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October 23, 2006

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wow. i'm actually surprised at how many uncut ones are out there!

for me, it's a no-brainer. i'm jewish, so therefore, at 8 days old, my son had a bris, and was cut.

he cried for about 5 seconds, i shoved my boob in his mouth and he was as happy as a clam. it was not painful, really, at all for him (or for me!) and i haven't had any problems at all.

*circumcise. Woops.

That's a toughie.

As you may or may not know, Archer's circumcision was done improperly so although he was circumcized, he actually isn't. We could have had it redone in surgery for 10,000. Hmmm... that was a toughie.

Unless it's a religious thing (for Hal it was way important that Archer look like a Jew, even though, he, um... doesn't. At least we tried.) I'd say don't do it.

Probably because our experience was shitty and because the more research I have done, the more I have read that botched circumcisions and "conservative circumcisions" happen more than doctors care to admit. I went through Hell emotionally and it's not really worth it.

Dudes love their dicks regardless and so they should. They're pretty awesome.

I've had sex with many an uncircumcized penis and there really is no difference IMO.

If you do circumcize, make sure your doctor knows what he's doing. Mine obviously did not.

I'd say trim it. I had a boyfriend that had to have his uncircumcised penis fixed at age 22. Every time he became erect the foreskin was so tight at the end of his penis that it would crack and bleed. So, he got the circumcision at a late date and ended up with a lot of scarring. I used to call him “Frankenstein dick.”

We didn't have a choice. My son was born with a severe case of hidden penis and we had to have him circumsized through surgery at 6 months, if not it may have done damage as he grew. We also have the ball grabbing problem.

We decided to circumcise. A lot of the research seemed to indicate that the chances that you would have to undergo a circumcision as an adult were very slim (like due to infection or whatever) but I knew 2 men personally who had had to have adult circumcisions so I figured we wouldn't take the chance. It was a tough decision though.

My son is 8 months old and we struggled with this decision for a long time before deciding to leave him 'as nature provided him,' so to speak. I, too, was worried about cleaning, but it's not like a circumcised wang comes with a self-cleaning cycle. And until the foreskin fully retracts (not until they're two or older) the cleaning is pretty similar, I would imagine. My husband is circumcised, but we didn't think that looking different than daddy would be a major issue.

I agree with many of the other people here that say do what makes you feel comfortable. Just remember to fill us in on your decision!

We didn't cut. My husband is, and we had the conversation of "Shouldn't a boy's penis look like his dad's?" To which my response "How often will you be comparing dicks?" Ultimately, after talks with a three (1 male and 2 female) pediatricians and half a dozen uncircumcized men, we decided we didn't want to lop off a piece of our baby's penis just for aethetics. It's his penis, and I didn't feel that it was appropriate for us to make that kind of decision for him. Granted, it will be painful if he decides or needs it done in the future, but at least he has the choice (none of the men we talked to ever regretted they weren't cut by the way)

We actually got a lot of flack from several friends and family members, but we still feel very comfortable with our decision. A parent needs to decide what is best for their son. I would never say that not to cut is what everyone should do. It's a personal choice and absolutely up to the parent. As long as the parent is informed. There's nothing worse than someone who didn't ask any questions and cut their baby's forskin off just because they didn't know any better or didn't think about it first. It's just what everyone else does.

By the way, it's not the firehose that's the problem in our house, it the ball grabbing. The second the diaper comes off, it's ball city, even when they're covered in poop.

I had my son's done 5 yr ago with the help of one conversation with a friend. I was told to have my son's done if mine is done and that way I could avoid my son's future question: "Why does yours look different than mine, dad?"

We cut. Hubby is cut and we decided that was best for us. It was really no big deal to take care of. My son seems just as happy as the next baby.

I used to date this guy whose parents waited to circ him until he was 12.

Why?

His father was a urologist, and he said that he had seen far too many newborn boys lose more than just a foreskin during a botched circ procedure.

I asked my then-bf if he'd been traumatized by having the circ at such an "advanced" age, and he insisted that although it was very painful, after his father explained his reasoning, he was glad his parents had waited.

A friend of mine has a young relative who lost a large part of the tip of his penis due to a botched newborn circumcision; he has had to have several corrective surgeries since then and will likely suffer pain throughout his life.

This is not to imply that such complications are common, but they DO happen, and I would wager they easily happen as often as adverse conditions from NOT getting circ'ed.

My own son is not circumcised. I never really wanted to circumcise him. I didn't see a clear medical benefit either way at the time, and my ob-gyn was against newborn circumcision. His father did want to circ him at first, because he wanted his son to look like him. But then I asked him if he really thought it was fair to cut bits of his son's genitals off for purely aesthetic reasions without his son's consent.

In the end, we both came to the conclusion that the best decision to make was the only one of the two that could be reversed once our son was old enough to decide for himself.

I have, um, experienced both cut and uncut penises. And in my limited experience the uncut type are more sensitive, but the difference I saw may just have been a coincidence.

It is quite possible that other boys might make fun of my son for having a natural penis when he gets older, but it is also quite possible that other kids will make fun of him for enjoying reading, or for having a weird last name, or for having red hair. And I'm not burning his books, changing our name, or dyeing his hair, thank you very much.

As for his future sexual partners, well, as his mother I do hope he wouldn't want to have sex with the type of person who would reject him over such a trivial issue.

I wouldn't. It's unnecessary; it hurts. By the time he's having sex, the circumsized penis will be the minority.

I wouldn't. It's unnecessary; it hurts. By the time he's having sex, the circumsized penis will be the minority.

"Meatus" is an official penile term-did not know that. Thank you pee-pee website.

We cut, because my husband felt strongly that was the right decision. As I have no penis, I left that one up to him. In my personal opinion, I didn't want to have the baby circ'd...but, I did date this guy once who was un-circ'd, and I wouldn't go near his hmm-hmm, because I saw it once and it was scary.

(snort)

No, I'm just one of those whores who had pre-marital sex.

good question--we did not circumcise numero uno, and I am glad we didn;t. For me it was a no brainer--being european, I am used to the turtle neck (Huz was first "cut job" I encountered).

I would say that over 50% of boys at his daycare and in our circle are not cut. It's becoming more the norm in our set, I think.

That said, I do not have strong strong feelings about it--if it feels right, then...
I am just glad I did not have to deal with a red angry cherry in those first newborn days.

Does your Huz have an opinion--that's normally the clincher with many couples. my own huz didn;t care--and actually agreed with your midwife a bit.

Yeah I am not sure about that whole easier to take care of and teasing argument. ZD is intact and has never had a problem with hygene or any health issues due to it. Also he was never teased, in fact he said when he was younger all his friends thought it was cool because it was different. Later he said no one looks, which if the boys locker room is anything like the girls I believe that. Our son will be intact, it was not even a question for us, good luck on whatever you decide. Have you ever seen a picture of a newly circumsized penis, all I can say is ouch. That made me very happy in our decsion. Oh I know ZD will be so happy that I shared with the interworld the state of his penis.

Hi, Just a small note, I love your site, a daily read for me. On this particular, I have a 14 year old son who at the time of his birth I decided not to circumcise, but 3 years later we had several problems and we HAD TO have him circumcised, and I'll tell you it wasn't a good experience for him. In hindsight, if I had known better, I would have probably done it as a newborn. Just my two cents.

I let my husband choose, and he chose circumcision.

I don't think I'd do it again, though, should I have any future sons. As a previous poster said, when they're erect, they look the same, so sexually it's not an issue. And I really feel like it would be easier to care for an uncut one in infancy; they don't retract until around age 4, so until then you don't have to worry about cleaning all the little crevices without hurting the glans. (Can you tell we're still in diapers over here?) And that's without even touching on the issue of caring for the cut while it heals; that's not a huge deal, but when you have a newborn, everything is an extra straw.

