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Wolf writes: "To cut or not to cut? That is a very personal question, which each parent must decide for him- or herself. But parents deserve real science in making up their minds, as well as transparency from professional bodies offering what is, ostensibly, purely medical advice."

Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)


The Male Circumcision Question

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

30 August 12

 

Parents considering male circumcision have a right to expect objective medical advice, untainted by commercial interests.

att Williams, an expectant father, stirred up strong debate this week in his Guardian essay on why he won't let his newborn son be circumcised. Referring to a new edict from the American Academy of Pediatrics insisting that "the health benefits of circumcision" outweigh the negatives, Williams spoke for many parents in demurring with this conventional wisdom, expressing the many reasons for his unease.

He pointed out that this delicate decision is often mystified by conflicting advice. The studies upon which the pediatricians rely, he noted, often have to do with highly specific data: the risks in Africa of Aids transmission in uncircumcised men, for instance. And he argued, quite fairly (though he wisely does not equate them), that the pediatricians' odd invocation of parental "religious" and cultural motivations for circumcision, and their assertion that these views should be respected quite apart from medical considerations, is a position that would be resisted if invoked by those who wanted to cut off bits of newborn girls' genitals.

Williams is not alone. A growing movement of men has arisen to decry the practice of circumcision as a mutilation they feel they have undergone, which they say is barbaric, traumatic and sexually desensitizing. But is circumcision indeed emotionally traumatic to newborn boys? And is it, separately considered, physically damaging?

Thanks to research for my new book on the brain-vagina connection, I have a fair number of conversations these days with neuroscientists who study the data on this link. A significant body of literature does exist showing that trauma to the vagina or clitoris affects the female brain in ways far more substantial and lasting than the obvious post-traumatic one would expect from the physical injury alone.

So it is reasonable to wonder if the injury of male circumcision (though hardly comparable to female genital mutilation) could, as many claim, have some lasting emotional or psychological effect on men and the male brain - apart from, or in addition to, any physical harm from the incision.

Two neuroscientists I interviewed about potential harm from male circumcision came to very different conclusions: one, Professor Jim Pfaus, who is doing cutting-edge research on sexual neuroscience at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, notes that the data do not show any lasting harm from circumcision that is physical, and he agrees with the AAP that the medical benefits of the practice do outweigh the negatives. He makes a strong case that the movement against circumcision is not scientifically sound.

But the other neuroscientist, based in Midwestern university, who asked not to be named when he spoke to me (because his view is not medical orthodoxy) does indeed see harm in male circumcision that is less obvious than its potential medical consequences. He studies the effect of genital or sexual trauma on the body - a data set that now has many studies to support the assertion of strong mind-body connections. Sexual trauma in childhood specifically has lasting effects on the autonomic nervous system.

A neuroscientist who studies trauma regards emotions as physically embodied. This neuroscientist believes that the emotional experience of a newborn boy being cut in this intimate way by an authority figure, and a source of what should be love and protection, does imprint itself on the infant mind and create, potentially, a particular later orientation toward authority and risk.

"What kind of person does that trauma create?" I asked.

"Woody Allen," he joked. (Since he himself is Jewish, I gave him a pass.)

He said he had circumcised his own sons - out of anxiety of what another less careful hand might do - and that his second son's procedure was definitely traumatic. Apart from the baby's experience, it is painful and counterintuitive for a new mother to witness her baby being hurt, eight days after she has given birth. Many mothers, even those who sign on for male circumcision for their child for religious or cultural reasons, find the experience traumatic. They feel that the strongly-held religious conviction in the rite of circumcision - whatever the science finally concludes - definitely sends a powerful message to a lactating mother still recovering from childbirth that she cannot protect her baby boy from the most rapacious demands of patriarchal ritual.

For these reasons, advocacy organizations for "genital integrity", as they put it, for men are growing in number and in passion. These organizations are also gathering data to support their views.

Noharmm, for instance, collects testimonials from men who feel they have been harmed by circumcision. Most damningly, though, they offer a different explanation for the AAP pronouncement: commercial interest. Doctors Opposing Circumcision has published a detailed statement (pdf) rebutting the AAP's advice in damning terms. Anticipating the AAP finding in favor of male circumcision, the DOP earlier stated (pdf):

Noharmm, for instance, collects testimonials from men who feel they have been harmed by circumcision. Most damningly, though, they offer a different explanation for the AAP pronouncement: commercial interest. Doctors Opposing Circumcision has published a detailed statement (pdf) rebutting the AAP's advice in damning terms. Anticipating the AAP finding in favor of male circumcision, the DOP earlier stated (pdf):

"The AAP, despite its high-sounding academic name, actually is a trade association of pediatric doctors. Its primary duty is to advance the business and professional interests of its 60,000 members who are called "fellows". The interests of its child-patients are a distant second to their primary interest.

"There is a severe and intractable conflict of interest between the financial interests of its fellows and the best interests of the child-patient. Most of its fellows perform non-therapeutic circumcisions on children and profit thereby. These members do not want anything to interfere or disrupt their steady income stream. The AAP will not publish a statement that would harm that income stream. The AAP ensures the outcome of its circumcision statements by appointing doctors who are known to have a pro-circumcision position."

To cut or not to cut? That is very personal question, which each parent must decide for him- or herself. But parents deserve real science in making up their minds, as well as transparency from professional bodies offering what is, ostensibly, purely medical advice. Parenting comes with enough difficult challenges and hard choices already, without undisclosed conflicts of interest from a pediatricians' organization - especially when it affects such an intimate part of a newborn child's life.


 

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+57 # guyachs 2012-08-30 11:38
I am an uncircumcised male of 71 years of age and have never had anything detrimental happen because I am uncircumcised. I firmly believe that if you have good hygiene, it shouldn't be a problem. Some of those places in Africa could have poor hygiene.
 
 
+12 # William Bjornson 2012-08-30 20:49
"Some of those places in Africa could have poor hygiene.", OR, in the mutilationist (Islam) countries you will be married at 14 and stoned to death if you have an affaire. Could THIS have any effect on the STD rate, y'think? Every generation these people inject another Big Lie into the debate, some new reason to mutilate little infant boys. If it were just the Islamic people in America, it would already be banned as another example of their barbarity. But, it's not. It's also a people who, in order to shield their own barbarity from condemnation, impose this barbarity onto everyone's infants and escape rightful outrage by popular confusion.

They would have us believe that Nature is completely wrong in her design and this mutilation is some sort of blessing. If the foreskin were in any way harmful in such a strategic place and function, it would be selected out quickly. But, as 'the doc' just below points out, we cannot ever know what difference losing a good half of our sexual sensory inputs makes to us. I suspect the difference is greater than zero on the pleasure scale. How much greater, being cut myself, I don't want to know. It's not too different from clitorectomy in that both arise from the same precursor neurons and, presumably connect to the same areas in the brainstem and cortex. However it's viewed, it is primitive, physically harmful (deformaties) to thousands of infants a year, and completely a crime of blatant child abuse. Stop this evil.
 
 
+16 # Adoregon 2012-08-31 09:44
By the number of responses it is clear this subject hits some sort of nerve.

For me, it came down to this when my son was born (home birth, midwives, MD backup):
Why would anyone want to cut a well-formed healthy child? If a male's foreskin was unnecessary or unimportant, wouldn't evolution have eliminated it over the centuries?

Why cause your newborn son pain that is utterly unnecessary? Teach your son good hygiene and that's about it. My son is almost 28 and has never had a problem associated with being left intact.

End the mindless brutality. If your son decides he doesn't want his foreskin once he is able to make a decision like that, let him make that decision for himself.

A side note: Our Pembroke Corgi, Blaise, recently gave birth to eight beautiful pups. Traditionally, Pembroke Corgi's tails are "docked." We looked at the sweet little pups, decided docking their tails was an utterly unnecessary "fashion statement" and left the little pups intact.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Be kind. Do no harm.
 
 
+3 # jwatersphd 2012-08-30 11:56
My son's circumcision, soon after birth, took about 30" and I'm sure was not a big revenue generator. Observably, he was no more traumatized by this procedure than by many other, normal events over the course of life. I was also circumcised and I have never had any sexual issues of the sort referenced. This strikes me as terribly over-blown.
 
 
+24 # nickyus 2012-08-30 19:31
30 inches? Did that include his brain?

And seriously, it's not a "normal event"--it's completely unnatural and arbitrary; and it occurs before the "course of life" has even started.

And how would you know whether he was traumatized or not? He was only a few days old...
 
 
-7 # fredboy 2012-08-30 11:59
Thanks, Naomi.
Glad mom and dad decided to have the doctors give me a trim. Also glad they cut that cord.
 
 
+7 # davidr 2012-08-30 12:00
Naomi Wolf's articles are usually a lot more cogent than this one. She's got apples and oranges flying all over the place.

First of all, wounds to the foreskin and wounds to the clitoris or vagina are quite different things, as Wolf herself acknowledges at the end of the 2nd graf. And the unnamed scientist's joke suggests that he believes likewise.

That's important, because another thing that's mixed up in her article is the important distinction between an epidemiological study of AIDS prevention and a neurological study of mind-body trauma.

It is entirely possible that male circumcision might be found to be BOTH traumatic AND medically effective, just like every other kind of surgery. If so, than "to cut or not to cut", may be a more complicated question than Wolf supposes — a question more like "to vaccinate or not to vaccinate".

Finally, there's a leap between a conflict of interest and a bad study. Yes, AAP does have an apparent conflict of interest, but only when its findings are proven insubstantial by independent reviews can we say that AAP is wrong. Those reviews will be forthcoming, and we'll then know more.

