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To Circumcise or Not To Circumcise?

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With a handful of my friends having children, I find myself revisiting the debate about whether to circumcise.

After years of waffling, I think I’ve finally settled my position on this issue.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that doctors with knives should not, well, go out on a limb.

A quick disclaimer: I’m not addressing circumcision performed for religious or cultural reasons.

So assuming it bears no spiritual meaning, then why do it?

The procedure isn’t medically necessary, much less recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that the medical benefits of circumcision “aren’t compelling enough to warrant the AAP to recommend routine newborn circumcision.” While circumcision may have some potential minor medical benefits, the procedure also has significant complication rates of infection, hemorrhage and even death.

The hilarious history of circumcision in America speaks for itself. Non-religious infant circumcision didn’t become routine in the United States until the late 19th century. The procedure became popular only because it was thought to control masturbation, which everyone considered to be a sinful act that engendered illnesses ranging from blindness to epilepsy to death. By restricting movement of the penile shaft, circumcision was thought to reduce the propensity for males to shake hands with their governor. (Source: CIRP.)

A flip side of this argument is that those with circumcised penises experience a loss of sexual sensation. (Of course, a loss of stimulation sounds like it could be a potential benefit, but I won’t comment any further.)

Another oft-cited reason for male circumcision relates to cleanliness. But the purported risk of dirty uncircumcised penises was announced at a time when we didn’t have all the modern cleaning tools that most families now have at their disposal: Biore Foreskin Wash, Smegma Oil of Olay, etc.

So the only reasonable remaining consideration is an aesthetic one. Since most men in the United States are circumcised, there is the possibility that uncircumcised males will feel embarrassed because theirs are ‘different.’ But why conform if everyone else’s appendage looks like a cross between Darth Vader and Dick Cheney?

Quite frankly, the only person who should ever see a man’s reproductive organ is his lawfully-married wife during pro-creational activities, so that’s a stupid factor to ponder.

Plus, from a global perspective, uncircumcised penises are the norm as the overwhelming majority of babies are not circumcised. Indeed, 82% of the world’s living men are intact.

In fact, according to this doctor, the United States is now the only country in the world routinely circumcising babies for non-religious reasons. Yes, we are the only member of the United Nations that routinely snips our members. [Insert “Coalition of the Willing” joke here.]

I’m sure you can read more about these facts from the must-read book that should be on every nightstand: The Joy of Uncircumcising.

Besides, it seems silly to talk about aesthetics when debating genital mutilation. I find big toes to be aesthetically displeasing, but I don’t advocate whacking them off with a machete.

So in sum, the United States is the only country that routinely continues the practice of performing medically-unnecessary male genital mutilation, which was only popularized as a way of controlling the epidemic problem of masturbation.

As much as I consider myself an American patriot, I’m going to have side with the rest of the world on this one.

So I’ve reached my answer: it doesn’t make sense to circumcise.

My decision is final.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go to my doctor and ask to get uncircumcised.

* * *

While you ponder how serious I am in taking this stance, I feel compelled to note that I am 100% serious about being against female genital mutilation, which continues to be performed worldwide at the horrifying rate of 6,000 girls a day.

You can read more about this at this Amnesty International page.

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About Junichi

  • Eric Olsen

    J, you’re a riot, very clever. We have gone round on this one a few times. I would say the comparison-to-others angle isn’t as minor as you present it – there is gym much of the way through school, there is the “why do we look different, Daddy” angle, and there is the “what do doctors do in real life when they aren’t spouting multiculti PC crap” angle. What they do, according to a study I found when discussing this on a previous thread (we have a 9-month old boy – this isn’t hypothetical) is that the vast majority of American doctors have their boys circumcised, even accounting for religious/cultural factors.

    What our doctor told us was that the more active a boy is, the more sweaty, stinky and grimy they get on a regular basis – for example playing any kind of organized sport, especially after puberty rears its mighty head – then the more the cleanliness factor comes into play, that it is significantly more effort to keep an uncircumcised penis appropriately clean than circumcised.

    I vote snipped all the way – the only downside is the pain to the newborn, which is part of all the bewildering new sensory input as far as I can tell and heals in about a week. The little dude won’t hold it against you, swear, but they may hold it against you to be called an aardvark their entire life.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Junichi, an enjoyable read and I agree with you 100%. We spoke with a pediatric urologist from Boston’s Children’s Hospital about this subject, and he assured us that teaching a young boy proper cleaning of the foreskin will solve all the usual problems that an uncircumcised boy or man might encounter.

