12 Reasons Why The AAP Is Right And You Should Circumcise Your Infant Son

photo by Jennifer Margulis

photo by Jennifer Margulis

The American Academy of Pediatrics, five years after creating a multidisciplinary task force on circumcision, has revised their 1999 statement about the operation. Once neutral on the subject of circumcision, their new statement, Technical Report on male circumcision, contends: “Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks; furthermore, the benefits of newborn male circumcision justify access to this procedure for families who choose it.” This is the same trade organization that suggested a “ritual nick” for infant girls whose parents want to circumcise them (they later retracted it), and that issues breastfeeding guides funded by the infant formula industry. With this statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics proves once again that it promotes best evidence, healthy children, and people over profits.

If you forewent the operation when your son was an infant, it’s not too late!

Here are 12 reasons why the AAP is right and we parents should circumcise our sons:

1. You want his penis to lose length and width.

2. You are unconcerned by the risk that he’ll suffer from meatal stenosis, a condition caused by circumcision where scar tissue blocks the opening to the pee hole making urination painful or strained, that has caused my friend so much embarrassment over the years.

3. You want his penis to be different from the majority (over 70 percent) of men in the world.

4. You already know how you’ll spend the $2.3 million award if your son loses his penis from a botched operation.

5. You feel safer knowing he’s less likely to get a urinary tract infection, so you don’t mind taking the risk he could die from blood loss, which is what happened to Eric Keefe, a 6-week-old who passed away on June 14, 2008, the day after being circumcised.

6. You’d rather he have unprotected sex as an adult than use a condom.

7. You have no concern about letting a relative stranger use very sharp objects on your son’s genitals.

8. You plan to dye his hair black and buy him green contact lenses to match Daddy’s so you want his penis to match Daddy’s too.

9. You aren’t concerned about what my friend’s son is facing and what thousands of circumcised boys suffer from: penile adhesions resulting from scar tissue forming on the shaft of the penis that make erections painful (and sometimes even bloody) and often require follow-up surgery by a pediatric urologist.

10. You want the head of his penis to toughen up and become hard instead of remaining moist, lubricated, and sensitive because it is protected by his foreskin.

11. You’re prepared for the remorse that you’ll feel years afterwards, and the hard conversations you’ll have when he’s an adult and regrets your decision and asks you why you did that to him.

12. You don’t think the decision to change the penis he was born with should be left up to him.

Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Smithsonian Magazine. She is a former Fulbright fellow and the author/editor of five books. Her latest book, The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line, was published by Scribner in April 2013.

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Categories: circumcision.

Comments

  1. Natalie B.

    Sigh.

    This was an issue that I didn’t know how I felt about before having my first child. I only have girls, but I know for a fact now that I wouldn’t circumcise a boy if I had one. I’m really disturbed by the conversation about circumcision supposedly lowering the risk of HIV infection. People are promoting that as if it’s some kind of great thing. A lowered risk is not the same as no risk. Condoms, people, condoms. That’s how one truly protect oneself. I think its so irresponsible of people to be promoting circumcision as being anything like safe sex.

  2. Beth

    I understand all but number 3. In history, people have wanted to kill the Jews even before seeing whether the men are circumcised. Do I want my sons to be able “to pass”, just in case something like that happens again? And, I realize that’s not what you mean. Still, historically, that point doesn’t work for me. And to look at it another way: what about the “one” kid in the US in the 1970s who was uncircumcised? (Exaggerating for a reason; there used to be a very high circumcision rate here.) Should he have been circumcised just to look like everyone else in the US? I don’t think we should do things either to look like everyone else–or not to look like everyone else.

    • I think that was more or less the point of number 3, an argument for circumcision is often made as “well, we don’t want him to look “different” from the other boys”, because often parents are told or believe that the majority of boys are circumcised. In the end, I think the author is saying that even that is misinformation and the tongue in cheek nature of the article implies that making such a serious surgical decision should not be done over being like or unlike anyone else cosmetically.

    • Jessica

      Either you’re missing the point or you’ve never heard people give the oh so well thought out reason of “he’ll get teased in the locker room”

      • Beth

        Of course, I’ve heard that.

        My friend’s brother, not circumcised in the ’80s, said that people were made more fun of for checking out others in the locker room than commenting on someone’s intact vs. circumcised status. Obviously, I hope that no one’s getting made fun of in the locker room at all.

        • Jack

          Exactly, you are far more likely to be teased about “why are you checking out his junk?” than some extra skin. Besides, unless you have a raging hard on, they all still pretty much look the same.

