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.
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.
It WAS okay to the cultures that did it....otherwise they wouldn't have done it.
You are reading history backwards.
Thanks for the input.
Nice to know that SOME baby boys got a pass on the knife.
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.
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.
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.
...but you kind of need those ears to hear and whatnot. Does a foreskin serve any IMPORTANT biological function?
90% of the rest of the PLANET
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.
Losing their foresking is a big thing with the gays. LOL, a penis with a foreskin is so ugly.
The operative word here is nonreligious.
Yep - They're a "cut above"! ;-P
Does anyone know if Muslims circumcise?
I am begining to think this is a Christian vs Muslim issue.
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.
Is it barbarism if it is done by a viking kitty?
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.
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
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.