Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Jan

To Circumcise or Not To Circumcise?

circumcisionOnce a proverbial given in this and a number of other countries, circumcision has become a hot button issue, intensely debated in both family and medical circles. For decades it was standard procedure for hospital births, but the numbers are quickly declining. Today, 56% of newborn boys are circumcised, although the rate varies considerably by geographic region in the U.S. In 1999, the American Pediatric Association revised their statement on circumcision to acknowledge the “potential medical benefits” of the procedure but concluded “these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.” Most of Canada has “de-listed” circumcision as a necessary (i.e. paid for) procedure.

In truth, the decision to circumcise isn’t purely medical even as it becomes increasingly controversial. Intangible aspects play as much or more of a role in parents’ choice as scientific research. For some families, circumcision is an age-old rite celebrating religious covenant. For others, it’s a venerated custom that manifests cultural identity. Families who aren’t influenced by religious or cultural values might choose circumcision for social or aesthetic reasons in an effort to allow junior to look like the other boys at school or like the father. However, other families and experts argue that the practice is a painful, unnecessary procedure that violates the physical dignity and even legal rights of the child.

The history of circumcision is imprecise, but the practice is thought to have its roots in the Middle East. Experts suggest a number of potential reasons behind the initial practice of circumcision, including figurative sacrifice, virility ritual, and cultural hygienic custom. In many tribal societies, circumcision was observed as a cultural rite of passage into manhood. Although circumcision predates religious directive, it eventually became a sacred practice in the early Jewish faith and for the followers of Islam. At various times in history, circumcision was also used to designate social status as well as religious identity. On an odder note, Western societies, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries, practiced circumcision to discourage masturbation. In these same centuries, the issue also became medicalized around tenets of basic hygiene. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, the rate of newborn circumcision increased as hospital births rose and the public accepted the medical argument for standard circumcision.

For our part, let’s delve into the medical side.

These days, one of the most commonly cited health reasons for routine circumcision is decreased STD risk. Numerous studies based in Africa show that circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV contraction by 50-60%. In response the assembled research, the World Health Organization/United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS issued their official recommendation of circumcision as one method to prevent the spread of HIV. Critics caution that the “context” of the African epidemic, which is as high as 25% of the population in some areas, is so different from the disease rate (as well as cultural and hygienic practices ) in the West that the protective factor of circumcision isn’t nearly as high in Western countries. Some experts estimate a 10% risk reduction in Western societies (PDF). Other Western-based research demonstrates reduced risk for other sexually transmitted disease like genital herpes and HPV as well as a decrease in bacterial vaginosis risk for female partners of circumcised men. Research exploring the impact of circumcision on infection reduction in homosexual men has been more limited but so far shows a mixed picture of protective influence. A review published this month indicates that circumcision appears to reduce risk in primarily “insertive” rather than receptive partners.

The physiological logic behind circumcision’s reduced infection risk involves the bacterial ecology of the inner foreskin itself, which harbors anaerobic bacteria that appears to fuel inflammation and infection. The inner foreskin is home to the highest concentration of so-called Langerhans’ cells, which facilitate HIV transmission and replication.

A less dangerous but more common problem for uncircumcised males, particularly boys, is recurrent urinary tract infection. Circumcision is considered a standard treatment option for those with recurring UTI or serious complications from an initial case of UTI. Some experts have questioned the usefulness and cost efficiency of routine circumcisions to prevent infections in a relatively small number of boys. According to a British study, 111 routine circumcisions must be performed to prevent a single UTI. However, other experts suggest that there’s more at stake than simple urinary infection risk. Another study found that 18% of young boys in the study who had UTI showed signs of kidney scarring. Follow-up circumcision in these boys substantially reduced subsequent UTI occurrence. As a research commentator noted (PDF) in light of this picture, “[I]f the circumcision had been done in the newborn period would the kidneys have been protected from damage in the first instance?”

In response to these infection-related findings, critics of the procedure counter that diligent safe sex and hygienic measures more reliably protect both the man and his partner from infection. Opponents say that circumcision (or at least the public message about its lower infection risk) can give men an inflated sense of protection against life-threatening diseases and discourage use of condoms, testing and other safe sex methods. Nonetheless, many physicians and public health experts maintain that circumcision is a practical strategy for reducing disease in males and their respective partners.

As for the other physical conditions circumcision is meant to prevent, many experts say that the evidence just doesn’t support the need for routine circumcision in every boy. The nonretractable foreskin in childhood is often a misdiagnosis, since separation of the glans happens over time (a protective feature) and may not even be noticeable until puberty. Common infections can be treated with a plethora of modern medications like antibiotics and steroid creams. As for penile cancer, the risk is so low (approximately 9-10 per million men) that circumcision choice shouldn’t be based on this concern.

Then there are the medical complications. They can be everywhere from aesthetic-based to functionally impairing. Infection rates hover close to five percent. Significant narrowing of the urethra occurs in anywhere from 5-10% of circumcisions and must be addressed with follow up treatment. Injury to the urethra can occur. The least common but most dramatic complications include partial to full penile amputation or even the rare death from serious infection.

On a considerably lighter note, critics also suggest that circumcision compromises sexual pleasure. They argue that the foreskin, as host to a dense network of nerves, is a functional erogenous zone in itself.

Although it’s likely impossible to reach any definitive conclusions regarding the issue, self-report research on men who are circumcised in adulthood show mixed results. In one such study, the majority of men did not experience a decrease in libido or pleasure. Eighty-two percent reported the same (44%) or enhanced (38%) penile sensitivity. A smaller study (PDF), however, recorded patients’ written comments about the impact of the procedure on their sex life and calculated that nearly half of respondents experienced less penile sensitivity after circumcision.

Now that we’ve laid out some of the arguments and medical research, we want to hear what you have to say. What is your thinking on the subject, and what factors have or would influence your choice to circumcise or not circumcise? Thanks for reading and contributing.

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. It disturbs me when people compare circumcision to female mutilation. The foreskin is not needed. Ears and breasts are essential to hearing and feeding a child. I liked the “cutting off the labia” part, but inner and outer labia do play a part in protecting the vagina from infection.
    From what has been studied, it seems like the foreskin is much like wisdom teeth. Something left over that causes more problems than good in some cases.
    I do believe a male should be able to make the decision on his own. But what about abortion and piercing your child’s ears when they are too young to ask for it? It’s hard to draw the line.
    I think we need to put less value in human life (take ourselves down a step on the food chain). Then we won’t be urged to “be like everyone else” and more focused on “how am I going to catch dinner?”

