Why I Oppose Circumcision

I joined tumblr last week.
And omg it’s so awesome. Don’t forget to come along and hang out with me there! If you have a blog about food, fitness, sexuality, gender, sex positivity, body positivity, nature, or humanism stuff lmk so I can follow you!

I have since received several messages asking how I feel about circumcision. This post will focus on the widespread practice of male circumcision in the US (but I would make many of the same arguments about FGM abroad). Once upon a time, I made a video outlining both sides of the circumcision debate. I’ll forewarn you: infant circumcision is something I feel preeeeeetty strongly about. In this post, I will outline why I oppose circumcision and shed some light on why I think routine infant circumcision is an unethical practice.

So we’re on the same page….

What is circumcision?
According to WebMD: “Male circumcision is a surgery to remove the foreskin, a fold of skin that covers and protects the rounded tip of the penis. The foreskin provides sensation and lubrication for the penis. In most cases, circumcision is elective surgery, which means there isn’t a medical reason for it. If it is done, circumcision is usually done soon after birth.

Here is a natural penis vs. circumcised penis:

In the US, about 60% of male babies are circumcised, worldwide it is half that rate.

The fact that so many parents choose to circumcise their male children alarms me. Here are my reasons why.

Foreskin MATTERS!
Just like the sensitive clitoris is covered by a protective hood, so is the penis. The foreskin protects the penis from abrasion, drying, and environmental contaminants – an objective drawback to cutting it off.

Even more troubling is the harder-to-quantify aspect of lost pleasure in cutting off the foreskin. While not absolutely essential for sexual activity, the foreskin greatly contributes to the sexual fulfillment of males. The foreskin makes up 50% of the skin of the penis and is packed with 20,000 erotogenic (feels gooood) nerve endings. More and more circumcised males with pleasure dysfunction are speaking out against circumcision and corroborating research is being conducted.

The Natural Penis is NOT Defective
When you are born, your little body in its unaltered, natural state is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with your natural penis. Circumcision right after birth implies that foreskin is an inherent problem with the male body.

Yeah….

No Medical Necessity
Sometimes, newborn babies experience medical complications when they are born. They may need medical intervention to save their life or to keep them healthy. In these cases, medical intervention is necessary for their existence. In the case of circumcision, there is no medical necessity; there are no medical complications that can arise in a newborn baby that justifies the removal of a part of their genitals when they cannot consent. Further, the AAP’s Task Force on Circumcision does not recommend circumcision of newborns.


Some folks will argue that circumcision necessity is about better hygiene or HIV prevention. The hygiene argument is the weaker of the two. If you want your child to have a clean penis, why not teach them to clean it? It’s no harder than washing behind your ears, and I don’t hear anybody saying we should cut off our ears because it’s slightly trickier to clean.

As to the HIV argument, cutting off the foreskin will not prevent males from contracting any STIs or STDs, but it is true that there is a link between circumcision and lower HIV transmission. But again, it seems straight up whack to advocate solving the problem by the mass mutilation of male genitals. Is the solution to reducing HIV transmission really about cutting off every male’s foreskin? What about educating our kids on safe sex practices and healthy sexual habits? What about easy access to condoms and screening? Education & access to sexual health resources are far more ethical and effective forms of prevention.

No consent=human rights violation

Consensual circumcision is not a problem. Occasionally, grown males will develop a particularly debilitating case of phimosis, or overly-tight foreskin which makes sex acts painful and difficult. This is a case of medical necessity where the individual is old enough to understand what is going on and to give consent for the removal of their foreskin.

When a newborn emerges from the vaginal canal, they cannot understand what is going on, they cannot say YES to having their foreskin removed, and they have no power to protest against the doctor’s knife. This alone makes my gut feel all weird. With no medical necessity and no way for the infant to give consent, circumcision is a violation of human rights. By even the lowest of standards, this bizarre, sex-based routine of cutting male genitals is morally questionable and medically unethical.

Cultural Arguments are Derpy

1. My religion says so!

So? Religion should not trump people’s basic rights or common sense. This is where religion becomes dangerous and harmful to people. In these cases, I would argue that your religion is messed up, not your baby’s foreskin.

2. We want him to look like dad

I understand wanting to continue traditions that bond people together. There is nothing wrong with that until the tradition hurts people, is oppressive, and defies common sense. Some traditions are not worth continuing.

3. It looks better that way!

It is sad to me that the surgical modification of penises has become so mainstream that people actually believe the natural penis is ugly. Males everywhere should be outraged by this sex negative trend. Of course there is no objective “this looks better” or “that looks better”. Sure, circumcised penises look fine, different people have different preferences, and people who are circumcised should not be made to feel bad or ugly. There is nothing aesthetically wrong with a circumcised penis, and if someone wants to be circumcised when they’re old enough to understand: bombs away. I’ll be the last person to stop you. But applying this argument to infants who cannot make that call for themselves is nothing short of idiotic & backward. Again, there is nothing wrong with the natural penis or the foreskin.

Some of us happen to love it. ;D

Explaining Widespread Circumcision: So Why Do We Do It?
Lots of factors here. There are a number of people who do it because their religion tells them to, but most people do it just because “that’s what we do in America herpderp!” and they don’t think about it or educate themselves. My parents were one of these, and they later expressed regret for having circumcised my brother. There are also those folks who genuinely believe it’ll help their baby look better, fit in, be a more desirable partner etc. These folks are victims of a culture that has successfully removed them from reality. When nobody takes a stand, the cycle just continues. Lastly, there is also an incentive for doctors doing the procedure. Circumcision is a nice little “tack on” to your hospital bill. This stifles the protest of circumcision in the medical community – a community where there should actually be a lot of protest, IMO.

Overall, the parents that agree to it, the doctor that executes a medically unnecessary, nonconsensual procedure, and the society that condones it are all to blame for widespread male genital mutilation.

So…there you go. Would I circumcise my baby? No. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

145 thoughts on “Why I Oppose Circumcision

  1. I absolutely agree with you, Laci. Here in Australia it’s much less common, so I’ve only ever been exposed to natural penises and I’ll be the first to say I love them, just the way they are. If I ever have a son, he will be loved just the way he comes out. I will not let a doctor take a scalpel to my perfect newborn for no reason other than aesthetic preference or some backward religious practice.

    • Pretty sure it isn’t a scalpel that they use, but more like a tiny, surgical version of a hacksaw. It is extremely unethical in the way that they do it, as well as the reasoning behind it.

      • Actually Jade, it’s neither a hacksaw nor a scalpel alone.

        Over the centuries the methods have changed (and you can see the full range here: http://www.circumcistions.com/methods.html) but the main two methods used in the USA are the Gomco clamp, which crushes the foreskin before it is trimmed off, and the Plastibell, which crushes it under a ligature (like a noose) so that it dies and drops off. It’s usually trimmed off so that the parents don’t see it turn black. With a third method, the Mogen clamp, the skin is pulled forward and crushed, then sliced, but the Mogen Company went out of business after losing $10.7 million in law suits to families whose sons lost part of the heads of their penises in Mogen Clamps. So the only Mogens still being used are old ones.

        Anyone who thinks of cutting (the best) part off their son’s genitals off should watch some of the many videos of it being done online first – or instead.

