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Why I Didn't Circumcise My Sons

Courtesy of Will Robertson

I had a good friend who chose to get circumcised when we were in the eighth grade. I believe that he was solely motivated by pressure to look like his male peers. He was out of school for a week. I remember him telling me about the excruciating pain associated with the procedure. He was in pain for at least a week post-operation. Adolescents like to exaggerate, but I believed him.  

I remembered this anecdote when it came time to make the decision for my sons. I did not have any desire to subject my beautiful baby boys to excruciating pain, even with analgesia. The thought of forcing them to endure another traumatic experience right after birth seemed cruel.  

PLUS: Boy Parts — And What To Do With Them

Besides, the perception of what a “normal” penis should look like is rapidly changing. Our doctor here in Portland informed my wife and me that the circumcision rate was nearing 30 percent locally - a far cry from the approximately 80 percent rate of the 1960s. Thirty percent is a lot closer to the global ratio. So, even if we move away from Portland someday (and go ahead, make all the Portlandia jokes you want), the likelihood that my boys’ penises will be accepted is pretty high.  

The day will come when one of my boys will want to know why his penis is different than mine. It hasn’t happened yet although the oldest is only 3. When it does, I will look him in the eye and tell him that people did things differently when I was born – no big deal.