      • Eljay

        Don’t worry… I told my 13 yr old intact son to NOT tease those other boys in the minority whose parents didn’t know any better and chopped off their private parts. It’s not their fault!

    • Sam

      You don’t perform surgery to make them look the same as everyone else, true.

      You don’t perform surgery to make them different either.

      Seemples.

    • roger desmoulins

      The notion that having a penis with an unusual appearance is a social disability is a tenacious one. And also not a notion applied only to the male of our species. That the loose bits in our most private parts of our bodies are somehow “surplus to requirements” is trying to conquer womanhood. Tens of thousands of women in otherwise advanced societies have had a surgeon reduce the size of their inner lips. There is no evidence that men “prefer” women having small and inconspicuous labia minora.

      I am a baby boomer from the American midwest. I am intact because my mother is a foreigner. I was very self-conscious growing up, mainly because in my place and time, there was not a single word defending the normal natural male body. Nothing was known about how the bits sacrificed to circumcision enhance how both genders experience sex.

      Looking back, I now realise that once I was out of high school, my fellow men ceased to take any interest in how my penis looked. I eventually married someone who had discovered intact foreign born men in college, and never looked back. So in exchange for being at risk of ridicule in middle and high school, my wife and I have enjoyed decades of higher quality sex and foreplay. If that’s the deal, I’ll take mine intact, please.

      Social networks reveal that some American women still prefer dating and marrying circumcised men. But women who talk that way project a lot of provincial conformity. And there appears to be a lot of misunderstanding. In a dimly lit bedroom, it takes a very skilled eye to distinguish cut and uncut. The main difference between the tow rests in what her hands feel during foreplay, and in how her vagina experiences penetration. In particular, the looser skin system of the intact penis facilitates foreplay, and nicely captures and spreads his natural lubrication. A number of candid North American women have revealed details about their sexual experiences with intact men that have convinced me of one thing: parents who request circumcision, and the doctors/mohels who do it, have no clue about the sexual consequences of altering the penis in that fashion. This is tragic and horrible.

      • Michelle Storms

        I am told by my sons that there really isn’t a locker room issue anymore. There are separate showers and all nowadays. My sons have never been teased for being intact. They are secure with it all and their friends bring up the topic to mention that they wish they had been given a choice.

      • Erika

        I always say the women who say how icky an intact penis is have probably never seen one and probably wouldn’t know one if they were slapped in the face with it.

      • Babycatcher

        My 25 year old son thanked me for keeping him intact after the first time he had sex. I would have never circumcised him, regardless, but it was nice to be thanked! 🙂

      • Sun~Rose

        Well, friends whose son was born several months before ours, even though Jewish, were hip and decided not to circumcise their son. We did.

        When their son was 12, for some problem that came up, he had to be circumcised. Pretty traumatic.

        • Ash

          So because someone “had” to be circumcised later in life, we should circumcise every infant boy? That’s completely flawed logic. If we use that same logic, 1 in ~8 women will get breast cancer in the USA. Should we give all baby girls double mastectomies so that they don’t have to go through the pain later?

          Of course not, because you don’t treat a disease that is not currently present with the most invasive and destructive treatment possible. You first wait for the disease to present, and then try the least invasive treatment.

          By the way, it’s likely that their son “had” to be circumcised because of improper care of his intact penis.

  3. I suppose we ought to remove our breasts because we can get breast cancer. I have a son and he is not circumcised. It didn’t make sense to me to remove a body part that was there for a reason.

    • We now know that castration greatly increases life-expectancy. And half-castration (hemiorchidectomy – what a beautiful word, sounds like picking a rare flower!) would have little effect on fertility. We wait with bated breath for the AAP Task Force on Castration’s new policy….

  4. Tara

    I know the long lasting guilt that you speak of all too well. My son is now 7 years old and still suffers because of the excess scar tissue following his circumcision.

    • roger desmoulins

      🙁 🙁 🙁

      The AAP is silent about cases such as your son.
      I have met men in their 50s and 60s, who have stopped having marital sex because scar tissue has made them insensitive.

      • Mary Lanser

        This is so true. The AAP doesn’t “consider” excess scar tissue or any other circumcision problem a risk or a complication. That is quite disingenuous of them when quite a few of the “problems” of a circumcision don’t surface for years which can affect mature males sex lives. How shameful!

  5. Laura Moffitt

    I have two boys…did NOT get them circumcised…for so many reasons. First, it’s their body! If they hate it, they can do it later. Secondly, my husband was circumcised and he resents his mother for doing it (his father is uncircumcised, but didn’t have an opinion either way). Just the thought of how they do the procedure was too unbearable for us to go thru with it as well!! I could go on and on! Find an article about the differences between circum and uncircum…you circumcised men will be wishing otherwise as well!

