Friday, May 7, 2010

Piercings and Circumcisions: Are the Duggars Barbarians?

Ok you'll have to have just a little bit of a sense of humour for this one, because I'm writing this one post-op and highly medicated. Yes the surgery was successful, but painful and I'm floating over the bed right about now.

I was involved in a discussion on a message board recently involving McKynzie's pierced ears and it really had me thinking. There were pros and cons over whether or not you do it when the girls are babies or do you wait until they are older. The pros being that it's over quick and the babies don't remember it, whereas when they are older they do remember it and they can be screaming and fainting. I know this from experience--I was 13 and fainted dead away. It was made worse because it was part of my birthday party and of course every girl there went to school the next day and spread the word. Mortifying. So is it any worse than getting a shot? They cry for a few seconds and then it's over?

Some who were con said that no, babies do remember and that they look to you for comfort, food, and protection. They don't look to you for pain, even if it is over in a few seconds. My husband's con is that as a little one crawling and toddling there's too much danger of the earrings getting caught on something and pulling and/or tearing. However on the pro side, one woman pointed out that her 10 yr old wouldn't stop playing with hers to the point that they got infected beyond the point of fixing. Yes you're supposed to "twirl" them a few times a day (do they still tell you to do that?) but do 10 yr olds always have clean hands? Apparently not.

So why did I bring up circumcision? Well these same women who were railing against how barbaric it was to watch this baby get her ears pierced probably had no problem getting their sons circumcised. And if you research it, there's no medical necessity for it. I gave birth in the UK and over there you have to ASK to have it done, where here in the US you have to make sure to tell them NOT to do it. People's first excuse is "cleanliness." Basically you're telling me that you're incapable as a parent in teaching your child how to wash himself into adulthood? All of Europe seems to be doing just fine washing themselves.

Jews do it for religious reasons. I believe Muslims do too, but I don't know for certain. I still think it's an unnecessary bit of surgery and all surgery carries risk, but these mothers don't seem to mind about that, but piercing ears they all want laws passed so babies can't have it done. The dichotomy between the two amazes me, especially when pointed out to them, they still don't see it.

So if I am blessed with a son, he will have a bris and will be circumcized. And I'm eagerly awaiting for the day when my husband thinks my daughter is old enough to have her ears pierced.

Now what do you think--are either of these barbaric or is it just a personal choice?

44 comments:

  1. MaryBeth, I am glad to see that you are feeling better (ie: floating over the bed :)) I personally think it's ok to have babies ears pierced, they are so little and won't remember it at all, it's like getting shots, they cry for a few minutes then it's all over (though I know shots are necessary)!!. plus as someone mentioned babies ears are softer so it doesn't hurt as bad and heals quicker and it's easier for mommy to keep clean than a 9 or 10 year old.
    I also think that it was more Josh's idea to have it done, Anna didn't stay so I don't think Mackynzie will think mommy isn't protecting her and all that stuff. No matter what Josh and Anna or even the Duggars for that matter do, everyone will have an opinion and since it's all taped everyone will see it and say things..

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  2. We had our son circumcised, but it was a really agonizing decision for me to make. He was in so much pain from his severe reflux, probable calcium overload from his syndrome, and other GI issues that I ended up feeling horrible adding to his pain, even for a short time. The doctor who did it was about a billion years old, and he seemed less than kind. However, because our son will likely have trouble with hygiene issues because of cognitive problems, though, maybe it was best in the long run. Personally, I think pierced ears on babies are creepy. I was allowed to get my ears pierced when I was in junior high, and it was a really special deal. I would have missed out on the hoopla if they had pierced my ears as an infant. Just my two cents.

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  3. I have to girls with pierced ears. It never crossed my mind to have it done when they were babies. My youngest had hers done first, when she was 3 (now 5). She wanted earings like June on Little Einsteins. And my oldest who is now 8, had hers done last fall. For the longest time she said she was going to wait until she was even older than that. We let them both decide when.

    I don't have boys and never even discussed whether to circumsize or not.

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  4. Well I was on that discussion post too, so you perhaps already know my views but...
    I have 3 problems with ears being pierced as a baby. Firstly I worry that babies can easily catch those little studs on hands, toys etc or that playfellows as toddlers can also easily do it; secondly I see it as unneccessary - why run the risk of problems for something so very cosmetic (bearing in mind that in the news this week was a 15 yr old whose new tongue piercing sudden;y started to gush and she had to be rushed to A&E) but I'm going to be brave hear and say that thirdly when I was growing up only working classes had babies ears pierced... it was a very cheap thing to do and done by mothers who didn't know any better, were probably on benefits and lived on council estates. Ok now that was how I as a child, in the 70s and early 80s saw it. That attitude is kind of hard to get past - that I see a baby with pierced ears and I think 'gosh doesn't that Mum know any better' a relic from my very middle class British upbringing.
    Circumcision both male and even more so female I also think barbaric. I have studies Old Testament law etc and understand the whys etc and for male Jews I can see that it is important - for religious reasons only. For Christians - i think it is cultural - we have no need to do it, as made clear in Acts.
    Female circumcision is absolutely barbaric, sick and very dangerous.
    I have heard many cultural myths about male circumcision and why do it - and not heard one that in my mind could justify it.
    But as alway this is how I feel, I don't expect or assume others feel the same way and don't feel that I have any right to impose my view on them.... as long as it's legal, each to their own.

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    1. I know that this discussion is dead, and years old, but what you're saying here is pretty insulting. The phrase "Working classes" offends me (I work, and am not ashamed of this, my mother worked too, and to use that as an insult is horrible) and to imply that someone doing something so innocuous (you may not see it as such, but many do) as piercing THEIR OWN child's ears "doesn't know any better" is very, very insulting. It makes you sound like you think you're better than others based on something that, in the grand scheme, is ridiculously small. (No, I don't believe you think you're better than others, just trying to give a perspective on your words, as they did offend me and I was a bit shocked that no one else had responded XD )

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  5. oh and I am starting two new painkillers - so I join you in the haze, Maybeth. I fit doesn't make sense I really do appologise

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  6. I LOVE seeing little girls with their ears pierced! I was so happy to see that Anna had her baby's ears pierced. We kind of guessed Anna would since her ears are pierced as well. I think it is very "girly". I like pierced ears better than some of those head bands the Duggar infants wear.

    My mom pierced my ears when I was 1 month old. I'll be 40 soon. My second hole I got for my 8th grade prom. Just pinched a little. I LOVE ear rings and feel naked without them. Strange huh?

    I've been watching the Duggars for years and I just noticed about 2 months ago that none of the girls have pierced ears. Well, they have so much hair and maybe that why I didn't notice at first. Are Amy's ears pierced?

    Circumcision around here has to do with the dad mostly. If Dad is circumcized, then the son gets circumcized. I met very few people who do it for religious reasons. I have a friend who simply didn't want her son to have to worry with pulling his foreskin back to clean it. She also admitted that she had 4 other little butts to keep clean and felt it would make things quicker for them both.

    I don't think it is barbaric. It's a parent's personal choice.

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    1. I COMPLETELY agree with the circumcision thing you said!!! Are you American or no? And is your husband. The earring thing I'm whatever about but my mom wouldn't do it now even though she did it to my sister and i when we were weeks old.

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    2. I know this is way old, but you DO NOT PULL BACK THE FORESKIN TO CLEAN IT!!! You leave it alone, wipe like a finger, outside only. It is fused at birth and meant to be a protective covering to keep bacteria out. Every time you retract the foreskin, you introduce bacteria, can cause microtears and scarring, bleeding, irritations....things that can cause problems into adulthood. If you leave it alone, it's actually more hygienic to have a foreskin. Americans unfortunately aren't educated about caring for normal male anatomy. It should be the person's decision when he is old enough to decide for himself which body parts he would like permanently amputated. Those parts aren't extra; God doesn't make mistakes.

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  7. I believe both are wrong for a parent to choose these for a child outside of a medical necessity. I have an intact son and I never even considered having him circumsized. IF he was one of the very small percentages of boys who had a medical reason - penil cancer, frequent, painful UTI's - then I would consider it but the chances of a boy having on of those in a developed country are like a million to 1. I also think that a parent should not choose for a daughter to have her ears pierced. Wait until she is old and mature enough to decide and accept responsibility for her own cleanliness and up-keep and mature enough to handle to relatively small amont of discomfort that comes with it. I think the key to ear piercing is understanding. A baby has no clue as to why Mom is standing there holding her down so some stranger can inflict massive (yes for a baby I believe it is massive) pain on her! Where as a teen or pre-teen girl understands (or should before being allowed to have this done) the ramifications.
    With that being said...on the other side of the coin I do not believe it is my place to tell another parent what choices he or she should make for their child, especially considering I would be the first person to tall them to go to you know where if someone told me I had to or I couldn't make an educated decision concerning my own child.

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  8. My children (males, of course0 were circumcised. I didn't have any problem with it. I agreed with both the health and the look just like daddy thought.I got my ears pierced at 14, because I wanted to. My thought on this is that ear piercing is purely for show, and that the girl should be old enough to decide for herself.

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    1. The boy too should be old enough to be able to decide if he wants to be cut. I'm pretty sure he'd say heeeeeck no!

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  9. I didn't get my son circumcised for many reasons we had no religious reason too, I had heard he would have more sexual feeling in his penis if left intact, I thought that God put it there for a reason who am I to cut it off and I thought it wasn't my choice but rather his(it's not like he can regrow the skin if he wants later). My husband and I taught my son to clean early on and we have never had an issue in the almost 10 years of his life. Those were my husband and my choices I by no means am saying this is the only path people should take.

    I did get my daughters (I have 3 )ears done as babies and never had a problem with infection or them getting them caught on things. One of my daughters had it done as she was napping and she didn't even wake up. I have seen many kids who have had it done later in life and they suffered a few infections and even getting them caught on shirts because they weren't used to them. I loved how pretty my girls looked with their earings and my twins who are almost 13 have thanked me for doing it when they were little. My 6 year old wears little diamonds her grandmother gave her and she loves them. Yes I admit I did it for show, it's not like I did it to make them smarter. I also dressed them in dresses and did what little hair they had up pretty. I enjoyed playing dressup with my little girls and I am glad I did it when I could because now at almost 13 my twins dress how they like and I have little say.

    I want to also add that my son had his ears pierced at 7 after begging to have it done. I would never have made that choice for him as a baby because he is a male and it is not standard to have mens ears done. My son cried for days after having his ears done he is almost 10 and he still won't change his earings because he says it will hurt to take them out and put them back in. He did get an infection but not a bad one but he had never caught them on anything.

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    1. It's true the skin won't grow back and If you were to ask him if he wants it done when he is old enough I'm almost 100% positive he wouLd say NO!!!! The piercings can close up if the girls didn't want them.

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  10. For those of you who left your sons in tact...their future wives will thank you *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* :) let's just say I've dated both and you can tell the difference hahaha ribbed for her pleasure? ok Too Much Info time...

    I still cannot convince my husband to let me pierce my daughter's ears....he's sure she'll get them caught on something, pull on them, some other child in play group will pull on them...any number of horrible things...I wish we had done it at birth, but that's too late now...oh well

    I am not excited for a bris for any future son we have, but as a Jew I don't have much choice...but Hashem knows what He's doing...maybe we'll be blessed with girls :)

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  11. Marybeth you are hilarious !

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  12. Discrete LOL, my children are in the room...
    But you are right an intact male has much more sensation and gives more sensation...

