Circumcision: some in depth questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Circumcision: some in depth questions
32
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 9:39pm

Below I quote from a mother who has posted here in the past. This is a post from her on a different debate board - and my reply. I hope some of you can offer an evaluation of her comments and my responses.


"I give out information that there is No Need at all to mess with the foreskin even after they turn 1 because  some parents may get advice to gently retract or to start to do it  when he turns 1 sometimes that advice may not happen until the child is 3 since many doctors belive they need to be retractable by the time they are 3 or  5 .


Sometimes doctors will mess with the foreskin without the parent really noticing because doctors will press the back end of the penis to make the foreskin go tight."


That method had not occurred to me before, but of course it makes sense. A doctor is presented with a baby boy whose parents obviously chose to leave him intact. He doesn't want to upset the parent attending the examination, but his opinion that a foreskin has to be 'encouraged' to retract is uppermost in his mind. So what better than to disguise his intent by sleight of hand?


Which brings me on to your first paragraph and a question that constantly puzzles me. If doctors, nurses and even care-givers in the US accept that many parents intentionally leave their boys as nature made them, what is it that compels them to 'assist' the process before the foreskin has naturally separated?


Is it a knee-jerk reaction to the visual presence of a non-circumcised penis, perhaps? After all, culture has told them for decades that a permanently exposed glans penis is a 'normal' penis. If it's a knee-jerk issue, why doesn't every doctor/nurse immediately insist that the boy's foreskin should be removed, since it's a worthless appendage and a harbour for any manner of ills? What will messing with his foreskin achieve?


Christopher




CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon is explained by tradition, inertia - or both." Anon




Edited 7/9/2010 5:26 pm ET by cl-islaywhisky

CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2007
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 10:45pm

In my opinion it goes back to the hygiene issue. I think some people, even some doctors, see an intact penis as harboring a great deal of bacteria and other filth. You can't get to it to clean it out until the foreskin can retract, so the sooner the better.

I also think that part of the reason is the need to see it...that you are not truly seeing the penis until the foreskin can retract. I'm not sure why you really need to see it, but it probably is because in circumcised boys this is possible.

Professionals who do believe strongly that the foreskin should be removed still can't really insist on its removal, since the parents have the choice. I think some doctors try hard to convince parents to do so. My obstetrician certainly tried.



Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
happily married


bookworm

gay rights

intact




Rear facing



Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 9:36am

In my opinion it goes back to the hygiene issue. I think some people, even some doctors, see an intact penis as harboring a great deal of bacteria and other filth. You can't get to it to clean it out until the foreskin can retract, so the sooner the better.


Exactly - this is it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 9:39am

Professionals who do believe strongly that the foreskin should be removed still can't really insist on its removal, since the parents have the choice. I think some doctors try hard to convince parents to do so. My obstetrician certainly tried.


This type of behaviour is, in my opinion, totaly unethical.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 3:13pm
Yeah, I find that so weird. It's not like it's on the level of refusing vaccines
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Sat, 07-10-2010 - 8:00pm

Caitlyn, then from your reply, you do seem to see it as a knee-jerk reaction to what a 'normal' penis should look like; i.e. with a permanently exposed glans .


But the hygiene excuse I don't understand. After all, doctors and nurses are, by definition, intelligent people. And even if their professional experience is very largely with circumcised patients, their intellect should tell them that foreskins are not cesspits of potential disease. Or are they devoid of common sense? Intelligence and common sense are not automatic bed-partners.


I know this has been said many times


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 9:16am

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 4:52pm
Don't underestimate the power of social conditioning. You can be very intelligent, but can still be hard pressed to unlearn certain things you've been conditioned to think since birth.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 10:14pm

"In my family, my generation and the preceding one were all born in a British colony in Africa, and were all circumcised. Wishing to know where this started, I once asked my uncle about it. One of his comments was "Well, it is supposed to be cleaner"."


There was a time, before 1948 and the NHS, when when the British middle/upper and upper class imitated the aristocracy and royalty. Queen Victoria circumcised her boys in a climate of moral revulsion to 'self-abuse' . Only the well-to-do could afford the cost but made that 'sacrifice' willingly. Britain's example


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Sun, 07-11-2010 - 10:36pm

"Don't underestimate the power of social conditioning. You can be very intelligent, but can still be hard pressed to unlearn certain things you've been conditioned to think since birth."


Yes, you make a valid point, I'm sad to acknowledge. So common sense must prevail. But is this a strong enough alternative in the face of conditioning?


Christopher


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon is explained by tradition, inertia - or both." Anon


CL - Circumcision Debate


"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2009
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 11:05pm

Under 'Circumcision' there is this entry:


CIRCUMCISION consists in the cutting off of the foreskin of the penis. This is quite a simple affair in boys before puberty, without any danger attaching to it, and is practised as a religious rite by Jews and Mohammedans. The latter sect do so after infanthood.

Pages