Why I Circumcised My Son

When I found out I was expecting a boy I decided that I really needed to research circumcision. My husband wanted to have our son circumcised, but I didn’t see the point. Seems like an unnecessary medical procedure to me.

So I did my research, there’s lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of info and articles out there on why to and why not to circumcise. What I concluded after all this reading was that there may possibly be some small medical benefit to being circumcised and there is a small risk of infection or complications after the procedure. So, my online research pretty much left me still undecided. There’s not enough medical benefit for me to be like we have to do this and there’s not enough risk to outweigh the benefit for me to say we can’t do this! My biggest struggle was finding actual factual articles instead of all these opinions written by people who really don’t know anything about the topic.

Now that I was more confused than when I started, I started asking friends who have boys. I didn’t ask “why did you circumcise?”, I asked “did you circumcise, and how hard was it to care for if you did?”. I discovered two things. 1. Almost all of my friends sons were circumcised (at least the ones I asked for advice were). 2. Most of my friends were like me, really didn’t see the importance of this, but, like me, their husband’s really wanted their son’s circumcised, so that’s what they did. Also, baby care after circumcision really wasn’t difficult.

Next, my husband and I had a discussion about this. I expressed my concerns about this being an unnecessary medical procedure and how I didn’t see the point. He felt that there were medical benefits and he wanted his son circumcised. He didn’t see why I had an issue with it. Seems like pretty much all of my friends has similar discussions with their husbands when their first son came along, so this seems to be a guy thing.

My conclusion, this is his son just as much as he is mine, and since he is the father, I think he has a right to make decisions like this in regards to his son (on the flip side, I think I should be allowed to get the girl’s ears pearced whenever I think they’re old enough – but that’s another discussion for another day). Really, I expect my husband to be the primary instructor of my son when it comes to his body, sexuality, and any other boy matters so it’s unreasonable for me to tell him at the beginning of our son’s life that he can’t make our first important decision about our son.

We got our son circumcised. Because I had a home birth he wasn’t circumcised in the hospital. I had to get a referral from my pediatrician. Along this process I discovered some interesting things.

1. It’s primarily women who discuss circumcision and their opinions of it. It’s also primarily women who have a negative view of circumcision – and if they don’t have a negative view, they really have no opinion (like me), very few women are adamant that their sons must be circumcised. My midwife was very opposed to it. I found this to be odd because it is men who are circumcised, not women. Probably men are less likely to discuss such things – and women being the primary caregivers of infants we are the ones who have to care for our sons after they are circumcised, so we have more opinions.

2. Men seem to be much more set in their opinion about circumcision but, they don’t seem to think that it’s a controversial topic. You are or you aren’t, it’s not a big deal. Generally, if they’re circumcised, they want their sons to be. If they’re not, their sons probably are not either. They really care if their boys are or aren’t but they don’t care a bit about whether other friend’s boys are or aren’t.

I have a male Pediatrician (I get along better with male doctors so I purposely picked a male pediatrician for my kids). I brought the baby in for his first infant checkup (2 days old) and the dr asks me in the course of the checkup if I plan to circumcise. I replied “yes”. He said something to the effect of “because we want him to be like daddy” (it wasn’t a condemnation, it was a statement of fact, I said yes, I want my son circumcised, and the Dr assumed that my husband is – and there’s no problem with that), and said that he would set up an appointment for me for a few days after baby boy was a week old (apparently, blood clotting is better after 8 days so waiting until the baby is closer to 2 weeks old is even less risky). There was no, “I think circumcision is a good thing, or I think it’s a bad thing” (it should be noted that immunizations are considered a good thing and to not immunize is bad – so my dr does have opinions), it was simply “he needs to be like his dad”.

In the end, I’m definitely not going to go out and say everyone should or everyone shouldn’t circumcise. But, I do think that it’s a Father’s right to decide. In this day of complaining about Father’s not taking on their responsibilities, why do we as women think that we should be making this decision for our men? It’s obviously a guy thing – has to do with locker rooms, being like daddy, and who knows what else, nothing of which makes sense to me.

When it comes down to it, why did I circumcise my son? The answer is simple. Because that’s what his Daddy wanted.

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