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Author Topic: circumcision=patriarchy?  (Read 34786 times)
frogfactory
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« Reply #150 on: June 23, 2010, 5:56:03 pm »

FF, just stop slicing penises until males can decide for themselves whether or not they want to live without foreskin. 

How I initially read the above post.  Honest, I haven't sliced all that many penises!
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rroscoe
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« Reply #151 on: June 23, 2010, 6:10:40 pm »

t_r_b,

For the record, I'm an American male. I was circumcised as an infant. And yet somehow I find sex very enjoyable. From what I've read, the same is most certainly not the case for most women who have undergone FGM. What the guy at Cornell says is obviously BS.

The only debate that matters on this issue is whether or not the medical benefits of circumcision make the practice warranted. All your talk about mutilation and the like doesn't add up. Sorry, your arguments on this thread are just overblown.

Roscoe

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t_r_b
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« Reply #152 on: June 23, 2010, 7:15:08 pm »


I didn't realize there were activists on this before this thread. For the most part, their arguments seem a bit excessive to me. Men who have been circumcised almost always have pleasurable sex lives and have no difficulties having an orgasm. This is typically not the case with women who have undergone FGM. The foreskin is simply not as important to male sexual pleasure as the clitoris is to female sexual pleasure. As such, there is absolutely no comparison between circumcision and FGM.

First of all, unless you yourself have a foreskin, or had one previously in your adult life, you are hardly in a position to judge its importance for male sexual pleasure.


Unfortunately from a research point of view, men with foreskins are *also* in a poor position to judge how important they are for male sexual pleasure, because they can't know via experience what it is like to have sex without one.  

They are in a poor position to judge which would be better. They are in a very good position to judge how much they enjoy their foreskin's sensitivity, etc.

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Unless they undertake circumcision after beginning sexual activity.  I've never bothered to look for research on such people (being satisfied with my own sexual life) -- perhaps there's something worth reading along those lines.  Even if there is such research, however, it might not do a good job of telling us about the difference between men with foreskins and men who were circumcised soon after birth.  

Yes, especially since the lack of a foreskin makes the glans of the penis drier and less sensitive over time. Immediately after circumcision, the glans is presumably just as sensitive as it was beforehand. But over the following years it becomes less so.

FWIW, because of the HIV studies, there is a growing population of men in eastern and southern African who have voluntarily undergone surgical (not traditional) circumcision as adults. They are the subject of much research, but that research is focused on HIV transmission, not sexual sensation.

For the record, I'm an American male. I was circumcised as an infant. And yet somehow I find sex very enjoyable. From what I've read, the same is most certainly not the case for most women who have undergone FGM. What the guy at Cornell says is obviously BS.

For starters, the guy at Cornell is not performing FGM, at least not as it is popularly understood, nor is he trying to justify FGM. And it is certainly plausible that part of a clitoris could be removed while leaving some of its sexual sensitivity intact. Medical science has achieved many greater wonders than that (though usually for better reasons).

But as for the implication that his discovery makes partial infant clitoridectomy okay, of course it's BS. Even if it is true that he can remove part of a clitoris while leaving some of its nerve endings intact, it remains a pointless and presumably harmful procedure. I bring it up here simply to make the point that "circumcised men are capable of sexual pleasure, therefore circumcision is not a problem" is a specious argument. "They can still experience sexual pleasure" is exactly what the Cornell guy says to vindicate his cutting of girls. He's wrong about those girls, and circumcision proponents are no less wrong in making the same argument about boys.

After all, orgasms are lovely and all, but they are not the be-all-and-end-all of human sexuality. There are plenty of body parts with nerve endings that enhance sexual pleasure, and whose loss would impinge on that pleasure, even though they are not necessary to achieve orgasm.

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The only debate that matters on this issue is whether or not the medical benefits of circumcision make the practice warranted. All your talk about mutilation and the like doesn't add up. Sorry, your arguments on this thread are just overblown.

By "make the practice warranted," you mean, in effect, "justify the cost." Assessing the costs of circumcision is exactly what I'm talking about.

