Poll: Snip-Snip Here, Snip-Snip There


  1. The TMI police says:

    I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to give you a citation this time.

  2. OK. Here’s my take on circumcision. Sure, it might be painful to babies, but the memory of the pain is covered over by the vail of forgetfullness. However, the pain of dozens of high school boys pointing at and laughing at your funny looking un-cirumcised weiner while you’re in the gym shower will take an years of therepy to remove the emotional scars of the trauma.

    Do your kid a favor and snip the liitle guy.

  3. Actually, the kid doesn’t feel much.

    Do it, Steve. Just don’t watch.

  4. Julie M. Smith says:

    Re #1: Most parts of the country are now roughly 50-50 for circ and uncirc’ed boys, so I don’t think the locker room argument holds much weight anymore.

    When we first faced this decision, I told my husband that whatever he wanted to do was fine with me (first and most likely last time in our marriage he would ever hear these words) because of his, um, better familiarity with the situation. He did some research and we now have three uncirc’ed boys.

  5. It’s more like 60-40., though the rate is nearing the 50-50 split. Currently around 80% of adults in U.S> are circ’d.

    Trust me Julie, just because the split is 50-50, doesn’t mean the mocking will ensue. It doesn’t take much for teenage boys.

  6. it doesn’t mean that mocking WON’T ensue. Excuse me.

  7. We’ve had our 3 sons circ’ed because we had a friend whose grandfather had to be circ’ed while in his 80’s b/c of recurring infections – better to do it when they can’t remember what happened. Plus, it’s already difficult to teach boys proper bathroom hygiene. Why add to the process?

  8. Steve Evans says:

    Dear TMI Police, isn’t it TMI only if I’m talking about MY circumcision?

    And where were you last night when we REALLY needed you?

  9. It may be 60-40 or even 50-50 now, but it is certain groups of people that do, and certain groups that don’t. So if your child is hanging around white boys in certain parts of the country, not being circumsized might be a liability. If they are hanging around a lot of African American or Hispanic boys, they might be laughed at for being circumcised.
    So keep that in mind when thinking that the 50-50 is really the statistic at wherever your boy is that people notice his circumcision status.

  10. . . . and then Julie decided that the shame would be so much that she’d just home-school her boys.

    So there you have it, Steve. Circ and public school, or un-circ and homeschool.

    But seriously – um, do a little research, dude. One easy place to start is the (definitely NSFW) wikipedia entry. Or go get a good book at your local library. There are real medical issues and differences. And they, um, cut both ways.

  11. When I was in my wife’s Lamaze class, during the Q&A someone asked the hospital nurse, Who does the circumcision, the OB-GYN or a pediatrician? (I don’t remember the answer because we were having a girl.) As part of my ongoing effort to be ejected from that class, I asked the follow-up question, “And when he’s born, how will we be able to tell if our son is Jewish?” No dice.

  12. LOL – good one Guy.

  13. cchrissyy says:

    I vote no, and I’d vote no for any medical procedure unless you have a darn good reason to do it to the kid. so, if you can find some great benefits, it could be worth choosing. But in the absense of a clear cost-benefit explaination, do him a favor and don’t put him through it.
    I understand it’s quick, it’s usually uncomplocated, etc… but why take ANY risk? you’d better have a good reason to sign your baby up for any medical procedure.

    PS- we don’t circ. We think the foreskin is important and worth saving, and we don’t want to mess with the way God made them unless somehting is actualyl wrong, you know?

  14. Justin H says:

    I guess the first piece of information I’d need is how old your son is…

  15. I LOOOOOOVE it when people say that it’s OK because doesn’t hurt the babies much. Watch a few circumcisions and then get back to me. It’s horrid.

    Aside from the physical pain of having a needle of lidocaine stuck in your foreskin, having a cold metal brace clamped to your penis, and having a razor blade slicing the skin…besides all that, the emotional trauma of being tied down, cold, having bright lights in your face, and being handled very roughly by strangers is probably pretty substantial.

    On a side note, it’s amazing to me that the church says men shouldn’t have an ear pearced, but that cutting off part of your penis is A-OK.

    When my son was born, this was one of the hardest decisions ever. We finally decided to go ahead and do it so that he would look like his dad (plus my wife said it was a favor to his future spouse). But if I could take it back, I would. I sorely regret it.

    Also, as far as looking different in gym locker rooms…I think that’s unlikely. As an RN, I’m lucky enough to see penises all day….hundreds of them. And I’d say that the ratio is pretty even between circumcised or not (even among the elderly).

