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Is circumcision child abuse?
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24 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 3/3/12
My question is rather easy, is the mutilation of the genetalia on a newly born not a terrible thing?
It is hurting the newborn in a physical way, wich in my eyes is immoral, but not only is it hurting the child in question, it is also (in most cases) forcing a religion/philosphy upon the newborn without giving it even a slightest bit of choice or chance to resist.

In other words, should we really allow this?
Posted 3/3/12
Circumcision is not always performed because of religious/philosophical beliefs. Have you considered it in terms of health?

Circumcision is known to have a protective effect - it protects a male from potentially fatal diseases and from a variety of infections, as well as protecting their sexual partners. Keep in mind that sometimes, this procedure can be pain free.

Now what if you were to apply the same question to vaccinations? Are you willing to leave your child susceptible to fatal diseases/infections because a needle would make them cry for a few minutes? Admittedly it's to a much less extent, but the concept of short term pain for long term protection remains the same.

As with anything there are risks as well as benefits, but ultimately I'd leave it to the parents and individual to decide for themselves.

One last thing: What's not considered child abuse these days?
Posted 3/3/12
I have been snipped, yes it is true. I am of no religious background, and do not see it as abuse. I prefer my circumcised member over one that isn't.
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Posted 3/4/12

evenstar95 wrote:

Circumcision is not always performed because of religious/philosophical beliefs. Have you considered it in terms of health?

Circumcision is known to have a protective effect - it protects a male from potentially fatal diseases and from a variety of infections, as well as protecting their sexual partners. Keep in mind that sometimes, this procedure can be pain free.

Now what if you were to apply the same question to vaccinations? Are you willing to leave your child susceptible to fatal diseases/infections because a needle would make them cry for a few minutes? Admittedly it's to a much less extent, but the concept of short term pain for long term protection remains the same.

As with anything there are risks as well as benefits, but ultimately I'd leave it to the parents and individual to decide for themselves.

One last thing: What's not considered child abuse these days?



A great point you are making indeed, circumcision truly has shown to lower the chance of getting HIV up to 60%.
But the same effect can be simply reached by the usage of condoms, basically, the use of circumcision to prevent STD's could simply be replaced by the usage of condoms. Infact, the studies that showed that circumcision prevents HIV by up to 60% were performed in South Africa, where the use of condoms in order to prevent STD's ins't top notch.
This is also why circumcision isn't used in the western world to prevent STD's but condoms are.

Nevertheless, even if circumcision was the main tool to prevent STD's, it still is not the main reason why circumcisions are performed.
The main reason, unfortunatly, still is that people have the idea that their god demands them to remove the foreskin of their baby.
What I find so weird is that this is done to a baby, why not at the age of 12? Perhaps a little later, maybe because a 12 year old will resist? Will a 12 year say no to the decision that his foreskin has to go?
The way I see it, the baby does not receive the choice/chance (free will if you may) to say no to this action, it is forced upon him, and he has to live with it for the rest of his life.

So no, circumcision can't be compared to vaccinations, and the ''fact'' that it might sometimes be pain free still implies that many feel the pain.

My question still remains, why as a modern society, are we allowing the mutilation of genetalia simply because of the freedom of religion?
This freedom is for the individual, and not for the individual to force upon another.

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Posted 3/4/12

DeusExMachine wrote:

I have been snipped, yes it is true. I am of no religious background, and do not see it as abuse. I prefer my circumcised member over one that isn't.


The fact that you are happy with it, and without a religious background doesn't matter, the question is, did you ever have a choice in the matter?
And if you werent snipped as a baby, would you now make the choice to get snipped as an adult? I know I would not, and I can't imagine others would.

But let's take this on an other route, what if it wasn't snipping the foreskin, but let's say, take the top of a toe, or a finger, let's make it extreme, a part of the ear for example. Would you still be happy with it? Would in (other cases), the argument of freedom of religion make it not okay?

Posted 3/4/12

amersfoort wrote:


DeusExMachine wrote:

I have been snipped, yes it is true. I am of no religious background, and do not see it as abuse. I prefer my circumcised member over one that isn't.


