My partner is Nigerian and I'm white British. I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with a son and my partner literally brought up the conversation of circumcision with me by asking where it can be done, if it is done on NHS or privately etc without any discussion. I understood this was a cultural practice in his home country and that it would be a likely conversation but the way he has brought it up has made me unhappy. I asked him why he wants to do it and he said it is better for his health. I have researched it and I understand there does appear to be some health benefits to it. But my biggest issue is that I am putting my son under an unnecessary operation but apparently that's not valid enough reason. I don't feel particularly strongly about it but at the same time I'm pretty angry I wasn't asked for my opinion on it. My son will also be christened which is not something I would have personally done but I know it's important to my partner. Unfortunately, being an atheist it feels like I have to succumb to religious and cultural beliefs because he feels they are more important to him than my non-belief. I find it difficult to argue my case most of the time. Help?!
Any reason you didn't discuss this before? This is kind of what happens when you have a baby with a person with strong religious and cultural beliefs. I'm not saying you have to do what he expects but you will have issues over it.
He was christened but has never set foot in a church since, doesn't talk about religion and doesn't pray etc. A lot of people in Britain do the exact same after all. But it seems having a child suddenly changes that. I have asked him if he would suddenly start going to church and taking him and he has said no. But wondering if that will change once the baby is here. As for circumcision I didn't feel I would have too much of an issue with it but it's more the point that I wasn't asked and it wasn't a discussion. It makes me wonder what other things he thinks he can decide for our child.
There are no health benefits to circumcision! It is propaganda by people selling it. And there are also actual risks to it too.
I was in the exact same situation, my partner is Nigerian and very religious.
Both my boys have been circumcised, it isn't what I imagined it to be. It's more a procedure than an operation now. NHS don't do it unless it's medically needed. There are plenty of places around that are more than qualified to do the procedure. What is used is called a Plastibell, it looks unsightly but we had no problems at all. I thought my boys would be uncomfortable but apart from maybe half an hour after, they were fine.
Some people don't agree with it but each to their own.
I wanted it for my sons and its part of their culture. I was the same with their christening, I've never been a religious person but I wanted my sons to have faith that I missed out on ( as a child I asked to go to church but my nonreligious family refused).
I can understand why you would be annoyed at how it's been approached but have a discussion with him and ask where and when he was thinking it might be done. And then research the best option for you all. If u still don't agree with it then refuse and say it's a step too far for you. X
I would tell him that he's not mutilating the baby. There is absolutely no reason for it.
I would strongly recommend you do a lot of research on the risks of circumcision.
This would be an absolute deal breaker for me unfortunately.
There is no way that I would allow anyone to chop a bit of my son off unless it was necessary for medical reasons.
I really don't understand how, or why, people do this to their children.
I have 8 sons and not one of them has had any problems keeping a hold of their foreskin!! Oldest is 24 youngest is 2. No infections /tightness /older ones no problems with sex!
This would be a deal breaker for me.
I would refuse to circumcise my son and if I felt there was a chance his father might do it without me I would refuse unsupervised on grounds of risk of abuse and let him take me to court about it.
There is no way I would ever circumcise a child for non medical reasons.
Ask yourself if you were having a girl and his belief was the same would you go along with that for cultural reasons??
Christening I'd be more relaxed about (but confused about why it matters if he's not practising) but subject my child to genital mutilation for anything other than a medical reason? No fucking way. (And I come from a culture where it's the norm, and there was huge pressure for us to do our sons)
" I wanted it for my sons and its part of their culture. "
well so is FGM 'part of culture' but that doesnt make it acceptable.
Obviously male circumscision is hardly that bad but it is still removing part of the penis and must be painful.
Both my boys are circumcised. one at 6 months and one at 6 weeks. I would recommend having it done early like age 6 weeks rather than leaving it to later.
We did one abroad and one in a clinic here by a Muslim GP on a Sunday. I just googled it to find a nearby clinic and read reviews.
good luck with deciding what to do.
I'm in more your husbands position. I strongly wanted my sons circumcised and my DH was ambivalent. They both are and were absolutely fine. It's done with a plastibell under a local anaesthetic by a urologist privately in Birmingham. And please FGM bears no relation to circumcision.
The health benefits do not outweigh the risks - which is why the NHS does not perform them for cultural reasons.
This baby is 50% yours and 100% his own person. Why not let him decide if he wishes to follow the same culture and religion as your DH, or whether he wishes to follow yours? Your DH does not trump you or your baby.
FGM clearly does bear some relation to male circumcision, even if FGM is much much worse.
I certainly wouldn't be without my foreskin, thanks. It protects; and I'm convinced (having discussed this with cut male friends) that foreskins ensure maximum sexual pleasure.
If the foreskin protection is removed, the head of the penis dries out, and over time the head becomes tougher. That MUST reduce pleasure, if sensitivity is reduced.
People with foreskins don't need extras for masturbation; most/many circumcised men have to use lube.
Also, don't assume that it is a religious requirement. Circumcision was required of Jews and I think Muslims.
But the vast majority of European Christians are not circumcised.
Any health benefits to circumcision are only if people don't wash daily. If you do, if you can wash daily, no problem.
Good to hear it from a bloke.
Have you discussed how you are intending to bring up your child with your DH? Because, without wishing to be sweeping, Nigerian parents can be considerably more draconian and believe in very strict discipline that British parents these days. (I live in an area with a very large Nigerian population.)
The fact that he thinks he can just demand and get these things with no discussion would be a problem for me.
FGM is different as it carries not one single benefit or any reason to be done.
Circumcision has benefits, I realise it does not need to be done but as I said before each to their own and many people have it done for cultural reasons and religious reasons. X
I'd miss mine but growing up in North America I was one of the few that had so I was the unusual one, as it were.
There are no health benefits to circumcision. It's an unnecessary procedure. Normal hygiene rules apply. If he wants to lose it later in life, let him make that choice.
" Circumcision has benefits, I realise it does not need to be done "
what are the benefits then? Could you list them please? If it doesn't need to be done, why do it?
I wanted it for my sons and its part of their culture. I was the same with their christening, I've never been a religious person but I wanted my sons to have faith that I missed out on
Getting christened is one thing, it doesn't have to impact an any aspect of the persons life going forward if they don't want it to. Circumcision is permanently and irreversibly altering part of your sons anatomy, without their consent. Why why why would you do that? Health reasons is a load of bollocks, there are countless uncircumcised men who have never encountered any problems.
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