General Question

KingMalefic's avatar

To snip or not.

Asked by KingMalefic (857points) February 18th, 2009

Circumcision, now removing the religious reasons, the question is in two mainly if you have a son and have the option would you snip it or not for whatever reasons please do tell.

The second as a female/male partner is there a fascination and or disgusts or preference in the male you are dating or extra excitement if he is or isn’t?

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40 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

We did it. I think mainly for social reasons. The arguments based on health seem to come out about even. I don’t think it’s that big a deal.

augustlan's avatar

Before I had children (all girls as it turned out) we had this discussion. We would have opted to do it for both social and religious reasons. My ex is culturally Jewish, though he doesn’t practice, and it is a big part of being Jewish. I only ever dated one guy who wasn’t, and I thought it was odd only because I’d never seen that before. I quickly dismissed it as unimportant. It didn’t affect our relationship in the least, one way or another.

KingMalefic's avatar

@daloon : I am curious what you mean by for social reasons?

KingMalefic's avatar

@augustlan : Yes in Jewish its a big deal, why i was trying to remove the religious aspect but i do find it interesting peoples responses. Those that say it makes a difference whether in a pro or in a con way. Interesting.

augustlan's avatar

In my case, social reasons means this: At this time, the majority of male babies born in the US still get circumsized. Those boys will be the school mates of my (hypothetical) son, and will be exposed to one another in the locker room. They will also be exposed to a number of girls in sexual situations. I didn’t want my ‘son’ to feel different.

SuperMouse's avatar

When my kids were born I let their father make the decision. I figured that since I have no experience whatsoever in that department I would leave it up to him. He opted to have them circumcised, his reasoning was that he was so they should be too. Honestly if I had to do it all over again I would have lobbied heavily against circumcision. From what I understand these days only about half of newborn boys are snipped so any social stigma is probably going to be minimal.

Edited to add: Most of the men of my generation were circumcised as a rule. Even though that is what I have been exposed to, I would have no problem being with a man who is outfitted exactly as God made him.

arnbev959's avatar

If I ever have a son, I certainly won’t snip. I see no reason to perform an unnecessary, rather irreversible, largely cosmetic surgery on a not-consenting newborn.

cak's avatar

Not something I generally share, because it is about my son, but he is uncircumcised. This was not a decision that went over easily with me, I was armed with all the potential risks and any factor that could possibly point towards cancer, or any other disease. I was armed with the social standpoint and possible teasing that could occur. Truly, it bothered me for a long time. Generally, my husband and I don’t have heated arguments, but this one led to one or five of those, but I put the decision in his hands.

I will say that we have the doctor – along with us – explain to our son, each visit, how to make sure he is taking proper care and making sure proper hygiene is maintained.

I do worry, I do read and I see some of the links that are drawn to certain things. My husband, coming from a family that did not believe in this, it was something he felt very strongly about.

I don’t generally talk about it, because I’m often in the position of having to defend this decision. It’s the one thing I’m not sure I should have relented on – but I can’t change that now.

shilolo's avatar

Well, taking away the religious reasons, there are some excellent, and valid medical reasons to have a circumcision. Multiple studies have shown that circumcised men have a significantly reduced rate of acquiring HIV and other STDs as compared to circumcised men. Furthermore, they are less likely to transmit STDs (including human papilloma virus) to their female partners, leading to reduced rates of PID and cervical cancer in their partners. To me, the benefits (both medical and cosmetic) outweigh the potential harm.

Jeruba's avatar

I really very strongly wanted to do it for our sons, arguing that the sight of an uncircumcised penis is most unattractive. That is my personal opinion. In my own upbringing, not Jewish, it was done routinely, citing sanitary reasons.

To my surprise, my husband disagreed, saying that it was unnecessary surgery and citing a number of anecdotal cases of his personal experience where something had been done poorly and the adult man was still suffering for it.

We locked horns on the matter and finally consulted the pediatrician, who said that it was unnecessary and that no harm would be done by leaving the child intact.

Aesthetic reasons weighed heavily with me, but I finally conceded, saying that I thought the father’s decision ought to carry greater weight than the mother’s in a male matter.

KingMalefic's avatar

Well as a male one way or another I suppose I might be biased. One being I wasn’t cut and happy about it and since I have never had that snipped I can’t come from that point of view of someone who has. But I do take care of myself and clean regularly thats usually a major concern as to why its done. I just learned to take care or “it” as anything else that might be important.

In regards to more adverse to carrying potential STDs I feel that it will come down to safe sex practice choice and cleanliness. One or the other snipped or not still comes down to that, just it seems easier for some male to have one less thing to deal with.

As for locker rooms and other such moments I have always been odd about that not cause I feel ashamed of my member or such more that maybe I just don’t like looking at hairy or to be hairy men in the locker room while changing. haha.

Never had an issue of feeling like an outcast from the male community even an unscheduled show and tell in elementary school another story for another time sigh.

KingMalefic's avatar

I do understand that some may find it unattractive or conversely attractive just like any other feature of the body.

@jeruba : Is your husband not as cut or his he? just curious since apparently he lobbyed for his son to not be cut.

KingMalefic's avatar

@cak : Just curious how old your son is, and as for your argument and belief its not unfounded but things I feel can go a rye no matter which way. I have found that those friends that I know that aren’t cut have been much happier that the decision to change there body was not made and they were left untouched.

Given that should a legitimate health reason occur for a change I would hope most would do so accordingly with some heavy thought as I would as well.

cak's avatar

@KingMalefic – he’s 5. So he’s still pretty young. Like I said, my husband’s family feels strongly about this – so clearly he’s not, either. He’s STD-free, he’s relatively healthy – outside of his fast food habit, but he’s also aware of the flip side of things. It was hard for me to accept this, because I think of the risks and as a parent, your job is to protect them. That is where I will always question my decision to yield to my husband. I have been very clear in my belief that we must always reinforce to him proper care and we will always enlist a doctor’s help in reinforcing that understanding,as well.

It’s not an easy decision. I trust my husband and his pediatrician talked to us at length and went over both sides. She surprised me by saying there is an increase in parents not going through with the procedure, but that didn’t factor into our decision.

Since my son was born – we’ve had a few friends making the same choice. We didn’t voice an opinion, one way or another.

augustlan's avatar

We had our first child 14 years ago and the last 11 years ago, when it was not so common to leave things in their natural state. The pendulum is certainly swinging the other way. If I had a child now, I might be more likely to not have it done.

KingMalefic's avatar

@cak : I think it was my father that was against it to and well my mother as well not entirely sure. Though the father went the window quickly—not metaphorically— I have had my run ins with the doctor but now knowing what I know now it wasn’t really any concern. Other then my own mother being protective, I am not saying to not be for I love my mom but for a mom with no father not going through the natural progressions of not being cut its like a single dad i suppose trying to explain the monthly dues for a daughter.

Growing as I have I would opt for the non cut (future son) as well unless there was an immediate medical issue that needed attention.

Its kinda of hard even all the conversations I have had with my friends the norm until kinda of recently was to simply just snip. Though i would be pissed if not given the option at all. early 80s child hehe

but cak truly i think your son will maybe not say it but be happy that you hadn’t but if he doesn’t shower or wash for a week you may wanna say something hehe :-)

KingMalefic's avatar

@augustlan : Things or in that manor have seemed to swing in the other direction.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I have no children and don’t think I’ll be having any, so I don’t have a good answer to your first question.

But re the second: it made no difference to me. I’m still healthy.

tennesseejac's avatar

If I have a son and my wife/ partner doesnt care I am going to make the decision to SNIP IT, for reasons that are related to Shilolo’s post

shilolo's avatar

@tennesseejac Thanks for reminding me to reread my initial post. I made a glaring typo. My statement should read “Multiple studies have shown that circumcised men have a significantly reduced rate of acquiring HIV and other STDs as compared to un-circumcised men.”

KingMalefic's avatar

while in regards to shilolo’s post and i took a look at it there is more skin or area for things to grow again if one doesn’t wash or take care of that appropriate area of the body.

As for HPV and such most women over the age of 40 i think its 60 percent if not more have HPV. Now only certain strains have been linked to cervical cancer. I still believe that its a basic thought process of teaching ones off spring to take care of and be smart of oneself decisions in the act of life or sex.

KingMalefic's avatar

As a loving parent you feel you wish it to be snipped, i won’t hold a knife to your throat or judge you :-) its your thought and decision as a parent and one must make decisions to protect our off spring.