  16. Personally, I don’t care what other people decide. I’ll leave them alone if they leave me alone.

    Incidentally, both of our boys were circumcised by putting a ring around the foreskin that cuts off circulation and it falls off after a few days. I have no idea if that’s less painful than “nipping the tip”, but I think it’s cleaner. My wife FREAKED OUT when she accidentally helped our first son’s ring fall off as she was changing a diaper. She was terrified that she had done permanent damage to the organ.

    Circumcising doesn’t preclude saving the foreskin if that’s important to you. ;-)

  17. I can only tell you what we did, we said “yea” for medical reasons.

  18. Don’t do it, Steve! Don’t do it!
    •There’s no medical necessity.
    •Read the literature.
    •Ask Dr. Dean Edell.
    •The chances of infection due to not circumsizing are very minimal.
    •Why subject your baby to a procedure that’s cosmetic for no reason?
    •Most of the world is not circumsized.
    •I thought the law of circumcision was done away with in Christ? Is that all just a metaphor?
    •When you see your PERFECT new baby, how anyone can want to cut a part of him off — well, it’s beyond me.
    •Who cares if he looks like other kids or his dad. Do guys really look at each other naked all the time? Ewww.
    •And, I couldn’t care less about the next reason, but my husband (who is circumsized) says he has read that uncircumsized penises are more sensitive and therefore can (I guess) achieve greater sexual satisfaction (when the time comes). I know, TMI police, come and get me.

  19. Mark N. says:

    Where’s the button labeled “It ain’t up to me”?

  20. don’t do it! he still has a life to live!

  21. Circumcision was originally a practice the Lord started with Abraham to differentiate His people from the nations around them. He had attempted in numerous other ways to get his people to not marry outside the covenant, and he figured this would help. It was not about hygenics, or he would have circumcised Adam right from the start.

    The law of circumcision did end with Christ, but the practice, now so habitualized among Jews, was continued in the church of Christ (and therefore taken into the newly Christianized Europe) and standardized. The more educated of the Europeans justified circumcision as a health practice, because in their time, anything that could lessen health concerns was a plus.

    Today, our sanitation is excellent. So based on hygenic concerns, there are none. As an uncircumcised man, I’ve never gotten sick because I’ve got extra skin. And I was born in Romania during Ceasescu’s totalitarian rule. (you can see pictures of my childhood here. )

    I will not circumcise my sons (when they do arrive here on earth) unless God tells me to.

  22. Nate J. says:

    One word


  23. D. Fletcher says:

    I do wish we could escape this practice of altering the bodies of our little babies. At least, don’t circumcise your child simply to conform. I don’t think there are health benefits to circumcision, though it doesn’t seem to matter either way. Most babies are circumcised because their fathers are, which is pretty troubling to me, a way of holding power over our children at a time when they don’t have a choice.

  24. I wonder what the male/female breakdown of the poll would be. It seems, based on comments that most men are for it, and most women against it. Am I wrong? And if not, why is this so?

  25. Don’t do it, Steve. Instead, take the money that you (or the insurance company) would have paid for it, put it in an aggressive growth fund, and hopefully by the time it becomes an issue for your boy, he’ll have some money he can spend on a car or something to make up for it.

    Rick Jepson, I’d hate to see what constitutes “unlucky” for you.

  26. Yes Steve. Yes.

  27. rleonard says:

    Snip it.

    If nothing else its easier to keep clean.

    Growing up I did not know anybody in my lilly white suburb who was not snipped.

  28. Kevin Barney says:

    The boys mocking him in the showers after gym argument probably doesn’t hold water anymore, since *boys don’t take showers after gym* these days. I was shocked when I learned this. I don’t want to sound like a Dana Carvey old man, but when I was a boy everyone was required to take a shower after gym class. But my understanding is that virtually no one does anymore. The boys just clean up a bit, lather on deoderant, and go back to class. Yuck.

    For six months after my first year of college and before my mission, I worked at a hospital sterilizing surgical instruments. We used to get these trays back that had these little pink rings in them. I asked one of the women (the regulars in that department were all middle aged women) what they were, and they all laughed and laughed at me. They were circumcision trays, and the pink rings were foreskins. So I’ve seen hundreds of circumcised baby foreskins.

    Etymological note: English “circumcision” derives from a participial form of Latin circumcidere, from the prepositional compound circum “around” and caedere “to cut.”

    I’m pro-circumcision, but not for any well thought out, nuanced or medical reason. It’s worked well for me, I like it that way, so there you go.

  29. Ed Snow says:

    You can cut 10% off of anything without hurting it too much. Budgets, expenses, incomes, speeches, males.

  30. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 28 In my lilly white boy suburb growing up, we most certainly did not look at each other’s penises and comment on foreskin status. If anyone was peaking, they kept their mouth shut about it.

