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What and why?

      The purpose of this page is to look at adult vs infant circumcision. As a side note, there are no pictures of the operation here, but words aren't all your should expose yourself to, not with something permanent, there a pictures and videos out there as well. If you do not view them, it is difficult to fully understand what is done. Many people in the US think getting it done as an infant is best, but why? What complications/risks are there between the two? How is pain different? What about remembering the procedure? What about cost and healing time? How about consent?

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Adult circ vs Infant circ.

      This is not a medical risk analysis, for that, go here. You may also wish to read my personal experience with be circumcised as an infant.


      For starters, the most important to me is consent and understanding. An adult can research and understand if circumcision is what he wants to do. Is the argued about reduction in contracting HIV worth it? Will he take the gamble on his life, or wear a condom? Regardless of what stuff is argued and debated about at the time he decides it is ultimately him making the choice, whether he regrets it later or not. Another thing is that as an adult he will make the decision with the current medical knowledge, not with 15, 20 or even more years outdated material that his parents could have used, if they even researched it. His parents decided their personal preference was "good enough for them" so it will be "good enough for him"... they were ok with it, so why not get their son done? But should personal preference be pushed in this way... its permanent, no going back? Why shouldn't their son be able to decide what he wants?

      Perhaps the parents were told about medical benefits. Wouldn't good medical benefits place it more in the parental choice side? I mean, parents will vaccinate their kids to prevent problems. However, even IF the medical benefits argued about for circ were all true and accurate, most of them apply to adults, while vaccines protect the child... if you wait until they can choose for vaccines, it may be to late. Vaccines also don't remove part of the body permanently or cause psychological/emotional problems like circumcision can. Also, side effects/complications from the circumcision procedure itself would negate any supposed prevention benefits for the child. Because of these issues, consent and understanding for the child isn't trumped by medical reasons.
Many of these reasons help fuel the decline of infant circumcision and has even led to bans in Australia and Germany, while being considered in Sweden and in general has been on the radar for legal consideration.

      Some people also like to bring up the removal of tonsils, appendix, wisdom teeth, etc. However, most of the time these are removed when there is or will soon be a problem, they are not recommended before anything goes wrong. People undergoing these procedures also receive proper pain prevention. And not only that, they are unseen, internal parts removed. They are also not used in something as sensual as sex. A person's genitals are something deeply important and personal. Taking away their choice there can be much worse.


      Another issue is pain. You have probably heard various stories when it comes to this, i know i have. He cried and cried it was horrible, he cried but the pacifier (dipped in sugar) helped, he cried a little but was fine after. There are different reactions to the pain because people deal with it different ways. Some are able to use use distractions to try and cope, some go into a more unconscious state (some might call a partial coma), but others cant break away from the pain. However, on top of those stories, you might have also heard that babies don't feel pain. Maybe doctors used to think that, but no longer (despite how much people want to believe it). This myth lingers because of those infants that have the "unconscious" response to the pain and because people get this mixed up with, babies wont remember the pain. But come on, "don't remember the pain", what the?? Ok, ok, I can see why people want to think "its not so bad", but here's a scenario. I gave myself a nasty paper cut the other day, the memory of it is no big deal (honestly, I'm fine), but right when it happened was the worst... the searing pain as the paper cut through my skin, followed by the throbbing reminder and bumping it in to things until it healed. Place anything you like in that scenario, broken bones, twisted ankle, slamming you finger in the door, falling down the stairs, getting teeth pulled, maybe even circumcision as an adult, whatever. Experiencing the pain at that time was probably the worst of the whole ordeal, the only time that remembering is an issue is when whatever happened is still affecting you, examples here would be, rape, death in the family, paralysis, loss of a finger, birth defect, or an unwanted circumcision.

      So that is why I hate when people try to say, "he wont remember it" because he sure is experiencing it. However, lets say for whatever reason he managed to feel no pain during the procedure... what about afterwards? I didn't need meds after that paper cut I got, but circumcision? You really think that Tylenol is going to be enough? That removing/applying bandages, pulling off the adhesions (remaining foreskin trying to reattach to the glans), isn't painful? You really think getting urine/feces in the wound is no big deal? Eh, sorry for the image... but come on. And that is only in the short term.... in the long term he could have any or all the personal/pleasure issues I already talked about. You don't have to experience the pain to feel consequences from what happened or be upset that it did.

      For a consenting adult who can get the proper pain meds and express the level of pain, not only is the pain minimized, the psychological/emotional problems are eliminated (unless perhaps he regrets it), he can "customize" his circumcision to how he wants it, no urine/feces in wound, retractable/unfused foreskin (an infant's foreskin is "fused" to the glans), and the glans/head of the penis is "fresher" allowing for better sensitivity after the circ then one exposed since birth. The only real drawback compared to infant circ is cost, but I wouldn't want to skimp on pain meds, and given the other issues, it would be worth it... and leaves it all up to him.

Finally, I couldn't help but put up this quote talking about a mother-in-law who gave a nice baby present....

"The circ care kit (gauze, lotion, etc)!!?!?!?!? Yea, that's a great new baby gift!!
I like the "intact care kit" - love, care, and protection!"

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