Atheist Nexus Logo
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

Views: 1971

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

As well as circumcision in rather bizzare circumstances they would appear to have carried out other barbaric practices at the same time. This is something I am at the moment triyng to talk to the medical establishment about, best thing I can say about that is laborious. It involves damage to the erectile tissue as well as damage to the uretha. So for some males the practices may be more barbaric than you think.
As to circumcision itself, I had heard that in America they had begun to circumcise the male child in the immediate post-natal period without anaesthetic. Which of course is more ritual than medical.
I then wondered if circumcision creates a castration compex within males, it would go a way to explain the incipient violence of the religions for whom it is an absolute necessity. Fruedian I know but I don't think he was wrong about everything.
Obviously other nurturing and cultural elements come into effect then, but if those familial and cultural elements have an extant condition to work on their job's half done.
"One theory about why the circumcision rite was invented was that it made adolescent boy’s genitals bleed, like a girl’s first period (Knight 2001, 337). Today, the Jewish circumcision ritual is not considered complete unless blood is drawn. Circumcision was an emasculation rite, like the castration rite of the eunuch priests. The high religious value of hermaphrodites in ancient imagination explains the rationale behind the circumcision ritual. Castration was a method of turning men into women, like the gender bending Ishtar. Circumcision was a preferential ritual to castration for a king, who was also a high priest. Circumcision left the men with the ability to have erections and procreate. They were still emasculated, bleeding like a pubescent girl. But, it left a male able to be a king who could produce a prince, unlike a eunuch. Circumcision created a hermaphrodite." - Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity, page 51.

The most ridiculous notion is that circumcision was invented for cleanliness. The risk of infection far outweighed any imagined benefits and babies most certainly died from the operation. The Talmud created an exemption from circumcision for infant males who had two brothers who died, due to complications caused by circumcision. Far from being a healthful benefit, circumcision was a cause of death for boys.

Anti-circumcision advocates will like my recent post: Saint Peter was a bloody cock sucker, Literally.
Male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV AIDS and other STD infections.

Male circumcision vastly reduces the chance of spreading the HPV virus.

The male foreskin is about as useful as an appendix I have had both of mine removed and never noticed the slightest loss.

I think the discussion against male circumcision is one based on fear and male insecurity about their penises nothing else.

A happy healthy circumcised male.

If you had ever seen someone stuck in the jungle with a raging fungal infection under their foreskin due to poor hygiene and the terrible damage that it caused to his penis I doubt you would be so vocal in wanting to keep such a useless and dangerous flap of skin.
Well, I have no intention of ever going to the jungle and I know about contraceptives and personal hygiene. My appendix is still there as well and it never caused any trouble hitherto. But if you're comfortable with disposing of body parts, that's fine by me.

Personally, I do find circumcised penises quite ugly, but that's a matter of opinion. But then again I do not know anyone who is circumcised. It seems a weird thing to do. Yet I daresay with or without it, sex remains equally trite. It's just that I thought, at least in men, masturbation consists of rubbing the foreskin. How does that work with circumcised men, then? A bit of a mystery to me.

Toe amputation, as it happens, greatly reduces the risk of gout. No one really needs toes either.
>> Male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV AIDS and other STD infections.

Not at all proven. Widely refuted. No placebo-controlled double-blinded study ever showed this. There is evidence from Gray (July 2009) that HIV+ circumcised men are 50% MORE likely to transmit HIV to a partner.

>> Male circumcision vastly reduces the chance of spreading the HPV virus.

And there is now a vaccine for HPV. Infant circumcision is 15 times as deadly in the US as the Gardasil vaccine.

>> The male foreskin is about as useful as an appendix I have had both of mine removed and never noticed the slightest loss.

Your opinion about amputating your own healthy normal body parts (defined as Bodily Integrity Identity Disorder by psychiatrists) has no bearing on another person's right to remain intact and make his own choice. MANY, MANY men are dis-satisfied withg having been circumcised. Over 200,000 are non-surgically restoring their foreskins.

>> I think the discussion against male circumcision is one based on fear and male insecurity about their penises nothing else.

So you don't think people have a basic human right to avoid non-therapeutic amputation of body parts?

>> a useless and dangerous flap of skin.

OK, now I don't believe your line that you were an intact adult. No non-retarded person would describe his foreskin as a flap. It is a sleeve. You had me going, liar.

