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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Learning about circumcision with my mom and sister (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Learning about circumcision with my mom and sister
zebgirl
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My older sister is having a baby boy and the issue of circumcision came up in one of our talks. We decided to do web search and was amazed about how much stuff was out there on the subject. Excite, Yahoo, AOL had alot of info in the mens health areas. Not that I would have listened but my mom gave me permission to do searches on the the subject. There was tons of stuff on circumcision and a guys penis.

As someone earlier posted on this site http://www.the-penis.com
has alot of info, but a much better one is http://www.circlist.org
It has all sorts of info and photos,lots of different varities of a penis. It has great links. It talks about the benefits, complications, dangers, girls preferences, number of guys who are cut, etc.
If you mom is cool you should go there.

I(we) would be interested in hearing what others think about the matter, so please post. Its amazing how big a deal it is to guys. Also some of us in the future may have baby boys, even some now, and it is good information. My sister has not made her mind up yet.

Please post your comments and if you've gone to the site, what you think about the matter. It may help my sister make a decision.

Also if anyone knows of any other good sites on circumcision and the penis please let us know. No porn.


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Beppie
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If I had a son, I would not get him circumsized, unless he had an abnormal foreskin that would hinder his growth. I think it would be a very traumatic thing for a young baby to face, and I don't think there is any good reason for it, especially in these modern times when cleanliness is widespread. If he wanted to get circumsized when he was older, for whatever reason, then that would be his choice- but I believe that he should be the one to make the choice- not the parent.
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Beppie
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Oh yeah, I just visited that website you recommended, and I found that the opinions of many of the people who posted there disgusted me. While a lot of them said they thought it was healthier, just as common was the issue of aesthetics. Now, I don't know what the other girls here think, but if a guy told me that he thought I'd look better with the hood of my clitoris removed, I'd tell him where to go! No one is bringing a knife anywhere CLOSE to my genitals for the sake of what they think looks prettier, and I think it only fair to say that men can live by the same standards.

I do know of another website where there was a similar discussion about circumscision, and it was a lot more even (people advocating both sides), but unfortunately, it's a website that you can't visit unless you're over 18, so I won't post a link to it. Still, there were many men there who said they regret being circumscised as well as men who were glad that it happened.


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entropie
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I definitely would not traumatise any child of mine like that! This is one subject I am so opinionated on!

There was recently this doco on TV which detailedthe procedure, and the ammount of men who came forward to speak out against it was amazing.. I mean, I can't compare it to anything other than a woman having her labia chopped off at birth.

Unless it's for medical or religious reasons (which I can completely understand) it seems like such a barbaric thing to do, especially for a child who has no choice in the matter.

I think it was put there for a reason, and to take it off is defying whatever created us as a species..

But that is just my $0.02

entropie


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Pixie69
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Actually in some country (I think it's in the middle east or in Africa) they actually remove a female's clitoros (I'm not sure when they do it) to ensure that she gets no pleasure from sex! Since the clit only has good purposes But I was reading this story about a woman who had come to America because it had happened to her and she was going to have a daughter and she didn't want her daughter to have to have that happen. I think it's absolutely awful.....Just thought some people might think it's interesting.

Brittany


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Heather
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In the last couple of years, the Amnerican Medical Associaion, and the American Association of Pediatrics both stated they no longer endorse male circumscision.

On some level (some), some of you are making a good analogy with female genital mutilation. However, on another, most women who suffer through that are young adults, not infants, and in most cases, what is done to them, either bu excising the clitoris completely, or sewing the vaginal opening shut, renders them completely sexually incapable. Circumcision doesn't do that. It does however pose a great deal of risk, and there is no MEDICAL reason to do it. Some religious tradtions, though, have it incorporated in their beliefs.

Great topic, zebgirl.


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zebgirl
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I cant believe there are cultures that believe in cutting a womens clitoros out. Thats just wrong. I guess the guys lose some sensation from being circumcised. The more I read and see, I wonder about male circumcision. I think us girls are just more used to seeing an circumcised penis than not. I have to say in regards to how they look; at first I didn't like them (they look like a cigar when flaccid) but the more uncircumcised ones I see the more they appeal to me. When they are erect you almost cant tell the differnece.