You assume the cost is negligible, that the foreskin is "a useless flap of skin." I maintain that to assess the cost accurately, it is necessary to do away with such assumptions and look seriously at the foreskin's anatomy and function. Everything I have seen or read on this subject indicates that the foreskin is extremely sensitive (much more so, say, than the shaft of the penis), that it can enhance sexual pleasure for both its owner and his sexual partner, and that it plays an important role in the long-term health and happiness of the glans. No one posting here has said anything that calls these assertions into question. With that in mind, I can only conclude that the cost of foreskin removal is much greater than you assume.

What is overblown about that?
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abuflletcher
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« Reply #153 on: June 23, 2010, 7:23:15 pm »

Sorry, your arguments on this thread are just overblown.

Engorged?  Seriously, about all one can reasonably claim on this issue is that male circumcision is in most cases an unwarranted procedure and that in general it's preferable to leave the body in its natural state.  This is the position that the American Pediatric Society endorses.  And it's one I can accept and now recommend to others (including my own children, when it comes time for them to decide).

Exaggerated claims about the sexual handicaps of foreskin-less males and shrill rhetoric about "mutilation" and "torture" (let along "agenda" talk about "patriarchy" and "religious stupidity") just turn people away from accepting what is a fairly simple conclusion:  Male circumcision, for the most part, doesn't matter one way or another so why go to the bother and expense or the pain (even if it's just temporary).
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prytania3
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« Reply #154 on: June 23, 2010, 7:27:51 pm »

I had my son circumcised as a baby because at the time people thought circumcision was a healthier path--especially when it came to any sexually transmitted diseases. Also I had a lot of Jewish friends.

But now that TRB has spelled out what I have done to my son, I think I'll just go kill myself.
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abuflletcher
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« Reply #155 on: June 23, 2010, 7:44:17 pm »

I had my son circumcised as a baby because at the time people thought circumcision was a healthier path--especially when it came to any sexually transmitted diseases. Also I had a lot of Jewish friends.

But now that TRB has spelled out what I have done to my son, I think I'll just go kill myself.

Maybe you could get him a little crutch and a tin cup, since he's now a sexual cripple.
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rroscoe
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« Reply #156 on: June 23, 2010, 8:20:16 pm »

t_r_b,

No, I called your assertion into question when I stated that circumcision in no way prevents males from experiencing a very pleasurable sex life. It may be that men who don't have their foreskins removed have more fun in the sack. I honestly don't know. But since those who do have them removed have happy sex lives, maybe the foreskin isn't that big of a deal, especially compared to FGM or labeling it "mutilation" and the like.

Oh, also children don't consent to medical procedures, including those that cut them. It was once common practice in this country (it is now largely seen as unnecessary) to remove children's tonsils. Do you think it was abusive in some way or even "barbaric"? It would seem you would. After all, most children did not want the procedure done. Again, it has been argued that circumcision has some medical benefits (reducing the spread of STDs, reduced rates of cancer of the penis, hygiene, etc.). The only reason that circumcision is not warranted is if it really doesn't medically benefit benefits males that much.

Roscoe

Roscoe
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frogfactory
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« Reply #157 on: June 23, 2010, 8:28:21 pm »

I read, while browsing the literature on circumcision and STDs - who says I never get to read for fun? - a couple of articles that suggest that, while there is evidence that circumcised males are less prone to contracting STDs of various sorts, women who have sex with circumcised men who have an STD are more actually prone to contract the STD than from an uncircumcised partner.

I'm cooking right now, but if anyone wants me to dig up the articles, let me know.  I didn't read them thoroughly enough to make much of a judgment on the quality of the research, and study design, however.
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t_r_b
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« Reply #158 on: June 23, 2010, 9:06:46 pm »


Oh, also children don't consent to medical procedures, including those that cut them. It was once common practice in this country (it is now largely seen as unnecessary) to remove children's tonsils. Do you think it was abusive in some way or even "barbaric"?

That depends. Do the tonsils serve some useful or worthwhile function? I honestly don't know. I do know that the foreskin does. Not a vital function, certainly, but definitely useful and worthwhile.

