No, I’m not discussing sweaters. I’m discussing *whispers* foreskins.
The big decision for some pregnant moms-to-be is “If my baby is a boy, do I have him circumcised or leave him au naturel?” I say some because for other mother’s this isn’t even a consideration, it’s either a yes, often for religious reasons, or no for personal or cultural reasons. How does this relate to m/m romance you are asking and what the hell are you rambling on about? Getting there. When you read m/m romance do you care if the characters are cut or uncut? Do you assume they are if a character is American and aren’t if they are European? Does it even cross your mind if you don’t specifically see reference to it in the story? What about the future of m/m romance?
I raise the issue because in Canada, the stats say about 30% of adult men are circumcised, in the US 75%, in the UK 6% and in Australia 60%. The number in Canada remains about the same for babies although Quebec is much lower. So in 20 years, the odds of finding a circumcised French-Canadian lover (fictional or otherwise) will be pretty slim. Only about 2% of British children are circumcised today and less than 15% of Australians, however it remains at about 85% for parts of the US mid-west. Should authors pay attention to trends like this or do we not care? Obviously if a character is Jewish or Muslim we would expect them to be circumcised as their religion dictates, but what if he’s born in Chicago and his lover is British? Would it throw you off to have the British lover be cut or would you likely not notice. (Of course now that I’m tossing these stats at you it will jump out next time you read it. Sorry. 🙂 )
I’ll be honest, when I’m reading most of the time I don’t really care nor do I think about it, but it would throw me off more if someone from a European country was cut than it would the reverse. If a character born in Nebraska was intact, I wouldn’t think twice, even though I suppose it would be rare. If the author doesn’t say cut or uncut I’m not sure what I presume. I guess I just don’t think about it. I’m assuming in historical novels the men are au naturel unless there is a religious basis for it.
So authors, do you think about foreskins? While you are writing of course. 🙂 Do you consider whether your character would or wouldn’t have one depending on their culture, where they were born, nationality? Or do you write in such a way that it simply doesn’t come up, the foreskin issue I mean, I’m not talking erectile disfunction. Readers, do you care? Do you prefer one or the other (either in books or real-life) and would you notice if something is statistically out of the norm? This is not a debate out whether children should or shouldn’t be, but about characters fitting the demographics from which they come. (This could apply to hair color – excpet for all those blonde Japanese men in yaoi – or any trait I suppose).
Ya gotta love Belgian animators.