Circumcision: Why I Choose to Circumcise My Sons 11

All three of my sons were circumcised. If the baby I’m currently pregnant with is male, he, too, will be. I’ve received some flack over that. It seems anti-circumcision has become a big topic these days. What once was perfectly acceptable will now get you called a mutilator by some. Personally, I’m not pro or against circumcision. I just chose to circumcise. I stand by my decision to have my kids circumcised. This is why.

Studies DO support it.

While lots of people may argue this one, there is a rather lengthy list of studies that support the medical benefits of circumcision. Those include a reduced risk of urinary infections, penile cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics confirm these findings even though they do not take a firm stance on whether or not parents should circumcise their sons. Please do not try to refute these reputable sources with biased sites.

It is easier to care for.

In my personal opinion, having cared for children who were and were not circumcised, circumcised infants are easier to clean down there. This one is strictly my opinion; of course, as few studies have been done on the subject, but I do feel, hygiene-wise, it’s a cleaner option. I’m sure many have a different view on the subject. If you’re trying to decide, maybe do some baby sitting and get some experience caring for both options.

They won’t feel different.

While circumcision rates have dropped according to the CDC in the last few years, and were only at 54.7% in 2010, the “norm” is still circumcision in my area. The drop is actually suggested to be a result of some states no longer covering circumcisions through public healthcare programs such as Medicaid. Honestly, no matter what sex those may be that are reading this article, what do you picture when you think of a penis? Whatever you saw, that’s probably the cultural norm for you. My husband is circumcised. All my kid’s cousins and friends are circumcised. I don’t want my kids to grow up and feel self-conscious sexually, because they look different. The tables may be opposite for you, but they aren’t for our family.

There aren’t sufficient risks.

The above is not outweighed by the nearly non-existent risks of circumcision. Naturally, the fact that there isn’t a reason not to, does weigh in on my decision to do so. There are just as many minor complications that can arise in an uncircumcised newborn as a circumcised one.

Again, I believe that circumcision is a personal-choice issue for parents where there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong decision. Some would argue the decision should be the child’s, but how many decisions do you make a day for your child that are irreversible? Thousands if not more? The food they eat, the things they learn, the environment they live in, the medical care they receive — that is your job. You are a parent and you make decisions that affect your child’s health and life every single day; to circumcise or not, is just another one of those decisions. Please stop trying to make me feel bad for my decision for my children, as I’ve never looked down on yours.

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11 thoughts on “Circumcision: Why I Choose to Circumcise My Sons

  • iliterati

    Why is it that all the stories about people circumcising their babies seem to be from women and those opposed from men?
    I long for the day when this barbarous mutilation of male babies is banned in all but for the rare serious occasion of deformity or extreme need.

    • unwirklich admin

      Actually, I ultimately left the decision to my husband, who has a penis, and he too wanted to circumcise. It seems a misconception that every circumcised man on the planet laments his parents choice for his health, choice being the key word. Personally, I’d prefer the government not ban any of our choices. Those are sort of essential to free will.

      • iliterati

        Why would a father want to circumcise his son? So that their penises are going to look alike? When would they compare? To make the son’s penis more appealing to women? Imagine the outcry if women’s bodies were mutilated to please men! They stopped binding feet in China, didn’t they.
        “Free will” is no argument – that could apply to letting parents mutilate their daughter’s vagina. Would that be okay?
        It’s worrying that there are still parents who think that there is something wrong with what nature has provided. I’m glad that you think that severing a part of your son’s penis is fine because they won’t remember the pain nor are their long-term health risks, but the same could be said of removing a toe.

        • unwirklich admin

          Actually, there are proven medical advantages to circumcision, so better analogies of parental choice in regards to circumcision would be the choice to breastfeed, the choice the vaccinate, the choice to offer healthy foods and exercise. These are all things that a parent can choose not to do, that while not 100% necessary offer advantages to the child. Female circumcision, or as you put it vaginal mutilation, has no known medical purpose, so this is not a valid comparison.

          It’s worrying that there are still parents who feel their parenting decisions should be forced on others via law, when they can’t be bothered to properly research their positions and instead jump to silly conclusions. Nature provided polio too, is there nothing wrong with that?

