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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Circumcision (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Circumcision
fonz
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"im catholic so thats why i was circumsized"-Conker

WHAT!!!!! catholics don't get circumcised as a practice of religion do they? I'm catholic and ok my family aren't that religious but myself, my sister and all my cousins went through the usual sacraments and the only one the boys recieved as babies was baptism i.e. :pouring holy water on the head of the infant to remove original sin.

i can't believe i never heard of that. I've been catholic for a good 17 and a half years now and nobody ever mentioned that. Either we can chalk it up to the general genital-shame which prevents people from talking about these issues in modern society or well, i'm from ireland...maybe we just don't here.

[ 07-29-2006, 10:07 AM: Message edited by: fonz ]

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-Lauren-
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I forgot what biblical references point towards circumcision, if any. Either way, different congregations interpret certain passages differently, even if they do share the same general branch of religion.

I think mostly it has to do with geographical location, as you said. Conker is from the US, where circumcision is really a lot more prevalent than most European nations.

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blarg
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I know that circumcision is explicitly talked about (and required of Jews as part of the covenant that Abraham made with God) in the Old testament, but it's very unclear what the position is on it in the New Testament . . . I wrote a paper on this for my "Origins of Christian Thought" class last year. Way back when Christianity was just starting out, people basically thought that it was just like, "Judaism Plus", and Christians wanted people to recognize them as distinct from Judaism. One of the big distinctions that the early theologians made (my paper was on Justin Martyr, who wrote a huge theological dialogue about how Judaism is invalidated now that we have Christianity, specifically in regards to circumcision) was that Jews require circumcision, whereas Christians do not, because Jesus gave them a new covenant that replaced Abraham's old covenant. Thus, now Jesus will "circumcize" one's heart of sin, in place of people being required to be literally circumcized as a mark of their covenant with God; i.e. faith in Jesus IS circumcision, spiritually speaking.

It's really weird, but that was pretty much the accepted position, and I believe it still might be part of the Roman Catholic church's doctrine, that circumcision is not necessary. I know Justin Martyr was vehemently anti-circumcision, saying that if you got circumcised as a Christian, you were attempting to be both Jewish and Christian, which meant that you didn't have true faith. He was a bit radical, but his basic teachings were acknowledged as canon.

So yeah, long story short, I don't believe that the Catholic church requires or recommends circumcision, unless they made some sort of decree that I didn't ever hear about.

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-J-
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First may I commend Miss RedGoddess for her excelent intro to this topic and her followups as well. She is well spoken and a pleasure to read.

I have written extensively on this subject in other website over the past several years.

Mr. blarg mentioned:
quote:
Yeah, I guess I get a little huffy about this topic, mostly because when it comes up, it always seems to be accusatory in some way. I know that's not the intention, but there really seem to be no neutral or non-strong opinions on the subject . . .
It seems that just about anyone who has engaged in this topic has about the same reaction, regardless of which side they are on. It seems that no mater how objective you try to make the information you present, you are quickly labeled by the other side as an extreamist and your "facts" have no validity with them. Rather then expect to find a neutral website to get your objective facts from on this subject, may I suggest that you carefully read as much as you can, and then try to check each of the facts from all sides. That would be the best way to sort through the biases and come to a conclsion of your own. But then be prepared to be discredited for now having any opinon that differs from an opponet.

When I grew up 50+ years ago, this topic and all of the discussion of sex was just not appropiate in our family, and not even at school beyond a special "sex ed" class. I know the term circumcize from the Bible and as tht book explained it, it was the cutting off of the foreskin. Beyond that I really knew nothing. I looked at my penis and saw a clear head demarced from the shaft and assumed that I was just the way God made me. I didn't see any evidence of cutting and I assumed that anyone who was circumcized would have that head part cut off. I carried that understanding into marriage.

