I am writing this to see what resources people might have on circumcision, mainly research supporting the decision not to cirucumcise. I know that the American Association of Pediatricians does not recommend routine circumcision, but I am specifically interested in any studies or research to support this.

I am due in just a couple weeks and don't know if I am having a boy or girl, but the question of circumcision came up yesterday at our home visit with our midwives, and I said NO and my husband surprised me by saying YES to circumcision. He's been so supportive with everything so far, and now all of the sudden he has done a 180 on me and is really putting his foot down on the circumcision thing. His reasons are hygeine and tradition, but mainly hygeine. He sent me this terrible article about all of these diseases that supposedly have a higher incidence in uncircumcised men (like UTI, HIV, Chlamydia, etc.). I tried to explain to him that both of those reasons are based on myth, but he just won't listen at all.

Check out this disgusting article that he sent me:
Circumcision is a simple surgical procedure that removes the foreskin ­ a sleeve of skin covering the tip of the penis. Parents have the legal right to authorize circumcision. In order to make an informed decision, they must carefully consider the benefits and risks.

Since the foreskin traps bacteria and other infectious agents, as well as accumulating malodorous smegma, its removal improves genital hygiene and reduces risk of diseases and other conditions over the lifetime for the boy and his future sexual partners.
History

Circumcision has been performed for thousands of years as part of the culture of indigenous people who live in hot environments such as in Australia, the Pacific Islands, equatorial countries, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. In Australia all newborn boys were once circumcised routinely. Circumcision then decreased in the mid-1970s, but is now rising again, in line with research. Over 60% of Australian men are circumcised.

Benefits of circumcision

* Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, so making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult. Phimosis also greatly increases the risk of penile cancer, and is the cause of foreskin and catheter problems in nursing homes.
* Reduces by 3-fold the risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. One in 10 uncircumcised men get inflammation of the head of the penis, which is covered by the foreskin. This rises to 1 in 3 if the uncircumcised man is diabetic. (Diabetic men also have other severe problems.) In contrast only 2% of circumcised men get this condition.
* Over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract infection. Whereas risk of this is only 1 in 500 for a circumcised boy; 1 in 50 uncircumcised male infants will get a urinary tract infection. This very painful condition is particularly dangerous in infancy, and in 40% of cases can lead to kidney inflammation and disease; sepsis and meningitis can also result.
* Over 20-fold decrease in risk of invasive penile cancer, which has a high fatality rate. One in 600 uncircumcised men get penile cancer, which often requires penile amputation.
* Uncircumcised men have 1.5 ­ 2 times the risk of prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 6 men.
* Reduces by approximately 3-fold the risk of getting HIV (AIDS), during sex with an infected woman. HIV enters via the vulnerable inner lining of the foreskin of a healthy penis, but can also infect via sores anywhere on the penis (caused for example by genital herpes). In countries such as Australia that have a low prevalence of HIV the risk of a heterosexual man being infected with HIV sexually is generally low. His risk, especially if uncircumcised, will be much greater if he engages in unsafe sex with people of countries in which HIV abounds.
* Circumcision also affords substantial protection against sexually transmitted infections such as papilloma (wart) virus, syphilis and chancroid.
* Circumcision reduces by up to 5 times the risk of the man's female partner being infected by chlamydia or getting cervical cancer (which is caused by human papilloma virus). The load of infectious bacteria and viruses that accumulate under the foreskin is delivered into the female genital tract during sex. Chlamydia has more than doubled over the past 5 years in Australia and can cause infertility (in both sexes), pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy.
* If not circumcised soon after birth, up to 10% will later require one anyway for medical reasons.
* Credible research shows that most women prefer the appearance of the circumcised penis. They also prefer it for sexual activity. Hygiene is one reason.
* There is no significant difference in sensitivity of a circumcised and uncircumcised penis.
* In general, sexual function is the same or better.


I still haven't found out where that came from, but it's just ridiculous. Then I started thinking about it more, comparing male anatomy to female, and our genitals as women are way more prone to harboring bacteria and disease than a little bit of foreskin--it's ridiculous! But if you practice general hygeine, and keep that area clean like most people do, it's all fine. We don't go around and circumcise women--so why do we do it with men who have way less skin down there??

The thought of doing this painful thing to our precious little baby sickens me. As I get closer to giving birth to this baby, all I can think about is protecting and keeping it safe from harm. Men can be so insensitive--how to I get him to see how I feel?

Any help that anyone could provide would be much appreciated. It's so upsetting to have to be having this discussion with my husband now, I really wish I would have sorted this out before I got pregnant. Pregancy hormones mixed with anger for him being so insensitive--not good!! I am really not willing to budge on this one, and I don't know what to do if I can't get him to budge either. I just want to enjoy this last part of pregnancy, not argue!

Thank you all.

Tags: Circumcision

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I am not sure what happen to my initial response. I think I must have clicked edit then it disappeared. Here is something else to help you with your hubby. Best wishes!

Twelve Common Misconceptions About Circumcision and the Intact Male.