  6. I couldn’t even bear the two stitches my kid underwent today for busting his eyebrow open let alone being there to witness something that is routinely carried out for the most ridiculous reasons. The doctor even noted, “Please let us know if it makes you uncomfortable during the [sutures] and we can take care of it after you step out of the room.”

    That happens all too often with parents who cannot stay in the same room as their young infant son is circumcised. Shouldn’t that tug at a mother’s heart be enough to leave her son as he was born? I love this post, very catchy title! 😉

    http://thelaotiancommotion.com/2012/07/08/what-a-mom-of-two-boys-wants-you-to-know-about-circumcision/
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  7. Rich Wilson

    I usually present #12 as strapping him spread eagled to a table when he has no idea what’s going on because then later in life he won’t remember the experience, or old enough to make his own decision and fully cognizant of what’s going on.

    None of the supposed arguments ‘for’, other than religion, suggest it to be done on infants.

    • Lisa

      I don’t buy the “religion” argument. If your religion requires that you remove parts of your genirals, by all means, decide to go ahead and chop ’em off. But you don’t have the right to decide what your child’s religion will be. Perhaps his future religious practices will say nothing about genital mutilation. Every person, boy or girl, infant or adult, should have autonomy over their own genitals. The decision to keep or dispose of any part of them should be made only by the owner. Not the parent or anyone else.

      • Sikhs value the intact body, not even cutting the hair. While he would not be excluded, he might feel he was “less of a Sikh” for being circumcised.
        Some Hindus use their foreskins in their devotions to Shiva (shown on Travel Channel, after warnings).
        Pre-European NZ Maori used their foreskins in a ritual to ward off evil.
        And who knows what Scientology or some other new sect may come up with?
        HIS religious freedom requires that he be left the choice of keeping or cutting off parts of his OWN genitals.

    • Random trivia: 80% of the world’s male population isn’t circumcised. Which means, most of the world doesn’t have “kosher sex.”

      STD rates are higher in the US, including HIV, than various countries in Europe and Asia. According to USAID, HIV transmission was more prevalent among circumcised men in 10 out of 18 countries in Africa. Which means having anatomically correct organs is healthier.
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    • roger desmoulins

      Many gentile women in the American heartland I hail from, think as you do. And this thinking is a major unspoken reason why the circumcision rate is as high as it is in the midwest and upper south. When circumcision becomes the norm in a culture, as is the case among Jews, Moslems and Americans, women typically think that intimacy with an intact man is disgusting. I know of 4 societies that circumcised for a while, then thought the better of it: the UK and New Zealand have completely given up the practice. The circumcision rate in Australia (Canada) is down to 15% (30%).

      The Bible says nothing about uncircumcised sex being immoral or unhealthy.

      If penetrative sex with an intact man were unhealthy, data from Europe and Japan would make that evident. What IS unhealthy is casual sex without a condom.

      When you agree to become intimate with a man, you acquire the right to inspect his man parts, and to clean them to your satisfaction.

      Finally, Ms MoneyPenny, don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it. I think that a major reason why circumcision is declining in the USA, is the growing number of young women who have had a fling with an intact dude during the free spirited late teens and early 20s. Many who’ve test driven the model with all the factory installed moving parts either have no complaints, or prefer it outright.

    • Michelle Storms

      Such hate speech against normality. Grow up please. Males have foreskins and that makes sex a whole lot better for both males and females. Females have lots of genital parts and secretions and smells themselves, but we DON’T CHOP OFF their parts or make rude HATEFUL comments about them being unhealthy. We teach them regular bathing and hygiene. We respect their rights to bodily integrity and freedom of choice.

    • Kerstin

      It’s fine by me. As long as you don’t carve your sexual preference in the penis of a newborn – and standing with one step on the wrong side of the fence “sexual predator”.

    • roger desmoulins

      Tumblr has made it possible for tens of thousands of women to exhibit their pink bits outside of crass and vulgar porn. And thus the whole world can see what Mother Nature wants women to have: folds, flaps, wrinkles, puckers, all cascading out. I am not surprised that some traditional cultures decide that those bits are sexually off-putting and must go. But that is a classic instance of body shaming and intolerance.
      I agree that a woman who detests the male foreskin is a stone thrower living in a glass house.

      When the body and attitudes about the body clash, reexamine the attitudes.

