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Circumcision: Is it for Mormons or not?

June 12, 2009

My journey in this post begins with a recent (and popular) topic on Further Light and Knowledge, simply entitled: Circumcision.

Now, I dunno…I thought this has already been resolved. I remember my parents telling me matter-of-factly that in Mormonism, circumcision wasn’t required.

And so I’d ask, “So…why did you guys have it done to me?”

And my mom or dad would answer just as matter-of-factly: “Because if you don’t get it, that’s nasty.”

So, perhaps there are different culture signals. Yet, actually, I think I can explain. My parents weren’t born LDS…they were rather late converts…and in fact, from the world they come from and the churches they were raised in, circumcision is still necessary. And at the very least, they come from an American culture that, even without religious justifications, can come up with many, many reasons to cut. Many reasons may be false; many may be half-truths; many may be exaggerated, but whatevere the case, these reasons seem to persist.

But I had thought, surely, that the practice would be out for Mormons. Yet, other bloggers ask: Why do LDS still circumcise?

The reason why this question is valid, and not just answerable with “Why not?” is because, at least theoretically, Mormons have authoritative guidance on the issue. Moroni 8:8 and D+C 74:5-7 speak rather clearly about these issues…at least, if I’m not reading them incorrectly:

8 aListen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the bwhole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little cchildren are dwhole, for they are not capable of committing esin; wherefore the curse of fAdam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of gcircumcision is done away in me.

and

5 Wherefore, for this cause the apostle wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself, that a believer should not be aunited to an bunbeliever; except the claw of Moses should be done away among them,

6 That their children might remain without circumcision; and that the atradition might be done away, which saith that little children are unholy; for it was had among the Jews;

7 But little achildren are bholy, being csanctified through the datonement of Jesus Christ; and this is what the scriptures mean.

Now, I am just a tad bit worried that I’m not fully comprehending this. As it notes…for this cause the apostle wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself. This could actually be an LDS reinterpretation of Paul’s original words in 1st Corinthians 7:14…as Jack wrote about recently on her blog. As she wrote, Mormons have an incredibly opposite interpretation of the words than what Paul may originally have meant. So in the end, I’m confused.

For more reading, here’s Feminist Mormon Housewives’s approach. May link to more later. Linking is good. It gets traffic :3

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51 Comments
  1. It does seem like circumcision holds the same function in LDS theology as infant baptism as per these scriptures, doesn’t it? That you shouldn’t be trying to justify your child by fulfilling the law of Moses through circumcision when your child is born free from sin as per the atonement.

    A point that I regularly find myself having to make to Mormons is that infant baptism isn’t always done to “cleanse” the child of sin; it’s done as a symbol of the covenant and to signify the child’s membership in the religious community, similar to what Mormons do when they baptize children with severe mental disorders (Down Syndrome, autism, etc.) who are regarded as free from sin.

    Likewise, circumcision can be performed for a load of health reasons that have nothing to do with religion, and in that context I don’t think Mormons are wrong if they do it.

    • In countries where females are circumcised they have the excuses of health reasons as well. The most common form of female circumcision is where the clitoral hood is removed. This is also known as the prepuce. In males the prepuce is the foreskin. The most common form of female circumcision is identical to male circumcision and yet it is illegal to do that form of circumcision to a female infant. This is gender discrimination against males.

  2. I have most commonly seen the health reason for circumcision thing go around…but I think that this sometimes becomes a liability for “faith,” so to speak.

    For example, let’s take the Word of Wisdom. Many members will justify, “well, the WoW must be a great thing, because look at all these health benefits there are.”

    …so what happens if or when research comes out that suggests that a glass of wine or two per day not only *won’t* kill you, but may do some good for you? What happens if current research is upset by new research that suggests the the health benefits of tee-totalism (or circumcision) are either overblown, exaggerated, or misinformed?

    At least with the WoW, members can default to a theology that says have faith anyway. Circumcision, however, has had the knees chopped off.

    Similarly, if there were a way for infant baptism to be “authoritatively” chopped at the knees, so to speak, or even for those with several mental disorders for the LDS analogy, then what? What if the GAs said, “aww, baptizing members who are free from sin…ain’t that cute…BUT IT’S WRONG?”

    It’s unlikely that they would do something like that, but it seems like circumcision has that kind of scriptural (at least, from an LDS perspective) denial. So, are we to suppose that members should do it for purely…dare I say…worldly reasons?