Sorry I didn't like Wolf's piece better. I usually do.
 
 
+7 # redrider 2012-08-30 12:05
As a Jew, I had no say whether I would be circumcised or not. Without being too indelicate, what is left of my foreskin is relatively insensitive, though not numb in the way that the area around a surgical incision sometimes is. They say you don't miss what you never had. Though I can't say for sure that if I was left "intact", my sex life would have been more intense, I've never felt cheated.
 
 
+51 # balconesfalk 2012-08-30 12:17
Some forty year's ago I was advised by the attending physician at my son's birth that not having the procedure would put him in danger of having a serious infection and inflammation of the penis, IF HE WAS EVER IN FILTHY CONDITIONS LIKE LIVING IN FOX HOLES DURING WAR!
So you see, there was a military-indust rial complex reason for ordering circumcision for a male baby.
 
 
+71 # DLT888 2012-08-30 12:18
Very interesting to consider. Decades ago, I volunteered in the maternity wing. I felt extreme fear when I saw a little innocent baby being carried into a room (with windows) for a circumcision. The baby SCREAMED in terror, and I felt sick to my stomach. How could we do this to our babies?! That organ was made the way it is for a REASON. It is not unclean that way. It's time to stop traumatizing our men with this procedure and destroying their trust when they are so young and so vulnerable. If the baby can't consent, don't mutilate their bodies.
 
 
-10 # zachwes 2012-08-30 15:36
You are projecting your own fears and prejudices on this matter. I have had 3 boys circumcised and not only was it not traumatic, but the screams of terror you describe never happened. They screamed much louder and longer every day when they were hungry. I have never met a circumcised male who felt they were in any way traumatized, not a parent who felt their son suffered from circumcision.
 
 
+3 # JackB 2012-08-30 20:36
The baby SCREAMED in terror??? You can't possibly be serious. A newborn baby is essentially blind. What exactly is it that strikes fear in him? Not something he saw. Something he heard? He doesn't understand words so I don't think so.

If a male has the procedure done when he is grown I can see it being a traumatic experience. However doing it in the first week or two after birth - I don't think so. Destroy the trust in a week old baby???

Circumcision goes back before the dawn of history. Like the prohibition against pork it probably began as a health issue. I doubt if we will ever know. I suspect that (as with pork) we have the medical knowledge today to address or avoid whatever it was that concerned people in prehistoric times.
 
 
+8 # NoCircRN 2012-09-01 19:37
In American culture, the foreskin is not regarded as an important organ. Interestingly, 85% of men in the world still have their foreskins and have no problems with their normal body part. The newborn screams when being cut because the foreskin is adhered to the glans like your fingernails to your finger. That "adhesion" has to be ripped apart before the foreskin can be removed. Most circumcisions are done with no anesthesia or analgesia and we think this is ok? If we treated an adult man like we treat a helpless newborn, we would be arrested and charged with gross bodily harm immediately. Let the boys keep all the parts they are born with, the foreskin is normal, healthy erogenous tissue. It has a purpose, for the man and his future partner. It is also not any more prone to infection or disease than any other body part, especially if left alone. In a child, he should be the only one retracting it. When he is fully retractable, he can learn to rinse it in the bath or shower, just like a girl child. If the man wants his foreskin removed when he is an adult, he can choose it. He can have adequate anesthesia, analgesia and can determine how much tissue should be removed. He can also fully consent, something a newborn can not. His body, His choice.
 
 
+12 # Gnome de Pluehm 2012-08-30 12:23
Consider those who have been circumcised later in life for medical reasons. There are such persons.
 
 
+42 # wyrdotter 2012-08-30 13:53
Quoting Gnome de Pluehm:
Consider those who have been circumcised later in life for medical reasons. There are such persons.


And that's fine - they got to make a conscious educated choice, and they had anesthesia. For decades, not only were infants circumcised, but the process was done with not the least bit of any form of numbing, sedation or other pain-killing anesthesia. In some places, it still is. How is that not traumatic, painful and abusive? An educated decision for the procedure by an adult is an entirely different kettle of fish than imposing it on a child who has no say in the matter.
 
 
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:26
I believe they would be an interesting part of this story.
 
 
+40 # jfulton 2012-08-30 12:25
Perhaps it's my Scots heritage for I'm not circumcised. It seems to me one must keep themselves clean t all times and the presumption is that is often not the case. It is about caution not about abandon. Being male and not probably influences my thinking but I'm also absolutely not for circumcision of women either.
 
 
+57 # Johnny 2012-08-30 12:26
Funny how nobody says female genital mutilation is a "very personal question, which each parent must decide for him- or herself." Of course, male genital mutilation is not something for "him- or herself" that the parent decides, but for the child, whose right to choose is totally ignored because of the parents' idiotic superstition.
 
 
-10 # zachwes 2012-08-30 15:56
Absurd to say that every parent who has opted to circumcise their child is a superstitious idiot. Ms. Wolf's article points out that there is ample medical research, and be assured that many parents do their research.
 
 
+3 # William Bjornson 2012-08-30 21:05
If you care to say the medical research on this issue is "ample", you've had more cut off than half your sexual neurons. The 'research' changes every generation and, this time, it's based on very shaky preliminary epidemiological research in Africa done by, surprise, Jewish scientists. All the rest is hype promoted by religionists and other cut types who have no way to compare and are just reassuring themselves at our expense. If you want research, look at the iatrogenic injury rate to infants every year. Thousands. How'd you like to be able to piss out the side of your schwanz or be able to screw around a corner because of the extreme curvature your scar tissue caused?
 
 
-1 # Kiwikid 2012-08-31 00:32
My three sons were all circumcised. After multiple infections the elder two were done at 5yrs and 8yrs respectively. These events were deemed a medical necessity and were definitely traumatic. Because we already had a family history, the youngest one was done at 8 days. No fuss, no problems, no idiotic superstitions, no arrogant self-righteous assumptions.
 
 
-1 # Kiwikid 2012-09-01 00:29
Absolutely agree with Ice Maiden below. Let's call the female 'equivalent' by it's proper name - FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION. In no way can it be equated with male circumcision
 
 
+6 # The Ice Maiden 2012-08-31 03:17
Let's be clear: male circumcision removes a piece of skin and does not interfere with a male's sex life whatsoever. So-called female circumcision, on the other hand, is truly mutilation as it removes the clitoris and - in some places - also removes part of the labia. Removing the clitoris permanently prevents sexual satisfaction and serves absolutely no health or other purpose. In some cultures it is done simply to take away any incentive for the female to stray in a relationship. Female circumcision is INDEFENSIBLE, GROTESQUE, a true anti-female abomination.
 
 
+1 # Kiwikid 2012-09-01 12:49
Comparing male circumcision and female 'circumcision' reminds me of the story of the chicken and the pig which were walking down the road together early one morning. As they passed a diner, the chicken chirped to the pig "I'm hungry. Lets pop in here for breakfast." "Great idea!" agreed the pig. "Yes", said the chicken, "We could have a wonderful meal of bacon and eggs."
"That's alright for you," replied the pig, "for you, its just an offering. For me it's a total committment."
 
 
+2 # Lingtao 2012-09-01 23:22
Yes Johnny,... an idiotic superstition. To quote Maimonides (medievil Jewish philosopher) the purpose of circumcision, male or female is to "keep the organ in question in as quiet a state as possible". A pathetic and primitive attempt to have the circumcised become less distracted by the evils of masturbation and sexual pleasure and hopefully more attentive to invisible and non-interactive Gods just above the clouds somewhere.

Perhaps people of the 'Good Book' could drum up interest in injecting some form of botox into the eye's of the faithful to induce colorblindness. Seeing in black and white would have the benefit of not being distracted by our rainbow world and more able to focus on important superst, uh,.. religious matters.
 
 
+64 # Reyn 2012-08-30 12:30
Thank you Naomi Wolf, so much for your insightful and thoughtful article.

I am male, and I was greatly premature and so not circumcised until I was 2. I was circumcised although my father was not because my mother was a nurse and the doctor told her I should be. My first actual memories are confused and more color and sound and emotions than real memories, but are of that event. I know I was terrified and I know that it hurt horribly and I don't think I understood that those hurting me thought they were helping me.

I never forgot, and I had to actually get considerably older to forgive my mother for allowing them to hurt me. Actually thinking about it still makes me feel sick and just odd. A few years into school I saw my friend in the boys room and he was intact. I instantly knew that I should look like that (I'd never seen my father naked, we were conservative that way) and that it had been stolen from me.

As I said, I forgave my mother. I never forgave the doctor or my father. Not really. They should have known better. It should have been my decision, when I was old enough to make it - not theirs.

I still feel that way. Urinary tract infection? Really? How often are those treated in girls? HIV transmission? Not only are the studies unreliable, and unethical (allowing men to transmit HIV blindly to women??? Really???) but, condemns are far, far, far more effective.

They are looking for excuses.
 
 
+56 # mangel 2012-08-30 13:06
Circumcision is just one more instance of thinking we we know better than or can improve upon mother nature. Simple arogance!
 
 
-44 # fredmac 2012-08-30 13:12
Naomi: Do you think you are equipped to comment on this subject?

Fred
 
 
+50 # wyrdotter 2012-08-30 13:56
Fred: Are you suggesting that a woman cannot possibly be relied upon to research a subject? Could you not research an essay on ovarian cancer? If nothing else, she's as qualified as any mother who may have to make the decision.
 
