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Male Infant Circumcision? YES or NO

 
 
smt
 
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2004 10:48 pm
Infant Circumcision? YES or NO

Male infant circumcision is very common in the US even though it is not recommended by a single major medical organization. Why is it done? Is circumcising for "social" reasons valid? Is it ethical to take a knife and cut up a child's penis without a medical indication?

I say it is wrong. What do you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 15,462 • Replies: 195
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jul, 2004 11:00 pm
I had my son circumcised when he was born primarily for hygenic reasons and because I think a circumcised penis looks better then an uncircumcised one.

I don't either promote it nor do I discourage it. Each parent should decide for themselves what they want for their son. Maybe even waiting until the child is older and decide for himself what he would like to do.
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 12:10 am
Circumcision is body mutilation. Some cultures do it at puberty as a ritual into adulthood. In America we do it for no reason other than that most other people do it.
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smt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 06:41 am
doglover wrote:
I had my son circumcised when he was born primarily for hygenic reasons and because I think a circumcised penis looks better then an uncircumcised one.

I don't either promote it nor do I discourage it. Each parent should decide for themselves what they want for their son. Maybe even waiting until the child is older and decide for himself what he would like to do.


I do agree that letting a child decide when he is older is a good idea.

I don't think that a parent's personal view of how a child's penis looks should have a lot of weight in making a decision like this. The parent's only going to see it for a couple years, the child has to live with it forever. Besides, isn't the way American's view a circumcised penis just a cultural bias? 80% of the world's males are "intact". Only the US and Israel circumcise infants in such large numbers. BTW, the current circumcision rate in the US is just over 60%.

As far as hygiene... the American Academy of Pediatrics says this:

"Circumcision has been suggested as an effective method of maintaining penile hygiene since the time of the Egyptian dynasties, but there is little evidence to affirm the association between circumcision status and optimal penile hygiene."

Hygiene issues are just a myth in the US. Either way, you need to keep a penis clean. It's no big deal on an uncircumcised penis.

Doesn't a child have a right to not have a knife taken to it's genitals at birth unless there is a specific medical indication?
kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 07:06 am
No - unnecessary body mutilation. No son of mine will be circumcised.

I'm not circumcised and have never had any hygeine problems - it's less common in Europe than America.

If anyone old enough decides to do it out of choice, that's their perogative - just as any piercing/self mutilation is up to the individual.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 07:15 am
It is not just a "social" reason. For many it is for religious reasons.
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kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 07:16 am
Linkat wrote:
It is not just a "social" reason. For many it is for religious reasons.


Point taken - for the Jewish and Muslim minorities

It's the majority of Christians too, in America, as far as I'm aware.

Ridiculous and wrong.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 07:34 am
This has been hashed, rehashed and dissector previously. For Jews and Moslems it is a religious necessity for all others it is one of choice. Since the present government is intent in getting into, figuratively speaking, everyone's pants. Can we expect to see a constitutional amendment banning it in the near future? Embarrassed Embarrassed
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 08:28 am
Agreed. I just wanted to point out there are other reasons besides "social" reasons. I doubt that this would be a constitutional amendment as it is so common in the US. I know that when I was pregnant, the doctor discusses the pros and cons, but basically leaves it up to the parents to decide. As we had girls, this really never became an issue.

I know speaking with many parents, those that decide for non-religious reasons, it seems it is so the child is not embarrassed when taking showers say during gym. I doubt this will be an issue going forward as many parents are finding circumcision as being unnecessary so opting out. This at least has been my experience recently.

How about having girls' ears pieced when an infant? Many couples have this done. It is unnecessary and also causes pain.
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smt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 08:31 am
I doubt there will be a constitutional amendment banning male circumcision anytime soon. But it would be nice if medical organizations in the US had a strong stance against it... just as the medical organization in British Columbia has recently done.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 08:33 am
I don't have a daughter, but if I did I wouldn't have her ears pierced when she was a baby. I would have an irrational fear of her pulling at them and ripping them out of her ears! When she got to be a bit older, say 5 or 6 I would let her pierce them if she wanted.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 08:39 am
smt

Quote:
I doubt there will be a constitutional amendment banning male circumcision anytime soon


That was only a tongue and cheek statement and bit of a slap at the Bush administrations attempt to pass an amendment against Gay marriage.
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smt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 08:55 am
Linkat wrote:
How about having girls' ears pieced when an infant? Many couples have this done. It is unnecessary and also causes pain.


Personally, I'm not in favor of piercing an infants ears. I don't see it as a major deal since it does not 1) alter the way the ears are designed to function, 2) it does not remove any sensitive tissue, 3) and it does not affect the sensitivity of hearing.
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Rayvatrap
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 09:16 am
Circumcision!

