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?

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Future wives--I'm wondering how important it is to women that their male partner be circumcised. For how many is it a deal-breaker? Does anyone have statistics on this? I think if males could wait to decide, if they didn't want to they wouldn't, and the opinion of their future wife (meaning one they hadn't met) wouldn't matter. My husband is uncut. I had mostly had experiences with circumcised men before him, but my reaction was this: I noticed he was uncircumcised, said "OK", and moved on. (Earlier on I was a little grossed out by foreskin, but that was back when I was a virgin and thought penises were icky in general.) Do people really care so much?
I'm glad to be circumcised.I have seen guys that are not.Me personal I like the look of being compared to not being.I'm thankful my parents had it done.
I never knew it was important for penises to look good. I mean, they're penises. Most people get to like the way genitals look, but they're more for feeling good than looking good.
Of course it's important!!! And cut just look so much better...
What always bothered me was the word UN circumcised. Would you call a woman with both breasts UN mastecomied. Or a child with a whole set of toes Un toe ectomized?

Where did uncircumcised come from? That's right the Bible. Where if a man was UN circumcised he was UN clean.

The word UN circumcised should be dropped from the vernacular. It is full of religious bias and non sense.
When I was a boy my father taught me how to clean my pecker and I've done it RELIGIOUSLY all my life!
Is that why you're always smiling ? LOL
I agree with the assertion that comparing Male and Female mutilations is not helpful.
BOTH are Heinous because the infants or children involved have no say in the matter, affecting them to varying degrees when they are older.
The type of extreme FGM where all a girls nerve endings are destroyed lots of flesh is removed and then she is sewn shut - with only a tiny hole for urine and blood to pass through Extremely slowly - where their future husbands literally have to cut them open to have sex???? yeah that's the kind that bears little similarity to male circumcision as it causes the woman lifelong pain and suffering on a regular if not constant basis. I have seen one short film with graphic depictions of such mutilations and I am very much scarred for life. In the film the husbands wanted thier wives "sewn up" (& I quote) "for the same reason you lock you apartment when you are not there!" Yeah ... So forgive the people who have seen such images - or indeed lived through it for reacting strongly when someone makes a comparison to Male circumcision. That being said I think male circumcision speaks to many Many types of abuse that get hidden under the macho creed of "Don't be a wimp or a pussy" "Be a Man" - boys get beat up by other boys usually for no reason- are taught to stifle their emotions, take physical risks in underpaid jobs and suppress much of who they naturally are b/c of often bizarre expectations of "Manliness" and the Manliness is very much policed by other men and boys (and women too!). I believe this is a huge part of the reason this is not talked about as an issue of abuse. Real MEN aren't victims - Real Men don't whine / cry / hurt etc etc on to absurdity! That and - honestly - most men I know do NOT want to discuss penises in this sort of light at all!
It is Atrocious that taking a knife to little boy penises is accepted or approved of for any reason!
It is on the whole disgusting! FMG Makes me vomit!
My take on this would be to consider the foreskin from an evolutionary standpoint and to look at the incidence of foreskins in the natural world.

Rarely are there found appendages or phenotypical features (observable characteristics or traits of an organism) that are mere incidentals or byproducts of evolution. Invariably there is a cost to having brighter feathers, longer eyelashes or elaborate arrangements of skin and so it's very likely that, even though we might not be able to discern it, there was and still may be some advantage to having a foreskin.

If this hadn't been the case, those ancestral humans that didn't waste their energy growing and maintaining one would have been able to allocate what they had saved on other traits that would confer on them greater reproductive success. Thus, a genetic makeup that did away with the "wasteful" foreskin would have become more common in the evolving species of homo sapiens and we wouldn't be where we are today.

And certainly, if having a foreskin conferred on those that did have one, a reproductive disadvantage (producing fewer offspring that those who had less of one) then it would have disappeared long ago!

As it is, male humans and males of many other mammalian species have skin covering the sensitive end of their reproductive organ.

Sadly, unless you undergo the transition as a post-sexual adult, you'll not be in a position to say whether sex was better with or without a foreskin. My own suspicion, having been cut soon after birth on grounds of hygiene alone, is that uncut men may have longer-lasting and more satisfying sex. In my view the glans, post circumcision, turns rather leathery with some inevitable loss of sensitivity. The cushioning and protective effect of the additional skin is probably also lost.