    The basic jist is this: if you want to keep your foreskin and all the benefits that go with it, you’re just going to have to put up with cleaning yourself twice a day. It seems like a fair price to pay to keep the gazillion nerve endings intact.

    As for the “Daddy, why do I look different question,” my husband had a good answer: You look different because I chose not to have done to you what was done to me without my permission.

    The Boston doc also told us that a great bulk of his “business” is fixing bad circumcisions. Ow!

    In the end, it’s a personal decision for every family. In our family, we couldn’t see past the fact that it was an unnecessary surgery that would take away so much and give so little in return. So we will have to deal with my son’s questions as he gets older. Hopefully, he’ll understand why we chose what we chose.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    I’ve always assumed that the parts people come into the world with are there for a reason, and never have understood the bizarre practice of removing something that’s obviously supposed to be there. This seems to me a case where the supposed benefits (and I’m not sure I see any) are most certainly outweighed by the risk, however small it might be, of doing permanent damage.

  • Eric Olsen

    women (smile)

  • Eric Olsen

    actually, more specifically:

    mothers

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    Actually, Eric, I’m surprised that fathers aren’t more squeamish in regard to possibly injuring their offspring in this regard — safeguarding the family legacy, as it were ;-)

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    One too many uses of the word “regard” in that sentence, but I’m multitasking here…

  • Eric Olsen

    The possibility of injury is a tiny percentage, and there is a possibility of injury with literally every action in life. I don’t see that as significant.

    For me the deciding factors are: both doctors who delivered my sons – 16 years apart – when you cut through the PC doctors have been encouraged to spout, both recommended it and both said they had it done for their boys, and would have it done on any future male offspring of their own.

    They said the same things: no father/son/brother/cultural discrepancies, improved hygiene, purely subjective aesthetic concerns.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    The argument that circumcision is a good think because kids will look like their fathers doesn’t sit well with me. Nobody seemed to care about that when circumcision first became routine in the past 40 years. What did all those kids think when their penises looked different from their fathers’ and grandfathers’? How did they survive the shame?

    At least then you could honestly say it was done to keep them healthier. The belief was that it would cut down on the chance of penile cancer. That has been shown to be false, though. So now the reason is: I wanted your penis to look like my penis? Ick.

    when you cut through the PC doctors have been encouraged to spout,

    How is it PC to use medical research to draw a conclusion that circumcision offers no proven medical benefit and therefore does not need to be performed for medical reasons? If you had many years of research on any other routine medical procedure — that it was being done for no solid medical reason — wouldn’t you want to stop doing it? Shouldn’t the medical community want to stop doing it? in fact, if it was any other medical procedure, insurance companies would have stopped paying for it a long time ago. That’s what happened with women’s annual ob/gyn exams, for example: many insurance companies no longer pay for a urinalysis as part of the exam because medical research has shown it to not find problems often enough when woman is coming in just for a check-up and is otherwise asymptomatic. And when the insurance companies stop paying, the doctors stop performing the test. That’s a very inexpensive, non-invasive lab test, and it has been stopped for many women because it’s been shown to be unnecessary in the vast majority of cases.

    I personally could care less about what is or isn’t done in other countries, except for the fact that the men in those countries provide lots of data points. The research on the men in those countries and in the US has consistently shown that they suffer no long-term ill effects of having been left intact. All they have to do is wash themselves to stay healthy. Seems like a fair trade.

    My guess about the doctors who have their own kids circumcised is this: they’re simply uncomfortable with their kids looking different from them (if they’re men) or their fathers (if they’re women). That may be a valid point, but it’s not a medical point. In fact, *that’s* what sounds PC to me, getting your kid circumcised, even when you’re a doctor and know it’s not necessary, just so he looks like all the other kids in the locker room. I mean, how fixated on being like the other kids can we get in this country?

    To me, the lack of medical reasons for getting my son circumcised was the key. It’s unnecessary surgery and it takes something away. And when my husband starting reading about the issue when I was pregnant with our son, he suddenly felt like he had been mutilated, to quote him, and he wasn’t going to do that to his son if it wasn’t required.

    And if my son grows up and gives me shit about not having the procedure done because he looks different, I’ll first tell him he’s acting like a jerk, second tell him that he’s free to go have it done now, and third remind him that when he jerks off, it feels better for him than it does for his friends when they jerk off.