MYTH 1: Circumcision protects boys from developing harmful medical problems.
TRUTH: NO medical society in the entire world, including the USA, recommends routine infant circumcision. Circumcision does NOT:

-prevent infections

-prevent or reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections

-prevent penile cancer

-prevent transmission of the AIDs virus

-prevent the transmission of STDs

There are absolutely no proven medical benefits to circumcising infant boys routinely. EVERY medical association in the entire world, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Medical Association (AMA), has made statements that routine infant circumcision provides proven medical benefits and is a non-therapeutic operation with known risks and guaranteed consequences. These risks and guaranteed consequences do not outweigh any potential benefits. Infant circumcision is purely cosmetic and has been falsely justified as having “medical benefits” thanks to a history of flawed studies performed by doctors who have tried to justify the tradition for over a century. In fact, circumcision has been fabled to protect against more illnesses than any other single surgical procedure; epilepsy, paralysis, seizure, polio, mental illness, cancer, you name it. View the last link, a video about the “medicalization” of circumcision, for more information about this. More recent studies have now proven that foreskin actually protects against UTI and other infections.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/1/t012000.asp

http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

http://www.nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4unKTMpBGA


MYTH 2: Having an intact boy means more work and extra cleaning to prevent infection.
TRUTH: It is actually easier to care for an intact boy. Only clean the exterior of an intact boy, a swish in the bath is sufficient. People are severely misinformed about the anatomy of foreskin. During the infant/childhood years the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis (glans) and the opening is only wide enough to allow for urine to pass through. This protects the developing penis from urine, feces, and other harmful pathogens. An intact boy should NEVER be retracted for cleaning or for any other reason. Premature retraction causes tearing, pain, and can result in many complications, including infection. The proper care for the intact penis is to LEAVE IT ALONE, only the exterior gets cleaned. Should poop get on the penis, all you do is wipe it like a finger. Throughout childhood the skin will slowly separate from the glans and the foreskin opening will widen. Self-cleaning excretions prevent the need for cleaning during that time. Through self-discovery a boy will learn to retract his own foreskin. After retraction is possible a boy can easily clean himself with a quick rinse in the same way that girl cleans her privates. It is a good rule of thumb to never let anyone touch your intact son’s penis. Many people, including care providers, will ignorantly try to retract the foreskin. Fact is, the US medical profession cut off so many foreskins in the past that the doctors rarely if ever saw an intact boy and have lost the base of knowledge of diagnosis and treatment. Now, they are operating in a vacuum of information or even worse, in an environment of false information. The only tool you need to care for an intact boy is a ruler to smack the hands of those curious people who attempt to retract his foreskin. :) Retraction happens at a different times for each boy. Some boys do not retract until puberty, this is perfectly normal.

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet4.html

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet6.html

http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/

http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/peron1/


MYTH 3: If I don’t circumcise my son he will be ridiculed in the locker room.
FACT: 85% of the world is intact. In the US the circumcision rate is 56% and falling, so almost half his peers will have foreskin. In general boys make it a point to not look at other boys’ penises. They are not interested in whether someone is intact or not and it is safe to say that most people will never even see your son’s penis. When intact boys learn that some baby boys have their foreskins cut from them at birth and that you protected them from being circumcised, they are thankful and find it shocking that anyone would do that to a baby. Their reaction is one of pity for circumcised boys. A friend’s intact son learned about circumcision when he was about 5 years old. His response was, “OUCH, why would anyone want to do that?!?” Lastly, children will always find something to poke fun at. With positive reinforcement from his parents that his body is normal, whole, and healthy, an intact boy will be able to keep a healthy perspective should he ever encounter a problem with his peers.

MYTH 4: If a father is circumcised then he must circumcise his son to “match”.
FACT: If this were the case then all amputees would have the limbs of their children removed at birth. Children are not carbon copies of their parents. A father should teach his son to appreciate and feel good about his own body. If a boy questions his father as to why his penis looks different, parents can respond with a simple, truthful, and age-appropriate explanation. Here is a good example for a young child:

“Long ago people used to think it was good for babies to cut part off. When I was a baby Grandma had it done to me because she did not know any better. Now we know it hurts babies a whole lot, so Mommy and I decided not to ever let anyone do that to you”.

After explaining to you protected him from being cut down there, he will be thankful! Truthfully, a little boy is much more likely to question why Daddy has hair down there, it is a much more obvious difference. Besides, you already have to explain why Mommy is different, don’t you?

http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/Like-Son.htm

http://www.circumstitions.com/Father.html


MYTH 5: The foreskin has virtually no functions so it doesn’t matter if it is cut off or not.
FACT: The foreskin is extremely functional. The skin that becomes the foreskin on men is the same skin that becomes the clitoral hood and the inner labia on women. and shares many of the same functions. Like female circumcision, male circumcision impairs the sexual function of its victims by removing erogenous tissue that is designed to enhance sexual pleasure. The foreskin includes the frenulum, the ridged band of nerves, and thousands of specialized nerve receptors that are an essential part of male genital anatomy. The foreskin itself is composed of completely different tissue than any other portion of the penis. The cells in tissue has been proven to provide both sensory an protective function. The male foreskin is designed to protect the glans of the penis throughout a man’s life, ensuring that the internal mucosal tissue remains moist and sensitive (much the same way that a woman’s clitoral hood protects the clitoris). In addition, the foreskin acts as a natural gliding mechanism to reduce chafing and dryness during intercourse. During an erection, the shaft of the penis becomes fifty percent (50%) longer. Where does the skin come from to cover that longer shaft? From the foreskin of course. And there is still some left to move loosely over the body of the penis, reducing friction during sexual intercourse, as nature intended. The total amount of tissue removed is the equivalent of 15 square inches on an adult male and contains over 20,000 nerve endings.

http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/lostlist/

http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

http://www.circumstitions.com/Functions.html

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/video/prepuce.html (video)


MYTH 6: Circumcision is a quick and relatively painless procedure with little to no risk.
FACT: Circumcision is a surgery that involves strapping a baby to a table straight limbed (this in itself is very traumatic), jamming a probe under the foreskin to tear it from the glans (remember it is fused during childhood), making a dorsal crush, cutting a slit down the foreskin, then slicing it away from the entire head of the penis, and then trimming the uneven surfaces. Male circumcision is actually longer and more involved than most forms of female circumcision. The entire head of the penis is left bloody and raw. There is a 20%-30% complication rate ranging from mild to severe. Complications of circumcision include: infection, excessive bleeding, removal of too much skin, need for corrective surgery, buried penis, adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis (narrowing of urinary opening), meatal scarring or ulceration, damage or loss of other areas of penis, and even death. However, the risks of this surgery should not be confused with the guaranteed consequences. EVERY circumcision results in the loss of a healthy and functioning foreskin, causing detrimental changes to sexual function and reduced sexual sensations.

