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Poll
Question: What are your views on infant circumcision?
For it, for religious reasons
For it, for hygenic reasons
For it, for other reasons
Undecided/ need more info on the subject
Against it, for religious reasons
Against it, for other reasons
Just Hell No!

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Author Topic: Views on Circumcision  (Read 20859 times)
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« Reply #75: March 16, 2011, 02:17:08 pm »

You're response, Mandrina , seems pretty vague as I can't tell if you are claiming getting one has these benefits or not getting one has them. What sources are you drawing these claims from, because I'll tell you right now that if you are saying these benefits are associated with getting a circumcision, I really don't buy it for a damn second.

The latest I've seen is this one.  It's not terribly conclusive where HIV specifically is concerned, but there does seem to be some HPV transmission benefit.

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« Reply #76: March 16, 2011, 02:59:24 pm »

You're response, Mandrina , seems pretty vague as I can't tell if you are claiming getting one has these benefits or not getting one has them. What sources are you drawing these claims from, because I'll tell you right now that if you are saying these benefits are associated with getting a circumcision, I really don't buy it for a damn second.

Take it up with the CDC then.  60 percent lower HIV infection is pretty telling.  Condoms work better, of course, but if one can't get them, circumcision is a reasonable option. 

But you don't live in a 3rd world country with astronomical HIV rates.  So don't circumcise your kid unless you medically have to. 
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« Reply #77: March 16, 2011, 03:37:25 pm »

Take it up with the CDC then.  60 percent lower HIV infection is pretty telling.  Condoms work better, of course, but if one can't get them, circumcision is a reasonable option. 

But you don't live in a 3rd world country with astronomical HIV rates.  So don't circumcise your kid unless you medically have to. 
That's pretty presumptuous of you to say where I live and what statistics we have here. If you did happen to look a little further you would have seen that our HIV rate is astronomical. I believe our epidemiological data put us at the highest in the US. ANd no, I don't really trust the results of what the CDC is saying about their data as their collection process seems pretty flawed considering their sampling process and some of their own statements about their samples even suggests that such as the population data of some of their sample areas. I'm also not about to start spreading some false hope message of getting a circumcision will protect you form STD's because even though the data is not saying this, the presentation of the data can and does suggest this. Condom distribution and education are where efforts should be placed rather than false hope about what in my opinion is genital mutilation, and let's not forget that the overwhelming majority of traditionalists African societies who maintain the doctrine of male circumcision also practice female circumcision which is highly detrimental and from the evidence I have seen have no health benefits that compare to the health risks.
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« Reply #78: March 16, 2011, 06:19:10 pm »

I chose not to cicumcize my son when he was born.  About a year ago (when he was 11), he decided that not being cicumsized made him look "smaller" than all his friends.  He now wants me to take him to the doctor and have it done.  We've discussed it and I think we will just put it on hold for now.  I told him that circumcision might not correct his perceived problem anyway. 

And I didn't let my daughter get her ears pierced until she was 10-11 and able to be responsible for taking proper care of them herself. 

I totally agree with not wanting to make permanent cosmetic decisions for my children.  What if I decided she would look great with a spider tattooed over her face?  That should be her decision when she is old enough.



Maggie, I haven't heard that before -- does he understand that removing the foreskin removes length, and probably will make it appear smaller? It's so sad when an 11 year old boy isn't able to be free of the "size comparisons" ... there is a lot of talk about the messages girls receive from our culture that affect their body image, but boys seem to get a lot of equally harmful messages -- your son seems so young to have to feel inadequate. That's a whole other topic, though, I guess.

I have three sons, and we decided not have their foreskins removed if there was no medical need. Knowing many people from all over the world (Europe, Japan, etc) who are not circumcised, who have no problems with anything that Americans tend to fear as the "but what if???" scenarios, made it a simple choice. If it's not needed, we don't do it.