When I was about 3 or 4, my dad and I would shower together in the communal facility in the trailer park where we lived at the time. While I do remember seeing my dad's penis in the shower, all I really remember was that it seemed huge. While growing up, I never really saw it after that. When we began to take showers in school, I began to see a few penises that looked quite different then mine and most other guys. These had loose skin coming down over the tip. Given my understanding of circumcision, I naturally assumed that these guys had been circumcised and the clearly defined head had be cut off and the skin left to hand over the end. There weren't many to look at in those days.

Somehow, I got it straightened out and discovered that I had been the cut one all along. Marriage lead to babies and I had two boys and the decision of whether to circumcise them or not. Our health organization had prep classes for parents-to-be and the subject of circumcizing was discussed. At the time (1970) is was still very routine to cut all little boys penises, but it did require special permission. The class discussed the some of the pros and cons giving the old assumptions (cleaner, healthier, etc), but did mention that it didn't have to be done. My wife and I discussed it afterward and being a good Christian, turned to the Bible for guidance. The Appostile Paul had said that the Gentiles should NOT be circumcised and that became our guild for our boys.

So 2 uncirc boys with their cir'd father. I hadn't realized at the time that my father was uncirc'd. So there was my uncirc'd father, circ'd me, and my uncirc'd boys. The concept that a boy should "look" like his father never seemed to be an issue with any of us. I hear this argument in support of getting the boys circ'd, just so they will look like their father.

While I had 2 uncirc'd boys, I knew very little about foreskins and their care. I had to learn. There was not much out there back then and I just did the best with what I could find out. The peditiricians that were "surprised" that the boys were uncut and had to ask "why" and did we want it done now came up a few times. We bascially were told to do "nothing" with the foreskin and it would take care of itself. It did! The boys are now in their 30s and there has been no trouble.

I continued to search out info on circumcision and have learned a lot about it in the past 40 years. I have come to the point some years ago that I wished I had my foreskin, but that I wasn't going to "blame" mom and dad, who I'm sure did what the doctors told them was best at the time I was born. I never did discuss it with either of them before their passing, so I don't really know exactly what their choice was, if any. I realize I can't cry over spilt milk, and the skin with all those nerves is long gone and I can never have it back.

I understand how parents today just keep cutting their boys as if that is the way it should be, but I can't help to realize that if they really knew what it was about, and could get past the way dad looks, that most of them would not choose to cut their sons these days. The other argument I've heard a lot is from women that think that a circ'd penis looks a lot better. However, that typically would be the result of not having seen many natural penises. The thing about natural penises is how different each one looks as the foreskin adds a lot of distinctiveness to it's looks. Do we really want all penises to look nearly the same? And do you realize that one effect of circumcision can be a reduction in the length of the erect penis by having the shaft skin pull tight and not allow the the fullest extension of the penis?

There is a whole lot that could be said about botched circumcisions. Boys that are "made" into girls after their penises were too badly damaged to leave them as boys. Only problem there is that their brains are still boys and what a conflict that makes growing up! Other damage is not uncommon as a result of problems with that surgery. Is it worth that risk?

I'd like to see the cycle broken in this generation, but realize it will take understanding to overcome the myths of the past century here in North America.

I also understand that guys that have grown up circ'd, really have no idea what it is like to have a foreskin. We hear a lot about cleaniness because smaga forms under the foreskin and needs to be cleaned out or it stinks and can carry disease. We get the impression that this is an extra task that take special effort to do, and we don't realiz that the entire foreskin just simply slides up the shaft to expose the glans (head) and all the "inside" skin that was protecting the glans and it is very easy and natural to clean. On little boys, the inside of the foreskin adhears to the glans until some later point in their development when it can be slid back. It is not necessary to pull it back at that point and it should not be done until it releases on it own. With it adhearing, there is no need to clean "inside" the foreskin as there really is no "inside" yet. At some point when the foreskin can retract, boy ned to be taught to retract it when they pee to keep it clean and help their aim as well. I've seen many uncirc'd men who don't know this and leave their foreskin complete forward when they pee and the result can be a badly misguided stream or a spray pattern. No wonder women think men can't aim when we stand! (but that's another topic).

