Monday, September 20, 2010

Nip the Tip

So, a big decision each family needs to make when having kids is "If I have a boy, should I get him circumcised?". Even if you know you're having a girl, sometimes they make mistakes and this is something you should do your homework on before having your child. We are going to be surprised on the gender so need to do our homework.

Our main priorities (probably in order of importance) as we make decisions related to our child are:

1) The child's long-term health & well-being
2) Minimize the stress & pain inflicted on the baby
3) Take a natural approach

While this shouldn't be something to consider, you wouldn't want to child to be the 'odd ball' without a good reason. That being said, I was really surpised to learn there has recently been a big decline in United States with the number of circumcision's performed. Many European countries have a less than 20% rate.

"Just 32.5 percent in 2009 from 56 percent in 2006" - http://nyti.ms/CircumcisionRates


Another great resource with tons of information is Wikipedia (obviously, take it with a grain of salt and check the resources). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_circumcision

With regards to the health and well being of the child, all of my reading leads to believe that the impact of not having versus having a circumcision are fairly negligible. There is either contradictory evidence or the risk factor is very minimal and there are other, more effective means of control which do not require the procedure. Complications of the procedure did sound minimal as well though.

That leads us to the "hippie" viewpoint of remaining natural. There are lots of ethical questions about the child not having a choice, inflicting pain on the child for what appears to be trivial or ritual reasons, etc. The fact is though it's a part of their body and without a good reason to remove it, it seems that it should stay a part of their body. There are other parts of our bodies which have more sound scientific evidence supporting the lack of necessity for that part or the higher health risks which warrants removing the body part. A great example, though not the only, of this is the Tonsils (though even that has opposing viewpoints and evidence).

While this will ultimately boil down to a personal decision that my wife and I make, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic or what decision you made and why. This is a topic people shouldn't be bashful about discussing. There's a lot of you who's input I highly value and respect, and hopefully the responses from the rest of you will be amusing. =)

6 comments:

  1. Well based on your three points it sounds like leaving it "as is" would be a good choice for your family.

    We have obviously not had to make this decision having two girls, but had we given birth to a boy we would have gone ahead and done it. It's historically part of our religious beliefs, it seems "normal" to us, and I didn't worry to much about pain at birth. The baby is already not happy about leaving it's comfy womb so this seems like a good time to get it over with. However, I'm guessing we are just going to have to go with whatever we get with our adopted son. I don't think I'm up for doing that to anyone that isn't a newborn!

    P.S. So exciting to wait and see what your having! We found out with the first two, but I'd always planned on waiting to find out if we had a third.

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  2. I've gotten some comments on FB about this, and I'd like to add some thoughts about the "baby should be like daddy" line of thinking, which even doctors will repeat. To me, this doesn't seem like a good case at all (plenty of other good cases could be made). This isn't a drastic difference. That line of thinking means that children of different colors shouldn't be adopted, that if dad lost his pinky the baby should have theirs chopped off, or if dad had a tattoo on his junk that the baby needs one too. Now, all of those examples maybe seem extreme, but to me they help illustrate the absurdity of people propagating that reason as their deciding factor.

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  3. If female genital mutilation is wrong, then male genital mutilation is wrong too. It's as simple as that.

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  4. Good reasoning, family man!!!

    MANY people are now waking up to the horrors of male genital cutting.

    It´s painful for the child (and having such intense pain bombard the brain barely out of the womb AND in development, can be detrimental to the child´s neuronal well-being, you know); it´s completely unnecessary and non-therapeutic, and most importantly... it would violate HIS right to decide what HE wants for HIS body.

    As you have correctly researched, circumcision is at an all-time low in the USA. If your child grows up intact, and later on he chooses to get circumcised as an adult, he can always do it.
    But if he grows up circumcised, AND being part of the minority (remember, his sexual life will not begin for the next 17 or 18 years), and he wishes he wasn´t circumcised... well, what can you tell him THEN??... "I´m sorry, kid, but when you were born, the long-term decisions about your genitals were OURS to make, since your penis belonged to us".

    And then there are the sexual losses. America needs to realize that an intact penis simply feels much better for him and for his sexual partners. Or I should say, this is an incorrect way to say it because being intact is the normal thing. I should rather say, circumcised sex feels WORSE both for him and his partner (personal experience, yes).

    Your son will be intelligent, not stupid. Your son will not need amputation to help him with cleanliness and safe sex. Soap, water and condoms will help him get along smoothly with his normal, natural body.

    Contrary to what Tiffygator thinks... I would never do a circumcision to ANYONE, but ESPECIALLY not a newborn!!!... Newborn circumcision is such a horrible violation PRECISELY because it tortures the most innocent, right at the time when they are in distress because they have just barely left the womb. And of course, it´s the period when pain can be the most detrimental to them. Little babies simply do not deserve such pain that they WILL unconsciously remember for their whole lives.

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  5. Wow... I can only hope a miracle happens and Tiffany is denied the baby, regardless of gender if she's going to be soooo incredible ignorant, cruel and hypocritical by choice.

    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

    http://www.examiner.com/family-health-in-washington-dc/new-study-estimates-neonatal-circumcision-death-rate-higher-than-suffocation-and-auto-accidents

    We're living in late-2010, people NOT 1980. I truly wish the most personal misery for her.

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  6. Well, that sure is one way to get people to not want to be involved in a healthy discussion...

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