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Feeling forced to chose a circumcision...is it my husband,is the religion,is it really necessary?

(368 Posts)
efy Tue 11-Feb-14 01:19:10

I have read some messages related to this tread by some of you and I understand when you guys call people like us....crazy etc.
I come from a non-circumcised family, my three brothers have never done or need it.
After I have changed my religion I wanted to follow the requirements of being from this religion. I like to believe that I have personally done some changes which were related to my self.
Now that I have an almost 12 months son, it looks that I have to fill up another requirement, which is circumcision, because I am from the religion that requires circumcision but the difference is....the change I need to do does not envolve me directly...is actually my little baby boy.
How do I feel about this?? Well I feel is unnecessary, I already feel guilty for planning to handle my little precious boy in someone's else hands to just harm him...yeah that is exactly how I feel...me and his father taking him with his little smile to a place that God knows what may happen.
And you know what, it was actually planned for tomorrow but I feel relief for now because we have discovered the person who was suppose to do it has had an unfortunate case where the little boy had to be taken to hospital for more operations in order to be 'fixed'.
My husband was circumcised when he was 5 and he believes in it, I don't believe and I think is more cultural than religious, I just do not understand why God will leave this for us humans to do it? Why did he leave that thing there if it need to be removed and why on such as small baby? Why??
My husband speaks about it as being just a simple procedure because he is a doctor but this is not the point, what about the baby? how is he going to feel?
I am relief for now but I am not convinced that this is in anyway necessary if at all...
I rather feel pushed to do it along with my baby.

Martorana Sun 20-Apr-14 23:33:19

Baggins- are you genuinely saying that a 12/13 year old is not able to make an informed decision about whether or not to have comsmetic dental treatment??? Have you actually met any 12 year olds?

Do you really think that a 12 year old is as incapable of informed consent as a baby?

baggins101 Sun 20-Apr-14 23:35:05

waterlego said: "I would not make my child undergo tooth extraction for purely cosmetic reasons, no. If it were initiated by them, I would support them in it. In all likelihood, it would be suggested by a dentist, in the first instance. I would then ask my child what they thought about the dentist's suggestion. So no, I don't think that makes me a hypocrite. "

Then you are either unique among parents or a liar. I cannot imagine a parent who would choose to leave their child with a crooked smile for the sake of misguided principles. Shame on you.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Apr-14 23:38:14

Oh goddess, do I have to state the bleeding obvious?

"I would not make my child undergo tooth extraction for purely cosmetic reasons,"

Seconded.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 20-Apr-14 23:46:24

Right, well, fun as this has been, there is a fantastic science jokes thread that needs my attention.

Ta ta.

waterlego Sun 20-Apr-14 23:48:31

Shame on you

Oh, for goodness sake. Just because you like to tamper with your child's perfectly acceptable body, doesn't mean we're all it.

Shame indeed! Such delicious irony grin

baggins101 Sun 20-Apr-14 23:51:31

Martorana said: Baggins- are you genuinely saying that a 12/13 year old is not able to make an informed decision about whether or not to have comsmetic dental treatment??? Have you actually met any 12 year olds?

Do you really think that a 12 year old is as incapable of informed consent as a baby?

I have a 12 year old who had four teeth extracted two weeks ago in preparation for having a brace fitted next month. I also have a 16 year old who had a brace fitted a few years ago (she now has beautiful straight teeth.)

12 year olds are not very good at looking to the future. She didn't think anything of her overlapping teeth and had to be pursuaded that having nice teeth would benefit her in her life. Taking her to have the teeth extracted was traumatic for her and her mother. The dentist only removed one on the first visit (it was planned to remove two that day) because my daughter was too distressed. It took a lot of persuading to get her to attend the next visit.

12 year olds tend to make decisions based on now rather than the future. That is why they usually need persuading to do their homework.

12 year olds are not adults and cannot be left to make decisions about their future on their own. That is why they have to live with an adult who can pursuade them to do the right thing... or at least the right thing as far as the parent is concerned.

baggins101 Sun 20-Apr-14 23:58:59

TheDoctrineOfSnatch said: "Oh goddess, do I have to state the bleeding obvious?

"I would not make my child undergo tooth extraction for purely cosmetic reasons,"

Seconded."

Predictable. tbushock

Martorana Mon 21-Apr-14 00:16:51

"12 year olds are not adults and cannot be left to make decisions about their future on their own. That is why they have to live with an adult who can pursuade them to do the right thing... or at least the right thing as far as the parent is concerned."

They most certainly can when it's something that can easily wait- like teeth straightening. And I don't agree, actually- I think 12 year olds are cleverer than you think they are.

Out of interest, how does your son's mother feel about your new found evangelism for circumcision?

Kendodd Tue 22-Apr-14 09:47:27

Out of interest baggins101 how much does the risk of penile cancer increase if circumcision is done in young adulthood instead of young child/babyhood? Is the increased risk (if any) great enough to justify not waiting for the person concerned to decide for themselves?

I get your point about teeth straightening, although with teeth straightening there are advantages to having it done before age 18. It doesn't take as long because children's teeth move around quicker than adults and of course there is the cost. Done as a child purely (although as somebody said there are some heath benefits even in these cases) cosmetic cases would be treated free on the NHS, wait until an adult and it would cost many many thousands of pounds, money some people just won't have. Also a young teenager IS much more capable of consent than a five year old or a baby. In fact if they didn't consent despite much parent pressure/persuasion I very much doubt the procedure would be done. Also I doubt very much adults ever wish for their crocked teeth back, although they might be troubled by the process to straighten them. Having straight teeth has a great impact on a persons life as well, it even improves their marriage and job prospects. I wish my parents had had my teeth straightened and resent them for not doing it (amongst other things I resent them for though.)

Although I concede there may be some advantages having circumcision done as a baby/young child, for instance being able to use the procedure you describe and with a baby, even if it is painful they won't remember it. IMO the consent issue outweighs this and I will say again that this was not your choice to make but I do hope you get away with it and it doesn't become a cause of contention between you and your son.

I'm guessing the foreskin is there in the first place to protect the penis? It makes the penis, sort of, retractable, just like many other mammals. You could argue that we not longer need this because we now wear clothes, although these have their own hazards, right baggins The removal of it is mostly religious/cultural and some religious/cultural practises came from very sensible roots maybe in the past a lot of people did get infections there and cutting the foreskin off prevented this? Just like in the past a lot of people got sick eating pork so pork was banned. These days we can cook pork safely and wash regularly so don't need these traditions. This whole paragraph is just me thinking out loud.

Anyway I say all this with an (intact) 7yo half Jewish boy who won't be circumcised while I'm responsible for him (unless of course medically needed) and a 8yo girl who will most likely need braces.

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 22-Apr-14 10:11:37

Baggins I haven't read the full thread, but have just read some of the later posts and wanted to say that my DS was advised to have braces to straighten out his perfectly OK teeth. I admit they are not completely straight, but to me they look absolutely fine.

DS didn't want braces, got quite upset at the thought of them, so I explained about confidence as an adult, that if he waited and wanted them done later that it would cost him thousands and let him decide for himself.

Similarly my DD is 7 and wants her ears pierced. Having had mine done at the age of 10 I have since let them close up as I don't like them anymore, but there are still holes in my ears 30 years later. I don't blame my parents for letting me pierce them, but I certainly won't allow a 7 year old to choose to have permanent holes made in her ears.

Perhaps once she is 10-12 I will allow her to choose as she will better be able to understand the long term implications. I would never have had her ears pierced because I wanted her to have them done without her having any say in it, because while there may be a perceived advantage to being able to wear pretty earrings, it is not my body to alter.

So Baggins, you said "If you can honestly say you would tell the dentist you will wait until your child is 18 and can their own decision I will withdraw my accusation....." For me I can categorically state that yes, this is the case.

Kendodd Tue 22-Apr-14 15:22:03

Baggins Just to come back at your point about an imaginary flap of skin on a girls breast being removed.