    Charise wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • You may want to do a little reading on wisdom teeth before you declare them unnecessary. Before humans started eating industrial foods, and suffering the inevitable, epidemic vitamin K2 deficiency that goes with them, wisdom teeth were functional. For further reading check out the excellent series of articles over at Whole Health Source titled “Malocclusion: Disease of Civilization.”

      Grok used his wisdom teeth, because his mouth had room for them.

      Bess wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • They are the same thing and the clitoris isn’t “needed” either.

      The foreskin contains anti-bacterial ezymes (sp?) that also protect the glans from infection.

      That’s why horses and many other male mammals have foreskins. We cheerfully castrate ‘geldings’, so would have no hesitation in ‘circumcising’ horses if it did any good. But we don’t, because it’s pointless for health.

      As someone once put it, an eyeball without an eyelid is not a cleaner eyeball.

      Alan wrote on December 26th, 2010
  2. 1/12/2010
    Circumcision health benefit virtually nil, study finds
    André Picard, Public Health Reporter – From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail, Published on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010

    While it is the most common surgical procedure in the world, there is virtually no demonstrable health benefit derived from circumcision of either newborns or adults, a new study concludes.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/circumcision-health-benefit-virtually-nil-study-finds/article1427972/

    The sole exception seems to be using circumcision to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-AIDS in adult males in sub-Saharan Africa, though it is unlikely that benefit carries over to other parts of the world where rates of HIV-AIDS are much lower.

    The research, published in Tuesday’s edition of the Annals of Family Medicine, shows that, despite claims, there is little evidence that circumcision can prevent sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections and penile cancer.

    There are also risks to the surgery that, while rare, range from sexual dissatisfaction through to penile loss.

    “Patients who request circumcision in the belief that it bestows clinical benefits must be made aware of the lack of consensus and robust evidence, as well as the potential medical and psychosocial harms of the procedure,” said Guy Maddern, of the department of surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, and lead author of the study.

    In newborns, he said, the surgery is “inappropriate” because it offers no therapeutic benefit.

    About one-third of males worldwide undergo circumcision, the surgical removal of the prepuce (or foreskin).

    The procedure is done principally for religious, cultural and social reasons.

    Religious male circumcision is practised under both Jewish and Islamic law, and it is an integral part of some aboriginal and African cultural practices.

    The main social reasons the practice has continued is a widespread desire that boys resemble their fathers, and a belief that boys who undergo circumcision have fewer health problems.

    The new study, a systematic review (a compilation and analysis of previously published research), looked only at the latter point.

    Dr. Maddern and his research team found no evidence that uncircumcised men have higher rates of penile cancer. In fact, they noted penile cancer is extremely rare and seemingly unrelated to the presence of a prepuce.

    The belief that urinary tract infections are more common in uncircumcised males is not backed up by research. Dr. Maddern noted the fewer than 2 per cent of boys suffer urinary tract infections which “makes it unlikely that preventive circumcision of normal boys would outweigh the adverse events associated with the procedure.”

    Finally, there was no evidence at all that there are fewer sexually-transmitted infections among circumcised males. The exception was a study in sub-Saharan Africa that showed doing the surgery on adult males reduced their risk of contracting HIV-AIDS. (However, rates of HIV-AIDS were not reduced in their female partners.)

    Rather, Dr. Maddern said, the prepuce seems to act as a barrier against contamination and, by helping maintain a moist environment, enhance sexual pleasure.

    According to the study, the only medical justification for circumcision is to treat boys or men with penile abnormalities.
    http://dvgstar.blogspot.com/2010/01/circumcision-health-benefit-virtually.html

    Sheila wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Yay!

      Great post, thanks.

      I should add though that it’s not just a matter of preventing a dried-out glans – the foreskin itself is a major sexual source of pleasure, equal to the clitoris. The glans is actually quite insensitive compated to the foreskin.

      Put it this way, the foreskin is more sensitive than your fingertips, yet the glans is a lot LESS sensitive.

      (I say more senstivie than fingertips not just from nerve-ending density but because they are specialist, pleasure-producing nervers. They are also the only nerve endings in humans that detect moisture, rather than the results of moisture, such as ‘slippery’)

      Alan wrote on December 26th, 2010
      • My husband is circumcised. His glans is extremely sensitive. It takes me longer to climax than it does for him. He doesn’t have a problem getting off quickly if we’re both ready. If he had his foreskin still (his was removed as an infant), he would get off so quickly that I wouldn’t have time to get there too. Then there would be a sleeping man next to me and I’d probably lie there feeling unsatified. I think that maybe (for some men, like my husband) not having that extra bundle of nerves is a good thing. It helps keep things equal in the bedroom department.

        I know this may not be true for everyone, but that’s jus from my personal experience.

        Cutting of the foreskin isn’t like cutting of the tip of your finger. If you had a nerve-packed flesh covering over your finger at birth and it got cut off before you could even remember what it was like to have it, you’d still have sensation in your finger and you wouldn’t evn know what you were missing.

        Stacy wrote on February 1st, 2011
        • A lot of times this objection is given: “He’s already so quick that it’ll just leave even less time for me.” The reality is that it is more likely he’ll be able to receive the same feelings and last just as long, but replacing pounding with a more gentle motion that facilitates the prolonged close-contact that leads so much more easily to female climax. See http://www.helium.com/items/477183-how-male-circumcision-hurts-women (second page)for a more detailed explanation. (The author doesn’t go into the dryness-UTI connection; I wish she did!).

          This site is very graphic, but explains The Top Ten Ways Circumcised Sex Hurts Women: http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/

          I think circ is more similar to cutting off the eyelid than the tip of a finger.

          MamaGrok wrote on February 1st, 2011
  3. My family and husbands family are from Holland and circumcision just doesn’t happen there. Just because it happens more often in one area does not make it the norm. I believe it is marketed to public in a very underhanded way. It is a multi million dollar industry that uses the remains of the ‘operation’ for its own gains.

