New Circumcision Guidelines Are a Step in the Right Direction

circumcisionThe American Academy of Pediatrics has changed its guidelines on circumcision for the first time in more than a decade. And, despite an overwhelming move toward skipping the procedure, the new language actually sounds a little more positive toward it. As a mom of both a boy and a girl, I am happy about this change.

The AAP hasn't completely gone over in support of circumcision,  but the old language sounded a little more neutral. Now it says essentially that the health benefits to the procedure are much more compelling than the risks. Sounds very close to an endorsement, though, no?

Personally, I think it's about the time. The "intactivists" may have some points when it comes to the natural state of a boy's penis. But they have no point when it comes to health. Circumcision wins every time.

Whether or not to circumcise was one of the hardest decisions of my life as a mom. From the moment I found out I was having a boy, I struggled. I live in an area where very few mothers choose to circumcise their sons, and as a mom whose decisions are (mostly) on the "crunchier" side -- long term breastfeeding, co-sleeping, slings over strollers -- I struggled with the question. Even though my cultural tradition was to circumcise, was it a good idea?

More from The Stir: Watch Cameron Diaz Perform a Mock Circumcision (VIDEO)

In the end, the decision was a cultural one, but the medical reasons really pushed my husband and me in one direction. Now, it seems the AAP supports that.

Infants who are circumcised (and later men who are) run a much lower risk of urinary tract infections, HIV, and penile cancer. Circumcision also may help stop certain STDs like Herpes and HPV. Sure, some of the benefits are for their future sex partners, but we also know that there are benefits for them as well. In fact, avoiding circumcision may add over $4 billion in U.S. health care costs. This is for all of us.

Look, this is a personal choice. There are so many opportunities for women to fight over these kinds of issues, but I am glad to see that the AAP is standing up for sound medical reasoning and not being cowed by the bullies who want to trounce over other people's rights to make their own decisions.

Do what is right for you and your family and your son and then shut up about it. Please.

Do you like the new AAP language?


Image via babybizcakes/Flickr



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jagam... jagamama0710

Well, wasn't this just coated in judgemental bullshit.

Do what is right for you and your family and your son and then shut up about it. Please.

Right back at ya. 

As long as they're not making it mandatory to circ, I don't give a crap what the AAP says about it. I will stand by my decision to leave my son intact. 

nonmember avatar Boom boom

Do yourself a favor and do *real* research on the subject.

Jadem... Jademom07

Really? As a mom of a boy and a girl, would you circ your daughter?  Until 1990, it was still legal to do so and then they decided that it was genital mutilation...

You do know that the AAP is in with the medical association and that circ'ing is big money.  

As for what could happen if you leave your child intact, washing with soap and water will keep most of this away and as for cancer, 10 years ago eggs were touted to cause it and then they changed their minds so this is only a scare tactic.

Jadem... Jademom07

One other thought..."sound medical reasoning" in plain english is called 'what makes them more money'

Julie Abel-Gregory

"Look, this is a personal choice."
Yes, for the owner of the penis to make. Well put.

Mel Highland Booth

We should def. trust this coming from the AAP and all... here's an idea... breastfeed your sons to avoid urinary tract infections, teach them to use soap and wate,r and to wrap it up during sexual intercourse... I love this society... we can't fuck without the fear of an STD now... so just cut our skin off instead... body mutilation is body mutilation, period... and when the AAP decides to stop using African studies to support gential mutilation in North America, I might listen to what they have to say, but probably not.

Kate Tietje

NO.  The "evidence" that it is medically beneficial is suspect at best.  Boys who are properly cared for as infants (which is easy, just wipe the outside) and taught at the appropriate time to retract and clean under as preschoolers are not at increased risk of anything.  There is just no justification for preemptively removing a functional and necessary part of a little boy's body. 

Cherr... CherryBlossom4

"Do what is right for you and your family and your son and then shut up about it. Please."

Sounds like someone needs to take their own advice. Maybe you should translate that to, "Do what is right for you and your family and your son, write a blog about it, see how many reasctions you can get and then shut up about it. Please."

nonmember avatar Raine

It's amazing to me how this is such an issue. Every parental decision is that parents right to decide, I can't believe so many people have an opinion on one mothers decision.

I am glad to hear that other mothers out there agree that you shouldn't be swayed by other moms decisions for THEIR children.
There is no reason to fight about it or be ugly on comments or blogs about it. I think there are enough issues in the world, as mothers we should come together no matter our 'different views' and support each other!!

abra819 abra819

You're all hilarious. pathetic, but hilarious.

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