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    Circumcision

    created by Erinelizabeth 284 days 22 hours 14 minutes ago

    Category: World

    Circumcision

    Hey Cnet,

    I recently was talking to my friend who just had a boy about circumcision. She didnt have a preference but her husband said it needed to be done not because of health reasons but because the child would be made fun of.

    What are your thoughts on circumcision? Would you circumcise your son if there were no health benefits?

    All the best!
    Erin

    Re: Circumcision

    Very interesting question Erin!

    I don't know much about circumcision, but I do find it a little odd that the father was so worried about his son being made fun of! I didn't realize it was such a big deal either way. As a woman, I do not have a preference, but I am curious to hear a guy's perspective on it. If there were no health benefits to circumcision then I would absolutely not get it done. I could not knowingly inflict pain on my child just so they could be more cosmetically appealing, I think that is horrible.

    -Abby

    Re: Circumcision

    Hey Erin!

    I'll preface by saying I'm not a doctor.. but from my understanding, it's typically done as a preventative measure against certain medical issues. In some areas of the world, it's actually encouraged in an attempt to combat HIV/AIDS. There are some hygienic considerations but nothing substantial. It's more of a religious or cultural thing and I can see why your friend would say that. Ultimately, I don't care either way, not something I have to.. interact..with? But as a kid and teenager, boys can be weird about showing their extremities anyway, so if something appears different (and most young boys wouldn't understand why) then it can be used as a weapon. Children are cruel. It's harder to do later in life and there's little to no pain as it's pretty routine.

    -Cory

    Re: Circumcision

    Hello,

    I have two sons and both were circumcised not for any religious reasons. I actually was in the room and watched both circumcisions. They no longer perform it at the hospital, but at the pediatrician's office. It only took about five minutes to complete. My oldest son cried a bit after while he was laying on the table but not during the actual procedure. As soon as I got him dressed and picked him up, he stopped crying. My youngest just whimpered a bit but no tears. They both cried far more getting shots than getting circumcised, surprisingly.

    Re: Circumcision

    Hey Erinelizabeth,

    I don't have any children right now but when I do they will be getting circumcised. We do circumcisions because of religious reasons. We actually have a party to do a circumcision. It's something to be proud of and that a boy is becoming a man lol That is what we tell the guy so he will agree to have the circumcision done. But as for your friend I guess that he was made fun of as a boy?? maybe that is why he wants it to get it done. I think that he didn't have a positive image about himself and kids made fun of him as e was growing up. That is what I am assuming but then again I could be wrong. If not for health reasons than you shouldn't try to change something just because of what others think. It's really healthy for a boy to get circumcised so he doesn't get any infections later on and it does make peeing easier. I guess your friend needs to worry more about the health part of the procedure rather than what others might say and do later on. And this can be done later on in life too. It doesn't have to be right after birth. The only reason they do it after they are born it's so they will heal faster and won't be as painful as if they are grown.

    Thanks for reading!
    Have a wonderful day!
    ~NjBr

    Re: Circumcision

    Hey Erin!

    This is a very interesting forum. I personally don't have any children yet but I think I would let my husband (or baby daddy considering I'm not married) decide because I don't know what it's like down there or what it feels like to even have a penis! LOL

    On one hand if the parents make the decision too circumcise their child then he wont remember it and wont have to do it later when hes older if he makes that decision. I am sure its really painful, at least when your a baby you wont remember it when you get older so its like it never happened. On the other hand what if the parents decide to have their baby circumcised and when the boy gets older he realizes that he didn't want it and now his parents made a decision for him that he didn't want.

    very tough choice!

    Re: Circumcision Pt. 1

    So there are a lot of parts of the circumcision discourse.

    I think the most important is an issue of bodily autonomy and consent. Most people (and it's not just men and boyssss who have penises btw....) who are circumcised have the procedure done as infants who are not able to give consent to having the procedure done which, therefore, violates their bodily autonomy. As with any body modification, it should be up to the person if and how it happens and infants are not able to understand circumcision or act as consenting subjects. The procedure clearly hurts the child. This is especially problematic if the reasons for the circumcision are not valid or sound (more on this below). From this framework of consent, non-consensual circumcision is a moral wrong.

    Religious reasons are one of the bases of circumcision. I cannot speak to religious reasons as someone who isn't Jewish or Muslim and who hasn't read on the logics and meaning behind religious circumcision. I'm sure an all-loving God still loves you whether or not you are circumcised. But, as I'm noticing in NjBr's post above, circumcision seems to be a gender-rearing process which may not allow much room for trans and gender non-binary people. The logics and meaning of gender are also tied up in this so I can say that the gender binary is violent and problematic but I would be stepping out of my lane to be judging the gender logics of Islam and Judaism.

