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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Personally I have objections to using the softened terms 'circumcision' and 'molestation' when referring to cultural and religious violence against children. 'Molesting' someone used to mean simply to annoy them, and 'circumcise' has an inbuilt implication that you are removing something defective or unwanted.

I realise that even I myself fall into the trap of using the soft terms for things when discussing such ugly topics, but I do think the conversation (on either subject) is forced to be clearer when using "child rape" or "child sexual assault" instead of "molestation", and "(male) genital mutilation" or "cutting the sex organs of babies", etc instead of "circumcision".
I've seen the question over and over again of why do parents care so much about what their kid's penis looks like? Answer: They want their child to be successful at finding a mate. In many cultures it's extremely hard to find a mate if you don't follow the cultural practices. This doesn't just apply to small tribal cultures it also applies to something as large as American culture. Circumcision is a cultural practice.

Another thing I've noticed upon reading the responses is that there is weird thing going on with the word mutilation. I feel like something is lacking in the definitions. Yes mutilation is to injure, disfigure, or make 'imperfect' by removing or irreparably damaging parts but the dictionary definition doesn't seem adequate.
- Was the person mutilated with malicious intent?
- Was it accidental mutilation?
- Was it self inflected?
- Is it ritual mutilation?
- Has the mutilation been normalized by a culture?
- Does the person who was mutilated feel like they were mutilated?
- What connotations does the word mutilation carry and how does that change how an individual views mutilation of them selves or others?

I think we ought to be careful about calling all instances of circumcision mutilation. Considering the connotations of the word mutilation I would not want the word applied to me if I were a male that had a typical circumcision. That being said I don't think circumcision is necessary or desirable and I think it should not be legal to do to those who cannot consent.
Most any word in our language can have different interpretations. Think of the word terrorism. The interpretation has been changing as more and more people now see USA intervention in the Middle East as terrorism.

Think of the word traitor, a hero to the losing side, a deathly sin to the winning side.

It is normal for words to have meaning nuances. I think it is a very healthy exercise to explore and adapt the meaning of words as society evolves.
I already know that most any word can have different interpretations. My point is that people are throwing it around without clarification and using it to label others with.
it is simply evolution of the term that something that we USED to call circumcision is now called mutilation. We are today on male circumcision where we were at 20 years ago with female mutilation.

It has been in the working for many years. It is not a sudden change of definitions. I think the term mutilation is totally appropriate.

I think children will have more success at finding a 'mate' if they are raised to be confident and happy. Parents should encourage them to be the individuals they are, to be self-accepting with self-esteem. If someone is truly confident in themselves and happy with who they are then this is attractive. And if a girl still doesn't want to be with you because your penis is intact then you probably wouldn't want to be in a relationship with such a person anyway.

There is a great video on youtube by Jamie Stroud, a young intact American. He describes how, being confident and comfortable with himself, he was able to talk to the kids around him and change the situation from some people making fun of him to guys even telling him that they wished they still had their foreskins. The video can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDqIyUbfxw

This is how positive change is made in society - not by conforming to outdated practices and traditions to fit in and be accepted, but by challenging the status quo with courage and good humour. We should be raising our children to do just this, for they are the leaders of tomorrow and the world needs them.

To mutilate the genitals of children so that they can find a mate is EXACTLY what is done to girls in cultures that practice female circumcision. Because everyone in those cultures knows that an uncircumcised woman will never find a husband. This is obviously a very fearful, ignorant and tribal reasoning that perpetuates suffering and bondage. It should not be respected at all.

This is especially true in a country like the USA which is meant to hold individual freedom and personal liberty in high regard. Thankfully the USA is not as primitive and parochial as some African and Middle Eastern villages. It has an amazing variety of people and practices. And thankfully the country is beginning to wake up around this issue and more and more male babies are remaining intact, and with the advent of the internet more and more people are becoming aware that the original penis is a normal and natural penis.

With this education and the increasing intact population the idea that a man must be circumcised to find a mate has less and less weight, just like the idea of an intact boy 'looking different' in the locker room.

And finally on this matter of fitting in to find a mate, if an intact guy finds he has trouble because of his circumcision status, he can always opt to get circumcised. If he meets the girl of his dreams and she is an orthodox Jew or she wants him circumcised, he always has that option. So it is really a non-issue. Let him wait until he is old enough to make the decision for himself.

You really don't want to be 60 years old having to get it done then because its closing up. That is a common problem in older uncircumcised males. On the other hand, as a nurse, I've seen them done and its done without anesthetic, not even a local, which I find objectionable.
It is a sad state of our humanity that we are encouraged to live past the point at which we are able to take care of our own hygiene. This is not what it means to be human. It is a disgrace that we push farther away the years just out of pride and ego (from the medical perspective).

My living will, which I'll do up in the coming year, will state that I do not want such an end of life.
I think this is less common in the well population than you realize. Numbers from a few years ago indicate that about 2 in 1000 intact adults ever chooses to get cut, and from Finland comes a finding that only 1 in 10,000 males will ever actually need a circumcision for medical reasons.

If you are practicing in the US, I'm afraid you may have witnessed some unnecessary amputations. In any other country (or in the US for other parts of the body), amputation is always a very last resort after other less invasive remedies have been tried and have failed.

But in fact if it means enjoying the best part of my genitals for 60 years, then YES I DO want to be 60 and "having to get it done" (assuming it's really the best option). Adults tolerate genital surgery just fine. They get superior pain management during the procedure and healing, they get a better more precise cosmetic result, and they get some say about the fate of their own valuable body parts. Something like 40% of men over 40 choose vasectomy after making a rational choice based on risks and bebnefits.
Phimosis in an elderly male does not require circumcision. It can be solved by a longitudinal incision, resulting in a more "open collar" as opposed to the original "turtleneck". There is no reason not to use anesthesia for the procedure, that's cruelty on the part of the practitioner.

It's possible that the phimosis results from years of lack of hygeine.

In addition, I suspect it's more like the 85 year old, not 60 year old, man who gets it. I simply do not beleive that many 60 year old uncut men have phimosis.
My dad had it done at 70. There was no lack of hygiene there, I assume, in light of his fastidious personality. He curses the fact that he never was circumcised as it was a very bothersome procedure. My husband has no regrets being circumcised, as I suspect is the case with most men. I don't see why its touted as a bad thing if done properly. That, of course, is a very important point.
Please go to YouTube and spend 20 minutes with the 2-part video "Functions of the Foreskin" and then you will know why there is no "proper" way to amputate valuable genital tissue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9DoCn3gATE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps1dkbcOKfA

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