    I copy and pasted this from http://www.whale.com

    “According to the Alternet article Foreskin Face Cream and Future Beauty Products, “human foreskin fibroblast is used in all kinds of medical procedures.” For example, foreskin is used for burn victims and for eyelid replacement and for those with diabetic ulcers (who need replacement skin to cover ulcers that won’t heal), to making creams and collagens in the cosmetics industry (yes, the product that is injected into puffy movie-starlet lips).

    One foreskin can be used for decades to produce miles of skin and generate as much as $100,000 — that’s not the fee from a one-time sale, but the fees from the fibroblasts that are created from those original skin cells.

    One of the most publicized examples of the foreskin-for-sale trend involves a skin cream that has been promoted by none other than Oprah Winfrey, according to the article. SkinMedica, a face cream, costs more than $100 for a 0.63-oz. bottle, used by many high-profile celebrities (such as Winfrey and Barbara Walters) as an alternative to cosmetic surgery. Winfrey has promoted the SkinMedica product several times on her show, and her website, which raves about “a new product that boosts collagen production and can rejuvenate skin called TNS Recovery Complex. TNS is comprised from six natural human growth factors found in normal healthy skin … the factors are engineered from human foreskin!”

    minuet wrote on January 13th, 2010
  4. I also don’t NEED two arms…or two legs…or some of my fingers…

    Lovestoclimb wrote on January 13th, 2010
  5. My answer is no to genital mutilation, man or woman. There’s no need, and the arguements in favor are not sufficient. Leave it be the way nature intended.

    nina_70 wrote on January 13th, 2010
  6. And speaking as a woman…foreskins are fun :)

    nina_70 wrote on January 13th, 2010
  7. Ok, my dad has a webbed toe (or is it toes?). If they had fused two of my toes together at birth in order to look like my dad, I wouldn’t be able to experience the pleasure of wearing my Vibrams. Of course, I could always go barefoot, if I had a webbed toe. See, the foreskin is kind of like the Vibrams. It keeps the skin sensitive, and protected. Running in Vibrams is kind of like running barefoot, but it feels really good because your skin doesn’t get rubbed off as fast. Running barefoot however, feels a lot like running in Vibrams, but you have to be a little more careful with your technique to avoid wearing through your skin. You can’t go pounding away. Ahem. Well, you can, but it might hurt for a few days afterwards; but, hey, the skin down there heals pretty fast anyway. As far as lotion is concerned, running on that stuff is seriously dangerous, plus you have to use a ton on a long run, and then you have to clean up after yourself—yikes. So, leave the soothing creams on the shelf and just go raw. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Practice makes perfect. I say, just go out and run, and don’t worry about whether or not you have a product of society on your feet, or if you are Groking it.

    Lima wrote on January 13th, 2010
  8. “It is important to remember that there are no vestigial organs or body parts. Each and every part of the body serves a specific, important purpose. If the foreskin failed to serve a purpose, it would have disappeared millions of years ago. Drs. Cold and McGrath conclude that, over the last 65 million years, the foreskin has offered reproductive advantages. It must also be remembered that sexual selection has refined the external genitalia of every creature, including man. The human foreskin is the product of millions of years of evolutionary refinement, and, as such, the human foreskin represents the epitome of design perfection.”

    Did you know that in other primates the glans is far more sensitive then the foreskin, but in humans it’s reversed? A man’s foreskin has 20000 nerve receptors(more then the clitoris) and is more sexually pleasurable(to the woman as well).

    You don’t need much to bring an uncircumcised man to orgasm. And that’s a good thing ;)

    Claire wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • I was under the impression it doesn’t take much to bring a man to orgasm, circ or not. ;-)

      musajen wrote on January 13th, 2010
  9. Some really um obstinately ignorant people on this site apparently. Gj guy who responds to every post. Can’t believe a guy would say he doesn’t miss his foreskin when he never had the option to try it out. How idiotic is that. Can’t believe a girl would say “it is what it is” when faced with the reality of her own shallowness regarding penile aesthetics.
    The depths of american gullibility, shallowness, and plain idiocy is mindblowing. Esp. For a site as progressive as this one.

    Anicca wrote on January 13th, 2010
  10. I don’t have any children yet, but if I do , they’ll be circumcised as babies. The reason: it’s cleaner and prevents possible problems. It’s much, much worse for a guy to have it done when he’s older due to a problem with erections or whatever.

    I don’t regard it as mutilation, btw, because there are medical benefits for doing it (even if some don’t recognize them). It certainly can’t be compared to female genital mutilation, which is extremely dangerous AND done only to prevent women from experiencing sexual pleasure. Huge difference.

    If you don’t believe in circumcision for boys, fine, but don’t judge those who do.

    Karen H. wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Lol It’s cleaner? How would you know being a female and all. Someone’s been drinking the kool-aid heavily.
      Has nothing to do with “believing it.” How about you do some real research before spouting off.
      If you would look through the lens of evolutionary biology it’d be apparent why boys are born with a foreskin. Or are you a religious person who likes to bash that which does not serve your convenient “beliefs?”

      Anicca wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Karen,

      That’s an old wives tale. I am quite clean, I assure you. If you practice good hygiene, you have no issues. I can speak from experience, ’cause I got the parts and they’re all intact.

      Women can get yeast infections. Are you suggesting that we should remove their genitalia?

      Justa wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Asinine – all sorts of dark and damp body areas need to be cleaned regularly; mouths, armpits, genitalia, between your toes… butt-cracks! – I am sure we could work out barbaric ways to make all of those get less dirty and stay clean with some creative chopping or surgery. How about you teach your kids to clean properly… everywhere? And what is it to you anyway whether HIS penis is clean? You are not his partner, and you are NOT him, so what business is it of yours? And, so what anyway? Let’s imagine – horror of horror – your now adult child is not as clean as he should be, surely he should has the right to ignore hygienic practices and suffer the consequences.

      On the other hand, if you don’t believe in female circumcision for girls, fine, but don’t judge those who do. Is that really the way you want to logically argue this? :|

      Charles wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • “…prevents possible problems.” And it CREATES other possible problems. “It’s much, much worse for a guy to have it done when he’s older” Wht’s your evidence for that claim? “due to a problem with erections or whatever.” Circumcision is very, very rarely necessary for a “problem with erections”. In counties where doctors are taught more about the foreskin than how to cut it off, they have a variety of alternatives, surgical and non-surgical, to circumcision. And in countries where parents how to take care of an intact baby and not forcibly retract his foreskin, all penile problems are fewer than the US.