    I have to say, though, that the flacid intact penis does indeed look like an aardvark! But when it’s erect, it looks like an uncircumcised penis, and that’s all most women will care about.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    …remind him that when he jerks off, it feels better for him than it does for his friends when they jerk off.

    geezuz!!!! you wanna ruin him for life?!!

    that’s all a kid needs is to hear stuff like that from his mom.

    ;-)

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Good point!

    I’ll have my husband tell him that one.

    8-)

  • Eric Olsen

    re the social issue, check this out from a previous discussion – comment #2

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    lol! Red hot chili pepper!

    My 6-year-old daughter recently saw one of her male friends in the buff when they were getting changed to go swimming. She told me later that his penis looked different than my son’s. I told her that not everything looks the same on everyone.

    Discussion over — for that day. It may come up again. If it does, and it probably will, we’ll deal with it.

    Still better in my book than dealing with, “Why did you cut off my foreskin?”

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    According to statistics compiled by WebMD, in 1999 (which was the year that the American Academy of Pediatrics decided that the benefits of circumcision were not sufficient for them to recommend the procedure as routine), 65% of the male infants born in US hospitals were circumcised. So while little Johnny, left intact, might be a minority in the locker room, he more than likely won’t be the only kid in school with a foreskin. Pediatricians these days seem to recommend the procedure or not depending on their own personal preference.

    I love the chili pepper story :-)

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Pediatricians these days seem to recommend the procedure or not depending on their own personal preference.

    And I think that’s a bad idea. I don’t really think it’s appropriate for a pediatrician to tell parents what they did or would do with their own kids. I think they should lay out the pros and cons and let the parents decide without their influence. At that point, they’re selling their personal opinion as a parent and not as a doctor, but it carries the weight of the doctor’s opinion.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    I would agree with you entirely, bhw.

  • Eric Olsen

    The doctor didn’t offer his own personal opinion and experience until we expressly asked him to – he was definitely not trying to influence us one way or the other. When we said, as a parent what did you do and why, then he told us.

    And my point about the chili story is not to embarrass my poor sensitive nephew, but to point out that boys are sensitive to being seen as different in that regard.

    And I am also not trying to foist my opinion on anyone – let the aardvarks flourish – but I am also pretty sure no actual human ever asked “Why did you cut off my foreskin?”

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Well, my husband is wondering why his was cut off, although I doubt he’ll ever ask his reserved mid-western parents directly. [But, MAN, would I love to be a fly on the wall if he did! Just to watch them react to the word “foreskin”!] We might find that more kids start asking the question as more and more of their friends have been left intact — they’ll start realizing that they once looked different.

    I do understand the sensitive nature of being different “down there.” But honestly, kids are fucking mean little creatures sometimes, and they don’t need to see each other’s genitals to find something to mock or humiliate someone about. And puberty is the time they really zone in on each other, too. Girls deal with that crap all the time, since their developing breasts [or lack thereof] are there for the world to observe. At least for boys, they’re differences are hidden most of the time.

    I sincerely hope that my son doesn’t get teased when he’s older and changing for gym or a sport, because I obviously don’t want him to be hurt. But I do think that in the long run he’ll be happy with our decision, and come to appreciate that his difference is natural and was meant to be that way. And like I said, if he doesn’t, he can always opt for circumcision on his own.

    As far as the doctor waiting until you asked about what he did, I think that’s better than just offering it outright. But honestly, I still think he would have done better to just say that his personal decision was personal and not relevant to yours. I wouldn’t expect my ob/gyn to tell me what she decided to do about a certain procedure or treatment because that would obviously influence my choice. I’d expect her to just tell me what my options were, what the pros and cons were, and then let me decide.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    At least for boys, they’re differences are hidden most of the time.

    Oh jesus H. Make that “their” differences.

  • boomcrashbaby

    When we first started having to take showers in gym class (7th grade), the biggest concern about looking ‘different’ wasn’t if it was cut or not. It was those who were just beginning to go through puberty were extremely intimidated by those who were much more fully developed.

    I don’t understand the need for body modification for religious purposes, so I won’t touch that, but it’s my understanding that the primary reason most people get their boys circumsized is for hygiene. Which, again, I don’t understand. I think it might stem from the parents discomfort at having to talk to their boy about penile hygiene. It’s easier to cut it off than it is to explain about bacteria, foreskin, sensitivity, etc. Like I said, makes no sense, we don’t cut off kids ears so they don’t get a wax buildup, because we aren’t afraid of talking to kids about cleaning ears.

