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Author Topic: Circumcision
Pegasus
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One other possible reason for the trend going away from circumcisions is the expense. Around here it's $500 out-of-pocket. I am unsure as to whether it used to be covered by more insurances than now.
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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
So... genital mutilation or aesthetics?

Sounds like you've made up your mind.

Warning: The link is a pdf document.

The WHO seems to have an additional reason for why circumcision might be useful.

Do you call earrings auricle mutilation? If your wife has them, clearly she is far too biased to discuss circumcision.

Yeah, my mind is basically made up, but so is hers. Just wanted to see some arguments both ways. Didn't think it would go over 50 posts this quickly though!
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mr_porteiro_head
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When we had our first son, we did not pay any extra money for the circumcision.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
Yeah, my mind is basically made up, but so is hers.

Make a deal. If it's a boy, you decide if the child is circumcised. If it's a girl, she gets to decide.

Sound fair?

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Katarain
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I told my husband that since he's a boy, he gets to decide. We had a girl, but maybe next time...
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breyerchic04
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Blayne, please log out of hatrack then.
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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
I understand this is a very personal matter but since you brought it up I thought I'd ask if you'd like to explain why it bothers you.
If you don't understand why being amputated against my will bothers me, I'm not sure I can explain it. It's one of the most personal violations I can think of.

Seriously, anyone in favor of circumcision (who isn't Jewish) who is also strongly against getting babies tattooed? Because to me, circumcision is worse.

The "easier to wash" argument makes me so mad. It's not that hard. Ever get engine grease under your fingernails? Do you have your fingertips cut off? It's... it's amputation, permanent.

I mean, if my parents were Jewish and thought God told them to, I'd understand. Like OSC wrote in Enchantment, it's barbaric, but if God knows it's barbaric and that's even *why* he says to do it, that's one thing.

But to look like other people? First, WHO CARES, and second, I don't know what other people look like because I don't go around looking at other guys wangs and I don't show mine off, so it's irrelevant anyway!

For cleanliness sake? All kids should be shaved them, that's cleaner. And at least hair grows back. Or you could, I don't know, wash your kids, and teach them to wash themselves.

How many people who circumcise think if they don't do it the child will grow up and say "I wish you'd had me circumcised!" They *know* that 99.9% will NOT elect to have it done... and I doubt it has to do with the discomfort of the procedure. Intact people rarely decide later on amputation.

Man, why not wait and see if any complications arise from being intact, and then do it? Preemptive amputation boggles the mind.

Some people test positive for the breast cancer gene and get preemptive double mastectomies. One, that's THEIR CHOICE, not someone forcing them. Two, that's a matter of life and death. And three, that's THEIR CHOICE.

I didn't get a choice. I'll never have a choice.

Why don't you have your appendix out? After all, you could get appendicitis. Have it cut out, just in case.

It's societal norm that drives it. All the so-called reasons are after-the-fact rationalizations. The fact that other countries don't do it at all and don't suffer problems because of it should be proof of that. Why can't you show them the evidence in favor? Why won't they think it's a good idea?

Because only people who grow up in an environment where it's normal think it's normal. Everyone else thinks it's crazy.

To sum up, to me it's a human rights issue. Cutting off a body part without consent and without a compelling (rather than theoretical and statistical) reason is wrong.

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Vyrus
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Aesthetically, the majority of the female population, at least from the younger respect, prefer the circumcised "look".

That shouldn't, however, influence your decision.

NOR should "societal norms". In some Muslim and/or African countries, female genital mutilation [circumcision] is a societal norm. Whereas most of us would generally consider it disgusting.

You should take health into consideration, but if you train your son to take proper care of his "junk", then there should be no problem, at least when he's older.

Many young boys, circumcised or not, have health related problems with infections when they're young-so do girls for that matter. It's a case of not being old enough to know how to properly care for themselves to the best of their abilities.

I would want any son of mine to have the best sexual pleasure he could, and, barring a great health-related need for it, would probably forgo the procedure.

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Tatiana
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quote:
Didn't think it would go over 50 posts this quickly though!
We're a group who collectively care a lot about our penises.
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Stephan
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Well with any luck we will have a girl, and it won't be an issue.

Sounds like the health reason argument is basically bogus. Make sure the he knows to wear a condom later in life, and wash properly.

My mom won't be happy, she still has this Jewish hope in her head, even with an Atheist son and an Agnostic daughter-in-law. But she wouldn't be a grandmother if she were not upset about something.