  3. My wife and I had our son circumcised, although even using the word makes it sound like a religious decision which it was not. It was probably a 75% health decision, and (to be honest) 25% cosmetic decision.

    Incidentally, I didn’t even know what circumcision was until later in my teens. It’s really just a non-issue for me, other than adding a little anxiety to the already overwhelming experience of having a new baby.

  4. No medical association recommends infant circumcision.
    You can learn a lot more and read a pamphlet about “Circumcision and Mormonism” by visiting:

    http://www.icgi.org/birth_care_providers.htm

    I recommend watching the videos of an actual infant circumcision, “The Prepuce,” which describes the anatomy and function of the foreskin, and reading the article about complications of circumcision.

  5. There are medical associations which are specifically promoting circumcision as a way to prevent/slow AIDS infections in Africa. The New England Journal of medicine also notes that herpes infections seem to be prevented by circumcision. I have a few links in the article and comments about circumcision in my post about Abraham.

    • Elder Obvious permalink

      Amputating the entire penis will also prevent/slow infection with AIDS and herpes. Doesn’t it make more sense, and isn’t it more faithful to Church teaching to prevent the spread of these diseases by practicing chastity, rather than mutilation?

  6. Andrew ~ I’m not really sure I’m following you when you say that circumcision has “had its knees chopped off.” I’m not going to try to argue the LDS position and defend what their extra scriptures say on it, but the Bible does record that Paul had Timothy circumcised as an adult because he wanted him to be accepted by the Jews (Acts 16:3). That seems to show that there are certain justifications for doing it even if the act no longer has any ritual necessity.

    It’s somewhat unlikely that my husband and I will have a male child, but we’ve talked it over and we’re in favor of circumcision if we do. I’ve read all of the pro and con literature there is; I’ve heard the emotional rants and seen the videos (btw, argument by emotion is such a turn-off to me).

    My two main reasons for wanting it done:

    (1) I have several male friends who had to have it done as older children or adults, for medical or military purposes, sometimes after a lot of suffering. They’ve all told me the same thing: they wish it had been done as infants. Circumcision recovery is a lot harder on adults than it is on newborns.
    (2) I think circumcised penises look better. I’m shallow like that.

    If other people want to not circumcise their kids, more power to them. It’s a free country, isn’t it?

  7. re Jack:

    Oh, all I meant was “circumcision for Mormons theologically has had its theological knees chopped off.” I mean, people can theoretically point to health reasons for anything…and that’s why I made the comparison with the Word of Wisdom. But if scientific or health reasons fail, Mormons could default on the WoW by just saying “It’s a commandment and that’s that” (also, my latest post touches on this…I guess?)

    But at least for LDS members, they can’t do the same for circumcision, because LDS theology *doesn’t* command circumcision. And as you note, LDS theology is very good at eisegesis and “bad exegesis” :3. That’s what I meant.

    That being said, as you point out, there are still other reasons to have it done (and it’s not like the science community has conclusively decided anything — there ARE pros and cons), so it depends on what reasons are most convincing to the parents. As you note, it’s a free country.

  8. I personally believe that making a life altering decision of amputating a piece of your son, while he is a baby, can be potentially harmful in the long run. If a circumcised boy grows up and likes that he’s circumcised, well then there isn’t a problem. But what if he grows up and regrets what his parents had done to him? There is no way to repair the damage a circumcision does to a penis, and unlike pro-circ people say, it’s not just “extra skin.” So for that young man, he’s totally screwed.

    It’s his body, and if he wants the procedure done when he’s grown up, well then that’s his choice. Yeah, he will have to deal with it himself if he wants it done later, but I think he would be in a much better situation then the circumcised boy who grows up and wishes he had his whole penis, because for that young man, there is nothing you can do to fully bring back the functionality of the intact penis.

    I think it’s funny that Mormons make such a big deal about not having more than one piercing in a girl’s ears because it “defileth her temple,” but most wouldn’t think twice about cutting off a piece of their defenseless baby’s genitalia. But that’s just me. 😛

  9. Besides, the whole argument of “well it won’t get infected if you cut off the foreskin” just doesn’t fly with me. To me, that would be the same as saying, “well, if we don’t cut off the big toe, then there’s a strong possibility that he’ll get a hangnail that will hurt and get infected!” Or even saying, “let’s just cut out our baby’s appendix now, so we don’t have to later because it MIGHT get infected!”

  10. To me, that would be the same as saying, “well, if we don’t cut off the big toe, then there’s a strong possibility that he’ll get a hangnail that will hurt and get infected!”

    It’s arguments like this that make the anti-circ lobby sound completely and utterly retarded.

  11. “It’s arguments like this that make the anti-circ lobby sound completely and utterly retarded.”

    How so?

  12. “It’s a free country, isn’t it?”

    Yes it is. So why would you deny your son the freedom to choose if he wants to cut up his penis or not?

  13. “It’s arguments like this that make the anti-circ lobby sound completely and utterly retarded.”

    And it’s statements like these that do nothing to further debate or conversation, because using ad hominem is a very poor choice of convincing someone of your point of view.

    Why would you resort to such base name calling in a forum that has been thus far civil?

    Perhaps because you’re “shallow like that”?

  14. ok, ok, ok, guys, guys.

    To try to play devil’s advocate, Hypatia…couldn’t you conceive of someone seeing your analogy between circumcision and cutting off the big toe as reducing things improperly to the absurd…whereas there are nuances of the circumcision argument that are completely missed in such a rough analogy?

    I would think it would be better to stick with what marcus had asked: “How so?” if you (or me, or anyone else) cannot understand how someone could conceivably have such a reaction.

    re Jack:

    so, yeah, how so?

  15. marcus ~ How so?

    Because it compares the removal of a part of the body holding dubious usefulness for the purpose of circumventing serious physical and infectious problems to the removal of a part of the body with uncontested usefulness for the purpose of circumventing minor nuisances. It goes past apples & oranges, straw-man argumentation into the realm of pure stupidity.

    The appendix comparison is a bit more apt since it is at least comparing two expendable body parts which can pose serious health problems, but removal of the appendix is much more involved, taxing, and expensive than the removal of the foreskin. If an appendix could be removed from infants as easily and cheaply as foreskin can, I suspect more people would opt to have it removed.

    IMO the most compelling argument the anti-circ lobby has is that it should be the man’s choice, and not that of his parents, but the fact that anti-circ lobbyists are overwhelmingly pro-choice on abortion kind of undermines that logic. If a person is pro-life and anti-circumcision, or if a person wants both abortion and circumcision to remain legal while actively discouraging both circumcision and abortion, then I guess those positions are consistent enough. Doesn’t change the fact that there are good reasons for parents to choose for or against it and we ought to live and let live on this because there is no one right answer.

    However, the emotional rhetoric calling circumcision “barbaric” and “genital mutilation,” encouraging people with weak stomachs to get grossed out by videos of the procedure, comparisons to actual genital mutilation in females, and lies about circumcision permanently damaging a man’s sexual health only make the the anti-circ lobby sound like the emo kids most of them are. Convince me with logic and peer-reviewed medical research or quit wasting my time.

    Hypatia ~ So why would you deny your son the freedom to choose if he wants to cut up his penis or not?

    Because in this country it’s my baby, my choice, remember? God bless America.

    Why would you resort to such base name calling in a forum that has been thus far civil? Perhaps because you’re “shallow like that”?

    Because it’s fun, and because I am shallow like that. In any case, I stand by my assessment. Your other arguments were mostly just emotionally-charged rhetoric with no basis in logic, but the toe thing was just plain stupid. Find smarter arguments to support your position or get used to being called names.

    And let me make myself very clear: I think “the man should be allowed to choose for himself” is an excellent reason to not circumcise your son. I completely respect anyone who chooses not to circumcise their son for that reason.

    I just think most of the other arguments being offered by the anti-circ lobby are trash.

    • Teddy permalink

      And I believe that all arguements offered by the pro-genital mutilation inficted on minors, are trash. So please show why they are trash, as an intact adult man, I can assure that the benefits of having one are clear and many.

    • Zac Andrews permalink

      Whoa, hold on, a second here, Bridgett, and think about what you said (and the fact that you ARE female, so you don’t get to speak for how a boy would feel).
      “Actual” mutilation can not, and will not be justified by being only done to females.
      Honestly.
      I think it’s odd that as a mother you can be so casual about this-it’s on a hypothetical baby’s PENIS, which is considered the second most (behind the testicles) sensitive area of the male body, the foreskin being the first of that sensitive area.
      Also, the birth vs. cutting off a part of your hypothetical baby’s penis is unnerving to me..
      Anyway.
      Cheers, thanks for commenting on the site, and not just being, well, rigidly bound in your opinion, I guess.

