Circumcision and the risk of STDs

Male circumcision is a difficult topic to discuss rationally. At the core, it’s a medical procedure, but it’s one tinged with centuries of cultural influences, and emotions tend to run high on both the pro- or anti-circumcision side of the discussion. One of the reasons that’s been given in favor of circumcision is that it lowers the risk of disease, including diseases transmitted by sexual contact. However, while this data has been fairy unambiguous regarding some diseases (including the reduction in HIV transmission due to circumcision), the effect circumcision has on the spread of others has been less clear. A new paper addresses this ambiguity, and finds that routine circumcision could reduce STD rates by as much as half.

As noted in this write-up of the research:

The current study is just one of many that have looked at this controversial topic. While most research has found that circumcision reduces the rates of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), syphilis and genital ulcers, the results are more mixed for other STDs.

What made this study unique is that it’s a 25-year long longitudinal study. That is, they’ve been able to collect data and follow their cohort of participants for a good portion of their lives, and have information on everything from birth weight and parents’ education to their current number of sex partners and diagnoses for various STDs. The study size isn’t too bad, either–510 total, 154 of them who were circumcised. (The study was done in New Zealand, which has lower circumcision rates than, say, the U.S.) So not a huge study, but a nice-sized cohort.

To examine how circumcision affected STD acquisition, the authors gathered data on STDs in both the circumcised and non-circumcised participants. (This is a limitation of the study, as the data are self-reported [which brings in bias], but presumably there’s no reason why those who are circumcised would be less likely to report STDs than those who aren’t). They then took all the data regarding STD acquisition, circumcision status, and other variables such as number of sex partners, condom usage, and socioeconomic status and crunched the data. Overall, they found that uncircumcised males had a 2.66 times higher risk of acquiring an STD than circumcised males; that increased to 3.19 when variables such as number of partners and condom use were included in the model. Finally, they then calculated the population attributable risk estimate for circumcision–that is, how much disease can be explained or prevented by the factor that they’re looking at (in this case, circumcision). As noted in the introduction, they determined that “if all of the cohort members were circumcised, the overall rate of STI would reduce by 48.2%”

Of course, there are other ways to reduce sexually transmitted infections. Have fewer partners. Use condoms more consistently. (In this study, they note that 77% reported having sex without a condom at least once). But what’s important about this study–and much research on circumcision and STDs–is that, even when controlling for partner number and condom use, circumcision still provides additional protection from disease.

Is it a reason to circumcise? That’s a tougher question to answer. As noted in the MSNBC article:

The American Academy of Pediatrics has called the evidence “complex and conflicting,” and therefore concludes that, at present, the evidence is insufficient to support routine neonatal circumcision.

I don’t think this current study will sway that position, but certainly it lends weight to the stance that there *are* medical benefits to circumcision. What to do with that information is more difficult.

Reference

Fergusson DM et al. 2006. Circumcision Status and Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infection in Young Adult Males: An Analysis of a Longitudinal Birth Cohort. Pediatrics. 118:1971-1977. Link.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    November 7, 2006

    Tara writes:

    But what’s important about this study–and much research on circumcision and STDs–is that, even when controlling for partner number and condom use, circumcision still provides additional protection from disease.

    As a adult male who shall we say, is still wearing his turtleneck, would it make any sense to opt for circumcision for health reasons? I understand that for adults the procedure is somewhat more risky than for an infant. I imagine the evidence would therefore be even less convincing in this case.

    Also, wherein lays the problem from uncircumcision? Is it mainly a cleanliness issue that’s hypothesized?

  2. #2 bob koepp
    November 7, 2006

    This is a difficult issue. There is a presumption in medicine (at least traditionally) of the intrinsic value of functional integrity. If circumcision is viewed strictly as a medical procedure, the functional role, if any, of an intact foreskin must be factored into the decision — i.e.,. if there is a function, then “loss of function” must certainly be weighed against any increased susceptibility to STDs. How does one weight something like functional integrity?

  3. #3 Craig Pennington
    November 7, 2006

    Is it a reason to circumcise?

    It is at least a reason not to promote government intrusion into the decision. As for the obligation of the doctors — offer the procedure and take ‘no’ for an answer or give info when asked. That’s exactly what happened when our son was born a few days ago.

  4. #4 jspreen
    November 7, 2006

    They then took all the data regarding STD acquisition

    No, they didn’t. They forgot to consider psychological factors. STDs are related to emotion and feelings of stain and guilt and fear and shame.

    At the top of the page I read:
    but it’s one tinged with centuries of cultural influences

    but this part of the story is totally ignored in the rest of the story.

    Is there any cultural difference between people who circumcise and those who don’t? For instance, as far as I know, Christians with their deeply rooted Victorian standards don’t circumcise.

    What causes STDs? Microbial infection or tight-assed Victorian standards? You can’t tell because only microorganisms are tiny enough to find a way into your narrow minded materialistic research hypotheses.

  5. #5 Korinthian
    November 7, 2006

    Something I don’t like about circumcision is that, in the USA, it’s done on babies (who do not have a choice in the matter) without any kind of anastetic. Seems a bit brutal, wouldn’t you say? Of course, this could be hearsay as I don’t really remember where I heard it. Oh well.

  6. #6 Seth Manapio
    November 7, 2006

    I’m trying to research the pros and cons of circumcision a bit since we found out we’re having a boy. Are there any good arguments against circumcision?

  7. #7 bob koepp
    November 7, 2006

    Seth – I can only suggest that you ask _several_ neonatologists, including some who recommend “routine” circumcision and some who don’t about this procedure. Then make your own decision. But definitely stay away from crusaders on either side of the issue.

  8. #8 Robster
    November 7, 2006

    Seth, the above risk of STDs is the one factor for circumcision that I am aware of, and in itself is enough for my wife and I to choose to go that way.

    spreen, thanks for a good laugh.

  9. #9 Tara C. Smith
    November 7, 2006

    Are there any good arguments against circumcision?

    Well, it is an optional procedure and there is the tiny chance of complications. Some people simply prefer to wait and let their son choose later if he wants to be circumcised or not. I’ve heard anecdotally that it may reduce sensitivity, but I’ve never heard any actual complaints about this from circumcised men.

    Dave,

    Also, wherein lays the problem from uncircumcision? Is it mainly a cleanliness issue that’s hypothesized?

    That’s part of it, but of course that can be controlled just with careful cleaning. Another line of thought is that some bacteria and viruses simply prefer to infect the cells of the foreskin, which isn’t something that can be changed with hygiene.

    As far as adult men, there is a campaign in Africa to increase circumcision rates there in adults simply because of the high prevalence of HIV, and the drastic effect that circumcision has on infection rates.

  10. #10 Robster
    November 7, 2006

    IIRC, circumcision almost completely removes the risk of penile cancer.

  11. #11 Chris Noble
    November 8, 2006

    Does this mean that circumcision encourages young men to engage in sinful promiscuous sex before marriage?

    Don’t tell the religious right about this study.

  12. #12 Alon Levy
    November 8, 2006

    Unless circumcised men are going to get a sex change, you don’t need to worry about that, Chris.

  13. #13 Claymore
    November 8, 2006

    I would like to see the actual numbers in the study – a 48% improvement sounds all very good, but what are the real numbers.

    For example, in the South African Orange Farm circumcision/HIV study, the news reports all crowed about a 60% reduction in HIV infection rates for circumcised men. However, if you looked at the actual rates of infection, it was something like 1.6% circumcised vs 3.2% uncircumcised – very small differences, in reality.

    In any case, I cannot see any reason for circumcising infants who have no choice in the matter. If they want it when they’re adults, that at least is their choice.

  14. #14 Claymore
    November 8, 2006

    Robster, that’s not correct. In fact, many (non-circumcising) European countries have much lower penile cancer rates than the (mostly circumcising) US does.

  15. #15 David Harmon
    November 8, 2006

    What about those reported immune functions for the foreskin?

  16. #16 Robster
    November 8, 2006

    Thanks, Claymore. ACS blurb on the issue.

  17. #17 Corbs
    November 8, 2006

    I had to look at this for my son a little while ago. In Australia (where I live) rates of circumcision in the 1960-70′s were high. It has now fallen substantially.

    In making my decision I found a very useful guide from our College of Paediatric Surgeons. The thing I liked about it most was that it was not a crusade and while acknowledging the cultural issues, it only gave medical advice. In short, they make the point that this is surgery and that in their view, in a developed country, the possible health benefits do not outweigh the risk of complications.

    Link: http://www.racp.edu.au/hpu/paed/circumcision/

    The link looks at HIV, UTI’s and penile cancer, but I wonder if it would change with this study?

    I notice the similar Canadian body has the same view. I suspect the US is not prepared to go this far given their larger proportion of people whose religion requires/encourages it.

  18. #18 Corbs
    November 8, 2006

    I had to look at this for my son a little while ago. In Australia (where I live) rates of circumcision in the 1960-70′s were high. It has now fallen substantially.

    In making my decision I found a very useful guide from our College of Paediatric Surgeons. The thing I liked about it most was that it was not a crusade and while acknowledging the cultural issues, it only gave medical advice. In short, they make the point that this is surgery and that in their view, in a developed country, the possible health benefits do not outweigh the risk of complications.

    Link: http://www.racp.edu.au/hpu/paed/circumcision/

    The link looks at HIV, UTI’s and penile cancer, but I wonder if it would change with this study?

    I notice the similar Canadian body has the same view. I suspect the US is not prepared to go this far given their larger proportion of people whose religion requires/encourages it.

  19. #19 Penny
    November 8, 2006

    Oy. So now I get to explain to my teen-age son that since he isn’t circumcised he has an increased chance of catching an STD?

    “Sorry, son. We thought we were being nice by not cutting off part of your penis when you were a baby, but now it seems that we may have increased your likelihood of getting AIDS or just the plain old clap. Good luck having a healthy normal sex life now that we’ve dropped that bomb in your lap!”

  20. #20 Rather not say
    November 9, 2006

    > it may reduce sensitivity, but I’ve never
    > heard any actual complaints about this
    > from circumcised men

    If I’m color-blind, people will tell me I dress funny.
    If I’ve got peripheral neuropathy, people will tell me I drop things.

    What sort of information would you expect would be available in this particular case to give a man a clue? “You last too long” maybe?

  21. #21 KiwiInOz
    November 9, 2006

    This New Zealander is glad that he wasn’t cut at birth, and ensured that his two sons weren’t cut either!

    Non-essential surgery is, well, non-essential.

  22. #22 bernarda
    November 11, 2006

    People who practice or people who defend circumcision are child molesters and perverts.

    The first rule of medicine is “do no harm”. Cutting off a large part of a boy’s healthy tissue is certainly doing harm.

    A bit of science for the superstitious circumizers:

    http://www.cirp.org/pages/anat/

    http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/taylor/

    Not only that, there is a market in foreskins. So circumcizers are selling human flesh.

    http://www.norm-uk.org/where_do_foreskins_go.html

    Doctors or others who practice circumcision are criminals. Period.

    Here is what they do. Watch the videos if you have a strong stomach.

    http://www.intact.ca/video.html

    http://www.infocirc.org/methods2.htm

    For more information.

    http://www.noharmm.org/

    Jews do not need to circumcize.

    http://jewishcircumcision.org/

    There is even more I could say, but with a little research, you will find more horror stories. In addition, circumcision is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and is a crime against humanity.

    Yes, I am vehement about this, and with cause. I don’t apologize for campaigning against child mutilation.

  23. #23 Eric
    November 11, 2006

    I deeply resist the notion that we should perform preventive surgery on healthy infants at birth, especially on the basis of a single study.

    How good are the controls? In the United States, circumcision rates are correlated with all kinds of things–the parents’ religion, their cultural subgroups, etc. And all these things are, in turn, potentially correlated with sexual (and hygienic) habits of circumcised males. Given the way we’ve seen (say) dietary and IQ studies flip-flop throughout the 20th century, I’m not particularly inclined to put much faith in one study on circumcision.

    I have absolutely no problem if consenting adults (or consenting teenagers with parental approval) want to have preventive surgery performed.

    But who wants to say to their son, “Hey, we figured that you’d have poor personal hygiene and that you’d use condoms unreliably. So we made this decision for you without even asking. And, well, it turned out that the study forgot to correct for [X]“?

    (Actually, what are the relative risks of postponing the surgery until, say, the early teen years? IIRC, infant circumcision runs a ~0.1% risk of serious complications.)

  24. #24 bernarda
    November 11, 2006

    I previously posted a detailed explanation about the crime of circumcision with various links, but apparently that hasn’t been accepted. I don’t know why.

    So, I suggest that readers start here:

    http://www.cirp.org/

    and here: http://www.noharmm.org/

    By following links, you can find some rather shocking pictures and videos.

  25. #25 bernarda
    November 11, 2006

    Just by a little google search “circumcision video”, I found this perverted video.

    http://www.samkuninmd.com/docinfo/circvid2.html

  26. #26 bernarda
    November 11, 2006

    I am not at all sorry about going on about the brutality of circumcision. Here is another video.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8212662920114237112&hl=en

  27. #27 Seth Manapio
    November 12, 2006

    “I previously posted a detailed explanation about the crime of circumcision with various links, but apparently that hasn’t been accepted. I don’t know why.”

    —————-

    The spam filter catches any post with 3+ links and the blog owner has to view them to verify they are not spam. This can take a while, depending on how busy the blog owner is.

    What in particular do you find brutal about male circumcision, and why?

  28. #28 bernarda
    November 12, 2006

    Seth, did you not watch the videos?

    Here is another organization you can consult. Doctors Opposing Circumcision. http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/

    It also has a video explaining how the intact penis functions.

    “We exist to share the awareness that human genitals have been designed correctly by millions of years of evolution.

    We are an affliate of the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children and a member of the International Coalition for Genital Integrity. We also collaborate with other organizations to advance genital integrity.

    We equally oppose female circumcision, as females have the same rights to genital integrity as males.

    We acknowledge the right of each individual to decide for herself or himself whether or not to go through life with incomplete genitalia. Therefore, we do not oppose adult circumcision of either gender, providing that the adult requests it only after fully informed consent.

    We approve religious circumcision, provided that the individual to be circumcised is an adult who can decide for him or herself after being fully informed of the anatomical and functional sacrifice such rituals entail.

    We believe that male neonatal circumcision, by its inherent nature, violates laws and bioethical guidelines that have been enacted for the protection of children. DOC believes that male children are entitled to the same, equal protection females receive under U.S. and other national laws.”

    From a report in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

    “In conclusion, we suggest that two elements characterise the history of non-therapeutic male circumcision: evangelism and the diversity of justifications that evangelical champions of circumcision have mobilised. Although justifications have shifted, they have generally relied on an enduring association between the uncircumcised penis and disease and pollution.64-66″…

    “This promotion of circumcision as a prophylactic raises wider questions about subjecting children to invasive procedures on the grounds of public health. It is generally accepted that medical intervention is ethically permissible only in response to verifiable disease, deformity, or injury. In addition, the therapeutic intervention must be reasonably believed to result in a net benefit to the patient.

    While prophylactic interventions are obvious exceptions to this principle, they are justifiable only where deemed to be in the individual’s best interests or where aimed at avoiding a significant public health disaster. It has been convincingly agued in this journal that, when a procedure is to be performed on children who are unable to give informed consent, a higher level of scrutiny is demanded. This requires consideration of whether effective and conservative alternative interventions could achieve the intended outcome.23

    This position underpins the BMA’s guidance, which states that it would be unethical to circumcise where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive.1 Obviously, the provision of condoms and improved sex education are less invasive and more appropriate means of achieving the desired outcome. Although cultural attitudes may make this difficult to achieve in certain communities, public health should not focus on what is attainable in these communities (particularly where this is the most invasive option) for the construction of a global public health strategy.3

    Circumcision has long existed as a procedure in need of a justification. The most recent focus on sexually transmitted disease–notably with regard to HIV/AIDS–needs to be assessed in light of this. It is our contention that no convincing medical justification for this practice exists. In the absence of unequivocal evidence of medical benefit, we would argue that it is ethically inappropriate to subject a child to the acknowledged risks of infant male circumcision.

    Having reached this position, the emerging consensus, whereby parental choice holds sway, appears ethically indefensible; nor, given emerging principles and practice governing medical decision making involving children, is there any compelling legal authority for the view that it is lawful.”

    http://jme.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/31/8/463

  29. #29 jspreen
    November 12, 2006

    spreen, thanks for a good laugh.

    You’re welcome. A good laugh is indeed as far as a lazy brain hillbilly member of the mainstream herd will get when confronting a new idea that hasn’t already been thoroughly chewed and digested by some more intelligent fellow-thinkers.

    JS

    http://www.nightsofarmour.com

  30. #30 Robster
    November 12, 2006

    Bernarda,

    This promotion of circumcision as a prophylactic raises wider questions about subjecting children to invasive procedures on the grounds of public health. It is generally accepted that medical intervention is ethically permissible only in response to verifiable disease, deformity, or injury. In addition, the therapeutic intervention must be reasonably believed to result in a net benefit to the patient.

    Exactly what is being discussed here.

    The most recent focus on sexually transmitted disease–notably with regard to HIV/AIDS–needs to be assessed in light of this. It is our contention that no convincing medical justification for this practice exists.

    The purpose of this, and other studies, is to determine if cicumcision has a protective effect. You disagree with the results of this study. Can you say that without the appeals to emotion? Seriously, the links that you provide tend to the histrionic instead of rational.

    Here is one non emotional pro website, one non emotional con website. It may not be as con as you would like, but I found it far more convincing than those you provided. This is simply because it minimizes the importance of the procedure’s worth to the individual, while the pro site stresses the benefits to society as a whole (a more common MO in the public health community).

    ————-

    We approve religious circumcision, provided that the individual to be circumcised is an adult who can decide for him or herself after being fully informed of the anatomical and functional sacrifice such rituals entail.

    Then they don’t approve religious circumcision, which often includes a very distinct and uncompromising timetable. Besides, the risk of complications is reported to increase with age.

  31. #31 bernarda
    November 13, 2006

    The practice of circumcision existed long before any of the surviving religions that carry it on today were invented. The ancient Egyptians had the custom and it undoubtedly existed earlier. It was never done for health reasons, but for cultural and religious reasons.

    At least since the 19th century, religious people in each generation have invented new “health” reasons for perpetuating infant genital mutilation. HIV is just the latest. The links I give above deal with this argument.

    But underlying it is just an attempt to find a new justification for a barbaric religious practice.

    For a summary of the practice:

    http://www.noharmm.org/geography.htm

  32. #32 Robster
    November 13, 2006

    Judaism, which most would agree was in its developing stages in Egypt (and probably adopted the practice then), requires that a boy must be circumcised within days of birth. Sabbath restrictions on work or travel can be ignored if for the purpose of having said boy circumcised. In Islam, it is often considerred an obligatory custom, performed before a child is 11. Regardless of how you view religion, that group’s statement is disingenuous.

  33. #33 bernarda
    November 13, 2006

    Robster seems to have a religious gene. One moment he argues health reasons and the next religious reasons. But those don’t hold up either.

    “The Jews adopted circumcision as a religious ritual8,10,15,18 and preserved this prehistoric practice into modern times.10,16,18 The circumcision of Abraham removed only the very tip that extended beyond the glans penis.8,17,22,28 Moses and his sons were not circumcised. (Exodus 4:25) Although Moses apparently prohibited circumcision during the 40 years in the wilderness,15,18 (Joshua 5:5) Joshua reinstituted circumcision at Gilgal after the death of Moses.15,18 (Joshua 5:2-10) It is interesting to note that after the Israelites were circumcised, they immediately became soldiers in Joshua’s army for the conquest of Palestine. (Joshua 6:1-3)”

    http://www.cirp.org/library/history/

    “Currently, circumcision is not universal among Jews either inside or outside the United States. The Circumcision Resource Center, a nonprofit educational organization, knows of hundreds of Jews in Europe, South America, and in the United States who either have not or would not circumcise a son. Even in Israel some Jews do not circumcise, and there is an organization that publicly opposes circumcision.3 The purpose of this article is to coherently explain a few of the contemporary reasons for the increasing doubts some Jews have about circumcision. Then I will apply Torah law and Jewish values to these reasons.”

    http://jewishcircumcision.org/spectator.htm

    It continues,

    “Associated with the desire for survival is the idea of identity. Many Jews believe that males must be circumcised to be Jewish. This is not true. As stated in the Encyclopedia Judaica, “Any child born of a Jewish mother is a Jew, whether circumcised or not.”9 Alan Altmann, an uncircumcised son of Holocaust survivors, personally addresses the issue of Jewish identity:

    Although uncircumcised, I am a very proud Jew, with a very strong sense of Jewish identity, and never hesitate to affirm my Jewish identity to Jew and non-Jew alike, but particularly to myself. I can assure you that having a foreskin has not made me less of a Jew than those without one, and in fact has given me additional reason to think about it.10″

    As to Islam, circumcision is not a requirement, but rather a vestige of custom adopted from previous cultures. The Koran doesn’t mention it. Both judaism and islam do have rules against disfiguring the body. The Koran says that Allah designed us perfectly. So how can man then pretend to improve on Allah’s perfect design?

  34. #34 Seth Manapio
    November 13, 2006

    “Robster seems to have a religious gene. One moment he argues health reasons and the next religious reasons. But those don’t hold up either.”

    ———-

    Circumcision is certainly required by some religious groups. This is true whether you agree with their theology or not.

    You still haven’t answered WHY you find circumsion barbaric except with quotes. I really want to know, but I want to know YOUR reasoning.

  35. #35 bernarda
    November 13, 2006

    Seth, I am losing patience with your ridiculous question. So, you don’t think what you saw in the videos is barbaric?

    It is after all living human flesh which is chopped off for no legitmate reason. What would you say if it was a finger or a toe? After all, you have ten of those each. You wouldn’t miss one.

    I don’t give a damn about theology, all of which is moronic counting the number of angels on the head of a pin. Theology has nothing to do with science and has nothing to do with the real physical world.

    No one has the right to practice gratuitous genital mutilation, especially on infants. I wonder why you and Robster seem to be so supportive of barbaric and criminal act?

  36. #36 Robster
    November 13, 2006

    Ummm, I pointed out that the statement you had pulled from an anti group was, on its face, false. That’s all. Wikipedia discusses the issue further.

    It seems that cultures arising in hot climes, especially if arid, adopted circumcision, often without outside influence. Some include this in their religion, others don’t. It certainly makes sense when you grow up somewhere where sand gets, literaly, everywhere.

    Incidentaly, military observers have noted that circumcised American soldiers have less trouble with their genitals when deployed than non circumcised soldiers. Since hygiene can be sketchy in the field, it certainly makes sense. More here. That certainly shows a benefit for the individual, should they be involved in any job or hobby (I am an occaisional low impact hiker) where showers aren’t exactly a daily occurance.

    Also, while condoms are more important and effective in preventing STD infection than circumcision, people aren’t always real good about using them. You can’t forget to have a circumcised penis.

  37. #37 Seth Manapio
    November 13, 2006

    “No one has the right to practice gratuitous genital mutilation, especially on infants. I wonder why you and Robster seem to be so supportive of barbaric and criminal act?”

    ———

    Dude, Chill.

    First, I’m not supporting anything. I stated a fact: there are religious groups that require circumcision at particular ages. Personally, I think religion is a scourge on the human race, but that doesn’t change what religious groups require, and neither does your third party reading of the Koran or of Jewish law.

    I did not find that video particularly barbaric. Hard to watch, yes, but most surgical procedures are, and general anesthesia would be very dangerous for an infant.

    Do you have some good reasons that circumcision of a male infant is a bad idea–aside from blockquotes without context or analysis, I mean. I’m trying to make a decision. You can help with a reasonable argument.

  38. #38 Robster
    November 13, 2006

    Theology has nothing to do with science and has nothing to do with the real physical world.

    Sort of correct. I’m an athiest, but religion, as a collection of ideas that affects people’s behavior is very important to the physical world. Ideas are things with real power. Many people hold religion with great importance, regardless of how irrational their beliefs are. The only way to convince people to change is to give them a reason.

    Referring to a video of a routine medical procedure as brutal, barbaric or perverse won’t impress these people. These are value judgements and don’t transfer easily to other people with differing opinions Such appeals to emotion certainly don’t convince me. Ad hominem attacks don’t help you either.

    Having gone through both circumcision and excission of an infected ingrown toenail with improperly performed anaesthesia, I can tell you which I remember and which I would call brutal and still have trouble with.

    Explain why it isn’t advantageous to circumcise. Convince us without the logical fallacies.

  39. #39 Jen in Texas
    November 15, 2006

    Incidentaly, military observers have noted that circumcised American soldiers have less trouble with their genitals when deployed than non circumcised soldiers.

    As a former Army officer who’s been deployed to various “rustic” locales all over the world – including the Persion Gulf theater – I can state categorically that this is not true. It’s a medical myth on par with the notion that women are more susceptible to gynecological infections in combat conditions. In fact, the “sand in the penis” myth is debunked in the Wikipedia link you provided.

  40. #40 pat
    November 15, 2006

    “Explain why it isn’t advantageous to circumcise. Convince us without the logical fallacies.”

    I can think of one reason why it might be advantageous. I have been told by members of the opposite sex that circumscised kablamos were…ehm…nicer to handle.
    Chalk one up for circumscision!

  41. #41 Seth Manapio
    November 16, 2006

    “I can state categorically that this is not true”

    ————-

    What experience or study leads you to this conclusion?

  42. #42 Robster
    November 16, 2006

    In fact, the “sand in the penis” myth is debunked in the Wikipedia link you provided.

    No, it isn’t. Two sources disagree. So we need to go to the sources and take look at them. One cites a communication from an doctor,

    The importance of preventing recurrent balanitis and secondary phimosis in arid, sandy regions was confirmed
    by the Australian army medical corps in two world wars.
    During both wars, Australian soldiers were stationed in
    North Africa and the Middle East, and the incidence of
    recurrent balanitis caused by sand under the foreskin reached “epidemic” proportions, leading to large numbers of soldiers requiring circumcision (A M Hutson, personal communication, 1974).

    The other cites some 1950s history books (from their titles, they sound like histories of medicine in the Australian and NZ armies), which unsurprisingly don’t mention genital irritation. This author draws his conclusions based on a lack of evidence in certain histories, which isn’t solid proof.