      • Great clip! Easy and simple but elefctivfey explains its purpose!We chose not to circumcise Sam for lots of reasons but mainly our friends had a baby boy about 8 weeks prior to Sam and they showed us his circumcision after about a week and it just looked so painful that I didn’t want to inflict that on Sam also our nephew was circumcised at 2 for medical issues and still remembers the operation today at 15.. so there basically our reasons :)

        • eugh that description of the circumcision process made me wanna vomit. What kind of parent would want to subject their child to something so painful?

  2. God is the creator of all on earth, and god is perfect. Yet, when something so close to perfection as a newborn baby arrives, we ought to grab a knife and start slashing away at his genitals.

    Religion and logic. It’s like Charlie Sheen and sobriety.

    • No God is not perfect, he is FAR from it. Stop spreading your dumb religious lies and actually learn about that which you so blindly support.

      Humans are supposed to be created in God’s image right, but are we perfect? No, we are not so therefore logically we can conclude that A=B and B=A so therefore God is not perfect, plus if you read the bible very thoroughly he made MANY mistakes.

      • TokoBali was making fun of Christianity not preaching it ;)

        And Laci, I am so happy that I’m Icelandic because circumcision is just nonexistent here :)

        • All over Europe, it’s only the Moslems (and some Jews) who circumcise.
          The American obsession with exposing the glans of the penis 24/7 is maybe the weirdiest of all aspects of American sexuality. Americans circumcise their boys primarily because they feel in their guts that a natural man is unlovable. This makes no sense at all to you Scandinavians.

      • I spend all this money on books by Dawkins, Dennett and Hitch only to get this one. Poe’s Law in full effect. :)

      • In Christianity God created humans in his own image. The reason why we are flawed according to Christians, is because Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, after being persuaded by the Snake. Christians, in general, do consider God, the Father, to be perfect.

        The reason why, primarily Jews, circumcise their children, is because God told Abraham to do it to his family and household, as a mark, in the flesh, of His promise to Abraham. Other ‘religious’ reasons are very similar to the reasons used by people who are in favor of FGM, and are nowhere clearly mentioned in the Bible. They are assumed rules. One example would be that circumcision can decrease sexual pleasure, and thus could prevent masturbation.

        And before you attack me as well, I’m not religious, I just educated myself.

        • Actually, circumcision is much older than the Jews. It goes back to Egypt and then before that to Africa. It probably began for magical reasons:
          * as a substitute for human sacrifice (the Abraham and Isaac story is a close parallel)
          * as a partial sacrifice, a substitute for castration
          * to make it look more like an erect one and hence a symbol of fertility
          * so that males, like females could bleed and not die, and thereby have the same power of creating life as women have
          * to remove the “female” (vulva-like) element from males, as FGC removes the “male” clitoris from females
          - and so on. Wacky? You bet! Just like the reasons given for doing it today.

  3. I totally agree, and I am thankful for my parents deciding not to mutilate my genitals =)

    My penis is well and truly intact.

  4. Laci, I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, my parents decided to mutilate me as a baby, and it’s a huge insecurity for me now.
    It’s the one thing I’ll never be able to forgive my parents for, and I feel like I’ve been deprived of a large part of my life.
    Sex still works for me and such, but I often wonder how much better it would be if my parents didn’t ruin it for me. (Which is a really disturbing way to think about it)

    I’m just curious on your thoughts of all the proposed “fixes” for circumcision on the internet like stretching techniques or surgeries. Obviously it’d be something to consult a doctor about, and it won’t have much effect on the nerves, if any at all. Just want your opinion.

    • Actually, since I started restoring, using a tugging device after manual tugging, the skin is stretching to cover the glans and there is definitely and increased sensation. Circumcised, the glans, the head, is abraded by clothing, drying agents in soaps etc and builds up micro layers of skin to protect it and can look dry and leathery. Restoring and keeping it covered strips those layers away. Your glans should be shiny. Is it?

      The sooner you start the sooner you can restore. Don’t ask your doctor! Whatever you do, don’t do that! One they’ll say it can be done and there is no benefit and two, they recommended your mutilation in the first place. After all the damage done during circumcision, would you want another knife down there again? Surgeries are not always predictable but if you stay with restoring the results are predictable but it takes longer. Surgery also further damages nerves.

  5. I agree with every point except “The Natural Body is NOT Defective”. I don’t think this is a logical consequence from any of the previous statements, or from a scientific conformation. There are some obvious ways where the natural body is defective, one for example would be our appendix. So, it is the case that our natural body is defective in some respects. Also, this seems to imply that our natural bodies should not be modified, as if there is an ethical commandment that is broken when we chose to modify our bodies. It should be known that our biology is a hindrance and that modification should be met with open arms. Therefore, I do not believe that the proposition, “The Natural Body is NOT Defective” should be a deciding premise in this argument. However, the rest was great!

    • Indeed, my own “natural body” is a loosely held together flesh sack and were it not for modern medicine I would be living a worse off life.

      Natural =/= good

      Natural =/= bad

      Natural is simply what we start off with. Whether it is good or bad is something we have to discern on an individual basis.

      • Agreed. I personally think we start out with a fresh canvas and you decide what to do with it, when you are old enough to rationalise out the consequences.

    • My appendix isn’t defective… And I’d say neither is anyone else’s. It repopulates our gut with good bacteria in case we lose some (like in diarrhea). The appendix is no longer considered a vestigial organ. :)

      • Sorry for using an old example, however, I am sure the argument is still holds water. Lately, I have seen the term “natural” championed as if anything predicated with the term instantly becomes good.

        • Tattoos may be a better example. That is modifying your natural body, but is not instantly unethical because of that.

          However, Laci said: “Circumcision right after birth implies that foreskin is an inherent problem with the male body.” The unethical aspect is not modifying your natural body, the unethical thing is claiming the natural body as wrong, bad or ugly. By circumcising a baby right after birth, basically that claim is made.

          • Why is it unethical to say that the natural body is wrong or bad? in some certain circumstances, it would be best to alter the natural body, for the benefit of the individual. It is not unethical to claim that the natural body is flawed. To say that a property is bad, such as natural, taste, or etc. is to make a judgement of value, not an ethical pronouncement. Also, it is not the case that you must always ask permission to alter a child’s body. Take for example, a case where a kid develops a complication at birth, where the two options are operate and alter their body or to let him grow up and make the decision on his own. Given certain circumstances, it is not unethical to alter the child’s natural body without his permission.

            Natural does not entail good, better, or perfect.

            • You give an example involving medical necessity, a sickness or complication, and off course in it is fine to alter a child’s body without its consent. But in this discussion there is no medical necessity, and in that case, it is unethical to claim that a ‘normal’, healthy body is bad/ugly and HAS to be altered.

              • I completely agree, however, I was just aimed at clarifying some terms and how they are often used or abused. I hope I did not come off as an ass, but as a philosophy major, I feel obligated to clarify such trite things.

              • I think that ump is correct in what he has said.

                The fact that it is not a medical necessity and therefore unethical procedure to preform does not then somehow prove that the natural body is bad or that it is good.

                It simply proves nothing in relation to value of the natural body. In this case, a procedure is unnecessary (which I’ll take as a given, even though frankly I have no idea what to think medically) but that doesn’t prove that the natural body is good. It also does not prove that the natural body is bad.

                It simply proves that this procedure is unnecessary.

                • That wasn’t really what I meant, so let me try to rephrase one more time: the natural body is not good or bad, ethical or unethical. Portraying the natural body as inherently bad, that is unethical.