  8. The task force was called a “Circumcision Task Force”. They were not called a “Genital Integrity Task Force” or a “Human Rights Task Force”. They were not called a “Foreskin Purpose and Function Task Force”. My point is, what they looked for controlled what they found. They assembled themselves to be biased in favor of forced genital cutting of minors. They named their committee for a violent and bloody for-profit procedure. What do you expect? How can they be trusted? Four and a half years ago I wrote to them in earnest, suggesting that they call their committee “Ethics of Forced Genital Cutting Task Force”. What do you suppose they would have found had they met and framed their discussions under a different title?

    • Tora Spigner RN

      All you have to do is follow the money trail. If the intent is to circumcise, you can always find a reason, no matter how trivial or unfounded, to do it. If the intent is to keep normal, healthy sexually sensitive tissue, there are more factual reasons to do so. But the AAP was not looking for facts, they needed support for their view and found it. If people look at the information objectively, they can see that. Also realize that no intact (uncircumcised) men were on that task force.

      • Tora, thank you for this very interesting comment. How do we know that no intact men were on the Task Force? That is something I’d like to write an article about. Did you read that somewhere? Do you know the circumcision status of everyone on the Task Force? Please tell us more!

        • roger desmoulins

          Ms Margulis, Latinos excepted, the circumcision rate among white middle class gentile men born in USA hospitals after 1940 or so, is incredibly high. I speak as someone who has spent a lot of time in locker rooms. The USA circ rate is much higher than in Israel, where many men immigrated as adults from the Soviet Block. It is quite safe to assume that the Task Force consisted entirely of circumcised men or the spouses of circumcised men. Several people on the Task Force have Jewish names, including the Chair, Susan Blank. Nobody on the Task Force has a name suggesting foreign birth, or being born to post-1960 immigrants to the USA.

          I agree with the person who said that the most tragic aspect of RIC is that those who undergo it often grow up to advocate the procedure. That was true of my father. He and his mother did not stop demanding that I be circumcised until my mother threatened divorce over the issue.

        • Michelle

          Michael Freedman on the task force is a pediatric urologist who is Jewish and physically circumcised his own son. Dr. Susan Blank is married to a Jewish man. It is believed that all on the task force are either circumcised, married to circumcised males, and/or circumcised their children. The only ones with foreskins are the women. None seem to have any understanding of the value of the foreskin or any experience with male foreskins other than chopping them off.

  9. MsMoneypenny

    Glad you don’t make public policy. This is a choice and an ancient sacred practice. And, dear Amy, clipping a foreskin is NOT quite comparable to cutting off labia. Get real.

    • roger desmoulins

      For the vast majority of circumcised American and Canadian men, the practice was neither ancient nor sacred. It started as a fashionable upper middle class practice, for the minority of boys born in urban maternity wards to parents in comfortable circumstances. It became quasi universal as hospital birth with health insurance became universal, in the 1940s.

      Pray tell, just how would a woman like you know just what male circumcision entails? Do you know that all women have an anatomical structure that is very analogous to the male foreskin, and that this structure is removed in certain cultures? The structure I have in mind is NOT the labia minora. But I invite you to reflect on how the labia minora have a lot in common with the male foreskin, so much so that trimming the labia minora (a procedure unknown 20+ years ago, that has acquired a fair following in recent years) can be seen as analogous to male circumcision.

      My point is that nearly all right thinking people rightly see that cosmetic surgery to these womanly bits is disgusting. But surgery to the analogous male bits somehow gets a pass.

    • But it is very comparable to cutting off the clitoral hood (more severe if anything), as with this device invented by an American doctor in 1959, with a shield to protect the clitoris )and hence nothing like the horrors of African FGC) , funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield until 1977 and legal until 1996: http://www.circumstitions.com/methods.html#rathmann (NSFW)
      And it should be a choice – that of the owner, when he’s old enough to make one. He’ll almost always choose to keep it all.

  10. Vesta

    God created Man in his image (foreskin and all). I don’t think anyone has the right to say He was wrong and we should chop it up.

  11. Amy

    An ‘ancient and sacred practice’? What, like animal sacrifice? Witch dunking? Rape beading? Reading the entrails? Yup, if that’s what constitutes an ‘ancient and sacred practice’ then tearing off a newborn’s prepuce and sucking the blood from the wound IS right up there, gotta say.

    You might want to redo biology 101 – the male and female prepuces are analogous. Male circumcision is at the very least, comparable to the removal of the clitoral hood, but so much tissue is usually removed its more akin to the complete removal of the labia minora. These evolve from the same structures in the womb, and the prepuces have the same functions. They are ABSOLUTELY comparable. Yet, since the late 1990s, it’s been illegal to so much as nick a girl’s genitals, yet there’s no problem if your child is a boy. Misandry, much?