    The book British History of the Second World War identifies the main medical problems in the Middle East and North Africa as hepatitis, diarrhoea, dysentery, tonsillitis, accidental injuries, burns, malaria, sandfly fever, and ‘desert sores–this might include balanitis, but no location is specified, and the condition was not treated
    surgically.25,26

    Neither sand nor balanitis are among the ‘clinical problems of war’ discussed by Allan Walker in Australia’s official history (although acne gets a couple of pages), and ‘desert sores’ turn out to be small sores arising from cuts, grazes, and insect bites which became infected with either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.27 Nor is there any reference to circumcision in the volume devoted to medical issues in the Middle East and North Africa. As among the British troops, the main health problems encountered were gastric diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, and hepatitis. These certainly emphasised the need for hygiene, but not specifically of the penis; it referred to the construction of latrines, correct toilet procedures, and the control of flies.

    Interestingly enough, Walker remarks that ‘conjunctivitis was remarkably uncommon, in spite of dust and glare and paucity of convenience for washing;’ if the blowing
    sand was rarely able to inflame the exposed and vulnerable eyeball, it seems unlikely that it could do much to harm to the concealed and (in uncircumcised men) wellprotected glans penis.28 The New Zealand history similarly states that skin inflammations were a hazard of desert warfare, and that they were exacerbated by fine sand, but it makes no mention of the foreskin as a problem site, nor of circumcision as a treatment, and goes on to comment that every effort was made to minimise cuts to the skin, and to avoid surgery unless it was ‘urgent or else offered the prospect of permanent relief of symptoms sufficient to enable men to be retained in useful employment overseas.’29,30

    From my POV, surgery for “recurrent balanitis and secondary phimosis” would fall under “prospect of permanent relief of symptoms sufficient to enable men to be retained in useful employment overseas.”

    A much more solid source can be found from the Benefits of Circumcision site,

    A US Army report stated that in World War II 150,000 soldiers were hospitalized for foreskin problems due to inadequate hygiene, leading to the statements: “Time and money could have been saved had prophylactic circumcision been performed before the men were shipped overseas” and “Because keeping the foreskin clean was very difficult in the field, many soldiers with only a minimal tendency toward phimosis were likely to develop balanoposthitis [268]. In the Vietnam War men requested circumcision to avoid “jungle rot”. Similarly sand was a problem for uncircumcised men in the Gulf War [121].

    Source 268 is as follows, Patton JF, Urology. In United States Army Surgery in World War II. Office of the Surgeon General and Center of Military History. (See pages 52, 64, 100, 120, 121, 145, 146, 183, 488). 1987.

    Sounds like a valid source to me.

    The other source [121] is a short letter, Gardner AMN. Circumcision and sand. J Roy Soc Med. 1991; 84: 387.

    It contains no data, suggesting instead that the surgical records be examined to shed light on the issue. It does include one interesting, although here it does not recieve a citation, regarding circumcision among German soldiers in WW2,

    A German surgeon has confirmed that troops in the Africa Corps suffered in the same way and that the
    understandably unofficially recommended treatment
    was also circumcision.

    Another environmental hazard that we can mention is “arctic willy,” or frostbitten prepuce. This is mainly a problem for skiers, wearing too little cold weather clothing or forgetting to zip up.

  43. #43 Jen in Texas
    November 17, 2006

    What experience or study leads you to this conclusion?

    Ummm…that would be personal experience as a commander in a combat zone. See, we get daily reports of every medical complaint our soldiers seek treatment for. Everything from major illness or injury to minor things like athlete’s foot is reported. If there had been an epidemic of balanitis in my brigade, it would have shown up in that report. As it is, I don’t remember seeing a single case and there were certainly no circumcisions performed in the field.

    The Army put forward a lot of ideas during WWII that weren’t based on good science. This was one of them. If we really believed that uncircumcised men would have a problem in a desert climate, we’d have encouraged them to have circumcisions prior to deployment in our most recent Mesopotamian adventure. It was never even suggested.

    BWI – the source you’re citing, circinfo.net, is not an unemotional or neutral cite. Most of the contributors are either Jewish (meaning they have a cultural and religious stake in circumcision) or they make money performing circumcisions, or both. They prey on parents’ fears of the allegedly bad things that will happen to their sons if they’re not cut. In reality, nothing bad happens. That’s why no medical organization in the world recommends routine neonatal circumcision.

  44. #44 Jen in Texas
    November 17, 2006

    Another environmental hazard that we can mention is “arctic willy,” or frostbitten prepuce. This is mainly a problem for skiers, wearing too little cold weather clothing or forgetting to zip up.

    “Arctic willy” is even worse for circumcised men – for them, it’s the unprotected glans that gets frostbitten.

  45. #45 Robster
    November 17, 2006

    Circinfo.net is a pro-circumcision site, presenting info in an unemotional manner.

    That there was not an “epidemic” of blanitis in your brigade (anecdotal evidence) is not a big surprise. First, your unit may have had better access to basic hygiene items than those deployed in WW2 (I should hope so). Second, Somewhere between 11 and 16 million US soldiers and sailers served in WW2. With a US Army report stating that 150,000 individuals were hospitalised with foreskin problems, this comes down to an incidence of 0.013% to 0.009% respectively. With adult circumcisions having a higher risk of complications than neonate circumcisions, combined with the length of recovery, a recomendation that soldiers be circumcised would be unlikely. Field circumcisions would be unheard of, when transfer to a hospital would be the proper response.

    You should be embarrased by your last paragraph. Dr. Morris, the only contributor, is an Australian med sci professor. He is neither Jewish nor a maker of circumcision products. He has given a talk to a Jewish medical group. That’s about it.

    They prey on parents’ fears of the allegedly bad things that will happen to their sons if they’re not cut.

    Really? Turn that around. Anti circ groups prey on fears that bad things will happen if neonates are circumcised. This pro circ site presents epidemiology data and makes predictions about the effects of the practice on the larger population.

  46. #46 Seth Manapio
    November 18, 2006

    “If there had been an epidemic of balanitis in my brigade, it would have shown up in that report. As it is, I don’t remember seeing a single case and there were certainly no circumcisions performed in the field.”

    —————–

    Jen… for all you know, every male in your brigage was circumcized… unless you were personally viewing their members. A categorical statement implies that you have information that is absolute in some way, but what you have is not absolute or complete at all. Without knowing certain facts (percentage of men in your brigage who were circumcized and deployment of same vis-a-vis ready access to shower facilities, etc.) you cannot state anything categorically about circumcision in a combat zone. Sorry.

    You could say that in your experience as a combat commander, this is a non-issue. That’s cool. But it isn’t a categorical statement of truth, its anecdotal evidence from an informed source.

    Its true that routine infant circumcision is not recommended. But it is not considered purely aesthetic, either. The American Urological Association finds both risks and benefits to circumcision of neonates.

  47. #47 Andrew Dodds
    November 23, 2006

    Robster, Seth..

    I think you are missing the point; ultimately, performing an *elective, non essential* operation on anyone without their consent is morally wrong. Indeed, I suspect that if circumcision were not already an established reliegous practice and some new sect were introducing it, it would instantly be labelled child abuse, and children would end up being removed from their parents to stop the practice.

    I would submit that it can only be morally right to perform surgery wihout informed consent on an individual if their health is at immediate and demonstratable risk – which means that the increased risk of STDs is simply not relevant.

  48. #48 Robster
    November 23, 2006

    It is not simply an established religious practice. It is an established and accepted surgical procedure, which arose across the world in a variety of cultures without interaction. Also, parents have the right to give consent or refuse consent for their children for any medical procedure.

    Waiting to perform the procedure until the child is older, while it appears more ethical, actually increases the number of complications, at the same time not preventing UTIs, etc… These considerations, combined with the parent’s right to give consent, make this arguement a non starter.

  49. #49 Andrew Dodds
    November 24, 2006

    Robster –

    First, I know of absolutely no example of Circumcision being performed in any society for purely medical reasons. It is a cultural practice for which people attempt to find medical justification; and I am sure that were it (for example) an islamic custom alien to the west, it would be condemmed regardless of any medical benefits.

    Parents to not have an absolute right to have medical procedures performed on their children. As an extreme, I cannot have a doctor cut an arm off of my child just because I want them to; yet on the other hand I could well be prosecuted for refusing to allow surgery that would be immediately life saving. There is a continuim here and since circumcision is not medically required but is certainly irreversable, I regard it as very unethical. (UTIs are hardly a major emergency, and the stats are hardly definite in any case).

    Essentially, I cannot see how it can be reasonable to perform irreversable cosmetic surgery on any normal person without consent, and this is what it amounts to.

  50. #50 Caledonian
    November 24, 2006

    How interesting that the person who has most strongly defended circumcision is the person who was circumcized quite a bit after birth. He’s also the person who has reacted most strongly to the idea that circumcision is harmful.

    Lucky for us he’s a totally rational human being and isn’t searching for rationalizations to justify something he can’t change.

  51. #51 Seth Manapio
    November 25, 2006

    “I would submit that it can only be morally right to perform surgery wihout informed consent on an individual if their health is at immediate and demonstratable risk ”

    ============

    I don’t know that this is a good rule of thumb. What if the surgery is corrective (as of a minor birth defect of something), and leads to better quality of life for the infant and a more “normal” childhood? It doesn’t analogue to circumcision, but in that case the parents could legitimately make that decision for an infant, I think.

  52. #52 Caledonian
    November 25, 2006

    Ah, but “better quality of life” is a concept that can actually be studied and verified. No one is suggesting that doctors shouldn’t offer corrective surgery for cleft palates, or that parents shouldn’t accept.

    The presence of a foreskin is not in any way comparable to a cleft palate, excepting only that parents from cultural backgrounds where circumcision is the norm might feel uncomfortable at the ‘difference’ and view it as a deformity. This is appropriate when dealing with cleft palates, inappropriate for foreskins – particularly as foreskins serve a function while cats’ mouths impair function.

    The problem is that function is a subtle one. Most women cannot reach orgasm without sufficient levels of specific kinds of physical stimulation, which is why the women whose genitalia were surgically reduced due to their being “too big” often have serious sexual problems later in life. Men, in contrast, frequently don’t need physical stimulation at all to have orgasms, as has been throughly demonstrated in medical studies.

    So, how do we define sexual function in males if the entire penis could be removed without eradicating it? Ah, but there are differences and degrees. The glans isn’t necessary for sexual pleasure and orgasm, but it’s highly sensitive and the vast majority of people would be rightly horrified at the idea of parents having it removed. Both the back of the hand and the fingertips are sensitive to texture, but one cannot be substituted for the other.

    The Masters and Johnson studies were unable to find a difference in skin sensitivity between circumcised and uncircumcised men – but the measures that distinguish between vastly different sentisitivites are unlikely to be useful. The only truly useful reports are from adult men who were circumcised as adults, and there the results conflict.

    Men who had physical problems of some kind (phimosis and the like) almost always report circumcision as an improvement. Men who didn’t, and who underwent the surgery by accident or force, commonly report it as very harmful. Some report that it doesn’t make sex better or worse, but feels ‘different’.

  53. #53 Robster
    November 25, 2006

    First, I know of absolutely no example of Circumcision being performed in any society for purely medical reasons.

    I guess I wasn’t clear. Fact, circumcision is a surgical procedure. Fact, it arose across the world independantly in a wide variety of cultures. Fact. In the late 19th century, reasons for circumcision were given as medical. Some of the reasons are laughable now. Some are not.

    (UTIs are hardly a major emergency, and the stats are hardly definite in any case).

    And circumcision is not a major surgery. The stats do vary from study to study, but one stat is definite. Circumcision of neonates has a much lower rate of complication than circumcision at any other time. Waiting, therefore, it can be argued, is less ethical than not. Personally, I consider it to be a false choice, intended to cut the rates of the practice out of an emotional need, rather than evidence.

    The results of many of these studies supports the practice as benficial by reducing risk factors. Other studies find little to no beneficial effect. I find little reason to drop the practice without demonstration that the cost benefit analysis is against the practice. My opinion is that it is currently (and it can be argued, weakly) in support of the practice. I would not be surprised to see a physicians group in the future return to supporting the practice over the next decade or so.

  54. #54 Caledonian
    November 26, 2006

    Fact, it arose across the world independantly in a wide variety of cultures.

    Actually, it didn’t. It arose in only two cultures that we know of, ancient Egypt and the Australian aborigines, and possibly in some sub-Saharan African cultures, and spread outward from there.

    And circumcision is not a major surgery.

    Neither is clitorectomy. Except in its consequences.

  55. #55 Tex
    November 26, 2006

    The UTI argument, yes it has been shown to reduce UTIs in “statisticaly significant” numbers. All that means is that the diference is large enough that there is a high probability of an effect of the independant varible (circumcision) on the dependant varible (UTI) however the importiant numbers to look at are those in the cost-benifite analysis. The cost benifite anylysis by Australian, Canadian, and even American medical associations shows that you have many more complications from circumcision than you have UTIs prevented.

    The STD argument. Repots on every type of infection “prevented” by circumcision inculding HIV have been made, but there are no studies that have been done that prove a major benifite to cicumcision. Obvioulsy there are studies that have been done and those preforming the studies claimed that there was a significant benifite, but none that was satifactory enough to be accepted as proof by health organizations that routine neonatal circumcision is justified. Also an interesting note, a study was done that showed that women in affrica who were circumcised had a lower incidence of HIV infection similar to that shown by other studies for the incident of HIV infection in circumcised males compared to natural males. It seems more likely that the differences in HIV infection are due more to the cultural diferences and sexual practices between those that circumcise (in Affrica in almost all cases those that circumcise males also circumcise females) and those that do not.

    That there are more complications to circumcision later in life… I have yet to find anything that says what the added danger is, or why it is there. I have found doctors who preform circumcisions on adults mostly for cosmetic reasons that claim their rates of complications are extreamly low. Also it seems it would be less damaging to preform the circumcision was preformed after the foreskin had retracted rather than before when the foreskin (which is attached at birth in the same way your fingernails are attached to the skin underneath) must be riped from the glans then cut off. It also seems like there would be less chance of infection if the patient being circumcised used a toilet rather than a diaper as that would keep urine and fecies out of the wound.

  56. #56 Tex
    November 26, 2006

    The UTI argument, yes it has been shown to reduce UTIs in “statisticaly significant” numbers. All that means is that the diference is large enough that there is a high probability of an effect of the independant varible (circumcision) on the dependant varible (UTI) however the importiant numbers to look at are those in the cost-benifite analysis. The cost benifite anylysis by Australian, Canadian, and even American medical associations shows that you have many more complications from circumcision than you have UTIs prevented.

    The STD argument. Repots on every type of infection “prevented” by circumcision inculding HIV have been made, but there are no studies that have been done that prove a major benifite to cicumcision. Obvioulsy there are studies that have been done and those preforming the studies claimed that there was a significant benifite, but none that was satifactory enough to be accepted as proof by health organizations that routine neonatal circumcision is justified. Also an interesting note, a study was done that showed that women in affrica who were circumcised had a lower incidence of HIV infection similar to that shown by other studies for the incident of HIV infection in circumcised males compared to natural males. It seems more likely that the differences in HIV infection are due more to the cultural diferences and sexual practices between those that circumcise (in Affrica in almost all cases those that circumcise males also circumcise females) and those that do not.

    That there are more complications to circumcision later in life… I have yet to find anything that says what the added danger is, or why it is there. I have found doctors who preform circumcisions on adults mostly for cosmetic reasons that claim their rates of complications are extreamly low. Also it seems it would be less damaging to preform the circumcision was preformed after the foreskin had retracted rather than before when the foreskin (which is attached at birth in the same way your fingernails are attached to the skin underneath) must be riped from the glans then cut off. It also seems like there would be less chance of infection if the patient being circumcised used a toilet rather than a diaper as that would keep urine and fecies out of the wound.

  57. #57 Van Lewis
    November 27, 2006

    Several people have asked for a good reason not to circumcise. I think it depends on whose body and whose penis or vulva we are talking about.

    If you want to amputate normal, living, healthy, pleasurable flesh from your own body, for whatever reason, and if you’re a legal adult and you’ve studied the issue competently, and signed a legitimate, competent informed consent document, have at it. It’s no body else’s business.

    If, on the other hand, you want to amputate normal, living, healthy, pleasurable flesh from my body, or anyone else’s body, I think you have a very dangerous psychological problem and need psychotherapy.

    If it isn’t YOUR sex organ, and it’s healthy and normal, and you chop it up without the informed, wrtten, adult consent of the owner, you have committed a sex crime and should be jailed for a long, long time.

    That’s federal law NOW in the USA, if the owner of the sex organ in question is a child and happens to have been born female, or is a non-consenting adult. The U.S. Constitution gives all people in the U.S.A. the constitutional right to equal protection of the law. Boys too. Not just girls. Jews too, not just gentiles.

    Want a good reason not to circumcise a child or non-consenting adult?

    If morals and ethics don’t count with you, if reverence for life doesn’t count with you, if respect for other people’s bodies and human rights don’t count with you, how about a big fine and a long jail sentence? Would that help you make up your mind?

  58. #58 Greg Crawford
    November 27, 2006

    One of the problems in evaluating claims that circumcision has health benefits is the cultural and religious bias of the person doing the evaluation. While medical authorities in most of the Western world have abandoned or never even contemplated circumcision, in the U.S. there is an emotional need to defend the practice, even though it is sexually-maiming surgery, amputating the vast bulk of fine-touch erogenous receptors in the penis. This emotional need results in a filtering out of evidence to the contrary, and promotion of some very questionable studies in support. The author of the study quoted by Tara C. Smith has himself stepped back from previous claims, as evidenced in recent correspondence in “Pediatrics”. Noting that much larger and recent studies have contradicted his results, Fergusson writes:

    “These discrepancies with our findings are too large to be disregarded, and we are of the view that it would be premature to use our findings to promote the view that circumcision reduces risks of less severe forms of STI, until further research clarifying this issue is conducted.” (21 November, 2006)

    As for the more severe forms of STIs, in the Fergusson study there were no self-reported cases of HIV infection, syphilis, or genital ulcerative disease among the cohort members. So one cannot read any implication into these comments in that regard

    Fergusson’s work comes under even closer scrutiny by Young, who writes:

    “Contrary to Fergusson et al.’s assertions, the correlations in the two age-ranges did not reach statistical significance: in both cases, the 95% CI included 1.0 – no association between the variables. When the data were pooled, the lower bound was still only 1.17 – a very small departure from no significance.”

    As Young points out, so small were the numbers concerned that it would require only two more men who were circumcised in the younger age group to contract an STI to remove any association, which did not reach statistical significance in any case. What would a larger sample size have shown? The results are in from much larger studies in the USA, UK and Australia, and they show that the idea circumcision protects from STIs is a myth.

    What we should really question is the widespread promotion of this single study by Fergusson on the one hand, and the conspiracy of silence in regard to much larger studies which contradict it on the other. Is this science, or cultural censorship?

  59. #59 Richard
    November 27, 2006

    Acceptance or approval of circumcision of adults only, for religious reasons, will not seem so disingenuous to one who steps outside the box of what he is most familiar with. Yes, Jews are supposed to circumcise on the eighth day of life, but they allow delays for weak and sickly boys. There are “permanent exemptions” for boys with hemophilia. In ancient times this was assessed by letting two older brothers die from their circumcisions, after which future sons were exempt. It is not clear whether there are “medical” rules for deciding this now, in addition to the two-die-first rule. A majority of Jewish boys circumcised in the US are circumcised in a hospital a day or two after being born. Please see Glick, _Marked in Your Flesh: circumcision from ancient Judea to modern America_.

    A boy born to a Jewish mother, and not circumcised, is a Jew, no matter the reason for not being circumcised. See DeLange, _An Introduction to Judaism_ and many other similar sources.

    About 220-230 baby boys die, annually, from circumcision in the US; the most common reasons are hemorrhaging and infection. See Sasz, _Sex by Prescription_, and other sources. It is quite easy for an infant to bleed to death, due to very low volume of blood; the penis is a highly vascularized organ.

    Muslims circumcise at a variety of ages. Twelve to thirteen is a very common age, as is six to seven. But in some Muslim cultures males in their late teens or early twenties are circumcised just before being married, with bride’s male relatives watching.

    As others have pointed out, some Jews in the US are not now circumcising. In Europe and South America it is very common for Jewish boys to be left intact. A recent survey in Sweden put the number of Jewish boys circumcised at ~40%. (Worldwide, 80% of males are not circumcised; in much of Europe and Japan there are much lower rates of problems with the intact penis than there are with the circumcised penis in the US, including much lower rates of all the diseases foreskins are supposed to cause.) In some moderate Muslim cultures there are instances of parents refusing to circumcise sons. At its core, religious circumcision is cultural circumcision. The religious reasons have been added after centuries of practicing it as an ancient blood ritual, or a fertility symbol. Now we have cultural circumcision in the US, just over 130 years old, begun in the 1870s to “cure” masturbation which causes insanity and blindness. (Medical facts, you know.) When any “purpose” for circumcision is disproven, a new one is found. Circumcision is a cure in search of a disease. The studies have been coming fast and furious for over 100 years, and will continue to come to save this multi-billion dollar industry in the US.

    Obviously I disagree with Professor Smith’s assertion that “at the core” circumcision is a medical procedure. It is still an ancient blood ritual that has been given medical excuses for its continuance. Yes, one should avoid crusaders, including those who disguise their circumcisionist agenda with a veneer of “balance.” Advising parents to consult only physicians about this issue is tantamount to advising them to circumcise. A physician in the US can add $60,000.-$80,000. a year to other income by doing nine or ten circumcisions a week. Those doctors who have, as a matter of conscience, decided to oppose circumcision, are branded “crusaders” for their efforts.

    But back to “approval” of adult religious practices. By legislation and by court decree, the law in the US has interfered with the practices of Christian Science (no medical care, only prayer as treatment for illness and injury), Jehovah’s Witnesses (no blood transfusions), and Appalachian Snake Handlers (one proves faith by holding a venomous snake in his or her face; if snake strikes, it shows lack of faith), when those practices involve children under 18. One may scoff at these practices as silly, but they are deeply believed and practiced by the adherents of those faiths. Is it disingenuous for the law to approve of only adult participation in those rites?

  60. #60 Van Lewis
    November 27, 2006

    And if you have no respect for U.S. law or the U.S. Constitution or the princuple of equal civil and human rights for all, how about if the person whose sex organs you decide to mutilate decides later that he or she doesn’t like the outcome of your cutting and amputating and comes back with a 48 magnum and blows you away? Would a bullet through the brain help you change your mind about the advisability of permanently mutilating OTHER PEOPLE’S SEX ORGANS? Your brain? Their sex organs? You mutilate theirs, they mutilate yours. What’s the difference?

    The comments on this article are remarkable for the absence of any sense of common decency and respect for the human rights of other people. Genitally mutilating cultures are very sick cultures and produce very sick people. You have to be really sick in the head to believe that YOU are smarter than God, Mother Nature and evolution all put together, and that YOU can correct the eternal wisdom of the universe by CHOPPING UP OTHER PEOPLE’S SEX ORGANS. It’s difficult for me to see how people can get any more arrogant and sicker than that.

    http://MontaguNoCircPetition.org
    http://StopInfantCircumcision.org

  61. #61 WD4DUG
    November 27, 2006

    The Christchurch study has already been refuted, primarily due to bias and conflict of interest on the part of its authors.

    It is quite easy for the researcher to see what he WANTS to see; quite another thing for him to distance himself from personal bias and look for truth.

    Further, consider the profitability of the circumcision industry. From women’s cosmetics to genetically engineered skin grafts, harvesting foreskins is a big, profitable business. A single baby’s foreskin, after processing, can provide tens of thousands of dollars in sales to the medical industry. There is a vested interest in continuing the practice, and this is manifested in the literature.

    And when money talks, it creates the BS that walks! From being the 19th century cure for “mental weakness” to the 21st century immunization against STD’s, the medical business has continually provided one spurious excuse after another for continuation of this profitable business. And in EVERY case, the excuses have been eventually proven false- but the mutilation continues, with a new cause du jure.

    The bottom line is: Whose body is it? Does ANYONE have the right to wantonly mutilate another’s body without their consent, or in the event of an acute CRITICAL medical necessity, when all lesser therapies fail?

    I say emphatically “NO!” And those that blithly subject their children to the barbarism called circumcision, for no better reason than “so he looks like dad,” are unfit parents at best, and pedophilic sexual predators at worst.

  62. #62 Caledonian
    November 27, 2006

    I can’t help but notice that Tara’s presence has been lacking from this thread. What’s up with that?

  63. #63 pat
    November 27, 2006

    She throws crumbs into the snake pit.

  64. #64 Tara C. Smith
    November 27, 2006

    Tara’s presence has been lacking from this blog, period–I’m just swamped. Plus, I mentioned in the OP that I’m not interested in the emotional debates that circumcision often causes–many of the posts here are good examples of that. I’m reading but just haven’t had enough time to get involved with papers and grants due, apologies. Things start to slow down a bit next week…

  65. #65 Robster
    November 27, 2006

    Apologies for the long post, but I had some time on my hands.

    Cal,
    Fact, it arose across the world independantly in a wide variety of cultures.

    Actually, it didn’t. It arose in only two cultures that we know of, ancient Egypt and the Australian aborigines, and possibly in some sub-Saharan African cultures, and spread outward from there.

    And circumcision is not a major surgery.

    Neither is clitorectomy. Except in its consequences.

    Circumcision was also found among various Native American tribes, Pacific Islanders, Aztecs, Incans…

    Circumcision is not a major surgery, one of the most routine procedures in the world, and the consequences are nowhere near as severe as FGM. This goes into the cost benefit analysis, making this a false comparison.
    ——
    Tex
    The cost benifite anylysis by Australian, Canadian, and even American medical associations shows that you have many more complications from circumcision than you have UTIs prevented.

    Can you provide links to these statements, in full, not mined quotes? My impression is that medical associations did not find the improvements to be high enough to support it. If they had found the complications to be worse than the positive effects, they would have discouraged the practice, something that no medical association has done. Really, though, this is an appeal to authority, and carries little weight when discussing the evidence.

    The STD argument.

    I stand by my statement that as studies continue to provide support for circumcision, the big associations, which like any beaurocracy (especially one afraid of being sued) is slow to change, will move to put their support behind the practice.

    in Affrica in almost all cases those that circumcise males also circumcise females

    This is a non sequitor. FG Cutting ranges from cutting a slit in the clitoral hood, called clitoridotomy (which increases sensitivity) to FGM, involving removal or the clitoris and in some cases, labia minora with the labia majora being sewn together. FGM is performed without anaesthesia, in non sterile conditions, with whatever sharp item is available. FGM is similar to removal to the entire penis.

    Could you provide a link to a map comparing the regions where FGM and male circumcision are performed in Africa?

    That there are more complications to circumcision later in life… I have yet to find anything that says what the added danger is, or why it is there.