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  13. My daughter got her ears pierced when she was 6. I wanted her to be old enough to want them done but also to understand that there was pain involved. She asked me "will it hurt" and I said yes. I don't like to lie to my kids. As soon as she sat down and got nervous the girl piercing them said "this wont even hurt". I blurted out "She's lying!" and my daughter and I still laugh about that. She cried for a couple seconds until she got her hands on a mirror and saw her earrings, lol. Then she was done crying and just wanted to get home and show daddy.

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  14. While parents, of necessity, must make many decisions for their children until they are of age to make them on their own, i do not believe that parents have the right to make irreversible changes to their children's bodies without a very pressing medical need. I do not believe that circumcision (or ear piercing, for that matter) are a matter of personal choice, and i don't think that parents should *have* the choice. I do understand that, as a culture, we do largely consider these issues to be parental choices, and i certainly know several parents who have made the choice to alter their child's body who are, without a doubt, GOOD PARENTS. The issue isn't whether a particular set of parents is barbaric for making the choice, but our need to re-examine our 'cultural norms' surrounding this issue in order for us to do better by our children. This is especially true since MOST circumcisions (at least in the US) are NOT done for strict religious requirements. (And no ear piercings are, obviously) Most are done out of habit. It is encouraging to me that this issue is being talked about, and indeed, the rate of circumcisions in the US is less than it once was- in most of the country, it is less than half (as low as 20% out west i believe), although in some regions it is still high (esp in the south). [Please be encouraged to check those percentages.]
    It is interesting to hear you say that you would prefer not to have a bris for any son you might have, but feel you have no choice because of your religious requirements. Very few parents fall into that category, and i think that if we *must* permit some circumcisions, those "required" should be the only ones permitted. (My personal conviction is that God made the body the way he wanted it, and circumcising for God's sake is misguided. And even if it weren't, a circumcision performed on an infant is a profession of a parent's devotion, not that of the child, who has not reached an age where he can decide for himself what he believes about God.)
    Just found your Duggar blog today. Thanks for creating it. It is interesting to follow what's going on with the Duggars, as i don't have a tv (intentionally) and thus i saw ONE Duggar show, ONCE, at someone else's home. (They had their 15th child then, i believe, and at the end were expecting a 16th.)

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    1. Oh my gosh I agree!!! God put it there and now we should cut it off? The US has one of the highest percentages an not even for religious reasons. And so true about the parents devotion!!!

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  15. Personally, I wish my mom had pierced my ears when I was a baby. At least then she would have fuond out early on my sensitivity to jewelry that was not real gold or sterling silver and I would not have had all the pain and annoyance of constantly getting the holes infected when I was older. I got my ears pierced when I was 3 and to this day I hardly wear earrings despite WANTING to and I am terrified of getting a second hole, even though I would like to. My experience was sooo awful. I couldn't help but flinch and the gun actually got caught halfway through in one of my ears, so she had to take it out re-align it and that just ended up in a big mess because you had to feel around now to get an earring through that ear. I can honestly say I do not remember anything from before I was 2 and even at 2 i only remember vague images, mostly based off photographs.

    i personally think its so much easier to do it on a baby. i personally was traumatized by my experience as a young child and wish i didnt remember it, and that my mother found out earlier, before i could remember, that i was allergic to whatever was in the none precious metal jewelrly. that way I wouldn't remember the pain and the puss in my ears and then getting all red to the point I couldn't sleep because laying down on my side (preferred sleeping position my whole life) caused me extreme pain. would not have remembered it as a baby.

    and honestly, circumcising boys isnt needed, but just looks a lot better. and since my man is i think its just goign to be easier. a conversation abuot pulling back the foreskin is not something i want to talk about to my child (had to explain it to an ex whose mother never told him - i dont know how he went without infections for so long).

    i understand about not making changes to a childs body without their consent, but parents do so many things to their children mentally and emotionally without their consent. in addition, i know someone who got circumicised when older and said it was excruciating. and pierced ears can and will close.

