Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Circumcision Sucks

There's WAAAAAAY more than ten but we've got to start somewhere.

10)  Circumcision alters the way a boy's penis looks without him having any say in the matter whatsoever.  Think about that.  If circumcised your child's sex organ will suddenly look vastly different than at birth and will look different for the rest of his life.  He will never know what his penis used to look like.  It's bizarre when you think about all the parents who circumcised their children that get angry when junior wants to dye his hair blue, pierce his face, or tattoo his elbow.  Um, maybe you ought to let him have that since you altered his genitalia to meet your standards.

9)  Circumcision kills children every year.  Yep.  Let that sink in for a minute.  This is a "surgery" -- and I put that in quotes because there's nothing "surgical" about hacking off healthy tissue-- that is not endorsed by ANY medical organization in the world that can cause death or disfigurement to your child.  And you're actually considering this?  Really?  You make his older sister hold your hand at every intersection, you vaccinate the hell out of the kid, and you have a nannycam but you're going to risk the death of her baby brother by signing off on a "surgery" no one endorses.  (And I'm the weirdo?)

8)  Circumcision hurts.  Docs used to claim that babies that young couldn't feel pain.  Some mohels STILL claim this.  Convenient isn't it?  Research has proven that babies experience pain and anyone with the most basic psychological training knows that pain=trauma and trauma affects the developing brain.  This is why physical and sexual abuse is bad for babies.  So circumcision causes pain and thus trauma for little babies.  Oh and by the way even if Junior gets some local anaesthesia, he's still going to hurt every time you change his diaper and the psychological hurt will persist for years.  (see previous posts)

7)  Circumcision ruins sex.  Let's just get it out there.  You're fucking with your kid's sex organ.  What the HELL where you thinking?!?!?!?  Circumcision is about and has ALWAYS been about taking away sexual pleasure.   This shit has been going on for thousands of years; it's just over the last hundred years or so that some really creepy doctors are trying to find bizarre reasons to justify it.  Circumcision removes healthy tissue that keeps the glans supple and sensitive.  Without foreskin the glans becomes so callous that the sensation during sex is dramatically reduced.  My foreskin is not even 50% restored and I have experienced a ridiculous amount of restored sensation.  To all you circumcised guys who say you have no problems and like sex I say, well that was me too but now it's about 100 times better.  That peak your interest?  Anyway, don't put your kid in this position.  His future sexual pleasure is not your goddamn business.

6)  Circumcision is sexual violence.  Sorry but it is.  You are cutting genitalia, people.  Violence + genitalia= sexual violence.  Think about how angry you get when you think of some freak child molester touching a little child's genitalia.  These doctors and mohels are actually cutting part of it off!!!!!!!

5)  Circumcision hurts families.  Circumcision makes it harder for babies to breastfeed successfully and hurts the bond between mother/father and son.  Even animals understand the parents' most important role is to protect their young.  Circumcision often haunts mothers and fathers for years after the event either because of complications or the nagging voice of instinct telling them it was something they never should have done in the first place.

4)  Circumcision isn't hip anymore.  Yep.  It never was in Europe and is confirmed to be on the wane in the US.  If you circumcise your child he is going to be in the minority.  Gym class is likely going to lead to him asking you some questions you may find it hard to answer.  Your best friend who just cut her child without his consent might make it sound like everyone else is doing it (the idea is certainly comforting to her) but it just isn't true.  Thousands of parents are waking up and protecting their sons from this perverse act of violence.  Listen to your heart and I bet you will do the same. 

3)  Circumcision is WEIRD.  I mean what kind of crackpot is sitting around his tent in ancient times and thinks, "Hmmmm, I think I'm going to cut part of my penis off."  And people followed this guy?!?!?!?  Do you really want to hitch your wagon to this kind of thinking?  They used to stone people to death back then too, you know...  Please remember you CAN choose to keep your son intact and still be just as fantastic of a Jew or Muslim.  (Check out Beyond the Bris)  Mormons are hanging in there without polygamy; you can practice your religion without circumcision.
2)    Circumcision is unethical.  It is amputation without the person's consent.  It is always unnecessary and could easily be deferred until your child is able to make his own decisions about how he wants his body to look.  Doctors who perform circumcisions are violating the most important principle of their discipline: First do no harm....  If circumcision isn't harm, I don't know what is.

