The Case For Female Circumcision

Esther - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 56 moms have responded )

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Let's go another round on the circumcision debate. I know we've done this a million times before on COMs but I thought the following column offered an interesting angle. Full disclosure - I personally chose not to have Lucas circumcized. It's not a common practice in Holland so had he been born there I wouldn't have even given it any thought. Since he was born in the US where it is a much more common thing to do, I did have to give it some thought, but decided that I didn't think the benefits outweighed the negatives (even almost) and I wasn't willing to subject my son to any kind of pain for cosmetic reasons. However, I'm not passionate about it like this writer seems to be. Anyway, here's the column:



The Case For Female Circumcision



People have so many compelling arguments for male circumcision, that I can't help but wonder why girls can't enjoy the same benefits! I'm not talking about sewing up the vagina or removing the clitoris or anything, but a little snip-snip could surely tidy things up!



If removing the foreskin of a boy helps keep his penis cleaner, then taking out the inner labia and clitoral hood could really do the same for girls! Girls have so much more to wash than boys do anyway, and we get way more infections. If less skin on a boy equals less infections, then it must work for girls too! Those little bits of skin don't have much feeling anyway. It would make diaper changes and baths so much easier. So much less space to get all gooey and dirty, now and for the rest of her life.



People see all that extra skin on a boy's penis, and say it looks gross. Well why don't girls get to have their extra skin tidied up?! Surely it would look much better, and I bet her future husband would appreciate how much nicer looking and cleaner it would be too. They could both enjoy oral sex without all the gunk that gets caught in the folds! Girls can get pretty smelly down there too, so why not help out with that?



A lot of parents worry about their sons looking different in the locker rooms, or different from their fathers. What if my daughter's labia is different than her friends or mine? That would be traumatizing to a girl too, I don't want her to be freaked out and made fun of! If we get all women and girls circumcised, then we can all look the same and not worry about it anymore.



AIDS and cancer are so prevalent these days, we really need to protect our kids in every way that we can. Removing extra skin on a boy helps these things, so why not try the same for girls! Why would it work for one and not the other? It would be SO worth it. You can't get cancer on a part of the body you don't have!



My husband was with a woman once who had long inner labia, and he said it was SO gross looking and smelling, and she got infections all the time. I would hate for my daughters to grow up and experience that embarrassment. I would be doing them SUCH a favor by doing it now when they can't feel it, rather than them having all this trouble later in life and having to get trimmed! My girls would really hate me if the knew I could have prevented such a thing, and didn't take the chance. I know my girls would really thank me for making their lives so much easier, and giving them a nice clean look down there too.



There are so many benefits for circumcision, why shouldn't it be the same for girls too? Why are they left out? Boys and girls should be equal. I am the parent, and if I think it would be good for my child, I should have the right to do it! People might judge me, but so what? If I'm doing what is best for my kids, then other people can just screw off!



Why didn't anyone think of this before?! I am a mutha effin GENIUS!!!



NOT.



You didn't think I was that big of a dunce did you?



Seriously now, NONE of the above reasons would be good enough for a parent to allow a knife to be taken to their daughter's genitals in ANY way. Why are these same excuses allowed to pass as justification of male circumcision? As far as we have supposedly come in this society, why is this sexism and mutilation still tolerated? Why aren't more women going all mama bear on people's asses for this?! Why aren't more men standing up and demanding the rights and protection they and their sons deserve?! The public would be in an absolute uproar if a parent wanted to so much as put a paper cut in their daughter's pants! Why do baby boys have less rights? Why are they considered to be lesser beings? There should be NO gender specification on genital mutilation. Either it is wrong for ALL people, or it is okay for all people (and God help us if you agree with the latter). If a girl grows up and wants to have her genitals cosmetically altered, it can be her choice then, in adulthood, when she can make an informed decision for herself. A parent shouldn't have the right to make that choice for her, something that can't be undone, and the same should be true for boys.



You can say the penis is "dirty". I say if that is true, then the vulva is far more so, but we don't go cutting those up. Shall we remove the anus too? That sure is dirty!



You say the foreskin may become diseased or infected, so it should be removed. Let's apply this "logic" to other parts of the body. Shall we remove all girl's breasts because they MIGHT have a problem? Shall we pull all teeth because they might get cavities? Our skin can get cancer, better do away with that! Oh, and heart disease, take that thing right out! Dang ears and all those infections, just get rid of them. ANY part of the human body can have a problem, but we don't go removing them when they are perfectly fine. IF a problem arises, we treat it then, and we treat it reasonably. Amputation is a last resort when all else has failed. If we removed at birth every part of the body that might have an issue at some point in one's life, we would have no baby left.



You say an intact penis is ugly. I say you're a pervert for looking at your perfect little son that way, and having such a strong reaction that you'd want to hack him up just to please yourself. And once again, if a parent found their girl's genitals so ugly that they wanted to have them cut, they'd be thrown in prison, so it shouldn't be okay for a parent to do to their son.