Do any girls have uncircumcised boyfriends, what do you think?


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entropie
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My b/f is "complete" and I wouldn't wish it any other way! I've been with circumsised men before, and it doesn't really do much for me (mostly it's a turn off just because of how unnatural it is).

As for the whole female circumcision thing, that's just as discusting.. I remember seeing that on TV, the model from America who had her clitoris cut off and vagina sewn closed when she was younger.. she was in so much pain, and had such low self esteem, can it be any other way for a man to have basically the same thing done to him?

There was a similar story in which a man had a botched circumcision, which left him without a penis.. so his parents, not knowing what to do, began him on hormones to "make" him into a female.. sparing him the trauma or having butchered genitals. I can only imagine the confusion this man must have gone through... is it ever worth the risk? What is to be gained?

I'm sorry that I have such an opinion on this, please don't take this as an insult to parenting or as a personal attack, because it isn't.. I just can't understand the logic of this operation.

entropie


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Heather
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About 80% of men globally are UNcircumsized. The only place in the world circumcision is practiced so widely one'd think most men WERE circumcized is in the U.S. and/or Canada.
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Etch
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First i want to comment on female circumcision. It is done to many girls (mostly in nomadic african tribes)whether they like it or not simply because their husbands and fathers do not want them to have sex or pleasure in sex. It is done at different ages in different tibes. The sewing shut of the whole area is so a husband or father can tell if the girl/women had sex with another man. many times the man will have to force his way through the bindings for sex then have her sown back up again afterward. its barbaric.

male circumcision is something i am not sure about. my b/f is circumcised, it doesnt bother us at all. i wouldnt care if he wasnt either. but i dont think that i like the idea of it because of one reason. my cousin was circumsized when he was born and they made a mistake. the knife slipped. i think you see where i am going. i wont get any more graphic. all i am going to say is he has had complications since then. and he does not "function" correctly if you know what i mean.

so i dont think i would make my baby go through it. but if when he is able to make the decision on his own and decided that is what he wants for whatever reason i would support it.


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Ophelia
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i was never opiniated about this topic...i figured that it wouldn't affect me, although if i have a baby boy it will...but i know what i WON'T do now...some of those stories are horrible and scary!!! *shiver*
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LaLaLaLa
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I wouldnt do it! It is cruel and if you arent jewish you shouldnt do it. it is proven that his penis will be less sensitive if it is circumised. Im totally against it its just wrong and highly overreated. people used to do it bacl in the old days to keep it cleaner, but you can keep it clean now so its not a problem. Chopping the clit of a girl is dead wrong in africa of whereever where they do it so girls dont get pleasure is so wrong if they do that to girls they should cut of the guys dick. its only fair. right?

[This message has been edited by LaLaLaLa (edited July 22, 2000).]


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LaLaLaLa
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anyone agree with me?
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Lee
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Female "circumcision" is proof positive that some cultures really are inferior to others. The lack of civil rights that women have to endure in these same cultures is further proof. I have a very big problem with someone being abused or mutilated, especially on religous or cultural grounds.

But what is far worse is how women are simply killed in some places. I recently watched a program about how women are murdered in some countries in the middle east. They are murdered after they have been raped, to restore the family's "honor." The kicker is that it is the girl's family, usually a male relative, who kills her. They may also be killed if they are insubordinate, or demand to be treated equally. The men who do it don't spend any real time in jail either, a few months at most. What a sad sick state of affairs that is. I'm glad I don't live there. I'm also glad that it is western culture that is invading theirs and not the other way around.

But as for male circumcision I don't see any reason for it. I'm circumcised but didn't even know anything about it till I was in junior high. There are a few guys online who will tell you all about how they were traumatized and scared and that their life is a mess because of it. Well I don't buy that. Whatever failures a person has in life are usually of their own creation. Getting a piece of skin cut off your penis at birth doesn't change that.

Lee


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Beppie
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While I feel just as strongly as you do about those issues, if not stronger, I do think that Western cultures are screwed up enough themselves- both Middle Eastern and Western cultures need to rethink where they're going, and the way in which the people within them are treated- Western cultures may be the lesser evil, but still, a complete re-think of the whole thing is the only way we'll get anywhere.

Sorry, this is way off-topic now, but I just felt the need to say that. In order to bring it back on topic, this whole circumscision thing could be sort of metaphorical for it. Male circumscision may not be as bad as an unclean operation where a girl's clitoris is removed, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't stop both practices, because both are flawed.


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Beppie
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Oh, just to add to that, I don't want to seem that I don't support cultural diversity. I think that the greatest objections that I have to female circumscision are a- the unsantiary conditions and b- the fact that the girls are not given a choice in the matter.

Now, if there was a sanitary place to do it, and women decided that they wanted the procedure for cultural reasons once they understood the full extent of what they are giving up, then I would have no objection to it- it would be their choice, and none of my buisiness. Personally, I can't fathom any woman making that choice, but that's from my Western Culture point of view.

It's the same with male circumscision in our culture. I don't think it should be done to babies- but if a man decides later in life that he'd rather be circumscized, then I have no problems with it.


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madmaster
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i just had a baby boy in june, 2000. i had absolutely no information about the circ. and also because i am not male i gave the decision over to my boyfriend- he should know if it is a bad thing to be circ'd. because he is. he has never heard anything. and he is 40. this should be taught to teenagers. there should be a film clip to show how a circumcision is performed. he decided to do it, and we were there to see it. it is very barbaric, though the baby is given local anasthetic. it is more than painful to watch. my only comment is that if you do not circumcise you must clean it for him yourself at times, a doctor can give all the instructions and will probably say to leave it the hell alone. i only knew that two little boys i knew had a hard time with an infection at one time or another.

if i have another baby boy i can GUARANTEE i will not be allowing/doing this to him. it is NOT necessary and i felt alot of guilt going for it- the doctor takes "pliers" and takes the foreskin, stretches it out, and pulls it back abit, cuts it lengthwise in one place, puts the head of the penis in a "clamp" and grabs a razor blade and cuts around the clamp. there is alot of room for error- it is a senseless risk to take, and his father could not watch it is was so gross to take such a sensitive area and mess with it...

our little baby boy did not suffer alot of trauma, he had no idea what was going on, he just didn't like being messed with, and then he only cried a tiny bit the whole time because of whatever he could feel. and i am sure he will not have any trauma in his life, but because of the risk and the overall bad experience of doing this to your child i would say to just leave the penis alone and get educated on how to keep your boy's uncirc'd penis clean. it probably is not a hard thing to keep up on.


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Sweet*howl
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Many people said they thought that this is a traumatic event...Do you remember being born, any of your time at the hospital at all? Probably not. Your memory was too underdeveloped to remember this. There is really no way for men circ'd within a few days of birth to remember. Some people I know think oh it's his penis it had to be traumatizing! The baby doesn't even know he's got hands much less a penis. Men have been brought up to put alot of importance upon thier penis, so many people get huffy over this. It isn't traumatic for the baby but more for the parents sometimes. While men do have sensitive foreskins for most it's not all that much loss of pleasure, not compared to the loss of a clitoris anyway. Altho just below the head of the penis there is a very sensitive spot that if removed there is a somewhat significant loss of pleasure. It isn't incredibly rare for women to voluntarily to have labia removed or modified. There isn't really a difference in penis care between uncirc'd and cir'd for infants as many doctors say the foreskin wasn't really meant to be pulled back in the first year of life. It really depends on your opinions, views and beliefs. I cannot say whether I will circumsize my son or not, I may as it is a family tradition, (for girls it is getting thier ears pierced)i do not know any men well enough to ask them about their penises with out thoroughly embarassing them. I believe that circumcision as mostly about aesthetic value these days. So I think that circumcision is much like getting ones ears or other body parts pierced. Yeah, yeah it's a penis and the babies have no choice in the matter but if they aren't circ'd in unsterile conditions or by and inexpeirienced person but done in a hospital or a bris by a professional I don't see anything that horrible about circumcision. And thats my 2 cents.

