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Circumcision - To Snip Or Not To Snip - A New Mothers Diary

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Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy

I just got off the phone with in-laws in Aussie. They want the boy to be snipped. I always thought it was weird....the snip....I don’t mean to be a dickhead (excuse the pun) but WHY? People all over the world watch their TV's in horror as girls are mutilated in Africa, yet readily do it to their own little boys. I have an inkling that it is something to do with cleanliness or religion.  If that is the case a good bar of soap and some proper education could easily solve that old argument. 

Before the birth my partner and I easily decided, no go. Turns out it wasn’t such a big problem. Here in little old New Zealand the practise has almost been abandoned.  Under ten per cent of the male newborn population undergo this almost outdated procedure, with the majority of them Jewish, Muslim or Polynesians. In fact even if you wanted to get it done, it would nearly be impossible as hospitals don’t even offer the service. Most of the western world’s medical organisations do not recommend circumcision anymore except for the US. About 50% of its newborn males have their foreskins amputated. Strange considering the foreskin accounts for over half the penile skin and contains specialised nerve endings.

However my Aussie in-laws are still horrified. Turns out a lot of the Australian male population are skinless and proud. But I remain staunch, my son will have his penis intact with all his parts- just like my my brother who is uncircumcised and pleased. He maintains that he needs his foreskin in case he meets with an accident and lose his eyelids. I’m not sure what this entails, but good for him.

Now, there is one point that has recently reared its ugly head (another pun excuse me), circumcision may help to prevent the spread of HIV. Although it is done with out anaesthetic, sees the foreskin ripped away from the glands and is then either cut away or clamped until it falls off (some babies even lose their penis to infection) the Center For Disease Control and Prevention in the US is debating  the fact that the tissue in foreskins is more susceptible to HIV infection.

What ever the argument, circumcision is a very personal choice and one that only parents should make.  


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