  16. Right… I was trying to use something obviously unacceptable to illustrate my point, but I suppose that can go over some people’s heads. I should’ve just stuck to my appendix analogy, however, as many people eventually have it removed. :/

  17. Andrew ~ You already knew I tended to be over the top, right?

    For the record, I’ve heard some dumb arguments from the pro-circ camp, too. “We want the baby to look like his father” is the most notorious culprit. “Circumcised penises look better” in itself is a pretty dumb argument, but I did admit from the outset that it was shallow.

  18. “Because in this country it’s my baby, my choice, remember? God bless America.”

    I’ve come across many people who wish their parents circumcised them because it’s THEIR penis not their mom’s. Just as your child’s penis would be HIS not yours.

    The point that I was trying to make earlier, that so clearly was not understood, was that the basis of removing a perfectly healthy part of a human being’s body on the basis that in the future it MIGHT get infected, is not a good argument, as one could potentially argue for other pieces be cut off. Also, I almost don’t like comparing it to appendix removal either, because I believe the foreskin has more of a function then the appendix does. It’s not just extra skin: http://www.cirp.org/pages/anat/

  19. **I’ve come across many people who wish their parents HADN’T circumcised them because it’s THEIR penis not their mom’s. Just as your child’s penis would be HIS not yours.

    There are even help groups for men trying to deal with the trauma of being circumcised.

  20. re Jack:

    Hell hath no fury…

    But good point on the comparison between pro-choice/pro-life and child’s rights as it relates to both issues. That’s a pretty good one, I think.

  21. I can also see Hypatia’s point (geez, I must sound like quite the waffler).

    It seems to me that the potential for infection actually *isn’t* quite that high, especially in civilized first world areas (so, I kinda deflect the research done in Africa by saying that…there are other ways to avoid these problems that are significantly culturally more available in America). So, it seems that getting it done while young to avoid it while older is a gamble (but a gamble of which there necessarily isn’t a clear cut [puuuuuun] answer). The answers we come to seem more like they say about us and ourselves, rather than much decisively about the objective issue.

  22. Ah, thank you for the clarification. I was dubious at the simple name calling of the “utterly retarded” argument. I believe what Hypatia meant by the Big toe comment was to draw attention to absurdity, and as you mentioned The appendix is much more of a suitable comparison. Their in, I believe was her real argument, that removal of certain superfluous parts of the body before they present a clear and present problem is perhaps not the best of ideas.

    “the anti-circ lobby sound like the emo kids most of them are. Convince me with logic and peer-reviewed medical research or quit wasting my time. ”

    Do you have logic and peer reviewed evidence that anti-circ kids are mostly emo? If not please don’t waste my time.

    sounds like:

    “Your other arguments were mostly just emotionally-charged rhetoric with no basis in logic ”

    I’m so sorry couldn’t resist

    see when we say stuff like this it just give poor Andew a headache. He’s a gentleman, so lets all conduct ourselves with a bit more respect.

    for the record I have no opinion one way or the other on the subject 😉

  23. The only emotionally-charged aspect of this debate for me is people (on either side) trying to tell someone else what they should do with the genitalia of another person’s baby. That is completely inappropriate. I’m fine with information, however, but it seems that the antis are a bit more moralistic on this one.

  24. To use a “big toe” analogy (that’s what they should be called now!), it’s like telling someone else what kind of underwear they should use, how they should parent their kids, or whom they should vote for. Personal decisions.

  25. marcus ~ removal of certain superfluous parts of the body before they present a clear and present problem is perhaps not the best of ideas.

    If that’s the case, then I guess I ought to be pissed at my parents for having my wisdom teeth removed when I was 15. Is there a support group for that?

    Do you have logic and peer reviewed evidence that anti-circ kids are mostly emo?

    Can you really not see how labeling circumcision with an emotionally-charged term like “genital mutation” is emo? I mean, I’m pro-life, but even I know better than to use loaded terms like “murder” and “barbaric” for abortion when I’m discussing it with pro-choicers.

    see when we say stuff like this it just give poor Andew a headache. He’s a gentleman, so lets all conduct ourselves with a bit more respect.

    Yeah, he really doesn’t deserve a rabble-rouser like me hanging out at his blog.