  12. m.e.

    I have 3 boys and we did not circumcise any of them when they were born. However, my eldest who is now 8 has had some issues with recurring infection and difficulty urinating from a very small foreskin opening. (This was just something congenital that could not be helped.)

    The solution was simple – circumcision. But I always long felt that I would circumcise my boys only if needed for health reasons.

    I realize that elderly men can also have problems in their old age with difficulties related to not being circumcised, but why preemptively have a serious procedure done if you don’t even know for sure that there will be any problems? Still, I’m glad that we didn’t just circumcise my son as an infant. At least this way he, and us his parents, had full understanding of why the procedure was necessary in our case. … My other boys are doing just fine, by the way.

    • Michelle

      There are other options actually. These include use of steroid creams and plastic surgery that does not remove the entire foreskin.

  13. jenn

    @m.e. What was the procedure for your eldest son when you had to have the surgery done? Was he put under and how long did it take for him to recover? How much pain was he in afterwards? Just wondering. I have given birth to 3 girls and I have a boy due mid-October. I am not for circumcising him since the option is there if he decides when he gets older but I have read some things that kind of scare me like the sti thing and now your story about your son having to have it done at 8. Just trying to find out more information. Thank you

    • Michelle

      I am a physician who has read the medical evidence on circumcision. Male circumcision will not in any way prevent your son from acquiring STD’s, HIV, HPV, penile cancer or even a UTI. Just don’t retract his foreskin and only wash it off on the outside. Urologists in this country know little about how to preserve the foreskin when there is a problem. They usually always recommend circumcision, but there are much less invasive ways of dealing with problems. My adult sons have never had a problem and we certainly would not agree to cutting off their foreskins if they did have a problem. Teach your son to bathe regularly as we do for girls, be respectful of women, avoid being promiscuous, use condoms. HIV is rare unless a person injects IV drugs, is REALLY promiscuous, or has sex with males. Circumcision does not prevent HIV transmission from these behaviors. I work in a university health center and HPV, STD’s are rampant. HIV is not rampant because it takes about 1000 sexual encounters with an HIV + person to transmit it. Denmark and all the other developed countries that do not circumcise have lower rates of all these diseases. Your son will thank you if you leave him alone. My sons have many times. They know the foreskin is valuable and is the best part.

    • m.e.

      His urethra opening was extremely tight and was even in the wrong position. He also seemed to not have very much foreskin at all, it was so tight. … Normally as boys grow and their muscles begin to contract, the skin stretches and loosens. We are not sure why / what happened that this did not occur. In addition, his penis was actually starting look curved at the tip. It caused a lot of pain for him during urination, as well as he had several bouts of balinitis. My only regret was that we didn’t realize how uncomfortable he was for so long. …
      Yes, he did have to go under and it took about 45 minutes. Yes he was in real pain for the first couple of days, but even he was happy after the fact. Total healing was actually quite quick (about a month and he totally forgot about it, haha). He had stitches and creams, and some pain med suspension. …
      Upon retrospect, I do wish we could have researched more about a plastic surgery option, as Michelle has suggested. But i had my own fears that this might have to be repeated later in life (since he’s still growing), as well as we were desperate for him to be rid of pain, and we just didn’t have enough information. So it is what it is.
      Best of luck to you =)

      • sara

        I am wondering if he could have had a penis tie? Did he have lip or tongue tie when he was born? I have read that these midline defects sometimes occur together, and a penis tie, or a pendulum holding down the foreskin, can cause issues later as they grow. My son has Lip tie and tongue tie, so I am concerned about this possibility.

        • mary Lanser

          I have never heard of a “penis tie”….. ever. Are you referring to the frenelum? IT is supposed to be there and I don’t see how it can cause issues later on in life. Do you have any references to your comment?

  14. Amy

    Jenn, there is much less risk associated with an older boy having the surgery – he’s not likely to bleed out for a start – but the chances in a lifetime of it EVER needing to be done are miniscule. Here in New Zealand as in most of Europe and Asia, no one circumcises and I don’t know a single boy or man with a problem. In Europe, the most drastic procedure that would have been performed on m.e.’s son is a preputioplasty, not circumcision. The problem is that most boys in the USA are retracted by parents or paediatricians and this is NOT to happen – it can lead to scarring and cause problems later on. BTW, the STI stuff is bunk – the USA has been circumcising for decades and has much higher rates of STIs than any European nation.

