There has been recent conversations about circumcision, so I decided to re-post this. It was originally posted in January 2010 on a different blog, although I have done some editing.
When I got pregnant with my firstborn, I was certain it was going to be a girl. The other women that had used this particular donor had all had girls, so I was certain I was going to have one, too. Imagine my surprise when the ultrasound showed a penis. I knew enough about basic anatomy to know that girls didn’t have those.
After I changed my thinking and decided that having a boy would be just fine (remember, I had 20 weeks of thinking about girl stuff), I started doing research. What does one do with boys? (Raise them, love them, play with them.) There were only girls in my house at the time. How does one potty train a boy? (You sit them on the toilet. And make sure their penis is pointing down.) And do I really want one of those potty chairs in every room of the house? (No, I do not.) And I stumbled on the practice of circumcision.
Now, I had only been with one intact man since I started having sex, so it was definitely not the normal look for me. I was seriously uneducated about circumcision – positives, negatives, why it’s done, reasons why it shouldn’t be done, etc.
So I started doing my research. Slowly, yes, because I had time, but I really wanted to know all that I could learn. And it was scary. How it’s done and the fact there is often no anesthetic involved. How it’s believed that babies don’t feel pain. The myths surrounding circumcision. How circumcision takes away the most sensitive part of the penis. (More FAQ’s here.)
I also learned how easy it was to take care of an intact penis on an infant (wash it like you would a finger, wipe the outside and move on). And how easy it is to teach a child/teen how to take care of his own intact penis (retract, rinse, replace). And how many people are deciding not to circumcise. And religions are taking a stand against it. And how even Jewish families are choosing a less painful way to introduce their boys into their family.
My partner at the time was watching reruns of the show Queer as Folk – so I ended up listening in every now and then. And I happened to catch this particular episode where Brian crashed the bris for the baby of Lindsay and Melanie, who he is the biological father of. He refused to allow Lindsay and Melanie to circumcise their son, stating that the people of the GLBT fight to be accepted for who they are on a daily basis, and here they were – not happy with how their son was born and deciding to change him on day eight.
This struck a cord with me. It fit the situation my life was in at the time, and I held on to that with everything I had. The reality was, my baby was born perfect. He wasn’t defective, and I didn’t need to fix him.
And I decided to not circumcise my boy.
I now have two boys, both with intact penii. Neither of them have had any issues whatsoever. I don’t worry about whether they are retracting or not – unless they are actually in pain, it’s not an issue until they are in their teens. And since as of this post, they are only 8 and 4, I have some time before I need to even think about it.
More links for your reading pleasure – or education.