Circumcision: To Cut Or Not To Cut

‘Only 30 percent to 33 percent of males aged 15 and above are circumcised.”—World Health Organization

Circumcision is probably the world’s most widely performed procedure.  According to some studies, approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised, most often for reasons other than medical indication.

To people who practiced Judaism, circumcision is very important.  In fact, over 90 percent of adherents have the procedure performed as a religious obligation. The basis for its observance is found in the Torah of the Hebrew Bible, in Genesis Chapter 17, in which a covenant of circumcision is made with Abraham and his descendants.

Circumcision is actually the surgical removal of all or part of the prepuce (pronounced pre’pyoos)—that flap of tissue covering the head of the penis—or foreskin.  In the US and most industrialized countries, circumcision is usually performed on the first or second day after birth, and usually takes only about 5 to 10 minutes. “It becomes more complicated and riskier in infants older than two months and in boys and men,” American doctors claimed.

But not so in the Philippines, where most boys are circumcised between the ages of 10 and 12.  If you go to the rural areas, especially during summer, you will see the long line of boys waiting for their turn to be cut.  “They’re proud to go back to school, to talk about how brave they were,” one doctor said.

Aside from there is more time to recuperate after the surgical procedure, the other reason summer is the most popular time for circumcision in the country is its being the most ideal time both for those conducting the medical mission and for those who will be circumcised.

“It’s the optimal time for us and the kids, because we’re on break, and they have ample recovery time, so their circumcision won’t interfere with school,” Dr. Victoria Dimacali was quoted as saying by GMA News Online.

Here’s what a foreigner said of the circumcision he had witnessed: “Filipino boys are circumcised by the group during summertime under the banana tree by a manunuli using dorsal- slit method that takes only few seconds without anesthesia. They don’t mind being seen by others kids to be circumcised, too.”

Circumcision in the Philippines is not related to religion. The vast majority of Filipinos are circumcised—whether they are Catholic, Muslim, or whatever. It is a “coming-of-age” ritual, and traditional for a boy to prove his manhood properly, it should be done without anesthetic.

Ancient operation

Until now, there is no firm consensus as to how it came to be practiced worldwide. One theory is that it began in one geographic area and spread from there; another is that several different cultural groups began its practice independently.  That was according to the authors of the study “Neonatal Circumcision: a Review of the World’s Oldest and Most Controversial Operation.”

In 1891’s History of Circumcision, physician Peter Charles Remondino suggested that circumcision started as a less severe form of emasculating a captured enemy: penectomy or castration would likely have been fatal, while some form of circumcision would permanently mark the defeated, yet leave him alive to serve as a slave.

However, the history of the migration and evolution of the practice of circumcision is followed mainly through the cultures and peoples in two separate regions. In the lands south and east of the Mediterranean, starting with Sudan and Ethiopia, the procedure was practiced by the ancient Egyptians and the Semites, and then by the Jews and Muslims, with whom the practice traveled to and was adopted by the Bantu Africans. In Oceania circumcision is practiced by the Australian Aborigines and Polynesians.

In tribal settings, circumcision is nearly always associated with traumatic puberty rites. Occasionally the severed part is offered as a sacrifice to spirit beings. According to Encarta Encyclopedia, the operation certifies the subject’s readiness for marriage and adulthood, and testifies to his or her ability to withstand pain. Circumcision may also distinguish cultural groups from their uncircumcised neighbors.

Medical reasons

Since the 19th century, many English-speaking peoples have adopted the custom of circumcision, primarily for medical reasons.  In modern medical practice, circumcision of males is a minor operation usually performed in infancy for hygienic purposes.  It is currently estimated that 85 percent of North American males are circumcised.  The incidence among non-Jewish populations of continental Europe, Scandinavia and South America is low.

There is good but not ideal evidence that circumcision reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in boys under 2 years of age, and there is fair evidence that the reduction in incidence is by a factor of three to10 times.

