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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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Any background that involves the routine genital cutting of children is a creepy background in my book. 'Creepy' would be putting it lightly. A more apt description is sadistic, perverted, twisted, and sexually backward.

"should male infants be uncut and discover later whether it works for them or not? Good question." - Loren Miller

EDIT: Oopsy, I misread LOL

For some reason I thought you said something along the lines of 'why not perform circumcisions? hmm not sure' o.O

I'll leave my (misdirected but relevant) response intact since it might help provide language for people to use when discussing this issue elsewhere, or clarify an idea for another reader. ;)

Apologies for misconstruing your words! (though I don't see your need to be wishy-washy about it :P)

Original reply:

Erm.. forgive me if I don't share your ambiguity on this matter. Would you be so ambivalent if the subject was the surgical removal (lets assume involvement of qualified medical practicioners here, instead of some idiot mohel with a blade and his teeth) of whatever the precursor to breast tissue is in infants? A pre-emptive mastectomy, if you will. It could be easily shown that this results in a much lower rate of breast cancer in "mastectomees", and this would be a verifiable, unquestionable 'health benefit'. Would you 'umm and ahh' about this hypothetical practice, or condemn it outright, as lacking any reasonable medical justification, and as being especially egregious when performed on individuals too young to consent?

To relate directly to what you wrote in your post, I suspect that infants would recover better from mastectomies as well, as they do from pretty much any surgical procedure compared to an adult, since they have yet to go through all their growth spurts, develop coordination and motor skills and all those other things which can be short-circuited by major surgery in (adolescence or) adulthood.

How about if they were bisecting the penis instead? Probably less loss of tissue and sensitivity with such a procedure, would you favour this over 'standard' circumcision? Would you favour bisection over just LEAVING the genitals of non-consenting individuals ALONE?

Having a healthy body image, being comfortable with who you are, this has very little to do with the notion of performing practically useless and unjustified, potentially life-threatening, and universally disfiguring procedures on non-consenting individuals.

What if we weren't talking about babies? How about grown men, pulled off the street into a church, laid over the alter and held in place by a group while a priest or rabbi or some random person chops away at their willy? Why do you think that doing this to a baby is any less grotesque? Surely that image I just described to you appalls you? Why can you (likely) instantly conclude that a grown man has a right to his bodily integrity, but if the body of an infant is threatened you have to think about it?? :/
Loren says, "Male circumcision isn't so cut and dried". I know this is not something to laugh at but...........
According to the other posts, CUT and DRIED is exactly what a circumcized penis IS!
To compare female genital mutilation to the circumcision of newborn boys is horrible, in my opinion. It's a COMPLETELY different issue, with *so* many more aspects involved.

That said, I do not fully support the circumcision of newborn boys, mainly because they do not have a say in the matter. Yes, scientific studies have shown that circumsized men are less likely to catch STDs and such, so there are certain health benefits to circumcision. However, I think it should be the man's choice when he is old enough to decide for himself whether or not he wants the operation.
How is it any different? It's pretty offensive to say that women have a little bit more right to their complete genitalia than men. Of course the female mutilation is also grounded in misogyny-so that women will be faithful to their husbands. Some cultures even sew up the vagina after they mutilate the clitoris. This is disgusting and repulsive and it needs to stop.

But we ALL equally deserve to be born without being mutilated, and without our permission. It's ludicrous to suggest otherwise.
You sound personally motivated in this discussion. Are you circumcised?
I am circumcised. I don't feel necessarily inadequate: my member works just fine thankfully. But no one had the right to cut part of it off in the first place.

But even if I wasn't, I'd still feel it is immoral.

I'll admit though, it's not the most glaring human rights violation in the world. I feel much more strongly against genocide and religious terrorism.

So what you're saying is that the right to bodily autonomy isn't important. Sorry, the right to bodily autonomy is very important.

He said immoral, how on earth do you interpret that as meaning unimportant???

It's not to say that males' genitals don't matter as much as women's--it's just that the degree of mutilation is different. Female genital mutilation is cutting a part of the clitoris off, and/or cutting the labia off and sewing them together. I'd say that's the equivalent of cutting the head of the penis off. I don't think "circumcized" women can reach orgasm at all, and FGM also causes some serious health problems.

Don't take this to mean that I'm for male circumcision, though. I still wouldn't circumcize a male child if I had one. Like so many other religious customs (prayer instead of medicine, for one), it has to be done when they're a kid, b/c if they're allowed to wait until they grow up to make up their own minds about it, the tradition would die out b/c no one would be stupid enough to do it!

The only way to know about sexual function is to compare the responses of circumcized and uncircumcized men. From what I've seen, circumcized men still enjoy sex and can reach orgasm, but there still could be a difference. Comparing sensations between people is difficult. Some sex therapists have said that the foreskin makes sex more pleasurable for both partners. It is also easier for uncircumcized men to masturbate; the one I know doesn't need lube b/c it just slides up and down.
Those are very good points. Great discussion!
Except some of the more well known benefits of not being circumcised such as easier masturbation and being more in control of your orgasm (premature ejaculation) it apparently also has some benefits for the sexual partners of uncircumcised men. I've been told that it's somewhat nicer for women to have intercourse with an uncircumcised male because the foreskin acts like a natural cockring.


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