Monday, June 6, 2011


For a long time, the majority of male babies in the U.S. have been routinely been circumcised. Of course, Jewish men have always been circumcised, but at some point it became more common in the general population.

Now there is a controversy about the procedure, some saying that there is no medical for it while some studies have shown it reduces the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and the possibility of passing on HIV to their women partners. Now parents have to decide whether they want a procedure that used to be routine.

Meanwhile, the city of San Francisco is going to put a measure on the ballot banning the practice.

So I thought I'd ask the readers if they have male children whether or not they had them circumcised or whether they've given any thought of what they will do if they have male children.

And do our female readers think there is any difference in having sex with a circumcised male or an uncircumcised male and whether you have a preference.



  1. My husband is not circumcized and when we had our son, we tried to find out the reasons for doing it (aside from religion, which didn't apply to us).

    The primary reason appeared to be that it's the social norm, and that perhaps a child would be mocked if he was different. However, my husband never had that experience, so it was not even a concern for us. Besides, this one always struck me as weird. Isn't that the same argument a mother would use to get her pre-teen breast implants or liposuction?

    The other reason I've heard used is that it's easier to clean/reduces chance of infection. Since my husband has never ever had a problem with this (nor has anyone in his family, all uncircumsized) this reason seemed more like conjecture than fact. I couldn't find any studies to back this up either. Basically, if you don't clean yourself, you might get infected. If you do, then you're likely okay. Besides, both my younger brother and my son's now-best-friend both got infected as a result of their circumcision surgeries, so it's actually putting your child at greater risk.

    I'm not totally sure how I feel about this ban, just because I like to keep all my rights where my child is concerned. But do I think that circumcision is in any way a good idea? No way.

  2. Amber: You made very good points and I completely understand your decision. Thanks for sharing your experience. Other parents facing this decision may benefit from your research and experience.


  3. Chess is circumcised, but our son is not. And since our first son is not, all future sons won't be either. Unfortunately for us it was a matter of finances. We wanted to circumcise our son for two reasons, 1) that he be like daddy, and 2) for religious reasons, but we couldn't afford it so he was not circumcised.

    I don't think sex is better with one or the other, honestly. I find uncircumcised just seems less clean to me and I prefer circumcised... probably mostly because that's what my husband is.

    I definitely don't think it should be banned. Mainly due to it's religious importance, but also because parents have the right to make this decision.

  4. Alice: I don't like the idea of it being banned, either, because I think it should be decided by the parents. And sorry that your finances prevented you from doing what you wanted to. And the people who do it for religious would feel a ban is unfair to them.


  5. Even if you're very diligent about cleaning I still prefer to go down on someone who is circumcised; and it looks slightly more appealing. My husband isn't, but I find I don't mind very much.

    I'm hoping if we have sons he will let them be circumcised.

  6. When my son was born, I never thought twice about circumcision - it was done. I don't think he suffered any long-term effects from it. I've asked him and he doesn't remember at all. Apparently, some of the people against it say that it causes trauma for the newborn that carries over the rest of his life. I would have any male children I bore circumcised.

    I've never been with an uncircumcised man so I can't add anything to that. I do think banning male circumcision is just too much government in private lives.

  7. Mockingbird: Interesting that you find it looks slightly more appealing.

    nitebyrd: I don't know it causes trauma in a newborn that carries over for the rest of his life. I've never heard a man make that type of comment and I don't feel I suffered any trauma from it.


  8. My ex is not circumcised and neither are my sons, and as far as I know, neither were the older generations on either side. We saw absolutely no compelling medical evidence for the procedure, and a lot of evidence - granted, some anecdotal - against it.

    I'm a practicing Catholic and I know many non-Catholics find some Catholic rituals bizarre (at best), so I understand the importance of it from a religious/cultural perspective. But I have to admit that I find it kind of horrifying and would not choose to have it done to an infant in my care.

    I agree with all of you, however, that the decision to do it or not should rest with the parents and not the state.

    I've been with both cut and uncut men and can't honestly say that there's any difference for me; I pretty much like them all!

  9. I didn't really care much one way or the other about circumcision until I started learning about female genital mutilation. And once I learned about it, I started wondering - if it's so wrong to circumcise girls, why is it considered ok to circumcise boys? There are multiple levels of female circumcision and in the "least severe" kind, less tissue is removed in female circumcision than male circumcision. Yet I know of no mother who would support the circumcision of her daughter.

    I think baby boys deserve the same rights as baby girls. I do view it as a basic human rights issue and not a parental decision. I as a parent do not have the right to have a dr. cut off a functional piece of my child's anatomy.

    I won't ever be having sex with my child, so whether I prefer a circumcised man or not is irrelevant when it comes to my son's body. I've also never observed my husband and son comparing penises - seems to me like that falls in to the category of reasons people give quite often - but to all the men out there, did you really compare your penis with your father's penis?

    The history of circumcision in North America is that it was started in hopes of preventing males from masturbating. It was thought that if there was the memory of pain in relation to the penis that boys and men wouldn't masturbate.

    Most don't know that's the reason circumcision became widespread in North America. Traditional Jewish circumcision was never the same as what has been done to boys for decades now either - Jewish babies who were circumcised the traditional way "only" had a cut made in their foreskin. It wasn't separated from the glans and then cut off like "routine" circumcision is.

    I've seen women complain that their sons don't "look" cut after being circumcised. Quite frankly, it disgusts me. A mother should not be looking for a specific look in her son's penis - it doesn't belong to her! I am not the owner of my son's penis. He can do what he wants with it when he's older - he can always go and have himself cut as an adult if he wants - but he can't easily replace his foreskin if he at some point starts to hate the fact he was cut.

    My husband is cut, my son isn't. From talking about circumcision with my mom and sister-in-law, I can tell you that none of the males in my family are cut - my dad, brothers, and nephews are all intact. None of them have ever had problems.

    I hope that this bill passes. I have always wondered when society would find the strength to give baby boys the same basic human rights that baby girls were given back in the 1970's and 1980's. Thankfully the rate of circumcision has decreased to less than 50% in the US over the last few years as of the last I heard. Soon it won't be the intact boys who are in the minority in the change room, it will be the cut boys.

    I'm very opinionated on this one. As someone who believes in basic human rights, I will never support circumcision. Babies die from circumcision. Babies suffer amputated penises as a result of circumcision. Bonding with the mom suffers. The breastfeeding relationship is affected. Babies aren't given pain management - sugar water is not a painkiller and surface anaesthetics have been shown to have no effect on the actual nerves - pulling up the foreskin is like ripping off a fingernail, to give some perspective.

    And eh, one more interesting piece of information to give some food for thought to those who may not be aware of it... did you know that hospitals sell foreskins that are cut off during circumcision? Yep, foreskins are used in all sorts of things - vaccine development, skin care, and others. The cells in the foreskin are very specialized and it makes them very valuable to the pharmaceutical companies. To my way of thinking, anything that has so much value should be staying with the person it rightfully belongs to and not being cut-off for the sake of "looks."

  10. My take on this is not so much whether or not it should be done but more that the government shouldn't have a say on whether or not to do it.

    The decision should be one mad by the parents by an informed decision of both side of what it is to be or not to be circumcised.

    Something as personal as this should not be decided by the government. It is a joke that something such as this is even on the ballot.

  11. I'm Jewish, of course my sons are circumcised. I wouldn't live in a place where I couldn't circumcise my kids, since it's a clear requirement of Judaism. It's symbolic of the covenant with God.

    Muslims circumcise at adolescence, typically at 14. I guess they wouldn't live there either. Maybe that's the point? Kind of anti-semitic, and not at all "live and let live" is it?

