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What is the circumcision debate?

The debate is about whether boys’ normal penises should be modified by removing the foreskin.

What are the voices in the debate?

Voices UNCERTAIN about whether babies should be circumcised

New Fathers'
voices

I'm not circumcised and it makes me uncomfortable just thinking about being circumcised. I would lose the protective covering, and all the sensation in my foreskin during sex. I can't imagine doing that to my baby. If he wants it, he can always get it done when he grows up.

New Mothers'
voices

My husband is attractive to me in his natural state, so I just don't know why we should circumcise our son and go through all that drama. I think natural is probably better in this situation, but I want him to be accepted by his friends and lovers, too.

Religious Parents'
voices

Our Jewish identity is important to us, but we are doing a peaceful baby-naming ceremony, Brit Shalom, instead of the Brit Milah, which would include circumcision.

We can still be good Muslims without circumcising our son. Anyway, it's just a custom and customs change.

Circumcision is not a Christian tradition. The New Testament says circumcision has no religious value. Our Saviour’s sacrifice on the cross means that Christians don’t have to make blood sacrifices.

Immigrant Parents'
voices

In my country, circumcision is almost unheard of. It's strange that such an advanced country does this to babies.

Medical Professionals'
voices

Medical associations have never recommended circumcision, but we do consider it safe enough if parents want it for cultural or religious reasons. Ultimately, it's the parents' decision.

Voices AGAINST circumcising babies

New Fathers'
voices

As an adolescent, I started to notice scars and problems with erections. I realized over time that this was due to my circumcision. I still have pain and difficulty with sex. I will never do this to my sons and I hope no one else does it to their sons, either.

New Mothers'
voices

I cried when I saw my baby in distress. I didn't realize he wouldn't be anesthetized and I regret it bitterly because I can't undo the decision. I feel so guilty. I wish someone had warned me to tell the doctor not to do it.

Medical Professionals'
voices

I no longer do circumcisions because there’s no medical reason for it, and because there are significant risks of harm. The truth is, the foreskin is an important body part. I believe this practice should no longer be carried out by the medical community.

Older Mens'
voices

As I get older, I'm having some sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction (ED) that I believe are related to my circumcision. Plus, my wife has a problem with dryness, which causes her pain and discomfort unless we use lubricant.

Gay Men's
voices

I am circumcised and my partner is not, so it’s easy for us to compare. In seeing how much more pleasure he experiences, I realize how much I've lost.

Ethicists'
voices

Cutting the natural genitals of a child, in the absence of medical necessity, violates basic bioethical principles of autonomy, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence (do no harm). Circumcision is not medically necessary. Female circumcision was banned in 1996 in the United States, and it should be banned for baby boys as well.

Activists'
voices

We want everyone to realize that circumcision is traumatic and painful for babies, and harmful to men and boys. It belongs in the “dust bin of medical history” with other practices such as clitoridectomy and lobotomy. The foreskin has essential functions that circumcision destroys forever. It protects the penis, and plays a vital role in sexual pleasure for both its owner and his partner. Adults can do it if they want, but no one should be allowed to do it to babies anymore.

Voices IN FAVOR of circumcision of babies

New Fathers'
voices

I'm a normal circumcised guy and I want my son to be normal too. He should look like me. It's part of being a man to be circumcised and women expect it. Guys who are not circumcised get a lot of grief in the locker room and I don't want my son to get treated that way.

New Mothers'
voices

My doctor is asking about it and insurance pays for it, so it must be a good thing health-wise. Responsible parents get it done early for its long-term benefits. Anyway, it's cleaner and better-looking.

Religious Parents'
voices

It is part of our Jewish identity and traditions, which we treasure very much.

It's part of being devout Muslims and that is really important to us.

We are Christians and it's in The Bible.

Immigrant Parents'
voices

In my country, we don't do this, but we want to fit in and be good Americans. Maybe it's the right thing to do for our son so he can become fully American.