I have learned that sex should be better with the foreskin for both the man and the woman. With the difference in sensitivity of the penis in the vagina, the uncirc'd man will move more slowly, prolonging his ejaculation and her enjoyment of his penis in her vagina. It is, of course, virtually impossible to compare the feelings between circ'd and uncirc'd because there are so few that have experienced it both ways and for the few that have been cut as adults with a sexual experience, there was something likely that caused them to be cut that negates the experience they might report.

I hope this has been insightful for the topic at hand. Thanks,

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-J-

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asex
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quote:
Originally posted by Miz Scarlet:
quote:
Infant circumcision is illegal in the US, plain and simple. You can only conduct cosmetic surgeries on infants in the case of gross deformities, not because you don't like the way the human body looks.
I know of no law which makes infant circumcision illegal in the U.S. (or cosmetic procedures for infants and minors.) Certainly, given issues of consent, it is precarious, but given that parents can lawfully consent to medical procedures for their children, unless the parents do not consent, I do not know of any law which could be applied here. It'd sure be interesting if there was one (especially given that genital surgeries are STILL arbitrarily done on infants with "ambiguous" genitalia), though I'd be more than shocked if there were, given hospitals and doctors overall caution per malpractice issues.

Might you reference the federal law you're referring to?

He did. He said "cosmetic surgery on a baby is illegal". The problem with his logic is that circumcision is not considered cosmetic, even though it is.
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PenguinBoy
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My views on the subject are decided by a number of things.

My opinion is that religion is as much as as personal belief. I don't think it's anything more. So circumcision is a decision made on peoples personal thoughts. It's the altering of your child's body based on what you think.

By that standard, I may say, I will chop my child's finger off safely with a sterilized knife, because I believe it to be important.

Why are the thoughts someone who believes their child should should be circumcised so much more valid than mine?

Why will I be arrested for child abuse and grievous bodily harm?

Answers are History, and numbers. Governments probably themselves also agree to a great extent that circumcisions are OK. So they don't mind. And if they did, there's a huge number of voters who they need to satisfy, that ALSO think it's OK.

People can do things based on their beliefs, but when beliefs conflict. There's almost no solution. Because no-one knows the truth. The only way for it to be fair is for those who do not agree with it to say so.

It's hard because as I say, history; people have lived for it long enough that it doesn't pose any psychological problems for them now. I think they need to consider the actual pain of the baby, just cause you don't remember something doesn't mean it's OK.

Also when you think about it, it's hard for the law to be challenged, because not many people will be wanting to take their parents to court! Even if they DO disagree. That makes it a bit of a loophole in fact.

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katherose
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There was a recent study completed in Africa showing that males who were circumcised as adults were 50% less likely to contract AIDS.
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dailicious
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(Hey, katherose, we've actually got a topic up about that already: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=22;t=000147 check it out to get a bit more dicussion on the topic [Smile] )

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Jean
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conan
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Your claim that the "vast" majority of American males are circumcised is an exaggeration. There has been a steady decline for quite a few years. The last year in this report in 2005 was around 55%.

http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/USA/

There is a correlation between who pays and who gets circumcised. When the insurance plans don't cover it families often choose not to have their sons circumcised.

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purple_squirtle
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I just wanted to comment on this, I thought this news article from the UK might be interesting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6368023.stm

this baby died of a heart attack right after being circumcised. Maybe he had a weak heart and would have died anyway, but I can't help thinking that the trauma of circumcision probably didn't help.

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dustindawind
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The biggest problem with leaving the foreskin is too many circumcised men are ignorant towards it. I myself didn't know I was any different till my doctor told me that it was attached to my skin ( which it is supposed to be until the beginning of puberty or slightly earlier.)the doctor then proceeded to get other doctors together (all circumcised)and they all gave their opinions and then forced my foreskin back causing scars. If the doctor actually understood what he was talking about I would be much better off.They also told me that I should get my foreskin removed at the age of 10. I didn't And im lad I didn't. the doctors caused a lot of sexual fear and ignorance in my childhood and early teens.
I now like and accept my penis and I dont care what others say about it.
People who are circumcised for religious reasons are told to be circumcised on the 8th day(or by the 8th day) that is why the whole reasoning of letting the child choose is ruled out.