The 2012 Technical Report of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision said there is a plausible biological explanation for the reduction in UTI risk after circumcision. It said the orifice through which urine passes at the tip of the penis hosts more urinary system disease-causing bacteria in uncircumcised boys than in circumcised boys, especially in those under 6 months of age. As these bacteria are a risk factor for UTIs, circumcision may reduce the risk of UTIs through a decrease in the bacteria population.

Circumcision has also been found to have protective effect against the risks of penile cancer in men, and cervical cancer in the female sexual partners of heterosexual men. “Childhood or adolescent circumcision is associated with a reduced risk of invasive squamous-cell carcinoma in particular,” one report said.  “There is an association between adult circumcision and an increased risk of invasive penile cancer; this is believed to be from men being circumcised as a treatment for penile cancer or a condition that is a precursor to cancer rather than a consequence of circumcision itself,” another report pointed out.

Meanwhile, studies comparing disease rates among circumcised and uncircumcised men in the AIDS-ravaged Africa show on average three times more HIV infection among the uncircumcised.  One study of a group of HIV-infected men having sex with men in the US also found a correlation.

Dr. William Cameron, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada who coauthored several African studies, theorizes that the uncircumcised foreskin sustains tiny abrasions during intercourse, allowing HIV to enter the bloodstream.  Several studies have found that such sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis also occur somewhat more frequently among the uncircumcised.

Other side of the coin

The medical case for circumcision is unproved and controversial, contends Dr. Donald F. Tuzin, an American professor of Anthropology at the University of California in San Diego.  He says that physicians in the 19th century advised the operation for many ailments, including hysteria, sexually transmitted disease, hypersexuality, and even hiccups.

Removal of the foreskin also precludes phimosis or the inability to retract the foreskin.  Louis XVI of France, a famous phimosis sufferer, was unable to have sex with his wife Marie Antoinette until he was circumcised at age 21.

Modern proponents suggest that diseases result from the buildup of smegma, a substance secreted under the foreskin.  Also cited is evidence that circumcised populations (especially Jews) display low rates of penile and cervical cancer.  Critics reject the validity of these claims, arguing that such disorders are more likely caused by poor hygiene and by contact with multiple sex partners.

There’s more.  A study published in the British Journal of Urology International found that both the masturbatory and sexual pleasure decreased after the males underwent circumcision.

In the early days of Christianity, a controversy arose over whether Christians should be circumcised, as Jews were.  The Apostle Paul emphatically told Gentiles in his epistle to the Galatians: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision.”

Controversy

To cut or not to cut – this is now one of the most debated subjects among the medical profession.  In fact, there are now Filipino doctors who won’t perform circumcision.  “I have convinced quite a number of adolescent males who came to my clinic not to have circumcision anymore,” one surgeon admits.  “Those who are convinced are happy and thankful to me. Those who are not convinced seek other surgeons to do the circumcision for them.”

In America, “it’s still an ongoing controversy about whether circumcision is really necessary,” says Jack Sherman, M.D., associate chairman of pediatrics at Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y.  “In 1971 and 1975, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said it wasn’t necessary.   Later, they amended their policy statement, citing studies about lowered penile cancer and first-year urinary-tract infections among circumcised males.”

The AAP’s 1999 policy statement, based on a review of 40 years of data, states that circumcision has potential medical benefits. “But they advise that parents not use that as their primary criterion when making a decision,” says Sherman. “That’s like not expressing an opinion at all.”

Opponents against the practice say that in circumcision, the baby has no “power” to say no.  Others suggest that circumcising an infant imprints violence on the baby’s brain.  Still, others contend that circumcision will leave the male species traumatized by the removal of their foreskins.

Dr. Yehuda Nir, a psychoanalyst who was formerly head of child psychiatry at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York, says he hasn’t observed circumcision trauma.  “The only thing men are concerned about with regard to the penis is its size.”