    More on the complications: http://www.circumstitions.com/Complic.html

    STIs: http://www.circumstitions.com/STDs.html

    Normal development of the prepuce:

    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/retraction.html
    http://www.fathermag.com/health/boy-care/boy-care.shtml
    http://www.cirp.org/library/normal

    Medical association positions from around the world:
    http://www.nocirc.org/position

    HTH! Good luck with the upcoming birth.

  15. Thank you for linking real life into this! I just want everyone to know that while you may plan what you’ll do with that big botch settlement, that doesn’t mean you’ll get it. While botches are NOT rare, big settlements/awards ARE. Also, just because it gets awarded, doesn’t mean the doctor has insurance, or money to pay; and don’t think they are too good to not do things like move their assets to avoid paying.
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  16. I can offer these two countries, Sweden and France. In Sweden, my husband and his four boys were not circumcised, as is the custom there. Ditto in France where my son was born and not circumcised, like his father.

  17. mary Lanser

    How is it that a male with normal natural genitals is considered “unhealthy” to have sex with…..BUT a woman with normal natural genitals is??? What we have here is some serious sexist attitudes that need to be checked at the door!!!!

  18. roger desmoulins

    To have the name Margulis, while blogging as you have above, is indeed to “stick your neck out.” The most precious intactivists of all are those of Jewish ancestry.

    I grant that it is much easier to be an intactivist if one lives on the West Coast, where respect for Nature now extends to the way boys are at birth. My wife is from the Pacific Northwest and her foreign born college boyfriend was intact. From then on, she has put the American cult of the bald penis behind her. In much of the USA heartland, however, that cult still flourishes. And the reason is as simple as it is sad: American provinciality extends to the bedroom.

  19. Thank you for all of these thoughtful comments, Roger. As I’ve written about elsewhere (for BlogHer, on Babble.com, and also forthcoming from Brain, Child in the winter issue), I am Jewish. My family is Jewish. All of the men in my family have presumably been circumcised for thousands of years. My husband is Italian-American and was also circumcised. When he first started reading about it he shrugged it off. But now he really regrets not having had the choice. After a lot of research (literally years), he and I both came to the same conclusion. We chose not to circumcise our being-raised-Jewish son. Another very close family member also chose to forgo circumcision. There are a lot of practices in the Jewish religion that are no longer done, a lot of parts of the Torah that Jews (even Orthodox Jews) ignore. Blood sacrifice, for instance. I look forward to the day when people of the Jewish faith realize that circumcision is not the right thing to do to a newborn’s genitals in the absence of medical need.

  20. Michelle

    Jennifer, I have a book for you to write on this topic that will likely make you famous. It is about ethics, power, money, and there are many who can help you with the details. Similar to the Henrietta Lacks story and just as far-reaching. Contact me if interested in the details.

  21. a dad

    I agree with much of what you write, but

    *8. You plan to dye his hair black and buy him green contact lenses to match Daddy’s so you want his penis to match Daddy’s too.*

    Hey, humorous or misandry and a gratuitous father put down?

    Was there some way you could have written this without bashing on fathers?

    • stasia pepper

      The reasoning behind that was not a bash on fathers, rather a rebuttal against the old, “you want to circumcise your son so he’ll look like his father.”argument

    • Mary Lanser

      I didn’t see it as a “bashing” on fathers, but more like attention being put on a very common excuse that people (including fathers…) use to justify genital alterations on infant boys. It makes no sense!

  22. Charlie

    The AAP is already called out on its BS. The majority of the medical organizations in the world are opposed to infant circumcision, after looking at the same evidence. This includes:
    The Canadian Pediatric Society,
    British Medical Association,
    Swedish Pediatric Society,
    Royal Dutch Medical Society,
    The Netherlands Society of General Practitioners,
    The Netherlands Society of Youth Healthcare Physicians,
    The Netherlands Association of Paediatric Surgeons,
    The Netherlands Association of Plastic Surgeons,
    The Netherlands Association for Paediatric Medicine,
    The Netherlands Urology Association,
    The Netherlands Surgeons’ Association.
    Royal College of Surgeons of England,
    Royal Australasian College of Physicians,
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia,
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons,
    Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons,
    Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations,
    Australian Medical Association,
    British Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons,
    The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan,
    Saskatchewan Medical Association,
    Norwegian Medical Association,
    Norwegian Nurses Organization,
    Norwegian Ombudsman for Children,
    Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo,
    Norwegian Council for Medical Ethics,
    Central Union for Child welfare in Finland,
    Denmark National Council for Children,

  23. TJ

    The condom issue: I was cut as an infant, and, while I could use condoms in my twenties,at around thirty that came to an end–there was just not enough feeling left.
    I’ve given up sex all together these days, but my thirties were pretty depressing. To be honest, worse than the deadened sensations were the reactions from women. I spent much of my life in Asia and Latin America. Women found a partially amputated penis to be pretty smirkable. I’m far from small, but I think I must know how those must feel. It came to a point where I just began to avoid women all together. But hey, that’s probably for the best!