      OK, I won’t judge you. But your kids may.

      Hugh7 wrote on January 25th, 2010
  11. Aricca, it prevents uti’s and prevents the need to clean smegma from under the foreskin. Granted these may seem petty advantages, but they’re advantages nonetheless.

    I guess my female prevents me from knowing anything about male genitalia. As for my religious beliefs, they’re pretty irrelevant to this discussion.

    Karen H. wrote on January 13th, 2010
  12. Meant to say “my BEING female” above.

    Justa, I’m not saying men who are uncircumcised aren’t “clean” (see my comment above for what I meant).

    No offense, but your analogy is silly. If cutting off the whole penis was what circumcision was about, then you’d have a point.

    Wonder how many of you people here who are condemning circumcision got their little girls’ ears pierced when they were babies? Just asking.

    Karen H. wrote on January 13th, 2010
  13. Wow, not the kind of email I was expecting.

    I have two intact boys. Never once did I think of paying a doctor to lop off a piece of my childs body that is meant to be there. It’s not my body not my choice.

    My sister is prone to UTI’s, but I’ve never once heard a doctor suggest that she be circumcised. What is the difference with a male other than the female is protected by law?

    I live in BC Canada and the circumcision rate is around 9%. So if ANYONE gets made fun of in school it will be the child with the missing piece of skin. I also work in a nursing home where 80 or 90% of the seniors are intact with no problems whatsoever!

    babygrant wrote on January 13th, 2010
  14. “dick scarfs”, “pig in a blanket wang”

    Wow, you have the maturity level of a 2 year old. Even my four and six year old know the proper names.

    babygrant wrote on January 13th, 2010
  15. I was circumcised by my parents for traditional religious reasons. My son was circumcised, but since he was adopted the procedure was done (badly, I might add) before I had a say in it. I am in my mid-fifties and grew up in the midwest, so uncircumcised penises were not at all the norm, and are still a bit strange for me to see. Nonetheless, I think that I would opt out of it today; I always think, “why would the human male have evolved with a foreskin if it served no purpose or was a danger to his health?”.

    Scott wrote on January 13th, 2010
  16. @Karen H.

    Circumcision traces it’s origins back to religion, and believe it or not, was originally done to dull sexual pleasure and put an end to masturbation. So it IS the same as doing it to a woman. The reasons are the same despite what new “benefits” they’ve been trying to claim in recent times.(I’d like to know how many people conducting these studies are circumcised)

    For the optimal health and sexual pleasure of any boy however, uncircumcised is the way to go.

    Claire wrote on January 13th, 2010
  17. hmmm, cleaner? Um has anyone here not heard of a cultural norm in western nations called SHOWERING DAILY? Here in New Zealand I believe circ is very much the exception these days and not the norm, however I am not the authority on the topic. My father was circ but I don’t believe it to be common in those under 30 years old. I’ve never seen one in real life myself. I have great sex with my fiancee, granted I have never had sex with a circ penis so can’t make the comparison.

    It IS mutilation of someone’s gentials, why do we not see this as abuse? Sexual abuse even. I am sure it must effect sexual satisfaction, I don’t see how it can’t.

    I will not be inflicting this on my own children, however here you are only permitted to have it done on religous grounds I think – hospitals don’t even offer it.

    I find the whole thing disgusting. But I am fully disgusted lately at child abuse of all kinds. It’s getting far to close to home.

    As a female – I am sure it would be CLEANER to have my labia cut off – but I engage in actually washing myself. What’s the difference? I would hazard to say that the female genitalia would be ‘dirtier’ (for lack of a better word) than male genitalia, but we are all outraged at this common practice in middle easten and african countries. Where the procedure can actually be carried out by an OB.

    Sam wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • You’re correct, and that’s why many older religions won’t allow women into certain holy rooms and so on – because they can never be ‘clean’ enough.

      (or at least run the risk of menustrating, back in the day’s before effective sanitary products)

      Good post by the way.

      Alan wrote on December 26th, 2010
  18. Oh an in addition, I have never heard of a man with a UTI. I thought this was a totally female thing! Wow you live and learn. But we still don’t advocate circ for females.

    Sam wrote on January 13th, 2010
  19. I didn’t read the article or the comments…

    I just wondered if anyone who is signed up for email updates, find it gross to mention circumcision in the same email as primal snacks?

    haha

    Wish I Were Riding wrote on January 13th, 2010
  20. I’m not pro or con, but wanted to clear up two thingss. 1. Circ does substantially inhibit transmission of HIV. That doesn’t justify the practice, but arguing that it doesn’t is like arguing that gravity is an illusion. 2. It is silly to assert that circ arose as a way to stop masturbation. In this country? Sure; but not the practice. No one can be certain why it started; chalk it up to religious crazies and move on. But, most importantly, 3. Those of you equating circ with female genital mutilation (fgm) are way, way off base. Fgm is a wholly different beast where; fgm is the whole removal of the clitoris, often performs on adults against their will, and for the express purposes of punishment and eradication of all sexual pleasure to make women more fully the property of their husbands. Circ may or may not be a justifiable practice(in light of hiv, but probBl not the other “cleanliness” stuff), but it is no way similar to fgm. Equating the two is bey dismissive and offensive to the many thousands of women who have been tortured by fgm. The practice is so appalling, in fact, that women lucky enough to get to the US seek asylum in order to save themselves. At any rate, those of you likening circ to fgm weaken our own arguments and come off sounding like westerners blindingly ignorant about conditions in other parts of the world. Christoph, and others, should continue on with their cause, by all means, but try to show some dignity.

    jack wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • You are both ignorant (see literal definition of the term) and willfully blind, Jack.

      You’ve ignored the evidence presented here several times that female circumcision does not cause the “eradication of all sexual pleasure”. In fact, women with their clitorises removed frequently can still have orgasms.

      I don’t mutilate children, or stand idly by when others do. My dignity is intact.

      It seems to me it is yours which is lacking.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
      • I think you need to get a clitoris to make that statement. I’m pretty damn sure I wouldn’t have an orgasms without mine. Do you think you could have one without your penis??

        Cherie wrote on January 13th, 2010
        • Actually, no.

          You would need to ask women who don’t have a clitoris.

          As the study and also the personal story I’ve referenced more than once on this site does.

          You have nerve endings in other parts of your genitals, and when the clitoris is removed many, even most women, retain the capacity for orgasm.