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-Sweet*howl

Knowledge is power, use it wisely


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Mr Fluffy
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Ok, Sometimes circ (male) is done for medical reason as well. I had it done because my foreskin was too tight so i had trouble peeing. In my opinion it should be done IF necessary.
But then thats just me

Stay fluffy!


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Poison Boots
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I disagree with most of these posts. First of all, I must mention the fact that almost all of the previous posts have been from females who's understanding might be skewed by some things they have heard. Greatest among these is the comparison to female circumcision. The removal of the clitoris, in whole or part, is totaly diferent from foreskin removal. The nerves in the foreskin are mostly un/under developed. Therefore, with some local anesthetic, no pain is felt. It is not an emotionally scarring and there is some risk of a botched operation but it is incredibly slim and usualy correctible. I am cut, My best friend is not. By first hand experience (no I didn't wash his dick) I can tell you that a circumcised penis is much easier to clean. There is a risk of major infection in an improperly cleaned foreskin. It is particularly nasty and hard to clear up. This is the potentialy disfiguring risk I would worry about. It took 3 weeks for my friends infection to clear up and he was in pain the entire time. Also, it is a supposedly bad idea to wait until the child can make his own informed decision as the nerves develop further as the person grows, making the procedure particularly painful.

Second, on the subject of Female circumcision. It isn't fair for american teenagers to say that a 1500 years of islamic tradition is wrong and barbaric. That is like someone telling a jewish person that the Bar Mitzvah is a terrible capitalist manifestation of greed and that they should sit down and eat some ham instead.


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Killerht
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All of you people are soo uninformed and you don't know crap.

Circumcision is totaly normal.
I am jewish and i'm circumcised and there is no problem with being cut. First of all, it is better to clean, it is cleaner, you dont even have to clean it but..., it's healthier, and looks better. You can see the head by just looking at it without it being hard. Who wants to see some ugly sloppy skin hanging in front of him. Darn, heck no.
And the process ios easy, the rabbie or the dude who does it has to be a profesional, otherwise forget the dude and get a pro.

My mom told me it's not scray and nasty at all, she just didn't watch, she went to the other room, and my dad watched the whole thing and he didn't say nuthing. The baby cries of course, but when does a baby not cry.

Ok it hurts, but so does a tetanus shot at the doctor. And a baby has to get that too. So where is the diference, being cut a bit or getting a needle in your arm.

Just get your boy circumcised, it's better.
I'm circumcised, and I'm cool, and... (down)

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I'm the man!!!


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Heather
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Enough with all the hostility.

I do not want to see anyone here telling someone their opinion is "full of crap," or "uninformed," especially because most of the people who come here come here TO get information. It gets especially ridiculous when one person says someone is uninfromed, and really means they don't agree with them, because many of the posts in this thread have in fact been highly informed.

Anyone who makes a habit of insluting people here or wielding their posts like weapons will find themselves blocked from the boards. That is totally unacceptable and against the agreement you signed when you registered. In addition, it abuses the thesis of this site and I will not tolerate it.

Obviously, there are two issues at hand there: the necessity and medical issues associated with circumcision, and the emotional, cultural and personal issues. These are two very different things.

If you want to look at the medical issues, as a blanket statement, the AMA states there is NO medical or hygenic reason WHATSOEVER for circumcision unless there is a problem with the forskin. None. It is not better to be circumcized. It is also not insanely harmful TO be circumcised. It is a matter of personal choice and ethics which each person bases on the medical information they have, their own feelings, and their own religious/cultural traditions. They can do that here because the harm so far as the AMA and other medical groups are concerned, is not immeasurable or inhumane. By the same token,m that is why FGM is NOT permitted here.

You want to argue your feelings and opinions, okay, but there are some medical misnomers being tossed around here that are being used to rationalize choices, and it's a poor thing to do to try and defend something with untruths. Work with the facts, or ask for them and meanwhile, simply statte it is your experience or opinion. Those things are just as valid.

If you want more medical information on the topic, try some of these links:

- Yahoo Health on Circumcision

- Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

- The Obstetrics and Gynecology Network's press release on circumcision.


As far as female circumcswicion goes, again, there is in fact not only every medical reason NOT to do this, any act which is performed against someone elses consent which causes them pain, ill health and serious problems isn't okay here, and such is the case with female circumcision. On a medical level, if you want to say that's okay, you're going to have to be okay with men being completely castrated against their will, because when it comes to sexual health and experience, that's the parallel. I think you will find that if you talk to active FGM victims -- and decidely unamerican ones at that -- they will express the same opinions as women here. And for the record, the only time I ever saw anyone get hurt too much at a Bar Mitzvah was when someone's aunt had clearly had WAY too much Manischevitz and not nearly enough gross motor control. You're talking apples and oranges there.

If you want to work that angle around things which do not physically and psychologically harm other people or which do not involve accurate medical information, that's fine.

But please, when you're having this sort of debate, remember that you need to respect others within the bounds and rules of the boards.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited August 07, 2000).]


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Killerht
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A new study finds that while circumcising baby boys does help prevent later urinary tract infections, the benefit is not as great as previous estimates suggested.

In fact, about 195 circumcisions were needed to prevent just one urinary tract infection, according to this study of almost 60,000 boys born in Ontario, Canada, between 1993 and 1994.

Uncircumcised boys were about 3.7 times more likely to develop urinary tract infections than those who underwent the surgery soon after birth, reported in this week's issue of the international medical journal The Lancet.

Previous studies have suggested that urinary tract infections were 10 to 20 times more common in uncircumcised boys, To said.

See, I was right.

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I'm the man!!!


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bettie
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Just a couple of comments about some of the earlier posts.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, whether you find a circumisized or uncircumsized penis attractive is matter of personal opion. Some people have a preference, and others do not. There is no one right way for a penis to look. For me, the aesthetic value of a penis is not determined by whether it is circumsized or not. In fact, whether you like a man's penis is usually determined by your feelings for him as whole person. Whether you see the head or not makes no difference.

The study that was quoted says that the risk of infection was overestimated, so that means that less uncircumsized males have urinary infection than was thought of before. -> 10-20 times VS 3.7 times.

So, if 5 circumisized males had a urinary tract infection, 18.5 circumsized males would likely get one. They used to think it was more like 50 or 100 uncircumsized males. So the risk of it is less than they thought before.


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Astarte
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I have somewhat of an odd problem. I'd only been with circumsized men before my current boyfriend, who is not circumsized. It really doesn't make a difference to me whether the man I'm with is circumsized, although I've heard that leaving the foreskin on keeps the head lubricated and therefore allows the man to feel more pleasure.

I don't think circumcision is necessary, and I don't want to have it performed on any son I may have i the future. However, I AM Jewish, and it's a very important religious tradition. My family would FREAK OUT if I didn't circumsize my son, and he wouldn't be considered Jewish by Jewish law. How do I get around this?

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--Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.--


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Killerht
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Astarte, just let your be circumcised, I'm jewish and I'm circumcised, i wouldn't want an uncircumcised penis, and if i have a baby boy, i'm not even gonna think about not doing it. My whole family men are cut and so will my son, and his son, and his son. Thats the religion and its better, it just looks better and the boy will like it better too,
and for all of the others, a circumcised penis has the same if not more pleasure when having sex or jerking off. Cuz mine is cut, and it feels good. My friend is not cut, and he doesn't like it either, he thought about cuting it. Well, I'm the man to ask about circumcisions, ask me more.

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I'm the man!!!


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bettie
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Killerht, you have had a positive experience with having a circumsized penis and your friend has had a negative experience with having an uncircumsized one, BUT you two can not speak for the entire male population on this planet past, present and future. That's like saying I can speak for all women with brown hair or all Canadians. I can only speak for me.

