I think one of the things that we far too often overlook in this country is that fact that genital mutilation of newborn boys is common practice, if not standard. Why isn't there more of a cry against this? Do the benefits of circumcision (if any, and I don't see any valid argument that there are any) outweigh the cost and mutilation of a boy?

Of course circumcision isn't the only genital mutilation in the world, but it's the only type in practice in the United States. Female genital mutilation is just as barbaric, if not more so. Americans, and Europeans in general, ban female genital mutilation of babies, but why the hypocrisy in not doing the same for males?

Tags: Christianity, God, Judaism, circumcision, clitoral, covenant, genital, mutilation

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The thing that people who've not experienced/witnessed squirting is that female ejaculate is, unlike male ejaculate, extremely inefficient at lubrification, because of the high water percentage. So like you say, with multiple orgasms, a woman can get extremely raw.

 

Attempting to compensate with KY only partially helps because sexual lubes are diluted by water and become less efficient.

As I've already made plain to you, there is no question that the foreskin is not "vital to survival", although, as I have previously remarked, many babies do indeed die from circumcisions. The point is that much of the body can be considered as not being vital to survival but that doesn't mean we chop those parts off of or cut them out of newborn babies. Obviously we don't cut the female prepuce off at birth.

Even eyes themselves are not absolutely necessary for survival, and nor is a penis for that matter. I do understand however that it is a matter of degree and how much more difficult one's life becomes as a result of losing a certain body-part or function.

The real issue here, however, is not survival. It is pleasure. If the foreskin were vital to survival then circumcision would have died out as a practice long ago. It is precisely because most circumcisions are able to preserve sufficient sensation and function for sexual activity and procreation that anti-sexual minds have advocated the procedure, for it limits pleasure and function to the bare necessities and so, it was thought, discourages "excessive" indulgences.

I have not compared the foreskin to the eyes but to the eyelids. And I have explained that they are similar in certain ways. The foreskin, however, is a unique organ.

"I haven't lost anything but extra nerve-endings". There are a number of problems with that statement. First of all, those nerve-endings are not "extra", but standard biological equipment. Second of all, there are upwards of 20000 of them, and they are specialised touch-sensitive cells called Meisner's Corpuscles. The glans penis, by comparison, has about 4000 nerve-endings, which are not touch-sensitive but pressure-sensitive. In effect this means that you have lost the most densely enervated and thus, arguably, the most sensitive and erogenous part of your penis.

Thirdly, you have not just lost those nerve-endings but also the tissue that covers the glans and thusly maintains its moistness and sensitivity. As a result of the permanent exposure of your glans, a biologically internal organ, layers of keratin have developed on its surface over time to protect its delicate mucosa. This toughens the glans, making its surface more rough and dulling its purple colour and sensitivity.

Fourthly, depending on how tightly you were circumcised, you have lost the majority of mobility of your penile shaft skin. And lastly you have lost your ability to decide for yourself whether you want to be circumcised.

I am not saying any of this to be mean, but to put the situation in perspective. The foreskin is not the be-all-and-end-all of existence. It is possible to have a very happy and healthy life without one, of course. But neither is it "just a flap of skin". This minimisation and trivialisation of natural genital anatomy is based in ignorance and leads to the perpetuation of this unnecessary and undesirable practice.

I have to wonder (and I hate to say this, as a woman and a mother) if the decision to circumcise isn't due to a mother's aversion at handling her infant son's penis in order to properly clean it.  All of my little brothers were circumcised, and I had to change many a diaper growing up, as I had five brothers.  Cleaning a circumcised boy is not so different from changing a girl's diaper.  However, I used to babysit a little boy who was not circumcised.  His mother had to teach me how to pull back the foreskin and clean inside it to prevent infection.  This task is particularly gross when the child has loose stools.  As a 14-year-old girl, I was more than a little uncomfortable handling a little boys penis so extensively.  I do think it more than a bit selfish if this concern is the cause for circumcision being so prevalent, but I wouldn't count it out.