You say it might prevent STDs. I say that is what condoms and responsible sex are for, and we wouldn't cut girls to reduce their risk. We'd tell them to be smart about choosing partners and protection. Boys are just as capable of those things.



You may have a ton of other reasons for cutting a boy, but none of them would hold water if the child in question were a girl, so that would either make you a raging sexist, or a moron. Perhaps both.



If you've just never THOUGHT about circumcision, I encourage you to. Many people are still uneducated about the realities of male genital mutilation masquerading as a "simple and beneficial medical procedure". I ask you to open your mind to learning and considering that what you may think you know now could be mythical. More and more parents are becoming educated, and circumcision rates have plummeted to 50% nationwide (USA), and they continue to drop! You can find out what they know that you may not. Learn before you decide. You son will THANK you someday.



An excellent resource that will answer any questions you may have:



http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-f...



As for female circumcision vs. male, YES they are comparable. Some forms are extreme, but they were not discussed here. Other forms are equal or even less severe than male circumcision. Regardless of severity, they are ALL wrong, female AND male. No need to even specify a gender. Genital mutilation is genital mutilation.





Source: http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/2010...

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Krista - posted on 03/11/2010

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Yeah. I'm not going to denigrate your faith, but that just makes absolutely no sense to me.

"I believe in you, Lord. And to prove it, I'm going to lop off the end of somebody else's wiener!"

Maybe it made more sense in the original Aramaic...

But I have a feeling it's one of those traditions that people just do, without really having any clue why they're doing it. Sort of like those old family feuds: "We hate the McConnells!" "Why?" "I don't know son, but we always have!"

Charlie - posted on 02/28/2010

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Its more than just a piece of skin , the foreskin actually has a vital role in the maintinece of the head , its sensitivity and the natural cleansers produced under the foreskin that once removed no longer function and decrease sensitivity by a large amount .



As for men not being satisfied with a circumcision , there are quiet a few cases of men suing the doctors who performed the surgery on them as children with quiet succesfull outcomes and large payouts and now that almost all cases of this manner have been won more and more men are coming forward to get some sort of justice , we all teach our children that our bodies are our own , that they are private and that as our only vessle to carry us through life it is our responsibility and yet many go ahead without consent or permission and make permenant , life long changes to a body that is not ours .



My reasons for not getting my son Circed .

. its nothing more than cosmetic surgery

. 82% of the world’s living men are intact. Few people are aware of the fact that circumcision was introduced to our culture in an attempt to eliminate masturbation.

.UTI'S are most often caused by factors totally unrelated to the foreskin. The Wiswell study fails to point this out. “60% of children with UTIs have anatomic abnormalities in their urinary tracts. UTIs are significantly more common in girls.” [Urinary] “UTIs are rarely seen in boys and young men.” does that mean we should circumcise girls as well ?



.The U.S. has the highest population of circumcised males in the industrialized world. The U.S. also has one of the highest rates of STDs. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that “circumcision does not lead to lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases." In fact: “Circumcised men appeared ‘slightly more likely’ to contract a sexually transmitted disease during their lifetime.” In the survey of 1400 men, “circumcised men reported several cases of the bacterial infection called chlamydia, while the disease did not occur at all among the uncircumcised men. Circumcised men “who had 20 or more sex partners had more than twice the risk of bacterial or viral infections -- most often gonorrhea -- compared to uncircumcised men.”



It is documented that circumcised adult males exhibit a greater tendency to engage in risky sexual behavior,

more risky sexual behavior amongst circumcised men in the United States and have higher rates of STDs it is reported more variability in sexual behavior, less condom usage, and more STD amongst the predominantly circumcised population of the United States as compared with the predominantly non-circumcised intact males of the United Kingdom

.There are women who claim to sexually prefer a circumcised penis. What they may not realize is that there are sexual advantages to remaining intact such as increased sensitivity , A group of doctors headed by Dr. John R. Taylor at the University of Manitoba discovered that the small sheath of foreskin tissue removed during circumcision is filled with extremely sensitive nerve endings and mucus membrane cells this sensitivity is greatly reduced when the foreskin is removed .

. no chopping off your child's foreskin will not make him look more like daddy , hey if daddy breaks his nose are you going to break your baby boys nose so they look the same ?

and really how much of their time is spent looking at their fathers penis .

.No National Medical Association recommends circumcision .

. One study was conducted that followed circumcised boys beyond the immediate post-operative period. It concluded that complications occurred at an alarming rate of 55%, The glans is no longer protected by it's jacket -- the foreskin. The raw wound is exposed to fecal material and ammonia in urine. “Infection occurs after circumcision in up to 10% of patients.”



.it is NOT hard to use soap and warm water and to teach personal hygiene , People mistakenly believe the circumcised penis is cleaner. The myth that the penis with a foreskin is difficult to clean is exactly that -- a myth. Cleaning is so simple, it’s amazing that people fret so much about it. The big hoopla over hygiene is pure and unnecessary paranoia.



. .Teach your child about protection eg:condoms , safe sex

And most important bodily integrity , the rights to ownership over ones own body , i always hear " oh well its personal choice " really ? i dont see any baby making the decision to permanently remove part of their own body , i do see other people making the decision for them that is not a personal choice and many men have successfully sued the doctors who removed their foreskin at birth without consent



The WHO Proposed recommendation is for those in countries with high rates of HIV infection and not for the entire population of males .

For those who live in countries where HIV is not a major issue discussion and education in regards to safe sex practices is all that is needed .



HIV/AIDS Department in WHO. "Countries with high rates of heterosexual HIV infection and low rates of male circumcision now have an additional intervention which can reduce the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men. Scaling up male circumcision in such countries will result in immediate benefit to individuals. However, it will be a number of years before we can expect to see an impact on the epidemic from such investment."



Countries for this recommendation from WHO are as follows :Kisumu, Kenya; Rakai District, Uganda,and Orange Farm, South Africa .



Again sex eduaction is key to avoiding the need to circumcise .

[deleted account]

Personally myself i think its babrbaric unless its done for a medical reason. Anyone who does it because of their religion is hiding behind it. My personal opinion is that all religious people are using religion to not take responsibilty for their own lives and the decisions they make. Time to grow up and say i mutilated my son because i wanted to.

Krista - posted on 03/11/2010

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I've never understood that whole religious thing about circumcision. Isn't the whole idea that God is infallible? And God created man in his image, right? So, it stands to reason that man, in his natural state, is the way that God wanted him to be. So why circumcise? Do the religious think that God made a mistake when he designed peckers? It just seems weird to me.

Amie - posted on 02/26/2010

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Ok so I've went and looked up these studies. How many of you know the vast majority of them are taking place in Africa or based off of findings done in Africa? (Yes even the recommendations being put forth by American doctors.)

Of the 40 some million infected in this world the vast majority (25 plus million) are located IN Africa. Now circumcision has not been routinely practiced there but there is also their education levels, sanitary conditions, etc. to consider.

Erin also brings up a good point. If circumcision **is** such a preventative, then why are HIV stats still rising in America where circumcision is routinely practiced? More so than any other country. /:) Makes you wonder.....

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Lea - posted on 03/13/2010

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Excuse me but I don't think there enough of a good reason to circumsize boys either! We need to be teaching our children that they should accept themselves as beautiful THE WAY THEY ARE not encouraging them to have cosmetic surgery on their privates no less!!! WHY??? ....oh now i see this was a sarcastic piece! hahahahaha!

Lisamarie - posted on 03/12/2010

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Krista, agree with 100%! Makes no sense to me either! I'm not sure which religion this is based on but my nan is devout catholic, goes to church every day, has holy water in her house and she is the most AMAZING woman you'd ever meet but I her childen were not circumcised (that I know of) and it has never even been a question in our family, as I stated before I live in England and it's not "common place" so it is a bit different.
But for me, none of the arguments for circumcision have any basis and no disrespect to ANY religion but Krista hit it on head when she said about God making man the way he is, why change it???

Kylie - posted on 03/12/2010

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Yeh that disturbs me more than the cleanliness/std argument. Would you chop off part of your own genitals to profess your faith? The foreskin has an important function just as important as eyelids or nails.. if it wasn't needed then males wouldn't be born with it. How can you read the factual info in loureen's post and then willing deny your sons an intact penis just to profess faith. I'm sure if they could speak they'd tell you a sprinkle of holy water works for me mum!

Veronica - posted on 03/11/2010

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Circumcision - for us - is like baptism. Its a profession of our faith in God. Period.

It originally was done as a covenant between man and God through Abraham (in the Old testament) - however, at the point of the New Test. - it seems to me that it is more about faith in the Lord, than just the act of skin removal (circ.)

Im not sure how else to explain this...

Veronica - posted on 03/11/2010

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I dont think we are hiding behind anything Susanne - and Im not going to argue this - there is a whole vast part of this - and its not worth a religious fight/debate about it either. If its something you aren't practicing in your life/faith,etc. - that is your choice to make. This is the choice we have made - and we felt very much like we did the right thing. And like I stated - we didn't do it to 'get our kids in to heaven -- I really do not believe that getting circumcision done makes the boy any more holy - or special or anything in that type of sense. There is more to it, for us - than anyone who isnt doing it for a spiritual purpose, would understand, and I will rest my case here.

Rosie - posted on 03/11/2010

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it actually does say that in leviticus susanne. i believe it goes something like on the 8th day all male newborns should be circumcised- something like that anyway. i chose not to mention it cause i find religion irrelevant when it comes to my parenting choices. (not to say that it's bad for someone else to find it very relevant when making their parenting choices.)