        • Because what is natural embodies a wisdom that is often beyond present day human understanding. The penis is what it is. It comes with a moving foreskin that is rich in nerves. The American scientists who first researched sex acts were circumcised or women married to circumcised men. A result was that this research failed to understand the importance of the bits that circ cuts off. Hence the importance of those bits only began to be understood in the 1990s. Much of what we know is thanks to testimonials circulated via the internet. There is no USer Manual for the human body, so that we have to learn the hard way about that body and what it can do. The arrogance and cock-suredness (:D) of the American medical and sexological establishments have not helped at all, as demonstrated by the August 27 report of the AAP Task Force on circumcision. Not a single person involved with writing that report was either an intact male or married to one. American doctors are clueless about what quality sex is and what it means to people.

    • True phimosis is pretty rare. Most supposed cases of phimosis are diagnosed in childhood, which is wrong as most/nearly all of these will naturally correct themselves after hormones have come into play in puberty. Hormones naturally loosen the foreskin, therefore cutting before adulthood for phimosis is rubbish. Also, there are other things to try before relying on circumcision, such as steroids, stretching, and making a knick in the foreskin if those don’t work.
      A huge factor in phimosis, too, is whether the foreskin was reatracted forcefully or not. Most cases of phimosis are caused by the scar tissue, which is much less flexible than normal skin, which forced retraction can cause.

      At any rate, circumcision should not be considered lightly and should only be considered as a last resort….and NEVER for a child unless there is pain and the ability to pass urine is hindered!

  6. “My foreskin. Nobody asked me. They just took it.” 29 days – Movie
    Some time ago after listening to those words I asked my mom why they did it. I heard “it was the 70s, we were young, doctor recommended….” I got a little depressed because I felt that I was missing something in my life. Nobody asked me they just took it. It has been years since that conversation and I’m still mad. When my wife got pregnant twice, twice we went through this discussion that if boy I didn’t want it. She did. We got two girls. Not planning a third but if we did I don’t want to have this fight again. We are born with everything we need. I wish I could have stoped my parents from doing it. They just took it.

    • I totally had that quote running through my head when I read through the article! I love that quote, and I feel it is very true. However if you do have a boy in the future, why not share this article with her, or find a video of someone doing a circumcision, because I guarantee if she heard about what really happens in an infant circumcision there is no way she would enable the doctors do to that to her baby boy.

    • In the 1970s, there were USA maternity wards that did not bother to obtain the mother’s consent. I have read women say that a nurse would come into Mom’s room and “announce” that she was about to take her newborn son to be circumcised. Some women who gave birth last century have posted that when they said they did not want their newborn boy circumcised, a doctor or nurse would make very patronising remarks about how intact males have social problems in the USA.

  7. What a succinct explanation of why circumcision is just messed up. I’ve known for a while that it’s something I wouldn’t want for any future sons of mine, and now I have good reasons instead of just a gut feeling. Thanks :)

  8. You are so right. There’s a lot of things people do without really thinking it’s implications or the reasons to do it. By the way, I do love my foreskin.
    Keep doing such a good work, the world needs people like you!

  9. Laci, perhaps with these recent discussions you could do a vid or article about stretching out a new foreskin. I’ve seen several products(mostly The Tugger) and other manual techniques used to stretch the penis skin back out into a foreskin much like lip and ear stretching. They seem to work but take 18-30 months. I’ve been thinking about trying it and wondered what other’s thought about it.

    • The thing with stretching is it’s more or less an aesthetic thing – you can’t regrow all of those nerve endings that were cut off.

      • Well from what I’ve read, the head of the penis is a mucus membrane that’s supposed to be covered. When not covered it can grow extra layers of cells desensitizing it. Rubbing the head of my penis doesn’t feel good, it chafe’s and hurts a bit, the only pleasure I get is from the shaft. I won’t get the lost nerve’s back but maybe I can get some sensation back.

        • Bobuzo, you are right. Personally I found that within the first month of restoration, the simple fact of keeping the glans covered makes it softer which results on heightened sensations. I’m just at 3 months into the process and really happy I finally started it.

  10. Agreed, I really think it should be up to whoever is attached to the penis to modify it.
    If they decide they don’t want foreskin, then they can remove it whenever they want, when they’re old enough to actually make a decision about it.

    People modify their bodies all the time, for various reasons, and I have no problem with that. The important thing is they consent to having their bodies modified in most cases, with circumcision (in the US at least, I won’t speak for other places) however, it’s done long before the penis’s owner can even speak, let alone decide if they want to modify their body.

  11. again Laci, another thing i agree with you on. i will not have my son’s foreskin cut off. sadly mine is but eh nothing i can do about it haha. i wont take that away from my son when and if it comes time for me to be a parent.

  12. Circumcision sucks! I’d like to add that another benifit of having foreskin is that it makes the dick look bigger. All the UNMUTILATED cocks I’ve seen look BIG.

    After reading this article I called up my mom and left her a message – “Mother I want my foreskin back!!!”

  13. Bagh… I wrote a very long post and it was eated because I disconnected while trying to post.

    Anyway, I don’t know if it is good or bad. As I have said before: until I understand my default action is inaction. If it can be scientifically proven to me that it is medically important and timely urgent for my son then I’ll do it. Until then, the boy will just have to cross that bridge when he gets there.

      • I don’t think he or she is attacking people, merely stating that if you are a sensible, think and mentally healthy person, then it should be impossible for you to disagree with what Laci said here.

        • Right.

          He’s saying anyone who disagrees is not sensible, doesn’t think, and is not mentally healthy.

          Seeing as how you only have to convince people who disagree with you I stand by my initial statement.

  14. Foreskin is very useful during masturbation. While I can’t corroborate that the lack of nerve endings diminishes pleasure, there are to points I’d like to make:

    1) No lube. Every time I see something filmed or written in America which describes the act, the guy always picks a jar of vaseline or something and rubs it on his dick. What an absurdity, I’ve been choking my chicken for many years, and I’ve never required any lubricant to do it (neither have I experienced any irritation).

    2) No mess. I’m not sure if many people do this and whether many men can do it at all, but I use my foreskin as a pouch for sperm after ejaculation. Right before the ejaculation, I gently close the tip of my foreskin with my fingers and let the sperm pour into it. Then I go to the toilet — peter in my hand (there are ways to do it furtively, if necessary) — drain the stuff and wash my penis up.

    • Interesting points! Now that I think about it, lube hasn’t really been as necessary in general with my natural partners.

    • why do you not agree that it reduces sexual sensitivity? It DOES. The foreskin is erogenous tissue, of course you lose sexual pleasure. And it’s the most sensitive tissue on the entire penis. The ridged band, frenulum all have huge roles in sexual pleasure and orgasm control, and are considered primary erogenous zones of the human genitalia. It is purely wrong to continue to claim that it has no effect on sexual pleasure.. and by denying that you are just harming more men in the future who will have this done to them.

  15. I’m very surprised that you related circumcision to FGM, both concern genitals but they haven’t nothing else in common.

    • There are a lot of things in common! They both remove sensitive skin of the genitals, against the child’s will, or without their consent. Both are extremely painful and not medically neccessary in the least. In the cultures that subscribe to female genital mutilation and male circumcision, it is considered a rite of passage and something that must be done in order to be a healthy grown up. The fact that it is female genitals vs male genitals and that one is more extreme than the other is not a reason for you to say that there is nothing in common between the two. In the male circumcision, the baby is usually strapped down, the foreskin is pulled taught and then using an instrument similar to a hacksaw, they cut off the foreskin. All the time the baby is awake and consciously screaming, without being able to concent, like Laci said earlier… They are both really gruesome procedures and deserve to be outlawed, at least until the person in question can make an informed decision and give their concent for the procedure.