    Oh well. Got your disemvoweler ready yet, Andrew? 😉

    Hypatia ~ My daughter will be 3 this month. Already I’ve put her under the knife twice, once for a double umbilical hernia repair when she was 6 weeks old and once for a cleft palate repair when she was 15 months old. That’s not a perfect comparison because there was no doubt in those situations that she had problems which needed correction, but my point is, parenting is all about making decisions which affect your child’s body when your child is unable to. In some sense, yes, my child’s body is mine until he’s old enough to decide things for himself, and I will choose what I think is best for him.

    You’re swayed by the testimonies of men who say they wish their parents had never circumcised them. There’s nothing wrong with that; I have no problem with people choosing not to circumcise their sons. But I’m swayed by the testimonies of men who say they wish it had been done as infants, and all I really want is for the anti-circ crowd to admit that infant circumcision is a reasonable and healthy choice.

    Andrew ~ IMO, it’s okay to “waffle” on this because there is no one right answer.

    I feel like I should apologize for being so hard on Hypatia’s “big toe” analogy, but truth be told, I’m really not feeling sorry. Hmm. Well, the least I can do is promise to try and behave myself better in the future.

    adamf ~ The only emotionally-charged aspect of this debate for me is people (on either side) trying to tell someone else what they should do with the genitalia of another person’s baby.

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    And now I will probably saunter off and try to get off my soapbox on this topic. Thanks for playing all.

  26. Jack-Sorry, still don’t see how cartooning the other side is constructive, guess I’m just slow.

  27. I can take as much rabble rousing as possible; more comments that are real, genuine comments sound like more comments.

    but if any of you go spammer on me…then measures will have to be taken.

  28. Marcus ~ Sorry, still don’t see how cartooning the other side is constructive, guess I’m just slow.

    Tit for tat, Marcus. I never claimed retaliation was constructive, I only said it was fun.

    Andrew ~ but if any of you go spammer on me…then measures will have to be taken.

    Cn ntrst y n sme chp Vgr???

  29. does sometime y count as a vowel in “you”?

  30. LOL.

    What to do with “y” is always a conundrum for disemvowelers. I usually leave it.

  31. Jack, I never had any problem with what you choose to do as a parent. I was only stating my personal opinion on the matter. I have friends and family who have chosen to circumcise their sons, and I do not judge them for it because I know they would never do anything to intentionally hurt their child.

    I tried to say from the get go that I was simply stating how I felt about the whole matter. And I never tried to speak for the entire “anti-circ” group. I even started by saying, “I personally believe.”

    I didn’t mean to bring your parenting skills into question, but when you got personal with me, my knee jerk reaction was to get personal with you.

    I feel I should apologize for bringing your non-existent son into the matter, however, I don’t really feel sorry. So I won’t.

  32. Hypatia ~ I don’t take any of this personally. As you pointed out, I don’t have a son. As I pointed out, I’m unlikely to have one. As we can probably all see, I hail from a gender that lacks a penis. That means I don’t have a personal stake in this fight of any kind. 😉

    I didn’t really mean to “get personal” with you, but what can I say. I’m kind of a jerk. There’s just no help for it.

    Take care.

  33. It’s in conversations like these where I’m absolutely thrilled to come from a gender that lacks a penis.

    Sorry boys. 🙂

  34. *personally*, I’ll take circumcision any day repeatedly without anesthetic over childbirth.

    I don’t know how true it is what they say: “If men bore the children, we just would die out,” but my motto: “no pain….no pain!”

  35. ***EXPLICIT JOKE WARNING***

    Andrew ~ I’ll take circumcision any day repeatedly without anesthetic over childbirth.

    I would too. In fact, that sounds like a great thing to say to my hypothetical son if he ever questions me over his hypothetical infant circumcision.

    “Mom, why did you do this to my penis?”

    “Would you like to see what you did to my vagina?”

    “Never mind.”

  36. I had a circumcision when I was 17. I was a virgin. I was motivated by two things. One; as a high school athlete I was embarrassed to be different from most of the other guys. Mostly when you are in the showers nobody pays much attention, but I could see the double takes and was tired of the occasional comment. Two; I was fearful that whoever I married would not like an uncircumcised husband. A year later I left high school and wasn’t exposed to my team-mates. After marriage I found out my wife wouldn’t have known the difference, and probably wouldn’t have cared. So those two main reasons became non-issues. However, it was a great decision. I’m glad I did it. Cleanliness is one great benefit. Marital relations have always been great. So, here is an opinion from an expert. Have your baby boys circumcised. Don’t have them make the decision for themselves. I had my two boys circumcised when they were born before they left the hospital.

