Just Say “No” To Infant Circumcision

Filed Under Life, Pillar Articles

Visit NoCirc.org For More When Emily and I decided to have our son Scot, Jr. at home, we were confronted with the question that all new parents of little boys have to deal with: Should we have the baby circumcised or not?

This led to my researching the idea for the first time in my entire life. Most of us here in the United States have been socialized to somewhat blindly accept that circumcision is a “given” when a newborn boy enters the world.

But as it turns out, one of the first things I discovered in my research was that over the past decade the rate of circumcision of male infants in the U.S. has plummeted from 90% to 50%. This statistic stands even as the vast majority of other nations in the world have all but eliminated the practice as the “norm”.

This caught my attention. After all, having been circumcised as a newborn myself I’d never really given it much thought. I, like so many others, had accepted it as “normal”.

Well, upon doing due diligence to the topic I was utterly shocked by what I discovered.

Circumcision is decidedly not the “simple, painless procedure that only took a minute” that we often assume it is.

The amount of tissue that is removed from the biologically natural penis is way more than I ever knew. Check it out, guys. The next time you’re in the shower take a look at the “railroad tracks” on the ventral side of your unit (where the urethra passes through). That’s a scar, dude.

Further, as it turns out the foreskin plays a crucial role in sexual enjoyment for both the man and woman. When it’s removed, so is that potential for the ultimate sexual satisfaction we were born with. Here is an objective study that shows this to be true.

Next, because of the actual physiological nature of the foreskin, removing it does not simply involve “clearing away some extra skin”. In fact, it is viscerally attached to the shaft and the glans of the penis in a way that creates a mucous membrane underneath.

This means that it has to be peeled backwards away from the head of the penis in order to be removed. If you’ve got your thinking cap on, you’re already shuddering at the thought of this.

Worse, over 50% of all children who endure the procedure do so with minimum (if any) anesthesia, presumably due to concerns over “infant safety”. And even kids who are supposedly numbed down ahead of time tend to show clear indications that any anesthesia they received was clearly not sufficient.

And finally…the clincher: There is no established, proven medical reason to perform this procedure.. Most counterclaims cite cleanliness issues, which is ironic since the country with the highest incidence of infant male circumcision (the U.S.) is also perhaps the one most obsessed with taking several showers per day. All kidding aside, effective hygiene of the uncircumcised penis is far from complicated.

Ultimately, you ask most North American parents why they elected to have the procedure performed, the vast majority will tell you it was because “it’s just normal to”, or “so he can look like his dad”. I’ve even heard “because it’s cuter that way”.

I’ve decided to personally do my part in spreading the word about what male infant circumcision truly involves, so that parents everywhere can make an informed decision when their moment comes to make that decision on behalf of their newborn sons.

My new friend Marilyn Milos from NoCirc.org shared a video with me that I’ve posted for you below. Be advised that even though the effort is made to provide a bit of “comic relief” courtesy of Penn and Teller, parts of this are very difficult to watch–especially when they show the actual procedure being performed.

Nonetheless, I urge you to watch it–especially if you are planning to be a parent anytime in the future:

Make no mistake, I fully get that some circumcisions are performed on religious grounds. That’s the way it is.

But in a world where the very worthy cause of abolishing female circumcision takes center stage, at the very least we owe it to our sons to let them make their own decision about cutting their penises or not. I didn’t even pierce my daughter’s ears when she was a baby, and many other parents don’t either…even as they take infant male circumcision for granted. So you can see how important an issue this is for parents to be informed about.

By the way, if you are indeed anticipating the hospital birth of a son in the near future, make sure you bring this topic up with your attending physician. Amazingly, we know of at least one boy who was circumcised without the parents even having been asked. Perhaps this isn’t so amazing after all when one considers that circumcision is a billable procedure, of course.

If anything, it’s my sincere hope to have caught your attention today. Infant male circumcision really is an area where the vast majority of us really are under-informed.

Be Good,

Scot McKay

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10 Responses to “Just Say “No” To Infant Circumcision”

  1. […] rest is here: Official Blog Of Scot McKay | Dating Advice For Men And Women … Share and […]

  2. Caroline

    Thanks for speaking out, Scot McKay. You’ve said it well. Keep speaking!

  3. Karen

    I am happy for you and your son. You have made an intelligent, informed decision…and, as you noted, so are many, many more American parents. You speak the truth. I have two sons, ages 7 and 3. Neither are circumcised for precisely the reasons you mention. As our boys go forward in this generation, they too will know enough not to circumcise their future children. It is encouraging. Enjoy your family…and keep spreading the word! — Karen

  4. Brad

    Thank you for taking the time to speak up about this. I sincerely wish that my parents had been intelligent enough to at least question the practice, as that might have led to me not being sexually mutilated as a baby.
    The more people who speak up about this and show it for what it is, the more children there will be who will grow up whole, able to decide for themselves later on in life.

  5. Hadley

    Thanks for writing about this issue–Americans must learn the truth about circumcision, and new parents who have educated themselves are in the best situation to help further lower the rate of children subjected to this brutality. Your son will thank you for respecting his body!

  6. Thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone.

    I was actually prepared for a comment or two from those representing the opposing viewpoint, but I’m finding out that’s actually a very small group of people overall.

    Mostly, this is an issue that calls for increased awareness more than anything.



  7. Scot, you said it very well. Tell your friends. Also please have a look at my blog style web site:
    I am now conducting a survey to try to hone in on differences in the behaviors of cut vs intact men- habits and views.
    Please take a moment to take the survey, it’s anonymous.
    Link is here http://stopthecut.org/blog/


  8. Glad to hear that you did your research. Your son should be thankful. I know I would have been if my father was as informed as you.

    Like you, I looked at my circumcision as normal. But, thanks to the Internet and posts like yours, I discovered foreskin restoration. I am not yet finished restoring my foreskin, but the difference is amazing. See Restoring Foreskin.org and Foreskin Restoration Forum to read stories of men who wish they had never been circumcised and are doing something about it.

  9. FANTASTIC article!!!!!!! CONGRATS to your son!!!!

    This horrid practice NEEDS TO STOP! I find it sickening that we would outlaw female genital mutilation but not male genital mutilation….and YES THEY ARE THE SAME THING!

    Thanks again!

  10. Scot as you know I’m from Europe where circumsion has been outmoded for years. Actually i don’t think it ever was in fashion. Anyway to cut a long story short I had always seen my dad’s penis which was uncircumscised. my family immigrated to South Africa when i was young – there all boys were circumscised as well. I was most suprised when I had my first sexual/romatic contact with a guy at 19 to discover that his penis was totally different to my dads or brother (first I had to deal with the shock of an erect penis which I’d nevr seen before!) But after erection and normal penis I must confess that penis looked totally wounded in my eyes. It is insane to think babies don’t experience pain.
    I am so glad you have had the courage to write about this on your blog. A man does not have more sexual prowess just because he is circumcised. I know because I came back to Europe after my twins father died. I met a wonderful uncircumsized man and can vouch for that. Also I’ve noticed that his penis is more sensitive to touch.

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