There are a lot of decisions you have to make as parents that will affect your kids for the rest of their lives. Some are easy and some are a lot harder. But when my husband and I discussed whether our son would be circumcised or not, it was a no-brainer for us. We didn’t have any religious or cultural reasons to consider it, but we still looked into it further to ensure we were making an informed decision. In doing our research, we came up with answers to each of the pro-circumcision arguments we stumbled across:
1. Medical professionals support circumcision
On the whole, the world’s leading medical associations recommend against routine circumcision in boys. In fact, the Paediatrics & Child Health Division of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians believes that newborn baby boys and young infants do not need to be circumcised, unless there is a medical reason.
2. It will prevent him from getting STIs
In some countries where there are high rates of HIV and syphilis, it has been shown that circumcision could help reduce these rates. But I wouldn’t want my son to think that being circumcised would protect him from STIs – it wouldn’t. Safe sex or abstinence is the only way.
3. He should ‘look like his father’
My son isn’t a mini-version of his dad. He’s his own person. Plus, if he’s going to compare his penis to anyone else’s one day, it will be his peers. With up to 90% of boys in Australia not being circumcised these days, he’s less likely to be the odd one out in the showers after sport if he’s still got a foreskin.
4. It will prevent penis cancer
Firstly, most men won’t get cancer of the penis – only around 1 in 250,000 men in Australia get it. Secondly, we generally don’t remove other parts of our body as a preventative measures against cancer, so what makes the penis any different?
5. It just looks better
Sorry, but since when do we endorse cosmetic surgery on a baby? Plus when he’s older and starts having sex with women, it’s more likely they will find a circumcised penis looks odd, as around 9 in 10 men at that age will have a foreskin.
6. It’s easier to keep clean
If I didn’t clean under my armpits they would smell, but I manage to do it, and I’m sure boys can effectively clean their smelly bits too.
7. If he has problems later, he’ll need a painful operation
Yes, there’s a small chance that this could happen. He could also get appendicitis, so should we remove his appendix at birth? No, I didn’t think so…
8. Later in life, it can lower the chance of his partner getting cervical cancer
Since when do we allow a medical procedure on a baby in the hope of preventing illness in another person many years in the future? Plus, there’s always a chance my son won’t have sex with women – he could be gay or become a priest…
9. Women prefer to give oral sex to circumcised men
Yes, I have honestly heard this as an excuse! Well, in this case, I think a foreskin would serve well is weeding out the superficial girls from the ones who love him the way he is.
At the end of the day, it came down to this: it’s his body and he has to live with it for the rest of his life. Once you’ve gone the snip, there’s no going back. I’d prefer to give him that choice to make when he’s older.
Also, I just think a foreskin is what nature intended. It’s taken us millions of years to evolve and it would seem like an odd mistake for Mother Nature to make. A foreskin makes sense to me – I keep my important possessions, like my iPhone, in a protective case too!