Intactivists’ Responses To AAP’s Revised Circumcision Policy

21 months.

Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its stance on circumcision, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.

If you are a soon-to-be parent of a baby boy who has been trying to figure out whether or not circumcision is right for your son, then the AAP’s statement is good news. Now you can have some closure on this subject.

Circumcision it is. Done.

But if you are an Intactivist, one who actively campaigns against circumcision, then the American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised circumcision stance is bad news:

After all, it means that an organization that most parents would find to be respectable and trustworthy is justifying an unnecessary tradition of genital mutilation.

The AAP’s revised policy takes away the credibility of what Intactivists have been trying to tell us all along.

So much for the neutrality of this article: I’m not an Intactivist, by the way.

Like most parents who have decided to circumcise their son, I am not and have never been passionate about the subject of circumcision.

However, on three different occasions now, I have explained what propelled me to choose circumcision:

Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son?

Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral?

Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists

When it was all said and done, I had no problem saying this to Intactivists:

You may be right.” It’s just that ultimately, I don’t care if they’re right. What’s done is done.

It became evident to me that the only way I could find shelter from the tidal wave of violent comments I received in those three Dadvice articles was to A) repent of the sin of circumcising my son, B) start using The Dadabase as a platform to preach Intactivism, and C) make an oath to not circumcise my next son, should I ever have one.

That sort of parenting extremism simply turns me off to their ideas, as valid as some of their points may be.

The vibes I have received from most Intactivists have been saturated in condescension, sarcasm, and prejudice.

I realize that stating my opinion on this today is only throwing gasoline on the fire; further perpetuating the frenemy relationship I have with Intactivist readers. Maybe I’m just curious to see if Intactivists will collectively be clever enough to learn how to be relevant in how they communicate with us unbelievers?

Will Intactivists kill me with their kindness? Will they prove me wrong when I say they are condescending to those of us who do not believe the same way as they do?

For their sake, I hope so.

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  1. by wendy

    On August 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I loose more respect for the medical profession every day, but yesterday more than most days because of the new statement. When you, readers of the Dadabase, read the news about the AAP’s revision of their policy statement on infant circumcision please keep these points in mind. Much of what passes for medicine nowadays is about making money. Question the motives behind routine infant circumcision in our culture. The routine infant circumcision industry is a multi-billion dollar per year industry which has been loosing a great deal of money these last few years because parents are becoming increasingly more educated about the normal male anatomy, how functional it really is and how unnecessary and harmful non-therapeutic circumcision really is. No disease, no injury, no treatment. Seriously. What other normal healthy body part do we cut off because it may one day cause problems? – and without the personal consent of the individual, no less. The AAP revision in statement is all about doctors loosing a valuable cash cow and this type of pandering by a professional organization which professes to have medical ethics is vile. They came right out and said as much in the statement when they admitted it was to get insurance companies to cover the procedure. All I can say is do YOUR OWN research, then decide. We can trust no one really, but ourselves.

    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/2012-08-26A_Commentary.pdf

  2. by Stephen

    On August 28, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Well personally I am against routine infant circumcision. I share advice, information and help to people who seek it on the topic. I do not force my beliefs on others as I respect people’s right to choose (as I respect religious freedoms, another topic people become highly animated over). I am sure your article does not intend to make sweeping statements and I am aware you used the word most at one point but not all of us are rude and condescending. Nor do we have to kill anybody with our kindness to prove a point.

    Sorry for the essay and bravo for approaching a topic and stating your opinion knowing full well it will cause you grief from simpletons.

  3. by Jennifer

    On August 28, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I am with you, Nick. Stephen, thank you for such a calm, respectful response. I would listen to you, as opposed to someone who feels the need to badger and demean others who feel differently. Wendy, I also “loose” respect for someone who repeatedly makes 2nd grade grammar mistakes.

  4. by wendy

    On August 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Personally I feel the entire issue of performing an unnecessary and risky surgery on a newborn infant exponentially less trivial than a spelling error in the comment section of a fluff blog.

  5. by Jennifer

    On August 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    A “fluff” blog? So your plan is to insult everyone around you until they agree with you? That works…um, never.

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  7. by Nikki

    On August 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Random thought–I read through the dadvice articles in this topic and after all of them the lyric from a popular country song popped into my mind,

    “God is great, Beer is good, and people are CRAZY!”

    Anyway, I am interested to see what kind of comments you’ll get after this article. You have written about this several times and basically say the same thing each time, but in-activists STILL aren’t getting it. They are so blinded by their own sense of “I AM RIGHT!!” that they aren’t reading and understanding what you are saying, which is COMPLETELY logical to the reader with common sense and an open mind.

    Keep up the good work, I really enjoy it!!

  8. by Joe

    On August 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I typed up a big response, which didn’t post…sometimes your site takes a while to display my comments. I’m not sure why. In the meantime, here’s a just-released blog about a leaked PR bulletin from the AAP.

    For your consideration, Nick (and Nikki…):
    http://joseph4gi.blogspot.com/2012/08/leaked-aap-press-script.html

    (FYI: I’m not the same Joe as this guy, but I endorse his page whole-heartedly)

  9. by Joe

    On August 30, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Another rational article, this time from Peggy O’Mara at Mothering Magazine:

    “As parents we have to ask ourselves hard ethical questions about circumcision. If we are looking at the question from a religious perspective, our introspection will be personal and private. If we are looking at it from a medical perspective, we will have to weigh possible future benefits for our son—providing he is heterosexual, at high-risk for UTIs, and slow to seek medical care—against certain present risk.

    Think it over. Regardless of your decision, someday you will have to explain it to your son.”

    http://mothering.com/peggyomara/circumcision/aap-and-circumcision-whats-a-parent-to-think

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    On September 3, 2012 at 5:29 am

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  11. by Kris

    On October 1, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Most intactivists are judgemental, opinionated and flat out rude. I understand your side of things but educating is better than telling someone they are a bad MOTHER for a choice they made. I’m sure some of the best mothers in the world chose to circumcise their sons, and I am sure some of the best mothers chose not to circumcise their sons.

    Education is important, m

  12. by Kris

    On October 1, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Accident hit done when I wasn’t. So continuing on…

    Education is more important than shaming someone for their choices.

    There is SO much out there that I don’t agree with, but making someone feel so small for a choice they made is NOT fair.

  13. by Brad

    On February 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Parents like you are just lazy to clean a baby’s normal penis and do not want to continue to remind their son the proper way to clean his penis once he gets older to prevent infections. Unfit parents get a part of their son’s penis sliced off because they think of their son’s sex lives which is just disgusting if you ask… everyone.