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Is male circumcision a humanitarian act?


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So there’s this fellow—an inquisitive sort, even if not particularly bright—whom one day is asked by his ogress of a wife to drive to the store to buy a ham. Obediently, he does so, finds an impressive specimen of meat at the store, returns home and, grinning widely, places it proudly on the kitchen table before the woman. “You idiot!” screams the boorish wife. “Why didn’t you have the butcher cut off the end?” Now, our man might be dim-witted, but he’s not without a certain practical mindedness. So he asks his wife, meekly, why the end must be cut off. “Ach,” she grumbles, heaving the ham onto the counter where she begins fussily carving off the end. “Such a stupid question. That’s just the way it’s done. Mother did it and her mother before her and her mother before her.” There’s a rather puzzling hesitation in his wife’s answer that intrigues the man, however. So, still perplexed, he phones his mother-in-law—who apparently is as pleasant as his wife is unpleasant—and asks the old lady why she cuts off the ends of her hams. “You know,” says the woman, “I once posed this very question to my own grandmother. And do you know what she told me? Her old baking tray was so small that she had to cut off the end of the ham to fit it inside!” 

There are many different versions of this parable of the severed ham, but the moral of the story is this: many of today’s rituals—even sacred ones held by uncompromisingly stern authority figures—are just empty repetitions of a utilitarian past. In considering male circumcision, this tale of a needlessly removed hunk of ham doesn’t require a terribly huge stretch of our imaginations to apply. The surgical removing of foreskin from a neonate’s penis is seen by many critics as an outdated, cruel and unnecessary procedure that—although it may once have had some practical purpose in times past—is now done primarily out of blind habit and unquestioning obedience to “because I said so” authority figures. Although male circumcision is rare in Europe except for Jewish and Islamic subpopulations for which the procedure is a core part of religious group identity, about 70 percent of U.S. males—regardless of their religion—are circumcised. It’s embarrassing to admit, but growing up in Middle America, I didn’t even know what a nonmutilated penis looked like until the advent of the Internet. (Then again, I was also 14 before I realized that condoms weren’t, in fact, what old people in Florida lived in.) According to a 2003 report, the only meaningful predictor of whether parents will opt to get their infant son circumcised is whether the father’s own penis is circumcised—there’s a positive correlation, in case you’re wondering. Cut off the end of the ham—er, penis—because that’s what my daddy did and his daddy before him. 

But much as I may want to join the cause to save the prepuces, the anti-circumcision stance may not be as humanitarian as it appears. Objection on the grounds that male circumcision is a somewhat bizarre, bloody and frightening ritual was probably very reasonable throughout much of modern history. But this ancient practice, which dates back at least to the Neolithic period, just happens to have important health implications today that are completely unrelated to the hollow rituals of our forebears’ foreskin removal. This strange procedure of lopping off the ends of penises may well have persevered over the eons on the shakiest grounds of justification, grounds that invoked religious, cultural or aesthetic reasons. But, ironically, it may now finally be playing a serious—even heroic—role in staving off a much more crippling problem:

Mounting evidence shows that male circumcision dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection, at least for heterosexual males.

According to researchers writing in a 2009 issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs, the prophylactic effect of male circumcision is owed to the following physical facts:

 

There are high densities of HIV target cells in the inner mucosal surface of the human foreskin … These HIV target cells lie beneath a protective layer of keratin, which is absent on the inner surface of the prepuce. By removing all or part of the foreskin, circumcision reduces both the number and susceptibility of target cells to HIV infection.

 

Since 2007, several randomized clinical trials have established that male circumcision could lower the risk of HIV acquisition in heterosexual men by as much as 62 percent. Sixty-two percent! So far, these studies have been limited to African populations that have been particularly hard-hit by AIDS-related casualties. In South Africa, a third of reproductive-aged women are infected. If you’re a 15-year-old living in that country today, there’s a 59 percent chance that you’ll die before reaching your 60th birthday; just 10 years ago, these odds were only 29 percent.

Here’s how the clinical trials basically worked. Thousands of adult, HIV-negative, sexually active, uncircumcised men in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa agreed to be randomly assigned to a circumcision group or a no-circumcision group. Those randomly assigned to the circumcision group had their foreskins removed by medical professionals, were told to abstain from intercourse until their wounds healed (about three weeks—there may actually be a greater risk of HIV infection during this period, so this is vital), and then were instructed to return to the clinic at six-month intervals to test for the virus. The results were unequivocal: two years later, the circumcised males were significantly less likely than their uncircumcised peers to have contracted HIV. In fact, the researchers decided to end these clinical trials early for ethical reasons: with data so clearly showing the advantages of circumcision in an environment rife with the virus, it’s hard to justify a further wait-and-see approach for those men that had been randomly assigned to the no-circumcision group.

For the Ugandan study, 22 of 2,387 circumcised men acquired HIV over the two-year period compared to 45 of 2,430 uncircumcised men who were infected during this time span. Extensive interview methods confirmed that the two groups did not differ in terms of their actual sexual behaviors, enabling the authors to conclude that the results were owed directly to the circumcision intervention. (For those data heads among you, P < 0.00001.) These numbers may not sound massive, but note that they refer to only a 24-month period; over a lifetime, they would become dramatic.

In fact, using the results from the South African study, one group of computer modellers crunched these numbers to find out how many lives mass neonatal male circumcision could potentially save in this region over a 10-year period. They concluded that male circumcision could save the lives of 300,000 people in Southern Africa alone. Move forward 20 years, they pointed out, and 2 to 7 million deaths could be averted.

It’s presently unknown whether homosexual males would also benefit from circumcision. The studies simply haven’t been done. But Beijing STD specialist Yuhua Ruan and colleagues suspect that circumcision would protect insertive partners (“tops”) against HIV much more than it would receptive partners (“bottoms”). This is because the anal mucosa is highly susceptible to trauma and so the risk of HIV infection through receptive anal sex is very high. The lesser benefit served by being on the receiving end might also apply to heterosexual couples, however. A study published in The Lancet last year found that circumcision in HIV-infected men from Uganda appeared to offer no protection against the virus to their female partners. Thus, although it’s too soon to tell, the real benefits of circumcision may be reserved primarily for heterosexual men or insertive gay men. But that’s still a lot of people whose foreskins may be compromising their health.

In a 2007 report in The Lancet, UCLA infectious disease specialist Sharif Sawires and his colleagues put it bluntly:

 

In regions where high HIV prevalence exposes the population to risks that have a devastating effect on entire societies, the risks associated with male circumcision could be outweighed by the potential lives saved …

 

 

We encourage multicultural, bilateral, and government agencies, along with non-governmental organizations to make this life-saving strategy affordable and safely available to relevant populations bearing the heaviest burden.

 

These authors certainly aren’t alone in endorsing male circumcision on HIV-preventative grounds. It is now being recommended as a crucial, relatively simple tool against the threat of AIDS by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. Importantly, of course, these experts also hastily point out that circumcision is just one effective strategy and must be used in conjunction with other preventative measures such as condoms and education.