        • Cara

          When we were making the choice for my son, the intact men in my family urged me to circumcise. Most of them had never had an infection, but had seen friends have them, and had enough experience with a foreskin and pulling it back to leave it back for a while to see what circumcision would feel like that they believed most of the men who think there’s a big effect to sex are not believable. My uncle saw most of his friends enter the Army intact and choose circumcision, and said they never complained. The elderly individuals in the family and those who had worked in hospitals talked about the humiliation of having to wait while they carefully cleaned every bit.

          None of these intact men ever had the surgery to be circumcised, mostly because of fear of pain and not having the time to recover (gee, want to take a 2 week vacation, or 2 weeks healing time? Hard choice.) All of them chose to circumcise their boys and urged strongly for circumcision.

  • Ash

    My statistics come from the countries that don’t circumcise, as in the other 80% of the world. You’re welcome to look up information from places outside of your Little world. I recommend starting with looking up an article called “when bad science kills” and reading not only it but all the sources cited on it.

    • unwirklich admin

      Yes, an article from a blog called “Intact American” is certainly unbiased. His sources (his blogx3, his Facebook, 2 other anti-circumcision blogs) are also so solid. I am so glad I read that. Let me just throw these neutral government sources based on cited research right out the window.

      Less sarcastic, what country exactly has a death rate of 1/11,000? I looked, and it was rare to see a rate published in any country, anywhere. I was able to find two non-US mentions of even complication rate.

      A worldwide case study of international studies by PubMed which found:
      “The median frequency of any adverse event was 1.5% (range 0-16%), and median frequency of any serious adverse event was 0% (range 0-2%).” Death was not mentioned. I assume that would be seriously adverse.

      Canadian Paediatric Society:
      “The rates of complications reported in several large case series are low, from 0.2% to 0.6% ” They simply risk death as rare.

      You can find incidences of death as a result of circumcision, but there are so few you can actually list them, on an individual basis, being 1 in 3 men in the world (which is by the way more than 20%) are circumcised, I’d say that places the risk pretty non-existent.

      Now, let’s talk a bit about my “little world.” When you’re looking to have a medical procedure done, do you look at complication and death records in say, Africa (assuming you do not live in Africa)? Nope. Chances are you look locally. Personally, I looked globally, nationally, then at my state, then my city, then my hospital, and finally at individual providers. So, yes, being I live in America, the death rate in America is relevant to me. Medical capabilities and facilities vary by country.

      I could care less if other parents don’t circumcise. It’s their choice just like it was mine and the facts, the actual documented ones, place very little risk to doing so and a few small benefits of doing so. Opinions aside, this topic lies in the no-right-or-wrong answer category, and those trying to convince others their opinion is fact would do better if they had some facts.

    • unwirklich admin

      You could check the linked sources which offer a summary of said studies from 2 highly respected sources (CDC, AAP), being linking the thousands of studies that have been done on circumcision even in the last 50 years would be pretty impractical. Maybe you could share one that disproves the statement and back your opinion which you apparently feel everyone should share by some form of evidence.

  • Ash

    If you found intact boys hard to clean chances are you were doing it wrong. Never retract a child’s foreskin, wipe the outside like you would a finger. And if a 1/11,000 risk of DEATH and 1/500 permanent botch rate isn’t an important enough risk to not have a part of someone’s body cut off without immediate need, you need your priorities checked.

    • unwirklich admin

      Your information is inaccurate, and that’s likely why it wouldn’t factor into a factual decision.

      I attempted to find your source for any statistic mentioned. The actual rate of death as a result of circumcision is NOT 1/11,000, it’s 1/500,000 or .000002% (AAFP) Another massive retroactive survey by the CDC found none, not one. There was one study done that suggested a rate of 9.01/100,000 (still a far cry from 1/11,000) and this study has been refuted by several others to be a huge overestimate. Either way, the risk of death is miniscule and most commonly a result of improper aftercare or a bad physician, two things parents can control.

      Permanent botch rate, I don’t even know what means, I assume you meant permanent complications or disfigurement or something. Rates of complication of any kind for circumcision are about .2%, that includes minor complications such as adhesions which also occur in uncircumcised boys.

      Nothing here suggests retracting a child’s foreskin. The cleanliness issue was listed as an opinion, you are entitled to yours.

      Actual reputable sources such as the CDC and AAP DO feel there are medical benefits to circumcision. You could think of choosing to do so the same as choosing to breastfeed or formula feed. It is a choice, and parents who attempt to shame others for that choice with inaccurate or often no facts whatsoever are the ones who should get their priorities checked.