Just have to talk the wife into it, without a major argument. If it gets there, I'll probably just give in. An earlier poster was right, its not worth the grudge or regret.

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scifibum
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I don't think the health argument is bogus, it's just not *compelling*.

Seatarsprayan, I'm sorry you feel violated. That sucks. I do think you're discounting some of the reasons people have chosen to do this, though. You might not agree with those reasons, but that doesn't make them completely invalid.

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scholarette
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My brother has a boy and circumcised, but they didn't have a choice. I don't remember what exactly was wrong down there, but if they hadn't cut, it would have had severe consequences.

Since my brother was snipped and the first son also, with the next one, they will also snip. That way all the boys in the family look alike. That makes a lot of sense to me.

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Jhai
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scifibum, rather than saying "I think you're discounting some of the reasons people have chosen to do this", why don't you actually list those reasons that you think he's discounting? That way he can respond to the statement.

My husband is from India, which does not have a culture of circumcision, and also thinks of it as mutilation.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
How many people who circumcise think if they don't do it the child will grow up and say "I wish you'd had me circumcised!" They *know* that 99.9% will NOT elect to have it done... and I doubt it has to do with the discomfort of the procedure. Intact people rarely decide later on amputation.
I wish my parents had circumcised me. The risks the procedure carries to adult men are very different then the ones posed to infants. It is not remotely the same as amputation.
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Christine
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This was a tough parenting decision for me, not the least of which because people seem to get so angry about it. I really wish people would be more respectful about this and stop accusing others of mutilation. In the end I had it done on my son because there seemed to be a small decrease in risk of infection and STD's and also because I don't really know anyone who is not cut. I'm not sure which one was more important. My mom is a nurse and was quite in favor of it so that swayed my decision as well.

If I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would have made the same choice, but if it is anything to your wife, I would no longer consider social norms in the equation. It seems quite clear to me that circumcision is becoming less popular in the next generation and on most of my mommy boards, it seems to be a heated 50/50.

If I did have it to do over and I did decide to circumcise, I would not have it done with a brand new baby at the hospital. I would ask for an in-office procedure from the doctor. The reason: After my son's procedure he slept for 12 hours straight (from noon to midnight) and I couldn't get him to eat for anything. He was a very sleepy baby for days and it ended up taking 6 days for my milk to come in. I don't know how much of that was due to the procedure, but there are enough things going on in your baby's first week of life besides adding that to the mix.

So there's an indecisive answer for you, but it's the best I have.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
... That shouldn't, however, influence your decision.

NOR should "societal norms".

I disagree. It's certainly something that I considered.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
scifibum, rather than saying "I think you're discounting some of the reasons people have chosen to do this", why don't you actually list those reasons that you think he's discounting? That way he can respond to the statement.

My husband is from India, which does not have a culture of circumcision, and also thinks of it as mutilation.

To answer your question, Jhai, because those reasons have already been listed, more than once, and I didn't want to repeat myself/others just to be argumentative. Many threads on this board continue for pages after everyone has explained their reasoning and are just repeating previous posts.

I didn't have anything new or different to add. I was just observing that Seatarsprayan seems to place little value on things that had higher value to others. (Marginal health benefit, easier hygiene, looking similar to family members, etc.) In an indirect way I was asking him to reconsider the light in which he casts all non-religious decisions to circumcise, but I don't want to harp on it.

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The Genuine
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Approximately how many Calories are there in the removed foreskin?
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Jhai
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I see. I just know I find it very frustrating when people make non-specific criticisms of my argument. If you had said "all of the non-religious decisions to circumcise", then Seatarsprayan would know exactly what you were objecting to in his argument/statement. He can then choose to counter or not counter that statement as he wishes.
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scifibum
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Thanks for the feedback, Jhai. On reflection it wasn't a very useful post in the first place. I didn't add to the debate; I was posting the self evident. And it's not really my place to judge the value of someone else's excised body part, so the proper response from me should have been "thanks for explaining."

Thanks for explaining, Seatarsprayan.

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Christine
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LOL...all right, I have the best reason to circumcise your baby right here: foreskin wrinkle cream.
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Samprimary
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next year the fda approves virgin's blood as a skin rejuvenatory.
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
My brother has a boy and circumcised, but they didn't have a choice. I don't remember what exactly was wrong down there, but if they hadn't cut, it would have had severe consequences.

