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To Cut, or Not to Cut....

 
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: To Cut, or Not to Cut.... Reply with quote

There was a rather heated exchange on another message board for home schoolers surrounding the issue of circumcision. Is it a good practice? One mother called it "mutilation" of a child. Some argued that the only reason a man has his son circumsized is so that the boy's penis will look like his. One poster argued that health studies show circumsized men are at a slightly lower risk for aquiring STDs and HIV. Others claimed those studies have been debunked. Neither side offered proof of any sort.

The interesting thing about the debate is that it took place between women. No men were involved. So my question to the dads who visit this site is, "What say you?"

Is circumcision a valuable medical procedure or is it unnecessary?
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject: Re: To Cut, or Not to Cut.... Reply with quote

RB wrote:
There was a rather heated exchange on another message board for home schoolers surrounding the issue of circumcision. Is it a good practice? One mother called it "mutilation" of a child. Some argued that the only reason a man has his son circumsized is so that the boy's penis will look like his. One poster argued that health studies show circumsized men are at a slightly lower risk for aquiring STDs and HIV. Others claimed those studies have been debunked. Neither side offered proof of any sort.

The interesting thing about the debate is that it took place between women. No men were involved. So my question to the dads who visit this site is, "What say you?"

Is circumcision a valuable medical procedure or is it unnecessary?


Hi RB,

Talk about a can of worms... In my opinion, there isn't a right or wrong answer. Working in the medical field, I can say that circumcision of the newborn is medically un-necessary and that data indicating that there are fewer STDs among uncircumcised males is truthful. The debunking occurs when other studies are presented that show that using a condom prevents many STDs regardless of circumcision (duh) and other studies show that proper care of the foreskin prevents the other conditions that can occur (more rocket science). The only comment that I can offer in opposition to circumcision is from reports that I've read that suggest that the glans of the penis without the protection of the foreskin can over time, becomes less sensitive. I believe this could be true but if it's significant, it could only be so to a mature male who for whatever reason, chose to be circumcised.

From my personal life, I was circumcised as an infant and my wife and I decided to have our son circumcised too. When we discussed it we came to the conclusion that he would once older, probably prefer to be circumcised like me. I may be wrong but I think this similarity is important for a boy. If dad is uncircumcised, son would likely prefer to be uncircumcised too. Regardless of reason, choosing to make the child different may create a conflict. Later, the child will see other boys and some will likely be different. maybe he will be curious enough to ask, maybe he won't. Even though the procedure is done less often, it is still done on most boys in our culture and being like the majority and/or looking like his dad may be comforting to the boy. As we all grow to maturity, hopefully these differences become unimportant.

Allow me to share the experience of the day our son was circumcised. Clearly the nurse was strongly opposed to this procedure and was actually, barely civil to us. When she returned our son to us after the procedure, she handed him to me, looked me in the eye and said, "here you go sir, here's your little man." Any thoughts?

Rich
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13


Last edited by Rich on Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Can of Worms? Reply with quote

Maybe. It depends on whether or not anyone else responds, and if they do, are they civil?

Wow! The nurse who handed you your child was completely unprofessional. I highly doubt that I would have been able to contain myself if I had been in that situaton. I certainly would have reported her, in writing, for making such a comment.

My wife agonized over the decision of whether or not to circumsize the boys. I was perfectly content to skip it. I have an uncircumsized brother who only had, to the best of my recollection, one infection under his foreskin. He did not have his son circumsized, so it must not have been a big deal. I think that moral living can help reduce the risk of STDs better than foreskin or a lack of foreskin. Ultimately, she felt more strongly for circumcision. It was tough on her.

Neither boy has been scarred from the process.

I was somewhat surprised and slightly annoyed by my parents, who decided that they needed to inject themselves (uninvited) into the debate. Why it was any of their business is beyond me. Thanks to that event we have a rule about not discussing non-life-threatening illnesses with my folks until after the patient is healed. When everyone is healthy there is less to criticize.
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Can of Worms? Reply with quote

RB wrote:
Maybe. It depends on whether or not anyone else responds, and if they do, are they civil?

Wow! The nurse who handed you your child was completely unprofessional. I highly doubt that I would have been able to contain myself if I had been in that situaton. I certainly would have reported her, in writing, for making such a comment.

My wife agonized over the decision of whether or not to circumsize the boys. I was perfectly content to skip it. I have an uncircumsized brother who only had, to the best of my recollection, one infection under his foreskin. He did not have his son circumsized, so it must not have been a big deal. I think that moral living can help reduce the risk of STDs better than foreskin or a lack of foreskin. Ultimately, she felt more strongly for circumcision. It was tough on her.

Neither boy has been scarred from the process.

I was somewhat surprised and slightly annoyed by my parents, who decided that they needed to inject themselves (uninvited) into the debate. Why it was any of their business is beyond me. Thanks to that event we have a rule about not discussing non-life-threatening illnesses with my folks until after the patient is healed. When everyone is healthy there is less to criticize.


Hi again,

Grandparents really do have a knack for intruding where they think they have a right to, don't they? We've heard an earful over the years especially about homeschooling, but that's another story...