    Complication rates for neonatal circumcision are approximately 0.2%, compared to a rate of 1.7% for children, which IIRC is similar to adults. (include a week lost from work, and no sex or masturbation for a month or more). Waiting till an individual is an adult removes the value of preventing UTIs, which is a major part of the cost benefit analysis. As part of the cost benefit analysis, we also include the cost, which rises with age.

    ——-
    Van,
    you have committed a sex crime and should be jailed for a long, long time.

    Spend some time studying medical ethics, please. The parents have the right to make such decisions for their children. Again, the greatest effect is early in life. Less emotion, more thought.

    ——–
    Richard,

    About 220-230 baby boys die, annually, from circumcision in the US; the most common reasons are hemorrhaging and infection.

    Source, please. I don’t believe you. This isn’t a cultural thing. I just don’t trust your data. It sounds like scare tactics to me.

    Here is the abstract from Wiswell, T. E. and Geschke, D. W. Risks from circumcision during the first month of life compared with those for uncircumcised boys. 1989. Pediatrics. 83(6):1011-5.

    The records of 136,086 boys born in US Army hospitals from 1980 to 1985 were reviewed for indexed complications related to circumcision status during the first month of life. For 100,157 circumcised boys, there were 193 complications (0.19%). These included 62 local infections, eight cases of bacteremia, 83 incidences of hemorrhage (31 requiring ligature and three requiring transfusion), 25 instances of surgical trauma, and 20 urinary tract infections. There were no deaths or reported losses of the glans or entire penis. By contrast, the complications in the 35,929 uncircumcised infants were all related to urinary tract infections. Of the 88 boys with such infections (0.24%), 32 had concomitant bacteremia, three had meningitis, two had renal failure, and two died. The frequencies of urinary tract infection (P less than .0001) and bacteremia (P less than .0002) were significantly higher in the uncircumcised boys. Serious complications from routine prepuce removal are rare and relatively minor. Circumcision may be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of urinary tract infections and their associated sequelae.

    Your claim doesn’t mesh with this data.

    Advising parents to consult only physicians about this issue is tantamount to advising them to circumcise.

    Can’t let a person with training about medicine, surgery, risk factors, etc. be the primary source of information when they could get it from people who try to work so hard at intimidating and scaring parents out of making their decisions regarding their children.

    A physician in the US can add $60,000.-$80,000. a year to other income by doing nine or ten circumcisions a week.

    The fee for neonatal circumcision is $89-204. This puts the income at 46k to 106k. Take out the hospital’s fees, cost of materials, insurance costs, etc, then the doctor makes a portion as profit. Heaven forbid that a doctor make money for performing a procedure.

    ———–
    WD4,

    A conspiracy theory? Sad. Barbarians? Laughable. Pedophilic sexual predators? You are a scary, disturbed person.

    ———-

    Greg, I’ll look up those letters and check them out tonight. The criticisms of the article are useful, but trying to claim that this is just a cultural throwback is disingenuous. This is about the pros and cons of the procedure. I think that the cost benefit analysis, from culture to culture and country to country, when performed honestly, including risks of STDs, physical and sexual problems for men and their partners, also including cancers of the cervix, prostate and penis, will come down clearly on the side of circumcision.

  66. #66 Van Lewis
    November 27, 2006

    Tara says: “I’m not interested in the emotional debates that circumcision often causes–…” Are you interested in the emotional and other brain damage circumcising causes its primary victims? And the damage their emotional brain damage then causes its secondary victims? (Often women, by the way.) Your denial of interest in these matters rings hollow. Sounds more like fear of them to me.

    With developmental brain damage now scientifically proven to be caused by physical AND EMOTIONAL trauma in early childhood (MRIs, EEGs, etc; see http://tinyurl.com/yc7clj ), dismissing “emotional arguments” against circumcising BECAUSE THEY INVOLVE HUMAN EMOTIONS is scientifically irresponsible, and humanly intolerable.

    There were and still are a lot of emotional arguments against human slavery. That does not mean that they are invalid arguments and should not be considered. Emotions are vital and very important and protective parts of human life and without healthy ones we become inhuman, and capable of inhuman evil from which unemotional science, or worse ANTI-EMOTIONAL “science” cannot save us.

    I hope Tara will get very interested in emotions as they relate to human genital mutilation. Fearing them is no reason to deny interest in them. It’s a good reason to get VERY interested. SCIENTIFICALLY interested, if you like. Try http://violence.de

  67. #67 Robster
    November 27, 2006

    Van,

    The first link had nothing to do with circumcision, or trauma experienced by neonates.

    If anything, use of anaesthesia is a very good idea, and certainly decreases stress to the neonate.

    Don’t want to circumcise your kids? Then don’t. Let me make my decision the way I want to. It won’t be based on emotion or logical falacies such as appeals to fear or guilt, and it won’t be based on religion. My wife and I will make this decision based on risk factors in the best interest of our child.

  68. #68 Richard
    November 27, 2006

    Robster wrote:
    “The fee for neonatal circumcision is $89-204. This puts the income at 46k to 106k. Take out the hospital’s fees, cost of materials, insurance costs, etc, then the doctor makes a portion as profit. Heaven forbid that a doctor make money for performing a procedure.”

    A telephone survey of physicians’ fees in five major cities in the US revealed a range of fees from $200.-$500. (Fees under $100. are usually Medicaid rates.)Generally, the fees run higher where you expect them to (Manhattan, San Francisco), but in Austin, Texas they were around $400. and slightly under. This is NOT the total cost; it is physician’s fee ONLY. The hospital charges a separate fee, often billed to insurance even when circumcision is not done. The hospital fee runs a little higher than the average physician fee. The physician collects his/her total fee. There is no additional overhead. All circumcision fees are in addition to all other fees a physican collects. Your attempt to obfuscate where fees go is beneath contempt.

    My estimate left off the highest fee, ranged the others low and high, rounded to lower numbers, allowed for two weeks with no circumcisions done at all, and allowed for 10 a week, though 14-15 is more realistic. Even if your lower than lowball estimate is correct, it is enough to make the point: circumcision is big business and very profitable in the US.

    Your emotional rant about physicians being paid fees they earn raises interesting questions about who you are, what you do for a living. Do you also object to physicans being liable for the butchering they sometimes do to their patients? Want to share real name and profession and practice location?

  69. #69 Van Lewis
    November 27, 2006

    Robster:

    No apologies for the long post. Yours is so full of misinformation and falsehoods that it demands a full and detailed response.

    You claim that circumcision only arose in two cultures that we know of, Egyptian and Australian aboriginal. Then you point out that it also appeared in several places in North America. Was it the Egyptians or the aboriginal Australians that brought it to aboriginal North and South Americans?

    You claim “Circumcision is not a major surgery, …”

    Minor surgery has been famously defined as surgery done on someone else, major surgery as surgery done to oneself. From Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, 7 May 2002: “Infant male circumcision is often treated as a very minor procedure with virtually no risk of significant complications. That is frankly not true. Infant male circumcision may lead to complications that range from minor to severe. They include easily controllable bleeding, amputation of the glans, acute renal failure, life threatening sepsis and rarely death. Reported rates of such complications vary widely in the literature. In a study reported in the British Journal of Surgery (1993) Williams and Kapila have suggested that complication rates range from 2% to 10%.”

    “… one of the most routine procedures in the world, …”

    Again, false. Infant medical circumcision is routine NOWHERE in the entire world. The USA is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where the medical profession circumcises the majority of male infants, and that’s barely a majority any more, down now from around 90% in the early 80s to about 55% or less now, and still falling, due to being removed from routine status in the late 1960s and ever since then requiring informed consent of at least one parent. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists classify neonatal circumcision as “elective”, not “routine” in their 2002 Guidelines for Perinatal Care, Fifth Edition, November 2002.

    “… and the consequences are nowhere near as severe as FGM.”

    Wrong again. I have a long and growing list of names of babies and children (and a few adults as well) known to have been killed by circumcision and its consequences. There are a lot more boys names on it than girls, probably because we circumcise a lot more boys than girls in this world and therefore kill a lot more boys than girls. This does not make “MGM worse than FGM” except in numbers of injuries and deaths. It is a myth that “FGM is worse than MGM”, one designed to try to justify MGM. Even if it were true, it still wouldn’t justify MGM. And it is a completely false generality. What is true is that the variability of damage is far greater WITHIN each sex than between the sexes. Individuals within each sex suffer the full range of damage, all the way from indetectable (different from nonexistent) to complete (death). A child who happens to have been born male (or female, or intersexed) receives no special advantage in that child’s circumcision grave. Your argument is sexist, false, dangerous and irresponsible.

    You ask for published cost-benefit analyses of circumcision. Here’s an extensive and fairly recent one. The conclusion is that even if circumcision itself were free it would still be more costly than not circumcising becasuse the downstream costs of circumcising exceed the downstream costs of not circumcising (which IS, itself, free).
    http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/vanhowe2004/
    MEDICAL DECISION MAKING, Volume 24: Pages: 584-601,
    November-December 2004.
    A Cost-Utility Analysis of Neonatal Circumcision
    Robert S. Van Howe, MD, MS, FAAP

    You claim that no medical associations discourage circumcision. This is, again, false. See Circumcision:Medical Organization Official Policy Statements at http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/
    Australia, 2002: “There are no medical indications for routine male circumcision.”
    Australian Medicine, 6-20 January, 1997, page 5: “Circumcision Deterred: The AMA will discourage circumcision of baby boys in line with the Australian College of Paediatrics’ Position Statement on Routine Circumcision of Normal Male Infants and Boys.
    The statement, released in June and supported by the AMA’s November Federal Council meeting, includes: The Australian College of Paediatrics should continue to discourage the practice of circumcision in newborns.”
    Australian Pediatric Association, 1971: “APA passed a resolution on April 24, 1971 that neonatal circumcision should not be performed as a routine measure.”
    Canada, 1996: “”Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely (i.e.,in the absence of medical indication) performed.”
    Canada, Saskatoon: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, February 20, 2002: “Caution Against Routine Circumcision of Newborn Male Infants …If parents remain adamant in their preference that circumcision be performed, notwithstanding their awareness of the research on the subject, remember that you are under no obligation to perform any surgical procedure for which there are not valid medical indications. You can, and should respectfully decline to perform the procedure…”. From the supplement of 7 May 2002: “While the College’s primary mandate is public protection, we do encourage physicians to give careful thought to the downstream risks they may incur by taking an inappropriately casual approach to infant male circumcision driven exclusively by parental preference without valid medical indication for the procedure.”
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, 2004: “Infant male circumcision was once considered a preventive health measure and was therefore adopted extensively in Western countries. Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure, however, no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention.”
    United Kingdom, 1979-2006: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is published by the British Medical Association (BMA). Editorials in the BMJ are considered to represent the policy of the BMA. The BMJ has published two editorials on male child circumcision.
    The first editorial (1979) took a position against non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision of boys.The case against circumcision. BMJ 1979; 6172: 1163-1164.
    The second editorial (1993) took a position against post-neonatal circumcision of boys. Gordon A, Collin J. Saving the normal foreskin. BMJ 1993; 306: 1-2.
    British Medical Association, 4 April 2003, June 2006: “If it was shown that circumcision where there is no clinical need is prejudicial to a child’s health and wellbeing, it is likely that a legal challenge on human rights grounds would be successful. Indeed, if damage to health were proven, there may be obligations on the state to proscribe it. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by the UK, requires ratifying states to ‘take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children’”. The damage has been proven. http://research.cirp.org, http://tinyurl.com/thfhq, http://tinyurl.com/y4espw
    Even in the USA the statements have been getting stronger against it since 1971, when the AAP first declared, “There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period.”

    The medical societies of the world are saying clearly now that circumcising healthy people of any age to prevent illness isn’t current, valid, evidenced-based medicine. They say they do it under pressure from parents to accomodate parents’ social and religious wishes. Chopping one person’s body parts off to satisfy another’s wishes is medically unethical patient abuse.

    You assert: “I stand by my statement that as studies continue to provide support for circumcision, the big associations, which like any beaurocracy (especially one afraid of being sued) is slow to change, will move to put their support behind the practice.”

    If the studies held any water at all the big associations would certainly already have done what you hope they will. This would give them better legal protection. They know the studies don’t hold scientific water and can’t stand the light of day in court. They know they cannot rely on them and so they do not. If doctors won’t risk their wallets on such junk science, neither should parents risk their children’s lives on it.

    Your sloppy description of female genital cutting varies from that of the UN by a lot. You say, “FGM is performed without anaesthesia, in non sterile conditions, with whatever sharp item is available.” Also often true of MGC, and not always true of FGC, which is often done in sterile conditions in hospitals by MDs who believe it has medical “advantages”, just like us and our MGC.
    You say, “FGM is similar to removal to the entire penis.” Not true. The clitoris is a much larger, mostly internal organ than the small but very important external part often excised.

    You say, “Could you provide a link to a map comparing the regions where FGM and male circumcision are performed in Africa?”

    This link will show you the male and female circumcision areas worldwide: http://www.circumstitions.com/Maps.html

    You assert, “Complication rates for neonatal circumcision are approximately 0.2%, …”
    British Journal of Surgery, 1993 says, “Some authors have reported a complication rate as low as 0.06 per cent, while at the other extreme rates of up to 55 per cent have been quoted. This reflects the differing and varying diagnostic criteria employed; a realistic figure is 2-10 per cent.” Williams and Kapila, Volume 80, 1231-1236, October 1993. The real complication rate is 100%. Some of the complications are obviously worsethan others, but damage complicates, and circumcising always damages to one degree or another.

    You say, “Van, … Spend some time studying medical ethics, please.”

    I have spent alot of time at it already. I suggest you do the same. Read this from 2005, for example: http://tinyurl.com/cfzt8

    LAW, ETHICS, AND MEDICINE
    A covenant with the status quo? Male circumcision and the new BMA guidance to doctors
    M Fox and M Thomson
    School of Law, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK

    They conclude, “”We conclude that it is ethically inappropriate to subject children–male or female–to the acknowledged risks of circumcision and contend that there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful.”

    When you’ve finished that read “The Bioethics of the Circumcision of Male Children” and the 76 papers it refers to, most of which are available on line and then get back with me.

    You assert, “The parents have the right to make such decisions for their children.” Wrong again. I doubt seriously that you will try to claim that parents have such a right if their children happen to have been born female. Almost nobody in this country claims such nonsense, with Congress having specifically denied parents that right, no matter what the culture or religion or anything else of the parents. Waht about if the child is born and it’s hard to tell if she’s female or intersexed. It’s all a matter of degree, you know. We’re talking millimeters and less. Is it ok to cut girls if they’re just hair on the large size down there? Boys have equal rights with girls. Cutting children unnecessarily is criminal activity. What sex they happen to have been born is 100% irrelevant.

    “Again, the greatest effect is early in life.”

    Certainly true of the negative effects with regard to brain development. This is science. Your opinions to the contrary are just your emotional preferences and do not relate very well to reality.

    You call for “Less emotion, more thought.”

    I call for MORE well-thought-out thought and MORE emotion, not less. Think MORE and BETTER, and FEEL more and better.

    I have spent time studying medical ethics and suggest you do likewise. Your ignorance of medical ethics is showing. Parents absolutely do NOT have the right to make “medical decisions” that are not in their children’s best interests. For example, parents, no matter what their culture or religion or medical opinions, have NO right in this country and many others to decide to mutilate their (female) children’s healthy sex organs. Do it and the federal pen awaits you. Boys have the samme rights.

    You claim that

  70. #70 Richard
    November 27, 2006

    Robster wrote:
    [Richard wrote: About 220-230 baby boys die, annually, from circumcision in the US; the most common reasons are hemorrhaging and infection.]
    Robster wrote:
    Source, please. I don’t believe you. This isn’t a cultural thing. I just don’t trust your data. It sounds like scare tactics to me.
    ——-

    So, you found a source that disputes my numbers, right? Please give me your source. I gave you my source. Go read Sasz. Follow up on the ones he cites. Then come back with quotes that prove you’ve been to at least two sources, along with a source that really disputes my numbers, and I’ll discuss it further with you. I won’t do your research for you; that’s an old (high school) sophomore debate tactic you’re trying.
    ——-

    Robster wrote:
    Here is the abstract from Wiswell, T. E. and Geschke, D. W. Risks from circumcision during the first month of life compared with those for uncircumcised boys. 1989. Pediatrics. 83(6):1011-5.

    The records of 136,086 boys born in US Army hospitals from 1980 to 1985 were reviewed for indexed complications related to circumcision status during the first month of life. For 100,157 circumcised boys, there were 193 complications (0.19%) . . . . . Serious complications from routine prepuce removal are rare and relatively minor. Circumcision may be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of urinary tract infections and their associated sequelae.

    Your claim doesn’t mesh with this data.
    ——-

    Wiswell did not search death records for the 1,000,000 boys circumcised in a year. Wiswell is a fanatical advocate of universal circumcision. Did you expect him to make some effort to undercut his advocacy of circumcision?

    Wiswell once said that a doctor can add $1,500. a week to his income by doing circumcisions. Please see _NY Globe_ newspaper.

    Wiswell also did not sort out all the intact boys with hypospadias (almost all will have UTIs; they are left intact to save tissue for repairs of their congenital anomaly). Had he honestly done this simple scientific calculation, it is most likely the rate of infection from UTI would have been the same for intact and circumcised boys. Why do they have much lower rates of UTI in non-circumcising countries than among circumcised US boys?

    Even if Wiswell had been correct, his stats show that you must circumcise 100 boys to prevent one case of UTI. And you advocate that?

    Your emotional support for circumcision is amazing. Most circumcisioninsts with whom I’ve discussed the death rate agree with the numbers. They insist it’s an acceptable rate (a death rate of less than 1% for surgery) because they believe there is some benefit of some kind or another. I disagree, because circumcision is an elective, cosmetic surgery, to which parents need not expose their newborn sons.

  71. #71 Caledonian
    November 27, 2006

    Plus, I mentioned in the OP that I’m not interested in the emotional debates that circumcision often causes–many of the posts here are good examples of that.

    What other kinds of debates were you expecting on this topic?

    Seriously, if you wanted to steer clear of emotional minefields, you should have avoided the subject completely. How about addressing the more rational and coherent arguments, pro- and con-?

  72. #72 Richard
    November 27, 2006

    Robster wrote:
    [Richard wrote: Advising parents to consult only physicians about this issue is tantamount to advising them to circumcise.]
    Can’t let a person with training about medicine, surgery, risk factors, etc. be the primary source of information when they could get it from people who try to work so hard at intimidating and scaring parents out of making their decisions regarding their children.
    ——-

    But the doctors at DOC (doctors opposing circumcision) don’t count, right? They’re “crusaders” against circumcision who can’t be trusted, right? No one can go read the many medical journal articles at http://www.cirp.org because CIRP is an anti-circumcision organization, right? You just don’t get it do you? You circumcisionists say anything you assert in favor of circumcision is 100% reliable, while carefully compiled professional articles from around the world can’t be trusted because CIRP has cached them for easy access, to counter the US medical journals which do not permit anything against circumcision to be published here.

    When you go to buy a car, do you only talk to the salesperson who is trying to make some money from selling you a car? Or do you go to automotive magazines, and especially to Consumer’s Reports, to get reliable, unbiased, neutral information? (By the way, speaking of CR, CU’s health and medicine publication advises against circumcision, based on an analysis of costs, risk, benefits, etc. That’s very pragmatic, consumer-oriented advice, from the most reliable consumer resource in the US. CU is not associated with any anti-circumcision organization.)

    WHO is trying to intimidate and scare parents? Who says to them, “Oh it will be cleaner with circumcision, but it will always be nasty and infected if you don’t circumcise?” Who says, “Your son will have AIDS if we don’t circumcise him now. The foreskin is a cesspool of infections.” (Leaving the impression that HIV can spontaneously arise in an intact man.) Who says, “He’ll have a UTI before he’s one year old if you don’t let me circumcise him now?” Who NEVER tells parents that non-circumcised males in European countries and Japan almost never have any of the problems a foreskin is supposed to cause US males? Who says, “If you don’t agree to circumcision you may be prosecuted for child neglect if you son has a foreskin infection, which he almost certainly will?” Who says, “Your son will look funny in the locker room, and his classmates will make fun of him, if we don’t circumcise?” [That's a MEDICAL reason to circumcise?] Who, from about 1968-1979, circumcised millions of baby boys without even asking for parental consent? (They stopped only after Orthodox Jews started suing over losing the option to have a proper bris on the eighth day.)

    That would be your friendly, local OB/GYN or PED, holding the consent form in your face.

  73. #73 Van Lewis
    November 27, 2006

    Robster:

    No apologies for the long post. Yours is so full of misinformation and falsehoods that it demands a full and detailed response. Children’s lives are at stake.

    You claim that circumcision only arose in two cultures that we know of, Egyptian and Australian aboriginal,and perhaps some African tribes. Then you point out that it also appeared in several places in North America. Was it the Egyptians or the aboriginal Australians, or maybe the Africans, that brought it to aboriginal North and South Americans?

    You claim “Circumcision is not a major surgery, …”

    Minor surgery has been famously defined as surgery done on someone else, major surgery as surgery done to oneself. From Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, 7 May 2002: “Infant male circumcision is often treated as a very minor procedure with virtually no risk of significant complications. That is frankly not true. Infant male circumcision may lead to complications that range from minor to severe. They include easily controllable bleeding, amputation of the glans, acute renal failure, life threatening sepsis and rarely death. Reported rates of such complications vary widely in the literature. In a study reported in the British Journal of Surgery (1993) Williams and Kapila have suggested that complication rates range from 2% to 10%.”

    “… one of the most routine procedures in the world, …”

    Again, completely false. Infant medical circumcision is routine NOWHERE in the ENTIRE WORLD. The USA is the ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD where the medical profession circumcises the majority of male infants, and that’s barely a majority any more, down from around 90% in the early 80s to about 55% or less now, and still falling, due to being removed from routine status in the late 1960s and ever since then requiring informed consent of at least one parent. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists classify neonatal circumcision as “elective”, not “routine” in their 2002 Guidelines for Perinatal Care, Fifth Edition, November 2002.

    “… and the consequences are nowhere near as severe as FGM.”

    Wrong again. I have a long and growing list of names of babies and children (and a few adults as well) publicly known to have been killed by circumcision and its consequences. There are a lot more boys names on it than girls, probably because we circumcise a lot more boys than girls in this world and therefore kill a lot more boys than girls. This does not make “MGM worse than FGM” except in numbers of injuries and deaths. It is a myth that “FGM is worse than MGM”, one designed to try to justify MGM. Even if it were true, it still wouldn’t justify MGM. And it is a completely false generality. What is true is that the variability of damage is far greater WITHIN each sex than between the sexes. Individuals within each sex suffer the full range of damage, all the way from indetectable (different from nonexistent) to complete (death). A child who happens to have been born male (or female, or intersexed) receives no special advantage in that child’s circumcision grave. Your argument is sexist, false, irresponsible and dangerous to children’s lives.

    You ask for published cost-benefit analyses of circumcision. Here’s a recent and extensive one. The conclusion is that even if circumcision itself were free it would still be more costly than not circumcising becasuse the downstream costs of circumcising exceed the downstream costs of not circumcising. (Not circumcising IS, itself, free.)
    http://www.cirp.org/library/procedure/vanhowe2004/
    MEDICAL DECISION MAKING, Volume 24: Pages: 584-601,
    November-December 2004.
    A Cost-Utility Analysis of Neonatal Circumcision
    Robert S. Van Howe, MD, MS, FAAP

    You claim that no medical associations discourage circumcision. This is, again, false. See Circumcision:Medical Organization Official Policy Statements at http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/
    Australia, 2002: “There are no medical indications for routine male circumcision.”
    Australian Medicine, 6-20 January, 1997, page 5: “Circumcision Deterred: The AMA will discourage circumcision of baby boys in line with the Australian College of Paediatrics’ Position Statement on Routine Circumcision of Normal Male Infants and Boys.
    The statement, released in June and supported by the AMA’s November Federal Council meeting, includes: The Australian College of Paediatrics should continue to discourage the practice of circumcision in newborns.”
    Australian Pediatric Association, 1971: “APA passed a resolution on April 24, 1971 that neonatal circumcision should not be performed as a routine measure.”
    Canada, 1996: “”Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely (i.e.,in the absence of medical indication) performed.”
    Canada, Saskatoon: College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, February 20, 2002: “Caution Against Routine Circumcision of Newborn Male Infants …If parents remain adamant in their preference that circumcision be performed, notwithstanding their awareness of the research on the subject, remember that you are under no obligation to perform any surgical procedure for which there are not valid medical indications. You can, and should respectfully decline to perform the procedure…”. From the supplement of 7 May 2002: “While the College’s primary mandate is public protection, we do encourage physicians to give careful thought to the downstream risks they may incur by taking an inappropriately casual approach to infant male circumcision driven exclusively by parental preference without valid medical indication for the procedure.”
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, 2004: “Infant male circumcision was once considered a preventive health measure and was therefore adopted extensively in Western countries. Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure, however, no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention. …the current medical consensus is that routine infant male circumcision is not a recommended procedure; it is non-therapeutic and has no medical prophylactic basis; it is a cosmetic surgical procedure; current evidence indicates that previously-thought prophylactic public health benefits do not out-weigh the potential risks.”
    United Kingdom, 1979-2006: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is published by the British Medical Association (BMA). Editorials in the BMJ are considered to represent the policy of the BMA. The BMJ has published two editorials on male child circumcision.
    The first editorial (1979) took a position against non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision of boys.The case against circumcision. BMJ 1979; 6172: 1163-1164.
    The second editorial (1993) took a position against post-neonatal circumcision of boys. Gordon A, Collin J. Saving the normal foreskin. BMJ 1993; 306: 1-2.
    British Medical Association, 4 April 2003, June 2006: “If it was shown that circumcision where there is no clinical need is prejudicial to a child’s health and wellbeing, it is likely that a legal challenge on human rights grounds would be successful. Indeed, if damage to health were proven, there may be obligations on the state to proscribe it. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been ratified by the UK, requires ratifying states to ‘take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children’”. The damage HAS been proven. http://research.cirp.org, http://tinyurl.com/thfhq, http://tinyurl.com/y4espw, http://tinyurl.com/yc7clj Even in the USA the medical policy statements have been getting stronger against it since 1971, when the AAP first declared, “There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period.” The handwriting is on the wall. Medicine adopted circumcising in the mid-19th century as an avowedly anti-sexual measure. That mistake is being corrected now. The only reasons it takes so long are because the circumcisiers have strong financial and liability interests in continuing the madness, and their victims, sexually mutilated men and their sexual partners, have very strong emotional interests in failing to understand the truth about the damages they have suffered. Circumcision is falling and will fall to truth. It just takes a while.