          If you don’t understand this, there’s a remedy: reading.

          Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
        • My wife had her clitoris removed as an infant (Muslim) and yes, she experiences orgasm.

          You have the exact same passion as Christopher yet don’t realise it.

          The foreskin on a man IS the clitoris, in terms of being the part of his genitalia that experiences intense pleasure and is the usual route to orgasm.

          Men without it simply don’t know or understand what they’re missing. You still have a clitoris so you DO know how horrific it would be for you to lose it.

          As for ‘ownership’ of women that may be the case in parts of Africa. Is it wrong? Yes. So is mutilating male children so they “last longer” (less sensitive) to please women, or mutilating them so they look like their father. None of those are good enough reasons to sexually mutilate a child.

          You’re also wrong about the ‘against their will’ thing. Most women in Africa that are mutilated have it done by other women and do so cheerfully.

          Why?

          Because it’s “normal”, and “cleaner” and it “helps reduce AIDS” and all the other exact same “reasons”, that are really just justifying an old tradition.

          Yes, a lot of is it to reduce sexual pleasure – which again is the exact same reasoning behind removing the majority of a man’s sexual nerves. It IS the same thing.

          Only by trying hard can you fail to see that.

          Alan wrote on December 27th, 2010
      • Wow, you are seriously aggro about this and are displacing some energy here, Pal. You obviously have no experience with FGM; although I certainly commend you on not standing idly by! Your one man online message board campaign is I’m sure doing a lot of good!

        Anyway, if anyone else is interested, I’m here to tell you that, as someone who has some experience with both FGM and circ, there is no comparison. These practices are simply not in the same league. Again, I’m not pro or con — if you don’t want to circumcise, then don’t, and if you do want to then I’m not going to make you feel like an evil person for either 1) taking steps you believe protect your child, or 2) fulfill your covenant with your god. When it comes to circumcision, folks who have an overly strong opinion on the issue strike me as people who might better use their energies in other pursuits.

        FGM, on the other hand, enslaves adults and children against their will, often leads to infections or death, is performed without any regard to the pain of the victim, is used to intimidate women and to turn women into chattel, is causing violent disagreement between Islamic scholars who find the practice barbaric and Islamic tribal leaders who defend the practice, it is a practice decried by not just Islamic leaders, but also Christian, Jewish, Hindu, etc. If you had ever spoken face to face with a 20 or 23 year old woman who had been held down in the dust by her uncle and father while a stranger took a dull knife, forced her legs open, and cut out the woman’s clitoris so that she might make a better wife…well, then I think that you would understand the difference.

        Jack wrote on January 13th, 2010
        • Hindus don’t have this practice. So please keep us out of your problems ;-).

          But still there is not much of a difference. The circumcision is used as a cure to masterbation (whether male or female). Its not considered good in these religions. It becomes difficult to have sex afterwards but that is the point. For men its not so bad, but most won’t know the difference.

          Anand Srivastava wrote on January 15th, 2010
        • Jack,

          I understand where you’re coming from, but in my experience it is usually the females who perpetuate FGM, not the fathers and uncles. I’ve spent many months of my life in Sudan, and the one sure way to know that a 13 year old girl is being circumcised is when you see a group of 20 or so women huddled around something underneath a tree. The men I’ve met don’t really care, but the women are adamant that it is important, and that it must be done. Also, it’s not a strictly Islamic thing – it’s an African thing. Christians, Muslims and followers of traditional African religions all practice it in equal numbers throughout northern Africa.

          Tom wrote on January 15th, 2010
        • Jack, you’re yelling your ignorance.

          It is not fathers and uncles who do this.

          Alan wrote on December 27th, 2010
  21. My sons are uncut. My daughters’ ears are unpierced. I’m not making cosmetic changes on my children; if they want to change their bodies, they can do so when they’re old enough to make those decisions.

    Cutting off my sons’ foreskins would be akin to telling them I found part of them unacceptable. Why would I send that message to them? I have done my research and find no medically compelling reason to circ. All of our body parts are necessary; boys are born with foreskins for the reasons already well articulated.

    As one mom said, any future partner who thinks my son’s penis is gross uncut doesn’t deserve him.

    Circumcision is indeed mutilation, no matter how painlessly the doc is able to make it. I applaud those here who have spoken up to protect those babies who can’t protect themselves.

    Shannon wrote on January 13th, 2010
  22. Regarding circumcising so a child isn’t made fun of: many have already pointed out that kids tease for many reasons – names, appearance, speech, movement. We simply can’t anticipate and protect our kids from every single possible taunt. Nor would it be wise to try. I’m not a “sheeple” – I’m not afraid to be a leader of change, whether that manifests in how we eat (definitely not mainstream to eat paleo) or how we look (cut or uncut). If I eat, talk, dress, and make decisions based on the whims of what pleases others, I lose my own identity somewhere in there. I’d certainly not alter my child’s physical body to please future strangers in theoretical encounters.

    Shannon wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Shannon, your words of wisdom are a breath of fresh air. It’s doubly a pleasure to read them from a woman who has one of my favourite 2 names in the world (nostalgia for Irish history and myths as a child).

      In a shameless flirt, and a rueful acknowledgement of the truth, a woman of your quality, thoughts, and love must have surely attracted a fantastic partner by now.

      And you two, whoever you are, will do a better than average job of raising any offspring, I am convinced.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
  23. As a newborn nursery nurse I came to hate the times the Doctors came in to circumcise some of the baby boys. I had to strap them down to a back board, arms and legs spread, with Velcro straps. The screaming started immediately, and they often cried so hard they vomited up milk and stood a chance of choking to death. Most of the Dr.’s refused to use any kind of anesthetic injection, just grabbed that tender little bit of skin with a forceps clamp and pulled it over a plastic bell, designed to shield the head of the penis from the scalpel. They then tied a cord around the foreskin and sliced off the “extra” bit with a razor sharp scalpel. I was left to try and wrap a bit of gauze and Vaseline around the tiny tender nub, that was streaming blood. Nice, really nice.

    I think every parent who wants this done to their baby boy should be REQUIRED, to stand off to the side and watch.

    And there are mistakes, sometimes its is a crooked cut, or too deep, or just wont stop bleeding. Sometimes reconstructive surgery is necessary.