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

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I am all against circumcision for cosmetic reason's.... but having said that, there are some cultures that perform ceromonies on young boys often pre-teens, and perform unsterile unmedicated circumision's. My ex came for a country with these practises and we said, that if we ever had a son, we would have him circumised here, as a baby with pain medication, a qualified doctor and sterile equiptment to make sure that if we ever went to that country, or if our son went as an adult the procedure couldn't be done on him there ! Luckily for me we never had kids and we broke up ! But I would like to take a knife to his bits.... hehehe that would teach him !

[deleted account]

Does it say in the bible we must chop parts of our childrens penis off to make them more holy then? Or is it just hiding behind faith?

Veronica - posted on 03/10/2010

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As much as this article gave me a different perspective -- Im still for circumcision- and have my three boys done, and will be getting my newborn's done when I have him.



HOWEVER, we have chosen to circ. because of what we believe in our faith. And we dont just get it lopped off in hopes that our sons will go to heaven or anything like that -- its a personal step for us - spiritually, and will then be taught to our boys' as well- as what it means in our faith.

As for cosmetics/looks/hygiene - we never really looked at it that way before -- and i guess i personally never thought of it before -- i mean ive seen an uncirc. before - but didnt sit there and compare and put them in a beauty contest! hehehehe



I do not feel it was mutilation - and I dont think my boys are going to come to me and cause an uproar about it either.



My moral obligation is to my Lord - and in my faith, I feel that we made the right moral decision for our son's in His eyes. That is for us to to have the decision on - not science, not women, not anyone else.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/10/2010

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I am so anti-circ! I live in England where it is not "common practice" and I think even if I lived in a country where it was, I would still be against it.

Firstly, circumcision is plastic surgery! How can anyone look at their childs body and say "ooh, that's ugly!" How are our children supposed to learn to love themselves and be happy in their own skin, when you are taking it away before they even have a chance???

Secondly, do people not teach their children how to wash these days?? Honestly, hygeine reasons?? Common sense people!!

No, men aren't wearing condoms because they are being told stupid things like it's OK, you're circumcised, protects against HIV and STD's!! Schools do not teach children enough sex education and it is our jobs as parents to guide them and teach them what's right and wrong, not circumcising and hoping for the best!

I am curious to know how people who have their children circumcised would get their babies ears peirced?

[deleted account]

I think I've said it before on these forums, but my name for circumcision is Male Genital Mutilation!

[deleted account]

A penis looks funny whether circumcised or not ... I've seen both up close and personal ... both funny looking!

I wouldn't rely on a circumcision to keep my boys safe from STIs and STDs. If thats a persons entire reasoning then isn't that just encouraging promiscuity without educating on the importance of safe sex? Maybe thats why the US is facing such high rates of STDs because a large part of the circumsized population think they are safe!

[deleted account]

The way I see it, if we weren't ment to have them, we wouldn't be born with them.
I'm leaving this desicion up to my son.
I know my step father was dissapointed that his parents had him circumsized, he refused to have my brother done.

Rosie - posted on 02/27/2010

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ok so i thought i was done LOL!! but i have one more thought about erins question and gillians response.



another reason why hiv is growing in numbers in the us, could be attributed to MUCH better medical technology and making it so that ALOT more people are living with the disease instead of dying from it, adding to the population. another reason could be that back in the day when hiv was first discovered it was attributed to be more of a homosexual disease, so the main target group of teaching aids awareness to was the homosexual population. the stigma that it was a gay disease led to more heterosexual people becoming infected so in turn more and more women in the us are being infected from heterosexual sex-another reason why hiv is growing in the us.



as for gillians statement about why on earth would a little flap of skin make a difference in getting aids. because the foreskin creates a moist environment in which HIV can survive for longer in contact with the most delicate parts of the penis, and the inner surface of the foreskin contains cells that are especially vulnerable to infection by HIV. Removing the foreskin also means that the skin on the head of the penis tends to become tougher and more resistant to infection. In addition, any small tears in the foreskin that occur during sex make it much easier for the virus to enter the body.



ok, so i'm pretty sure i'm done!! :)

Isobel - posted on 02/26/2010

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I think it's because (up to this point) the wealthiest, most educated cultures in the world have considered circumcision common place...so when you compare the numbers of AIDS infections the highest numbers turn up in cultures where they do not circumcise (an argument could be made that it is not the circumcision but the education and financial contributions that lower the numbers)

I don't think they will ever be able to conclusively prove the AIDS argument one way or another; it's kinda like letting pregnant women drink various amounts of liquor to find out where the limit is...nobody's really willing to take the chance in order to prove a point.

