The hardest thing about being an intactivist is having to listen to the lame excuses and reasons people come up with for why they support circumcising their baby boys. The following are not in order of importance or relevance, merely written in the order I remembered them:
1) I might as well do it when he’s a baby, since it will have to be done eventually.
Of course the first response to hearing this one is “What? Why? Where did you get that lame idea from?” Yes, I have actually heard this reason. It seems that some people truly think that if they don’t circumcise their baby that something will go wrong later on, forcing them to subject their son to it later. This woman said that all her nephews had to be circumcised between 3 and 5 years of age due to problems. When I mentioned that the reason was they were probably all forcibly retracted, the response was, “Well, of course, because the doctor told my sister that she had to practice pulling it back every day to loosen it.” What amazes me the most about this is that neither she nor her sister put 2 and 2 together and realized the foreskin retractions were causing the “medically needed” circumcisions. Not that they actually were medically needed though, since there are non-surgical ways of dealing with torn foreskins or foreskins that are too tight, but that takes talking to a foreskin friendly doctor or doing research. And I have come to the conclusion that people who support infant circumcision are allergic to doing research. They seem to believe whatever BS their doctor feeds them and don’t require second opinions. No matter what a doctor tells you about retracting a boy’s foreskin, if they tell you to do it they are all WRONG. Only the boy himself should be the one to retract, and only when it has detached from the head of his penis (which can take until adolescence)!!
2) He’ll get more UTI’s if I leave him intact.
This myth got started when a guy named Wiswell performed a study and published his findings that circumcised boys were 10 times less likely to get a UTI than an intact boy. Of course he didn’t clarify there was actually only a 1% difference between the two groups. Meaning that 100 boys would need to be circumcised to prevent just one boy from getting a UTI. That is also ignoring the fact that little girls get far more UTI’s than intact little boys, and we don’t circumcise them to prevent infection. And referring back to my response to #1, forced retractions cause most if not all of the infections that lead to UTI’s. The foreskin actually protects the penis from infection, so taking away UTI’s caused by forced retractions would most likely shift the totals so that cut boys got more infections than intact.
3) There will be less chance of my son getting HIV and other STI’s when he’s older, if I cut him as an infant.
First, let’s set aside the very creepy notion that something needs to be done to an infant to prevent him from getting sexually transmitted diseases. After all, no baby will get an STD. Only sexually active adults/teenagers get those. If you’re so worried about your son not being careful of who he sleeps with or how many people he sleeps with when he’s older, than maybe you can discuss circumcision with him when he can decide for himself. After all it’s his body, not yours.
Second, and most important, it has not been proven that circumcision protects anyone from getting an STD. Those African studies were funded by circumcision proponents whose bottom line was going to be in their favor, no matter the outcome. They manipulated data, stopped the studies early, and left out necessary facts in order to come up with that much hyped 60% decrease.
4) His father is cut, so he should be too.
If his father had a missing arm, would you amputate your son’s arm? If he has tattoos and other modifications, will you do the same to your son? Of course not, so why change the one thing that neither of them will ever compare?
5) His father has a penis, so I’m leaving the choice to him.
If the father was circumcised as an infant, he has no idea what he is missing. And it has now been shown that infant circumcision permanently alters (damages) the brain. So while your son (and his father) won’t actually remember his genitals being sliced off, his body and brain will always remember it. This one event that happens so soon after a baby is born can make a man violent, or it can totally shut off his emotions. He can feel resentment toward all women and might even become a rapist. Cut men cannot be objective about circumcision, so the fact they have a penis is no reason to leave this decision to them. No, not all men have these issues, but they COULD! You don’t want your son to be one of those affected, right?
6) It’s best to circumcise a baby, when he is too young to feel the pain.
The myth that babies don’t feel pain was discounted ages ago, so it’s amazing people still use this reason. The fact that it’s so painful is why many of the awful things mentioned in #5 happen. Torture will forever change the person it’s done to, and that is what strapping a baby’s arms and legs to a restraint and then ripping, tearing, crushing and slicing half the skin from his penis is. It’s torture, and it’s usually done without any type of pain relief. Anesthesia cannot safely be used on such a small baby, and the numbing agent they use is not given enough time to take affect before they start. So for those of you who think it’s just a little snip that is over in a minute, most circumcisions can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and the baby is in constant pain the entire time. That is unless he goes into shock to protect himself. At least if a man decides to circumcise himself, he is given anesthesia and then strong medication to deal with any pain afterwards. Babies pee and poo in their diapers, which gets into the wound the entire time they healing, and they can’t be given paid meds.
7) Intact is gross. Circumcised is just so much nicer looking and cleaner.
Over 70% of the world’s population of men are intact, and they and their women manage just fine. Ever wonder why women seem to prefer Latin and European lovers? It’s because they are intact, so they are better in bed. The foreskin not only protects the penis, it also enhances the sexual pleasure for both the man and the woman he has sex with. Women in the US are basically brainwashed to think that cut looks better, but it’s just what we have been conditioned to accept. Those who have had lovers of both cut and intact, prefer intact. As far as it being gross? Smegma is a natural lubricant excreted from the genitals of both men and women. The best way to keep intact genitals clean is by washing them daily. Women can stink just as bad as men if they don’t bathe. Intact men are no exception. Retracting the foreskin is extremely fast and easy, and men don’t have any problems doing so to clean their bodies.
8 ) Circumcision is healthy and safe.
Tell that to the hundreds, if not thousands, of baby boys who have died from their circumcisions (most of which are not reported). Their deaths might be listed as cardiac arrest, blood loss, infection, etc., but they all would not have died without the unnecessary surgery that was done on them. It is a risky, painful, unnecessary and totally cosmetic surgery that is performed on non-consenting babies that CAN cause their deaths. Don’t believe the hype created by the circumcision fanatics who want the whole world cut. They minimize the risks, which is why it is so hard for us intactivists to convince badly informed parents that circumcision is nothing more than medically accepted child abuse.
I think that is all I can stomach for now, though that is not all the reasons I have heard. If I feel up to it later, I will tackle the rest another time. Hopefully this will help open some eyes and get people to re-evaluate their reasons for doing this injustice to their innocent baby boys.