Since my brother was snipped and the first son also, with the next one, they will also snip. That way all the boys in the family look alike. That makes a lot of sense to me.

I have never thought this was a valid reason for my family, though I can see some people deciding for that reason.

My brother was not and my dad was. I remember during potty training them having a conversation in which my brother asked about it. My dad told him that this was just a cosmetic difference, like my dad had brown eyes and my brother blue, or some people had dark skin and some light, it was just another way that people could be different, and that just like other ways people looked different, didn't matter. My brother totally accepted that, no issues.

We have decided that if we have sons we will not circumsize them. This memory helped make up KPC's mind on that count. So did the fact that
I have very strong feelings against it, while he had not thought too much about it.

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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
After my son's procedure he slept for 12 hours straight (from noon to midnight) and I couldn't get him to eat for anything. He was a very sleepy baby for days and it ended up taking 6 days for my milk to come in.

Pshht! That's nothing. After my son's circumcision, he couldn't walk right for a year!
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Seatarsprayan
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quote:
You might not agree with those reasons, but that doesn't make them completely invalid.
Oh, sure it does. :-)

Just so everyone knows, I'm not making any attempt at objectivity here. Since it's so intensely personal and outrageous to me, I'm just venting. No one will ever possibly convince me it was okay for my parents to have done this, unless you can dig up compelling medical proof, as in the case of scholarette's nephew, above.

I really totally don't get the societal norm thing AT ALL. At least for me, the penis is a *private* part of the body. I don't generally talk about or show it to people, so why would I give un ano de la rata about what other people do or don't do, as far as feeling included in a group?

I definitely don't *want* to be in any group that makes someone feel less included because of the shape of their penis!

Juxtapose, did you get circumcised later, or just wish you were? And why?

I know there are many people like you, that were left intact but wish it had been done. But you're in the vast minority.

It's great that there are circumcised people that don't care and don't feel mutilated. There are a lot of people that do, however.

Are the medical/social considerations so compelling that they override the child's human autonomy over the integrity of his body, AND the ramifications of having him be pissed off for the rest of his adult life and resenting you for taking away his choice?

It's not like I hate my parents. And it's not like I dwell on it or anything. But just because I'm used to it doesn't make it okay. People get used to being in prison you know. They don't wake up after five years in the joint and say "Oh, smeg! I'm in prison! This sucks!" They're used to it. But it's still gotta be rubbish, right?

So I'm used to being fashionably mutilated against my will. But it's still rubbish, and every once in a while I think of my parents as selfish bastards.

So take that into consideration when having your child snipped.

This is forever. They're only a baby for a few years, a child for a few more. They grow up fast.

And for parents whose child later says "I wish my parents had done it," just respond honestly, "I didn't know you wanted it done. You didn't tell me." How are parents supposed to know what their child will have wanted when they're grown? The default should be to not permanently part of their sexual organ.

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MattP
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quote:
My brother has a boy and circumcised, but they didn't have a choice. I don't remember what exactly was wrong down there, but if they hadn't cut, it would have had severe consequences.
One of my sons had minor hypospadius, which essentially means that the urethra isn't quite plumbed right. At about six months of age they performed surgery to correct this which requiring the use of his foreskin to build up other structure, making circumcision a non-choice. We had our second son circumcised primarily to match the rest of the crew, though we had some misgivings about it.
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romanylass
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I have two sons, and the first one we circumcised, mainly becaause it was the societal norm and my DH had been circed.I regretted it immediately though, and felt immense guilt that I had put my baby through that kind of pain for anything less than *absolute neccessity*. When the second boy came along I told DH we were absolutley NOT doing that agin, although he was concerned the boys would eventually be upset we had made different choices for them.Now they're (almost) 12 and 6, and they have never asked about it.
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scholarette
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One of my friend's sons had hypospadius. That was how they learned he was a hemophiliac. If it hadn't been for the medical necessity, they probably would have felt pretty bad about circumcising. And then son #2 also had the same problem, but thankfully was not a bleeder. The funniest thing is watching her kids play. Whenever the youngest bumps his head, her first response is great thanks it wasn't the hemolphiliac.
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
In the end I had it done on my son because there seemed to be a small decrease in risk of infection and STD's

I'm pretty sure it cuts the risk of std's by 60%+
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Sterling
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There's at least a small reduction among rates of HIV among circumcised men. As for other diseases, I'll leave that to others' Google-Fu.

