Don't Circumcise My Son

A father responds to his wife on this sensitive subject

Her third argument is basically that the life of an uncircumcised teenager is dominated by fear and ridicule. Having hopefully spent a lot more time in men’s locker rooms than my wife, I can be pretty confident that no one really cares. And since nearly 50 percent of American males are uncut, anyway, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is hard to imagine anyone picking on, say, the football team's uncircumcised offensive line.

Being “different” from half of your fellow classmates in this way is a non-event in a teen’s life. Your friends are likely uncircumcised, too, and if they’re staring at your penis, they’re not your friends.

As a man who went to a boarding school with open showers, I can assure her, it is no big deal. It is not like the boy is a hermaphrodite, or going to be wagging it around like a show pony. Just as you wouldn’t dye a child’s hair to make him look more like his classmates, you shouldn’t perform unnecessary surgery on an infant on the off chance it makes him more comfortable bathing in front of his peers.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Did You Circumcise Your Son?

Being uncircumcised is a completely normal, natural state, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recently said, “the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision.”

Even if the benefits were twice what they claim, “Hello, world! Goodbye, penis!” is not the welcome I want for my young son. If he turns into the kind of man who thinks that it’s a good trade to lessen his sexual sensation so that he can have 15-second shorter showers, then I have failed him in so many ways that I hardly know where to start.

An unbreakable covenant with a demanding God would be enough for me to accept that my child’s first days be spent in searing genital agony. Anything short of that just doesn’t persuade me.

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