  37. GeorgeH, thanks for the comment.

    I just wonder if your opinion would be precisely the opposite if you had grown up in any other nation (other than, say, America or Israel), where the norm would be considerably different.

    • Probably. And I probably wouldn’t have minded the mild odor (if it isn’t cleaned a couple of times a day), or the sores (non-sexual-remember, I was a virgin) that showed up from time to time in spite of daily showers, or the premature…(dot dot dot) that often happens (so I have read) to uncircumcised men. But that’s just me and I don’t have to deal with those things and neither do my boys (now grown men).

      • If that’s been your experience, then fine. Yet for the vast majority of people with standard hygiene (bathing every day, including the nooks and crannies), these things are not problems.

  38. Andrew: You are probably right about the problems but, do you know the vast majority of people with standard hygiene who aren’t circumcised? If you do, then I bow to your vast knowledge. I, on the other hand, was uncircumcised for 17 years and circumcised for 45. As far as my thingy goes, I prefer the last 45.
    However, Andrew, don’t get circumcised and don’t have your boys circumcised if you don’t want. The Law of Moses has nothing to do with it as far as I’m concerned. For me it is about sex and cleanliness.

  39. That’s exactly why I bring up the point about…the rest of the world.

    If we subtract less developed countries, even from looking at industrialized or post-industrialized countries (so we can be sure of hygiene standards), America, Israel, and South Korea are “outranked” by several European nations that do not circumsize as a general rule, but which have standard hygiene. This is why I made my original comment.

    In the end, I recognize that parents will have the choice to make for their children, so there can be any number of reasons. But some reasons only make sense in certain context…for example, the cleanliness issue wouldn’t make sense for the vast majority of people who do not have such issues (whether personal, medical, or whatever) and who follow modern hygiene standards.

    You had the choice, and you made your choice at 17; I’m not saying you don’t have the right to make the choice, and it seems you made it for good reasons. Yet I don’t and never had the choice, because my parents made it for me. Your sons likewise do not have the choice.

  40. These days I believe the circumcised-at-birth v. uncircumcised ratio in America is a lot more even, approaching 50-50 or 60-40 or something. I actually think that’s a good thing; the uncircumcised shouldn’t feel social pressure to make a switch as an adult, and those who were circumcised at birth or had to be circumcised for medical reasons shouldn’t have to feel abnormal about something they couldn’t help. 45 years ago, things were different and an uncircumcised man would have had George’s problem (looking different in the locker room, fear of surprising a sexual partner with an abnormal penis, etc.). I don’t think that’s the case in America today, and it’s certainly not the case in a lot of other countries (as Andrew points out).

  41. Susan permalink

    GeorgeH: Statistically, over 70% of the world’s men are uncut and have no problems – do you really think their partners would put up with them having bad hygiene? I am constantly amused by Americans with their circ ‘fetish’ who must assume that this huge number, this huge majority of men, either have consistent problems, hygiene issues, never receive oral sex, etc.

    I have a friend who converted to Judaism at 24, for his then girlfriend, now ex-wife, and she basically forced him to get cut. He did it in a hospital, paid them to do it, and resented it – I daresay it was part of the reason why the marriage ended after 3 years, as he’d made this huge change for her.

    Point is, if you choose it of your own free will and like it, great for you. If it’s a decision made for you, you have no say, but I fail to see how punishing your son’s penis for you giving birth to him is a good reason (after all, you decided to have the baby, and it was probably a cut penis that impregnated you if you’re considering cutting your son), nor is the cosmetic result (you won’t be seeing it sexually – your son’s future wife, or husband, will be and you do not know their preference), and if you’re doing your job as a parent right, you’ll be teaching him not to have casual sex without using condoms, so STI transmission isn’t an issue either. And really, hygiene? Boys love touching themselves in the shower, cut or uncut. They aren’t going to not wash something that gives them such pleasure!

  42. Bridget Jack Meyers — your comments gave me some humor for the day — thank you.

    Susan — guys are unlike to ” love touching themselves in the shower” in a gym full of other guys — unless things have really changed in high school from when I was there.

    • Stephen,

      I went through to read all of these comments again based on your response to Susan. Man, we just don’t have fun discussions on this blog as often as we used to.

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