But prescribing routine male circumcision on HIV-preventative grounds has been met with controversy. Other leading health organizations have refused to take a position. For example, the Royal Australian College of Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics neither advocate nor denounce the procedure. As Israeli medical researchers Margherita Brusa and Michael Barlain discuss at length in their excellent review article last year in an issue of Bioethics, in some societies, “medicalizing” male circumcision intrudes on important religious and cultural rituals associated with the practice. In Jewish communities, of course, mohalim—expert circumcisers—are religious figures practicing an art that is passed down through generations, and removing the child’s foreskin is a deeply symbolic affair. In fact, it’s during the circumcision ceremony that boys are given their personal Hebrew names. (Just call me Yishai.) Tribal circumcision of young adolescents in many African nations is an important rite of passage into adulthood—another deeply engrained, essential tradition.

There is also the issue of what Brusa and Barlain refer to as the “naturalism” argument against male circumcision, which is that it is inherently wrong to alter the natural human body, particularly the bodies of infants and children who cannot give their informed consent to such an invasive procedure. On the face of it, this is an appealing position. Arguments such as “the prepuce is not a birth defect” alongside emotionally loaded images of screaming babies or graphic depictions of botched circumcisions certainly tug at our heartstrings and make us upset. But persuasive on logical grounds? Not exactly. Ultimately, the authors reject the naturalism argument. Cutting our children’s hair is “unnatural” too, much like punching holes in their earlobes and straightening their teeth through painful orthodontic procedures. Yet, as far as I’m aware, there are no societies fighting to end the travesty of these heinous crimes against nature. Similarly, arguments insinuating that foreskins would have been eliminated by natural selection if they were disadvantageous are deeply flawed. Biological evolution cannot anticipate viral arms races of the future.

You’d even struggle to get everyone on the same page about what the “natural”’ penis actually is. For Jews, the Talmud describes the foreskin as an unnecessary pathological tissue, and leaving it intact is akin to leaving the umbilical cord dangling. By contrast, the ancient Greeks and Romans saw the prepuce more as a tuft of hair or a piece of cloth; without it, the man was naked because—under typical, uncircumcised conditions—the sight of the glans penis meant sexual arousal.

What about the issue of “bodily integrity”? What gives parents the right to decide for their helpless sons? I think there’s probably more currency in this line of reasoning than in the naturalism argument. Why should we deliberately inflict harm on people under the guise of preventative therapy against a disease that they may or may not be at risk for later in life, or they might not benefit from the procedure as much as other men would? After all, who knows: your little boy might grow up to be the receptive partner in a gay relationship, or perhaps an asexual or even a monogamous zoophile in love with his horse. But do you really want to bet on those odds?

Like any surgical procedure, male circumcision isn’t without risk of unpleasant complications. In this case, haemorrhage, sepsis, fistula, meatal stenosis, removal of excessive skin and even penile loss can occur. But in medical settings, these complications are extraordinarily rare, appearing in just a fraction of cases, and male circumcision remains the most common surgical procedure practiced in the world. Of course, you might opt to give your child the luxury of choice, waiting for him to make his own informed decision about whether circumcision makes sense for him. But, if you’re anything like me, that’s one thing you’re very glad to have gotten under your belt the first week of your life. For all I know, I’ve had a phantom foreskin ever since; no pain, though, just a lot of pleasure. 

I started this piece with an open mind but I’ll close by putting my cards clearly on the table. For me, if one fully appreciates the scientific findings reported by these landmark studies with sub-Saharan African men, circumcision is the more humane decision. Some minor bloodletting today could spare that child unthinkable degrees of suffering tomorrow. Nobody knows where your child will live as an adult (perhaps Africa), or how rampant HIV will be there, or whether he’ll wear a condom every time he has sex with a stranger, or whether an infected, beautiful woman will cross his path on the day he forgets to tuck a condom into his wallet. Admittedly, my own “son” is a border terrier, but this issue is still a no-brainer to me. However, I’m well aware that male circumcision is a contentious topic for many people, some of whom, aghast, will make their opinions known to me in the coming days.

But here’s a final counterpoint to anti-circumcision you may not have considered. Last year, I reported research by evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup suggesting that, owing to the increased exposure of the coronal ridge, circumcised penises may very well be more effective at withdrawing competitors’ sperm from the vaginal tracts of promiscuous females than uncircumcised penises. Having your infant son’s foreskin removed could reduce your boy’s chances of being cuckolded later on by his adulterous future wife. Now that’s thinking ahead.

 

In this column presented by Scientific American Mind magazine, research psychologist Jesse Bering of Queen’s University Belfast ponders some of the more obscure aspects of everyday human behavior. Ever wonder why yawning is contagious, why we point with our index fingers instead of our thumbs or whether being breastfed as an infant influences your sexual preferences as an adult? Get a closer look at the latest data as “Bering in Mind” tackles these and other quirky questions about human nature. Sign up for the RSS feed or friend Dr. Bering on Facebook and never miss an installment again. For articles published prior to September 29, 2009, click here: older Bering in Mind columns.

Image ©iStockphoto.com/stuartpitkin





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  1. 1. twistytulip 9:27 pm 04/27/2010

    "Ad hominem abusive usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions."

    I think continuing to call men mutilated after they have already expressed they do not feel that way constitutes an ad hominem attack. You could just as easily say permanently altered and it would mean the same thing, but it doesn’t illicit the same response. Women in Africa have spoken at great length about how much they hate female circumcision being called FGM by people in other parts of the world.

    There is a reason it is called neonatal circumcision and not neonatal mutilation.

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  2. 2. PotatoChip 9:34 pm 04/27/2010

    "have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions"

    That’s not the case here. It’s not ad hominem.

    You’re right – we disagree.

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  3. 3. twistytulip 9:44 pm 04/27/2010

    Why use the word mutilate instead of permanently altered? Why do women in Africa want to be called circumcised and not mutilated? Why do you think it is called infant circumcision and not infant mutilation?

    Face it- people that use that word are only using it to get a rise out of whoever they are talking to or about, and I was trying to discourage that. It takes away from the real message. This discussion has derailed the thread enough and I am finished talking about it. Agree to disagree.

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  4. 4. jstahle 10:03 pm 04/27/2010

    You mention that it is uncommon to circumcise boys in Europe.

    In Northern Europe it is EXTREMELY uncommon.

    Now. my good Jesse, give us the HIV figures for native Northern European men and for circumcised men in the US.

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  5. 5. Plain-2009 10:20 pm 04/27/2010

    I was entirely unable to read the complete article. It is not logical to believe that there is a connection between the presence or absence of the foreskin and the HIV virus; in case that virus really exists. Do not take me wrong. I feel a great respect for the medical profession; and we all need a doctor form time to time. I also feel respect for the people that work in the field of complex chemical substances and people that work in the study of micro-organisms. But I also fully understand that the origin of many diseases is the high level of stress in which people sometimes lives. Also I understand that extreme situations like in Africa or in many areas around the world, including the more advance regions, may require bold approaches to healing the suffering of people. But generally speaking, I consider circumcision really outdated, cruel, unnecessary, anti-esthetical and a violation of human rights. Look for the problems with HIV somewhere else. Some or even many men may experience problems with their foreskin sometimes in their lives, but the problem is not the foreskin itself. Look for the problems somewhere else. I should perhaps make it clear that medicine is not my field of endeavor. I think I have no circumcision, and I feel good about it, even when it is difficult to talk about these matters.

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  6. 6. Daniel35 10:47 pm 04/27/2010

    But there’s yet another factor. It’s likely the only final way we’ll moderate the effects of HIV will be to evolve immunity to it, as it may do also. Maybe we can slow it down by measures such as circumcision, but should we? Right now is the time we badly need to bring population increase under control, to prevent exponentially increasing environmental problems, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to do it soon enough by any other means.

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  7. 7. RBV 11:53 pm 04/27/2010

    To be circumcised should be something an adult individual should freely decide. If a child or teenager suffers from a medical condition such as phimosis, after taking prudent council, circumcision might be the solution. Otherwise, I think circumcision should not be imposed on children.

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  8. 8. Dr. Strangelove 2:48 am 04/28/2010

    Is there research on the effect of circumcision on sexual pleasure? Can you feel it more with or without foreskin? What if circumcized man want to be uncircumsized? Can the penis be surgically reconstructed? Like vaginal reconstruction.

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  9. 9. domfischer 4:26 am 04/28/2010

    spandrel????? where did you get this one?
    Normally in architecture or such…

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  10. 10. domfischer 4:27 am 04/28/2010

    spandrel???? Where do you get this one?

    Usually a construction component

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  11. 11. domfischer 4:30 am 04/28/2010

    why not simply compare sub sahel majority Muslim countries (such as Senegal) with non muslim countries (?) to check your stats. Cheap and easy….

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  12. 12. eekm 6:50 am 04/28/2010

    As a scientist, I will point out that those circumcison HIV studies in Africa have a critical flaw which you overlooked. The studies start with two populations of men, they then circumcise half of them, and look at HIV rates 2 years later. However, they don’t take into account that the circumcised men would not have having sex for the first 1-2 months of the study while the penis healed. If you actually do the statistical analysis based on 22 months of sex vs. 24 months of sex in each of the groups, the differences disappear! This shouldn’t be surprising–if circumcision were that protective, we’d have lower rates of HIV (and HPV) in the U.S. as compared to Europe (where the circumcision rates are dramatically lower). We don’t. In fact, we have slightly higher rates. The long-term, population based stats of U.S. vs. Europe do not support the premise that circumcision is effective protection against STDs.

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  13. 13. PotatoChip 8:54 am 04/28/2010

    domfischer, a spandrel is indeed taken from architecture. In evolutionary biology, Stephen Jay Gould used it as an analogy for elegant biological structures that were not specifically selected for through the evolutionary process, but were instead present as a byproduct of the evolutionary process, in the same way that a spandrel is a good place to put elegant carvings, even though the architect did not originally intend them for that purpose.

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  14. 14. jackieno 11:39 am 04/28/2010

    Jesse,
    Your article is emotional and not at all scientific. Many have noted the flaws of the Africa studies done by circumcision pushers, and that cut men pass HIV to women at a higher rate than normal. You missed the facts that HIV risk change (something like 1.2% risk change that you call 60%) is not observed in the industrialized world. For most, that reality check would indicate there is something going on with the circumcision pushers (condom advice to cut, no sex for cut for 2/18th of the study, more cut men "lost" than those that got HIV… many issues). One would hope SciAM would cut through that. Instead, you are just trying to justify the satte of your member.

    The reference to the sperm theory is silly, particularly as you said nothing about the 20,000 nerve endings cut off. Yes Dr. Strangelove there is evidence (Taylor, Soralles) that cutting off teh foreskin parts reduces the capacity of the male to experience PLEASURE — the cut takes away pleasure zones. The foreskin parts feel SO GOOD TO THE OWNER.

    As so many boys in the US die each year from the cut, the humanitarian act would be to not put them at risk OF DEATH and to let them have all of the PLEASURE of their natural penis.
    —————
    A study found that approximately 117 neonatal (first 28 days after birth) circumcision-related deaths occur annually in the United States, one out of every 77 male neonatal deaths. Causes of death include anesthesia reaction, stroke, hemorrhage, and infection. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable!

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  15. 15. jstahle 6:30 pm 04/28/2010

    HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

    Northern Europe – circumcision almost non-existent:

    Sweden: 0.1
    Norway: 0.1
    Finland: 0.1
    Germany: 0.1
    Denmark: 0.2
    Netherlands: 0.2
    Belgium: 0.2

    United States – circumcision common:
    United States: 0.6

    Source: CIA Factbook of the World
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

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  16. 16. cristina2544 9:10 pm 04/28/2010

    ok… thanks for those facts spookypete… still it seems like there’s not enough female input… and the truth is that if i had sex with 2 equally competent and endowed males the circumcised one will give me more pleasure. Just put your mind to it guys, visualize, because i don’t want to get all descriptive…. oh it also looks better!

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  17. 17. GTruman 9:12 pm 04/28/2010

    Astonishing that such a reasoning does not appear to a learned man for what it is, that is: totally unreasonable!
    Indeed, applied to whatever other subject that "prevention" argument would be seen for what it is, a barbarian assault on a human being.
    Consider for example the teeth: would you find reasonable to remove it for prevention, instead of teaching cleaning of it?
    And now consider breast cancer: would you propose to remove breast preventively ? Now you will answer that these are matters different from circumcision. In a religious society like the american society, the irrational point of view wrapped in pseudo logic will always prevail. That’s why trials against circumcisers will be the only way out. In a society with a tradition of human rights, integrity should finally prevail. But how long will these Middle ages still last?

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  18. 18. Hugh77 10:44 pm 04/28/2010

    @Christina3544: "if i had sex with 2 equally competent and endowed males the circumcised one will give me more pleasure. …. oh it also looks better!" OK Christina, and if guys think sex with circumcised women gives them more pleasure and circumcised women look better, should we start cutting baby girls? (Nothing like Africa, more like this: http://aandes.blogspot.com/2010/04/circumcision.html)

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  19. 19. Hugh77 10:57 pm 04/28/2010

    @Dr Strangelove: There is research on the effect of circumcision on sexual pleasure, claiming there is no difference, but self-evidently very BAD research, because it ignored any possible effect of the foreskin itself. Chief of these was in the popular book by Masters & Johnson, "Human Sexual Response", which measured touch sensitivity only on the glans in a non-sexual context. Subsequent work (Payne, Bleustein) was no better.

