Circumcision

Here’s an interesting subject I don’t think we’ve discussed before. Is it too ingrained in American culture to be discussed or criticized? A lot of people think it is. The subject is apparently so highly controversial and anger inducing that few will even bring it up–at least in America. It is relegated to the shadows the way atheism once was. So I think this is a good place to discuss it.
Boys and girls alike
An un-consenting child, an unnecessary, invasive surgery: is there any moral difference between male and female circumcision?
http://aeon.co/magazine/philosophy/male-and-female-circumcision-are-equally-wrong/

There’s no moral difference, IMO.
The article points out that there isn’t any big legislation against male circumcision in America, but any type of female circumcision is totally illegal; that’s a very interesting example of cultural norms at work.

In practice, female circumcision, that is comparable to male circumcision, would be a matter of removing ONLY a bit of the clitoral hood. Unfortunately, when done in practice, as it still is, in some places, today, involves clitorectomy and other tissue, which IMO, would be like cutting off most of the penis.

Never heard of female circumcision before, got my interest. Can you post some pictures? :slight_smile:

Never heard of female circumcision before, got my interest. Can you post some pictures? :-)
Have you been hiding under a rock? It isn't circumcision, even though the euphemism is used. It's Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and it's done to keep women "pure" and intact before marriage and unable to ever feel sexual pleasure for the rest of their lives. It causes inimaginable pain and irreparable damage upon childbirth. It's just one of the many sadistic things men do to women to keep them where they want them--ignorant, often pregnant and under their control. " The "husband" rips the scar tissue apart on the "wedding night." Mothers go along with it because they have been convinced that daughters will never be married if they aren't mutilated to please a man--and in those horrific patriarchal cultures, it's probably true. Women who don't marry are seen as burdens and pariahs and are treated as slaves--not that married women are much better off. If you want to see pictures, do an Internet search and learn what men do to women because they have power and lack compassion and intellect but have an enormous sense of entitlement. Lois
Never heard of female circumcision before, got my interest. Can you post some pictures? :-)
Have you been hiding under a rock? It isn't circumcision, even though the euphemism is used. It's Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and it's done to keep women "pure" and intact before marriage and unable to ever feel sexual pleasure for the rest of their lives. It causes inimaginable pain and irreparable damage upon childbirth. It's just one of the many sadistic things men do to women to keep them where they want them--ignorant, often pregnant and under their control. " The "husband" rips the scar tissue apart on the "wedding night." Mothers go along with it because they have been convinced that daughters will never be married if they aren't mutilated to please a man--and in those horrific patriarchal cultures, it's probably true. Women who don't marry are seen as burdens and pariahs and are treated as slaves--not that married women are much better off. If you want to see pictures, do an Internet search and learn what men do to women because they have power and lack compassion and intellect but have an enormous sense of entitlement. Lois If it’s not really circumcision, then it’s mislabeled. You must be talking about something that is done outside of our country. Because I can’t imagine any doctor in the USA doing that type of operation. I thought you were saying it was happening here and American’s would not talk about it.

These are really not comparable procedures as TimB has pointed out. Female “circumcision” is not practiced in the U.S. and I can’t imagine any physician who would ever do this since its clearly harmful with no documented benefits. Male circumcision on the other hand has only minimal risks when done by a physician (not as safe in the hands of a moyle where Herpes has been transmitted to children) and may offer some moderate health benefits including a slight reduction in the risk of HIV and significant reduction in the risk of Balanitis and Phimosis.
The benefits may be only marginal as are the risks so I am not sure if this procedure would be done if it weren’t a cultural norm for some people but I don’t think it compares in any way to the horrible violation of clitorectomy performed on women in some parts of the world
http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020298#pmed-0020298-g002
http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=552017

I would put clitorectomy under the heading of “Forms of Slavery". More than a social or religious act. Because it is done for the value of the person. But I do wonder what religions the people that do this to their kids are?

