There are very few topics that I personally have a hard opinion on. For the most part, I can see the point in the other person’s view and so long as they have done their research on the topic. However, the one issue that I have to say really makes my skin crawl is circumcision. Just like anything, I began to do my research on the subject and the more I found out about the act of circumcision and the history behind why we circumcise the more I was FLOORED as to why it is seen as a perfectly acceptable thing to do in this modern day and age.
Here are a few things that got me thinking about reasons to not circumcise my son and the main reason why:
7 REASONS WE DID NOT CIRCUMCISE OUR SON
Reason #1: No medical or health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision - including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP does, however, state that:
- “Babies should never be circumcised without full pain relief (anesthesia just as we'd give an adult undergoing genital cutting, reduction or amputation surgery).”
- “Anesthesia is counter-indicated for infants and not recommended for newborn babies (any drugs in a baby's body increases risks to health and wellbeing).”
- “No baby already facing pre-existing medical concerns or health compromises of any nature should be circumcised. (Genital cutting is risky for even healthy babies - and carries with it detrimental consequences - the foremost of which is the loss of a healthy, vital, functioning organ: the prepuce. Circumcision is exponentially riskier for premature or health-compromised infants). After analysis of almost 40 years of available medical research on circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new recommendations (1999) saying that they do not recommend circumcision as a routine procedure." Australia, the U.K., and Canada already had instituted humane policies AGAINST circumcision.”
Did you know circumcision rate has dropped drastically from 55% to 33% in the U.S.A. from 2003 -2009 : http://www.mdconsult.com/das/news/body/213591086-2/mnfp/0/220621/1.html
Reason #2: There is NO MEDICAL NEED for circumcision.
Here are direct reasons from Dr. Sears on circumcision in regard to medical "needs":
- "Decreased risk of STD's - this was a myth that we now know is not true.”
- “Decreased risk of penile cancer - it used to be thought that circumcised men had a much lower chance of cancer of the penis. We now know that this benefit is much smaller than previously thought. The AAP determined that this benefit is so tiny; it is not worth circumcising for this reason.”
- “Avoiding infections in the foreskin - occasionally intact foreskins get irritated. This is easily treated with warms water and washing. Rarely, the irritated foreskin becomes infected. This requires antibiotics, but is easily treatable. Even if this does happen in a person's lifetime, it is not a reason to circumcise at birth.”
- “Avoiding the need to do it later on - VERY RARELY, someone has a problem with recurrent infections in the foreskin that need antibiotic treatment. Some of these men then need to be circumcised in an operating room under general anesthesia. This is extremely rare, however, and is not a reason to circumcise everyone at birth.”
- “Avoiding bladder infections (or UTIs) - it used to thought that circumcised boys and men had a much lower chance of bladder infections. The AAP now knows that this benefit is very small, and is only true for the first year of life. After that, there is no difference in the number of bladder infections. Again, not a reason to circumcise.”
- "THEREFORE, IF YOU DECIDE TO CIRCUMCISE YOUR CHILD, DO NOT DO SO BECAUSE YOU THINK THERE IS ANY MEDICAL BENEFIT.
Reason #3: Over 200 babies die a year from this cosmetic surgery – is it worth the risk?
A baby only needs to lose 1 ounce of blood to hemorrhage, and just 2.3 ounces to die as a result of this blood loss. It can, and does, occur at a frightening quick pace.
The ironic part I find about this fact is that the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) continues to issue widespread warnings about choking as one of the highest causes of death among children, despite the fact that a greater number of infants die from circumcision than from choking.
Reason #4: Circumcision based on "cleanliness" assumes that the human body is unclean.
The facts are that removing this part is EXACTLY the same as removing the hood over your clitoris as in the 14 - 15th week this is the part that grows to a penis/foreskin. And funny enough, female circumcision is illegal. The intact penis is naturally clean. The common view of the penis or the foreskin as ‘dirty’ is unscientific and irrational.
Reason #5: You are effecting your son’s sexual function when you choose to have this surgery.
According to Dr. Christopher Cold, M.D. and Dr. John Taylor, M.D.:
"The prepuce is primary, erogenous tissue necessary for normal sexual function. The complex interaction between the protopathic sensitivity of the corpuscular receptor-deficient glans penis and the corpuscular receptor-rich ridged band of the male prepuce is required for normal copulatory behavior.”
Reason #6: Circumcision HURTS, BAD the child cannot decide this for himself. If he wants to be circumcised as an adult, that is his decision.
Here is one student’s account of a circumcision surgery:
"We, students, filed into the newborn nursery to find a baby strapped spread-eagle to a plastic board on a counter top across the room. He was struggling against his restraints—tugging, whimpering, and then crying helplessly. . . . I stroked his little head and spoke softly to him. He began to relax and was momentarily quiet. The silence was soon broken by a piercing scream—the baby’s reaction to having his foreskin pinched and crushed as the doctor attached the clamp to his penis. The shriek intensified when the doctor inserted an instrument between the foreskin and the glans (head of the penis), tearing the two structures apart. The baby started shaking his head back and forth—the only part of his body free to move—as the doctor used another clamp to crush the foreskin lengthwise, which he then cut. This made the opening of the foreskin large enough to insert a circumcision instrument, the device used to protect the glans from being severed during the surgery. The baby began to gasp and choke, breathless from his shrill continuous screams. . . . During the next stage of the surgery, the doctor crushed the foreskin against the circumcision instrument and then, finally, amputated it. The baby was limp, exhausted, spent." (12)
More on PAIN: http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/circumcision-what-i-wish-id-known.html
Reason #7: Historically, circumcision started as an ancient religious ritual where the full foreskin was removed to keep boys from masturbating.
In 1888, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a well respected physician and founder of the Kellogg cereal company, spoke for mainstream Victorian medicine when he wrote:
“A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic as the brief pain [sic, see below] attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment.”
Originally circumcision was just a little knick in the foreskin as what we do today would have killed the children in early Judaic society. http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/ here is a medical timeline: http://www.circumstitions.com/Chronology.html#masturbation
If you don't like to read, here is a video: http://thebirthingsite.com/birth/newborn-care/item/319-cut-slicing-through-the-myths-of-circumcision.html
Here is a video on how circumcision felt to two adult men: http://thebirthingsite.com/newborn-health/item/162-how-does-circumcision-feel?.html
Here is PLENTY of reading for you:
And on a funny note: http://youtu.be/3yRFNciRUAk