Circumcision

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by scem0, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #1
    Here's my advice: Don't do it!

    I feel very strongly about this. Circumcision is an unnecessary tradition that should be done away with. I could go into paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs of detail as to why it should be done away with, but I'll stay brief.

    Medical
    The risks of circumcision outweigh the tiny, miniscule, insignificant benefits.

    Hygiene
    It's easier than saying easy to keep an uncircumcised penis clean. The hygiene 'issues' of an intact penis are myths. All you have to do is rinse quickly with warm water. Cleaning with soap is unnecessary, and many experts recommend not using it. I was with soap, and I don't even think about it, I never have. Infections are not common, as some would lead you to believe.

    Sexual
    Intact penises are more sensitive. Sex feels better when you're uncut. I know you don't want to think of your kid ever doing anything sexual, but please do him a favor and don't cut him.

    Social
    There is a weird stigma surrounding circumcision in the United States. It's like your child is tainted if he has his foreskin or something. Who cares if your kid is the only one in the locker room who isn't cut? Think of him as being one step above the other kids. Plus, circumcision is quickly losing its popularity. In this day and age, circumcision isn't necessarily the status quo.

    Personal
    I'm uncircumcised and I couldn't be happier about it. My penis is sensitive, dynamic, fully functional, and a lot of fun. It's certainly nothing to be afraid of.

    Something to let your mind chew on...
    Almost all the arguments used to support circumcision in the states for males are used elsewhere to support female circumcision. In Egypt, parents are expected to circumcise their daughters for hygienic reasons, as well as medical reasons, and social reasons. So I ask you all? Should we stop circumcising our boys, or should we start circumcising our girls too?

    What are your thoughts of this practice?

    e
     
  2. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

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    #2
    You seem very passionate about this. I too dislike it and wonder why parents can't just leave their son's penis alone... Its not theirs to **** with and cut up... I actually find it a little cruel too.
     
  3. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #3
    I am passionate about this :). It annoys me when people do important things without thinking. For so long people have said "oh, I'm going to circumcise little Tommy because I'm supposed to, everyone's doing it!" without questioning the procedure. I'm trying to get people to question the procedure, as any amputation should be questioned, and I'm confident that if enough people do, circumcision will no longer be a social norm.

    e
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #4
    For what it's worth, which is very little ;), I completely agree with you.

    I think that, for every argument in favor of circumcision, one or more valid ones can be made against it. Of course, many religions require it, and there's not a lot you can do to convince those people.

    I personally consider it to be mutilation, done due to social or religious pressures.

    I don't think (male) circumcision is a devastating thing - I'm sure there will be many posts defending it - and I think the "improved sensitivity" argument is probably a bit exaggerated. But... the only way to really know would be for one of us who hasn't gone under the knife to do so and report back about the changes. Volunteers? I didn't think so.

    I agree that it should be a personal decision, not imposed on an infant without their consent. It's hard to argue it's beneficial, and it's not like the kid can grow it back if they would prefer to do so. But, of course, they could always have it removed later in life. I guess. I'm not sure why anyone would.
     
  5. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    #5
    The return of Scem0?:cool:
    Circumcision is popular in my area of the country. I'll stop there.

    Can someone explain female circumcision?:eek: :confused:
     
  6. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #6
    This actually has been done many times. Mostly because uncircumcised men are self conscious of being different.

    I'm very steadfast on the sensitivity argument. Not only does it make sense - the glans is protected by the foreskin, so it isn't under constant stimulation. It's like if you close your eyes all day, walk into a well lit room and open them, the room will seem extremely bright. If you walk around with your eyes open all day, and then walk into the room, it will only seem well lit.

    The scientific reasons I am so bullish on sensitivity is because of testimonials of men who have been circumcised as adults and have lost sensitivity and the testimonials of men who have regrown their foreskin as adults and have gained sensitivity. (Yes, there is such thing as foreskin restoration. Google it, it's a completely safe process that doesn't involve surgery).

    e
     
  7. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #7
    and hopefully with me, the return of foreskin ;).

    e
     
  8. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000

    Phat_Pat

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    #8
    funny... i just watched the Seinfeld episode about this

    i wouldn't want my boy cut
     
  9. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #9
    But do u want your kid to be teased because he is different. Its difficult as it is to be in a locker room for other reasons (esp. in adolescence), why make it harder....
    Just my thought
     
  10. applekid macrumors 68020

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    #10
    The whole point of doing the circumcision early is because it takes longer to heal and it's more painful the older you get. You're bed-ridden for a couple of weeks if you do it when you're an adult. And you got a huge ball of gauze wrapped around that and probably wearing some protective gear because of a little snipping of the skin.
     
  11. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #11
    because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    Plus, it's not a given that your child will have to deal with this. I didn't. I played basketball, but only the varsity players ever showered after class. The rest of us didn't sweat enough to warrant it. Even if we did shower, nowdays I doubt that I would have been the only one, and it's not like everyone'll be staring at your penis. And guys will hesitate to make fun of you for being uncut because that means they were looking at your penis and that's *gasp* a gay thing to do. And on top of all that, you can retract your foreskin and roll it back and it'll stay in place, I could have just done that. Then I would have looked cut.

    Overall. Who cares if people make fun of your kid when they are just that, a kid? It's inevitable that your kid will get made fun of. After petty high school teasing, assuming that happens which it probably won't, when they are all grown up they'll thank you.

    e
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    I'm doing the reverse actually. I was circumcised as an infant. The mad slasher who cut me took so much off that erections were painful, oral sex was impossible and masturbation required massive amounts of lubrication.

    So, along about 1998 or 1999, I was surfing the web and came across some info about foreskin restoration, I was ecstatic, depressed and eager to try it all at once. Sex was rarely something I truly enjoyed, I always seemed to be trying to avoid pain as opposed to embracing pleasure.

    I started with the t-tape method and soon my skin was starting to grow. The principle behind this is not unlike the one used when separating conjoined twins. Prolonged and persistent pressure on the skin (usually achieved by placing balloons under the skin, not very practical for the penis) makes the skin grow and allows the surgeon to pull the skin over the separated areas. Anyway, I still have a ways to go, I've been erratic in my tugging but my new 'skin covers my glans when flaccid.

    When the glans and the mucosal tissue of the shaft skin are exposed to air and clothing, they become keratinized. Keratinization essentially means a toughening of the skin which is a protective response. The same would happen to the mucous membranes in your mouth or nose. Keratinization in this case is not permanent. By covering the tissue, the keratinized skins sloughs off and you're left with something resembling the original. It's exquisitely sensitive, and highly erotic.

    My orgasms are much more of the whole body type and I don't have to work nearly as hard to get them. I would do anything to have the original and be able to enjoy my sex life to its fullest but starting restoring at 40 like I did means I have a few good years ahead of me.

    So, it can sort of be grown back but it takes a lot of time and perserverance.


    The current circ rate in the US is about 60%. The rate in California is about 20% and is similar to that in other progressive states with the states in the middle of the US having the highest rates of RIC (routine infant circumcision). So, the whole argument that you'll be exposed to ridicule is pretty lame as there will be a substantial number of kids who were spared the knife.


    Circumcision has been touted as reducing the incident of HIV transmission, penile cancer, cancer of the uterus, etc, etc. None of these claims has stood the test of time and it's not surprising because the foreskin is there to protect the body from foreign elements.

    The reason most guys in the US are circed is because of a guy named Kellogg. Yep, he's the brother of the guy who invented corn flakes. He was pretty whacked out and believed in daily enemas and the idea that masturbation weakened the body and so must be stopped. His idea was circumcision. Obviously it didn't work but a lot of doctors made a few extra bucks and a trend was started.



    The reason for circumcision amongst Muslims is that supposedly, Mohammed was born without a foreskin and circ is done out of respect. It may well be as ~ 1 in 100,000 boys are born without. It's more likely that it predated Mohammed and is associated with the same prehistorical and pagan ritual that Jews practiced.

    Up until the end of the first millenia, Jews didn't perform a full circumcision. They only cut off the very tip of the foreskin. The romans had a habit of exercising and wrestling nude. Of course they didn't consider this to be nudity as long as the glans of the penis was covered. Jews were therefore excluded because their glans was showing but they soon learned that they could tie a string around it so the glans would be covered. It was soon thereafter that full circumcision became common. Pretty sick really that they had to lop of a piece of skin about the size of an index card in order to keep these young guys from leaving the tribe.


    A few links:

    cirp.org
    icgi.org
    norm.org
    noharm.org
     
  13. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #13
    *claps*

    I didn't expect such great and supportive responses from everyone. I'm very happy for you Ugg! It's wonderful that you have had success with foreskin restoration!

    Also, I'd like to comment that what happened to Ugg isn't as uncommon as you'd think it might be. A surprisingly high amount of circumcisions result in complications. Being cut too tightly is only one of them.