Rosie - posted on 02/26/2010

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i knew that from reading the report that they were performed in africa. did you also see the paragraphs about the ones performed in the united states had a similar outcome? and it did say that everything was taken under consideration in the studys in africa.



as for erin's point, the only reason i can think of is that most of the population with hiv in america is gay, or an intravenous drug user. these findings about circumcision havn't been founded to prevent the spread of hiv in homosexual sex, just heterosexual. it's usually the "taker" (sorry if that was too blunt) that gets the infection from the other person when you're talking about males. as for intravenous drug users, that's obvious-they aren't getting it from sex.



i find these statistics to be too overwhelming to ignore:



Lack of circumcision:

• Is responsible for a 12-fold higher risk of urinary tract infections in infancy. Risk = 1 in 20 to 1 in 50 for uncircumcised infants and 1 in 200 to 1 in 500 for circumcised infants. Higher risk of UTI at older ages as well. Overall lifetime cumulative prevalence of UTI = 1 in 3 for uncircumcised males compared with 1 in 20 for circumcised males, respectively.



• Confers a higher risk of death in the first year of life (from complications of urinary tract infections: namely kidney failure, meningitis and infection of bone marrow).



• One in ~400–900 uncircumcised men will get cancer of the penis, which occurs more than 20 times more commonly in uncircumcised men. A quarter of these will die from it and the rest will require complete or partial penile amputation as a result. (In contrast, invasive penile cancer never occurs or is extraordinarily rare in men circumcised at birth.) (Data from studies in the USA, Denmark and Australia, which are not to be confused with the often quoted, but misleading, annual incidence figure of 1 in 100,000).



• Higher risk of prostate cancer (50–100% higher in uncircumcised men)



• Is associated with 3-fold higher risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. This includes balanitis (inflammation of the glans), posthitis (inflammation of the foreskin), balanoposthitis (inflammation of glans and foreskin), phimosis (inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (constriction of the penis by a tight foreskin that will not return after retraction). Up to 18% of uncircumcised boys will develop one of these by 8 years of age, whereas all are unknown or much rarer in the circumcised. Risk of balanoposthitis = 1 in 6. Obstruction to urine flow = 1 in 10–50. Risk of these is even higher in diabetic men.



• Means increased risk of problems that may necessitate 1 in 10 older children and men requiring circumcision later in life, when the cost is 10 times higher, the procedure is less convenient, and the cosmetic result can be lesser, as stitches or tissue glue are required, as compared with circumcisions done in infancy.



• Increases by 2–4 fold the risk of thrush and sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes (HSV-2), syphilis, chancroid, Trichomonas vaginalis and thrush.



• Is the biggest risk factor for heterosexually-acquired AIDS virus infection in men. 2 to 8-times higher risk by itself, and even higher when lesions from STIs are added in. Risk per exposure = 1 in 300.



• In the female partners of uncircumcised men lack of male circumcision is associated with an up to 5 fold higher incidence of cervical cancer (caused by sexually transmitted HPV), genital herpes, Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis (formerly called “Gardnerella”), and possibly Chlamydia (which is a cause of pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility from blockage of fallopian tubes, and ectopic pregnancy).



as for comparing female circumcision to male circumcision. i simply cannot parralell the 2. part of that is because of social norm, the other part is that IT HAS NO HEALTH BENEFITS. that's why it's not recommended and that's why it's not a social norm.



so far the only good reason i've seen for not circumcising is not having the child consent to it. it is a valid point, but when circumcising as an infant has more benefits, than when done later in life, i find that argument to be dismissed (at least in my case).



it's hard to be objective when i see something so clearly. it's kindof like vaccinations for me. no matter how many times someone tries to tell me i'm poisoning my child with these horrible vaccines that may or may not prevent them from getting sick, i cannot get over the fact that by not giving them a vaccine they may contract an illness. just like i am sure that it's hard for you guys to be objective when you guys feel so strongly on an issue. we're talking about our kids, and how we choose to raise them and what choices we make for them. i know what statistics prove for breastfeeding, and i chose to bottle feed. i did at least try to breastfeed though, but as a parent i decided what was best for my boys, and i thought bottle feeding was the best. i've enjoyed the debate guys, but i think i'm done.:) nobody's mind is going to be changed. have a great night ladies!!!

Erin - posted on 02/26/2010

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if the cdc and aap do end up recommending circumcision, i'm curious would you get it done? i find the cdc and aap to be very credible sources, with the opinions of many professionals. i didn't find the article with one doctor denouncing circumcision more than an opinion.




Nope. No way. Nothing short of a real, current, medical issue would make me cut a baby boy. Why would I see a perfectly healthy little person, and decide to remove a part of him? That is where, in my mind, there is an inequality on this issue. Imagine looking at a healthy newborn baby girl and thinking, "Wow I'm not sure I like the look of that, it doesn't look exactly like mine and it MIGHT get infected at some point down the road so how about we just cut it off?"....



Edited to add:

All the statistics about HIV transmission really don't mean much when you consider the point made in my PP. If circumcising boys really prevented it, why are the rates of infection still so high in the US, where so many boys are still being circumcised?

