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Husband and Wife Raising Intact Sons
from an AOL discussion group - 1997
We have five sons - maybe a sixth by the end of the month - and one daughter. Although their father Bruce was circumcised at birth, we jointly agreed not to have our sons circumcised.
I decided the American medical community didn't have a real clue
BRUCE - I studied the subject extensively before marriage, and the only reasons the American medical community could give for having the procedure done was for so-called cleanliness reasons. After studying the history of the introduction of circumcision as a common procedure - that of curing masturbation as well as headaches and back aches and a list of about fifty other disorders not even related to that part of the body, I decided the American medical community didn't have a real clue - it was a matter of 'everyone else does it'. I also discovered America is alone in routine infant circumcision! All other countries have abandoned it as not only unnecessary but as a harmful procedure!
Being a religious person, I turned to the Bible - God created mankind and pronounced the creation "very good". It's true circumcision was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham, but today's procedure is not the same procedure! In Abraham's day only enough of the foreskin was removed to expose the tip of the glans (or, the 'head'). The Maccabees, during their famous revolt against the Greek domination of the Jews, changed it to the procedure known today and forced it on all Jewish men on pain of death. In the New Testament, the Apostles announced (Acts chapter fifteen) that the ordinances of the Law of Moses were no longer required. The Book of Mormon is even more direct, the subject being addressed by the resurrected Christ: "the law of circumcision is done away with in me." (Moroni 8:8).
In Europe and some parts of Asia the procedure is gaining popularity - not as a health procedure but as a cosmetic operation to look more American! This is being done mainly within the pornography industry in an attempt to become profitable in the American market; there is no mention of so-called health reasons! Among the non-pornography society in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the non-U.S. world, circumcision is not only ignored but actively discouraged! Several European countries will treat foreskin problems even to the extent of hospitalizing the patient long before they'll even consider removal.
So, all my pre-marriage study showed plainly that there is no valid medical, social, or Christian reason to circumcise my sons! The only valid reason I could find was religious - if you are Jewish or Muslim!
LAURIE - I didn't really know what circumcision was until Bruce explained it to me shortly after we were engaged, and at that point I didn't really care. To be frank, it made no sense to destroy what God had created. I would never inflict such torture on such an innocent person who could never protect himself! And that's all it is: useless, senseless torture!
With our first several sons, we followed the advise of our American doctors - that of pulling the foreskin back, forcing it to let go of the glans and routinely cleaning it. But after more independent study we gave it up - non-American medical writings make it plain that as boys grows the foreskin detaches on its own and grows large enough to retract. And with our boys, the wisdom of the European doctors has proven true. We have had no infection or disease because of our decision. While bathing the child I would push the skin back to clean as I would the rest of the body. But I only did it weekly at the most.
One item of interest to those changing diapers: It's all too common for a baby boy to urinate just as soon as the diaper is opened. But with our intact sons, there isn't any sudden air temperature change on the glans, and so there isn't anything to trigger the response to urinate! Through the diapers of five boys, we have yet to be wet on!
I've taken great delight in watching mothers with circumcised babies get wet on nearly every time they open the diaper! (Great sport in a boring hospital room.)
BRUCE - One great fear a lot of fathers voice is having to explain the difference between their circumcision and their son's intactness. This is trivial; when my boys were three and four and we were still bathing together, every one of them have asked. I've simply told them that when I was a baby the doctors thought it was a good thing to cut it off, but now we know better. With that, the subject has always dropped until they were old enough to have more extensive health discussions. (I didn't make a trauma case out of it, so the boys saw no reason to do so.) As far as pains of jealousy, etc - I've gotten over it and am glad I made the decision I did... and am considering one of the many restoration techniques for myself. As far as being uncomfortable - what is there to be uncomfortable about? My parents made their decision and I made mine; what they did is water under the bridge and I've corrected it with the next generation. And I doubt very much my sons are jealous of my circumcision.
From talks with my oldest son I've discovered that he's not experienced ninety-nine percent of the unintentional stimulation I went through as a teen-ager! All us circumcised men can well remember those puberty years where just turning and having your underwear rub your exposed glans was enough to set off erection after erection. There were times that just walking or riding my bicycle was enough rubbing (and I wore loose, modest clothing) to trigger the reaction. (This is rough when you're a paperboy!) My son, with his glans safely tucked away and covered against undue stimulation, tells me he's never experienced this and was horrified over my stories. So much for circumcision being a cure for masturbation!
Some people are afraid their son will feel 'uncomfortable' in the shower room With the trend in non-circumcision we've been experiencing in the last twenty years, more likely your son will have plenty of company and will be envied by those who were circumcised!
The biggest thing new parents must remember is that the doctor is not the one in control. And, American doctors aren't even trained in knowledge or theory concerning the function, use, or maintenance of the foreskin; they're only taught to cut it off - for reasons that weren't even valid 80 years ago when a non-medical 'authority' decreed it to be the ultimate cure to all male ills. Simply tell the doctors and the nurses 'No'. You do not owe them any explanation. I was once threatened with child neglect; in return I threatened that nurse with child molestation.
LAURIE - Everyday in the hospital the nurses will ask if you want the procedure done; just tell them no. If they badger you tell them to back off - they have no right to tell you what to do! Don't let them bully you; you tell them what YOU want and make sure it gets done! After all, they are there to serve and not to dictate. Every morning when they take the babies away for the doctor to check them, make sure they know you don't want it done. DO NOT SIGN ANY CONSENT FORMS WITHOUT READING THEM COMPLETELY! AND READ THE FINE PRINT; consent to this procedure often shows up in the fine print!! Too many consent forms are all-inclusive and give the doctor the right to treat your child any way he or she deems correct - trash those forms and only consent to procedures on a one-by-one basis. In many places you can cross out and add items to consent forms; if you live in a place where you can do this, then do it! And remember that you cannot be forced to sign anything. [NOHARMM Note: Alternatively, complete a Non-Circumcision Notification Form.]
In the military hospitals our children have been born in, they've put a sign in bold letters on the baby's basket: "NO CIRC". Make sure your hospital has some way of quickly identifying your son so no one 'accidentally' wheels him in for the procedure.
I've discovered that all the instructions American doctors give concerning stretching the baby's foreskin and daily washing it out are false. With our last sons we followed the advise of non-American doctors and the results have been just as healthy as when we meddled with Nature.
BRUCE - What it came down to for us is that there simply is not reason for the procedure and that modern research has proven what the rest of the world knew all along. As parents it's up to us to do what's best for our children. Whether they are male or female, leaving their reproductive organs intact so they can function normally is the right decision.
Today there is a growing 'civil rights' movement of allowing persons of both genders to make decisions about their body. If the U.S. Congress can consider giving African women refugee status so they can remain in the U.S. to escape female circumcision, then maybe it's time for us to reconsider the ignorant manner in which we mutilate our sons at birth - genital mutilation without the consent of the patient!
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