    My most sincere congratulations :D,

    e
     
  14. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #14
    That's pretty lame and the only reason it has any support is because newborns can't talk.

    When a boy is born, the foreskin is loosely attached to the glans of the penis. Some boys' foreskins will detach on their own around the age of 4 or so, some not until 10 or even 12. This is natural. However, in order to circumcise a boy, the foreskin has to be cut away from the glans of the penis with a dull scalpel. It's dull so it shouldn't cut the glans but sometimes it does. This is sort of similar to cutting a slit in your arm and pulling it off. Until recently, all routine infant circs were done without anasthesia, and babies feel pain just like adults. So, once they've peeled it off they then take what's called a Gompco clamp and attach it, tighten it down and off it comes. Of course the boy is strapped to a table during this.

    The first seven days of an infant's life are really trying. They are much more susceptible to infections and elective surgery should NEVER be committed during this time. However doctors being doctors and HMOS being the slimeballs they are will not readmit just for circumcision. Not a bad thing really, so the boy is much more likely to have problems. There are a number of horrific photos on the cirp.org page of a baby boy whose entire crotch was rotted away by an infection. There are plenty of other photos of botched circumcisions, some of which turned into gender reassignment surgery.

    The incident rate of problematic circumcision is somewhere between 3-5 percent. Some of them may be minor some will be major. One of the most common side effects is meatal stenosis where the opening of the urethra is infected, becomes inflamed and makes urination difficult. The list of side effects is endless but in the end it is the lack of sensitivity that is most damaging.

    Circumcision has no medically proven benefit. The American Association of Pediatricians has stated that there is no compelling need to do so. The reason it continues is due to ignorance and denial on the part of those who have been cut.
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #15
    Thanks, you don't know how envious I am!
     
  16. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #16
    well said. The statistic at mothers against circumcision ( http://mothersagainstcirc.org ) is that 1 out of 500 circumcisions result in a major problem. Like infection, which can lead to death. Or botched circumcisions. I doubt that statistic includes meatal stenosis/meatitis, but I'm not sure.

    e
     
  17. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #17
    i disagree.

    son's father and i put a lot of thought into this before deciding to have our son circumcised. we have absolutely no regrets and i doubt our son will either.
    i won't be a prick and try to refute or argue point after point (for there's always two sides to every story) but i'll say situations such as these are not always cut and dried nothing is ever so simple.

    i am not even going to address the female genital mutilation thing. that is comparing apples and oranges for the sake of peaches.*

    i don't want to hammer out all the details on this, but for the record... not every parent that decides this for their boys went in uneducated. it is a highly personal and difficult decision and everyone does what they feel is right. to each their own. <shrugs>




    *
    totally different and for a senseless cruel reason. it's just not the same situation at all with girls.
     
  18. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #18
    And I respect your decision iBlue. What ticks me off is when people make the decision without educating themselves. So I hope you don't think I hold your decision against you :).

    e
     
  19. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #19
    I'm glad you did the research but your son, if he does his research when it comes time to figure out why he was cut, may well resent your decision to mess with his body. That's between you and him but hopefully in the future parents won't be allowed to make that decision anymore. A person's body is inviolate. We teach children that if anyone touches them there to tell an adult. Unfortunately circumcision happens at a point in their life when they have no advocates. I'm sorry you did it but at least you conciously made a choice and will be able to defend yourself if he gets mad at you for doing so.

    In regards to female circumcision, it's a horrible procedure and the reasons it is done are just as awful as male circ. The most extreme female cases mean a life of no sexual pleasure and excruciating pain while having sex.

    The main purpose of both procedures is to reduce sexual pleasure. For men it takes, generally, a great deal more effort to reach orgasm. The lack of a gliding skin means more friction in the vagina. Friction is generally women's number one complaint regarding sex. Friction is also more likely to result in microscopic tears both on the penis and in the vagina. Tears that are more likely to allow the transmission of STDs. Remember, HIV transmission is much higher in the US than in Europe where only a few percent are circed. This friction ends up reducing the pleasure for men and women.

    Too many women think that circ is just about the guy when it's really about sex and it takes two to tango. Male or female circumcision ultimately means less enjoyment for both male and female.



    My question to you is why? I was born in 1962. My father, who was born at home, was left alone. I was interferred with. The early 60s saw the highest percentage of men cut in the US. I doubt the doctor even asked them, he most likely just did it and they probably didn't think anything of it.

    I'm not trying to attack although my words may seem harsh but it seems interesting that after all your research you chose to violate your son's body.
     