I know plenty of guys who are not circumsized who are very happy with their penises and have had no infections or discomfort. I also know of circumsized men and boys who are not happy with their experiences with their penises. And, yes, there are men and boys like you who are happy with their circumsized penises or like your friend who are unhappy with their uncircumsized penises.

There is huge variety of experiences out there. No one story represents what is best for everyone.


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Killer,
Cool it. Period.

Looking at your last couple posts, Iit's clear you haven't read any supporting medical information for the statements you're making. If you had, you'd understand that the issue with circumcision isn't simply about potentially cutting off a few urinary tract infections at the pass, especially when weighted with the injuries and deaths that have occurred. That's on the medical side of this discussion. What is clear is that you are not addressing that side of it. if you'd like to, it'd be a good idea to furnish yourself with accurate information, rather than picking and choosing one fact that suits you, yet dismissing all others.

It is NOT okay to make value judgements on what sort of body is "better" here, because so long as something is healthful, at this site, all else remains equal.

Astarte, the best person I know of to ask about that is Hanne. and I'll slip her a note to visit this thread. Something to bear in mind, however, is that as with any religious tradition, in most cases people do not stand to every rule and regulation that has been there since time immemorial. The jewish tradition in my experience is a very embracing one, and no sincere religious leader would ever insist you did something which you would feel bad about, or feel isn't in your child's best interest.

But I'll send Hanne over.


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Hanne
Sexpert
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Astarte, you're right -- the brit milah (the mitzvah called the "covenant of circumcision") is a part of what makes a Jewish male a Jewish male. For Orthodox and many Conservative Jews, it would be unthinkable to not have a male child circumcised.

The reason? Because circumcision, originally, was intended as a sign of the covenant that G-d made with the Jews. Jews are, in fact, forbidden according to Halacha (Jewish law) from performing any other sort of alteration or mutilation to their own bodies -- no pierced ears, no tattoos, none of that stuff, and I have read long learned arguments about whether or not things like plastic surgery or liposuction done for purely cosmetic reasons would be permissible. The only kind of permanent bodily alteration that is permitted for Jews, from a legal standpoint, is circumcision.

Originally, this served two basic functions. One is that it provided a very convenient way, in the ancient world, where very few men were circumcised, to tell who the Jews were and who they weren't. Second, it is a ritual of initiation, and like rituals of initiation all over the world, it involves both making an alteration to the body (the genitals, cross-culturally, are a common site for body alterations in initiation rituals) and it involves pain that is accepted in the name of the initiation ritual.

When a baby boy is circumcised in the brit milah (aka the "briss", which is the Yiddish word), he becomes identifiable as a Jewish male.

These days, many Jewish women who are not Orthodox do pierce their ears. So do some Jewish men who are not Orthodox. Some Jews have tattoos. Some Jews decide for themselves that the past has a vote but not a veto in terms of what they do with their own bodies, and that the thousands-of-years-old prohibition against body modificiation did not feel relevant to them.

Some Jews are also uncircumsized, but it is very rare. Again, some Jewish parents, mostly in more liberal streams of Judaism, have decided that in this matter, the law of the past was not a reasonable law in light of what they know in the present. It's rare for Jewish parents not to have their sons circumsized, because of the weight of the law and tradition as well as the fact that infant circumcision has been shown by and large to have so few negative aftereffects, but it does occasionally happen.

Judaism is, and has always been, open to the reinterpretation of tradition and even to the reinterpretation of Jewish law to some extent. I would advise you, should you ever be in the position of deciding whether or not to circumcise a boy baby, to talk to your rabbi well in advance of the birth. Your feelings on the matter may change, and the influences of your family, your religious community, and your baby's other parent will all be important.

If you do decide not to circumcise a child, there is no reason at all that that child would not be Jewish or could not be raised as a Jew. Ultimately, Jewish ethnicity is matrilineal: if your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish. That's all it takes. Everything else is a matter of how one chooses to practice, what one chooses to believe (yes, there are Jews who do not believe in G-d, and there is even a specific name for them within Judaism), and to what degree one wishes to observe the Halakah (laws).