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selina
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docs have decided that circumcision reduces AIDS. go figure. i'm jewish and think that it hasn't negatively impacted on men in my circle
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LilBlueSmurf
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Circumcision MAY reduce AIDS in at-risk populations. As in, populations that can't or just don't use condoms.

Here in Canada and the United States and UK, we have condoms, and the 'average joe' can afford to buy them.

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-J-
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A new study points out that there is real value to having the foreskin on the penis. "Intact men enjoy four times more penile sensitivity than circumcised men, according to the "Fine-touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis" article published today in the British Journal of Urology International. The study was conducted to map fine-touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and noncircumcised males to compare the two populations." The complete study is linked here: http://www.nocirc.org/touch-test/touchtest.php.

I posted further in the section "Circumcision and HIV..." to keep the topics separate. http://www.scarleteen.com/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=22&t=000147#000007

In this forum, there has been some discussion of the religious origins of circumcision. Recently, I ran into some history of circumcision that suggested that as originally performed by the Jews, only the tip of the foreskin was cut off, but the remainder that covered the glans penis was left intact. However, century ago, it seems some Jews wanted to look like they were uncircumcised and began stretching the remaining foreskin to restore themselves, so a rabbi decreed that the full skin, all the way back to the shaft should be removed. That would mean that the circumcision done today by the Jews is not the circumcision God commanded be done to the sons of Abraham. Just how do you really define foreskin? After all, the surface skin of the penis is attached at two ends - at the base of the shaft where the shaft meets the body, and just behind the glans. This forms a sliding tube of skin that folds over itself after coming forward to the tip end and folding back on itself. This tube of skin is free to slide back and forth along the whole length of the penile shaft. Further, it protects the mucus membranes of the glans from drying out. I tried to find out about the Islamic practice, but it seems to be the same as the Jewish practice of today, but I have no idea if or when it was changes as the two procedures had the same origin (Abraham).

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-J-

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dustindawind
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most of these posts are bias the one from nocirc was a site that was totally anti circumcision and completly twisting the details for itself the aids post had no real backing behind it's view and was pro circumcision I would much rather see something that is not made to support a side.
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dustindawind
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correction both are anti circumcision but i want to see proof not opinions
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-Lauren-
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Proof of what? We can link you to medical sites that describe the process of circumcision and cultural/religious reasons why it is commonly performed, but asking for "facts" otherwise that aren't biased is about as possible as seeking "facts" of the morality of something like abortion. You get me?
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dustindawind
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I get where you are coming from but often these controvercial topics are filled with how people feel about it and not what it really is. Just because someone is/isn't circumcised they feel they have to justify themselves (or the way they are). I myself don't like this ad would rather know what the health/pleasure risks and benefits are. Everyone is bias and I don't mind debate but I would really like some backing behind the debate.
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Conscience-calmed
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In response to the study in Africa, of COURSE circumcision reduces the risk of AIDS. Cutting of women's breasts at birth would reduce breast cancer rates, I'm sure.

I have an aunt who is vehemently anti-circumcision, and I can see why. There is nothing wrong with letting a boy reach 18 and allowing him to make a major decision about his penis.

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By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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Leabug
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(Just to clarify.. that's not really an accurate comparison; circumcision isn't entirely removing the penis, so you can't really compare it to cutting off a breast.)

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Lea

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Conscience-calmed
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I was making the point that cutting off tissue that could become harmed will result in less tissue to BE harmed. Sorry about that. [Smile]

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We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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-J-
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quote:
Originally posted by dustindawind:
I get where you are coming from but often these controvercial topics are filled with how people feel about it and not what it really is. Just because someone is/isn't circumcised they feel they have to justify themselves (or the way they are). I myself don't like this [and] would rather know what the health/pleasure risks and benefits are. Everyone is bias and I don't mind debate but I would really like some backing behind the debate.