Rosie - posted on 02/26/2010

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in reference to the aesthetic benefits remark that i had made. i will have to agree with you on that one. it is in our society as a whole, (at least in the us) that uncircumsised penises look "funny". i have yet to see an uncircumcised penis in real life, not just in pictures, so when i see something that much i tend to think that is "normal", so yes, an uncircumcised penis does look funny to me, and it was part of my consideration for having my son circumcised. from what i've gathered on here, it is not a common practice in the UK so i'm sure that a circumcised penis looks funny to them, and other societies where it's not practiced.

did anybody read the link that i put up? i just don't understand why the cdc would be considering recommending it if it wasn't in the best interest of the child, especially with the newer findings with HIV. the report, gave the pro's and cons of each study done, and seemed very fair and balanced to me. the only con it stated was the risk of bleeding and infection of circumcised penis which had no long term effects. the debate about whether ,in general, there is decreased sensitivity (and obviously this is not every male, as esther has pointed out with her husband) is still up in the air, therefore not proven to be a likely side effect of circumcision. there were virtually no men with penile cancer in these studies that were circumcised. and studies done show that uncircumcised males had a 41% higher chance of HIV, those who were in higher risk catagories had a 71% higher chance of HIV.

if the cdc and aap do end up recommending circumcision, i'm curious would you get it done? i find the cdc and aap to be very credible sources, with the opinions of many professionals. i didn't find the article with one doctor denouncing circumcision more than an opinion.

Lady - posted on 02/26/2010

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quoting Dana;
Yes, that's what the lady says too isn't that what condoms are for....Obviously not everyone is using them as it is. Still can anyone say for sure that it doesn't make it easier to pass along diseases?

Why on earth would a little flap of skin make it easier to pass on a disease that is trasmited through bodily fluids? Think about the question and there's your answer.

Erin - posted on 02/26/2010

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Kati Brown

12:10 pm

dana, look at the cdc's website for your answer. the answer is no, in fact they are thinking of actually recommending circumcision.




Actually, I just tonight read an article by Dr Christiane Northrup that makes a great point in why circumcision does not prevent the spread of HIV or other STDs:



"The United States has high rates of HIV and the highest rate of circumcision in the West. The "experiment" of using circumcision to stem HIV infection has been running here for decades. It has failed miserably. Why do countries such as New Zealand, where they abandoned infant circumcision 50 years ago, or European countries, where circumcision is rare, have such low rates of HIV?"



This same doctor, who herself has performed hundreds of circs, is vehemently opposed to both the CDC and AAP's plan to recommend circumcision.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christiane...

Krista - posted on 02/25/2010

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Actually, my husband is quite displeased that he was circumcised, and was very adamant about not doing it to our son -- fortunately I was in agreement.

There are drawbacks to circumcision -- evidently it does make the penis less sensitive. So quite a few men who have been circumcised cannot help but wonder what they are missing.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "aesthetic benefits". Is this in reference to the idea that uncut penises are funny-looking? You know, normal-sized feet for women were once considered funny-looking in China. Just because something is considered aesthetically popular, that does not mean that it is actually nicer-looking. Uncut penises are probably only considered funny-looking because they're still relatively unusual in our part of the world. It's strange -- we always talk about fighting societal expectations of beauty when it comes to our daughters, but we completely buy into it with our boys, and surgically alter their genitals to fit into some completely arbitrary notion of what is attractive.

Rosie - posted on 02/25/2010

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loureen,i get how you can feel that way, but to me i don't relate cutting away a little piece of skin the same as taking off an entire organ or body part. like i said before i don't know of ANY male that is upset with their parents for circumcising them, in fact they were grateful. they still have their penis, and it works just fine. now if we were to be cutting OFF the WHOLE penis, that would be a different story, i just don't see the correlation between a simple medical procedure with medical, and astheic benefits and completely cutting off something that a human needs or wants like an eye, or breast.

Charlie - posted on 02/25/2010

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But girls are more likely to get breast cancer than boys are to ever receive an infection in their penis that required amputation , should we not then perform double mastectomies on girls at puberty instead of circumcising them or boys for that matter ?

But yes i get what you are saying about practice not being the only deciding factor :)

Rosie - posted on 02/25/2010

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as i stated before that's not the only reason that i would get it done. what i'm trying to say (and not having very much luck at it, lol!!) is that because it's not a widely practiced thing, it has never crossed my mind to give a female a "circumcision". since it is a widely practiced thing to do with a male of course it has crossed my mind, and then we weighed the benefits and decided to do it. appearance isn't the only reason that we had it done, but it is one of the reasons. but if there weren't health benefits to it, i highly doubt that we would've had it done.
as for the point that krista brought up that why would i do it just on the off chance that he might get an infection down the road. it's the same reason that i give for vaccination. sure they might not get an illness in their life, but why not make it a litle bit harder for that to happen?

Charlie - posted on 02/24/2010

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As most of you know i am completely against the amputation and mutilation of another persons body without medical need or consent from the owner .

Kati , i am a little disturbed that you would consider female circ if it were widely practiced it sounds a little like a sheep following the herd to the slaughter would you also consider removal of your childs eyeballs if it were widely practiced , what about removal of an an arm for aesthetics ??

Dana - posted on 02/24/2010

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Yes, that's what the lady says too isn't that what condoms are for....Obviously not everyone is using them as it is. Still can anyone say for sure that it doesn't make it easier to pass along diseases?

Krista - posted on 02/24/2010

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I'm curious if everyone that is anti-circumcison is *sure* that it isn't easier to pass along STD's or AIDS.

Isn't that what condoms are for? If condoms aren't being used, then I can't see how the lack of a foreskin is going to provide enough protection to really make a difference.

Krista - posted on 02/24/2010

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I chose not to circumcise, as most of you already know. And if a parent does their homework, and if there are medical considerations (like in Joy's case), or if they've done the research, really looked at what the process entails, and gone into it with eyes wide open, I'm not going to battle them.

But the ones who do it because they want their kid's wang to look like his dad's? Or because they think it might get infected down the road? Or because they think that other boys in the locker room will make fun of them? Yeah...at that point I'll register my disapproval, because in those cases, they're getting part of their kid's penis cut off for superficial reasons, which is ridiculous.

Dana - posted on 02/24/2010

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I'm curious if everyone that is anti-circumcison is *sure* that it isn't easier to pass along STD's or AIDS.

Amie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Jonathan is intact. The numbers on baby boys that do get it done have been falling in Canada for quite some time. The national average was sitting at 31% back in 2003. Depending on the province some are as high as 44%, some as low as 6%. When it became listed as a cosmetic procedure and funding for it pulled, it didn't really affect the numbers. Families just pay for it now.



It really is not necessary in most cases. Where there's a medical need, that's one thing... it has nothing to do with what the lady in this article is talking about. I don't see why anyone (no matter how anti circ they may be) would have an issue with a medical need for it. I see the parallel the lady is trying to make, I agree with it. It comes down to personal hygiene in normal circumstances. A woman can get very gross and have numerous infections if they don't take care of themselves (more so than normal I mean). Just as men do, regardless of whether they are circ'd or not.



An intact boy is no harder to take care of than a circ'd boy. The thing I've seen around CoM's that infuriates me is moms thinking you need to pull back the foreskin to clean their penises. You should **never*** do this. The foreskin is attached to the glans (the head) of the penis and slowly becomes unattached as the years go on, by the end of puberty the foreskin is usually fully unattached and can be pulled back then. Of course by then, mommy or daddy isn't cleaning him either. =S A simple wipe of the tip is sufficient to clean a baby boy.

Dana - posted on 02/24/2010

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I think the lady is crazy, slightly extreme. I don't think anyone who's penis is or is not circumcised is weird. I don't give two shits about how it looks. So I don't agree with the whole "the US does it because that's what's normal" I'm not sure what I'd do. Ethan's was done for medical reasons. I'm still on the fence because of the findings with AIDS and STDs

As far as her comparison to women getting it done. I blew her off as soon as she started talking about the labia being dirty (I did finish the article). It keeps your vagina clean. So to me, although she's not serious, that just ruined her whole argument. I understand about being passionate but she makes it seem like babies who have it done are freaks, makes me feel great about MY son.

JL - posted on 02/24/2010

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My son had a circumcision and we decided to do it based on medical reasons no asthetic, or because that is what is common in the US or so his penis would like his daddies. There were herediatory medical conditions we took into consideration in making our decision. If my daughter was facing the same herediatory medical conditions that would result in infections and other issues for her later in life then I would have had her circumcised as well. I get the point of the OP and the article makes sense but I wish it would have talked more about how some people make the circumcision decision based on researched medical reasons.

[deleted account]

It shows a big cultural difference between the UK and the US. As far as I'm aware, circumcision has never been a trend in the UK.

My brother was circumsized as an infant, not for astetic reasons but due to numerous infections in the first few months of his life. My Dad still feel guilt over cutting away part of his son, even despite being medical reasoning behind it.

If I had a daughter and she had a medical reason for female circumcision, I would absolutely take that action as I would with either of my boys if there was a medical need. I wouldn't do any sort of procedure on my children if it wasn't totally necessary.

Sarah - posted on 02/24/2010

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What a great article!!
I'm VERY anti circumcision. I think it's utterly pointless.
It's not widely practised here in the UK and men's penises aren't falling off left, right and centre!

I totally agree with all the points Erin has brought up.

Also, a question........in the US do the doctors who preform the circumcisions get paid for doing them???? If so, do we think that may be why they're more widely practised than in other countries? :)

Erin - posted on 02/23/2010

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So because it's 'widely practiced' it's right? That argument is distinctly flawed I'm afraid. Sleeping babies on their tummies used to be 'widely practiced'. Not using child restraints in cars used to be 'widely practiced'. And FGM (female genital mutilation, which is different to the form of female circumcision the author is referring to) still IS 'widely practiced' in some parts of the world. Doesn't make any of them right.