When and why were you circumcised? You really seem to despise the foreskin. I personally like having a foreskin and consider it to be very useful.

Who was this man in the jungle with a raging fungal infection of his penis? What was the context?


Probably because female circumcision is just genital mutilation performed so that the woman doesn't actually enjoy sex, now that's barbaric. Chopping off the foreskin is a different matter. I have been circumcised and I still enjoy sex.
You can't define all FGM as more barbaric than all MGM. FGM is worse


and it most often affects the hood only which is exactly analogous to - but less disfiguring than - male circumcision.

Even the women subjected to the most barbaric FGMs report orgasms during sex in 75% of the cases.

Whether you enjoy sex or like your navel pierced has nothing to do with another human being's choice to keep all his perfectly evolved pleasure-receptive parts (or avoid navel piercing) until he can make a rational decision.
This brief reply is entered here because of Daniel's question which is on page 2 of this thread, but it seems that any further reply has to go here because NING is not allowing another inserted reply at that location.
I had asked Daniel to read the following which I wrote on May 23 (it is page 30 of this thread). It suggests that we cannot believe the advices given by American physicians on the subject of male circumcision because it is possible that as many as 8 out every 10 such physicians had been circumcised as babies and could therefore have been very biased themselves. My response had been initiated by the claim of Mark Luther on the previous page 29 which should also be read.

Reply by Terence Meaden on May 23, 2010 at 12:54am

In the course of this thread it seems that those supporting circumcision for non-medical reasons (i.e. religious, ethnic, cultural, cosmetic) or claiming neutrality were themselves circumcised, and those who were not circumcised were not supportive.

From the AAFM short document of 2007 [referred to by Mark Luther] we find that
“An estimated 1 million circumcisions are performed each year in the United States. . .
In 1960, over 80% of men in the United States were circumcised. However, the percentage is now decreasing, and in 1992 the prevalence of circumcised men was estimated to be 77%. One study found that between 1987 and 1996, 37% of newborn males were circumcised during newborn hospitalization.”

This allows us to judge that for the years 1960-1992 approximately 77 to 80% of the American male population were circumcised men.
This further hints that perhaps around 77 to 80% of family physicians were themselves circumcised.

“The AAFP Commission on Science has reviewed the literature regarding neonatal circumcision”.
The authors of this review are not named.
Who were they? Were the men on this commission circumcised or not?
Their circumcision status should, even now, be made clear.
It may be that 8 out of every 10 men on this commission had themselves been circumcised.
This is enough to suggest that there could be unintended, unacceptable, bias in the review.

Moreover, the report ends with
“The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends physicians discuss the potential harms and benefits of circumcision with all parents or legal guardians considering this procedure for their newborn son.”

But if 77-80% of these family physicians are circumcised men, then the advice given would probably not be sincerely neutral.
Imagine how the general advice from physicians to parents and guardians could differ greatly if every single American male physician had never been circumcised.
As far as I'm concerned any non-medical reasons for circumcision are indefensible.

But my concern is that Africa has an all out epidemic on their hands and every organization I've seen weigh in on the topic recommends circumcision. The idea that the WHO, CDC, NIH, B&M Gates Foundation, AIDS Map, Avert, Doctors Without Boarders and the African nations themselves are spending millions of dollars circumcising the population despite the evidence, that just sounds like a conspiracy. The NIH was quoted to have even cut their own study short because of overwhelming evidence.

Circumcision is not a long term answer like condoms, education, cultural changes, and an improved quality of life but it is effective right now. The Catholic church certainly doesn't care to help the culture by changing their stance on condoms, so what do you recommend? Also, all these secular organizations are recommending circumcision and spending millions on it because of some possible religious and personal bias in a few unconvincing studies? If so are you saying these organizations are not qualified or able to make informed medical decisions?
^^ The NIH was quoted to have even cut their own study short because of overwhelming evidence. ^^

All three of the trials cited to defend the massive roll-out were cut about 75% short of their agreed-to protocol periods. This magnified the distorting effect of the cut mens' post-surgical period of abstinence. Further compounding that issue is the assay used to detect HIV can miss infections acquired within a few months.