Anyhow, I do believe that there's some strong evidence (from Africa) that uncut men are more susceptible to contracting AIDS and, given what I've said above and the massive reduction in the area of thin and delicate skin that would otherwise have been enveloping the glans I can quite see the rationale behind this. Consequently, there might be a case for recommending it where efforts to promote safe sex through the use of condoms fail.

There really isn't a hygiene case to be answered and so the remaining question is an ethical one: is it right to mutilate a baby boy without consent and frequently without anesthetic? In my view definitely not and we should be doing more, contemplating the gratitude of future generations who might escape this barbaric ritual, to make it the morally reprehensible practice that it is.
Your thoughts about the evolution of human genitalia are interesting but they ignore one simple fact. Homo sapiens is, for the most part, no longer a product of natural selection. I have even heard it proposed recently that we have moved on to a new species called Homo evolutis because we have achieved the ability to evolve ourselves by various means.

That isn't to say that the human foreskin doesn't serve some beneficial function. It just means that the foreskin is now absolutely irrelevant to the act of reproducing.
I always wonder if that's really true? Our intelligence IS part of our natural evolution. We continue to survive because of that. We run our societies on that basis. We don't kill the weak, but as a species we survive because we take care of each other. That seems to me to be a natural product of our evolution, could just be a matter of opinion though. And I could just be wrong-I'm no evolutionary scientist.
I think about 90% will disagree with me on this, but IMO we have already passed a crucial 'singularity' point. Please bear with me as this is a thought in progress.

Knowledge used to be 'special', knowledge, before the printed press (mostly) passed on through generations verbally, or to elites via rare manuscripts.

In this sense, the logarithmic multiplication of certain 'strains' of knowledge was limited to an individual's functionality or elite status. The barriers to the transmission of knowledge were so great as to impede not only changes in knowledge, but also changes in culture.

The advent of the printed press democratised knowledge, made knowledge accessible to all humans who give a damn, no matter their ethical/moral training/preparation appropriateness.

Knowledge (and skills), in some areas more than others, has grown beyond an individual's scope, in any given field, if one person doesn't fit the bill, another person is sure to come along to build upon the written knowledge. This theory is put to the test in the realm of scientific research. According to studies, 90% of scientific knowhow has not been written down per se, it lives in the minds of the academic scientists around the world. Their 'mind' knowledge is passed on through graduate students. I'm mixing 2 concepts here, bare with me...

The fact that only 10% of scientific know-how exists in wide access print, means that if there were a great catastrophe, and these scientists were lost, the unshared 90% of their understandings and knowhow would be lost to the world.

But before the advent of the press, if a 'knowledgeable one' died, ALL their knowledge was lost.

Humour me for a couple of paragraphs :)
And consider the printed press as the first singularity, the ability to pass on knowledge without the originating human; and according to scientific assessment, we've printed 10% of our cumulative knowledge; and new digital technologies are allowing knowledge to get farther and farther out of our individual hands/control, then... our knowledge does not reflect our beings.

In other words, IMO of course, humanity up until the printed press, still acted as individual Homo sapiens, living in tribes yes, but still our individual knowledge was mostly linked to our humanity. Now that our knowledge goes beyond our individual human experience, the 'Whole becomes more than the Sum of the Parts', and human society becomes more and more akin to bees and ants vs bears or monkeys.

The singularity I see is this: for all of human evolution, humans have been more akin to monkeys, but suddenly, in the past 500 years (a mere spec in evolutionary terms) we've transformed from monkeys to ants/bees. 500 years is nothing in evolutionary terms.

There is therefore a strong chasm between our biology (the result of eons of evolution) and our social structures (increasingly independent of human life).

So to contrast your words: "our intelligence IS part of our evolution", I'd say yes, the knowledge within each individual may be in-line with evolution, BUT the knowledge of humanity as a whole IS NOT in-line with humanity's evolution. And this gap will continue to grow. I usually don't like discussing singularity, because it compels so many gadget and futurists fanatics. But in essence, I think we passed it...

I do believe that humanity's intelligence IS NOT part of our natural evolution as humans. It is now self-replicating, our knowledge is no longer defined by humans, but simply by the technology meme itself, knowledge replicating itself.

Foreskins make sex easier therefore more pleasant for females (eyes closed for the disdainful). Anything that makes sex more pleasant will contribute to procreation.

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