The correlation the OP is drawing between male and female circumcision is that the 'reasons' most people give for having a baby boy done would be shot down in flames if talking about circumcising a girl. A woman doesn't like the look of an uncirc'd penis because she finds BJs gross (yes this was a thread on COM some time ago), so gets her son done. Many people just accept that as a valid reason. Imagine if a father decided he didn't like the look of a vagina with large flaps, so he wanted to circumcise his daughter?!?!?! People would be outraged.

Rosie - posted on 02/23/2010

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yup. like it or not circumcision is mostly done because it is a widely practiced thing in the us. and it is widely done because of the benefits for health& appearance. if female "circumcision" was considered more healthy, and more woman had it done why would i think any differently about it than i do for my sons?

obviously our life experiences have led us to make different decisions regarding our children. if i had known anybody that was pissed about a circumcision i'm sure i would've weighed my options a little bit more(and trust me i did weigh them), but the case is that i don't, so i have no issues with it. my husband definitely has plenty of sensation, too much actually. i've always thought an uncircumcised penis looks bigger, but obviously i'd never seen the before and after pictures so i can't quite comment on that part.

Erin - posted on 02/23/2010

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Really Kati? Being 'widely practiced' would be enough to convince you to circumcise a daughter? I can't imagine basing the choice to circumcise ANYONE on popular opinion. That seems ludicrous to me.

And I do actually know several men who are unhappy with their circumcisions. The main issue they have is resentment towards the fact they had no say in the matter - that someone hacked into their penis without their permission. That, and the loss of sensation and appearance of 'length'.

Rosie - posted on 02/23/2010

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while i do understand what you posted and i agree somewhat, i don't feel i did anything horrible to my son and will glady stand by my decision to have all 3 of my sons circumcised. the fact that it IS common in the united states made me not even think more than twice about having my first son done. and after he was done and saw that he was not in any more pain than him getting a shot, i had no qualms about getting my other 2 done. they do use local anesthesia, and they were in and out in five minutes, no crying involved.
as for female "circumcision" if it was a widely practiced thing in the US i doubt that i'd have two thoughts about that either. but beings as it's not, it's never even crossed my mind. i would have to look up statistics, but i hardly believe that cutting up womens genitals would have any more benefits against infection. infections are in the warm, gooey innards of the vagina, not on the labia (as far as i've experienced, and heard of).

my husband has never once questioned why his parents chose to have him circumcised, and i know of NO man who ever has. the day my son comes to me and tells me that i was wrong, is the ONLY day i will regret the choice to have him circumcised, and i am 99% sure that day will never happen.

Erin - posted on 02/23/2010

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I am vehemently anti-circ, and have posted as such on what feels like 7415654 different threads on COMs lol. My 26 year old brother is not done, and that was at about the stage when it fell out of favour with the medical community and parents here in Australia. Now, 10-20% of baby boys are circumcised.

So taking that cultural background into consideration, I completely understand the point this author is trying to make, and agree with it 100%. I agree with Esther in that the form of female circumcision she is referring to is not the extreme version practiced in mud hats in Africa (which I would refer to as female mutilation, where the prime motivation is to inhibit sexual pleasure). Rather, she is drawing a parallel between parents choosing to have a cosmetic procedure (which is how it is categorised here in Aus) performed on their infant, girl or boy, and the fact that the 'reasons' a lot of people give for having their boys circ'd seem ridiculous when applied to girls.

Sara - posted on 02/23/2010

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For the record, when you say not to ask about a freak penis accident, it begs for the person to ask "What happened???"...though I totally understand why you don't want to share info like that on a public internet forum! :)

I will say that I lean towards never having a son, should I have one, circumsized. COMs has converted me.

Esther - posted on 02/23/2010

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Well, Bjorn got circumcized as an adult but it was for a medical reason (a freak accident - don't ask). He's gotten used to it after a few years (it's been about 3 years) but he was VERY unhappy with it at first. And it definitely did diminish sensation for him. I think a very large part of it at least in the US was "fitting in" so to speak but the numbers of circumcized men has gone down pretty significantly. According to my pediatrician (at least in her practice) it's about 50/50 now so that argument is losing some of it's significance. And as women get used to seeing uncircumcized penises the "women prefer it" argument will also lose steam.

Sara - posted on 02/23/2010

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Yes, I can see that Esther. But I wonder...I have known 2 men who were not circumsized as babies who got circumsized as adults, and I wonder why they would chose that. I mean, it's up to them and if they want to do it, that is their choice and it's far different from making that choice for yourself instead of your parents making it for you. I just wonder why if it is supposed to diminish sensation during sex, why someone would do it.



As far the female procedure you describe, again, if a woman choses to do that for herself, it's one thing. The practice of female circumcison most popular from what I understand is pretty drastic.

Esther - posted on 02/23/2010

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I agree Sara and I don't think the writer is comparing male circumcision to the kind of female circumcision you describe where the clitoris is removed etc. She's comparing it specifically to a more limited version where the labia is trimmed and the clitoral hood alone is removed. This is actually a real procedure that some women elect to have done.

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