Got your attention now? Not being the father of a boy, I've never had to decide the fate of another man's penis. And so whatever perspective or advice I might've come up about circumcision with didn't seem worth that much to a new dad who DOES have to make the choice. But DT reader and dad-to-be-of-a-boy Gregg asked anyway, so I thought I'd throw it out there. I hope we can get some reasoned, non-confrontational advice here; this is one of those topics where sure, it's funny, until somebody gets an eye poked out.
Obviously, Circumcision's not too tough of a choice for whole swaths of the population: observant Jews (duh, yes), unobservant Americans (duh, sure) or unobservant Rest-of-the-worlders (duh, no, are you kidding?). But for some people, the shifts in culture, norms, and medical rationales are big enough to make you stop and think. Which is probably a good thing, considering that we're talking about cutting off part of your brand new child's penis.
Frankly, everything I've ever heard about the medical benefits or risks for circumcision sounds to me like rationalization for a decision that's already been made.
It seems that once you pull it back the cover of a rare medical condition or strongly held cultural/religious beliefs, the real sensitive tip of this issue, so to speak, is either aesthetics or, or...some deepset sense of a dad's self/identity/some mumbo jumbo I can't figure out.
If it's an aesthetic choice, for Pete's sake, don't cut. Dress the kid however you want, cut his hair funny, decorate his nursery as if it were your personal fantasyland, but let the kid decide for himself when he's older if he wants a foreskin or not. It's not your penis, and after he's out of diapers and stopped wetting the bed, it's not really your business anymore.
As for this deeper, more complicated explanation, you'll recognize it immediately: "a boy should look like his dad." If this is your reasoning, please take a minute and ask yourself, honestly, as a son, when and how was it EVER important to you that your penis is the same cut as your father's? In what situations was this an issue? My father's given me my hairline and my nose. How is this not enough?
This is why I think the "should look like his dad" thing is something entirely about the dad, and not about the son. On that basis alone, I'd be skeptical about deciding one way or the other about circumcision. I'd want to figure out the reasons behind the "should." Of course, if you can answer that question to your own satisfaction, then you're ready to either schedule the mohel, or get the kid the hell outta there before someone starts snipping.
[Feel free to share, but be respectful; please don't make me cut this off prematurely.]