Outside of religion, what is the need for male circumcision? Female circumcision is too big an issue for me to take on currently. I got the news late but here it is: Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2018 takes place March 28-April 3! Perhaps, we should celebrate.
How wide spread is male circumcision (the removal of the foreskin from the penis)? The rates vary from 1% in Japan, and 2% in Spain and Sweden, to 58% in the United States, to more than 80% in Muslim-majority countries. There appears to be very little medical reason for male circumcision, and yet it continues.
“In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stated that the medical benefits of male circumcision were not enough for the group to recommend that the procedure be made routine at all hospitals. As a result, some states began withdrawing Medicaid coverage for circumcision.” – newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/male-circumcision-rates-lower-78871
When Medicaid cut payments for circumcision, the number of operations dropped.
As more and more people understand circumcision the more they object. “On March 25, 2017 the Danish Nurses Organization declared non-therapeutic circumcision of healthy boys unethical and a direct violation of children’s rights according to the UN convention.” It’s the old catch-all phrase of “why fix something that isn’t broke.”
Some people think that doctors push circumcision. If a doctor delivers a child he gets one fee, but he can earn more if he also does a circumcision. There may be something to that way of thinking. The proportion of boys circumcised for medical reasons in England fell from 35% in the early 1930s to only 6.5% by the mid-1980s. Why? After World War II, the U.K. established free health care, which meant there was no economic reason for a doctor to suggest an extra medical procedure. By 2000, an estimate was shown that only 3.8% of male children were circumcised.
In countries with free public health, circumcision is almost non-existent.
Many people still voice the old wives tale that babies can’t feel pain. Not so!
A few weeks ago I posted a simple query on Facebook: “The unkindest cut . . . what are your thoughts on circumcision?” Discussion lasted for days. Here are just a few of the replies*.
- I don’t really have an opinion, but my husband certainly does. Especially when our son was born.
- Completely barbaric and unnecessary!
- There are health benefits on the “pro” side, the primary con is the temporary experience of pain, but that can be addressed easily.
- It has no benefits ar all except religious brainwashing. I faced thus issue when my son was born. My husband ‘s was a supporter abd wanted my son to be circumcised. But I stood my grounds. This is a very old school.
- ask my Dad .. do it or not .. he hesitated .. I said ” Dad just think a minute .. and then just tell es or No ” He said better do it … I still remember the scream from the nursery down the hall.
- Why would anyone want to learn and listen I thought it was just kind of one little snip when they were a baby like a few weeks old or something and if you days I can’t remember certainly wouldn’t do it after that seems like it would be too painful.
- We were given an opportunity at the local small hospital where we volunteered at to watch a circumcision. That experience has stayed with me like it was just this morning! We were told that a child that young….a few days old ….was too young for anesthetic so what they did was fill a finger of sterile glove with brandy…poke a tiny hole in it and let the baby suck on it just prior to the “surgery”. There is NO WAY that the brandy was sufficient……that baby howled like it’s life was being drained from it’s tiny body.
- It’s torture. If I had a little boy I wouldn’t have done it, I would have taught him how to wash his penis properly…. I can’t believe this barbaric practice still exists when we can freaking wash ourselves….
- Not sure torture is the right word. Cruelty, certainly, but nobody is seeking to torment or extract confessions from circumcision victims (is victim the right word?).
- How can a man’s first experience in life be sexual torture and not affect his sexual relationships in life?
In many progressive countries, female circumcision has been illegal for years. Iceland is now on the verge of taking a legal step and banning male circumcision as well. I think it is a good idea. Do people not realize the pain babies go through? When our children were little, I insisted my wife take the kids in for their shots. I couldn’t stand hearing them cry from the minor pain of a shot, much less a medical procedure involving blood and actual pain. Today I would just say, no.
“Just because newborn babies can’t tell you they feel pain doesn’t mean they don’t feel pain. They do. And parents can help. We tend to think that newborns are too little to really experience pain, and that if they do experience it, they soon forget it. However, research has shown that, indeed, babies do experience pain . . . ” – health.harvard.edu/blog/what-parents-need-to-know-about-pain-in-newborns-201601269076
Please, feel free to comment about this article.
* Comments are presented as they were sent.