There IS pain even if the infant receives anesthetic, although, anesthetic is used LESS than 20% of the time in the US. Most infants only receive a sugary pacifier! During circumcision, an infant will experience such incredible pain that he will scream, become stiff and rigid, and then eventually go into neuro-genic shock causing him to pass into what appears as a deep sleep. This is the body’s coping mechanism to handle the intense pain he is experiencing. It is said that due to the immature nerve receptors that the pain an infant feels is actually more intense than what an adult would feel. If you have ever spoken to a victim of female circumcision they will tell you that the pain is indescribable. Six months after an infant is circumcised the cortisol levels in the baby’s brain have still not returned to base level. Nurses that work in the nursery are told to tell parents that the baby either didn’t fuss much or that the baby slept through the procedure. Nurses are not allowed to return an infant to his parents until he has calmed if he did not pass into sleep due to the shock during the procedure. After awaking the infant will experience throbbing pain for weeks following the operation and sharp stinging pains during urination. New studies are now reporting that circumcision also interferes with breast feeding due to the trauma and even prevents some babies from ever establishing a breast feeding relationship.

http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/plastibell/

http://www.circumcision.org/response.htm

http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/

http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/nursing.pdf


MYTH 7: If I don’t circumcise my son, it may need to be done later in life. I’ve heard of some 5-10 year old boys having to be circumcised.
FACT: The only reasons to amputate the foreskin, or any other body part for that matter, would be in the case of frostbite, gangrene, malignancy, or serious trauma. This misconception is another that stems from an epidemic of US doctors that are not educated about the normal development of the intact penis. Doctors that do not know about the anatomy and development of the foreskin often prescribe circumcision for a multitude of incorrect “reasons”. For example if a 10 year old boy is not retractable a doctor might tell a parent that he needs to be circumcised. This is not true. In fact, only 50% of boys are retractable by age 10. Many boys do not become retractable until puberty. This is normal. In the rare event that a man is not retractable by adulthood, there is steroidal cream that can be applied which will allow the skin to stretch. Amputation is not necessary for this rare condition. Infection is another “reason” that doctors ignorantly prescribe circumcision. The foreskin is NO more likely to become infected than any other part of the body. In the rare chance that there is an infection, antibiotic ointments are sufficient. Parents that complain of repeated infection are almost always parents that are trying to retract their child’s foreskin for “cleaning”. As stated before, there is not reason to try to clean under a boy’s foreskin. Trying to “clean” under the foreskin is the equivalent to trying to wash out a girls vagina. It will ultimately cause a flora imbalance and result in infection. Only warm water should be used around a child’s genitalia; soaps and bubble baths can cause irritations. Also, doctors must do a culture by swabbing the exterior if infection is suspected to determine whether it is yeast or bacterial. If you use an antibiotic ointment on a yeast infection you will undoubtedly make the yeast infection worse. During the diaper-wearing years or after a round of oral antibiotics yeast infections can occur in both boys and girls. Yeast infection has nothing to do with the foreskin itself and is easily treated with an OTC monistate cream.

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet7.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/circumcision/protect-unc...

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/2008-03retractilefor...

http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/


MYTH 8: The medical industry has no interest in continuing circumcision.
FACT: Circumcision is a 400 billion dollar (per-year) business. Not only do hospitals and doctors profit from the 3,000 circumcisions that are performed each day, but that precious, nerve-rich foreskin actually being sold for use in skin grafts, medical testing and cosmetics. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul! In light of the fact that circumcision is classified as an unnecessary (non-therapeutic) surgery, insurance companies and medicaid in 16 states are now refusing to pay for it. Finally, a step in the right direction!


MYTH 9: If you are Jewish then you must be circumcised.
FACT: The only requirement to being Jewish is that one’s mother must be Jewish. There is a growing community of Jewish citizens who strongly oppose infant circumcision and reject it as a practice of Judaism. These Jews offer a “Brit Shalom” naming ceremony in place of the “Brit Milah”.

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org

http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/

http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/circumcision/my-son.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/britwm.pdf


MYTH 10: Christianity does not address circumcision.
FACT: Christianity directly protests infant circumcision. Here are a few passages: ~Phil. 3:2 "Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation! For WE are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put NO confidence in the flesh!" ~Gal. 5:3 "And I testify again to every male who receives circumcision, that he is in debt to keep the whole Law. You who do so have been severed from Christ. . . you have fallen from grace." ~Gal. 5:2 "Behold, I Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing!" ~Gal. 6: 12-16 "Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. . . They desire to have you circumcised so they may boast in your flesh. . . " ~Lev.19:28 "You shall not make any cuts in your flesh." ~Deut. 23: 1 "No one who...has his male genitalia cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord." "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."-Jesus (Matt. 9:13)

http://www.stopcirc.com/christian.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Xy.html

www.CatholicsAgainstCircumcision.org


MYTH 11: If I unknowingly circumcised my son so I must support circumcision.
FACT: It is never too late to save babies. When people know better, they do better. Parents who learn the truth about circumcision after already having circumcised their children can still educate their own children and others as to the harms of circumcision. As parents, we do the best we can with the knowledge we have. Sadly, many of our care providers have failed to provide us with the information necessary to make informed decisions with regards to circumcision. It is important to remember that admitting to having made a mistake does not make anyone a bad parent. Saving other babies from harm can be a source of healing for parents in this situation. In fact, these Intactivist can provide powerful testimony to expecting parents and they and are vital to the fight for genital integrity for both men and women in our country. There are also support groups to help parents who regret circumcising. It takes a strong and wise person to admit their errors, we need these people in our fight to save babies.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=112410