    That’s my opinion, no facts to back that up. Just tell the boys to clean out the inside or it will rot off. Trust me, they’ll clean it often. :-)

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    lol, Boom.

  • Eric Olsen

    I think the reality is actually the reverse: hygiene is the excuse, aesthetics the real underlying reason. We do all kinds of modifications for aesthetic purposes – hair (in many ways), nails, cosmetic surgery of all kinds – circumcision just happens to have a plausible medical excuse with the hygiene angle.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Well that could very well be true, Eric. It was my opinion, devoid of research. But given our puritan past, I find it odd that people were so concerned about how something looks, when they went all the way to hell and back to make sure nobody saw it, touched it, played with it, etc. It’s kind of odd that they would then be so concerned about how it looks. But people have done stranger things.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    and of course, we all want to know if women have a preference…

    (ok, maybe we don’t all care….i’m just bored as all get out this morning)

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Distorted Angel

    But given our puritan past, I find it odd that people were so concerned about how something looks, when they went all the way to hell and back to make sure nobody saw it, touched it, played with it, etc. It’s kind of odd that they would then be so concerned about how it looks. But people have done stranger things.

    Boom, you’re right. I don’t for a minute think it was done for appearances sake — it was done because of a puritanical mindset. If you leave a child intact, and you teach him proper hygiene, you are giving him explicit permission to touch himself; if you look at the time period in which the practice flourished in the US, it makes sense. Circumcision rates have been declining steadily in the US, the reason being that there is simply no medical reason to do it routinely. The fact that a child might not resemble his dad in that regard ought not to be, in my opinion, a factor. But then again, I’ve never been a teenaged boy. My sources tell me that kids these days see less of each other in the locker room than they did when I was a kid, but that might vary from region to region.

  • boomcrashbaby

    That’s odd that some guys want to look like their father ‘down there’. Is that really true? Circumsion aside, whenever I saw my dad naked, I felt sorry for him and marveled that that thing produced 4 of us. Do girls want their mom’s boobs too?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Do girls want their mom’s boobs too?

    I would love to have been able to borrow my mother’s C-cups for certain cleavage-centered dresses and blouses, that’s for sure. There are some styles us smaller women just can’t pull off.

  • http://pnuthouse.blogspot.com Junichi Semitsu

    So many comments! Who knew that my post on penis decorations would, um, stimulate so many people?

    I agree with bhw on the PC argument: I don’t understand how a doctor who chooses not to recommend medically unnecessary surgery is being politically correct. This isn’t PC, this is the Hippocratic oath to “above all, do no harm.”

    Also, without disclosing personal shortcomings here, let me just say that I would be excited if my nickname were the “aardvark.”

    Finally, the chili pepper story certainly brings new meaning to this poster.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    I should also add that I have never seen, nor do I care to see, my mother’s nekkid boobs. There are some things we should not have to have a visual of, thank you very much.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    and of course, we all want to know if women have a preference…

    I have a preference for an erect penis that carries no cooties.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    That’s odd that some guys want to look like their father ‘down there’. Is that really true?

    It seems more like the fathers want their sons to look like them, since they’re the ones making the decision based on who looks like whom.

  • Eric Olsen

    damn straight, woman

    Junichi, I need your mailing address (via email) so I can resolve the Lennon affair. Thanks!

  • The Theory

    I think a lot of it comes down to tradition. Sure, there was a point where religions reasons were nice (and still are, i guess) and where health issues certainly came into play. But now I think most of it is tradition. What father wants to say that his son was the first in his line to not be?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    What father wants to say that his son was the first in his line to not be?

    I guess my husband is that father. But I’m surprised that he’s in such a minority.

  • Iggy

    Oh please, what’s with all this “need to look like daddy” argument? that argument breaks down when applied to any other body part daddy is missing.

    Eric, just step back a minute and think what would happen if there was no such thing as circumcision, then some new religion started doing it… They’d all get thrown in jail and the government would take their kids away from them…. oh wait, America already does that to immigrants that circumcise girls!

    There’s actually some people that are pushing to have that law thrown out because it doesn’t also protect boys, just to make congress rewrite the law to ban circumcision for both sexes. I’d prefer to see something more on the lines of Swedish law, where you can only circumcise a consenting adult. If you want your boy to look like you there, you’d have to wait till he’s 18 and ask if he wants to chop off the end of his wang.

  • http://healthreports.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Reuters
    reported in “Circumcision may stop millions of HIV deaths: study” that

    Circumcising men routinely across Africa could prevent millions of deaths from AIDS, World Health Organization researchers and colleagues reported on Monday.