    The medical societies of the world are saying clearly now that circumcising healthy people of any age to prevent illness isn’t current, valid, evidenced-based medicine. They say they do it under pressure from parents to accomodate parents’ social and religious wishes. Chopping one person’s body parts off, including sexual body parts, to satisfy another person’s wishes, ANY other person’s wishes, is medically unethical patient abuse.

    You assert: “I stand by my statement that as studies continue to provide support for circumcision, the big associations, which like any beaurocracy (especially one afraid of being sued) is slow to change, will move to put their support behind the practice.”

    If the studies held any water at all the big associations would certainly already have done what you hope they will do. This would give them better legal protection. They know the studies don’t hold scientific water and can’t stand the light of day in court. They know they cannot rely on them and so they do not. If doctors won’t risk their wallets on such junk science, neither should parents risk their children’s lives on it.

    Your sloppy description of female genital cutting varies from that of the UN by a lot. You say, “FGM is performed without anaesthesia, in non sterile conditions, with whatever sharp item is available.” Also often true of MGC, and not always true of FGC, which is often done in sterile conditions in hospitals by MDs who believe it has medical “advantages”, just like us and our MGC. It’s all the same sickness. See http://tinyurl.com/6tnov and http://tinyurl.com/y7nwav
    You say, “FGM is similar to removal to the entire penis.” Not true. The clitoris is a much larger, mostly internal organ than the small but very important external part often excised. This is more like removing the glans of the penis, not the whole penis. Removing anything unnecessarily and without medical justification from someone else’s body without their informed consent is theft. What sex it is and how much it is irrelevant. It’s still criminal activity.

    You say, “Could you provide a link to a map comparing the regions where FGM and male circumcision are performed in Africa?”

    This link will show you the male and female circumcision areas worldwide: http://www.circumstitions.com/Maps.html

    You assert, “Complication rates for neonatal circumcision are approximately 0.2%, …”
    British Journal of Surgery, 1993 says, “Some authors have reported a complication rate as low as 0.06 per cent, while at the other extreme rates of up to 55 per cent have been quoted. This reflects the differing and varying diagnostic criteria employed; a realistic figure is 2-10 per cent.” Williams and Kapila, Volume 80, 1231-1236, October 1993. The real complication rate is 100%. Some of the complications are obviously worse than others, but damage always complicates, and circumcising always damages to one degree or another.

    You say, “Van, … Spend some time studying medical ethics, please.”

    I have spent a lot of time at it already and suggest you do likewise. Your ignorance of medical ethics is showing. Parents absolutely do NOT have the right to make “medical decisions” that are not in their children’s best interests. For example, parents, no matter what their culture or religion or medical opinions, have NO right in this country and many others to mutilate or have others do so their (female) children’s healthy sex organs. Do it and the federal pen awaits you. Boys have the same legal and human rights, or hadn’t you heard? Read this paper, for example, from the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2005: http://tinyurl.com/cfzt8
    LAW, ETHICS, AND MEDICINE; A covenant with the status quo? Male circumcision and the new BMA guidance to doctors. J Med Ethics 2005;31(8):463-9.
    Fox M, Thomson M.
    School of Law, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK

    They say, “”We conclude that it is ethically inappropriate to subject children–male or female–to the acknowledged risks of circumcision and contend that there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful.”

    When you’ve finished that, read “The Bioethics of the Circumcision of Male Children” at http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/ and the 76 relevant ethics papers it refers to, most of which are available on line, including the chapter “Altering Baby Boys’ Bodies
    The Ethics of Infant Male Circumcision” by Margaret A. Somerville from her book “The Ethical Canary: Science, Society, and the Human Spirit”, available online at http://www.intact.ca/canary.htm and then get back with me and let’s talk about it.

    You assert, “The parents have the right to make such decisions for their children.” Wrong again. I doubt seriously that you will try to claim that parents have any such right if their children happen to have been born female. Almost nobody in this country claims such nonsense, with Congress having specifically denied parents that right, no matter what the culture or religion or anything else of the parents. What about if the child is born and it’s hard to tell if she’s female or intersexed. It’s all a matter of degree, you know. We’re talking millimeters and less. Is it ok to cut girls if they’re just a hair “too big” down there? Some folks think so. Boys have equal rights with girls. Cutting children’s healthy body parts unnecessarily, sex organs or others – male, female or otherwise – is criminal activity. What sex they happen to have been born is 100% irrelevant.

    “Again, the greatest effect is early in life.”

    No kidding. Certainly true of the negative effects of cutting, amputating and mutilating children’s sex organs with regard to brain maldevelopment. This is the science of it. Read http://tinyurl.com/yc7clj Your opinions to the contrary are just your emotional preferences and do not relate at all to the scientific facts.

    You call for “Less emotion, more thought.”

    I call for MORE well-thought-out thought and MORE emotion, not less. Think MORE and BETTER, and FEEL more and better. Only the truth, the rational, scientific AND the emotional truths will set us free of this child-damaging, child-killing madness. Trying to eradicate people’s emotions about it is as insane as trying to eradicate their prepuces. The former is a technique employed to make the latter possible. I am not speaking emotionally here. I’m stating hard (very hard) facts about (in)human genital cutting, amputating and mutilating.

    You ask, “Source, please” for the 200+ U.S. circumcision deaths a year mentioned. That estimate comes from a paper, “Newborn male circumcision: Needless and dangerous”, by Robert Leon Baker, M.D., published in SEXUAL MEDICINE TODAY, Volume 3, Number 11, Page 35-36, November 1979. You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/ycffsp The truth is that nobody knows how many babies are killed in the USA every year by unnecessary circumcisions because the medical profession sweeps the deaths under the rug by labeling the cause as “exsanguination” (bleeding to death) or “infection”, instead of the more honest but leaglly much risker “circumcision”. Educated guesstimates have appeared in the medical literature as low a 2 US circumcision deaths per year and as high as 20,000. Baker’s is in the lower range. Nobody knows how many die, but I know how many it’s OK for us to KILL for nothing, and that’s a more important number to know. (Zero, if anybody’s still wondering.)

    About consulting doctors on circumcision, it is true that most US physicians are still clueless about foreskin structure and function – all they teach in most US medical schools today about foreskins is the same thing they’ve been teaching since the mid 19th century, how to chop them off; foreskins don’t even appear in most U.S. medical anatomy texts, as if we were all born circumcised – however not all U.S. docotrs are still this ignorant. Some conscientious ones have taken the responsibility to educate themselves on the subject, and are now educating others and the public. See http://DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org for excellent scientific medical information on the importance of preserving the penis with its normal healthy sexy foreskin intact.

    You claim, “The fee for neonatal circumcision is $89-204. This puts the income at 46k to 106k. Take out the hospital’s fees, cost of materials, insurance costs, etc, then the doctor makes a portion as profit. Heaven forbid that a doctor make money for performing a procedure.” The doctor doesn’t pay the other costs you mention out of his fee. He gets his fee free and clear and the rest of the costs are paid by insurance or the child’s parents or, in 68% of the states, by taxpayers through Medicaid. 32% of the states now refuse to pay for this medically unnecessary, elective, cultural, involuntary sexual mutilation insanity.

    You say that because W4D can see obvious strong economic incentives to steal other people’s body parts for profit, and regards circumcising healthy children for no medically justifiable reason as barbaric and symptomatic of sexual predator behavior, s/he is a “scary, disturbed person”. Anyone who is not disturbed by circumcising healthy babies and children is in hard core denial. The really scary people are the ones like Robster who work so hard to keep everyone thinking the same old lies that let this insanity get established in our country in the first place, that “Circumcision is not a major surgery, one of the most routine procedures in the world, and the consequences are nowhere near as severe as FGM.” All lies.

    I get the feeling that “Robster” is really most interested in stealing the truth from people, in order to steal sexual flesh from their helpless babies at the risk of their lives when no medical association in the world claims it’s medically justified and all of them that have studied it say it isn’t medically justified and more and more of them are warning increasingly strongly against it. ROBSTER’s the REALLY scary one. There are “doctors” (loosly called) loose in this country who think and feel as Robster does who will circumcise your baby for you “by accident” and against your written instructions. You can’t count on signatures on paper to protect your son’s penis from stainless steel in sicko’s hands. This is why parents giving birth in US hospitals have to have a 24 hour body guard on their baby boys from the moment of birth until the family is safely home and can lock the circumcisers out. The circumcising sickness runs throughout our very sexually ignorant and sick, compulsively mutilating society. See http://SICsociety.org That’s not emotion. Those are facts. Should we be EMOTIONAL about those facts. You damn well better believe we should.

    Robster may, as he claims, “think that the cost benefit analysis … will come down clearly on the side of circumcision” but that’s just wishful thinking on his part. The analysis is already in and the results are the opposite of what he hopes. And it wouldn’t make any difference if they weren’t. Chopping up OTHER people’s bodies without THEIR informed consent is criminal activity. It doesn’t matter what ANYBODY’s “cost-benefit analysis” says about MY penis. It’s MINE. My penis doesn’t belong to some idiot’s cost-benefit analysis. It’s MINE. Do you HEAR me?

    The question is, why do Robster and the others like him so desperately wish to justify the blatantly mad idea that they know better than God, Mother Nature and billions of years of evolution how to design and build human sex organs? They’re off their rockers. Unfortunately, most of the USA is still in the sexual/genital cutting and mutilation loonie bin with them. Get out. Get out as fast as you can and get your family out with you. NOTHING anyone has ever claimed they were trying to accomplish by cutting up healthy children’s health foreskins is worth risking the life of one single child for, let alone a million a year in the USA alone.

    Learn to detect bullshit when you hear it. These sick, compulsive sex organ mutilators are good a slinging it.

    Here’s the bottom line: Don’t let THEIR bullshit kill YOUR child. Or anyone else’s if you can help it.

  74. #74 Seth Manapio
    November 27, 2006

    Richard:

    I’m sorry, but quoting and summarizing your source material isn’t high school stuff, it is what I would expect in the introductory paragraphs of a peer reviewed article.

    No one asked you to provide a piece of information, you made a claim and have now been asked to provide more information about where you got that information.

    This debate has not been terribly helpful, unfortunately. I think that the intact crowd may have some valid points, but I find it hard to find those valid points in all of the melodramatic rhetoric.

  75. #75 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    I won’t do your research for you; that’s an old (high school) sophomore debate tactic you’re trying.

    No. I want a link to your source. You have made a claim that is in opposition to what I have been able to find, including Wiswell, who provides a sample of 2% of baby boys born over 5 years. What makes them different (0 boys died from circumcisions, while 2 died from events preventable by circumcision)? A pubmed search with the terms (death) and (“Circumcision/adverse effects”) turned up one report of a death. This event was in Canada, where circumcisions are less common (partly due to the delisting of circumcision as a procedure paid for by the government), meaning doctors have less experience with the procedure and are more likely to make mistakes and miss serious problems.

    What I do not want is the name of a book by a guy known for his disdain for the concept of mental illness, preferring to think of it as a mental construct. At least he doesn’t buy into the Xenu buggery of his allies, the Scientologists (hey, you bashed my source as someone who supports an accepted and common medical procedure, I’ll bash yours as someone who holds way out of the mainstream views on mental health and consorting with the most nutty of religionists). Would it be fair to say that he considers modern medicine to be an evil scourge on humankind? But I’m the one with an emotional tug on this… Heh. Books are not valid sources, from my point of view. Research articles are. Give me a research article supporting your source.

    Seriously, though. Is everybody who disagrees with the anti-circ groups a fanatical supporter of circumcision? That seems to be a common refrain. Projecting much?

    From circinfo.net,

    An overall summary of the various complications of circumcision in infancy and the rates of each appears below. References: [8, 390-392, 396].
    # Excessive bleeding: Occurs in 1 in 1000. This is treated with pressure or locally-acting agents, but 1 in 4000 may require a ligature and 1 in 20,000 need a blood transfusion because they have a previously unrecognized bleeding disorder. Hemophilia in the family is of course a contra-indication for circumcision.
    # Infection: Local infections occur in 1 in 100-1000 and are easily treated with local antibiotics. Systemic infections may appear in 1 in 4,000 and require intravenous or intramuscular injection of antibiotics.
    # Subsequent surgery: Needed for 1 in 1000 because of skin bridges, or removal of too much or too little foreskin. Repair of injury to penis or glans required for 1 in 15,000. Loss of entire penis: 1 in 1,000,0000, and is avoidable by ensuring the practitioner performing the procedure is competent. Injuries (rare) can be repaired [36] and in the extraordinarily remote instance of loss of the penis it can be reattached surgically [262]. (Successful reattachment can also follow adult self-inflicted penile amputation [203].)
    # Local anaesthetic: The only risk is when the type of anaesthetic used is a dorsal penile nerve block, with 1 in 4 having a small bruise at the injection site. This will disappear.
    # Death: Data in the records show that between 1954 and 1989, during which time 50,000,000 circumcisions were performed in the USA there were only 3 deaths, but during this period there were 11,000 from penile cancer, a disease essentially confined to the uncircumcised [392]. In the study by Wiswell referred to above there were 2 deaths in those NOT circumcised, but none in the 3 times as many who were circumcised [396]. In Jewish ritual circumcision tightly wrapped gauze is used to stop minor bleeding (as compared to use of local pressure in hospitals), and it is thought that this can cause urinary retention and hence UTI [149]. Not surprisingly, complication rates are higher when circumcision is carried out by individuals who are not medically trained [260].

    Although very rare, complications from use of the Plastibell have been reported and include a higher rate of infection [124], proximal migration and tissue strangulation if the none chosen is too large [66], pressure necrosis of the glans if one is used that is too small [66], urinary retention [231], distended bladder [215] and sepsis [186]. To illustrate the rarity of these, in a study of 2000 neonates there were no serious sequelae at all [7]. In the case of the Gomco clamp excessive removal of foreskin tissue can occur [124].

    The source for the 3 deaths quote in the US since 1954 is AAP TASK FORCE ON CIRCUMCISION. Pediatrics. 84 (2): 388. (1989), so with the Canadian case, four documented cases. That is a far cry from the 220+ per year in the US that Szasz claims.

    Even if Wiswell had been correct, his stats show that you must circumcise 100 boys to prevent one case of UTI. And you advocate that?

    Well, according to my math, that is a 12fold increase in risk. From reported risk factors from a variety of sources, Wiswell also suggests that for every 20-50 circumcisions one UTI is prevented. Brian Morris compares the efficacy in preventing UTIs to the protective rates of some accepted vaccines.

  76. #76 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster:

    The first url was a press release about research published in Cerebum magazine concerning the effect of emotional and physical trauma in early childhood (in the forms of child abuse and neglect) on brain development. The press release did not describe the full article. The Cerebum article is not online as far as I know, but I have read it and I suggest you read it too.

    It is clear that circumcision is traumatic, physically and emotionally, to the victim. The research did not include research specifically on circumcision trauma, but it did include information on trauma, which circumcision certainly is. There is today no responsible scientific disagreement about that fact.

    Here are references to 25 more articles in the medical and scientific literature on trauma and brain damage: http://tinyurl.com/o87h3 “Modern scientific research indicates that early childhood trauma, especially during the first two years of life when the brain is still rapidly developing, produces permanent adverse physical changes in brain development.” That’s the science of it. I didn’t produce the science. I just read it. You should to, and understand it, before you traumatize children without any justifiable and urgent medical need to do so.

    Use of anesthesia is for the purpose of decreasing pain in the adults involved. The way to prevent the acute, near and midterm and lifelong pains of unnecessary circumcision, for EVERYONE involved in it, is to not do the bloody circumcision. I guess it’s just too simple and easy for people to accept, as is, the perfect miracle that a child is. We think we have to correct and improve upon perfection, and a little anesthesia will make it all ok. Does giving a woman a date rape drug before you rape her so she can’t feel and remember the rape make raping her ok? Nope.

    You say,”Don’t want to circumcise your kids? Then don’t. Let me make my decision the way I want to.”

    It’s not up to me. Congress already put 50% of your potential kids off limits to your culturally inculcucated genital mutilating tendencies. The Constiutution says your boys have equal rights with your girls. Don’t blame me for it. I didn’t create the US Constitution or human rights. Our country’s forefathers and our common creator did, at least according to Mr. Jefferson.

    “It won’t be based on emotion …”

    You obviously have a great deal of emotion invested in defending genital mutilation of males. “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” Saul Bellow

    It’s that deep emotional need of yours to prove your culture and penis right that your son really needs you to learn to satisfy in some way other than by mutilating HIS penis for life. What business is it of YOURS to mess that deeply in another man’s sex life, ANY other man’s sex life? You don’t belong in bed with your son and his love. Don’t get between him and his love like this. If you insert yourself now you can NEVER get out of their bed later, no matter how much you might want to. Not even by dying.

    Why do you distrust your emotions so much? Is your emotional world that terrifying to you that you feel you must deny your emotions any part in this education and decision? I guess if I felt compelled to mutilate any of my children’s sex organs I’d mistrust my emotions as well. Fortunately I was spared such torture.

    “… or logical falacies such as appeals to fear ..”

    Killing your children for nothing is something you should fear very deeply indeed. Every parent should. Fear, properly experienced and confronted in full, can be a very protective emotion for us and our children. That’s why we have it. What we rightly fear we can learn to avoid without having to learn the hard way.

    “… or guilt,”

    If you’re already worried about guilt and haven’t circumcised a child yet, wait and see how you feel if after all this you circumcise the child and kill him doing it, or he grows up and has serious emotional disorders and brain damage from the trauma and mutilation, or just grows to hate you for it. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, as far as guilt goes. That kind of life-long guilt is certainly worth fearing, and avoiding. You don’t need it. Step aside and let it pass you by.

    “… and it won’t be based on religion.”

    Too bad. Religion can really help some of us get free from the miseducation of our childhoods. Yours obviously was full of miseducation concerning sex and sex organs. No insult to your parents. We all grew up in a genital mutilation holocaust in America. Here’s that old emotion-ridden, religious Jew, St. Paul on circumcisers:

    “Beware of the dogs,
    beware of the evil-workers,
    beware of those who mutilate the flesh!”
    Philippians 3:2

    “I only wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you
    by circumcision would mutilate [or castrate] themselves.”
    Galatians 5:11

    Pretty emotional and intemperate, wouldn’t you say? I wonder if he’d be allowed to post here.

    “My wife and I will make this decision based on risk factors in the best interest of our child.”

    Don’t risk your child’s life for nothing. Wake up, man. Ask yourself, “WHAT, EXACTLY, am I trying to achievce with medically unnecessary genital cutting that is worth risking my child’s life for?” Seriously. The problem is in you, certainly not in your son’s foreskin. He’s supposed to have it. That’s why he does.

    And I’m certainly not your problem. I’m nobody to you. Just a writer on the web, a simple human being, concerned for the safety and security of your child. That’s all. Is that really such a terrible crime?

    Anti-sexual 19th century medical quackery and its adverse consequences in you in the 21st century is your problem. Don’t make it your child’s problem, too. Protect him from it. Free him of it. He’ll love you for it. That’s the goal. Keep your eye on the prize. PROTECT your son from this and every mutilating madness he faces until he’s big enough and strong enough and well-educated enough to protect himself. That’s what dads are for.

    Good luck.

  77. #77 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    Richard,

    Feel better? Get those straw men and appeals to emotion out of your system? Got to toss in the conspiracy theory. Can’t forget that. Articles discussing the controversy and pros and cons absolutely get published, but they often discuss both sides. Can’t have that. But when I looked at CIRP, I couldn’t find any articles. Books and pamphlets that I could pay for, but no articles.

    Regarding DOC, that isn’t news. Some docs don’t support the procedure. If we found that our OBGyn or pediatrician was a member of this group, I would seriously consider finding another doctor. Not based on emotion, religion, etc, but on my impression that the DOC stance is not based on published research. I want a doctor who practices evidence based medicine.

    Where are the studies from these groups? Where are their findings? Surely they could publish them somewhere. Canada? Australia? They could find a sympathetic editor. I guess they don’t have any evidence to support their claims.

  78. #78 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster: You say, “Van, … Spend some time studying medical ethics, please.”
    I have spent a lot of time at it already and suggest you do likewise. Your ignorance of medical ethics is showing. Parents absolutely do NOT have the right to make “medical decisions” that are not in their children’s best interests and that all the medical organizations around the world speaking out now are saying are NOT medical decisions anyway, but cultural and religious decisions. For example, parents, no matter what their culture or religion or medical opinions, have NO right in this country and many others to mutilate or have others do so their (female) children’s healthy sex organs. Do it and the federal pen awaits you. Boys have the same legal and human rights, or hadn’t you heard? Read this paper, for example, from the Journal of Medical Ethics in 2005: http://tinyurl.com/cfzt8
    LAW, ETHICS, AND MEDICINE; A covenant with the status quo? Male circumcision and the new BMA guidance to doctors. J Med Ethics 2005;31(8):463-9.
    Fox M, Thomson M.
    School of Law, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
    They say, “”We conclude that it is ethically inappropriate to subject children–male or female–to the acknowledged risks of circumcision and contend that there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful.”
    When you’ve finished that, read “The Bioethics of the Circumcision of Male Children” at http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/ and the 76 relevant ethics papers it refers to, most of which are available on line (cirp has hundreds of articles, by the way; look again), and then get back with me and let’s talk about it.
    You assert, “The parents have the right to make such decisions for their children.” Wrong again. I doubt seriously that you will try to claim that parents have any such right if their children happen to have been born female. Almost nobody in this country claims such nonsense, with Congress having specifically denied parents that right, no matter what the culture or religion or anything else of the parents. What about if the child is born and it’s hard to tell if she’s female or intersexed. It’s all a matter of degree, you know. We’re talking millimeters and less. Is it ok to cut girls if they’re just a hair “too big down there”? Some folks think so. Boys have equal rights with girls. Cutting children’s healthy body parts unnecessarily – sex organs or others; male, female or otherwise – is criminal activity. What sex they happen to have been born is 100% irrelevant.

  79. #79 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    Van, thanks for a laugh before bed. Man, you don’t get the concept of logical fallacies, do you?

    Kill the kid? Not likely. A post of mine is held up in the spam folder, but it points out that the number of recorded deaths linked to circumcision in neonates for the last 50 years in the US is 3. (but I’m sure its all a conspiracy, always is one) But nice appeal to fear. I’m sure you scare some people, lots of people lack logical decision making skills, but I’m not impressed. If my son hates me, it will be because I’m a smartass and often forgetful, not this.

    You obviously have a great deal of emotion invested in defending genital mutilation of males.

    You seem to know a lot about what is going on in my head. But here’s a hint. I’m not the one ranting with emotion. If the data was in the other direction, I would change my mind. Thats it. I’m not emotionaly involved, just a strong supporter of evidence based medicine.

  80. #80 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster: You say, “Could you provide a link to a map comparing the regions where FGM and male circumcision are performed in Africa?”
    This link will show you the male and female circumcision areas worldwide: http://www.circumstitions.com/Maps.html There also are links on that page that will straighten you out about your false belief that MGC and FGC are vastly different from each other. They’re both the same illness, “justified” by all the same bogus reasons in the cultures where they occur. Circumcising healthy children doesn’t prevent illness, it CAUSES illness. It IS illness.

  81. #81 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster: You assert, “the number of recorded deaths linked to circumcision in neonates for the last 50 years in the US is 3.”

    This is false data. Where did you get it? Make it up?

    Even I myself have the names, locations, and dates of death of far more US children killed by circumcising them. One of them was the baby brother of an Episcopal priest friend of mine. Here’s a death list from cirp with names and documentation for ten, plus a few from other nations. Africa kills hundreds every year. http://www.cirp.org/library/death/

    Killing even one child for nothing is a severe and inexcusable tragedy. If it’s your child who is killed by circumcision, maybe you will begin to understand. And then again, maybe not.

    Sweet dreams.

  82. #82 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    Again, Van. Medical ethics. Study it. You are getting it wrong. This falls under parent’s rights.

    Don’t compare circumcision with FGM. It’s intelectually dishonest. Removal of the foreskin is not similar to FGM. Complete amputation of the penis is. That would be mutilation.

    The medical ethics issue is that some doctors don’t use proper anaesthesia or don’t give enough information about risks or benefits.

  83. #83 Richard
    November 28, 2006

    Seth Manapio wrote (in quotes):
    “I’m sorry, but quoting and summarizing your source material isn’t high school stuff, it is what I would expect in the introductory paragraphs of a peer reviewed article.”

    Seth, Trying to make your opponent in a debate do your research for you is what I was referring to; that had nothing to do with anything Robster posted. Did you read my post, or just scan it to determine you didn’t like it and then make an attack response? Apparently the latter.
    Robster legitimately posted about Wiswell’s article; I told some truths about who Wiswell is and how his “study” was faulty. I did not fault Robster for posting it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t refute it.

    “No one asked you to provide a piece of information, you made a claim and have now been asked to provide more information about where you got that information.”

    Robster demanded I provide a source. My source was provided in my initial posting. Demanding what has already been provided is a deceitful and fraudulent attempt to discredit an opponent when one has nothing valid to say against what the opponenet has presented. Let me help you with this, since you also seem to have an aversion to consulting a library catalogue: Author: Thomas S. Szasz, M.D. Title: _Sex by Prescription_. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1990. ISBN: 0815602502

    “This debate has not been terribly helpful, unfortunately. I think that the intact crowd may have some valid points, but I find it hard to find those valid points in all of the melodramatic rhetoric.”

    If you came to find reinforcement of what you already believed, this discussion isn’t likely to make you comfortable. If you sincerely want to look at the other side of issue, start reading some of the material at those “crusader” websites denigrated by Professor Smith in her article. You need not worry that anyone is inserting secret coded material that will poison your mind and cause you to believe something you don’t want to believe. The circumcision debate has been so one-sided for so long, that anything that opposes that pattern is deemed “crusader” input. As an academic who is supposed to always look at both sides of an issue, Professor Smith sets a poor example for intellectual inquiry. There are many who want an honest, even-handed approach to this issue. She simply stamps out all dissent, and opposing viewpoint, by labeling it “crusader.” That is not acceptable in the world of ideas.

  84. #84 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    False data. right. You’ll have to wait till Tara gets to the spam filter. Three reports in the medical literature for the US, a few more that didn’t make the lit review of the researchers (and admittedly, didn’t show up on my current – 1966 lit search either…). Some additional cases that weren’t reported in said literature, but did appear in newspapers. The majority of those mentioned at your website are outside the US, or involved circumcisions performed by untrained individuals. Some reported were pre antibiotics. Again, this isn’t the 220+ that Szasz claims per year in the US.

    Richard,

    Feel stamped out? Still posting? Not banned? Belly ache much?

    Do a quick ctrl F search for crusader. You wont find it in Tara’s post or comment. It is in your comments, and one from Bob. Now one from me. Project much?