      • The consequences for women health of FGM are far more severe, all the physiological functions that involve the regions ‘”affected by FGM” become very painful.

        • Agreed, but they do still have lots in common, just one is much more extreme than the other. But you could also propose that this is because it is happening to girls instead of boys, and it is just another way to control women and their bodies and sexuality.

        • that’s completely wrong and it’s been proven wrong over and over. There are many types of FGM, and most of them are less severe than the most common form of MGM. Please stop spreadiing your bullshit and devaluing the foreskin, all this will do is cause more men to be mutilated in the future.

    • I agree with Jade – I think they do have a lot in common! However, I also think it’s true that there are some different social issues around FGM in the broader context of violence against women and girls.

    • I’ve never heard anyone claim anything other than religious belief for female genital cutting.

      Is that the only reason it’s done? Do people try to argue anything about diseases or health like they do with circumsion?

      To be honest, I had never heard of it until recently (not sure if it was this site, but on the internet anyway) and I am unaware of it occuring where I live.

      • It is usually practiced because it’s supposed to make you “more fertile” or “more pure” because, without the clitoris, sex becomes solely an act of reproduction. Unless the 30-something% of women who can feel pleasure without clitoral stimulation are all in these regions that practice FGM, then the only reason they have for sex is to make babies since it would be unpleasant. It could also be a masturbation deterrent. And it’s usually practiced on girls who are old enough to know what’s happening, but it is almost ALWAYS against their will. It also causes health complications such as infection or tearing and injury of the genitals during sex(no stimulation=no natural lube=PAIN) Most of the regions that practice this do not have enough medical technology, natural medicine, or knowledge to prevent these affects. I’ve heard stories of girls trying to swim the ocean because they knew they were up for FGM. One girl was even killed by police of the country she ended up in in her escape attempt.

    • Yeah, I am aware that the number is much smaller than some researchers were making it out to be. 60%? It seemed strange since the tissue is still similar. Didn’t know that the current reduction is at 1.3%, thanks for the article!

      • Laci, there are a whole host of problems with the claim that circumcised men are less likely to catch AIDS from an infected women. First, the studies that claim this are dishonest botches:

        http://www.salem-news.com/fms/pdf/2011-12_JLM-Boyle-Hill.pdf

        Second, how are findings from the AIDS belt of Africa relevant to USA? Third, the findings are only per unprotected sexual act. If circed men have enough unprotected acts, that could completely nullify any advantage supplied by circ. We will never know if this is the case, because the clinical trials were cut short after 6 months. They should have run for at least 5 years, better yet 10.

        Fourth, the most that has been claimed for circumcision is partial protection. Condoms, which are readily available, offer complete protection. Why rely on partial protection when complete protection is available? And why alter a boy’s body in the belief that doing so will reduce the price he has to pay for being a manwhore and horndog when he grows up? Fidelity is also a complete solution to the AIDS crisis.

        • I agree with you on almost all counts. “Fidelity is also a complete solution to the AIDS crisis.” it just isn’t true.

          Yes, it would help ALLOT.

          But it won’t stop children who’s mother has AIDS from being born with HIV, and in in cultures where girls marry as soon as they have their first period or even before it is possible for a girl to live long enough to pass the HIV on to their husband, even if he is their only sexual contact ever. So all the children of women with HIV would still have HIV, and there’s a (admirably very small) possibility for them to live long enough to pass it on to their husband/wife and kids.

          Then there’s the fact that not all HIV is transmitted by sex. it can also be transmitted by contaminated needles, medical equipment, and blood. In the US and most countries with stable medical systems that isn’t an issue, but in many third world countries it is. Whether the hospital is trying to cut costs for their own profit, or to trying to give care to more people, or they think the risk it worth it compared to the benefits of doing nothing, or they just don’t know any better, allot of those hospitals do re-use materials that should have be sterilized or be one-use, or transfuse blood that hasn’t been fully tested.

          And then in all countries there’s the risk of transmission from needles used to inject recreational drugs, especially by people too poor to care that their next “fix” might give them HIV because they think a million other things, including the drug itself, will kill them before AIDS will, and by people to high to even think that taking a needle that someone else just used and injecting yourself with it might be a bad idea.

          So yes, no having unprotected sex will cut ALLOT of the HIV transmissions, but not all of them. Even if everyone suddenly stopped having unprotected sex (which is just about impossible on multiple levels) and we waited 20-30 years so the people that currently have HIV die, there would still be millions of people with HIV and plenty getting it every day.

          • I agree that the African AIDS pandemic is partly transmitted by nonsexual means, and hence I was wrong when I said that fidelity could eliminate that pandemic.
            But I still maintain that a lot of AIDS would fade if Africans were to use condoms or practice the fidelity our European ancestors pretty much practiced until the last 40 years.

  16. I completely agree with you Laci! It especially frustrates me when parents circumcise their sons simply because of the idea that “it looks attractive”. Like who fucking decided that? So irrational.

      • Women are more likely to post that “an uncut penis looks creepy.” But I assure you that a lot of American men think that without saying it.

      • The bet lover I had was uncircumcised. I don’t really think either looks better, but IMHO uncircumcised is easier to give a hand job to, and also more fun to give a blow job to.

        I was horrified that my sister and her husband made their decision because they wanted their sons to “look like their dad” and nothing else.

        My preference if I have a son is not to circumcise for all the reasons you mention. I’ve babysat little boys with both, and didn’t find the uncircumcised boys more difficult to clean. That just seems like a lame excuse! And the idea of performing unnecessary, painful and destructive surgery on a baby is horrifying.

        My husband feels the opposite because he thinks uncircumcised penises look strange. He is circumcised (not for religious reasons). I think al the anti-circumcision information in the media lately is helping my husband consider my POV, and I’m sure your video also helped. Thanks for covering this topic!

  17. I think the natural argument is ironic. Not because its a bad argument, but because that same principle is not applied to other areas by secular humanists. A perfectly functioning body does not need to be altered so that it functions less like it should. To make all of you “don’t impose your moral imperatives on me” folks happy, I’ll just say that I would not want to receive surgery or anything else that would make a functioning part of my body not function right. Therefore, circumcision does not make much sense.

    But neither does hormonal or surgical contraception make much sense. Laci says grand and wonderful things like, “The Natural Penis is NOT Defective. When you are born, your little body in its unaltered, natural state is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with your natural penis.” To that I say, “preach it sista!” But then when I say things like “Your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterine lining are not defective. When you are born and then reach puberty, your little body in its unaltered, natural state is beautiful. There is nothing wrong with your natural reproductive cycle,” folks call me things like archaic, to be nice, or an oppressive-illogical-patriarchal-religiously-brainwashed misogynist.

    So just to be clear, our bodies are beautiful as long as we surgically mutilate, hormonally alter, and intentionally remove that nasty bit called fertility?

    • Good job completely missing the point, genius. You can’t compare infant circumcision to women choosing to take hormonal birth control unless you also claim that they are as capable (or in this case incapable) of choice as an infant. Get the fuck off the internet until you learn how to reason if you aren’t claiming this, and get the fuck off the internet until you stop being a horrible excuse for a human being if you are claiming it. Either way, you should definitely get the fuck off the internet.

      • Pamela,

        Thanks for your criticism, but I think you missed my point.