 
-3 # fredmac 2012-08-30 18:01
wrydotter: It's a joke son! She may be qualified but she's not equipped to comment.

fredmac
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:35
Yes I believe she has the right as a writer to get information together and put it out there for people to ponder in this age.
Men seem to believe they can decide what we can and cannot do with our bodies. In many areas even here, women are mutilated.
Men have the luxury in 99% of the Circumcisions to enjoy sex, orgasm. Women do not. If you ever saw a women after the Parent(male domineering on that one) those scars are there. They do not retract, they have long term psychological trauma. The women who have accepted and moved on, move on with those scars, some done in a backroom with no medication.
We obviously have to think about it as we may one day have to make that decision for our child. It is a decision no to be taken lightly.

Again, if you do not like women making decisions...don 't make them for us
 
 
+6 # LGNTexas 2012-08-30 13:14
I wish I had been circumcised at birth. In my early 20's, due to a phimosis which made an erection painful, even preventing an ejaculation until I went flaccid, I was forced to have the surgery. There were complications meaning I spent an expensive week in the hospital along with suffering much pain. Since, I am so glad I had the procedure but wish it had been done while an infant when I wouldn't have suffered as much and also at much less cost.
 
 
+24 # James Smith 2012-08-30 14:27
Are you justifying the procedure because of your individual, unusual case? Logic demands more data points.

I'm sorry you had the problem, but it is rare. The complications after the surgery are also unusual. maybe you have a luckless lingham?
 
 
-15 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:39
I believe birth is the best time as the compications, infections would be handled and the trauma you suffered as an adult non existent.

I believe that if you do not want it for your child, don't do it You have to explain not anyone else. Otherwise it is the decision of the Parents for whatever reason. I believe the Sanitary Issue was the prevalent reason used.

If you want to believe you suffered trauma for that reason, so be it, it would have been some other reason if not circumcised. People just have to snivel about something, and lay blame on someone. Poor Parents trying to do the best for their children Ingrates that they are.
 
 
+29 # amniec 2012-08-30 13:16
I was. If I had a choice I wouldn't. I think the historic reason for circumcision was a warning by the culture to the individual. If you don't follow the rules we will cut the rest of it off.
 
 
+39 # Richard Miller 2012-08-30 13:22
I did not have the choice when they whacked on my willie. I would have chosen to keep what is mine. How often do we hear about females getting "cut" and there is an uproar but not when it is a male. Kind of a double standard out there? Just like everything else when it comes to your body-it is your temple to do with what you wish as long as it does not harm others. And yes, above all else, keep it clean and the diseases spoken about do not have a chance. It also goes under the heading of having safe sex-wear a rain coat when i doubt!
 
 
-19 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:43
I didn't realize men need rights now on circumcision. Let us all hang the Parents and Doctors who tried to do the right thing with the information, myth that it may be.
Get the Rope and let's get the Hanging done.

Perhaps if women's genitalia was seen after butchers get done, maybe if the Christians and others actually gave a crap about anyone but themselves....w e could stop all children mutilation. But again another closeter having to blame others.
 
 
0 # The Ice Maiden 2012-08-31 16:30
Rage on, KittatinyHawk!

(Female circumcision IS a kind of BUTCHERY.

Tried to agree with your comment but the little icons were unavailable ... )
 
 
-5 # nickyus 2012-08-30 19:35
They're not supposed to whack off the whole thing...
 
 
+1 # The Ice Maiden 2012-08-31 16:28
Let's be clear: male circumcision removes a piece of skin and does not interfere with a male's sex life whatsoever. So-called female circumcision, on the other hand, is truly mutilation as it removes the clitoris and - in some places - also removes part of the labia. Removing the clitoris permanently prevents sexual satisfaction and serves absolutely no health or other purpose. In some cultures it is done simply to take away any incentive for the female to stray in a relationship. Female circumcision is INDEFENSIBLE, GROTESQUE, a true anti-female abomination.

Get your facts straight! Male circumcision doesn't affect your sex life, but female so-called circumcision is removal of the part of the female sexual anatomy that allows orgasm.

Richard: We're talking apples and oranges here. Anyone performing so-called female circumcision should be put in jail.
 
 
+15 # genej101 2012-08-30 13:22
I suppose this is mandatory, but I'm a 62 year old uncircumcised male. I have no idea why not as it was common when I was born and I am NOT going to ask my mother. But I will tell you that neither of my sons was circumcised and I will also tell you why. I found the practice barbaric. I researched it and given personal experience, knew that an uncircumcised is MUCH more sensitive to stimulation than one which is. Okay, I don't know about the others, but I have heard guys talk about it, and it seems to me, like wearing a condom, it might be safe and wise, but it reduces sensation, and without that, if procreation isn't the point, what is?

But most of all, I was NOT willing to have my sons hurt in that way in their first moments of life. Fortunately their mother, indulged me, or agreed. Don't know which. And that isn't important. The very idea that a "religion" requires such a thing should make the "thing" suspect in the first place.

Medicine has varying opinions, and when there are choices, mine is the one that does not hurt anyone. This would, unbearably if one were older. While in the service, a friend was converting for a woman, and had this done as a man. It was unbearable for him. So we should do this to children? For superstition? For religion?

There is NO scientific evidence either way, I've read both sides, none have proof. Given that? Don't butcher your children, it isn't very loving to do so.
 
 
-4 # flippancy 2012-08-30 13:28
The only thing sexual that's ever bothered me was getting it. I have never had any lack of sensation as a result of circumcision, and at times I've wished I did, and so has my wife. ;o)
 
 
+23 # howardb4 2012-08-30 13:42
To circumcise is a parental decision. However, in this so called modern day 'civiized' country, not taking into consideration any religious thoughts, the surgery is not necessary. Neither is trimming the ears of Doberman Pinchers or Great Danes.
 
 
-15 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:49
Funny I had to go thru tails cropped on my rottweilers. Nothing to do with health reasons. Their tails are obnoxious.
I had to help do it. Not a one of my males whinced. Not a one had any trauma with me for holding them and believe me at four to eight days old they know you. Might no see you but those noses work. They also knew the Vet.
I also had the dew claws removed Ever see a dog or cat get one of them caught on something. They can lose their leg. So as a Humane Person, I did this.
However, I scorned those who had to declaw cats. It is their defense. If a cat or dog wants to destroy something, claws are just a minor tidbit compared to their teeth.

The Dog Ring People are aholes. AKC just a money maker, it has no conscience on moratorium of breeding Nope as long as it makes money, we will look the other way of animal mills.

I never thought about circumcision. I think this is a good article and perhaps too brief. I believe more information could help men, women as future parents.
I hope whatever the decision, the child is not an ingrate. I hope the male understands, it was done with their well being in mind.
 
 
-16 # wrknight 2012-08-30 13:43
Wake me up when the next snow falls.
 
 
+13 # Stormy 2012-08-30 13:46
Richard,

It is not a double standard. Most female circumcisions woul be equivalent to chopping off the entire penis and part of the scrotum. It would be like saying trimming one's fingernail and chopping off most of one's finger are similar. The same word - circumcision - is used, but the procedures are not at all the same.
 
 
+19 # Lyric 2012-08-30 16:08
Quoting Stormy:
Richard,

It is not a double standard. Most female circumcisions woul be equivalent to chopping off the entire penis and part of the scrotum. ...


Stormy, you miss the point. Historically, the purpose of genital cutting of either sex is to remove the most sensitive, the most responsive part of the individual's sex organs, and it doesn't matter what part that is. The seat of female sexual excitement is the clitoris, and the seat of male sexual excitement is the action of the exquisitely sensitive foreskin over the corona and the nerve bundle directly beneath it (the equivalent of the female clitoris).

Either way, genital cutting was designed to control sexual behavior by making sex a little harder to enjoy in males -- and to curb masturbation -- and a LOT harder to enjoy in females. This purpose (in males at least) was stated expressly by Rabbi Moses Maimonides in the 12th century of the Common Era. See his "Guide to the Perplexed."

He urged that it be done at a very early age before parents love their sons too much, and before the IMAGINATION takes hold. Parents must not be allowed to IMAGINE what joy natural sex brings to their son (or to his sex partners ... YES!!) or be allowed to IMAGINE the pain inflicted on the newborn.
 
 
-4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:51
Thank you. I have seen some friends whose parents along with the overlord grandparents made the family do this

Those that spoke and showed their scars said many girls (they are diposable) did not fair as well, many bled to death no worry about orgasm there
 
 
+40 # sokolowmus 2012-08-30 13:55
I was circumsised back when they did it to all boys regardless of religion...I'm Jewish...I never had any problems I'm aware of, but I think it's a barbaric ritual with no medical basis. I did not have my 3 sons circumcised. Hell of a thing to do to a baby. My wife was a nurse, working with infants and saw their horrible reactions to this violence. She says there's no doubt it hurts them plenty.
 
 
-14 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 16:58
I do not understand how they just dug into my foot and anesthetized me with a spray why they do not do this with male child.
Funny thing is I also have friends who have saw these, had to help get area ready and the child slept thru it.

My spouse has no problem, his parents did what they thought were best. None of his brothers ever had any problem. They all get to enjoy sex. Nicer yet they have no snivel at their parents.
Reason given was cleanliness vs infection.
 
 
+34 # indianfirst 2012-08-30 13:59
Our three sons were not circumcised. Our pediatrician advised that the "tightness" of the foreskin was normal and would stretch later on. We had no issues whatsoever. Because we are American Indians, circumcision is not practiced. My mother told me in no uncertain terms when the doctors asked that "we do not cut our children." I realize the practice is widespread in the Indian Health hospitals and other hospitals where Indian boys are born. I asked my Caucasian husband about his circumcision and he said his mother told him the doctors just told her it was best so she went along with it. She had no idea why it was practiced.
 