1)  Circumcision makes your child less than what he could have been.  You are taking something away that he will spend the rest of his life trying to get back.  For those who don't realize what's missing they chase the void like a shadow in late afternoon.  Those who do have a better chance of filling that void but if often becomes a lifelong endeavour and is always one they wish they didn't have to endure.  After all, they never agreed to it.  They just realized one fateful day what they were missing.

29 comments:

  1. Well said. I am so glad that I became informed before giving birth and kept my sons whole.

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    1. In the end it is indeed all about information. The vast majority of the people who perpetuate the violence of circumcision do it out of ignorance, intentional or accidental.

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  2. Thanks so much for reading!

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  3. I absolutely agree with all of the above. Cultural brainwashing is all that is keeping this barbaric practice from being over and done with for good.

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    1. Someday Wise Owl, someday. I took my kids to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis recently and was truly astounded with how much change MLK and other activists in that era achieved in such a brief amount of time. As the movement to protect infant genital integrity gains momentum cultural change will come right along with it. Right around the time 70 or 80% of the US finally comes to acknowledge circumcision as a brutal, unnecessary procedure it will finally become illegal.

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  4. "Circumcision is about and has ALWAYS been about taking away sexual pleasure."
    Circumcision is based on the false and simplistic notion that any moving plunger in the vagina will make a woman happy. That the delicate moving parts on the penis don't matter to him or her. On the patronising notion that men cannot be trusted to keep themselves clean and to behave in the bedroom.
    It is true that the creepy Victorian doctors who popularised RIC between 1860 and 1920 had a blatantly anti-sexual agenda.

    "Circumcision removes healthy tissue that keeps the glans supple and sensitive."
    Even though I am intact, it took me decades to understand this point.

    "Without foreskin the glans becomes so callous that the sensation during sex is dramatically reduced."
    The technology needed to know for certain does not yet exist.

    "My foreskin is not even 50% restored and I have experienced a ridiculous amount of restored sensation."
    Quite a few restoring men, and their spouses, speak in similar terms.

    "His future sexual pleasure is not your goddamn business."
    It is gravely immoral for parents to take actions that could compromise a son's future sexual satisfaction, and/or that of his eventual spouse.

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    1. RD, I also am restoring. Wish I would have started yrs ago. I also left my one and a half yr old intact.

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    2. Thanks for reading and commenting, RD. Interesting point about the plunger... I wonder how many women who say they prefer the appearance of a circumcised penis complain that their partner isn't as "sensitive" during sex as they would like.

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  5. Excellent post! They're all good reasons, but I think that numbers 7, 4 and 2 are especially convincing. For #4, you could cite the infant circumcision rate from the National Center for Health Statistics - the current rate (based on latest data) is 56% and has been declining for the past few decades.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Greg! Thanks for everything you do to help push that rate closer to zero.

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  6. Would have to disagree about #5, my son nursed like a champ after being circumsized . His future wife will thank me when she doesnt get a yeast infection 24/7 and maintenace is much easier to teach . I dont see the reason for all the curse words in youre article, no one will take it seriously . Where i live circumcision is pretty popular ( except hispanics) and is not frowned at

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    1. I'm glad your son was still able to breastfeed. FYI intact penises do not cause yeast infections in women. Neither are they at all difficult to "maintain." You wouldn't remove your daughter's labia to make "maintenance" easier would you? Unfortunately like many people who choose to circumcise their sons you are searching for bizarre ways to justify a decision you made based on your cultural belief system, not logic or science or ethics.
      Apologies for the cursing. I get kind of worked up when I think about how a doctor hacked off part of my genitalia without my consent.

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    2. Honestly, he "curse" words isn't going to make a difference, except to people who don't have the capacity to look past them. They are no different than any other word unless you make them that way. I personally didn't even notice them, because I don't let them bother me. Personal hygiene should not be a deciding factor, considering it takes little to no effort to clean even as in adult, unless you don't foresee your boy showering but once a week or less.

