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?
RE: "I have pushed myself away from my partner" - whatever it was, how do we know that your partner did not push you away from it? (I use the phrase, "it," because in your case, I have no way of knowing if it was animal, vegetable, or mineral.) BTW, welcome back.
And how can you know, regarding your own definition of "comparing pleasures," how a one-armed man knows what a two-armed man feels --?
Instead of "Unseen," might I suggest, "Incomplete"?
"I have to wonder what I would do with more intensity"
A foreskin doesn't mean that your feelings of sexual pleasure are more intense per se, also depending on what you mean by intense of course.
More importantly, this is a matter that we could discuss about at length. At the very least, circumcision alters sexual experience and as such the decision should be made by the child himself when he's old enough to make the decision himself.
Circumcision is one of the most difficult subjects to discuss, it isn't hard to discuss this subject in many countries and many cultures, yet when you discuss this subject with a person that is circumcised himself and is from a culture in which circumcision is routine (Muslim, Jew, US or Ugandan Citizens for instance) it turns out to be a very sensitive subject.
I do find it particularly odd that atheists in the US are in effect trying to defend a practice that is considered by many to be a religiously inspired barbaric ritual. At almost any opportunity are the US atheists willing to jump on the "religious bullshit" bandwagon, yet in regards to their own pee-pee there seems to be something holding a lot of them back.
Unseen, you say," If SHE can't muster enough will power to tell the guy "no rubber, no sex", why should we expect HIM to think that way?" I don't expect all men to be careful about not having unwanted children. I would hope that those science minded, realistic, rational, atheist men would. Children are not a punishment, they just ARE. And it is silly to apply blame for a pregnancy after the fact. Each individual man and woman is responsible for any child conceived.
We expect people to take care of themselves and not assume that someone else is going to take care of them as the default. Surely, we can expect atheist women not to need men to take responsibility for them, for that is part and parcel of the old patriarchal way of thinking. If men do take responsibility, so much the better, but a right-thinking mentally mature woman shoudn't need to depend on the man to initiate using the condom.
I agree most don't use condoms out of moments of passion. As long as people are smart and don't sleep around they will be safe. Some people are allergic to latex, have you ever used a non-latex condom ? Minus well wrap a sandwhich bag around it. For that reason ; I refuse sex if he wears a condom. I'm not against people using protection, I'm just saying its not for everyone ... Same as religion isnt for everyone... Thats why science created birth control :) When did this topic switch to condom usage ? I need to go back and read some more haha.
I think the discussion turned to condoms in reference to preventing disease, not pregnancy.
The only reasonable argument I can give you is that rates of penile cancer are lower amongst ethnic groups that routinely practice circumcision. Even so the rates of penile cancer overall are already very low. Still circumcision does eliminate a variety of hygiene issues and other health concerns like phimosis and paraphimosis.
To gain the health benefits of circumcision it needs to be performed in infancy or childhood, which is why you can't leave it up to the child himself. Generally, I'm all for autonomy, but I think that is kind of a difficult decision for a child to make, especially when it is more likely to be painful and possibly remembered. I was circumcised, I don't remember it in the least, but I'm happy I was...I can't really comment on whether my satisfaction is culturally influenced or not. I think the comparison to an appendectomy is a silly one as that is a far more invasive procedure, with a higher risk of iatrogenic complications than circumcision, and as I said earlier I don't think the wait and let the child decide approach is very realistic. What child is going to want to choose to undergo a painful medical procedure for arbitrary reasons?
Personally, if I have a boy I'm going to get him circumcised, it's just one less thing my kid will have to feel awkward about growing up. Maturity and feeling comfortable with our bodies is great, but most of us don't achieve said maturity until long after puberty...
The health benefits are so massive, did you know that in cultures that are not Muslim, Jew or American most young kids' their penis just falls off at a certain age? Really, the health benefits are so massive that any medical organization actively prescribes RIC as a one size fits 'em all solution.
"Personally, if I have a boy I'm going to get him circumcised, it's just one less thing my kid will have to feel awkward about growing up."
I completely agree, this is why I wholeheartedly support Female Genital Mutilation, I mean you wouldn't want your kid to be different and feel awkward because of it, right?
Sunil, you ask, "What child is going to want to choose to undergo a painful medical procedure for arbitrary reasons?" What loving father would subject his son to such a painful medical procedure for arbitrary reasons? Is it that you don't want your son to have something that has been cut off you? Maturity is wanting more for our children than we had. A better education, more freedom, etc. Your son will be in the minority when he grows up if you do this to him, since this mutilation is being done to fewer boys every year.
don't do this to your son .they don't
circumcision girls they cut off there clitoris
witch in is female butchery. the extra skin on the male is to protect
the nerves in the head of the penis . and for it being more sanitary just teach
your son to pull the skin down when he takes a bath . its like any fold of skin
that gets sweat and dearth under it. so I say if you want your son to enjoy sex
. leave it
Circumcision reduces the spread of AIDS:
"Three separate studies designed to clinically assess the connection between circumcision and a lower risk of getting AIDS began in 2002. In 2005, the first set of results came in. In the study conducted in Orange Farm township, South Africa, preliminary results showed an astounding 63 percent decrease HIV infection in circumcised, heterosexual men compared to uncircumcised, heterosexual men. The French and South African scientists heading up the study ended it early for ethical reasons. With such dramatic results, they needed to stop the study and offer circumcision procedures to the men in the uncircumcised group." (source)
Circumcision Gives Men up to 60% HIV Protection; WHO, UNAIDS Urge Adult Surgery. (source)
If this is true, would that mean that removing the breasts from infant girls to reduce the risk of breast cancer would be an equally good idea?
Also, the WHO on the subject of this study.
Just reducing the risk of HIV infection by using circumcision is still not enough protection to disregard other forms of protection, a 1,58 vs 3.38% chance of infection is of course no reason to stop using condoms.
As such, whether or not you are circumcised you should still use a condom to protect yourself against HIV. What added value would RIC have therefor in regards to HIV?
Also, there are a huge number of criticisms on the test, some of it can be found here. As such, what value does this research really have? If people believe that they can draw the conclusion from this bit of dubious research that RIC is a good medical practice than they are woefully misinformed.
RIC is the solution to the problem that has yet to be found.....
Of course removing the breasts to prevent beast cancer is a ridiculous idea. If breast removal is needed, it can wait until cancer appears. Total removal of the breasts is in no way a comparable procedure to removal of foreskin. Also, HIV is a contagious disease, breast cancer is not.
No responsible and well-informed person is recommending eschewing condoms in the case of circumcized members.
As far as the criticisms go, wherever there is controversy, there are sure to be criticisms.
The HIV argument only really works in Sub-Saharan Africa and not so much in areas with low prevalency rates such as the US or Europe. The probability of injury caused by circumcision will be much higher than the probability of not contracting HIV due to circumcision. Also, as Rob noted, the only really effective way of not contracting HIV is by using a condom.
If breast removal can wait until cancer appears, why can't circumcision wait until the person starts having sex - say voluntary after 16 years of age as elective surgery?