Skip to comments.CIRCUMCISION: Did you know?
Posted on 04/05/2006 5:19:29 PM PDT by Giant Conservative
The debate about neonatal circumcision is over. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), neonatal circumcision is the result of ignorance, bad medical practice and American social and cultural pressure. Regarding the three most commonly cited justifications for neonatal circumcision (penile cancer, venereal disease and penile hygiene), the AAP now states that the benefits are negligible, which means that the majority of American men are walking around without foreskins for no good reason. Yet, the barbaric practice shows no sign of abating, and for this reason I plan to shed some light on the cultural dark spot of circumcision.
The U.S. stands alone as the only country in the world (including developed, developing and undeveloped countries) where neonatal nonreligious circumcision is routine for physicians and their unwitting patients.
In contrast, 80 percent of the planet does not practice circumcision, and since 1870 no other country has adopted it. China, Japan, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, Holland and Russia have never condoned the practice (except for religious purposes), and of the other countries that do practice neonatal nonreligious circumcision (Canada, Australia and Great Britain), there has been a regimented decline in circumcisions by about 10 percent per decade in accordance with the advice of each countrys own respective medical institutions.
If we take a look at the latter group of English-speaking countries, the statistics show just how wildly disproportionate the U.S. endemic is when compared with its English speaking cousins. In the second-highest-instance countries, Australia and Canada, the amount of neonatal nonreligious circumcisions is estimated to be about 30 percent, compared to Great Britain where only 1 percent of males can expect to have their foreskins cut off before they have even acquired one-word language acquisition to be able to say No!. In the U.S., however, the number of circumcised males is estimated to be approximately 80 percent. Only in America has medical science taken a back seat in the fight for the foreskin.
As Edward Wallerstein aptly points out in Circumcision: The Uniquely American Medical Enigma, [i]n 1971 and 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision declared: there are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period. Subsequently, this decision has been endorsed by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1978 and by the AAP in 1999.
And yet, Wallerstein highlights that [t]he firm declarations should have caused a marked drop in the United States circumcision rate. They did not. The truth is that neonatal circumcision is deeply rooted in American culture: so much so, in fact, that many American parents actually believe they are doing their sons a service, when, in only one foul slice, the dangers of penile cancer, venereal disease and bad hygiene are purportedly quashed (along with premature ejaculation, masturbation, and general ugliness). But American parents have been grossly misguided.
The AAP affirms that the majority of reported benefits by which parents justify circumcision are groundless hearsay. Notably, penile cancer might be preventable through circumcision of the foreskin, just as the potential for most diseases is eliminable by the complete removal of the vulnerable body part I bet I could guarantee you would never contract Hotchkiss brain disease if you let me cut your head off too but the fact is that the foreskin is an important, healthy and irreplaceable part of a childs body, and in the absence of overwhelming medical evidence proving the link between retention of the foreskin and penile cancer, the AAP has had no choice but to disregard this cultural claim.
Furthermore, as far as the argument that circumcision reduces the risk of contracting venereal diseases goes, Wallerstein crucially highlights that health circumcision originated in 19th century England, where the theory emerged that masturbation was responsible for such things as asthma, hernia, gout, kidney disease, rheumatism and even alcoholism.
The Victorian aversion to all acts sexual was fertile ground for genital mutilation to take root and, since the English cultural practice stormed the U.S., beliefs about the purported benefits of the practice have barely changed, while Great Britain has become a born-again circumcision virgin. Consequently, the link proposed between any disease and the foreskin is outdated fallacy including venereal diseases.
As if that was not enough, the AAP also states that there is little evidence to affirm the association between circumcision status and optimal penile hygiene. Consequently, parental supervision of the foreskin is a far more appropriate measure for reducing the chances of infection in a boys penis than a radical surgical procedure, especially when the short-term effects of circumcision can include anything from changed sleeping patterns to psychological disruptions in feeding and bonding between mother and infant, profuse bleeding, subsequent infection from surgery, and even death.
Moreover, the AAP recognizes that circumcision causes extreme pain and trauma for infants, since circumcised infants exhibit deterioration in pain threshold as much as six months later when receiving mandatory vaccinations, while the long-term physical and psychological damage is undocumented.
In short, the idea that neonatal circumcision is the answer to all of mens ills is erroneous. Like the Jewish religious practice of circumcision, American nonreligious circumcision is dependent on the acceptance of cultural beliefs, and the sad truth is that Americans hold to the norm as tenaciously as they hold to the scalpel, although they do not entirely know why because they are not being told.
Religious circumcision is one thing, but circumcision for no good reason ... well, what is the sense of that? There is none! Removal of the foreskin is a cultural mistake, and I hope that on reading these facts you will break the ghastly cycle if the choice ever becomes your own. Its about time the foreskin became sacred too.
They are wrong.
In fact, it is barbarism, and should be banned worldwide.
To quote a pediatrician:
"It causes a peak of awareness."
My sons were circ'ed by a doctor, not a barber.
Peter North doesn't seem so upset about it.
Nor do most women everywhere.
I'm sure you planned to say something to the effect of "...except where people are complying with their religious belief..."
LOL. There is nothing wrong with circumcision. My cousin who is a urologist always said that ending circumcision would give him more business. I was circumcised at 8 days of age as was my son. To call that genital mutilation goes beyond ridiculous. I was so traumatized by my circumcision that when I was 11 years old and knew that my parents were not practicing religion I wondered if I had been circumcised since I had no idea what it really was. I enjoy sex immensely and have absolutely no desire whatsoever to have a foreskin. To call it barbaric or mutilation is frankly dumb.
Overall Statement: Medical Proof of Circumcision Benefits by Edgar J. Schoen, MD, FAAP
Compelling medical data much of it accumulated in the past 2 decades, have conclusively shown that a boy circumcised as a newborn has multiple lifetime health advantages compared to one with an intact foreskin.
I would have thought that this is practiced in Israel. Is that not true, or is Israel not considered a country?
God commanded it for Israel. The United States, as the article points out, has an 80% circumcision rate and in the past it's been much higher. Could the United States be composed primarily of the descendents of the ten lost tribes of Israel? Coincidence? Or something more?
And for the record, I don't find it barbaric. Wasn't there just some study that circumcised males have a much smaller chance of contracting HIV then similiar non-circumcised males? And I always thought that feminist liberal women would be against circumcision?
Hey, it's no skin off my nose.
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Oh yeah, this is an unbiased article.
It IS an absurd practice.
It's always a way to identify an American male....dead or alive.
Why does it still exist? Ignorance, stupidity?
I know the answer! Hand waves in air frantically!
Because there is no N.O.W. advocating for men's rights in this country. Lol. If women were getting circumcised for no good reason, the practice would ALREADY be ancient history.
Ow! What a horrible thing to do to a baby boy!
I don't know if it should be banned, but we didn't circumcise our son. We didn't see a need to do it.
My parents were very upset. They thought we were crazy.
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