I would put clitorectomy under the heading of “Forms of Slavery". More than a social or religious act. Because it is done for the value of the person. But I do wonder what religions the people that do this to their kids are?
Today it's Muslim almost exclusively. Lois
Never heard of female circumcision before, got my interest. Can you post some pictures? :-)
Have you been hiding under a rock? It isn't circumcision, even though the euphemism is used. It's Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and it's done to keep women "pure" and intact before marriage and unable to ever feel sexual pleasure for the rest of their lives. It causes inimaginable pain and irreparable damage upon childbirth. It's just one of the many sadistic things men do to women to keep them where they want them--ignorant, often pregnant and under their control. " The "husband" rips the scar tissue apart on the "wedding night." Mothers go along with it because they have been convinced that daughters will never be married if they aren't mutilated to please a man--and in those horrific patriarchal cultures, it's probably true. Women who don't marry are seen as burdens and pariahs and are treated as slaves--not that married women are much better off. If you want to see pictures, do an Internet search and learn what men do to women because they have power and lack compassion and intellect but have an enormous sense of entitlement. Lois If it’s not really circumcision, then it’s mislabeled. You must be talking about something that is done outside of our country. Because I can’t imagine any doctor in the USA doing that type of operation. I thought you were saying it was happening here and American’s would not talk about it. It isn't circumcision, but since it's often mislabeled FGm is used in arguments in favor of (male) circumcision. People who defend circumcision will often say it is nothing like "female circumcision." It IS practiced in the West, including in the US in Muslim communities. It is not done by doctors but secretly by Muslim women. As far as I know, it is not done by doctors in Muslim countries, either, though few doctors in those countries speak out against it. Lois
These are really not comparable procedures as TimB has pointed out. Female "circumcision" is not practiced in the U.S. and I can't imagine any physician who would ever do this since its clearly harmful with no documented benefits. Male circumcision on the other hand has only minimal risks when done by a physician (not as safe in the hands of a moyle where Herpes has been transmitted to children) and may offer some moderate health benefits including a slight reduction in the risk of HIV and significant reduction in the risk of Balanitis and Phimosis. The benefits may be only marginal as are the risks so I am not sure if this procedure would be done if it weren't a cultural norm for some people but I don't think it compares in any way to the horrible violation of clitorectomy performed on women in some parts of the world http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020298#pmed-0020298-g002 http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=552017
It is not circumcision but there are parallels. Both are surgical procedures with no medical rationale, it is done on children at the behest of parents and it has implications when the child reaches adulthood. In both cases it is rationalized as religious or "cultural." I know that US medical groups defend the practice and I think they are wrong. In what other situation does the medical community endorse surgical intervention on noncognizent minors for no medical reason? Lois

Thats not really true lois. The position of most medical societies is more or less neutral on this. This is the position statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.”
http://m.pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/103/3/686.short

Cosmetically speaking, some may consider a circumcised penis to be preferable. If one is Jewish, or Muslim, I think the procedure for males, is pretty much mandatory for religious reasons.
Otherwise, I think it is pretty much 6 of one and 1/2 dozen (plus a foreskin) of the other.

Thats not really true lois. The position of most medical societies is more or less neutral on this. This is the position statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." http://m.pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/103/3/686.short
Well that's refreshing. But the CDC is more wishy washy. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20141202/cdc-endorses-circumcision-for-health-reasons This is not from a public health organization buy is quite interesting. http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm

And just in case there was any thought that the medical community might want to support this for monetary reasons let me dispel that immediately. Circumcisions are a covered service by most insurance companies which means physicians have to accept the fee that is dictated to the by the insurance company. In our area nearly all circumcisions are done by the Ob/Gyn and they are paid approx $50 for a circumcision. Most physicians consider it a complete nuisance since they have to drive all the way to the hospital, find parking, wait while the nurse gets the baby ready, do the circ and then drive to the office or back home all for a $50 payday. Then you have to hope the parents don’t give you grief because they didn’t like the appearance of the circ ( different people have different cosmetic preferences - who would of thought).
Nothing would make physicians happier than for someone to make circs illegal or at least make them an uncovered service so they can charge an amount that would compensate them for the time and effort involved in performing this purely elective service.
As an interesting aside, when a Moyle does a circ on a Jewish child its not covered by insurance because its a religious service. Despite the fact that they don’t have anything comparable to the surgical skills of an Ob/Gyn they charge and get paid on average $500 for doing the circ during a Briss. That’s ten times what the Ob/Gyn gets paid. If insurance stopped covering this procedure and physicians could charge the same fee I am sure fewer children would be circumcised.

This is not from a public health organization buy is quite interesting. http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm
The claim that circumcision decreases penile sensitivity is probably the only scientifically valid one on that list. The rest sound like something advocated by: 1) Feminists. 2)Hippy,new age "men's groups".
This is not from a public health organization buy is quite interesting. http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm
The claim that circumcision decreases penile sensitivity is probably the only scientifically valid one on that list. The rest sound like something advocated by: 1) Feminists. 2)Hippy,new age "men's groups". Is that right? I never heard that circumcision decreases penile sensitivity. If this is true, then mass circumcision of males has pretty enormous, social implications, overall, I would think, due to the possible impact on adolescent male development.
Cosmetically speaking, some may consider a circumcised penis to be preferable. If one is Jewish, or Muslim, I think the procedure for males, is pretty much mandatory for religious reasons. Otherwise, I think it is pretty much 6 of one and 1/2 dozen (plus a foreskin) of the other.
Then let the religious entities do it and leave the medical community out of it. There is no medical justification for circumcision. Yet doctors and insurance companies have bought into it. There isn't one other surgical procedure for the possible prevention of any condition that is done on children routinely that the US medical community endorses, yet they endorse circumcision (or at least don't speak against it). Why this exception to standard medical practice? And why are insurance companies paying for it? They're quick to label many other procedures as unnecessary. Why are doctors doing circumcisions routinely? In the US the vast majority of circumcisions are done on children who are neither Jewish nor Muslim. Why should doctors, the medical community and insurance companies be involved in what is bascally a religious act, especially upon children who are not of those religions? Or a better question is why are they so cavalierly accepting this one exception to good medical science? Who is speaking up for these mutilated children? Lois
This is not from a public health organization buy is quite interesting. http://www.circumcision.org/studies.htm
The claim that circumcision decreases penile sensitivity is probably the only scientifically valid one on that list. The rest sound like something advocated by: 1) Feminists. 2)Hippy,new age "men's groups". What is the position of "1) Feminists. 2)Hippy, new age "men's groups". I have not heard anything from these groups regarding circumcision. Who are they? You must have inside information I don't have access to. Lois
Cosmetically speaking, some may consider a circumcised penis to be preferable. If one is Jewish, or Muslim, I think the procedure for males, is pretty much mandatory for religious reasons. Otherwise, I think it is pretty much 6 of one and 1/2 dozen (plus a foreskin) of the other.
Then let the religious entities do it and leave the medical community out of it. There is no medical justification for circumcision. Yet doctors and insurance companies have bought into it. There isn't one other surgical procedure for the possible prevention of any condition that is done on children routinely that the US medical community endorses, yet they endorse circumcision (or at east don't speak against it). Why this exception to standard medical practice? And why are insurance companies paying for it? They're quick to label many other procedures as unnecessary. Why are doctors doing circumcisions routinely? In the US the vast majority of circumcisions are done on children who are neither Jewish nor Muslim. Why should doctors, the medical community and insurance companies be involved in what is bascally a religious act, especially upon children who are not of those religions? Or a better question is why are they so cavalierly accepting this one exception to good medical science? Who is speaking up for these mutilated children? Lois Lois while I understand your argument I don't agree with the intensity of your objection to circumcision. Let me offer a different point of view. 1) Doctors don't routinely perform or encourage these procedures. They only perform them if the parent requests them. Also as discussed previously this is not a money making procedure for physicians. Its a nuisance and a money losing proposition that most physicians would prefer not to do. 2) As I have already stated there are some minor but well documented medical benefits associated with the procedure. Whether those benefits outweigh the risks is a subject for debate. 3) I am not sure how anyone (especially on this site) can say that religious preference is acceptable but parental preference is not. That being said if this procedure is going to be done it should be done by physicians since they have far better training and a better track record with less risk to the baby than when it is performed by religious leaders who have no medical training. 4) The term mutilation is not appropriate here. While there is some pain involved I have never met a man who felt mutilated by this procedure. I have been circumcised. I am not jewish or muslim, and I do not feel mutilated. I am not saying I support circumcision and if it were not something that was a part of our culture before we got in the habit of analyzing risk and benefit I doubt this practice would have become as common as it is. On the other hand if parents prefer their children be circumcised the risk benefit ratio does not seem to be weighted against circumcision such that the medical community needs to take a moral stand against it. You could make an even better argument against pierced ears. It hurts, there are medical risks associated with it, its primarily a cosmetic procedure, but unlike circumcision there have never been any medical benefits associated with piercing yet parents often pierce their girls ears before they are old enough to chose for themselves if they want it.