    A study in Uganda compared adult volunteers for circumcision (which itself biased the sample) before and after, and found no difference – because all they had virtually perfect sex both before and after, very unlike the real world.

    Sorrells et al. compared touch sensitivity on 19 points on the penis and found "circumcision [removes] the most sensitive part of the penis" which suggests that it does make a difference. Countless intact men swear that their foreskins themselves give pleasurable sensations.

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  20. 20. Van Lewis 1:18 pm 04/29/2010

    @twistytulip "Calling millions of men mutilated is nothing but an ad hominem attack meant to get a rise out of circumcised men."
    That is a generality that is not always correct. I never mean it to "get a rise" out of anybody. I mean it as a statement of scientific fact, as you admit:
    "While circumcision may meet the technical definition of mutilation," It does.
    " it by no means indicates men do or should feel mutilated."
    I am not talking about men’s feelings. I am talking about their penises. Circumcised penises are mutilated penises. Fact. Circumcised men and circumcising societies need to face facts.
    "My husband is against infant circumcision, but does not feel any resentment about being circumcised."
    Fine. No problem. Men, including your husband, are free to feel anything they want to about being genitally mutilated as infants when they had no say so over the matter.
    "He opted not to restore his foreskin because he is happy the way he is."
    Fine. No problem. Circumcised men are free to feel fine about being genitally mutilated if they want to.
    "We all need to recognize and support that viewpoint."
    I do. That doesn’t mean that I and others should not state the facts about genital mutilation to spare his or other circumcised men’s tender feelings, or need to pretend that they have not been mutilated, or to support their continued denial of genital and sexual reality. They have been mutilated genitally. Period. Whether they feel that they have been mutilated or not is their business, no one else’s unless they choose to make it someone else’s.

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  21. 21. Van Lewis 1:41 pm 04/29/2010

    @cristina2544 – " oh it also looks better!"
    So if I think my daughter would give her sexual partner(s) more pleasure and look better with her clitoral hood and outer labia amputated I should do it?

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  22. 22. Van Lewis 2:09 pm 04/29/2010

    @twistytrulip – "Mutilation is mutilation. Whether or not someone consents to it does not change the definition. Right?"
    Right.
    "I don’t see anywhere in any dictionary that mutilation excludes anyone who consented to it."
    And I don’t see anywhere in the dictionary that mutilation excludes anyone who doesn’t "feel" mutilated.
    "I clearly stated that calling men mutilated was an ad hominem attack." Let me clearly state again that it may or may not be, depending on the intent of the caller.
    "continuing to tell men they were mutilated wasn’t going to persuade anyone to not circumcise their son."
    There are too many mutilated men in the world for you to know that is true. I’m virtually certain that it is not.
    "There are people that call grown men on these forums defective and mutilated, and that should stop."
    I disagree, precisely because most circumcised men do not KNOW that they were mutilated because they do not FEEL that they were or are mutilated. In fact, their penis WAS mutilated as you admit, and remains mutilated today, whether they are aware of the fact or not. They need to become aware of the fact so that they can begin to learn not to mutilate anyone else’s penis or other normal, healthy, living body part.
    "I don’t consider a man that is happy with his circumcision mutilated or defective."
    His penis is mutilated. He may have a deep need to deny the fact, but his need to deny and remain ignorant of the fact does not change the fact and it does not change the fact that he and the rest of the world need to become aware of the fact and stop mutilating babies.
    "I just don’t." The dictionary does not say that a man is not mutilated if you don’t consider him to be mutilated.
    "I think continuing to call men mutilated after they have already expressed they do not feel that way constitutes an ad hominem attack."
    I don’t, unless it is intended that way by the caller. Some insecure men FEEL it that way. You are right about that. Helping them continue in their denial and ignorance is not my job. My job is to help them disabuse themselves of their ignorance and denial so they won’t injure/kill babies.
    "There is a reason it is called neonatal circumcision and not neonatal mutilation."
    Yes, and that reason is to help genitally mutilating cultures continue to try to justify their unjustifiable genital mutilating. I call it neonatal mutilation because that’s what it is and because telling the truth about it is necessary, even if painful to some, in order to stop causing far more massive pain and damage and sometimes death to innocents.

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  23. 23. Van Lewis 2:22 pm 04/29/2010

    "Mutilation is mutilation. Whether or not someone consents to it does not change the definition. Right?"
    It sometimes changes the legal consequences of the action, so consent, informed consent, adult informed consent, can change whether it is considered mutilation for the purposes of the law.

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  24. 24. carloscar 6:12 pm 04/29/2010

    WOW! Jesse, dude, you didn’t even MENTION the 2 most important things to say about circumcision! How could you possible write an article about this subject without these 2 VERY important points: 1) It was a great idea before indoor plumbing. The possibility of penile cancer increases when smegma is present (the result of not washing). After indoor plumbing, bad idea, because 2) It DECREASES SENSATION! The penis grows an external layer of skin after circumcision, which decreases sensitivity. Now this is not terrible at 19, but at 39 it SUCKS! You look old enough that you may be experiencing this need for "all the sensation you can get in order to keep it up", don’t you want your male offspring to be able to have good sex all their lives?

    Dude, I think you need to be thinking about a career change, if you make yourself and SciAm look SO CLUELESS. I guess that IT job I interviewed with you for is not going to happen now, huh? Yeah, I’d be too frustrated, knowing that I knew more than you while I fixed your Mac.

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  25. 25. Van Lewis 9:48 pm 04/29/2010

    @twistytulip – "Why use the word mutilate instead of permanently altered?"
    An alteration can be an improvement. Genital mutilation/circumcision is a degradation. Mutilate is therefore the more specific and more accurate term. To defeat the mistakes and lies behind genital mutilation of infants and children we have to learn and speak truth, in detail, exactly, no matter whose tender adult feelings might get hurt in the process. I’m less concerned about hurting the tender feelings of men and women in denial about their own and their society’s genital mutilation/mutilating than I am about stopping the hurting and damaging and killing of babies and other children. I think your questions deserve answering. That’s why I’m answering them.
    "Why do women in Africa want to be called circumcised and not mutilated?"
    Because they want to be able to continue living in their cultural fantasy instead of actual physical reality. "Circumcision" to them is clearly "good". "Mutilation" is clearly "bad". But to learn to reject genital mutilation they have to learn that what they thought was good is in fact bad. Words can help in the process. Ideally they should be truthful, accurate ones.
    "Why do you think it is called infant circumcision and not infant mutilation?"
    Same reason. We want to be able to continue living in fantasy land when it come to mutilating the sex organs of our children. Anyone who tells it like it is is accused of all sorts of anti-social crimes, ad hominem attacks and the rest of it. Mutilated men are entitled to speak our minds about it. If we don’t feel mutilated we are entitled to say so. If we do, we are entitled to say so. And we are entitled to use the dictionary. You are not entitled to shut us up. Men who feel attacked when we are not attacking them but are attacking instead their attackers need a strong dose of reality to wake them up from their fantasy land. The fact is that their penis was and is mutilated. The sooner they can understand the facts the sooner they can help change the society.