 
-13 # Susan1989 2012-08-30 14:08
I was married to an uncircumsized male and he shared with me that he had wished his parents had circumsized him for many reasons--includ ing that he had ripped the forskin while having sex overseas during the Korean war causing a potentially serious situation. As his wife I found myself getting far more frequent infections. Even if a man keeps himself clean, it takes only a short time for bacteria to.grow under the foreskin...requ iring washing before sex. He would have had it done later...but it is enormously painful. I have also been told be some men that they felt different in locker rooms etc. Because most men are circumsized.
 
 
-10 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:02
sorry the ignorant had to thumb you down but now that I read this and speaking to men. there always will be controversy on the matter.
It is up to parents today to make the decision they can live with, teach their children the cleanliness ritual. All any parent can hope for is they did the best thing for their child.
Snivelers will always come and have to bitch about something.
I believe the wanting to know how it would be otherwise..but again, they can have orgasms Women cannot
 
 
+5 # Lyric 2012-09-02 07:45
It's not because one man here and there has a genital problem that millions of babies should be tortured and mutilated every year as a precaution.

Most men (in the world) are NOT circumcised. Maybe only 20% are. And since rates of circumcision are going down in the United States, partly as a result of immigration from cultures that don't typically practice infant circumcision, but also because awareness is growing and doctors are no longer the authority figures they once were, one of these days circumcised boys will be in the MINORITY in locker rooms. And Hurray for that!

Differences in the locker room (like all differences among people) should be explained and put in context. Slavish adherence to an irrational cultural norm perpetuates it for no good reason.
 
 
-17 # Astrid 2012-08-30 14:20
there is a way to circumcise without cutting, just a little cap put on the penis for a couple of days at birth. painless and not traumatic
 
 
-1 # James Smith 2012-08-30 14:23
Nonsense. WHy is it women like tom recommend mutilating males? Is it repressed anger, or a desire for control and power?

If a similar procedure was recommended for female babies, no matter how "safe and medically advisable" these same women would be demanding the heads of those same pediatricians.

At least be honest and admit you enjoy the thought of clipping "that thing."

THe figures quoted about medically advisable do include african males who are un hygienic and forbidden by the pope to use condoms. If you ran the same statistics on American men or any group that had been taught the basics of hygiene, I suspect it might show a far different picture.

Tell us Naomi. would you approve of men making them decision for women on a similar issue> For example, under what circumstance you could have an abortion of what sanitary pad to use during your period. For that matter what if men demanded you isolate yourself during your menses and undergo a ritual "cleansing?" Would that be fine with you?
 
 
-4 # Glen 2012-08-30 15:13
James, circumcision for girl babies is excising the clitoris, eliminating sexual pleasure forever. Male circumcision is simply removing a piece of skin, not eliminating his sexual pleasure or ability to perform.

Women have no more need to dominate the male by removing a piece of skin than they are by asking them to help with the dishes.
 
 
+8 # shraeve 2012-08-30 16:23
It does not necessarily eliminate all sexual pleasure. 90% of the clitoris is below the surface. There are FGMd women with an active sex life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali just got married. Her FGMd sister got pregnant three times. I have heard about FGMd women who couldn't get enough of their husbands.

I think it depends on the individual woman's anatomy and the degree to which she is mutilated. Of course all FGM is bad.
 
 
-4 # Glen 2012-08-31 04:48
In societies where this is the normal procedure, most all of the clitoris is removed. Certainly, having sex can be quite nice, regardless of whether you reach a climax, and yes babies are born, but compared to a man being circumcised there IS no comparison. If a man could not climax he would be devastated, usually. Just ask any man who has had nerves severed during cancer surgery who can no longer become erect or have any sensation.
 
 
-7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:08
Thank you
 
 
-1 # James Smith 2012-08-31 03:32
I very well what is female circumcision so your smug reply is just that, an arrogant need to try to show you're imagined superiority.

In your rush to demonstrate your supposed superiority, you didn't really read my post. I said "similar procedure," such as say, removing the labia minor.

Women have no need to dominate males or have no suppressed anger at them? You naive little boy. You know no more about women than you do about circumcision.
 
 
0 # Glen 2012-08-31 05:01
No arrogance in the reply whatsoever. Just a basis for comparison. You, perhaps, should have been clear as to your meaning. Circumcision is the discussion, and for women, it means removal of the clitoris.

The need to dominate men , especially a woman's baby is not exhibited in allowing her baby to be circumcised. I understand women who do have anger toward men, but we aren't discussing that. We are discussing circumcision, as I say.
 
 
+5 # Lyric 2012-09-02 07:53
Glen and James -- only men who have not had a foreskin since birth would ever consider it just a piece of skin. This is sheer ignorance. And intercourse with a circumcised penis is very different from intercourse with an intact penis -- for both partners. It's just that circumcised men have no ability to know what they lost.

The fact that some sexual pleasure is still attainable (the human race would have died out if men hadn't been able to maintain an erection long enough to impregnate women) does not change the fact that circumcised men were robbed of the full sexual potential which is their birthright.

Moreover, to say that women should have no say on the subject of male circumcision is like saying women should have no position on whether it's appropriate to put electrodes on the male genitalia as a form of torture. Oh sorry, enhanced interrogation. Or that men should have no position on female genital cutting.

C'mon, don't we all belong to the HUMAN race?
 
 
-8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:08
Mr Smith millions of women have been desecrated and are right now by far worse procedures in far less clean areas.

Parents were given the best information. Probably men who had problems thought let's do it for the kid. Others said no.
Pretty simple. It is a decision...doct or gives medical theory, parents make decision

Most of you men really are enjoying blaming women. Perhaps you should come out of your closets. Men like you did demand us not to be around during our menses and you should know since you wrote so eloquently on that. We also had to cut up sheets and wash them every month. Too bad none of you had to go thru what we do, but then the Creator knew we would be better people for our abilities.
 
 
+5 # James Smith 2012-08-31 03:37
Men like me? What an arrogant uninformed comment. You know nothing about me but assume I am a misogynistic male eager to dominate women. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You make so many unwarranted assumptions that all you have done is reveal your own ignorance and prejudices.

BTW, there is no creator. That's another lie foisted upon people by those that wish to demean women. ALl of the things you complain about were done by religion. I have been an atheists and feminist supporter since I was 13.
 
 
+4 # Lyric 2012-09-02 07:58
James, it's actually offensive to assume that African males are unhygienic and therefore deserve to be mutilated. This is paternalism at its worst. A new form of cultural imperialism. And most Africans are not Catholics, and therefore not under the authority of the pope.

It's coercive for western aid to combat HIV/AIDS in poor countries to include male circumcision as a part of the package under the mantle of "Father knows best" and "Father will pay for it."
 
 
-29 # yrag66 2012-08-30 14:27
This discussion seems ludicrous and incredibly comical. If some man feels good about looking like an aboriginal ape, well that's his business. However think a bit about your poor son first .... circumcision has been going on forever and at 66 years of age this forum today is the first time I have ever heard the procedure to ever discussed in a derogatory way.
Get a life gentlemen....if you wish to blame your various inadequacies on your poor parents who only did the right thing, well sign up for another two years of therapy....quic k!
 
 
+21 # brux 2012-08-30 14:55
> However think a bit about your poor son first .... circumcision has been going on forever and at 66 years of age this forum today is the first time I have ever heard the procedure to ever discussed in a derogatory way.

That just means you have not been reading or paying attention much. This is a fairly broad and ongoing debate for many decades - it's sort of hard to avoid if you watch TV or listen to the radio.
 
 
-11 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:17
Really I watch TV and I never heard anything about circumcision to date on either Media or in written. But then I am not listening to Repubs
 
 
-14 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:16
Excellent. Most of these men would have used one thing or another, blamed someone for something. Probably blames people for everything.

Our genital area is also very affected from infections no matter how slight it may be to a man because of the enclosed/expose d area. We are so vulnerable to problems, most of us do not discuss them. We go to our doctor and get ourselves taken care of since it can affect our whole lives, and give men infections or women if we so chose that lifestyle. We have responsibilitie s and acknowledge them. Those who do not suffer and cause problems to others.

I have had to clean my male dogs genital areas so I understand uncircumcised. I also had to take care of farm animals. If a male animal gets an infection, one must take care of it. Cats are the hardest to take care of and can cause spread of disease. It is a science lesson in itself. Too bad some farmers aren't on this site.
 
 
-21 # natalierosen 2012-08-30 14:30
I am a Jewish woman. I have never ever ever heard any Jewish male utter dismay for circumcision. No one I know EVER had a problem.

One will NEVER, as long as Jews exist, not do something so ingrained in the cultural experience. I also am secular -- extremely secular -- and if I ever had had a male child it would be an automatic no brainer. He WOULD be circumcised. This issue is much ado about nothing much.

Mitt Romney is TOO close WAY too close to the presidency for me to care about these other unimportant things. Maybe Naomi Wolfe should stick to indicting Mitt Romney for the charlatan empty suit he is and leave this other non story to individual decision which is where it all belongs anyway!
 
 
-11 # brux 2012-08-30 14:57
Yeah.... great point, this is what happens when we have a class of people who make their living off having to write articles regularly ... they run out of things to say and just poke at people's emotions to get a reaction. Somehow that reaction translates into money and progress.

I am too much concerned about the country's politics to worry about things I cannot change and that people probably have a pretty good idea about their beliefs. I don't think there is anything new in this article, so it's just a poke!
 