Now, whether a child should be circumcised or not, here’s the personal opinion of Dr. Ramon L. Arcado, past dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine and UP Manila chancellor: “What matters is that the welfare of the child is taken into consideration up to the time he grows up into adulthood, in the context of his health status, his parents’ beliefs and society’s expectations.”

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22 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so glad Yehuda Nir isn’t my therapist! And believe me, as an adult survivor of neonatal circumcision (involuntary, obviously) do I need counselling. Given the contentiousness of this ethical and legal issue, surely it is best to let men shape their own ends, as it were. The decision does not belong to the parents, but to the child. Even the *possibility* of long-term (sexual, psychological) harm should give us pause. Trust nature: evolution didn’t get it wrong. The foreskin serves a number of important functions, including that of increased sexual pleasure for a man and his partner — “the best of a man’s property” is how it was often referred to, once upon a time. Serving no proven medical benefit, circumcision is risky, unnecessary surgical procedure, the unwarranted ablation of healthy human tissue and a violation of human rights, usually those of the most vulnerable members of society: our children.

  2. Dr Nir: circumcision is penile reduction surgery (the intact penis being on average 0.8mm longer, as well as broader in girth). If size does matter, then don’t circumcise! But even worse, surgical removal of up to half the penile skin results in bent and deformed erections. I suppose penile-scrotal webbing (a common complication of circumcision, resulting in pubic hair ascending the penile shaft during erection) is nothing to worry about? Next you’ll be telling us that decreased glans sensitivity is all in a (circumcised) man’s head!

  3. I’d pay a year’s salary rather than be circumcised. Why would I want the most sensitive and pleasurable parts cut off? That little bit of skin makes a big difference (it’s not just there to protect the glans).

    Why don’t we just let everyone decide for themselves whether or not they want irreversible genital surgery? It’s their body after all.

    Around two thirds of the world’s men (including 88% of the world’s non-Muslim men) never get circumcised.

  4. This is what some national medical organizations say:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    “OTTAWA— In an updated statement released today, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) continues to recommend against the routine circumcision of newborn males.”

    Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.”
    (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia.)

    British Medical Association
    “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate.”
    “The medical benefits previously claimed, however, have not been convincingly proven, and it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks.”

    Danish Medical Association
    “The Danish Medical Association (Lægeforeningen) has recommended that no boys under the age of 18 be circumcised in Denmark.
    The association released its recommendation on Friday, saying that circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men should make for themselves.”

    The Royal Dutch Medical Association
    “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity.”

    Mexican Secretariat of the Interior
    ” Evitar como práctica rutinaria la circuncisión, toda vez que no existe evidencia científica que compruebe un beneficio directo a la persona recién nacida.”
    Sec 5.7.13 “Avoid circumcision as a routine practice, since there is no scientific evidence to prove a direct benefit to the newborn person.”

    Swedish Paediatric Society
    “Circumcision of young boys for religious and non-medical reasons ought to be banned in Sweden, urged the Swedish Paediatric Society (Svenska barnläkarföreningen, BLF).”

    “[30 September 2013] – At a meeting today in Oslo, the children’s ombudspersons from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), and the children’s spokesperson from Greenland, in addition to representatives of associations of Nordic paediatricians and pediatric surgeons, have agreed to work with their respective national governments to achieve a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.”

    German Pediatric Association
    “Therefore it is not understandable that circumcision of boys should be allowed but that of girls prohibited worldwide. Male circumcision is basically comparable with FGM types Ia and Ib that the Schafi Islamic school of law supports”

  5. Here is what they do not tell you. Studies show that circumcision causes significant pain and trauma (see Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma), behavioral and neurological changes in infants, potential parental stress from persistent crying (colic) of infants, disrupted bonding between parent and child, and risk of surgical complications. Other consequences of circumcision include loss of a natural, healthy, functioning body part, reduced sexual pleasure, potential psychological problems, and unknown negative effects that have not been studied. Thirteen national and international organizations recommend against circumcision. Search “Circumcision advocates fear debate with critics.” Aside from Muslims, Jews, and Americans, about 5% of the world circumcises.