I can imagine that playing a role in some circumstances, in the popular subconscious. I've mentally erased any diaper changing episodes I had in my life. I was an elder sister by 5 and 7 years, I never could handle diaper changing. I babysat plenty, but usually not infants with diaper duty. Was it because I myself was diaper free by 9 months? probably. My brother was circumcised, and I have sincerely no memories of the other babies... how odd.

 

I think diapers til age 5 is a disgusting N.American fashion trend and I hope our society moves away from it. I can not begin to imagine the humiliation a child has to live thru to be in diapers so long. It is not good for the human psyche.

I think diapers til age 5 is a disgusting N.American fashion trend

 

You've got to be kidding me, how common is this?

 

^^ mother's aversion at handling her infant son's penis in order to properly clean it. ^^

 

You'd think she'd be averse to that gnarly wound and the feces that got into that. 

 

But an intact boy's genitals are no harder to care for than a baby girl's.  The AAP says "clean only what is seen.  Leave it alone." 

 

The handling should be minimal.  The foreskin is naturally fused to the glans through toddlerhood so no diaper mess should get in.  Actually the foreskin protects the urinary meatus from most fecal matter.  Regardless, the space within the foreskin is regularly flushed by sterile urine exiting the body. 

 

The mistaken notion of needing to rigorously clean has led to premature forced retraction which causes a lot of infections and injury to the mucosal parts of the penis.  Nobody except the owner should ever try to retract a foreskin.  If he's not old enough to do it himself, it doesn't need done. 

I'm pretty sure Kim's point was NOT that it needs to be forcefully retracted, but that it is AN IMPRESSION that some uninformed mothers have, which incites those mothers to have their sons circumcised. Or at least that's how I read it...
You read it wrong.

Kim wrote:

I have to wonder (and I hate to say this[...]) if the decision to circumcise isn't due to a mother's aversion

 

She is wondering if ... seems pretty clear to me... but I guess we'll have to wait til she returns to confirm...

"Cleaning a circumcised boy is not so different from changing a girl's diaper.  However, I used to babysit a little boy who was not circumcised.  His mother had to teach me how to pull back the foreskin and clean inside it to prevent infection.  This task is particularly gross when the child has loose stools."

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Kim, but Ron Low is completely right: you were totally misinformed about the cleaning of intact boys. Cleaning an intact boy is no different from changing an intact girl's diaper. You just wipe down the outside. You "only clean what is seen". You never ever even *try* to retract the foreskin of an infant. ("If he's intact, don't retract!") This is totally unnecessary and can be very very damaging. You would not start probing into the internal aspect of a baby girl's genitalia in order to 'clean the vagina'. This of course would be absurd - the vagina is self-cleansing; Nature knows how to take care of itself. The same is true of boys.

This intact boy's mother was obviously misinformed by ignorant medical professionals who, being American, had no idea how to care for an intact infant. The foreskin is not a pathology and you do not need to retract it and clean under it in an infant boy any more than you need to penetrate and clean an infant girl's vagina to "prevent infection". In fact, the foreskin is fused to the glans of the penis in infants. It naturally separates of its own accord when ready (usually by or during adolescence). The boy himself should be the first and only person to retract his foreskin. By forcefully retracting the foreskin of this infant you were actually making him more likely to develop a penile infection! (In addition to probably causing him pain.)

What you and his mother were doing is called PFR (Premature Foreskin Retraction) and this is a big no no. It can lead to all sorts of penile problems and actually create a need for circumcision. I hope that this was not the case for this little boy.

There is a balance to be struck there between the word "retract" and "encourage motion". The skin should be encouraged to motility, without any force applied of course. In nature, licking from mothers I'm pretty certain goes in every direction and there is a slight amount of reverse motion throughout the process. The infant should be encouraged to move his own foreskin, that is healthy, and the bathing process is a great place to encourage that. I wonder at what point in history did women stop licking their babies... hmm

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