When I was newly pregnant with my son I got lots of comments about having a boy from friends and strangers. Most of these comments revolved around my son being so different from my daughter in that he would be more aggressive, dirty, and harder to handle.
There was another comment that usually followed these remarks too- “but boys absolutely LOVE their mommas”. This comment I really didn’t care for because my daughter fiercely loves me, and honestly, if boys loved their mommas so much, then tell me why they took away our basic human rights and dignity for centuries?
People would also comment that my son would be kinder to me when he’s a teenager than my daughter. Based on what? I mean, the weird things people say right?
Shopping for my son became triggering. I just wanted simple clothing without trucks or rocket ships or dinosaurs or any images whatsoever. Instead I saw onesies with “Lock up your princesses” or “Boob Man” or “Ladies I have arrived” etc kinds of messages on it. Sexual messages on an infant. Rape culture too no less. It’s gross. If you don’t see the point I am making just imagine slogans like these for your daughter and then you should see what I mean.
I vowed to buy him clothing that was classic and untouched by these graphics and slogans and that turned out to be a quest of sorts. I really had to search far and wide to buy him proper clothing, whereas for my daughter, it was all readily available….and cheap.
I started researching the things these people would tell me about their sons. Why were they so aggressive? Why did having a penis make a child so vastly different from another child with a vagina?
I did find that statistically, adoptive parents were willing to spend $16,000 more to adopt a girl over a boy because of how much “easier” girls are than boys. (https://www.futurity.org/strong-preference-for-girls-in-u-s-adoptions/). I highly recommend reading this whole study done by Caltech.
I plunged further down the rabbit hole so to speak. I stuck to evidence based research. And I used this evidence to help me make choices so that my son could be raised without becoming what people told me he would become. I had no idea that past life experiences had already prepared me for what I was going to learn.
If you already had a son and are no longer having more sons, stop reading now.
I hate hurting people’s feelings. Being a mom is so hard and not everyone has the time to research every single thing, right? So if you are not expecting a son and yours are already earth side, then you will want to stop reading now. I don’t want anyone to feel shame or guilt over past choices. Unless you want to learn something that could impact a future grandson or nephew in your life, then read on. But please show yourself grace and love because we can’t know everything all the time and mistakes will always be made, ok?
Now that you’ve made the choice to keep reading, here is what I have found, and let me tell you how real life events lead to this path of discovery alongside evidence based research.
Before I became a mother I was in graduate school and the topic of female genital mutilation came up. To those who were in favor of this practice, they stated that it was for religious, aesthetic, and cleanliness reasons, and that male circumcision was no different. I never thought about it that way before. I thought it was normal to circumcise boys because it decreased chances of cancer, was religious for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and of course I thought it was a worldwide practice.
It’s not a worldwide practice. It’s mostly done in Israel and the US. We had an au pair from Great Britain move in with us before my son’s birth who worked for the National Health department before coming here. She was shocked that they circumcise baby boys here. I cannot reiterate enough that this is not normal.
This dialogue got me thinking, how would I feel if my clitoral hood were removed? So I looked it up. Turns out one can get their clitoral hood removed according to the Cleveland Clinic . “Without your clitoral hood, your clitoris would be overly sensitive to touch and irritants, like friction from clothing rubbing against it. Your clitoral hood makes a lubricant called sebum that helps it glide smoothly over your clitoris. This function is similar to the foreskin that covers the tip of a penis (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22259-clitoral-hood-reduction).”
So imagine as a woman how you would feel living without this part of your body. It’s just logical to deduce that without being properly sheathed from constant exposure that this part would become less sensitive during the times when one would want it to be. Also imagine how you would feel as a baby having this sensitive part cut off.
You can read from the American Cancer Society from this link how circumcision doesn’t prevent penile cancer. Good hygiene and refraining from tobacco products does.
Here’s another article where circumcised men had double the rates of HPV than men who were left whole:
Now fast forward to when my daughter was an infant I had met a mother who was just shopping for her infant son’s coffin. This made quite the impression on me for obvious reasons. She shared with me that her son bled to death after being circumcised. I remember the tears. The heavy sadness that her son did not have to die. I couldn’t imagine going through pregnancy and birth to then make a choice that would lead to my son suffering and dying. After this encounter I researched to see how many sons die from this procedure.
This article gives information on the number of baby boys who die from the surgery every year.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states “health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns” (https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/130/3/585/30235/Circumcision-Policy-Statement).
When I was researching this after meeting that grieving mother just seven years ago I saw in the CDC website that 117 boys die every year in the USA from this procedure but as of this post I cannot find it.
Here is a study showing that circumcising premature boys leads to higher rates of SIDS:
Australia and New Zealand have banned routine circumcision and you can read why here:
Shouldn’t the increase in death alone be a deterrent to this outdated procedure?
This article gives information on all the things that can go wrong with circumcision other than death:
People say “oh these babies don’t feel pain”…..really? Have these people not had babies? Because babies cry and scream when they just have gas. They are sensitive to sound, light, temperature, and everything else under the sun, so suddenly they don’t feel the tip of their genitals being cut off? I guess that’s one of the lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about our choices.
Look at this MRI study showing a newborn baby boy’s brain before and after circumcision. No wonder the cultures who do this to their sons end up having more aggressive men than others. Here’s the link:
So let’s fast forward to when I was pregnant with my son. I started to look this topic up again and it opened up a conversation with a family member who had many sons. I thought she would immediately tell me this was all hogwash but she got really quiet and serious and then the moment of truth came: two of her sons were botched.
She told me that one of these sons cried all the time as a baby. It was so bad that she was trying every remedy under the sun and at one point was convinced that the trees around her house were making him sick because he cried all the time. She and her husband were so desperate for sleep that they sold their house and moved. It didn’t work. And her son cried day and night for two years and no doctor could find no reason.
When this little boy was about eight years old he started to show signs of depression and was getting trouble at school. It turns out that he was involuntarily peeing himself at school and because of his age, the teacher thought he was doing this on purpose, and would punish him in front of the other children.
It was because he was peeing himself that his mother took him to a specialist who discovered that his penis was botched and that he needed surgery to fix it. So at eight years old he had to undergo penis surgery so that he would no longer pee himself in public.
This son has had issues with depression and aggression ever since. He would not have these issues had he not been circumcised in the first place.
Here is an article showing how circumcision alters men psychologically : “Early-circumcised men reported lower attachment security and lower emotional stability (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844020324099)
Here is another article showing the psychological effects of this procedure. It also outlines how some of the studies used to promote circumcision were poorly done:
If you are expecting a son I highly recommend this website as a resource for you:
I will say having a whole son is marvelous! When he was born I didn’t have to change out gauze on his bleeding penis. I didn’t have to lose sleep to his cries of pain. I didn’t have to worry if he was botched.
More sleep and less anxiety sounds good to me, how about you?
Also when my son is an adult, he gets to reap the benefit of a 30% bigger unit, and sex will feel like going from “black and white” to color(according to several men who spoke about it publicly and my personal friend who confided in me).
Ask any man if he could have a 30% larger penis and enjoy better sex, would he choose it? YES he would.
People praise my son all the time for the happy and loving boy that he is. He is not aggressive and is everybody’s friend in his class.
I hope to inspire parents to make educated choices about their baby boys to reduce death in babies and aggression in boys as a whole for a better society.