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, all but contends that you should circumcise your son:
“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. This statement that the health benefits outweigh the risk pushes parents to believe that you should circumcise. With this statement the American Academy of Pediatrics proves once again that it promotes best evidence, healthy children, and people over profits. Um, right? Or, um, maybe not? Take heart: 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 you should circumcise your sons:
1. You want his penis to lose length and width. What’s a quarter of the penis anyway? We all know smaller is better.
2. You’re 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. Meatal stenosis can be a source of shame and lifelong embarrassment. So what?
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 part of or his entire penis from a botched operation. He won’t have a working penis but you’ll be rich!
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, which is what hundreds of thousands of newly circumcised men in Africa are doing these days. That Kool-Aid tasted really good. They have all but been told that they’re immune to AIDS now that they’ve had their foreskins removed so they are resisting using condoms.
7. You have no concern about letting a relative stranger who may or may not know what he’s doing use very sharp objects on your son’s genitals. In medical school the way the students learn is: “See one, do one, teach one.” No problem.
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 his Daddy’s too. You’ll make sure his personality matches his 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. Some 1 in 500 boys experience acute circumcision complications. Oh well.
10. You want the head of his penis, which is protected by the foreskin in intact boys and men, to toughen up and become hard instead of remaining moist, lubricated, and sensitive. Who need protection? Not your son!
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.
Have I convinced you you should circumcise your son? Good luck with that.