What I've see you say on several posts now is rhetoric like "everyone is bias" or "the one from nocirc was a site that was totally anti circumcision and completly twisting the details for itself the aids post had no real backing behind it's view and was pro circumcision" You went on to add: "I would much rather see something that is not made to support a side.". Excuse me Mr. "I don't need the facts because I already know the truth" dustindawind, sir. I have presented facts in the form of scientifically reviewed and published data, and as far as I can tell, so has nocirc. I don't mind a factual discussion, in fact, I welcome it. If you have some real facts to present to us, especially with sources, I'd love to see it. What qualifies you to judge everyone else's facts as just bias, while not presenting any facts of you own? You have also stated that "Just because someone is/isn't circumcised they feel they have to justify themselves (or the way they are)." How would you know that? Is this another "fact" you have mystically ascertained [Confused] ? My father was uncut, I was cut, I did not cut either of my sons. What am I justifying? I've been earnestly studying this topic for 40 years now, and because I share a point I've learned you can just dismiss what I have to say as bias? You go on to say
quote:
I myself don't like this [and] would rather know what the health/pleasure risks and benefits are.
Didn't I give you just such a health/pleasure benefit in the scientific touch sensitivity study I posted a link to?
quote:
Everyone is bias and I don't mind debate but I would really like some backing behind the debate.
That would be great, can we start with you giving some facts now on this topic? Isn't this section of the forum specific for the ethics and politics of circumcision, and is there not a different section to discuss the physical properties of circ?

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-J-

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Leabug
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[Hey, J, let's keep the tone civil here okay? I realize this is a very touchy subject, but we want to encourage discussion and different opinions.]

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Lea

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dustindawind
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I am extremely sorry, I did not mean to offend you and i didn't mean to seem like a know it all I admit that I don't know the facts and i probably never will I wont ever experience being circumcised and you will never experience being uncircumcised. so neither of us will ever have a clear understanding of this topic nomatter how much research and effort we put into this topic. The reason I talked that way was unjustified. Sorry J and I don't want to have this held against me and I wont hold anything towards you.
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-Lauren-
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(Hey, dustindawind! Just wanted to leave you a note that your diplomacy and tact is really awesome to see, and very much appreciated. It makes it way easier to have a productive discussion. [Smile] )
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dustindawind
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The way that aids is passed is from contact of mucous membranes the glans is not considered a mucous membrane and the way that it is passed is during vaginal/anal sex coming in contact with some sort of contusion or cut on the penis the question i have is it more likely to get a cut when the foreskin is intact or is the risk more because the penis is more venerable or is it because uncircumcised are less likely to use protection because they are from families that can not afford condoms or circumcision.
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-J-
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quote:
Originally posted by dustindawind:
I am extremely sorry, I did not mean to offend you and i didn't mean to seem like a know it all I admit that I don't know the facts and i probably never will I wont ever experience being circumcised and you will never experience being uncircumcised. so neither of us will ever have a clear understanding of this topic no matter how much research and effort we put into this topic. The reason I talked that way was unjustified. Sorry J and I don't want to have this held against me and I wont hold anything towards you.

Thank you so much. I was only trying to issue a wake-up call so we could have a good discussion. I thought you were off to a good start when you described yourself and I look forward to having that discussion with you and others. I would suggest that you are among the blessed ones that didn't have parents whack them off at birth. You are correct in that it is very difficult to "cross the fence", especially from cut to uncut. I communicated with a fellow that had his cut as an adult, but come to find out, he had been keeping it in the retracted position full time since he was in his teens, and therefore he never really experienced a fully intact penis as an adult, so having it circumcised did nothing to change his perception. It becomes such a difficult topic to discuss in an objective way for a number of reasons. The press with their selective reporting don't help give an objective position on any research either.

I welcome a full discussion with you and can respect your position.
-J-

Posts: 19 | From: California | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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