    And it is Dr. Smith. Not Professor.

  85. #85 Richard
    November 28, 2006

    Robstser wrote (in quotes):

    ” . . . when I looked at CIRP, I couldn’t find any articles. Books and pamphlets that I could pay for, but no articles.”

    This is a blatant falsehood. CIRP does not charge for anything. Everything on the site is open and free to anyone who wants to read it, download it, or copy it.
    There is no provision for collecting any fees for anything at the site. Never has been.

    As an exercise to see how free everything is, go to: http://www.cirp.org/library/general/gairdner/ . This is an article from the BMJ (British Medical Journal), written in 1949. It was the death knell for routine infant circumcision in Britain. The RIC rate there was never as high as in the US, but it was ~50% in 1950; now it is <1%. More than 95% of material at CIRP is from medical journals.

    “Regarding DOC, that isn’t news. Some docs don’t support the procedure. If we found that our OBGyn or pediatrician was a member of this group, I would seriously consider finding another doctor. Not based on emotion, religion, etc, but on my impression that the DOC stance is not based on published research. I want a doctor who practices evidence based medicine.”

    Precisely based on emotion; and also bias, prejudice, and ignorance. Your statement is irrefutable proof of a completely biased mind, that can accept only one side of the issue. Your logic says that if someone opposes circumcision, he or she is unreliable. Only you can make the rules about that, right? And you can’t understand why I am uncomfortable with a recommendation to consult only typical, conforming physicians for a “balanced” presentation about whether to circumcise an infant son? They would hardly be more balanced than you are.

    Can you provide one medical journal source that substantiates what you say about DOC members not practicing “evidence based medicine.” No, you can’t, because it’s something else you made up.

    “Where are the studies from these groups? Where are their findings? Surely they could publish them somewhere. Canada? Australia? They could find a sympathetic editor. I guess they don’t have any evidence to support their claims.”

    In fact, much of what is written by US opponents of circumcision is published in the BMJ or the BJU (British Journal of Urology), or other professional medical publications in English speaking countries. Many of those articles are cached at CIRP. But nevermind, let me help you with your counter argument: “Those are foreign publications. They are un-American. They don’t love the US like I do. Their editors talk funny, have an accent, you know. And worst of all, they have foreskins. Their foreskins make them dirty, socially unacceptable. They are mentally unstable, because they may have once masturbated with their foreskins and caught the insanity virus.” Come on, Robster. Crank up the rest of your bigoted mind and add to the list.

  86. #86 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster: “Again, Van. Medical ethics. Study it. You are getting it wrong. This falls under parent’s rights.”

    Again, Robster. Medial ethics. Study it. You are getting it wrong. This falls under children’s and adults’ human rights.

    “Don’t compare circumcision with FGM.”

    I’ll compare them if I want to. Why not compare them? Both kill, sex organs and children. Both are forced on defenseless children by brutal, ignorant, sick adults. This has been going on for literally thousands of years. It is stone-age madness. There are many more comparisons made at http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html

    “It’s intelectually dishonest.”

    It’s intellectually dishonest to say they can’t and shouldn’t be compared. Of course they can and should. We learn by honestly and competently comparing similarities and differences.

    “Removal of the foreskin is not similar to FGM.”

    Removal of the male foreskin is VERY similar to type 1 FGM in which the female foreskin is removed. Of course there are differences as well. The male foreskin is many times larger, for example, and has been demonstrated to contain tens of thousands of nerve endings in a human sense organ new to science in the 1990s. http://research.cirp.org etc. What other normal, healthy sense organs is it “ethical” to chop out of children’s bodies for no reason? Eyes? Ears? Tongues?

    “Complete amputation of the penis is.”

    There is no form of FGM that is homologous to complete amputation of the penis. Complete excision of the clitoris is impossible to almost all circumcisers of females on this planet. They don’t have the anatomical knowledge to do it. The clitoris is large, about as large as a penis on average, and goes very deep into the female body where it is hidden. Even science itself didn’t know the full size of this important female sex organ until recently. Almost all that female circumcisers know of it is the small exterior portion. That is what is excised in types II, III and IV FGM. It is severe damage, as severing the glans of the penis is severe damge, but it is not like severing the entire penis. Your repeated anatomically ignorant assertion that it is does not make it so.

    “That would be mutilation.”

    Look up “mutilation” in the dictionary. You are not the world’s authority on what is and is not mutilation.

    “The medical ethics issue is that some doctors don’t use proper anaesthesia or don’t give enough information about risks or benefits.”

    There are many articles in the world’s medical and ethical literature about the many very serious ethical issues involved in male circumcision. Your statement above says there’s one, or maybe two relatively minor issues. How absurd that you present yourself as an authority on the subject when your statements are so so far off the mark. Do you just hope to misinform unwary readers? Are you just desperate to keep yourself ignorant? What is your real motivation for your absurd false claims?

    Now I’m the one laughing.

    Except that your careless or deliberate false assertions and false data can injure and kill children. You did say, “the number of recorded deaths linked to circumcision in neonates for the last 50 years in the US is 3.” That is false.

    You say, “Van, thanks for a laugh before bed. Man, you don’t get the concept of logical fallacies, do you? Kill the kid? Not likely.”

    The question is not “how likely” is it? The question is are we ethically justified in injuring children and risking their lives – however likely or unlikely WE might prefer to think it in the absence of hard data on the subject – for non-medical, involuntary, absolutely medically unnecessary surgery on and amputation of normal, functional, healthy human tissue? Anyone who can’t figure out the correct answer to that one is not the brightest light on the tree. I suspect, however, that you are not stupid, but lying. Is it just us you’re trying to lie to, or yourself as well?

    Killing children for nothing may be a laugh to you but it certainly isn’t to me. I find your dishonest tactics despicable in the extreme, whatever your hidden motives might be.

  87. #87 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Robster: You say that because W4D can see obvious strong economic incentives to steal other people’s body parts for profit, and regards circumcising healthy children for no medically justifiable reason as barbaric and symptomatic of sexual predator behavior, s/he is a “scary, disturbed person”. Anyone who is not disturbed by circumcising healthy babies and children is in hard core denial. The really scary people are the ones like Robster who work so hard to keep everyone thinking the same old lies that let this insanity get established in our country in the first place, that “Circumcision is not a major surgery, one of the most routine procedures in the world, and the consequences are nowhere near as severe as FGM.” All lies.
    I get the feeling that “Robster” is really most interested in stealing the truth from people, in order to steal sexual flesh from their helpless babies at the risk of their lives when no medical association in the world claims it’s medically justified and all of them that have studied it say it isn’t medically justified and more and more of them are warning increasingly strongly against it. ROBSTER’s the REALLY scary one. There are “doctors” (loosly called) loose in this country who think and feel as Robster does who will circumcise your baby for you “by accident” and against your written instructions. You can’t count on signatures on paper to protect your son’s penis from stainless steel in sicko’s hands. This is why parents giving birth in US hospitals have to have a 24 hour body guard on their baby boys from the moment of birth until the family is safely home and can lock the circumcisers out. The circumcising sickness runs throughout our very sexually ignorant and sick, compulsively mutilating society. See http://SICsociety.org That’s not emotion talking. Those are facts. Should we be EMOTIONAL about those facts. You damn well better believe we should.
    Robster may, as he claims, “think that the cost benefit analysis … will come down clearly on the side of circumcision” but that’s just wishful thinking on his part. The analysis is already in and the results are the opposite of what he hopes. And it wouldn’t make any difference if they weren’t. Chopping up OTHER people’s bodies without THEIR informed consent is criminal activity. It doesn’t matter what ANYBODY’s “cost-benefit analysis” says about MY penis. It’s MINE. My penis doesn’t belong to some idiot’s cost-benefit analysis. It’s MINE. Do you HEAR me?
    The question is, why do Robster and the others like him so desperately wish to justify the blatantly mad idea that they know better than God, Mother Nature and billions of years of evolution how to design and build human sex organs? They’re off their rockers. Unfortunately, most of the USA is still in the sexual/genital cutting and mutilation loony bin with them. Get out. Get out as fast as you can and get your family out with you. NOTHING anyone has ever claimed they were trying to accomplish by cutting up healthy children’s health foreskins is worth risking the life of one single child for, let alone a million a year in the USA alone.
    Learn to detect bullshit when you hear it. These sick, compulsive sex organ mutilators are good a slinging it.
    Here’s the bottom line: Don’t let THEIR bullshit injure or threaten the life of or kill YOUR child. Or anyone else’s if you can help it.

  88. #88 Seth Manapio
    November 28, 2006

    “You need not worry that anyone is inserting secret coded material that will poison your mind and cause you to believe something you don’t want to believe.”

    ———–

    Why not? I’ve already read many anti circ sites, they use excessive appeals to emotion, scare tactics, and loaded rhetoric (mutilate, rape, child abuse) to attempt to convince me to take their side. I mean, that is what they are for. I know that they will try to persuade me, and I know the tactics that will be used. You telling me not to worry that they will do exactly what they do is just stupid and condescending. I’m not worried about it because as a modern american and an advertising professional, I have a strong memetic immune system, not because some arrogant, condescending ass says I shouldn’t be.

    I’m not adverse to consulting a card catalogue, but again, I didn’t ask you for data. You volunteered it. Being asked for more information about your source is not the same as being asked to do other people’s homework, it is a follow up to a line of inquiry that you opened.

    Van, the thing is, Robster is a pretty decent guy. He’s always been honest as far as I know, and a pretty thorough researcher. I’ve never had a problem confirming his data. So you attacking his claims without presenting very strong counter evidence is really not doing you any good in this forum. I’m not dismissing what you have to say, but I would encourage you to provide some more backup.

    I mean, I know that you are wrong, for example, in saying that all medical organizations recognize that circumcision is not a medical procedure. Thats just not true, I previously linked to the American Urology Association, whose position on circumcision is at odds with your characterization. So that damages your credibility, and if you claim that Robster is lying about a number (say, the death rate of neonates from routine circumcision) then until you provide a credible source (something I can find on PubMed, basically, peer reviewed stuff) than I have to assume that you are wrong about that too.

    You dismiss circumcision as being totally useless, but there is certainly an increased risk of STD transfer, especially AIDS, for intact men. People talk about condoms, but man, I remember being 17,18 years old, and I was really stupid about condom use, despite having all the data about AIDS and genital warts and all that. We’ve learned now that teenagers simply can’t assess risk very well, so no amount of condom preaching will gaurantee condom use, so… its a concern. Maybe not sufficient, but a concern.

    I’m curious as to whether either you or richard can respond to that point without completely flipping out and calling me a child molester.

  89. #89 Seth Manapio
    November 28, 2006

    “And it is Dr. Smith. Not Professor.”

    ——————

    Robster,

    Is Tara an MD? According to Ms. Manners (don’t ask why I know this), in social situations, only MDs are referred to as “Doctor”. Mere PhDs usually get Professor. As the child of two PhDs, my experience is that either one is acceptable.

    Also, the site http://www.circ.org does have articles, from a variety of different sources.

  90. #90 Caledonian
    November 28, 2006

    I certainly can’t argue with the point that there are lots of emotional and outright hysterical anti-circumcision advocates.

    On the other hand, the past claims of medical benefits do indeed seem to have been refuted – yes, new ones are made all the time, but experience suggests that they’ll suffer the same fate.

    And given that the argument seems to change while the conclusion remains the same, it is not at all unreasonable to suspect that the arguments are merely rationalizations for a conclusion that we wish to justify.

  91. #91 Van Lewis
    November 28, 2006

    Seth: You say, “Van, the thing is, Robster is a pretty decent guy.”

    How do you know him so well? You and he aren’t in fact the same person, are you?

    “He’s always been honest as far as I know, and a pretty thorough researcher. I’ve never had a problem confirming his data.”

    So how long have you been “confirming his data”?

    “So you attacking his claims without presenting very strong counter evidence”

    This is your generalized smear on the vast amount of detailed scientific and medical and ethical information I have provided access to with suggested links.

    “… is really not doing you any good in this forum.”

    I don’t think you speak for everybody in this forum, although it is interesting that you seem to be trying to do so. You seem to me to be trying hard to position yourself as an “objective” person, without giving us any real reason to fall for your ploy, and to use this supposed objective stance to then smear my work without backing up what you say.

    “I’m not dismissing what you have to say, …”

    Sounds to me that’s exactly what you are trying to do, without providing much in the way of detail or back-up yourself.

    “but I would encourage you to provide some more backup.”

    To what, EXACTLY?

    “I mean, I know that you are wrong, for example, in saying that all medical organizations recognize that circumcision is not a medical procedure.”

    What I said was, “… no medical association in the world claims it’s medically justified.” (If you have a different quote of mine you want to look at, bring it up specifically and tell us where you got it, so I can address it specifically.)

    “Thats just not true,…”

    My statement above is true but it wasn’t stated specifically enough. Sorry about that. Let me clarify. This is what I was refering to when I said “it”: “no medical association in the world claims that ROUTINE CIRCUMCISION OF HEALTHY CHILDREN is medically justified”. If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it to us instead of making assertions without evidence, as you do below:

    “I previously linked to the American Urology Association, ”

    American Urological Association, I guess you mean.

    “whose position on circumcision is at odds with your characterization.”

    So please quote their position that you find in conflict with mine. Otherwise I think you may damage your credibility in this forum.

    “So that damages your credibility, ”

    I think your unsupported assertions don’t damage my credibility with careful readers. They damage yours. Perhaps they damage mine with those readers unsophisticated enough to fall for your unsupported smears. Is that your target audience here? Are you hoping for more stupid readers than intelligent ones?

    “and if you claim that Robster is lying about a number (say, the death rate of neonates from routine circumcision) ”

    I don’t claim he is lying about the death rate. I don’t think he stated a death rate. He did say “the number of recorded deaths linked to circumcision in neonates for the last 50 years in the US is 3.” He didn’t say the rate was low. He said the number was 3. I didn’t say he lied about the number. I said it is false data. It IS false data. Was he lying? Did he knowingly assert false data here? I don’t know if he was deliberately lying in that instance or was just wrong. One or the other though, it looks like to me. If he was consciously asserting false data he was lying. Why? To try to give a very false impression of the death rate without claiming a death rate? And then you claim falsely that I claim he lied about the rate when I didn’t say anything about him even claiming a rate? Are “you” and “he” playing team tag here?

    “then until you provide a credible source (something I can find on PubMed, basically, peer reviewed stuff) than I have to assume that you are wrong about that too.”

    Check below for a very recent “peer reviewed” urological statement on circumcision. You haven’t shown me to be wrong about the first item yet. Assuming I’m wrong about the second “too” would be an unjustified, hasty assumption on your part, even if you had shown me to be wrong about the first, which you haven’t. A person can be wrong about the first and right about the second. I’m not saying I’ve never made a mistake. I’m saying you haven’t shown that I have. Show me. If you show me I think I can admit to being wrong. Show me. The number of recorded deaths from circumcision is higher than three. Robster was wrong. At least. And maybe lying on purpose.

    “You dismiss circumcision as being totally useless, …”

    “Totally useless” are your words, not mine. If I said that, quote it and prove it. Maybe I did. Show me. I don’t think I said it because I don’t believe it and I’m not accustomed to saying or writing things I don’t believe to be true. Circumcision in certain very very rare cases may be medically justified. Circumcising healthy babies for preventive reasons is NOT medically justified. It is NOT supported by any medical organization in the world. If you think it is, prove it. No medical society in the world claims that it is. Every medical association in the world that has studied the issue and announced policy on it is in agreement that routine circumcision of neonates is not medically justified and none of them support it. If any of those statements are untrue, please prove it. Don’t smear my work with unsupported claims and expect me to go along with your smears. I won’t.

    “but there is certainly an increased risk of STD transfer, especially AIDS, for intact men.”

    That is your unsupported assertion. The AUA’s position is very different. Here’s what they said on the issue in 2003: “Evidence associating circumcision with reduced incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is conflicting.” That’s a far cry from your unsupported, misleading “certainly”. Is “certainly” your honest mistake, or are you deliberately trying to mislead us. Are you lying, “too”?

    “People talk about condoms, but man, I remember being 17,18 years old, and I was really stupid about condom use, despite having all the data about AIDS and genital warts and all that.”

    So how old are you now? How many years ago was that that you “had all the data about AIDS and genital warts and all that”? I’ll be interested to see whether you tell us an age or not that you say you are.

    Your “stupid” (your word) behavior is not a legitimate medical justification for mutilating other people’s sex organs. Not everybody behaves as stupidly as you did.

    “We’ve learned now that teenagers simply can’t assess risk very well, …”

    Another generality. It’s unethical, in my opinion, to try to use such generalities to convince people to chop up babies’ sex organs.

    “so no amount of condom preaching will gaurantee condom use, so… ”

    So what? Chop up people’s sex organs when they’re babies who may never put themselves at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases in the first place, even when no medial association advocates routine circumcision for the prevention of stds?

    “its a concern. Maybe not sufficient, but a concern.”

    Certainly not sufficient to cause the world medical community to accept routine circumcision as a valid std prevention technique, even for AIDS. They haven’t. Why not? Doing so is unsupported by the evidence. It isn’t evidenced-based medicine anywhere in the world today.

    Here’s the latest I’ve seen from the urologists on circumcision, by the way, an editorial from the November 2006 Journal of Urology. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but it shows improvement is some areas, particularly the clarity and forcefulness with which it rejects routine circumcision of infants and the acknowledgement that those of us asking Medicaid and other insurance providers for years now to quit paying for medically unnecessary, elective circumcisions have been right all along. We are making progress with the urologists and the states. They’re slow, but not altogether stagnant. 32% of US states now refuse Medicaid payment for medically unnecessary, elective circumcision of healthy patients of all ages. That’s progress. More should join in now that the urologists have finally come around.

    Circumcision–Are You With us or Against us?
    In the United States most pediatric urologists are in-
    volved with a significant number of circumcision issues,
    such as a request for circumcision by parents, concerns
    over penile adhesions in uncircumcised and circumcised
    boys, hidden penis, trapped penis, phimosis, suspected bal-
    anitis and incomplete circumcision. In this country more
    than 60% of newborns are circumcised, although the rate
    varies based on ethnic background, geographic region and
    insurance status.1,2 In contrast, European men generally
    are circumcised only for religious reasons. Furthermore,
    when hypospadias repair is performed, often the foreskin is
    preserved. Recently we published an article in The Journal
    of Urology® by Schoen et al describing the higher costs
    associated with postneonatal circumcision compared with
    neonatal circumcision.3 In short order, numerous letters to
    the editor were submitted, some of which were critical of the
    analysis, while others indicated that the analysis did not
    consider potential benefits in adulthood for men and their
    sexual partners. Several of these letters are published in
    this issue of The Journal, and provide a flavor of the contro-
    versy.
    Few pediatric urological topics generate as much passion
    among nonurologist physicians (and some pediatric urolo-
    gists) and lay people as newborn circumcision. Several years
    ago an outspoken proponent of circumcision who was invited
    to speak at a national conference on the topic in San Fran-
    cisco made his hotel reservation under a different name
    because of concerns regarding anti-circumcision activists.
    Newborn circumcision is the most common “operation”
    performed in the United States but it is done primarily for
    cosmetic reasons or because the parents think that it will
    afford better hygiene. There is also a perception that circum-
    cision in adulthood is much more painful than in the new-
    born period. A tour through the newborn nursery when
    babies are lined up for circumcision might change this opin-
    ion, although penile blocks are helpful. The risk for circum-
    cision complications is significant, and most parents seem
    unaware about those risks when signing the consent form.
    There are potential health benefits to circumcision, includ-
    ing reduction in the risk of pyelonephritis in infancy, penile
    cancer in adulthood and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.4 Do
    these potential health benefits mean that all boys should be
    circumcised? No. In fact, the health “benefits” and risks of
    circumcision are evenly balanced by the advantages and
    “risks” of being uncircumcised.
    Some argue that circumcision violates medical ethics,5
    and medical practitioners who perform circumcision should
    be aware of these ideas. There is another ethical issue with
    regard to newborn circumcision and the practice of surgery.
    A principle of surgery is that the surgeon is responsible for
    postoperative care, and identifies and manages surgical
    complications, calling in consultants as necessary. In most
    communities newborn circumcision is performed by non-
    urologists, most commonly obstetricians, although it also is
    performed by pediatricians and family physicians. When
    obstetricians perform the procedure, generally they do not
    see the child at followup to assess healing, and they assume
    that the primary care physician will manage the postopera-
    tive care. If there is a complication such as infection, trapped
    penis or incomplete circumcision, usually the problem is
    identified by the pediatrician or family physician and the
    urologist is asked to take care of the problem. Typically the
    obstetrician is unaware of the complication. I have also
    encountered obstetricians who have refused to place sutures
    to control bleeding following Gomco circumcision because
    they were “uncomfortable” suturing such a small structure.
    The arguments will continue and, unfortunately, there is
    little room for compromise. It is important that families be
    aware of the risks of circumcision and practitioners be aware
    of the ethical arguments against routine circumcision. Fur-
    thermore, since it is a cosmetic procedure, the cost of cir-
    cumcision should be paid out of pocket rather than by the
    insurance company or by the public in cases of Medicaid.
    Jack S. Elder
    Section Editor
    REFERENCES
    1. Nelson, C. P., Dunn, R., Wan, J. and Wei, J. T.: The rising
    incidence of newborn circumcision: data from the Nation-
    wide Inpatient Sample. J Urol, 173: 978, 2005
    2. Trends in circumcisions among newborns. National Center for
    Health Statistics (www.cdc.gov/nchs/). Accessed August 8,
    2006
    3. Schoen, E. J., Colby, C. J. and To, T. T.: Cost analysis of neo-
    natal circumcision in a large health maintenance organiza-
    tion. J Urol, 175: 1111, 2006
    4. Williams, B. G., Lloyd-Smith, J. O., Gouws, E., Hankins, C.,
    Getz, W. M., Hargrove, J. et al: The potential impact of male
    circumcision on HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS Med, 3:
    e262, 2006
    5. Denniston, G. C.: Circumcision and the code of ethics. Humane
    Health Care Int, 12: 78, 1996

  92. #92 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    Van and Richard,

    The question is, why do Robster and the others like him so desperately wish to justify the blatantly mad idea that they know better than God, Mother Nature and billions of years of evolution how to design and build human sex organs?

    Because both god and mother nature are imaginary sky fairies, and evolution is full of exceptionaly poor design, just good enough to provide an advantage, falling well short of an intelligent designer.

    It took me a very long time to find the actual lit section on your site. It is there, so I was wrong. Some articles were interesting, others had very little to do with the subject. Often, sections were highlighted (html version of quote mining), but at least whole papers were presented.

    My numbers on deaths were found based on a lit search after Richard made a claim from a dubious source. A link was provided a link to a handful of case studies and news articles, expanding the number. Still not impressive over the span of decades, especially when you exclude deaths from the pre antibiotic era, or ones resulting from individuals lacking medical training, involving parents who did not follow or did not recieve proper counselling on blood loss, or were performed outside of the US (where my stat came from).

    From the article you posted, Several years
    ago an outspoken proponent of circumcision who was invited
    to speak at a national conference on the topic in San Fran-
    cisco made his hotel reservation under a different name
    because of concerns regarding anti-circumcision activists.
    That is why I called WD4 scary. His immediate claim that certain people are pedophiles came off as being unhinged. Appeals to fear that I will kill my son don’t help your side either. Rants that it is YOUR PENIS, not mine show that your stance is the emotional one, concerned with your own situation, and project it onto others.

    My statement that I wouldn’t go want a doctor associated with DOC is because I don’t agree with their take on the literature. Not emotional, not biased, just disagree. And with the histrionic nature of their supporters, especially their reliance on logical falacies instead of evidence, I don’t want an individual that wrapped up in emotion and logical fallacies to be the primary care physician for my child.

    Brian Morris is lead author on an interesting response to the use of statements in this debate. But of course, he’s a pro circ extremist, right? I think that the pendulum will swing back to promoting circumcision, you don’t. Let’s let time tell.

    In fact, much of what is written by US opponents of circumcision is published in the BMJ or the BJU (British Journal of Urology), or other professional medical publications in English speaking countries. Many of those articles are cached at CIRP. But nevermind, let me help you with your counter argument: “Those are foreign publications. They are un-American. They don’t love the US like I do. Their editors talk funny, have an accent, you know. And worst of all, they have foreskins. Their foreskins make them dirty, socially unacceptable. They are mentally unstable, because they may have once masturbated with their foreskins and caught the insanity virus.” Come on, Robster. Crank up the rest of your bigoted mind and add to the list.

    Wow, you really try to get in my head. Nutters. Completely nutters. BMJ and BMU have OK impact factors (decent for a field journal at least), are peer reviewed and pubmed listed.

    —————

    Thanks, Seth, and boy can I identify with this quote, People talk about condoms, but man, I remember being 17,18 years old, and I was really stupid about condom use, despite having all the data about AIDS and genital warts and all that. But I never forgot to be circumcised.

    On the Dr./Professor thing, I disagree with Ms. Manners, as professors do not always have degrees, and we phuds work just as hard to get a few letters after our names. All too often, somebody will say, “Oh, you aren’t a real doctor.” Its a pet peeve for me, but what can I say. I’m human.

  93. #93 Seth Manapio
    November 28, 2006

    “We’ve learned now that teenagers simply can’t assess risk very well, …”

    Another generality.

    Actually, result of a study that Tara previous blogged about. Your reponse to my post, actually taking sentences apart to comment on subject and object separately, is just ridiculously over the top. If you want to convince me that circumcizing my son is a bad idea, belittling me and making up stories about my motives is a lousy place to start.

    I’m portraying myself as undecided on this issue because this is a decision I haven’t made yet, so I actually am undecided.

    Robster and I have been on the same side of a number of debates over the last several months on this site, and I know his credentials better than yours. You therefore just have less credibility with me. You are new here, and he is not, so probably, you have less credibility with readers of the blog in general. Source credibility is an important part of judging truth claims, so you might consider trying to gain some, rather than just being an asshole.

    The urologist link you asked for is here.

  94. #94 Seth Manapio
    November 28, 2006

    I just realized that I said:

    “but there is certainly an increased risk of STD transfer, especially AIDS, for intact men.”

    And Van Lewis responded:

    “That is your unsupported assertion.”

    But of course, that is the subject of the original post. This is what I mean about source credibility. Comments like that make it seem like Van Lewis is so uninterested in actual information about circumcision that he didn’t even bother to read the title of the original post before commenting.

  95. #95 Caledonian
    November 28, 2006

    There may well be a link between having a foreskin and contracting viral STDs, since the foreskin is a mucosal membrane.

    Of course, that also argues against its being functionless tissue whose removal is no loss, as well, and frankly I don’t consider even the moderate claims of a viral link to be justification for circumcision.

    There’s actually a whole lot I want to say on the subject, but it’s going to have to wait for another day – possibly tomorrow.

  96. #96 Robster
    November 28, 2006

    Well, according to the info that is out there, the foreskin is less keratinized than the rest of the penis, making it a weakpoint for viral entry. Langerhans cells (not to be confused with Islets of Langerhans), an immune cell type that monitors for antigens, are enriched in the foreskin. When Langerhans cells bind HIV, they can act as a means to deliver virus to Tcells. It wouldn’t surprise me if they serve a similar purpose as a portal for infection with other viruses.

    The foreskin probably does have some use in immune function and monitoring. At the same time, the warfare between pathogen and host lead to the development of a wall with defenses, and the trojan horse to sneak in past those defenses. Sometimes, they take advantage of those defenses in order to infect.

    As creatures with the capacity to discern such trends, and to affect them, we can work to lessen our collective risks.

  97. #97 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    Seth: “We’ve learned now that teenagers simply can’t assess risk very well, …”
    Van: Another generality.
    Seth: Actually, result of a study that Tara previous blogged about.

    And still a generality that is not true of all teenagers. “Teenagers can’t assess risk very well (let’s not talk about adults here), so let’s us adult risk assessers assess risk for them and decide that maybe being born with a normal foreskin is just too risky for them these days (micro-organisms have been so busy evolving you know), and chop it off of all of them when they’re babies so they can fornicate irresponsibly when they get to be teenagers like we did when we were teenagers with a perhaps reduced risk (we don’t really know yet, but we surmise at will based on a flawed study and other studies with methodological flaws and full of conflicts of interest etc) of contracting HIV, syphilis, and genital ulcers and, we hope, other stds. Let’s ignore the fact that babies aren’t out having unprotected sex that much (except when raped by “adults” who are assessing that the risk to themselves of not having sex with babies risks their own deaths from AIDs to much) and so aren’t at significant risk of contracting stds through their inner foreskins’ mucosal tissues, especially if adults will leave those inner tissues alone as we are supposed to do according to the AAP, ignore the facts that many teenagers will not have unprotected sex, that some teenagers will not have sex at all, and that when today’s babies get to be teenagers there probably will be even better condoms and even cheaper and more effective ways than condom use to prevent stds including AIDS, like vaccines and who knows what other medical advances 15 years from now. No, let’s just cut away unnecessarily NOW, ignoring all the proven damage and additional risks of doing so, because that’s what most (well, barely) of us U.S. adults now having babies really want to do to babies, if they happen to have had the misfortune of being born male. Ignore the girls’ “dangerous foreskins” and mucosal membranes altogether because that’s the way we were raised so we don’t NEED to study it like we need to study boys’ so we can have an excuse to chop off what we want to chop off no matter what the studies say or how flawed they are. Ignore the (probably also flawed) studies that show reduced HIV rates in women who have been circumcised (excuse me, genitally muitilated). Ignore the ACTUAL, CURRENT injuries and deaths to babies circumcised. Just cut. Just do it. Just because we adults want to, and can, so far. Hurry. Before boys and intersexed kids get equal protection of the federal anti-genital mutilation law wiith girls.

    Seth: “Your reponse to my post, actually taking sentences apart to comment on subject and object separately, is just ridiculously over the top.”

    Seth as interpreted by Van: “Actually having a detailed conversation with a new person who responds to my unsupported assertions in detail is just way too much for me – “ridiculously over the top.”. A frightening experience for me actually. What if I actually have to THINK competentently about chopping up other people’s bodies without their permission for the first time in my life. Maybe if I insult him instead he’ll go away and I can return unmolested to my old tricks. He is impolite and insufficiently credible (so far and I’ll do my best to keep it that way with inuendo and insult) to be responded to in return in detail.

    Seth: “If you want to convince me that circumcizing my son is a bad idea, ”

    I didn’t know you were going to or thinking of having one. I hope you will be so lucky and that before you do you will gain a little more humility and a little insight from other cuiltures than this sexually mutilating one and learn a little more respect for the human body as is and a little more reverence for life and a little more respect for your potential ability as a parent to have a close and loving and beneficial and teaching and LEARNING relationship with your children so that you can keep them safe by love and care and responsible education instead of damaging and additionally risky unnecessary surgery to which they do not have an opportunity to consent and in their ability to grow up into healthy, happy, normal, full, complete human beings even more intelligent than you yourself, it’s called “evolution”, who wouldn’t THINK of injuring themselves and putting themselves at risk of death by unnecessary surgery and unprotected sex like you were and did.

    “… belittling me and making up stories about my motives is a lousy place to start.”

    Better there than nowhere, especially in a “scientific” barbarism, a primitive, barbaric culture the bare majority of whose new parents are still so clueless that they don’t even know enough not to chop off the perfectly healthy perfectly normal ends of their babies perfect sex organs. Far gone, and just barely starting out. So sad.

    If I have offended you I apologize. Does that help any?

    And may I suggest that you worry a lot more about your son and how he might feel and what he might say and do to you if you cut the end of his penis off unnecessarily than about me. I’m nobody to to you. Just some words on your screen. Hopefully you will have a son some day who will mean a whole lot more to you than I do. If you do he will be your son and will have been your son for the rest of eternity. That’s a pretty long time. Think about what HE might say to you about YOUR decisions about HIS penis. HIS. Please. If you want to start chopping up penises, start with your own. When you decide to cross the line and start chopping up other people’s penises you are entering VERY dangerous territory. Dangerous to the other parties, the chopees, and dangerous to yourself, the chopper.

    Seth: “I’m portraying myself as undecided on this issue because this is a decision I haven’t made yet, so I actually am undecided.”

    Assuming that’s true (I certainly don’t know that it is; “I’m PORTRAYING myself as undecided” sounds to me like the words of a person who PORTRAYS himself in whatever ways he pleases at the moment), your son is a lucly man. He still has a chance to have his human right to decide for himself whether he wants his sex organ to remain biologically normal or to be artificially abnormalized by unnecessary, involuntary, damaging, risky, anti-cosmetic surgery. That’s more than the majority of US male and intersexed babies can currently say for themselves.

    Seth: “Robster and I have been on the same side of a number of debates over the last several months on this site, and I know his credentials better than yours.”

    Credentials and truth are two different things. Which is more important?

    Seth: “You therefore just have less credibility with me.”

    My credibility is irrelevant to the ideas and issues I raise. I’m not asking you to believe anything I say anyway. If anything, the opposite. U.S. parents’ problem is too much gullibility on the issue of chopping up their children’s sex organs and has been for many decades. I ask you to INCREASE your skepticism. Include me in there with the mutilators. If you put us all in the same basket, I’m confident of the outcome. I don’t need crediibility. I need your increased skepticism.

    Seth: “You are new here, and he is not, so probably, you have less credibility with readers of the blog in general.”

    Fine by me.

    “Source credibility is an important part of judging truth claims, so you might consider trying to gain some, rather than just being an asshole.”

    The real assholes (pardon me, that’s an insult to real assholes) the real turds (pardon me again, that’s an insult to perfectly fine turds) are the people chopping up other people’s sex organs without permission.

    Seth: “The urologist link you asked for is here.”

    http://tinyurl.com/yn8bm7

    Thanks. That’s the one that says, “Evidence associating circumcision with reduced incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is conflicting.”

    And we’re going to chop up our babies’ penises based on “conflicting” evidence? Count me and my kids out.

    Let’s be clear about this. The burden of proof in this situation is on the people advocating the unnecessary amputation. It is not on the people advocating the foreskin. The foreskin – like all other normal, healthy human body parts – is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt, and it hasn’t been. The foreskin is its own advocate and, allowed to speak, it is a convincing one. The proof of that is that men allowed to keep theirs almost never ask to have it amputatued unnecessarily and destroyed forever, particularly while it’s in a healthy state and more particularly if they are educated on the subject. There are other less invasive, less painful, cheaper, more logical ways of addressing and solving the problems that (infrequently) arise with foreskins than the brainless method of chopping them off. Amputation for infection went out with the discovery of penicillin in the earlier part of the 20th century and is no longer the standard of care. PREMPTIVE amputation has NEVER been the standard of care for ANY not-yet-existing infection, especially unlikely ones.

    If we chop EVERYTHING off and out of the baby NOTHING can EVER get sick and he’ll live FOREVER!

    The burden of proof of advisability for that advanced medical treatment is on ME, not on the people who might be so unelightened and subversive and obsessed and cultish as think it unnecessary and insane. We don’t have to do double-blind scientific studies to find out whether my idea is a good one. I have to prove ahead of time that it’s a good idea. And I can’t go around mutilating and killing millions of babies attempting to prove that my pet amputation is the cat’s meow.

    I’m sorry if you feel insulted by my current approach to solving this problem. I think anybody contemplating cutting off the end of their baby’s healthy penis needs DESPERATELY for SOMEONE to insult him or her. This culture is insane on the subject and wants to keep pretending that it’s not. Keeping up its insane (and sometimes lethal for babies) pretense is a lot harder in an environment where everybody makes nice with the criminal mutilators and their pathetic enablers.

    Seth’s next post:

    Seth: “I just realized that I said: ‘but there is certainly an increased risk of STD transfer, especially AIDS, for intact men.’”

    Glad you finally realized what you said. It is a falsehood. Have you realized that yet? It is NOT certain. It is speculated that there MAY be such increased risk and there is a lot of flawed evidence for it and there is evidence against it. That is as far as we have gotten. Sicence has not gotten to certainty on it. You may be “certain”, but if so your standards for certainty are pathetically low. Increase your skepticism.

    Seth: “And Van Lewis responded:’That is your unsupported assertion.’”

    Seth: “But of course, that is the subject of the original post. This is what I mean about source credibility. Comments like that make it seem like Van Lewis is so uninterested in actual information about circumcision…”

    I am so “uninterested in actual information about circumcision” that I have been studying actual information about circumcision for over 45 years, since 1961. I have also helped Nobel laureates study and understand this issue. One of them was a Jewish Nobel Laureate Harvard biologist. His Nobel prize was in physiology and medicine, 1967. See http://tinyurl.com/ye6trr

    Seth: “… that he didn’t even bother to read the title of the original post before commenting.”

    I read the title and the whole post, first. Tara begins, “Male circumcision is a difficult topic to discuss rationally.”

    No shit. Especially for people born into and raised in male genitally mutilating cultures and most especially for males in male genitally mutilating cultures male genitally mutilated themselves and then even more so if they have taken the further step of male genitally mutilating their own sons’ only previously normal and healthy male genitals for life. There has to be an absence of competent, rational discussion of the subject in any culture for it to become a male (or female or intersexed) genitally mutilating culture in the first place, and after it becomes one it has to DEVELOP the NEW ABILITY to discuss it rationally (there not having been one present beforehand) in the face of the fact that most men in the male genitally mutilating culture are now male genitally mutilated and have a VERY strong personal interest in BELIEVING the obvious falsehood that they were not harmed sexually by the involuntary male genital mutilation. The culture is very heavily interested in maintaining its sick bias for what it calls its “culture” and “tradition”. A culture and tradition of risking male babies lives for nothing. It’s a mistake. It’s a mistake when individuals do it and it’s a mistake when whole cultures adopt it. The excuses they use are irrelevant. What’s relevant is that it’s always a human rights violation to chop up other people’s bodies without their permission without adequate medical justification and the reason it’s a mistake, besides being a human rights violation, is that it damages them and through them the culture. Cultures make mistakes too, and when they do correcting them can be a bitch. Individuals have a hard enough time admitting our own mistakes, especially big ones. Whole cultures? Watch out! Ask me. I know all about it.

    “Difficult” for us “to discuss rationally”? You bet. Her post proves it, as do the comments that follow it. As does the fact that US medicine has been chopping up healthy babies’ healthy penises unnecessarily and without adequate medical justification (that last fact is now the agreed position of all medical societies in the world that have studied the issue and announced their conclusions on it) for 160 years. The fact that we do have a hard time discussing it rationally shouldn’t stop us from discussing it, however. It shouldn’t stop her, you, me or anyone else. I am confident that if we keep discussing it, rationally and otherwise, we’ll get where the babies need us to go. You may think that’s one place. I may think it’s another. We’re entitled to our opinions. What we are NOT entitled to, in MY opinion, is to chop up each others’ normal, healthy bodies and body parts without adequate medical justification and without the full adult informed written permission of the chopee.

    Tara says next, “At the core, it’s a medical procedure, …”

    Nope. It is not now and never has been legitimate, evidenced-based medicine. DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org says it’s not even surgery. “Circumcision is not valid surgery, by definition. Surgical procedures have been defined as: repair of wounds, extirpation of diseased organs or tissue, reconstructive surgery, and physiologic surgery (i.e. sympathectomy). Routine circumcision does not fall into any of these categories. Therefore, non-therapeutic infant male circumcision is not a valid surgical procedure. Doctors’ licenses do not permit them to cut people unless they are performing surgery, nor may they harm their patients.”

    It’s not medicine, it’s culture. Even the AAP said so as far back as 1999, and even in 1971 when they said, “There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period.” None. That means it’s NOT medicine. At it’s core, when done to non-consenting parties, it’s a human rights violation. It MASQUERADES as medicine. That doesn’t make it medicine.

    Tara also says, “One of the reasons that’s been given in favor of circumcision is that it lowers the risk of disease.” I find this statement ambiguous. It’s hard for me to tell from the written language if she means “One of the reasons that’s been given in favor of circumcising is that the people advocating circumcising claim that it lowers the risk of disease”, or “One of the reasons that’s been given in favor of circumcising is that science has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that circumcising lowers the risk of disease.” If the former, I have no quarel with the statement. If the latter, I do. Whether circucmising reduces risk of diseases and if so which ones and by how much is a matter of current scientific investigation and dispute. If she is presenting it as if it were established scientific fact she is wrong. It is not.

    And even if it were, that “established scientific fact”, even if TRUE in ADDITION to being “established scientific fact” (“established scientific facts” get overturned by science all the time) would not in ANY way justify circumcising ANY healthy person involuntary.

    Tara concludes, “certainly” [no, not "certainly"; the validity of this study is in dispute, even by its own authors, I've read] “it lends weight to the stance that there *are* medical benefits to circumcision.”

    No, there are not actual “medical benefits” to the VICTIM of circumcision at the time of the mutilation and amputation. Quite the contrary. There are medical, physical, emotional, brain development, and financial damages of the operation then and later. (There are financial benefits, too [but not to the victim], giant ones, resulting from illegal trade in stolen human body parts, human foreskins, but I think Tara was talking about medical benefits, presumably to the victim.) Some ASSERT — and there is some flawed evidence “supporting” the assertion, for those gullible enough to believe that flawed evidence supports anything; flawed evidence is easy to obtain, by the way, but not everybody gets it easily and cheaply; some spend a lot of money to get it expensively, hoping thereby to make it appear less flawed and more “credible”; so much for the real value of “credibility” to gullible people — that there are some POTENTIAL and UNLIKELY ever to be REALIZED medical benefits for unlikely future medical problems; potential medical benefits (a POSSIBLE, MAYBE MAYBE NOT, and, IF real, UNKNOWN PERCENTAGE REDUCTION in unlikely and easily preventable utis, stds, cancer) that are very unlikely ever to BECOME actual in any particular person and even in the unlikely event the diseases do arise in a particular person most of them are minor and already have ethical, far less destructive solutions awaiting them and those that don’t probably will by the time today’s babies grow up and become sexually active. Circumcised babies can and do still get utis. Circumcised men can and do get stds and cancer of the penis, most often in the circumcision scar. And even if they didn’t, even if circumcision magically prevented all these problems every time, and every other medical problem in the world, and made millionaires out of all circucmised men when they reached 18 and their wives on their wedding day, that would not justify cutting up other people’s healthy bodies without the fully informed adult written censent of the non-patient.

    She says, “What to do with that information is more difficult.”

    For some. Not for others. This “information”, such as it is, does NOT justify circumcising healthy people. Period. And it ESPECIALLY does not justify circumcising healthy people AGAINST THEIR WILL or when their will is unknown. And it MOST especially does not justify injuring and putting the lives of millions of babies and childen at risk every year and killing ANY of them, let alone an unknown percentage above zero.

    Whose penis is it anyway? Whose LIFE is it anyway? Are those such “difficult” questions to answer?

    What is wrong with people’s minds?

    WHY CAN’T we easily THINK about and discuss male circumcision rationally?

    Is it because circucmising ANY healthy human beings involuntarily IS a medically and otherwise unjustified genital mutilation and human rights violation? Could we have difficulty thinking about and discussing male circumcision rationally because our emotional brains and our minds and our whole culture have been heavily damaged by indisputably unnecessary, indisputably medically unjustified, indisputibly involuntary, indisputably damaging genital mutilations?

    Whose penis is it anyway?

    Whose life is it anyway?

  98. #98 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    “Circumcision ‘death season’ begins”

    Just recieved this from Catholics Against Circumcision .org:

    Another circumcision death- Xola Mbuqe, 18, died November 26, 2006 in the
    Eastern Cape. Circumcision KILLED him, instead of “preventing him from
    dying of AIDS”.

    http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_South%20Africa&set_id=1&click_id=&art_id=iol1164804863773B262

    or

    http://tinyurl.com/yxecuf

    November 29 2006 at 03:12PM

    The first death was reported in the Eastern Cape’s summer circumcision
    season on Wednesday.

    Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said 18-year-old
    Xola Mbuqe died on Sunday in the intensive care unit of Mthatha’s Nelson
    Mandela Academic Hospital.

    He was admitted with signs of gangrene of the genitals, dehydration, and
    hallucinations, which were possibly a consequence of the dehydration.

    Kupelo said on Wednesday that authorities were investigating the death,
    and would possibly question the traditional nurse who had been responsible
    for Mbuqe’s care.

    Kupelo also said two “bogus” surgeons were arrested on Wednesday in the
    Ngqeleni area, and would appear in court soon on charge of conducting four
    unlawful circumcisions.

    One was a youth aged 20, himself circumcised only months ago, who
    continued circumcising boys even while he was being hunted by police.

    Originally sought in connection with the circumcision of seven under-age
    boys, he confessed on his arrest to 10 more.

    Kupelo said another two “bogus” traditional surgeons, aged 19 and 25,
    appeared in the Libode Magistrate’s Court earlier this week over illegal
    circumcisions.

    They would remain in custody until their next appearance on January 31.

    “[This] is very encouraging for us, because it means both traditional
    surgeons will not go back and redo those barbaric acts,” he said.

    Police were still searching in the same area for another unregistered
    surgeon, dubbed “Mr Chicken” for his a-chicken-and-ten-rands fee for
    conducting a circumcision.

    It was believed the man, also known by the nickname “Mtshayina”, had
    circumcised 70 youths over the past week and a half.

    “Attempts are being made to capture him,” Kupelo said. “He’s a real threat
    to the lives of our people.”

    Kupelo said there were more than nine circumcision-related deaths in the
    Libode area during the 2006 winter season. – Sapa

  99. #99 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    IN MEMORY OF ALL PEOPLE, MALE, FEMALE AND INTERSEXED,
    WHO HAVE BEEN KILLED BY CIRCUMCISING AND ITS COMPLICATIONS:
    THE ONES WE KNOW, THE ONES WE DON’T, AND THE ONES ONLY GOD KNOWS

    “How many deaths will it take ’til we know that too many people have died?”
    Bob Dylan

    Xola Mbuqe, 18
    November 26, 2006
    Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital, Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa

    Nkhiphitheni Nehelula, 9
    July 8 or 9, 2006
    Guyuni-Dzumbama village near Mutale, Limpopo, South Africa

    Sello Ntsie, 18 (beaten to death at a circumcision “initiation school”
    before he could be circumcised)
    July 5, 2006
    Zuurbekom, near Westonaria, South Africa

    Siyabonga Radebe, 14 (beaten to death at a circumcision “initiation school”
    before he could be circumcised)
    July 5, 2006
    Zuurbekom, near Westonaria, South Africa

    Patrick Hoho, 58 (hacked to death by Hoho’s circumcision victim)
    July 3, 2006
    Port Elizabeth, South Africa

    Pamela Kathambi, 15 (died from circumcising herself to try to avoid teasing)
    June 18, 19, 20 or 21, 2006
    Irindi, Meru, Kenya

    Inaam Abdul Wahab (female child)
    December 6, 2005
    Sudan, Africa

    Jacob Christian Holliday (4 years, 2 months and 3 days; born with heart
    problems, circumcised at 8 months, the circumcision damages the heart
    further, he has a heart transplant, anti-rejection drugs create
    susceptibility to cancer, the boy dies of cancer)
    October 20, 2005
    Orlando, Florida, USA

    Infant boy
    February 15, 2005
    Abou Quir, Alexandria, Egypt

    Muyoddin Khan, 5
    February 10, 2005
    Indrapur, Nepal

    Wandile Lwane, 21 (Dontsa Lwane’s brother, by suicide after learning of
    Dontasa’s death by suicide)
    January 9, 2005
    Ezibeleni, Queenstown, South Africa

    Dontsa Lwane, 19 (by suicide after botched circumcision of Dec 11, 2004)
    January 8, 2005
    Gqebenya, Lady Frere, South Africa

    30 day old infant
    November, 2004
    Kermanshah, Iran

    Infant twin (by herpes virus, circumcised by Rabbi Yitzhok Fischer who had
    herpes and performed metziza by mouth [sucking the blood] on baby’s penis)
    New York, New York, USA
    October, 2004

    Sabelo Marotya, 17
    July 4, 2004
    Mdantsane, South Africa

    David Reimer (38, by suicide. He lost his penis to circumcision at 8 months
    and was raised as a girl until teen-age, when he discovered the truth and
    decided to live the rest of his life as a male. See “As Nature Made Him: The
    Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl”, by John Colapinto.)
    May 4, 2004
    Winnipeg, Canada

    Justin William Rumberger (3 months, 5 days; sick with Zellweger’s Syndrome,
    circumcision hastens death)
    December 28, 2003
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA

    Bennett Ntazini (adolescent boy)
    December, 2003
    Jan Kempdorp, South Africa

    George Kgomogadi, 17
    December, 2003
    Jan Kempdorp, South Africa

    Andile Masabalala, 21
    December, 2003
    Tsomo, South Africa

    Thamsanqa Mnyaka, 19
    December, 2003
    Whittlesea, South Africa

    Myolisi Mayekiso, 18
    December, 2003
    Whittlesea, South Africa

    Callis Osaghae (boy, 2 months)
    August 18, 2003
    Waterford, Ireland

    Brian Reimer (36, by suicide. Genitally intact twin brother of David Reimer,
    whose penis was destroyed by unnecessary circumcising. Brian was spared the
    physical assault, but not the emotional traumas the whole family suffered.
    Brian committed suicide before David did.
    2002
    Winnipeg, Canada

    Sifiso Kobo (adolescent boy)
    November 21, 2002
    Umtata, South Africa

    Zola Mjamba
    November 19, 2002
    Umtata, South Africa

    Ryleigh Roman Bryan McWillis (Infant boy)
    August 22, 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Amina Jumanne (Female child)
    July, 2002
    Takwa Village, Tanzania

    Habibur Rahman, 8, son of Jahangir Hossain
    June 23, 2001
    Unb, Chandpur, Bangladesh

    Dustin Evans (Infant boy)
    October, 1998      
    Cleveland, OH, USA

    Andrew Ryan (20; died of anesthesia overdose after circumcision)
    July 25, 1997
    Shotley Bridge Hospital, Consett, Co Durham, U.K.

    Jeremie Johnson (Infant boy)
    July 18, 1995
    Houston, TX, USA

    Demetrius Manker (Infant boy)
    June 26, 1993
    Carol City, FL, USA

    Allen A. Ervin (Infant boy)
    July 8, 1992
    Spartanburg, SC, USA

    Steven Christopher Chacon (Infant boy)
    November, 1986
    San Francisco, CA, USA

    Christopher Dolezal (Infant boy)
    November, 1982
    Des Moines, IA, USA

    Baby Boy Lebeau
    April, 1942
    Quebec, Canada

    Roland Albert McCarty  (my friend’s baby brother)
    1932
    Jacksonville, FL, USA

    Aleck, Native American Baby Boy
    June 10, 1910      
    Island County, WA, USA

  100. #100 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    “Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of ‘custom’. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”

    Thomas Paine, in his treatise, “Common Sense”, January 1776

  101. #101 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    As creatures with the capacity to discern such trends, and to affect them, we can work to lessen our collective risks.

    That’s spectacular reasoning for immunizations, which pediatric organizations have no problem getting behind, but absolutely horrible reasoning for a surgical procedure.

    As it happens, circumcision is one of the relatively few surgeries that has been scientifically studied at all. Drugs are tested far more thoroughly than surgery in general, which is stupid.

    The basic problem is that all of the past claims for the benefits of circumcision have been refuted by later study and examiniation.

  102. #102 Robster
    November 29, 2006

    Such an incredibly rich field of logical fallacies. My fav was the claim that Van has advised Nobel prize winners. Big fat meaningless goose egg. Major appeal to authority, and one used by all kinds of dubious groups out there. Similar of course, to pointing out association Statements.

    Nope. It is not now and never has been legitimate, evidenced-based medicine.

    Except when the evidence supporting the practice is examined…

    Look, (to borrow from an opinion piece on common sense application of research) I understand that having a parachute has been associated with a decreased risk of death or injury due to gravity induced acceleration and the resulting impact/ rapid deceleration. Some people with parachutes still die, but if you are going to jump out of a plane, it does improve your chances. Some people claim that there is no reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but people do it all the time, even without the knowledge and approval of their parents. Yes, I know this is all snark, but from my review of the literature, circumcision is like having a parachute, reducing your risk factors in regard to a variety of conditions and diseases. Wearing the parachute from early on provides the most benefit.

    WHY CAN’T we easily THINK about and discuss male circumcision rationally?

    Because certain groups refuse to behave rationally, accuse their opponents of being pre-murderous perverts, in danger of earning the hate of their children (Huh?), and rely on things other than logical fallacies.

    ——–

    From the CAC press release,

    Kupelo also said two “bogus” surgeons were arrested on Wednesday in the Ngqeleni area, and would appear in court soon on charge of conducting four unlawful circumcisions.

    Not applicable to the US health care system, or research articles supporting prophylactic circumcision in a medical setting, is it?

    BTW, your list contains _8_ deaths over the last 50 years in the US, limited to procedures performed in hospital settings. Thanks for backing me up.