MYTH 12: Male circumcision (MC) is not as harmful as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision (FC).
TRUTH: Many people think that FC involves severely disfiguring a woman’s genitals in attempt to make sex not enjoyable. In reality both MC and FC began as a way to reduce the sensitivity of the genitals. In the late 1800s it was thought that if the foreskin was removed then a boy would not masturbate. After this was discovered to be untrue, men still found a way to masturbate, the claims of “medical benefit” arose. In current times both MC and FC are perpetuated in the name of religion, tradition and “medical benefit”. While there are no doubt severe cases of both MC and FC where the genitals are so severely damage or amputated that the individual can not enjoy sex, this is not the goal for the cultures that practice circumcision today. Severely amputated genitals would be considered a botched circumcision for in any culture where circumcision is practiced. In technical terms there are varying degrees of both FC and MC. First degree FC involves the removal of the clitoral hood. This is the same part that becomes the foreskin on a male at 10 weeks gestation. Second degree FC involves the removal of the clitoral hood and some of the labia. Finally, the third degree involves the removal of the clitoral hood, the labia, and the vagina is sewn up to make the opening more narrow. The third degree would have the most severe impact on sexual enjoyment. Similarly there are degrees of MC. There is a partial circumcision, which preserves most of the foreskin and the frenulum. There is the average circumcision where the entire length of the foreskin is removed; this is what you see most commonly in the US. And there is what is called a “tight circumcision” where the foreskin and all the frenulum are removed leaving the man with very little skin to grow with erection. With both FC and MC there will be more scar tissue and a greater reduction in sensitivity to the sex organs when more tissue is removed. The circumcision that we practice in the US actually removes more nerve dense, vascular tissue than all forms of female circumcision in other countries. While the entire clitoris contains 8,000 nerve receptors, a man’s foreskin alone contains over 20,000 nerve receptors. Bottom line is that BOTH male and female circumcision are completely unnecessary, are harmful mutilation of the sex organs, are performed on non-consenting minors, and exist in varying degrees of severity throughout the world. Genital reduction surgery of any kind is a decision only for the owner of the body to make at a time when he or she has reached a consenting age, as it permanently alters the function of the sex organs. Take a browse through the articles and links below here to take a compelling journey through both FC and MC. It is interesting to see some of the articles in support of FC and how they mirror the same “reasons” that our culture uses to perpetuate circumcision of boys. The hypocrisy of our nation is both astonishing and sad. EVERY child has the right to a normal genitalia!

http://www.themuslimwoman.com/hygiene/femalecircumcision.htm

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/45528

http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/article.php3?id_article=3752

http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/files/darby_mgm_fgm_maq_0907.pdf

SUMMARY: Do not circumcise your baby boy. If at the age of 18 he would like to be circumcised, he has that option, but it is HIGHLY unlikely that he would choose circumcision. Less than 1 in 500 intact, adult males choose to lose their precious foreskin because they KNOW what they would be missing. Bottom Line: HIS BODY, HIS CHOICE.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Circumcision Decision, a Nationally Televised Public Service Announcement: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5395565256830319025&hl=en

Circumcision Information and Recourses Pages: www.cirp.org

National Organization for Circumcision Information and Recourses Center (NOCIRC): www.nocirc.org

Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC): www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org

National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males: www.noharm.org

Intact America: www.intactamerica.org

Penn and Teller Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2577091532653693892

Top 12 Reasons to Say “No” to Circumcision: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5-bc/64-no-to-circumcision.htm

Circumstitions: www.cirucmstitions.com

Genital Integrity: www.genitalintegrity.org

Stop the Cut: www.stopthecut.org

Information for Daddy to be (also have him see the Penn and Teller video): http://www.infocirc.org/MensHlth.htm

2008 Male Genital Mutation Bill: http://www.mgmbill.org/

Vulnerability of Men:
http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html
Jennifer, thank you so much for all of these resources! You really know your stuff! Thank you so much for your help, this is just wonderful to have all of these resources all together!! THANK YOU!!!

Jennifer C said:
I am not sure what happen to my initial response. I think I must have clicked edit then it disappeared. Here is something else to help you with your hubby. Best wishes!

Twelve Common Misconceptions About Circumcision and the Intact Male.

MYTH 1: Circumcision protects boys from developing harmful medical problems.
TRUTH: NO medical society in the entire world, including the USA, recommends routine infant circumcision. Circumcision does NOT:

-prevent infections

-prevent or reduce the occurrence of urinary tract infections

-prevent penile cancer

-prevent transmission of the AIDs virus

-prevent the transmission of STDs

There are absolutely no proven medical benefits to circumcising infant boys routinely. EVERY medical association in the entire world, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American Medical Association (AMA), has made statements that routine infant circumcision provides proven medical benefits and is a non-therapeutic operation with known risks and guaranteed consequences. These risks and guaranteed consequences do not outweigh any potential benefits. Infant circumcision is purely cosmetic and has been falsely justified as having “medical benefits” thanks to a history of flawed studies performed by doctors who have tried to justify the tradition for over a century. In fact, circumcision has been fabled to protect against more illnesses than any other single surgical procedure; epilepsy, paralysis, seizure, polio, mental illness, cancer, you name it. View the last link, a video about the “medicalization” of circumcision, for more information about this. More recent studies have now proven that foreskin actually protects against UTI and other infections.

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/1/t012000.asp

http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

http://www.nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4unKTMpBGA


MYTH 2: Having an intact boy means more work and extra cleaning to prevent infection.
TRUTH: It is actually easier to care for an intact boy. Only clean the exterior of an intact boy, a swish in the bath is sufficient. People are severely misinformed about the anatomy of foreskin. During the infant/childhood years the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis (glans) and the opening is only wide enough to allow for urine to pass through. This protects the developing penis from urine, feces, and other harmful pathogens. An intact boy should NEVER be retracted for cleaning or for any other reason. Premature retraction causes tearing, pain, and can result in many complications, including infection. The proper care for the intact penis is to LEAVE IT ALONE, only the exterior gets cleaned. Should poop get on the penis, all you do is wipe it like a finger. Throughout childhood the skin will slowly separate from the glans and the foreskin opening will widen. Self-cleaning excretions prevent the need for cleaning during that time. Through self-discovery a boy will learn to retract his own foreskin. After retraction is possible a boy can easily clean himself with a quick rinse in the same way that girl cleans her privates. It is a good rule of thumb to never let anyone touch your intact son’s penis. Many people, including care providers, will ignorantly try to retract the foreskin. Fact is, the US medical profession cut off so many foreskins in the past that the doctors rarely if ever saw an intact boy and have lost the base of knowledge of diagnosis and treatment. Now, they are operating in a vacuum of information or even worse, in an environment of false information. The only tool you need to care for an intact boy is a ruler to smack the hands of those curious people who attempt to retract his foreskin. :) Retraction happens at a different times for each boy. Some boys do not retract until puberty, this is perfectly normal.

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet4.html

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet6.html

http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/

http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/peron1/


MYTH 3: If I don’t circumcise my son he will be ridiculed in the locker room.
FACT: 85% of the world is intact. In the US the circumcision rate is 56% and falling, so almost half his peers will have foreskin. In general boys make it a point to not look at other boys’ penises. They are not interested in whether someone is intact or not and it is safe to say that most people will never even see your son’s penis. When intact boys learn that some baby boys have their foreskins cut from them at birth and that you protected them from being circumcised, they are thankful and find it shocking that anyone would do that to a baby. Their reaction is one of pity for circumcised boys. A friend’s intact son learned about circumcision when he was about 5 years old. His response was, “OUCH, why would anyone want to do that?!?” Lastly, children will always find something to poke fun at. With positive reinforcement from his parents that his body is normal, whole, and healthy, an intact boy will be able to keep a healthy perspective should he ever encounter a problem with his peers.

MYTH 4: If a father is circumcised then he must circumcise his son to “match”.
FACT: If this were the case then all amputees would have the limbs of their children removed at birth. Children are not carbon copies of their parents. A father should teach his son to appreciate and feel good about his own body. If a boy questions his father as to why his penis looks different, parents can respond with a simple, truthful, and age-appropriate explanation. Here is a good example for a young child:

“Long ago people used to think it was good for babies to cut part off. When I was a baby Grandma had it done to me because she did not know any better. Now we know it hurts babies a whole lot, so Mommy and I decided not to ever let anyone do that to you”.

After explaining to you protected him from being cut down there, he will be thankful! Truthfully, a little boy is much more likely to question why Daddy has hair down there, it is a much more obvious difference. Besides, you already have to explain why Mommy is different, don’t you?

http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/Like-Son.htm

http://www.circumstitions.com/Father.html


MYTH 5: The foreskin has virtually no functions so it doesn’t matter if it is cut off or not.
FACT: The foreskin is extremely functional. The skin that becomes the foreskin on men is the same skin that becomes the clitoral hood and the inner labia on women. and shares many of the same functions. Like female circumcision, male circumcision impairs the sexual function of its victims by removing erogenous tissue that is designed to enhance sexual pleasure. The foreskin includes the frenulum, the ridged band of nerves, and thousands of specialized nerve receptors that are an essential part of male genital anatomy. The foreskin itself is composed of completely different tissue than any other portion of the penis. The cells in tissue has been proven to provide both sensory an protective function. The male foreskin is designed to protect the glans of the penis throughout a man’s life, ensuring that the internal mucosal tissue remains moist and sensitive (much the same way that a woman’s clitoral hood protects the clitoris). In addition, the foreskin acts as a natural gliding mechanism to reduce chafing and dryness during intercourse. During an erection, the shaft of the penis becomes fifty percent (50%) longer. Where does the skin come from to cover that longer shaft? From the foreskin of course. And there is still some left to move loosely over the body of the penis, reducing friction during sexual intercourse, as nature intended. The total amount of tissue removed is the equivalent of 15 square inches on an adult male and contains over 20,000 nerve endings.

http://www.cirp.org/pages/parents/lostlist/

http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

http://www.circumstitions.com/Functions.html

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/video/prepuce.html (video)


MYTH 6: Circumcision is a quick and relatively painless procedure with little to no risk.
FACT: Circumcision is a surgery that involves strapping a baby to a table straight limbed (this in itself is very traumatic), jamming a probe under the foreskin to tear it from the glans (remember it is fused during childhood), making a dorsal crush, cutting a slit down the foreskin, then slicing it away from the entire head of the penis, and then trimming the uneven surfaces. Male circumcision is actually longer and more involved than most forms of female circumcision. The entire head of the penis is left bloody and raw. There is a 20%-30% complication rate ranging from mild to severe. Complications of circumcision include: infection, excessive bleeding, removal of too much skin, need for corrective surgery, buried penis, adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis (narrowing of urinary opening), meatal scarring or ulceration, damage or loss of other areas of penis, and even death. However, the risks of this surgery should not be confused with the guaranteed consequences. EVERY circumcision results in the loss of a healthy and functioning foreskin, causing detrimental changes to sexual function and reduced sexual sensations.

There IS pain even if the infant receives anesthetic, although, anesthetic is used LESS than 20% of the time in the US. Most infants only receive a sugary pacifier! During circumcision, an infant will experience such incredible pain that he will scream, become stiff and rigid, and then eventually go into neuro-genic shock causing him to pass into what appears as a deep sleep. This is the body’s coping mechanism to handle the intense pain he is experiencing. It is said that due to the immature nerve receptors that the pain an infant feels is actually more intense than what an adult would feel. If you have ever spoken to a victim of female circumcision they will tell you that the pain is indescribable. Six months after an infant is circumcised the cortisol levels in the baby’s brain have still not returned to base level. Nurses that work in the nursery are told to tell parents that the baby either didn’t fuss much or that the baby slept through the procedure. Nurses are not allowed to return an infant to his parents until he has calmed if he did not pass into sleep due to the shock during the procedure. After awaking the infant will experience throbbing pain for weeks following the operation and sharp stinging pains during urination. New studies are now reporting that circumcision also interferes with breast feeding due to the trauma and even prevents some babies from ever establishing a breast feeding relationship.

http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/plastibell/

http://www.circumcision.org/response.htm

http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/

http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/nursing.pdf


MYTH 7: If I don’t circumcise my son, it may need to be done later in life. I’ve heard of some 5-10 year old boys having to be circumcised.
FACT: The only reasons to amputate the foreskin, or any other body part for that matter, would be in the case of frostbite, gangrene, malignancy, or serious trauma. This misconception is another that stems from an epidemic of US doctors that are not educated about the normal development of the intact penis. Doctors that do not know about the anatomy and development of the foreskin often prescribe circumcision for a multitude of incorrect “reasons”. For example if a 10 year old boy is not retractable a doctor might tell a parent that he needs to be circumcised. This is not true. In fact, only 50% of boys are retractable by age 10. Many boys do not become retractable until puberty. This is normal. In the rare event that a man is not retractable by adulthood, there is steroidal cream that can be applied which will allow the skin to stretch. Amputation is not necessary for this rare condition. Infection is another “reason” that doctors ignorantly prescribe circumcision. The foreskin is NO more likely to become infected than any other part of the body. In the rare chance that there is an infection, antibiotic ointments are sufficient. Parents that complain of repeated infection are almost always parents that are trying to retract their child’s foreskin for “cleaning”. As stated before, there is not reason to try to clean under a boy’s foreskin. Trying to “clean” under the foreskin is the equivalent to trying to wash out a girls vagina. It will ultimately cause a flora imbalance and result in infection. Only warm water should be used around a child’s genitalia; soaps and bubble baths can cause irritations. Also, doctors must do a culture by swabbing the exterior if infection is suspected to determine whether it is yeast or bacterial. If you use an antibiotic ointment on a yeast infection you will undoubtedly make the yeast infection worse. During the diaper-wearing years or after a round of oral antibiotics yeast infections can occur in both boys and girls. Yeast infection has nothing to do with the foreskin itself and is easily treated with an OTC monistate cream.

http://www.nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet7.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/circumcision/protect-unc...

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/2008-03retractilefor...

http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/


MYTH 8: The medical industry has no interest in continuing circumcision.
FACT: Circumcision is a 400 billion dollar (per-year) business. Not only do hospitals and doctors profit from the 3,000 circumcisions that are performed each day, but that precious, nerve-rich foreskin actually being sold for use in skin grafts, medical testing and cosmetics. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul! In light of the fact that circumcision is classified as an unnecessary (non-therapeutic) surgery, insurance companies and medicaid in 16 states are now refusing to pay for it. Finally, a step in the right direction!


MYTH 9: If you are Jewish then you must be circumcised.
FACT: The only requirement to being Jewish is that one’s mother must be Jewish. There is a growing community of Jewish citizens who strongly oppose infant circumcision and reject it as a practice of Judaism. These Jews offer a “Brit Shalom” naming ceremony in place of the “Brit Milah”.

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org

http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/

http://www.mothering.com/articles/new_baby/circumcision/my-son.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/britwm.pdf


MYTH 10: Christianity does not address circumcision.
FACT: Christianity directly protests infant circumcision. Here are a few passages: ~Phil. 3:2 "Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation! For WE are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put NO confidence in the flesh!" ~Gal. 5:3 "And I testify again to every male who receives circumcision, that he is in debt to keep the whole Law. You who do so have been severed from Christ. . . you have fallen from grace." ~Gal. 5:2 "Behold, I Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing!" ~Gal. 6: 12-16 "Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. . . They desire to have you circumcised so they may boast in your flesh. . . " ~Lev.19:28 "You shall not make any cuts in your flesh." ~Deut. 23: 1 "No one who...has his male genitalia cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord." "I desire mercy and not sacrifice."-Jesus (Matt. 9:13)

http://www.stopcirc.com/christian.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/Xy.html

www.CatholicsAgainstCircumcision.org


MYTH 11: If I unknowingly circumcised my son so I must support circumcision.
FACT: It is never too late to save babies. When people know better, they do better. Parents who learn the truth about circumcision after already having circumcised their children can still educate their own children and others as to the harms of circumcision. As parents, we do the best we can with the knowledge we have. Sadly, many of our care providers have failed to provide us with the information necessary to make informed decisions with regards to circumcision. It is important to remember that admitting to having made a mistake does not make anyone a bad parent. Saving other babies from harm can be a source of healing for parents in this situation. In fact, these Intactivist can provide powerful testimony to expecting parents and they and are vital to the fight for genital integrity for both men and women in our country. There are also support groups to help parents who regret circumcising. It takes a strong and wise person to admit their errors, we need these people in our fight to save babies.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=112410