    Unless you can prove it is medically necessary ,why would you do it? Not for the hygiene argument, after all, arm pits get dirty too, you don’t cut off their arms.

    linda mallery wrote on January 13th, 2010
  24. Born with eyelids and we don’t cut them off right?

    mike wrote on January 13th, 2010
  25. “Circ does substantially inhibit transmission of HIV”

    The only means of protection is to not have unprotected sex with people infected with HIV.

    Having a foreskin does not lead to any infection or illness, for the same reason, having teeth isn’t the cause of dental caries(tooth decay).

    Of course we could all remove our teeth cause I hear plaque’s a b****

    Claire wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • “The only means of protection is to not have unprotected sex with people infected with HIV.”

      Well, not really. If you want to be a stickler and parse everything, then you should add on no blood transfusions, no shared needles, etc. The point is that foreskin cells are vastly more receptive to HIV (and some other viruses that are not quite as well known or infamous) than are other types of cells. Also, I would point out that “unprotected” sex, in terms of HIV transmission, is kind of a silly idea — in males practicing heterosexual sex, circumcision is better protection against HIV than condoms. That is, the difference in transmission between circ and uncirc is greater than the difference between uncirc and uncirc with a condom.

      I’m not bringing that up to open any discussion about it. It’s just true — if you want to debate it then join the flat earth society. On the other hand, if you want to argue that, while the HIV transmission rates may be the case that circ is still uncivilized and not justified, then fine. Make that argument. Like I said, I’m not pro or con on the circ, I’m just con when it comes to people who confuse their own firm beliefs with facts. I see folks asserting beliefs as “facts” on this website a lot, and I should commend Mark on doing a pretty decent job of maintaining the level of discourse on here.

      Jack wrote on January 13th, 2010
      • Flat Earth? Hardly – for every ‘study’ showing reduced HIV infection there’s another study or rebuttal.

        For a start most such studies are advocacy research (there’s big money in foreskins, seriously). They deliberately look at, for example, circumsised Muslim men, with uber-strict religious laws against sex outside of marriage, then compare then to other men who frequent prostitutes and pick-up bars.

        Strangely enough, the rate of HIV in “circumsised men” is much lower?

        I’m a Muslim, in Malaysia where things are far more laid back. Even here it is forbidden for a man to spend any time alone with a woman he’s not married to. To actually be caught cuddling, let alone having sex, can bring penalties such as a large fine, even a short prison sentence.

        So it’s blindingly OBVIOUS that Muslim men have lower levels of STDS or HIV.

        They deliberately use Africa for these studies as they know most people are ignorant of the differences between tribes, races or simple geographic areas. Heck, a lot of Americans think Africa is one country…

        It’s also been found that an awful lot of the men were simply answering questionnaires and had no idea if they were circumcised or not. They simply don’t know the term. When actually examined they found the as many as 30% of those claiming to be cut or uncut were wrong; they just had to tick Yes or No so ticked one, whichever.

        That alone completely wipes out the validity of most such “research”.

        Let’s look at it another way –

        Which western country has the highest rate of such mutilation? By far, it’s America. You don’t see such numbers in Europe, or even Canada.

        Which western country has the highest rate of STDs and HIV?

        America.

        Correlation doesn’t always prove causation but when it goes AGAINST the theory it’s a strong case against it.

        For example if every criminal wears condoms you *could* argue the possibility that condoms cause crime. However if criminals don’t wear them then the theory is dashed completely.

        I’ve noticed over the years that roughly every 3 years there’s a “study” showing circumcision reduces AIDS. Within 6 months there’s a rebuttal to the methods of that study. 3 years later there’s “A new study shows circumcision prevents AIDS…”

        It’s like playing Whack-a-Mole.

        Since the rate of circumcision in the US is now roughly 50/50, here’s a deal. Find me an AMERICAN study, showing circumcision reduces HIV/AIDs?

        Not some obscure part of Africa, cherry-picking tribal or religious differences.

        As for having cells receptive to disease, the foreskin is designed by nature to prevent it, complete with anti-bacterial properties in its chemical makeup. In that sense it serves the same function as an eyelid over an eyeball.

        Alan wrote on December 27th, 2010
  26. Yeah, God put that “hood” on there for a reason. Man needs to stop second guessin’ nature’s wisdom. We rarely do better than nature in most matters. Isn’t that the Primal ideal?

    Christopher R Kosel wrote on January 13th, 2010
  27. I have had relationships with both circumcised and uncircumsised me and have noticed no differenc in performance or anything else. The only comment that I would make is that if you’re uncircumcised you wanna have oral sex, there’s gonna be a shower first. The head of the penis kinda stinks under the skin. So you guys can think about that.

    Cherie wrote on January 13th, 2010
  28. My son was born last April–we chose to not circumcise him. I am a registered nurse–I’ve seen the procedure done many times. We feel it is unecessary.

    Diane wrote on January 13th, 2010
  29. “Smegma (Greek smēgma, “soap”)[1] is a combination of exfoliated (shed) epithelial cells, transudated skin oils, and moisture. It occurs in both male and female genitalia. In males, smegma helps keep the glans moist and facilitates sexual intercourse by acting as a lubricant.”

    The scent you’re referring to comes from that. Bathing is expected by both parties.

    When it comes to performance, you might not notice much as a woman, but the guy will definitely notice if he had a way to compare the two. Ask a previously circumcised man who has undergone foreskin restoration what feels better. It might never be as good as it could have been, but it’s better.

    Claire wrote on January 13th, 2010
  30. “Some really um obstinately ignorant people on this site apparently.”

    This comment makes absolutely zero sense. Are you implying that people who support circumcision are ignorant? You make it sound as if there is a right and wrong to this debate.

    To be honest, when I saw the topic, coming from my own world view, I thought that virtually no one would support a male child not being circumsized. But lo and behold, it seems that most do. Then again, there may be a demographic in play here – those who live life with a more “organic” approach.

    Being an adult, there is no way I can pass judgement on anyone’s belief in not performing circumcision. But, please don’t pass judgement on me either. I’m sitting here reading people profess their belief against circumcision and it feels surreal – it makes zero sense to me. But that’s not important. It is what it is – I don’t pass judgement on people I don’t agree with. But for anyone to sit here and state that circumcision is blatantly wrong is simply lost in their own ego. There is no right or wrong here. Like a man telling a woman what she should do with her clitoris, each side is debating against a position they have never experienced – unless maybe they’ve had the procedure done as an adult and comment on both positions.

