Thursday, April 4, 2013

I don't Know Why I was Circumcised: Chad J's Story

Chad is a friend, and a father of several.  Thank you Chad for sharing your story! (*Note-the first link provides an side view anatomy drawing as seen in a text book.)

"I don't know why I was circumcised. I have never asked my parents. I was their first child and I don't know if they thought about the matter or if they made a spur of the moment decision. Since they never mentioned it to me I tend to think it was the latter.

Truthfully I never thought about it until we were going to have our first son. The thought surprised me because until then I didn't even know what a foreskin was except that it had been removed from me. I thought of it like an appendix--an unneeded, unwanted flap of skin that served no purpose. I was wrong.

I don't remember who told us to think about circumcision before we had our son. If our first child had been a boy I doubt we would have thought about it until after the doctor had routinely performed the procedure. I remember my wife saying, 'hey, I don't think we should circumcise.' I remember saying, 'Ummm why? It's not like he needs a foreskin right?...' and then thinking, 'Wait what does an uncircumcised penis even look like?' I felt embarrassed that I didn't know the answer to that question. Obviously I had never seen my own foreskin, but shouldn't I have seen a diagram or picture in some anatomy or sex education class in grade school? I remember sitting through those uncomfortable class periods with diagrams of a penis that everyone was pretending not to look at. The fact is that circumcision was and is such a ubiquitous surgery that none of the authors of our class materials felt that it was worth showing a foreskin. I can only imagine how this made the uncircumcised boys in my school feel (assuming there were any, as of course I would not know). I don't know how this has changed over the years, or how it varies in different parts of the US but I'm fairly certain that class materials outside the US all show intact men.

So I started looking into it with my wife. The more I read about it the more I realized that I kind of WANTED a foreskin. I couldn't think of a good reason to cut it off of our son so I looked for one. I mean, my parents had decided to have mine removed so there must be a good reason, right?

I'm not going to go over the reasons that people use to rationalize this amputation because it has been done before. As I continued researching I found myself really trying to find a way that I could get my foreskin back! But no, I cannot. Perhaps there are uncircumcised adults who wish they could remove their foreskin (I cannot fathom this). Guess what? They can, and under general anesthesia if desired! When it is desired, circumcision is available for adults just like any other cosmetic surgery.

For me the main thing I needed to know was that my son didn't NEED a circumcision. True, he may not NEED a foreskin either (although circumcisions can have major problems!) but who was I to decide that he shouldn't have one? Is there any other part of his body that I could legally remove? Removing the entire foreskin is a dramatic surgery, not a simple nick of the scalpel. It irrevocably changes the size and shape of your penis.

I wish I could say these things to all parents before their children are born. I wish it would be enough to make them take the time to research the issue and make the right decision. I wish that doctors would read this, think critically, and realize that largely they are the ones with the power over this issue. After all they hold the knives! It would be enough to reverse the trend if doctors would offer to perform circumcisions only when requested, instead of assuming that parents will want it."

1 comment:

  1. Chad, you may not be able to get your original foreskin back, but you can restore your foreskin and get most of what you lost back. I am amazed at how much better I feel now that I began to restore my foreskin. I am not yet finished, but, so far, it has been worth it. I can only imagine what it would have been like to spend all my life with my original foreskin.