Imagined Social Risks of the Foreskin

I don’t think much of the “Why I decided to circumcise my sons” side in CNN’s point-counterpoint approach to parental choice for circumcision. (“Why I decided not to circumcise my sons” is here. Both were originally published at Heather Aimee O’Neill discusses how she and her partner Abbie decided to circumcise their two sons. It’s fairly predictable, with the answer essentially being HIV, a cited benefit that has no significant applicability to her sons in the United States.

My takeaway is from something else:

My other sister, Meredith, an amazing mother of three boys who were all circumcised, agreed. “It’s unsanitary,” she said. “I can barely get my kids to brush their teeth at night. And imagine him in the locker room when he’s a teenager.”

Apart from the hygiene analysis being offensive, compare:

I don’t expect everyone to understand or agree with the choice that Abbie and I made for our sons. When Tommy and Teo are naked at the beach with friends, often they are in the minority because they are circumcised.

People believe many things about the social risks of having a foreskin that are simply not true.

One thought on “Imagined Social Risks of the Foreskin”

  1. Indeed, parents are reacting to the social milieu of their own youth, which is non-existent now. In my area, the overall circ rate is 75%, and yet in my social group, all of my sons’ friends (and my sons, of course) are intact. In places like CA, the circumcision rate is near 30%, a circumcised boy is in the minority. Too bad parents have done no research and assume things are as they were 30 years ago.

    The hygiene argument is disgusting and wrong. My one daughter has way more hygiene problems than my three sons. You should not be scrubbing underneath the foreskin with soap, either – it’s very disturbing and irritating to the mucous membrane.

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