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Home Forums Sexual Health Circumcision… To be or not to be? That is the question!

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    Today on the way to work, my local hit radio station was discussing circumcision…. to do it or not to do it… when to do it, what do woman prefer and what are the benefits…

    A few parents of boys called up and there were varied opinions about getting it done as a baby or letting them choose later on in life.

    Thoughts? Do you have a preference? Is it unnatural?


    Major life changing surgery on the genitals of someone who has no idea what is going on an is unable to consent? It’s a big NO from me. 

    I also detest the idea that what women prefer is even considered as a factor, just like I think its awful that some women think they need to alter or change their labia for their vaginas to look “beautiful”. No on should have to change the appearance of their bits to please somebody else, especially not through a method as drastic as surgery! 


    Big NO from me too! completely unnatural and I think that it is a form of genital mutilation. There is absolutely no reason for circumcision (unless medical condition) and should only be performed on a consenting person in this case. 


    Totally agree with @MintMilano that it’s a bit ridiculous that your partner’s preference would factor into this. A lot of people are uncomfortable with someone else influencing what they do with their body, even something that can be easily changed like pubic hair. 

    I asked my partner who is circumcised and comes from a culture where it’s tradition to do it. He said he wasn’t sure whether he would do it, but would consider it because it’s what’s been done to him and what’s traditional. I don’t come from a cultural background where it’s the norm, so I wouldn’t circumcise my future child 


    @Aunt_Flo yeah my sisters child was circumcised and I was so angry when I found out. I asked her why and it was something like her husband was and so he wanted his son to be the same. such dumb reasoning. 


    Interesting question @HappyHooHah. I’ve dated guys who are circumcised and some who are not – it really doesn’t bother me. My ex had his done as a baby as it was deemed more ‘hygenic’ back then. Not sure if that reason is still used? I’m pretty sure it’s complete rubbish too. 

     Like @stephaniaaaah @Aunt_Flo @MintMilano say it really is a form of genital mutilation and should be a decision left to them when they’re older…


    Just want to jump in with some evidence based health info about circumcision here. Keep in mind that circumcision is still largely done for religious/cultural reasons in both Muslim & Jewish communities. I’d ask that we be careful about using value-laden language like “mutilation,” particularly if we’re from dominant cultural groups & aren’t sharing personal experience of having been circumcised ourselves. The issue of consent is an important one, but let’s make sure we leave space here for people who have been circumcised to define their own experience.


    A while ago I asked my parents whether they would’ve circumcised me if I was born with a penis. Mum said she wouldn’t have wanted to do it but my Dad interestingly felt really strongly about it. He said he would’ve wanted me circumcised because he was and would’ve wanted his son to look like him. He’s not religious so it’s predominantly a psychosocial thing for him.

    It’s difficult for me to give my input because it’s not an issue that has great personal significance for me, but I’ve always found it really interesting that men want their sons to look like them? I’ll have to ask him more about it tonight, get him to explain it further and report back because I don’t really get it ahaha. Has anyone else heard this perspective from their parents? 


    @peachy I’ve definitely heard that reasoning before, as I mentioned in my above comments. I really disagree with it, I don’t think it’s a suitable justification at all. I wouldn’t say male circumcision is genital mutilation to the same extent that some of the practices of female genital cutting in Africa are – a circumcised penis still works perfectly well well and performs all the same functions. It’s just that it’s an irreversible thing, and a “not natural’ procedure that someone became the norm for a lot of people. As someone who is uncircumcised I get pretty offended if people say they think uncut ones look weird or ugly. Like, thats the way I was born, thats the way its supposed to look!


    @nursenettie thank you for the reminder to be open and sensitive to cultural practice –  I will be more careful to choose my words and re-reading my comment I think is a reflection of how super upset I was when my sister decided to circumcise my nephew when he was only a couple of weeks old because I feel like it is taking away from someone’s body without their consent. The thought of pain on a newborn hurts my heart too.  @MintMilano yes when you put it like that – I would be offended too! 


    It is interesting how passionately so many people feel about this topic and it is something I am going to need to think about a lot.
    I completely empathise with the question of consent and control over the body of another and instinctually it does not sit well with me. However, I come from a culture where this is normalised and completely expected to the point where not being circumcised may actually exclude an individual from participating fully in their culture. When family and expectation is involved- it’s a pretty tricky thing to grapple with. 


    Hmm, good points about being culturally aware when it comes to topics like this! I suppose you can’t say whether one way is right or wrong because that’s a personal preference and not a matter of whether the procedure is ethical or not.

    I actually was only ever exposed to circumcised penises for a long time, so I assumed that’s what they all looked like! It wasn’t until many years later that I came across an uncircumcised one and found out about the practice.

    I guess because of my exposure, I don’t really have an aesthetic preference for either. I think people can do whatever they feel is better for them. Though the fact that doctors perform this procedure unnecessarily in many countries (such as the USA), often without the consent of the parents, is definitely a huge problem! I’m glad a lot more research is coming out about the pros/cons of circumcision so everyone can make the most informed decision possible.


    This is such a hot topic!

    My dad’s side of the family do it for cultural/religious reasons, whereas my mum’s catholic side aren’t so big on it, but ARE big on baptising a baby into the church. I kinda see them both similarly in terms of making decisions for a child and consent.

    I feel like when circumcision is done for religious reasons, wouldn’t that choice be more significant and meaningful if made by the person themselves, rather than their parents for them as a baby? I feel the exact same way about christenings too. I know they’re not exactly apples and apples, but that’s just my 2 cents.


    Interesting points about baptism @kitkat, I suppose it’s hard to do anything with babies because how do you gain their consent? I think you’re right about waiting until people can make decisions for themselves so it’s more meaningful.

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