The fact that you are happy with it, and without a religious background doesn't matter, the question is, did you ever have a choice in the matter?
And if you werent snipped as a baby, would you now make the choice to get snipped as an adult? I know I would not, and I can't imagine others would.

But let's take this on an other route, what if it wasn't snipping the foreskin, but let's say, take the top of a toe, or a finger, let's make it extreme, a part of the ear for example. Would you still be happy with it? Would in (other cases), the argument of freedom of religion make it not okay?



No, I had no choice, and I likely wouldn't want it done to me as an adult. If, as a child, I were told any of those bodily modifications were good and necessary, that would likely effect my feelings on the matter. I don't think freedom of religion would make it not okay to practice anything like circumcision.
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24 / M / Pandemonium
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Posted 3/4/12

evenstar95 wrote:

Circumcision is not always performed because of religious/philosophical beliefs. Have you considered it in terms of health?

Circumcision is known to have a protective effect - it protects a male from potentially fatal diseases and from a variety of infections, as well as protecting their sexual partners. Keep in mind that sometimes, this procedure can be pain free.


How exactly does that work?


As for me, I concider it an abuse. KINDA.
I don't have anything against the practice in itself, only the fact that it's being done to kids.
It's an act that can't be reversed, commited upon the body of someone who are too young to choose for themselves.

I see that as a violation.
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Posted 3/5/12
Circumcision is not a common practice in my country. In school both boys and girls were taught how to properly clean down there to keep infection free. And so far I have only met one uncircumcised guy that has had an infection and that's cuz his new girlfriend had claps and he didn’t know..
I have also met circumcised guys who had the procedure done to them at an age were they were unable to say yes or no to it and now feel like they have been violated.

Do I see it as abuse: No it doesn't cause damage
I feel like it's not alright if it's done to small children without their consent (unless it is medically necessary) but if you choose to have it done by yourself for whatever reason or purpose then fine.

Quite frankly it all boils down to knowling how to take care of your private area if you plan on using it.
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Posted 3/5/12 , edited 3/5/12
[Circumcision is not always performed because of religious/philosophical beliefs. Have you considered it in terms of health?]

there is no health benefits to circumcision. all supposed health benefits are flawed


[Circumcision is known to have a protective effect - it protects a male from potentially fatal diseases and from a variety of infections, as well as protecting their sexual partners. Keep in mind that sometimes, this procedure can be pain free.]

explain why Philipines and Bangladesh where most men are circumcised are seeing rising aids cases

New HIV infections and deaths from AIDS-related illness are falling worldwide, except in the Philippines and Bangladesh, where the number of new HIV cases continues to rise.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/19229/hiv-infections-down-worldwide-up-in-philippines

Why are 70% of Aids Cases in Malaysia are muslims who circumcised for religious reasons

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/6/9/nation/20100609151422&sec=nation

Why is the U.S.A has the highest rates of STDs(including AIDS/HIV) in the developed world?

did you know that Langerhans cells act as barrier to infection including HIV. these are found in foreskin, mouth and vagina walls


Scientists Discover 'Natural Barrier' to HIV
MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have discovered that cells in the mucosal lining of human genitalia produce a protein that "eats up" invading HIV -- possibly keeping the spread of the AIDS more contained than it might otherwise be.

Even more important, enhancing the activity of this protein, called Langerin, could be a potent new way to curtail the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS, the Dutch scientists added.\

http://news.healingwell.com/index.php?p=news1&id=602421

Langerhans cells have been observed in foreskin, vaginal, and oral mucosa of humans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langerhans_cell





[Now what if you were to apply the same question to vaccinations? Are you willing to leave your child susceptible to fatal diseases/infections because a needle would make them cry for a few minutes? Admittedly it's to a much less extent, but the concept of short term pain for long term protection remains the same.]

vaccinations are MORE effective than chopping off the genitals of children and again why is circumcising America, muslim malaysia, philipines and bangladesh all seeing rising and high Aids cases? and don't you think it is odd that you live in the U.K where the majority of men and boys are NOT circumcised while adovcating this mutilation behavior?



[As with anything there are risks as well as benefits, but ultimately I'd leave it to the parents and individual to decide for themselves.

