New, with a few thoughts

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009
New, with a few thoughts
10
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 8:00pm

Hello, I'm fairly new to Ivillage and found this board...interesting and thought provoking. Frankly, I can't say that I have ever really thought of circumcision aside from giggling discussions of male anatomy with college friends over pizza. Frankly, I never needed too as, uh, that road was long ago crossed with DH. But now we are talking about TTC (not there yet, but the discussion is happening) and I realize I may have to be the one making that decision in the not so distant future.

I'm not sure whether I am pro-, con- or ambivalent yet... but I am always interested in what makes people and cultures tick so your discussions are very interesting to me and have left me with a few thoughts not so much on the medical side, but on the cultural.

I'm wondering what the modern link is with circumcision is especially with American society. We sometimes seem to lean back to our puritanical roots with regards to sexuality, where it is dirty, naughty,etc. That combined with the realization that circumcision did not become a normal part of society until the Victorian era makes me wonder if it was a societal effort to "cleanse" sexuality, playing on the newly germ-phobic society. With the efforts of Kellogg to prevent and "treat" male masturbation around the same time, I wonder if that was also a motivation in the movement.

Also what I don't get is the idea that a circumcised penis appears "more natural". Granted that I've never actually seen an actually natural one outside of medical textbooks (probably TMI, sorry)... I consider it no more "natural" for a man than a 98lb, Boob-jobbed Lindsay Lohan is an example of a natural woman. It makes me wonder if that is a need to view private parts as aesthetically pleasing, or are "we" so used to seeing the altered parts that the natural is no longer?

I can't speak for the medical issues... maybe there is something to it, and then I would absolutely understand a need to either circumcise or educate.But what I don't get is that there is this idea that dirt and bodily fluids would build up and create infections, but would that really be much different than a woman cleaning herself to avoid UTIs or Yeast Infections?

Ok, so I think my mind has slowed down a bit. Like I said, these are more wonderings as opposed to direct questions. I hope there are some explanations, and would love to hear from both sides. Someday I may need to be able to make an informed decision.




Edited 10/1/2009 8:39 pm ET by mrssarahv
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Fri, 10-02-2009 - 9:57pm

Sarah (If that's your real name? I 'extracted' it from your username!)


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009
Sat, 10-03-2009 - 12:13am

Hello Christopher, you are correct my name is Sarah, and thank you for the welcome. I've enjoyed reading some of the back logged discussions and gaining information. I'm sad to say it is an issue I had never really thought much about before. It's just not something I ever felt the need to ask about.

I did manage to discuss it with DH last night without choking on embarrassment. DH is Circumcised an believes that's the way to go. For him it is not an aesthetic or "normal" thing, but he had a college friend who ripped his foreskin on something and the led to trauma for all who heard about it. I have to admit cringing a bit at the description of the injury. His other thing was cleaning issues.

Anyhow it was interesting to get his take on things. Like I said, I am not sure where I stand. If it is truly a cosmetic issue then I know I don't support it, but if there is something medical to it, then it is not so black and white for me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Sat, 10-03-2009 - 3:01am

"I did manage to discuss it with DH last night without choking on embarrassment. DH is Circumcised an believes that's the way to go. For him it is not an aesthetic or "normal" thing, but he had a college friend who ripped his foreskin on something and the led to trauma for all who heard about it. I have to admit cringing a bit at the description of the injury. His other thing was cleaning issues.


Anyhow it was interesting to get his take on things. Like I said, I am not sure where I stand. If it is truly a cosmetic issue then I know I don't support it, but if there is something medical to it, then it is not so black and white for me. "


----------------------------------------------------


Hi, your DH's thinking is very common among adult males who were circumcised as babies. Quite understandable

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 10:22am

It is possible to catch a foreskin in a zipper for instance but in my over a half century of living have never actually seen or heard of a case that could be verified.

Read more: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-ppcirc&msg=8292.1&ctx=0#ixzz0SycEf3Q0


This actualy happened to my brother-in-law as a young child in elementary school. His teacher had to help him out of his predicament. The end result was a slightly sore foreskin for a couple of days and some embarassment. However he would NEVER part with his foreskin - He calls it his "favourite toy", and is definitely pro intact.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 10:36am

Sarah, welcome to the board. I applaud you for taking the time and trouble to investigate this bizarre custom before you are forced into a hasty decision on behalf of your future son.


There has never been a proven medical benefit to circumcision. It has always been a procedure in search of a problem. Consider that 85% of the males in the world are intact, and of those that are circumcised the vast majority were done for religious reasons - Muslims or Jews. The U.S.A. is the only industrialised country in the world where the routine circumcision of baby boys is commonly performed for solely cultural reasons.


I hope that you investigate further, and encourage you to check out the following websites where there is a huge amount of information:


www.cirp.org


www.circumstitions.org


www.mothersagainstcirc.org


Good luck, and keep us posted with your thoughts.


Avatar for frankly_speaking
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 12:43pm

"I'm wondering what the modern link is with circumcision is especially with American society. We sometimes seem to lean back to our puritanical roots with regards to sexuality, where it is dirty, naughty,etc. That combined with the realization that circumcision did not become a normal part of society until the Victorian era makes me wonder if it was a societal effort to "cleanse" sexuality, playing on the newly germ-phobic society. With the efforts of Kellogg to prevent and "treat" male masturbation around the same time, I wonder if that was also a motivation in the movement."


The modern link is not the same as the early link.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2003
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 1:47pm

I don't understand the foreskin in the zipper thing either. And yes, I actually met someone that said it happened to him. I'm sure it does happen. I've gotten zipped by a zipper too- my belly, chin, and even a finger.
I just have to wonder how you would assume if the foreskin wasn't there the glans wouldn't have gotten a similar injury??
And how it is any 'justification' for circumcision?

Jessica

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 9:07pm

Please understand that smegma is a totally natural, healthy and beneficial sebaceous


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2006
Sun, 10-04-2009 - 10:30pm

Well and here's MY experience with penis and zipper incidents. I was a full time nanny before I got married and went on to have kids of my own. The little boy I took care of for 5 years was circumcised. He got his penis stuck in his zipper when he was 4 y/o. I remember it like it was yesterday (and it was 15 years ago now!). He was screaming in pain, blood everywhere and I was so afraid I was going to hurt him but I had to do SOMETHING. I pulled the zipper down and he was in agony, it was awful. I raced him over to the Pediatricians office only a few blocks away and she got the bleeding to stop and checked him over. He was fortunately fine with no major damage but he was VERY sore and in pain for quite a while. Poor little guy, he refused to wear jeans for months afterward and would only let me put him in sweatpants! So from my personal experience you can get a penis caught in a zipper, foreskin or not... and I can only imagine that if you have a foreskin protecting the delicate glans it would be a GOOD thing.

~ Catalina



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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2009
Mon, 10-05-2009 - 1:24am

Thank you all for the welcome and the information. I have a lot to learn and a lot of information to digest. As with DH's friend catching his foreskin, the story goes that it was a girlfriends ring that snagged it. It cut but did not require medical attention that I know of. It's a good point that if it hadn't caught the skin, then it would have caught the glans... I had not thought of that, and I'm sure DH has not either.

Thanks for the links as well :)