    For what it’s worth, I vote against. Some men find themselves deeply troubled by their circumcision (feel mutilated, etc). There’s a whole ‘foreskin restoration movement’ out there (Don’t blame me if you lose your TR for Googling that one, though). I suspect those guys face an uphill battle.

    So why not let him make his own decision later on? Presumably adult circumcisions employ heavier anesthesia. At least that way he retains his agency on the matter, because…..
    Once you whack, you can’t go back!

  31. If you have a child that plays sports, they probably are going to take a shower at school at one time or another. I had first hour weight lifting for football every morning all through my high school career. Everyone took showers because they didn’t want to stink the rest of the day and ruin their chances with the ladies.

    During my four years of high school gym showers you won’t believe the depravity that I have seen. (Can you say, “Impossible Sit-up”?) Yes, guys laugh at each other’s wieners. If a guy had a funny looking wiener, he was singled out. Teenagers are cruel beasts. They also do odd things with their own while naked in front of other people like pretend they are playing “Enter Sandmand” on the guitar.

    Maybe, I just had a weird football team. But wiener jokes seemed to be the norm among teenage boys.

  32. Eric Hoffer says:

    Great laughs! My co-worker was just circumcised last week (he’s Black). Since he didn’t provide me any details of his “minor surgury”, I don’t know his reason(s) for the circumcision (my team lead told me). But I do know that he’s been in pain for the last week. He’s missed about 4 days of work and he had to go back in to have some more work done on it. He was in a lot of pain and decided to go see the doctor again. When the doctor saw it, he told my co-worker that they would need to operate again. The doctor ripped off the bandage and at that point, my co-worker began to cry. By the way, he was telling all this to my team lead and me without going into too much detail … I had a hard time not laughing.

    Anyway, walking is not comfortable for him and he’s on pain-killers. I can’t imagine what urinating must be like.

    Moral of the story … if you don’t snip when the kid’s a newborn, and he decides later on to get snipped … he’ll be cursing you for not doing it when he was a baby. I can’t ever imagine a man saying or thinking, “gee, I wish my parents would have left me uncircumcised.” Besides, if you circumcise, then that’s all he’ll ever know. And by the time he realizes that there are men who aren’t circumcised, it won’t really matter to him anyway.

  33. Kevin Barney says:

    You’re right, Brett, that actual sports teams still take showers, so the argument still applies in that context. I was just talking about regular gym classes.

  34. okay, if you still think circumcision is okay after reading this article, then by all means, continue with the cut. (ps. don’t worry, the article is clean).

  35. hmmm, the article did not show up in the link…..


  36. D. Fletcher says:

    No, Steve. No.

  37. I’m snipped, but we have three unsnipped boys. I just don’t see the point in doing something because everyone else seems to be doing it. I am not a big fan of jumping on bandwagons and at the same time fretting about sliding down slippery slopes, though those logical fallacies are both popular Mormon pastimes.

    Circumcision reminds me of that story of the lady who cut off the end of her ham before putting it in the oven because that’s what her family always did growing up. Come to find out, it was because her mom’s particular oven at that time was too small to fit the ham…

    Um, I guess that story is a little weird to be telling in this context…

  38. tuques & helmuts says:

    I have 7 brothers
    4 of us were circ’d (or helmuts) and 4 of us weren’t (or tuques)
    The joke goes that when picking teams as kids it was easy…the tuques against the helmuts

  39. The joke goes that when picking teams as kids it was easy…the tuques against the helmuts

    Oh man, that’s awesome. Hahaha!

  40. No matter what you choose, it does make sense to be consistent with all of your sons. My grandparents had two sets of twins (total of four boys) separated by only 18 months. They had the second pair cut but not the first….kind of weird, IMO.

  41. rleonard says:

    Check this out.

    One of my native comps on miss was having infections so he went in and got circed. Had to pay cash cause our Miss president said What???? He borrowed some cash from some of the other Elders and went in. Wala no more infections and he got a new nickname.

    The cut one.

  42. Bryce, for an idea of an “unlucky” day in my life, look up digital disimpaction.

    And by “digital”, I don’t mean hi-tech, I mean want to cut your index finger off afterward.

  43. I have personally performed several circumcisions when I was an intern. We used the plastibell device at our hospital- no anesthesia. The main thing that upset the infant was being restrained for the procedure, once he was released from the papoose, he stopped crying immediately.