    Link to this
  26. 26. PrescottSmall 11:59 pm 04/29/2010

    Don’t take my word for it. Watch the video that is done here. The worst parts are fuzzed out because they were too graphic for TV. But just listen to the babies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcIf6xRFPpw

    Link to this
  27. 27. PrescottSmall 12:18 am 04/30/2010

    You want to really take a wild guess as to why most Doctors do this completely unnecessary procedure?

    One of the procedures is done every 26 seconds in the U.S.

    The average cost of the procedure ranges from $50 to $350, with $115 being the average. The usual insurance reimbursement to doctors is around $95. Dr. Van Howe claims that a busy doctor can generate $25,000 a year from circumcisions alone.

    Think about that for minute… OK it has happened 2.3 times in that minute.

    That is 3,312 procedures per day. That is 1,208,880 procedures per year at an average of $115 each. Circumcision is a $139,021,200 per year industry if 100% of the procedures go perfectly.

    The average procedure time is 10 minutes. A physician makes the equivalent of $690 per hour for the procedures.

    The procedures are 100% medically unnecessary.

    What more needs to be asked? How stupid are people, I do it because it was done to me, or i want it done to my baby so he looks like daddy – that is pathetic, weak and stupid.

    Parents are supposed to protect their children, not subject them to torture that induces traumatic shock. A child suffers the exact same symptoms of shock that is experienced by a soldier wounded in combat.

    Is that humane?

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  28. 28. twistytulip 5:43 pm 05/1/2010

    I said : "Why use the word mutilate instead of permanently altered?"

    You said: "An alteration can be an improvement. Genital mutilation/circumcision is a degradation. Mutilate is therefore the more specific and more accurate term. "

    Who are you to decide whether a person thinks it’s an improvement or degradation? Like I said before, there is no concrete evidence that sex is worse after a circumcision. Studies are mixed. If you agree that there is such a thing as a permanent alteration that can also be an improvement, you must accept that a lot of men see it as an improvement. To generalize your feeling that it is a degradation and extrapolate that opinion to every man that has ever been circumcised is extremely close minded and naive.

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  29. 29. PotatoChip 10:08 am 05/2/2010

    twistytulip said, "you must accept that a lot of men see it as an improvement."

    Are you serious? Do you not see that it is fundamentally impossible for any man who was circumcised as an infant to make this comparison? The opportunity to know what it would have been like to have a foreskin was taken away from him, without his consent.

    So, when you ask, "Who are you to decide?" you must accept that it’s not the circumcised man, since that capability was stripped away when he was a helpless baby!!!

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  30. 30. twistytulip 9:31 pm 05/2/2010

    "Do you not see that it is fundamentally impossible for any man who was circumcised as an infant to make this comparison? The opportunity to know what it would have been like to have a foreskin was taken away from him, without his consent."

    Right. Like I have said over, and over, and over… studies have been mixed, and almost all of them show no difference in sexual pleasure before and after circumcision, with a few showing a small percentage liking sex better, and others showing a small percentage finding sex less pleasurable. Statistically, most men on these forums would not have felt any difference in pleasure had their foreskins been left intact. Putting that aside, it boils down to whether or not they think it looks better. Many do. While it is almost certainly culturally based, it still does not change that fact. In our culture, thin fit women are considered attractive. In many other cultures thin women are looked at as being low class and to poor to eat and not fit for bearing children. We cannot change our cultural perceptions.

    All this doesn’t matter. My point is that trying to convince people to not circumcise their son using the "sex is better with a foreskin" argument isn’t going to work. Not only do studies and science not support that argument, circumcised men can and do enjoy sex without a foreskin. It’s not the point. Removing a babies’ earlobes would not result in loss of sexual function. Or loss of hearing. Or loss of anything substantial. Heck, it may even make bath time a few seconds shorter. So is that a legitimate reason to cut the ear lobes off of babies? Of course not. A person would go to jail if they did anything of the sort. It is unethical to cut earlobes, pinky toes, eye lids, female genitalia, appendixes, any other tissue or organ on a baby without present medical need. Except foreskin. This needs to stop, especially since circumcision carries with it the risks of any surgery. Please just open your mind and stop attacking me! I am on your side, but you are going about it the wrong way. You will only make men defensive which will increase the chance they will circumcise their son to "prove" to those "anti circ fanatics" that it’s all fine and good, it’s human nature.

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  31. 31. poolopis 9:39 pm 05/2/2010

    The mutilation of a child’s genitals, whether male or female, cannot be excused with any amount of research.

    It takes a sick mind to defend such a ridiculously violent and predatory practice. Circumcision is tantamount to sexual assault, and anyone who supports it, supports pedophilia.

    The practice has long been justified by pseudoscientific claims. In the last century, medical doctors in the United States, who were themselves circumcised, alleged that it cured cancer, paralysis, and the "sinful" act of masturbation.

    A basic understanding of the relationship between cause and effect is all one needs to understand that circumcision is not a treatment for disease, it is merely traditional genital mutilation, which mentally disturbed proponents will justify with claims which cannot hope to stand the test of time and reason.

    Also as a side note, mothers know as little about the importance and function of male genitalia to men as men know about the importance and function of female genitalia to women.

    Neither can ever understand what its like to be in the position of the other.

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  32. 32. TuringTape 1:26 am 05/3/2010

    No one has to accept getting cut up at birth as normal. Secondly if anyone circumcises their child out of vanity, or to "prove" something they are a terrible person.

    There is no reason to support this practice. If you want to make your point by ruling over a child’s genitalia you have serious issues. You creepy creepy people.

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  33. 33. vampares 1:58 pm 05/7/2010

    I’ve seen figures for breast cancer in the range of 1 in 8. "Breast buds" can easily be removed before developing into much larger tissue that is difficult to remove. The number of deaths has decreased over the years but this early mastectomy is probably the cure for cancer.

    No no. IT IS THE CURE FOR CANCER.

    Simply put; if you have to justify anything with more than a paragraph you are out of your mind.

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  34. 34. Kagehi 5:44 pm 06/2/2010

    My personal feeling on the subject is, it does effect sex, and sensitivity, so is similar, if not entirely equivalent, or someone lopping off a bit of the woman’s clitoris. That said, the argument that it helps with aids is, to my mind, not much saner than saying that you get less wet in the rain, if you stand under a tree, so a tree shaped sculpture should be on every corner. No.. the solution is, fracking rain coats, not doing something useless and stupid, to mimic some condition that only sort of helps, sometimes. Condoms, not circumcision. If not for some idiots undermining the former, the statistically minor benefit (there are a lot of other things that have similar benefits, but we don’t insist its "best for everyone" to force it on them when babies) of circumcision wouldn’t be quite so meaningful.

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  35. 35. kazoo 8:50 pm 06/4/2010

    I don’t get it. Why not educate the use of condoms instead of resort to altering a man’s sexual organ? Would we routinely circumcise women so their clitoris was constantly exposed and dry if we could find some medical advantage to do so? I think not. You’re a smart man, Bering, I know you can’t possibly be honest with yourself and hold such contradictory standards in your head simultaneously.

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  36. 36. FellowTraveler 8:27 pm 06/10/2010

    The Australians did say something about the HIV research you posted. You can read their position here:

    http://www.afao.org.au/library_docs/policy/BP09_Circumcision.pdf

    "An Australian-born man is estimated to have a 0.02% (0.0002) risk of HIV acquisition if he does not inject drugs or have sex with men. This very low risk means that the population health benefit of an intervention like generalised circumcision programs would be negligible."

    And the Dutch put out an excellent statement last week:
    http://tinyurl.com/3aj7854

    The basic idea, they must work to reduce and eliminate the practice of routine circumcision. Though it’s not at all common there anyway.

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  37. 37. Halcinlatsmir 9:20 am 07/8/2010

    There is a long history of "quacks" claiming their "research" "proves" this or that. Making this subject is so contaminated with propaganda it’s impossible to know what to believe.

    One thing I have noticed. All the experts calling for the continued practice of routine circumcision seem to come from countries where the practice of routine circumcision is "the norm".

    Before you remove every example, I would like to know why human males evolved foreskins in the first place.

    Link to this
  38. 38. Joseph4GI 4:53 am 07/22/2010

    The studies boing used to promote circumcision fail to correlate with a few harsh realities:

    In America, for example, 80% of men are already circumcised from birth. The rates of infant circumcision are dropping, but at large, the population remains circumcised. These rates are at their highest in the East Coast, where cities such as Philadelphia and Washington DC rival HIV hotspots in South Africa. In the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic first hit, the rate of circumcised men in America was at 90%. One needs to question how something that never worked here in our own country is suddenly going to start working wonders in Africa.

    In other countries, the "protection" remains to be seen as well. AIDS is a rising problem in Israel, where the majority of the male population is already circumcised. On Wednesday, July 7th, two weeks ago, Malaysian AIDS Council vice-president Datuk Zaman Khan announced that than 70% of the 87,710 HIV/AIDS sufferers in the country are Muslims (in other words CIRCUMCISED). The Muslim, circumcised population accounts for 70% of the incidence of HIV, but only 60% of the population, which would mean that the circumcised population is getting HIV at a much higher rate than the non-circumcised population.

    A recent issue of the WHO Bulletin noted that African ritual circumcisions have a 35% complication rate, while clinical circumcisions have an 18% complication rate. A neonatal circumcision complication rate of 20.2% was found in Nigeria.

    Funds for the fight against AIDS are scarce. Reports are coming in and condoms and behavior change are proving just as effective as circumcision. Promoting circumcision, rolling out these mass-circumcsion campaigns and dealing with complications is going to divert resources away from other more-needed programs, such as mother-to-child transmission reduction, and treatment of people who are already infected.

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  39. 39. Joseph4GI 4:57 am 07/22/2010

    Usually, medical studies tend to study how to preserve the human body, not vilify it and justify its destruction. For example, the study of cancer is a tedious one, and usually researchers are trying to find ways to avoid the loss of organs, such as the testicles, the prostate, and/or the mammary glands. Circumcision "studies" are unique. They’re the only ones of their kind that seek to preserve a procedure, and not the human body.

    Do you know if there has been any research for alternatives for HIV/STD prevention WITHOUT having to circumcise? Is the WHO or NIH doing anything to eventually move past circumcision? Is there research looking for ways in which men don’t have to consider circumcision anymore, and is the WHO considering it?

    Let’s get real here. Circumcision, for all intents and purposes, is the mutilation of a person’s healthy genitals. The WHO and others are promoting male genital mutilation and HIV/AIDS "prevention" is the pretext. It should strike the listener as odd that these "researchers" are fixated on trying to legitimize a particular surgical procedure, male circumcision of all things. Recommending female circumcision would NEVER fly, no matter how much “research” the WHO or UNAIDS presented.

    Someone on here said it best: "A mutilation by any other name would still be a mutilation." You can come up with as many "studies" as you like that says it reduces this or that. You can couch it in as many medical terms as you want. Fact is, no one would try and justify female circumcision EVER. All the studies in the world would not be enough for any medical organization to endorse FGM, calling for "mass FGM" campaigns. The same exact should apply to MALE circumcision.

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  40. 40. Joseph4GI 5:08 am 07/22/2010

    Here’s the bottom line to show whether you’re actually concerned about your son’s health, or if you’re merely looking for alibis to go through and satisfy YOUR desire to have him circumcised:

    All these "benefits" you say circumcision gives your son. Would you be in support of research that tries to find a way to afford your son these "benefits" WITHOUT having to circumcise him?

    If "studies showed" that some new injectable vaccine could keep your son from ever getting STDs, UTIs, or what not, would you still circumcise your son? Or would you try and find some other reason why he should still be circumcised?

    I read the whole argument about the "don’t call it mutilation" schpeal.

    WHY. WHY shouldn’t we call it like it is?

    It’s true that maybe some men might resent to consider themselves mutilated.

    But so what?

    Some men might be angry. Maybe they should be. Mutilation is a horrible, horrible thing.

    But see, maybe that’s why we keep on trying to couch it in medical terms and trying to find all these "studies": No one wants to consider the harsh reality.

    To consider that one was mutilated, one will have to question the intention of his parents.

    Maybe the man is already a father to a son he had circumcised; he doesn’t want to consider himself a bad father for letting something bad happen to his son.

    Maybe it’s a mother who circumcised her son who doesn’t want to consider what she did "mutilation."

    Maybe she’s married to a circumcised man, and doesn’t want to consider the reality that she married a man with a mutilated organ.

    Oh no!

    Best not to think about it. Best to find all these "benefits" and call it "circumcision" or what not. Best to believe that "it’s no different."

    But it IS different. If it weren’t, people WOULDN’T be causing a ruckus.

    Consider this: We don’t want anyone telling us that circumcision is mutilation, but we don’t bite our tongue to say that what is happening in Africa to women is "mutilation."

    We don’t stop to think "oh won’t they be insulted if we say they’re mutilated?"

    Talk to African women who have been circumcised. They will tell you that they’re just FINE, thank you very much. Would that change the fact that it’s mutilation, a violation of human rights and it needs to stop?

    No. This is why we have people trying to change that.

    But you can’t accuse other cultures of "mutilation" without looking in the mirror.

    If you think other cultures need "reform," maybe the same could be said about your own.