 
-8 # brux 2012-08-30 17:13
-3 ???? Come on you know I'm right! ;-)
 
 
-4 # Glen 2012-08-31 08:17
Yeah brux. I see a lot of minus numbers in this thread, and can't figure out why. Sure, this can be an emotional issue, but that's no reason to not read smart posts as posted, such as yours. It matters little whether folks agree or not. Ah, well.
 
 
+1 # SandyCook 2012-08-30 14:31
Naomi is right, of course. But, if you want to control it yourself, better do it soon. Circumcision will probably the next thing the anti-big-govern ment folks will want to control as they are now attempting to control conception and contraception. Then will come your private thoughts if they can figure out how to do it.
 
 
+1 # vergez 2012-08-30 14:40
Female circumcision and male circumcision are made to sound like equivalents, which they are not. The female version often involves removing the clitoris, which would be analagous to removing the entire head of the penis, and then some. In many cases the labia are then sewn together, so that girls can barely urinate or release menstrual blood without incurring infections that lead to further scarring. The idea in these cases is to exterminate female pleasure so that women remain chaste or faithful. While not exactly the same, male circumcision would be closer to removing the clitoral hood, exposing the more sensitive area. As a woman who have had lovers of both ilk, I have found no difference in sexual sensitivity between the two. If there were a difference, I would wryly suggest that less sensitivity is better for protracted intercourse and more likely to result in female orgasm. I have also noticed that my uncircumcised friends are more inclined to a build up of odor and infection-causi ng substances unless they are scrupulously hygenic, and that such infections have affected both of us.

I circumsized my son because all the males in his family were thus, but I found it traumatic, and don't know if I could have done it again with a 2nd son. I am very divided on the issue, feeling that it is probably an uneccessary procedure, but may be preferable for a number of reasons.
 
 
+23 # anovotny 2012-08-30 14:41
Nice article. I agree with those who find this practice barbaric and entirely unjustified. What about all the other male mammals, all also born with foreskin? Do they suffer potential medical problems as a result of their natural biology?

Check the history of circumcision in the US. It began in the 1930s as a result of hysteria over the "evils" of masturbation fostered by books such as Von Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis. At that time many young girls were also "circumcised" in the US to prevent or lessen the occurrence of masturbation. The practice was soon abandoned on females due to the severity of the trauma and more lasting consequences on females, but we continue doing males. This is the ONLY preventative medical procedure in western medicine. If you believe it's justifiable based on the slim chance of medical problems arising from the presence of foreskin, maybe you'd be interested in a far more practical preventative medical procedure that statistically would save many lives if utilized. How about a double radical mastectomy on our infant daughters to prevent the much more probable occurrence of breast cancer in her later life? Make sense to anyone out there? No one should welcome their beautiful son to this life by lopping off the end of his penis!
 
 
-12 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:22
Yes dear some have much ado about their not being circumcised I know farmers know what I am talking about.

Idiots say one is cutting of the penis..my spouse, grandsons, cousins all have their tips so to speak. It may have been a myth but it was for the welfare all thought. I hate to say but circumcisions have gone on before the 1930's..get back to reading some real history.
 
 
-7 # vergez 2012-08-30 14:42
The other anecdotal information I have from uncircumsized friends is that detaching the foreskin (by slowly pulling it back) so that it was able to retract, as they grew up, was a very painful process in and of itself, so perhaps one is damned either way.
 
 
+11 # indianfirst 2012-08-31 06:00
The foreskin naturally grows from being close around the glans to a slackness. This is nature's design. There is no need for human intervention. The penis is not an inoperative part of the body. It is natural and it grows to be a normal part of the body. There are anomalies, as with any part of any human body. But to ascribe circumcision to a power to cure nature's imperfection is incorrect. Nothing wrong with nature. My guess is that the semitic people made a decision based on belief. Nothing wrong with that. But don't try to say nature was wrong in the design of normal human men.
 
 
+18 # alnbarthel 2012-08-30 14:47
Male circumcision like female circumcision is mutilation and barbaric. No parent should have the right to make that decision for their child. Just as women should have the right to make decisions for their own bodies, every child should not have that right taken away from them.

Who gains the most from an almost totally unnecessary surgery, Pediatricians. Absolutely ridiculous.
 
 
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:24
this practice started before pediatricians. they cannot do it without parents consent
 
 
+3 # brux 2012-08-30 14:53
I have no idea what to think, but this is pretty interesting. Noting that just about everything I learned from our machine-like society growing up is either wrong or I just disagree with - it's entirely possible.

Man/Woman - the one thing we do is to act on incomplete data. It is the only that makes our brains useful, but on the scale we affect the planet now ... it toxic and maybe deadly.

It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between liberal/conserv ative and circumcised/not -circumsized?
 
 
+17 # Nel 2012-08-30 15:08
Should parental ruling apply to female genital cutting as it goes for male genital cutting?
 
 
+23 # Inland Jim 2012-08-30 15:14
Knew a woman once who said "My first husband was circumcised. My second husband was not. Not is better."
 
 
-13 # reldna 2012-08-30 15:14
I was circumcised shortly after birth 75 years ago - No problems that I know about. Same for my children - now grown.

The subject of circumcision came up about our grandsons whose pediatricians recommended not to circumcise. What had been rather normal for most males 40 or so years ago was apparently now not recommended.

Why?

In discussions with some GP's about this, I learned that seventy years ago, medical practice was not as specialized as it is today. So many pediatricians are not as aware of end of life problems that occur more frequently with uncircumcised males as are geriatric physicians. Mid-life male circumcisions are very much more difficult to undergo.

More recently there has much reportage about the surprisingly lower transmission rates of sexually transmitted diseases that occur with and to circumcised males (this includes HPV which apparently is particularly harmful to women and which is not easily detected).

If all this is true, I hope that for my grandsons that they will be circumcised and for my granddaughters that they will only choose to have sex with men that have been circumcised as well.
 
 
+17 # Inlike 2012-08-30 15:29
Barbaric and mutilation are just two of the words which ring true . . . . . and why circumcise? Well, . . . . 'cause.... is not a reason. And, the facts are that medical complications from being left intact are VERY RARE.
Guys who are cut: back off - you have no expertise from which to speak because you have no idea what was taken from you.
Women: back off - you certainly have no idea of what you speak. Frankly, I do wonder how you let a male dominated, profit driven industry do that to your son.
What if nipping off an ear lobe of all girl & boy babies wa the fashion .... just 'cause ...... Would you allow that because some Dr said, "Oh, it really doesn't bother or traumatize them. just ignore their screams of pain & terror."
 
 
-12 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:31
It is your opinion and your right to do what you want.
Most parents believed they were doing the right thing.
Now Pediatricians and parents talk, information given. Parents can research. It is not yours to tell parents what to do.

from many unexpert advise and rants on here, I would not want to go by anyone's here. I have seen infection in male genitalia, I have seen what it does to them. I have had to take care of patients...too bad the nurses aren't telling you about that. Grown men scream, they ache, they are ashamed as they lay there having to have nurses do things to them to clear them of infection
Take that to the Game and discuss

they nip off lots on men and women through out history...eunuc hs ever hear of them. Women have been mutilized by parents and jealous husbands.
Most of you need to do real research then tell me I have no say. I have cleaned up after men and animal. I have heard the pain and screams. When is last time you helped at a hospital?
 
 
+6 # Lyric 2012-08-31 07:09
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
... Parents can research. It is not yours to tell parents what to do.


... they nip off lots on men and women through out history...eunuchs ever hear of them. Women have been mutilized by parents and jealous husbands. ...


On the contrary, it is NOT for parents to decide to mutilate their children. Female genital mutilation is banned in the United States, yet many parents from cultures that approve the practice would doubtless like to retain that option even if they're living in the United States. The right to bodily integrity is absolute.

Only the individual who is being mutilated has the right to consent to the procedure. Let men be circumcised at the age of 25 when their cognitive functions are fully developed.

Parents can only give permission to treat actual diagnosed problems. They have slightly more rights over the child than third parties like physicians and nurses. But their rights over the child are not absolute.

As for your rant about male genital problems you've supposedly witnessed, sounds like a lot of hype to me. But even if it were true, this does not justify the mutilation of defenceless, voiceless newborns.
 
 
+17 # Phlippinout 2012-08-30 15:32
I probably would not crop my dogs ears either. Just wouldnt!
 
 
-9 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:46
I believe that Naomi should do a better article with lots of links to information, statistics.
As a CNA I have had my share of clean ups in the aisles.I have seen men with disease, infections. I have had to pray that I didn't hurt my patients. I have heard both sides of the story. Most have accepted what was done. Parents given information, had to make decisions.
Not a one wanted their male child to have any pain I am sure.
Animals do get disease, infections and no one circumcised my animals. Clean up on the pens, animals, and lots of meds. You can look up all sorts of infections that have happened to children birthed to women whose husbands brought home some lovely disease, no different in the yard.

Males do not like women discussing or making decisions. Good, now I hope you know how we feel. Here we are, blaming women, parents and doctors. You do not know how to do anything but blame others. Boring.

