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To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise?

That is the question.

But when I gave birth to my son almost two years ago, I really didn’t even think about it. I just assumed this is what you do with boys, wasn’t really told otherwise by the hospital or doctors as far as my “options” were concerned, didn’t think to look into it myself as I assumed it was just “normal,” and had him circumcised. It was basically a non-issue for us.

What I didn’t know was that over the past few years, the topic of circumcision has been widely debated and opinions on the subject, well, they are a-changing.

While studies from reputable sources like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other pediatric journals show a slight decrease in urinary tract infections among male infants who have been circumcised and that circumcision reduces a male’s chance of contracting STDs by more than half, the number of male infants being circumcised in the U.S. is dropping every year, and some even suggest circumcised males will soon become the minority in our culture.

To be honest, those concerns never even crossed my mind, and if I ever have another boy, I would do it again. For years it was thought that circumcision was cleaner, healthier, more sanitary for the child.  Now, especially considering the AAP has made a neutral statement regarding the issue, citing that while there are some health benefits associated with the surgery, the procedure is not medically essential, I think the issue is more of a personal one than anything else.

And personally, this is what I think.

Whether it be your religious views, your upbringing, or where you stand within the medical arena regarding the subject, parents should be the ones to decide what is best for their child — isn’t that what parents are for, after all? While some say it is a medically unessential procedure and just puts the child through unneeded pain and surgery, how many men today remember what their circumcisions felt like at just a few days old? Not to say the pain is not important because it won’t be remembered in the long-term, but centuries of men have been undergoing this procedure and go on to live, normal, happy lives.  To suggest the procedure causes any long-term trauma for the child is, in my opinion, just a tad far-fetched.

While not as drastic, and obviously not a medical procedure, should we begin banning ear piercing for little girls until they are of age to decide what they want to do, to save them from the pain? A parent’s job is to make decisions on behalf of their minor children in their best interests, and until medicine can prove that circumcisions are more harmful than helpful, and not just maintain a “neutral” position on the subject, it is the parents who will continue to decide the fate of their sons, and their foreskins.

This post comes to us from guest contributor and mother of two, Laura Savio.

Lauren Verini