    Link to this
  41. 41. Mayisay 2:23 pm 08/6/2010

    "…male circumcision could save the lives of 300,000 people in Southern Africa alone. Move forward 20 years, they pointed out, and 2 to 7 million deaths could be averted."

    Thinking ahead…The year is 2016. The cure for AIDS is found. Male circumcision is no longer of any value.

    What are we left with:

    "The surgical removing of foreskin from a neonate’s penis is seen by many critics as an outdated, cruel and unnecessary procedure that–although it may once have had some practical purpose in times past–is now done primarily out of blind habit and unquestioning obedience to “because I said so” authority figures [and parents who think their son should look like daddy]."

    A new, and potentially bigger problem now exists in Africa among the millions and millions who were circumcised but never acquired HIV:

    Infant Circumcision Harms Adult Sexuality,
    for Both the Man, and his Female Partner

    http://www.top10wayscircumcisedsexharmswomen.com/

    Male Circumcision Also Harms the Love Bond and Marriage:

    http://www.sexasnatureintendedit.com/10F/10relationship_suffers.html

    Foreskin’s Sexual Functions are explained in detail here:

    http://www.ForeskinFunctions.com
    .

    Link to this
  42. 42. UnpeeledBanana 7:15 pm 08/21/2010

    Oh please. Ever heard of condoms?
    Chopping off the end of a boy’s penis for the sake of HIV prevention is analogous to chopping off a child’s little finger/toe in order to prevent ingrown nails/infections. Sure, it might reduce them and the child might not be really handicapped by it, but there are much easier, nonpermanent ways of achieving the same result, without any of the human rights issues.

    Should people start giving baby girls surgery to reduce the size of their breasts in adulthood too? I’m sure that if studies were done, they would find that girls with flatter chests have less sex and therefore less HIV infection rates.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk-esBfPxpI

    Link to this
  43. 43. arsenal 2:31 pm 09/23/2010

    I believe one should leave the child with the choice of circumcision. It baffles me as to how can a parent inflict such pain on an infant? The argument on the basis of HIV virus is baseless as you yourself pointed out that there is a chance that `your little boy might grow up to be the receptive partner in a gay relationship, or perhaps an asexual or even a monogamous zoophile in love with his horse’. Why would you make your child suffer unnecessary pain? It seems you are just trying to justify your circumcision and it is amusing why you must feel the need to do so. Is it because you did not have the chance to experience the alternative? Also there is no criticism of circumcision being done on traditional grounds which is ridiculous. It makes the article seem rather biased. What if there was some complication in the surgery? How will the parents ever be able to justify to their son that his life has been changed for worse because they thought it would be better to get done over with circumcision in his first week of life because his father and grandfather also had been circumcised!

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  44. 44. Hugh77 4:22 am 11/19/2010

    If there were any truth to this claim, men born without foreskins (aposthia) would long ago have evolved to become the norm. Since this is a known variant, the claim can not be true.

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  45. 45. ClaudiaP 8:05 pm 12/21/2010

    I think it’s fine to circumcise or not. Let the individual decide–the involved individual. Why does it need to be done in infancy? Who says it hurts less then? Let the adult male have it done with whatever anethesia he chooses, if he chooses.

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  46. 46. scieamer 11:49 pm 01/22/2011

    That has got to be the most stupid thing I have ever heard.

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  47. 47. scieamer 11:55 pm 01/22/2011

    Right… because we can’t discuss anatomy and surgery unless we are doctors… just as we can’t discuss human rights unless we are lawyers.

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  48. 48. scieamer 12:13 am 01/23/2011

    Come on, don’t show yourself up like that. There is no way we would consider performing pre-emptive appendectomies and tonsilectomies on newborn babies "just in case some of them one day develop appendicitis or tonsilitis". That would be insane. Nor would we consider giving all male babies routine vasectomies. That is something that an adult male can choose for himself if he should one day desire it.
    Cysts and tumors are pathological; the foreskin isn’t – it’s standard anatomy. Even still, many cysts and tumors can be resolved through less invasive means than surgery. All good doctors obey the hippocratic oath and begin with the least invasive and least risky form of treatment first. (But of course not all doctors are good, and many are downright bad)
    Circumcision is the removal of healthy functional genital tissue and the only people who support its routine application for infant males are themselves circumcised (or married to circumcised men or parents to circumcised boys). They are trying to justify what was done to them, and this is understandable seeing as it relates to the penis and sex and pleasure.
    It’s really very simple: if you want to slit your dick you can, but you have to be a grown-up, either to do it to yourself or to give anyone else permission to do it to you. Surely this is plain.

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  49. 49. lagarcia 4:50 pm 03/17/2011

    The nouns ‘doctor’ and ‘idiot’ are not mutually exclusive. People who promote this kind of thinking deserve a lobotomy and yet I’ll fight for their right to do with their own body whatever they choose. Do you want to mutilate yourself? Go right ahead! It is the mutilation of others, especially the ones who can’t choose for themselves that is wrong and inhumane, the same applies to the neutering and spaying of animals. There are other humane alternatives to prevent STDs and population control. Just because something is legal, or culturally accepted doesn’t make it right.

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  50. 50. denhamphery 1:30 am 04/29/2011

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  51. 51. tulip 1:48 pm 11/1/2011

    Well, raping small tiny infants is not my idea of a healthy society. Stop this brutal treatment of defenseless babies. Ban Circumcision!!!
    Circumcision is a naked baby, awake, strapped down and some adult cuts off half of his genitals. This is not what evolution wanted for that tiny helpless baby. They are babies! Circumcision takes away their right to privacy, freedom of speech and democracy. Yeah the Medical industry has forgotten that they are just babies and are perfect when they are born but the medical industry wants to line their pocket with money for the mutilation and then selling the foreskin to corporations. Men when they get to be adults can make a decision to mutilate themselves.

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  52. 52. vampares 12:00 am 12/3/2011

    This article has been regurgitated by sciam. I’m glad I no longer subscribe.

    -yeast infection V

    Link to this
  53. 53. Moralogue 2:34 pm 03/7/2012

    “Cutting our children’s hair is “unnatural” too, much like punching holes in their earlobes and straightening their teeth through painful orthodontic procedures.”

    REALLY? You do realize that not only does hair have no nerve endings, it grows back? You did learn that in physical anthropology, did you not? Is that the best you can do? If you’re gonna attack naturalism, at least make an apt analogy.

    Even if you give credence to the three African RCTs that showed a small benefit to circumcision, and ignore the studies that showed that female circumcision reduced HIV transmission, or the ones that showed that male circumcision increased M2F HIV transmission, or the ones that showed no benefit for M2M transmission, or the fact that it would do nothing for non-sexual transmission… well, even if you could ignore all that, it still remains that only the person attached to the penis has the authority to make such a decision. Only he can balance the risks, taking into account his own sexual satisfaction, lifestyle choices, etc.