  44. Oh, don’t do it.

  45. Starfoxy says:

    If it makes a difference, my not-a-heavy-sleeper baby slept through his circ. I would recommend making a careful choice of doctors to do it (if you so decide). After he was born the nurse asked us if we wanted our pediatrician or the OB to do it. Since I had picked the pediatrician for his circ specialty I said we wanted him to do it. The nurse said “Oh good! I mean, I love Dr. T and all, but he is definitely an OB.”

  46. Kevin Barney says:

    Here’s my favorite part of the Salon article Daniel posted:

    When it ended, Carol stood up and bellowed, “We’ve got to save Rebecca’s unborn child!”

    Puzzled, I asked her, “Rebecca’s getting an abortion? Why? She’s eight months pregnant!”

    “No!” my wife raved, “it’s a boy! Rebecca’s going to circumcise him!”

    “Oh dear,” I whined. “What can we do?”

    “Talk to her!” My wife pleaded. “You’ve got a penis; she’ll listen to you!”

  47. jjohnsen says:

    I didn’t see any good reason to have my son circumsized, but my wife said pictures she’d seen in health classes of uncircumsized “scared her, and would scare his future wife”. After I finished laughing, I bribed her into letting me make the final decision on his name if I’d go with the circ. I actually kind of regret it for reasons already mentioned above, but don’t think it’s a big deal.

  48. i say like father like son. so steve, if you were snipped then go ahead and do it, and if not, then leave it be.

  49. Steve Evans says:

    Nice try Mike — only a select few know the fate of my foreskin. It will take more than a cunning comment to reveal my secret.

  50. Rick Jepsen —

    Man, I hope you’re well compensated.

  51. anothernonymous says:

    If you’re trying to be like Jesus, then circumcision is a must. If you’re trying to follow Jesus’ commandments, then that’s a different issue entirely (:

  52. D. Fletcher says:

    Steve, I know you’re just dying to tell us (the fate of your foreskin).

  53. Steve Evans says:

    D., some knowledge is best kept hidden from the world.

  54. Maybe my high schools were anomalies, but there was never any ridicule amongst my class members in the shower at anyone who was uncircumcised.

  55. Personally, I don’t see the point in circumcising.

  56. mullingandmusing says:

    My cousin who is a doc has seen enough grown men have to do it later that he recommends it for babies. I am still traumatized from the decision to circ our son because I don’t think the docs did a gentle job and he slept a ton the next day (although that isn’t abnormal for new newborns, so who knows what was going on). I would be sure you get a good doc, and do what you can to reduce the trauma. But, that said, in the end, I don’t think it’s something that is a big deal. My son was fine after a day, and I’m the only one who remembers it. I’m sure my hubby would want to do it again if we have another son, although a part of me secretly hopes we won’t so I don’t have to think about it again. :)

  57. Either way, it’s no skin off my nose.

  58. How much do Dr’s get paid to do this non-elective surgery? Since there aren’t really any complications, I’m sure that it is a cash cow and HIGHLY suspect.

    The folks over at correctprinciples have written up a beautiful scriptoral analysis of the Mosiac covenant of circumcision and the fulfillment of the law with Christ. No need to do it boys. .

    Also, the gals (and guys) blogging in Feminist Mormon Housewives have attacked this issue from a neonatal/maternity standpoint
    Just be informed before you have the procedure done. IT IS painful to an infant and I challenge you to watch it being done to a child.

  59. No need. Christ fulfilled the law.

    Galatians 5:6

  60. I dunno what I think about circumsission, but at least the conversations over here have found a new way to maintain thier phallic-centricity, which is how it should be I guess. Better than talking and talking and talking and talking about gays, gays, gays, same-sex marriage, gays, gays, spam and gays.

  61. Kramer was against it, but I’m on Elaine’s side:

    Jerry: “Hey, Elaine…you ever see one?” [That wasn’t circumcised.]

    Elaine: Shakes her head up and down. “Yeah.”

    Jerry: “What did ya think?”

    Elaine: Shakes her head side to side. “Mmm…no. It had no face. No personality.”

  62. Chas Brown says:

    I see too many foreskins from men later in life who have them removed when they are infected (balanitis, phimosis)or diseased. I get them all down in the laboratory. I did not want that to happen to my kid later in life, he was circ-ed. Maybe because I see so many diseased foreskins from elderly men, I tend to focus on the negative results more than others.
    There are health benefits of a circumcized penis, but I am sure you can find plenty of people to say the risk is not worth the benefit.
    I firmly believe the risk is worth the benifit.

  63. All I want to add is that it kills me when we use the whole “its hurting the baby” reason for not snipping. Give me a break people…we are over coddling our children as it is. I was snipped and don’t have the faintest memory. I think this even falls in line with what my dad used to tell us kids before spanking us: this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you. Well, now as an adult, I believe him. Snipping your kid is more about you than it is the kid because he isn’t going to remember it…you are! Get over it! It isn’t about you!

