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CIRCUMCISION: Did you know?
The Daily Barometer ^ | Today | Daniel Cullen

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 country’s 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 child’s 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 boy’s 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 men’s 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. It’s about time the foreskin became sacred too.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: abortion; acts15; apostlepaul; babies; baby; barbarism; boys; buffoon; childabuse; children; circumcision; civilrights; consistentlifeethic; counciloflaodicea; crevo; crevolist; ebla; equalrights; ethics; family; fgm; galatians; intact; jealous; kids; masturbation; morality; morals; myths; natural; nature; parent; parenting; parents; paul; penisenvy; prolife; righttolife; ritualism; saintpaul; sbrexpress; seamlessgarment; tribalism; turtleneck
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To: All

When my son was born my wife was hesitant to have the proceedure done. The doctor said it was common practice so we went along with it. Afterwards we figured out why it was common practice. The answer is simple $$$$$$$$$$ , for the hospital and the doctor. Its not common practice "ITS A BUSINESS"! Its a "multi million dollar industry" that the MDs and Hospitals don't want to lose out on. We were manipulated just as most are. The doctor said; "you don't want him to look at you and think he's different do you?" He was right, when the kid turned 10 I shaved the top his head. Now I have to find a way to make his hair on the side grey.

321 posted on 04/06/2006 6:18:19 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. But then again, it repeats regardless.)
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To: LauraleeBraswell
One thing, Female circumsism was never okay, ever, centuries ago or today. In some ahem...practices, it's sewn up as a sort of "chastity belt."

It WAS okay to the cultures that did it....otherwise they wouldn't have done it.
You are reading history backwards.

322 posted on 04/06/2006 6:24:44 AM PDT by starfish923
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To: luckystarmom
I'm a woman, and it came up as a topic when my friends and I were having boys. Some got their boys circumcised, and others did not.

Thanks for the input.
Nice to know that SOME baby boys got a pass on the knife.

323 posted on 04/06/2006 6:25:54 AM PDT by starfish923
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To: conservative cat
Well, considering I DO have a vagina, I would guess that I do know a little bit about women. LOL. In addition, I have had 4 children, one of whom is male, I have thought about and discussed circumcision- with female friends and with some men, too. You might want to venture over to and check out some of the expectant mother forums and see the debate that goes on about this topic. There even used to be a debate board dedicated to the subject (it has been changed to read-only, because the topic was too "hot.") I also believe that Mothering magazine (and its associated bulletin boards at is very anti-circumcision. It's a fairly liberal and vocal (there is a gay parenting board for example) group over there.

I didn't have kids. And the women who did have the kids, boys included, NEVER brought up the subject.

Mothering Magazine speaks for all liberal mothers/women? I seriously doubt it. Anecdotal evidence is all there really is....and I WAS speaking anecdotally.

Finally, it really WASN'T a topic of discussion when I was younger. Now, everything is....which is probably pretty good. But, trust me, outside of the group of young parents (mostly young mothers) the topic ISN'T discussed. It truly isn't. Lol. And I don't care to venture to any of these sites....they put me to snooze-control very fast.

324 posted on 04/06/2006 6:33:21 AM PDT by starfish923
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To: TChris
My sons were both circumcised with a little plastic ring that just cuts off the circulation to the foreskin, letting it die and fall off. It didn't seem to bother either of them much for the few days it was attached. All this hyperventilation and cries of barbarism are entirely misdirected and unnecessary. Yes, parents should have the choice of whether their male children have the procedure performed, but no it's not "genital mutilation" on par with the stuff done to girls in third-world countries. Not even close.

I'm glad your sons didn't suffer.
It's still a useless thing to do. No purpose for it at all anymore beyond religious reasons. 90% of the human males on this planet don't have it done. If it were so important, necessary and/or desireable the reverse would be true.
Common sense.

325 posted on 04/06/2006 6:35:57 AM PDT by starfish923
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To: Slings and Arrows

326 posted on 04/06/2006 6:45:00 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hitler and Stalin have nothing on Abortion)
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To: HungarianGypsy; conservative cat; It's me
The so-called barbarism of circumcision is less traumatic that ear-piercing.
Are you kidding me!? Have you ever witnessed a circumcision?
I have, once upon a time when I was a nurse. This is how it went:

Place naked, screaming, day old, infant spread eagle, on his back, in plastic mold (made especially for circumcision).
Strap restraints at ankles and wrist, arms and across chest of screaming infant.
Doctor pulls foreskin of screaming infant and slices off foreskin with no anesthesia.
Place gauze with infused antibiotic petroleum jelly over penis.
Place diaper on screaming baby.
Clothe baby and try and console infant boy who had surgery performed on extremely sensitive part of his body with no anesthesia.

After witnessing this I swore that none of my boys would be circumcised. I guess it helped that I am not Jewish and my husband is from Europe.
There is no way that my daughters went through this when they got their ears pierced.

Just liberal women are against this?
Just 90% of the rest of the PLANET are against circumcision and DON'T circumcize their baby boys.

Well put, It's me.
Thanks for adding LIGHT to the subject....instead of just heat.

327 posted on 04/06/2006 6:46:18 AM PDT by starfish923
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To: RipSawyer
I think ears are nasty looking, if they were all cut off flush with the side of the head it would be a much cleaner look.

...but you kind of need those ears to hear and whatnot. Does a foreskin serve any IMPORTANT biological function?