        I was certainly not suggesting that infant circumcision and taking hormonal contraception are the same. You rightly pointed out that infants do not have the choice to get circumcised. That was one of Laci’s points. But that’s not what I was saying.

        I was commenting on another one of her points where she looked at the goodness of the human body just as it is–not needing any modification. If a human body is working well, why modify it? That is where I drew a parallel between opposing circumcision and body altering contraception. When a woman’s body is working well, it cycles through periods of fertility and infertility. That is a good thing (just like foreskin) so why remove it.

        • But you’re not removing fertility, you are stunting it for your benefit. You can get it back with hormonal birth control. Your body is still working well, just differently. You can’t ever get your foreskin back. I’m not sure your argument holds ground.

          • Actually there are a rising number of cases where there is a distinct link between women who have taken birth control pills, and later in life find out that they are infertile.

              • Check out the book ‘The Pill, Are you sure it is for you’ by Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope… It explains it all much better than I could in a comment. It is available on Amazon and a few other bookstore websites for like $12-15.

                • Huh. Well, I’m not sure I believe it’s “on the rise” as you say. I’m sure women have claimed to be infertile because of it, just like any other form of birth control, but I see no striking evidence here. I’d be more worried about using an IUD.

                  • It took me two years, after going off of the pill, for my cycles to regulate themselves. The only reason why I went on the pill in the first place was because my doctor wasnt sure what was going on when my periods stopped randomly when I was 15. I think that the pill was definitely the wrong choice, but my doctor and my mother supported the idea, so I went on the pill for 5 years. Meanwhile, my emotions went crazy, crying for no reason and totally not feeling like myself. It also probably contributed to the incorrect diagnosis of PCOS because my body never got the chance to regulate itself naturally. I still don’t know if I will ever be able to have kids.

                    Also about the webmd telling you it doesn’t lower fertility… This is also the website that tells you that you might have cancer as one of the options because you have cramps… And even real doctors aren’t well enough educated about it, as my family doctor once tried to tell me that taking the pill for at least 3 years was supposed to decrease your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancers, when it says right in the packaged info booklet that it has been proven to increase your odds of getting cervical and ovarian cancers.

                    • It seems like you had issues with your cycle before the pill. Blaming your issues on the pill alone makes absolutely no sense. You’re also very defensive.

          • In the case of surgical sterilization you are permanently removing a natural and good part of yourself. Of course reversals are possible, though they are not always effective.

            Its true, usually after ceasing hormonal birth control, a woman’s fertility returns to normal. Stories of women who return to fertility after a few years, or in the worse case, never, was enough for my wife to avoid hormonal options.

            Cycles should return to normal. It still begs the question, “Does the ‘good’ of unnatural consequentless sex afforded by hormonal contraception out weigh the good of the way our bodies naturally function with perfectly healthy cycles of fertility and infertility?”

            To put it another way, is consequentless sex worth eliminating an entirely natural, good, and beautiful part of us? I don’t think it is. But I guess someone else might see it another way.

            • I think I’m being quite sex positive here. An undeniable part of our sexuality is our fertility. I say to my partner, I love you just the way you are. I love that your body has the capacity to create new life. I’m interested in sharing all parts of my sexuality with you and in return receiving all parts of your sexuality, especially your fertility. You are beautiful just the way you are.

              That’s a sex positive approach isn’t it?

            • So what do you suggest? Staying celibate until marriage? Not using the hormonal birth control that so few have issues with? With every medicine comes rare consequences. You seem very negative in your approach to sex. It’s quite odd and honestly a bit disturbing.

              • The side effects of HC is only supplementary to what we are talking about. The issue is how sex positive is it to remove a part of your sexuality, permanently or temporarily? If someone wanted to have an open conversation about this, we could shoot around ideas of how to embrace one’s fertility especially as it relates to being a sexually positive person.

                I’m not sure why you are calling my approach to sex negative, considering how I’ve only tried to affirm our natural sexuality. I’d be glad to hear it. I just hope its not because I have an opposing view.

        • “If a human body is working well, why modify it?”

          Based on that statement, I assume you are fine with hormonal birth control being taken for legitimate health reasons? Because I take it due to a highly irregular cycle and a predisposition to ovarian cysts, both of which are helped by taking hormonal contraception.

          Just trying to get a clearer idea on your point here.

          • Yes, hormonal birth control is often used to treat other problems other than fertility (notice how my sentence implied that fertility is a problem. Though I don’t believe that it is a problem.) I’m not a doctor, so take this for what it is, but I think the pill is probably over-prescribed. With companies making loads of money off the pill, I’m not surprised by the idea that doctors might prescribe it too much, for too many things that could be treated in other ways. I am not speaking to your situation, because again, I’m no doctor, and I don’t know the intricacies of your situation. I think its telling that there are many doctors out there who will not prescribe the pill for any reason, but will use alternative treatment.

            All that aside, yes I’m comfortable in theory with hormonal birth control being used to try to make other parts of the body function properly. Perhaps the medical community could seek to do that without eliminating a fully-functioning and beautiful fertility cycle.

            • I never was prescribed the pill no matter how badly I complained of cramps to my doctor. They always tried to steer me in another direction.

              Also, you are not ruining your fertility. You are absolutely wrong and the way you perpetuate the idea that only a woman who is not on birth control is “beautiful” is disgusting.

              • Lauren,

                I did not say that hormonal contraception ruins your fertility. Nor did I say that only women not on birth control are beautiful.

                Hormonal contraception does at least temporarily remove your fertility. Remember I brought up this issue because of Laci’s argument that the natural penis with foreskin is a good, and beautiful part of the body. I simply asked, “what if we apply that logic to fertility? Will this particular sex + community affirm the goodness of fertility and question the removal of fertility?” Shockingly, for an open-minded, question everything place, it turns out that suggesting that fertility is as good and natural as foreskin is not a welcome line of thought here.

    • In the 1960s and 70s, I heard all the time “So and so is on the Pill.”
      That talk is now gone, and I doubt prudish shame is the full explanation. Meanwhile, I have heard a slow steady drumbeat of women murmuring
      “the Pill is not for me” including my wife. I would summarise what I’ve read and heard by “being on the Pill is a bit like having PMS all the time.” A lot of women have serious mood side effects from oral contraceptives, and I think that medicine and sex talk has not been honest about that. The one form of contraception that no adverse effects on women is… condoms with lube. Curiously, that form of contraception also nips in the bud the STI epidemic all around us. Even more curious is that condoms are more fun for him if he retains his natural penis…

  18. Also worth mentioning is this “human rights” bit. Again, its brilliant, and I couldn’t agree more. However, here lies another inconsistency: Some folks never tire of expounding our human rights from our right to make decisions about our own bodies to our rights to marry whomever we wish. Its all wonderful rhetoric isn’t it?

    But when in life do babies receive these human rights? Apparently they have them 30 minutes after birth, because it would violate their rights to circumcise them against their will. But a month earlier, a baby girl can be aborted because she hasn’t yet passed through her mother’s birth canal yet, and that does not violate her human rights? Our human rights change from one side of the cervix to the other?

    I just wish we would all be honest about the inconsistencies in our ideologies.

    • I don’t think there’s any inconsistency here. It’s true that rhetoric can be spun either way, but it comes down to the facts. If you read the click through on “human rights violation” you will learn how circumcision is legally a violation, not some abstract idea of “rights” that we all interpret differently.

