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January 12 2010

To Circumcise or Not To Circumcise?

By Worker Bee
517 Comments

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.

TAGS:  men's health

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517 thoughts on “To Circumcise or Not To Circumcise?”

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  1. First!
    No one touching this one?
    Well let me go on the record…
    …a woman walk into a a bar with a pig under one arm and a duck under the other…

    I know when I had my son, I felt awful afterwards just for the PAIN. And the crazy thing, is everyone is like saying, “they won’t remember the pain!”

    Yeah, but I do and to this day wish I hadn’t. Especially with all the data supporting the contrary.

    Thanks Mark, Happy New Year!

    1. It’s always going to be controversial, so I’ll just say this. If you are NOT going to circumcise your boy, at least prompt him to retract his foreskin as soon as he is able to, and to keep it that way at all times. Explain circumcision to him as soon as he asks about it or is able to comprehend it, not after he is an awkward teenager or grown. And make sure he knows that he can get circumcised any time he needs or wants to.

      1. Only just reading this article now, (Dec/2010, but I’ve got to find out from you, WHY should a male keep his foreskin retracted all the time? He’d have to keep on pulling it back many times during the day. I assume you are not an uncircumsized male, because you don’t seem to know very much about this. It just doesn’t make sense… Retract and clean it in the shower/bath, then leave it be.

        /rant

        1. Au contraire. It is you who know little about the foreskin. Many, perhaps even most of them, are loose enough and/or long enough to work exactly as you describe. Maintaining retraction can be difficult or seem even impossible. Others are not so at all, and can become permanently retracted on first try or with only some effort over short time. The foreskin is an excellent over center device that can become quite comfortable in either position, forward of or behind the corona of the penis head.

          1. Form follows function, chuck. Its designed as such for a reason. Exposing the glans to constant stimuli, via contact with clothing will permanently reduce sensitivity over time. Why would anyone want to reduce the pleasure they can experience. Please stop, you have no idea what you speak of.

      2. 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 the foreskin is retracted at all times the glans will dry out and the nerves of the glans begin to deaden as the glans is covered in many layers of skin. This is called keratinization. It can cause sexual dysfunction. Besides. The foreskin should absolutely NOT be retracted until it retracts naturally. Forcefully retracting the foreskin is very damaging to the penis. It is only necessary to retract the foreskin once it has naturally retracted to clean away smegma (which women also acquire in the folds of their labia, we do not cut them off of little girls so there is no good argument to circumcise males for the same reason). Once the area has been washed with a mild soap the foreskin should be replaced over the glans where it belongs. Prior to natural retraction the foreskin has its own cleaning system. You should only wash the external the same way you wash your finger.

        Circumcision is an unnecessary, cosmetic procedure performed primarily in the United States…where doing the same thing to girls is considered “wrong” and is illegal. Regardless of how you flip the coin, genital mutilation is not acceptable. Removing a functioning part of a human being (much less and infant that has not given consent) is wrong. Infant circumcision is a human rights violation.

        1. I’m tired of hearing this human rights nonsense. The child has no memory of the incident what-so-ever and there is nothing wrong with a circumcised child. I feel like we as Americans feel the need to question everything that is happening around us, including things that need not be questioned. If a parent wants to have their child circumcised it should be THEIR choice. Not the choices of other individuals who state that it is wrong. It is none of any of your businesses what the parents decision to do is and that should be excepted instead of trying to fight it. I think you people need to find other things better to do with your time then to try to take a right away from the public that we have had since way before this country was founded.

          1. Why not allow foot binding while we’re at it? Ear Notching? I mean it’s your kid, your *property* right? Maybe you’re superstitious and think the number 3 will lead to a lucky and prosperous life for your child later on, BUT only if you chop off those other 2 pesky digits on each hand. I mean it’s your property, amirite? Heck you can throw it in the river if you don’t like it as well?

        2. I’m actually trying to reply to Kyle, but there’s no reply link below his comment.

          I get where you’re coming from, Kyle. But your facts are wrong. Circumcision began in this country (for Christians and other non-Jews) a little over 100 years ago, when the military instituted it to try to cut back on masturbation. It became common fewer than 100 years ago. My parents learned, only at his death, that my grandfather wasn’t circumcised. They had no idea that it only became commonplace around the time of WWII.

          This is *not* our national heritage. It’s not our Christian heritage. It has nothing to do with tradition or destroying our culture and everything to do with asking, “Why did we ever start doing this in the first place?”

          It’s a little harder to search through the comments now that they’re broken up into pages, but I urge you to take just 5 minutes to look for my other comments that give the details of this, historically, esp. regarding how it is nothing resembling the traditional circumcision procedure that was commanded by God of Abraham. I also give the harm that comes to the man and to his future wife. It is far from negligible. Living that harm myself is what first sent me looking into the history and facts of the procedure.

        3. Kyle you must obviously also be in favour of the doing the same thing to girls. Don’t worry I’m only planning to have my daughter’s genitals trimmed a little. Since she’ll be in hospital anyway I might as well have her earlobes pruned at the same time. All without anaesthetic of course. Babies don’t feel pain or don’t remember it or something, so it’s all good.

        4. Im sorry, I just had to respond to your comment as I found it to be harsh and ignorant. Genital mutilation? Are you insane. Their is absolutely no way you can call it that. Look up cases of genital mutilation and give your head a shake. Human rights violation? Again, are you insane. I’m assuming you’ve just had a baby, and are feeling very strongly towards not circumsizing. Fair enough, but don’t you dare tell me that circumsizing a child is comparable to mutilation. That’s just complete and utter bullshit.

        5. Kyle and Kim –

          Please educate yourselves on some basic anatomy before making any more decisions that impact other individuals. Circumcision is genital mutilation. The only difference is society’s view towards it, and the age at which it is performed. I guess you don’t have any problems with female circumcision as long as it is done right after they’re born?

          Your viewpoints are sexist and offensive.

      3. My least favorite article on this website. Why? The author does not follow his own internal logic (Grok’s logic, the primal logic). I think that is the case because he is probably circumcised himself and is hard to realize and accept your parents screwed up, and see it everyday of your life. Yes, for any given issue, we can always find studies in favor or against (e.g. breastfeeding), but weak science is never a substitute for common sense. There are cases where circumcision is needed (kids with unhealthy habits and lifestyle prone to bacterial infections). That one reason only can explain for all those studies that “suggest” benefits from circumcision. But that would be like removing the teeth to prevent cavities. The cause is not the teeth but the unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Even the Pediatric Association of USA (the only country I know where circumcision is practice routinely) does not recommend it anymore. Like with the breastfeeding “controversy”, finally the public and scientific community has realized that nature knows better. Baby boys do not come to this world with a physical defect that we need to “fix”, that is very presumptuous. The evolution process has designed a body that we could say is perfect for living in its environment. Mark, there is no possible controversy here. Follow your own logic. Grok would be pissed at the idea of circumcision and you know it. Don’t fix it if it is not broken. Gentlemen, “do not harm”. Please.

      4. Advising boys to have their foreskin always retracted is not only needless and ignorant but also detrimental to the the sensitivity of the glans. Truly horrible advice.

  2. Mark, are you trying to get some controversy going on your site?

    And, if we’re living like Grok, I’m sure he didn’t cut off his son’s penis.

    Do you know the circumcision rate in other industrialized countries?

    Do you know the reason circumcision started in the first place?

    How about you watch a video or too on circumcision and see if that’s something you want done to you:

    http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/video.html

    And read this article:

    http://www.mothering.com/health/the-case-against-circumcision

    And why not cut off a girl’s labia to help protect her from UTI’s? The rate of UTI’s in uncircumcised males and females is the same.

    Or, let’s cut off ears to protect against ear infections.

    Really, Mark, why didn’t you talk about the importance of establishing good bacteria in the child to help prevent UTI’s, ear infections, etc. ? Did you know that breastfeeding and being born at home helps colonize the child’s system with healthy bacteria, helping them fight off ear infections, UTI’s, food allergies, etc. ? Please focus on these issues…this post of yours sounds very CM to me, and that makes me very sad.

    1. “CM”?

      If you read the post closely MDA’s Worker Bee (and I by default) didn’t take a strong stance on circumcision. This isn’t my area of expertise but I find the topic interesting, so I thought we’d explore the scientific literature and varying viewpoints, and then open it up to discussion.

      Controversy doesn’t worry me.

      1. So Mark, what do you think about circumcision. Do you think we should circumcise males or leave them intact?

        For me, I would leave them intact.

    2. We are excepting a baby boy in a couple months, and I have been looking into both sides of circumcision.I am leaning towards no, and wanted to thank you for providing the link to mothering.com. that is an excellent article, and has helped me establish my views on the topic.

  3. Well, I don’t remember the pain, that’s true. And honestly, it doesn’t bother me that it happened.

    BUT

    I wouldn’t pass on this tradition. It’s not necessary. Babies wouldn’t remember if we branded them either, but we don’t do that.

    1. I wouldn’t pass on this tradition. It’s not necessary. Babies wouldn’t remember if we branded them either, but we don’t do that.

      I totally agree! My almost-3-year-old is uncircumsized, and will remain so unless he decides, as an adult, to make that (unnecessary) choice for himself.

  4. I love the banana! That’s inspired.

    If I ever have a son, he won’t be circumcized. I find it to be unnecessary if this is not a religious vow, and most problems will be prevented with good hygienic practices.

  5. I was circumcised at birth, and now have three boys of my own who are not. To be honest its a tough call, but my wife and I just decided its not natural or really needed so WHY? One of the three seems prone to irritation after swimming, but not infection or anything. He’s five and showers himself after swimming so its probably a lack of washing that we are dealing with. Besides that I see no drawback so far.

    Anyone who does it so son will look like Dad has bigger issues to deal with.

  6. My son is not circumcised, I am not. This was a contentious issue between my wife and me when it came time to make the call. Ultimately, we decided that it was a decision best left to the individual receiving the procedure. If my son chooses to get circumcised when he is old enough to make the decision for himself, I will respect that; but I don’t believe that the decision should be ours to make on his behalf..

    1. I meant to say that I AM circumcised. Though I think its worth noting that I was not given the choice. If I had been given the opportunity to choose for myself, I certainly would not have been circumcised.

  7. Unless it’s medically necessary, it seems like it would be better to give the choice to child. The UTI and STD observations are interesting, but don’t seem to be enough to justify prophylactic circumcision.

  8. My father being the son of Italian immigrants, he didn’t understand the desire to circumcise one’s children. So my brother and I were not. And for most of adolescents I hated that fact. It was awkward for me when it came up (because it was usually talked about as “abnormal”) and, when my friends found out, they made fun of me (that’s okay… I got them back!)

    But as I got older I’ve become glad that I’m uncircumcised. First of all, it’s the way my body was intended to be. Secondly (and, in my mind, NOT on a lighter note) it’s where my, “spot” is. (pleasure is part of life and if circumcision depletes this then that fact is more than just some aside). And lastly, I kinda like the way it looks. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some, well, less than attractive ones, but that goes for toes, noses, ears, and calves as well.

    The main thing is, if you are making a decision, any decision, on “I don’t want to be made fun of” or “I want to conform to cultural norms” then your logic is flawed from the get-go. If circumcision is actually healthier, then I’m all for it. But that doesn’t really seem to be the case, and there are plenty of reasons why uncircumcised might be “better”.

    Lastly, there is a very easy way to bring the chances of acquiring HIV (or any other disease) through sex down to almost 0%. A condom. 50% is still not very good odds when you’re playing Russian Roulette.

    So, like momma always said, “if it’s raining out, don’t forget to wear your rubbers!”

    1. The main thing is, if you are making a decision, any decision, on “I don’t want to be made fun of” or “I want to conform to cultural norms” then your logic is flawed from the get-go.

      Truer words were never spoken.

      1. Oh please! Conforming to cultural norms is a good thing and a valid reason people make a lot of choices in life. Try not wearing pants to work and throughout your daily activities next Monday and see how it feels to not fit in….

        1. A medical decision needs to be based on health and safety; there are known risks to any medical procedure, significant bacterial risks of simply being in the hospital.

          Making a medical (surgical) decision for sake of conformity is not a sound reason – whether one is talking about circumcision or any other medical procedure.

          There is a big difference between not wearing pants and cutting off a body part in order to look like (an ever decreasing) portion of society. And the vast majority of the population will never see the penis, so in reality one is circumcising to conform to a *possible difference* in the locker room and for the *possible pleasure* of sexual partners (many here have expressed more pleasure and preference for the uncut penis).

          There is some truth in that some amount of conformity is how our human race survived. In ancient times, going solo could have meant vulnerability to attack, and conforming within the group could mean survival. However, we humans are almost too stable now, as Mark writes in his book – we aren’t having to fight for survival and that can slow our evolution. These days, in our general safe (as a species) lives, conformity is not crucial. Eating primal is being nonconformist; conformity wrt eating, in America, is eating the Standard American Diet.

    2. As far as the tease factor (in the bizarre world of male penis comparison)if the rate of circumcision has dropped by almost 50% then it seems that upcoming generations will not have to face this sort of stigma anymore…even more reason for this to be a non issue

      As far as health benefits…they seem small and are accompanied by similar precentages of risk. I doubt that if you are living in the Western world you will blame the fact that you are uncircumcised if you contract HIV (other factors will probably contribute more heavily). On the other hand if your child suffers from complications due to the circumcision you will feel nothing but guilt.

      Like others have said. Let this be a decision the person makes for themselves when they are old enough to understand the arguements for and against.

  9. All types of genital mutilation, including circumcision, appear to have a religious origin, probably meant to reduce pleasure during “sinful” intercourse.

    Like Christopher Hitchens said, I think it should be the guy’s decision whether to sew off the tip of his penis or not.

    The above being said, the evidence supporting circumcision is, at best, weak and comes at the cost of losing countless nerve endings.

    Plus Grok’s penis was not Kosher.

    1. Well said, by you and Christopher Hitchens both.

      It SEEMS to me that hacking off the tip of a baby’s genitals MAY not be strictly “primal”, and might have even been influenced by culture and religion, as opposed to the demands to survive in the Paleolithic environment.

      Just sayin’.

        1. Yes.

          Protecting children is something everyone should be into, I think.

          It is bizarre that, of all things, it’s okay to cut off part of one’s child’s genitals.

          If one takes religion, culture, and “the way things have always been done” custom away from the equation, doesn’t that seem a little odd?

    2. I don’t want to take any stance on circumcision itself, but to claim that sex is deemed “Sinful” by religions who perform circumcisions is uniformed, false, and an out right [b]lie[/b].

      In Jewish law, sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (the evil impulse), it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah.

      1. Well said, tribesman!. I just happened upon this thread looking for info on vitamin D (hey, I didn’t make the search engine) and this looked too interesting to pass by. I’d just add that Jewish law advocates marital intimacy on the Sabbath, not restraint. It is not only permissible, but sanctified.

      2. And yet Maimonides said:
        “As regards circumcision, I think that one of its objects is to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate. …

        “The bodily injury caused to that organ is exactly that which is desired…there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment; the organ necessarily becomes weak when it loses blood and is deprived of its covering from the beginning.”

        He also said
        “The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision.”

        and
        “Our sages (Bereshit Rabba, c.80) say distinctly: It is hard for a woman, with whom an uncircumcised man had sexual intercourse, to separate from him.”

        – Moreh Nevuchim (The Guide for the Perplexed) p.378 of the Dover edition
        1956.

    3. I don’t know about sinful sex. Sex is well condoned in the bible if it’s within marriage…or concubines in the old testament. Actually, it’s more likely along the lines as eating kosher and women isolating themselves during their period:sanitation. People back then didn’t know about germs or cancer or what caused them for the most part, so they came up with this solution, which at the time, was worth it. It became a tradition and was passed on until now where it isn’t really worth it. I come from a Christian background, so male circumcision is easy enough to explain….female circumcision, I admit, has me stumped. =P

  10. I’m female and don’t have children but I knew a guy who had to get circumcised at age 26 because of painful erections. After the circumcision, he was fine. I don’t believe it’s necessary as once believed.

  11. I myself here in Germany do not know anybody who is circumcised, and I have NEVER EVER heard of a guy with urinary tract infection.
    And second, when UTI is not treated from the beginning, the bacteria start to spread to the kidneys, so I am not surprised that they get damaged. BUT this is an error in treatment.

    1. Same in the UK. It happens but it’s unusual. My first boyfriend was American and he was snipped – but none of my subsequent partners have been.
      It seems a bit of an odd thing to do to a healthy child.

    2. Our family Doctor actually told us that boys cannot get UTIs. He said it’s something entirely different, with similar symptoms. For the life of me I cannot remember what it was he said though.

        1. Forgot to add, although the whole article is good the information about separation/UTIs is point #4.

  12. I got circumcised when was around 5, and I recall the pain =(. To ease the pain, the nurses suggested I wear a paper cup and attach it to the area and cut out the other end of the cup so I could pee through it. I wore this under my pants and went to kindergarten. I wasn’t too self conscience so I guess I didn’t care much, but I do remember my friend asking me what i had in my pants… back in Korea, hospitals did not circumcise at birth and usually men were circumcised when they go to mandatory military service… but since i was going to be emigrating to the states, my parents thought I needed to have the procedure back then.

    Having been through it… I still got my son circumcised as I didn’t want him to feel different in the future… i actually have friends who have self esteem issues because they weren’t circumcised. At least my son won’t have any memories of it.

  13. I am so glad my parents didn’t circumcise me. I can only imagine how bad it would feel without the whole banana peel; really, it is there for a reason. IMO circumcision is a f@#$ed up practice coming from religious origins. Barring medical complications, I see no logical reason for it. To me, the “health” reasons are an arbitrary guise for the religious undertones of chastity and purity. I some parts of the world it is common for baby girls to be “circumcised”. One deciding whether or not to circumcise your child forget the pain the baby has to go through during circumcision, think about the diminished pleasure they will experience later in life.

  14. The health-based arguments for circumcision aren’t that strong. I see it being very similar to the logic of, say, cutting of a woman’s breasts so she doesn’t have to worry about getting breast cancer.

    Grok was never circumcised and he seemed to get by okay. We’re all here aren’t we.

    1. I’m no proponent of circumcision, but I’d say your analogy is way off. Are you an opponent of preventive mastectomies, too?

        1. Lol, Christoph. Nice. 🙂

          Sonagi, regarding preventative mastectomies, I think they are such an absurd attempt at a solution that it would be laughable except for the sad fact that people actually do that to themselves.

          Why not just cut everything off below the neck and be “disease-free.” I mean, really.

  15. My first two boys were circumcised. Just as they were vaccinated. These were decisions made in the ignorance of youth when I still thought the medical profession could be trusted to make decisions in the best interest of patients.

    My wife and I have a baby boy due in February. He will not be circumcised, nor will he be vaccinated. I would never practice genital mutilation on my daughters, why would I do it to my son?

    That British study cited, that says 111 circumcisions must be performed to prevent 1 UTI is the same abysmally low success rate that drove my wife and I from trusting in “routine vaccinations.” The idea that making everyone suffer equally to protect very few individuals is immoral.

    1. Circumisized or not…doesn’t matter. But please don’t leave your child unvaccinated. Regardless of what the talk show wags tell you, there is no evidence whatsoever that there is any relation between vaccination and autisim. Think of how you will feel if your child contracts whooping cough, scarlet fever, polio, tetnus, measles, etc. None of these viruses have gone away….it’s just that everyone is vaccinated.
      This is one area that you don’t want to be Grok-like in. Prior to vaccinations you could pretty much count on losing one or more of your children to these diseases. 3 of my Great-Grandfather’s siblings died in a 2 week period from diptheria. While watching a program with a panel of Moms with autistic kids swear that their kids became autistic because of vaccinations I noted the one thing that they all did have in common….all of the mothers were pushing 40 years old or more when they had them.

      1. If there were one shred f evidence in favour of vaccination, it would be a valid discussion topic, but as of the present, there isn’t and it remains an issue of medical industry propaganda, a.k.a. fear-mongering.

        My children have had several of the supposedly potentially deadly diseases that vaccines are supposed to prevent, and they all were ill for a maximum of three days each- no secondary infections, no complications whatsoever, and they now all have natural immunity, which vaccines ironically do prevent.

        Nevermind that the best way for me to guarantee that my children contract polio is to have them vaccinated.

        In terms of risk, of which living is one, there is far less risk involved in nourishing a body to build immunity than to deliberately injecting an otherwise unlikely-contracted disease into it.

        It’s amazing how basic logic goes out the window when the fear-inducing word “vaccine” is invoked.

        Thank you for using the term “vaccine”; it’s worlds away from the truth of “immunisation,” which is easily obtained through excellent nutrition and allowing the immune system (mostly in the gut) to do its job. Do you really think we have less ability to fight off disease as a further evolved species than earlier? Or do you think there are more communicable/infectious diseases? Also unfounded.

        If I had my children vaccinated “on schedule”, they’d have 32 poison-pokes before the tender age of three. Seriously. Ridiculous.

        And for those who have trouble understanding the link between vaccines and autism, it is rather obvious that the link is in ‘toxic load’, which can come from anywhere, accumulated over time in the gestating mother’s body, transferred to baby, environmental pollution, masses of medication during hospital birth, etc…. It just so happens that the medical industry has a load of toxins available for injection, and pushes them on parents and babies so readily, that they tend to be the toxic load that pushes some people over the edge from wavering brain-health to symptomatic brain-injury/impediment.

        There are plenty of children with autism who have had no vaccines, but this is no case for the health-benefits for vaccination.

        It is likely that those 40+ mothers have had a long enough time to accumulate toxins in their bodies prior to vaccinating their babies, that this may have been what tipped the scales against their babies being able to tolerate the repeated injection of poisons.

        Occam’s razor is as helpful as ever in determining the root-causes and best solutions to these issues. And no, it is isn’t more complicated than that. Human health is extremely efficient; the circuitous routes the medical industry takes to make claims about the need for or success of their Big-Pharma propaganda campaigns are self-incriminating. Posters warning parents that their children could contract tetanus from playing in their backyards and at the beach, or while fishing with dad, are obvious ploys to monger fear in the stead of reason.

        If any of the medical industry’s claims were true, there would be no need for scare-tactics. The veracity of their claims would be self-evident.

        Proper nutrition and activity are self-evident and default precursors to health. Vaccines can claim no such place in the evolution of human beings or our health.

        1. I am sorry, but you are way off base here. I respect your right to not vaccinate your kids, but acting like there is some conspiracy to poison them is ridiculous. I have studied immunology for years and for some illnesses exposure to antigens from that illness are the only way to infer protection. I agree with you that the gut mediated pathway is often a better way to introduce antigens, that is why a lot of vaccines are going oral as opposed to injection.

          Additionally, the number of vaccines routinely given are closer to twenty than thirty-two, often with multiple diseases covered by a single vaccine.

          Personally I never get a flu shot because in my age group the risk of death is low from an infection. You may not need to vaccinate against yellow fever or some of the other tropical diseases if you live in the northern us and don’t travel. The HPV vaccine, which I think is a fantastic breakthrough at limiting a disease that seldom has any symptoms until s woman develops cervical cancer, can be given to girls in their teens.

          My twin brother (fraternal) is Autistic and I don’t blame anyone, least of all the “Big Pharma.”We had the same womb environment, the same nutrition, and the same vaccination schedule (my parents actually spaced ours out instead of giving multiples at each visit) and we ended up with completely different social intelligences. He didn’t speak until he was nine.

          I have worked overseas in areas where vaccination is not commonly practiced and have watched children die of measles. I can personally guarantee you that when your pediatrician – if you have one – recommends vaccination they are not part of some conspiracy to hurt kids. They, like me, are trying to reduce the suffering and improve the longevity of children.

          Okay, rant complete. I know it won’t do any good because you’ve already decided what the truth is, but maybe someone reading this will do their own research before taking your advice.

        2. This is ridiculous. It was only ever one rogue doctor who said there might be a link between autism and vaccinations. And he was ludicrously biased – he was being paid a hell of a lot to say it. Immediately as he released his report, thousands of medical professionals rubbished his claims, and he was struck off the medical board. But still this man’s claims were reported and thus the percentage of children being vaccinated against MMR dipped. And, surprisingly, the number of children contracting – and dying from – measles, mumps and rubella in the UK ballooned.
          When my children are born they will most definitely be vaccinated.

          As for the circumcision thing – I know plenty of men who have been snipped later in life for medical reasons, so I’m all for it if it’s necessary. But I see no reason to circumcise at birth if there’s nothing wrong. Just as I would never pierce a baby daughter’s ears for aesthetic reasons so she won’t remember the pain, so I wouldn’t unnecesarily circumcise a baby boy for aesthetic reasons.

  16. My son was circumcised almost 6 years ago. I made his father watch the procedure because I wanted one of us to be there, and I could not walk very well. He slept through the entire thing, apparently. Didn’t even flinch.

    So there you go.

    1. Ive heard countless stories maintaining the exact same account. If i have sons, they will be, if only for the fact that I don’t want to heap ostracism on them. There are little to no side effects and none long term that I’ve ever heard off.

      Babies can feel pain from early in the second trimester before they are even born so I have no doubt that some pain is inevitable however the lack of ostracism (specifically during the time of sexual development) the easier up keep (cleanliness), the proposed health benefits, and never having to hear my son explain that his wife was grossed out because she’d never seen an uncircumcised guy I think are worth it.

      1. It’s about 55/45 these days in the US, so the ostracism argument is less compelling than for our generation, when it was more like 80/20 or 90/10.

        As for little to no side effects, you’re cutting about half of the nerve endings off your boy’s penis. Aside from that big one, there’s a 5% risk of infection, a 1/20,000 risk of amputation and 1/2,000,000 risk of death. There’s also a significant risk of urethral thinning and complete loss of pleasure sensitivity.

        Those are significant and real side effects just to make sure he’s in the majority.

        Interestingly to me, my wife and I had this discussion last week as our first son is due in April. He’s not getting circumcised.

        1. My husband, who was raised Catholic, is circumcised. His parents had it done when he was an infant. I asked him if it was painful and he said he has no idea. He was too young to remember anything. He is and always has been clean and healthy. He has no problem in the pleasure department, whatsoever. Scout’s honor. He doesn’t resent it, because he hasn’t suffered from it. We’re both happy with that.

          He’s the only man I have ever had any sexual relations with, so circumcision is all I know. I think 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.

        2. Trying to reply to Stacy, but the reply link isn’t below your name for some reason.

          Your ignorance (and I use that term in that technical sense, not as an insult) is no reason to remove a perfectly functioning organ from your son. Let me fill you in, b/c I didn’t know when my son was born, either: The official word from the AAP is “Leave it alone.” Don’t touch it. When he’s four or five, you can tell him that he can occasionally very gently see if it opens up (retracts), and when it does, he should do that during bathing time (before any soap gets in the water) and swish it around in the clean water.

          THAT IS ALL. No care.

          Circumcision, on the other hand, requires much careful care to the surgical wound left on the newborn boy.

          I’m Catholic. Catholics don’t circumcise for religious reasons. Those who did so in the 20th century (only Americans) only did so because the culture around them told them to.

      2. Women grossed out from seeing an uncircumcised man??? What planet…What society – do these women live in? I want to sa “la-la-land” – or one of extreme ignorance and cultural and scientific depravity.

        I read the comment about Germany above, and will add that the same is true of Norway where I am from, and also the other Scandinavian countries: Routine, male infant circumcision is non-existant.

        Even calling it “prophylactic” makes me ill. And although it cannot be compared to elective and prophylactic mastectomies in adult women (who usually have been told they have a greater than normal probability of developing breast cancer due to familial history/incidence), it CAN be compared to female infant (or minor child) c. in non-western societies. Need not go far to find out what mainstream Americans think of that!

        I heard that the practice really picked up after WW I when young soldiers came home from the trenches with all kinds of infections. I’d love to blame a war! But that was 90-something years ago… And North-Americans are the “showering-est,” most ablution- and soap-addicted people in the world. Also consequently use more water, phosphates, energy (to transport and heat said water), and pharmaceutical products in the world. Just look at the “anti-bacterial” debate! Once rare, bottles of anti-bac gel are now ubiquitous. In spite of the fact that proper hand-washing is still the best way, etc…

        Back to circumcision: I once watched dear friends day-old son being diaper-changed in the hospital room, both parents present… the nurse pulled the diaper off, and with it the bandage covering his recently mutilated little penis – which began to bleed profusely, and the boy screamed in terror and pain. I was shocked. Never saw it so “freshly done” and never heard a baby scream like that. The worst part? His parents looked bothered, but then just carried on as if this was the most normal thing in the world.

        It is not. Or infant boys would have been born without a foreskin. Mess with nature later if you wish or if medically necessary. But call a spade a spade, folks. Routine infant circumcison is unnecessary physical mutilation of a newborn, and it is unconscionable in this day and age.

      3. Ostracism? Grossing women out? Cleanliness?

        The proposed “health benefits” have anlready been dismissed, but cleaning an uncircumsized penis isn’t a big deal, and I’ve never faced ostracism for it. Hell, as for “grossing women out”, you’ve probably slept with uncircumsized men and had no idea. The foreskin retracts during erections, so you can only tell there’s foreskin when a man’s limp.

    2. Wow, I just had a damn good laugh there! When you said “He slept through it…”, I thought you meant the father!
      ROFLMAO

      Good to hear it was a pain-free experience for the child.

    3. I hate to say this:

      Unless the doctors had your child under anesthesia, what your son experienced, although it appeared to be, was not sleep. What the child was actually experiencing was an acute stress reaction (sometimes known as shock) due to the physical trauma.

      The brain immediately triggers it’s own type of shutdown mode and sufferers appear to be numb, disassociated and drowsy.

      For a long time in the medical community ignorance convinced many that if the kid wasn’t screaming constantly that must mean it didn’t really hurt. Research has now proven otherwise but unfortunately many doctors will not inform new parents that this is the actual phenomenon occurring. Even more unfortunately some will still try to pass off this reaction as if it proves the procedure is no big deal.

  17. When we found out that we were having a boy, our OB approached us about circumcision before our baby was delivered. We didn’t know much about it so she let us know that the procedure is not only very painful for the newborn but completely unnecessary. We decided against it for both of our boys – it just seemed unnatural to alter their “parts” and for us to make this kind of decision about their bodies for them. They are ages 8 and 10 and have never had any problems associated with a lack of circumcision.

  18. I guess I never expected this conversation to come up.

    I have 4 boys, 2.5 circs. Weird, huh? 3 of the 4 were born with a little birth defect that required surgery, and circumcision usually goes along with it because the foreskin wasn’t fully formed anyway.

    With the first, we asked the dr. to reconstruct the foreskin, but it didn’t work so he still has the incomplete, loose skin. The second didn’t have the defect, so he’s uncircumcised. The last 2 got the surgery and the circ.

    #1 son is going to have to decide what he wants to do, and if he wants to be circumcised as an adult, he won’t like the pain. I’m sure it’s much worse for adults, but unfortunately it may be necessary.

    1. Actually circumcision is less painful for adults because they don’t have involuntary erections like infants do. Each time the infant has an involuntary erection, it stretches the healing wound and causes pain. And because the infant is peeing and pooing in his diaper, there is a good chance of infection on the wound. An adult male getting circumcised can be given medicine to prevent erections and will not be soiling the wounded area.

      1. “Actually circumcision is less painful for adults because they don’t have involuntary erections like infants do.”

        WHOA DOGGIES! I think a guy needs to have a little chat with you – its how they salute the morning – most every morning.

        1. Yeah, second that. I’m 35 and I have involuntary erections every night. All men do. ….I thought the stereotype was WE were the ones who didn’t know about YOUR bodies, not the other way around. 😉

        2. Ha – if I weren’t married, I’d sure be happy to dedicate my life doing a scientific survey of male erections 🙂

          As my post said – “An adult male getting circumcised can be given medicine to prevent erections and will not be soiling the wounded area.” Unless you can’t take the medicine, and unless you plan on peeing and crapping in your undies, you have a medical advantage over an infant.

  19. Our son is circumsized, but I wish that I hadn’t. I have mixed feelings on the subject being a westerner..but when the nurse took my baby son away for the procedure I just had a bad feeling. How could I put him through that pain? I wish I would have been more knowledgable at the time. But once again, I trusted that the Dr.s knew what was best and went with it. They are the professionals, right? Now, I know better and do my own research..

    1. Now, I know better and do my own research.

      Good for you.

      This is a deeply embedded thing in our culture, and most people accept it.

      The more people who see the light, the more children who will be protected from genital mutilation.

      IF there are advantages then surely teenagers, at least, can make the decision when they are old enough to understand the risks, and “rewards”, of circumcision.

  20. We circumcised both our boys. I’m not cut and don’t have any particularly strong opinions on the subject, so I defaulted to “no”. Wife felt more strongly about the matter so I let her make the call, since she grew them for 9 months and would be doing most of the diaper changes.

  21. Having worked in surgery, and done circumcisions on patients later in life due to recurrent infection… suffice it to say that I did have my son circumcised. You don’t have to worry about those kind of infections later if you are circumcised.

    1. I agree with the last post. Very beneficial for someone with recurrent infection and phimosis.

    2. When my son was born, the pediatrician who saw him in the hospital essentially said the same thing (he was a pediatric nephrologist, not my regular pediatrician). The question I’ve always wished I’d thought to ask is, would you advise the same if I’d had a baby girl? I know plenty of girls who’ve had recurrent UTIs, and no one even considers cutting off body parts. If someone feels the same about both sexes, I can’t argue. But if not, why would you do it only for your son?

  22. My son was born in 1980, and is NOT circumcised. His son is also not, as well as my daughter’s son. I am happy to report that none of them have had problems. My son is actually proud that he is “intact”. Circumcision is purely cosmetic, in my opinion. Unless there is some religious reason for it, I say LEAVE IT ALONE!

  23. My son was circumcised almost 6 years ago. I made his father watch the procedure because I wanted one of us to be there, and I could not walk very well. He slept through the entire thing, apparently. Didn’t even flinch.

    So there you go.

    I think your husband lied to you. To protect you from the memory of the thing which you could not face.

    1. Wow. You’re rude. My wife let my boy suck apple juice off her finger for the duration of the procedure, and while he didn’t sleep through it, he never seemed particularly distressed either. don’t discount other peoples’ experiences.

      1. Denis, the mutilation wasn’t in the experience itself, it was the fact that as far as your son’s foreskin is concerned, now you see it, now you don’t.

        It had more to do with the blood and the scars than your son’s pain tolerance.

        I didn’t imply circumcision = torture, I said it is multilation.

        As to how you didn’t “see” the mutilation, I can only say the brain is an amazing thing, isn’t it?

        1. semantics? I “see” your point. I feel the procedure, lack of lasting effects from it, and the benefits outweigh the negative experience, if you’ll call it that. just my 2 cents.

    2. Are you serious? I don’t care whether you are for or against it, but to say that someone’s husband is flat out lying about the procedure not being a horrible, terrible, OMG NIGHTMARES4LYFE one is incredibly rude. It is NOT unheard of for boys to sleep through/not be massively bothered by circumcision. It certainly isn’t the norm, but is most certainly happens, however you personally feel about circumcision.

      Calling someone a liar is not a way to win an argument. :/

      1. As a point of reference, shutting down and going to sleep is a common coping mechanism in infants. Of course not every infant who falls asleep during an activity is shutting down, but sometimes an infant does shut down to protect itself from too much stimulation, from pain, etc. An infant sleeping through an Imax movie might be shutting it out rather than blissfully dozing, for example, and an infant could indeed shut down and sleep during a stressful medical procedure if it feels traumatic enough to the baby. Again, it’s not to say this infant shut down – it could have very well been simply sleeping – and I’m not the one who said the husband was lying, I’m simply providing a bit of additional information.

  24. Just had my boy circumcised several days ago. He’s healing nicely, and shows no signs of trauma, physically or psychologically. My wife and I did hours of research, but in the end, we decided that females, especially teenage girls, can be quite cruel. Adolescence is difficult enough as it is; we don’t want it to be more difficult than it has to be. I watched the procedure and did not find anything mutilating about it.

      1. I did not. the doctor was quite competent and efficient. the incision is very clean, and has healed very quickly. maybe the best indicator of the success is my child’s lack of fussing during diaper change.

        1. I wish your child all the best.

          I believe many good parents get their children (male and female) circumcised, but nonetheless the practices are barbaric.

    1. Perhaps you should consider that there are women out there that really, really like an uncircumcised organ. Different likes for different tastes. As fewer people get it done, those nasty “teenage girls” will come to think of it as normal.

      If you had a daughter, would you encourage her to have her genitals altered if they didn’t look exactly how you think they should look? Just wondering.

      I’m really happy that I’m all natural.

      1. Well-said. I’d never alter my child’s body to impress others.

      2. This! This is probably TMI, but I can say that, though an American woman born at a time when the procedure was much more common, I much prefer uncircumcised. My husband is cut, and I deal with that, but it feels (and, honestly, looks) much better intact. Those mean, apparently promiscuous, teenage girls you plan on your son having sex with will probably see it both ways, since only about half the boys are even getting cut.

  25. If there’s any part of modern medicine I believe in, it’s informed consent. Babies aren’t old enough to make that decision, and I have no intention of having any sons of mine circumcised. If they wish to have it done as adults, that’s their business. I’d rather leave the choice to the person being cut.

    I really don’t understand why it’s considered an international human rights abuse to circumcise girls, but still considered routine to do this to boys. Is it only a double standard when girls are victims?

    1. “If there’s any part of modern medicine I believe in, it’s informed consent.”

      Yes.

      And routine circumcision is optional surgery.

      It’s not exactly fixing a heart valve problem, or a breathing problem with the oesophagus.

      1. There are different varieties of female circumcision.

        Generally, though, the clitoris is removed, and sometimes the inner labia as well. Often the wound is sewn shut.

        Removing the bud of the clitoris does not remove all sexual sensation. Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book “Infidel” for her personal experience with female circumcision and subsequent enjoyment of sexual pleasure.

        It is a difference of degree, not kind. The foreskin is (or was) a source of masses of nerve endings designed to experience sexual pleasure.

        Not to mention protect the glans of the penis from abrasion… so that it doesn’t thicken up, add approximately 15 extra layers of skin cells, dry up, and reduce male sexual pleasure yet again.

    2. Female circumcision takes off the clitorus, destroying ALL sexual feeling there and often times includes sewing the vagina shut to prevent intercourse until married. That is mutilation.

    3. What’s done to girls is not “cirumcision” – their clitoris is removed so they can’t have an orgasm. Removing a foreskin is hardly the same thing. (I guess that this is a rather wince-making subject for a lot of men, and suspect many reactions may be more viceral than logical!)

      1. What’s done to girls is not “cirumcision” – their clitoris is removed so they can’t have an orgasm.

        Women can have orgasms with their clitorises removed, as I have mentioned on this site, referring to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s sexual experiences following removal of her clitoris and labia (plus the sewing shut of same) as laid out in her book, “Infidel”.

        Here is a study from Nigeria that supports that conclusion.

        Likewise, when you remove tons of nerve endings and a third to a half of the surface area of the skin on a man’s penis, men can still have orgasms.

        But the experience is a different one and, one logically assumes, a lesser one.

        Again it is a difference of degree, not of kind.

        So you’re simply misinformed here. Your point is invalid; it’s not factual.

        You would do well to choose a different one, or simply come to the correct conclusion that routinely removing the foreskins off of healthy babies is perverse.

        It causes physical damage in every case, sometimes severe, and occasionally death. It lowers sexual response, and most importantly, a person should be able to decide for themselves if they want their genitals altered in any way.

        In 1997 the U.S. Congress passed 18 U.S.C. § 116 : US Code – Section 116: Female genital mutilation:

        (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly
        circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the
        labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has
        not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or
        imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
        (b) A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if
        the operation is –
        (1) necessary to the health of the person on whom it is
        performed, and is performed by a person licensed in the place of
        its performance as a medical practitioner; or
        (2) performed on a person in labor or who has just given birth
        and is performed for medical purposes connected with that labor
        or birth by a person licensed in the place it is performed as a
        medical practitioner, midwife, or person in training to become
        such a practitioner or midwife.
        (c) In applying subsection (b)(1), no account shall be taken of
        the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed
        of any belief on the part of that person, or any other person, that
        the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.

        So it is illegal to cut off even a portion of a female child’s labia if it isn’t medically necessary.

        Yet a female adult could certainly have orgasm with a portion of her labia missing. We’ve even shown she can have orgasm with her clitoris missing.

        What then was the moral case for outlawing this practice?

        Because it’s bloody sick to cut parts of kids genitals. They’re not old enough to decide if they want this or not. I really don’t see why it’s more complicated than that…

        … except for the fact that it’s “commonly done”.

        So were many bad practices historically speaking.

        Things are changing. It’s becoming less popular.

        And I for one support this healthy trend.

        1. “Women can have orgasms with their clitorises removed,…”

          Hold up. NOT TRUE. I am a woman and quite frankly, if I didn’t have a clitoris, I would NEVER have an orgasm. Not all women are stimulated the same. Anal sex nauseates me; vaginal stimulation feels great, but it doesn’t ever lead to orgasm; and my g-spot is nearly impossible to stimulate. I need my clitoris to get an orgasm and I’m sure I’m not alone.

          You, sir, seem to have a lot to say on the subject of female circumcision, but without knowing how different women’s bodies work. Don’t assume you know what body parts we do or do not need/want to keep.

        2. My dear Stacy, do you not see the irony in your comment? “Don’t assume you know what body parts we do or do not want/need to keep.”

          Can you see your son saying the same to you in 30 years?

          Open your heart! The decision about keeping one’s most intimate body parts intact belongs to no one but that person, male or female.

        3. This is a reply to Stacy.

          Erm, have you heard of clitoral roots? You know, the internal part of the clitoris. Sorry if this is TMI, but I routinely have GOOD orgasms from stimulating my clitoral roots DURING vaginal intercourse by rubbing our pelvic bones together.

          So, yeah, I would still have a great sex life if my external clitoris was removed, but I would still be mad as hell.

  26. Duane Stevens, I applaud your non-vaccination decision. Mercury and autism arguments aside, vaccinations don’t work. There isn’t a single placebo controlled double blind study behind any of them. And the vaccine manufactures refuse to do them, stating (for some reason) that it wold be “unethical” to do so.
    Most people don’t know it, but even with the first vaccine, developed by Edward Jenner, didn’t really work like they said. People started getting smallpox again, and when faced with that, Jenner just said that if they got what looked like smallpox, it was really a psuedo smallpox, and not really smallpox at all. The denial has been going on since then, and there are many many many instances of epidemics of diseases immediately after a vaccination program. It’s sad really.

    1. To think vaccinations don’t work is very naive and I can hope that members of your family do not catch anythign that was suuposedly wiped out years ago.

      How many cases of smallpox did we have last year in the US? Thats right and you you wonder why? Small pox vaccines have basically eliminated the problem in the US.

      1. Smallpox has been eradicated for years because of vaccines. it does not occur naturally anywhere 🙂

  27. Do some research into the recent polio epidemic in Africa. Occurring only in those that have been vaccinated.
    I’ve done hours of research, and this isn’t’ the place to dwell on it, it was just a comment to Duane. Start digging and you’ll truly be shocked at what you find. It shakes the paradigm as much as it did mine when I found out that “hearthealthywholegrains” were in fact, not healthy. And like the whole grains issue… follow the money.

    1. I am not a believer in vaccination, I support more kids playing in dirt, less obsessive washing with harsh detergents and exfoliants (which cutting edge research is showing breaks down the skin’s ability to protect against items breaching the skin, leading to autoimmune disorders like allergies), and more breast feeding, plus good old probiotics.

      However… I still think, based on my current state of knowledge, that the idea that vaccines don’t work at all isn’t supportable.

      It makes sense, in theory, why they’d work because the process is essentially similar to how we develop natural immunity. At the same time, I’m perfectly willing to concede that scientists don’t understand all the ins and outs and I’m sure many of their vaccines are hit or miss, and in some cases directly harmful.

      1. Respectfully, it is not the same process, Christoph.

        When was the last time you contracted an airborne or waterborne illness by direct injection into your bloodstream, completely bypassing your gut (mouth to rear, of course)? The body has these protections in place to deal with foreign invaders, and to bypass its natural defense is to cause injury to the whole process, and the integrity of the body as a whole.

        The skin itself has its own natural defense as you pointed out, so poking through it to introduce a gut or respiratory-colonising virus/bacteria is counter-productive.

        Also, probiotics are best taken as food, like kombucha, veggie/meat ferments, etc…

        The terrain is key. Healthy terrain kicks out invaders. Unhealthy terrain invites them. 🙂

  28. I am circumsized…so is my son.

    Really tough issue in my opinion

    I’m quite positive we are not “created” to have anything “fixed” when we arrive right?? Does that make some sense?

    Marc

    1. Makes sense, Marc.

      I don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying parents who get their routinely children circumcised are bad people.

      I think the practice itself is bad, and the cultural pressure to do so is bad.

      To me, I am sure many people from Africa where female circumcision is common love their children very much. Yet the practice is still wrong and I would like to see it ended.

        1. Male circumcision and female circumcision (mutilation) are not even close. How can you compare the two?

        2. They both involve cutting perfectly healthy genitals, and they both reduce, but not remove, the capacity for sexual pleasure.

          As a rule it is quite rightly culturally taboo to be doing things to babies’ genitals… unless, of course, you have a scalpel.

          Male circumcision and female circumcision (mutilation) are not even close.

          Male circumcision IS mutilation.

    2. marc said: //I’m quite positive we are not “created” to have anything “fixed” when we arrive right?? //

      I agree, and notice that most other male primates have their genitals protected by their bodies. The “working bit” emerges from within when needed. I suspect that the foreskin is a remnant of that stage of our evolution.

      Another basic difference between us and the other primates is that human females can feel sexual pleasure, probably a glue to keep the family unit together until offspring are mature. So the clitoris is shielded to keep it more sensitive and a penis circumcised to provide more staying power.

      I am sure grok would have put his finest flints to good use in this regards, because his prospective mates would see a more attractive sexual partner. (I am sure that religion etc fancied this all up later on!)

      1. I’m sorry to all of those people who wish to believe that they didn’t mutilate their child when circumcising them. I understand why many of you would like to believe that “it does no lasting harm” (despite visible evidence to the contrary).
        I’m not a big fan of sketchy evolutionary hypothesizing, such as “the foreskin is a remnant of evolution” – that’s like saying the appendix is a remnant. NO, it’s just no-one figured it out until recently. The foreskin absolutely has a function:
        a) to protect the sensitive glans of the penis (as the clitoris too has a hood)
        b) to act as a plunger mechanism to draw competing males semen out of the female genital tract.
        This is sexual survival of the fittest – and as much as our religious values may condone circumcision and condemn multiple partners, the reality of primal survival was the more women a man slept with, the better, and the more men a women slept with, the better.
        Sex should = pleasure whether male or female.
        Sex = survival of the tribe (or species)
        Sex = formation of pair-bonds increasing likelihood of being fed / protected.
        The arguments about “what if my child wants to look like his buddies?” or “what if a girl likes a circumcised member” are crass in the bigger context of human function.
        Incredible.
        Literally.

  29. Sorry, Mark. I meant CW (Conventional Wisdom). I was nursing my 1 year old and typing at the same time…she was sucking out my brain cells. 🙂 I also spelled too wrong…meant two. Is there no “edit” option on the comments?

    All argument aside, I still wish you would have focused on establishing healthy bacteria to avoid these unnecessary illnesses. I still love your site, though, even with this post about circumcision.

    Peace.

    1. Thanks, Twyla.

      I didn’t mean to call you on a typing error. I just wasn’t sure what you meant, though now it makes complete sense.

      We’ve talked about healthy bacteria before but no yet in the context of circumcision. Might be fodder for a future post!

      Cheers!

  30. I take issue with the verbage at the end of your post, “On a considerably lighter note [I think there is nothing light about it], critics also suggest that circumcision compromises sexual pleasure.”

    I’m not going to tell you why I take issue with it, just to say that DH, who is circ’d said that we WOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT circumcise our son.

    1. Yeah, this “light” note is the heaviest to me. When making the decision it is hard to empathize because for the most part – male or female, cir’d or not – we have only been that way and not any of the others. We don’t know how to compare one condition to the other. But when I was younger and learning that “removed” was the norm, as much as I strived to fit in, I could only feel pity for those who where missing a part of their valuables and thankful I was different in this way.

  31. Well, now that you’ve done a male-centered piece, you should have no problem doing a bit on how to feel better when menstruating. (Can you tell this means I am currently in pain?)

    1. The key to feeling better while menstruating (I used to have MASSIVE cramps myself) is to change how you feel about your cycle. I grew up thinking that the period was bad because “Women made sin” or some Catholic B.S. like that. Not to mention all the stuff in our culture that it’s such a hindrance on everyday life and that women are weak because of it. I know that I have found once I started thinking differently about my period, I didn’t have a lot of pain.

      Another way to look at it is that pain usually happens when something is wrong. Menstruation is perfectly normal. Don’t fight it, just let it happen. A lot of the pain is how you think about things.
      I can also give you some herbal remedy suggestions if you like.

      1. //Menstruation is perfectly normal. Don’t fight it, just let it happen. A lot of the pain is how you think about things.
        //

        This is just another sort of “received wisdom” and not necessarily so for all people. Its a hormonal, bodily process as well as a mental one, and it doesn’t always work well.

        A lot of mentrual pain depends on a efficiency of blood flow plus the inevitable congestion in that area. Hence the old remedies of hot water bottle or an aspirin, because they get things flowing. (Exercise or an orgasm has much the same effect.)

        But its a bit like saying that positive thinking will cure cancer, so its your fault if you aren’t positive enough. A bit unfair on the poor sufferer, as positive thinking doesn’t always do the trick!

      2. “Women made sin” has no place in the Catholic view of the world, nor does the idea that menstruation is some kind of evil punishment. You may have been fed a misrepresentation of the Catholic view by someone affected by the post-Victorian puritanism still hanging around in the 1950s.

        What you have expressed was never the Catholic view, and I have evidence in that I have several books published by Catholic priests, with imprimaturs, in the mid-20th century which expressed the very opposite of that kind of anti-body, anti-woman view, and which fought against that view. Papal encyclicals of the time, as well as of our own time, express the true Catholic view, as well.

        I would be happy to share that info with you if you’d like to contact me via PM in the MDA forum, under this same name.

        Many women suffer from menstrual pain because of the sugar and grains in their diet. Their pain is real, not psychologically caused. It always amazes me how many have ended that pain by going primal.

    2. try a reusable cup! ie divacup or mooncup
      tampons are toxic for you!
      best,
      alina

      1. My first experience with using a cup was my last. I got the absolute WORST yeast infection I had ever had. Strains I had never experienced before. I go to great lengths to prevent yeast infections (taking supplemental probiotics, eating yogurt, keeping scrupulously clean w/o use of soap or cleansers, etc) because I am prone to recurrent yeast infections. By this time in my life I just don’t get them anymore. Until I used a menstrual cup. Not saying women shouldn’t use them, but by the same token that women should be aware about the hazards of using tampons they should also be aware of the hazards of using a menstrual cup. Personally I advocate using cloth pads (Lunapads, Glad Rags, etc).

        1. (not trying to derail the comments)

          Thankfully I’m not the only one! I tried a cup and ended up with a really horrible pressure sensation and a day later, a very painful UTI. I spoke with my doctor about it and apparently this is common for some women in regards to cups/diaphragms due to the shape of the cervix. The doc said they can also cause recurring yeast infections in some.

          Ugh, no thanks! I like the cloth pads, too.

    3. How long have you been eating paleo? Are you eating lots of fish? Lots of nuts?

      After being paleo for several years now and managing my ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 (unfortunately, nuts contain way too many) fatty acids, my periods are much better.

      They are much shorter and much lighter, for example. I think menstruating is very very sensitive to diet. I went off the paleo diet a couple of months ago and the period I got that month was so incredibly painful that I hightailed it back to paleo eating.

      If you do have symptoms, I find a broth made of kombu, a dash of ground black sesame, and some pumpkin/kabocha puree really helps.

  32. I’m circumcised. My son is 11 and is circumcised. Dr asked and I thought he might feel more comfortable looking like dad.

    I watched. Not a big deal. Pretty simple procedure these days.

    Most are making way too big a deal out of this.

    1. My sister inlaw had her son circumcised, and it resulted in a condition known as hidden penis! He went in normal, and came out with an inny. How much fun do you think he will have in the locker room.

      1. “and it resulted in a condition known as hidden penis!”
        Holy Cannoli

  33. Neither my dad, brother, nor I had the snip. While in America it might be the norm, I am glad, and PROUD, that my parents had the “foresight” [get it?] to not give us the cut.

    I brag to both sexes alike about how I still have my hat on. You have to leave a grape out to turn it into a raisin. Why would you intentionally do that to your most important organ?

    Plus the fact that it makes masturbation a breeze!

    Thanks mom and dad!

    1. Plus the fact that it makes masturbation a breeze!

      LOL!! And it makes everything you do w/ your lady a lot easier too!! (My first serious boyfriend was uncirced and it seriously made everything a lot easier it seemed…)

  34. My 2 cents- circumcised does look better, but that’s just my opinion. I’d prefer a man was rather than wasn’t.

    And I’m sure Christoph will have his say on my post as he has everyone elses…

    1. You bet.

      Your aesthetic tastes, formed by the fact that you grew up with that being the norm, isn’t justification for genital mutilation of too young to decide infant babies any more than if men had a real distaste for labia, so said cut those suckers off.

      1. No Christopher, but Men seem to want us women all with perky breasts, long hair, shapely legs, etc – so we end up mutilating ourselves and our self-images to fit what is the ‘aesthetic norm’. Is that justified?

        1. It’s up to the woman to make those choices, if she feels it will enhance her attractiveness.

          It isn’t mandatory.

          The key point is it’s up to an adult woman to make those choices, not a parent when the girl is tiny.

          We wouldn’t as a society allow parents to do surgery on their young daughters so they had bigger breasts when they grew up.

          Likewise we shouldn’t allow elective surgery on young boys so men’s penises look a certain way when they grow up.

          The Greek statues of Adonis and others showed a natural human penis, and Adonis is renowned for his looks. But whether one does, or does not, like the look of a foreskin is no basis for deciding whether to cut the genitals of a child.

        2. So as a parent I’m not allowed to consider the health of my own child given the knowledge that is out there? If circumcision was something that I consider necessary for proper hygiene or religious beliefs (which I don’t) it shouldn’t be up to me to decide whether or not to have the procedure?

          Parents do what they feel is right for their child, whether driven by aesthetic norms or outright concern.

          I do realize where you’re coming from, but changing a societal ‘norm’ isn’t going to happen over night. And good luck with the Kosher set.

          For what it’s worth, if I do have a son I’ll leave it up to him to have the procedure or not.

        3. “So as a parent I’m not allowed to consider the health of my own child given the knowledge that is out there?”

          Should we legally allow circumcision of girls?

        4. Shapely legs, why not ?
          how is that mutilation ?

          Breast implants for any other reason other than post mastectomy, i do not agree with.

    2. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. As a female, I have no real preference one way or the other aesthetically…though I like the unaltered quality of of an uncircumcised penis (I was born in Poland where it is not done and I grew up in the US)

      If the numbers are correct and only 56% of of infant boys are getting circumcised then what is the aesthetic “norm” now will change with time.

      1. In my opinion a circ’d penis IS more attractive. That being said, I would still NOT circumcise my son if I was to have one.

        Also, I don’t know why female circ is being brought up as a defense. Whether girls do or do not feel pleasure after having it done there is still NO reason for it to happen. At least there is a reason for it to be done to males, if a parent believes strongly enough that it really makes a difference with hygiene to the point of infection and/or catching diseases, besides other (admittedly weak) medical reasons. Female mutilation has *NO* medical reasoning – although you are comparing apples to apples, one is granny smith and one is a red delicious.

        I reiterate, I would NOT circumcise my son if I had one.

        Also, I have a friend who was circumcised when he was 17 years old. He comes from a Central American family where boys are not generally cut. He decided on his own will to have it done (having been born and raised in the U.S. although I’m not positive if that is his reasoning)After, he had to lay in bed for weeks with no pants on, he says he couldn’t even let the sheets on his bed touch it, it was very painful. That being said, he actually says sex is MUCH better now that he is circumcised, much more sensitive then it was with a layer of skin over it. GO FIGURE!

        1. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I bring up female circumcision mostly as a hypothetical situation. No medical reasoning exists because female circ. is not medicalized and standardized. It makes sense that, if removing male foreskin reduces certain infections, then removing labia would probably do the same. However, as you said, there’s nothing medically to back this up. Female circ is illegal and is not accepted as a preventative remedy. Nevermind my feelings on the subject; that is just true. Our society would not even consider trying out a routine change of female genitalia in order to see whether it decreases infection, but if it gave the same results, I still don’t think Americans in general would be okay with it. It is a double standard that we can’t find the answer to. However, I do find it interesting that those who say they circ for medical reasons never suggest it might be a good idea to try on females, as infants, before UTIs and STDs become a problem. Even with numerous infections and significant damage women have the choice whether to remove body parts. For men and boys, if they get infected, they are expected to just get cut without a second thought.

    3. I think it’s just what you’re used to. My first long-term bf that I ever saw was uncut, and then I saw one that was cut and it was strange because it was different than what I was used to seeing.

      My perception is formed by my experiences, so while I prefer uncut because my experiences you prefer cut because of yours. Yes, it does involve social norms and it can be difficult to get your mind out of the cloud of accepted normalcy.

      That said, I would never cut our future son’s. Cutting of sexual organs is not a decision I want to make for someone else.

    4. Me too.

      And I also support the field of plastic surgery for women and men.

      Flame away Christoph, flame away.

  35. And yet I will probably marry a circumcised man, and have my sons circumcised. Just so you know. 😉

    1. You can’t claim ignorance so your glee is revealing.

      If your sons resent you for it, they will be justified in doing so, unlike other parents for whom there was little realistic choice.

        1. Why do you care what your son’s penises look like? That’s kind of perverse.

      1. As a circumcised male, I’ve never once resented my parents for it, in fact, I couldn’t care less about a flap of skin off the tip of my penis. Hell, I do that much damage to my body on a weekly basis anyway, and guess what? I’m not resentful of myself for it.

        As far as if it’s painful for the child? I sympathize with a child in pain, but life is pain. Whether inflicted by a doctor, a Mohel (during brit milah), yourself, or some psychopath, there’s no escaping it.

        You can get into the ins and outs of whether it changes your sexual “output” or “input” all you want, but I know I’ve always been more then satisfied, and not to toot my own horn, haven’t had many bad experiences with the ladies either.

        As far as a health standpoint, I couldn’t really care less about that either. I don’t have to worry about STD’s, because I act under the assumption of caring for my own body and not taking sexual risks, and as for hygiene, I do just fine there too.

        And on the other side of the coin, I don’t care one way or the other if a man is circumcised, while I have not made the decision to, or not to, circumcise any male children of mine, it does not matter one way or the other to me. Do I find it barbaric to circumcise a child? No, is anything you say in your overtly rude tones going to change that. Absolutely not, all you’ve done is toss the same rhetoric around that everyone has already heard, only with much greater acrimony.

        On that note Cristoph, you sound far less like a “Caring Citizen” out to change the world and save foreskin of innocent children, and more as a man who has a great chip on his shoulder, for what, I don’t know, but you seem to take that out on others here, in the most bitter of ways you can, while the rest attempt to remain a healthy debate. Can we have differing opinions without relinquishing our manners? I would like to believe so, but all too often it’s proven otherwise by some.

        In closing, I wish I had time to proofread this, but I believe it gets my point across.

  36. I was circumcised by my own choice at the age of 13. The effects of the procedure was painful, however, I do not regret my decision. I believe in personal body modification, which is what I see it as if performed by request.

    On a side note, I am bothered by the number of people who tend to apply “Grok wouldn’t do it” mentality to every situation. I understand that most here love “Grok,” but I have never quite felt at ease with him/her. I think its a great way to get the paleo diet across, but the reliance on a fictitious character for every decision I find a bit odd.

  37. Christoph,

    I agree with you on principal. And I applaud your resolve. But I disagree with your approach.

    Not because I think this is somehow an “un-serious” issue, but because I think it is serious.

    And so I would implore you to please just think about what your goal is in entering this conversation. If it is to antagonize those who are “wrong” about this issue, then you are achieving what you have set out to achieve.

    But if your goal is to change people’s minds then realize you are only causing greater entrenchment. You are only creating an individual who personifies this idea for them to dislike. And you are guaranteeing your goals will be unmet. You do not have to agree with anyone else here, but I promise that if you respect their position, and try to see it from their point of view (no matter how misguided, wrong, or “evil” you may see it) you will have a chance to persuade them. But if you just come out and say “you are misguided, wrong, and evil” you will have changed nothing.

    If you want to open minds, and you are really interested in helping young boys, then please, just a little respect, man. You’ll be surprised at how many ears it opens up.

    1. I have said that a parent can be loving and also have their child circumcised.

      I have said that holds true for both female and male circumcisions.

      What I will not do is pretend those practices themselves are anything other than barbaric and perverted abuses of children by adults, which reduces their wholeness, their ability to enjoy the full breadth of their sexual pleasure, and in each and every case is injurious to, of all things, their genitals.

      I for one may respect a person who holds a culturally or religiously inspired delusion, but I will not respect the delusion. The reality is humans are capable of doing terrible ill if another other humans do it too.

      I applaud those who understand this and can chart a new course. Nothing says that some of the pro-circumcision people on this thread can’t do likewise and if they do not, it is not my fault.

      My responsibility was to raise these issues for the welfare of children. Babies.

      1. I really do understand where you are coming from. And I’m glad you think that parents who circumcise their children are still loving (since, in the end, they are trying to do what is right for their kid, though you or I may disagree and think it misguided).

        What I’m talking about are the words you use and how you choose to use them (including their frequency). If you call the practice barbaric, those who have circumcised their children or are contemplating it will think “Oh, so I’m a barbarian am I? Well, screw you!!!!” Not “I don’t want to be a barbarian and so I shouldn’t circumcise my child.”

        I am not trying to say that you are at fault for trying to raise this issue. Or that your concern doesn’t lies with the welfare of children. I do not doubt where your heart lies, and your zeal confirms it.

        All I am trying to say is that if your intent is to do more than just raise an issue, if it is to change people’s minds, then you should soften your words. Because, if your goal is to help babies, as you say, then your concern should be less about semantics and “not pretending” and more about being persuasive.

        I understand my original Otis recitation fell on deaf ears, so allow me to implore that you gotta hold her, squeeze her, love her, don’t tease her…

        You know what I’m saying?

        Try a little tenderness, man!

  38. As someone who was circumcised at birth, without my consent. I’m pretty annoyed at the parents above who did it to their children without thinking twice.

    You are cutting off part of your son’s penis. How can that ever sound like a good idea? How can that ever sound normal no matter what society you grew up in.

    1. What do you think about the ones who know far more about it than your parents did, Jared, who are engaged in this discussion and who now have access to men’s experiences such as yours (not to mention those who were actually injured), but plan on doing it in the future?

      1. Well, I kind of find it immoral, and wish society had the same attitude.

        I had arguments with my ex- about it, and she was completely irrational. She was adamant that if we were ever to have children they would be circumcised. It all boiled down to the appearance for her.

        It seems like a lot of moms have a pretty unhealthy interest in the appearance of their son’s genitalia, to the son’s detriment…

        1. Thanks for your honest answer, Jared.

          I’ve noticed this same thing on this thread. (Most chillingly Diana Renata among others.)

  39. Wow, I read MDA very often, as well as the comments. With all the discussion that can get generated by the various topics and issues that Mark brings up with his posts, I don’t recall anyone who has been more pretentious than Christoph.

    There are many practices around the world (scarification, tatooing, etc) that are done on young boys that are not yet adults (whether they are infants or not, they don’t have ‘informed consent’). Do you feel just as srongly about all of those practices?

    ‘eh, anyway, I don’t feel incredibly strongly about the issue one way or another, so I’m not going to get bogged down in discussion. I just wanted to get my opinion out there.

    1. Adam, it’s nice to know that you don’t feel strongly about even the possibility that this may be the genital mutilation of non-consenting children.

      Pretentious? Judge for yourself. It’s certainly accurate.

      And do I support scarring young children, or tattooing them? No, and in most cases these would be illegal in our culture. Circumcision is, of course, scarring, but scarring of the most sensitive and personal external organ a child has.

  40. There’s quite a bit of difference between chopping body parts off to prevent the mere possibility of an UTI and getting a mastectomoy as a preventative measure because of some serious cancer risk…. which is the only reason I’d even consider it. And the risk would have to be very high, indeed.

  41. At the end of the day if you want or need it done (for whatever reason) you can always have it later.

    However if you have it done to you as a baby you can’t undo it.

    My old man and most of his generation were done as babies, my parents decided not to with me.

    I’m glad they didn’t as it gave me the personal choice over what to do myself. I considered having it done in my teens but decided the cons outweighed the pros.

    In my generation and country (New Zealand) it seems about 50/50 whether people are done or not. I would say the tradition like strong faith/religious belief is in decline.

  42. Circumcised! I’ll call a spade a spade — sex is awesome as is! Maybe it could be even better, but greed is a deadly sin…

    Diana,

    What you got going on tonight?

    Take it easy everybody! I’m off to the gym!

    1. LOL Alex! Thanks for lightening up the comments. It was getting a little abrasive for a while there… and not in a good way. 😉

  43. Hey Mark, on an unrelated note, I saw on a website one of those advertisements basically saying “I got ripped in 4 weeks following 2 simple rules, click here!” and they used some obese guy on the left next to your picture on the right. Just letting you know.

  44. Circumcised at birth here. Never had a problem, can’t recall any pain, not emotionally scared and I don’t resent my parents at all. sex is great. I guess i can’t complain, nor do I want too. Will I do it to my kids? couldn’t say for sure I got awhile before I need to worry about that.

    1. So your belief system is males should cut their penises to look like what females, raised in our unique culture since Kellogg popularized circumcision in order to reduce masturbation and libidinousness, want?

      Despite the fact that an uncircumcised penis is more functional… for the female… sexually?

      It sounds like it’s your balls that have been cut off, mate.

      1. They are functional either way, and being a female who has had long relationships with men of both stature. There really is not difference in sex. The foreskin doesn’t make it and better for us. Nor is it any more functional.. for the female…sesually. In fact, the uncircumcised man had less of a sex drive then the circ’d. Im not stating any relation between those 2 factors.. just my observations.

      2. They are functional either way, and being a female who has had long relationships with men of both stature. There really is not difference in sex. The foreskin doesn’t make it and better for us. Nor is it any more functional.. for the female…sexually. In fact, the uncircumcised man had less of a sex drive then the circ’d. Im not stating any relation between those 2 factors.. just my observations.

    2. As a chick – I dig the “uncut” look. I’m so happy my husband hasn’t been “cut”!

      I’ve been in conversations where women are discussing the topic, and I’m an ardent support of not cutting. Maybe it’s the men, but the sex I’ve had with uncut men has been so much better.

      So, just wanted to get it out there that several chicks dig the “uncut” look 🙂

  45. I don’t understand why this is such an issue. As part of an obviously underrepresented minority I feel the need to speak out. I am not circucumcised and wish that I had been. My foreskin sometimes makes me that much more uncomfortable when it’s hot, that much dirtier when I’ve been sweating, and sometimes catches my pubic hair making it painful to move around and embarrassing to fix.

    Also, my understanding of female circumcision makes the comparison to male circumcision pretty misleading. To make male circumcision comprable, you’d have to cut off the whole head of the penis.

    If people are in need of a worthy cause to get behind, may I suggest the elimination of poverty as a more substantive goal. If that doesn’t do it for you, then you might want to look into ending animal abuse.

      1. Serious answer: I have better things to do with my time. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough the first time. You people are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You have so much energy. Why not put it towards solving one of our more pressing social issues?

        1. Tom, with respect this is a pressing social issue.

          And it is being slowly won to my way of thinking. The numbers of parents genitally mutilating their sons is dropping, even in America the second highest rated country in the world.

          The other issues you mention are excellent and good for you for being concerned about them.

          Myself, protecting children is my hot button.

    1. Tom, so either you have really gnarly pubes or a tiny dick. And honestly? An inch of foreskin makes it too hot? Please. Maybe you should also have your testicles removed to prevent schwety balls.

  46. Thank goodness my mothers OB told my mother they only circumcised for cosmetic reasons do to defect.

    So I am NOT circumcised and quiet proud of it!

    Not once in my life have I wished that I was.

    The argument of circumcising for appearance is probably one of the most ridiculous and shallow arguments I have ever heard.

    I would challenge anyone to even be able to point out that I was not circumcised when erect.

    How can a woman tell me that an uncircumcised penis is anymore attractive looking than the shriveled testicle pouch behind it ?

    Yes, masturbation is apparently much easier with foreskin, no lotion required!

  47. It’s just a piece of skin. Who cares if it’s cut or not. It doesn’t matter. People feel like they are personally insulted when others have it this way instead of that way or that way instead of this way. Geeesh.

    Make that 114 comments.

    1. It’s just a piece of skin on a guy’s penis, you know, the most sensitive part of a man’s body?

      It also happens to be the piece of skin, about 12 to 15 inches square, with the highest density of nerve endings on a guy’s penis, before being cut off.

      (And it protects the glans keeping it sensitive too.)

    2. Just a bit of skin?

      Such ignorance!

      The foreskin contains over 200 feet of nerves, which are THE primary sexual pleasure nerves for men.

      Men and women are literally opposite. With a woman the clitoris is very senitive and covered with a less sensitive hood.

      With men the glans is relatively insensistive but covered with a very sensitive hood. It is the rolling and unrolling action of this hood that gives a man pleasure, just as the rubbing against clitoris gives a woman pleasure.

      Amputation of the foreskin is EXACTLY the same as amputation of the clitoris.

  48. Being uncircumcised is like having a dog with no legs. You have to clean him more cause he gets covered in stuff, it’s hard to take him for walks in the park where all the dogs want to go, and as his owner you may grow to resent him even though he has greater doggy feelings than most dogs. Sure you could wait and buy him and decide if he’s a good dog and worth all the extra effect, or you could get a normal dog that’s cleanly, goes for long walks, and still acts like man’s best friend.

    You’re no-legged dog can comfort you when you’ve missed out on that lady you didn’t meet at the dog park.

    1. That was supposed to read “Sure you could buy him and wait to decide if he’s a good dog and worth all the extra effort…”

  49. Wow, I’m really surprised at this argument for circumcision because it looks better! The only time I care about a guy’s penis is when I’m having sex, and in that state there’s no difference in looks. Furthermore, some people have mentioned that perhaps guys have more sensation when uncut, but no one’s mentioned that women (well, this one anyway) get more pleasure from an uncut penis too.

    As far as boys getting made fun of in the locker room and such, if only 56% of boys are getting circumsized, then almost half of them remain uncut. So this also seems like a faulty argument. Who’s making fun of who?

    The health issues that Mark says do concern me though, and I hope they don’t surface in my family. I am proud to be the mom of two uncut boys.

    1. “Furthermore, some people have mentioned that perhaps guys have more sensation when uncut, but no one’s mentioned that women (well, this one anyway) get more pleasure from an uncut penis too.”

      Ahem.

      I mentioned that.

  50. I did child care for a bit, and the % of botched circumcisions (and occasionally from talking to friends) is rather disturbing.

    OK, you may not miss your forskin, but how much of your glans are you ok with missing?

  51. My son is not. That is the way his body was made, why would we cut something off?

  52. snip snip.

    I was circumcised. I love it, no regrets. Sex feels great, etc etc. I don’t care what anyone says. The funny thing is, my experience growing up was that those of us who were circumcised were made fun of. I didn’t know why nor did I care. I just thought it was a silly thing to make fun of. Boys staring at other boys’ penis. Mind your own business.

    I don’t remember the pain. I have been in the room with each of my 3 nephews, and my two youngest brothers getting circumcised. They slept through it, and showed no discomfort after.

    Everyone acts like a piece of the penis is cut off, geeze, chill the heck out, it’s just skin (with a bundle of nerves blah blah). I’m just sick and tired of people looking down on me because I’m circumcised. Go stare at your own penis. Mine is beautiful, and clean, and doesn’t have a dirty flop of skin hovering like a hood over it. (hahaha sorry, that was needlessly rude). It is not a religious thing. I am an Atheist, my parents are religious but the rest of my family are atheist or agnostic. And I understand the disease benefits are minute (but positive) and wouldn’t be foolish enough not to wrap it up.

    If I have sons they will be circumcised for hygienic reasons, cosmetic reasons, and just because. Just because Grok didn’t do it, doesn’t automatically mean it’s evil.

    And those of you using the argument that we wouldn’t do the same to a girl. Go make a very thorough study of the female genitalia, and then come back and tell me it’s the same thing. Of course it’s different, and of course we wouldn’t circumcise women unless it saves them from something worse. Just like kicking a male assailant between the legs is a good attack strategy, but not if it’s a woman. (Okay bad analogy, but you should be seeing my point)

    There are decisions that a parent does have the right to make for the child. But more important than that decision, is the right to get it wrong. For better or for worse, the child must live and figure it out like everyone else. If we were talking about something barbaric like foot-binding, or crippling, facial scarring, fattening, actually snipping off the penis, female circumcision (which doesn’t deserve to be called that… barbaric) etc then we can talk. Until then, kindly take your hands of my johnny, unless you intend to put him in your mouth. That is all.

    1. I would just like to clarify, what most people consider female circumcision is actually female castration. And those nerves aren’t missed in men. They are nerves, neither good nor bad, just nerves. Pleasure and pain and everything in between. Many of us uncircumcised feel all the pleasure that everyone else does. There is no data loss here.

      It just bothers me reading the above comments that people talk about people like me as if we were abused or raped or something. Or as if us poor poor circumcised penis deficient individuals don’t know how bad we have it. Disagree if you will, but get off our collective nutsack. And anyone who suffered a botched circumcision (something I’ve never heard of personally, but whatever) should sue that doctor and make sure he/she never practices again, because it is an exceedingly easy procedure and is as routine as cutting the umbilical cord (perhaps oversimplified).

      A botched job shows a gross failure of the doctor’s duties. I was born in a third world hospital with no electricity in a country where medical money is funneled to corrupt politicians (PS, thank goodness I was just passing through). They get the job right all the time. Please report those doctors that screw up something that simple.

      1. “Many of us uncircumcised feel all the pleasure that everyone else does. There is no data loss here.”

        I don’t understand this statement.

        If I cut off your fingertips, do you then not lack the ability to feel in that area?

        No one is attacking or looking down on you, or me, for that matter, as I too am circumcised.

        I am honestly lead to wonder if I am lacking sensation down there due to being circumcised, especially since I find the act of sex to be, physically, underwhelming for me down there.

        But seriously, to say definitively that there is no desensitizing that comes from cutting off a 12 square inch bundle of nerves is kind of ridiculous.

      2. I like your post. I see Christoph doesn’t have any snide commnets to those of you who are circumcised and LIKE it.

        1. I have nothing to say about a man who likes the fact that he’s circumstances, any more than I would for a woman who has had a breast enlargement/reduction, or a labia trimming/removal, or even a clitorindectomy.

          I would say that he doesn’t know whether it would have been better the other way because he never had the option.

          I’d also say there are ONE HELL of a lot of men who don’t want to face up to the fact that in their very “manhood”, they were reduced, mutilated, even abused by a warped belief system put into physical effect by their parents and doctors.

          Who wants to face up to that?

          I’d say there is a lot of self-denial.

          And if a man has genuine issues with having a foreskin, medical or psychological, or even sexual, and wants to remove it, so be it.

          The key word is “man”, not infant boy.

          Your cavalier attitude about ensuring your future sons get circumcised because you happen to prefer it sexually deserves “snide” comments at a minimum.

        2. The personal attacks are getting old and just as annoying as any replies Christoph might make (they haven’t annoyed me as he’s stuck to talking on-topic rather than attacking people). He hasn’t attacked people personally (at least that I’ve read so far).

  53. It must be painful, most boys don’t walk for almost a year afterward …

    Sorry. I remember it well, which isn’t too hard considering I was 8 (WTF?). I don’t remember why, I do remember it was against my will.

    I wish I wasn’t, and my three boys aren’t, and everything has worked out well as the world keeps spinning.

  54. My husband was circumcised as an adult due to a tight foreskin. It was before we were a “we” but, he says it wasn’t a fun procedure for him. Not a shock. I still don’t think we will circumcise our son/s – if we are blessed with any in the future. However, if they were to have the same problem as dad, I would rather do the procedure when they are young and not an adult.

  55. This entire thread is silly. Jews have been circumsizing for 3,000 years, and we keep having sex and even large broods of children, at least in Orthodox Jewish households. Doesn’t seem to cut down on that, much. I don’t know of any rash of psychological problems ascribed to the ritual. Strangely, I don’t remember my circ at 8 days, but seems to have gone ok.

    Surprised that no one mentioned it here. Rabbinical circs take almost no time, and the baby is given a drop of wine and it’s over in a few seconds. I will say that medically, the way it is done in hospitals seemed to be a bit slow and possibly painful. That I’ll grant.

    I won’t say that we lasted 3,000 years because of circumcision, but it didn’t kill us off, either. I read these missives against circumcision..and I can understand the medical arguments, yea or nay, but the arguments that say it reduces sexual pleasure or hurt one’s psyche…c’mon folks, get a life. It ain’t the cause of your problems in life.

    1. “Jews have been circumsizing [sic] for 3,000 years, and we keep having sex and even large broods of children, at least in Orthodox Jewish households.”

      Orthodox Jews are supposed to start their day in prayer thanking God they weren’t made into a woman.

      Judaism is a culture in which it is the mother’s religion that determines if her child is Jewish or not.

      Orthodox Jews remove female Knesset (Israeli cabinet) members from their newspaper photographs:

      While I’m not generally a fan of this website, the the story covered “is what it is”.

      Please don’t talk to me about “no psychological problems…”.

      Circumcision served to break the bond between mother and child, and unite male members of the tribe with the other males, including those of generations past.

      I love the modern nation of Israel and long may it live. It isn’t for nothing that I have the Israeli flag on my wall, and have for years, since it was given to me as a gift by a Jewish man returning from Israel who agreed with me about nothing other than Israel’s right to exist, and it being fundamentally a good country.

      But man, don’t get me started on the traditional circumcision practices of Orthodox mohels.

      It is stomach turning. And not in the way 99% of people on this thread would expect.

      Don’t click this if you have a weak stomach: metzitzah b’peh

      The procedure described in the above article, is still legal in NYC, as it happens.

      It’s religious freedom, after all.

      But I don’t want to focus too much on the bizarre sexual nature of that bizarre way of performing bizarre genital mutilation.

      With the finest “medical” care in the world it’s still anathema to human decency and people’s freedom to choose over their own bodies.

      The U.S. congress passed a law last decade outlawing “infant female circumcision”, but not only that, any alteration of a female’s genitals without her informed consent as an adult.

      Is it too much to be asked that males be granted the same control over their bodies?

      The right to choose?

      Freedom from having your genitals altered without your permission is a natural human right.

  56. circumcision is a socially accpetable form of child abuse. It seems people never have seen a video of infant circumcision (got to youtube). It’s really painful. It’s quite inhumane and barbaric when the baby is strapped down. I couldn’t even finish the video. At least adult male circucision is performed with informed consent under general anesthesia, it looks like more a medical procedure but infant circumcision is torture.

  57. Perhaps a more ‘primal’ take on this topic: has anyone seen this documentary :”the disappearing male”?

    http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2008/disappearingmale/chemicals.html

    It’s about the effect certain chemicals increasingly prevalent in our society are allegedly having on the male sexual/genital development in the womb and beyond. This worried me when I saw it. More so when I have a son who has had to have a medically required circumcision due to a condition not dissimilar to one mentioned in this disturbing documentary. Its about stuff in plastics, shampoos, toys, bottles etc, leaching into our systems.

  58. Ouch! I’m thinking that nature gave men a foreskin for a reason. Why get rid of it? Or is it something like a dogs 5th toe that is genetically going out anyways?

  59. My crowd does it for religious/cultural reasons, but a useful side-benefit is much lower cervical cance rates in jewish/muslim women. (Also nuns for obious reasons .) And a reduced sensitivity tends to work to the female partner’s advantage. as ther journey becomes as interesting as the arrival! Definiteky its not essential, but has useful advantages for women!

    1. As regards sexual pleasure, circumcision has 0 benefits.
      The Number One complaint of circumcised males in America is premature ejaculation, which occurs because the specialized, erogenous nerve endings in the foreskin that let a man know what his penis is feeling and allow him to ride the wave to orgasm are missing. Without them, a man goes “Ooh, ooh, oops! Sorry, honey, it’s because I’m so sensitive.” Nope, it’s because he lost what was rightfully his, a normal penis, with the 20,000-70,000 nerve endings that encircle the opening of the foreskin.

      At the other end of life, the exposed, calloused, desensitized, glans becomes more and more difficult to stimulate. It’s no surprise that males in the US have a high rate of erectile dysfunction, and the USA has the highest sales of Viagra in the world.

      You cannot alter form without altering function. When a male’s foreskin is amputated, it affects him for life and his partner’s sex life is affected as well. The mechanics of sex must be altered to compensate for what was lost. As CJ Fallier wrote in JAMA in 1970, “…the fundamental biological sexual act becomes, for the circumcised male, the satisfaction of an urge and not the refined sensory experience it was meant to be.”

      1. Although I agree with a lot of what you say, the high rates of Viagra sales are from two things (IMHO)
        1. Poor diet, which affects everything.
        2. Tons of Viagra ads that try to make us think that Viagra is the only answer, and that every man should use it.

  60. Here’s my two cents: 1) medically it appears more helpful than harmful.

    2) Physically, speaking from experience, I can say the uncircumcized feels like the man is wearing a baggy that is sliding back and forth. Sorry, but it is not a good experience for the recipient. The foreskin basically slides on and off the head, and there is less stimulation for both parties. Of course, certain men don’t care whether the woman enjoys it anyway. Uncircumcized men I’ve known also seemed more preoccupied with theirs, inspecting it for problems and irritation more often than circumcized men. I’m all for naturalness in general, but this is one area that can be improved. We don’t run through briars unclothed anymore, so I don’t see the need for the foreskin, and I certainly don’t miss it.

      1. No, you are a piece of work. I normally don’t get this angry at some person on the internet, but you have done it. Congratulations. Circumcision whether it’s good or bad is not serious enough to be called genital mutilation. Or are you seriously suggesting all circumcised men have mutilated genitals? Thanks.

        1. Yes, Robert, by definition men who’ve had a part of their genitals cut off have mutilated genitals.

          It’s a fact. I’m not happy about it, but there you go.

    1. Hmm, last time I had intercourse with my wife I distinctly remember my foreskin not sliding on and off of my glans ! 🙂

      As a man with a foreskin I can tell you that
      that depends, at least in my case, on the degree or intensity of the erection.

    2. I think that is something that depends on the person in question… as each is made/formed differently.

      I’ve had more stimulation from the ones I’ve been with, and less from the one who have been circumsized. I’ve had this “baggy” issue that you speak of.

    3. Like the post but I have to respectfully disagree though. There are no more medical benefits to being circumsized. My wife is a PA and has specific training in this and even she disagrees with that statement. This sounds more of a personal opinion then based on fact. Again this is your choice and I can understand the stigma associated but again CW isn’t always the answer.

      Uncircumsized feels like a baggy? I will admit I have never heard of that one before but again to each their own. I do feel my sexual prowess has never had any issues and has actually been quite astounding. I think of it as a more natural way to be. On this site we preach eating more organic, unaltered and natural foods, working out to get back to more of a primal existence so why is this argument any different? If evolution wouldn’t have wanted foreskin there then it would have eventually gone away on its own. Yes we do not run through the briar patches anymore but we confine our manhood in boxers or tightie whities that are made to absorb sweat which leads to bacteria and if any dirt gets in there then it stays unnoticed until we cleanse. Not very appealing to me.

      Foreskin offers more protection from the elements. When this practice first started most people wore the same clothes they worked in everyday so dirt, grime, bacteria and everything under the sun would have access to a very important part of the man.

  61. hmmm… this makes me think of the book, Guide To The Perplexed… people should probably read the part about circumcision… i am not getting my sons cut.

    troy

  62. The bottom line is this procedure violates the bodily integrity of a child. What gives you the right to do this?

    Instead of parents forcing this unnecessary procedure on unconsenting minors, how about simply doing the right thing, which is to wait until they are old enough to decide for themselves?

    WHAT is the rush? Do you suspect your pre-teen child is going to pick up or spread a STD? Do you imagine that the child will develop some severe foreskin-neuroses? How about being solid and loving parents and developing the child’s self-esteem before chopping off body parts? Maybe we should do plastic surgery at 5 when we think a nose is not as pretty as it should be and we need to avoid the child’s social discomfort because of it. Or maybe we should remove the mammary glands of infants to prevent breast cancer later in life.

    The rush is because nearly no adult male would willingly let a doctor go near his genitalia with a scalpel, unless it was medically necessary. But adults holding a child down and forcing them to have parts chopped off is somehow more palatable to people?! Would I call this mutilation? Maybe. But minimally it is child abuse.

  63. We did not get our son circumcised when he was born. We did a good amount of research before he was born and the arguments for it were just not there…especially the infection myth. He’s almost 10 with one infection during that time. He’s incredibly conscious and hygenic about the whole issue.

    I applaud Christoph for taking this as his cause as I too personally believe that it is a completely unnecessary procedure (rooted in religion for the purposes of de-sensitization) that determines how one deals with pain for the rest of their lives.

    AND, we wanted our son to be able to REALLY enjoy sex throughout his life. Trust me, he will thank us when he’s older.

    1. Thank you.

      I come here for the Primal, not for the moral debates, but this post has made me think.

      I may need to pursue this cause further.

  64. The only thing that is irritating about this page is the incessant commenting by Christoph.. God it is so annoying ! For god’s sake stop replying to each and every comment !! Its like ruining the entire discussion thread!

    1. I agree – a bit too passionate on the matter – makes me want to go get circumcised now just to spite him 😛

    2. A congratulate him on it, because all too often this debate ends with some snide and misguided comment.

      He’s pushing it beyond that and forcing people to think about, even justify, their attitude, while also correcting a lot of myths.

      Keep it up Chris!

  65. I don’t believe in taking away people’s body parts without asking them. Doesn’t seem very nice or fair.

    Those who are upset with the comparison to female circumcision should read Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu’s work. She makes the exact arguments that pro-male circumcision proponents do. I think people are just uncomfortable once they realize that these arguments have no weight. And at least in Ahmadu’s culture, the procedure is done on people old enough to consent, which she did after doing much research on the subject.
    http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/article.php3?id_article=2434

  66. my kid is uncirced and half-Jewish. if he wants to have himself circed at age 18, he may, just as it would then be his choice to get a tattoo or body piercings. but i certainly wouldn’t encourage it! (tattoos actually i wouldnt mind, solong as they are artistically rendered and tastefull, lol).

  67. I’ve brought up the major — and varied — points I wished to make.

    I brought up several points no one else made, and learned from several great points others made.

    I learned more than I expected or could have imagined I would when I woke up yesterday and checked my favourite fitness blog about other men’s experiences in particular, and their thoughts on sexuality and even their penis.

    This thread has made me mad, even sad, but at the same time I’ve seen there are one heck of a lot of fantastic people here, male and female.

    I see people who can cut through conventional wisdom and focus on the underlying truths.

    I’ve seen people who care about children, even male children, a lot. I’ve seen people bare their souls on private sexual matters which, for all my comments, I have not done.

    I realize the popularity of male sex organ mutilation is falling fast.

    No, it isn’t fast enough for my taste, but it’s still come a long way.

    I’m grateful to learn from my Australian friends that it is much rarer there than here in North America, and this news too also brings me hope.

    I don’t mean to compliment everyone and I won’t pretend that I do.

    But I mean to compliment a lot of you, and our host for giving us this venue.

    I have an inkling as to what his private views are on the subject and I could understand him not wanting to get into the most concise descriptions of them for business reasons.

    Or I could be wrong about that.

    I hope you’ll keep a few things in mind:

    Female genital mutilation (including removal of the clitoris) does not stop women from having orgasms. That is a myth. It’s based on false data.

    Sure, it diminishes sexual feelings, but there are other nerve endings.

    Likewise, circumcision in males. It mutilates, it changes sexual response, but it doesn’t generally destroy it utterly.

    There are so many points I could rehash from above, but I will give you that as food for thought.

    The differences between male and female circumcision are those of degree, not of kind.

    What right do we have to change someone’s sexual response, or physical form in their most private and personal organs, WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION?

    To cut them; to amputate.

    Good day, people.

    1. Christoph, I think you added a LOT to the conversation, and I don’t have any problems with your style (the truth hurts I guess). Thanks! For a lot of folks that I know it’s been a topic of shallow consideration, and my husband and I were the only ones who gave it much thought, and came to the same conclusion as you. My Boomer mother in law insists uncut is unsanitary, like it’s so easy to keep a diapered vagina clean haha. My OB said “it’s for either cultural or religious reasons, not medical” and those are the last reasons I’d do anything at all much less genital mutilation.

  68. I have a dime-sized scar on my upper-arm from vaccination, performed at birth in an eastern European country. You can bet that shot hurt like a mofo. Since it was done without my consent (as is all childhood vaccination) and it left a scar (which actually did lead to a traumatizing social experience when I was about 10yo), is that mutilation, too?

    1. Of course any procedure done on your behalf while you are a child (because of you lack of capacity to do so) in order to prevent or minimize serious illness that might happen DURING childhood is entirely different than circumcising an infant. There is no impending and common genital disease (while a child) that would necessitate such an action. When a child grows up they can look at the facts and data themselves to determine whether circumcision will be better for them.

      So you are scarred for life – for the possible benefit of not getting certain diseases as an infant/child. So… do we need to circumcise infants because of some childhood disease? The “urgency” is purely cultural and because the victim is simply defenseless so it is easier to do then than to convince your teenage or adult son to go through with it for the “religious, health and aesthetic benefits”. No choice, no argument.

      It is basically a case of ruthless opportunism: get it done while the child cannot prevent it.

  69. My husband is intact, so is my son. Funny story about how I came to realize my husband was not cut. We were 18 at the time (ugh, 15 years ago?) and 6 months into our relationship. We were two horny kids that had a lot of fun. We were at a bbq and one of the guys there decided to “make fun” of another guy there about not being circumcised. then my husband (then boyfriend) piped up and said “i am not circumcised”… everyone looked at him with a little shock. even myself. haha, he had always been, um, full attention when i was around him, so i never noticed. anyway, all the guys there dropped it right away. maybe it’s because they respected my husband and it really wasn’t something to “make fun of”.

    i will say this. all kids get make fun of. if my son is in the locker room getting remarks, i sure will give him some things to say to come back with. but it might not be his penis they make fun of. they might make fun of his ears, his head (um, the one on his shoulders) because he has a huge head! hahaha… kids are cruel no matter what.

    and as for women, my son doens’t need a woman in his life that thinks his penis is “gross”. she doens’t deserve my son. i get really sad when people think someone’s natural state is “gross”…

  70. By any definition of the word, circumcision is, by its very nature, mutilation. Our sensitivity to the practice, or lackthereof, is entirely cultural and religious.

    Many of us look in horror upon similar practices performed in other countries, yet see no comparison to our own outdated system.

    We congratulate ourselves that, in these modern times, we continue to practice infant mutilation because it is somehow better for the child. We have convinced ourselves that this is the case, but the reality is, we are only fooling ourselves.

    It is done because we are used to doing it. Because we have done it for so long we can’t remember not doing it. Because it is now the norm and it would look funny if we didn’t.

    1. This practice is a result of thinking that sex is bad. It never had any scientific basis. We do fall back to Grok many a times and this is one where it makes sense too. If it was healthier to be circumcised (enough to matter), we would have not had that skin to begin with.

      Hindus never had this practice. We were quite open in sexual matters prior to the arrival of muslims. We did become sexually closed (and still continue to be closed) with their influence, but luckily didn’t get this practice.

      America is still not sufficiently open sexually. This will take a lot of time. This practice will go away when the society opens up. It is evident that there is still a lot of ways to go for Americans ;-).

  71. I was. We are expecting in April and “if” its a boy we may leave him with a ‘covered wagon.’ The bacterial and HIV argument seems like more WHO fodder for telling us what to do. It seems very Grok like to just let nature be natural. Man did not evolve because we chopped some skin off and all of a sudden we saved humanity.

    In my circle of friends in HS I remember one guy who would always talk about how he was not circumcised and how cool it was. There was not a day that went by where after football practice he’d walk around the locker room without a towel to prove it. The kid was nuts and ended up fighting in Iraq and someone posted on his wall on Facebook “Larry with his covered wagon.”

  72. I am 43 and I was circumcised at 12 year old. It was painful and took about 2 weeks to recover.

    I think that circumcision should be left in the hands of the individual who can make an informed decision about it. There is no medical necessity to circumcise the child at birth. As for circumcising the child so he doesn’t “different” from daddy, I think that’s an ignorant and vain reason to do it.

    The correct approach would be to avoid any non-medically necessary intervention of the body. Certainly a primal man wasn’t circumcised. That was a rite introduced by religion and the need for tribal distinction.

  73. I’ll bet Grok had some tattoos. So what’s the difference? Still hurts when done, still “self mutilation” as some put it… just a thought…

    1. The difference is that circumcision is an outdated religious practice and it’s hidden under the guise that it’s more sanitary or safe for the person, which is far from the truth. There’s typically no choice that goes along with said procedure. It’s become the norm as has most stuff within conventional wisdom. People just follow along because it’s the easy and comfortable thing to do.

      A tattoo is a tattoo. There’s no hidden agenda as to what a tattoo is for.

    2. I’ve not heard of tattooing your newborn babe, and I’m sure many folks would be appauled at the thought of permanantly changing a newborn’s body right after birth in that manner. Why is it any different w/ circumcision (which is actually cutting OFF part of a newborn babe’s body–not just decorating it…)

      What if someone wanted to cut off the pinky toes of their newborn babe? Would everyone be a-ok w/ that? Sounds barbaric, but is no less barbaric and hurtful than circumcision…

  74. 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?”

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  75. 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

    1. 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’)

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  76. 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!”

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. “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 😉

    1. I was under the impression it doesn’t take much to bring a man to orgasm, circ or not. 😉

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

    1. 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?”

    2. 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?

    3. 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? 😐

    4. “…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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. “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.

  86. 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?”.

  87. @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.

  88. 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.

    1. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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

  91. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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??

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

      2. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

        3. Jack, you’re yelling your ignorance.

          It is not fathers and uncles who do this.

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

    1. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. “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****

    1. “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.

      1. 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.

  96. 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?

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. “Smegma (Greek sm?gma, “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.

  100. “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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. “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.

    2. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

    1. “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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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 !)

  105. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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?

    3. 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.”

    4. Circumcision = cutting off a part of your son’s penis, and is therefore !awesome.

  106. 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!

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

    1. 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.

        1. What a cheap excuse for inability to answer, and what a pity to devalue Wolfgang Pauli’s sharp remark by so misusing it.

    1. Good day sir. I wish I could tell you that your response was so cutting that it has taken me months to respond, but, alas, I was just really out living my life and decided to revisit what I remembered to be an intriguing insight in to society’s views on circumcision. And I had the extra bonus of seeing this comment. My response will be brief. We’ll leave it to the bookies to decide if I have “address[ed]” the substance of your last three comments.

      Christoph,

      You do not prove much of a point by citing to practices from the “most traditionalist” groups of Jewish members. My initial disappointment with your overly zealous advocacy was your general notion that you are 100% correct and that my (and others’) general views toward circumcision are wrong. One commenter earlier says there is no right or wrong answer. Your retort was to the effect of the commenter being wrong (and you by implication being right). That’s insulting and demeaning to the good people who engage in a healthy debate on this site. You attack me by sighting practices that I too disagree with and then continue to call me out for my failure to immediately respond. This further undermines your credibility and your respect for your fellow man. My comment was only intended to say that when you say people are clearly wrong on this issue, you implicate more than the little piece of foreskin, you implicate deeply important religious beliefs. And I am not saying that those beliefs requiring sucking blood. I am saying that those beliefs include removing a piece of skin from the penis. Please don’t make the discussion something that it is not.

      I hope all of you are living wonderful, primal lives.

      P.S. If you respond to this 15 seconds after I post it, there is a good chance I will not address your response for 10 months. There is an even better chance that I will not address it at all. Please feel free to start an over/under on it.

  109. Quackery.

    Finding this as a topic on the top rated blog on a Zen Habits post has just discredited this blog, that post and ZH too. Shame.

  110. sexasnatureintendedit.com and http://www.circumstitions.com/ for starters.

    Circumcision of an infant is never necessary and causes far to many complications to be even remotely worth it. There are no benefits–only pain, complications and regrets.

    If circumcision becomes medically necessary later in the boys life then so be it; but preemptive action by the ill informed parents and doctors is disgraceful.

  111. Circumcised wieners are cool. They look more like Grok’s spear!

    What? Somebody had to say it. #ComicRelief

    1. Not a hope in hell, Zach.

      I do not believe “agreeing to disagree” is the correct solution to all issues. It doesn’t fly when it results in a human being getting part of their body cut off against his or her will.

      No sale.

      1. Christoph, I was being facetious, you may have noticed all of the “cutting references” in my comment and the youtube link mocking the practice? Cheers.

  112. As a female, I’d like to make a few notes about circumcision in a sexual nature.

    Being Uncircumcised makes your member look and feel BIGGER. Plus One! Minus One: You need to deliberately wash it before she, um, eats that banana. Otherwise, it tastes pretty unpleasant.

    I don’t really want to circumcise my future sons, but have decided to leave that decision up the their father.

    1. If you have all your genitals and their father doesn’t, aren’t you in a better position to decide than him?

      If you’re going to give the decision away, how about leaving it to THEM?

  113. I’m with Christoph on this one. Performing surgery on infants with no CLEAR medical benefit is immoral.

    I’m circumcised. I’m not mad at my parents, and I don’t have any sexual problems, but I won’t have my kids circumcised.

    Also, I’m really surprised so many people on here are “pro-circumcision” given the content of this website. Isn’t primal about eating and living “what/how nature intended” unless there is a clear set of reasons to do otherwise?!?

  114. What amazes me is just how many people here argue that because this is done to a child, not an adult, it isn’t as bad.

    I suspect I could guess a lot these people’s other beliefs.

  115. For everyone who has come here and been either offended or flabbergasted by Christoph, I just want to point out that of about 285 posts on here, 68 of them belong to Christoph. Which I guess makes Christoph the winner. You are the winner! Who is the big winner? Who is the big winner?

  116. I am just chiming in one more time here to say that I don’t mean to sound indifferent to anyone’s belief that’s strongly against this practice, or any religious belief that’s strongly for this practice, and certainly wouldn’t want to make light of it by my “cutting references.” However, though this is a sensitive subject, and parents’ responsibility of knowing all of the facts have been mentioned a few times regarding this… before we get too judgmental either way (depending which side of the argument you’re on) what about all of the mothers of the circumcised (and uncircumcised) sons out there who give gorge their offspring with nothing but cookies, HFCS-packed candies, whole grains, etc.?

    Again, not making light of this particular issue, but when this operation gets done at birth or part of a religious service, it’s done, and you live with it. Without judging it either way, you learn to live with it, and life goes on without a reduction in your lifespan, health, etc. But a mommy or daddy feeding their offspring with junk food or the almost as bad Standard American Diet may unknowingly give their kids type II diabetes, acne, obesity, depression, etc.

    The mothers from the ’70’s didn’t know any better, I struggled with my weight for a long time & just recently with my health because of my bad diet, I don’t blame my mom, my nutritional lessons from her were based on the foundations of bad public policy when it came to nutrition. My point? There’s a lot of damage out there both physically and psychologically being done unwittingly by parents onto kids from really bad nutrition, damage perhaps much more profound than this particular subject.

    If you’re against circumcision, and you feel very strongly about it not being a healthy thing for a child, I commend you for expressing your belief. If you see a mother or father feeding her/his already obese child a Happy Meal… which is worse? Just a thought I had. Mark, thanks for bringing up such a subject to your community. I’m sure this comment string is just beginning!

    1. Yes, there are many other evils, including feeding kids with junk food. Some are more evil, some less. Doesn’t make this one a ha’porth more or less evil. And “Worry about that, not this” is a recipe for doing nothing.

      “when this operation gets done at birth or part of a religious service, it’s done, and you live with it. Without judging it either way, you learn to live with it, and life goes on without a reduction in your lifespan, health, etc.”

      Except when it doesn’t. A very small number die of it. A small number have serious ill-effects. A larger number have less serious ill-effects. All have lost the function their complete anatomy would have provided, and all have lost the freedom to choose for themselves.

      Circumcision, even as an option for parents, is not a given. If more doctors would refuse to do it, or refuse even to ask about it, like Dr Joseph Pate, http://drpate.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/throwing-wrenches-at-the-gears/ , fewer babies would be circumcised, and eventually it would be consigned to the dustbin of history. And/or a Bill could be passed like the one at http://www.mgmbill.com .

      The first step is to question it.

  117. I have painstakingly read through every comment above and see that some people see circumcision as a prophylaxis for everything from the common cold to HIV and AIDS. What’s next? Dengue fever? One comment stated that an uncut penis was better protection against STDs than condoms. I’m sure there are millions of cut men scratching their heads (and other places) wondering how they caught their STD. Toilet seats?

    There are studies supporting claims on both sides. My question is; how is it possible that this surgical procedure protects against acquiring HIV and yet places like Japan and Scandinavia — where circumcision is rare — have the lowest HIV/AIDS rates in the world? If the prevention rate for circumcision is 50% or better, those areas should have drastically higher incident rates. Any study with that huge of a statistical anomaly in any other field would be immediately suspect; why not in this one? And fifty percent? Really? Would you play Russian roulette with a round in every other chamber?

    I find it amusing that some women would post comments about the look of an uncut penis being “ugly”. Is that cultural bias grounds for routine neonatal circumcision? And if I, as a male, made any comment about a female’s body part being unappealing to me, I would be labeled as a sexist pig. I would have to ask them; have you looked at your own vulva lately? Are the wrinkly inner workings of that thing ugly? (Or just normal?)

    As far as odor is concerned, a well maintained prepuce does not have an offensive odor. Again, that females complain about that, amazes me. They have between their legs what could only be described as a veritable cauldron of secretions, moisture and bacteria. They have a multimillion dollar industry devoted to keeping that area clean and smelling fresh. A few second daily lavation is all I need to keep my foreskin clean.

    Circumcision is mutilation. It is a lesser degree than FGM, but it is mutilation, none the less. Just because the scar heals doesn’t mean mutilation didn’t take place. (Ear piercing is mutilation, certainly a lesser degree than FGM or piercing the tongue, septum or urethra, but it is still mutilation.)

    I was one among the lucky 10% of American Baby Boomer males left intact after my birth in the fifties. I’m glad I have the “extra” natural erogenous zones afforded by having a protected glans, sensitive foreskin and super-sensitive frenulum. I chose not to alter my sons or daughter at birth with any cutting, piercing, tattooing, foot binding or any other tribal custom. If they want to do that to themselves, they are free to do it now as adults. All children should have that right reserved for them.

    1. My comment was that circ vs uncut provides greater protection against HIV than condom vs uncut. So, your Scandinavia/Japan note doesn’t really make sense. For example, Scandinavia and Japan could both have higher rates of condom use or higher rates of monogamy, they could have genetic predispositions against HIV, etc. All of those could explain a low HIV rate, and none of those things impact the fact that cells in the foreskin are hyper-receptive to HIV.

      I understand this is an emotional issue for some people, but try to maintain logical consistency and rational thought. You’ll still have great arguments against circ.

      1. My argument is that entire populations of intact men have drastically lower infection rates than populations where cutting is common. Of course, culture and behavior have the most to do with why they have such low rates of disease. That means whatever they are doing is obviously much more effective than surgery. So rather than subject boys to non-consentual mutilation, inculcate them with the knowledge of practices that will keep them almost 100% disease free.

  118. Well put, Jacob. I was even told by my Rabbi that there are cases in which premarital sex is a mitzvah.

    I have to add, again, before I was circumcised, I never:

    1)had a UTI,
    2)had a yeast infection,
    3)had an odor,
    4)had any kind of self-esteem issue related to being an intact man,
    or
    6)had any other issue with my penis.

    The only reason I had to be circumcised was because of painful, tearing erections due to frenulum breve, which was the result of FFR. It was a human error. It had nothing to do with my body as it naturally was. It had to do with an error in action.

    Sex was way better before, for both lover and myself.

  119. I think that most people who have witnessed the medical circumcision of a new-born, which I have, would not want to put their sons through that. The justifications offered for male circumcision in our culture are the same as those offered for female circumcision in areas where it’s a practice. I believe both should be labeled “genital mutilation,” and should be punished accordingly.

    1. The justifications given for circ and FGM are not the same, at all.

      1. Let’s see:
        Control sexuality? Check
        Make more acceptable to the other sex? Check
        Tradition? Check
        Conformity? Check
        Religion? Check
        Appearance? Check
        Medical? Oh no, they don’t do FGC for medical reasons, that makes them COMPLETELY different.

  120. I highly doubt the “Primal Blueprint” of Man included circumcision. Don’t mess with the original design. It was “done right” the first time.

  121. I teach childbirth education and am a doula. I always tell my parents, if you can watch a video of a baby getting circumcised and not hurl and you still want to do it, I guess that is your decision. they often change their minds when they see the actual procedure.

  122. Why remove what evolution put there? Evolution was a lot smarter at doing its job. Leave alone what it created.

  123. I wasn’t circrumcised and neither was my son. If Mother nature intended us to not have foreskin then guess Evolution would have stepped in and the procedure wouldn’t be necessary. Also think of it this way. The foreskin is a protectant from outside bacteria, dirt, or whatever your fancy might be. It’s there for a purpose and we should honor Grok in all our glory.

  124. As a male who had to get circ’d at the ripe old age of 20 I believe I am qualified to share some of my personal experience on this subject.
    Growing up I struggled with the fact that i was different than my friends. I didn’t get ridiculed for being uncircumsized but because of social norms I knew that i was “different” and it made me uncomfortable and shy. I was certain that if a girl ever saw it she would scream and run the other direction. When I was 12 or 13 or so I decided I wanted to get circumsized and asked my parents about it. They said I could and set up an appointment for it. For some reason though when the date came around I decided not to go through with it..maybe it was “growing” on me. Fast forward a year or two when I started having sexual encounters with females and lo and behold! Not a one of them ran away screaming! They didn’t really seam to care other than being a little curious about seeing something that they hadn’t really seen before. For a good six years I enjoyed the pleasures of life as an uncirc’d man. When I was 19 I developed Phimosis and the foreskin wouldn’t peel back to expose the head anymore. I went to the doctor and asked him about it and after talking it out for a while decided i would get circ’d. Yeah it hurt, yeah I heard the stories that I would be desensitized but you do what you gotta do. Much to my surprise not much has changed since then. I am almost 24, sex feels the same and I am just as happy as before.
    I have to say that it seems silly to circ a baby when there is no medical need for it. I got a long just fine with it and I get a long just fine without it. It should be a personal choice left up to the individual when they are old enough to know what they want. Bottom line

  125. I think this is a decision for an adult to make, or at least, a teenager who’s well informed. I see no reason to inflict such pain on my newborn infant.

  126. Nate’s post shut everybody up. Funny how so many people think they know what is best for others. Nothing worse than a sociopath.

  127. Such practised circumcision seems strange to me, although I am a 19 year old woman from England, and I haven’t any children of my own. My parents however, had my brother (the eldest and the only son) in a New York hospital in 1986 as they lived there at the time, although they didn’t want him circumsised because it just isn’t what happens in England (and Britain as a whole) unless specific health conditions or religious practice dictates otherwise.

    1. Should probably add that I remember as a young teenager, some of my male friends joked about one of them being circumcised (though he wasn’t) and THAT was seen as being different! It is just difference in practise and culture at the end of it.
      It also makes sense to note that for the health benefits of circumcision, I’m not aware of any high statistic of teenage or adult men in Britain with any problems associated directly to their penises.

  128. Regarding the statements saying that FBM is not comparable to male circ:

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

    there is a form of female circ that is exactly equal to male- Hoodectomy, the hood of the clitoris is removed.

    this falls under the 4 defined types of Female Genital Mutilation and is “recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. … It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.”

    This also could be used to describe the procedure we call Male Circumcision, yet we don’t call it Male Genital Mutilation. It makes no sense to me at all.

    the WHO definitions also include piercing- not permanent, not terribly invasive, but still part of FGM- why is that? Because it is done WITHOUT CONSENT. Such a simple concept in my opinion.

    Why in the world do adults want to cut off a piece of skin from their baby’s penis? I will let my son make the decision for himself, same as my daughter. (and i feel the same way about religion, why is it up to me what religion, if any, my child is? It’s up to them to figure that out for themselves. I wouldn’t force a ‘covenant’ upon anyone, much less a child)

    The reported medical ‘benefits’ are junk- i won’t cut off my daughters breasts or remove her ovaries to keep her cancer free either. (btw, if i found i was BRCA positive, i would, as an ADULT have a preventative mastectomy and reconstruction, the adult part is the important distinction, as well as the high risk marker)

    (just a thought: one of my best friends is into scarification, and has huge, scalpel inflicted designs on her back. She loves it, but she’d never agree that it should be done to an infant. Body modification for appearances sake should be left to adults)

  129. ARGH. i hate typos. there’s probably more, but I must correct the major one-

    FBM should read FGM.

  130. I’m nto and could care less about what other people think. When I was younger of course it was awkward but what wasn’t?

    For those who say it should be done think of it this way. A man’s becomes erect when blood flows to his nether regions (very basic explanation) and when you cut off the foreskin you are basically taking away from more blood flowbeing able to assist in the process therefore even taking some size and girth away.

    Also I have read numerous studies where an uncircumsized man has more pleasure due to the nerves being more sensitive and again the same study revealed the extra girth gave women more pleasure as well. Now who am I to take that away from myself or my wife? That would be downright selfish don’t you think?

    And for those who say it’s medicinal the only thing you have to do is wash it with soap and water and bam! Taking care of.

  131. Okay, circumcision is bad i was circumcised at birth and after reading this article and many others i feel like a lost arm at birth. i have never felt the foreskin i am starting the restoration process but you lose so many advantages being circumcised. I now hate my parents for removing part of my body a very important part may i say. When i have kids if the woman wants to circumcise the kids i will say fuck her and ask for a divorce.

    in teenage years (hitting puberty) i felt lots of discomfort in becoming erect and i ask some of my friends if they had the same problem i found out that only the ones with a circumcised penis had them and they reported occasional bleeding as well.

    and so i think F@#$ MY PARENTS FOR CIRCUMCISING ME!!!!!

  132. ok I’ve read about half of these comments until I had enough. Your arguments against are ludicrous!

    To imply that you are born with it, so why wack it off? …. has no one heard of vestigial organs? Parts and organs left over from a time when we needed them, but hasn’t evolved away yet…. our appendix, tonsils, the vestigial tail that forms in the womb? any of these ring a bell? We are not born perfect with a function and use for every last thing…. some things are ~unnecessary~.

    and all the whiney parents that can’t stand the thought of a procedure that the infant might sleep through and don’t want to ‘make decisions for them’. Uh, hello you are the PARENT. It is your JOB to be making decisions for the next 18 years! These kind of people want to be ‘friends’ with their offspring and end up with a surly, confused teenager picking off pedestrians from a tall building with a sniper rifle.

    And has anyone noticed Christoph’s creepy obsession with female circumcision? Mentioning it over and over again….. I think he may have ~issues~.

    1. There are no other normal, healthy, functional, non-renewable parts that we just “wack off” babies. What’s so special about this one?

      Small =/= vestigial. The eyelids are as small and the earlobes have no known function, but we don’t wack them off.

      Babies don’t sleep through being circumcised, they go into shock.

      Nobody says you must never make decisions for your children, but the decision to cut a non-renewable part off his body – absent pressing medical need – is not one anyone ever has to make. Circumcision is not just for the next 18 years, but for life: if you could give him back has foreskin at 18, there would be far less objection to it.

      True female circumcision, surgically cutting off the clitoral prepuce, is the closest analogue with male circumcision, and ethically they are identical – yet the female version has a special federal law against it. Why the double standard?

      What’s creepy is so many people’s obsession with cutting parts off other people’s genitals. What’s healthy is just leaving them alone.

      1. Yes, Hugh, but we can document benefits of removing the foreskin. Removal of ear lobes, I believe, would be of no effect. Also, I know you could document downsides. But I think the comparison is apples and oranges.

  133. (I feel like I just wandered into the 1970s.) We now know the the function of the appendix (reservoir to replenish gut flora in case of wipe-out), tonsils (guardian against incoming infections), and the foreskin (think of the purposes of the eyelid, add pleasure, and you just about got it).

    There is no medical justification, and while I respect religious reasons, Jews, Muslims, & Christians should know that the circumcision G-d commanded to Abraham was not the procedure done today. Google “brit peri’ah”.

  134. Buttercup, those parents concerned about adequate pain management when it’s done RIC can’t use that as a cop out. Nowhere is it written that boys have to be circumcised in infancy. Almost any age is OK, and some ages may be better than others. A Number of cultures practice it around age of puberty, so boys can understand and make their own decision or at least participate in it.
    Those of us that can remember a foreskin and then getting rid of it can appreciate the improvement best.

  135. It would be a tough call for me if I ever had a son. For one thing, I’ve never really seen an uncircumcised one.. not that there’s anything wrong with them that way, but I’m from a time where it was a standard practice. But I know that there are reasons why it’s not anymore, and I agree with most of you that say that it’s natural and let it be that way so long as they want to.

    But my other issue is that both my grandfather and my father had to have circumcisions as adults due to complications (I’m not exactly sure what is was.. I’d obviously find out if I were making the decision for a son), so I’d think it likely that a son of mine could suffer the same problems, so why not get it over with preemptively when he won’t have to remember it versus later on if it’s likely going to have to get done either way?

    1. Genes are not gospel. Genes may determine which of those with the wrong environmental conditions may develop problems, but they are not mandates.

      Regardless, most problems with the foreskin are preventable with reasonable, normal care. Many doctors are far too eager to jump to circumcision as the cure (just as they’re far too happy to jump to BCP or hysterectomy to cure whatever ails women) instead of taking appropriate care to find out what the real solution should be. When I get an eye infection, I look at my recent eye hygiene and learn how to take better care of it and use appropriate medications to eliminate the infection if needed – I do not get a doctor to cut off my eyelid.

  136. Alison, the concern about your grandfather and father is important, however if you had a history of breast cancer on your mother’s side would you preemptively have your daughter get a mastectomy before she develops? Or would you wait and see what her risk factors were as she matured and let her make that decision?

  137. I was born into a family who believed in circumcision. I thought not being circumcised was weird until I started dating my current boyfriend. My personal belief is that, like many old religious laws, this was primarily a sanitation thing, more than a right of passage. I don’t believe it’s okay to circumcise solely on the base of fitting in. I’m much less judgmental of people who do it for religious purposes, but it is still genital mutilation. If a man wishes to do it when he is older, that’s his own choice. I don’t believe parents should have the right to do that to their children, simply because it is not their bodies. Children have little rights and what happens to them is legally up to their parents/legal guardians, but decisions like these should be left to children when they are adults, especially since this isn’t reversible.

  138. I am against any and all altering to my (hypothetical/future) baby’s physical form. It is beautiful and wonderful and there is no call to mutilate any part of it–whether that means circumcision or forced gender assignment, or elimination of ‘extra’ digits or WHATEVER. I don’t care. Unless something is causing em pain and physical harm there’s no reason to alter how ey was born.

    1. Agreed. And it’s truly a pleasure to see someone Spivak pronouns. They edge out the generic he for accuracy, and don’t have the awkwardness of he/she. Well done!

  139. I am a grown woman who has experienced sexual intercourse with both circumcised and uncircumcised males. I must admit that I find the circumcised both much more pleasurable, and able to last longer. Not only that, but many men do not properly care for the hygiene of their uncircumcised phallus. I would NEVER give fellatio to an uncircumcised male, as it seems less safe due to it being less hygienic. If nothing else, I know I enjoy intercourse of any kind with males (now my husband) that are circumcised. I know I will circumcise any sons I have in order to let them pleasure their partners more. It’s common knowledge that males usually get more pleasure out of sex anyway, so I don’t see a need to increase it for them and decrease it for female partners they may have.

    1. Also, I take extreme issue with people using such biased words to describe their opinion. Words like “hack” “chop” and “wack” have very strong negative connotations, and should not be used while trying to discuss the pros and cons of a medical operation. Please use less volatile words. Thank you.

      1. And stating that you’d never do a certain act at all w/ an intact male, which implies that you believe most intact males are “unhygienic,” is not volatile?

    2. While it may not be true for you, a large number of women, and it is often said “most”, enjoy sex wtih intact men more, as long as cultural customs don’t create a mental barrier against it.

      The simple reason is that the foreskin provides the male contribution to lubrication, which is often missing for women (for instance, while breastfeeding or as we age). It also allows a smaller, closer movement that prevents the “battering ram” effect from being necessary to bring the male to climax. I encourage all interested to google something like “why circumcision hurts women” and most definitely to look up the history of circumcision. It was originally a much smaller snip (not a total foreskin amputation), and was done almost exclusively by Jews & Muslims until the late 19th century, when the claim that it would cure masturbation hit the military. The UK & US went nuts for it, then the UK regained their senses and as of now, the US is one of the only nation in the whole world where it is common for non-religious reasons.

      Billions of women would differ with the assertion that circumcision is better for us.

    3. If a couple decide jointly that a body modification for one of them would be good for the other, that is unimpeachable, but there is something bizarre about cutting (any objection to “cutting”?) part off a baby in the expectation that that is what a hypothetical future partner will want, based on one’s own experience of other men. Tastes differ.

      And have a look at the instruments of circumcision, http://www.circumstitions.com/methods.html and see what word suits what they do. Better yet, look at an actual circumcision: http://www.circumstitions.com/#pictures

    4. 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.

  140. I hail from the backwoods of Ontario, so neither I nor any of the robust, venison-fed men in my family were circumcised.

    Did I get razzed by schoolmates for being intact when I moved to the big city as a teen? A little.

    But did it bother me? Not in the least.

    And I’ve never met a lady who wasn’t just as pleased with “little Grok” as I am.

  141. It’s of note that foreskin restoration is nearly as old as MGM. The reasons vary equally for its practice and the individual’s desire for restoration, but it is certainly interesting that men have been restoring for nearly as long as they’ve been ritually cut, historically, given the cavalier treatment of the subject by some here (and elsewhere).

    Obviously a lot of men have taken the issue rather more seriously than those who claim it isn’t an issue would like.

    http://www.cirp.org/library/restoration/schultheiss/

  142. While FGM may not occur under the same context as circumcision, they both generally occur without consent so I think there is some merit in comparing the two.

    I’m surprised to see people on this site who are actually pro-circ…

    I say this because I would expect people who frequent MDA are proactive in achieving or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That is, following a primal way of life, not taking a pill for diabetes or any lifestyle-related illness.

    In saying that, isn’t cutting off PART OF THE BODY a little lazy (and disgusting).

    Religion aside, using hygiene and disease prevention as a reason is hilarious.

    Is it too hard to teach your boys how to wash themselves and about safe sex or is it just easier to “swallow a pill”, i.e. circumcise?

  143. I believe that circumcision is a good and beneficial practice. Why? Because God instructs his people to do so in the Bible. (Oh, I’m sure that will rile some of you, no doubt. But that’s okay by me.) I have learned over the years that EVERY time God gives an instruction, He does it for a REASON, and it’s ALWAYS in the BEST INTEREST of his children. Even if we don’t understand it upfront — new data and discoveries down the line always seem to back it up, or bring light to and explain even things that seem trivial and unimportant at the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something in the Bible and thought to myself, “What in the world is THAT all about… really God? Is that such a big deal? Why would that even be an issue…” Or whatever. And then a few years later, when I’m not even looking for it, the answer will come though a news story, or sermon… and I say to myself, “So THAT’s why you did that, Lord!?!” Interesting. So I’m thinking that maybe God knows something that we don’t… cuz if you know his heart or character at all, He doesn’t just say, “Listen parents, I want you to mutilate your children and put them through agony “just to be different,” or so that “outsiders” will know you’re mine! There’s really no benefit to my instruction other than that, so just go do it and don’t question me, cuz I’m God…” or some wierd thing like that. TRUST, anyone? In your Father/creator? On this particular issue, I think enough studies were cited already to show a few of the POSSIBLE benefits. And since God knows what we do not, and can even see the end from the beginning, I don’t think his reasons ever become invalid or outdated. Do we, as humans, REALLY change all that much? Yeah, we learn and evolve in many areas and in many ways. And yet some things stay the same as well. And sometimes we progress and then fall back. As individuals, but moreso as a society as a whole, especially through the generations. But to each his own. I know that I will be circumcising my sons as infants, because that is the right choice for my family. Why such a hot-button issue, anyway? Babies are not going to remember it, they will suffer no ill effects, and there’s actually good reason to do it! It’s okay people! Don’t be so sensitive… We’ve become a culture of sissys and over-thinkers. (Na, that wasn’t meant to be mean; just a matter-of-fact observation.)

    1. Why so a hot-button issue?! Cutting up and mutilating babies seems trivial to you? Sicko.

      But more importantly, don’t bother using the bible to justify your sadism:

      “For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Now I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we can wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love.” Galatians 5:1-6

      “It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:12-16.

      “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evil-workers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:2-3.

      So, apparently, God could not care whether boys are circumcised or not – which only makes sense – how could God value anything forced upon you as a child that highly? Clearly your heart and acts and decisions matter more to God than something you had absolutely no control over.

    2. MsMinne – there are places for people like you – they’re known as loony bins and, for the above post alone, you should be incarcerated in one for the rest of you pathetic existence – either that or you should be forcibly sterilised so that you weren’t able to breed. Circumcision is CHILD ABUSE, simple as that!

      I believe that anyone who mutilates a helpless infant is in the name of religion is no better a Catholic priest who buggers young boys.

      You claim that your god is telling you to mutilate your son(s); well Brian Mitchell claimed that his god told him to abduct, repeatedly rape and mutilate Elizabeth Smart and, guess what? He’s now spending the rest of his natural life in a high-security psychiatric unit!

      Now, I’m a dyed in the wool atheist (comes from spending 15 years in a convent school) but I remember some of my R.E. teachings, and I seem to recall a passage from Matthew’s Gospel (excuse me if I misquote and/or paraphrase slightly)

      Mt 18:6 But whoever so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

      Yes I looked it up. Didn’t want to misquote. I believe the same quote also occurs in Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels.

      If you want Bible quotes, I think that one speaks volumes, don’t you…?

      If humankind is made in your god’s image then, by definition, your god must be against circumcision, for surely he, himself, must be uncircumcised, if boys are his likenesses?

      Many crimes have been committed in the name of religion (not just Christianity, but Judaism and Islam too).

      I think that ANYONE who uses religion as ‘just cause’ to commit an act of violence upon another person should be punished more harshly than someone who does not.

      Child abuse is child abuse – and ritualistic abuse is even more abhorrent.

      You say it’s ‘personal choice’ for the family – you obviously don’t understand the meaning of the word; allow me to enlighten you: –

      Personal adj: – 2nd meaning – done or made by a particular person

      So, let me ask you this how is it PERSONAL choice? The PERSON concerned is too young to have personal choice – a parent deciding to mutilate their newborn son is making that choice for him – it is NOT PERSONAL CHOICE!!!

      Let me end with one last comment. I CANNOT have children – I am completely sterile, and it makes me weep that there are sick individuals like you who will breed and then mutilate the result.

      A human life is a blessed, sacred, precious thing, to be protected and nourished, cherished and loved – how is mutilating a newborn infant, for religious and/or dubious medical reasons, a loving act?

      I also must pick you up on your use of ‘bipolar’ – do you know what bipolar disorder is? I have suffered from it myself, so I am more than qualified to explain it to you – it DOES NOT mean having a ‘split personality’ – ‘bi’ = ‘two’, ‘polar’ = ‘extremes’. It is a disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which causes a person to suffer extreme highs and and extreme lows.

      I’m NOT by nature given to violence, MsMinne but, I have to say that if you’d said that to my face, you’d be picking up your teeth… You are one sick, sadistic, f*ck.

      STOP putting across your sick, warped, vile personal beliefs as statements of fact. I am not going to waste any more time and effort on you – you are simply not worth the bother. Charles – and Christoph earlier – have said everything I would have said (and in a FAR more erudite and eloquent way than I ever could).

      DO let me know when you decide to breed so that I can inform the child welfare services before you ritualistically abuse your new-born son…

      1. While I completely oppose circumcision, there is no comparison between it and raping children.

        1. Forcible? Check.
          Invasive? Check.
          Sexual? Check.
          Traumatic? Check.
          May be physical damage? Check.
          Not always remembered? Check.
          May be for adult sexual reasons? Check.
          Removes forever a healthy, functional, erogenous, non-renewable body part?
          Oh no, rape doesn’t do that. So there is no comparison betweem circumcision and raping children.

          (And no, I do still think raping them is worse.)

        2. LOL, nice job nit-picking my exact word choice: “no comparison.” Of course you can compare any two things. Let’s try again: “While I completely oppose circumcision, there is little point (& tremendous potential for harm) in comparing it with child rape. You will convince no one and only cause those who disagree with you to think you’re a nut, instead of making headway with reasonable argument.”

          FTR, I *do* think there is merit in comparing MGM with FGM, whether among those who oppose circ, or among those who don’t yet oppose it, as long as it is done calmly and rationally.

          JMO, FWIW. 😀

  144. Wow, friend… no need to get nasty! “Sicko???” My only point was that God loves us and that He’s not going to instruct us to do something if it’s damaging… rather, if He tells us to do something, it’s for our own good! In ways we may not yet realize or understand… whether physical or spiritual, or both. (Even things that were a part of the “law.” All of those longs lists in Leviticus, for example… they go on, and on, and on about what to do and not to do… seems pretty boring and useless, and ritualistic at first glance. But the reasons were for both our physical and spiritual wellbeing. People back in the day had to do it purely by instruction, but science has now explained many of the reasons BEHIND those instructions from back in the day.) If you read the bible… God clearly instructs his children to circumcise — it’s a sign of those who are under his covenant! Therefore He’s clearly not opposed to it, and He obviously doesn’t view it as “mutilation” either. Do I think God considers us rebellious or disobedient , or “sends us to hell” if we don’t circumcise our children??? NO! That’s ridiculous!!! No one is living under the “law” here. Circumcising doesn’t “save” and no one is suggesting that it does. But please don’t take God’s scripture, turn it around, and then use it to condemn God himself for his own words… you really think God’s opposed to circumcision? Read the old testament before you go quoting scripture back to me. Really. And keep it friendly for heaven’s sake… especially if you’re gonna use God’s word to “put me in my place.” How very Christian of you.

  145. According to YOUR reasoning, I guess God’s a bipolar sadist, too, Charles. Great arguement.

    1. If this was MY reasoning, I would not have bothered with this whole Bible-angle at all. This is your absurd addition to the debate. I just chose to debunk it using the very same source with which you proposed it.

      Want Old Testament then?
      http://bible.cc/genesis/1-26.htm
      “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”
      So your theory of a bipolar God is that:
      a. Men are not in fact created in his image – and need trimming
      b. Overall, men are not actually optimally designed <> and, rather, in fact we know better than <> and must “correct” what our very genes are encoded to give males.

      If you want to bother inserting God into the debate AT LEAST give him credit enough as a Designer to not make something so useless and even dangerous that it need to be chopped off at the earliest opportunity.

      The God of your imagination is not only sadistic (requiring all God-fearing believers to harm their male offspring) but is clearly incompetent as well (can’t even design a being in his image without alterations required).

      And, yes, you did imply that was trivial by wondering why this is even a hot-button anyway [using strange logic that babies won’t remember it anyway – we could likely punch babies in the face or do lots of other stuff they “won’t remember anyway” jeeeeez…. how on Earth does that mean that some practice is legitimate?!]. Let’s forget it is circumcision and the cultural history that has somehow given this barbaric practice legitimacy… and just imagine that it is something else: let’s say, chopping off the top of a baby’s smallest left toe for some or other historical/religious/health reason. You would likely also be aghast at such mutilation and – even – call people who trivialize its practice “sickos”. So, yes, some of us will get worked up when we see defenseless babies mutilated – as crazy as that may seem.

      If you really thought this was what your sadistic, incompetent God wanted, then how about letting the child reach an age when he could make the choice himself? Forcing permanent religious-based decisions on a child hardly seems a path to that child’s salvation – maybe, rather, trust them to read the applicable Biblical verses and come to a conclusion on their own? Or is that too much to ask?

  146. And by the way, I didn’t at all imply that circumcision was something “trivial” in my earlier post… only that there were reasons behind even the OTHER things that sometimes may seem trivial to us… things we may not entirely understand. But I really DON’T know why this has become such a “hot-button issue” as I first stated… it’s a PERSONAL CHOICE for every family, and each needs to do according to their beliefs and conscience. I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mind. Debate is healthy, though. Usually, anyway. But I think we can be polite and respectful to each other regardless of where we stand. Minus the name calling… sicko and sadist, and such. Just because my views differ from yours, it doesn’t make me a sicko or sadist. Quite an immature way to handle it if you ask me.

    1. Hmmm, my posts haven’t shown up … let me try responding to this one of yours instead…

      Most American Christians believe that Christians have always circumcised. Here are the facts that most of us don’t know:

      – The circumcision that God commanded was only cutting off the tip of the foreskin that extended past the glans. During Greek rule, many Jewish men were trying to pass as Greeks during athletic events and such by pulling the remaining foreskin forward (as you can tell, such a thing would be impossible with modern circ). By the second century *AD*, rabbis implemented a new rule in response to this that the circ had to remove the *entire* foreskin, including the frenulum and all the nerve endings and the entire mechanism for lubrication that comes with the foreskin, to make it impossible to hide one’s Jewishness. This was a new practice, and had nothing to do with what God commanded. Notice when it occurred – AFTER Christ, AFTER Paul, as so well quoted above, decreed that Christians need not circ, and that, in fact, if they did, they would be nullifying their own baptisms.

      – No Christian circumcised for religious or medical reasons for nearly 2000 years after that. This is historical fact.

      – In the late 1800s, the medical establishment, in a fit of pseudo-scientific silliness, declared that circumcision would end masturbation in the military. It began to grow in popularity, and the method they used was the ones Jews had now been using for 1700 years – the (relatively) new brit per’iah method. Only the US & UK really bought into it, though

      – By the end of WWII, the UK began to stop circumcising, just as it really began to pick up steam in the US. (At his death, my family learned for the first time that our WWII vet patriarch was not circumcised, just like most Christian boys born in the US in the 1910’s. So much for “looking like Daddy.”)

      – Christians began to assume that the practice was a long continuation of religious practice. The facts are otherwise.

      I urge you to ask every minister you know what the Bible says about circumcision. I’ve yet to meet *any* who have actually researched the matter who will say that the Bible supports it for Christians.

      Christians need to know that billions of devout Christians over the centuries have not circumcised, that in fact it was banned for many centuries, and that even if it had been done, it would be nothing like what is done now, which indeed has MANY complications, including for your son’s future wife (my years of UTIs were directly caused by the need for commercial lubricant caused by this “harmless” procedure done to babies who will “forget all about it”).

  147. Well MamaGrok, I can certainly respect that. And I appreciate the politeness of your input. I don’t pretend to know all the medical technicalities of circumcision… yesterday vs. today. Only that God commanded it as a sign with his covenant people. THAT is the circumcision I would want to have done on my sons. I still believe that there are medical benefits to it, and that God knew this when he originally instructed it. And if the way we circumcise has changed from then to now, we ought to go back to what was originally intended. I appreciate the information you provided… although I am still most certainly in FAVOR of circumcision, I will research the matter further to better understand the differences you mentioned. I thank you. (See? Far more is accomplished when we stop trying to slam each other. Well done, MamaGrok.)

  148. I can certainly understand where you’re coming from, MsMinne, since I came from that place myself. Circ opponents made incredible claims about the harm it does, but I could not believe that God would command something so harmful to “the least of these.” When I learned about the change in circ techniques, though, that what Christ himself underwent in His perfect fulfillment of the Law was entirely different from what is done to our infant boys today, my heart was opened to considering other arguments made regarding the issue. I saw, too, that many of the common complications, nearly all of the rare and very serious complications, and most of the universal problems (loss of protection, lubrication, nerve endings, etc.) were caused only by the modern circumcision technique.

    And once I read the history (undisputed, so far as I’ve found, and believe me, I looked!) of how Christians came to believe that circumcision was a Christian thing to do, I really started digging into the medical claims. Once I saw that there was clearly no religious obligation to circumcise, and that what passes as circ today in no way resembles what was commanded… basically, that we have a choice in the matter … how could I make that kind of choice for my sons? By grace, not works, are we saved, and for the early Christians, and all those who followed for the next 1900 years, not circumcising was a testimony to that fact.

    Google “brit peri’ah” for more info on the differences. The fisheaters link that pops up has another link (“this page”) with a very helpful diagram for understanding the change in methods.

  149. To others out there, and specifically Charles… I still believe there was wisdom and benefit in God’s original instruction to us concerning circumcision, and that it remains to this day. Circumcision is no longer necessary from a SPIRITUAL standpoint, but PHYSICAL benefit can still be gained when done PROPERLY (as pointed out by MamaGrok). I will forever believe that God is SMARTER than us humans, and that his motives are always only LOVE… even in topics such as this. Nothing sadistic or mutilative about it. New Testament scripture, as quoted above, is not an argument AGAINST circumcision itself… only an ATTITUDE of the HEART concerning it. The grace and faith of the New Testament doesn’t nullify the Old Testament… it just removes the burden from us and allows everything to be perfectly fulfilled through Christ. We don’t have to circumcise to be accepted by God, but there is something to be gained through the practice of it. It is only “wrong” if you are using it as “works” in place of what Christ has already done — through YOUR OWN methods instead. That is what the New Testament scriptures are talking about in my view. I don’t think God intends for us to forget the past, or throw away traditions that He started in the first place (even regarding feasts and whatnot), and I will personally always view circumcision as a sign or symbol of God’s covenant people. Again, thank you MamaGrok for the additional links to help me in my research as to the origins of the practice (the CORRECT methods)… I’m finding your experience to be insightful and helpful, as well as interesting. (And your attitude refreshing, especially after my earlier run-in with Charles. Nothing like getting slapped in the face with the Bible — which is precisely why many in the world RUN from Christianity and anyone/anything having to do with it. More important than the topic of circumcision is the message, heart, and attitude of Christianity which speaks of LOVE. Try it sometime, brother, it will get you farther. Don’t be so quick to judge and condemn, or show off your “smarts” by running off your mouth. There’s a proverb somewhere that speaks of such things… but I’ll let you find it on your own.) Blessings to all… do as your conscience leads you.

  150. The above ignorance is staggering. How can one argue established fact against unsubstantiated claims derived of unsubstantiated beliefs when the “believer” assumes that established fact and unsubstantiated belief/faith are synonymous?

    It was a simple matter of using a search engine to debunk MsMinne’s initial tirade, even within the context of her beliefs.

    In my experience, more people run from christianity because of such obvious examples of the quality of thought that it typically produces, than because of hurled bible verses.

    “Try love” indeed. How far did it “get” you, MsMinne? Clearly it isn’t enough to keep you from asserting your intention to chop off your future babies’ foreskins. Changed your mind? That was quick. Phew! That was close; a just-in-time correction.

    And by the way, since you don’t seem too keen on assessing based on established facts, I’ll give you this one: an observation is derived of data collected using the five senses. It can be interpreted through the closest available words in a language to describe the actual data, but nothing more or less. Subjective assertions, whether or not intended to have been based on earlier observations, are called “evaluations,” or, “judgments” (not “observations”). They can be false, even if the observations were accurate. Judgments and evaluations which are not directly corroborated by observable data are not facts either.

    So saying, your beliefs are not facts. Anything you believe god said, is assertion, or evaluation/judgment without corroborating observational evidence. It is your faith. If it were provable through incontrovertible evidence, it would be fact, not faith. If what you have is fact, then many people would love to be privy to it. Otherwise, you have faith, and faith and established fact are mutually exclusive, which you should know if you’ve read your bible.

    Best not to mix the two. Believe what you want, but beliefs are rarely of any use in a factually-based discussion.

    I’m glad you have been convinced to look into the facts. It’s a good practice to employ when cross-checking beliefs.

  151. Well, my friend… I can’t even begin to know what you’re talking about. I guess you’re just too smart for me, as proven by your over-use of “big, impressive lingo” and never-ending tirade… which I think you could have accomplished in a single paragraph, by the way. I haven’t changed my mind about anything regarding circumcision… I really don’t know why you would assume that from my post. I still intend to circumcise my sons… I simply agreed that there is wisdom in studying the ORIGINAL practice as specified by God, and kindly pointed out by MamaGrok. I never claimed to be an expert, and no one can be privy to ALL information out there ALL of the time– aside from GOD, that is. Life is a continual education, and it never stops. Even the Word says, “my people perish for lack of knowledge,” and that extends to about EVERY subject under the sun, and excludes NO ONE — you too, dearie. I don’t think I was being unloving in my response at all… if YOU felt that way, then I think you need to grow a thicker skin, my friend. But now YOU’RE going to be the shining example of Christian love by harshly and unfairly insulting and criticizing me? Be my guest if it makes you feel better about yourself. I think Charles was being rude in his response to my original post, but do I think ill of him because of it? No. I simply pointed out that he’ll get farther in the future by taking a different approach… you’ll catch more flies with honey and all. I cannot take my faith out of the debate, it’s central to the issue. Agree with it, don’t agree with it… that’s entirely up to you. But my faith DOES happen to be backed up by plenty of scientific and medical fact, in addition to simple common sense… which is the approach I like to take, because I find that more people can stomach common sense a lot better than a person who already “knows it all” and can’t be convinced otherwise. Not EVERYONE, mind you, before you go off on another tangent. Do I think circumcision is a “pleasant” experience for infants? No, I don’t think so. But do I know of any circumcised adult men who now need to go to the shrink because they are traumatized from an event that they don’t even remember? Again I say no. That’s not an argument FOR it, only a response to some of the silliness out there. Tirade about that all you want. I’m sure it will impress SOMEONE out there. 🙂 Have you convinced me of anything from your post or changed my mind with all of your “intelligence” and “fact” Imogen? No, I’m sorry. (What was your point again? It got lost somewhere!) But I’m sure that’s because you’re out of my league. Bravo, lol.

  152. Wait, let me guess… god was right about eating grains, too, right? Lol.

  153. I do have an answer for that, Imogen! But that’s an entirely different forum, and you’ll surely just turn circles around me… 🙂 Instead, I bid you Merry Christmas and officially sign off! It’s been fun. Blessings to all you out there, circumcised and uncircumcised alike!

      1. The funny thing is that I just learned about trolls not too long ago. I used to think they didn’t exist!!! LOL!

        Aaah, but for evidence. 🙂

  154. I keep getting email updates — I have to unsubscribe or I’ll be sorting through my inbox ’til Christ returns. LOL. “MrMinne?” –Clever! “These people?” Whatever do you mean???(Feigned indignation.) “Don’t feed the Jesus troll?” You guys are hilarious! 🙂 I’m certainly not afraid of a little debate; I think it’s great! There’s nothing wrong or offensive about a healthy discussion with people of differing viewpoints every now and again. Do you realize how incredibly dull and boring life would be if we all just agreed with each other, no questions asked? (Snooze-fest! And that goes either way.) I think it’s important to realize that even Jesus felt more comfortable hanging with people of differing views than with the religious folk… He was great at keeping it real, and He never shied away from discussion, either. I happen to love my “worldly” people… never a dull moment. I just appreciate when we can disagree, AGREEABLY. Don’t underestimate what “God says” however… He accomplished quite a lot with just his “spoken word” as I do recall… “Let there be light!” And by golly, what happened? There was light! LOL. Yes, I’m “silly” enough to believe that… but I’m also just kidding with you right now so please don’t tear me a new one. Try not to close your hearts and minds to ALL things God… “religion” sucks but when you get to know the REAL God, apart from all the empty stuff that MAN came up with, He’s actually pretty amazing in all the right ways. Nothing like what many churches often teach, and nothing like the bickering, back-biting, crappy representatives that often attend them. Hey, we ALL have our moments… myself included. 🙂 That’s just honest. I once found this PERFECT church to attend but it wasn’t so perfect anymore after I got there… (Sigh.) 🙂 But now I’m outta here for reals, as I’m sure the “other side” will try to run me out now! LOL. As for evidence, there’s plenty out there (from history to science) to support God and the Bible, and all that’s contained within… don’t take MY word for it, all you have to do is LOOK. (Try not having your mind made up ahead of time, though, as that makes a pretty crappy scientist. Be objecive.) If you think this world came into being by pure happenstance, then you’ve got a helluva lot more faith than I do! Try getting to know him personally… can’t argue with PERSONAL EXPERIENCE when it’s YOUR OWN, now can you? His arms are wide open, waiting, and He’ll give you the education of a lifetime! Now THAT’S straight from the SOURCE, and you can’t be THAT! “Call unto me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not…” Have the courage to find out for yourselves. But wait, I think we changed forums again. Peace, my friends, I’m outta here. Now be kind. 🙂

  155. Since my comment is stuck in “moderation” limbo, I will try again:

    JesusTroll wrote:
    According to YOUR reasoning, I guess God’s a bipolar sadist, too, Charles. Great arguement.

    I responded:
    If this was MY reasoning, I would not have bothered with this whole Bible-angle at all. This is your absurd addition to the debate. I just chose to debunk it using the very same source with which you proposed it.

    Want Old Testament then?
    http://bible.cc/genesis/1-26.htm
    “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”
    So your theory of a bipolar God is that:
    a. Men are not in fact created in his image – and need trimming
    b. Overall, men are not actually optimally designed – by God/Nature/evolution/whatever – and, rather, in fact we know better – than God/Nature/evolution/whatever and must “correct” what our very genes are encoded to give males.

    If you want to bother inserting God into the debate AT LEAST give him credit enough as a Designer to not make something so useless and even dangerous that it need to be chopped off at the earliest opportunity.

    The God of your imagination is not only sadistic (requiring all God-fearing believers to harm their male offspring) but is clearly incompetent as well (can’t even design a being in his image without alterations required).

    And, yes, you did imply that was trivial by wondering why this is even a hot-button anyway [using strange logic that babies won’t remember it anyway – we could likely punch babies in the face or do lots of other stuff they “won’t remember anyway” jeeeeez…. how on Earth does that mean that some practice is legitimate?!]. Let’s forget it is circumcision and the cultural history that has somehow given this barbaric practice legitimacy… and just imagine that it is something else: let’s say, chopping off the top of a baby’s smallest left toe for some or other historical/religious/health reason. You would likely also be aghast at such mutilation and – even – call people who trivialize its practice “sickos”. So, yes, some of us will get worked up when we see defenseless babies mutilated – as crazy as that may seem.

    If you really thought this was what your sadistic, incompetent God wanted, then how about letting the child reach an age when he could make the choice himself? Forcing permanent religious-based decisions on a child hardly seems a path to that child’s salvation – maybe, rather, trust them to read the applicable Biblical verses and come to a conclusion on their own? Or is that too much to ask?

  156. Good god, and holy hell. You just don’t quit, do you?

    This isn’t a debate. This is you asserting that we should mutilate our baby boys because you read in some old book that a bunch of uneducated men wandering around in the desert thought that they could get closer to their god by chopping off some skin on their penis.

    Yes, mutilate, as in:

    2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably

    [Snip] the rest of it, which is just plain old prosthelytizing.

  157. MsMinne,

    I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I think you’re somewhat uninformed.

    First, personal experience can easily be argued against. For example, it is the personal experience of people with dissociative identity disorder (DID) that they are many people, even though they are just one. A single person is experiencing a distorted life through many personalities, sometimes as a result of their mind being partitioned, or quartered in some fashion or another.

    As another, less extreme, more everyday example, read an excellent fiction. When you sympathize with the characters, you are not experiencing what the characters have experienced, but are manufacturing an experience via the information the author has given you. The main character may have experienced a horribly disfiguring car-wreck, and even though you may sympathize with that character’s travails, you have not experienced that character’s car-wreck and disfigurment.

    The same holds true for your ‘personal experience’ with God. It is entirely possible, even probable, that whatever you think you are experiencing is based entirely on the expectations you have accepted from what you have been told by others in your Christian community, by your own observations of what the godly life should entail, and what you read in Scripture.

    Sadly, this does not make what you experience objectively real, transferable in any empirical sense, or even healthy in some cases. If you’re going to claim the real existence of the Christian God you cannot bank on easily misconstrued, subjective extraordinary claims.

    Second, your claim that “As for evidence, there’s plenty out there (from history to science) to support God and the Bible, and all that’s contained within…” is simply not true. What is true from history is that the people of “the way” (cf. Acts 19:23) eventually became known as ‘Christians’. What is true from history is that people became fervent supporters of the notion that a man named Jesus resurrected from the dead.

    And you’re right that science supports all those historical facts (i.e., that people eventually called themselves Christians, and that there are certain claims within the writings of Christians about a supposed resurrection).

    What is not supported by science is everything else. And that’s quite a lot, if you ask me.

    Yes, Christians claim there is all sorts of evidence. In fact, in my 20+ years of study in historical theology, and in my time as a minister (I’m not one now), I encountered the phrase “mountains and mountains of evidence” quite a lot. My wife (Imogen) and I affectionately call that phrase the argument from MAMOE. But when pressed, even the foremost evangelical luminaries like William Lane Craig, or Ben Witherington III cannot produce anything reliably beyond anecdotal evidence, and back-referencing the source of their original claim (i.e., circular reasoning).

    In the end, the evidence just simply isn’t there. At this point, I would ask you to read the book A History of God by Karen Armstrong. It was a groundbreaker for countless numbers of people, including myself. In its pages you will learn in no uncertain terms about the actual history of your religious claims.

    Which brings me to my third point: Christianity is a religion. Yes, you can claim that it is a relationship, but that does nothing to remove Christianity from being a religion anymore than mass marriage ceremonies amongst the Moonies removes the Moonies from being marriage-focused. The facts remain that Christianity requires of its adherents that they belive a minimum number of propositions (e.g., belief in Jesus as the only son of God, who died and rose again for everyone’s sins; belief that God is triune but one; that God exists), and that Christianity (in all its variegated forms) has specific practices useful in the worship of the Christian deity. It is, ergo, a religion. Even if its followers want to contemporize the message of Christianity by claiming it is a relationship, it is still a religion, officially. No popular use of bywords like “relationship” will erase the fact that it is a religion.

    That’s all for now.

    Cheers!
    Kane

    1. I share your lack of enthusiasm for such theologians and their circular logic, or lack of any logic whatever, in many cases. I do not want to get into this debate, which I think is disrespectful of our host’s intent for this page, but just encourage you towards Aquinas, in his own words, if for no other reason than to know that there are many Christians who do value reason, and who consider it one of the two wings (faith & reason) on which to take flight to the same, non-contradictory truth.

      Peace be with you.

  158. I had intended to unsubscribe from this but my curiosity keeps getting the best of me… lol. It’s like a train-wreck that I just can’t take my eyes off of. 🙂

    MrMinne: At least you’re acknowledging that God is good, hallelujah, that’s a great start! 😉 Holy hell seems like a contradiction of terms to me, but one thing at a time, right? No, my friend, I never quit. NEVER!!!! LOL. About this or ANYTHING ELSE that’s important to me. It’s just not in my nature. Don’t like it? Don’t respond — that’s simple enough, don’t you think? OF COURSE this is a debate… any time you get a bunch of people together saying, “this is what I believe and here’s why…” you end up with a debate. Regardless of the topic. But contrary to what you believe about me in regards to circumcision, I honestly DON’T CARE what a bunch of “uneducated men, wandering around in the desert” did in the past. I only care about what GOD INSTRUCTED, and there’s an IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE. Frankly, MOST of what’s being offered on this forum is OPINION rather than FACT… and NEITHER of us are the exception. Just as you say about me, I have yet to see YOU offer any real FACTS on the matter. Only a single copied and pasted Webster’s definition supplied to fit your agenda. If you think circumcision is wrong, that’s your OPINION. If you think it’s mutilation, that’s still your OPINION. I think it’s a surgical procedure. That’s MY opinion. (Cuz people are always going to define even the SAME THINGS DIFFERENTLY, because WE OURSELVES are different. Potato potato, you know the expression.) Is the procedure a pleasant one? I don’t think EITHER ONE OF US believes so, but that’s just OUR opinion. Is circumcision damaging to the individual? I don’t think so, but that’s MY opinion. I actually think there’s benefit to it, again my opinion. You think it’s a terrible offense, but that’s YOUR opinion. See the pattern? It’s all relative, and one person’s medicine is another’s poison. Upon rare occasion, there may be genuine negative side-effects, as with just about ANYTHING out there… but most of the time, it causes no harm and in fact, has many benefits. So NEITHER scenario really flips the pendulum one way or the other… Really, these are the only FACTS: circumcision is an elective procedure that has many reasonable arguments FOR it, and just as many reasonable arguments AGAINST it. In the end, it’s up to the INDIVIDUAL FAMILLIES to decide what’s right for them, based on their own personal experience and beliefs… which are based on any number of things — and religion (or lack thereof) will most definitely be ONE of them. And it will be a VALID one. If you don’t like that, I’m sorry!???? But that’s not really going to change anything, now is it? So [snip] the snippiness! 🙂 If something one person says is able to resonate with another person in the forum, whether FOR or AGAINST it, then it has VALUE. Even if YOU don’t agree with it or think so. Or I. So TALK about it… put it out there… speak for yourself… let other’s speak… regardless of what it is. Be respectful and it can only be a GOOD THING. Knowledge is power. Experience has benefit. Even opinion has its place. The only reason to LIMIT that is fear or close-mindedness. If you’re a mature adult (not you specifically, just anyone in general) you should be able to handle it. Invite it, even. Your OPINION doesn’t make you wrong or unintelligent. MY opinion doesn’t make ME wrong or unintelligent, either. It just makes us who we are. And “who we are” is BEAUTIFUL, either way. I can APPRECIATE your personality, even if I don’t agree with your ideas. Your responses, though laced with frustration and exasperation with me, tickle me to no end. LOL. I can’t help it! Maybe I just need the interaction, I don’t know… I seem to be too “churchy” for the world, too “worldly” for the church, and I also happen to be the black sheep of my own family… just trying to find a place, I guess. It really doesn’t bother me that we don’t agree, it just makes life interesting. I enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts, as much as I like to share my own. I won’t apologize for it.

    Kane: I don’t think anyone will ever run out of arguments… even GOOD ones. But sometimes I think we eventually end up making an argument, just for argument’s sake — and we end up missing the point. I know even I’m guilty of it upon occasion. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone make an argument (on an unrelated issue) that was TECHNICALLY right, but wrong in every OTHER way. I’ve also had people make an argument, and although it was BRILLIANT, it just didn’t apply to the situation. My ONLY point here is that there is ALWAYS an argument to be made… but in the end, you just can’t argue with TRUTH. ULTIMATE truth, that is… NOT the “truth according to MsMinne,” or the “truth according to MrMinne,” or the “truth according to Imogen,” or the truth according to Kane,” or anyone else. You get the point. I don’t think ANY ONE OF US gets it ALL right, ALL of the time. (That’s why I love discussion!) I guess all ANYONE has is the “truth as they see it,” at least until they get confronted with the “real deal,” WHATEVER that is. (For argument’s sake. LOL.) And, of course… there are always exceptions to the norm (not exceptions to the TRUTH, just what we define as “normal’), but that’s what it is… an exception! (DID, etc. Although I’m not really convinced that the argument really takes away from the value of personal experience. YOURS is real to YOU, and that’s the only one that really matters — to YOU. Same with me. Shrug.) But we don’t base EVERYTHING ELSE on those one or two exceptions anyway. Look… I don’t just BELIEVE in God, I DO have a relationship with him… It’s not “all in my head,” and I’m not basing my experience on what some other person or group “told me” to believe. I didn’t go into it with an agenda, or expectation, or preconceived idea or notion… I sought God directly, I asked to know him, I asked him to teach me. Sometimes I can identify with some of the same things that are taught in the church, that’s to be expected. But many times we actually disagree… not on the REALLY big stuff, but in the details. I don’t base MY experience on anyone else’s… how very disappointing that would be! Rather, I talk to God, and He talks to me… in a variety of different ways, all of them of equal value and importance, all of them equally exciting. It’s not what I WANT it to be or what I’m MAKING it to be (I only WISH that were the case, it would make things so much EASIER!!!) It simply IS what it IS. I don’t define IT, it defines ME. And it’s REAL. Of course you can argue against it, but that doesn’t make it LESS real. Prove to me that LOVE exists… you’d be hard-pressed to do it, but we both know that it exists. The evidence is all around us. So why the God of the Bible? Cuz that’s the GOD who reached out to me, and that happens to be the book He authored. It wasn’t the God of the Quran, or any other sacred texts. (But you can’t put that on ME…!) I’m sure the others have their value, I’m sure the others contain good. But the God of the Bible is the God who reached out and said, “come and know me, come and walk with me.” (And I’m still walking, haven’t arrived yet.) If that makes me a Christian, then so be it, but I don’t subscribe to any labels. You can call me a “sea blue buger-licker” for all I care, as long as a “sea blue buger-licker” shares the same beliefs and experiences and we’re on the same page. I KNOW Christianity is a religion… I never tried to say that it WASN’T. But REAL Christianity can’t ONLY be a religion. It has to be a RELATIONSHIP as well, or that’s ALL that it is… just another religion. People who only go to church for the sake of going to church, and recite empty creeds, and pray thoughtless prayers, and sing emotionless hymns, and just go through the motions to simply “put in their time” or “pay their dues…” They may CALL themselves “Christian,” but I would be hard-pressed to believe that they REALLY ARE by the TRUE DEFINITION of it. That’s just EMPTY religion, whether you call it Christianity or something else. And that’s precisely the kind of stuff that I can’t stomach. If it works for someone else… more power to them, I guess. But it’s not enough for me, and I don’t think it’s gonna help anybody or impact the world. Not the “world ” as in those “big, scary sinners” out there, just the world as in “the planet.” I don’t pretend to know everything about God, I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I just know that there IS a God, and that He’s is too wise to make a mistake, too loving to be unkind, and if He were small enough for me to fully comprehend, He’d be too small for me to worship. Forget the church. GOD IS GOD. God is GOOD, and anyone can KNOW that if they WANT to. (Of course, that would require a degree of humility and openness, and a laying down of personal agenda and ego — but sooo worth it!) You really CAN’T argue with personal experience when it’s your own… and since you’re not one of those exceptions that you mentioned earlier, but rather and intelligent person with a sound mind, you CAN find out for yourself, and I guess that’s all that matters. It will be real to YOU, and that’s not relative or make-believe. OR… you can take the easy way out, call me crazy and uninformed, dismiss what I am saying entirely, and perhaps miss out. But please don’t mistake my tone in saying that. Yes, I happen to love God. I don’t always UNDERSTAND him, I don’t always AGREE with him (timing and whatnot), I don’t always TRUST him (my fault, not his), I don’t always even LIKE him. (Oh, what blasphemy! LOL.) We are complex beings! But I forever LOVE him. And I always RESPECT him. And I will always CHOOSE him. And even when I’m MAD at him (I’m so unruly), I still know that He’s RIGHT, and I’m actually GLAD for that. It doesn’t always SEEM like He’s good (when you look at all the pain and suffering that exists), but things are not always what they SEEM. (And how foolish to blame him for things He’s not even responsible for.) I still KNOW that He is (good). And I know that He is big enough to handle my frustrations and doubt, and wonderful enough to still welcome and embrace me ANYWAY. (You think He doesn’t understand where we’re coming from?) Now why would I turn that down? Even when everyone else turns their backs on me, God is still faithful. Even when people falsely call me an unintelligent, sadistic sicko, lol, God still speaks the truth of who I am to me… I am a child of the Most-High God, a daughter of the King… I have value and worth. As do ALL of YOU. I just don’t understand all the RESISTANCE! Wouldn’t you want that too? I mean, set aside whether or not you even think that’s POSSIBLE… don’t you even WANT that? Please, I’m not trying to convince you of anything… I’m really just ASKING!??? I’m curious… I want to KNOW. I’m not trying to proselytize… that’s just not “my thing.” I’ve simply found something that’s amazing and beautiful and profound, and I’m certainly not going to HIDE that or DENY it to make you feel more comfortable… OF COURSE it’s going to come up if I’m around, because it’s the most IMPORTANT PART of me! It affects every area of my life! I can’t SEPARATE myself from it! But I DO want you to have the opportunity to be blessed by the same! I didn’t find it in religion, I didn’t even find it in the church… I found it in an infinite Being, simply as I was walking through this thing called life. Or He found ME… because my heart was longing for something more and He knew that, so He sought me out and took me under his wing. Receive that if you want to, turn it away if you don’t. But please don’t mock me for it… I’m not trying to force anything on you, or tell you that you’re wrong and I’m right. I’m just saying, “Look here… I’ve found a really great thing! You can have it too!” I’m not here to tell you to go to church… I’m not here to even defend Christianity. (Or “sea blue buger-licking,” for that matter. LOL.) I’m just saying… there’s a God who looks at you through a Father’s eyes and wants you to know him, so He can lavish his love upon you in the midst of all the trials and difficulties we face in this world! Cuz that’s simply his heart, and his character, and his desire! Whether we can understand or believe that or not. (But He never withdraws the offer.) And that’s all! It is a process, getting to know him… and we get transformed from glory to glory along the way — not overnight. But it’s a PERSONAL journey… so it doesn’t even matter what MY experience is or anyone else’s, except to realize that you can have YOUR OWN, should you want it. If you don’t, that’s fine. Again, I’m not trying to change YOU, so don’t try to change ME either. My faith is an integral part of WHO I AM. I get excited about it and enjoy talking about it. Just smile and nod! 🙂 I don’t mind if you have other beliefs… I’ll still listen to yours. I LIKE to know what you think and why you think it. I just don’t like to get beat up by it. (Not that you SPECIFICALLY are doing that…) We don’t have to “agree” to “get along.” (ANY of us.) Why would you want to hang out with someone exactly like yourself anyway? Never any question, never any challenge… boring, stale, and predictable. No, not the person… just that kind of scenario. What would you even talk about? “I think the world is round. ‘Me too!’ My favorite season is summer. ‘Mine too!’ My favorite subject is Algebra. ‘So is mine!’ I think protein rules! ‘Couldn’t have said it better myself!’ I don’t think there’s a God. ‘Me neither!’ Circumcision is evil. ‘I agree!’ …” Is that really the spice of life? I’d go crazy with that! So Kane, Imogen, MrMinne, this is where I stand… I think you’re all interesting. I think you’re intelligent. I think you’re amusing (whether you mean to be or not, lol). I think you have a lot to offer and contribute. I can’t say that I agree with you about much SO FAR, but I’m okay with that. If YOU’RE not, then ignore me… you won’t hurt my feelings. (Although, lets not forget that I DO have them…!) So again I say… it’s been fun! I do value your input and experience! I think you have something of substance to bring to the table! You offer a unique perspective! I STILL wish you peace, I wish for you to be blessed on WHATEVER road you decide to take, I wish you ONLY GOOD… whether you’re FOR circumcision or AGAINST it. LOL. (Thought we should bring that back into the discussion.)

    By the way, MrMinne, I didn’t join the forum to convert anyone… it was simply a topic that interested me and I joined in the conversation. Like everyone else, I stated my beliefs and the reasons behind them, and one thing led to another. Conversation is like that, it ebbs and it flows. Big deal, I say. It’s really not my job to defend Christianity or the church, I don’t even want to. Not in here or out there. I’ve been more beat up in the “church” than anywhere else. Until this forum, that is… (just kidding.) That’s not the way it’s SUPPOSED to be with the church (or this forum, lol), that’s just the way it IS sometimes. So I’m in favor of GOD. That’s it. (And if He’s in favor of circumcision, that’s good enough for me. Cuz He’s shown himself to be trustworthy too many times to discredit him now. But again, He no longer requires it. I just still believe in it’s original value. My opinion, my right. It’s no more silly than your own.) But instead of putting me in the position of trying to defend HIM… why don’t you all try to DIS-prove him if you’re so keen on it. Put the responsibility back on yourselves. I think it will be harder than you believe it to be. Or don’t. That’s okay too. Again I say, be blessed! And have a very, Merry Christmas! If you have friends and family who appreciate you… love them, hug them, and hold them…. they are your greatest gift of all. (And your son’s will still love you back, whether you circumcise them or not.) 🙂

    (I’m already bracing myself for the next wave of backlash from all ye posters! But don’t make that your goal. Really. Don’t try so hard to be the intolerant bunch that so many like to credit us Christians with. Or in my case, a “sea blue buger-licker.” LOL. Don’t ask, I have no idea where that came from.)

    1. Just for the record, MsMinne, CAPITAL LETTERS are the internet equivalent of constantly shouting in the middle of your sentences.

      And as a fellow Christian, I like your spunk but I think it makes us look bad when we spend a whole lot of time “not proselytizing” by spilling great deals of religious ink (not ink. bytes?) into forums that aren’t addressing our religious issues.

      Finally, the burden of proof in any religious discussion is on the one who talks about an invisible God, not the guy who doesn’t believe in him. To say that we believe in a big invisible merciful God who allows evil in the world, and then to try to show how right we are by asking others to try to prove us wrong is backwards and unfair.

    2. MsMinne – if you want people to read your sh*t, then at least learn to type in paragraphs…

  159. Huh. I guess there’s no character limit on comments. Good to know.

  160. Well no one’s ever accused me of being short on words, that’s for sure. 🙂 I’m glad that’s what you got from it.

    1. There was a reason I didn’t get involved in religious debate earlier in this comment thread, b/c I believe it’s disrespectful & futile to proselytize for or against religion on a page about circumcision.

      For those interested in the historical Christian perspective on circumcision, scroll up to my previous comments. It would be a shame for more Christians to miss those facts b/c of pages of off-topic debate, and a shame for more non-Christians to think that MsMinne represents all Christians. Of course, it would be equally in error to think that I represent all Christians, either, on this issue or on any other, but at least the variety of perspectives will be available.

  161. Well no wonder Jesus exclaimed, “O unbelieving and perverse generation, How long shall I stay with you! How long shall I put up with you!” We can ALL be pretty exasperating at times, or so it would seem. 🙂 (Now don’t get all offended, I’m saying that in humor.) But for those of you who have no use for God and the Bible… to mock me for my beliefs is a little close-minded and hypocritical, if you ask me. Whether it’s about circumcision, or anything else. And for OTHER CHRISTIANS out there to do it as well… it seems more than a little arrogant and condescending (not to mention a contradiction to what we BOTH believe), to think that “your version” is superior to mine. Based on what, might I ask? Your opinion! 🙂 I guess we’re back to that again. What’s with all the personal attacks, anyway? Do you really think that accomplishes anything? Exactly WHAT about me, or my faith, or my beliefs is so unreasonable or unsound? And what makes YOURS the answer to end all answers? I don’t think ANYTHING I said was unfair, illogical, contradictory, uninformed, or unintelligent. And I think I’ve been MORE THAN patient and understanding of the OTHER BELIEFS that were put out there, despite the fact that they have little if anything in common with mine — and despite the fact that they are no more factual or scientific, either. And I’ve MAINTAINED a respectful attitude even when many of you have been less-than-friendly in making your own beliefs or opinions known. I don’t think I’ve disrespected even ONE person here. I look to God as my source (of ANYTHING)… so for me to look to another man or scholar (whether on this forum, or even well-known in the world) to form my belief system isn’t necessary. Now don’t hear me wrong… I’m not opposed to research or study from a variety of different sources, and in fact I think that people should gather as much information as they can about ANYTHING. It can only be beneficial. But at the end of the day, I’m gonna take whatever information that I gather, and take it back to the Word of God. If it agrees, I’ll keep it… if it doesn’t, I’ll keep it in my knowledge bank but not allow it to influence where I stand. If you start to replace God’s wisdom with “man’s wisdom,” you’re doing yourself a great disservice and you’ll only get yourself into trouble — as in you’ll get off-track and make yourself vulnerable to wrong thinking. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Again MamaGrok, whenever I take a stand in FAVOR of circumcision… I am taking it in favor of the ORIGINAL practice as prescribed by God — not our flawed, updated version. I am still grateful for the information you brought to light, I intend to research it further, and if possible, have THAT version performed on my infant sons. I have in no way tossed your information out the window. As far as disrespecting the forum, I really don’t think the forum has been in any way tainted or devalued. If you don’t like something you see, simply breeze over it and continue on with the next person who has views more to your liking. (And I’m not at all saying that with an attitude; so much gets lost through written communication.) I don’t presume to speak for Mark (our host), but I’m pretty sure I remember hearing him talk about his own faith, even on television… I used to watch him as a guest on Doug Kauffman’s show on FamilyNet, and not once did he shy away from his belief in God as our creator, and the role He plays in our lives… especially our health. This discussion got side-tracked because I was defending my original stance after being mocked for it… I really didn’t TAKE it in that direction, I only RESPONDED. Long-windedness is apparently just a part of the fabric that makes me who I am… we all have our quirks. 🙂 I’m not embarrassed about it, it actually amuses me when I realize it after-the-fact. I don’t PURPOSE to be that way, and I don’t believe it to be good OR bad, it’s simply what is. But regardless, I’ve noticed I’m not the ONLY ONE with that trait. Mitchell… I do realize that ALL CAPS can be perceived as the “typed equivalent” of shouting… but that’s not my intent at all. (Although I DO speak with a healthy dose of expression and animation in the actual world.) I simply use it to let you know where I’m putting my emphasis, as I’m sure most people have figure out. (Considering how ‘brilliant’ everyone on the forum seems to be, lol.) If I had the option of using italics, I would opt to do that instead. And since it was never my purpose or intent to convert anyone to Christianity, but rather, was put in the position of simply defending it after being attacked for it… the burden of proof doesn’t need to be on me. I didn’t say that anyone else had to AGREE with my position, I’m not in the business of convincing ANYONE of ANYTHING. Christianity or otherwise. So to expect ME to do that is UNFAIR, not vise versa. But for heaven’s sake, don’t anyone base your opinion of GOD on MY ability to defend him… I’m far too inadequate. (But don’t confuse that with unintelligence.) I can only say, “this is where I stand and here’s why.” Do with it what you will. Now fortunately for you all, my holiday is over and I have to get back to work, so I won’t have time to send any more long-winded responses. Consider me “officially” unsubscribed. 🙂 Go ahead and praise the Lord, or WHATEVER God you subscribe to, or mother earth, or even self… lol. I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas, and I wish you much happiness and success in the new year. Try not to take life so seriously… laugh, smile, and have a good time in the midst of it all. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Especially if you slip up and eat grains.

    To my fellow Christians: even when we don’t agree on a certain aspect of the faith we purport to share, let’s not forget the one thing we DO have in common… Christ’s message of LOVE.

    “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing… Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

    “now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.”

    Peace. I’m outta here… 🙂

    1. Just to clarify, what I believe is disrespectful is having a prolonged conversation that is completely off topic (regardless of whether I agree with it) when someone else (here, Mark Sisson) is gracious enough to host our commentary. Merry Christmas, MsMinne! That is all.

  162. I don’t think anyone has mocked you, MsMinne. Surely you must realise the oddity of being offended by others’ opinions while stressing diversity of opinion on religio-philosophical matters, no?

    And on that note, when you convey the notion that everyone is free to think what they’d like, to believe what they’d like, and that it really doesn’t matter to you, you have set up a relativistic notion of right and wrong. That is, you have essentially suggested that it is not the particular beliefs that people hold that is important, it is the presentation people give to those beliefs that is important. Such a subjectivist way of thinking is first, unbiblical (cf. John 14:6); and second irrational: you either believe that Christianity is true or is not. There is no room within the Christian metaphysic to suggest a plurality of truth dependent on the perceptions of its adherents.

    Third, if you’re going to claim that based on your religion (Christianity) that circumcision is right, then you’ve made a claim that is objective to your personal influence on the topic. Therefore, the burden of proof is on you to establish vis-a-vis your religion that circumcision is right. And it is encumbant on you to do so beyond the notion that you just think it is.

    Merry Christmas to you, too!
    Kane

  163. A LITTLE mocked… the Jesus troll? Having too much faith for logic? LOL. There’s been some mocking attitudes and comments, all you have to do is scroll back up. Some of it in good fun, some of it a bit more harsh. But I would say I’ve been more ATTACKED than anything else… since every time I turn around there’s SOMEONE accusing me of being a sicko, sadist, ignorant, uninformed, circular-thinker, etc… there have been a multitude of names and comments thrown out there, both TO me and ABOUT me (or people LIKE me). And there’s a general “attitude” about the situation as well. Not EVERYONE. I pretty much take it in stride, though, and fortunately I have a pretty thick skin. And I can’t even deny the humor in SOME of it. 🙂 So I wouldn’t say that I’m OFFENDED… more surprised and perplexed than anything else. I really DON’T mind that people disagree with me… I know that each person has to do whatever resonates with them, and I’M not the person to change that. The only thing I really object to is someone belittling me, and then trying to make THAT a valid argument. “I’m just too stupid to get it, unlike the rest of you who are so much more superior and advanced in your thinking than little ‘ol me… stuck back in the stone ages.” (Okay, so that was paraphrased. LOL.) Whereas MamaGrok, for example, originally brought some actual DATA to the discussion that could be used to back up her position… “I don’t think you’re stupid and I know where you’re coming from, but I still disagree with you, and here’s why based on these facts.” (Again, paraphrased.) I respect THAT more than, “I’m right and if you don’t agree with me, you’re just an ignorant fool!” Because that’s kinda how it comes off. Of course it MATTERS to me what other people think… I really didn’t mean to imply otherwise, because I do care about what will happen to them because of whatever belief system they subscribe to – now or down the line. But I also know that I’m not going to change it, and I don’t feel the need to reject them or belittle them BECAUSE of it. And frankly, I still think I’d enjoy them as people. I still think they have a lot to offer and contribute. I still think they have their own unique beauty to bring to the table. And the last thing I want is to come off with the attitude that, “I’m right, you’re wrong, end of story, we can’t be friends.” That’s beyond ridiculous. I personally don’t believe that there’s any way around God’s truth in the end… but I also happen to believe that there is great value in what others bring to the table… beyond just what they SAY or BELIEVE, but more in who they ARE… their talents, and gifts, and strengths. One doesn’t contradict the other… at least the way I’m MEANING it. But I’m also lacking the words right now to effectively express what I’m TRYING to say, as it’s been a long day, I’m tired, and I’ve got to get up in the morning. I enjoyed your last remark, though. Got a good chuckle out of it… you make a good point about that specifically. I guess when I made my comment earlier about the burden of proof, it was about proving GOD in general, in response to Mitchell… since that’s not really what I set out to do. Still, you make a good point, in light of circumcision and this forum. Thank you for the holiday wishes. 🙂 Yes, I’ll still probably read the responses that come in yet tonight, but I’ll probably be too tired to respond. After today I go back to life as usual… and I’ll leave the debating to the rest of you again. My best to everyone out there…

    And thank you for the clarification, MamaGrok… I respect your position.

  164. Hmmm. Maybe I should (quickly) say this one last thing, just to clarify, cuz I’m thinking that it may have been lost from the very begining… I don’t actually believe that everyone SHOULD circumcise their sons because “my God said so.” I guess the only point I was REALLY trying to make was that I don’t believe that it’s a BAD thing if you CHOOSE to… and *I* came to that conclusion BECAUSE: (generically this time…) “This is my background and experience, it involves my faith, that faith tells me that it’s NOT a harmful or damaging thing, but rather, may even produce several healthy and beneficial results — when the procedure is performed correctly and as originally intended, of course.” (And see? Even I learned something from this, thanks to MamaGrok’s information.) And SOME of the benefits that I’m referring to have already been referenced, and they were based on ACTUAL scientific studies and research. If you’ll remember, I only ever said that I believed circumcision to be a good and beneficial practice… not that it should be a MANDATORY one or anything… or that you SHOULD come to the same conclusion, although you certainly COULD if my experience or reasons happened to resonate with you. Maybe that’s why I’m so perplexed by all of the backlash… perhaps a bit of a misunderstanding. Or maybe that HAS been clear from the very beginning, and it just doesn’t matter to anyone because I’m “too ridiculous” since my reasons don’t agree with yours. Guess I may never know… 🙂 Take care, all. Happy debating.

  165. MsMinne,

    Yes, you are right that you were mocked a little bit. I have not mocked you, so I will not apologise for that portion of the debate.

    In any case, that you would say, “[my] faith tells me that it’s NOT a harmful or damaging thing” is really what concerns me about your thinking. Why? Because ‘faith’, definitionally, is not a content-rich position. That is, faith is not an information-filled premise upon which to base your conclusion that circumcision is not harmful. The basic facts bear this out quite well.

    First, faith is, definitionally, a ‘hope’ or ‘basic trust’ in a proposition (in this case, God). The Greek word for ‘faith’ used in NT scripture is pistis (noun, used 244 times). It is the name/noun given to the quality of a person that can ‘hope’ or place a ‘basic trust’ in the claims of the apostles, Jesus, and scripture.

    Second, because ‘faith’ is essentially a compulsive quality that enables a person to believe certain truth-claims, it does not follow therefore that a person can utilise faith for whatever topic, issue, or subject they fancy. Faith is not a scapegoat that allows you to place all your reasoning on hold for the simple expedient of relaxing your responsibility to reason things out.

    Third, because you are not excused from reasoning just because you have faith, you are in the position of having to consider that the first action of circumcision is to harm the male phallus by slicing off its foreskin. This involves inordinate amounts of pain, long-term suffering, and possible pain in the future if the foreskin is cut back too far (e.g., it hurts some men to have a full errection because they were cut back too far).

    The point is this: whenever the human body is somehow harmed, depleted, altered, or even augmented (e.g., deviant piercings), it is mutilated. Plain and simple. Therefore, circumcision, because it involves harming the male phallus in a way that disfigures it from its natural state, is abjectly immoral and wrong. This is basic logic informed by simple observation, irrespective of a contentless position like ‘faith’.

    If the first action of circumcision is injurious to the male phallus, and therefore the male who undergoes it, it is undebateably harmful. And where harm is inflicted against another’s will and natural sanctity; where harm is inflicted without the utilitarian measure of doing harm to save a life; where harm is invited on a person in such a way that potentializes long-term psychological, emotional, and physical effects (which circumcision does do), it is therefore wrong, immoral, evil, and ungodly.

    That some Bronze-age agrarian polytheists took a fancy to Yahweh, one of the Canaanite gods, and lopped off the dangly bit of their penis to show him contrition does not make such a stupid act respectable, healthy, or worthy of propagation. Abraham’s story is just that: a story. It is an embellishment protracted through centuries of oral repetition, and enforced upon untold millions of people all in an effort to appease their vengeful god. They may as well have thrown the most beautiful virgins into a volcano. The mentality would’ve been the same: hurt people to please God. It’s patently irrational and not worthy of being a faith-issue. Faith has a certain dignity that is smudged, distorted and sullied when measured against such ruthless and insipid practices as circumcision.