I think one of the things that we far too often overlook in this country is that fact that genital mutilation of newborn boys is common practice, if not standard. Why isn't there more of a cry against this? Do the benefits of circumcision (if any, and I don't see any valid argument that there are any) outweigh the cost and mutilation of a boy?

Of course circumcision isn't the only genital mutilation in the world, but it's the only type in practice in the United States. Female genital mutilation is just as barbaric, if not more so. Americans, and Europeans in general, ban female genital mutilation of babies, but why the hypocrisy in not doing the same for males?

Tags: Christianity, God, Judaism, circumcision, clitoral, covenant, genital, mutilation

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There ARE only religious reasons for the origins of circumcision.

The very earliest examples of circumcisions were for religious/ritualistic reasons.

"In 10,000 BCE Aboriginal tribes in central and desert regions of Australia introduce circumcision of boys as puberty rite...

6000 BCE Circumcision (male and female) practised as puberty rite by tribes in north-eastern African and Arabian peninsula...

3100 BCE Egypt invaded from the south, perhaps by African tribes bringing circumcision with them.

Herodotus (485-420 BCE) observes and deplores circumcision among the Colchians, Ethiopians, Phoenicians, Syrians, and Macrones, as well as the Egyptian priestly caste. He criticises the fanatical ritual cleanliness of the Egyptian priests: "They [even] practice circumcision for the sake of cleanliness, considering it better to be clean than handsome" - a perverse sacrifice in Greek eyes..."

And don't start thinking that 'cleanliness' necessarily means in terms of health. There is also the idea of 'spiritual cleanliness'. Let's not forget that pigs and some shellfish are/were considered unclean. And why's that? ...because god said so...

I think circumcision was always meant as some kind of sacrifice. The same way that people sacrificed a goat/person/% of their crops for the sake of the following years' crop or the welfare of the tribe. You give a bit of yourself to demonstrate humility and humbleness in the hope that, in return, you will receive special treatment from the gods.

This sacrifice concept worked its way up into Christianity and ultimately culminated in the concept of the crucifixion - the supposed 'sacrifice for the welfare of the whole of mankind'.

Jesus is basically one big metaphorical foreskin.


in my OPINION it is not barbaric to circumcise a male child

Tell that to the Jewish kids that died of herpes virus because the rabbi that circumcised them drew the blood out of their penises with his infected mouth. This isn't in ancient history, this is happening now in NYC and no doubt elsewhere.


In summary: barbaric ignorant superstitious crap invented by barbaric ignorant primitive people.


I suspect that life in a desert environment (previous to any Jesus myth), where water to wash oneself was rare, it is not impossible that circumcised babies were lower maintenance. Maybe such an observation became a moral, which got written up. Homo sapiens have not evolved for desert environments, we are temperate creatures, who can only successfully survive other climes through great modification of self or said environment. Once removed from the sub optimal environment, there is simply no justification to continue this barbaric practice.

Absent some myth-based reason to avoid touching the genitals, I doubt that having a foreskin is a liability in any climate.  Sterile urine exiting the body flushes any space within the foreskin to a hygenic (health-inducing) state.  For easily retractable intact adults to benefit from this flush, they may need to grip the skin tube during urination to cause some back pressure.  IF a) your myth says it's taboo to contact bodily fluids, and b) you're in a desert with no wash water, THEN hygiene for adults may be easier with no foreskin and died out mucosal surfaces. 

Quite possible indeed. Multiple causes surely coexisted.

Under no circumstances should we ever compare the practice of female genital mutilation to the male circumcision of boys. While I agree that in western countries it is not commonly required for medical and hygienic purposes, it serves many functions in reducing both sexually transmitted diseases and infections and the practice is not done solely for religious purposes. In addition, male circumcision does not reduce the sexual function of the male and reduces minimal pleasure compared to the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation which serves absolutely zero function.

Let's not compare oranges with apples. It makes one appear blatantly ignorant, uneducated, or an Islamic apologist by trying to compare acts which have no moral equivalency with one another.