Once the foreskin does begin to retract, you do have to teach your son basic hygiene, but (I hear) it's no more difficult than teaching kids to wash their hands. They just have to retract it when they bathe or shower and give it a good, gentle washing-off. The rate of infection is no higher if this basic hygiene is followed.

As for the locker-room issue, well, I wouldn't let my hypothetical preteen daughter have a nose or boob job if there were no medical reason for it, either — certainly not just so the locker room might be a friendlier place. I know either of those is a far more major procedure than a circumcision, but they're equivalent in terms of surgically altering a child's body.

I basically left the circumcision decision up to my husband. He is circ'd but he was very against our son being cut. It just seems so unnecessary. I was relieved because I was having trouble thinking about causing my newborn son any pain.

I know you're going to get a dozen on each side of this. And since I have girls, I shouldn't add my two cents, but you did ask. We would of done it on the girls had they been boys. I do think if you do it as newborns it isn't any big deal. They cry for a minute, yes I have seen it done. But then they stop, when held, just like a shot or when you accidentally knock them into something. It's easier to clean and less chance of infection later on. However, it really isn't as big of a deal either way these days, cause like you said by the time he is a teen, it will probably be pretty equal.

I'm actually quite thankful this was a no-brainer for us. My husband is from a country where it is not done at all, so needless to say, well, he's au natural. Our son will be too. Since there is no medical or religious reason to do so, we will not.

Penis aside, I'm scared for a whole other set of reasons. Anyone know how to raise a feminist boy? Oh, did I just say the F word?

I say cut, especially if dad is. It is easy to care for and there are less risks with catching STDs, infections, etc.

My two sons are circumsized, my twin stepsons are not. My husband wanted them all to be, but when the twins were born he and his ex thought that they were "too small" to do surgery on. My kids bathe together and the twins know that they look different than Nick/Jake/Daddy and they also know why, so it's really no big deal.

Only one child has any issues at all, my younger stepson. He used to get frequent UTIs when he went to his mother's house. The doctor said it was a combination of being intact along with his mother using fabric softener on his underwear. Something about the residue getting under the foreskin and causing an irritation. I don't even know if that's feasible, but once we told her to stop with the fabric softener on the underwear he stopped having the UTIs.

I've never been sprayed by any of the penises in this house. I did have my oldest at the doctor and he sprayed up and into the diaper bag, drenching all his clothes, including the spares (2 weeks old, mid January no less). I learned pretty damn quick to cover it.

Wow - this is a hot topic!

We went with NO, even though Daddy is and I had never seen an adult uncut one. We couldn't bring ourselves to inflict unnecessary pain on my baby. In the end, I left it up to huz, but we easily agreed. They don't offer it here. You have to beg. I know a few babies that are circ'd but most aren't.

It's no extra work. You don't pull anything back (Please! It will tear!) until they do it on their own - as early as 2 year and as late as 5 years and usually you'll notice it while they're in the bath and diddling with it.

;-)

We never thought to think about it. We circumcised, as my husband is circumcised. It wasn't difficult to deal with, at all.

My doctor felt very strongly that we should circumsize him unless we had a religious reason to do so. I was totally torn.

In the end I decided that I don't have a penis so I couldn't really *know* what the best choice would be. It is one of the few times I left a decision totally in my hubby's hands ... and he decided not to do it.

we had our son circumcised even though daddy isn't in the end It just seemed right to us and thats how it will have to be for you. Good luck and don't feel pressured or guilty about your choice.

Oops! MEant to say "it's becoming more common"

What is this extra work that people speak of? You're not supposed to pull back the foreskin until it detaches on its own (around 4 or 5, I believe).

Anyways, uncut is less work and the way that God intended. It's more common. In our playgroup 2 boys are uncut and 3 are circ. One of the three circumcised boys had complication and had to have another operation to "fix" his penis at 9 months. Poor thing.

We didnt circ our son (9 mos old). I had looked at some of the literature and very few of the pictures of the gruesome procedure. I didnt think it was necessary, but like you said I dont have much experience with the care and maintence of the penis.

