One thing I didn't expect when we brought Tricky home was to be questioned by nearly every visitor over the age of 50, it seemed, as to whether or not we were going to get him circumcised. None of the midwives asked me. The paediatrician didn't ask either. It seems to go in and out of fashion (unless you're Jewish in which case it's always in) and people my parents' age are all for it. Did our younger visitors not ask because they don't care, they felt uncomfortable, or did they think it none of their business? Ooh let's hope they chose door number three, Susie, let's see what they've won!
It was mentioned at antenatal classes, but only to say that it is not routinely done unless there is a medical or religious reason. One thing that I know for sure though, is that it is a touchy subject with people falling very clearly in to the cut or don't cut categories – there are no fence sitters in this debate.
I hadn't even looked in to it, Hubby and I had a two second chat sometime during the pregnancy that went “You don't want to circumcise him do ya?” “Nah, don't like the idea.” End of conversation. If he wants it done when he is older then it is up to him – just like when he decides to get a piercing or tattoo or whatever the cool thing is 17 years from now. Turns out though that if we had wanted to, there may have been some hurdles... cosmetic circumcision (when there is no medical or religious reason behind the procedure) has been banned in all Australian public hospitals since 2007. And a research paper from the Queensland Law Reform Commission concluded that "On a strict interpretation of the assault provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code, routine circumcision of a male infant could be regarded as a criminal act", and that doctors who perform the procedure may in fact be able to be sued by the child at a later date. There is a legal precedent for botched circumcisions in Australia thanks to a Perth man who successfully sued the doctor who operated on him as an infant, but this interpretation of the law allows for men to sue the doctor even if the circumcision is deemed 'successful'. I had no idea about any of this – and wish I had when everyone had been asking me last week if we were going to do it or not!
My opinion (and yes I'm opening the door for abuse here) is completely opposite to that of my parents. I believe we have evolved over millions of years to have that little piece of skin there, and who am I to say that nature got it wrong and have it lopped off? There are websites galore for both sides each claiming that their stance is the correct one. They tout statistics on infections, sexually transmitted diseases, loss of sensation and more. I'm not ready to think about my little Tricky all grown up and having sex so I'm quite happy to stop at the “It's an operation and operations hurt” argument. Some people will say I'm wrong and they're more than welcome to feel that way – we'll just have to agree to disagree, hopefully while cooing over how cute each others' son is (for the record, Tricky is pretty cute so your kid is gonna have to try to be super special when I meet him).
Do you feel strongly on this subject? Were you criticised for your decision - no matter which decision it was? Leave your story in the comments section below.