Not for the tender of mind

This is a difficult time in soon-to-be dad’s minds: there are so many unknowns to worry about besides the regular type of life. What will I name him? Is the hospital bag ready? Can I skip my classes for the birth? Though each is important, the the question I bring before the all-knowing Interweb today is: Should I have my son circumcised or not? Now men, this can be an * ahem * sensitive subject for us; but, think of the implications of this decision as you will/already have been faced with it. For an excellent article describing the pros and cons of the procedure see: Don’t go there at work or if the male unit offends you though, it is very explicit in depicting the facts.
The Facts:

  • there is no medical reason to do or not do the procedure
  • there is no religious reason for an LDS person
  • I am not very concerned if he “looks like daddy” or not
  • he can be taught to take care of it either way
  • most men in my family already are circumcised

Given these, the last it seems is most important.
I have come to the conclusion then that it is a purely societal and culturally based decision. Here in America we have very little culture left: besides capitalism and religion all that we have as a moral guide is a watercolor-memory of what a family should be. Since I am beginning my own family now, I want to weld my own culture with that of my spouse including any other good examples seen along the way.
So, nip the tip? shrink the dink? chop the top? It’s still in decision process and as the time to D-day runs down. I just hope that, in the end, the boy doesn’t turn out all messed up. That’s all.

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13 thoughts on “Not for the tender of mind

  1. Here at BYU-Idaho, it’s a legitimate excuse to miss class if your wife is in labor. It’s one of the few. I’m sure it’s pretty much accepted anywhere.
    Colleen and Scott had William and Ben circumsized. Colleen said that Ben didn’t even make a sound when they did it to him. ::shrug:: I always figured I’d probably have my sons circumsized. I don’t really see a reason why not to do it – today it’s just become one of those things that you do.

  2. You put it all so well, I couln’t have said it better. Not an easy descision.
    You will most definitey be there for the birth, no class is more important! Besides, we’ve been prepping him by telling him every day to come on a Thursday night… he has been listening, right?

  3. We did have both our boys done. We watched a video of it being done in our childbirth class–did you see that? It was um, kinda hard to watch, but I was glad to see what actually happens. We decided to do it honestly just for social reasons. Although it’s about half and half these days, we figured that’s kinda the traditional thing to do. Neither of them seemed too worried about it, although they both cried at diaper changes for about the first three or four days or so.

  4. I think it is almost a non-isssue (well to me it is since I have no say, not want to have one). There are very rare instances where more than the tip is nipped. I read a survey once (maybe in one of Rachel’s magazines) that women like the look of the chopped top better.

    0 eProps just for making think about the subject!

  5. I never really put much thought into the situation, mostly since I haven’t had to. It just seems like unnessecary pain to put a new born through, but I’m still unsure of whether I’d do it or not.

  6. yeah it’s tricky. I think that I’m glad that I did it for my kids, but it was hard to justify for the few days afterward when they screamed whenever it was touched. Working at AVAC this summer I got to be in the changing room with a lot of little boys before swimming, and there were a number of them that weren’t circumsized, but they did usually seem to be of some sort of ethnic background. I think it is still the norm here, but not by much. Plus, it’s not like a lot of other kids are going to see his and make fun of him for it. So basically, I have no insight for you, and nothing to make your decision easier.

  7. Well, if you ask Big D, he will tell you that yes, the law of Moses is done away, but that circumcision is from Abraham, and his laws are still in force…but I’m not sure the Church would say one way or the other.
    For my part, I am glad Adam was circumsized, though insurance didn’t cover it and we had to pay completely out-of-pocket (it was $160 or something around there). It’s a lot easier to clean up when his poop gets into EVERY nook and cranny and fold of skin. Also, I know a man who was uncircumsized, and at 25 yrs old (a year or so after he married) willingly decided to have it done. If a grown man would choose it (and I’m sure he thought it out a long time) then perhaps our sons would appreciate having it taken care of while they’re too young to remember it.

  8. In reference to the comment made above- if you want a scriptural view of circumcision check out 1Cor 7: 17-19, Moroni 8:8 (“the law of circumcision is done away in me”) or DC 74:2-6.
    The Church’s DC manual has this description for DC 74: 2 (pg. 155) “Circumcision was given to Abraham and his posterity as a token of their covenant with God (see JST, Genesis 17: 3-7, 11). Other scriptures make it clear that it was not circumcision itself but rather what it stood for that gave it its greatest significance (see Deut. 10:16; 30:6, Jer 4:4, Ezekiel 44:7, Romans 2:25-29).
    From the New Testament Manual: “Following the atoning sacrafice of Jesus Christ, the need for the special token (circumcision) was removed.” and “Paul made it clear that circumcision for either Jew or Gentile was done away in Christ.” (pg. 264 for both quotes).

  9. I’m going to jump in the fray here, mostly because two hours of studying for a social psychology midterm makes one think about the things you’re talking about here. Apparently, our society makes us behave in certain ways that is “normal” and in this case, since we don’t want to be different, off it will go. Having immigrant parents who didn’t understand English at the time, I can imagine them objecting with a great number of foreign sounds to the doctors who pointed sharp things at my privates. It’s interesting though because on the side of the planet where my folks are from, someone circumsized would probably look pretty funny. So, I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’m not sure what I will do when I have kids because on one hand, they’ll “look” like daddy but on the other, they could “look” like everyone else. It does make me feel self-concious and being the worrier that I am, the tree of life in the MTC and the locker room at school never is a comfortable place…even more so. So, what do I want my kids to deal with? I don’t know. If I were to change my current state there wouldn’t be any reason outside of my desire to look like everyone else behind it and that’s not good enough for me. Or something like that. New subject please.

  10. I usually comment when I get mentioned in a Xanga, but I’m not so sure if I want to bring any added attention to this particular mentioning. *Ahem*
    I recommend you follow the advise of Rabbi Tuckman and, “Nip the Tip.”
    I always vote to streamline the human body. I say remove every excess you can. Dude, get rid of it; it’s gross, plain and simple.

  11. As far as “looking like daddy”, I’d like to note that i haven’t seen my dad’s penis since I was probably four years old, so that hasn’t really been much of an issue for me, and I don’t honestly know really why anyone else SHOULD be having similar problems. I don’t know, maybe other families have more open changing time with daddy… who knows.
    As far as advice, I have also heard that girls prefer the appearance of a circumsized penis, but I can’t imagine the hopefully one girl ever to see it will care particularly much if the man she married’s penis looks slightly different than what i guess maybe she saw pictures of in hopefully only anatomy class. The only real reason for most men to care about that is if lots of women are seeing their penis, which, hopefully for your son, will not be the case.
    It’s harder to keep clean but hightens sensitivity if it is uncircumsized. that’s about all I know on the subject on either end.
    You can’t make a bad choice here, so don’t stress. both are acceptable and both have their EXTREMELY slight benefits.

  12. I appreciate all the comments everyone, thanks.
    Although truly, in the end, it is none of y’alls business what Junior’s got under the hood; however, I think that it is very revealing question about how a person views their own body and their traditions. The post was not only for myself but for my own little community here. What will you do for your boy? This is the question that must be asked.

    PS: The human body is beautiful and good no matter how it looks.

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