Besides, my husband's argument was so convincing: "I dont want my son to look different then me. What would all the guys in the locker say? And I dont want some woman to freak out on him." What is with the matching penises? Do sons and fathers really compare their penises? That is a bigger concern to me. Why are all the guys in the locker room so worried about everyone's penis? And I am sure that everyone woman/girl has freaked the first time she has seen the one-eye monster.

I didnt put up much more of a fight, because I just didnt have the energy.

We circ'd because the dad thought it was best that they looked alike and seriously, it's hard enough to keep that thing clean without the hood. True story I took the boy in when he was about 12 weeks old because I thought it was infected. The Ped. (the male ped)looked at me with a straight face and said, that's just smegma. It took everything I had not to bust out laughing. Who knew that was a clinical term?!

I forgot to mention that, in the p.o.v. of future partners, the uncirc is much nicer.

We didn't circ baby boy (who is also a Jan baby!) and I am so glad we didn't. Granted, I had been out of the baby loop for a bit longer than you, but it was so nice not to have to worry about cleaning or caring for the little thing (penis, whatever). That was just a huge relief and I could instead obssess over when his damned cord would fall off or when the stupid milk would come in - his penis was the least of my worries. And, too, I never got sprayed although the husband did a couple times. We had more of a problem with diaper leaks the first few months, but now he's fine. So, no cuting for us. Or, him rather. By the way, the picture posts were great - you look good pregnant.

Thank God I had a girl and didn't have to deal with this decision! Good luck!

MGM - You had relations outside of marriage?

WHHHaaaaaaattttt???

LOL :)

Oh, and my sons both breastfed with no problem and bonded to me - sometimes more than I could bear - and have no problem with being oversensitive or undersensitive to pain. Just for the record.

Also when I said "dont let people jam their dogmatic views down your throat", I SO DID NOT mean other people who posted comments here. Sorry if it read that way - that's not what I meant at all. I meant like the Nursing Nazis and pamphlets that make you feel bad when you read them at the pediatricians and all.

Ok, I'll shut up now.

We have one intact son already, and the one on his way will be intact, too. Since I also have two daughters I can safely say it is MUCH easier to take care of than girl parts, just remember to tuck it DOWN when you put his diaper on, otherwise when he pees it will shoot up and over the edge of the diaper and soak everything (hey, what did I know? I don't have one of those things...). I left the decision up to my DH, since he HAS a penis, and although he is cut, he wanted our kids intact - absolutely no reason to do it. My son has a lot of friends who are intact, too, so really, I don't think it's an issue appearance-wise, either.

Well, you know I wrote about this topic several months ago. What I couldn't say in my own blog that I can say here is that I HAVE SEEN ONE. I've actually had RELATIONS with one.

No, it's not Kyle's. Somebody else's.

When a turtleneck is hard, it looks just like a crewneck does when it's hard.

And when either one - turtleneck or crewneck - is soft, I think they're equally odd-looking.

So in the event that we would've had a boy, it's most likely that we would have left him intact.

Okay, color me Politically Incorrect but we had both our sons circumcised for a couple of reasons:

1. Dad is circumcised and it is generally good for Q&A time if the boys look like Dad in that regard.

2. My brother was NOT circumcised until he had a horrible UTI and the foreskin became infected too. Turned into a freaking NIGHTMARE and he wound up having to be circumcised at age ten. TEN! He still remembers it and is totally bitter.

We decided that since I would be hysterical and weepy anyway, a quick procedure would get it out of the way and we'd never have to think of it again. A little Tylenol, a little nursing and a little snuggle and a little Vaseline you squeeze on the poor wee-wee during diaper changes and we were good to go. No complications. No resentment. No problems. No memories of it. It's all good.

If you choose not to though, that's okay too and don't let people try to jam their dogmatic views down your throat. Whatever you choose is right for you and your baby.

