Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The debate about circumcision continues unabated in the United States.
Though more parents are choosing not to circumcise their infants in the absence of medical indication, there are still many American parents who have no religious reason for circumcising who choose to have it done anyway.
If you're on the fence about circumcision, here are some questions to consider:
Why have one of your newborn's first experiences be painful?
How could cutting off part of a baby boy's genitals possibly be of benefit?
Why do something irrevocable at birth that you may regret later?
Why not wait and let your son decide for himself?
When a circumcision gets botched, sometimes the damage done to a newborn's penis cannot be fixed. This boy lost his penis in 2004. The 2.3 million awarded to his family will not change the fact that their son is permanently deformed and will never have children of his own.
At the most recent meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston this October, it was reported that the number of botched circumcisions has risen precipitously: "Data contributed by pediatric hospitals nationwide showed a 119% increase in the rate of revision circumcision procedures from 2004 to 2009."
If that's not enough to give you pause, consider this:
Circumcision cuts length and girth off the penis.
It also seems to contribute to sexual dysfunction.
This recent scientific study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and conducted in Denmark, where fewer than 5 percent of men are circumcised, found that circumcised men had more orgasm difficulties, and that women with circumcised spouses more often reported sexual dissatisfaction.
The first days of your newborn's life are precious.
You should be spending time skin-to-skin, looking into your baby's eyes, and enjoying the warm, heavy weight in your hands.
You shouldn't be tending to a raw and painful wound on your son's penis, bringing him to the emergency room because of excessive bleeding, or causing him pain.
If you're not sure, don't do it. You'll be so glad you didn't.