Okay I’m pretty new to the whole entire thing about circumcision. I just started reading about it and it gets worse and worse and worse. The idea makes me want to throw up. My god it is disgusting. I grabbed this off of here.
I mean really. No lasting effects? Less healthy? Nu-uh. Not true. Everything I’m going to put in to here in from the article.
First of all, i just asked my mom if I would be circumcised if I had been born with a male body. Sadly, she said yes. Why? “Because it is healthier.” So let’s start where circumcision came into play. Basically, it came about because doctors weren’t sure what caused diseases and what not. At the time this made sense to them. A lot of things we know now weren’t known then.
“In the mid-19th-century, before doctors discovered germs, they devised a disease theory called ‘reflex neurosis.’ This theory held that stimulation, (then called ‘irritation’ or ‘neurosis’) of sensitive tissue, would cause disease to appear in a distant part of the body (the reflex). As the genitals are intensely sensitive tissue, doctors blamed disease even on innocent touching ‘down there.’ A refinement of this theory claimed that children touched themselves because smegma, the natural substance that both sexes produce, would sour, become itchy, and draw the child’s attention to his (or her) genitalia.
Thus if a boy in 1870 contracted tuberculosis, he was accused of ‘irritating’ his penis. The solution? Aggressive, regular, internal cleaning -or circumcision. This medical theory was a perfect fit with the sexual mores of the Victorian era. Thus began a hundred-year tradition in English-language medicine of vilifying the genitals, both male and female, as the source not only of disease, but also a potential temptation to offend ‘moral hygiene.’ Doctors reasoned that rigorous cleaning, drying-up, desensitizing (with acid), or even amputation of genital mucosal tissue (i.e., circumcision) was both a medical and a moral imperative.”
Along with the history, there are a lot of hygine myths. There are plenty in this article and I’m going to put in the ones my mom said.
Myth: You have to get the baby circumcised because it is really hard to keep a baby’s penis clean.
Reality check: In babies, the foreskin is completely fused to the head of the penis. You cannot and should not retract it to clean it, as this would cause the child pain, and is akin to trying to clean the inside of a baby girl’s vagina. The infant foreskin is perfectly designed to protect the head of the penis and keep feces out. All you have to do is wipe the outside of the penis like a finger. It is harder to keep circumcised baby’s penis clean because you have to carefully clean around the wound, make sure no feces got into the wound, and apply ointment.
Myth: Little boys won’t clean under their foreskins and will get infections.
Reality check: The foreskin separates and retracts on its own sometime between age 3 and puberty. Before it retracts on its own, you wipe the outside off like a finger. After it retracts on its own, it will get clean during the boy’s shower or bath. Once a boy discovers this cool, new feature of his penis, he will often retract the foreskin himself during his bath or shower, and you can encourage him to rinse it off. But he should not use soap as this upsets the natural balance and is very irritating. There is nothing special that the parents need to do. Most little boys have absolutely no problem playing with their penises in the shower or anywhere else! It was harder to teach my boys to wash their hair than it was to care for their penises. (Camille 2002)
Myth: Uncircumcised penises get smelly smegma.
Reality check: Actually, smegma is produced by the genitals of both women and men during the reproductive years. Smegma is made of sebum and skin cells and lubricates the foreskin and glans in men, and the clitoral hood and inner labia in women. It is rinsed off during normal bathing and does not cause cancer or any other health problems.
Myth: Circumcision is worth it because it can save lives.
Reality check: Consider breast cancer: There is a 12% chance that a woman will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Removal of the breast buds at birth would prevent this, and yet no one would advocate doing this to a baby. It is still considered somewhat shocking when an adult woman chooses to have a prophylactic mastectomy because she has the breast cancer gene, yet this was a personal choice done based upon a higher risk of cancer. The lifetime risk of acquiring HIV is less than 2% for men, and can be lowered to near 0% through condom-wearing (Hall 2008). How, then, can we advocate prophylactic circumcision for baby boys?
I also feel I should include this:
Myth: "My uncle wasn’t circumcised and he kept getting infections and had to be circumcised as an adult."
Reality check: Medical advice may have promoted infection in uncircumcised males. A shocking number of doctors are uneducated about the normal development of the foreskin, and they (incorrectly) tell parents that they have to retract the baby’s foreskin and wash inside it at every diaper change. Doing this tears the foreskin and the tissue (called synechia) that connects it to the head of the penis, leading to scarring and infection.
Misinformation was especially prevalent during the 1950s and 60s, when most babies were circumcised and we didn’t know as much about the care of the intact penis, which is why the story is always about someone’s uncle. Doing this to a baby boy would be like trying to clean the inside of a baby girl’s vagina with Q-tips at every diaper change. Rather than preventing problems, such practices would cause problems by introducing harmful bacteria. Remember that humans evolved from animals, so no body part that required special care would survive evolutionary pressures. The human genitals are wonderfully self-cleaning and require no special care.
Do you know what the babies have to go through to get circumcised? My god is it terrible. I saw a post on here a couple of days ago about a man who informs people about the pain babies go through to be circumcised.
Myth 1: They just cut off a flap of skin.
Reality check: Not true. The foreskin is half of the penis’s skin, not just a flap. In an adult man, the foreskin is 15 square inches of skin. In babies and children, the foreskin is adhered to the head of the penis with the same type of tissue that adheres fingernails to their nail beds. Removing it requires shoving a blunt probe between the foreskin and the head of the penis and then cutting down and around the whole penis. Check out these photos: http://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html (seriously look at this).
Please, if you don’t believe that it hurts a lot, do as the man said in the post I found a while ago: Take a razor, shove it under your nail and peel it off. Don’t want to do it because it will hurt? Well damn! Think of what your son must think!
Furthermore it will impare them sexually in the future. This video explains the purpose of foreskin. (NSFW). Basically, the foreskin protects the sensitive head of the penis. The foreskin retracts when stimulated, to expose the head. When the foreskin is removed, the head of the penis must adapt to being out in the open. Then the skin grows several layers of skin. It should feel moist and soft but this makes it tough and dry. The several layers of skin also tone down the amount of please a man can get during intercourse.
But my doctor used anesthesia!
No, anesthesia doesn’t always help, either.
Myth 2: It doesn’t hurt the baby.
Reality check: Wrong. In 1997, doctors in Canada did a study to see what type of anesthesia was most effective in relieving the pain of circumcision. As with any study, they needed a control group that received no anesthesia. The doctors quickly realized that the babies who were not anesthetized were in so much pain that it would be unethical to continue with the study. Even the best commonly available method of pain relief studied, the dorsal penile nerve block, did not block all the babies’ pain. Some of the babies in the study were in such pain that they began choking and one even had a seizure (Lander 1997).
Myth 3: My doctor uses anesthesia.
Reality check: Not necessarily. Most newborns do not receive adequate anesthesia. Only 45% of doctors who do circumcisions use any anesthesia at all. Obstetricians perform 70% of circumcisions and are least likely to use anesthesia - only 25% do. The most common reasons why they don’t? They didn’t think the procedure warranted it, and it takes too long (Stang 1998). A circumcision with adequate anesthesia takes a half-hour - if they brought your baby back sooner, he was in severe pain during the surgery.
But hey! My kid won’t remember it so who cares!
(Trigger warning to rape).
So, lets say someone puts a rufi in your drink. You pass out and they rape you. You can’t really move and perhaps you don’t remember it. Does that make it right for the rapist to rape you or put you in distress?
No. The key point in that indium is just because you can doesn’t mean you should and just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean it isn’t bad or won’t affect you later.
Myth 4: Even if it is painful, the baby won’t remember it.
Reality check: The body is a historical repository and remembers everything. The pain of circumcision causes a rewiring of the baby’s brain so that he is more sensitive to pain later (Taddio 1997, Anand 2000). Circumcision also can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, low self-esteem and problems with intimacy (Boyle 2002, Hammond 1999, Goldman 1999). Even with a lack of explicit memory and the inability to protest - does that make it right to inflict pain? Ethical guidelines for animal research whenever possible* - do babies deserve any less?
The last thing I’m going to pull out of the article is that it doesn’t cause any long term harm. Oh sweet Jesus are you wrong! There is so much more in this article but I think that hopefully this will be enough to start to get other people enlightened about this terrible practice.
Reality check: Incorrect. Removal of healthy tissue from a non-consenting patient is, in itself, harm (more on this point later). Circumcision has an array of risks and side effects. There is a 1-3% complication rate during the newborn period alone (Schwartz 1990). Here is a short list potential complications.
Meatal Stenosis: Many circumcised boys and men suffer from meatal stenosis. This is a narrowing of the urethra which can interfere with urination and require surgery to fix.
Adhesions. Circumcised babies can suffer from adhesions, where the foreskin remnants try to heal to the head of the penis in an area they are not supposed to grow on. Doctors treat these by ripping them open with no anesthesia.
Buried penis. Circumcision can lead to trapped or buried penis - too much skin is removed, and so the penis is forced inside the body. This can lead to problems in adulthood when the man does not have enough skin to have a comfortable erection. Some men even have their skin split open when they have an erection. There are even more sexual consequences, which we will address in a future post.
Infection. The circumcision wound can become infected. This is especially dangerous now with the prevalence of hospital-acquired multi-drug resistant bacteria.
Death. Babies can even die of circumcision. Over 100 newborns die each year in the USA, mostly from loss of blood and infection (Van Howe 1997 & 2004, Bollinger 2010).
In conclusion, whenever my sister has kids I hope she doesn’t circumcise her boys (granted she has any). It is terrible, disgusting and should not be the childs choice. It should be made by the person himself. Not the parents! This procedure disgusts me as much as transphobia, the meat and dairy industry and homophobia.
Again, if you disagree with me, peel your fingernail off with a razorblade. Case settled. Don’t circumcise your kids.
Oh, and if you’re one of those people who say men have no right talking about abortion and what not, then women have no say in male circumcision either. Everyone’s voice should be heard, even if their voice is that of ignorance.
tl;dr: It hurts the males sex life and traumatizes the baby. It also has no health benefits. Also, women who say men can’t talk about abortion, then women can’t talk about circumcision
Bodily autonomy for all. Not just pregnant women. Not just infant girls. Every. Person. Deserves. Protection. From. Irreversible. Painful. Even fatal. Procedures.