(PS: I have survived two boy type infants of my own. The spray hose is NOT SO BAD. You will learn to uncover the wee-wee with one hand and slap the new diaper over it before the stream gets too far. You will become adept at this and you will also learn that infant pee doesn't smell bad or sting your eyes if it DOES get on you. I will spare you the rest, for now.)

I have 3 sons, and in all honesty we never gave it any thought. they were all circumcised. the truth of it is, the babies don't really notice it. yeah they scream when it is done, but no more than they do at a vaccination. not to sound cruel, but it's just the truth. also, if the numbers don't raise for uncircumcised boys, as he gets older he may regret it if you choose not to, because one thing i have learned about boys is they have no shame in the locker rooms.

either way good luck with your choice, and ALWAYS lay a wipe on that area as soon as the diaper is removed, trust me.

We didn't have our son circumcised and haven't run into any problems, he's 5. I'm sure you've done all the research, just go with your instincts. Personally, I didn't want him to go through the pain of the procedure, also, the literature I read didn't really support circumcision. My husband is circumcised and he had no problem with being different from our son, he also could not bear the thought of putting our son under the knife.It's also true that more parents are choosing to not circumcise so your son will not be in the minority.

Unnecessary pain should be avoided, imnsho. [I'm sure you have seen the studies on how the pain affects infants' sensitivity to pain later on, as well as possible negative effects on the establishment of breastfeeding, so I'll skip the Lit Review.]

My son is almost 11, we live in a not-the-most-forward Canadian province and few boys his age or younger are circumcised.

Cleaning is a non-issue, as other commenters have noted. Besides, we have to teach our daughters how to care for their genitals, e.g. wipe from the front to the back and don't sit in harsh bubble bath, so teaching sons to care for their genitals isn't a bizarre hardship. Trust me, baby boy genitalia is MUCH easier to clean up then baby girl genitalia. All That Poop, ALL Those Folds.


Also, if you think about it in terms of female circ, few Westerners would think that 'tradition' is a valid reason to alter a baby girl's genitalia.

I could go on, but I'll spare you all.

It's a very personal decision that wasn't even an issue for us. We live in Italy and no one is cut, unless for very rare instances of medical necessity. I have to say though, even if we didn't live here, we probably would have left his penis as is. My husband is intact and I personally think it looks nicer that way. Everything in its place, ya know? Plus, it's more fun to play with (for both of us). I will shut up now. Already I've said too much.

There is no special care needed for an uncircumcized penis. Just clean the parts that you can already see, as normal. There is some info on this here (it includes info on cleaning, too, but other posters point out that cleaning is not necessary):

http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/health/penis.html#caring

Anyway, I have used the non-cleaning method for 11 years, with 2 boys, with no problems. You don't need to worry about special care or cleaning. And don't worry about getting up close and personal with a little "penis". You will soon see it as just another cute little baby part. I also felt squeamish when I knew I was having a boy, but those feelings soon faded.

As far as circumcizing vs. not, I would say do whatever you and your husband feel most comfortable doing. If you let other people talk you into doing what you are not comfortable with, you may just end up feeling dissatisfied with the result, and your feelings might be noticed by your son when he gets older.

neither of my boys are circumcised. if they want to hack of half of their genitals when they turn 18, that's their business.

you don't have to do any extra cleaning -- apparently the natural penis is a self-cleaning organism (even better than my oven).

i decided against chopping when i saw a diagram of what they actually do during the procedure. ugh. it was awful. and i found out that non-muslim/jewish americans didn't start routine circumcision until the Victorian era when it was used as a way to discourage masturbation. well, my boys can have at it!

i was with one guy who was uncut, and he was VERY sensitve. when you circ, you cut off a LOT of nerve endings that are really nice to have when you are an adult.

i have a friend who couldn't decide with her boys, so the doctor gave them a very "light" circ.

De-lurking to post that we have a daughter, but if we had a son, we would not have circumcised.

Why? Because research suggests that the foreskin has lots of lovely nerve endings that make sex better for men - and my husband, when he learned this was INCENSED at his parents. He is a horn dog and when he learned sex could have been even BETTER, he vowed we would never circumsise a boy child of ours.