One last thing: What's not considered child abuse these days? ]


hacking the genitals of defenseless children is child abuse






Male and female genitals develop from the same embryonic tissue and, as most people know, have corresponding parts.

Here are drawings showing how the parts correspond.








Intact

Virtually all: Chinese, Japanese, North Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Burmese, Thais
Hindu, Sikh, Parsee and Christian Indians
Scandinavians
Zulus, Shona, certain other African nations
most Melanesian and some Western Polynesian (Rennell, Bellona) peoples,

The great majority of: Europeans
men of the former Soviet Union, Caribbean,
Central and South Americans
New Zealand Maori
Younger men of Britain and the Commonwealth, especially New Zealand and Australia

About half of: Malaysians (Hindu and Christian Tamils, Chinese and Orang Asli)

A significant minority of:
Americans, especially younger, Hispanic, and in the South West
Bangladeshis (20% are Hindu)


Cut
About 500,000,000 Muslims
More than 100,000,000 USAmericans
About 25,000,000 Filipinos
Some tens of millions of older men of Britain
and the Commonwealth
Some tens of millions of African tribesmen
About 14,000,000 South Koreans
7,000,000 Jews
Some hundreds of thousands of Central and Eastern Polynesians
(Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau)
and Melanesians (Fiji, Vanuatu, parts of Solomon Islands and small parts of PNG)
Some thousands of aboriginal Australians,
mainly in the north and west
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Posted 3/5/12 , edited 3/5/12
My bf is circumcised. His parents weren't at all religious. They did him for health reasons,

I'm against certain groups of people cutting the clitoria of the female....in a painful manner.
I don't think that's fair...it takes away all the pleasure.
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Posted 3/5/12 , edited 3/5/12

shinto-male wrote:

[Circumcision is not always performed because of religious/philosophical beliefs. Have you considered it in terms of health?]

there is no health benefits to circumcision. all supposed health benefits are flawed


Cut
About 500,000,000 Muslims
More than 100,000,000 USAmericans
About 25,000,000 Filipinos
Some tens of millions of older men of Britain
and the Commonwealth
Some tens of millions of African tribesmen
About 14,000,000 South Koreans
7,000,000 Jews
Some hundreds of thousands of Central and Eastern Polynesians
(Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau)
and Melanesians (Fiji, Vanuatu, parts of Solomon Islands and small parts of PNG)
Some thousands of aboriginal Australians,
mainly in the north and west



wow i learned so much from this...my mind has been opened....

where did the rumors start that circumcision is good for health?

also, which hurts the female and perhaps male, less during intercourse: circumcision or non.
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Posted 3/8/12
it started in the 1800s to stop boys from masturbating


Posted 3/13/12 , edited 3/13/12
Some comments on various points above...

Yes, John Kellogg (physician, cereal consumption advocate, and a bit of a neurotic freak) was explicit in advocating anything that would limit masturbation or just about any excessive manifestation of sexuality. Without doubt, there were other physicians who believed similarly...however, there were and are also plenty of past and present researchers and physicians who began advocating circumcision because of hygiene issues. In early 20th century understanding of germ theory, combined with a bit of early 20th century North American brand quasi-fascism (yes that's my own bias tossed in there, sorry about that), it seemed more logical on a statistical level to advocate circumcision rather than advocate cleanliness, given that not everyone would actually stay clean, but everyone circumcised would be relieved from the concern of staying extra-clean 'down there.'

Now, there is some statistical correlation between lack of circumcision and contraction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), associated with genital warts, chronic pelvic inflammation (and associated sterility), and several forms of penile, ovarian, uterine, cervical, and even anal cancers (not the same as Colorectal cancers). There's also a lot of uncertainty in the same studies. 'Flawed' is not inaccurate, given that information about health is CONSTANTLY changing, but we should also be very clear in recognizing that 'flawed' is not the same thing as 'wrong.'

In other words, the question of circumcision's long-term health (both individual and public) benefits is still open -- but it is so wide open that national advocacy of the procedure seems a bit inappropriate.

You just can't make that kind of absolute statement about this matter, or many other health matters, for that matter.

However, the whole thing about circumcision started with a lot more than just a rumor. There was a combination of medical observation, assumptions about disease transmission, and the belief that it's better to get rid of it now rather than worry about it later.