It's not an issue I really feel a need to get incensed about one way or another. It seems to me that there's fairly valid reasons for going either way.

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T:man
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http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm

Seems to cut risk of hiv by 44%, and other STDs by 71%

Or maybe I'm reading it wrong....

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andi330
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
This was a tough parenting decision for me, not the least of which because people seem to get so angry about it. I really wish people would be more respectful about this and stop accusing others of mutilation. In the end I had it done on my son because there seemed to be a small decrease in risk of infection and STD's and also because I don't really know anyone who is not cut. I'm not sure which one was more important. My mom is a nurse and was quite in favor of it so that swayed my decision as well. .

There are a lot of people who practice female circumcision who are probably offended by calling it mutilation as well, but that doesn't change that it is the mutilation of another person's body.

Personally if I ever have a son I will not have him circumcised. If it is a procedure that he wants, he can have it when he is old enough to make the decision on his own.

I don't like the STD argument because to me, (and I realize that by making this argument, no one is actually saying this) it is almost like encouraging unprotected sex. The only way to really prevent getting an STD is to have safe sex, or no sex at all. The studies quoted above were also performed in Africa, among groups who (from what I could tell reading the article) were not practicing safe sex, and were of heterosexual males, not a combination of homosexual and heterosexual men. It did not tell us what other risk factors the subject might have had either. It did not tell us if the men were sleeping with sexual partners who definitively had an STD or HIV. How would you determine this information anyway? Presumably by self-reporting, which means that we would be relying solely on the word of the participants that they were having unprotected sex with someone who had either HIV or an STD.

So for me personally, the STD argument is still up in the air. If you google circumcision and STDs you can get many articles that refute the studies "proving" circumcision reduces the risk of HIV and other STDs, and in this day and age we should be promoting safe sex anyway. And if my (hypothetical) son were to decide that he wanted the lower risk of HIV and STDs he could have the procedure performed later when he could make the decision himself.

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DDDaysh
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When I had my son, I wanted to circumcise him because it was "normal". All of my family was (dad, five brothers, cousins, etc) and it was weird to me when guys weren't.

But, my son's father wasn't and was dead set against doing it. I decided that a father probably was the better decision maker in this case. After all, he had more applicable experience in the area! I still feel that this is a decision that, if agreement cannot be reached, should be left to the father.

Unfortunately, in my situation, my son's father did not stick around. Now my son is the only boy he knows who isn't circumcised. He definitely knows something is different. It also seems to cause him to not pee strait (it comes out of the tip at an angle) though as he's getting older it's either getting better or he's learned to compensate for it.

If I had it to do over again, I would circumcise him because it would have saved me lots of worry about things over the last few years,and who knows how much of it in years to come. That being said, I am aware that I could have it done now, but I'm not deciding to circumcise at this time. The problems I can imagine facing are not enough for me to justify putting my son through the kind of pain he'd feel now with such a procedure.

I don't think there is a standard right or wrong answer for everyone. I think it depends alot on individual circumstances. Do you live in an area where people heavily lean more one way or another? Is it important to the father? Does your family have a history of infection or complications? What type of sexual values do you intend to teach? There are really too many factors in deciding for there to be a standard "right" answer.

In the end, however, remember this. Even if it is more uncomfortable and complicated, a circumcision CAN always be done at a later date. It is impossible, however, to reverse one.

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Sala
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Lots of mention of pain on this thread. Is it not possible to apply anesthesia?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lots of mention of pain on this thread. Is it not possible to apply anesthesia?

In the case of children or adults getting circumcised I was under the impression that the pain lasts much longer than the few hours that anesthesia provides relief for.
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scholarette
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andi330- in this kind of study what you do is look at risk factors and probability. On average, people engaging in certain behaviors have X percent chance of getting a disease. The specific chance for any individual may be larger or smaller, but in the large group, your averages work out. The problem I heard with one of these studies is that the circumcised males tended to be one religion and that changes risk factors and must be controlled for. Though I think someone repeated the study with the appropriate controls.
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brojack17
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We never had boys, so we didn't have to make the decision. If we did have boys, we would have circumcised them.

My dad had to have it done as an adult and he did not enjoy the experience. If I could potentially forgo that, by having it done when the baby is a few days old and will never remember it, then I was all for it.

Good luck with your decision though. If you are putting this much thought into it, then it must not be an easy decision for you.

