When Circumcised vs. Uncircumcised Becomes Mom vs. Dad

A dad-to-be took to Reddit to ask if he's the jerk for feeling he should be the one to make the call on his unborn son's circumcision. The post quickly went viral.

Newborn Baby At Birth Crying
Photo: Mongaman/Shutterstock

May 3, 2019

When parents-to-be are expecting a baby boy, one of the main questions they'll need to answer prior to their child's arrival is of course, "Should we circumcise our son?" The practice, done for both medical and religious reasons, is one that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says offers more health benefits than risks, however, they note that "the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision." Complicating matters is the possibility that not all parents will agree on whether or not to have their child circumcised. That contentious debate is at the heart of a viral, since deleted post in the "Am I An Assh***" subreddit.

On Tuesday, April 30, a dad-to-be took to the site to share, "My wife is pregnant with a boy, and I asked if we would circumcise him, and she said of course, and that an uncut penis is nasty and doesn't look nice. However, I have an uncut penis. She tried telling me that there were health issues and I argued that it's a parents responsibility to teach them to clean their penis and that my parents made sure I knew to clean my [penis] and that was it."

The father also argued that circumcision would reduce pleasure and that he sees it as genital mutilation. "Then she told me she was the mother and it would be her choice." He fired back "if our son wanted to get a circumcision he could choose for himself, and she has no penis so she has no say in the matter."

Some Redditors were on the dad's side, like one who wrote, "It is mutilation, I didn't do it to my boys, I taught them to clean themselves (I mean girls have all kids of folds etc and we handle it). If my boys decide to do it later in life (they are late teens now) it's their choice, it's not mine. They both have thanked me for my decision."

Another said that it's OK that he doesn't want his son circumcised, but he should have tried a different approach. "NTA for not wanting to circumcise, but the 'I have a penis so I decide' is not the way to go about it," the Redditor said. "When it comes down to parenting both parents have a say, and it's not okay to dismiss his wife altogether. However, I believe circumcision falls under the 'two yes, one no' parenting rule. The rule says both parents have to say yes in order for something to happen. If one parent says 'no' to something for a good reason, the answer should be no, at least for the moment."

One Redditor echoed that comment, writing, "You both are trying to dominate the decision. Medical decisions should be made together. Learn to respect and listen to each other."

Here's hoping this couple does exactly that and manages to find common ground. In the meantime, their disagreement is one plenty of parents will have prior to the birth of their baby boy. The bottom-line from the AAP: "The final decision should still be left to parents to make in the context of their religious, ethical and cultural beliefs."

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