Well, lets imagine this flap does exist and that removing it dramatical reduces the risk of breast cancer and lets imagine that breast cancer has the same profile as penile cancer, 1 in 600 the vast majority of which are concentrated in the later years, and the same treatment outcomes apply. Now lets also imagine that (unlike the foreskin) this flap really does serve no useful function but despite this some women are still very attached to this flap and would not choose to have it removed, maybe they believe it increases sensitivity.

Are you really saying that you would take this decision away from your daughter and have this flap removed when she was a child and had no say in it? Equally, you seem surprised upthread that other people wouldn't do this and would wait for them to decide for themselves...really, you can't see why parents would wait?

It sounds to me Baggins that you panicked a little because of your uncles cancer, understandable maybe, do you know if there is any genetic element to penile cancer? Oh, and any figures on cancer risk if circumcision is left until young adulthood instead of done in childhood yet?

As for you constantly using the term 'intactivists' I don't think I have read any posts saying that adults should not be allowed to choose to be circumcised (please correct me if I'm wrong) maybe people are better described as 'consentactivists'?

BTW Do you know how badly you would have been injured by that zip had you not had a foreskin?

Kendodd Wed 23-Apr-14 12:13:50

Is that it? Are you not coming back Baggins? Does that mean I win?

ASmidgeofMidge Wed 23-Apr-14 12:59:23

grin

PigletJohn Wed 23-Apr-14 13:28:00

surely there is a limit to the amount of time any normal person, over the age of 14, wants to spend arguing about penii?

baggins101 Thu 24-Apr-14 09:38:55

LyndaCartersBigPants said: "DS didn't want braces, got quite upset at the thought of them, so I explained about confidence as an adult, that if he waited and wanted them done later that it would cost him thousands and let him decide for himself.......

....So Baggins, you said "If you can honestly say you would tell the dentist you will wait until your child is 18 and can their own decision I will withdraw my accusation....." For me I can categorically state that yes, this is the case."

Oh, no. That won't do at all. Good parents don't get their kids to do thins by dragging them kicking and screaming. If they have any sort of relationship with them they convince them to do the things they don't want to do. Going to school, doing homework, not hanging out on a street corner drinking cider.... whatever. And getting circumcised too. Don't forget most Muslim boys are circumcised between about 8 and 12 years old....

You convinced your child to have braces fitted just as Muslim parents convince their son to be circumcised.

I repeat my earlier claim: ""If you can honestly say you would tell the dentist you will wait until your child is 18 and can their own decision I will withdraw my accusation (of hypocrisy)"

You used your parental authority to get your child to have braces fitted for cosmetic reasons. Did he have any teeth extracted for this? Many do. And I suspect that even if yoru son didn't, you would have persuaded him to have the teeth extracted if it was necessary for his teeth to be straightened.

And yet claim you are opposed to circumcision on principle because a parent has no right to alter their child's body, regardless of whether the parent believes it to be in their child's interest.

You are, LyndaCartersBigPants, a hypocrite.

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 09:51:36

No, my son didn't have braces fitted!

LyndaCartersBigPants Thu 24-Apr-14 09:52:57

If he wants the done as an adult, that's his choice.

baggins101 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:34:17

Kendodd said: Out of interest baggins101 how much does the risk of penile cancer increase if circumcision is done in young adulthood instead of young child/babyhood? Is the increased risk (if any) great enough to justify not waiting for the person concerned to decide for themselves?

Penile cancer is just one of the benefits of circumcision, Kendodd. The advantages of getting your son circumcised before the age of 8 are:

1. It is a simple and PAIN FREE procedure using the pastibell or cicumplast with local anesthetic. These methods of circumcision cannot be used after the age of 8 as the skin is too thick.

2. It takes days rather than weeks for the circumcision to heal. An adult or adolescent male would have to refrain from all sexual activity (including masturbation) for about six weeks, which is very frustrating.

3. Circumcision in childhood provides almost complete protection against penile cancer. Circumcision in adulthood does not.

4. There are also advantages with significantly reduced risk of UTI in childhood. Urinary tract infections are, like penile cancer, uncommon but even with modern medicine can cause long term harm. This protection only starts from when the boy is circumcised

Although I concede there may be some advantages having circumcision done as a baby/young child, for instance being able to use the procedure you describe and with a baby, even if it is painful they won't remember it. IMO the consent issue outweighs this and I will say again that this was not your choice to make

And yet teeth straightening IS your choice to make? When deciding to convince your child to have teeth extracted and a brace fitted you, like all good parents, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and make what you believe to be the best decision for your child. And there are disadvantages to fitting a brace: pain and discomfort for as long as a couple of years; it is time consuming to clean the teeth with braces fitted; possible ridicule from peers; lots of visits to the orthodontist; etc. But the long term benefits outweigh these drawbacks.... or so you decide as a good parent.

So lets pretend for a moment that you accepted the benefits of circumcision outweighed the drawbacks, I fail to see how you can claim "the consent issue outweighs this" for circumcision but not for fitting a brace, without leaving yourself open to the accusation of hypocricy.

Your comment about removing a flap of skin to protect from breast cancer is fine as far as it goes... but in your scenario there is no advantage to having the flap removed in childhood. With the foreskin there ARE advantages to having it removed in childhood. You clearly don't see them as over-riding, but there certainly are advantages.

The bottom line, Kendodd, is that it IS a valid choice for parents to make. The advantages are not so great that it should be considered essential, but then the disadvantages are also minimal, despite what the intactivists say. You cannot die from circumcision any more than a cut finger, you can only die from excessive bleeding (over a cupful for a baby) or general anesthetic, and these are matters of criminal medical (or parental) negligence, not circumcision itself. Cut a foreskin off with a pair of scissors and just wind a bandage around it and walk away and yes, the risk is high. And the Intactivists exaggerate even those figures. The recent case of Joshua Haskins being a prime example.

And although I won't repeat them now, the other claims of long term harm are equally exaggerated by the intactivists, and lapped up by those who want to lap them up.

And finally, the term Intactivist is not mine. It is the name the pressure groups opposing circumcision have given themselves. The arguments "facts" and figures given by most in this thread are straight from the intactivist websites.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Apr-14 10:42:52

Has anybody on this thread (except mutilationist baggins) used the term to describe themselves?

baggins101 Thu 24-Apr-14 10:48:11

LyndaCartersBigPants said: "No, my son didn't have braces fitted!"

Before I accuse you of being a bad parent, perhaps you could explain your reasons for not convincing your son to have a brace fitted?

Are his teeth not too bad so you felt it would be OK for him to live like that? In which case you decided the advantages were not so great for him so left it. That would be a reasonable decision in my view.

Or is your relationship so poor with your son that he wouldn't listen to you and you couldn't persuade him? In which case you really need to work on your relationship.

Or perhaps you are a "free parent" and allow your son to do what he wants? Perhaps he doesn't have a bed time? Perhaps you let him drink and smoke? That is not a parenting choice I would advise.

Or perhaps, most worrying, you are so weighed down by your principle of non-intervention that you are happy to saddle him with a bill for thousands and the embarrassment of being the only twenty-something wearing a brace to work for a couple of years?

Please help me to understand your decision not to persuade your son to have braces fitted.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Apr-14 11:03:01

Where is that withdrawal that baggins promised?

baggins101 Thu 24-Apr-14 11:08:50

PigletJohn said: "Where is that withdrawal that baggins promised?"

Let's wait for a response, shall we. If she says that his teeth are not so bad then the accusation of hypocrisy stands. If she has left her son with visibly crooked teeth because of a misguided principle then I will withdraw the accusation of hypocrisy and replace it with an accusation of being a bad parent.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Apr-14 11:29:00

Silly boy.

baggins101 Thu 24-Apr-14 11:31:32

PigletJohn said "Silly boy."

....said PigletJohn as he ran away with his tail between his legs.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Apr-14 11:33:48

Very silly boy.

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