A Regretful Father Talks About A Normalised Cultural Practice

Father holding son with sunset

By Ryan Bradley.

Well, I can speak of my own experience as a parent and as a cut man.

My understanding of circumcision was what I had learned socially growing up. I had never read any research based information on the topic and I believed what was told to me. Cultures normalise strange, cruel and bizarre behavior regularly. I had heard repeatedly all the misinformation.

“A circumcised penis is more clean.”

“A circumcised penis is easier to care for.”

“Foreskin is gross.”

“Foreskin gets infections.”

I believed what I had been told, and I believed that the natural male body was broken, flawed and in need of correction.  I believed that I as a cut man, was “normal” and that NORMAL and NATURAL was actually abnormal.

I cut my first son and will always regret it. We have two other sons who are intact. Way less work than having an open wound that gets covered in faeces.

Cultural conditioning can normalise anything. In cultures that practice Female Genital Mutilation, they have the exact same justifications we use to cut boys. We can easily look at another culture and see how horrible and mutilating a practice is, but fail to see that what we are doing is equally as horrible and mutilating, yet we defend our normalised cultural practice.

Circumcision started in the western world as a means of sexual oppression for boys and girls. Cognitive dissonance and bias are both prevalent when trying to discuss the concept of cutting healthy parts off healthy babies. Circumcision removes up to half of the penile skin system, severing thousands of nerves and removing 16+ functions of the foreskin, sometimes done for “prevention” of an unlikely potential future infection.

We are battling a culture.

I wish I had been presented with the truth before our first son was born. No one should have had the right to cut me. I never should have had the right to cut part of my son’s genitals off without medical necessity.


Ryan Bradley is a loving father of three boys and lives in the United States