    With respect to how brutal it is: my 8 day old son cried when he was unwrapped and undressed to be circumcised. By the time the actual cut came he squawked once then stopped. They bandaged him, redressed him and handed him to me and I nursed him and he fell asleep. Honestly the people in the audience (and yes there is an audience at a Jewish circumcision) were wondering if perhaps they hadn't done it, because he didn't cry.

    Men who have had circumcision have no trouble having an orgasm. Not so for women who have been circumcised. Comparing the two is kind of silly.

    And there are reasons for as well as against. Apparently the female partners of circumcised men have lower rates of cervical cancer.

    Obviously there is a controversy about whether or not it's a good thing. But it's not that black and white.

  12. I'm Jewish I did it for the sake of tradition. That being said as a health care provider it is a completely unnecessary procedure. I have three boys, I cheated I got some topical lidocaine, the baby also gets a little wine. That's more pain relief than they get in the hospital for sure. As soon as it was over I took the 8 day old baby upstairs hid away and nurse through my tears, crashing hormones don't help here. Sure the house full of people gets a little put out that the baby is getting passed around, but too bad. If I didn't feel like I had to do it to please the older generation, I wouldn't have

  13. I have three sons. The oldest two are circumcised and the youngest is not. I was too ill after the first was born to see or hold him for more than a few days, so I did not see him after his circumcision.
    I was with my second son after his circumcision. He was almost inconsolable. I tried nursing, I tried swaddling, I insisted on some kind of pain relief for him. It was a horrible experience.

    We are not Jewish, we had them circumcised so they would be like Dad. We both did not want the youngest to go through that. We have had to be vigilant in teaching him to care for himself. He does. It seems that most of the medical issues with being uncircumcised are related to hygiene. I know uncircumcised men and they have no trouble with any of the issues mentioned here.

    Although we chose not to have it done on our youngest, I believe that a ban on circumcision has no place on a ballot. First of all it is not the place of government to mandate what is done to our bodies. Secondly, it smacks of oppression of the freedom of religion. Something this personal should be left in the hands of the parents. We figured that if it bothers him, or becomes a medical problem, he can get it done later...with anesthesia.

  14. I'm not, my Son isn't (and, of course, neither are my three daughters). I just believe that there is nothing gained by 'dickying' around with nature :) But, as littlemonkey says, a ban smacks of 'big brother' oppression. Government interference has no place here

  15. Anon: Thanks for your detailed. thoughtful reply but I wouldn't compare male circumcision to what is done to little girls that should be called mutilation. Boys can still enjoy sex after the procedure. Women often lose that.
    I have also read that male circumcision caught on in the West as a way of stopping masturbation. Obviously, it had no effect on masturbation. And I didn't know hospitals sold foreskins. And I can understand your passionate feelings against the procedure.

    Southern sir: Yes, something so personal shouldn't be decided by the government.

    Sin: Interesting point that it is not all black and white.

    Little monkey; Sorry it was a terrible experience for your second son. That is a good argument against.

    cliveskink: I understand your point of view.


  16. Such a controversial subject. Simply in my opinion, down to the parents and no one else and should not have any Government interference.


  17. Ronnie: Most of the bloggers agree with you. A very personal decision.


  18. I agree with Anon above. I have no sexual preference either way, but have had a partner who had his circumcision not done correctly and as a result, had reduced sensation and a difficult time reaching orgasm at times. So, from personal experience, I have to see this as "mutilation", because it is forced upon a child who has no say in the matter, and although it usually does no harm, it CAN.

  19. I would have liked my sons to be circumcised but it was not an option where I live. It will be very interesting to watch the medical press in the next few years for increased numbers of articles on phimosis as the numbers of uncircumcised men rise.

    For myself I don't like fellatio with an uncircumcised man but am more than happy to do hand jobs as it is so much easier. I don't like the look of all that saggy flesh so I am quite glad that in my age demographic I can meet men who were circumcised.