I just think many things can go either way, why do something that well that isn’t necessary and in some cases go wrong… yes i have known people who have had two circumcisions.

shilolo's avatar

Well, like I said before, my reasons would be religious, cosmetic, and medical, in that order. As far as foreskin cleaning is concerned, that alone will not protect against HIV and most STDs. For reasons that are still not clear, having a foreskin increases the chances of infection.

richardhenry's avatar

Heh, I think it’s worth pointing out that even if I didn’t have a foreskin I still wouldn’t feel any more comfortable about having unprotected sex all over the place.

Personally, I wouldn’t circumcise my son purely for simplicity. Complications and health risks are unlikely, and I’m really rather happy with my foreskinned penis and I don’t imagine him being terribly upset at having one.

This is purely a point of choice. I don’t know anyone who is traumatized as a result of having a foreskin or not having a foreskin, so do whatever feels right to you as a parent.

KingMalefic's avatar

thank you richard unprotected sex is just dicey and complicating more then there really is.

KingMalefic's avatar

—that makes sense in my head but not finger typing translation.—

mij's avatar

My 36 year old son took up the Muslim faith last year to marry his Indonesian girlfriend.
Circumcision was no big issue for him, other than having it done in a hospital in Western Australia mainly to avoid the risk of infection.
The clinics in West Java are very basic and risk of infection high.
As parents we are happy for his choice of partner and religion.
We now have a wonderful new family in West Java, yes they are all muslims but not radical in any way, just normal folks like the rest of us with all the same issues.
I think the main issue with any circumcision is probably the risk of infection.

SuperMouse's avatar

@shilolo thank you for making me feel much better about letting my boys be circumcised. I mean that very sincerely, thank you.

wundayatta's avatar

Circumcision as an adult—now there’s an uncomfortable thought!

SuperMouse's avatar

@daloon, I have no idea how I know this (and frankly I wish I didn’t) but my father-in-law had it done in his 50’s! Yikes! I cringe just thinking about it and I don’t even have that equipment.

wundayatta's avatar

@SuperMouse: OK, now that’s truly a mystery—how you could have found that out. Perhaps that’s also something we wish remains forever hidden in the depths.

cwilbur's avatar

I think it’s genital mutilation done for the purpose of reducing sexual pleasure.

When people in Africa do it to teenaged women, we consider it a human rights violation. When people in the US do it to infant boys, we consider it routine.

wundayatta's avatar

@cwilbur: There’s no way to know if it decreases or increases sexual pleasure. While we might ask someone who undergoes a circumcision later in life, we still can’ tell because memory is unreliable. I don’t know about you, but I find the most fun feelings come from down towards the base of my cock, when a certain kind of pressure is exerted there.

shilolo's avatar

I agree with daloon. There are no good studies on the subject. Adult circumcisions are extremely common now in Africa, after 3 randomized clinical trials showed an immense protective effect against HIV infection. The demand is so high in Africa that in many places they are unable to keep up. In contrast, with better information about safe sex and much lower HIV rates, the demand in the US is low.

c_gunningham's avatar

We evolved with a foreskin, why ged rid of it? It seems this is much more common in the US than here in the UK, over here it’s my impression that’s it’s only done for reasons invloving religous belief or if there is a medical issue.

shilolo's avatar

People do things to their bodies all the time. Piercings, tattoos, cosmetic surgery, etc. Yes, this is typically a procedure done on infants, but the evolution argument seems hollow to me.

Jeruba's avatar

@KingMalefic, he is, which is why I was surprised. He didn’t have a choice himself, but he exercised the choice with respect to his sons.

casheroo's avatar

Circumcision in the US has slowly been declining actually.

They keep changing their minds on if it has any medical benefits. But, the whole social aspect isn’t a good argument, since the amount of circumcisions is declining.

But, we got our son circumsized. I let my husband decide, and he wanted it done. I had no real opinion either way. We got lucky and nothing went wrong with it. Only a small adhesion that has already healed itself.

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo No offense, but I highly doubt those “statistics”. That website is clearly a propaganda mouthpiece for the anti-circumcision movement, and as such, they have a vested interest in suggesting that rates of circumcision are decreasing.

casheroo's avatar

@shilolo Sorry, didn’t realize it was an anti-circumcision site.
Here’s some more articles, since that site did state factual statistics, but you don’t like the other material on the site:
associated content

Another reason the number is going down, is because it medicaid does not cover it

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