I won't say what choice we made with our son, 11 years ago.
At this stage in his life, that's his business.
However, I continue to be interested in the debate, which heated up recently with news that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release a report recommending that all baby boys born in the United States be circumcized to reduce the spread of HIV.
A friend of ours, who is not happy that infant boys are subjected to this procedure, alerted us today to his recent participation in that debate, via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog on Atlantic.com, and to Sullivan's own adament opposition to what he calls "male genital mutilation."
This disturbing YouTube video, posted on Sullivan's plog, shows an actual circumsion taking place on a newborn male in a supposedly state-of-the-art American medical setting. But as the video points out, circumsion, once performed routinely on "95 percent" of all newborn males in the United States, is becoming less common. More recently, in California, circumcision takes place in only 20 percent of male births, the video's narrator says.
"It is very painful," according to the narrator--even when analgesics are used and especially when it subsides.
The foreskin, which is removed in circumcision, is a "normal protective sexually functioning organ," the narrator says. "Circumsion is an amputative surgery with inherant risk, including hemmorhage, infections, and many forms of surgical mishaps, even death."
Our friend put it a little more directly, if less delicately:
"It’s my dick. It’s my dick. It’s my dick. It is no one else’s dick but my dick. And I should have the choice to circumcise it when I am old enough to make that decision."