To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise: Health Issue or Matter of Esthetics?
Although many of the medical reasons in support of circumcision have fallen away, the issue is still a matter of discussion debate for parents.
What shall we name our new baby boy?
Should we paint his nursery green or blue?
Oh, and should we get him circumcised?
That's a question that's getting more and more debate these days. Today, we take on a Moms Council matter where Dad’s feedback will be particularly welcome and worthwhile.
Whether or not to circumcise a newborn boy used to be a non-issue. Until the past couple of decades, most parents removed the foreskin from a baby’s penis as a matter of course.
But there is a growing school of thought that the practice is not only unnecessary, but cruel and unusual.
A recent review by the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes there is no medical reason for removing a baby’s foreskin. With regular washing, an uncircumcised penis stays just as clean as one without foreskin.
We now know that circumcision does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases and the reduced risks of penile cancer were largely over-rated, research shows. Experts used to think that circumcised boys and men were not as susceptible to bladder infections, but the AAP now says the advantages are minimal and only exist at all when the boy is very young.
But there may be some pros to the circumcision question. Some parents opt for removing foreskin for reasons of faith. If a boy or man does suffer some kind of foreskin infection, removing it when he is older can be very painful, some moms say.
A quick Google search shows some uncircumcised teenagers have a lot of angst over female reaction to a natural penis and sometimes become the brunt of teasing if a locker room cohort outs their uncut state.
At the same time, many women weighing in on this delicate issue say circumcision makes no difference at all to them. In fact, men with intact foreskin, which contains lots of nerve endings, may enjoy more sexual enjoyment.
So, mom and dad, what did you decide when you son was born? What went into the decision? Was it a matter of esthetics? Are you glad you did or did not -- and, if given the chance, would you make a different choice today?