Circumcision: A highly discussed and debated topic among mom groups on Facebook, and rightfully so.
Is it a standard procedure for our modern culture, or an archaic practice that has no place in our modern culture?
Even though I actually have no boys of my own, I usually find myself perusing these conversations and throwing in some questions to try to learn and understand more. It wasn’t until recently however that I became particularly disturbed by some of the information I was receiving. Unfortunately I wasn’t really getting the kind of depth and satisfying information I sought so I decided to take it upon myself to delve a little further. What I have to share here is basically the top 3 reasons that I found myself reconsidering circumcision should we ever be expecting a son.
If you’re not familiar with my other posts that’s cool, but I’ll remind any readers as always that this information is intended to make you think a little outside the box, maybe share a new perspective you hadn’t considered before. The information I have here is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this topic, so I’d encourage anyone reading to consider doing their own research or soul searching on the topic beyond what I have shared here. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions from the information below- and if you want to take what I have shared as crap because I don’t have any direct experience, that’s fine, or if you want to consider what I have to share unbiased for the same reason that’s cool too.
Considering the title of my post, let’s just get it out of the way that “Reconsidering Circumcision” is intended to make you re-think the routine procedure currently taking place in the United States. Whether or not you ultimately decide to choose circumcision for your child is your choice.
(Also, if you’re reading from a phone you can click on the images to read them better!)
As I mentioned above, I’ve started to collect some information that I’ve found quite shocking regarding the state of circumcision in our nation and I want to share that with you here.
“Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.” [Emphasis added]
I don’t even think further investigation in to this is necessary. It’s a moot point. There’s so much more that could be said on this really, but it’s not even needed at this point.
“But having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that you will get the disease. On the other hand, some men who develop penile cancer have no known risk factors…
Men who were circumcised as children may have a lower chance of getting penile cancer than those who were not…
The reason for the lower risk in circumcised men is not entirely clear, but it may be related to other known risk factors…
In weighing the risks and benefits of circumcision, doctors consider the fact that penile cancer is very uncommon in the United States, even among uncircumcised men. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that the health benefits of circumcision in newborn males outweigh the risks, it also states these benefits are not great enough to recommend that all newborns be routinely circumcised.“[Emphasis added]
Once again, what I’m reading here doesn’t sound very convincing to me that circumcision is absolutely necessary to avoid penile cancer. On the contrary, it sounds like with some good personal hygiene it is, again, a moot point.
“Studies… have failed to confirm the efficacy of circumcision in preventing STDs.”
And from HealthyChildren.org, as linked from the AAP site:
“existing scientific evidence is not sufficient to recommend routine circumcision. Therefore, because the procedure is not essential to a child’s current well-being, we recommend that the decision to circumcise is one best made by parents in consultation with their pediatrician, taking into account what is in the best interests of the child, including medical, religious, cultural, and ethnic traditions.”[Emphasis added]
“Benefits are not great enough…”
“Procedure is not essential to a child’s well-being…”
When I first saw the claim that foreskin was being sold for profit and used in skincare products I thought it was wildly insane. It was definitely something that I couldn’t believe until I had more information. For a while no one could provide me with the confirmation I was looking for, but I guess it ate at me enough that I needed to see if it was true once and for all. Finding the truth on this is basically what led me to completing this post. If this doesn’t make your head turn in disbelief then I’m not sure what will.
It started with some controversy over Oprah, and the HuffingtonPost…
“The use of an infant’s foreskin isn’t new to the skincare industry, as Oprah Winfrey previously faced criticism for endorsing a face cream derived from human foreskin. Researchers have found that it promotes skin cell regeneration when applied topically.“[Emphasis added]
I’m not really one to take the HuffPo at face value without additional information so I began down the link rabbit hole for some more solid evidence to satisfy my curiosity.
“Oprah featured the cream on her former daytime show, and has also endorsed it in interviews. The cream, which retails for $165 for less than ounce, claims to “improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles” and “enhance skin tone, texture and firmness.” The website lists “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media” among the cream’s ingredients.“[Emphasis added]
Ahh.. “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media” that’s something I can work with…
Or not. It appears to be well-known information but is not explicitly spelled out on the SkinMedica website, so it’s still not good enough for me.
Further digging on the SkinMedica website still gives no solid information, makes it sound pretty harmless for sure.
It’s about this time that I start to lose faith that this was a worthwhile journey, but I haven’t given up complete hope just yet.
So I decided to take it to the trusty PubMed website to see if it would yield any results, and lo and behold:
And guess what? This could be all yours for the low cost $220 for 1 whopping ounce.
Still not sure that these companies are really making a profit off of your precious son’s foreskin from a standard routine procedure? Perhaps the specimens are donated (but they’re still selling for $220 a pop) or maybe they’re being used millions of times over for testing or to create these products….. or maybe you can just buy them online.
Ok, I admit, this is the WORST possible example on the list from the link above, several of the price tags hover around $400. And yes, I don’t know the specifics of what is being used to create these products, but does that actually make the situation any better? I don’t think so.
At the end of the day, what we assume is a routine and standard procedure is 1- as seen above, Not necessary, and 2- being profited from.
Whew, ok, I realize this is a fine line I walk here. Here’s the thing, I’m not saying it is or it isn’t, you need to consult your conscience. As it stands now, the Catholic Church in all her wisdom makes no official stance on the morality of circumcision. However, here are some things to ponder:
Way up there above I mentioned that Jesus was circumcised. Yes, and He was also Jewish and bound by the law of the Old Testament. When He died, He gave us a new law as Christians. The fact is that we are not required to circumcise due to the old law, and in fact we are told pretty clearly by Saint Paul that we are to avoid circumcision under the old law by virtue of the fact that Christ died for us, it has no bearing on our salvation.
And particularly for those who are Catholics, I found this, in light of what was mentioned first above about the medical “necessity” of circumcision, quite eye opening.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
What is a “therapeutic medical reason?”
“Treatment of disease.”
Is a newborn baby boy, created in God’s image and likeness, “diseased?” The AAP doesn’t think so. Do you?
There are so many questions left unanswered, I know. I mentioned the “benefits” of circumcision, what about the risks? What about the differences between our current practice of circumcision and what it was in biblical times? What about the differences between male circumcision and FMG (female genital mutilation)? What about the benefits of foreskin, what purpose does it serve? What about the history of circumcision beyond biblical times? The answers to those questions could go on and on, and that is not the intention of this post. The information addressed here is merely a scratch on the surface of all things to be considered when making this decision for your child. I’d encourage anyone to continue doing research if you need more answers to those questions. For me, what has been addressed above is simply enough to determine that it’s an unnecessary procedure we are practicing in our culture, it offers little to no benefit, people are profiting from it, and it teeters on the line of being immoral according to my faith. For me, that’s enough.
For anyone who desires more information, here are some additional websites you can check out to learn more:
Who is “Research Mama?” I’m a mom who discovered a passion for the blessings of nature. After experiencing the benefit of natural remedies over prescriptions, I became very curious about the claims of the natural community and the verification behind it.
This is my blog to help share the information that I have found that solidifies the claims that you see time and time again. I hope you will receive the information with an open mind and note that I’m sharing it for the sole purpose of validating that it is there. Anyone reading it can make their personal choice to utilize it or not. That’s it!