      Further, I don’t think anybody here or in the intactivist movement is advocating for abortion post-viability. By most reasonable standards, this is past the point acceptable to have an abortion except for the life of the mother.

      • Laci,

        You’re right about post-viability abortion being a radical example. Really I should have kept my thoughts on the application of your human rights dialogue to myself (considering the chaotic spread of heated opinions about abortion).

        When does life begin? At what point is a fetus “viable?” Of course I have thoughts on that, but they aren’t really important here. What is important is that someone, or some people, have the responsibility of defining these things. Which means that someone defines when human rights are applied to a fetus. Phew, that’s a big job that comes with lots of power.I hope they get it right….

  19. Americans circumcise their boys because they don’t want to be grossed out when they give their son a bath or change his diaper. If you never saw foreskin while growing up, it is very easy to fall into the notion that the foreskin is weird and gross. They circumcise because they fear that uncut boys will be ridiculed by other boys in the grade school john, the school and pool locker room, in summer camp. Worse yet, they fear that Son will be a social failure when he starts dating, because young women don’t want to date a guy with a Weird Dick. And finally, there is this deep seated American belief that foreskin makes fellatio impossible because of the AWFUL TASTE. Never mind that men should freshen up their penises before letting anyone wrap their lips around them. And the further American belief that fellatio is a central sexual act instead of a side dish that can be freely replaced with other things. Like her pumping the foreskin with her hand, and stroking the frenulum with a finger, acts that are not possible to do on a cut man.

    American circumcision is the result of a defective and incomplete American sex education. Not just the sex ed of school and the like, but the sex ed of whispered conversations with age peers. Laci, thank you for all you have done to fill this hole in USA sex ed.

  20. Yeah, I’m guessing being circumcised is part of the reason I feel absolutely nothing when wearing a condom.

    • For 20 years at least, I have had a strange suspicion that a lot of American men are like you. If that is the case, the inability of many cut men to enjoy sex with a condom is a major factor underlying the very high USA rate of STIs, and even the high American abortion rate. Asians and Europeans are far more dutiful about combining condoms with casual sex.

  21. I thought that i would post a message here as I am included in the percentage of parents who chose to circumcise my boys as infants. My eldest son, 18, has been trying to educate me for quite some time about how I made the wrong choice in doing this to him and his brothers. I must admit that while I felt badly about his feelings and anger about this, I STILL insisted that I made the right choice for them all.
    I had the same opinions as everyone has quoted…..it was healthier, their Dad looked that way, it is easier to clean, I didn’t want them to look different to anyone else. We have had many heated discussions about this for quite some months with neither of us getting through to the other.
    I must admit that his pain and turmoil about this alone has begun to change my self righteous opinion. Obvously, if he is this upset about this happening to him, then I need to give it proper care and attention. Last night he forwarded me this website to read Laci’s page and the opiions by others. Truthfully, I grazed through it and didn’t really absorb what I was reading. Tonight he asked me if I had read it yet and I said i looked at it but it was so long….blah, blah, blah. Immediately I felt like such a jerk and came out to read every word on the blog. I am SOO happy that i did. Laci made some very valuable and credible points and from reading the other posts, i can understand more than I ever did before.
    While I cannot change the fact that I made this choice for my children, I can do the best i can to be more understanding and try to help him in the best way that he needs and wants.
    I’m sorry, Babe….xo

    • One of the important things in this whole conversation that is overlooked is the feelings of the parents.

      The feelings of the boys are important and central to the issue, obviously…but often parents who do make this decision for their sons are villainized in an attempt to illustrate what a terrible, outdated practice it is.

      Many times, the parents are victims in a different way. They are a product of their society and only going by what they were taught was “best”. Every parent makes this choice out of love for their son and they are doing the best they can with the information they have at that time.

      I can’t even estimate how many times I’ve heard a new mom say something along the lines of, “We’ve got to get him circumcised. I hate that we’ve got to do that to him. I hope it’s over quickly.” etc. It’s ~hard~ for them, but society has them believing it’s what’s best for their son and they shove down their own reluctance and misgivings to give their sons “what’s best”.

      If a parent realizes later that maybe “best” wasn’t what they believed it to be — in fact, it might even be ~harmful~…that’s hard. That’s a terrible, terrible place to find yourself.

      So, compassion is key in the delivery of this message. All parent — whether they choose to circumcise or not — love their sons and are trying to do their best for them.

      With that in mind, Colleen, try not to beat yourself up too much. Just remind him that you did make that choice out of love and all anybody can ever be asked for is their best at that moment.

      • Thank you so much for your comment. I did do what I thought was the best for my son and it obviously was not for him. My heart aches for him although I cannot change what decisions I made 18 years ago. My only wish is that he can find some peace and comfort and know that I am ALWAYS here for him, with his best interests at heart. People cannot judge what they have not been through and unfortunately as you said, the parents are always made to look cruel and abusive when that was exactly the opposite of what we were.
        thank you for your kind reply and understanding words…:)

        • When I first discovered this cause or movement or whatever you want to call it, I was pregnant with my first son (He’s seven now).

          It could have gone either way for him. My gut told me I didn’t want to do it, but my husband as adamant that it be done. There were times were it seemed hopeless and stupid to fight about it and I almost gave in.

          So, I armed myself with information. I learned as much as I could. I got ANGRY, because all of this information was out there and I had to dig and dig and dig to find it. I was on a crusade to convince him and anybody else that would listen that it was WRONG and HORRIBLE that people were doing this to their babies! I told people I’d no sooner let them cut his penis than I’d let them burn him with a cigarette.

          …and in this emotional and passionate crusade, I hurt two people that were very important to me. One was a longtime friend with three sons and the other was my gentle and sweet grandmother.

          I had become so wrapped up in this one single issue and this one single side that I became blind to everything else.

          When I realized how badly I’d hurt them — both wonderful, wonderful mothers that any boy would be lucky to have — I was humbled and ashamed of myself.

          It was a painful lesson, but a good one and one I try to offer up whenever I get a chance. There is a way to spread this message kindly. It can be done. You never know who is listening and how some casual words could hurt them very deeply. <3

          • Absolutely well said and I do agree with it all.
            Thanks for taking the time to respond and sharing your personal experience wth me…as well as so many others.

      • In most cases, American parents are victims, not culprits. And if parents are to blame, fathers deserve a lot more blame than mothers. I am very surprised at the number of mothers of childbearing age who have insisted that their sons remain intact over the strong objections of the fathers. Is it because the foreskin is feminine, so that mothers unconsciously identify with it?

        It takes a lot of wisdom to see that circumcising a boy so that he won’t feel weird in the locker room and when dating women, amounts to a crass surrender to provincial conformity. If cut boys make fun of intact boys, that is not a reason to circumcise but to give our sons backbones, and to educate the wider culture. If young women despise foreskin, that is also not a reason to alter the penis but to improve the sex education of women. If sex ed publishers won’t tell the truth about the natural penis, sexually sophisticated women should use the internet to share the truth.

        The villains who have betrayed our trust are the medical school profs who have taught residents to circumcise for at least 100 years, without ever doing research on the possible adverse effects of circumcision on sexual pleasure and functionality. For instance, there has never been a study investigating the possibility that circumcision exacerbates PE and ED, and leads to an earlier onset of ED. American doctors have never revealed any curiosity about what American and Canadian women think, with the exception of a bad 1980s study out of Iowa.

