Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Circumcision - Information for Circumcised Fathers Making the Decision for Their Son

A colleague asked me to put together a short list of resources for circumcised men who were thinking about whether or not to keep their own sons intact. Unfortunately, because of the massive misinformation abounding in the 1970s and 80s on the issue, a lot of today's fathers were cut at birth. Fortunately, however, parents today are starting to really dig into the medical literature and research this topic before they subject their own baby boys to the same genital cutting that was done to "Dear Ol' Dad." A LOT is taken away from a boy (and future man) when he is cut at birth. And most fathers deeply desire to give their sons the very best -- even MORE than they had themselves. So here are some resources for circumcised fathers to tap into when beginning this exploration for the sake of their son.


http://www.noharmm.org/raising.htm is a site specifically for men who were circumcised at birth but are considering keeping their boys intact.

Here is an appeal to new (circumcised) fathers to give their sons all that was taken from them: http://www.noharmm.org/appeal.htm

This man, Derek - aka "Natural Papa" - was cut at birth. His first son was born in the hospital and was cut "to be like him" before he knew any better. He said it was the most horrible thing to witness (he was by his son's side through the whole ordeal) and after this experience, he learned about the procedure, the prepuce organ, and what the surgery had robbed his son (and himself) of. His next son was kept intact, and if he has any more boys, they too, will be intact. His story is especially good for other fathers who maybe cut their first son, but are now expecting another. Just because it was done to one boy, it does NOT need to be repeated. Derek sometimes blogs about it:
http://naturalpapa.com/circumcision-will-you-make-the-cut/
http://naturalpapa.com/circumcision-barbaric-mutilation-videos/

This is a video clip in which Greg Hartley spoke on this very topic in D.C. this year. Greg (and his son) are also willing to exchange email and talk with new dads on this issue and their experience (drop me a message and I will get you his contact info):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fofyk2MK__M

Parents discuss the circumcision process and why they regret they did not know ahead of time in this piece, "Considering Circumcision? Why I'm An Intactivist, Will Not Circ Again & Wish My Boy Was Whole" http://motheringchoices.blogspot.com/2006/12/considering-circumcision-why-im.html

This site has good tips for fathers (and mothers) who are new to the whole intact-penis thing... as well as addressing some of the common misconceptions out there (that little boys 'squirt' or spray -- this tends to only be the case with cut boys; that the foreskin must retract and be cleaned - NO!; teasing; father-son 'matching'; etc.): http://www.geocities.com/raisingintactsons/

Circumcision & Prepuce (Foreskin) Information Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHVvB1oHAgg

Circumcision & Prepuce Information Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAo1PCDtgBY

This is a hypothetical conversation between parents (father circumcised) and their young, intact boy after he was teased at school. I genuinely do not think that teasing is as much an issue today (or, that soon it will be REVERSED - that cut boys will be the ones teased) because the rates of U.S. baby boys left intact vs. cut at birth are 50/50 nationwide and 75/25 (3/4 kept intact) on the coasts. As more parents educate themselves prior to birth, as accurate medical information is shared, as doctors speak out, and as fewer insurance companies cover the procedure, we are seeing the numbers change quickly. Kids also tease each other about anything that can be found - hair, eyes, glasses, shoes - girls with small breasts get teased (should we give 14-yr-olds breast enlargements?) girls with large breasts get teased (should they have reductions in junior high?). The possibility of teasing is certainly not a reason to permanently amputate healthy, essential body organs from babies. All this aside, here is an 'old' example of a conversation that may be had... http://www.circumstitions.com/Different.html

Protect Your Son - A Father & Doctor/Expert in the Prepuce (Foreskin) and Circumcision speaks: http://www.mothering.com/health/protect-your-uncircumcised-son-expert-medical-advice-parents

Many video clips from an assortment of fathers (and others) tell their stories and take on circumcision: http://www.youtube.com/user/Bonobo3D

Penn & Teller take on the topic of circumcision in a recent episode of their show (if you have not watched Penn & Teller before, know that there is 'adult' content and language used):
Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIZLna_uzLQ
Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzBJoW-iJ6E
Part Three: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfkq9EIprYY


ESPECIALLY FOR CHRISTIAN MEN

This is the statement and story of a (circumcised) Christian father with 6 sons who turned to the Bible and medical literature when questioning whether or not to repeat the cutting with his own boys. He found there to be no medical, social, or Christian reason to cut, and they all remain intact. It may be a good story for other Christian (circumcised) fathers. http://www.noharmm.org/huswife.htm

Circumcision and Christian parents: http://www.noharmm.org/christianparent.htm

Circumcision and Christianity: A Call to Christian Action: http://www.cirp.org/pages/cultural/lewis1/

Circumcision Within Christianity (a parent's story): http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/33931/the_truth_about_circumcision_within.html?cat=25

What the Bible Says About Circumcision: http://www.stopcirc.com/christian.html

A video documenting various places in the Bible where circumcision is discussed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF2O9AmT5sQ

*In the video listed below ("CUT") circumcision among Christians (or, rather, the absence of circumcision among Christians throughout human history until it was started in the United States in an effort to curtail masturbation) is discussed.

Especially for Catholic Men - http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/



ESPECIALLY FOR JEWISH MEN

The video "CUT: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision" is an excellent examination by a Jewish man who was circumcised himself, but made a different decision for his son after researching for this film. Video Website: http://www.cutthefilm.com/Cut_Website/Home.html
Abridged Version of "CUT": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx89xECfHG4

A Jewish Doctor & Father speaks: http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/mposition.html

"My Son, The Little Jew with a Foreskin": http://www.mothering.com/my-son-little-jew-foreskin

Judaism & Circumcision http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.com/

Jewish Circumcision Resource Center: http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/index.htm

Many Jewish fathers today are electing to have a Brit Shalom in place of cutting their son. For more information, and to talk with other Jewish men making this choice for their sons, see:

http://www.britshalom.org/

http://www.fathermag.com/health/circ/bris/

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/brisshalom.htm

--

My friend - Dr. Joel Wells - (circumcised at birth, did not cut his sons in the early 70s when everyone else was still 'doing it') would be happy to talk with/exchange experience with anyone - I can give you his email/phone privately if you like. Joe has also taught at the University level and conducted research in human sexuality for 30+ years, so he has heard all the questions and has oodles of good (accurate!) answers. My husband is willing to talk/exchange email on this as it was a decision he made just 10 months ago. There may be other men reading this who have gone through the same experience who would be willing to talk to a new dad as well? (drop me a note, or leave a comment below if you are one willing to do so)


Additional Helpful Sites for more information:

http://www.circinfosite.com/

http://www.nocirc.org/

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/ - a site especially for physicians and others in the medical field

http://www.intactamerica.org/

http://www.icgi.org/

http://www.noharmm.org/r>raising.htm

http://www.circumstitions.com/

http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/

http://www.cirp.org/

http://www.theridgedband.info

http://www.mgmbill.org/

http://www.stopinfantcircumcision.org/

http://www.sicsociety.org/

http://www.notjustskin.org/

http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/ - discusses ways that male circumcision hurts women & women's sexual health as well as adult men [site has graphic images]

http://www.tlctugger.com/ - for men who were cut at birth

http://www.arclaw.org/ - legal representation for men cut against their will at birth

http://www.norm.org/ - for men who were cut at birth



"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope." -Robert F. Kennedy

Video: The Circumcision Decision


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