    From an aesthetic standpoint, sorry but this debate is a done deal. But there’s more being debated here than simply aesthetics.

    Vince wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • Vince, on one side of the debate we have people who DO believe in cutting off part of a baby’s penis.

      On the other hand, we have people who do not.

      There IS a right and a wrong in this debate.

      You — probably through ignorance and the way you were raised — support the brutal sexual mutilation of helpless defenceless children.

      But that’s not important. It is what it is – I don’t pass judgement on people I don’t agree with. But for anyone to sit here and state that circumcision is blatantly wrong is simply lost in their own ego. There is no right or wrong here. Like a man telling a woman what she should do with her clitoris…

      I don’t thing “ignorance” even begins to touch that statement.

      That is the point. Men should not tell women what to do with their clitorises, and certainly should not remove the clitorises of young babies. Likewise men and women should not tell other people what to do with other (ADULT!) men’s foreskins, and by all that is right in this world should not cut parts of a (too young and helpless to decide) baby’s penis off.

      There is no right or wrong here.

      There is right and wrong here. You are in the wrong.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • So were your parents, and their ancestors, and for that I am sorry.

      In their case, I blame it on ignorance and not malice.

      In the future, less will those hold true.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
      • Like I said, I am neither pro or con in this debate, and I generally dislike it when people take any discussion to a personal level, at all. But, seriously, Christoph, do you have any friends? You should probably dial it back about 7 or 8 notches and get some perspective. Believe it or not, I don’t think the great masses of unborn babies gathered to together to appoint you the protector of their potential foreskins. Just take a few breaths, G.

        Jack wrote on January 13th, 2010
        • hey “G.” why don’t you grow some and take a side. stop saying you are neutral. there’s no right or wrong regarding the matter? oh really? like there’s no right or wrong regarding evolution versus intelligent design? lol please “G” give me a break.

          anicca wrote on January 13th, 2010
        • “Like I said, I am neither pro or con in this debate…”

          You are pro.

          You look aside when children in your society are mutilated.

          I don’t think the great masses of unborn babies gathered to together to appoint you the protector…

          This is the role of adults. Children cannot do it for themselves.

          Christoph, do you have any friends?

          Not so many wishy-washy Milquetoast ones like yourself, Jack.

          Christoph Dollis wrote on January 13th, 2010
    • As far as aesthetics goes, I would like to point out that the ideal penis in most of western art is influenced by greek sculpture and therefore is both small and uncircumcised. The fact that Michelangelo’s David, who doubtless would have been circumcised historically, appears uncircumcized makes a strong case for an aesthetic preference for the uncircumcized penis in western art.

      Dreamgirl wrote on January 18th, 2010
  31. I am, my son is, as is my grandson. The only way we fly.

    Robert wrote on January 13th, 2010
  32. Christopher Kosel:
    “Yeah, God put that “hood” on there for a reason. Man needs to stop second guessin’ nature’s wisdom. We rarely do better than nature in most matters.”

    Sorry, but this argument needs tweaking. Our bodies have many flaws (baby born through the pelvis, urethra passing through the prostate, retinal cells pointing backwards, oesophagus and trachaea passing through each other) – but the foreskin happens not to be one of them. If it were it could and would have evolved away millennia ago.

    Hugh7 wrote on January 13th, 2010
  33. The problem with this debate is that it is blown out of proportion. Calling circumcision genital mutilation is a gross exaggeration. At worst it is unnecessary, but I know from personal experience that having a circumcised penis is no problem.

    People might say I would have more pleasure if uncut, but pleasure is a subjective experience that happens as much in the mind as in the body, it has to do with a lot of different factors. How can you make a bold claim that uncut is more pleasure without taking all these many factors into account?

    Also, and it has been said a few times, circumcision is not the same female genital mutilation, regardless of the possibility that they are done for the same reasons (and mostly they are not). The effect of circumcision is far less severe. Period. And don’t call me ignorant, because having lived almost my entire life with a circumcised penis I can tell you that it hasn’t made my life any worse, I seriously doubt any woman who has her clitoris cut off will say that.

    The irony is that I too am against circumcision of children (btw; I was done “to me” for a valid medical reason later in life, so please don’t call me mutilated, thanks), but because the religiousness the anti-circumcision people in the debate act I’m reluctant to come out and say it. My own position is more nuanced, it might be unethical to circumcise children, but in all likelihood it won’t traumatise children forever.

    And in the rare instant it goes horribly wrong, yes that is sad, but in all fairness it’s probably a very, very rare occurrence and if you want to be even-handed you must mention that there are benefits, no matter how very, very rare they are too.

    Robert wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • “I know from personal experience that having a circumcised penis is no problem.”

      Women with amputated clitoris say the same thing. My wife does.

      “pleasure is a subjective experience that happens as much in the mind as in the body”

      It’s true that your biggest sexual organ is your brain but no, you cannot just dismiss a mass of sexual nerve endings as subjective. They are not subjective at all.

      If anything they are only subjective to YOU because you don’t know what a functioning foreskin feels like.

      If you have only ever seen in black and white you probably couldn’t understand our passion about letting babies see the world in color either. You literally don’t know what you’re missing.

      Alan wrote on December 27th, 2010
  34. I think I’m about as educated as one could possibly be regarding circumcision. I was born to a mother who refused to have me circumcised. I never had any problems. I cleaned myself regularly, just like I would my ears and belly button. It wasn’t difficult to do at all, so anyone who claims otherwise can sit on one. I never had a hygiene problem or an infection. However, one problem with uncircumcised males in countries like the US, where there isn’t a common history of leaving the penis intact, is that many people aren’t aware of the possibility of Forceful Premature Retraction of the Foreskin. FFR can occur anytime before the age of 10, when often the penis hasn’t fully developed and the glans is still fused to the foreskin (kind of like a kitten whose eyelids are still sealed). If the foreskin is forced back prematurely by a parent for cleaning purposes or an uneducated doctor for some other screwed up reason, scar tissue can adhere the glans penis to the foreskin, causing a tight foreskin or frenulum and often a condition called Frenulum Breve (an inability to obtain an erection without intense pain or tearing of the the foreskin or frenulum). Doctors tend to disagree on the correct actions to take after forcible foreskin retraction, as well as in a fully developed case of Frenulum Breve. Many doctors will circumcise men who have this condition. There is a procedure called frenulo-plasty which allows the man to keep his foreskin and be rid of Frenulum Breve. My opinion, and that of many reliable, educated doctors I’ve spoken with about this topic, is that the only person to retract a boys foreskin for the first time should be the boy himself. There is no risk of infection or uncleanliness before the glans has fully separated from the foreskin. I was uncircumcised until I was 17, due to Frenulum Breve. Sex was better before I was circumcised, for both my lover and myself (a third of my foreskin worth of nerve endings, that’s a huge difference). Again, I never had a problem or a difficult time with hygiene. FFR is a real problem. We just need to be educated.