    And your idea that a man would be happy to be circumcised to lower his chance of being cuckolded… I mean, I know you just love your thought experiments you call evolutionary psychology, but really – do you really think this would help a man in this arena? Even women who preferred the look of circumcised penises had less pain and more pleasure with intact men, so I don’t think intact men are in any danger there. (O’Hara K, O’Hara J. The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl 1:79-84.) Heck – even Maimonides knew 800 years ago that women preferred intact men.

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  54. 54. tefish 7:36 pm 11/12/2012

    I remember when the buzz about circumcision as an HIV preventative measure first started. I was confused, considering the known immunological effects of the male foreskin: lymphatic vessels, plasma cells, epithelial Langerhans cells, and the enzyme lysozyme which is a clinically proven effective agent for killing HIV in vitro. Stripped of this immunological protection, how could circumcised men be more protected against HIV?

    You quote an article from AIDS Patient Care and STDs that fails to specify what type of “HIV target cells” it is referring to, so I still have no answer to my question as to how circumcised men could be at all protected from HIV.

    More deadly than the lack of the foreskin’s immunological protection is the fact that many circumcised men believe they are protected, so they’re less likely to use condoms. In other words, these circumcised men greatly increase HIV transmission. By the WHO’s records, only 1 of 18 countries in Africa has a lower HIV prevalence among circumcised men; the remaining countries show either a higher HIV prevalence among circumcised men or no difference at all. And of course, the HIV rate in the U.S. is more than 4x greater than any other industrialized nation; yet the U.S. is the last industrialized nation with a circumcised male majority. So clearly widespread circumcision does not work as a preventative measure. The Oxford University blog has weighed in with a must-read article titled “When Bad Science Kills, or How to Spread AIDS.”

    Circumcised men will go to great lengths to justify what was done to them. Sure enough, the three randomized clinical trials (RCTs) you refer to were conducted not by infectious disease experts, but by known circumcision proponents. Dr. Auvert has been a circumcision proponent since at least 2003; Pr. Moses since at least 1994; and Pr. Bailey since at least 1998. Along with a long list of methodological flaws detailed in a report by Boyle and Hill, the RCTs did not correct for lead-time bias, which is to say that the circumcised group had 2 mos. extra HIV protection, as they could not have sex while they healed from surgery. What’s more, the RCTs ended early, before the circumcised group had time to catch up to the control group. It gets even worse: the researchers circumcised the control group so no follow-up studies could be done. Why on earth would anyone take this flawed science seriously, if not to justify their own cultural practices and export them to vulnerable parts of the world? Circumcising Africans is cultural imperialism, not a science-based humanitarian effort.

    In 2005, Stallings and Karugendo found that circumcised women in Tanzania had a lower HIV rate than uncircumcised women; why not implement these findings as well? Go ahead and cut your sons’ or daughters’ genitals from these questionable circumcision studies. Just don’t call yourself a humanitarian for doing so.

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  55. 55. BigJake 6:23 pm 03/20/2014

    It just doesn’t get any better than seeing the gorgeous “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” over at her and her Famous Husband “Captain Kutchie’s”place..Some Folks Also Call Him..”The KutchMan others call him The KutchMon!”…Most Just Call Him “The Most Interesting Man In The World”….(Anita and Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West, Key Lime Pie Factory and Grill)…Just Watching The Lovely Couple Baking Together All Those Yummy Key Lime Pies At Their Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill In Asheville. …It’s Always Worth The Trip To Visit Them In They’re Historic Key Lime Pie Factory and Grill…It Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List For Sure..And The World’s Best Key Lime Pies!..YUM-YUM-YUM….­­.”Talk About World Class” What An Understatement!…….AA­­HHHHH!….The Magic Of The Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong…. ….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting. ….“Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best And We Love You!…. …Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!… ….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate….. ….Who Could Ask For Anything More?…Anita’s Key Lime Pie…(Hell Yes!) ….Just Think, Kutchie’s Goody Goody Cheese Burgers, First Billed As “The Original Cheese Burgers In Paradise!” Way Back In 1974 By “Kutchie’s Good Friend “Mr Levi Stubbs” Lead Singer Of The Four Tops….”Sorry “Buffett”…Kutchie’s Version Of “Cheese Burgers In Paradise” Came A Few Years Before Yours Did, “Dog Ate Your Home-Work?”!!…Yeah, Jimmy, It’s The Same Kutchie Pelaez,-The Famous Deep Sea Underwater And Treasure Explorer/Megalodon Shark Tooth Hunter. Who Worked Along With “Mel Fisher”, “Captain Tony Tarracino”, “Yankee Jack”, “Michael McCloud”, “Alabama Jack” , “Vito Bertucci” and Many Others Of Key West Fame. ….That Alone Is Quite A Pretty Big Deal If You Ask Me. ….”Hell”,..It’s A Pretty Big Deal Even If You Don’t Ask Me. ….Research, Continually Confirms The Fact That The Pelaez’s World Famous Key Lime Pies Truly Increases Married Couple’s Sex Rates By No Less Than 300% Respectively. It Also Shows That Said Sexual Encounters Are Much, Much More Enjoyable Than They Ever Were Before The Consumption Of The Pelaez’s Key Lime Pies. …..And On A Sad Note. It Has Been Reported That The Consumption Of The Famous Key Lime Pies Are Quite Detrimental To The Practices Of Divorce Attorneys. But, That’s Not Bad. Hell That’s Good News. …Not A Sad Note, A Happy Note! The Pelaez’s Pies Are A Win-Win-Win For Everyone Involved! ….I Guess You Could Say What Has Been Said Many Times Before,…”AHHH” The Magic Of The Lovely Anita Pelaez And Her Key Lime Pies…. ….I Do Know First Hand That The Pelaez’s Famous Key Lime Pies Have The Ability To Turn Small Stream Squirters Into Major League Gushers Or Some Might Call Them “Niagara Falls”. Holly Molly, Let Those Good Times Flow, Baby! ….It’s No Wonder Everyone Believes That Kutchie Pelaez Is The Most Interesting Man In The World…..”Damn He Really Is” For Sure! …..That “Kutchie”, He Looks Marvelous Dahling!… ….”Hemingway”, Had Nothing On The “KutchMan”… ….Someone Overheard The “Kutchman” Say One Day That He Thought That He Was A Lesbian!… We Don’t Want To see Him Coming Out Of The Toilet With Just His Dick In His Hands! ….If He Ever Needs Any Guidance, Who’s A Better Consiglieri Than His Father?….They Both Season They’re Garlic With Food! ….And For Our Old Friend, This Key Lime Pie Is For You….”HAROLD RAMIS”,….Rest In Peace Buddy….. ….Just 4-U…007, Who Would Name A Room “Blanche Devereaux” ? Who-Who-Who??? ….Who Was That Most Interesting Man? ….And Sadly, This Key Lime Pie Award Goes-Out To Our Old Friend Jay Trayinor The Original Jay Of “Jay And The Americans”. Rest In Peace Old Buddy, We Are Going To Miss You..

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