  20. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #20
    oh no, i think my response might have come out more hostile than i intended it too, i'm heavily medicated at the moment. :eek: (damn sinus infection) i agree that it's not a decision to take lightly and i abhor it when people make hasty decisions like that. i do think that most parents do what they think is right, just some put more thought and research into than others. :( i researched this when i was 4 months pregant and found out it was a boy. we got a very well respected jewish male doctor to perform it (they take it rather seriously) ;) and have known parents who've taken their sons to him. at the risk of sounding strange, he's just well regarded as being good at the circs. i believe we made the right decision and i know we're lucky and pleased with the result.
    delicate topic though, glad it's a civil one thus far. :)
     
  21. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #21
    When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we went to ante-natal classes. One week, the nurse teaching the class showed a video about circumcision. Our jaws dropped and we couldn't believe this was considered normal ... our biggest shock was the reaction of the rest of the class, i.e. no reaction apart from one couple taking notes.

    This is just not done in Ireland. We can see no reason for doing this to any child as part of a normal post-birth procedure.

    Both our children turned out to be girls, but if they had been boys we would have had no hesitation in rejecting circumcision as an option, no matter what the chances of "looking different" at school would have been, or whatever the hygiene argument is supposed to mean.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  22. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    #22
    I must admit, I feel this way as well. Although I wasn't lying when I said I respected your decision. Some parents weight different pros and cons differently. Many people who educate themselves and go with circumcision do so because of social norms, especially if they live in the mid-west. I can respect that.

    However, I'd never do that. Like I said before, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. If a woman or a man won't be with you because your penis is intact, then you shouldn't be with them in the first place. That's how I feel. If your peers make fun of you for being intact, their opinions don't matter and shouldn't affect you.

    e
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #23
    you don't sound harsh, no worries. i'll try to answer briefly why we chose to have our son circed. the bottom line for us was that we did what we felt was best for him after quite a bit of thought on the matter.

    we are prepared to answer any questions our son may have down the line. i don't think he's going to have any problems with it.
    thing is, if he did want to be circed later in life, the whole experience would be much worse as time went on. a baby doesn't have the presence of mind to obsess over it like an adult does.

    onto the more solid reasons why:
    my s/o is jewish. he's not a completely practicing jew (complicated story) but members of his family are, and a lot of the principles and traditions just hold up for him. that was not enough for me however, i don't do anything on simple practice or tradition.
    when i looked into it i of course found pros and cons, of course, but for all that research i found more pros to the circ. pros in areas which were important to us. there's also of course the aesthetic aspect, i personally find circumcised penises to be "prettier". there's the "look like daddy" part of this as well.
    there's a few other reasons that aided us in the choice but it's difficult to say without sounding accusational or argumentative. it's a delicate topic, especially as a woman discussing it with a man.

    i am sorry to hear you had a bad experience, i can't even imagine how awful that would be. i wish you luck in your healing, it sounds to be going fairly well.

    i hope that answered your question(s).
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    There's been some research indicating that early trauma after birth creates bonding issues with the child. Obviously, this is a gray area so I don't know how much weight I attach to it. It is a potential reason for concern though and that's why I bring it up.

    Family is a powerful force and at least your child will have the Jewish justification and might be less likely to question your decision. I'm glad that that alone wasn't enough to sway you.

    Personally, I've never found scar tissue, anywhere on the body to be in the least bit appealing, much less on a penis. I'm gay, so I've seen a few penises up close, cut and natural. The natural ones are far more appealing and way more sensual but I 'spose that's enough on that subject for this board.


    As far as the healing goes, the feelings of violation have passed, but the anger remains. Not at my circ necessarily, but that routine infant circumcision is treated so cavalierly. There's no justifiable need for it. Restoring has helped tremendously of course, but what's helped more is talking about circumcision to other people. I still feel that there's a lot of denial on the part of men who have been cut. It's only natural, how can you miss something that you've really never experienced? Unfortunately, even today, there are too many men who suffer from botched circumcisions and the pain that I and men like me have suffered is in no way justifiable for any reason.

    I'll continue to campaign for leaving boys and girls natural. Hopefully someone reading this thread or one like it will think twice about the "cruelest cut".
     
  25. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #25
    I just wanted to thank ugg and scem0 for their illuminating posts. I learned a lot. I'm happy that I never had to go through what ugg has had to deal with (I've never been cut), but I'm a bit sad iBlue doesn't consider me pretty now. I suppose I could use makeup down there. ;)

    I completely agree that, at the very least, casual circumcision "because it's what everyone else does" should end.
     

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