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    1. So I'd it was excruciating why would you do it to a baby who isn't under? An older person is asleep but a baby doesn't get anything and the screeeeching kills me. Go watch a video of it being done to a baby.

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  16. This is just a quick FYI: Anna did not decide to have Kynzie's ears pierced. It was Joshes decision and Anna actually had a really hard time with it--actually left the Claire's where they had it done during the actual procedure. There was a webisode on the TLC website that has since been taken down detailing the piercing. There was also a topic on the TLC board called "Tears on her Pillow" that discussed the piercing. I was actually surprised that Josh would want to have it done, because he's a guy and guys don't usually think about things like that (at least my husband doesn't:). But, I think it's probably a sign that Josh and Anna are carving out their own way of life by combining their upbringings and synthesizing them which is nice to see:)

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  17. I had my son circumcised because of how I was brought up. I had never seen a newborn baby boy with a recent circumcision so I didn't know what to expect. When the nurse showed me it the first time I had to hold back a gag. It was horrible. My husband had agreed to the circumcision because he had to have a circumcision later in life for medical purposes and he didn't want his son to experience any real pain. I thought my husband was going to pass out when he saw our son. My husband wouldn't change his diaper for the first 2 weeks until it healed. So, I know it hurts and it looks horrible.

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    1. If I had a husband who wanted it done (cuz I would never) I wouldn't change it for weeks either.

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  18. The duggars are gonna to what they're gonna do. I personaly think ear piercing on a child that is not old enough to consent is barbaric. The child cries for several minutes. I saw someone hold down their child at the mall once and it was awful. I told my husband he would be divorced if he ever let that happen. However, I recently read somewhere about asking your pediatrician for some numbing cream or something of the sort and that really makes me wonder if it would be ok to pierce ears with it. I almost fainted when I had mine done and I was eleven though I was mature enough to handle the pain. Now as for circumcison, I'm really torn. In St. Louis, you do not have to tell the doctor not to circumsize.

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    1. Watch a baby circumcision video on YouTube and I think you'll know whether you'd want to or not.

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  19. The bible says that people who are uncircumsized are heathens and as for earrings its about personal choice.

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    1. The bible doesn't say we have to do it. God put the skin there why would we have to cut it off? And the circumcision in the bible was old testament.

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  20. well Anonymous, around here we prefer you site your statements with proof and since I'm Jewish, I don't know the Bible...I do know the Torah and know that Jewish boys are circumcised on the 8th day after their birth, but Christians aren't required to be....so if there's a Bible verse in the New Testament that states that, please site your source, otherwise, we'll treat your comment as pure opinion...

    My father was a Presbyterian and NOT by any stretch of the imagination a heathen..and only because he's passed on will I over-share and say that he wasn't "cut"....because back in the 1920s you didn't do that...so, thank you, but no, my father was anything but a heathen!

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  21. Marybeth, I am going to jump into this circumcision discussion with both feet. I am the mom of 6 boys (3 natural, 1 adopted, 2 foster). We chose when we found out that we first pregnant that if it was a boy that we would circumsize. Why? Well, many reasons but truly to begin with it was because my dad was, my brother was and my husband was. But after I discussed it with our pediatrician to be I was told he wouldn't do it unless I researched it. So I did. After that I was more certain I wanted to do it. But it was my husband's and my choice totally. We had to wait a week after he was born and it was awful! I cried the entire time. With our 2nd son the doctor just came in and whisked him away and did it (so much easier on me). With the 3rd one he was a preemie so we had to wait until he was 6 weeks old. They did it in the hospital and our pediatrician was a wonderful jewish doctor who had done a zillion of them, it was definitely the easiest of them. When we adopted our 4th we had to get the birth mom's ok before they would do it and we had to wait for a week after all the paperwork had been done. By then it was old hat. Now our oldest is 17 and we have had many discussions about it (he was 15 when we adopted) and he is very happy with our choice. Does he know any different? Only what he has seen in the PE locker room and from my daycare kids. But so far no complaints.