    • Mary Lanser

      I find it so sad that this kind of thing exists for countless men in the U.S. and a medical organization like the AAP refuses to recognize such problems related to infant circumcision. The AAP has no ethics……and they haven’t had ethics since they were putting their support behind a “ritual nick” to the genitals of infant girls as recent as 2010. Sad that they don’t realize how ridiculous and backward they appear to other medical organizations in the world as they spout benefits of genital cutting on infant boys.

  24. Judith

    I was a bit nervous about reading this, until I read the first reason! Wonderful way to point out how ludicrous the procedure is…but there should actually be a 13th reason: You trust perverted circumcision fanatical doctors who do not want boys to grow up to be men who have something that was stolen from them.

    • roger desmoulins

      More than 10% of males are Muslims, and Islam requires circumcision. Hence more than 10% of all males are circumcised. The WHO claims that about 30% of males are circumcised. A majority of sub-Saharan African tribes still circumcise, either out of Islamic faith, or as part of an initiation rite.

  25. Mary Lanser

    GOOD GRIEF! Are men actually expected to have sex with a woman who has her normal natural genitals as nature intended???? Oh yeah…..doesn’t it sound so much different when he gender is changed in the scenario, MsMoneyPenny??????? wow……

  26. Mae

    How about people just worry about their own child’s penises and quit worrying about my childs? It’s kind of creepy honestly all these people freaking out over penises. My husband is circumcized and he’s never gone “Oh darn, I wish my mom wouldn’t have circumcized me, sex just isn’t fun” Nope. He has no complaints, and could care less that he was circumcized. When we had our twins, we researched and read and guess what? We decided to GO AHEAD and circumcize BOTH of our sons. They had ZERO issues. Them being circumcized was not an issue, however, the CANCER one of my sons was BORN WITH was more of an issue. I think people should put their effort into finding a cure for cancer than worrying about penises. Do you realize 7 kids will die daily in the U.S. from childhood cancer? 36 will be diagnosed daily in the U.S. those rates are MUCH higher world wide!

    • Mary Lanser

      Geeeeez…. He was born with cancer…. And then you went ahead and put him through unnecessary genital alteration surgery too???? Wow .

    • Laine

      I am right there with you Mae.. so many in the anti-circ camp bash about parental rights.. well, if yo want to all give your rights over to someone else, go ahead. But, I ask you, what happens when the people you hand your rights over to decide circing is the way to go? How we all just keep our rights and mind our own damn business. You spout off about doctors being pervs, you all seem to be much more interested in my son’s penis than any doctor ever was..

      • Judith

        Really Laine? None of us are the ones who scalped your son’s penis. None of us will ever see it, and none of us care what it looks like. We just try to protect babies from their ignorant parents, since they can’t protect them from the greedy doctors.

    • Judith

      Just wait until he’s older! No man is going to admit anything is wrong with their dicks. If nothing is wrong with it, why mess with it? Do you honestly think that every male born has his foreskin removed? Why do you think they call Latin men great lovers? They all still have theirs. Wake the hell up!

  27. Harold Brenin

    “My husband is circumcized and he’s never gone “Oh darn, I wish my mom wouldn’t have circumcized me, sex just isn’t fun” Nope. He has no complaints, and could care less that he was circumcized.”

    Wait until he is older, and he may well regret his rash comments. Loss of orgasm is common after the age of 40 or so. But the person who cut off the foreskin of him or his sons, will neither know nor care.

  28. Harold Brenin

    “My husband is circumcized and he’s never gone “Oh darn, I wish my mom wouldn’t have circumcized me, sex just isn’t fun” Nope. He has no complaints, and could care less that he was circumcized.”

    Wait until he is older, and he may well regret his rash comments. Loss of orgasm is common after the age of 40 or so. But the person who cut off the foreskin of him or his sons, will neither know nor care.

    • Laura Moffitt

      I have two boys…did NOT get them circumcised…for so many reasons. First, it’s their body! If they hate it, they can do it later. Secondly, my husband was circumcised and he resents his mother for doing it (his father is uncircumcised, but didn’t have an opinion either way). Just the thought of how they do the procedure was too unbearable for us to go thru with it as well!! I could go on and on! Find an article about the differences between circum and uncircum…you circumcised men will be wishing otherwise as well!

