Let’s talk: Where do you stand on this controversial practice? 182

Let's Talk


View Profile

I was so surprised the other day when my GP told me blithely that she was going ahead with something I thought was completely out of favour.

Don’t ask me how the topic came up, but my doctor, who is pregnant with her third child, said she would be having her son circumcised as soon as he was born.

It turns out some 15 per cent of parents still go through with this surgery, although most do so for religious or cultural reasons.

For my GP, the decision has nothing to do with faith, a scientist through and through, she says she is inflicting “the kindest cut” because of all the health issues she sees – in boys and men of all ages – every day in the surgery.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) does not recommend routine neonatal circumcision for boys, however, Brian J Morris from the University of Sydney and Alex Wodak, from St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, say there are sound medical studies that show benefits of circumcision.

These include the reduction of childhood urinary tract infections, which are common, painful and often cause permanent kidney damage, and protection against many common, as well as not so common, sexually transmitted infections, including the epidemic of cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and genital herpes, genital ulcer disease and HIV, among others.

“Circumcision also helps protect against penile candidiasis (thrush), inflammatory skin conditions and inferior penile hygiene. It can help those with physical problems, such as a tight foreskin that interferes with passing urine, and an inability to return the foreskin after it is retracted. It virtually eliminates the risk of penile cancer that occurs in one in 1,000 uncircumcised males over their lifetime. And there may also be some reduction in the risk of prostate cancer,” write the professors.

The benefits extend beyond the mere male to their women partners, who are provided some protection against cancer-causing HPV and cervical cancer.


Let’s talk: When you had your sons, what was the attitude towards circumcision? What did you decide and were there any regrets? What would you say if your child told you your grandchild was going to have “the chop”?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. if he wasnt meant to have a forskin it wouldnt be there, all infectins can be stopped, but washing and teaching boys how to keep clean, i feel sorry for the babies, i had my boys done through ignorne and after my last son was born i was pregnant again , ended up being a girl but if a boy he wasnt going to be snipped, my last boy had it done without aneasthia, if i had known before it was done he would still have hi foreskin today, so incrediby cruel and innecessary

  2. I would never inflict this on anyone, least of all a child, how absolutely cruel, it’s child abuse, it has no place in society, religion or otherwise. Shame on anyone who are in favour of this horrendous practice.

    1 REPLY
    • Better to have a little pain which you will never remember than possibly years of health problems from not. As a Registered Nurse I cared for a number of young men having circumsicion surgery over the years and for an adult male it is an extremely painful recovery. Then at the other end of life aged male patients can often have problems from not having been circumcised.

  3. I had three doctors visit me in my hospital bed and dissuade us re circumcision. We got the hard word put on us so we took them at their word that it was unnecessary and cruel and didn’t have it done.

  4. If your born with it I’d say its meant to be there.

    4 REPLY
    • Unfortunately that simplistic approach doesn’t take into account the ‘mistakes’ that nature makes through natural random variation. I was very pleased to be relieved of my foreskin, and have never regretted having the operation. I don’t think that untrained women should be making decisions about the health of males, any more than untrained men (not gynaecologists) should make decisions about womens’ bodies..

      1 REPLY
  5. No no no no .. I was at a hospital with my prem years ago when a just circumcised baby came in with unstoppable bleeding

    2 REPLY
    • Me too Chris …. was with my prem when a baby boy went off to have the snip, he came back SCREAMING …. his mother was very distraught and only had it done ‘cos the father wanted it done. Dad wasn’t there !

    • Same here with my first born. I will never forget that screaming! Horrific! So Brutal! Hence,No Way,for the second son!

  6. It depends on the individual if you want it done go ahead if you don’t, don’t. It’s your choice

  7. I do not go along with the practise off circumcision ,, you are taking that males rights ,, or we will go too political correctness its child abuse is it not,, you do not do it to females like some other country,,,,,,,

    3 REPLY
    • I agree with you – it is child abuse – you are making irreversible decisions for someone who is completely in your power for no better reason than you can

    • Abuse what a load of bloody rubbish. All the men in our family have been circumcised as have our extended family and friends. My sons friends when toddlers had infections all the time. They were too young to clean themselves correctly and their mums had no idea. It is also been scientifically proven that the wives of circumcised men were far less prone to getting cervical cancer.

  8. I have two boys the first was done but the second not 13 years after was not done. My grandson isn’t done but needs to be before he reaches puberty as he has a tight foreskin and can’t draw it back. I am for circumcision as I think the benefits outweigh the negatives but only done with anaesthetic as it is painfull.

    1 REPLY
    • I have similar problems when I was young, and now both my grandsons have had the procedure. The oldest had severe difficulty when he needed to have his penis cleaned. Ie, the skin could not be pulled back over the head of his penis.
      When the (not born in AU )doctor did the procedure he did not remove enough skin. Our local doctor was checking him over because my son kept complaining “his willie hurt when he peed” the doctor took one look and he rang the Children’s hospital asking for the earliest possible appointment to see a pediatrician, one visit and booked in to be circumcised again. Several days later he was done again under full aneristic, now no problems.

  9. I think circumcision is absolutely necessary for the reasons listed in the article. Short term pain for long term gain.

  10. Being an old nurse & seen the stuff accumulated under foreskins there is a choice especially living in warmer climates

  11. Yes I agree with it, both my sons were done & my son decided to have my grandson done as well after doing research, I used to work on Saturdays in a operating theatre & we had a surgeon that had a list each Saturday doing these procedures for very young children, older boys & men because of medical reasons, & to see what these males went through at an older age was awful, yes there are medical benefits of having this procedure done & I have always been confident we made the correct decision for our sons future health

    1 REPLY
    • My son is 32 Lyn, and has never had a problem. When he was old enough to bathe himself, I would always say ‘ have you washed your penis and ears’ ….. we still laugh about it today lol. Not many males would be ‘done’ these days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *