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?

Once 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:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Hmmm, I’ve only read through the first couple of responses… I just don’t see the point in continuing any further. So if I don’t address a particular comment that may have been posted, that would be the reason. Let me reiterate one last time… I did NOT join this forum to discuss God or religion. I didn’t even join to change your mind about circumcision. I simply joined the discussion to offer yet another point of view. I simply said, and let me paraphrase, “I don’t think circumcision is a bad thing, and here’s why…” And I was honestly gonna leave it at that. I thought others would simply read it and say to themselves, “Well that’s different…” and then shrug their shoulders and move on. OR they would say, “Yeah, I can identify with that, I already have a similar view…” and then move on to the next post. So maybe I’m a bit naive and wet behind the ears… if that’s the case, then so be it. Well, a couple of people responded, and then I responded back to them… simply because I love discussion, I enjoy it, I think it’s fun. And I responded with a care-free attitude, and a small touch of humor in the mix. That being said… whenever people have a provoking attitude in their interactions with me, it brings out the side of my personality that is a bit flippant and sarcastic. That’s true. But even in the midst of that I’m not taking anything too seriously, and I’m still coming about it in good-natured fun. No malice, or ill-will, or disrespect intended. I’m willing to consider that perhaps THAT part of my personality needs a bit of refining. That’s fine, okay. Opportunity for growth. Moving on… I never claimed to be an expert on ANYTHING. In fact, I repeatedly stated the opposite. All I can EVER do is say, “this is what I’ve learned SO FAR…” But I can also say that, “Even though I don’t have all the answers… when it comes to this particular issue, I DO know that you’re coming to certain conclusions based on some misinformation or beliefs.” Yes, there reached a point where I started to get exasperated. Not with the debate itself, but with all of the attacks against me personally — and more importantly, against the God that I LOVE. I think it would have been far more constructive and productive for you to simply say, “I really don’t understand where you’re coming from, MsMinne… because when you say (such-and-such), it makes me think that (fill-in-the-blank), and I’m finding it difficult to get on board with that. Could you maybe try to explain your position in a different way?” But instead, most just MOCKED me and my beliefs, and went on the attack against God. Which is INCREDIBLY disrespectful, might I add. You are mocking someone you clearly don’t even know or understand… if you did, you couldn’t say the things that you’ve said; you couldn’t call him a sadist, incompetent, etc. (I won’t even repeat everything that’s been thrown out there.) That’s NOT skillful debate. That’s not even reasonable discussion. Maybe I should have just shrugged my shoulders and moved on… but for better or worse, I do have that spark in my personality that wants to say, “Hey buddy, that’s just not RIGHT.” Or whatever. I’ve never been afraid to confront things like that. And I DO feel compelled to dispute misinformation pertaining to God and his heart/character, because I don’t want to see someone else lead astray BECAUSE of that misinformation… because despite how things may APPEAR to you, God is really very loving, and gentle, and merciful, and kind. Back to the subject… If you want a better understanding on circumcision as it relates to God and the Bible, so you can have a more TRUTHFUL and ACCURATE opinion on the matter (especially after all of this mess)… then I suggest you go talk to a Rabbi. I’m not the one to explain such things or change your minds – about THAT or ANYTHING ELSE. As I’ve already stated. It was never the intent of my original post to debate issues of God or religion; I really just got backed into a corner with it. So that responsibility needs to fall on shoulders other than mine. But unless and until you’re willing to go have that discussion to find out for yourselves… you’re really just throwing out a bunch of judgments and accusations based on a lack of real understanding – and again, you’re coming to the wrong conclusions because of it. If it’s not important to you, then RESPECTFULLY move on. Without all of the ugliness. Because it’s silly to have such strong notions about something when you’re clearly lacking the facts… and in this instance, I AM speaking of God. Anyway, I clearly don’t mind talking about God, but it’s not my business to DEBATE or EXPLAIN him. Not that I lack the intelligence or information (although there’s always MORE to learn)… I apparently just lack the communication skills. Can’t be an expert at everything. (Shrug.) There are some things that are simply already settled for me; I’ve already visited those issues and concerns in my own walk, and I’ve gotten my answers. I no longer need to ponder, or question, or debate them. If they were important to you, too, I’m sure you would have sought them out on your own by now. So I doubt ANY amount of debating or explaining would change your mind anyway. I will address a couple of things specifically now, in response to just the last couple of posts I read, and then I’m simply moving on with my life; I’m spending way too much time and energy on this, and it’s not benefitting you OR me at this point. And regardless of anything I say, you’re not going to relate because you don’t share the same faith, beliefs, or whatever “word” you want to use. CHARLES: you are misunderstanding me when I say, “my God.” It’s not a “my” God verses “your” God thing. But I don’t presume to know who “your” God is anyway. Of course I take ownership to Him… in the same way that a person would say, “that’s my father” or “that’s my friend.” Well, “that’s my God.” Simple as that. COULD be the same as yours or someone else’s, it’s not an exclusionary statement. It’s not meant to assume that it’s a DIFFERENT God, only that I am his and He is mine. I’m speaking for myself. Anyway, back to circumcision and why on infants… and I already know ahead of time that you’re not going to relate, because apparently religion (even when its real) doesn’t make sense to you? I don’t know… I’m not trying to be insulting, I’m really just asking – because of what I’ve observed through your responses. Anyway, here it is – and I’m sure there are other (better) things to bring to the table, but this is my simple take… In the Old Testament, God has chosen to make circumcision a sign of his covenant people. (That right there is your answer. Go back and read that again, just so we’re clear. Infant or adult, if you’re a part of that group