Monday, August 23, 2010

Intact is "In"

Yaaay!!! Intactivists and newborn American males rejoice! The latest findings from the CDC conclude that U.S. circumcision rates have seen a sharp decline this decade.

CDC Reports Steep Decline in U.S. Circumcision Rates

"The CDC has reported that circumcision rates in the US have fallen sharply
over the last decade—from 56% of newborn boys circumcised in 2006, to 33% in
2009. Declines are being attributed to the American Academy of Pediatrics
statement in 1999 that "existing data [was] not sufficient to recommend routine
newborn male circumcision" and reduced insurance coverage of the surgery—among
other factors."

This is AWESOME news for our baby boys. But it also brings a lot of interesting thoughts to mind for me...

The one that stood out most in my mind when I read the percentages...from 56% in 2006 to 33% in 2009 was this....Thirty-three percent. That means that the number of intact males has now surpassed the number of circumcised males. To me, that's a big deal for our society because it means that the main argument I've heard from mostly all parents I've talked to about no longer valid. Most parents start by explaining that it's healthier, cleaner, etc. But when slightly challenged on those views back away from them quickly because there is really no valid evidence to support them. The next reason most parents site for circumcising their son (sadly) is so that he doesn't look "different". Different from his father, different from other boys, different from society.

If our circumcision rates have fallen to 33%, this means that circumcised penis' have now become the "different". Which is really the way it's always been (speaking in a worldwide sense). Only now, it's right in our backyard.

There's a HUGE delusion in our society that an intact penis is strange, or different, or the "other". It's a completely false assumption. An assumption that has developed here in the U.S. when it was true back in the 50's and 60's, and unfortunately has lingered on into present day. Now, I'm hopeful and confident that that assumption will begin to dissipate with the CDC's new findings, and more and more of our baby boys will be keeping the vital body parts they were born with.


Tamara said...

I have been reading about this recently as well and it brings me such joy! As a mom of 3 intact boys, I am so excited that the majority of other parents are seeing their newborn children as perfect ...just the way they are...just as God has made them.
Thank you for sharing!

Bevy Boo Boo said...

Do you pull back the head of the penis of your boy and clean it - I heard that you don't need to do this? But they used to do it in the olden days.

Corin said...

No. It's very important that the foreskin is never retracted by anyone but the child himself. Here is a great set of guidelines from

"•Leave the foreskin alone; wash only what is external and readily visible.

•Never forcibly retract your son's foreskin and don't permit anyone else to do so.

•Make certain your son's medical attendants understand his foreskin is not to be retracted or tampered with.

•Always stay with your son during his doctor visits and exams.

•When teaching the child to bathe and care for himself, let the child retract his own foreskin if he wants to. He will not retract it beyond the point of discomfort.

•A child's foreskin does not need to be retracted regularly for cleaning until the end of puberty. It should not be retracted during early childhood."

Parents used to be told to manually retract their sons foreskins. My grandfather was kept intact and has told me stories about his mother manually retracting him as early as only a few years old. He recounted how painful it was, and that she would explain to him that the doctor had told her to do it.

It's awesome that there is so much information out there now for parents to educate themselves on!

Bevy Boo Boo said...

Thanks Corin - that's great to know. My 1st hubby was in severe pain in Vietnam and was intact - but went days without being able to clean. Unfortunately, he was probably cleaned as a young child and that caused him the pain that he endured in the killing fields of war. He said he cursed his Mom SEVERAL times for NOT circumsizing him. :( Well that's how he saw it.

Corin said...

That clears up a lot. I remember you saying a log time ago something about your 1st husband going through a lot of pain in Vietnam because of being intact. I can see how that could happen if he wasn't able to properly take care of himself. To me, I see it like that would be like cursing my mother for not circumcising me because I got a yeast infection. Not to downplay his feelings at all. Totally not my intentions. That's just the first thing that came to my mind!

Bavonia said...

As a mom of an intact little boy I am happy to hear that more parents have seen the light.
My hubby is from Georgia and they do not circumcise their boys, my family couldn't understand and told me my son will be "different" I didn't care. We live in the day and age where he can bath frequently, its not necessary!
Thanks for this :)

delightfulpregnancy said...

Thank for your peaceful activism for, well...intactavism!!

It's interesting to note that while the rate of circ has dropped, the states with the highest rates of circ are in the midwest. BOO! I'm in Missouri, where our rates are still around 50ish percent.

I never imagined that I'd become an intactavist...and yet here I am. :) Additionally, I had no CLUE how deeply-rooted these false beliefs about circumcision are in this country. No clue. I started teaching BirthWorks prenatal classes and one of the husbands is a chiropractic student. He was shocked to find out that the rate of circ has dropped b/c one of his professors said "that circumcision is the #1 was to prevent penile cancer." This horse-crap is being fed to students at a chiropractic college! Chiropractic--known for honoring the design of the body and not interfering with it. What the heck?!

But yes, when I have conversations with people, I am never surprised that well-educated people have been ingrained with these silly excuses to defend circumcision. But nearly 2 generations of men in this country were circumcised, we have entirely lost sight of what a normal, intact penis looks like.

Anyway, thank you for all your positive work you do to inform and educate! And you're looking gorgeous with your sprouted baby tummy, btw! ;)

Corin said...

@ delightfulpregnancy: How funny that states wise, you and I live in opposites when it comes to circumcision. While it's at the highest in the midwest, where I live in California, we have the lowest rate. A large factor to this is because we have a lot immigration from Mexico, where routine circumcision is not practiced.

I love that you brought up the fact that we've lost sight of what an intact penis looks like. Literally, last night I was thinking about this issue and I remembered that when we had decided to keep our son intact, I had to actually go on the internet and google "intact penis" in order to see different variations of what it looked like. I had seen a couple before, but it definitely was not enough to how a good idea of what I was to expect. I felt like I needed to be familiar with what a normal, inact penis looked like so that I would ever know if something wasn't right with my son or there where any concerns. Anyway, after I remembered that, I thought, "How sad, that in this country I have to research what a normal body part looks like. I mean, we are that out of touch with reality."

But, on a bright note, I really feel like things are changing and it's because people are not taking the excuses any longer. Parents can't simply say, "Because I want to." That's not a good enough reason to remove an indivuals perfectly healthy body part! And a vital one a that! It's a human rights issue and if no stands up for those who can't stand up for themselves, then our society will in fact be a short lived one. Because that type of mind-set spreads to every other part of our decisions.

One of my favorite quotes EVER is this one...

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi