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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There is no doubt that foreskin is not necessary for survival, although circumcision can result in death. But the majority of the body is not necessary for survival. People can 'survive' without arms and legs. They can even 'survive' without eyes. Technically a man with no penis at all can survive.

Most people are interested in more than just mere survival, though. We want to be happy. We don't just want to survive, but to thrive. I personally do not take survival as the purpose of my life or of life in general.

I think the comparison of foreskin and eyelids has validity because, as I said, they both relate to acute sensory organs, and are somewhat biologically analogous (although not totally so; the foreskin is indeed a unique organ).

Thank you for pulling me up on the vaccination point. One paragraph there was not as tight as it should have been. I am not an expert on the issue and I don't say that vaccination is bullshit. However, I feel skeptical of it and know a number of doctors who are too. Just because the establishment and mainstream media support something does not make it valid for me. I shall have to do more research on the subject.

In the meantime if I had kids I would not vaccinate them. I think there are many factors that go into causing disease, but ultimately it comes down to our own thoughts, words, and actions. I think that a healthy mind and a healthy diet and lifestyle will produce a healthy body. This is almost impossible in today's world (particularly in the USA) because of nutritionally bereft and poisonous food, a toxic environment, and chronic stress.

I think that the germ theory of disease is incomplete. Recall that Louis Pasteur recanted his germ theory of disease on his deathbed, admitting "it is not the microbe, but the terrain". I believe the germ theory and vaccination have become so popular and gospel because it fits in with our immature egoic mindset of blaming external factors for our problems instead of taking responsibility for our own decisions.

It's never us that is to blame, is it? Let's blame religion or atheism. Men or women. The old or the young. The blacks or the whites. The Jews or the Arabs. The republicans or the democrats. The germs or the genes. Then we don't have to look at ourselves in the mirror and change our ways.

I'm not sure what tl;dr means.

Hi,

^^ I'm not going to go pulling at the skin of my dick to give the the impression of faux-foreskin though. I just think that there's no point to it other then aesthetic reasons. ^^

The benefits of foreskin restoration are most definitely functional, not just aesthetic. 

The glans and mocusal tissue adjacent to the glans revert to being supple and pleasure receptive (moist like the inside of the lips, instead of dry like the outside of the lips). 

The shaft skin gives an indescribably awesome feeling as it slinks over the corona. There are simply no words with which one could over-state this effect.  It's the way the skin was seemingly designed to work.  Until I had the slack to experience this slinking of skin I just never knew sex could feel this good.  The tight 180 degree bend the skin makes as it rolls triggers a nerve response that I could only descibe as seeing in a new color.  I could roll my skin around before while flaccid, but during arousal the response is totally different. 

The other huge benefit is the way my wife enjoys the frictionless gliding feeling during intercourse.  Before she would get rubbed raw by sex and need a few days off if I gave her multiple orgasms over the course of say an hour.  Now she's raring to go day after day. 

Lastly, there are things I can experience now which are simply impossible without slack.  An example would be my wife pulling my skin forward over the glans and swirling her tongue around between the skin and glans, tickling both surfaces simultaneously. 

"My husband has no regrets being circumcised, as I suspect is the case with most men."

Your suspicion is probably wrong. Informal studies (there are no formal ones) indicate that men are much more likely to be happy to be intact (~95%) than happy to be circumcised (~50%), so leaving him alone is more likely to leave him happy.

"I don't see why its touted as a bad thing if done properly."

It's a bad thing even if it is done "properly" when it's done to someone who didn't ask for it and didn't need it. That's a human rights issue.

Then, who defines "properly"? The only person who can is the one its done to. And yes that is a very important point, and circumcision is often given to tired interns/residents/house surgeons for "practice". As an attorney who specialises in botched circumcision cases put it,

"Almost every male in the US that's circumcised has what I call "beta genitalia". Basically, you're the first surgical experiment of some 27-year-old. Millions of American men look every day at ugly scars left by somebody who was basically faking it, or trying to do their first surgery. It's amazing."

- John Geisheker at http://www.youtube.com/user/Bonobo3D#p/u/18/SyiBdP4GfO8 (3'40")
July 25, 2009

I personally don't see why female circumcision is touted as a bad thing if done properly. After all, think of all those older invalid women who can't properly maintain themselves.

Why did your father choose to be circumcised? He obviously wanted to be circumcised or felt he needed it so why curse the procedure? How was it "bothersome"? Are you saying that it was inconvenient? It seems you Americans have an obsession with convenience, at the cost of your health and sanity.

Of course most men have no regrets being circumcised because they don't know anything else! My gosh, it's not rocket science (so to speak). The few intelligent and courageous circumcised men who have chosen to research the subject most often admit it was unnecessary and do not repeat it on their children. Many of them become very angry about it. Another reason why you won't hear many men lamenting over their loss of foreskin is because it is not easy for men to admit to themselves, let-alone cry from the rooftops, that they have penis issues, that they may have been robbed of an important sexual body-part.

Many men, because of their immaturity and insecurity, end up visiting the sins of the father upon the son. And if a mother has chosen to circumcise her son/s then it can be very difficult for her to admit that she made a mistake. A terrible mistake.

Good point Lisa! In our class discussions (most of us have worked in nursing homes and/or as CNA's before taking on nursing school) the point was brought up in exactly that context. It was also pointed out that caring for a disabled, uncircumcised male is going to be more difficult because A) it's hard enough to find CNA's and B) it's humiliating/uncomfortable for many patients when they need help with that sort of hygiene.

I'm surprised they don't use anesthetic where you're from. Here in AK they do circumcisions with a ring block local and distract the baby with sucrose on a pacifier. No crying, no fuss, and hardly any blood.

You should read the replies to Lisa's comment. Should we circumcise baby girls to make your job more convenient? The idea that all boys should be routinely circumcised and have their genitals physically altered just in case they end up as invalid old men is ridiculous. You would never consider this for females. And you should be ashamed of yourself for condoning and advocating for the genital cutting of males just to make part of your chosen profession that much more convenient.

If a man is too disabled to clean his dick then he is probably too disabled to wipe his arse. I'd imagine you would have to help with that too and this may be humiliating for him. The idea that we are going to start amputating flesh from people's genitalia so that just in case they wind up being an invalid one day it may be less humiliating for them just shows how twisted your priorites have become.

The fact is that you don't care about a men's rights to intact genitals and you obviously have no real understanding of the penis and the role of the foreskin as valuable erogenous protective tissue. This is just another example of how the USA has totally lost the plot.

And btw, from one 'uncircumcised' person to another, I think it makes more sense to describe our genital state as *intact*.

A common problem where? I don't really understand what you're talking about. Most of the world's countries are genitally intact and I have never heard of 60 year old men needing to be circumcised "because it's closing up". This sounds ridiculous to me.

Even if what you said is true, which I highly doubt, there are other treatments for phimosis which are less drastic than circumcision. And most of the time they are effective. Even if circumcision was somehow medically necessary for an older man then let them opt for it at 60. They can give consent, they can be put under general anaesthetic and given post-op pain medications; they can even choose the method and type of circumcision! None of these options are available to an infant.

Additionally, a man who gets circumcised at 60 has had the benefit of intact genitalia for most of his life. A baby who is circumcised is denied forever the natural sexual experience.

 

This is something I hadn't really spent too much time considering due to the fact I'm American and all the men I know of are circumcised. Fortunately, after reading this I've actually decided that if I have a boy I will not be having him circumcised. If later on in life he decides to go through with it, then that's up to him. What's odd about this is that I always knew I was against piercing a baby's ears because what if they grow up and don't want them done? Anyways, I have a feeling I'll be discussing the issue of circumcision with my husband in the near future, even though we aren't planning on having any children for a couple years still.
To each their own but I'm glad my parents had me circumcised.
While I, on the other hand, am glad I wasn't. If I had been, I'd be forever wondering what I was missing out on, and probably hating either my parents or the hospital. I agree, to an extent, with those who have said "have it done as an adult" rather than as a child who is given no choice in the matter.

But if you have known what it is like to have sex with all your bits, and then, after having it done, you find sex to be less satisfying, what would you do?

I wouldn't take that chance - I was born with that bit of skin, and I'll die with it, it is a natural part of me, why remove it?

As a PS, Charles, why are you glad?
"my brothers all say they have to use lube to do the duty." - JstN Earthling

Wow... That must suck - so they even have to dish out funds to have sex with *themselves*?? Holy crap xD

Maybe we should start a support organisation... and collect monies for "lube for the religiously scarred". I'd doorknock for that, just to see peoples' expressions :)

Still wondering and waiting for Charles' answer, too...

- Gliktch
My studies in nursing have led me to good information on the subject. Lowdermilk & Perry's Maternity Nursing 7th ed., 2009 states that while circumcision reduces the risk of penile cancer and of contracting STD's, there is no real medical reason for the removal of the foreskin. Penile cancer is really rather rare even in uncut men and as for the STD risk...safer sex practices are a much better prevention than removing normal pieces of anatomy. Both my textbooks and the doctor I worked with on the OB unit during my first rotation are very clear: There is no medical reason to circumcise; it is done for no other reason than culture, religion and appearance.

During my first day on the OB unit I got a chance to witness two circumcisions and they weren't nearly as barbaric or traumatic as I'd imagined. Most doctors these days are aware that neonates feel pain and do a nerve block around the penis to reduce the trauma of the procedure. It wasn't until fairly recently that the belief that newborns nervous systems are not developed enough to register pain was overturned. There are still doctors who don't use anesthetic when performing the procedure, so it is very important that new parents ensure that pain is controlled in their infant should they choose to have him circumcised.

Pain in newborns can cause life threatening reactions. I personally do not think the benefits outweigh the risks of circumcision of a newborn before at least a week old. Newborns do not manufacture vitamin K in their gut (vitamin K assists in blood clotting) and even though it is standard procedure to administer vitamin K shots to newborns, IMHO it is safer to wait until the newborn has had an opportunity to receive antibodies from mother's milk and begin forming his own clotting factors before circumcising.

It is also important to remember that the fetal shunts do not close securely right away. Crying in the newborn can cause fetal shunts, particularly the foramen ovale, to re open and mix oxygenated and un-oxygenated blood which isn't usually life threatening, but it does delay full closure of the shunt. Obviously if the infant is in pain he will cry more than one who is not.

Infants who are circumcised also experience less REM sleep until the pain from the surgery has subsided and there is some evidence to indicate that circumcision may cause delays in mother-baby attachment.

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