  20. I'm not circumcised and am very glad I never was. If the reason is hygiene I have to question the person's overall hygiene - keeping yourself clean should be a daily ritual.

    Since I don't know many people who are circumcised I'm just guessing here but it does seem that masturbation must be much more of a hassle when circumcised - the foreskin does help a lot.

    As far as banning it - well... the type of circumcision most Americans deal with is done in hygienic situations by trained professionals, or at least that's how it appears. It's not a life or death decision and really shouldn't be taken away from parents who clearly has a lot vested in the decision. Monitoring it and policing the practice should be a government responsibility to ensure that it continues to be done in a sensible manner.

    Where I live, South Africa, society is very much split between a first and third world cultures. I can't think of a month that goes by when you don't hear of a few kids in outlying rural areas dying because of botched circumcisions due to unhygienic practices like sharing medical instruments etc. In this context it would be better to simply bad it to protect people from themselves or the traditional healers (who routinely claim to have cured HIV with garlic and potatoes) they place their trust in.

  21. hmmm...not much to add. My son is not circumcised. I wanted it done, my husband did not. (my husband is circumcised). When I examined my own thoughts on why I was for it, I found that it was because I like a circumcised penis (aesthetics), though I have never had a sexual experience with an uncircumcised penis. I also believed it easier to be clean (I have had a lot of experience with uncircumcised penises though not sexually). Anyway! My reasons for circumcision were not good enough to subject my son to a surgical procedure and the risks that it carried. So uncircumcised it is! ( and lot of instruction on pulling his foreskin back cleaning and returning his foreskin to the starting position! lol). I am waiting for the day he says...yes mum I've got it! Shouldn't be long now...he's 35! ;-) (kidding)

  22. Well...I prefer the looks of circumcised men...I've only been with one partner (my husband) so don't know about the difference sexually. Our three sons are all circumcised and I like it that way - no special reason except all the men in the family "look the same." :). I have a friend who's husband had to get circumcised when he was 13 and she said that HE said it was extremely painful - he couldn't keep infection away basically his entire childhood so that's why his parents and doctor's decided that would be the best step.

  23. I have never had sex with an uncircumcised man. I never had a baby boy so I never has to make the decision. It is brutal and barbaric and the baby most certainly suffers pain. It is a social norm that non-thinking people allow to happen to their sons without questioning it.

  24. I was circumsised as was my son. My father wasn't until he was in his 20's or 30's. He kept getting infections even though he did keep himself clean. I have no memory of it, so anyone who says the child is traumatized is being a bit theatrical in my opinion. You have a right to not like it, but don't insult me for doing it. The choice belongs to the parents alone. Not the state or other people.

  25. I've been told that my father was circumcised and both brothers were, also. I never heard of any problems, but then again, maybe that wouldn't have been talked about with me.

    Daddy is circumcised and he told me that his father was, also. His Dad fought during WW II and said the men that weren't circumcised had more problems.

    As far as our children...6 boys and 4 girls. The first boy is my step-son so I wasn't around for his circumcision, but the remaining five boys were all circumcised with me right there (each one took place in the hospital). It didn't take very long for the procedure.

    Yes, each baby cried, but immediately after the Dr. was done the baby was handed to me and I would breastfeed the baby and all five stopped crying instantly. It was like a switch had been flipped.

    As far as care, they never cried during diaper changes and each one healed within 2 or 3 days. I always used vaseline all around the circumcised part of their penis and a piece of gauze that didn't stick and protected it from the diaper.

    I've only had sex with Daddy so can't compare to an uncircumcised male, but I'm here to tell you that uncircumcised is heavenly from my perspective, lol!

    Studies have proven that cervical cancer rates in women are higher if they've had sex with one or more men that are uncirumcised.

  26. I am a man in my mid fiftys and have dated for 28 years many women of various ages. Probably 90% of women will give oral to a guy but I have had women tell me they would not do an uncirced guy. Lots of women find uncirced very unattractive.

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