    Jacob Christian Holliday (4 years, 2 months and 3 days; born with heart problems, circumcised at 8 months, the circumcision damages the heart further, he has a heart transplant, anti-rejection drugs create susceptibility to cancer, the boy dies of cancer)
    October 20, 2005
    Orlando, Florida, USA

    A website I found that was written by a family member does not place blame regarding the child’s death. The cardiac problem he was born with, combined with illness, led to a corrective operation 3 days after birth, as opposed to waiting several months to years, which is standard practice. They go on to state that hours after an unspecified surgery at 8mo, he went into cardiac arrest. Their site says, “no one knows why exactly.” He was lucky enough to get a heart transplant, which extended his life to four years, when he died of cancer associated with anti rejection drugs.

    Any event that put the right ammount of stress on his heart could have led to this event, affecting an already weak heart.

    Justin William Rumberger (3 months, 5 days; sick with Zellweger’s Syndrome, circumcision hastens death)
    December 28, 2003
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA

    Death for children born with the thankfully rare Zellweger’s syndrome rarely live beyond 6 months. The grandmother’s website states that these were his conditions, as determined by the hospital (deafness was suspected pre-circumcision). “Justin was indeed deaf, slight water on the brain, possibly Blind, liver test came back poor, and he was a hemophiliac.”

    Dustin Evans (Infant boy)
    October, 1998
    Cleveland, OH, USA

    Anaesthesia complications occurred before an operation to be performed to deal with complications from the initial circumcision.

    Jeremie Johnson (Infant boy)
    July 18, 1995
    Houston, TX, USA

    5 year old boy (not infant), death likely due to anaesthesia complications (general is called for in children and adults, but not neonates).

    Demetrius Manker (Infant boy)
    June 26, 1993
    Carol City, FL, USA

    6mo old child died from blood loss after being released from doctor’s care. Should have been caught earlier than it was.

    Allen A. Ervin (Infant boy)
    July 8, 1992
    Spartanburg, SC, USA

    Excessive anaesthesia administered, 6mo old at time of circumcision.

    Steven Christopher Chacon (Infant boy)
    November, 1986
    San Francisco, CA, USA

    Circumcision site became infected after “exposure to filth” in parent’s apartment.

    Christopher Dolezal (Infant boy)
    November, 1982
    Des Moines, IA, USA

    Child had gone through 20 bloody diapers, at home, with no medical attention. Completely against directions given to parents with a newly circumcised child.

    Hence…

    Deaths from anaesthesia complications = 3

    Deaths associated with a syndrome that would have caused death irregardless of circumcision = 1

    Deaths linked to cancer, related to anti rejection drugs, in a patient where congenital heart defects may have contributed to a need for a heart transplant, along with surgery associated cardiac stress = 1

    Deaths that could have been prevented with proper hygiene = 1

    Deaths from exsanguination without contributing factors = 2
    Sadly, I think that these were preventable if medical attention had been sought earlier, without placing any blame. Not my place, and its just conjecture, anyway.

    Again, not 220-240 deaths / year.

  103. #103 Robster
    November 29, 2006

    Sorry for the bad grammer above. Multitasking does that.

    Cal,

    The basic problem is that all of the past claims for the benefits of circumcision have been refuted by later study and examiniation.

    Disputed, yes. Some dropped. All refuted, no.

    And circumcision does prevent UTIs at a rate similar to an effective vaccine. Susceptability to HIV infection may also be decreased at a level similar to that which would be acceptable in an HIV vaccine.

  104. #104 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    People who are familiar with the research don’t repeat most of the claims because it’s been generally accepted that they’re wrong. (At least, the honest ones do.)

    What’s interesting is that there are always new claims popping up as the old claims are refuted – and they so often seem to focus on what people are afraid of. When cancer meant an automatic horrible death, it was claimed that circumcision prevented penile cancer. Of course, the studies involved looked at people in America, where circumcision was widespread in the higher social classes for other-than-medical reasons and far less common in rural and poor regions – and guess what happened once those factors were taken into account? Penile cancer was and is less common among Western European countries where circumcision was rarely practiced than in America where it was widely practiced.

    Then claims were made about urinary tract infections, and the claimed effect size was remarkably small. There are also other methods for preventing urinary tract infections that don’t involve amputating part of the genitals.

    Now the claims are being made for HIV… and most of the studies on the matter are performed in Africa, where the majority of men are circumcised because of very peculiar ideas about manhood, and the groups that don’t face serious social discrimination. Uncircumcised men are sometimes seized by mobs and cut with whatever’s at hand. It’s simply not feasible to study circumcision in that social climate. Yet it keeps being done.

    It’s also worth noting that most African men are already circumcised, and it hasn’t stopped AIDS from being a major humanitarian disaster.

  105. #105 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    You were incorrect, Robster, when you said that circumcision had originated in dozens of different cultures. It seems to have developed twice, then spread. Strangely enough, once a culture adopts it it seems to be very difficult to let go.

    Body modification has a very old history, and has certainly taken many different forms in distinct cultural traditions: tattoos, piercings, scarification, foot binding, subincision, circumcision, labiectomy, clitorectomy, foreskin stretching, forehead flattening, and so on. Usually BM is associated with rites of passage, but sometimes it’s just a matter of cultural aesthetics (such as the Nahuatl tradition of flattening the forehead with boards).

    In sub-Saharan Africa, the foreskin is usually seen as a ‘feminine’ part that needs to be removed for boys to develop into men. The justification is mirrored for women, with the clitoris and labia being seen as ‘masculine’. Similar practices are associated with the Australian aborigines, except that they take circumcision rather further to subincision. It’s difficult to gain historical statistics, but in modern times both cultures have high rates of infection and occasionally life-threatening complications. In times when quality medical care was nonexistent and simple cuts could lead to death by blood poisoning, we can only imagine that things were worse.

    Strangely enough, there are no medical justifications for the practices in these cultures. You simply cannot receive the social status of an adult if you don’t go through with them.

  106. #106 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    It’s also worth noting that most African men are already circumcised, and it hasn’t stopped AIDS from being a major humanitarian disaster.

    —————

    From a popular article on the subject of AIDS and circumcision in Africa:

    Medical anthropologists began noticing as early as 1989 that the highest rates of HIV infection in Africa were occurring in regions of the continent where the predominant tribal or religious cultures did not practice circumcision. Adult HIV infection rates above 30 percent are found in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and eastern South Africa, where circumcision is not practiced; yet HIV infection rates remain below 5 percent in West Africa and other parts of the continent where circumcision is commonplace.

    Africa is not some homogenous zone of fanatical circumcizers, as Caledonian asserts, but an large continent with hundreds, if not thousands, of distinct cultures and a wide variety of viewpoints on circumcision.

  107. #107 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “It seems to have developed twice, then spread.”

    ———-

    Caledonian, this statement needs justification. As far as I know, we don’t know enough about pre-colonial history in Sub-Saharan cultures to postulate that they aquired circumcision rituals from the Egyptians, and in fact, it would seem astonishing if they did.

  108. #108 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    Well poisoning. Africans are no more fanatical than, say, Middle Easterners or North Americans. Well, Americans, anyway – circumcision is seriously falling out of popularity with the Canadians.

    The African cultural groups that don’t practice circumcision are, however, seriously discriminated against by the majority which do. Ignoring this important point is disingenous at best.

  109. #109 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    Robster:

    Van: The question is, why do Robster and the others like him so desperately wish to justify the blatantly mad idea that they know better than God, Mother Nature and billions of years of evolution how to design and build human sex organs?

    Robster: “Because both god and mother nature are imaginary sky fairies, …”

    This religious dogma of yours is not to my taste, I’m more of a skeptic than you are, but you are entitled to freedom of your religious beliefs just as I am and everyone else is.

    “… and evolution is full of exceptionaly poor design, just good enough to provide an advantage, falling well short of an intelligent designer.”

    So foreskins are there because they “provide an advantage” or advantages? What would it or they be?

    And it appears you do claim – in public yet – to be a better designer of human sex organs than whatever gave them to us as they are in the first place. I find that astounding. I also find it arrogant in the extreme, and symptomatic of serious ignorance of the complexity and fitness of the anatomical, including neuroanatomical and microanatomical realities of the sex organs nature gives us.

    This is the kind of psychopathic arrogance that allows people to cut healthy, living organs off and out of healthy, living human beings. It’s called human vivisection. World War II Nazi doctors got Neuremburg prison terms for such crimes against humanity.

    “It took me a very long time to find the actual lit section on your site.”

    The second link on the home page – “Circumcision Reference Library” – takes you directly to the index/access page to medical and other journal articles. That link comes into plain view, twice, as soon as you open See cirp.org

    The third link on the homepage – “Circumcision Information Pages” – takes you down a short distance on the home page itself to the index/access information for this more general section of the literature.

    Why it would have taken you “a very long time” to find this I cannot imagine. Well, on second thought, that’s not true. I can imagine that you were drunk or otherwise chemically impaired or computer illiterate or dumb as a stick or distracted by polar bears rampaging through your house, but I seriously doubt any of those are true. Finding a likely explanation for your failure is beyond me. What happened?

    “It is there, so I was wrong.”

    Doesn’t it feel good to admit it when you are? Keep up the good work!

    “Some articles were interesting, others had very little to do with the subject. Often, sections were highlighted (html version of quote mining), but at least whole papers were presented.”

    There are hundreds of them. Enjoy.

    “My [incorrect] numbers on deaths were found based on a lit search after Richard made a claim from a dubious source.”

    Thomas Szasz is a famous and well respected psychiatrist.

    “A link was provided a link to a handful of case studies and news articles, expanding the number. Still not impressive over the span of decades, ”

    Exactly how many circucmision deaths will it take to impress you? Maybe only one, if it’s your own child who is killed by circumcision. I have just posted a list here of 39 circucmision and directly-related deaths. I bet those deaths were impressive to at least 39 people, probably a lot more. Those are simply the ones that I myself happen to know about for random reasons including one that I know about because he was the baby brother of a good friend of mine, an Episcopal priest from Jacksonville, Florida. The list is not to be taken as any kind of indicator of how may circumcision deaths there actually are or have been over the last 100 years, well 96 years since the first record I have. There are hundreds in Africa EVERY year. It does happen in the USA, Canada, Ireland and many other countries too.

    “… especially when you exclude deaths from the pre antibiotic era, …”

    2 of the 39 on my list are from the pre-antibiotic era.

    “… or ones resulting from individuals lacking medical training, involving parents who did not follow or did not recieve proper counselling on blood loss, …”

    So those deaths are especiaqlly “unimpressive” I guess. They don’t count.

    “… or were performed outside of the US (where my stat came from).”

    Foreigners. Who cares, right?

    “From the article you posted, ‘Several years
    ago an outspoken proponent of circumcision who was invited
    to speak at a national conference on the topic in San Fran-
    cisco made his hotel reservation under a different name
    because of concerns regarding anti-circumcision activists.’”

    It think that was Wiswell. Was he afraid someone was going to kill him? Why would he fear that? Is he paranoid? I’ve never heard any intactivist threaten to kill him or any other circucmiser. Was he just trying to smear the reputations of intacivists? “I’m scared to death of them so they must be evil.”

    “That is why I called WD4 scary. His immediate claim that certain people are pedophiles came off as being unhinged.”

    The people who are obviously unhinged are the people who are cutting healthy organs off of human babies. Every excuse they give is mad. Completely mad.

    “Appeals to fear that I will kill my son don’t help your side either.”

    Take the emotion out of it. (For a moment. Then put it back in. It belongs there. That’s why you have it.) Your chances of killing your son by circumcising him once – some circumcisions are “revised” so he’d have a better chance of dying if they botch the job and have to try to correct their handiwork; it happens frequently – are approximately 100 to 100,000 times greater than your chances of winning the Florida Lotto with one ticket. Want to throw your son into the U.S. circumcision death lottery? His chances of “winning” aren’t “good”, but they’re a whole lot better than winning the Florida Lotto.

    “Rants that it is YOUR PENIS, not mine show that your stance is the emotional one, concerned with your own situation, and project it onto others.”

    So what? EVERY male has a penis (one only; [Well, most but not all of us still have at least part of a penis left] and a life (one [at a time] only) to worry about losing. What’s WRONG with me “being concerned with” my “own situation”? EVERY sane person is concerned with his or her own situation, blockhead. People not ranting are in denial. Give me the ranting any day.

    “My statement that I wouldn’t go want a doctor associated with DOC is because I don’t agree with their take on the literature.”

    A total generality. No detail at all about what you think DOC’s “take on the literature” is and what in detail you claim to “disagree with”. You just dismiss the entire thing out of hand. That is complete and total incompetence.

    “Not emotional, not biased, just disagree.”

    What a lie.

    “And with the histrionic nature of their supporters, …”

    Anybody not histrionic about killing foreskins and babies for nothing is psychopathic and pathogenic. I can call names just as good as you can.

    “… especially their reliance on logical falacies instead of evidence, …”

    You are the one ignoring the important evidence. The uncontroverted scientific evidence is that the highest number and highest density of nerve endings in the penis is in the inner mucosal foreskin, in the ridged band and the rest of the sexual eye, the frenulum and frenular delta. Check it out in the British Medical Journal. The uncontroverted scientific evidence universally accepted by all the worlds medical associations speaking on the subject (about 18 of them so far) is that circumcising healthy babies and children is not medically justified in the world’s medical or other scientific literature. And we have the evidenc of dead bodies. In the face of all this evidence all you can do is whimper, “Please don’t try to scare me any more.”

    “I don’t want an individual that wrapped up in emotion and logical fallacies to be the primary care physician for my child.”

    Then you damn sure better not have one.

    “Brian Morris is lead author on an interesting response to the use of statements in this debate. But of course, he’s a pro circ extremist, right?”

    No doubt about it.

    “I think that the pendulum will swing back to promoting circumcision, you don’t. Let’s let time tell.”

    You can be passive about it if you want to but I’m not going to. I’m going to do everything I can to insure that babies’ and children’s human rights get respected and established in law and that minors and unconsenting adults don’t get subjected to this insanity any longer. We’re making progress. I predict we’ll continue to. I predict we’ll win. How much money do you want to put on the outcome?

    Richard: “In fact, much of what is written by US opponents of circumcision is published in the BMJ or the BJU (British Journal of Urology), or other professional medical publications in English speaking countries. Many of those articles are cached at CIRP. But nevermind, let me help you with your counter argument: ‘Those are foreign publications. They are un-American. They don’t love the US like I do. Their editors talk funny, have an accent, you know. And worst of all, they have foreskins. Their foreskins make them dirty, socially unacceptable. They are mentally unstable, because they may have once masturbated with their foreskins and caught the insanity virus.’ Come on, Robster. Crank up the rest of your bigoted mind and add to the list.”

    Robster: “Wow, you really try to get in my head. Nutters. Completely nutters. BMJ and BMU have OK impact factors (decent for a field journal at least), are peer reviewed and pubmed listed.”

    So read: http://tinyurl.com/thfhq, http://tinyurl.com/y4espw

    And weep.

    “Thanks, Seth, and boy can I identify with this quote, ‘People talk about condoms, but man, I remember being 17,18 years old, and I was really stupid about condom use, despite having all the data about AIDS and genital warts and all that.’ But I never forgot to be circumcised.

    Mutilated. I thought so. They mutilated your brain at the same time. That is not an insult. It is science. It is MRIs, EEGs.

    “On the Dr./Professor thing, I disagree with Ms. Manners, as professors do not always have degrees, and we phuds work just as hard to get a few letters after our names. All too often, somebody will say, “Oh, you aren’t a real doctor.” Its a pet peeve for me, but what can I say. I’m human.”

    Glad to hear it. There’s hope. (Assuming you’re telling the truth.)

    “The greatest crime against humanity is the torture and mutilation of
    children. Child abuse and neglect, particularly in its extreme forms,
    represents a form of torture and mutilation. Not commonly recognized as
    child abuse and neglect and a form of torture and mutilation is the ritual
    mutilation of genitals of children (male and female). One reason for the
    non-recognition of these crimes of genital mutilation and torture is their
    common occurrence and their support by religious and social traditions of
    various kinds. Another reason is the denial and/or indifference to the pain
    that is being inflicted upon these children.”
    James Prescott, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist, Cross-Cultural Psychologist,
    Author of the Ashley Montagu Resolution
    Institute of Humanistic Science

    “Just because people don’t want to hear the message the first time
    doesn’t mean they’re not going to get it eventually.”
    Marilyn Milos, R.N., Founder, National Organization of
    Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NoCirc)

    “The obscure we see eventually,
    the completely apparent takes longer.”
    Edward R. Murrow

  110. #110 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    And from the CIRP Library, “Others believe that it may have originated independently within several different cultures; certainly, many of the natives that Columbus found inhabiting the `New World’ were circumcised.”

    It would be damn near miraculous if the practive of circumcision flowed from either Egypt or Africa to the Americas.

  111. #111 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    Van Lewis, you’re not helping. And Manapio, if you’re trying to present yourself as a dispassionate and indifferent observer, you’re failing badly.

    Quite frankly, there are a number of problems with Robster’s arguments. Routine infant circumcision is what this debate is about – as far as I’m concerned any competent adult can do whatever they like to their bodies, and it can be a ‘medical procedure’ if they can find some physician willing to do it – not the tribal practices inflicted on adolescents and adults in mostly-Third-World nations. The statistics from Europe and America show that men in general have a harder time receiving HIV than transmitting it through heterosexual intercourse, with uncut men having a *possibly* slightly higher chance of getting it. Of course, the difference vanishes once proper precautions are taken, and if they’re not taken the chance is unacceptably high for both groups.

  112. #112 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    Difficult to verify, Mr. Manapio, as virtually all of the natives Columbus interacted with were dead ten years after he first made contact. But your assertion is noted.

    For the cultures we have evidence for, the practice seems to have spread from one culture to another without multiple spontaneous invention taking place.

  113. #113 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “The African cultural groups that don’t practice circumcision are, however, seriously discriminated against by the majority which do. Ignoring this important point is disingenous at best.”

    I’m sorry, but you are ignoring the variety of cultures, the fact that circumcizing cultures are in the majority in some places and the minority in others, and that there is a correllation between circumcision and AIDS rates in the different regions. Your characterization of Africa is shallow, biased, and misleading.

  114. #114 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “But your assertion is noted.”

    The assertion is from a peer reviewed journal on a site that is pro circumcision. It isn’t mine… you can tell because I name the source and then put it in quotes.

  115. #115 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    I’m sorry, but you are ignoring the variety of cultures, the fact that circumcizing cultures are in the majority in some places and the minority in others

    Ignoring? Not at all. It depends on tribal distribution, obviously. But there are far more tribes that practice circumcision than tribes without, and the ones that don’t are looked down upon by the ones that do.

    You’re not attacking a flaw, you’re simply trying to make the point into a flaw.

    Additionally: you repeated the claim; your point is noted, because by making it again you’ve made it yours.

  116. #116 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    That reminds me: have you actually taken a look at the content of http://www.cirp.org ? It doesn’t exactly aid your case.

  117. #117 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    Caledonian, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision reduces the trasmission of sexual diseases, including AIDS. I mean, thats a fact, and denying it doesn’t help your cause.

    Now, whether that is a sufficient reason to practice routine infant circumcision is, I think, open to debate. There is merit to the position that this is a decision that is better made by an adolescent or adult based on their own understanding of the culture they inhabit and their own behavior. I can think of a number of good reasons to think that this is so, all of them having to do with self-ownership, a concept I endorse strongly. There is also merit to the idea that parents are obligated to act in the best interests of their child, long term and short term. That is why I asked the question, is there any long term benefit to having a foreskin?

  118. #118 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    Robster: “Such an incredibly rich field of logical fallacies. My fav was the claim that Van has advised Nobel prize winners.”

    My factual and verified claim was that “I have also helped Nobel laureates study and understand this issue.” That is not a “logical fallicy” but a verified fact of history.

    “Big fat meaningless goose egg. Major appeal to authority, and one used by all kinds of dubious groups out there. Similar of course, to pointing out association Statements.”

    So first I have no credentials and then when it turns out I do they mean nothing. Right. Anything to discredit the opposition. For many mutilated men (not all, thank God), Robster apparently among them, truth has nothing to do with the issue. The only thing that counts is “winning” the argument.

    Van, quoted by Robster: “Nope. It is not now and never has been legitimate, evidenced-based medicine.”

    Robster: “Except when the evidence supporting the practice is examined…”

    At least 18 of the world’s major medical associations have examined the evidence and they say it doesn’t support circumcision of healthy people. Oh, I forgot. They’re just credentialed medical authorities. Their credentials mean nothing too. Only Robster’s biased, self-interested opinion counts with Robster.

    “Look, (to borrow from an opinion piece on common sense application of research) I understand that having a parachute has been associated with a decreased risk of death or injury due to gravity induced acceleration and the resulting impact/ rapid deceleration. Some people with parachutes still die, but if you are going to jump out of a plane, it does improve your chances.”

    I don’t jump out of planes unnecessarily and I damn sure don’t push babies and children and unconsenting adults out of them, or consenting ones in either age group for that matter.

    “Some people claim that there is no reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, but people do it all the time, even without the knowledge and approval of their parents. Yes, I know this is all snark, but from my review of the literature, …”

    And why, exactly, should we trust YOUR review of the literature over that of 18 major national health associations around the world, including the AMA, the AAP, the AUA, the AAFP, etc? I’m listening for your answer. O yeah. I remember now. All they have is their medical credentials and the work they put into the effort. So what do you have that outweighs them?

    “… circumcision is like having a parachute, reducing your risk factors in regard to a variety of conditions and diseases.”

    And increasing your chances of dying if you jump out of the perfectly good plane unnecessarily. Or somebody else’s if you push them out, kicking and screaming.

    “Wearing the parachute from early on provides the most benefit.”

    Nope. Not jumping out of the perfectly good plane unnecessarily provides the most benefit. And not pushing people out provides even more. If you don’t and otherwise behave yourself decently you get to remain among civilized people. Pushing people out of planes without their permission, parachute or none, lands you in jail for a long, long time, especially if they die as a result. I think it’s called homicide. But if you’re going to push a baby out of an airplane put a parachute on her. I’m not going to do it.

    Van, quoted by Robster: “WHY CAN’T we easily THINK about and discuss male circumcision rationally?”

    Robster again: “Because certain groups refuse to behave rationally, …”

    That would be the people who cut normal, healthy body parts off of minors and other unconsenting people.

    “… accuse their opponents of being pre-murderous perverts, in danger of earning the hate of their children (Huh?),”

    You haven’t heard about PTSD? IPTGMSD?

    “… and rely on things other than logical fallacies.”

    Huh?

    ——–

    Robster: “From the CAC press release,”

    “Kupelo also said two “bogus” surgeons were arrested on Wednesday in the Ngqeleni area, and would appear in court soon on charge of conducting four unlawful circumcisions.”

    Robster: “Not applicable to the US health care system, or research articles supporting prophylactic circumcision in a medical setting, is it?”

    Most of the circumcisions in Africa are done on pubescent and older teen and early 20s males. At least they have to cover of being quasi-voluntary. Ours are entirely involuntary. In that way ours are far worse. So you’re right, they differ. The outcome is sometimes the same though, death for the voluntary or involuntary victim. Dead is dead. That’s the same. Africa, USA, or the South Pole, dead is dead.

    “BTW, your list contains _8_ deaths over the last 50 years in the US, limited to procedures performed in hospital settings. Thanks for backing me up.”

    That backs up nothing you said. You said 3. I myself know of at least 8. I don’t know all of them, obviously. But I myself, with NO credentials, know of more than twice as many as you erroneously reported. You were WRONG. Not right. I proved it. You have a lot of nerve claiming that I “backed you up”. I’ll give you that. You don’t have all your nerve, vitally important pats of your previously probably whole and complete and healthy nervous system were amputated and destroyed forever when you were a child. But what’s left is quite impressive.

    Jacob Christian Holliday (4 years, 2 months and 3 days; born with heart problems, circumcised at 8 months, the circumcision damages the heart further, he has a heart transplant, anti-rejection drugs create susceptibility to cancer, the boy dies of cancer)
    October 20, 2005
    Orlando, Florida, USA

    “A website I found that was written by a family member does not place blame regarding the child’s death.”

    The website was changed by the family.

    “The cardiac problem he was born with, combined with illness, led to a corrective operation 3 days after birth, as opposed to waiting several months to years, which is standard practice. They go on to state that hours after an unspecified surgery at 8mo,”

    That was the change. The website used to report the “unspecified operation” as circucmision. They eliminated that information. This is typical of cover-up of circumcision and circumcision-related deaths by distraught parents and the irresponsible, terrified U.S. medical profession. If you were directly responsible for over 100,000,000 unnecessary damaging sexual/genital mutilations you’d be terrified too.

    “… he went into cardiac arrest. Their site says, “no one knows why exactly.”

    But they do know he went into cardiac arrest shortly after unnecessary circumcision.

    “He was lucky enough to get a heart transplant, which extended his life to four years, when he died of cancer associated with anti rejection drugs. Any event that put the right ammount of stress on his heart could have led to this event, affecting an already weak heart.”

    Any stressful event COULD have but it was circumcision that actually did it.

    Justin William Rumberger (3 months, 5 days; sick with Zellweger’s Syndrome, circumcision hastens death)
    December 28, 2003
    Ellensburg, Washington, USA

    “Death for children born with the thankfully rare Zellweger’s syndrome rarely live beyond 6 months. The grandmother’s website states that these were his conditions, as determined by the hospital (deafness was suspected pre-circumcision). “Justin was indeed deaf, slight water on the brain, possibly Blind, liver test came back poor, and he was a hemophiliac.”

    How could anybody be cruel enough to circumcise such a person and add injury to insult?

    Dustin Evans (Infant boy)
    October, 1998
    Cleveland, OH, USA

    “Anaesthesia complications occurred before an operation to be performed to deal with complications from the initial circumcision.”

    And the second operation wouldn’t have been necessary if the first one had not occurred.He would most likely be alive and well today had he not been circumcised. He died because he was circucmised, botched, and anesthetized to try to “correct” the uncorrectable damage. His “cause of death” was initially reported as circucmision, later changed to complications of anesthesia. Attempted cover-up again.

    Jeremie Johnson (Infant boy)
    July 18, 1995
    Houston, TX, USA

    “5 year old boy (not infant), death likely due to anaesthesia complications (general is called for in children and adults, but not neonates).”

    Thank you for the age correction. Again, if he hadn’t been circumcised he probably would still be alive and well today. This is a circumcision death, too.

    Demetrius Manker (Infant boy)
    June 26, 1993
    Carol City, FL, USA

    “6mo old child died from blood loss after being released from doctor’s care. Should have been caught earlier than it was.”

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. The child is dead. Permanently. From circumcision.

    Allen A. Ervin (Infant boy)
    July 8, 1992
    Spartanburg, SC, USA

    “Excessive anaesthesia administered, 6mo old at time of circumcision.”

