My wife and I are trying to have a baby. One of the biggest concerns we have if it is a boy is circumcision. I am circumcised and my first reaction is to say "Well I wouldn't go back so it is the right choice". But unfortunately there is more to it than that. Circumcision started, in my mind, to remove sexual pleasure from the male because sex was the road to sin and only for reproduction and should not be enjoyed. Many nerves are removed from circumcision and I have heard sex is more pleasurable for males not circumcised, but unfortunately that is hard to know for sure.
Then there is the idea that it is a part of our culture now and completely acceptable. But what is it really other than male genital mutilation? They say that is is healthier, but I have also heard that the data for that claim is inconclusive.
Female circumcision disgust me and yet many cultures practice it. To them it is normal. I am sure that uncircumcised females in those cultures have "ugly" vaginas to them just as a lot of women have told me that an uncircumcised penis is "ugly".
I have seen a circumcision and it is horrifying. I dont know if I should do this to my future son. There is the part of me that thinks it is normal and I should. Then there is the part of me that sees it as another brutal religious act setup by an ancient brutal god to remove our sexuality that we, for some reason, still practice like idiots. Then we go through all this trouble to "prove" it is healthy to mutilate sex organs to justify the insane act.
What are some of your thoughts on this?
Please don't be sorry for me that I don't want to be a parent. I'm glad that people enjoy their children, but there's no part of me that wants to join them in that particular "joy". And ya know, a lot of it has to do with not ever wanting to grow one inside my body; that seems horrific to me. Besides, if I had the money, I'd rather adopt. The world doesn't need more babies; it needs more parents.
Sorry to derail, but humanity needs more men and women like this.
RE: "The world doesn't need more babies; it needs more parents."
Actually, that's a very profound statement.
Regarding the abortion issue, you and I will never agree, so there's no point in ever pursing it again,
Recent discoveries show that circumcision reduces the chances of receiving sexual transmitted diseases so that could be a good thing. I still think it should be a persons own choice though.
Speaking as one who is circumcised, I think it's traumatic as an adult whereas I have no memory of it at all. I think doing it to a baby is kind of like when they put you out for minor surgery (which I had recently) and when you wake up, if there was any pain, you have no memory of it.
Whether the procedure itself is traumatic or not does not really seem to be the real issue. The issue is the alteration of sensory perception and therefor sexual experience. Whether people believe there to be advantages to that removal should be a choice by the person that has to live with the result, not the parents.
Also, what you just said could be used as an argument in favor of female genital mutilation, many of the victims of that practice inflict it on their children using similar argumentation.
Cristopher Hitchens on the subject:
Doesn't have much to do with what the OP was asking about. Hitch is talking about the traditional shit that's done by ritualistic or religious people without any anesthetics, and also female circumcision. You're trying to find arguments to confirm your own opinion, I think.
The practice of RIC is a cultural practice, inspired by religion, that continues to be perpetuated by people that are not even linked to that religion anymore.
The arguments put forward by Cristopher Hitchens, and specifically the part about not wanting people to trivialize RIC is to the point in regards to Unseen's comment (in my opinion).
Hardly anybody but religious people perpetuate this practice outside of the US, why do you think this is the case? Why have people in the more secular parts of Europe done away with this practice for instance?
@Unseen - RE: "you have no memory of it."
Are we speaking of conscious, or subconscious memory?
Recovery times for adult circumcision vs. neonatal circumcision are actually quite similar. (We are talking about pain expectancy being within a single day of each other.)
The only difference is that it's a lot easier to abstain from sexual activity for six weeks when you're a newborn.
I actually had a mate get circumcised at age 18. It's an outpatient procedure and he was fully sedated.
I find it odd that people are discussing (supposed) medical benefits, as if that is the first thing on your mind when you think of an organ that provides men with the utmost pleasure. Seriously people, you are thinking of cancer when you're thinking of your willie? So odd.
Regardless of what you think exists in regards to proof for medical benefits, it is simply nobody else's choice than the person himself. It is ridiculous to anyone from a country where RIC (Routine Infant Circumcsion) is not common practice to see this kind of mutilation.
We're talking of altering a body to remove part of the body which contains nerves and is responsible for a part of sexual experience and pleasure. It is simply not a decision parents should be able to make for their children.
I've heard horrible stories of kids whose foreskin was pulled loose by the parents to "clean" the penis as they were concerned about hygiene but uninformed. Pretty good example of how concerned parents are in regards to this issue.
Even if hygiene would be an issue, the solution would be to educate people and to prevent unhygienic situations. It would not be a reason to remove the foreskin. We don't cut of breasts to prevent breast cancer for reasons that are obvious to all, why is the foreskin different?
People do not want to admit that their penis is "mutilated" and would not want to admit that their parents mutilated them. As such, the subject is rather touchy, and the practice is so culturally ingrained in countries like the US that it is also a subject that people do not discuss.
Due to a defect in my optical nerve I can only look with one eye at a time, so for me 3D vision is not an option. I do not mind not being able to see 3D as I simply do not know what I am missing. In fact, due to this defect I also have some (perceived) advantages to those that can see 3D. Would that be sufficient reason for people to allow me to alter the optical nerve of my child in a similar manner? If not, why not?