In my opinion, that skin is there for a reason and that reason is more protection. The hygiene problem comes from the way kids are instructed in the matter. Confused

The problem with doing it after certain age is that a man gets up to 7 erections while sleeping and can pull the stitches of and make things very, very painful, uncomfortable and messy for the person. Sad
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smt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 09:27 am
Rayvatrap wrote:
The problem with doing it after certain age is that a man gets up to 7 erections while sleeping and can pull the stitches of and make things very, very painful, uncomfortable and messy for the person. Sad


Luckily, the AAP says that the vast majority of boys will NEVER need a circumcision later in life. I think the absolute chance of ever actually needing a circumcision os something like 1 in 16000.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 11:00 am
In my limited experience with these kinds of internet discussion boards, it seems like this topic comes up with unexpected frequency. There is a vocal, determined, but tiny group of individuals who believe that this is a big deal -- even going so far as to advocate "foreskin restoration" for those who have undergone this procedure. A2K has certainly not been immune: this topic has been dealt with at length at least once in the past (click here).

I'm not sure what motivates people whose sole interest seems to be debating the merits of infant male circumcision (in the previous thread, it was keviesmum who joined A2K for the single purpose of registering opposition to circumcision), but I have a theory: they are either (1) men who have a sexual or even fetishistic interest in foreskins; or (2) women who have an obsessive concern over saving babies from everything. Granted, those are gross generalizations based upon a limited sampling, but I haven't seen anything to dissuade me from those conclusions, and that includes what I've seen so far on this thread.

It has also been my limited experience (purely from second-hand reports) that men who have been circumcized later in life, after having been sexually active, report little difference in the quality of feeling or sexual performance. As for the health or esthetic aspects of the issue, I remain largely agnostic. Indeed, the only thing that I find at all interesting in this discussion are the motivations of those who participate.
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thethinkfactory
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 11:23 am
I am fairly sure if a Sihk took of his iron bracelet he would still be a Sihk.

This proceedure is merely culteral for all not concerned with an Abrahmic pact. Even then, if you are not a literalist translator of the texts... you can still make your own decision.

I did not circumcise my son - and with I would have had the option.

TF
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Rayvatrap
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 11:25 am
The foreskin performs several important functions. Most of these functions center on making sex more enjoyable, not only for just one, but for both partners.
Protection
Makes sex feel better
Lubricates during intercourse
Lubricates during masturbation
Reduces the drop insensitivity through age
Allows the erection to grow
Increases sensitivity slowing intercourse


The foreskin is filled with nerve endings called stretch receptors. These nerve endings fire when they are stretched, rolled, or massaged. The only purpose of these nerve endings is to make sex more enjoyable. The stretch receptors are unlike the nerve endings in the head of the penis which are very sensitive to friction but can be so sensitive that the sensation can be irritating or painful. The nerve endings in the head of the penis tend to trigger orgasm much more than the nerve endings in the foreskin.
The head of the penis has no skin. This may be a surprise to those of you who are familiar only with circumcised penises. The head of the penis is actually covered by a very thin moist mucus membrane, very much like the inside of the lip or the inside of the eyelid.

The head of the penis is not meant to be exposed to the elements such as friction against clothing, friction during sex, the sun's rays, or soap (in infants urine or feces). The head of the penis is supposed to be protected by the warm, moist cocoon that the foreskin creates.

If the foreskin is removed, the mucus membrane of the penis thickens in response to the lack of protection. It may look like skin, but it is not.

The foreskin is lined with smooth muscle fibers which contract to make the foreskin wrap snugly around the head of the penis. These muscle fibers can relax to permit the foreskin to be retracted.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 12:16 pm
The aesthetics one way or the other don't much matter to me, and there are valid health arguments on both sides of the question. I figure the religious argument is, if paradoxically, both the least valid and the strongest motivation for the continuance of the practice, probably closely followed by the equally invalid and nearly as strong aspect of cultural inertia ... a thing that's always been done likely will continue to be done and vice-versa. It sure is a common point of discussion and dissention; been around a half dozen millenia or thereabouts, so I suppose neither the practice nor the partisanship are likely to fade in the foreseeable future. Overall, my take is that folks who get real excersized about it one way or the other have way too much time on their hands and way too little on their minds. Of course, it don't take much to entertain some folks, and often what entertains 'em says a lot about 'em.
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smt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2004 12:38 pm
whatever
joefromchicago wrote:
In my limited experience with these kinds of internet discussion boards... There is a vocal, determined, but tiny group of individuals...

Sorry, I thought this was a debate board and felt that the ethics of circumcision would make a good debate. I have yet to see anyone argue for circumcision and be able to justify the ethics of it.

In debating I don't see how it is an invalid debate because there might be a "tiny but vocal" group that thinks it's wrong. Sorry I did look for a previous debate but did not see it.
joefromchicago wrote:
I'm not sure what motivates people whose sole interest seems to be debating the merits of infant male circumcision..., but I have a theory: they are either (1) men who have a sexual or even fetishistic interest in foreskins; or (2) women who have an obsessive concern over saving babies from everything.... Indeed, the only thing that I find at all interesting in this discussion are the motivations of those who participate.

That's fine, no one is going to make you debate the subject. Obviously, there's a big difference between conjecture and facts. Misdirection is always good for a debate.

What I find interesting is how a society can validate cosmetic surgery on an infant... and on the genitals even!
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