    In terms of non-religious circumcision, especially when in the context of the United States, circumcision has an awful history. Non-religious circumcision really took off with the spreading of Victorian views on sex and sexuality. The sexuality of children was violently repressed. Children engaging in Onanism, or masturbation, were seen as stinting or perverting their sexual growth and development or even causing their own psychosis (which we know isn't true--masturbation is healthy and a valid expression of sexuality). Parents and doctors worked to stop kids from masturbating with many violent means like tying them down in their beds or literally burning their clitorises with an iron. Circumcision was another tactic. In the United States, John Harvey Kellogg--yes, the same guy behind Kellogg Corn Flakes--led a campaign of penis circumcision. The dominance and commonality of circumcision show how much this sex-negative history, ideology and Victorian hegemony remain today.

    Re: Circumcision Pt. 2

    Check out this segment of Adam Ruin’s Everything that follows this circumcision history in the USA.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCSWbTv3hng

    Most uncircumcised people do not have health problems. It just involves more cleaning while bathing by pulling back the foreskin so prescribed circumcision for disease prevention is generally unsound because the risk is so low. The foreskin is also rich with nerve endings making it a site of sexual pleasure so cutting it off denies this possibility.

    As someone who is uncircumcised, I couldn’t help but think my penis was weird or different. This was not because I knew my penis was different from other people who were circumcised but because talk about sex organs and sexuality was not had in my health other than “pull your foreskin back when you pee and to clean it.” This non-discourse around sex made me feel uncertain about how to feel about my penis. It’s just a funny organ and I didn’t know that my penis was fine.

    It was when I was older and found out that most people with penises were circumcised that I felt different and wanted to get circumcised, not because I had good reason but because it was the dominant way to have a penis. I mean, even scribblings of penises are default circumcised. There just isn’t much room in our ideas of penises for uncircumcised penises to the point that they are seen as dirty and abnormal. Stop the circumcised penis supremacy! The problem, of course isn’t just circumcised penises themselves but the problematic structures that uphold their dominance and give them meaning.

    tl;dr: if you don’t have meaningful, sound and valid reasons to circumcise a child, don’t do it. Learn about the politics and history of circumcision and teach your child to so that they can make an informed decision if they ever consider getting circumcised when they can consent to it.

    Re: Circumcision

    Hey Guys!

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and feedback. Its great when we can get a forum going that sheds light on the issue; especially one that I didnt know much about. Eduardh0e a shout out to you for sharing your personal story.

    Re: Circumcision

    Who's going to be making fun of your kid about his penis?

    Seriously, if your son ends up in a situation where all of his peers have gotten together and decided to judge him and bully because he has an intact prepuce then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong and it has nothing to do with circumcision.

    Re: Circumcision

    I agree with almost everything eduardh0e said, particularly the issue of autonomy and consent. I also don't understand how so many people can feel so strongly about modifying someone else's body without good factual reasons.

    I understand religious reasons. But people who say male infants should be circumcised for their health, to be accepted, or because everyone always does it? Those are horrible reasons. Why are we cutting off the tip of someone else's penis without evidence-based research?

    Several years ago, I got into a debate with my girlfriend about circumcision. I decided I didn't want to form an opinion from our limited experience, so I went to the medical library.

    In fact, I did find many research articles that indicated that circumcision provided a small percentage of protection against HIV for sexually active males that did not use barrier protection. However, the majority of the research was conducted in AFRICA, not America. My time as a nurse in Madagascar and Benin demonstrated my suspicion that sex education there is virtually non-existent. So why are we in America continually saying that circumcision makes your chance of contracting HIV lower? Condoms, safe sex, etc. makes the risk exponentially lower... Cutting off the foreskin isn't even a dependable method of prevention.

    (Side note: Have you ever seen a botched circumcision? I have, and it's very sad, especially to know the parents did it so their kid would be "normal")

    I also don't understand why people say uncircumcised penises are hard to clean. I have a vagina with many folds and crevices (as all vaginas do), and I've never found it challenging to keep clean. I think any man would figure it out.

    My experience with uncircumcised penises has only been positive. It's true, the foreskin has several purposes: it keeps the head of the penis softer and protected; it has lots of nerve endings; and it makes certain sexual acts a lot more enjoyable for both partners.

    To conclude, I would never circumcise my sons unless my religion required it. I find circumcision to be a major body modification that just doesn't have good evidence to make it worth it.

    Re: Circumcision

    I find it very interesting that the father would say that it needed to be done to prevent bullying in addition to health benefits. Then again, I'm female, and I've never heard about a boy being bullied for having a foreskin or not. If anything, in media and stuff like that, men will tease each other about being "too small" or having "a broken rod" that can't please their significant other. My mother once told me that she sees me having a son, but she, as well as other women I know, say that circumcision is a must. I just don't think I want to go through with something like that, especially because you hear these stories of the procedure going wrong (they cut off too much or too little, or in severe cases, the whole thing ends up being cut off!). My mother says that it's cleaner for boys to have, but I think that you can still clean up a baby boy and keep it that way as long as you're practicing proper bathing.

    Interesting forum!