    Having said that…I will buy the “Christ fulfilled the law” argument for ending the process. It actually makes perfect sense and I’ve often wondered why the practice was even continued by the ancient church if they truly believed that Christ had fulfilled the law.

  64. Thomas Parkin says:

    My wife and I disagreed on this point regarding our now 3 year old. We both found plenty of evidence on the internet to back our positions (Muslims seem, generally, especially vigorous with ‘cleanliness’ argument), and hence, like on so many other issues, nothing definitive.

    That all was basically all a mask for the deeper disagreement, which had to do with his identity. My wife was, at the time, a sworn atheist with pagan tendancies, and saw circumcision as a sign that our son would take on a Judeo-Christian heritage; I saw it in much that same light.* She offered that if there was a genuine spiritual concern on my part, she would agree to the circumcision. I went in and read about the early church’s row on the subject, and whatever I could find by latter days authorities (I love my LDS library software – even with the lousy interface) – and decided that not only was there no current spiritual concern, where there was argument all authority was intensely neutral. So, no circumcision. And while I have a slight bad feeling that he doesn’t look like me *achoo*, really, I think it is just not a big deal.



    * I decided that a lot of the passion this subject _can_ generate is centered here.

  65. I used to wish we hadn’t snipped my 5-year-old son (I left the decision up to my husband), but now I’m glad. Here’s the reason: He has autism. He’s toilet trained, but still, hygiene is enough of a challenge without bothering with a foreskin.

    Of course, there’s no way of knowing at birth if your child is autistic, but it’s a different perspective on the subject.

  66. The cost of circumcision is not very much. Especially compared to the price of havng the kid in the first place. So it’s not like doctors are “upselling” you on another procedure or anything.

    The babies feel very little. The reason why they squirm and sometimes scream during the procedure is because newborns don’t really like to be fussed with, and it’s very uncomfortable for them to be positioned the way they are.

    m&m, your baby slept because that’s what newborns do. As a matter of fact, had he been in pain, he wouldn’t have slept and something would have been wrong.

    I just had my third son a month ago. All are circ’d and I would have the fourth done, too

  67. Are you really basing your decision on the poll or have you made up your mind already?

  68. When my son came along, I had just kind of lackadazically figured that we *would,* but I was surprised that both my father and my husband had pretty strong feelings against the procedure. Never being one to decide anything based on hearsay, I did my digging, and actually decided against having it done. Bobbie will be 3 this July 4th, and thus far there’s been no freakish side effects from *gasp* having left his foreskin in tact. Just because it was done to our generation doesn’t mean we ned to pass it on. Look around, read, pray, decide–do what’s right for you.

  69. Mark Pickering says:

    A friend of a former roommate who was circumcised in adulthood told him that sex was much better before circumcision. Apparently, the foreskin contains many nerve endings. However, not having a foreskin enables one to “last” longer during coitus.

    I think circumcision is gential mutilation. What the ancient Romans thought when they encountered the Jews is exactly right. Just think about female circumcision.

  70. Kevin Barney says:

    Isn’t comparing male and female “circumcision” a false analogy? Although the same word is used, they’re not the same thing at all. Femaie circumcision is total removal of the clitoris so the woman will feel no pleasure from sex. Male circumcision is sui generis.

  71. Paul Ramsell says:

    Female and male circumcision is the same thing. Both involve the mutilation of the genitalia. The foreskin of the penis is loaded with nerve endings that have alot to do with sexual pleasure.

    The strange thing about this whole discussion: the fact that we are having it. If there is this much debate over male genital mutilation, then maybe you ought to leave that decision up to your son, when he’s an adult. This is after all a decision that you don’t get to do-over, and it isn’t even your body.

    Regarding health concerns of foreskin, if you are really worried about boys not keeping it clean enough, then why don’t we cut off the labia of baby girls. They’ve got more folds and flaps than boy’s penises do.

    Regarding the need for kids to look like their naked peers, get over it. Penises don’t look alike anyway. The bigger trama will come from being teased for having red hair, being over weight, being mormon, being stupid, being whatever…

    Just please, please leave your kid’s penis alone. Let him make the decision when he is an adult.

  72. Seth R. says:

    How old is he Steve?

    I personally think that fact matters quite a bit.

  73. “Snipping your kid is more about you than it is the kid because he isn’t going to remember it…”

    I’m not sure this is a good reason to inflict pain on a baby. A baby probably wouldn’t remember if someone cut off his/her toe, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to do it. Whether the baby remembers it or not, I think there is still some validity the motive for some parents not to circumcise their baby because they want to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain.

