, but they don't remember it either. I asked. I did it at the time because my husband really pushed for it. I wasn't a nurse at the time, but I still didn't want to circ them, because none of the peds at our hospital would use any kind of pain meds. I did with them but wouldn't if I ever had another boy. To be honest, I am now very anti-circ and they hear me talk about it all the time, might have influenced them!

    I work in the nursery now, at the same hospital that they were born at, and all but one still don't use any type of pain management, besides sweet-ease. They one doc uses EMLA. I can tell you that the number of circs I've seen "go bad" is alot higher than what I'm hearing here. Bleeding, pain, and big gaps in the foreskin after the circ I would say happens maybe 1 in 4 times at this hospital. Maybe our docs aren't that good at it?

    Anyway, one of my sons had his circ get infected, had to see a urologist at 6 days old and they did some barbaric things to him at that time like mashing it and I don't know what else, cause my eyes were closed at this point and the baby and I were crying. And the other son, the doc maybe took a little too much, cause when he gets an erection he says it hurts and is "too tight", they said really all we can do is let him strech it out. Anyway, something to think about.
    Last edit by crissrn27 on Oct 22, '07 : Reason: misspell
  8. by   mstigerlily
    I think all of us, as nurses, are aware of how to read medical studies. Anyway, no new research would ever effect my decision. With the exception of Africa, which has many other factors in play, other non-circumcising countries have a lower rate of hiv, not higher, plus men have had foreskins for tens of thousands of years. Circumcision has been confined to a select group (Jews) for the last 2000 years and another group (America and pockets of other countries) in the last 100 years - a pretty small sample size.

    Bottom line to me is: by virtue of their anatomy and being the insertive partner, females will always be more likely to pick up stds, utis and yeast infections. The risk for women during male to female transmission is higher than it is for uncircumcised men during female to male transmission. Why the need to protect males and not females? I think we need a procedure to help women avoid stds, not men. After all they are plagued with yeast infections, utis, bacterial vaginosis, simply by being female.

    Is there some sort of genital alteration I can get my daughters so their labia won't have all that smelly urine caught in it and those "ugly" folds of skin? Maybe trim it up and bit and kinda turn it inside out so everything dries out and rubs on their underwear all day long? So it's not so moist, smelly and disgusting in there? Those females who are turned off by the man's natural anatomy need to squat over a mirror sometime and take a good look. Is it pretty, neat, tidy and clean looking? Not really, yet men like us just the way we are.

    BTW I'm kidding! I'd never cut pieces off any of my children when they are born. Anymore than I'd have them tattooed or breast implants placed or their bones broken and reset so they could be taller. I like them just the way they are, the choice to change their natural state is up to them. I will support them if they wish to do so, I'll even pay for the surgery if I can. But I won't do it without their knowledge or permission.

    The oft quoted need to "tidy up the penis so it looks 'prettier' kind of gives me the creeps to be honest. I can't imagine feeling that way about my newborn son, like he needed some sort of trimming before he was presentable to his future girlfriends or worse - to me. Can you imagine a husband saying to his wife about their daughter, "Can we get that trimmed up? I don't like large labia and all those folds of skin. I hear that in Africa it reduces disease if they are neatly trimmed. Plus, I'm worried no man will ever want to have sex with her, especially oral sex. And girls in the locker room will laugh and point. You have such nice neat genitals, I want her to look just like you." Strangely, I'm sure that all of us agree that this would be completely unacceptable.

    Quote from labfreak
    The above link discusses a study that was done recently that shows a
    strong correlation between being uncircumsized and contracting HIV and other STDs. The intervention, circumcision, was was so effective at reducing transmission that the study was halted because it was considered
    unethical to not offer the intervention to the control group.
    Still convinced there is no medical basis for circumcision?
    Google the words hiv, circumcision and study and you can find
    other sources.

    Great topic!
    Last edit by mstigerlily on Mar 9, '07
  9. by   Rock
    Alternative to circumcison:
    There is a rare condition called phimosis, which does not allow the prepuce to retract.
    In this case when other modalities have been administered to no avail, a dorsal slit can be performed by making a longitudinal cut at the top of the prepuce to allow retraction of prepuce for cleanliness, and does not require a complete circumcison.
  10. by   BoomerRN
    I hated watching the babies be circumcised when I was a student nurse. They screamed and turned purple. By that time I had two sons and a daughter and the boys were circumcised. If I had known how painful it was for the them, I don't think I would have allowed it. On the other hand, my husband wasn't circumcised at birth and when he was 35 he HAD to have the surgury and he said it was very painful. Either way it's a traumatic event.
  11. by   sumoe
    All is not what it appears to be. Here are two more articles on circumcision and AIDS.

  12. by   lvnmom2
    Luckily my son was born after I had already witnessed the horifying event of circumcision , and im very proud that I didnt put my child through such misery, even if it the worst was just for a few minutes. My husband is circumcised and my son has never once asked why he looks dif than "daddy". :wink2:
  13. by   sumoe
    You are "proud" of cutting your son? Hmmm......