    Since I have no girls I won't real respond to the earring debate but I would say with boys in the house I would never have a wee one with earrings, they would have pulled them out of her head in minutes. I know from expercience with my earrings. If I only had girls.... maybe I would have.

    Now regarding Anonymous' bible reference. I knew I had read some where in the bible something like that but I figured it was probably out of context. I was right. Here is what I found. It came from Ephesians 2:11 Don't forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called "uncircumcised heathens" by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. (New Living Translation) Now I am not a bible scholar but I decided to read the entire passage and my understand of it is that it had to do with our becoming one with Christ. Not the literal circumcision but a "circumcision" of the heart. So, Anonymous, you really should spout bible verses without really reading it. God does not ask for us to judge others but to love them.

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  22. Yes, it is better to pierce the baby's ears right after she is born, a long time ago, the hospital would do it for you, I don't know if they still will.

    The reason is not just the pain, for those first few days the baby will not be as likely to touch the ears as she will if you wait until she is older.

    And really, piercing ears cannot be compared with circumcision.

    I am not a penis owner but I don't have to be one to know that. Yes the ear might hurt for a second, but circumcision is going to hurt for a LOT longer.

    Unless people feel like they have to do it to babies for religious reasons, that is something I think you can just leave to nature. There is no reason to put a baby through that, not to mention decreasing the pleasure he will be able to feel from sexual intimacy for the rest of his life.

    If it turns out that he NEEDS to be circumcised, for hygienic or health or comfort reasons, then by all means do it, but that will only be the case for a small percentage of boys.

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  23. THE FORESKIN IS THERE FOR A REASON!

    God does not make mistakes!

    "The foreskin has three known functions: protective, sensory, and sexual.

    During infancy, the foreskin is attached to the glans and protects it from urine, feces, and abrasions from diapers. Throughout life, the foreskin keeps the glans soft and moist and protects it from trauma and injury. Without this protection, the glans becomes dry, calloused, and desensitized from exposure and chafing.

    Specialized nerve endings in the foreskin enhance sexual pleasure.

    The foreskin may have functions not yet recognized or understood."

    http://www.healthcentral.com/drdean/408/9987.html


    As a woman, I am disgusted with many other womens' attitudes towards a man who is intact. That is the way that God made them... I find nothing wrong with the intact penis. I would prefer an intact penis over circumcised any day. Why would you want a mutilated penis with scarring, premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction? I don't.

    For more information please visit the sites below:


    http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/christian.html
    -Circumcision from a Christian point of view

    http://www.infocirc.org/fourn.htm
    -Infection due to circumcision

    http://sagaciousmama.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/20-reasons-i-did-not-circumcise-my-son/
    -20 reasons a sane mother would not circumcise her son

    http://www.newparent.com/baby/a-dads-view-of-circumcision/
    -A Dad's view of circumcision

    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/death-from-circumcision.html
    -Death from circumcision & blood loss

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109926392378329&v=app_2373072738&ref=ts#!/note.php?note_id=111810405522517&id=100000845642383&ref=share
    - Other biblical information for Christians

    http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
    - Functions of the foreskin

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2002/06/prweb41148.htm
    -Circumcision causes lifelong harm




    You can also watch Penn & Teller's episode on Circumcision from their Bulls*** series.
    - Penn has an updated video talking about it again here: http://www.crackle.com/c/Penn_Says/We_re_Still_Right_About_Circumcision/2479092#ml=o%3d12%26fpl%3d445534%26fx%3d

    Three are also several videos of actual infant circumcisions on YouTube and around the web, you may find it interesting to watch one for yourself.