  29. lol

    This is the stupidist list of reasons. There are msny reasons not listed ehy the benefits outweight the risks. Who ever created this is ignorant

    • Judith

      You need to look in the mirror before you call someone who is educated and has actually researched this topic ignorant. There are no benefits to infant circumcision. Just a dirty laundry list of things that might not happen if you do it. Like if you don’t walk out in front of a car, you won’t get hit. Teach your damn kids good hygiene and safe sex, and he’ll be fine. No reason to take that choice out of HIS hands.

    • Craig Adams

      Intact genitals are a human right. Infant circumcision is a euphemism for forced genital cutting. Boys and girls deserve protection from forced genital cutting.

  30. If you believe that your circumcision was for the best, or you say you like it, or it’s all for the good, or you don’t really care, then it’s eaten into the core of your manhood, of your soul. You’ve surrendered to it, and it’s a deep and profound psychic wound that you carry for the rest of your life. If you rebel and fight it, and reject it for your sons, then it’s only a physical wound, a battle wound that doesn’t own your soul. By the way, if you can bear the truth, no one else in the world inflicts this horror on their babies in the hospitals. The European medical community has denounced American doctors for their cruel circumcision policy. Here’s the link…

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896.full.pdf+html

  31. KK

    So, over 70% of men are uncircumcised? How is it that of all the men I’ve ever known intimately, only ONE was uncircumcised and his was nasty!! It wasn’t clean….it wasn’t sensitive at all…..it actually looked deformed. I do plan on circumcising my sons if I ever have any, as it is the right thing to do!

  32. Circumcision prevents phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin at an age when it should normally be retractable), paraphimosis (the painful inability to return the foreskin to its original location), and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
    Circumcision increases the chance of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis).
    Circumcision may result in a decreased incidence of urinary tract infections.
    Circumcision may result in a lower incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and may reduce HIV transmission.
    Circumcision may lower the risk for cancer of the cervix in sexual partners.
    Circumcision may decrease the risk for cancer of the penis.

    There is significant pressure for the AAP and ACOG to reconsider their positions.

    I am circumcised and a lot of you people posting here are just idiots that has not a clue.
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    • Judith

      Chopping off your whole dick will decrease all those things too! How about if we cut out the breast buds from little girls, which will decrease the chance of them getting breast cancer. Or remove their appendix, which will decrease the chance of appendicitis. Or how about cut off your head, so your brain doesn’t atrophy anymore than it already has? 😛

  33. JJ

    This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while! Both of my boys are circumcised and they don’t mope around wishing they had that skin back. Not that it really matters but theirs was done for cleanliness.

    • Craig Adams

      How can a cut/wounded/mutilated tissue be cleaner than the one all baby boys are born with, especially when you put the bleeding and now smaller penis stump in a diaper with urine and feces? Circumcising for hygiene is as absurd as removing the eyelid for eye hygiene.

  34. JDS

    it nakes my heart happy to see that the vast majority of people commenting are truly educated on this subject. The truth is spreading! And therefore baby boys are being spared. 🙂

  35. Judith

    LOL I came prepared to do battle! Great reasons to get circumcised…or rather reasons to leave your baby the hell alone! Great article! 🙂

  36. Dave Branch

    The cultural bias in the AAP is truly laughable. When science and humanity were becoming more ubiquitous on this matter in the late 20th century, a valid cross-section of physicians was trumpeting the needless mutilation of healthy infant tissue.

    The deep psychological damage, little-studied in infant mutilation cases, is surely linked to distortion of the sensory map, misplacement of emotions, and impediment to development of long-term potentiality.

    Historically, the only valid “benefit,” proven over centuries, is the reduction of sexual pleasure. Some may consider that a “benefit.”

    The AAP only considers the bottom line, heartily ameliorated by this, their most performed procedure.

  37. Elizabeth

    I wish I has the choice to not get my son done. He had to the other choice was for him to live with a catheter in him for the rest of his life.. he was born 3 months early and his penis had grew shut, and was skin stopping from from going to the bathroom. We had to wait till he was strong enough to have it done. It was the WORST thing in my life! If I have another boy and he does not need it then he would not be cut! I feel so bad knowing I had to make that choice for him and pray he does not hate me for it.

  38. Yvonne Aileen

    I adore you, Jennifer Margulis! Keep speaking the truth. (And it was never even a consideration for me to circumcise our two sons–I said no fucking way.)

    Yvonne

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