    Some circumcised men resent that they are circumcised. Sexual anxieties, reduced emotional expression, low self-esteem, avoidance of intimacy, and depression are also reported. Some doctors refuse to perform circumcisions because of ethical reasons. Relying on presumed authorities (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics or doctors who echo AAP views) is not sufficient because of their personal, religious, financial, and political conflicts of interest. Instead, watch a circumcision video and trust your instincts. Would you allow someone to do that to YOU?

  6. Circumcision should be a personal choice when the person is old enough to decide for themselves.

  7. Circumcision is the worst idea ever.
    The foreskin provides a great deal of pleasure, and is important in foreplay.
    Cutting it off adds nothing, except the rumor of better health and hygiene.
    Pretty obviously, the only reason it is done in the Philippines, is because everybody else is doing it. That is not a good reason to perpetuate a surgical operation. If the health reasons were actually true, circumcision would be common around the world.
    It’s a fad in South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the US. Its popularity is dropping in the US, Canada, and South Korea. It has become uncommon in the UK and Australia.
    It is time to stop surgery for no practical reason. These boys do not benefit, and the pain is horrible.

  8. I see the anti-circumcision activists have posted their usual fallacies, just as would anti-vaxxers if this article was about vaccination.
    The evidence in support of infant male circumcision is now very strong, leading to recommendations in favour by all bodies worldwide that base their policies on scientific evidence. Benefits exceed risks by over 100 to 1, Over the lifetime over half of uncircumcised males will suffer from an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin. Many of these cause considerable suffering and even death, as highlighted in the article. There is no adverse effect on sexual function or pleasure. If anything, the opposite. The global circumcision rate in 38%.
    For more information see:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28224100
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28351877
    http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/15718182-02402004
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26933388
    Brian J. Morris, DSc PhD, Professor Emeritus, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia

    • This is what some national medical organizations say:

      Canadian Paediatric Society
      http://www.cps.ca/en/media/release-communique/canadian-paediatricians-revisit-newborn-male-circumcision-recommendations
      “OTTAWA— In an updated statement released today, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) continues to recommend against the routine circumcision of newborn males.”

      Royal Australasian College of Physicians
      http://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/advocacy-library/circumcision-of-infant-males.pdf
      “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.”
      (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia.)

      British Medical Association
      http://bma.org.uk/-/media/Files/PDFs/Practical%20advice%20at%20work/Ethics/Circumcision.pdf
      “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate.”
      “The medical benefits previously claimed, however, have not been convincingly proven, and it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks.”

      Danish Medical Association
      http://www.thelocal.dk/20161205/danish-doctors-come-out-against-circumcision
      “The Danish Medical Association (Lægeforeningen) has recommended that no boys under the age of 18 be circumcised in Denmark.
      The association released its recommendation on Friday, saying that circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men should make for themselves.”

      The Royal Dutch Medical Association
      http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Diensten/knmgpublicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm
      “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity.”

      Swedish Paediatric Society
      “Circumcision of young boys for religious and non-medical reasons ought to be banned in Sweden, urged the Swedish Paediatric Society (Svenska barnläkarföreningen, BLF).”
      http://www.thelocal.se/20120219/39200

      Mexican Secretariat of the Interior
      “Evitar como práctica rutinaria la circuncisión, toda vez que no existe evidencia científica que compruebe un beneficio directo a la persona recién nacida.”
      Sec 5.7.13 “Avoid circumcision as a routine practice, since there is no scientific evidence to prove a direct benefit to the newborn person.”
      http://www.dof.gob.mx/DOFmobile/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5432289

      http://www.crin.org/resources/infodetail.asp?id=31830
      “[30 September 2013] – At a meeting today in Oslo, the children’s ombudspersons from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), and the children’s spokesperson from Greenland, in addition to representatives of associations of Nordic paediatricians and pediatric surgeons, have agreed to work with their respective national governments to achieve a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.”

