I was recently asked my thoughts on circumcision. This is what I have to say about it.
My thoughts on circumcision are in line with my thoughts on pretty much all topics related to the human body.
The human body is an amazing thing. It is fully equipped to function normally in our environment as long as nothing interferes with it. We are not born with any extra parts; all parts of our anatomy, including the foreskin, serve important functions. The head of the penis is supposed to be a mucous membrane just like the inner parts of the vulva, the inside of you mouth, the inside of your nose, and your eyes. These parts are all designed to be protected from the outside world by a layer of skin. Labia, lips, eyelids, nose, and foreskin are all protective coverings for mucous membranes that allow these parts to maintain their optimal function.
There are no good reasons to circumcise an infant unless there is something medically wrong with their penis.
Furthermore, even if there was a medical issue, I would seek multiple opinions before altering such an important part of the body. You can always choose to circumcise at a later time if it is medically necessary, but you cannot undo the procedure once it’s done. Waiting to see if it is absolutely necessary gives you options whereas acting prematurely does not. There are arguments that say circumcision decreases the chance of STIs and other infections. Removing the entire penis also eliminates the chance of infection. Removing the gallbladder prevents gall stones, and removing the appendix prevents appendicitis; these are not good reasons to start taking apart the human body at birth.
Circumcision IS painful for the child and the pain is imprinted forever
This is based on understanding cellular memory and subconscious programming in childhood and http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe.
There are also potential life threatening effects and lifelong consequences.
Babies do die from infection as a result of circumcision. Why take the unnecessary risk for no benefit? Some men have erectile problems because too much skin has been removed. This can lead to painful bleeding of the penis during sex or masturbation. The foreskin is also the MOST sensitive part of the penis; a lack of foreskin reduces sexual sensation.
I think that circumcising babies in order for them to look like Daddy is absurd.
Would you do cosmetic surgery on your infant’s nose so that he can look like Dad? Of course not. Everyone looks different in their own unique ways. Children do not benefit from having their penises look like their father’s. Fewer and fewer circumcisions are being done. Your child may look like Dad, but he will look different than the majority of boys in the locker room. Would you surgically change your daughter’s vulva to match yours? Personally I don’t agree with cosmetic surgery for kids unless it is either medically warranted or targeting a disfigurement that is affecting their self-esteem. Additionally, I believe it is important that children be old enough to choose the surgery for themselves.
If you do choose to circumcise your son, I believe you should be there to hold his hand throughout the process so that you know exactly what he had to go through.
It is your job as a parent to be there to protect your child and support them when they are hurting. This is likely the most painful experience they will have in their life and they deserve to have loving support throughout the process. I do not agree with parents burying their heads in the sand in order to avoid knowing what their child is going through. You are the one deciding to subject your child to this procedure and you should be there to experience the pain with them. It is their penis; if you are not giving them the choice of what to do with it you should at least be there with them for emotional support.