I read, while browsing the literature on circumcision and STDs - who says I never get to read for fun? - a couple of articles that suggest that, while there is evidence that circumcised males are less prone to contracting STDs of various sorts, women who have sex with circumcised men who have an STD are more actually prone to contract the STD than from an uncircumcised partner.

I'm cooking right now, but if anyone wants me to dig up the articles, let me know.  I didn't read them thoroughly enough to make much of a judgment on the quality of the research, and study design, however.

I posted a citation of one of them in one of these threads. Here is a link.

They were trying to study whether the circumcision of HIV+ men diminished the risk of their female partners getting the virus. They stopped the study partway through because of "futility." Understandably, there are some serious ethical problems with studying a medical intervention that may actually promote HIV infection, rather than prevent it. To get a handle on this, they'd need to do a study of already circumcised men known to be HIV+ partnered with women known to be HIV-, and see how the rate of transmission compares to the rate between uncut HIV+ men and HIV- women. But the problem there is that it's not a randomized trial, since you are comparing men who chose to be circumcised previously rather than men who were chosen to be circumcised randomly.

If it is true that a circumcised HIV+ man is more likely to pass on the disease than an uncircumcised one (and it may be very hard to find out for certain), it would have serious ramifications for public health policy. For one thing, it would mean that while circumcision is strongly indicated for HIV- men in HIV-prevalent areas, it is strongly counterindicated for HIV+ men. That would be fine IF circumcision provided something close to 100% protection against infection, but it's really only about 50%. So a substantial number of HIV- men who get circumcised will subsequently become HIV+, and then by virtue of their circumcision stand a greater chance of passing the virus on to their partners.

The other problem here is that if public health officials start making clear that only HIV- men should be circumcised, circumcision may come to be seen as a badge of the virus-free, as it were. Under such circumstances, NOT getting circumcised may well come to be associated with being HIV+. That means that lots and lots of men who may or may not have the virus already will seek out circumcision simply because without it, your odds of getting laid are very slim. That may give circumcised men and their partners a false sense of security and may even increase the odds of the virus being passed on to women.
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frogfactory
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« Reply #159 on: June 23, 2010, 9:17:22 pm »

I seem to recall articles about STDs other than HIV with the same conclusion about circumcision putting female partners at higher risk.

If that's correct, circumcision as a public health measure starts to look very shaky indeed.
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tolerantly
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« Reply #160 on: June 23, 2010, 10:18:54 pm »

It was once common practice in this country (it is now largely seen as unnecessary) to remove children's tonsils. Do you think it was abusive in some way or even "barbaric"? It would seem you would. After all, most children did not want the procedure done.

You must be joking. You got unlimited ice cream and TV afterwards and people felt sorry for you, plus you got to stay home from school and make your mother run around by ringing a bell. Of course kids wanted their tonsils out. Just not in the summer.

The whole "health benefits of circ" thing seems to me very silly; it's clearly a cultural thing. I'm just unconvinced that when it's done by a pro, it leads to future miseries for the kid. I mean apart from that whole Europa, Europa thing (ow).
 


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newttrack
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« Reply #161 on: June 23, 2010, 11:38:48 pm »

I have two sons under three. Their father is cut, but I persuaded him not to circumcise them. A previous longtime boyfriend had been uncircumcised, and as a woman with a narrow vaginal opening, the sex with him, which had often been painful with others even with lubricant, was much easier and kinder on my body. (After giving birth, this was no longer an issue:) So part of me was thinking of the future women my sons might be sleeping with if straight, but I also didn't feel like I had the right to make a decision about their sexual organs when they had no voice. I know I will make tons of decisions for them, but this was different for me. My mother pitched a fit at first--apparently her father was so ashamed of his uncut penis that he had himself circumcised in his sixties--but I think we made the right choice. We live in a big city, so plenty of the boys' peers are uncut as well, and frankly, we've never had to to do anything but wash their genitals like any other boys. When the times comes, we will teach them how to clean themselves, but really, it cannot be anymore difficult than cleaning a vagina. I have no idea why anyone would choose to circumcise their sons outside of religious practices. Mainly, I hear that fathers want their sons to look like them, which is what my husband said initially. He got over it.
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post_functional
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« Reply #162 on: June 24, 2010, 12:21:11 am »

FFFFFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!
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hugh7
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« Reply #163 on: June 24, 2010, 5:32:46 am »

...I've yet to hear any Jewish male mourn the loss of his foreskin
Jews are disproportionately represented among US Intactivists, though Jewish circumcision has at least an internally intelligible cultural context that routine infant circumcision doesn't. In fact RIC is often left for the kid to find out about by himself (since it arose in a context of sex-negativity), sometimes with bizarre and sad outcomes, like the teenaged boys who imagine they will grow a foreskin at puberty - boy are they pissed when they find out the truth!
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or claim that it's stunted him sexually (please, there's plenty of psychological action to take care of that)
Actually, there's practical* action: tens of thousands of men - some of them Jews - are using gentle tension over time to encourage their foreskins to regrow (it's not just stretching), and they report considerable improvement in sexual functioning, though they can never replace the lost ~20,000 specialised nerve endings.

*And if that implies psychological action is impractical, well, so be it. Psychotherapy has more in common with religion than science.

Quote from: tolerantly
They were trying to study whether the circumcision of HIV+ men diminished the risk of their female partners getting the virus. They stopped the study partway through because of "futility." Understandably, there are some serious ethical problems with studying a medical intervention that may actually promote HIV infection, rather than prevent it.
Actually there were no additional ethical problems with letting this study continue, because they couldn't uncircumcise the men who were already circumcised, and they had established that leaving men intact didn't INcrease the risk to women. The suspicion arises that they cut the study short because they didn't want to find anything contraindicative of circumcision.

Quote
To get a handle on this, they'd need to do a study of already circumcised men known to be HIV+ partnered with women known to be HIV-, and see how the rate of transmission compares to the rate between uncut HIV+ men and HIV- women.
That's what Wawer et al. did.

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METHODS: 922 uncircumcised, HIV-infected, asymptomatic men aged 15-49 years with CD4-cell counts 350 cells per microL or more were enrolled in this unblinded, randomised controlled trial in Rakai District, Uganda. Men were randomly assigned by computer-generated randomisation sequence to receive immediate circumcision (intervention; n=474) or circumcision delayed for 24 months (control; n=448). HIV-uninfected female partners of the randomised men were concurrently enrolled (intervention, n=93; control, n=70) and followed up at 6, 12, and 24 months, to assess HIV acquisition by male treatment assignment (primary outcome)
Sounds like Tuskagee, eh?


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But the problem there is that it's not a randomized trial, since you are comparing men who chose to be circumcised previously rather than men who were chosen to be circumcised randomly.
Correct, not a random sample of the population. And the same problem besets the three "Randomised" Controlled Trials claiming to show that circumcision prevents HIV transmission from women to men.

Quote
If it is true that a circumcised HIV+ man is more likely to pass on the disease than an uncircumcised one (and it may be very hard to find out for certain), it would have serious ramifications for public health policy. For one thing, it would mean that while circumcision is strongly indicated for HIV- men in HIV-prevalent areas, it is strongly counterindicated for HIV+ men. That would be fine IF circumcision provided something close to 100% protection against infection, but it's really only about 50%. So a substantial number of HIV- men who get circumcised will subsequently become HIV+, and then by virtue of their circumcision stand a greater chance of passing the virus on to their partners.

The other problem here is that if public health officials start making clear that only HIV- men should be circumcised, circumcision may come to be seen as a badge of the virus-free, as it were. Under such circumstances, NOT getting circumcised may well come to be associated with being HIV+. That means that lots and lots of men who may or may not have the virus already will seek out circumcision simply because without it, your odds of getting laid are very slim. That may give circumcised men and their partners a false sense of security and may even increase the odds of the virus being passed on to women.
That is exactly what is beginning to happen where they are holding circumcision campaigns in Africa - also men found to be intact being forcibly circumcised by "lynch mobs".
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tolerantly
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« Reply #164 on: June 24, 2010, 12:25:21 pm »

Does The Fiona have a deputy? Please?
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