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(Un)Circumcised: How Parents Decide

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An illustration from above, looking down on two parents leaning over a bassinet. In the bassinet is a newborn wrapped in a blue and white striped blanket, wearing a blue hat with three thin white stripes on it. The parents' faces are not visible, and the person on the left has one hand down on the baby and the other around the other parent's shoulders. The word "(Un)circumcised" is in the middle of the right half of the illustration.
Charnel Hunter

It's a small procedure, but a big question. Anita talks with a urologist about what medical advice to consider while making the circumcision decision (and where medicine doesn't have the answers). She also meets a rabbi and mother who offers alternatives to centuries-old circumcision rituals and hears from a circumcised father raising an uncircumcised son.

Meet the guests:

  • Dr. Emilie K. Johnson, a pediatric urologist and associate professor of urology at Northwestern University, answers Anita's questions about the procedure and shares her research on disparities in access to circumcision
  • Rabbi Elyssa Cherney, founder of Tackling Torah, talks about the role of circumcision in the Jewish faith tradition, how she works with interfaith couples on what parts of that tradition to follow or preserve — and she explains how she handled the circumcision decision with her son
  • Chris Silva, a father, talks about how his thinking on circumcision evolved after his son was born prematurely, from assuming they would have the procedure for his son to ultimately decided not to circumcise

Read the transcript | Review the podcast

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Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.