MYTH 12: Male circumcision (MC) is not as harmful as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision (FC).
TRUTH: Many people think that FC involves severely disfiguring a woman’s genitals in attempt to make sex not enjoyable. In reality both MC and FC began as a way to reduce the sensitivity of the genitals. In the late 1800s it was thought that if the foreskin was removed then a boy would not masturbate. After this was discovered to be untrue, men still found a way to masturbate, the claims of “medical benefit” arose. In current times both MC and FC are perpetuated in the name of religion, tradition and “medical benefit”. While there are no doubt severe cases of both MC and FC where the genitals are so severely damage or amputated that the individual can not enjoy sex, this is not the goal for the cultures that practice circumcision today. Severely amputated genitals would be considered a botched circumcision for in any culture where circumcision is practiced. In technical terms there are varying degrees of both FC and MC. First degree FC involves the removal of the clitoral hood. This is the same part that becomes the foreskin on a male at 10 weeks gestation. Second degree FC involves the removal of the clitoral hood and some of the labia. Finally, the third degree involves the removal of the clitoral hood, the labia, and the vagina is sewn up to make the opening more narrow. The third degree would have the most severe impact on sexual enjoyment. Similarly there are degrees of MC. There is a partial circumcision, which preserves most of the foreskin and the frenulum. There is the average circumcision where the entire length of the foreskin is removed; this is what you see most commonly in the US. And there is what is called a “tight circumcision” where the foreskin and all the frenulum are removed leaving the man with very little skin to grow with erection. With both FC and MC there will be more scar tissue and a greater reduction in sensitivity to the sex organs when more tissue is removed. The circumcision that we practice in the US actually removes more nerve dense, vascular tissue than all forms of female circumcision in other countries. While the entire clitoris contains 8,000 nerve receptors, a man’s foreskin alone contains over 20,000 nerve receptors. Bottom line is that BOTH male and female circumcision are completely unnecessary, are harmful mutilation of the sex organs, are performed on non-consenting minors, and exist in varying degrees of severity throughout the world. Genital reduction surgery of any kind is a decision only for the owner of the body to make at a time when he or she has reached a consenting age, as it permanently alters the function of the sex organs. Take a browse through the articles and links below here to take a compelling journey through both FC and MC. It is interesting to see some of the articles in support of FC and how they mirror the same “reasons” that our culture uses to perpetuate circumcision of boys. The hypocrisy of our nation is both astonishing and sad. EVERY child has the right to a normal genitalia!

http://www.themuslimwoman.com/hygiene/femalecircumcision.htm

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/45528

http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/article.php3?id_article=3752

http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/files/darby_mgm_fgm_maq_0907.pdf

SUMMARY: Do not circumcise your baby boy. If at the age of 18 he would like to be circumcised, he has that option, but it is HIGHLY unlikely that he would choose circumcision. Less than 1 in 500 intact, adult males choose to lose their precious foreskin because they KNOW what they would be missing. Bottom Line: HIS BODY, HIS CHOICE.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Circumcision Decision, a Nationally Televised Public Service Announcement: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5395565256830319025&hl=en

Circumcision Information and Recourses Pages: www.cirp.org

National Organization for Circumcision Information and Recourses Center (NOCIRC): www.nocirc.org

Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC): www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org

National Organization to Halt the Abuse and Routine Mutilation of Males: www.noharm.org

Intact America: www.intactamerica.org

Penn and Teller Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2577091532653693892

Top 12 Reasons to Say “No” to Circumcision: http://www.naturalfamilyonline.com/5-bc/64-no-to-circumcision.htm

Circumstitions: www.cirucmstitions.com

Genital Integrity: www.genitalintegrity.org

Stop the Cut: www.stopthecut.org

Information for Daddy to be (also have him see the Penn and Teller video): http://www.infocirc.org/MensHlth.htm

2008 Male Genital Mutation Bill: http://www.mgmbill.org/

Vulnerability of Men:
http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html
i agree that this is a very personal decision, but it is a very personal decision that belongs to your son.

i am a labor & delivery nurse, and unfortunately have witnessed way too many circumcisions. i now refuse to take any part in them. i question any parent who says their child did not cry or that it did not hurt. where i have worked, parents are not allowed in the room. some nurses and doctors do tell the parents that their baby didn't cry... a very sad lie. watching the devastation expressed by these innocent newborns is absolutely horrible. i have seen many complications occur during the circumcision including (but certainly not limited to) uncontrollable bleeding which i have seen doctors use silver nitrate to stop (which causes much more mutilation and scarring). no baby likes having the tip of their penis cut off. babies feel pain just as much, if not more, than the rest of us.

my son (8yrs old) recently thanked me for not "cutting my skin off". when i explained circumcision to him, he had a horrified, stunned look. i told him that when he is old enough to make his own decisions, he could choose to have his foreskin cut off. all he could say was "no way, no thanks!!".

Tarrah Carmon said:
hi, we circumcised our son not really for hygine bc as you said most people are going to have some personal hygine but really so that he looks like his dad and most other boys and more along the line of tradition...its a VERY personal thing to both of yall but i do see both sides...our son didnt cry or have any problems after and they do numb the area before....hope that yall can come to some agrement!
Men seem to have a harder time understanding this than women. Ultimately, it is our job as mothers to protect our children from harm, whatever we perceive that to be, irregardless of who agrees with us. You have to trust the instinct you are having or you could risk feeling regret over it. There is some super info found on this site and also offers some other resources.
http://www.theholisticparent.org/Newborn_Procedures.html

They do not numb the area first. They do give infants sucrose to act as a type of painkiller. The infant does feel what is happening. Have your husband watch this video of a circumcision taking place and see if he can stomach it. My husband and I cried when we watched it. Myself as well as numerous friends of mine regret our decision to circumcise before we educated ourself regarding it.
http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/circumcision-video.html
I'm not sure how many boys/men "medically" need to be circumsized or how many of them were forced into circumcision because their doctor was a bit "ignorant" on the body part.