  22. Can’t say much that hasn’t been said. My friend+ [<< hehe] is uncircumcised and he says that if he were circumcised it would definitely be less pleasureable. In your video, you explain how the foreskin being a piece of skin and having a lot of nerve endings is not dispute but bringing added pleasure IS disputed. I think that, not having the same stuff going on down there, if I were to have my clit or even the clitoral hood removed would DEFINITELY decrease pleasure. I don't like it how religion/culture/tradition dictate the way people treat their children.

    "Your children are not a coloring book; you cannot simply color them in with your favorite colors."

    ~Rahim Kahn, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  23. WRT Hygiene, I want to posit a different end of the spectrum. Yes, teaching children about proper hygiene is vitally important. Obviously. But as someone who has had a lot of contact in elder care (and yes, there can be an entire universe of conversation on the lack of ethics in the American elder care system) my own anecdotal evidence shows that once a person can no longer clean themselves, things can go south quickly. The uncircumcised male has a much higher incidence of infection and discomfort when the responsibility to clean it becomes that of a nurse or PA.
    No, we shouldn’t make a decision at birth based upon potential drawbacks 80 years later – I just wanted to round out the conversation and look at the entire life. The argument about hygiene has some small merit, but those most often making it argument are using it wrong.

    • I can think of two possibilities.

      One: you are circumcised and your parents have lied to you (or for some other reason you do not know).

      Two: you were born without foreskin or some other such irregularity.

      However, I’m just some jackass on the internet. I think you should see a doctor about it if you fell it is important.

  24. Laci, I heard a guy on a show once say he got circumcised because his foreskin was very tight. Have you ever heard of this? He was in his 20s, and had recently had it done.

    • This is true. It is called Phimosis.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phimosis

      My partner, and one of his brothers (I don’t know about the other) have it. His brother had to have a circumcision when in his youth due to repeated infections as he couldnt clean it properly, and my husband has not had any problems with his, besides pain sometimes when the foreskin pulls during intercourse. There are much worse cases than these where men cannot even get an erection without pain.

      This is a medical reason to get a circumcision or small operation to widen the opening in the foreskin. This condition however will not be apparent at birth.

  25. My fiance and I have talked about what we would do if we had a son someday. I said since I didn’t have the equipment the decision was all his. He’s circumcised himself so his answer was that if we have a son he’d get him circumcised also.His reason was health and cleanliness.

    I can see where the “baby can’t consent” argument comes from and I had asthetic surgery myself as an infant. I was born with 6 fingers on each hand. It’s a trait from my mother’s side. But I also dont’ really see it as a convincing argument against human rights.

    I’m personally indifferent to the whole idea of male circumcision to be completely honest.

    • Did you miss the part about babies being strapped down, screaming and having it cut off with what amounts to a surgical hacksaw?

      • Frankly, people who want me to be against abortions describe them in the same sort of language.

        It’s hardly wise to be selectively influenced by such things. I think it’s better to just not be so easily swayed by emotional arguements. Appeals to emotion are basically all that I see presented when I read a post such as this one.

        Laci Green made a solid arguement and some fair points, and I think that using logical fallacies would only detract from that. If you want to support her then I think one should avoid such things.

    • I’m actually not sure on my opinion about your aesthetic surgery. On one side, one extra finger is a congenital defect, but on the other side it is not life threatening. Perhaps if you had been left with it you would have been teased at school and victimized by your classmates. However there are people who live all their lives with extra fingers. There are definite ethical points to think there.

      The difference is that the foreskin is not a congenital defect. All healthy males are born with one. Removing it definitively affects the sexual life of the adult, years down the road. Even if we ignore the nervous terminations, its removal causes hardening of the glans, so the sensitivity of the glans is muffled under layers keratine. Parents choosing to circumcise are choosing to reduce the spectrum of sexual sensations that their son will be able to experience in his adult life.

      That’s a big deal.

      Then, consider the risks. Approximately 1 in 25,000 circumcised neonates in the U.S. dies from complications or consequences of the operation. A number of babies lose part or their whole penis due to accidents or bad reactions to the surgery. Approximately 1 in 10 circumcised babies needs additional surgeries due to complications or deformation caused by a bad surgery.

      Considering that there are life threatening circumstances for the operation, these risks are serious. Someone who is going to take those risks should be able to decide whether the benefit is worth or not. The baby is not given that choice, so his rights are violated.

  26. This is true. It is called Phimosis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phimosis

    My partner, and one of his brothers (I don’t know about the other) have it. His brother had to have a circumcision when in his youth due to repeated infections as he couldnt clean it properly, and my husband has not had any problems with his, besides pain sometimes when the foreskin pulls during intercourse. There are much worse cases than these where men cannot even get an erection without pain.

    This is a medical reason to get a circumcision or small operation to widen the opening in the foreskin. This condition however will not be apparent at birth.

    • please remove this, it is a duplicate as i tried to reply to someone elses post, then it made me log in with the human verify thingy, then didnt post, then posted as a new comment instead….. that verify thingy is annoying, although I totally understand the need for it.

  27. Do you know what most dum as+ parents cant even drill into their skulls? When a male is born the skin is connected to the gland until the average age of 16. All guys have phimosis for the beginning stage of your life. They way it goes away is not naturally its by masturbating and stretching your skin by doing so. So because kids have no idea if there is something wrong with them and their doctors and 60% of the other kids around them our they think they are not normal. And leaned into mutilation by their american counterparts just spewing crap to hear them selves talk. And on top of that the most disturbing idea to me is this–> Imagine having the skin off face ripped off, that skin is (NOT Separated )when your born, they force it open, then crush it. They don’t use a scalpel they crush it off. Then guys have weird shi+ going on like bridges from the left overs of their foreskin to their gland. A baby who cant fend for its self is being put through a practice that is completely useless to be put in the sharpest pain known. Your not cutting off useless piece. They are cutting off your THUMB. What happens if your face gets burnt off in an accident. and you have no option because your dumb parents took it way of re-graphting a piece just a piece off that foreskin so your eyes don’t dry out and rot out of your dome. Its ok don’t worry you’ll be able to buy someone else’s for 20,000 at a hospital where the original was taken away. Does any other animal loose their sheath. And yet when a woman’s clitoris is mutilated in this country, well that’s a crime toward humanity! Why not just lop off the Kids MIDDLE finger shi+ he wont need that, that just promotes hate and violence and aids, and cancer. You should read who made the aids studies and who in their right mind believes that they had guys compared to other guys that were Uncut and got aids from their foreskin
    ? NO they didn’t humanity seems to have done just fine for thousands of years before some dumas5 decided to cut his families tips off. People are just stupid , just stop and chew that. Think. Who ever wrote the study down should be checked weather they are uncut , cut or not even a man. Because no one Uncut guy ever would even get such a stupid thought. Circumcisions where invented by religions to stop their kids from stretching their foreskins. If you don’t have one you cant stretch it. You don’t need to stretch chapt di-k . You will have to pay extra money in order to satisfy your self because you will need some kind of a slippery liquid which plain water does not correct. I honestly gave up on the topic because your should try it first before you send it back. Once its gone its gone, and it takes an awfully long time to try to stretch your self a new one. It wont matters anyway because the doctors PEELED YOUR SKIN WITH THE NERVES OFF YOUR SON. FYI only 15% of the world THE world is circumcised and its really only here because of of the way it looks.

  28. At university last year I was in a sort of feministy class (gender, culture, power) that discussed this topic. We had to choose a week to give a presentation about a topic and I chose to talk about genital mutilation… It was the most interesting to me because I don’t agree with male circumcision for infants. The disturbing part was when the whole class turned on me, and stopped listening as soon as I put my opinion out there.