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted


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Astarte
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Wow, Hanne. Thanks so much for your help. My dad is actually a mohel, so I'll be talking to him, and to a rabbi, if I ever come across a situation in which I'd have to decide whether or not to circumsize my child. But thank you very much for all the information, it's really helpful!

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--Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.--


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Hanne
Sexpert
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De nada, chica. Glad I could help.

Very interesting, to have your dad be a mohel! I'm sure that's given you ample opportunity to think about circumcision, for sure.

For those of you who don't know what a "mohel" (say it "moyl") is, a mohel is a Jewish man who has been trained to perform ritual circumcision. He's not necessarily a doctor, though some doctors are also mohels, but he is very well-trained to perform this minor surgery and knows what to look out for if there are problems. It's not a full-time job, so most people who are mohels also have regular jobs like anyone else, and consider their work as mohels a part of their contribution to the Jewish community.

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted


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zebgirl
Activist
Member # 54

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My mom is so cool, she got into a debate at her work about the matter of circumcision and has used information form this discussion.
This board is terrific, I have been able to keep her updated on what is being discussed and she said she has used alot of the information in talking to the ladies and young women at work. It appears that her office is near a 50/50 split on the matter. She said most of the women didn't have a good grasp of the whole circumcision thing and that many just went along with the status quo. I hope we will continue to get good feedback. I think women, girls and guys need to know so they can make informed decisions.

Keep Posting, ther is still alot more to hear.


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Ron
Activist
Member # 484

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Hello all. I'm sorry I missed this discussion earlier. Looking quickly through the many posts there is one issue that has, curiously, not been mentioned on the medical side of this issue.

Cevical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease, caused by a virus (I believe there is quite a bit of info on this elswhere on scarleteen) The virus can cause a serious and painful infection of the penis but this is rare; the most common effect is on women: cervical cancer.

The foreskin is the ideal location for the virus and so uncircumsized men who are not especially careful to clean themselves before having sexual relations are very much more likely to transmit this virus.

I only recently became aware of this situation, though is has been known in medical circles for some time. It is one of those issues of womens health that just doesn't get discussed. In this topic, for example.

Though I was circumsized, for many of the reasons given by people here, we did not circumsize our son and our daughter did not circumsize our grandson. However, after becoming aware of this issue, I might make a different decision if I had it to do over again.


Posts: 364 | From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hanne
Sexpert
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You're talking about human papilloma virus. HPV is *one* of the possible precursors for cervical cancer, but does not *always* lead to cervical cancer. Circumcized and uncircumcized men can both get and transmit HPV. Circumcision does not remove any man's risk of contracting HPV.

For more on HPV, read our article at http://www.scarleteen.com/pink/pages/health_index.html

------------------
Hanne Blank
Associate Editor, Scarleteen

"Be Excellent To Each Other" -- Bill and Ted


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Ron
Activist
Member # 484

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Dear Hanne,
Yes, I have read your excellent article on HPV. In it is says:

"The genital strains of HPV are a major contributor to cervical cancer, which tens of thousands of women develop each year, and around 7,000 women die from annually."

I.e. a major women's health problem and HPV is a major cause.

Unfortunately, neither in the article nor anywhere I have read is there any evidence to support your statement that uncircumcized men are not more likely to contract or transmit HPV. On the contrary, I just heard a talk by a medical anthrpologist who studies cervical cancer in Mexico (the major cause of death of women in reproductive age in southern Mexico, ie among Indian women!)in which she mentioned evidence to the contrary. She didn't give me her references, though I think I'll get in touch with her and see if I can get them.

My point is, Hanne, that this is something that people don't want to face up to. I suggest we all do some digging and find out really what is known and what is just wishful thinking about this.

By the way, I think I'll take the chance here to say how much I appreciate the effort you and Heather and everyone make here. These boards are so important. Thanks.


Posts: 364 | From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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