I'd sooner cut off their earlobes, which for all intents and purposes ARE useless pieces of skin, than a functional and useful part of their genital anatomy. In our community, almost all the little boys are not circumcised, and there are no more problems with those penises than there are with others. Kids - boys and girls - have to be taught proper hygiene. An intact penis requires the most basic of hygiene... the foreskin itself is protective, and by the time it is retractable, your son is able to do the mind0-bogglingly simple hygiene required to keep it clean. Keeping girls clean is harder, actually. I also wouldn't alter my daughters' genitals for hygienic, cosmetic, social, religious, or other reasons.

I've never met a circumcised man who wished that they didn't have their foreskin, just like there are very few women who wish they didn't have labia (or, more analogous, their clitoral hood). Sure, everyone can probably dig up an example or two of some guy who "had problems" and had to have a circumcision when he was 28, and it was horrifically painful, and it could have been avoided if only his parents had had it done when he was a newborn... but you're always going to have someone who had a different experience than the norm. The norm is, foreskins are part of the body. They have a function. They are no less hygienic than labia.

Unless there is a medical problem that can not be resolved in less interventive ways, circumcision isn't an option for my kids until they are old enough to FULLY understand the permanence, and risks. Basically, when they are old enough to get a tattoo. It's definitely more serious and body-altering than getting ears pierced. More than getting anything pierced, actually -- getting the genitals pierced would be less of a body modification than a circ, so it's something I'd want my kids to decide for themselves when they're old enough to make Prince-Albert-weight decisions.  Wink

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« Reply #79: March 16, 2011, 07:54:39 pm »

That's pretty presumptuous of you to say where I live and what statistics we have here. If you did happen to look a little further you would have seen that our HIV rate is astronomical. I believe our epidemiological data put us at the highest in the US. ANd no, I don't really trust the results of what the CDC is saying about their data as their collection process seems pretty flawed considering their sampling process and some of their own statements about their samples even suggests that such as the population data of some of their sample areas. I'm also not about to start spreading some false hope message of getting a circumcision will protect you form STD's because even though the data is not saying this, the presentation of the data can and does suggest this. Condom distribution and education are where efforts should be placed rather than false hope about what in my opinion is genital mutilation, and let's not forget that the overwhelming majority of traditionalists African societies who maintain the doctrine of male circumcision also practice female circumcision which is highly detrimental and from the evidence I have seen have no health benefits that compare to the health risks.

apologies, I didn't look where you were.  And it's not a false hope message, the study was fairly definitive on certain STD's.  Personally, if I were in a high HIV and STD area, I wouldn't be having sex without being certain that I was in a monogamous relationship and using a condom both, but 60 percent difference is pretty good, it's a reason to stop the study and not deny the control group the treatment.  Of course, I, as a woman, might not be in a position to say no or have any control over who else my man sleeps with.  And if you can't get the guy to use a condom, if you can get one, having the government step in and offer circumcision ahead of time reduces your risk as well.

Just because they do both and one is harmful and the other is helpful doesn't mean we shouldn't push them to stop the one and continue to do the other, as well as pushing the condoms and the monogamy and abstinence (hah) etc.  Do it all.  Besides, the comparison for the two types is for male circumcision to even be close to female, the practitioner would need to remove the entire male organ.  Until they are willing to do that, I have no problem discouraging female circumcision.
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« Reply #80: March 16, 2011, 08:00:14 pm »

.  Until they are willing to do that, I have no problem discouraging female circumcision.

One wonders who and why they translated the name for the practice from whatever to English called it female circucision rather than something else.
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« Reply #81: March 16, 2011, 08:01:43 pm »

One wonders who and why they translated the name for the practice from whatever to English called it female circucision rather than something else.


probably because "amputating all her sexual pleasure organ" was too long and it was the closest thing they could think of.
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« Reply #82: March 16, 2011, 08:03:44 pm »

You're response, Mandrina , seems pretty vague as I can't tell if you are claiming getting one has these benefits or not getting one has them. What sources are you drawing these claims from, because I'll tell you right now that if you are saying these benefits are associated with getting a circumcision, I really don't buy it for a damn second.

The benefits of circumcision in preventing disease has been pretty well established.  The AAP is in the process of changing its policy statement to recommend in favor of circs.  (I wish things had been this definitive when my oldest was born.)
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« Reply #83: March 16, 2011, 08:12:24 pm »

let's not forget that the overwhelming majority of traditionalists African societies who maintain the doctrine of male circumcision also practice female circumcision which is highly detrimental and from the evidence I have seen have no health benefits that compare to the health risks.

Physically, the procedures are in no way equivalent.  Female genital mutilation makes sex unpleasant and painful at the least.  It is possibly life threatening at the worst (in a variety of nasty ways).  Circumcised males do not have the same negative side effects.  Men that have been circumcised as adults report slight reduced sensitivity (drawback) but also being able to "last" longer during intercourse (benefit). 

Additionally, even if both exist in some African societies, that doesn't mean that both procedures are used to repress and control individuals. 
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« Reply #84: March 16, 2011, 08:44:25 pm »

Physically, the procedures are in no way equivalent.  Female genital mutilation makes sex unpleasant and painful at the least. 

There are actually different types of FGM, with varying degrees of modification/damage to the genitals. 85% of FGM is clitoridectomy (total removal of the clitoris, and, less often, just the prepuce) and excision (removal of the labia minora and clitoris, sometimes the labia majora.) Infibulation is by far the most severe type of FGM, and is, yes, designed to make intercourse unpleasant, as well as not pleasurable. The other two - the more common types - are designed to reduce or even eliminate sensation, not necessarily to make it difficult or painful. 

(There are other types of FGM, which include piercing all the way up to cauterizing, that fall outside those three categories but are usually ways to reduce female desire for/enjoyment of sexual intercourse.)

Removal of the clitoral prepuce, while not the most common FGM practiced by a long shot, is anatomically analogous to removal of the foreskin.
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« Reply #85: March 16, 2011, 08:46:59 pm »

Infibulation is by far the most severe type of FGM, and is, yes, designed to make intercourse unpleasant, as well as not pleasurable.

And by "unpleasant" I meant, of course, "hell on earth." 
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« Reply #86: March 17, 2011, 06:10:45 pm »

Removal of the clitoral prepuce, while not the most common FGM practiced by a long shot, is anatomically analogous to removal of the foreskin.

Actually it still isn't equivalent. The clitoris is much more sensitive than the glans and actually withdraws beneath the hood when being stimulated, unlike the penis, which emerges.

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« Reply #87: March 17, 2011, 11:24:11 pm »

Actually it still isn't equivalent. The clitoris is much more sensitive than the glans and actually withdraws beneath the hood when being stimulated, unlike the penis, which emerges.

I am not sure where you heard this information. It's an anatomical fact that the male foreskin is homologous to the clitoral hood. The functions that it serves are the same as the foreskin. The clitoris, which is homologous to the penis, is erectile, and when aroused and during orgasm, does in fact become engorged - it does not retreat into anything, but becomes swollen. The clitoris may not "emerge" from the hood (although for some women it may) but that does not equate with "withdrawing." I have never heard this before, so I'm unsure as to what gave the impression that this is what happens with female arousal. I can only assume that if you have a female partner with a smaller clitoris, if the surrounding area and the clitoral hood become very engorged (as is usual with arousal), it might disguise the erection of the clitoris itself.

The glans clitoris is, as you noted, usually too sensitive to be stimulated directly (and this varies from woman to woman, with factors like retractability and size of the clitoris and hood -- which, as with male foreskins, varies greatly from individual to individual). However, this level of sensitivity is the equivalent of that in the glans penis of younger uncircumcised males. That level of sensitivity diminishes for most as they mature, particularly after puberty. 