I believe there is relevancy between Political Species..I see it in this election. Men (probably all gay) and their counterparts telling Women what we can or cannot do.
I have seen what not having birth control has done. I have heard the wrath towards third world countries (mostly jealousy or fear) who have followed nature, had children. They had to or be thrown out of many cultures.
Not to have male child...look to China today, even here in USA.
Go volunteer in hospitals then come talk

F
 
 
-6 # KittatinyHawk 2012-08-30 17:53
Please get those nurses to come on and tell us all about men and women with disease of genital areas.
Let them discuss the pain, screams. Not all due to their circumcision or lack there of. But many having to do with infections gotten, and then given. I do not care if it was HIV, Syph, or Yeast Infection. A yeast infection can be passed on to child in the tract as can many other diseases. Children can have serious conditions, some lifelong. Circumcision is minor compared to being made sterile, perhaps impotent. There was a disease spread in Asia that ate away at genital areas.
I do not know how I would react, but my spouse is, my grandchildren are and so far so good. No disease, no attitude, no hating of their parents. Guess they are special people.
Please get those nurses to tell us about genital disease. Perhaps some can tell you what women look like who have been 'circumcised' One day maybe you will meet one of those special women and talk to them They are what I do not want to see happen here, and could with the Religious Cultism happening in the Country esp in Rethugs.
 
 
+9 # swimdoc 2012-08-30 15:53
I am a retired pediatrician. While I was in practice, I talked with a lot of parents about circumcision, basically telling them it was their choice. However, I did mull it all over: Why do foreskins exist? Why did circumcision get started in the first place, thousands of years ago? Why has it persisted in many cultures, but not at all in others? Why is it a pubertal rite in some cultures?

We will never know the answers, but I do have a theory that might explain the origin of circumcision: Clothing. When people were naked, it probably was an advantage to young males to have the head of the penis protected against trauma. But once people started to cover their private parts with clothes, the warm moist environment under the foreskin became a nice place for bacteria and viruses to grow, infect, and damage the penis. This would confer a reproductive advantage to men who were circumcised. Note that cultures that do circumcision at puberty generally allow young boys to run naked until puberty.

As a pediatrician, I have seen urinary tract infections in uncircumcised male infants, and local infections under the foreskin in school age boys. I have seen minor, but NO major, complications from infant circumcisions.
 
 
+1 # zachwes 2012-08-30 17:01
Nice to have a doctor chime in. Your theory makes a lot of sense. My cousin was a pediatrician for 50 years and he always cited research supporting the health benefits of circumcision. He did not perform the procedure, so unlike what others have posted here, he stood to gain nothing financially by offering his opinion; in fact, he'd have more future business if he recommended against doing it.
 
 
+8 # Lyric 2012-08-31 07:37
Any medical intervention supposedly based on scientific theory has to be both predictive and replicable: antibiotics, vaccines, hormones, drugs. We understand the mechanism by which they work, and can develop new forms of these treatments. Yet removal of the mucosa of ONLY the male penis is regarded as beneficial, and only in humans, not animals.

If male circumcision is protective of men by removing "at risk" mucosal tissue, why is there no comparable program to remove women's mucosal tissue, of which there is vastly more around the genitalia, putting women at much higher risk of infection?

Why are no other human or animal mucosa removed either therapeutically or prophylacticall y to protect against infection, like eyelids? Maybe this would prevent conjunctivitis in the statistically small number of people who are at risk.

No, male circumcision is a therapy in search of a disease.

Of course, as a pediatrician, Swimdoc never had to treat adult men whose problems no-one thought to lay at the door of their circumcisions. The internet abounds with horror stories. Don’t take his word for it, check out men’s actual experiences.
 
 
+5 # Lyric 2012-08-31 07:49
I’m alarmed to hear echoes of Australian "academic" Brian Morris, an obscenely eager proponent of the mutilation of baby boys, who admits to being neither a physician nor a lawyer, or even Jewish., yet rather than look to the emotional and psychological well-being of infants, children and men, or their inherent right to bodily integrity and sexual self-determinat ion, came up with fallacious arguments about modern man not needing a foreskin that might get caught in a zipper. His evolutionary arguments are a hoot.

Well, nature knew what it was doing. And modern man has discovered how to use soap and water.

And modern man and woman (parents) can discover what to do with the penis of small children: leave well alone!

The elongated foreskin was DESIGNED to protect the urinary meatus from contamination during the years small children are incontinent. The foreskin separates from the glans in its own good time. Once it does, boys can be taught to retract it to urinate and to clean it. Don't we teach children to brush their teeth?
 
 
-4 # swimdoc 2012-08-30 15:56
(continuation)
Parents should be free to make this decision for their sons. They shouldn't be pressured by insurance coverage issues. (Or, if circumcision isn't to be covered by insurance, perhaps UTIs in uncircumcised infants, phimosis, and foreskin infections shouldn't be covered either.)
 
 
+3 # RCW 2012-08-30 16:05
"This neuroscientist believes that the emotional experience of a newborn boy being cut in this intimate way by an authority figure, and a source of what should be love and protection, does imprint itself on the infant mind and create, potentially, a particular later orientation toward authority and risk."

An eight day old infant recognizes "an authority figure"??? This sounds a lot like the speaker's own projection.
 
 
+1 # zachwes 2012-08-30 17:06
BINGO!
 
 
+15 # Lyric 2012-08-30 16:17
In modern America, spurious health claims are used to justify routine neonatal circumcision, which is why a barbaric cultural practice has become respectable by being medicalized. Every decade or two it's a new ill that's going to be prevented, starting with blindness and madness and excitability proposed in the 19th century (thanks Dr Kellogg of Cornflakes fame!), and HIV today. Always the thought is to cut first, and then come up with some reason why this is a good idea.

For every young girl who is cut anywhere in the world, six boys are cut. In the United States alone, every 26 seconds some little boy is having parts of his sex organs chopped off in the most agonizing way -- purportedly to prevent some statistically improbable future problem.

In the absence of an actual diagnosis requiring immediate attention, circumcision is nothing short of child abuse. A violent assault. A violation of his human rights, of his right to bodily integrity. The infant is strapped down on a Circumstraint ™, which is the neonatal version of a waterboard. Why strapped down? Because if he could, he would escape his restraints and the terror and the pain. He screams his rejection but his screams are ignored.

And unfortunately too many men who were circumcised as infants don't know what they lost, which is why there is no general outcry. Time to get over the syllogism: I was cut, I'm OK, so cutting is OK.
 
 
-4 # Billy Bob 2012-08-30 16:31
I just wonder if the neuroscientist on the "cutting edge" (her words, not mine) at Concordia U. in Quebec, and the guy at Midwestern U. would ever be thought of as being on the same level.

I assume I'll get thumbs down for this, but I really wonder if Midwestern U. is a powerhouse in the neuroscience game. My guess is that it probably isn't.

I'm POSITIVE you can find two contrasting opinions about anything among "experts". The point is, who's opinion agrees with the overwhelming majority.

To me this is more of a light article, than I'm accustomed to from Wolf. I really prefer it when she sticks to hard politics.
 
 
+2 # Lyric 2012-09-02 16:46
Since when are human rights subject to the will of the majority? Aren't they inherent? Innate? Do we need a majority of experts to agree that waterboarding isn't cool? Or even effective?
 
 
+12 # wolf8888 2012-08-30 16:32
it used to make sense in a tribal nomadic desert enviroment, NOT
in todays climate of enligthend hygene and plenty of running water, circumcisions seems like a cruel anachronism to satisfy WHAT? I'm uncut,I have been sexually active for over 60 years, I'm 75 had seven kids and never had any ILL EFFECTS
 
 
+19 # Aries 2012-08-30 17:32
There are many articles on the internet concerning circumscision. Look them up and find out what is taken away. Cut men have no idea what they lost, never had it so just don't know. The repuce is not just a piece of skin. The many nerve endings give sensation and adds to the sexual pleasure. There is so much more it does - look up the information out there as see what it is that you may be missing. At 75, my glans is still pink and tender as it was as a child. Uncut men have the skin of the glans get tough and harder due to constant contact with clothing, reducing sensation. The glans skin is like the inside of your lips, and it needs to be protected to keep it as it should be. I am glad my cut dad would not allow my brother and me to be cut. You cut guys have no idea about the sensual part the prepuce plays as well as how it protects the glans.
 
 
-12 # Rick Levy 2012-08-30 19:04
"So it is reasonable to wonder if the injury of male circumcision (though hardly comparable to female genital mutilation) could, as many claim, have some lasting emotional or psychological effect on men and the male brain - apart from, or in addition to, any physical harm from the incision..."

No it is not. The real injury here is inflicted on logic in the form of a non-sequitur that Wolf is using to build a straw-man (oops! I mean straw-person) argument in order to support her obvious bias against circumcision, her "personal decision" disclaimer notwithstanding .
 
 
-7 # jstick 2012-08-30 20:03
Many years ago I read a report that said in the U.S., on average, 100 men undergo removal of their penis (penectomy)for medical reasons each year. Further, of those patients 97-98, on average, were uncircumsized. That was all I needed to know. When my boys were born, snip, easy decision.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2012-08-31 13:50
"in the U.S., on average, 100 men undergo removal of their penis (penectomy)for medical reasons each year .."
About 2,000,000 male babies are born in USA/year ... your sample is statistically insignificant (sample does not say what economic class they were from ..)
40% born to unwed mothers, mortality is America's infant mortality rate is high for a developed nation, with 6.71 deaths for every 1,000 births (higher than in "poor" Cuba). But this is another sad topic ...
 
 
+3 # cbarney 2012-08-30 20:10
hamlet knew:

there is a divinity that shapes our ends
rough-hew them how we will
 
 
0 # Glen 2012-08-31 05:19
Gotta do this cbarney! Hahahahahahahah a! Excellent!
 
 
+3 # stormyweathersailorman 2012-08-30 20:22
I had a chance years back,to read an old letter sent to my grandmother when I was about a year old, where my mother at that time painfully described how difficult it was for me to urinate after the procedure. I got in that letter how a young mother felt the pain of her son. Things happen and my mother did the best she could and maybe had she known better could have kept my penis cleaner. I would of liked not to have the procedure done. Having said that, my sex life has been healthy and enjoyable, for lack of words. What I got of Naomi's article is very valuable. I love my mother in that she shared my pain in that circumstance which fills me with compassion towards her. Had I been circumcised for religious or cultural reasons, this article would of filled me with rage. How dare we do such an abomination to our children just because we can?
 