  74. Jon in Austin says:

    Growing up in suburban Utah it was assumed we were of the House of Jacob in glorious, beautiful and circumsized state! Until that awful day we were 18 and our friend confessed he wasn’t so blessed… we all mocked him as a Gentile for about 10 minutes until his ego was sufficiently crushed then we all went about our merry way and forgot about it.

    Aside from all the medical/ethical pros and cons it all boils down to the fact that if God commanded his people to do it in the past- thus it can’t be that horrible/evil/mutilating/despicable/etc. (though some would insert a similiar argument about polygamy right about now…)

    And now that He doesn’t require it, do whatever you want but don’t put up a big stink about what everone else should do to their kids when it comes to this.

    If you want to avoid passing on painful and traumatic experiences to your kids, don’t pull their teeth out with string and a swinging door! (now that pain I still do remember…)

  75. Floyd the Wonderdog says:

    My wife had a good observation when we were deciding whether to have our son modified or not. Have the boy resemble the father. The kid will no doubt get a glimse of daddy at some time and it might cause too much facination if daddy is different.

  76. Kevin Barney says:

    I still think it is problematic to assert that male and female circumcision is the same . Using this argument in one’s passion to stamp out male circumcision has the potential to harm the argument against female circumcision, because the former is still considered normative and acceptable practice in civilized western countries like the U.S., while the latter is considered a barbarism. If we simply equate them, western men might get the idea that female circumcision isn’t such a bad thing, because, hey, I’m circumcised and I love sex! While I understand the argument that there are nerve endings and pleasure receptors in the foreskin, circumcumcision does not interfere with the capacity of men to derive enormous physical pleasure from sexual intercourse. Removal of the clitoris is a whole other ball game.

    I think you can argue that they are on the same spectrum, but the degrees and effects of these procedures are different. They are not the same, as several posit.

  77. Judy Jones says:

    In my experience as a mother, if you don’t circumcise them when they are babies, they will end up being circumcised as an old man. Which would YOU choose?

  78. Rosalynde says:

    Steve, congratulations again on the impending birth of your son!

    (Was this really your way of announcing, or have I missed an announcement elsewhere on the blog?)

  79. While I understand the argument that there are nerve endings and pleasure receptors in the foreskin, circumcumcision does not interfere with the capacity of men to derive enormous physical pleasure from sexual intercourse.

    Kevin, it isn’t that there are nerve endings in the fore skin that are lost. The loss of sexual pleasure comes from the constant rubbing of the glands of the penis. In an uncircumcised male the glands are protected from this constant contact.

    I am uncircumcised, and although I was teased a little when I was little, it was by no means damaging. It is interesting that the poll here is in favor of the practice. I would have thought a progressive group of people wouldn’t bow to a societal norm, just to avoid being made fun of. I think it is ludicrous that people would cut a piece of thier sons penis off, just because it is the norm.

    Judy Jones,
    I know quite a few uncircumcised men, and of those I know of only one that had to be circumcised later in life. Perhaps we should start pre-emptively removing all possible problem organs when babies are born? Why not remove their appendix and tonsils why we’re at it?

  80. FWIW, I almost didn’t circumcise my son. I was mostly pro-, but still had trepidations about causing him pain. My aunt called before I headed to the doctor’s office and gave me the feedback that I needed to hear. Her first husband was NOT snipped … and didn’t have good personal hygiene. She assured me that B (my son)’s future wife would thank me.

    His circumcision wasn’t too traumatic for the two of us. And he’s had to have a little work done on it since. Still, It’s easier for him and me to take care of. (I reason that *I* have to change his diapers. I want to look at a pretty penis. It’s my right in exchange for the numerous diapers I have to change — especially since he has a twin sister and I have neither the time nor the patience for UTIs in them.) Also, the nurses at the clinic were glad to hear my decision. They’ve seen too many little boys with bad, recurring infections.

    Also, and this may be TMI … my stepdad was circumcised as an adult. He did it himself, even. If he … um … took matters into his own hands, thusly, I think it’d be safe to say that, as one who knows the difference, he’s pro-circ.

    Not that I’m trying to sway your decision. I just thought I’d add my two cents. Follow the Spirit. This is your son, not mine. Congrads, btw.

  81. Also, it may be premature to think you can decide now. Depending on the baby’s condition, the decision may be made for you.

    I have a relative who was born with a medical condition — hypospadia — which meant that he couldn’t be circumcised until the condition was fixed. (Surgery at age 2). I’m pretty sure that there are other medical conditions that preclude circumcision, as well. If your boy has any of those conditions — they aren’t terribly common, I think, but aren’t super-rare either — then this whole debate will be moot.