Similar attitudes have been shown, at various times, to the appendix, gallbladder, and spleen, with some medical advocacy groups being very cavalier about removal of those organs at the slightest sign of trouble -- some folks would even have their appendix removed if they planned on being away from medical care for an extended time (as was the recommendation for long-term visitors to Africa in my aunt's time).

Why? Because to observers at the time, it seemed that those organs didn't do very much, and could pose a lot of risk to the human if they acted up.

Of course later years demonstrated that those organs did have more function than previously believed, and it wasn't always best to get rid of something just because of the possibility of a worse infection later on.

I think a lot of this was true with the male foreskin as well. "More trouble than it's worth" or some such logic. This was true for my father's generation, and mine. Since the 1990's, fewer American kids are getting circumcised just after birth, and the major medical organizations view the procedure as something to consider, but they are refraining from outright advocacy simply because it is way too intrusive a procedure to perform on an infant just on the 'maybe' of future health issues.

Still, it'll probably be another full generation before the majority of male infants in the United States are not circumcised.

But regarding the OP -- In the United States, the overwhelming majority of people who became circumcised did NOT do so on a religious basis. And the majority of American boys did not get circumcised because their parents were thinking about their future masturbation practices.

It was a question of what seemed like a healthy thing, given the knowledge at the time. Doctors made the recommendation, and parents said "OK" to the procedure, based on a sincere belief in the overwhelming disease prevention benefits.

And now, as we learn more, we're developing a better-rounded approach to the question of circumcision.


Edit : I wanted to add, to use the term "abuse" is, to me, inappropriate. Abuse is a form of language that, if accepted, immediately lessens the chance of any reasonable discourse on the topic.

Or, to put this another way -- let's say that to put a tattoo on your child's arm would, given all the information you had at the time, greatly increase the chance that your child would have a healthier, financially prosperous life, with improved romantic/sexual relations...would it be "abuse" to give your child this tattoo?


Is this tattoo the same as, for example, beating your child, tossing scalding water on him or her, or knowingly letting him or her sleep in a cold, damp, mold and filth covered room?

I don't think so.

Even if your knowledge changed in the future, it would not make that act retroactively "abuse." Parents do things all the time that later turn out to be not as good an idea as it seemed at the time. Similarly, parents do painful things to kids that leave permanent marks, and it turns out that it was a damned good thing to do.

Example -- most of the world's population age 30+ has a scar on their upper left arm because it was the most cost effective way of preventing smallpox. It was an unpleasant procedure that involved getting poked numerous times with a needle soaked in a solution of bacteria from cow pustules. These needle pokes would scab up and leave a permanent scar about the size of a pencil eraser.

Not pleasant...much less pleasant than the simple subcutaneous injections given for most innoculations...but now smallpox is pretty much gone from the world.

Even if the 20th century medical trend towards circumcision turned out to be completely incorrect, it's not the same as abuse.
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Posted 3/15/12

BlaculaKuchuki wrote:

Some comments on various points above...

Yes, John Kellogg (physician, cereal consumption advocate, and a bit of a neurotic freak) was explicit in advocating anything that would limit masturbation or just about any excessive manifestation of sexuality. Without doubt, there were other physicians who believed similarly...however, there were and are also plenty of past and present researchers and physicians who began advocating circumcision because of hygiene issues. In early 20th century understanding of germ theory, combined with a bit of early 20th century North American brand quasi-fascism (yes that's my own bias tossed in there, sorry about that), it seemed more logical on a statistical level to advocate circumcision rather than advocate cleanliness, given that not everyone would actually stay clean, but everyone circumcised would be relieved from the concern of staying extra-clean 'down there.'

Now, there is some statistical correlation between lack of circumcision and contraction of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), associated with genital warts, chronic pelvic inflammation (and associated sterility), and several forms of penile, ovarian, uterine, cervical, and even anal cancers (not the same as Colorectal cancers). There's also a lot of uncertainty in the same studies. 'Flawed' is not inaccurate, given that information about health is CONSTANTLY changing, but we should also be very clear in recognizing that 'flawed' is not the same thing as 'wrong.'

