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Male genital mutilation
Posted: 18 February 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Abby - 18 February 2010 03:41 PM

Just because something is done one way for millions of years doesn’t mean it’s the best way.  Modern medicine is very recent.  So are our modern methods of hygiene.  From what I understand, circumcision is a hygiene issue, not just a religious one.  It is NOT mutilation, the way I see it.  Mutilation means you’ve handicapped the person in some way.  Circumcised men feel just as much sexual pleasure, and can still pee standing up.  The painful part is performed in infancy, just like immunization shots.  It isn’t remembered.

Mutilation is removing a normal feature of the body.  It should be illegal to perform it on people who aren’t capable of deciding whether they want it or not.

So you understand that circumcision is a hygiene issue.  When did this issue arise in the history of our species?  Cite peer reviewed literature (preferably from outside the US) on the wonderful benefits of circumcision. 
Actually, in the US, alone in the rest of the civilized world,  the issue first arose as a risible attempt at preventing masturbation, later to be lamely clad and motivated as a hygienic measure.

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Posted: 19 February 2010 12:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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enkidu - 18 February 2010 04:15 PM

Mutilation is removing a normal feature of the body.  It should be illegal to perform it on people who aren’t capable of deciding whether they want it or not.

By your definition, cutting your toenails is mutilation.  I assume you’re against removing wisdom teeth or an appendix from a person who can’t tell you they want it done. 

enkidu - 18 February 2010 04:15 PM

So you understand that circumcision is a hygiene issue.  When did this issue arise in the history of our species?  Cite peer reviewed literature (preferably from outside the US) on the wonderful benefits of circumcision.

Why do you want “literature” from “outside the US” instead of from legitimate medical boards or U.S. physicians?

Anyway, try using Google.  From medicine net:

In 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated in no uncertain terms that “there is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn.”
In 1983, the AAP and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) restated this position.
In 1999 and again in 2005, the AAP again restated this position of equivocation.

Regarding newborn circumcision, most physicians today agree with the practice of informing parents of the risks and benefits of the procedure in an unbiased manner. Recently, however, several large studies revealed a 60% decrease in HIV transmission in circumcised males compared to uncircumcised males.

http://www.medicinenet.com/circumcision_the_medical_pros_and_cons/article.htm

The information is out there and easily found.  I don’t have time to go overboard with research just for you, but I suggest anyone expecting a male baby do some reading and research.  It’s common sense.

http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/

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Posted: 19 February 2010 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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UlsterScots432 - 18 February 2010 04:07 PM
Abby - 18 February 2010 03:41 PM

Just because something is done one way for millions of years doesn’t mean it’s the best way.  Modern medicine is very recent.  So are our modern methods of hygiene.  From what I understand, circumcision is a hygiene issue, not just a religious one.  It is NOT mutilation, the way I see it.  Multilation means you’ve handicapped the person in some way.  Circumcised men feel just as much sexual pleasure, and can still pee standing up.  The painful part is performed in infancy, just like immunization shots.  It isn’t remembered.

it is my understanding is that circumcized men do NOT feel as much sensation.

`
I’m always surprised at how many people (women and/or men who haven’t been circumsized) make the assertion that cut men ‘feel just as much pleasure’....

How the heck can you ‘know’ ?

Just do a google search on ‘circumcision nerve endings’ ~ do you think that losing 10,000-20,000 nerve endings in the male body’s most erogenous zone simply has no effect on sexual sensitivity?

`

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Posted: 19 February 2010 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Abby - 19 February 2010 12:22 AM

I don’t have time to go overboard with research just for you, but I suggest anyone expecting a male baby do some reading and research.  It’s common sense.


`
Indeed.  Here you go:

http://www.norm-uk.org/circumcision_lost.html
http://indra.com/~shredder/intact/anatomy/
http://fresnofamily.com/pgbirth/circ.htm


`

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Posted: 19 February 2010 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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By your definition, cutting your toenails is mutilation.  I assume you’re against removing wisdom teeth or an appendix from a person who can’t tell you they want it done. 

Oh, come on.  We are talking about snipping off a body part that doesn’t grow back, and doing it for no medical reason. 

Why do you want “literature” from “outside the US” instead of from legitimate medical boards or U.S. physicians?

Because I was a bit leery of the US medical profession in this matter.  When circumcision became the rage, doctors told people what the puritans and fundies wanted to hear, and doing so was bad science and injurious practice.  (Of course the snipping itself was bad too!)
But I am happy to see that developments from at least recent decades have brought forth the positions of the medical bodies that you quote.  That is, “there is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn.”

I would like to point out that outside of the USA, in First World countries, talk about circumcision as a standard custom, or as a “hygienic” measure, much less its practice, hardly exists at all among the secularized portions of the population.

Now it is interesting that you brought up the matter of circumcision and HIV prevention.  This came up on another board.  I recollected an article in the Scientific American from many years ago (before they went digital) about epidemiological HIV research done in Africa.  As I remembered the article, it turned out that the practice of circumcision was confidently associated with lower HIV rates, although not by very much.  An MD on that board looked up the original paper (not the SA article) at a medical site that he had free access to.  He could report that there was such an effect, although almost marginal.  The explanation was the combination of bad hygiene and uncircumcised penises among the predominantly heterosexual patient population.  In those conditions lesions of all kinds would be more prone to fester, thus providing an entry for the HIV virus.  The good doctor on that board went on to say that normal hygiene would eliminate just about all the HIV prevention effects that circumcision might offer.

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Posted: 19 February 2010 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Not that it’s possible, but I wish I could have read this thread about 10 years ago. We did have our son circumcised… I would not have done that had I been more informed. (Sadly I thought I was informed.) red face

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 19 February 2010 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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harry canyon - 19 February 2010 04:02 PM

Not that it’s possible, but I wish I could have read this thread about 10 years ago. We did have our son circumcised… I would not have done that had I been more informed. (Sadly I thought I was informed.) red face

Take care,

Derek

As the son of Swedish immigrants who told the hospital where I was born in the forties in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t to be cut, I nearly completely escaped the circumcision thing.  But a doctor had gotten to my father just after I was born, convincing him that, being uncircumcised, I was in grave danger of developing (now I forget the proper term which was mentioned in this thread previously) constricted foreskin.  So my father, engineer and happy inventor that he was, started me on a device he had fashioned himself.  According to my mother it was so painful that she forbade him from using it after a couple of times. cheese

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Posted: 20 February 2010 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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I believe it’s called phimosis, and it’s not very common.  And, if it does occur, then one can get circumcized.

Your situation was a good example (two, really) of wasting our efforts trying to solve problems that are not at all likely to occur and can be handled easily if they do.

Occam

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Posted: 20 February 2010 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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I know a guy who underwent an adult circumcision.  He grew up in a country where it isn’t done, and when he moved to America (in his early 20s), he felt ashamed and wanted to fit in.  He told me it was the most painful thing he’s ever suffered (that’s why it’s usually performed in infancy).  He did not say that it altered or affected his sex life, however.  We were close friends and talked about sex freely; I believe he would have mentioned less pleasurable sex if that was the case.

You can choose to believe whatever you wish.  You can believe the anectdotal evidence in those links provided by Axegrrl, or a bloke whose dad traumatized him with a circumcision machine.  Or you can believe the evidence amassed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  If you trust your family physician, you can ask him/her.  I would recommend trusting doctors over random people on the internet, but you’re free to make your own choices.

Parents have to make a lot of choices for you.  They choose your name, where you grow up, what schools you go to, how you’re educated, and yes, whether or not you’re circumcized.  If you see this as “taking away free choice,” then, uh ... I guess.  Personally, if I were male, I would much rather be circumcized in infancy.  If my dad hooked me up to a circumcision machine as a child, I would indeed be terrified of any mention of circumcision.  But that’s just me.

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Posted: 20 February 2010 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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A couple of comments, Abby. 

While adult circumcision is recalled as quite painful, I would much rather have my mind inundated with that pain when I’m old enough to understand and deal with it, than as an infant who can’t understand or express the pain, but rather has it imprinted on his unconscious brain where it may modify his behavior (in subtle and unidentifable ways) for life.

I worked with a man who was circumcized as an adult, and he said he felt his glans had less sensation after a few months after the surgery.  So, I’d be reluctant to base our conclusions on anecdotal evidence. 

My daughter liked her middle name more, so she changed her name legally when she grew up.  She also chose which colleges she would attend.  It would be hard for a man to decide that he’d change from circumcized to non-circumcized as an adult. 

Occam

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Posted: 20 February 2010 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Occam - 20 February 2010 03:32 PM

A couple of comments, Abby. 

While adult circumcision is recalled as quite painful, I would much rather have my mind inundated with that pain when I’m old enough to understand and deal with it, than as an infant who can’t understand or express the pain, but rather has it imprinted on his unconscious brain where it may modify his behavior (in subtle and unidentifable ways) for life.

Now that would be an excellent area for scientific inquiry. What are the effects of circumcision on the subconscious of a baby? We are talking about its effect on a most fundamental area of human consciousness and emotional make up. Human behavior has been demonstrated to be closely associated with hormonal function, much of which is sexually driven (love, aggression, sexual deviance). To apply trauma to a part of the body, which eventually will govern much of its owners emotions and behavior, seems to me at least worthy of serious testing. After all, its origins were religious, as a “covenant with god”. That alone raises a red flag in my mind.
If you are a woman, consider how you would feel, if at birth the protective clitoral hood was surgically removed exposing the clitoris to immediate and (as has been reported) painful stimulation from external friction. Even if the experience is not painful, but pleasurable, it might still prematurely affect hormonal production and emotional development.  For a female baby to suffer this kind of early sexual trauma, might this physical “memory” not affect the natural development of sexuality at a later stage? Seems like an important consideration to me. I believe the same holds true for male babies.

[ Edited: 20 February 2010 04:43 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 20 February 2010 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Abby - 20 February 2010 03:03 PM

You can believe the anectdotal evidence in those links provided by Axegrrl, or a bloke whose dad traumatized him with a circumcision machine.  Or you can believe the evidence amassed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

`
Abby, you label the info in the links I posted as ‘anecdotal’, but if anything, your reference to your friend’s experience is the definition of ‘anecdotal’.

As I’ve already said, just google ‘circumcision nerve endings’ and read all of the medical information it yields.

`

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Posted: 20 February 2010 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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Occam - 20 February 2010 03:32 PM

While adult circumcision is recalled as quite painful, I would much rather have my mind inundated with that pain when I’m old enough to understand and deal with it, than as an infant who can’t understand or express the pain, but rather has it imprinted on his unconscious brain where it may modify his behavior (in subtle and unidentifable ways) for life.

I worked with a man who was circumcized as an adult, and he said he felt his glans had less sensation after a few months after the surgery.  So, I’d be reluctant to base our conclusions on anecdotal evidence. 

My daughter liked her middle name more, so she changed her name legally when she grew up.  She also chose which colleges she would attend.  It would be hard for a man to decide that he’d change from circumcized to non-circumcized as an adult.

`
Great points Occam, especially your closing one.

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Posted: 20 February 2010 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Looking at it from my point of view, I have seen instances of problems up to a child who nearly died from a circumcision. Infant circumcisions are unnecessary. Period. Complications that may occur from lack of a circumcision are very rare and easily fixed. We don’t remove an appendix, or gall bladder because it might get inflamed at some point.

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Posted: 24 February 2010 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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The Victorians circumcised their males because it was thought to lessen the desire for masturbation.  Now we just say it’s a hygiene issue. 

When I worked at a bookstore, I read through an autobiography someone returned one day about a botched circumcision.  I wish I remembered the name.  Anyway, the doctor ended up burning this newborn’s penis so badly that it actually just charred and fell off.  The parents decided to have a sex change performed on him, gave him estrogen therapy through puberty, and never told him that he was actually a boy.  He never felt like a girl or even liked boys, so he was unhappy and confused most of his life.  Eventually his parents told him the truth.  Wow.  This is why my Jewish friends insist that cauterizing instead of cutting is a bad idea.

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