Why We Didn’t Circumcise Our Son
RealDad and I didn’t find out in advance what RealBoy was, and at about 35 weeks we realized, “Oh wait, this baby might be a boy. Are we circumcising?” RealDad’s immediate reaction was “Yes, I think so.” Mine was “No effing way.”
RealDad’s pro-cutting arguments were pretty typical. He wanted his son to look like him and he didn’t want his son to be teased in future locker rooms or by future dates. That was really it.
I had only one reason for leaving RealBoy “in tact”: I don’t believe in unnecessary medical interventions, and circumcision is just that. It’s not that I consider it genital mutilation—-which seems to be a trendy argument against it—-just unnecessary. I don’t have a problem if other people want to circumcise their sons, but I couldn’t do it to mine. Avoiding unnecessary medical interventions is the foundation of my birthing, parenting, and personal philosophies, so that was reason enough to skip it. But still, I did some research to confirm it was as optional as I thought.
I found that the American Academy of Pediatrics stated in 1999 (and reaffirmed in 2005) that “Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.” Three additional tidbits of info sealed the deal:
A) The general consensus among experts is that circumcision is no longer thought to improve hygiene or general health
B) Studies are showing uncircumcised men may have a more satisfying sex life (so you can thank me later, RealBoy)
C) The CDC released statistics that show the rate of circumcision in the US is decreasing, so RealBoy isn’t going to be the only guy in the locker room who is in tact.
And of course I looked up pictures of the circumcision procedure. Yikes. That’s enough right there to dissuade just about anyone. I couldn’t imagine doing that to my son after seeing the pictures and envisioning him wailing and crying in pain.
Another influential factor for me was hearing several stories of botched circumcisions from other moms. One friend described her nephew’s circumcision as a “total hack-job.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the words “hack-job” and “circumcision” should be in the same sentence. In many of the stories I was hearing, the procedure had to be redone when the babies were older. Yeah, no. We’ll skip it then. Again, RealBoy can thank me later.
The bottom line was this: RealDad’s reasons were based on personal preference, which we agreed didn’t warrant genital surgery. Because RealDad didn’t have a super strong opinion about it, and I did, I won. The real winner is RealBoy, of course.
If you want additional compelling and thorough info, check out Ask Dr Sears: Whether or Not to Circumcise.
PS – RealBoy, I apologize now if this TMI post comes back to haunt you when you’re running for president in the future.