In other words, the question of circumcision's long-term health (both individual and public) benefits is still open -- but it is so wide open that national advocacy of the procedure seems a bit inappropriate.

You just can't make that kind of absolute statement about this matter, or many other health matters, for that matter.

However, the whole thing about circumcision started with a lot more than just a rumor. There was a combination of medical observation, assumptions about disease transmission, and the belief that it's better to get rid of it now rather than worry about it later.

Similar attitudes have been shown, at various times, to the appendix, gallbladder, and spleen, with some medical advocacy groups being very cavalier about removal of those organs at the slightest sign of trouble -- some folks would even have their appendix removed if they planned on being away from medical care for an extended time (as was the recommendation for long-term visitors to Africa in my aunt's time).

Why? Because to observers at the time, it seemed that those organs didn't do very much, and could pose a lot of risk to the human if they acted up.

Of course later years demonstrated that those organs did have more function than previously believed, and it wasn't always best to get rid of something just because of the possibility of a worse infection later on.

I think a lot of this was true with the male foreskin as well. "More trouble than it's worth" or some such logic. This was true for my father's generation, and mine. Since the 1990's, fewer American kids are getting circumcised just after birth, and the major medical organizations view the procedure as something to consider, but they are refraining from outright advocacy simply because it is way too intrusive a procedure to perform on an infant just on the 'maybe' of future health issues.

Still, it'll probably be another full generation before the majority of male infants in the United States are not circumcised.

But regarding the OP -- In the United States, the overwhelming majority of people who became circumcised did NOT do so on a religious basis. And the majority of American boys did not get circumcised because their parents were thinking about their future masturbation practices.

It was a question of what seemed like a healthy thing, given the knowledge at the time. Doctors made the recommendation, and parents said "OK" to the procedure, based on a sincere belief in the overwhelming disease prevention benefits.

And now, as we learn more, we're developing a better-rounded approach to the question of circumcision.


Edit : I wanted to add, to use the term "abuse" is, to me, inappropriate. Abuse is a form of language that, if accepted, immediately lessens the chance of any reasonable discourse on the topic.

Or, to put this another way -- let's say that to put a tattoo on your child's arm would, given all the information you had at the time, greatly increase the chance that your child would have a healthier, financially prosperous life, with improved romantic/sexual relations...would it be "abuse" to give your child this tattoo?


Is this tattoo the same as, for example, beating your child, tossing scalding water on him or her, or knowingly letting him or her sleep in a cold, damp, mold and filth covered room?

I don't think so.

Even if your knowledge changed in the future, it would not make that act retroactively "abuse." Parents do things all the time that later turn out to be not as good an idea as it seemed at the time. Similarly, parents do painful things to kids that leave permanent marks, and it turns out that it was a damned good thing to do.

Example -- most of the world's population age 30+ has a scar on their upper left arm because it was the most cost effective way of preventing smallpox. It was an unpleasant procedure that involved getting poked numerous times with a needle soaked in a solution of bacteria from cow pustules. These needle pokes would scab up and leave a permanent scar about the size of a pencil eraser.

Not pleasant...much less pleasant than the simple subcutaneous injections given for most innoculations...but now smallpox is pretty much gone from the world.

Even if the 20th century medical trend towards circumcision turned out to be completely incorrect, it's not the same as abuse.


Now, I agree with you that before it was know that circumcision was actually not better for the health, that it the act should not be referred to as abuse.
However, now that the entire world can obtain the knowledge about circumcision, and that is in fact not better for the childs health, yet it scars children forever and takes away their right of a choice in the matter.

Now your tattoo analogy is fine, if there was current proof that circumcision was in fact better for the child, then I would not find it abuse, or anything immoral in fact.
However since I know that giving a tattoo to a newborn doesn't benefit it at all, I would, and will view it as abuse.

Now if there was small evidence of circumsion being better for an individual, why enforce it upon a child? Why not wait for a later age to give the person a choice in the matter?
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Posted 3/15/12
I'm glad I'm circumcised. And I'm glad my parents got it out of the way for me when I was a baby. Anybody here remember the pain of getting your foreskin snipped as a baby? nope.
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