To cut or not to cut? That's the choice parents of newborn boys face when deciding whether circumcision is the right choice for them. It's a choice that a lot of people, often referring to themselves as "intactivists," don't feel parents should have. Anticircumcision groups in San Francisco gathered over 7,000 signatures in support of a ballot measure that would essentially outlaw circumcision for most male children. The measure was shot down Sunday night when the governor signed a bill prohibiting local governments from banning the controversial practice, leaving the decision to the parents.
Hearing "It's a boy!" is a thrilling experience for parents who hoped to raise a son, but one of the first major decisions a mom and dad has to make is whether or not to circumcise their son. A San Francisco man wants to outlaw this practice because he believes it be genital mutilation. While the procedure is a common one when performed shortly after the boy's arrival, it can be more complicated if the parents choose to hold off until later in their son's life. It's a choice that shouldn't be made lightly so we've rounded up some issues to take into consideration.
My mom said that when I was a kid, it was pretty common to circumcise your son when he was born. Times were different back then though - my mom also said it wasn't "proper" to whip your boob out in public, so instead of breastfeeding, the nurse put ice packs on her breasts.
Nowadays, we know how important breastfeeding is to the baby's health, and circumcision - well, some people are starting to disagree with it, calling it immoral, and against the baby's wishes (you can't really ask a baby boy if he wants his foreskin removed or not!).
In the 1960s, nearly 90% of American baby boys were circumcised, and in the 1970s, that rate began to drop. In 2004, it was reported that only 57% of baby boys were circumcised. So there has been a definite decline in the amount of newborn males having this operation.
Still many parents do agree with circumcision for many reasons - some want their baby to look like their father, others are following Jewish tradition (boys are circumcised during a ceremony called a bris), and others feel that it's cleaner and may help prevent certain infections, STIs or types of cancer.
So I want to know...