Circumcision. This is a topic that is discussed rarely – and yet it has lifelong effects for our baby boys. The procedure of infant circumcision is still quite common in many parts of Australia, today.
Being the parents of three young boys, my husband and I know the pressure that ‘social norms’ can exert, regarding this issue, all too well.
Circumcision was much more common in the 70′s & 80′s in Australia – and so many fathers and fathers-to-be would have been circumcised themselves, as babies. A common thought that fathers have is, “If my son isn’t circumcised, he may feel that there is something wrong with him if he doesn’t look like me”.
We felt quite uninformed regarding the subject. It was always something that was ‘just done‘ within our social network – without question. However it just wasn’t sitting right with us. So we did our own research and started asking some questions.
We were surprised to hear that the United States and Australia are two of the only countries in the world that still perform this procedure on infants, for non-religious or cultural reasons. In the UK, Europe, Latin America and many other parts of the world, the procedure is uncommon.
We listened to the advice of a well known and experienced paediatrician in our city. We were shocked to discover how strong his opinion was, about the topic. He stated that he flatly refuses to perform the procedure. He said that he has had to help too many male children over the years, who had been mutilated with lifelong repercussions, due to ‘botched’ procedures by others.
I urge all parents to do their research regarding this issue.
Ask yourself the difficult questions before making any decisions.
- Is it our place to be making this lifelong decision about our child’s body? Is this a decision that should be made by the child when he is of the age to consent?
- Do we actually believe that babies feel less pain with this procedure than an adult male would feel?
- Have we studied the risks that are associated with this procedure? Is it worth taking these risks?
I know this can be a contentious issue – but it needs to be discussed.
Please click on the video link below to watch a great lecture on the subject, by Ryan McAllister PhD.