    They analyzed data from trials that showed men who had been circumcised had a significantly lower risk of infection with the AIDS virus, and calculated that if all men were circumcised over the next 10 years, some two million new infections and around 300,000 deaths could be avoided.

    Researchers believe circumcision helps cut infection risk because the foreskin is covered in cells the virus seems able to easily infect. The virus may also survive better in a warm, wet environment like that found beneath a foreskin.

    So if men were circumcised, fewer would become infected and thus could not infect their female partners.

  • John

    I was circumcised. I’ve never forgiven my parents. Don’t make the same mistake. All the stuff about looking like dad, etc. is just excuses so the fathers don’t feel bad.

  • http://caucazn.blogspot.com Iggy

    I was also circumcised as an infant, but I’ve come to forgive my parents by:

    1. confronting them about it, expressing my opinion that I would not have consented

    2. having a son and not circumcising him against their wishes

    The HIV news is blown out of proportion. Condoms are still better and condom distribution would be easier to implement in Africa than circumcision. Have you read the later news? Boys that have undergone traditional circumcision but have not had sex yet are more likely to have HIV in Africa because of using shared knives in circumcision ceremonies. So circumcision has been shown to be a source of HIV infection in Africa. Pushing for more circumcision will become a disaster.

  • zingzing

    dude. it makes your dick look bigger and you don’t have to clean out scmegma. or however you spell it. plus it didn’t hurt you one bit. you don’t remember a damn thing. get over yourselves.

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    so sez zingzing:

    “dude. it makes your dick look bigger and you don’t have to clean out scmegma. or however you spell it. plus it didn’t hurt you one bit. you don’t remember a damn thing. get over yourselves.”

    Jesus, man, you’re vulgar. Who the hell was promoting the idea of making you a writer, anyway?

    Oh, wait…

  • zingzing

    vulgarity does not diminish the points made.

    and i already have my column and having a column here does not “make” me a writer. i’ve been doing so for years and years. and years. and a couple more years.

    there are many things wrong in this world. circumcision isn’t a big thing. i have no bad memories associated with it. and the girlies like it the way it is, so i have no problem with it. it makes sex better, and it means i don’t have to pull back the skin on my dick to take a piss. fucking marvelous, i say.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    So circumcision makes you lazy? Is that it? Here, let’s cut all your intestines out and remove three quarters of your stomach too. Then you can live on pills and not bother going to the toilet at all! LOL

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    This is actually an issue that involves forgiving your parents? Confronting them over surgically removing an extraneous piece of skin when you were an infant, couldn’t even remember it, let alone have any sense of the deprivation of it?

    Jesus Christ almighty. Some people really have no lives if this is the kind of thing that they can make a big deal out of.

  • STM

    Zing wrote: “it makes sex better.”

    How the bloody hell would you know that, zing, never having had one to make the comparison.

    Fair dinkum ….

  • http://caucazn.blogspot.com Iggy

    Yes, this involves forgiving my parents. The doctor they used to cut me cut way too much skin, so erections were painful throughout puberty till I was told how to use stretching methods to grow more. I couldn’t remember being cut, but I can remember my skin splitting open from not having enough skin to cover my penis. It’s not extraneous skin. It’s obviously something I value more than you, and what would you do if your son told you had caused him a painful puberty by signing that consent form and he wished you hadn’t had him cut?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I’d tell him that I’m sorry that the doctor was an incompetent fuck-up who made him fall within the 0.6% complication statistic, but, considering that recent studies have shown that circumcision reduces HIV risk, and that time and again for decades studies have demonstrated that it reduces penile cancer risk, penile infection and inflammation, UTIs, and a number of other medical conditions, that I thought I had done the right thing then and still thought so now.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    By the way, what would YOU do if your son told you that you had caused him a painful death (as opposed to a painful puberty) because he was dying of penile cancer that he was 300% less likely to get if he’d been circumcised, but you refused to sign the consent form?

  • zingzing

    STM: “Zing wrote: “it makes sex better.”

    How the bloody hell would you know that, zing, never having had one to make the comparison.”

    meh, i dunno. good point. i’ve heard that it is better, and is one of the reasons for adult males getting a procedure done…

    your syntax is confusing. so, i’ll just assume you meant i’ve never had an uncircumcised penis whilst having a romp, which is true.

    there’s a lot of things that i assume to be true based on the testimony of others. like cancer hurts, i don’t want to stick that fork in that socket, horses kick, etc, etc. i’m not out to test them. it’s my unscientific approach to many of the questions of life.