    I actually used the circumcision pros and cons video as an introduction but it was disturbing how resistant the whole class was to hearing about the cons. I think all they wanted to do in the class was talk about how obviously wrong female circumcision is. The tutor wouldn’t even listen to my case. The even weirder part was the other class doing the same topic apparently had healthy discussions about their own opinions on circumcision without demonising anyone.

    Even me saying that there may be some cases where infant circumcision is appropriate as some people are born with defects that do need to be corrected for them to be heatlhy, they still got angry at me over the whole hygiene reasons. I’m pretty sure the readings even backed up my point of view and they were dismissed. It was interesting to see a class focusing the majority of its time to feminism was so unwilling to hear a different point of view.

    Anyway, my overall stance is, if a procedure is permanent and not for medical reasons the individual should be able to make the decision about their own bodies.

  29. Hi I’m a fourty five year old male and I was circumcised when I was fourty one……..I woud never endorse babies being cut for any reason bar some life threatening problem. For me I decided to get it done for both asthetic and pleasure reasons..(my forskin would actually roll up on it’s self during sex at times and give both me and my partner pain)..My forskin was also damaged a bit due to a sporting injury when I was in my twenties…….the scar tissue I think contributed to the loss of elasticity thus causing the roll up effect……I personally prefer the look of being cut and so does my wife……..I had whats called a loose circumcision where the remaining forskin sit just behind the head of the glans…….and yes the glans does loose sensitivity but that is offset by the gained sensitivty along the cut line. for me the main con is now What under garment I wear or going commando the glans can rub and get very uncomfortable with certain materials…..One of the pro’s for me is a great reduction in smegma and smell..which is very good for me as I’m a hunter..My wife says she feels no difference in regard to stimulation during sex so alls good there……….For me circumcision is for an adult to consider for them selves and not to foist upon children.

  30. As a new parent of a son born in San Francisco I am happy to see this new recserah being disseminated. The day I gave birth one of my recovery nurses reprimanded me for our decision to have our son circumcized. At the time, my husband was not in the room I was alone, hormonal, and lying on my back trying to defend our decision. I mentioned the WHO’s recommendation for circumcision (and why) but he (the nurse) seemed to have no clue and claimed that nobody circumcizes anymore. The nurse was not only completely out of line but also ill-informed.

    • Literally, this is the WHO’s recommendation:

      “WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.”

      “Male circumcision provides only partial protection, and therefore should be only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes:
      - the provision of HIV testing and counseling services;
      - treatment for sexually transmitted infections;
      - the promotion of safer sex practices;
      - the provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use.”

      Source: http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/malecircumcision/en/

      It applies to Africa as it only limits -BUT DOES NOT COMPLETELY PREVENT- female to male transmission. It does not limit any other form of contagion (male to male, male to female, intravenous, etc).

  31. Another argument I hear is “it’s better to do it now since he won’t remember”

    My counter is that it’s going to hurt just as much, but he won’t know what’s going on, so it will be a lot more frightening. And with less total blood volume, it’s (safe as it is) more dangerous for an infant. So, IF it’s going to be done, it should be done when the person can know what’s going on (preferably when they’re old enough to make their own choice). The “do it when they’re too young to remember” is backwards.

  32. http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/27/13460930-circumcision-benefits-outweigh-risks-but-parents-should-choose-pediatricians-say?lite&google_editors_picks=true

    Clearly there are health benefits to circumcision. Unlike most people that have comments, I have personally witnessed a circumcision (my son’s) and the last thing I would call it is “barbaric” or “cruel”. Physicians are able to do it with inflicting minimal to zero pain (my infant son didn’t cry once, which is incredible because he used to cry at even the slightest discomfort when he was an infant due to acid reflux). It heals extremely quickly. Lots of mis-information from Laci and her “supporters”, nearly all of whom have never even seen a circumcision performed by someone qualified to do so.

  33. Yesterday the AAP has updated their circumcision policy statement which states that “Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks” This policy statement comes nearly 9 months later than was projected. The AAP Circumcision Task Force had a very difficult time coming to this conclusion because even for them it’s very controversial. As a health care worker and scientist, I scrutinize medical field practices quite rigorously because in general I know of all the research that these kind of decisions are based on. There has been very few published studies that have done a reasonable job at quantifying the impact of circumcision on sexual functionality and satisfaction, mainly because psychological and sociological considerations are difficult to control for, when designing a test. This I am somewhat surprised that the task force was able to extrapolate enough good research to state that “Male circumcision does not appear to adversely affect penile sexual function/sensitivity or sexual satisfaction.” Circumcision may not adversely affect sexual satisfaction for most people, since satisfaction is an individuals interpretation of their own fulfillment, but I must strongly disagree with the first part of the statement because for a healthy penis, removing a functioning foreskin both removes sensitive tissue and removes a well functioning apparatus of the penis.

    “I am fully persuaded that when enlightened people will take the trouble to examine so minutely
    into the state of society as your inquiries seem to go, it must result in greatly ameliorating the
    condition of the people.” George Washington, 1793

  34. “but I must strongly disagree with the first part of the statement because for a healthy penis, removing a functioning foreskin both removes sensitive tissue and removes a well functioning apparatus of the penis.”

    Just because you are removing sensitive tissue, does not mean there is some overall effect on sensitivity or satisfaction, You are taking a fact and attempting to use it to support your predetermined conclusion, but in all honesty, you have no real understanding of the issue. I actually have personal experience in this area, and for my part, when my foreskin was removed and healed (it happened as an adult due to an infection), I noted no loss in senstitivity or satisfaction. In fact, I would say that my overall satisfaction was improved after the circumcision. Put simply, Sean, you do not know what you are talking about. If you are actrually a scientist, then I can’t believe thaty you are a very good one.

  35. In Australia, where I’m from, it has been banned for children under the age of 12 except for religious reasons. It’s a step in the right direction but I think it should be banned outright under something like 18 and religious belief shouldn’t factor in genital mutilation. When I was 12, I would have liked to have been circumcised because I thought it looked nicer and that was the kind of thing that I saw in porn, but now at 17, there is NO way I’d wanna lose a part of my penis, especially one that is filled with nerve endings.

  36. What about the fully grown men who were circumcised as babies and are happy about it?

    And as far as religion goes, passing up an opportunity for a safe and forgettable surgery could make a child feel like an outcast in his own community for the rest of his life.

  37. As an intact guy I have never had a problem with mine. To say men have to have it done so that the penis can be kept clean is a sham. To clean an intact penis is so easy you could teach a chimp. Also there is the thought that if Mother Nature put it there she must of had a reason to. There is nothing really bad about being intact other than you have to pay attention when doing up your jeans. Other than that there is nothing bad. I am in my mid twenties now and me and my foreskin are attached so to say. And forever it will stay that way.

  38. Just a thought but, in the US where medical procedures are paid for (and presumably doctors are paid per procedure) elective circumcision is high. In Europe where (generally) health care is paid for via taxes and doctors are essentially on a salary, circumcision is low. Most of the advice recommending circumcision would appear to come from the US medical establishment.

    To pin my colours to the mast (as it were) I am a cavalier (uncircumcised) although my son is a roundhead (circumcised). He was circumcised at 3 (along with another urological procedure) as he had lots of trouble passing urine thus causing lots of infections. Although it was necessary, both my wife and I deeply regret that it had to be done.

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