Drop in Circumcision Rate Is Bad News for Baby Boys

Rant 781

baby feetAccording to newly released data from the National Center for Health Statistics, circumcision rates for newborn boys have dropped by six percentage points over the past three decades. Annual hospital discharge data of between 7,000 and 12,000 baby boys was examined, and interestingly enough, the biggest dip in circumcisions occurred in western states in the U.S. as opposed to other areas of the country.

And I guess the data really isn't all that surprising considering how controversial the subject of circumcision has become, particularly in the last few years or so. It seems like more and more parents are becoming opposed to the idea -- something which I can't fully understand.

When my husband and I had our son seven years ago, the decision over whether or not to have him circumcised wasn't even a question. Our pediatrician performed it in the hospital the day after he was born, and not once did the thought of whether or not it was the right thing to do cross our minds.

First and foremost, we knew we wanted it done for hygiene reasons. It's so much harder to keep that area clean if the procedure isn't performed -- and we believed it would leave him more prone to infection if he was not circumcised.

Second, and I really don't care how stupid or cliche this sounds, we didn't want him to get teased in the high school locker room because he was the only boy who hadn't been circumcised. Seriously, have you ever seen an uncircumcised penis? I have. Once. While I was working in the toddler room at a day care center when I was 18 and had to change the diaper of a little boy who hadn't been snipped. It looks ... well ... different. Noticeably different. (And there was no way I was going to let my kid be the dude with the weird looking penis.)

More from The Stir: Pros & Cons of Circumcising Your Son

Lastly, we worried about how being uncircumcised might affect his sex life down the road. What kind of parents would we have been to put a damper on things in that department? We feared that it wouldn't be as pleasurable for him, or that it might be a turn off for a lot of women, which could be pretty humiliating. (I know I'd want to hop out of bed and run if I saw all that extra skin staring back at me.)

Yes, I understand why some parents are opposed to circumcision. I'll admit that reading about some of the horror stories that have occurred with the procedure are pretty scary. I can see where it might sway someone's decision as far as their baby boy is concerned.

But I'm just not sure that the decline in how many newborns are being circumcised is a good thing. Sure, every parent is entitled to his or her own opinion on the subject, and what they choose to do when their baby arrives is up to them. But hopefully before deciding not to go through with it, they'll do their research to ensure they're making the best decision for their child. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics says that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, and that recommendation combined with the other three reasons I listed is more than enough to convince me to do it again if I ever were to have another baby boy.

Is your baby circumcised? Why or why not?


Image via jeremewong/Flickr

circumcision, newborns


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nonmember avatar Jessica

I am floored that you even took the time to write this completely backwards article. You should be ashamed. Also, you should do some research before you post something so completely stupid. I cannot believe I wasted two minutes of my time reading this.

Randi02 Randi02


My son is not circumcised. He's intelligent enough to clean his penis properly, just like most of the world! If your child comes from a shallower gene pool, I think you for sure made the right choice. We don't want him getting any nasty infections because he can't clean that area of his body.
Have you also considered pulling his teeth? Some areas of the mouth are hard to get, and a cavity or abscess is apparently the worst kind of pain.

BeccaLS BeccaLS

As long as you teach your kid how to wash himself I don't see the issue with keeping him in tact. I haven't really seen much that proves that one way is better than the other. I also don't see any issue with getting your baby circumcised either, I just think it's a personal decision that parents have to make. I don't think either way is wrong.

Simon... SimonzKedge

WTF?  Looks funny?  Have you ever looked at a vag???
Hard to clean?  Nope.  Wipe it like a finger until the foreskin detaches BY ITSELF which can take up until the teen years, then a simple pull back and clean in the shower.  I'm sure most teen boys will have no problem with THAT.
Not to mention most of the world is left intact and they don't have their penises falling off from disease like many Amercans would have you believe.

As for sex life, it's actually better intact...  for both partners.

Chipp... ChippyDippy

How about how circumsion will effect his sex life, as in it removes tons of nerve endings! Fewer nerve endings means fewer sensations.

Get a clue. This article is laughable.

merma... mermaid13dragon

no way! he's all natural & his looks so much more normal. we didn't want our son tortured or mutilated? . Would you want your clit cut off? stupid writers on the stir! & you know what else, we are Jewish. Yes Jewish with uncirccumcised kids. get a clue. I feel sad for your poor little boy who was mutilated.

aeneva aeneva

My son is intact and it is no harder to clean then female gentiatlia.  As for his future sex life it is BETTER for intact males as they are MORE sensitive so that doesn't hold water.  My brother is intact and NEVER once did any guy say anything about his "weird" penis in the many locker rooms he was in.  None of these are legit reasons to cut a vital part of your sons anatomy off IMHO and I am glad to see the rates dropping.  Maybe one day we will wise up and see what the rest of the world has seen for years.

Simon... SimonzKedge

Also, you do know that they sell the foreskins for profit, right?  For skin care products, makeup and also medical testing? 

As for protecting agains STDs?  What a crock, the only thing that can do that is abstinence and condoms.  Otherwise there would be almost no STDs in the US compared to the rest of the world.  Instead we have one of the highest rates in the world. 

Maybe actually think and research before writing such a halfassed article.

Oh, the number one reason why they should be left intact?  Their body, their choice!  Would you have liked it if your parents lopped of your labias when you were a baby???

nonmember avatar Lauren

It is sad you do not have enough faith in your child to clean himself properly. Girls are much harder to keep clean. Do you plan on circumcising your baby girl if you have one? Of course not.
With rates falling every year, it is likely that your son will be teased for not having his complete penis. What man wants less penis? Circumcision is a brutal and horrific practice, and is medically unnecessary. You should be ashamed.

nonmember avatar Lindsey

All of you speaking about sensitivity, first, it is obvious that you are women. What do you know about male sensitivity? Unless you mean that you haven't read the studies that show no decrease in sensitivity in males with a circumcision. The studies compare adult males who were uncircumcised and then were circumcised.
Also, if there were such a decrease in sensitivity, how do men orgasm at all...

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