 
+4 # Activista 2012-08-30 22:04
I am uncircumcised - old healthy and happy. Everything is psychosomatic - scientists should do brain scan of baby before, during and after circumcision. Compare to the babies that are not mutilated at birth.
I guess that 90%+ of Republicans/Ame rican males are circumcised - and psychological sex trauma is evident in their behavior and thinking. The feeling is gone. Viagra is grossing billions. What a culture.
Great article Naomi.
 
 
+4 # ThePigman 2012-08-30 22:09
"Professor Jim Pfaus ...notes that the data do not show any lasting harm from circumcision that is physical,"

I can't for the life of me imagine Pfaus saying that about the removal of a girl's clitoral hood, something which is basically the female equivalent of what is done to boys.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2012-08-31 11:17
data do not show any lasting harm from circumcision that is physical ..
but psychological damage can be permanent ..
Wonder about Netanyahoo in this context.
 
 
+5 # Peace Anonymous 2012-08-30 23:22
I don't want to make light of it but at the same time it is a reproductive organ. Don't you think we should ask Romney and Ryan?? Or perhaps women should decide for the men. That would be fair wouldn't it??
 
 
+6 # to be 2012-08-31 03:29
My parents got some things right. They chose not to circumsize their sons (or daughters) and because of that I'm pretty sure that I achieved maximum sexual pleasure when that talented woman appeared. There is nothing on this earth better. Period.
 
 
+12 # Lyric 2012-08-31 07:03
There are not two sides to every story. There were not two sides to Hitler's final solution, and there are not two sides to the "merits" of torture. Routine neonatal circumcision, like female genital mutilation, is on a par with torture. Just because Americans have been so inured to the effects of what is essentially a cultural practice doesn't mean that it isn't in and of itself a moral outrage. Just because a cultural practice has been medicalized, we have to accept that it is benign, and possibly even beneficial? What about lobotomies?

So rather than debate the pros and cons of neonatal circumcision as a theory of disease prevention, one has to FIRST take a moral stand against it. Only then does one address the spurious claims of the pro-circumcisio n lobby.
 
 
+12 # ritacarol 2012-08-31 08:20
I can tell you that, from a female point of view, male circumcision does affect sexual performance. I have had sex with both circumcised and uncircumcised males, and uncircumcised males appear to have a lot more control over whether and when they will have an orgasm. (When they are ready, they ask me to pull back the foreskin so that the head of the penis receives more stimulation.)

Uncircumcised males also, in my experience, retain penile sensitivity as they age. Males who have been circumcised have penises that are continually exposed to tactile sensation. This results in desensitization (or habituation in response to repeated stimuli). In other words, older males who have been circumcised appear to need more direct stimulation to the head of the penis in order to achieve orgasm.

In uncircumcised males, however, the delicate and sensitive nerve endings in the head of the penis retain sensitivity, due to the protective covering of the foreskin.

So, if circumcision were the only issue, I would prefer to have sex with an uncircumcised male.

Does that make a difference in your perspective now?
 
 
+6 # Activista 2012-08-31 11:30
male circumcision does affect sexual performance - but NOT mutilating penis could put Viagra industry out of business!
Thank you for female view - great observation. Surgery is profitable ..
"the United States remains the last developed nation doing it to a significant percentage of newborns. (5) This was done as a result of the for-profit American health care system promoting myths about benefits of circumcision (6), such as preventing penile cancer (6a, 6b), preventing HIV (6c, 6d) despite the USA being the developed nation with the highest HIV rates and circumcision rates (6e, 5), and preventing STDs (6d, 6f). As a result, circumcision now brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors and the American health system. (7)"
http://tinyurl.com/37fdz6
 
 
+4 # fabricedeldongo 2012-08-31 12:08
This seems largely anecdotal, both from the posters in this thread, and from the medical community. There is no strong scientific evidence either way. That would suggest restraint in administering the practice. Less is more? Religious belief is another question. I'm surprised Ms Wolf did not mention the recent medicolegal changes that have taken place in Germany and in several Swiss cantons. If they evidence a trend circumcision could become illegal in many parts of Europe.
 
 
+3 # Lyric 2012-09-02 08:10
Actually religious belief is NOT another question. Don't you think your religious freedom stops at my genitals? Fortunately, even in Jewish and to a lesser degree Muslim circles is ritual circumcision beginning to be questioned.

I have no problem seeing all forms of mutilation outlawed as a violation of human rights. Let the adult over the age of 25 decide for him or herself.
 
 
-1 # Ilyan 2012-08-31 12:09
I was semi-circumcise d.
The original reason for circumcision was to avoid getting Balanitis when peeing in a sandstorm. In those days Balanitis could be fatal. Antibiotics changed that, but an economic collapse of the scale some predict could end such drugs production and make hygene much more important..

There are far too many comments from people who do not know what tthey are talking about, many could fall into the category of 'Politically Correct'.
 
 
-3 # cmc 2012-08-31 20:01
As a parent, I found the issue of to circumcise or not difficult to make. I didn't want to do anything to harm my son, and did think about cultural and religious traditions as well as medical benefits and drawbacks/issue s. I read extensively (and found the available material was all over the board with a lot of inaccurate information) and spoke to several pediatricians and an OB. What I was told at the time was that the risks were very low, but that the doctors who had performed the procedure could tell there was some discomfort for the baby. They also said it was clear that circumcision does act as a prevention from spreading HPV and that about 5% of uncircumcised penises will have problems requiring later, more painful circumcisions. At that time the AAP was neutral on circumcision. I don't understand the argument that the pediatricians are making statements to protect an income stream. The vast majority of circumcisions are actually performed by Obstetricians and the amount of revenue earned is negligible. There are valid arguments to make against circumcision, but accusing doctor's groups of corruption and acting in their own self interests with their policy decision is frankly off base.
 
 
+6 # Activista 2012-09-01 09:10
"majority of circumcisions are actually performed by Obstetricians and the amount of revenue earned is negligible?? fact: brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors and the American health system. circumstitions.com/$$$.html
what is the real cost of circumcision? The AAP quotes an estimated total cost of $US150-270 million for the US annually. At 1.3 million circumcisions, that's only $125 - $225 each.That can only be a small fraction of the real cost.
Facility fees: The baby is usually already in a hospital, and the facility fees ... more on: acircumstitions .com/$$$.html
 
 
+5 # Lyric 2012-09-02 08:15
Quoting cmc:
... there was some discomfort for the baby.


"Discomfort" is the euphemism used to reassure parents.


Quote:
... The vast majority of circumcisions are actually performed by Obstetricians ...
The fact that the vast majority of circumcisions are performed by obstetricians is precisely the problem. They are not specialists of the male genital/urinary system. That makes them unqualified to tamper with the male penis at the behest of ignorant parents. And only 25% of them use any pain mitigation measures -- which are pretty ineffectual anyway, but would be an act of generosity and good faith.
 
 
0 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-08-31 22:23
Not to belittle the issue, but I am surprised to see so much ignorance on the topic of FGC (female genital cutting). Male circumcision does NOT cut off "the most sensitive part" of the organ -- that would be removing the entire glans. While there may well be good reasons to oppose male circumcision, it is not medically comparable to what is sometimes misleadingly called "female circumcision," which frequently results in lifelong sterility, incontinence, scarring, and even death from infection, blood loss, or shock.
Newborn infants' nerve endings are not fully developed. When I had my ears pierced at age 12, I nearly fainted from pain. When my daughter was 3 days old, her aunt just pushed the post of the earring through her lobe, and she barely whimpered. Can people just accept that their own experience does not necessarily reflect everyone else's?
 
 
+5 # Lingtao 2012-09-01 11:51
AN EFFECT ON WOMEN AS WELL.
Male circumcision removes 33 - 50% of the penile skin, and nearly all of the penile fine touch neuroreceptors.

Recent research:
'The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner'. By K. O'HARA and J. O'HARA
6 out of 7 women preferred intact non-circumcised partners while about 1 out of seven preferred non-intact circumcised partners. The study explains the physiological reasons why and is quite educational.

All circumcision, male and female, is about decreasing sexual pleasure. 50% or more in men and thought up by the religiously superstitious. Medical excuses are bogus.

To quote 'Moses Maimonides' the medieval Jewish philosopher " Man should not be hard and rough, but responsive, obedient, acquiescent, and docile. "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. Be silent, and hearken, O Israel. If ye be willing and obedient." He states further,...
"Similarly with regard to circumcision, one of the reasons for it is the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question, so that this activity be diminished and the organ be in as quiet a state as possible".

male circumcision was introduced into English-speakin g countries in the late 1800s as a method of treating and preventing masturbation.
 
 
+6 # NoCircRN 2012-09-01 19:45
In our prudish society, where we talk about abstinence and then have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the developed world and higher HIV and STI rates than other countries of our size and means, sex education should include the normal anatomy of the body. That includes the foreskin, the only moveable part of the penis and one that provides exquisite pleasure for it's owner and his partner. Women who are with intact (uncircumcised) men are more likely to have vaginal orgasms and more satisfying sex lives. If men and women in this country had happier lives in the bedroom, it would be reflected in other areas of their life too.
 