you’re going to carry that sign.) But I have already cited two reasons as to “why” the male foreskin. If God expects or commands that… then of WHAT VALUE is there in waiting until adulthood? (Like the Ten Commandments… are they commandments or suggestions?) The people aren’t going to take issue with it, even as adults… it’s an accepted and assumed practice. A WILLING practice. An EMBRACED practice FOR THAT GROUP. One that goes BEYOND just the physical. It’s a part of the customs relating to their faith, and there is REASON behind those customs. God-given reasons. GOOD and VALID reasons. (Again, go talk to a Rabbi if you wish to understand them. And not even to necessarily “get on board” with them; just to add that information to your knowledge bank.) So if you are a part of this group, God’s chosen people, then circumcision is a given. It’s going to be done either way. BY YOUR CHOICE, because you belong to him. And you’re HAPPY to belong to him. So you’re happy to circumcise or BE circumcised. And since that’s the case… it’s far BETTER to do it while an INFANT. Pretty simple and common sense to me. (But there are even many modern-day studies citing why infant circumcision is better than adult circumcision, anyway.) And that’s just history. Yes, things are different today. God no longer requires it, because Jesus has fulfilled the requirements of the law. (Now don’t just reject that because you don’t understand it. You can’t take things at just the surface level, you have to go a little deeper.) Circumcision is NOW an elective procedure. All I ever said was that if there was ORIGINAL benefit to circumcision (and there WAS, both spiritual and physical) then there is STILL benefit to be gained from it today. And modern science has proven that, at least pertaining to the physical benefit. And I would personally choose to go that route. Again, personal opinion, personal choice. (There’s nothing wrong with that!) If it’s not for you, then don’t. But mocking me isn’t going to make MY position LESS legitimate, and it’s not going to make yours MORE. This IS one of the areas where we can “agree to disagree” without drawing the conclusion that I’m relativistic or indifferent, or whatever. If you think God is silly, or the Bible is silly, or Judaism is silly, or even Christianity… then I guess you think it’s silly. What can I do? That’s your opinion, that’s your choice. I WISH you would pursue the answers for yourself, but I can’t convince you to do that, so I don’t make that my goal. (Shrug.) I’m human. I personally don’t have any superpowers. I can’t make that decision FOR you. I do CARE (‼!), but again, what can I really do? Except embrace you as a PERSON (with your own unique gifts, and abilities, and strengths) while accepting our differences, but focusing on our commonalities. Or focusing on the GOOD. I apologize if I got frustrated with you (mostly with your attacks)… but I harbor no ill-will. When I say I’m offering an olive-branch, I really MEAN that. I’m being completely sincere in that. I would be delighted for you to accept it, I’ll understand if you don’t. And Kane, if you can’t relate to THAT… I’m sorry. Again, what can I do? What would you HAVE me do? I’m being sincere. I still respect you. In response to your belief, Charles, that God is mean and sadistic because of the sign of circumcision (and again, please realize that today’s version is not the same as what God prescribed anyway)… let me give you a “dumbed-down” illustration, as you like to say… Let’s say a father wants to buy his child some ice cream. Well Charles views ice cream as a terrible thing. So even though the father only wants to bless his child, Charles is only ever going to view the father as a big meanie. Because the father wants to give his child ice cream, and in Charles’ mind ice cream is bad — even though it is not. Got it? Now I’m not comparing circumcision to ice cream… don’t you dare accuse me of that. : ) Once again, I’m asking you to focus on the POINT I’m trying to make, rather than the simple example I’m using to illustrate it. As I was doing in my previous response to you… which you apparently missed. YOU have already made up your mind that circumcision is a TERRIBLE thing, and therefore can only assume that God is terrible and sadistic. But that’s a wrong conclusion based on false information. Circumcision, as instructed by God, is not a harmful or dangerous practice. God’s version of circumcision is not the same as what’s being performed today; we’ve apparently mucked it up over the years. So GOD does NOT view circumcision as a bad thing, and there was a PURPOSE behind the original instruction in the first place. Real and legitimate. When God commanded his children to circumcise, He was in no way advocating harm or mutilation. Everything that God does, or commands, or expects from us… comes ONLY from a foundation of LOVE. There is SOOO much that we just aren’t aware of, so much that we simply don’t understand. (We see in part, He see’s in full.) But we CAN understand if we WANT to… those answers are AVAILABLE to those who will dig for it and seek it out. (Study to show thyself approved.) Circumcision and otherwise. But if you don’t want to do the homework, just TRUST. : ) Okay, to wrap everything up… I don’t speak for God, I don’t speak for the church, I certainly don’t speak for other Christians. I speak for myself, and only myself. I can tell you what I believe, I can tell you what I’ve experienced, and I can tell you how I got there. That’s it. I don’t want you to reject God, however, because of MY inadequacies. I’m not unintelligent (as I’ve been accused), this is just not my gift… as in, explaining everything to YOUR satisfaction. But just because *I* can’t give you “all the answers” doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. I already have an understanding of certain things in my heart, I don’t always know how to EXPLAIN them, but they are still real and still there. You needn’t attack or criticize me for that. I’m merely human. And I am gifted in OTHER areas. I really didn’t go about this to explain or debate, or convince anyone of anything… I really can’t stress that enough. One thing lead to another and this somehow became one BIG, jumbled up mess. Which would have been fine if people would have kept the fun and humor of it, instead of lashing out with such hostility and meanness. But there is still something valuable to be learned here, for EVERYONE. Even beyond the subject of circumcision… What’s MOST important is how we treat each other as people, in ANY area of life. Whether we AGREE or DISAGREE. There are better ways to handle our differences. And I’m in no way excluding myself. We should ALL purpose to offer a little more patience, understanding, acceptance, mercy, and grace. [] So *respectfully* continue on with your debate then, I’m moving on to better things. Peace to you all.

