Lucky Mom

Jun. 16, 2006

Male Circumcision

As I mentioned in a prior post, I try and keep updated on pregnancy and children’s health issues through various sources, one being AP: Health.

I read an article yesterday about an 8 year old boy’s father who is trying to fight in court against his ex-wife’s insistence of having their son circumcised.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

CHICAGO - Groups opposed to circumcision are watching the case of an 8-year-old suburban Chicago boy whose divorced parents are fighting in court over whether he should have the procedure.

The child's mother wants him circumcised to prevent recurring, painful inflammation she says he's experienced during the past year. But the father says the boy is healthy and circumcision, which removes the foreskin of the penis, is an unnecessary medical procedure that could cause him long-term physical and psychological harm.

The couple's 2003 divorce decree gave the father the right to offer input on medical decisions.

The case reflects a national debate over the medical necessity of circumcision. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics reversed its support for routine infant circumcision, citing questionable benefits and medical and anecdotal evidence that circumcised men have less penile sensitivity.

David Llewellyn, an Atlanta attorney who specializes in circumcision cases, is helping the father's attorneys without a fee. He called the surgery "a bizarre American custom."

Most U.S. newborn boys are circumcised before they leave the hospital. But a growing number of parents are opting against the surgery. The percentage of male babies circumcised has fallen from an estimated 90 percent in 1970 to about 60 percent today.

Obviously this is a hot topic of debate and has been for many years. Though I personally believe it is up to the parents to decide for religious or other reasons, I do have to offer my opinion and explain why.

When my husband and I found out we were having a boy, we immediately starting making decisions on various aspects of his well-being. As an American, I had not even thought of circumcision as an option. I just assumed it was done though I never thought about why.

My husband (who’s British) felt more than adamant about not circumcising our son. I didn’t have a strong position for or against, just thought it was routinely done for ……a reason I don’t know why….”because we’ve always done it in America”.

Once we talked about it I realized it didn’t make sense to do it. Almost the entire world doesn't do it.

We don’t hold strong religious beliefs regarding the Jewish custom and none of the other arguments for it were medically proven. Now, I can’t understand why anyone outside these beliefs would do it. It makes no sense to me!

Again, I respect others’ decisions but I don’t buy the ‘Our son needs to look like Daddy’ argument among some of the others I’ve heard. I highly doubt little Johnny inspects Daddy’s penis and becomes distraught seeing (if he even really noticed) a little more skin in that area.

I’m mean, really. Does Johnny have the same exact moles, hair, size of ears etc. as Daddy? Probably not.

5 Comments Posted (Add Yours)

1

Not to belittle your topic by any stretch at all, but kind of reminds me of when we cropped our dog's ears! What the hell was THAT all about??? 'Cropping' a child's penis is just as idiotic if not moreso!

2

I have two little boys and we circumsized them both without hesitation. I guess my belief (and my husbands) was other children can be mean and cruel growing up socially. The last thing I wanted to do was give my child a reason to be ostrisized in his school or social settings. This however, is our belief, I would never pass judgement anyone else. They have that right to choose. Just like Breast feeding versus bottle feeding. To each his own. I just wanted to do what I thought was "best" for my childs future upbringing and social exceptness (as determined by the US like you say.) I guess I am (my husband and family are just following like the sheep most Americans are!). I know...I know!!Sad but true. Maybe it will take more people like you Lucky Mom to change the "normal" in America and then people won't have to argue one way or the other. It will just be "ok" either way.

Yeah...speaking of the dog ear thing. What is up with that anyway?????

Good luck on the controversial subject you have now chosen. I still Love you no matter what your choice for your son was!

3

Cheryl - thanks for commenting.

Fortunately now, I think all boys will probably feel comfortable seeing each other regardless of what they look like as either choice is pretty standard. ie. 40% of American boys are not circumsized and 60% are.

4

Speaking of dogs, can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if someone suggested that male puppies be circumcised? I'm sure the Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals would have something to say about that!

5

Kristine,

You may want to check out the following sites:
www.greennest.com
www.checnet.org
www.lime.com

They have air purifiers, water filtration filters, chemical free cleaners and paint, and it's mostly focused on children's health.

I just purchased some stuff from Green Net.