    File away under: Things for parents to worry about before the baby is born.

  82. Steve Evans says:

    Rosalynde, I’ve talked about the impending critters before: see here.

  83. anon here says:

    Funny story.

    My mother-in-law spoke about her first son’s circumcision. During the whole process she cried and cried. It was so barbaric, and she couldn’t see any reason for it. That’s why none of her other boys were circumcized.

    My husband and I were briefly speechless. We looked at each other. We looked at her. We looked at the floor. We looked back at each other.

    “Oh!” I said. “I could have sworn that you were circumcized, Husband.”

    “Well, yes I am,” Husband replied.

    My mother-in-law was confused. Apparently, she had not requested such a thing. This was back in the day of fully anesthesized births, so we can only think that an adult relative requested it without her knowledge or consent.

    Current circumcisions leave much of the foreskin intact. A semi-circ, if you will.

  84. Bro. Jones says:

    Also google for “David Reimer.” While not every boy has to have as disastrous an outcome as he did–an infection after a botched circumcision required removal of the entire organ, after which crazy doctors decided to raise the kid as a girl–the mere possibility of such a disaster, versus the minimal gain in hygiene, seems too big a risk to me. If the kid wants to lop his foreskin off later in life, let him choose to do so.

  85. Eh? Nony Moose says:

    •And, I couldn’t care less about the next reason, but my husband (who is circumsized) says he has read that uncircumsized penises are more sensitive and therefore can (I guess) achieve greater sexual satisfaction (when the time comes). I know, TMI police, come and get me.

    **self-censored expletive here** Like guys don’t have it easy enough already. I’m with the commenter whose wife said it was a favor to their son’s future spouse.

  86. Mark B. says:

    Re: Jared E’s comment # 80.

    I don’t want you to thin I’m a nitpicker, but the word you were looking for was glans. Not glands.

    Those are elsewhere.

  87. #86 Eh?NonyMoose – Hey, I’m just passing on the information. :-)

    This reminds me of an old LA Law episode where there was a botched up circumcision and the family were orthodox Jews. The complaint was that it would be traumatic for the baby’s future wife. The counter argument was that as an orthodox he was expected to be and marry a virgin, so how would she know the difference? Isn’t this kind of the same thing?

  88. “I don’t want you to thin I’m a nitpicker, but the word you were looking for was glans. Not glands.”

    Thanks for the tip!

  89. greenfrog says:

    Mutilation for cosmetics…

  90. I looked into this when Baby Nonny was born. This story, which talks about how a scientific study in South Africa on the effects of circumcision on HIV-transmission had to be stopped due to ethical rules in order to offer circumcision to the rest of the participants swayed me. That and the whole “if you get infected later in life, it’ll be much more painful” argument seemed to indicate to me that there are in fact problems of disease involved in a non-snip.

  91. Greenfrog,

    So are you saying God condoned mutilation in the OT? Or it wasn’t really mutilation because he said it was okay?

    I thought God was all about respecting the body and all that jazz??

  92. Mark B. says:

    gst, that’s probably the worst double entendre in this whole thread.

  93. Tatiana says:

    Three words: ritual genital mutilation.

  94. a random John says:

    Another datapoint: at Centerville Junior High in the late 1980s the very few uncircumcised boys were teased mercilessly.

  95. greenfrog says:

    So are you saying God condoned mutilation in the OT? Or it wasn’t really mutilation because he said it was okay?

    Not only condoned — ordered. But then He apparently ordered genocide, too, so I don’t sweat the mutilation order, much.

    I thought God was all about respecting the body and all that jazz??

    The current leadership of the LDS Church has taken a position against certain kinds of modifications.

    And, FWIW, I tend to think of mutilation as something one does to another, rather than something one does to oneself, though I recognize that the word can be used in either situation. Even so, it seems to me that getting two earrings in one ear for cosmetic purposes is one thing — cutting off parts of someone else’s body for cosmetics is quite another.

  96. My friend who’s a peditrician says that there’s a strong correlation to ethnic background and circumsion. Unfortunately I can’t remember her statistics very well– but I suppose that you could check those out, if you concerned by the fitting in arguements. I have a son who’s 20, and we somehow got discussing our decision to have him circumsized the other day. He was a little annoyed that we’d done it, just because of tradition. It was his father who really felt that it had to be done because he (father) was circumcized himself, and because he thought that there’d be locker room teasing if he(the son) wasn’t circumcized. Our son thought that was a lame reason. He said that where he went to school, very southern California, there’s enough of a taboo on gay behavior, that the guys in the locker room are careful not to appear to be looking, and it was never ever an issue for him. I think that in our area at least, there is enough diversity in all kinds of things that it just wouldn’t be an issue.