    These are more helpful websites on circumcision:

    ~http://www.mothering.com/health/should-we-circumcise

    ~http://www.nocirc.org/

    ~http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/

    ~http://www.circinfosite.com/

    ~http://www.circumstitions.com/

    ~http://www.cirp.org/

    ~http://www.noharmm.org/

    ~http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/

    ~http://www.circumcision.org/

    ~http://www.mgmbill.org/

    ~http://www.circumcisionandhiv.com/

    ~http://nurses.cirp.org/

    ~http://www.studentsforgenitalintegrity.org/

    ~http://www.intactamerica.org/

    ~http://www.asnatureintended.info/

    ~http://www.icgi.org/

    ~http://www.theridgedband.info/

    ~http://www.notjustskin.org/

    ~http://www.drmomma.org/

    ~http://www.stopinfantcircumcision.org/

    ~http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

    ~http://www.sexuallymutilatedchild.org/

    ~http://www.sicsociety.org/

    ~http://www.arclaw.org/

    ~http://www.norm.org/

    ~http://www.tlctugger.com/

    ~http://www.quran.org/khatne.htm

    ~http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

    ~http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/

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    1. Faith I agree with every single thing you said!! I do like a guy who they did it to as an infant but I already know he wouldn't do it to his kids.

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    2. Oh and thanks for the websites. I have seen YouTube videos and if I was into it, after watching that I'd quickly change my mind.

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  24. Not only is circumcision against God's will but it removes a child's choice in regards to his own body.

    I think first and foremost, the owner of the penis in question should have a choice in regards to their body.

    I'm not making that choice for my children because I am against all forms of genital mutilation and that should be their choice. I'm not taking it away from them.

    "Actually, the circumcision covenant in the Bible was for the Jewish people, not for followers of Christ. Paul makes this very clear in Galatians chapter 5:

    “5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified [1] by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
    ~English Standard Version

    “If you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” “You are severed from Christ…”


    With that said... even those of the Jewish community are starting to stand back from cutting and now performing a Brit Shalom instead - no cutting - just a naming ceremony. (Not all, but some.)

    Jewish mens' foreskins were never supposed to be fully amputated. It was a small slit at the tip to shed blood as a covenant with God.

    Beyond religious reasoning - there are several other reasons NOT to circumcise children in general:

    There is no medical benefit - That is why no medical or health organization in the world will recommend routine infant circumcision.

    It will NOT prevent STDs - only safe sex practices and abstinence will do that.

    "Castration reduces the chance of HIV by 99%, the chance of testicular cancer by 100%, is much more aesthetically pleasing than the wrinkled prune sack, is much easier to clean since there’s no testicles, and if...some tissue is stored, the person will still be able to reproduce. And there are no studies proving that it reduces sexual satisfaction, either. This is an argument in favor of castrating infants? No, that’s silly. However, it’s identical to the pro-circumcision argument."

    "Why are people even doing this research. You wouldn’t cut off any other healthy functional part of your body on the off chance that it may later be involved in a disease."

    Circumcision does not prevent a Urinary Tract Infection. UTIs in men are extremely rare - women get them more often because of the shorter urethra and cleanliness. Women have more to clean than men do and harbor more bacteria to cause a UTI. Think about it - there are several folds in a woman's genitalia that have to be cleaned and it's one swipe with a man.

    An intact penis or 'uncircumcised' penis is not any harder to clean than a circumcised penis. During infancy the foreskin is fused tightly to the glans of the penis. - ONLY CLEAN WHAT IS SEEN! When the child reaches adolescence they will be able to retract their foreskin when they are ready. It does not require any different cleaning than a circumcised penis. (When cleaning - the same motions are used that a circumcised man would use.)

    ***Note: When the intact penis is erect the foreskin retracts itself.

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  25. Thanks for raising this very important question. While ear piercing is solely a cosmetic procedure, much like tattooing, circumcision is an operation that removes functional, healthy genital tissue from a non-consenting individual (not only changing the appearance of the penis but the function of this delicate organ). Here are my thoughts on this matter...
    Circumcision, Already Illegal?:
    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/circumcision-already-illegal.html

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  26. "Now what do you think--are either of these barbaric or is it just a personal choice?"