  • JPS

    I wrote this several years ago. Out of curiosity, why are people suddenly making comments now?

  • STM

    “I wrote this several years ago. Out of curiosity, why are people suddenly making comments now?”

    Because men are obsessed with their knobs …

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    JPS: Cos circumcised people are insensitive? ;-)

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Beats me. It started showing up in the “Recent comments” section of the main page, and that was the first time I knew it even existed.

  • http://caucazn.blogspot.com Iggy

    “what would YOU do if your son told you that you had caused him a painful death (as opposed to a painful puberty) because he was dying of penile cancer that he was 300% less likely to get if he’d been circumcised, but you refused to sign the consent form?”

    I wouldn’t be around. Men’s life expectancy is shorter than the time it takes to get penile cancer, time that he could have a good life and get alot of good use out of his foreskin. In his 80 years with an intact penis, he would have long since buried me. That “300% less likely” doesn’t tell you that 1 in a million circumcised newborns get penile cancer instead of 3 in a million uncircumcised. You’re more likely to kill your son by circumcision complications than save him from penile cancer by cutting him at birth.

    And about HIV risk. Are you expecting your son to be having so much unprotected sex with HIV+ girls that you’d cut him now? that whopping %60 less likely to get HIV statistic also is a scare tactic. There were still plenty of circumcised men in the studies that got HIV. Enough for me to just tell me son “use a condom”.

    “I wrote this several years ago. Out of curiosity, why are people suddenly making comments now?”

    It shows up in blog gathering and blog searching sites, getting bumped to the top everytime someone posts a new comment. Has this site’s software changed?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    That “300% less likely” doesn’t tell you that 1 in a million circumcised newborns get penile cancer instead of 3 in a million uncircumcised.

    Actually it’s 1 in 100,000 just in the U.S., totaling both circumcised and uncircumcised men. But calculating for uncircumcised men alone, 1 in 600 will contract penile cancer.

    Look, Iggy, you and I are obviously not going to convince each other. We’ve had different experiences, and if I’d been through what you did as a teenager, I’d likely feel differently about this issue. Likewise, you’d probably feel differently if you hadn’t gone through what you did.

    The likelihood is that I will have my son circumcised, if and when he arrives. I will do it because I think it’s in his best medical interest for me to do so. That does not make me either a horrible, inhumane monster, nor an ignorant, unthinking slave to tradition–and I refuse to be branded as such.

  • http://TLCTugger.com Ron Low

    ^^ I refuse to be branded ^^

    You have choice. Not so for him, I guess.

    Since there are over 100,000 men so disgusted with how cut sex feels that they are willing to endure a multi-year restoration, I’d say at the very least since it’s HIS body it should be HIS decision.

    Cutting in infancy is the worst time since the skin must be torn and peeled from the glans (which is when a lot of damage happens). EVERY infant circ has unintended consequences since nobody knows how big the infant’s junk will grow to and therefore how much skin to amputate EVEN IF they were so thoughtful as to have a certain degree of mutilation in mind.

    ALL circumcisions remove about 16 square inches of adult mucosal sexual interface and over half the sensual nerve endings. 80% of the world is intact with no special health, hygiene, or social problems. Most of the 500,000 US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth. Circumcsion does not pevent AIDS.

  • http://caucazn.blogspot.com Iggy

    I got 1 in a million from reading that penis cancer hits 1 in 100,000 of men over 80, then estimating only 1 in 10 newborn boys make it to 80.

    I know you are probably going to cut your son no matter what I say, I wasn’t even able to convince my own brother not to cut my nephew. Just be ready if he confronts you as an adult saying he would prefer to be the other way. All you can do is say sorry, or have this same argument all over again with your own son instead of a stranger on the internet. If my son tells me as an adult he wants to be cut, I’ll tell him “whatever, it’s your penis, your choice, if you don’t like it, it’s your fault”.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Hey, all you can do as a parent or as a human being is what you think is right. You’ve presented your case, I’ve presented mine, and honestly the best you or I can hope for is that someone out there will take both cases very seriously and make up their own mind from there.

  • samantha matthes

    Michael– in case you ever check this again: twice as many men died (and were diagnosed) of breast cancer in the US last year than penile cancer. We’d be better off giving baby boys mastectomies than circumcisions. or how about giving baby girls mastectomies? Then we’re talking 40,000 lives saved per year.