Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC) AKA Male Circumcision AKA Circumcision: The surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis of a newborn
Circumcision is, to say the least, controversial. In the United States, we are all made to believe it is the norm and that all the men in the whole wide world get circumcised because it is the best thing for them. When several American people are faced with their newborn son, they will send him off to get the snip-snip without the bat of an eyelash or even a second thought. But I’m here to tell you this: You SHOULD bat an eyelash. You SHOULD have second, third, fourth (etc) thoughts. RIC comes with more risks and downfalls than “they” will tell you, and I’m here to inform you of some of those pesky negatives and the truth behind several widely-believed myths on circumcision.
The myths on the “benefits” of RIC are ginormous and practically endless. Some of them I personally wonder if they were originated out of the imagination of doctors to get people to just shut up and circumcise. But believe me when I say: Your son’s penis is just fine the way it is when he is born. Just like your daughter’s vagina, your son’s penis needs no cuts or pieces removed. All parts have functions, purposes; and that includes the foreskin.
“But everyone is circumcised!” you cry “My son will be an outcast if I don’t circumcise him! What about locker rooms?!” First and foremost I have to say this: my fiance is not circumcised, and I asked him about this exact thing. “Locker room teasing for not being circumcised?” he chuckled a little “I’m not sure about most school locker rooms, but I know when I was in school if you made fun of another kid’s penis you immediately would’ve gotten made fun of ten times worse for being the ‘gay’ kid starring at everyone’s junk” A valid point. Which brings us to the “everyone is circumcised” theory. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. On the spectrum of things, the circumcised kids are the underdog. According to the WHO, it is estimated that only 30% of all the males in the world are circumcised. Studies show that 60% of infant boys born in the USA today will remain intact.
“Okay fine, so not every male in the world is circ’d. But circumcising definitely protects from UTI’s, HIV and other STI’s, right?!” Wrong. The U.S has the highest number of circumcised, sexually active men AND the highest rate of HIV among all Western Nations. The facts of HIV are simple: The only thing that can prevent it is abstinence or condoms. The UTI theory appears to have stemmed from -one- study done at –one- hospital in 1985. This study was enormously flawed as it left out a huge amount of information, such as whether or not the babies were even circumcised at all, whether they were breastfed, if they were premature or if the uncircumcised babies had their foreskins forcibly retracted. There have been several studies since this one that show that there is either no decrease in UTI’s with circumcision or an increase in UTI’s from circumcision. In other words, as far as UTI’s go, circumcising your son either will leave him just as susceptible as not circumcising him or even more susceptible.
“I still think it’s worth it. And it’s just a little snip snip. It’s just a piece of skin and he won’t feel any pain! So why not?” You’re wrong, that’s why not. Circumcision is a surgical procedure, and I don’t think a lot of people get this. Circumcision is more like an appendectomy than cutting your fingernails. It is not a piece of skin, it is a functional organ, similar to a woman’s clitoral hood. The foreskin protects the glans of the penis, and acts as an almost protective shield on the penis (think the peel on a banana), and as much as you don’t probably wanna think about your son’s future sex life, the foreskin is a hugely important part of sexual pleasure for a male. The friction-like gliding of the foreskin on the penis plays a big part in the sexual pleasure for men AND the woman he is sleeping with (if he so desires to sleep with women, that is)
And guess what? The unfortunate truth is that he will feel the pain of circumcision. Ladies, imagine this, the doctor says “I’m going to chop off your clitoral hood, okay?” Your first thoughts probably range from “The hell you are.” and “Ouch.” Your baby is not this immaculate being with the inability to feel pain. If you smack your baby upside the head (please don’t) he/she will cry in pain. As such, he will also feel the pain of circumcision. Even if your doctor does use analgesics to prevent pain, it does not ELIMINATE the pain, it simply decreases it. There’s also the fact that circumcision leaves an open wound where the foreskin once was which will keep causing pain for the baby for up to over a week.
“But it’s dirty. He won’t want to properly clean his penis and circumcision will ensure greater and easier cleanliness!” First off, if your child didn’t want to wash his hands, would you cut them off? Of course not. What if he didn’t want to brush his teeth? Would you yank them all out of his little noggin? No sir, I can about guarantee you would not. Cleaning an uncircumcised penis is also surprisingly easy. It’s as easy as cleaning one of your fingers! Only clean what is seen! No need to pull back the foreskin (please don’t) just gently clean the outside and you’re done!
And then there’s the worst excuse for circumcision in the book. “Circumcised penises look better.” Cue cringe.
Boy oh boy, look at that baby. His cute little feet kicking about, those thin wisps of hair on his head and oh… oh… Look at that NOSE. It’s… It’s huge! And kinda crooked! My god, momma, you got yourself a witch baby right here, and it looks just awful. Might I suggest a nose job? I don’t think they’re that much anymore and if you catch it early — And there is where you would probably get knocked out for being an ass. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Physically altering a baby (or anyone) just for cosmetic affect. You wouldn’t give a baby a nose job, so why would you circumcise him for the same reason? It’s just silly.
The simple truth of the matter is, even if you don’t agree with anything I’ve said, it’s not your penis. I don’t care if he’s your son. I don’t care if you don’t think it hurts. It’s not your penis. Who says your son will want to be circumcised? Who’s to say your son’s future sex partner will prefer a cut penis? Who’s to say that if you circumcise him, he won’t be angry, he won’t be hurt and he won’t demand to know why you did that to him? You can’t say that. Why? Because it’s not your penis. It’s not your decision to decide on a permanent body alteration for him based on what you think. If he grows up, and does his own research and decides he wants it? So be it. It is permanent. It lasts FOREVER. So he needs to pick it for himself. You wouldn’t give your baby a tattoo, so why would you cut off part of his penis? You wouldn’t, because it’s not your choice to make a permanent, body altering decision for him, right? So tell me…. why would you circumcise him?
I can only hope that through all of this, I’ve helped someone, anyone reconsider what they’ve heard about circumcision. There is no time through life more than when one is about to or has become a parent that we will have “because it’s the thing to do” things thrown on us with bogus information to back it up. It is critical that, in your journey of raising a beautiful human, you research all those decisions (big and small) you make for your child; circumcision included.
For more information circumcision, please visit http://intactamerica.org/