  97. notheranon says:

    re 66: My oldest intact son is 6 and his only toileting hygeine issues revolve around the proper wiping of his butt. There’s no special care for an intact penis at this age.

    81: An uncut baby penis isn’t weird or in any other way unattractive. It’s normal.

    And… circing so they will look like daddy? Even if my sons’ and husband’s circ status was the same they still would look *very* different in that area.

  98. Um,
    The lack of professional medical knowledge in this thread is frightening. A lot of medical assertations are being made. As a librarian, I could never give unqualified medical advice. It would be an ethical violation and could get me sued in a nano-second.

    I think that if you are looking for medical information about the pain quotient of infants, rates of infection, percentages of procedures done, or the COST of the procedures, you should look at authoratative sources. As a physician or qualified medical professional, visit the government’s (NIH, NLM) online consumer health website MedlinePlus or search the largest medical research databases “medline” on PubMed.gov for free. Better yet, talk to a librarian and get their help in the search. (Librarians adhere to a professional code of ethics and will keep your search confidential. Also, almost all hospitals have a library and a medical librarian to assist patients with info needs -usually with no cost.) Read the reports yourself and discuss your findings with a medical professional. Be proactive about the FACTS. Get informed from QUALITY sources. You’ll be able to find the most up-to-date and research-based information.
    Good luck!

  99. anon today says:

    I will not say my name, because my husband would be embarrassed.
    My husband grew up in a culture where children were “cut” when they could remember it, as a sacrifice. He was told before hand that he must not cry. At ten years old, he was sent into a room with two brothers, one 9 and one 7. One by one they were “cut”. They were cut together so that they could witness that the others did not cry. When he married me he found out that babies in America were cut right at birth, and he was so sad that he had not been born here. The experience was the worst in his life. I mentioned to him not doing it at all, but he said that any chance, even 1% that the person may have to be later in life is enough for him to insist on doing it at birth.

  100. Jeremiah J. says:

    “It worked for me” applies to me as well, so I’m not militantly against it. But there really is no medical reason for it. It’s actually the misconceptions about the need to vigilantly clean the area that lead to infections and other problems.

    And I never quite figured out how to tell my son, “Well, we did the unnecessary procedure because we knew that all of the other parents were doing it to their boys and we didn’t want you to be left out.” It will be even harder to make the case when my son comes back with, “Well, apparently only *some* of the other parents were doing it, and apparently with no better argument than your flimsy reasoning. And so why is it, dad, that you don’t want me to get my nose and nipples pierced?”

    “Librarians adhere to a professional code of ethics and will keep your search confidential.”

    I hope after posting about it on your blog, your investigation will continue to be kept confidential. ;)

  101. ha ha Jeremiah!
    But seriously, Librarians (M.L.S.) ARE confidential about searches. All I’m saying is that here are some resources and IF anyone needed info on this topic, they should see a medical librarian and a health professional.

  102. D. A. W. says:

    I say go for it for the reasons listed above. I mainly want to point out what everybody let slip with posts 59 and 60. The order was part of the Abrahamic covenant, not the Mosaic covenant. The Mosaic Law was fulfilled. The Abrahamic covenant is eternal.

    Now back to the debate.

    Go snip him.

  103. Then why Gal 5:6?

  104. notheranon says:

    Moroni 8:8 also.

  105. Ohhh! Notheranon,
    Excellent Excellent Excellent scripture to point out! You just slam-dunked this scripture-chase!

    Mormoni 8:8 ANSWERS IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  106. Allison says:

    Steve, do what you & Sumer feel comfortable with. This is a topic I think everybody has a strong opinion about (except me, it seems), and there are good arguments to be made on both sides.

    Re: pain, of course newborns feel pain, and I think it’s pretty cruel to dismiss it just because they won’t remember. OTOH, I thought it was pretty standard nowadays to give a local anesthetic? Our son had one, anyway, and didn’t seem to mind the circ.

  107. “as a librarian, I could never give unqualified medical advice”

    Easily my favorite quote on this thread.

  108. Dan – He can’t lead his life if he is circ’ed? It will be the end of the world ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mark- I think your roommate probably came faster in his earlier years and now that he is older and has sex more – it takes a little longer and is more enjoyable for him.

    Or he just appreciates sex more!

    Anyway I know both sides and knowing that have circ’ed my 2 sons.

  109. Go to http://www.nocirc.org and read for 10 minutes; witness a circumcision and then decide for yourself if you want your son circumcised.

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