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Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 03-10-2006

If your wife is expecting a baby boy, you may have
already made up your mind about whether to circumcise him.

A generation ago, a
full 90% of boys were circumcised and it was clearly the “modern” choice. Now, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics deems the procedure
unnecessary and leaves it up to the parents. The current rate of circumcision is near 60% (compare
that to 20% globally).


You will want to do more research but
you may want to consider:

  1. Studies show that circumcised infants are less prone to
    urinary tract infections, and as men, have lower risk of cancer of the penis and HIV
  2. Surgical complications from circumcision are rare but do occur. Doctors
    sometimes perform circumcisions without pain medication. You should request that painkillers such as
    lidocaine be used.
  3. Your own cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions will play a large
    role in your decision.   

We would argue that you as the dad should have a
larger say in this decision than your partner, and don’t be surprised if this is one decision your
wife throws unequivocally to you. You will be asked to consider the possible pain the baby feels in
the procedure. (I warn you, there is blood and he will cry through it).

You will
ask yourself whether you want your son to “look like you” and question whether that matters. You
will ponder cleanliness, sexual attractiveness, and the possible loss of sexual response. In the
end, you may feel less than sure about your decision.

If you do
decide on circumcision, you must attend the procedure. This will not be fun for you. It will likely
be the first time you’ve had to inflict pain on your child for what you feel are his best

There will be many more decisions like this, but this one will feel
especially poignant for you, the dad.

PS:  A well-balanced article on the
debate appeared in the Boston

– Paul Banas
Founder / Editor