    Benjamin wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Thank you for the explanation, Benjamin. That was great. I learned a lot.

      And our doctors should know this as well.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Wow! Thanks!

      Alan wrote on December 27th, 2010
  35. I live in the European Union.
    I love the protection I have and I can assure you that the protected area is healthy (after 30 years not a single problem) and very very sensitive to touch when out.
    And I think that’s the main problem of circumcision: losing sensitivity by getting used of direct contact of the non-protected area.
    Finally being Primal, if nature gave us this protection I consider it Must be useful one way or another !)

    Gv wrote on January 14th, 2010
  36. The Penn & Teller show Bulls*** does an episode on circumcision. I think people should watch it, no matter what side of the debate you’re on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIZLna_uzLQ

    Claire wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • I love those two.

      I’m more like Penn than is good for me.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 14th, 2010
  37. Christoph,

    Your zealous commentary was manageable until you decided that you were going to judge people based on their religion. While I am not Jewish, I believe in the necessity of circumcision for religious reasons. Mockery and disrespectful argument in that context is not appropriate. Admittedly, yes I am making a judgment with that statement — but I think most people would agree with the “judgment.”

    Generally,

    I think a lot of people who are feeling bad for us circumsised individuals need to appreciate that a lot of us do it out of obedience and reverence for our Lord. Until I start mocking your religious actions, you might tread more lightly in the future.

    Again, I am circumcised and continue to be awesome. My children will be circumcised and awesome. Uncircumcised people are awesome too. And I’m getting excited at the thought of 100’s of women reading this comment and thinking about my penis…

    Much love

    Alex wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Alex, I am not judging people based on their religion.

      I am judging people based on their actions in this world.

      You haven’t defended the terrible actions which I revealed, which include Orthodox Jewish mohels putting a baby’s bloody penis in their mouth or, to prevent STDs being given to the child, having the baby’s father put his baby’s bloody penis in his mouth, to suck away the blood.

      You ignored the part of my comment where I expressed strong support for Israelis and Jews as a people, which I have my whole life.

      However, do not expect me to overlook certain despicable practices because of my love for the modern state of Israel, its people, and its committment to democracy.

      Address those practices and at least criticise them yourself. Because, if not, you sir, own them.

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Read article 1 and read New York City’s weak public health notice 2 for this still entirely legal practice.

      Read them in their entirety.

      Notice these quotes:

      The practice is known as oral suction, or in Hebrew, metzitzah b’peh: after removing the foreskin of the penis, the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the wound to clean it.

      But the most traditionalist groups, including many Hasidic sects in New York, consider oral suction integral to God’s covenant with the Jews requiring circumcision, and they have no intention of stopping.

      “The Orthodox Jewish community will continue the practice that has been practiced for over 5,000 years,” said Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after the meeting with the mayor. “We do not change. And we will not change.”

      The potential risks of oral suction, however, are not confined to Orthodox communities. Dr. Frieden said in March that the health department had fielded several calls from panicked non-Orthodox parents who had hired Hasidic mohels unaware of what their services entailed.

      Now…

      Notice the URL to this post, which asks the question, “Is Circumcision Safe?”

      Now you tell me, Alex — isn’t pointing out this practice and its obvious flaws 100% on topic relevant with the above question?

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Finally, don’t you find it (putting baby’s bloody recently cut penis in either a non-related professional or otherwise in a related family member’s mouth to suck off the blood) “stomach turning”?

      This is the term I originally used.

      I would apply that term whether it was done be religious people or not.

      Strangely, I have an aversion to the thought of adults putting babies’ penises into their mouths. I also have an aversion to cutting of children’s genitals. And I have a really strong aversion to the combination of the two.

      Admittedly, yes I am making a judgement with that statement — but I think most people would agree with the “judgement.”

      Christoph Dollis wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Circumcision = cutting off a part of your son’s penis, and is therefore !awesome.

      Alex wrote on May 26th, 2010
  38. I’m uncut. Coming from where I do, it is what is natural. Never faced any issues whatsoever. Never felt the need to be circumcized and never would recommend anyone do it. None of my friends are circumcized and none of them report any problems. It’s just something that is being pushed in this country just like a host of other things…viagra, asthma medication, pills for restless leg syndrome, social anxiety….blah blah blah…anything to make a quick buck!

    Uncut wrote on January 14th, 2010
  39. There are no legitimate reasons for a baby to be circumcised. Literally none. For every “study” that claims it to protect against STDs or other infections, there are just as many studies that prove the exact opposite.

    In fact the studies claiming it has benefits are as valid as the studies done to prove the nutritional benefits of eating cereal. People also fail to realize that circumcision is a 400 million dollar industry, and the people that want it to continue have their own agendas. They could care less about your baby.

    Circumcision only has one reason to continue, and that’s conformity.

    Claire wrote on January 14th, 2010
  40. Human’s were born with the skin, they’re meant to have the skin. Just like what’s starting to happen to wisdom teeth, I wonder if males will soon evolve so that they don’t have the foreskin.

    Love the picture you paired with this post.

    FoodFitnessFreshair wrote on January 14th, 2010
    • Ironically, if the foreskin were indeed harmful, then circumcising babies would thwart natural selection in getting rid of it. But since we’ve had it for some 10,000,000 years and it’s still there (and some babies are born without foreskins, so it doesn’t seem to be linked to anything more valuable), you can be reasonably sure it’s not harmful.

      Hugh7 wrote on January 16th, 2010
      • This is so wrong that it’s “not even wrong”.

        Jack wrote on January 20th, 2010
        • What a cheap excuse for inability to answer, and what a pity to devalue Wolfgang Pauli’s sharp remark by so misusing it.

          Hugh7 wrote on August 30th, 2010

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