If I may inquire regarding the input from your parents on this issue, how could they comment on your choice to circumcise your sons when they did one but not the other of their own? Why wouldn't you both be uncircumcised if they felt so strongly? I assume that you are circumcised since you refer to your brother who is not. Maybe they regretted their decision after you were done. Is your brother younger than you?

We did make a complaint against the nurse on the basis that she didn't maintain her professionalism. She of course, denied making any professional comment which left us to appear as oversensitive parents. Either way, she was wrong and we let her know that.

Take care,

Rich
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My parents had both myself and my older brother circumsized. My younger brother was born with severely underdeveloped lungs. He wasn't supposed to live through his first night. This was in the early 70's. He was rushed to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. A month later he came home for the first time. Circumcision fell to item 847 on the list of things he needed. It just didn't get done.

I think that my parents look at the choice to circumsize in hindsight, and wish they never bothered with my older brother or myself. When my oldest was born they started asking whether or not we were getting it done, offering their "sage advice" with every phone call. We danced that same dance when my second son was born. Hooray for the arrival of a girl! One less thing to worry about.
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RB wrote:
My parents had both myself and my older brother circumsized. My younger brother was born with severely underdeveloped lungs. He wasn't supposed to live through his first night. This was in the early 70's. He was rushed to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. A month later he came home for the first time. Circumcision fell to item 847 on the list of things he needed. It just didn't get done.

I think that my parents look at the choice to circumsize in hindsight, and wish they never bothered with my older brother or myself. When my oldest was born they started asking whether or not we were getting it done, offering their "sage advice" with every phone call. We danced that same dance when my second son was born. Hooray for the arrival of a girl! One less thing to worry about.



I understand the need to keep parents at a distance and share only selected bits of information. It must have been very draining when yours felt welcome to impose opinions on something as personal and private as circumcision and really difficult when your daughter was so critical. And they wonder why you don't tell them anything...

By the way RB, miracle babies seem to run in your family don't they? How is your brother doing now? Does he have any residual health issues related to his prematurity?

Rich
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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RB



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich wrote:


By the way RB, miracle babies seem to run in your family don't they? How is your brother doing now? Does he have any residual health issues related to his prematurity?



Miracles babies? Yes and no. There were two deaths and five miscarriages between my younger brother and myself. One brother lived for six days. Another brother lived for one hour. Neither made it out of the hospital. Five never made it out of the womb. My parents lost more children than they gained. I wonder how they had the will to keep trying.

My brother is a healthy 33-year-old, married, with two children and one on the way. He's big, too. He stands almost 6' 2" tall, and weighs about 230. I realize that "healthy" is relative here - he could stand to lose some weight - but there are no residual health issues from his birth.

After the struggles we had with our daughter, when my parents use the world's most annoying phrase, "Been there, done that," they mean it!
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Rich



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Coastal New England

PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RB wrote:
Rich wrote:


By the way RB, miracle babies seem to run in your family don't they? How is your brother doing now? Does he have any residual health issues related to his prematurity?



Miracles babies? Yes and no. There were two deaths and five miscarriages between my younger brother and myself. One brother lived for six days. Another brother lived for one hour. Neither made it out of the hospital. Five never made it out of the womb. My parents lost more children than they gained. I wonder how they had the will to keep trying.

My brother is a healthy 33-year-old, married, with two children and one on the way. He's big, too. He stands almost 6' 2" tall, and weighs about 230. I realize that "healthy" is relative here - he could stand to lose some weight - but there are no residual health issues from his birth.

After the struggles we had with our daughter, when my parents use the world's most annoying phrase, "Been there, done that," they mean it!


You and your family have lived through a lot, so many tragic and joyful things wrapped together. I'm glad that you all seem to be living fulfilling lives even with annoyingly wise parents who want to be helpful...

Thanks for sharing more of your story.

Rich

PS- best to your brother and his family
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homeschooling since '97: daughter, 18- away at college, son, 16 and daughter 13
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bartii



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both my boys were circumcised. I was too. I have heard various medical debates concerning this. Here is another story concerning this:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20061214_circumcision_reduces_aids_risk/
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HippieMike



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son is 7 years old. We chose not to have the procedure done. The main reason is that Medicaid didn't pay for it and it was/is costly (at least to us it was). I am circumcised and I know that there may be times in the future when my son will come to me and ask why he is different.

One more reason we opted to not do it is because God created him. God put that foreskin there. Man is the one that choses to remove it. With the proper care of that part of the male anatomy, my son shouldn't have any problem.

I also pray that my wife and I can bring up both of our children (the other is a 9 yr old daughter) so that there will be no issues of pre-marital sex. Prayerfully they will both wait until they are married to become sexually active, with their spouse only.

Also, if my son choses to, later in life, he can make the decision to get himself circumcised. It is afterall, his body. Lastly, if we had done it when he was an infant, there would be no reversing that choice. As it stands now, his situation can be changed. Once it is done, it is done.

Does any of that make sense? These are just my personal thoughts and opinoins concerning my own son.
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bartii



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it will be his own decision when he gets older. He may not want to concerning it is painful. We did it because we were going by OT law. We also did it on the day OT said it was to be done, accept the youngest. The doc couldn't fit him in. He was circumcised a day later.
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