    MsMinne wrote on December 29th, 2010
    • 14,000 words, in just one thread of comments! That’s definitely a record. And yet so little is actually said…

      tl;dr version of the above comment:

      1. “I never wanted this to be about god or religion” (even though that’s all you ever talk about and your first comment was entirely about god)

      2. “I wanted to post my god comment and not get any responses. I just wanted people to say, ‘hey, that’s a different point of view and I completely accept that'”.

      3. More false-modesty

      4. “I was trying to be fun and care-free, but people attacked me I can get sarcastic and flippant” (ie: I hit my wife because SHE makes me so frustrated)

      5. More rambling about claiming to not know all the answers

      6. More “I’m a persecuted Christian”.

      7. You really don’t understand god, so shut up.

      8. ?????

      9. Want to know more? Don’t really read my 14,000 words, go talk to a Rabbi. (Appeal to authority).

      10. More unsubstantiated “You don’t know god”, “you don’t know what you’re talking about”.

      11. “I no longer need to ponder, or question, or debate them.” << That about sums it up, doesn't it?

      12. More "This is my last post! Really! I mean it this time!"

      13. More rambling about "god says" so it's true.

      14. More unsubstantiated assertions. "Science proves it's good!"

      15. "I pity you because your minds are closed to the glory of god".

      16. Something about ice cream?

      17. blah blah blah god, blah blah blah circumcision, blah blah blah god is love

      19. "I'm really leaving this time! I mean it!"

      Now that's compression! Nearly 2500 words down to less than 250… and yet those 250 don't really say anything relevant either, do they?

      tl;dr the above:

      Let me sum up MsMinne's entire argument: GOD SAYS.

      There. You don't have to read any other previous comment. I just condensed the relevant portion of 14,000 words to 2.

      MrMinne wrote on December 29th, 2010
      • I honestly cannot bother reading your response – holy crap – is typing some form of therapy for you? I just scanned for my name and took it from there:

        “In the Old Testament, God has chosen to make circumcision a sign of his covenant people. (That right there is your answer. Go back and read that again, just so we’re clear. Infant or adult, if you’re a part of that group you’re going to carry that sign.) But I have already cited two reasons as to “why” the male foreskin. If God expects or commands that… then of WHAT VALUE is there in waiting until adulthood?”

        a. God does NOT command it. We have been over this. Go read the New Testament.

        b. The VALUE is that it is then YOUR personal choice, you do not have someone ELSE make the choice FOR YOU (the covenant with God etc). This is a fairly simple concept you are missing. Waiting until you are old enough to read the passages and ACCEPT them, and buy into this whole covenant thing seems perfectly reasonable. A reasonable and rational God would want individuals to make their OWN choice about following Him (or not) and chopping off body parts (or not).

        “BY YOUR CHOICE, because you belong to him. And you’re HAPPY to belong to him. So you’re happy to circumcise or BE circumcised. And since that’s the case… it’s far BETTER to do it while an INFANT. ”

        WHAT choice??? Waiting until you are 13 for circumcision as they do in some African cultures possibly allows for “YOUR CHOICE”. Circumcising babies is NO choice at all. And who are you to say that a child and later an adult will be “happy” with such a decision imposed on them?

        Sure, I find your “God says” approach offensive (even though He really does not, which is the sad part about this whole thing – you are stuck in the OT), but your rabid insistence on mutilating a child before he can make that choice for himself is more disturbing. Imposing your will on a child when they are defenseless and there is no medical necessity can rightly be seen as child abuse. You are simply harming them at that age because YOU CAN. Go approach an 18 year old guy and try to force him to have his foreskin removed – see how far that gets you.

        For your unfortunate male offspring: his foreskin is not going anywhere – if you are “lucky” enough to indoctrinate him with your crazy views he will gladly want it lopped off as a covenant to God when he is well and ready to MAKE THAT CHOICE ABOUT HIS OWN BODY. You cannot somehow save someone on their behalf, so don’t make covenants with God on their behalf – let them make decisions on their own body, bodily integrity and spiritual life – in the ways they CAN (i.e. perfectly reasonable to give them vaccine shots, totally unreasonable to be making covenants with God for them using their body parts)

        Charles wrote on December 29th, 2010
      • MrMinne,
        I appreciate the summary – and actually it is very accurate.

        The wild thing is once summarized to:
        GOD SAYS

        Along comes the NT and MsMinne would quickly see that:
        GOD COULDN’T CARE LESS
        It has nothing at all to do with salvation.

        But she is stuck in the OT, where in all likelihood some semi-crazy old men likely got too much sun and/or wine and came up with some fantastical ideas about mutilating children as a covenant to God.

        And I can understand people who dismiss both the OT and the NT (and the bible altogether), but MsMinne, just willfully ignores passages from the very source she invaded this comments thread with.

        Charles wrote on December 30th, 2010
    • Now for the specifics:

      > I did NOT join this forum to discuss God or religion.

      From your first comment: “I believe that circumcision is a good and beneficial practice. Why? Because God instructs his people to do so in the Bible.” And then you spent the rest of the comment talking about how great and wonderful god is. God and religion were the whole point of the first post. God is perfect, he says to circumcise, so we should.

      Did you really think that “God says” wouldn’t provoke a debate about god and religion? You really must be naive as you said.

      > I thought others would simply read it and say to themselves, “Well that’s different…” and then shrug their shoulders and move on.

      Welcome to the internet. You can’t say anything about religion or politics (or even about LOLCATZ) without expected a torrent of comments addressing/attacking it from every angle. That’s the internet. ようこそ。

      > But instead, most just MOCKED me and my beliefs, and went on the attack against God. Which is INCREDIBLY disrespectful, might I add.

      “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.” – Thomas Jefferson

      And verbally “attacking” god is disrespectful? To you? To god? What, god is so insecure that he’s going to get offended when you dis him? What, you are so insecure that you feel bad when people attack what you believe in? I have no use for people feeling “offended”. If you are sure about what you believe, you should be able to withstand any amount of ridicule.

      > if you did, you couldn’t say the things that you’ve said; you couldn’t call [god] a sadist, incompetent, etc.

      You keep talking about learning about god and the bible. Have you actually read your own bible, in it’s entirety, including the old testament? I couldn’t get through the first half dozen books of the OT, but it played a part in my realizing I’m an atheist.

      Point being… you tell us you’ve made up your mind and so don’t need to learn any more, but that WE should learn. I have learned, and one guide was this site: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/

      Now YOU learn.

      A couple of choice stories? How about drowning all the unborn children in the flood? Sending bears to tear up a bunch of children just for teasing a bald man? Directing men to mutilate their sexual organs to prove that they love him? Numerous stories of him directed his “chosen” people to kill a whole other tribe, but to keep the virgins and riches for themselves.

      Yeah, it’s the “Old Testament”, but it’s THE SAME GOD.