The cut men had repeated visits to the medical tent during healing with additional safe-sex counseling each time. None of this was double-blinded or placebo controlled of course, and the subjects weren't even really randomized. ALL the subjects SOUGHT circumcision for cultural reasons. All the subjects were paid and all knew that researchers' aim was to prove the value of circumcising.

You know which other study was cut short? The one by the same research team (Gray et al) that showed the HIV+ cut men were 50% MORE likely to infect their partners (18% vs 12%). But that one was cut short due to "futility" with a recommendation to circumcise anyway, while the trials trending toward comparable effect but in favor of male circumcision were cut short and declared resounding successes.

These are facts. I'm not at all a conspiracy theorist. I just don't believe researchers from cut cultures can be rational about this.

To say mass-circumcision might make sense if only in Africa is nonsense. That's already been tried. In Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Swaziland, and Tanzania it is the CIRCUMCISED who have markedly higher HIV incidence.

This protective effect of circumcision is NOT seen in the real world, only when pro-cut researchers are running the show. Most of the US men who have died of AIDS were cut at birth. The US with general health and education comparable to Europe has three times the HIV incidence, even though American adults are mostly cut and cutting is rare in Europe.

Let me illustrate the African trial numbers:

{Let each * equal 0.5% of sample.}

***** 137 men left intact got HIV (2.5%)

*************** 376 intact men were lost to the study, status unknown (6.8%)

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* 4984 intact men didn't get HIV (90.7%)

** 64 cut men got HIV despite 6 weeks of abstinence and safe-sex counseling (1.2%)

************ 327 men were cut but lost to the study, status unknown (6.0%)

*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** 5020 cut men didn't get HIV (91.3%)

Do you see how large the chunk of men lost to the study is? The assumption by the researchers is that the men lost did not have significantly differing outcomes from the men studied until the end. Is that valid? Maybe not. If you were in a trial and got butchered would you go back to the butcher for more treatment? If you were in a trial and got sick despite a pleasure-robbing surgery would you go back or would you head to the city for proper treatment? I would suggest a man who would have surgery and then not show up for follow-up treatment could be a less-responsible type person who might have accounted for a case of HIV in the cut group.

Another assumption about these men who ALL chose to be circumcised (some just agreed to wait until the end) is that their behavior was not significantly different whether cut or left intact. Is that valid? If you were in a culture where getting cut was an important coming-of-age ritual yet you had somehow not had it yet, would you act the same after being initiated as a real man? Would potential partners view you the same? I would suggest you might be inclined to act more like responsible adult. I would suggest you might be in line for a higher class of female partner if you can boast you've had this cut that the man in the white coat says protects you from HIV. I would suggest you might be less likely to give or get a bareback BJ from a dude on the down-low (remember ZERO percent of these subjects self-reported ANY gay activities or inclinations, which is just absurd). Who knows? The issue is that the researchers DON'T know.

What they do know is that their recommendations definitely don't apply outside high-prevalence areas like the places in Africa they studied.
Where do you get the raw numbers, please provide references on points of fact. I'm happy to go read the article and interpret the raw data myself. Your position would be well served with references and data but I feel like I just keep getting "that's not true everyone knows that's fake and/or discredited".

If so much of this data is so well known and widely discredited then why have none of the big name international organizations become aware of it and updated their official recommendations? It would be better to divert funds to different activities that were found to be more effective if the medical efficacy didn't add up.

I didn't cherry pick any data, all of these groups are quoted as supporting this position. I just searched for any group with an opinion on the topic and every reference I found was in favor of the practice.

The most telling was the B&M Gates Foundation, known for having highly economical practices headed by Bill Gates a widely known atheist. I can't imagine a group that would shun ineffective religious based practices more.


Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today



Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon


Nexus on Social Media:

Latest Activity

Patricia replied to ecisco's discussion Kids and God
4 minutes ago
Dyslexic's DOG replied to ecisco's discussion Kids and God
10 minutes ago
Dyslexic's DOG replied to ecisco's discussion Kids and God
1 hour ago
Patricia replied to ecisco's discussion Kids and God
1 hour ago
Dyslexic's DOG replied to ecisco's discussion Kids and God
1 hour ago
Ryan Shields posted a blog post
1 hour ago
sk8eycat replied to Patricia's discussion Prayer Invalidated
1 hour ago
Patricia replied to ecisco's discussion Going Clear
1 hour ago

© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service