328 posted on 04/06/2006 6:50:31 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hitler and Stalin have nothing on Abortion)
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To: starfish923; RipSawyer
90% of the human males on this planet don't have it done.

90% of the rest of the PLANET

Source please.

And think about it logically; male circumcision is dictated by Judeism and Islam. A good majority of Christians also participate in the practice. When you take those three groups alone, there's not exactly 90% of the world's male population left over. More around 40-60%, maybe less.

329 posted on 04/06/2006 6:53:54 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hitler and Stalin have nothing on Abortion)
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To: Giant Conservative

Losing their foresking is a big thing with the gays. LOL, a penis with a foreskin is so ugly.

330 posted on 04/06/2006 6:55:34 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (More people died in Ted Kennedy's car than hunting with Dick Cheney.)
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To: Theo

The operative word here is nonreligious.

331 posted on 04/06/2006 6:57:29 AM PDT by BabsC
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To: HairOfTheDog

Yep - They're a "cut above"! ;-P

332 posted on 04/06/2006 6:57:31 AM PDT by MortMan (Trains stop at train stations. On my desk is a workstation...)
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To: Giant Conservative

Does anyone know if Muslims circumcise?

I am begining to think this is a Christian vs Muslim issue.

333 posted on 04/06/2006 6:58:27 AM PDT by edcoil (Reality doesn't say much - doesn't need too)
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To: Candor7
I am not the one who said liberal women. I just meant women. When my first son was circumcised I was the one who was unsure. My husband was fine with it. Talking to other women, this is the case many times. The women on my email list (and my first midwife) said that they needed to talk their husbands into not letting their boys get circumcised. I admit it isn't pleasant. But, I also know the different cries my boys have. The crying sounded more like frustration from being strapped down. BTW, my last three boys were given a pain killer to numb the area before hand.

On that note, I think to each his own. What's done is done. Am I supposed to feel guilty because I had my boys circumcised now? As I said in a previous post, I did read up on it. I prayed about it. For whatever reason, felt it should be done. My husband or I was present for three of them. I have a good friend who did not have her boys circumcised. She has not judged my decision, but said if I felt it needed to be done the best way was for my husband and I to be with the baby when it is done.

334 posted on 04/06/2006 7:02:08 AM PDT by HungarianGypsy (I'm writing a post to a message board. I don't care if it's not grammatically perfect.)
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To: KarlInOhio
Most circumcision patients in the US are are unable to walk for a year after the procedure.


335 posted on 04/06/2006 7:02:16 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (More people died in Ted Kennedy's car than hunting with Dick Cheney.)
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To: Tevin

Bull Hockey

336 posted on 04/06/2006 7:05:42 AM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (More people died in Ted Kennedy's car than hunting with Dick Cheney.)
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To: Giant Conservative

Is it barbarism if it is done by a viking kitty?

337 posted on 04/06/2006 7:07:52 AM PDT by Sensei Ern ( "Fred Phelps is the twin brother of Calipso Louie")
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To: Giant Conservative
There seems to be a lot of replies here from people who have effectively "always been circumcized." Therefore, they speak from a point of ignorance. With that in mind, I will also speak from a different point of ignorance--that of one who has "always been uncircumsized."

Although being far from virginal--for that matter being more than a bit promiscuous in my younger (Navy) days--I have never had an STD. This, despite the fact that I've not always practiced safe sex. For that matter, in my 37 years, I've never had any medical problems related to my foreskin.

Furthermore, women have never seemed to care one way or the other about this.

The only problem I've ever had was that of a social nature in [roughly] the 6th grade. A few of the other boys in my gym class would make fun of me in the locker room because I looked different than they did.

Anyway, my wife and I decided that since it's worked out so well for me, our son didn't need to have the painful procedure perfomed. At six monthsof age, no problems except for an ignorant daycare provider with whom he no longer has to suffer.

338 posted on 04/06/2006 7:08:00 AM PDT by flada (Posting in a manner reminiscent of Jen-gis Kahn.)
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To: edcoil

Muslims do circumcise. It's been pointed out multiple times in this thread.

And to be honest, I have no idea how this 'issue' became a debate. oo

339 posted on 04/06/2006 7:08:36 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007 (Hitler and Stalin have nothing on Abortion)
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To: Ultra Sonic 007
Muslims do not circumcize. Neither do the Asians (India is Asian.), Africans or C/S Americans. The only ones who still circumcize are Jews and Americans....and not all of the latter do any more. American Muslims, Asians, (foreign born) etc., do not have their sons circumcized either. Fewer Americans are chosing to have their sons circumcized. It's not an "automatic" anymore. Young Americans parents are CHOOSING or NOT choosing to have the procedure done.

It's a dying practice, like it or not.
This isn't judgmental, really, but I personally find it appalling. I find nose piercing appalling too, but not ear piercing. Purely subjective on my part....but the foreskin cutting?
Sorry, I don't think I will ever think it's a good thing. I always wondered why Americans did it. I knew Jews did it for religious reasons. But Americans? When the rest of the world DIDN'T do it? When I found out how MANY people didn't do it (somewhere in the late 60's), especially the very clean, anticeptic Japanese and Europeans....I knew that it WASN'T necessary for health, present or future.

340 posted on 04/06/2006 7:10:24 AM PDT by starfish923
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