Neither of my boys is circumsized. There are a lot of great articles out there against circumcision and I've read them all. My main concern was people telling me that the boys would "look different" from their father...but I'm all about teaching "everyone is different and that is ok." So, I refused to do it on that argument. Also, there is the pain factor. The area being cut is the most sensitive of a boy's/man's body. No way. Uh-uh. When my boys are adults and would prefer to be circumsized, then they can make that choice themselves. At least, as an adult, they would be knocked out, given pain killers, and best of all...not made to try to heal while wearing a wet/poopy diaper.

I have heard of too many people having issues caring for a circumsized penis. I had none with uncircumsized. And the bacterial existance under the foreskin of a newborn is non-existant because the foreskin is adhered to the head (in most babies) until much later in life (usually around puberty) and does not require retraction (nor should anyone ever try to retract it).
this was my feeling also. It is not MY body. If my sons want to be circumcized, they can decide that later on in life for themselves.

KirstenSF said:
I think the circumcision debate is very simply answered: I wouldn't want someone mutilating my body and so I didn't do so to my son. So, he and his dad have penises that aren't identical. My husband also has a large scar on his leg from when he got an injury several years ago. I wouldn't dream of giving my son a matching scar, so why would I have his foreskin removed just so he and dad can look alike?
Sugar water is by no stretch of the imagination "A pain killer." It is used as a distraction, but cortisol levels drawn in studies, show that the babies still experience the same amount of pain/stress, they are just quieter because they are sucking on the pacifier.
Most boys that supposedly need circumcisions later are due to the ignorance of doctors regarding normal penile anatomy. Some boys do not become retractable until they are past puberty. Steroid creams and stretching are the first lines of treatment for all this supposed phimosis, not amputation!
More info and a chart here: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/retraction.html

The foreskin has complex physiological functions http://www.circumstitions.com/Functions.html

If you have specific questions on how to deal with your hubby feel free to post here and everyone will help you with more info and logical and rational arguments.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=44

You sound like a very smart mama, and I hope you bring home your whole baby!
One of the links In my post was bad. I wanted to correct it b/c this article is very important to protect your son from the many foreskin-ignorant doctors. Many intact boys are treated improperly simply b/c their doctor does not understand the normal development of the intact boy. Here is the link, it belongs under Myth 7: http://www.mothering.com/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert-medi...

Pay special attention to the links under myths 2 & 7. I would print them out so you have them for reference in case you ever come head to head with a doctor. Remember first and foremost that no doctor should ever try to manipulate your son's foreskin! Read this post that I made too:

http://www.mybestbirth.com/forum/topics/care-information-for-intact
Brandi,

The book Birthing From Within provides some things women can say to their husbands to help them argue the case against circumcision. In particular it mentions that the argument that men want their sons to "look like them" is silly because a three-year-old's penis barely resembles a grown man's. The size and shape are different and the baby's has no pubic hair around it, of course. By the time the boy reaches puberty, he and Dad are unlikely to be hanging out naked, anyway. I suspect this argument is mainly about ego--does Dad insist the baby "look like him" in terms of hair colour, skin colour, moustache, pot belly, etc?

Some people believe that even though babies don't retain memories of experience the way adults do (i.e. they can't tell the story like, "Then the doctor came over with the knife...."), they do retain traces of emotions such as pain and fear. I believe this. One of our identical twins went through an operation and much pain and hunger, etc, in the hospital and I believe his personality reflects this. He is much more cautious, jumpy, and fearful than his brother who hasn't had any painful experiences yet. I believe that the fear and pain associated with circumcision can leave similar traces, though of course, there's no way to prove it scientifically.

In the end, I think circumsion is a form of mutilation of normal body. To do that to someone without his consent... Well, I couldn't do it.

Pam
Mothering magazine has some great information about circumcision.
Penn and Teller have a great comedic routine regarding circumcision--this really helped my husband see the light. I would definetely recommend finding this to watch.
My husband also thought he wanted it done until we did the research. In fact, statistics show that more children are not being cir. these days.
I think the biggest reason my husband decided against it in the end is that the research we did proved that the foreskin has millions of receptors that make sex even more pleasurable when left intake. What man would want to take that away from thier son?!
Wow! That article, written by your pediatrician is AMAZING! I chose not to circumcise my son, but had no idea that you do not need to retract the foreskin at a later age to teach your son how to clean under it! Thank you for providing that link! I would like to show that article to many, many people!

Maria Nicolacakis said:
I've had three home births now and am very pro the "natural" experience re: birthing and mothering, so I'm biased....but why would the foreskin be there if it didn't serve a purpose? I have two boys, 5 1/2 and 2 1/2, and didn't circumcise them. I also have a daughter and wouldn't circumcise her either! The way I see it, some cultures believe in circumcising women, but does it make it acceptable for me? I sure wouldn't want to be circumcised! My husband's father is from Europe and wasn't circumcised, my husband is, and my husband said it was never an issue with his dad and it hasn't been with our sons.

My 5 yr. old had a kid at school tell him his penis looked "funny". It really upset me that my son would feel insecure about his "manhood" so to speak. So, I told him that the reason some of the other boys' penises look different is because his parent's wanted to cut part of it off and we didn't want to do that to his penis, because, "wouldn't that hurt?" The next day he went to school and told the other boys that their penises were cut and his wasn't! Out of the mouths of babes! The school handled it well and it led to a short discussion about it all and how we're all different.

Check out the link below written by our pediatrician, who happens to be Jewish, by the way...

http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/fleiss.html
Sounds to me like you both had your heart set on things being a "certain" way about the probable birth of a son.
Now he wants it his way and you want it yours.
Sit down and try to understand his fears and encourage him to do the same regarding your feelings on the subject.
Remeber its about your baby and what you BOTH want for his/ her care.
Do reserch together and be subjective and stay away from judgemental or accusational verbage.
He just wants the best for the baby as do you.

Its a baby, not a battle

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