      German Pediatric Association
      http://www.intactamerica.org/german_pediatrics_statement
      (very long, but very much against circumcision, and includes the following)
      “Therefore it is not understandable that circumcision of boys should be allowed but that of girls prohibited worldwide. Male circumcision is basically comparable with FGM types Ia and Ib that the Schafi Islamic school of law supports”

    • Again, Professor Morris cites himself. His argument is circular: if a body recommends against infant male genital cutting (as most of the paediatric bodies of Europe do), he deems they are not “evidence” based, and vice versa.

      Professor Morris achieved his “>100:1” figure by taking the highest possible value of every benefit, and the lowest possible value of every risk. It can not be true that “Over the lifetime over half of uncircumcised males will suffer from an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin” because as a normal part of the human anatomy, the foreskin _causes_ no “adverse medical conditions” at all. But even if it were, those men could simply go and get those “advere medical conditions” treated as they occur (once in their lives), just as they do with all the many other “adverse medical conditions” that occur throughout the course of every man’s life.

      Sorrells et al. found that “circumcision ablates [removes] the most sensitive part of the penis”, and other studies confirm that. Every intact man knows it first hand (as Professor Morris, by his own admission, does not). It would be absurd if cutting off “the most sensitive part of the penis” had no effect on sexual pleasure.

      But infant male genital reduction surgery is not just a matter of “evidence” when it is an ethical issue, dramatically affecting one person, and nobody else at all. Since it is virtually never urgent, it can be left to the owner to decide for himself whether he wants the sensory organ of his penis cut off.

      This issue is peculiarly locked into culture, especially in the Philippines. It is heartening to learn that some doctors are now refusing to do it, and talking boys out of it.

    • 1) Not even the AAP go so far as to recommend infant male circumcision.

      2) National medical organizations in Germany and Sweden have called for a ban on elective infant male circumcision, the South Africans support a ban with religious exemptions, and the Danish and Dutch said they’d support a total ban if they didn’t think it would drive the practice underground.

      3) This is what some national medical organizations say:

      Canadian Paediatric Society
      http://www.cps.ca/en/media/release-communique/canadian-paediatricians-revisit-newborn-male-circumcision-recommendations
      “OTTAWA— In an updated statement released today, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) continues to recommend against the routine circumcision of newborn males.”

      Royal Australasian College of Physicians
      http://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/advocacy-library/circumcision-of-infant-males.pdf
      “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.”
      (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia.)

      British Medical Association
      http://bma.org.uk/-/media/Files/PDFs/Practical%20advice%20at%20work/Ethics/Circumcision.pdf
      “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate.”
      “The medical benefits previously claimed, however, have not been convincingly proven, and it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks.”

      Danish Medical Association
      http://www.thelocal.dk/20161205/danish-doctors-come-out-against-circumcision
      “The Danish Medical Association (Lægeforeningen) has recommended that no boys under the age of 18 be circumcised in Denmark.
      The association released its recommendation on Friday, saying that circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men should make for themselves.”

      The Royal Dutch Medical Association
      http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Diensten/knmgpublicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm
      “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity.”

      Swedish Paediatric Society
      “Circumcision of young boys for religious and non-medical reasons ought to be banned in Sweden, urged the Swedish Paediatric Society (Svenska barnläkarföreningen, BLF).”
      http://www.thelocal.se/20120219/39200

      Mexican Secretariat of the Interior
      “Evitar como práctica rutinaria la circuncisión, toda vez que no existe evidencia científica que compruebe un beneficio directo a la persona recién nacida.”
      Sec 5.7.13 “Avoid circumcision as a routine practice, since there is no scientific evidence to prove a direct benefit to the newborn person.”
      http://www.dof.gob.mx/DOFmobile/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5432289

      http://www.crin.org/resources/infodetail.asp?id=31830
      “[30 September 2013] – At a meeting today in Oslo, the children’s ombudspersons from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), and the children’s spokesperson from Greenland, in addition to representatives of associations of Nordic paediatricians and pediatric surgeons, have agreed to work with their respective national governments to achieve a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.”

      German Pediatric Association
      http://www.intactamerica.org/german_pediatrics_statement
      (very long, but very much against circumcision, and includes the following)
      “Therefore it is not understandable that circumcision of boys should be allowed but that of girls prohibited worldwide. Male circumcision is basically comparable with FGM types Ia and Ib that the Schafi Islamic school of law supports”

  9. The Canadian Paediatrics Society messed up their so-called “risk-benefit” analysis. See devastating critique in Canadian J Url:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=morris+bj+2016+canadian

    The RACP’s policy is not evidence-based. See devastating critique in an official RACP journal:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=morris+bj+2012+royal

    Only the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Circumcision Academy of Australia policy statements are evidence-based.

    • Let me guess. Professor Morris wrote both those “devastating critiques” himself, repeatedly citing his own earlier pro-cutting articles, which in turn repeatedly cite his own earlier… Like the turtles of the story, it’s Morris all the way down! And if you ever get to someone else’s study, it doesn’t say what Professor Morris says it did. And you won’t be surprised to learn that the “Circumcision Academy of Australia” is little more than a website maintained by Professor Morris and a few pro-cutting cronies.

      The fact is, risk vs benefit is not an appropriate measure for unnecessary, non-therapeutic (no symptoms, no diagnosis, no disease) gential reduction surgery on a non-consenting person. Inevitable harm, loss and the violation of human rights have to be factored in. Male genital cutting fails.

      • It is extraordinarily arrogant that Hugh7 who has no credentials in medicine or science believes anyone might take notice of his rubbish. My critiques are published in mainstream journals after peer review. I have 90 publications on male circumcision, many in the very best journals in the field. What does Hugh7 have to his name. let me guess? — zero. So who do you believe? Tie for Hugh7 to retire.

        • Actually Professor Morris has no qualifications in the relevant disciplines here either, ethics, paediatrics, andrology or urology, but that doesn’t matter because he’s using the fallacy of Appeal to Authority: “Who dares to argue agains Me, the great and mighty Morris!?”

          This just underlines that he has no answer to my actual argument. Infant male genital cutting is a human rights violation, because it is the removal of normal, healthy, functional (erogenous) non-renewing tissue (the sensory organ of the penis), from a non-consenting person without symptoms, diagnosis or disease.

  10. Circumcision needs to be far more tightly regulated.
    * No unqualified person should be allowed to circumcise anyone.
    * Incompetent circumcisers should be weeded out pronto!
    * No-one should be circumcised without a doctor’s certificate to the fact that the person is strong enough to withstand the surgery and that he is not suffering from any condition that would make the circumcision more risky.
    * Forced circumcision of men and boys should be treated as a sexual assault and prosecuted accordingly.
    These rules won’t stop most circumcisions but they will help to stamp out some of the abuses.

  11. “What matters is that the welfare of the child is taken into consideration up to the time he grows up into adulthood, in the context of his health status, his parents’ beliefs and society’s expectations.”

    What a crock of sh*t. I could care less what my parents beliefs or societies expectations are about the appearance and function of my penis. I never asked to be born to parents who participate in the cultural baby penis cutting tradition. I would have preferred to keep my body in one piece. The ONLY thing that should be taken into consideration is the medical necessity of the surgery. If there is no imminent medical threat, my parents should not be able to request a partial genital amputation on my behalf.

  12. Banning circumcision could be counterproductive and drive the practice underground, but tight regulation of the procedure could make this controversial procedure safer.