 
+5 # RichardScalper 2012-09-01 11:59
They brand men like a herd of cows. American men are such wimps to let their sons be subjected to this absurd surgery. If it were women tied down & cut, the Feminists would be howling all over the world. The male genitals are a cheap commodity. There is no argument too absurd for the circumcisers. They insult the appearance of the intact penis, claim that circumcision heals everything from body warts to HIV, and draw an illogical distinction between female & male genitals. Circumcision is the mark of a slave, not a free man.

Top Ten Tortures Less Painful Than Circumcision

10. Get knocked out by Mohammed Ali.
9. Pull out your fingernails.
8. Eat a pile of steaming bear phooey.
7. Skin yourself alive.
6. Fall into a vat of molten iron.
5. Get run over by a train.
4. Go through a sausage grinder.
3. Saw off your legs.
2. Poke out your eyes.
1. Go To Hell

~Dick-Scalper
 
 
0 # richardbelldc 2012-09-01 13:44
Wolf makes a particularly weak argument in the following sentences:

"A neuroscientist who studies trauma regards emotions as physically embodied. This neuroscientist believes that the emotional experience of a newborn boy being cut in this intimate way by an authority figure, and a source of what should be love and protection, does imprint itself on the infant mind and create, potentially, a particular later orientation toward authority and risk."

In what possible way could an infant a few days old be said to be aware of "an authority figure" in such a way that that would influence that person's "later orientation toward authority and risk."

Allowing such a statement to find its way into print suggests a writer who is hopelessly out of her depth. It is unfortunate that writers like Wolf who become well respected authorities in one arena then turn around and take that respect as authorization to spout off about topics on which they should be silent.

Just because an article is written by a well-known figure does not in any way guarantee that the author has anything useful to say. I regard the appearance of this fluff piece to be a failure of the editors of this website to screen out such material. If you want to run something from Wolf, get her to write about subjects where she has strengths, not weaknesses.
 
 
+5 # NoCircRN 2012-09-01 19:27
s an RN, I advocate for men to keep all their sexual parts. The foreskin has a purpose, just like the clitoral hood on women. Without it and it's 20,000 nerve endings, normal and natural sex is not possible. Since the physicians who recomm
end circumcision are themselves circumcised, come from a circumcising culture or are the partners of circumcised men, they have a bias against the natural body. No one ever died from leaving the foreskin intact, so if a man wants to be cut as an adult, that should be his decision and only his. When you change the form, you change the function. Research what is lost with circumcision, the more you know, the more you're against it.
 
 
0 # Sorgfelt 2012-09-02 10:44
I thought quite a bit about whether or not to have my boys circumcised, as I normally agree with not removing body bits unnecessarily, but eventually decided to have it done. There was no pressure from our doctor, who is Jewish, although I asked him his opinion, and he said he was circumcised "because God told us to" (something I don't believe). My main reasons for deciding to have it done were, in order:
1. I was once in the Urology Ward of a hospital, where the guy across from me was having a circumcision as an adult, apparently because his fiance wanted it, and it seemed to be a lot more trouble to have it done as an adult than as a baby.
2. I and most boys in my generation and my boys' generation were circumcised, I saw no problems with having it, and felt safe in having them match everyone else.
3. I read that there was some medical justification in regards to preventing infections (and it seems that the comments on this board bear that out).
4. Many women seem to require it.

I never thought about possible loss of sexual pleasure, as I never noticed that I may have had less. In fact now that I am getting old, I am more grateful that I have less desire now and can put more of my mental energies on other things than screwing.
 
 
-1 # Midwestgeezer 2012-09-02 15:28
Years ago I heard a story about 3 guys who were recalling their earliest memories. The first guy claimed he could remember his 1st birthday and still recall a bunch of old people being there and hearing their terrible rendition of "Happy Birthday". He said he could still recall the smell of the burning candles.
The second, not to be outdone, told of remembering his baptism, the acrid incense and the shock of cold water on his 2 week old head!
The third guy had 'em cold. He remembered being circumcised when barely out of the birth canal. Holy shit, one replied! That must have been terribly painful! "Painful, replied the circimcisee, I couldn't walk for almost a year!!!"
 
 
-1 # DrEvel1 2012-09-02 21:43
I was circumcised at birth, actually before my mother even saw me. In those days it was not unusual to provide total anesthesia for delivering mothers, and it was a good 12 hours or so before she woke up enough to meet me. By then, it was a done deal; she did not recall ever being asked for her opinion on the question one way or another. Autres temps; autres mœurs.

Over the years I have had very fine sex with a great many men; some cut, some uncut. It's somewhat different in each case; however, I can speak with some authority to the fact that all those penises work pretty much the same, and all of them are sources of pleasure and joy to their possessors and to their partners. There's a whole lot more variation in penile features other than foreskinity (length, thickness, curvature, erectability, etc.) that have a lot more to do with its functionality than circumcision does.

You really have to work overtime and have far too much time on your hands to get seriously exercised in mature life about the effects of a minor surgical procedure conducted when you're barely out of the womb.
 
 
+2 # Lyric 2012-09-03 05:07
Male circumcision in the US by the numbers:

1) Only 23 out of 144 cultures listed in the Human Relations Area File database practice genital cutting in some form (including the US) making it a minority practice across the world.

2) Mutilation of females occurs only in cultures that also practice male circumcision.

3) For every girl who is genitally mutilated, six boys are mutilated worldwide, at various ages.

4) In the United States, every 26 seconds another infant’s penis is diminished, desensitized, denuded of its most erogenous tissue — that’s between 1.25 and 1.4 million each year.

5) Congress banned female genital mutilation (FGM) in 1997, but it has extended no explicit protection to males, so that only children who are males are subject to involuntary surgical alteration of the genitals in the US, which is a violation of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Its failure to protect male infants also conceivably violates the 1st and 9th Amendments.
 
 
+1 # Lyric 2012-09-03 11:46
[Male circumcision in the US by the numbers, continued]


6) Non-therapeutic circumcision contravenes Articles 12, 14(1) & (3), 16, 19(1) and 24(3) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Article V of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and the four cardinal principles of medical ethics (autonomy of the patient, beneficence of the intervention, non-maleficence of the intervention, and justice).

7) To prevent one death from penile cancer (a disease of elderly men), 100,000 infants must be circumcised, 1,000 of whom will suffer an adverse event, and 18 die.

8) While circumcision rates in the US have fallen to about 60% as a national average, some 80% of sexually active males today were circumcised. Yet the rate of HIV and STD infection in the US is the highest in the developed world.

9) If there is any connection at all between circumcision status and HIV infection, at the current rate of infection in the US, 23,148 infants would have to be circumcised to prevent just one case of AIDS — infants who might never engage in risky sex as adults.

10) The foreskin in the adult male represents 12-15 square inches of specialized tissue, with 3 feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of nerves and up to 20,000 erotogenic nerve endings.
 
 
+2 # Lyric 2012-09-03 05:08
[Male circumcision in the US by the numbers, continued]

6) Non-therapeutic circumcision contravenes Articles 12, 14(1) & (3), 16, 19(1) and 24(3) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); Article V of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and the four cardinal principles of medical ethics (autonomy of the patient, beneficence of the intervention, non-maleficence of the intervention, and justice).

7) To prevent one death from penile cancer (a disease of elderly men), 100,000 infants must be circumcised, 1,000 of whom will suffer an adverse event, and 18 die.

8) While circumcision rates in the US have fallen to about 60% as a national average, some 80% of sexually active males today were circumcised. Yet the rate of HIV and STD infection in the US is the highest in the developed world.

9) If there is any connection at all between circumcision status and HIV infection, at the current rate of infection in the US, 23,148 infants would have to be circumcised to prevent just one case of AIDS — infants who might never engage in risky sex as adults.

10) The foreskin in the adult male represents 12-15 square inches of specialized tissue, with 3 feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of nerves and up to 20,000 erotogenic nerve endings.
 
 
+2 # Lyric 2012-09-03 05:09
[Male circumcision in the US by the numbers, continued]

11) 70% of routine medical circumcisions in the US are performed by obstetricians, who are not specialists of the male genitalia. Only 25% of obstetricians use any form of pain relief.

12) Cortisol level in the blood (indicator of stress) rises from a baseline of 5.2 micrograms per deciliter to a mean of 14 micrograms or more in infants receiving some form of pain relief (depending on type and combination, and circumcision method), and 17 micrograms in infants receiving no pain relief at all. Pain is not eliminated by any method.

13) The serial amputation of healthy functional tissue from newborns is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, which includes fees paid by parents or insurers ranging between $100 and $400, hospital supplies, and the lucrative trade in foreskins for skin grafts and medical research, making neonates exploitable as involuntary organ donors.

14) Men circumcised as infants may sue for damages within one year of turning 18 or, after that, within one year from the time they became aware that they had been harmed.
 
 
+2 # Vigilant One 2012-09-04 15:30
Have you ever gone barefoot on cement in the summer?

At first, every little stone hurts and gravel is a nightmare. Then, as your feet callous, you wind up feeling almost nothing. You just run around.

This, I expect, is what happens to the glans of a penis after the foreskin has been removed by circumcision. The ability of the glans to feel sensation, especially after years of contact with underwear, is dramatically reduced.

I have not been circumcised. When my penis is in a woman's vagina, it is as if I can "see" through the glans. It goes beyond an exquisite sense of touch. It promotes a very intimate connection, as do the nerves on the interior surface of the foreskin which are exposed to contact when the penis is unsheathed.

I made certain that my son was not circumcised. Now, possibly due to recent "scientific" studies, or perhaps as a result of having many friends who are circumcised, he wishes that he had been.

I am concerned about the fate of any male children that he may have in the future.
 

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