I’m probabIy gonna stir up a whole lot of controversy on this one. I guess I might as well be the one who throws the grenade into the middle of the room and walks away. I think this certainly qualifies as a Hot Topic post.
One topic that seems to draw a particular amount of comment (and ire (at least over at Blogging Baby among others)) and causes experts to come out of the woodwork is circumcision. Oh, c’mon, we’re all dads here, one of us had to talk about it. There seems to be as many arguments for as there are against. Many opponents argue that it is akin to mutilation and those who do are not shy about expressing how they feel to those who have decided to circumcise their sons. Call me a butcher, call me what you will, my wife and I decided to have our son circumcised. Some will say we had no right to make this decision for our child, that we have caused him undue pain and certain emotional scarring. If that logic is correct, then I too am emotionally scarred and I should probably seek therapy now, for what my parents did 38 years ago. Doc, I remember it like it was yesterday. The local anesthetic, the scalpel, oh the horror! Now a study has come out that says the procedure is “ethically inappropriate and unlawful.” Unlawful? Ugh.
What does the American Academy of Pediatricians say you ask? I’ll tell you: “Though studies have shown some medical benefits to circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics says these benefits are not sufficient to recommend routine circumcision for all infant boys. When considering whether circumcision is right for your son, the AAP urges parents to consider the benefits and risks of the procedure.” (Emphasis mine) And, what are those benefits?
- A slightly lower risk of urinary tract infections
- A lower risk of developing penile cancer
- A slightly lower risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and the AIDS virus
- Prevention of foreskin infections
- Prevention of phimosis – a condition that makes retraction of the foreskin impossible
- Easier genital hygiene
- Surgical risks – bleeding, infection, cutting foreskin too long or too short and improper healing
- Tip of penis may become irritated and cause the opening of the penis to be too small – may cause problem with urination and need to be sugically corrected
- Circumcision may make the tip of the penis less sensitive, causing a decrease in sexual pleasure later on in life
- While uncircumcised boys may have a higher risk of UTIs, STDs and penile cancer, they can be taught proper hygiene to decrease these risks
So – what say you all? I’m gonna walk away now.