An interesting topic came up on a friend’s Facebook page recently, she posted this article:
I’m circumcised. So it always seemed “normal” to me. I have not suffered any psychological damage because of it. The very idea of such a thing seems absurd. When I see uncircumcized penis’ (penii?) in porn it’s almost kind of distracting, because it just looks odd to me. But I realize that’s cultural conditioning. Years ago I discussed this subject on my old Myspace blog (I wish I’d saved that), and through the comments I got I ended up learning a lot more than I’d known about the procedure, and it made me rethink my original position. Initially I was 100% in favor it. Like I said, it was normal. But I started seeing more anti-circumcision articles online, there’s a growing movement to outlaw the practice. Or at least to specifically end the practice on newborns, because they don’t have a choice. Some say it should be left until the male is old enough to make the decision himself.
Back in the day, when I was born, it wasn’t even really a question. It was just done automatically in the hospital soon after the baby is born. Although my mother says she supports it, and therefor didn’t object. But these days that’s no longer the case, and apparently rates of circumcision of newborns is declined. In many parts of the world, particularly Europe and Latin America, circumcision is not the norm. So we Americans are actually the abnormal ones. I heard it’s not a common practice among American Hispanics, either.
Many of the pro-circumcision arguments involve cleanliness. Supposedly an uncircumcised penis is harder to clean, you have to be more thorough, or else it could lead to hygiene, and possible medical problems, for the male down the road. But is that really a legitimate reason to have this major procedure? Why not just make sure that you teach your sons how to clean themselves properly? That seem better than going to the extreme of having the foreskin removed, against his will.
Another way to look at it is that, whether you believe in GOD or evolution, every male is born with foreskin on his penis, so it must be there for a reason, right? Arguing for circumcision for medical reasons (as opposed to religious reasons, if you’re Jewish) is basically saying that all men are born with a physical deformity that needs to be corrected. That’s not cool. And, of course, the other pro-circumcision argument is “it just looks better!” which ultimately doesn’t seem like the best reason since, as I said, it’s really just cultural conditioning that makes it look better to some, because that’s what you’re used to. But the more I think about it, the more unfair routine circumcision seems to me.
Thankfully, this is all an academic issue for me. As I’ve said before, I’m never having kids myself, so this is not a decision I will have to make for anyone. An anti-circumcision friend of mine told me that she and her husband almost got divorced due to the argument of whether to get their son circumcised (her husband was for it), but she managed to convince him to change his mind about it. I’d hate to ever be in that situation.