    Well, technically, it's not really a parent's choice to make when it comes to doing something permanent and disfiguring to a child's *healthy* body. The child is not a piece of property. His/her body is NOT the parent's - it belongs to the child and he/she should be allowed to remain whole until the child can decide for his or her own self. This may take until they reach adulthood (in the case of something so invasive as cutting their genitals). Most often, a male child who's bodily integrity has been respected will have zero issues with their intact penis and will very intelligently decide to leave it alone when they're an adult.

    Any unnecessary and cosmetic cutting or piercing on a child who cannot give consent is wrong. The difference between piercing ears and amputating healthy genital tissue is that the skin can usually grow back on a pierced ear ... yes, it will leave a scar but the hole often closes.

    With the mutilation of male infants, this is not the case. And given the fact that there is no medical reason for it, it's ultimately a cosmetic/cultural practice. IMO, it should be outlawed - I don't think even religion should give parents the supposed 'right' (or 'choice') to assault the sex organs of another human being. We would never abide them doing the same horrible thing to another person. Children deserve the same legal respect and protection from unnecessary cutting as anyone else.

    Out of the two, the genital mutilation of infants is far worse - but neither should be done to a baby, imo.

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  27. "I personaly think ear piercing on a child that is not old enough to consent is barbaric.

    [...]

    Now as for circumcison, I'm really torn."

    See, this is amazing to me that anyone would think piercing a child's ears is barbaric/wrong, but somehow circumcision is more difficult to form an opinion about???

    How can one be 'torn' about the issue of unnecessarily amputating healthy genital tissue from a child?

    You think a child crying for several minutes during an ear piercing is bad?? Try watching an infant's reaction when their foreskin is being ripped from their glans, and they're being cut on for several minutes, screaming the whole time, choking, crying, high-pitched wails, and sometimes slipping into a state of shock.

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  28. wow all of a sudden this topic got popular...a couple of you may notice 2 comments were rejected...i don't have many rules but a) no foul language and b) no attacks on other people that comment...so if you wish to repost while following those rules, you are welcome to :) thanks for your support and a lot of great comments!

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  29. I am a physician who had to watch and assist circumcisions during my training, and I found the procedure so disturbing to watch, I vowed I would NEVER perform it - patients could find another physician.

    If you have to actually watch this brutal procedure, even once, you will think hard before subjecting infant boys to it. Frankly, I think it ought to be outlawed, except in cases of religious conviction or medical need.

    If you are a parent thinking of doing this - as a doctor, I beg you to reconsider and watch several videos, and read about the risks (I knew at least one family whose son was mutilated by a poorly performed circ - yes, they sued - but can you put a price on that???)

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  30. http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

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  31. I dislike both procedures for babies.
    Ear piercing should be done by a professional piercer, not a Claire's employee with a piercing gun.... The child should be able to communicate a desire for the piercing and be at an appropriate age to understand the pain and necessary after care.

    I do think circumcision of infants and minors without medical need is barbaric and cruel. Forced circumcisions of male and female minors happens around the world in various cultures and is unethical. Yes, the elders may be carrying out their cultural traditions but that doesn't mean that the tradition is humane, ethical and not ritual abuse.
    Even in medical infant circumcisions proper pain relief for pre/during/post surgical procedure may not be effectively administered because the child is so small the amount of pain relief given is minimal for safety reasons.

    Boys and girls can be damaged sexually for life if a circumcision is done wrong or becomes infected.
    The child should be able to choose, when the child is mature enough to understand the consequences of circumcision and the aftercare necessary. If the circumcision is of a religious nature the child needs to know what it is for and accept the responsibility of the faith.

    (Please excuse typos)

    🌸roxanne🌸

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