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« Reply #88: March 18, 2011, 11:00:40 am »

The clitoris may not "emerge" from the hood (although for some women it may) but that does not equate with "withdrawing." I have never heard this before, so I'm unsure as to what gave the impression that this is what happens with female arousal.

The glans clitoris is, as you noted, usually too sensitive to be stimulated directly (and this varies from woman to woman, with factors like retractability and size of the clitoris and hood -- which, as with male foreskins, varies greatly from individual to individual). However, this level of sensitivity is the equivalent of that in the glans penis of younger uncircumcised males. That level of sensitivity diminishes for most as they mature, particularly after puberty. 



I heard this info from the Master's and Johson research on the sexual arousal cycle.  Where is your info coming from? 

The level of sensitivity is NOT the same because the amount of nerve endings packed into the clitoris is the same as the amount of nerve ending spread over the entire head of the penis. 
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« Reply #89: March 18, 2011, 05:59:44 pm »

I heard this info from the Master's and Johson research on the sexual arousal cycle.  Where is your info coming from? 

The level of sensitivity is NOT the same because the amount of nerve endings packed into the clitoris is the same as the amount of nerve ending spread over the entire head of the penis. 


I see what you are saying about the withdrawal of the clitoris into the hood. Masters and Johnson discuss the phases of sexual arousal, in which the first phase is excitement -- which involves the female clitoris becoming erect and engorged with blood. Following that and prior to orgasm, in the plateau phase, most do withdraw into the hood, so yes, that is true. (Not all women experience a plateau phase.) However, it is not until after the resolution phase that the clitoris, labia majora, and labia minora return to unaroused sizes and positions; even in the plateau phase, as the clitoris may withdraw into the hood, it remains erect and engorged in comparison with the unaroused state -- either because it remains slightly engorged, or because it re-engorges following orgasm, or a little of both.


Are you wanting sources that demonstrate that the clitoris is homologous to the glans penis? It is the female counterpart structure. That this doesn't necessarily mean "identical" doesn't refute that fact. I can certainly find sources for you if you are skeptical.

I am not saying that the genitals are the same, or that the experience of sensation is the same. Women almost invariably have a different "pattern" than men and often very different physical needs to achieve orgasm. The fact that a woman can continue to have orgasms in the resolution phase, while males enter a refractory period, is just one such difference. The clitoris does not house the urethra. There are many such differences.

You are absolutely correct that the nerves of the glans penis are bundled together in the much smaller area of the clitoris. However, the head of the uncircumcised penis is, even for an adult male, more sensitive than that of a circumcised man in most cases because there has not been keratinization. (And I say most because there's always the exception, for whatever reason.) Also, it is to say that the glans penis of a small, uncircumcised boy can, where the tissues have not been exposed or in the least bit keratinized, approximate the sensitivity of a the female clitoris. They are extraordinarily sensitive - and the foreskin, in this case, serves the same function as the clitoral hood: to cover and protect an extraordinarily sensitve part of the anatomy. 

Whether or not the sensitivity is precisely equal is not actually my point.  It is a sensitive collection of nerve endings. The prepuce covers it. This is the same in both sexes. There are obvious, as well as subtle, anatomical differences, which are well known. The fact that a woman's clitoris does not climax the way that a man's penis does does not in any way mean they aren't anatomical equivalents. 

I also don't equate male circumcision with clitoridectomy (for which the anatomical equivalent is removal of the penis itself), let alone the more severe forms of FGM. I was comparing it to the removal of the clitoral hood -- which, as I said, is not at all the most common form of FGM. You said that FGM is "in no way equivalent" which is most likely because FGM = infibulation for many, and there is actually an FGM practice that is in some way equivalent -- not necessarily to dispute your assertion, but to add to the discussion.

You did ask where I got my information, and (I'm refraining from glib answers here  Smiley) I'm more than willing to provide sources. I'd need to know what specifically is in question, though. I believe it was in reference to the withdrawal of the clitoris before orgasm, which I've already ceded after looking at the Masters and Johnson information.
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