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King of Men
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This is not some useless piece of skin we are talking about, it is the most sensitive part of the penis. Why not start chopping off girls' clitorises, while you're at it? They're so unsightly! And all the other families are doing it!
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Xann.
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I have read a few times in this thread that "most females" like the circumcised look better.

Where did you get this information? Did all the women get together and have a "what we like penises to look like discussion"?

By the way, we men hate your blue hat.

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Lissande
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I wouldn't circumcise a son for the same reason I didn't pierce my daughter's ears: just because they don't remember the pain doesn't mean they don't experience the pain, and the benefits to deliberately inflicting any amount of pain on my infant during a procedure to permanently alter its body would have to be much, much more clear-cut for me to have it done. That means I'll have them immunized because I believe the benefits are clear (though still under some debate), but won't poke holes in them or cut bits off, because I believe the benefits are questionable. Neither of my daughter's grandmothers are all that thrilled. [Smile]

Of course with circumcision, even if I wanted to, my European husband wouldn't allow it as he considers it a freakish American practice to circumcise non-Jewish boys. So in our house it's a non-issue really.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Xann.:
I have read a few times in this thread that "most females" like the circumcised look better.

More to the point, why would this even matter? Men generally prefer larger breasts, but I don't see people advocating women getting implants on this account. And sheesh, what sort of castrating bitch makes decisions based on whether a man is circumcised or not, and who would want to have anything to do with such a one?
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Lissande
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I find myself agreeing with King of Men's last two posts, if not his phrasing.
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brojack17
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I see his point but do not necessarily agree with him. I'm missing that piece of skin and have no issue with sensitivity. Of course, I do not have any basis for comparison.
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ketchupqueen
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I, ahem, have to wonder where this data on what women prefer comes from. Was there a large study I was unaware of?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Xann.:
I have read a few times in this thread that "most females" like the circumcised look better.

You can trivially disprove that by the simple fact that the majority of women live in countries where the rate of the practice is pretty much noise.
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PSI Teleport
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We had our son circumcised because I was nineteen when I had him and easily influenced by what I saw as the social norm. Like Romanylass, I immediately regretted it and would not do it again. In a way, religion plays a small part in this for me. As I got older, I began to see Christians being circumcised as a lack of faith. (If anyone is bored or curious, you can read the book of Acts to get where I'm coming from.)

But the biggest problem is that my son wasn't circumcised in the hospital. For some reason that I never quite understood, the pediatrician never did it. I was even kept in the hospital an extra day because the ped "forgot" and would be back the next morning to do it. He never did.

So I had to take him to a doctor's office to have it done, and let me tell you, it made a big difference for me. I could actually hear him screaming from in the hall outside of the door. They said it was because he didn't want to be held down, and that may be true, but I can't imagine that having an injection in his penis was much fun, either. The point is, when it's done in the hospital, you can kind of forget/ignore how "barbaric" it is. If I were Jewish, I'm sure I'd do it with no serious misgivings, feeling that God knows best. But since I wasn't directly ordered to do it by God, I feel like a jerk for even going down that road. It was horrible.

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lem
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All I know is that circumcised men miss out on the pure awesomeness of making a urine bubble by pinching off the tip of the foreskin.
[Taunt]

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PSI Teleport
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Oh, and as far as what women "prefer", I'd say it's the dude's job to make sure that by the time you get to penis-reveal stage, she's too hot and bothered to care one way or the other.
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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
All I know is that circumcised men miss out on the pure awesomeness of making a urine bubble by pinching off the tip of the foreskin.
[Taunt]

Shens!
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DDDaysh
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I don't know if there was ever an official study done, but it IS something women discretely giggle at over wine. (At least that's what my experience has been.) I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps it's for the same reason that 14-year-old boys find tampons hilarious. Anyway, in all of those discussions, almost everyone I have ever talked to preferred the circumcised look. Heck, I guess I do myself if it really comes down to it. However, I think that even if there was such a survey (presumably in the US), what does it really prove? I know where I grew up, every male I knew was circumcised. The only uncircumcised penis I'd ever seen was on my baby brother because I was there at his delivery. It looked down right freakish to me - I remember thinking it looked like a pinky toe! Obviously, if your vision of "norm" is circumcised, it will take a while to decide that uncircumcised might be aesthetically appealing as well.

Even so, does it really matter? I mean, I'm not terribly experienced in this area, but I didn't think that body part was meant to be as visually stimulating as it was meant to be functional. If it functions well, does it matter how it looks?

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