You overlook that studies have found female genital mutilation correlates with reduced HIV incidence. 

You overlook that the most common form of FGM is non-amputating slitting of the prepuce, which is categorically less destructive than male prepuce amputation. 

You overlook that 94% of the world's females live under laws (though rarely enforced) forbidding even a pin-poke to draw one ceremonial drop of blood, with no religious exemption. 

I think the comparisons are quite constructive to the debate. 

"Under no circumstances should we ever compare the practice of female genital mutilation to the male circumcision of boys."

It is useful to compare the two as there is a massive amount of ignorance attached to the subject of male circumcision. Where it is easy for people to judge FGM (female genital mutilation) as a "bad" practice that infringes on people's rights, it can sometimes be difficult for people to apply the same standard to male circumcision.

"it serves many functions in reducing both sexually transmitted diseases and infections"

So if it was shown that removing breasts from infants would diminish the chance of breast cancer we would start chopping of baby breasts? Just because something could potentially be an issue in the future does not give right to remove a body part. Besides the fact that this is mostly a bogus claim that is not proven by scientific evidence.

Also if STD's and infections are the problem, hygiene and education are the answer, not the preventive removal of the foreskin.

Male circumcision does reduce the sexual function of the male, people that are circumcised might not feel always feel that way, but do they really have something to compare it too? Removing a part of the penis that has a huge number of nerve endings does have an effect on how a male experiences sex.

Circumcision is a touchy subject, not a lot of men would be happy to admit that their body has been mutilated by the people that should've protected them from harm. Even more so, that this mutilation was done for the wrong reasons is also something that can be difficult to stomach. 

Some sexual facts about being circumcised:

- Male circumcision removes a part of the body that contains a lot of nerve endings and removing this part does have an effect on how a circumcised male experiences sex.

- Removing the foreskin removes the flap of skin that normally protects the head of the penis, a circumcised male tends to have less feeling in his genitalia then compared to an intact male.

- The foreskin acts as a "cock-ring" during intercourse, ribbed for her pleasure, so to speak. 

Ergo, male circumcision does adversely affect the way in which a male experiences sex. 

We do not remove any other body part as a preventive measure (AFAIK) to prevent against an infection, we do not remove the appendix or tonsils as a preventive measure against infection, so why do we do it with the foreskin?

Does anybody realize how silly this looks when you look at this from a culture where this is not routine practice?

In addition, I think it is a sign of ethical laziness (to not say racism) to constantly try to fix others' cultures instead of focusing on fixing our own. If our culture is successful, other cultures will follow, if they so desire.

^^ Removing the foreskin removes the flap of skin that normally protects the head of the penis, ^^

 

The word "flap" makes me mental.  We need to come up with an elegant way of saying this part, while calling it a sleeve.  And it's not that it "covers" like a banana peel covers the edible part.  It CAN cover but it can also roll back when manipulated, which feels REALLY good. 

hehe, yeah I can imagine it would infuriate you, it's not a useful word ... I feel that way when people speak of a 'membranes' covering the vagina's entrance, arrgggh!

The word "flap" makes me mental. 

Well, I could call it a sleeve, I suppose. I'm not familiar with the medical/technical term, as the matter of circumcision doesn't usually come up in conversations as the vast majority of men that I know are intact.

I know, I know, it sounds odd that in some countries people don't actually cut off bits of baby penises but it's the truth.

My opinion is it might be because of simple vanity and it's what people are use to. Circumcision gives that look people are use to thinking of when they envision a penis. As a female I really was marketed to "this is what a penis should look like". Now that I'm older and have had my own children, I find the idea totally stupid and could never imagine allowing that to be done to my own child.

Female circumcison I find insane. As a female I'd really hate my parents for denying me an enjoyable sex life. I'm pretty sure circumcision affects males ability to hold off on ejaculation, so in effect it could also be denying males an enjoyable sex life. That says a lot about consent and why it is done at such a young age, if your 20 year old cousin decided to have it done, he or she would not be telling you it's great and that would pretty much end the procedure right there I'd say.

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