    * No unqualified person should circumcise anyone. Those who perform circumcisions without proper qualifications should be prosecuted for assault and reckless endangerment.

    * Records should be kept of all circumcisers. If the operation results in any adverse outcomes, the circumciser should pay for any remedial treatment that might be necessary.

    * Incompetent circumcisers should be banned from circumcising. The first botched job should result in a public warning; a second botched job should result in the circumciser showing cause why he or she should not be banned for life from performing circumcisions; a third botch should result in an immediate lifetime ban on performing circumcisions.

    * Dangerous traditional practices such as metzitzah b’peh, (oral suction of the circumcision wound) should be firmly discouraged by public education and a ban should be considered.

    * No one should be circumcised unless there is a medical report by an independent physician that the person to be circumcised is strong enough to withstand the surgery and is free of any conditions (e.g., bleeding disorders) that make the procedure more dangerous.

    * No child should be circumcised without the written permission of both the mother and the father.

    * No older child or adult should be circumcised without their informed consent in writing.

    * Any forced circumcision of an older child or adult should be treated as a sexual assault and the perpetrator should be branded as a sexual offender.

    Changes like this won’t stop most medical or ritual circumcisions but they will raise safety standards by dealing with rogue operators, incompetent circumcisers, dangerous traditional practices and criminal assailants.

  13. The amputation of foreskin did NOT spread for medical or cleanliness or health. It was for morality during the Victorian Era to stop masturbation which means self polluting and not just males but equally females.

    The Egyptians circumcised slaves and sometimes high priest. The famous hieroglyphs showing circumcision is of slaves and the captian says “Hold him lest he faints.” Frederic Hodges’ papers on this is excellent.

    I’m surprised to read Filipino circumcision is reverting back to dorsal slit (the orchid cut) moving away from amputating part or all the foreskin. And very nice to know some Filipino doctors are now refusing to circ boys.

    For over 800 years Jews have known circ substantially lessens pleasure for the male and his female partner, and can weaken the penis:

    Over
    800 years ago Moses Maimonides tells the harms of circumcision, also
    known as the “Rambam”, was a medieval Jewish rabbi, physician and
    philosopher. “…the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual
    intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question, so that this
    activity be diminished and the organ be in as quiet a state as
    possible.” & “The fact that circumcision weakens the faculty of
    sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is
    indubitable. For if at birth this member has been made to bleed and has
    had its covering taken away from it, it must indubitably be weakened.
    The Sages, may their memory be blessed, have explicitly stated: It is
    hard for a woman with whom an uncircumcised man has had sexual
    intercourse to separate from him. In my opinion this is the strongest of
    the reasons for circumcision.”

    “The foreskin
    has two main functions. Firstly it exists to protect the glans penis.
    Secondly the foreskin is a primary sensory part of the penis, containing
    some of the most sensitive areas of the penis.” – The Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

    Penis size? No one wants a smaller penis. But circ makes it smaller and half the styles of cut are to make the penis a lot smaller. Here’s pro-circumcision enthusiast Brian Morris’s diagrams on how to make the penis better by making it smaller:
    https://justasnip.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/although-disagreeing-with-ayaan-hirsi-ali-on-male-circumcision/#jp-carousel-458

    Any doctors who say they haven’t seen any circumcision psych trauma is either socially not engaged or chooses to be blind to reality or is lying. It is especially traumatic when forced on 5 year olds. Psychology Today has written many articles covering trauma from circumcision. I cannot be any angrier over being circumutilated. It attenuates everything. Circ can gut men. See Jonathon Conte 34 and Kevin Cagle age 20 who both chose suicide rather than live circumcised.

  14. BTW bloodletting WAS the most performed procedure in the world for millennium much more than circ up to the end of the 19th century. In fact, many reasons for blood letting read like the reasons for circ. and it’s spread and longevity was ‘better to do something than nothing’ for the day’s problem, like circumcision has over 500 reasons given. See Reasons at Circumstitions.com

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