      Sounds pretty sadistic to me, and that’s the briefest of samplings.

      As for the “incompetent” aspect, let’s just take the story of Eden. How could an all-knowing god, who can see time from end to end, not see that Eve would be deceived by the snake? But I digress…

      > despite how things may APPEAR to you, God is really very loving, and gentle, and merciful, and kind.

      Yeerrrrrr…. read your old testament cover to cover and get back to me on that one.

      > If you want a better understanding on circumcision as it relates to God and the Bible, […] then I suggest you go talk to a Rabbi.

      I don’t need a Rabbi. It’s right there in Genesis 17. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/17.html

      Short story: God bribes Abraham into establishing a covenant with him by promising him lots of children that will go on to be rulers of nations. In return Abraham has to slice up penises.

      Ah, here’s another choice quote: “He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.” You catch that? Circumcise your slaves as well (“he that is bought”).

      > I’m not the one to explain such things or change your minds – about THAT or ANYTHING ELSE.

      So why even open your mouth then? If you had no intent to explain why you believe what you believe, or to try to change other people’s minds, why not mind your own business? If you wanted your comment to basically be ignored (ie: not responded to), why didn’t you just ignore this whole page? I’m actually curious what search or link brought you here anyways… and what were your intentions when you did the search or read the page in which that link appeared. If you answer nothing, I’d love that answered.

      > Because it’s silly to have such strong notions about something when you’re clearly lacking the facts… and in this instance, I AM speaking of God.

      Pffft. “If your opinion about god, the bible and religion differs from mine, it’s because you don’t really understand god”. That’s the “no true Christian” fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

      > I apparently just lack the communication skills.

      Yes. Your comments are unnecessarily lengthy, unstructured, wandering in thought, and poorly punctuated, with a completely lack of understanding of dividing discrete thoughts into distinct paragraphs.

      > I no longer need to ponder, or question, or debate them.

      As I said before, this totally sums it up. Let’s say I took this approach regarding diet. If I stuck to my teenage thoughts about food (which were very few), I’d be eating all frozen oven cooked food right now. If I stuck to the unsubstantiated assertions of vegetarianism that I read when I was 20, I’d still be a vegetarian. If I didn’t yet keep reading and learning, being open to new evidence, I’d still be an Atkin’s style low-carber, eating all kinds of fake bread and protein bars and other highly processed junk. By being open to new evidence, and being able to critically examine both the old things I thought I knew, and the new things I am learning, I now am able to adopt of primal/paleo approach. Even still, I am open to debates about how detrimental things like potatoes are in the primal/paleo context, or any other debate. I am in the search of that which I find to be most likely true, given the most evidence I can find. Hence, I am also an atheist.

      > So I doubt ANY amount of debating or explaining would change your mind anyway.

      It would if it was evidenced and coherent.

      > Circumcision is NOW an elective procedure.

      Not elective to those subjected to it as babies before they could understand the full scope of the unnecessary procedure. Were my parents really religious (instead of just “spiritual”, whatever that means) and had me circumcised without my consent as a baby, I would definitely feel betrayed today.

      > And modern science has proven that, at least pertaining to the physical benefit.

      References please.

      > Again, personal opinion, personal choice. (There’s nothing wrong with that!)

      Personal opinion of the adult, and not the child. Personal choice of the adult, and not the child. I know, you’ve spoken about this before (parents make all kinds of decisions for their children), but mutilating (“To physically harm as to impair use, notably by cutting off or otherwise disabling a vital part”) a baby for a procedure which is entirely optional (remember, most of the world is NOT circumcised) and can wait until an age of consent is sadistic and defies the will of the child.

      Bleh. I’m going to end it here. I’m tired of trying to parse the remaining 500 jumbled words or so. If you are truly gone, goodbye, and maybe my bored Wednesday response will provide some insight to whomever may follow you with the same intentions. If you aren’t gone. Hello.

      So yay. This was my big comment in this thread. I got home tonight and saw the lengthy comment and thought, “Why do people keep feeding the Jesus Troll?”. Yet here I am. Perhaps I was just bored? Perhaps I wanted to try to construct a couple of logical arguments outside of my head and see how they sounded?

      Slalom.

      MrMinne wrote on December 29th, 2010
  2. “Which would have been fine if people would have kept the fun and humor of it”

    Some of us don’t find the idea of mutilating children’s qenitals to be a humorous subject.

    Alan wrote on December 29th, 2010
  3. How about some things we can all agree on?

    – MsMinne has a temperament (sanguine, of the classical Greek temperament) that she naturally expresses in a way many here find very annoying.
    – While passion is to be lauded, we would all appreciate if all would keep comments on-topic and brief.
    – Religious and anti-religious proselytization have no place on the page graciously offered to us here for the discussion of circumcision and would be better taken to PMs or email.
    – No one, no matter how annoying, deserves the kind of verbal attacks that have been leveled here, but even that is minor compared to threats of violence expressed in response to a misunderstanding of a medical condition.
    – MsMinne doesn’t represent the thought & behavior of the typical Christian any more than Sarah represents that of the typical atheist. The behavior of both represents their personalities more than their belief about religion.
    – Circumcision today is a far more extreme “procedure” than in Abraham’s or Jesus’ time.
    – NO Christians circumcised for religious reasons for nearly 2,000 years.
    – Circumcision was reinstated among non-Jewish Westerners solely for medical reasons (specifically, to end masturbation and the blindness & insanity it was said to cause).
    – It was not common until around WWII.
    – Christians born after this time began to assume it was done for religious reasons. The majority of Christian leaders of all stripes today will verify that there is NO religious reason for Christians to circumcise.
    – The majority of medical authorities today will verify that there is no medical reason for anyone to circumcise.
    – The only developed nation in the world which circumcises the majority of its non-Jewish, non-Muslim population is the United States.
    – This conversation is DEAD. No one is making any ground; no new points are being made; there is no point in continuing it here at all.

    Should someone not be able to resist this pointless debate, can we agree to ignore him or her, out of respect for our host?

    MamaGrok wrote on December 30th, 2010
  4. Ever since my sons were young, I’ve talked openly with them about circumcision. I explained the procedure matter-of-factly, adding that I thought it was only right to leave such a major decision up to them, and that they could have it done when they were older if they so desired. I explained to them that I didn’t feel it was my right to have them cir’d when there was clearly no medical need. I do not believe there are ANY inherent health risks to being intact in our modern day culture, and taught my boys proper personal hygiene from the get-go. They are now 18 and 26, and haven’t have any problems…and are quite content to remain the way they are.

    Interestingly, my own father was not circ’d, while my 3 brothers were. My mother said she regretted having my brothers cut, and if she could do it again, she would leave them intact. She said that it was done automatically … she didn’t even realize she had a choice. She became a nurse later in life, and came home from the hospital on more than one occasion in tears after witnessing a botched circ…once absolutely beside herself because she didn’t see any way the baby would grow up to live a normal life.

    I’m sure the percentage of botched circs is low, but why would anyone want to take a chance when things work fine the way they are??

    simone wrote on January 2nd, 2011
  5. Alan quoted some quack doctor that wrote:
    ‘The animal kingdom would probably cease to exist without smegma.’”

    I see. Then I expect the vast majority of men in those mostly smegma-free cut nations and societies will become extinct.
    Thank you for this most sobering rude awakening, Alan.

    Charles II

    Charles II wrote on January 16th, 2011
  6. Cameron’s comment:
    you wouldn’t give fellatio based on it “seeming less hygienic”?
    That’s an insult to an intact male.
    Besides, imagine how males feel having to go give cunnilingus?? Washed or not washed I’ve tasted nicer things in my time.
    If your sons can’t pleasure their partner unless they’re cut they’re doing it wrong.
    ———————————–

    You’re insulted, and then you go right straight to insulting women. Wow.
    Unfortunately (or not), it is an absolute fact that many people, of both genders, find smegma or even the thought of it utterly disgusting.
    On the other hand, I knew a straight boy that proudly said he never #U@<ED anything that he didn't first EAT. So to each his own.
    If your sons can't please their partners because they're not cut, they aren't going to have much of a sex life with THOSE partners, no matter what they do.

    Charles II wrote on January 16th, 2011
  7. I believe the child has a right to all the parts of its body its not something anyone but the child should decide , its no different than any other body mod you should have to be at least 18.

    alex wrote on January 16th, 2011
  8. It is unnecessary surgery, plain and simple. It is ridiculous to assume that a child would somehow be negatively impacted if “his” looks different from “dad’s” or the other boys in the locker room. If dad is missing an arm, should we consider cutting off our son’s so they “match?” To quote your mom, “If your friends walked off a cliff, would you?” Honestly…

    Robin at Stone Soup Homeschool Network wrote on January 16th, 2011
  9. Charley, extinction isn’t something that happens overnight. We CAN say however that the US has higher rates of STDs than other developed nations, none of which mutilate their children’s genitals as much as Americans do.

    It’s a simple physical fact that animals produce smegma, so we can turn your argument on it’s head. If the smegma of the human male foreskin is somehow a “problem” that needs curing, then we need to get out there and start “circumcising” the genitals of the world’s animals, both male and female.

    Tell me, should we start with household pets or just dive straight into “curing” wild animals?

    Perhaps we should start with circumcising American women?

    Our medical history is replete with blunders and misunderstandings. At one time we thought mercury was a great medicine, lead was a great material for plates, while masturbation caused all sorts of health issues and needed “curing”.

    Look up the origins of “hysteria” and the medical field’s stance on it, for another great example.

    Or cutting out tonsils to prevent sore throats. Do Americans still do that?

    Fresh smegma is like fresh sweat, only smelly if left unbathed.

    Should we cut your armpits out? I’m guessing they stink if you don’t wash, right?

    I’m sorry but “I had the most sensitive part of my penis and it’s gliding mechanism amputated and it didn’t do me any harm!” no longer makes sense let alone a valid excuse.

    Medical knowledge has moved on.

    A.

    Alan wrote on January 16th, 2011
  10. It is always funny (or rather sad?) to see how many discussion there when there shouldnt one. Circumcision is no medical necessity , and is also not done in mainland europe. I see removal of the foreskin the same as removal of the male nipple or the ear lobes. Nobody needs the dangling type of ear lobe so why not just cut them?. or strip the nails? One can survive without nails . So it is all the same matter. the foreskin is just as precious as an ear lobe, nipples and finger nails. There is no right to remove it for anything other than a medical reason.

    dottie wrote on January 17th, 2011
  11. Said MommaCrafty:
    You have absolutely no knowledge of the foreskin at all. If you did you would know that the foreskin is meant to cover the glans to keep it moist. If … retracted at all times the glans will dry out and the nerves … begin to deaden… It can cause sexual dysfunction. The foreskin should absolutely NOT be retracted until it retracts naturally. Forcefully retracting is very damaging…
    —————————————

    Obviously I know more about it than you, because I have one. It is no more than opinion that it is “meant” to be kept unretracted. Obviously, retractability itself disproves that. Obviously, retracting it does not lead to the problems or dysfunction you claim, or else circumcised boys and men would all suffer such fates. Forceful or premature retraction CAN cause damage but does not necessarily do so. Obviously, boys cut at birth did not suffer such damage. But where did I advocate forceful or premature retraction anyway? Obviously, leaving it unretracted until it does so on its own assures that phimosis or other problems will remain undiscovered and untreated. Obviously, you don’t have much of a clue about any of this.

    Charles II wrote on January 24th, 2011
    • “Obviously, retractability itself disproves that” I don’t see how?

      I could force your eyes open but does the ability to open prove the lack of need to be closed? The foreskin is designed to retract, yet left alone will tend to cover. That’s what it does.

      Forcing it open, or amputating it, does indeed lead to well-documented drying and loss of sensitivity.

      Alan wrote on January 24th, 2011
    • “Obviously, leaving it unretracted until it does so on its own assures that phimosis or other problems will remain undiscovered and untreated.”

      Phimosis is not a problem until it has parted from the glans. Forcing it back before then can cause tearing, adhesion and hence phimosis.

      Dr Michael Beauge found that when adolescents presented with phimosis (unable to retract a separated foreskin), they had been in the habit of masturbating (if at all) by some other method than pulling the foreskin back. His treatment involves learning to masturbate in the conventional way, which by itself encourages lateral tissue growth of the foreskin. Dr Beauge has treated hundreds of young men successfully this way.

      Hugh7 wrote on February 16th, 2011
  12. Said Robin at Stone Soup Homeschool Network:
    It is ridiculous to assume that a child would somehow be negatively impacted if “his” looks different from “dad’s” or the other boys in the locker room.
    —————————————

    Blatantly wrong. Many, many uncut boys thrown into locker rooms full of cut peers for the first time have been permanently traumatized at the discovery, and that’s IF they weren’t further traumatized by hazing or other open condemnations. I saw it more than once myself, and others’ stories abound.

    Charles II wrote on January 24th, 2011
    • “permanently traumatized”? You mean as opposed to permanently mutilated?

      School kids are frequently hazed on everything from and between their shoes to their haircut.

      Which trauma would be worse do you think:

      Discovering many (not all) of the other kids in your school have been mutilated and lost something, unlike you

      Or…

      Discovering many of the other kids in your school haven’t been mutilated and lost something, unlike you?

      Which kid is going to have long term “issues”? The one that discovers he is as nature intended, or the one that discovers he’s missing the most sensitive part of his penis and the gliding action – because his parents allowed someone to amputate it while he was a baby?

      You’re trying to suggest the mental “trauma” of discovering some other kids have been mutilated, is as bad or worse than the very real physical and mental trauma of said amputation?

      You can’t even argue ‘all’ of the other kids have been surgically disfigured like that, because even in America it is becoming a minority decision.

      A.

      Alan wrote on January 24th, 2011
  13. It seems to me that all of the arguments in favor can be deflated with 1) wash “it” regularly or 2) wear a condom.

    The criticisms of the social reasons can be reduced to “if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you”?

    And finally, if we were talking about the social or religiously based removal of the female clitoral hood would we even be having this conversation?

    From the Craig Ferguson show:

    Steve wrote on January 25th, 2011
    • Actually, this video is better:

      Steve wrote on January 25th, 2011
  14. Here’s a thought…

    If you don’t like the isea of circumcision, don’t have your children circumcized… But, at the same time, don’t be the asshole who runs around telling people who have done it or are circumcized that they are wrong for it. The physical appearance of their penises will not affect you, and if it does, well, sleep with the light on if it helps. But basically, mind your own business and do what you want quietly.

    Charlie wrote on February 6th, 2011
    • What at asinine thought, Charlie. The same demented reasoning could be applied to all forms of child abuse (“if it does not involve you, mind your own business”).

      Sorry, a great deal of people will object to and fight against child molestation and mutilation even if it does not “affect them” directly, and even if you would remain quiet and look the other way.

      Charles wrote on February 6th, 2011
  15. I’ve been with one uncircumcised man and all the rest have been circumcised. Before then, I was on the “don’t do it” end but only because I think it’s incredibly wrong to make that decision for another person.

    After actually encountering one on a grown man myself, I’m still in the same camp but now can actually say I wish Americans hadn’t jumped on this bandwagon so intensely. It’s a little odd if you’ve never seen/touched one before, but that’s it. Hygiene? They shouldn’t be stinky or dirty unless the man doesn’t know how to wash. And as long as you have that covered and also know how to protect against STDs, I don’t see any valid reason for circumcision.

    All I experienced were benefits =D I wouldn’t say the guy had skills other men lack, the penis just felt different- in the very best way. Everyone is different and I’m certainly not left unsatisfied by default by a circumcised partner… But the difference was something that has really stuck with me, and any time I begin dating a new man I do secretly hope his parents left his genitals alone 😉

    And I’d NEVER do it so that my son wouldn’t get made fun of- by other boys, or by women (or men if he prefers haha) he meets. Kids will be kids and nearly everyone gets teased for something they can’t help about themselves.

    And if a lady thinks your equipment is “gross” and deserves ridicule, then she’s not worth your time of day in the first place. Reasonable women realize that everyone is different, and some penises are circumcised and some are not. If I’m attracted to you enough to get in bed with you, I’m also accepting the fact that there may be surprises and I need to handle them like the adult I happen to be lol… And as long as someone is clean, an unusual looking penis is not something to tease them over unless you’re a real scumbag of a person.

    I’d like to smack any parents doing this because they don’t want their kid to be made fun of.

    Ocelot wrote on February 26th, 2011
  16. My 2 groks, ages 2.5 and 5 are uncut, and I find it mind-boggling that so many people who would be horrified at the same thing being done to girls will do it to boys without blinking an eye.

    momof2groks wrote on March 9th, 2011
  17. Stacy commented:
    My husband… is circumcised… done when he was an infant. I asked him if it was painful and he said he was too young to remember… He has no problem, doesn’t resent it, hasn’t suffered from it. We’re both happy with that.
    … our lack of knowledge on how to properly care for an uncircumcised penis is a major factor in why, if we have a boy, we’ll probably have him circumcised. I also don’t want him to have to do it later in life and remember every second of it.
    ——————–

    I wouldn’t want to change your mind, as your reasoning makes sense and is shared by many. But do some study and see why many believe puberty to be a better age, when a boy can understand and participate in his own decision. It is not usually painful or difficult.

    Charles II wrote on March 27th, 2011
  18. I’m a bit late to the party…. Nevertheless, my two cents:
    My ex and I went with not circumcising our son, so he would match Dad. We weighed our options carefully before making the decision, and to be honest we couldn’t decide which would be more or less beneficial, so we just went with matching Dad. I mean this argument could be made from both sides until we’re all blue in the face because there are good things and bad things about both, as with most things. the problem that arises is how people take the decision.

    For instance, I can’t begin to explain all the flack I got from people when they would change my son’s diaper and realize he is uncut. Like it’s anyone’s business. Like breastfeeding – there are obviously benefits to breastfeeding versus bottle feeding but some people are unwilling or unable to breastfeed and that’s fine too, and nobody’s business but that mother and child. So the whole debate is kind of ridiculous, tbh. Both have good and bad points and it’s a personal choice only to be made by parents and their own children, not the whole world and the next person that changes my son and gives me “that look” is going to get that “can of whoop a$$.”

    Stevie wrote on April 17th, 2011
  19. “The foreskin absolutely has a function:
    a) (deleted, and)
    b) to act as a plunger mechanism to draw competing males semen out of the female genital tract.” –PMatt 1-13-10
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I almost fell out of my chair laughing at that one. I’ve read a lot of groping for straws BS from the anti-circ foreskin freaks crowd, but this one’s a keeper.

    Charles II wrote on June 27th, 2011
  20. Grok had his foreskin intact right?

    Peter wrote on October 20th, 2011
  21. My husband and I had this conversation a while back before we knew we were having a boy. I will absolutely not circumcise my baby, as I see no reason to. I looked up the care for it, and there is no increase in the infection rate to those who aren’t cut. If he wasn’t supposed to have a foreskin, then he wouldn’t be born with one. My husband kept asking me which one I preferred, cut or uncut, like it freaking mattered. I told him that if he gets to baptize our child Catholic, then I get to have him stay intact. If my boy wants it later in life, that will be up to him.

    Katie wrote on January 21st, 2012
  22. I am circumcised, and I wish I were not.

    Although I have never had sex, when I masturbate, it feels painful and tight because I’m pulling on the leftover skin. Also, I cannot get any stimulation on the glans of the penis, only the area of the penis shaft below the glans. And in order to get this stimulation, I would have to do it hard which makes it hurt more. I can use lubricant, but it still hurts because the surface of my hand is not as smooth as the inner surface of a foreskin.

    Peter wrote on January 24th, 2012
  23. In terms of a “medical reason” for a circumcision, our family encountered one in our firstborn son.

    We chose NOT to put him (or us) through circumcision at birth, especially after reading that the benefits are negligible and the practice is over-performed these days.

    However, at 11 months old, he had his first UTI… We didn’t know it was a UTI at first – it was a persistent, HIGH fever for three days that only was relieved by infant Tylenol/Ibuprofen. After that nurse-recommended “home care” period, we took him to the pediatrician’s office. He was diagnosed with a UTI (after they took a urine sample), and he was put on antibiotics.
    After he finished his antibiotics, ONE WEEK later, the fever returned. We were perplexed and upset how this could’ve occurred again in such a short time. This time he was put on stronger antibiotics and sent for follow-up tests to look for any kidney issues (since it’s unusual for infants to have recurring UTIs, though the percentage is slightly higher for uncircumcised boys).

    In the HORRIBLE test – after a HORRIBLE experience with two nurses, and finally a doctor each trying to insert a catheter into my son’s penis (they had to push back further on the foreskin than it was ready to be pushed) – they filled his bladder with X-ray-able liquid of some sort, then kept him on an ultrasound table for at least 30 minutes, until he eliminated the liquid for their observation.
    What they discovered was that when he pushed out the liquid/urine, one of the tubes leading down from the kidney pouched out from the bladder, then filled with liquid (in the wrong direction), then propelling that liquid up towards the kidney. (BAD.)

    We had a few visits with a pediatric urologist after this, and she recommended we either: (1) use a steroid multiple times per day to push down on his foreskin to make it retract earlier than normal, so skin cells (and bacteria) couldn’t collect there… but until it retracted, keep him on a low-dose antibiotic (potentially for many many months)… or, (2) if we weren’t opposed to it, have him circumcised. (She said circumcision would eliminate the possibility of infection happening at all because the whole penis would be cleaned more thoroughly, so the bacteria wouldn’t be able to build up in the urine.)

    It was a excrutiating decision for us as first-time parents, but we chose circumcising our son at that time. It required anesthesia, since he was older, so that was especially worrying.

    Thankfully, everything went smoothly with the operation, and while after-care was difficult with a stronger-than-infant child in pain, it healed wonderfully. (The urologist said that because it was a larger penis than a newborn’s, it would be “beautiful.” Yeah, he never needs to know that.)

    He hasn’t had another kidney infection since (he’s now almost 2 years old).

    Anyway, I think we’d do this again with a future baby boy… the circumcision, that is, only from infancy next time. The urologist said there was a good chance we’d never have known of his bladder-valve issue if he’d been circumcised at birth… (It supposedly heals itself when they’re 3-5 years old, and if he doesn’t have any future UTIs, there’s not much of a need to check if it has.)

    Grete wrote on May 3rd, 2012
    • My daughter had chronic UTIs from ureter reflux, same as your son. Thank God no one ever tried to remove any part of her anatomy to prevent it, although the urologist did want that horribly invasive exam repeated yearly from age 5 to 12, and did want to correct it with surgery and DAILY prophylactic antibiotics and antispasmotics for years. (After the second catherization, exam, & xray, I put my foot down.)

      I figured out it was a hygiene problem (although not the ones typically insisted upon with UTIs), ended the UTIs & kidney infections quickly each time one sprang up with vitamin C megadosing, and then permanently ended them once I figured out and corrected the hygiene problem.

      When I was younger, I had chronic eye infections from very slightly poor makeup hygiene. It took me years to figure out the root cause and solve the problem on my own without drugs from the optometrist, but thank God that in the meantime, no one ever tried to cut off my eyelid to prevent it in the future (that would indeed, have prevented it, while causing many other problems – the eyelid has a function very similar to the foreskin).

      MamaGrok wrote on May 4th, 2012
      • @MamaGrok – Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is terribly scary and difficult for any parent to deal with physical ailments with their child, and I’m sorry you had to go through that with your daughter.

        I think the point you were trying to make is that our pediatric urologist mis-recommended a circumcision as an option for our son’s issue. However, both examples you gave are anatomically dissimilar of how our son’s physiology was more precarious for future infections.

        I’m not sure what your experience is with uncircumcised infant penises, but there is no way to fully “clean” them before the foreskin completely retracts on its own – not until they are well into toddlerhood or sometimes later. Consequently, dead skin cells (and bacteria, if it manages to get in there) are trapped between the head of the penis and the outer opening with very little ability to be “cleaned” by external methods.

        For most uncircumcised children, this is not an issue – as long as the whole penis + foreskin are being well-groomed on a daily basis. However, for a child with internal reflux (as your daughter was also found to have), this is a big issue. This means that any bit of bacteria that becomes trapped in that area could travel through the urinary tract into the kidney.

        As you discovered, a girl’s urinary tract-to-opening is much shorter than a boy’s, and this is why – if hygiene isn’t maintained – it is easier for girls to get UTIs than boys. (Bacteria doesn’t have to travel far to get into the bladder.) However, you have the opening on a girl completely “available” for external cleaning at all times – not the case with an uncircumcised boy.

        An eyelid is also not a comparable example, since you have the ability to flush out the eye and thoroughly soak/clean the eyelid of the infecting factors.

        Anyway, thanks again for your input to this topic.

        Grete wrote on May 4th, 2012
        • I also wanted to add that I’m sorry your pediatrician recommended that same invasive test every year. Our pediatric urologist said that procedure USED to be performed at regular intervals to see if the valve-reflux issue had healed yet, but she said it’s no longer necessary unless any further infections occur.

          Hopefully your daughter has been doing much better with her issues, too.

          Grete wrote on May 4th, 2012
        • I know how very difficult it is to deal with these medical issues with our children, and especially when we’re not sure the course of action being recommended is best. I can never second-guess someone else’s decision when I don’t know all the factors in a given case.

          My main intention in reading is to let other parents know, who may encounter a similar situation, that chronic UTIs, whether caused by reflux or not, can be solved without any surgical intervention at all. UTIs are nearly always a case of something getting in there that doesn’t belong. For women, it’s usually lube, applicators, toys, fill-in-the-blank. For children, it’s usually poop. And diapers usually contribute to the problem for babies, especially if they have diarrhea. There is always a root cause – as we found in our case, even with the reflux, if you stop the UTIs, you stop the problem. And you can stop the UTIs without drugs or surgery in nearly every case. I cannot say with full confidence *every* case, but I have helped many people with many types of UTIs and have been able to stop all of them by finding the root source of the contaminants that shouldn’t be there.

          A foreskin protects a penis from infection like an eyelid protects the eye (and provides moisture, prevents callous, etc.). Identically, a foreskin can trap infection like an eyelid can, *IF* something gets where nothing, biologically, should be able to get. My main point is that if a little boy is getting UTIs, something is happening that should not be, *on the outside*, that should be the doctor’s primary focus before worrying about how, physiologically, to cut up the body to try to fix the problem.

          Neither my doctor nor my child’s went outside of standard Redbook magazine hygiene tricks to address the root cause of our chronic UTIs. Going outside their box and using our brains, we stopped them. I don’t go through all this to blame you, or to blame me, or to blame our doctors for our children’s problems, but to give information for parents in the future who may encounter this same problem. Dig, dig, dig to get to the root cause before taking a permanent, irreversible course. Don’t use an elephant gun to kill a roach.

          MamaGrok wrote on May 4th, 2012
  24. I was circumcised when I was 25, about 10 years ago now. I had a cyst on the end of the foreskin that needed removing and had the choice of just having the cyst removed or the full circumcision.

    Having been sexually active both ways I can say with certainty there is no reduction in feeling whatsoever – it is different yes but no less enjoyable and there has been no negative impact on sensitivity.

    It is definitely cleaner, I showered and cleaned myself regularly pre circumcision but it is still much cleaner now than it was before.

    The final point I’d make is addressing the comment earlier comparing it to female “circumcision” – the term is a misnomer, and female genital mutilation is the preferred term since the clitoris is often removed not the hood – this is a direct and concious act to remove sensitivity from females, it is nothing like removing the foreskin and would have more in common with you having your glans removed.

    Lee wrote on May 3rd, 2012
    • Forgot to mention, I have quite a few males in my house, some circumcised, some not, so I am very familiar with benefits and risks of both situations, with regard to UTIs, cleanliness, and otherwise. In our home, we do not find the uncircumcised penis any more difficult to clean and care for than an eye.

      MamaGrok wrote on May 4th, 2012
  25. It’s pretty obvious to anyone with a logical mind and an IQ over 50, that Christopher Dollis has wiped the floor with the pro-circumcision camp; and Alan provided the necessary information on the value of the foreskin and hopefully educated some of the ignorant people frequenting here.

    There is no logical reason for circumcision. I was circumcised and it has destroyed my life – loss of sensitivity, anxiety and depression.

    As far as I’m concerned, the people who keep peddling this circumcision nonsense are no less evil than child rapists.

    Sick in the head, the lot of you.

    Larry wrote on July 23rd, 2012
  26. Early in life I was pro-circ. I had been pretty well conditioned to except it as an acceptable practice by the medical industry in the USA. Consider for a moment that one million babies are cut each year, and that a typical cost might be $200-600 per instance. Suddenly, we have a ~$400,000,000 annual business on our hands. That immediately makes me raise my eyebrows and wonder if the people profiting are also the chief promoters.

    There is often a vociferous outrage when removing the foreskin is compared to FGM/Female Circumcision, but there shouldn’t be. This is a topic which people generally don’t know as much about as they think they do. FGM Type Ia is the removal of the clitoral hood/female prepuce. This practice is anatomically equivalent to cutting off the male prepuce. Many people aren’t aware that this procedure exists, and they immediately think of clitorectomy or infibulation when they hear “FGM”.

    Here’s the kicker, though. All types of FGM, including Type Ia or Type IV (a “ritual nick”) are illegal in the USA and in much of the developed world. The argument can be made, and made well, that protecting the female prepuce but not the male prepuce is a violation of the Equal Protection principle, since some people’s prepuces are legally defended and others’ aren’t.

    I’m glad now to have a foreskin, and I wouldn’t give it up. Are there any female readers who feel ashamed of their clitoral hoods, and wish that somebody had removed theirs during infancy? It seems like a strange thought process to have.

    RB wrote on July 24th, 2015

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