12 Reasons to Say “No” to Circumcision

Submitted by Courtney on Sat, 01/30/2010 - 18:24

I have never understood why circumcision is a common practice in North America today (though I’m a woman; what do I know?) From what I gather, apart from religious reasons or making the penis look “prettier” there really doesn’t seem to be ANY good reason for it.

My husband and I decided to not circumcise our son, and for a good reason! There are a lot of myths about the benefits of circumcision and there are a lot of health risks involved in the procedure. Topping our list of why we said “no” to circumcision is:

If you’re born with it, it’s meant to be there

The foreskin on a penis isn’t some sort of optional part that was put there for fun – it actually has an important function! Babies need foreskin to protect the “glans” (the part of the penis that is in the foreskin) from bacteria and infections – like the kind of infections that can be caused by a diaper full of pee and poop.

It hurts your baby

Don’t be fooled; those who tell you your baby will not remember the pain you made him suffer through or isn’t old enough to even know what pain is are pleading ignorance. How would you like to be strapped to a board and have a chunk of skin lobbed off with a tool similar to a cigar cutter? The anesthetic used to numb the area is unsafe for your baby. Because of this, it is given in a reduced quantity (so it isn’t really doing a fantastic job when numbing) and it wears off rather quickly. Let’s see… open wound rubbing on a diaper 24 hours a day. Doesn’t sound very pleasant to me.

No one approves of circumcision

It’s true: no medical institution in the world thinks that circumcision is a good idea. Babies actually can die during the process (about 18 out of 100,000)

You are taking away your son’s rights

Your son didn’t ask for you to remove a vital part of his body. Parents make the decision to put their child through this unnecessary pain without even consulting the patient. If my son wants to circumcise himself when he’s old enough, then that’s his choice; not mine.

It’s a traumatic event

I was surprised to find out that circumcision can affect breastfeeding, sleep, and even maternal bonding. Studies have also indicated that men who are circumcised have a lower pain threshold and suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

Circumcision is SO passé

As we move further and further away from the 1970s, the circumcision rates continue to move on a steady decline. Even those of the Jewish faith are performing circumcision alternatives so that their child is not actually cut (referred to as the “Brit Shalom”).

Circumcision is a big business

Did you know that every single State could save up to $1 million a year if they did not fund these unnecessary circumcisions? Several States and insurance companies have ceased funding this practice.

What about urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

There are some unfounded rumors out there stating that uncircumcised boys suffer from UTIs, but that simply is not true. If your son does happen to have a UTI, antibiotics, breastfeeding and proper cleaning work wonders for curing and preventing it.

It’s not a cancer preventative

Out of all men who suffer from a penile cancer, those with an uncircumcised penis only showed a 0.2% increased risk. Circumcision is not the answer for treating genital cancers, though not smoking and having protected sex is.

It won’t necessarily reduce the risk of AIDS

Yes, there have been studies performed in Africa which correlate circumcision with the reduced contraction of AIDS. However, these studies have not yielded the same results in the United States. Safe sex and cleanliness are more effective measures in keeping yourself free from sexual transmitted diseases.

It IS easy to clean

The foreskin is there naturally and has a self-cleaning “mechanism”, much like a female’s vagina does. You should not retract the skin (especially infants and children) until it is easily retractable. All children need is a good warm bath to keep it clean

Father knows best?

This is one of the most ridiculous arguments I’ve heard – “I needed to circumcise my son so he looks like his father!” Right. And should mom grow a penis so that she looks like her son too? Take this as an opportunity to explain how everyone’s body is different, unique and beautiful.

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