Friday, November 9, 2012


 Both of my boys are intact (meaning they've never been circumcised). I'm often asked by mamas how we came to that conclusion and what sorts of things they should say to their family/friends/significant others in order to make the argument for staying intact.

Here’s all the arguments you’ll ever hear and why I ruled them out. First, I’ll say, when I found out my 1st was a boy, I immediately thought we’d have him circumcised, because my husband is circ’d and that’s just what you do, right?
Then I started reading, because I can’t help myself.
I cried, for about 4 hours straight, and then whenever I thought of it again. Reading the descriptions of both methods of circumcision, reading the horror stories,  reading how this barbaric practice came to be. I don’t consider myself to be an activist about much, but when it comes to circumcision, I am. I just feel so awful for all those little baby boys, being tortured in their first moments outside of their mother’s womb. L

One of the convincing arguments I’d always read was that it was religiously called for. The thing is, it’s only called for if you are Jewish, and even then, the original practice of circumcision was NOT a complete removal of the foreskin, it was a tiny snip through the foreskin which would heal (and not affect the foreskin at all) and leave a scar, showing your covenant with God. If you feel called to have this covenant with God, I suggest you practice the original act of circumcision, not a modern one. Along the same religious lines, I’m of the opinion that we’re born perfect. If, by some odd work of nature, we’ve come to not need a part, it will eventually disappear on its’ own.

A side note, speaking of something we’re born with that is no longer necessary – ever heard of an appendix? Our appendix is completely unnecessary anymore, and actually a danger if it bursts, yet we don’t remove every newborn’s appendix. If you were to believe that newborns can’t feel pain, as many pro-circumcisers say, why wouldn’t we just remove their appendix at birth?

Uncircumcised boys are more likely to have STDs or infections, right? Nope, research has shown that to not be true. The US has the highest rates of circumcision in the world and also the highest rates of STDs and infections. I believe this mistaken impression comes from people who “clean” the penis by pulling back the foreskin and scrubbing with soap. This has the same effect as cleaning in the vagina with soap – it removes the good bacteria and allows the bad bacteria to take over. I actually suffer from horrible yeast infections if I use soap to clean my lady parts.

Cleaning it seems intimidating – I’ve never even seen an intact man, I didn’t know what to do with that extra skin. The thing is, you don’t have to do anything. It’s actually LESS care than is needed for a circumcised penis – since when a boy is circ’d it has to be kept clean & dry during a period when little boys are peeing and pooping on themselves. You wash the outside and don’t pull back on the skin at all. The very few times my boys have had poo that got into the tip of the penis, it just washed right off. Nothing a bath can’t take care of ;)

He’ll get made fun of in the locker room! I have a very short answer for this – as my husband said “if other boys are looking at his pecker, he’s got bigger problems than getting made fun of.” Most boys don’t shower naked with other boys any more in school.

He’ll be different than his daddy! Yup, in more ways than just his penis, like his nose, but I don’t plan to give him rhinoplasty. By the time he is big enough for his private parts to look similar to his daddy’s (including pubic hair and size), they really shouldn’t be naked together anymore. My husband has no idea whether his dad is circ’d or not.

The convincing statistic for my husband is that intact males are about 25% larger in size than circumcised males when fully erect. The belief is that this is because the foreskin gives the penis extra room to grow. My husband was pretty upset to learn he could have been 25% larger.

I was also strongly affected by the origins of modern circumcision – a practice started by the Catholic Church to stop boys from masturbating. It sickens me L I hope as a society we’ve come far enough along to realize that a little body exploration by kids is completely normal and even expected.