Circumcision the old standby or is it?!

Let me start this article off by saying that my son is not circumcised and to this day I am still very secure in my husband and I’s decision.

This is somewhat of a very heated subject that is frequently discussed and much like breast-feeding/formula feeding, cloth or disposable diapers their will forever be many people with many opinions and a lot of those people think that their opinion is fact. I am not here to tell you ultimately what you should or shouldn’t do because that is not my place. I am however here to implore you to really research the pros and cons of circumcision and educate yourself on the subject so that whichever route you decide to take it will be an educated decision not just one based on the “norm”.

There are many reasons that me and my husband decided against circumcising our son and it was not an easy process of deciding which route to take. Ultimately we researched from the time we discovered I was carrying a boy until even after he was first-born at the hospital. There are numerous reasons dating back to the ancient Egyptians as to why circumcision was carried out many of them have not been medically proven just merely suggested.

Reasons for circumcision

  • religious sacrifice; as a right of passage marking a boy’s entrance into adulthood
  • a means of increasing a man’s attractiveness to women
  • a male counterpart to menstruation
  • a means of marking those of higher social status
  • a means of discouraging masturbation
  • an aid to hygiene where regular bathing was impractical
  • to ensure virility or fertility
  • as a means of enhancing sexual pleasure
  • as a means of removing “excess” pleasure
  • as a means of humiliating enemies and slaves by symbolic castration
  • not supported/not proven – to lower the contraction of STDS and HIV

Possible complications from circumcision

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Reaction to drugs from anesthesia
  • Unsatisfactory cosmetic outcome (deformed)
  • Decreased penile sensation
  • Damage to the tip of the penis
  • Loss of use of penis
  • Loss of life by anesthesia
  • Nerve damage to head of penis and possibly shaft
  • Infertility

When I reviewed the pros and cons it was quite clear to me that I was not willing to risk all the possible complications that could come into play just to “do what everyone does” when they have a baby boy. I also discussed the procedure with the staff at the hospital I was delivering along with my pediatrician my OB GYN and other mothers that I personally know that have little boys. My husband and I will teach my son how to clean his penis properly, me and his father will have the “sex” discussion when its appropriate and inform him about prophylactics and safe sex practices. My final thought on this subject is if god didn’t want him to have extra foreskin then he wouldn’t have been born with it. This procedure is more cosmetic than it is holistic and considering that my son was born 3 weeks early, I wasn’t willing to risk his life by forcing him into a cosmetic procedure that he didn’t need let alone had no way to give his input on.


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