:-)

Both my sons are hooded. I don't feel strongly one way or the other, to be honest. I've seen the pros and cons of both sides of the fence, and meh. It's a personal thing. Geez, I'm alot of help eh?

Congratulations on your son!
Karen
xo

My son is hooded. The pros and cons were about the same , so I decided not to. More people aren't doing it, so the ratio will be about even.

I also thought that no one is gonna see his penis unless he wants them too. Now a days kids don't take public showers at school or anywhere, so they aren't gonna see it.

The cleaning isn't really that hard either. You just wipe around it and pull back a little. The skin doesn't full seperate until they are over 4, so never force it back all the way.

My son is six and he cleans his own and he has even taken baths with his boy cousins who aren't hooded. None of the kids even noticed the difference.

Oh and I have been with both and there is no difference that I could tell.

I did quite a bit of research on this before giving birth to my son (who just turned a year old last week). We very nearly decided not to circumcise our son, but in the end, I told my India-born husband how cruel junior and high school aged boys can be here in the US. If being circumcised affords my son ONE LESS thing to be mocked for, then we decided to go for it.

Yes, it is cosmetic, but for the most part, so are braces and parents don't ask for their kid's permission on THAT, either. I'm not saying that you should do it, just offering up my reasons and experiences. I will say that it had healed within a week and honestly? Wasn't nearly as traumatic as that damned umbilical cord. NOBODY warns you how awful the umbilical cord is when it falls off.

Also, the whole "firehose" thing during diaper changes? Has happened to me just a few times and even then, I can't help but laugh. You'll probably always have tissues or something nearby anyway, so it's not that big of a dealio.

My "non-mother" experiences with the Available Variety of Penis Layout? No physical difference that I could ascertain, actually - a penis is a penis. It's more of a concept that needs to be gotten used to, but as you pointed out, more and more boys are going uncut these days so future generations of girls may not think anything of it.

"Very Mom" wrote a very well researched and very opinionated post on this awhile ago and I looked for the link to share, but she has changed domains and the archives aren't around for the time being.

Anyway, it was all for the uncut.

CUT, CUT, CUT...He'll thank you later!!!!!!!

I think it's true that more people are not cutting. My son has a few friends that are hooded. It seems to me that these days it just comes down to a personal preference. It's not really dangerous or cruel to cut, nor is it weird or "dirty" to not cut.

Guess I'm not a big help here, but I've seen both in kids and been with both as adults and it really makes little difference. We had my son circumcised simply because my husband and I preferred it that way.

I just had my fourth boy. This was the first time we had to pay cash to get a baby circ'd... because it was medically unnecessary. It's so much better though. You don't have to teach your little boys to clean it and all that fun stuff if they are cut. Much cleaner!!
Not to mention it's nice for them if they look like thier dad.
(my boys are 8, 4, 3 & newborn)

We were planning on having our son cut, mostly so he'd "match" his Daddy. I read pros and cons of both leaving and cutting and figured you're about even whichever way you go. As luck had it, he had what's unofficially called a "partial circumcision" where his foreskin wasn't complete so he's got the hood on top and sides and nothing on the bottom. With that, plus the NICU stay and the being super sick-ness, the dr's wouldn't cut him and he'd have to have it done when he was old/big enough to go under a general anesthetic. We figured that'd mean he'd be old enough to not understand why his wonderful new toy was a source of pain, so we're leaving it up to him to decide when he's old enough and we'll foot the bill. Honestly it's not hard to keep clean. The worst that happens is the little diaper fluffs get caught around/under it so you wipe it with a baby wipe every day.

I've "been" with both cut and uncut and there wasn't too much difference from my point of view. Easier insertion with the uncut, is the only benefit I could tell.

Also, I hear numbers are increasing of the little boys who are not cut, so by the time your little boy isn't so little, it won't be as unusual to be uncut as it is currently.

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