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    3. I am a woman who has had yeast infections and has only ever had sex with circumcised men. Yeast infections are caused by the body being overrun by Candida, lots of factors can contribute to this, not the least of which being the over prescription of antibiotics by many doctors in the US. Please do a little research about Candida and the different ways it can effect the body. It has absolutely nothing to do with the circumcision status of your partner. Also, when you really think critically about it, amputating a portion of your child's body because someday someone they may sleep with might have a better time is pretty messed up. What if your son is gay? What if he becomes a priest? What if his wife is like me and she actually wishes she could experience sex the way nature intended it to be, not the way his husband's mom thought it should be? Or worse, what about the boys who never get to grow up and make any decisions about their sexuality because they died from being circumcised?Just some things to think about.

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    4. I think one of Katherine's points is well wroth reiterating: "when you really think critically about it, amputating a portion of your child's body because someday someone they may sleep with might have a better time is pretty messed up"
      Kimberly and Melanie, would you alter a daughter's vagina in the hopes of offering her future husband a better sexual experience? Of course not. Than why would you consider that a valid reason for removing a healthy and important part of your son's penis?

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    5. Every child owns his or her own body. They have the right to keep their healthy genitals, as nature made them, to use as they see fit when they are adults. Any removal, alteration, cutting or mutilating of healthy sexual tissue from a CHILD is wrong. Adults should not be determining how much genitalia a child should have. They need to grow up with whole, healthy bodies to have the sex life that nature allows them to have, not one dictated by someone else.

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    6. Thank you, Tora, Every child deserves intact genitals every bit as much as they deserve to be free from violence and sexual abuse. What they do with their bodies when they're 18 is up to them.

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  7. As a nursing student many years ago I watched the process of circumcision many times. Each time it felt more and more wrong. Now I am an integrative medicine nurse practitioner and herbalist, and I enjoy teaching families that regular old natural penises are just fine the way they are. Coaching new parents about baby boy care is satisfying and makes everybody feel more peaceful and secure..kind of makes me sad though. I think, where are the grammies and grampas that would show new parents of boys how to care for all their parts?
    I hope in time your strength and humor and perspective soften your anger at being changed without your consent in such an intimate way. And remember that what is wonderful about you is more than the sum of your parts, whatever they are. Much love to you.

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    1. Laurie, I'm glad you listened to the instincts that were sounding their alarms when you were a student. Unfortunately so many boys in my generation were circumcised that yes there is a real dearth of knowledge in the US, even among physicians, about how to care for an intact penis. Fortunately, contrary to popular belief there is little or no care required. Leave it alone is probably the best credo. Doesn't require any more specialized washing than a finger or toe. As the child grows his foreskin will separate from the glans gradually and painlessly via his own exploration and experimentation.

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  9. Jeff SangerMarch 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Thanks for reading and commenting, RD. Interesting point about the plunger... I wonder how many women who say they prefer the appearance of a circumcised penis complain that their partner isn't as "sensitive" during sex as they would like.


    I tried to reply to this and it wouldn't let me.
    My husband just let me know hw would like to try restoration and I mentioned that the ONLY different to me is that I like the way a cut penis looks. ALTHOUGH, a whole penis does look the same underneath.

    I also always tell him/try to explain how much more sensitive he would be with foreskin. His sensitivity right now, is not very good at all. :/

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    1. I'm glad you're supportive of your husband's interest in restoration. While results vary from person to person I think just about everyone that works on restoring gleans some increased sensitivity which typically translates to better sex for both the man and his partner. Interesting you mentioned that you prefer the way a cut penis looks. These kinds of preferences are culturally derived, meaning people who are unfamiliar with intact penises often don't like the way they look because they look, well, different than what they're used to. The thing is though, the penis is meant to be intact. The foreskin serves a variety of important roles in sex for the male. Not only does circumcision violate a boy's right to a whole body it forever changes his sexual experiences. I think once you and your husband get to experience the benefits of participating in sex with an even partially restored foreskin you'll start seeing that "difference" as a good thing, not as something less attractive. A good place to start learning more about restoration is The National Organization for Restoring Men at http://www.norm.org/ Thanks for commenting!

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  10. Well this is just a fact here, while I agree with the majority of your list, circumsion is know to lower transmission risk of HIV by maginal numbers. Circumscision is less a medical issue and more a moral issue of not letting your child have a say in having part of his genatallia removed.

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