    Dead. Permanently.

    Steven Christopher Chacon (Infant boy)
    November, 1986
    San Francisco, CA, USA

    “Circumcision site became infected after “exposure to filth” in parent’s apartment.”

    Dead. The child is dead. You claim to be human. I have my doubts.

    Christopher Dolezal (Infant boy)
    November, 1982
    Des Moines, IA, USA

    “Child had gone through 20 bloody diapers, at home, with no medical attention. Completely against directions given to parents with a newly circumcised child.”

    Naughty naughty parents. Blame the victims, Robster. Fail again to confront the real problem. U.S. medicine adopted this madness starting in the pre-germ theory mid-19th century as an avowedly anti-sexual measure to cause as much genital pain and take away as much genital pleasure as possible. That’s what they said their purpose was. Why? To try to stop children from masturbating, which they thought caused insanity, bed wetting, curvature of the spine, club foot, diarrhea, and since then over 200 diseases they’ve listed in medical journals that the foreskin supposedly caused or circumcision supposedly would prevent or cure or both or all three. None proved to date. What is really going on here? Real medicine? Hardly. Psychopathology and pathogenicity. That’s what. Madness. Not medicine.

    That would make a pretty good protest sign, wouldn’t it?

    CIRCUMCISION:
    Madness, not medicine.
    StopInfantCircumcision.org

    “Hence…

    “Deaths from anaesthesia complications = 3

    “Deaths associated with a syndrome that would have caused death irregardless of circumcision = 1

    “Deaths linked to cancer, related to anti rejection drugs, in a patient where congenital heart defects may have contributed to a need for a heart transplant, along with surgery associated cardiac stress = 1

    “Deaths that could have been prevented with proper hygiene = 1

    “Deaths from exsanguination without contributing factors = 2
    Sadly, I think that these were preventable if medical attention had been sought earlier, without placing any blame. Not my place, and its just conjecture, anyway.

    “Again, not 220-240 deaths / year.”

    Again, MY individual cases do not prove that there are not 220-240 circumcision deaths per year in the USA. Talk about a logical fallacy. Why are you so devoted to it?

    Let me ask you a simple question. Should U.S. medicine be REQUIRED to keep a careful, accurate list of all the deaths caused directly and indirectly by circumcision?

    Why is the burden of collecting this information put on ME? Who am I? Shouldn’t the CDC have to collect this information?

    Yes or no?

  119. #119 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    Mr. Manapio, every previously claimed justification for circumcision has been shown to be either utterly wrong (and wrong-headed) or of such minor benefit that it’s not completely clear there’s a benefit at all. The vast majority of medical associations around the world do not recommend circumcision and in fact discourage it, and American medical associations do not recommend it despite being under significant social pressure for them to do so.

    These are facts. When the rationale for an action changes, but the action remains, we conclude that none of the rationales were the true justification for the action.

    The recent invention of a new rationale doesn’t mean much, particularly when the history of the procedure is examined.

    A point that I believe you’re missing is that medical practitioners are ethically obligated to avoid inflicting harm when possible. If no concrete benefit to circumcision that justifies the harm of intervention is found, then doctors are not only not obligated to offer the procedure but they should refuse to do so if asked.

    Even if it were absolutely demonstrated tomorrow that the foreskin had no benefits whatsoever, that would be irrelevant. If removing it had no sufficient benefits, then it ought not to be removed. Period.

  120. #120 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “Ignoring? Not at all. It depends on tribal distribution, obviously. But there are far more tribes that practice circumcision than tribes without, and the ones that don’t are looked down upon by the ones that do.”

    And obviously, vice versa, as in some entire countries the tribes that don’t are in the majority.

    Your view of Africa is not realistic. Africa is a very large continent, with many different nations and cultures. It is not true, as you imply, that there are no areas where circumcision is considered the minority position and looked down on. Your statements about Africa are wildly inaccurate and overly general and do not in any way describe the situation on the continent. I am in fact attacking a flaw in your position on African AIDS studies: the position you take is based on an innacurate view of the African continent.

    I’ve obviously looked at the content of the cirp site, I’ve already mentioned it once or twice in this thread. I did make a mistake, I meant to say that it was ANTI-circ, which is actually why I used it as a source, to demonstrate that there would not be pro-circ bias in the study, which is from the BJU, a notedly anticirc journal. To me, that strengthens the point.

    An assertion is an unsupported statement, something made without a supporting argument or supporting evidence, like your statement that circumcision only arose in two cultures, or that most men in africa are circumsized. What I did was reference a source to support a point.

  121. #121 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    It’s not at all an inaccurate view. I simply haven’t gone into the level of detail you are pedantically requiring. What, do I need to examine circumcision rituals by tribe and country before the points become valid? That’s nonsense – circumcision is a dominant tradition across the continent as a whole, and the groups that don’t practice it often face hostility from the groups that do. Those groups who do constitute a majority of the sub-Saharan population.

  122. #122 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “Even if it were absolutely demonstrated tomorrow that the foreskin had no benefits whatsoever, that would be irrelevant. If removing it had no sufficient benefits, then it ought not to be removed. Period.”

    =========

    I absolutely agree. However, most medical associations do state that there are benefits to circumcision. This recent study shows a reduction in transmission of all STDs, including AIDS. Your attempts to discredit or call these studies into question have not been convincing, you rely on a caricatured view of Africa, unreferenced information about the US, and a fallacious argument about past studies about different things being wrong.

    So the balance of evidence is that there seems to be a certain prophylaptic benefit to circumcision, it is a preventative procedure. But, so would be routine appendectomy, and obviously we don’t do that, because of the excessive risk to the patient of major surgery.

    Thats why I want good information about this, to find out about real risks of circumcision and real benefits of having a foreskin. Whether you believe it or not, I actually want to make the best decision for my son… and its possible that the best decision is to leave it up to him. Its also possible that leaving it up to him would be really mean and an abdication of parental responsibility. I honestly don’t know.

  123. #123 Seth Manapio
    November 29, 2006

    “It’s not at all an inaccurate view. I simply haven’t gone into the level of detail you are pedantically requiring.”

    I’m sorry, but accounting for the culture of the nation of Zimbabwe as a whole is not a pedantic level of detail, nor is accounting for the culture of the Zulu, hardly a marginal group in sub saharan africa. In fact, this map from an anti-circumcision site (and I do mean that they are AGAINST circumcision), indicates that your view of circumcision in African tribes in general is actually backwards from the truth.

    Caledonian, you’re just wrong about this, as far as I can tell. Your image of Africa just doesn’t match reality.

  124. #124 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    I notice that the entire northern half of Africa (encompassing both the Sahara and the regions directly south of it) are listed as having Islamic child circumcision. Much of the southern section is white, which seems strange, considering that ‘white’ is not given a meaning in the key. I think perhaps it was supposed to be one or both of the bright pinks – ‘medical’ child circumcision and tribal child circumcision.

    That matches both what my research suggests and what the Africans I’ve spoken with on the subject of anthropology have told me.

  125. #125 Robster
    November 29, 2006

    And it appears you do claim – in public yet – to be a better designer of human sex organs than whatever gave them to us as they are in the first place.

    Hells yeah. The whole human body has poor design. From a jaw too small for the teeth it holds, to the cartilage cushions in the temperal mandibular joint, all the way to the feet with arches that tend to fail and nails that often dig into surrounding tissue and become infected. It isn’t arrogance. It is recognizing design deficiencies.

    World War II Nazi doctors got Neuremburg prison terms for such crimes against humanity.

    WOOHOO! First Nazi reference! I win!

    Thomas Szasz is a famous and well respected psychiatrist.

    No. He is a famous and respected by scientologists anti-medical science psychiatrist. Regardless, this is an appeal to authority, and is without basis in debate.

    Your chances of killing your son by circumcising him once – some circumcisions are “revised” so he’d have a better chance of dying if they botch the job and have to try to correct their handiwork; it happens frequently – are approximately 100 to 100,000 times greater than your chances of winning the Florida Lotto with one ticket.

    A claim without any stats to back it up. Nice. On the other hand, Wiswell’s study from above, covering 5 years, where no children died from circumcision (sample size of 100,151), but two did die from complications from UTIs (sample size 35,929), I’ll buy that ticket.

  126. #126 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    However, most medical associations do state that there are benefits to circumcision

    Depends which associations you’re looking at. Very few people are willing to state that there are no benefits, not only because they might be proven wrong in the future but because those very uncertain results might one day be actually verified. In any case, doctors have generally maintained the same pattern that holds in medicine as a whole: doctors usually do not change their positions from the things they learned in medical school unless there is professional pressure to do so, and the applications of medicine lag approximately thirty years behind the research.

    Let me put it this way, Mr. Manapio: circumcision removes about a third of the skin on the penis (between one-forth and half, approximately). The skin removed is not identical to the skin lower on the shaft, but is a softer and more delicate mucosal membrane like the inside of your mouth or the underside of your eyelids. It is at least as well-ennervated as the rest of the penile skin and approximately as sensitive as the glans. Additionally, the frenulum of the penis (which is immediately beneath the glans) which has been rather plausibly claimed to be the most sensitive spot on the penis is usually also removed, not for any claimed medical purposes but because it is standard. (At least, that’s how it works in the US – I don’t know where you are.)

    These are relevant facts, and frankly I think they should give you pause. I could go on about the psychology of circumcision (and I almost certainly will in the next few days), but as I see it the arguments can be reduced to the following statements:

    Most of the reasons people in my country have given to justify circumcision in the past were wrong, and many of them could have been detected as wrong at the time if people had looked more closely at the research. Given that this was the case, and people so easily accepted the fallacious claims, it is very likely that their actual reasons were unstated. For this reason I hold that any claims justifying the procedure should be looked at even more skeptically than we normally approach medical claims.

    Even if we accept all of the claims made about penile cancer (which are wrong), all of the claims made about urinary tract infections (in which the benefit is very minor at best), and all of the claims made about STDs (which are relatively new, still uncertain, and somewhat doubtful for a variety of reasons), the benefits to infants and children are quite small.

    I therefore hold that circumcision should not be performed upon infants, particularly as the foreskin is connected to the glans by a membrane in this period and doesn’t detach until sometime in childhood or early adolescence. If your son wishes to be circumcised when he is a young man and has moved past that painful stage when the opinions and approval of his peers aren’t terribly compelling, then he has every right to decide that. Even if he’s in that stage and you feel his mind is made up, then so be it. If you do not have his foreskin cut off, it can always be done later (hopefully after he has some experience with it), but it cannot be restored. Better to err on the side of caution. People in countries where circumcision isn’t practiced seem to get along just fine, and many of them are horrified at the idea of amputating part of the penis. If prepuces were really as troublesome as some claim, I don’t think they’d be so horrified.

  127. #127 Caledonian
    November 29, 2006

    Hells yeah. The whole human body has poor design. From a jaw too small for the teeth it holds, to the cartilage cushions in the temperal mandibular joint, all the way to the feet with arches that tend to fail and nails that often dig into surrounding tissue and become infected. It isn’t arrogance. It is recognizing design deficiencies.

    Except that trying to ‘fix’ the supposed design deficiencies without knowing what we’re doing often makes it worse.

    For example: every year, some children are born with ‘ambiguous genitalia’ – either they’re female with larger clitorises than normal, or male with unusually small penises. Until the past few years, doctors decided that they could fix what nature obviously failed to do ‘properly’ and either pushed parents to have the genitals ‘corrected’ or occasionally did so without informing them. (In fairness, the last only happened decades ago in my country – informed consent was sufficiently widely adopted even twenty-five years ago that failing to tell the parents was no longer considered appropriate.)

    Later in life, most of the females had serious problems reaching orgasm or experiencing sexual pleasure at all, and there were quite a few cases of ‘females’ who rejected their assigned gender despite the socialization the doctors were convinced would turn them female and insisted upon being treated as male. It is my understanding that being castrated and having only a stub of erectile tissue remaining was very painful to these men.

    In short: don’t meddle.

  128. #128 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    Seth says: “However, most medical associations do state that there are benefits to circumcision.”

    False data. They do not. The ones that do speak about it, about 18 of them, I think, say there are “potential benefits”.

    A “benefit” is something you actually receive. If you don’t, it’s not a benefit.

    A “potential benefit” is something you may or may not receive.

    The “potential benefits” some medical associations still claim for circumcision are rarely if ever actually received by anyone.

    UTIs, for example, occur in a small percentage of boys. So by far most boys never receive the “potential benefit” of having a uti prevented. They never would have gotten one anyway.

    Cancer of the penis is even far rarer, the rarest cancer humans get. Virtually no one receives this bogus “potential benefit”.

    Claiming that there are “benefits” to circumcising is wrong if we’re talking about actual benefits to the victims, benefits that they actually receive. “Potential benefits” may but probably will not accrue to any individual victim, but all victims suffer damages and losses. We are just beginning to learn the full extent, severity and variety of those losses, despite the intense interest in staying altogether ignorant of them if possible and actively denying their reality if not. Such denial is now crumbling.

    Claiming that there are “potential benefits” is what medicine is reduced to in order to try to protect its economics, both its income from declining acceptability of circumcising children and its assets from the lawsuits that have already started and will most likely continue at increasing rates. The potential damages, at even only $10,000 per unnecessary and unjustified assault and mutilation, are enough to break U.S. medicine. A New York circumciser and hospital already settled a “normal circumcision” suit by a young man for a much higher number.

    $10,000 x 100,000,000 is, I think, $1,000,000,000,000. With a “T”.

    The first rule when you find yourself digging yourself into a hole is to stop digging. Circumcisers don’t seem to be able to stop. We need to help them.

  129. #129 Van Lewis
    November 29, 2006

    Caledonian: “Van Lewis, you’re not helping.”

    Van Lewis: Caledonian, you’re going a great job! Keep up the good work!

  130. #130 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Seth says: “Thats why I want good information about this, to find out about real risks of circumcision and real benefits of having a foreskin. Whether you believe it or not, I actually want to make the best decision for my son… and its possible that the best decision is to leave it up to him. Its also possible that leaving it up to him would be really mean and an abdication of parental responsibility. I honestly don’t know.”

    Sounds hard, doesn’t it?

    It’s not. This is an easy one.

    If you find out before your son is born, no problem. You know and you do it or you don’t. It’s over.

    Let’s assume for the moment that your son is born before you find out. Then you have a real problem, don’t you. But don’t panic. It’s an easy one to solve.

    If your son is born and you honestly don’t know whether to circumcise him or not, you’re facing four possibilities.

    1 – You should circumcise him and do. You win and so does he. Bravo.

    2 – You should circumcise him and don’t. You lose and so does he. That’s not being mean, by the way. That’s doing the best you can as a parent and making a mistake. If you become a parent I’m afraid this is something you’re just going to have to get used to.

    3 – You shouldn’t circumcise him and don’t. You win and so does he. Bravo.

    4 – You shouldn’t circumcise him and do. You lose and so does he.

    If 1 or 3 you both win. We don’t need to pay too much attention to those. In either case, both of you win. No problem.

    What we need to pay careful attention to are 2 and 4, where both of you lose. Let’s look at them with a little bit of care.

    Notice this. If you choose 2, the mistake you make, though regrettable, is correctable. Your son can decide to get himself circumcised later. Whew! You’re off the hook. That’s where you belong and I hope that’s where you want to be. And he’s on it. And that’s where he belongs. After all, it’s his penis. If you honestly don’t know, let him decide. Easy. That’s the safest course of action here, for you and him, doing nothing. It also accords with the AAP’s advice about how best to care for a child’s intact penis: “Leave it alone.”

    But if you choose 4, the mistake you make is not correctable. You can’t fix it. He can’t fix it. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t fix it. Ever.

    Which is a better mistake to make as a parent. One that can be corrected, or one that can’t?

  131. #131 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Sorry for the typo. Here’s the correction:

    Van Lewis: Caledonian, you’re Doing a great job! Keep up the good work!

  132. #132 Seth Manapio
    November 30, 2006

    “That matches both what my research suggests and what the Africans I’ve spoken with on the subject of anthropology have told me.”

    ==============

    But it doesn’t match what you previously said here.

    You said: “The African cultural groups that don’t practice circumcision are, however, seriously discriminated against by the majority which do.”

    A statement which would be innacurate in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia or South Africa, at the very least. It is also a completely unsupported statement, I have no reason to believe you at all.

    Then you accused me of not being honest because I didn’t accept your statement, which I found insulting. Then you suggested that I was being pedantic for insisting that a picture of Africa which discounted these four prominent nations entirely was not complete, which was just pathetic.

    Dude, you overgeneralized and painted an innaccurate picture of “Africa”, discounting large parts of Africa. This is not a tragedy, and we would have long ago ceased to speak of it if you were honest enough to admit that your statement was too broad to be usefull as a critical comment on African AIDS research, okay?

  133. #133 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Cal says: “Except that trying to ‘fix’ the supposed design deficiencies without knowing what we’re doing often makes it worse.”

    “In short: don’t meddle.”

    Circumciser’s motto: If it ain’t broke, fix it until it is!

  134. #134 Richard
    November 30, 2006

    Robster wrote:
    “Feel stamped out? Still posting? Not banned? Belly ache much?”

    Uh, excuse me, but does this have anything to do with the discussion under way here? It would be nice if you could stay on topic.

    “. . . search for crusader. You wont find it in Tara’s post or comment. It is in your comments, and one from Bob.”

    You got me on that one. Sorry to whomever I should apologize. Since you are on a first-name basis with Tara, maybe you could tell her to go for a professional update of the site so readers could easily identify who is saying what, without resorting to F-keys or any other keys. I’m sure your advice will carry the day.

    “Now one from me. Project much?”

    Are you making a psychaiatric diagnosis over the Internet? Quite unprofessional. Even unethical to imply it in terms that give you an out . . . ‘Oh, I didn’t say you did, I just gave you a chance to deny it.’ Nice try, but no cigar, Freud. Oh excuse me, make that DOCTOR Freud.

    “And it is Dr. Smith. Not Professor”

    Wow. I had imagined that she had a PhD considering her discipline. Those who insist on being addressed as “doctor” usually have something just shy of a full doctorate that required a real dissertation.

    My PhD father always said it was more of an honor to be addressed as “Professor,” since it indicated one has both academic rank and a tenured position. No offense intended to you and your good friend Tara; I was just following the courtesy I was taught as a child.

  135. #135 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    Van, you are the activist. Your side should find the mortality data, publish it in a friendly journal, and not rely on misleading lists. If the CDC has records, it should be accessable. Circumcision related deaths appear to be due to (in the US) guardian non compliance on care instructions, complications due to an underlying condition, or complications from anaesthesia. Without better data, we have to rely on what is available.

    My lit search yeilded three deaths recorded in medical journals over 50 years in US hospitals. Your list increased it to 8 (maybe 11 if the ones in the lit search are different from the list). So we have at most, with the current information, 11 in 50 years. This makes it a very low risk procedure. Again, 2 deaths (complications from UTIs) from a sample of 35.9k over 5 years is much worse comparatively. I didn’t lie, I used the best data available at the time, and revised my statement as better data became available.

    Appeals to authority are useless without supporting evidence. Evidence is everything. Credentials are impressive, but data is key.

    ——–

    Cal,

    Even if we accept all of the claims made about penile cancer (which are wrong), all of the claims made about urinary tract infections (in which the benefit is very minor at best), and all of the claims made about STDs (which are relatively new, still uncertain, and somewhat doubtful for a variety of reasons), the benefits to infants and children are quite small.

    Actually, looking at Morris’s article again, penile cancer (representing 1-2% cancer deaths in men in developed nations) comes in two forms, in situ and invasive penile cancer. The second can be lethal and is 22 times more common in uncircumcised men. The treatment is amputation. The chances of developing penile cancer over a man’s life is between 1 in 400 to 900 in Australia, although the annual incidence is 1 in 100k. In the US, it falls into this range as 1 in 600. Incidence doesn’t appear to go down, but the type of cancer observed does change. Yes there are other risk factors, but with the more dangerous form much more likely to occur in uncircumcised men it appears to have a protective value.

    The cost benefit analysis re: UTIs is pro circ when expanded to a society wide view. But when you add in the chances that an association will get sued by somebody contacted by an activist lawyer… I can’t entirely blame groups for a bit of CYA. Expanding the cost benefit analysis to possible risk factors for prostate cancer, cervical cancer, herpes simplex 2 and chlamidia in sex partners must be dome to honestly determine the value of the procedure.

    Some of the claims about STDs are old, including syphilis, and have stood the test of time. It’s protective value in preventing HIV transmission in the US is debatable, but with HIV targetted cells rich in the foreskin, it is certainly worthy of study. Its usefulness in preventing transmission between homosexual men is certainly difficult to determine, but again, is also worthy of study.

    This equation is very shaky, though. The African strain of HIV, which is spread more easily with heterosexual contact than other strains, only has to spread to other continents for the discussion to change. In fact, it is an epidemiological certainty.

  136. #136 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    “Your son can decide to get himself circumcised later.”

    At increased cost, with the obvious risk of general anaesthesia (3 from “the list” died from complications due to general anaesthesia), and without the benefits of decreased risk of UTIs.

    ———-
    Richard,

    I was taught by my parents (dad has MS in bacteriology, kicks it old school) to refer to PhDs and MDs (and DMDs, DDSs, DVMs, DMVs… (but never the various alties calling themselves doctors)) as Doctor, again as a form of respect. Personally, I go by my first name outside of formal occaisions or when teaching. No harm, no foul.

  137. #137 Richard
    November 30, 2006

    Seth Manapio wrote:
    “And from the CIRP Library, ‘Others believe that it may have originated independently within several different cultures; certainly, many of the natives that Columbus found inhabiting the `New World’ were circumcised.’”

    “It would be damn near miraculous if the practive of circumcision flowed from either Egypt or Africa to the Americas.”

    I think the authors of the article you quoted were trying to give a rather general overview of some ideas about various locations where circumcision may have arisen in prehistory. Perhaps the liklihood of such a transfer seems remote, but it’s not impossible for ideas and practices to be related between such remote locations. If you’d like to learn more, read _The Map that changed the World_, by Simon Winchester.

    I can’t find the thread to which you were responding, but it is possible the poster was referring to circumcision as practiced by Jewish culture and in the US. Almost certainly Jewish circumcision originated out of the same history that gave it to Egypt (which is on the African continent). To learn how Jewish circumcision became US circumcision, you could read _Marked in your Flesh: circumcision from ancient Judea to modern America_, by Leonard Glick. Doctor Doctor Professor Glick is a professor of anthropology, is also an MD, and is a Jewish American. The book was published in 2005 by Oxford University Press. This is not an appeal to authority, rather an effort to save you the trouble of trying to discredit the author with an ad hominem attack.

  138. #138 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Van: “And it appears you do claim – in public yet – to be a better designer of human sex organs than whatever gave them to us as they are in the first place.”

    Robster: “Hells yeah.”

    Thanks for confirming my impression. Have you ever studied biology? When? Where? To what level?

    “… It isn’t arrogance. It is recognizing design deficiencies.”

    You don’t know arrogance when you manifest it. Someone who doesn’t know the design in the first place recognizes what’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with this picture, folks?

    Van: “World War II Nazi doctors got Neuremburg prison terms for such crimes against humanity.”

    Robster: “WOOHOO! First Nazi reference! I win!”

    It is a fact of history, and not a funny one, that Nazi doctors amputated body parts from and otherwise chopped up living, unanesthetized, non-consenting Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others during WWII. They used living human beings for their anatomical studies. Chopped ‘em up as if they were already dead.

    Circumcisers amputate healthy body parts from living, non-consenting, often also unanesthetized human beings.

    Do you detect any similarity at all?

    I consider this a serious – life and death – discussion, not a childish contest that you “win” by not being the first to refer to a particular aspect of world and medical history.

    To me, you honestly seem demented. “WOOHOO!”

    Van: “Your chances of killing your son by circumcising him once – some circumcisions are “revised” so he’d have a better chance of dying if they botch the job and have to try to correct their handiwork; it happens frequently – are approximately 100 to 100,000 times greater than your chances of winning the Florida Lotto with one ticket.”

    Robster: “A claim without any stats to back it up. Nice.”

    OK. Medical journals have printed estimates of annual circumcision deaths in the USA – we don’t have real numbers because the medical profession in the USA refuses to keep them; wonder why? – all the way from 2 to 20,000. I will give you the 2 and the 200+ references, I don’t have the 20,000 but I have seen it somewhere. Don’t remember where. I personally think the latter estimate is probably higher than reality, maybe by a couple of orders of magnitude. But that’s just my impression. What do I know? I’ve only been at this for 45 years.

    A little over 1,000,000 boys are circumcised annually in the USA.

    2/1,000,000 = .000002 = .0002%

    200/1,000,000 = 2/10,000 = .0002 = .02%

    20,000/1,000,000 = 2/100 =.02 = 2%

    Those are the approximate numbers I’ve seen published in the medical literature. The range is large, four orders of magnitude, because the US medical profession won’t even keep the numbers, let alone make them public. They don’t want to know and don’t want anybody else to. The best way to insure both is to never produce the information in the first place. That’s the current program. That’s why we have to work with the estimates we have. This is just the best we can do with what we’ve got.

    The Florida Lotto gives you a little less than 1 in 50,000,000 chances of winning with one $1 ticket.

    1/50,000,000 = 2/100,000,000 = .00000002

    .000002/.00000002 = 100
    .0002/.00000002 = 10,000
    .02/.00000002 = 1,000,000

    So it looks like I made an arithmetic error the first time through. I said the top estimate gave you a 100,000 times greater chance of killing your baby boy by circumcising him than a single ticket would give you of winning the Florida Lotto. The real number appears to be a 1,000,000 times greater chance.

    So let’s throw the high estimate out. I don’t have the reference for it. Let’s stick with the numbers I can give you references for in the medical literature. Between 100 and 10,000 times greater chance you will kill your son by circucmising him than win the Florida Lotto with one ticket. Somebody check my math, please.

    References:

    Well damn. I’m having a hard time finding the 2 per year reference now. I’ll keep looking. Here’s the 200+per year.
    Baker RL. Newborn male circumcision: needless and dangerous. Sexual Medicine Today 1979;3(11):35-36.
    I think Baker’s estimate for the USA may have been taken from an extrapolation of Gairdner’s actual deaths reported per year in England:
    Gairdner D. The fate of the foreskin: a study of circumcision. Br Med J 1949; 2:1433-1437.
    Both of these articles can be accessed on the web from this page:
    http://tinyurl.com/y3594z

    Even with the lowest death estimate I’ve seen published, 2 per million, you’re about 100 times more likely to kill your son by circumcising him than you are to win the Florida Lotto with one ticket.

    “On the other hand, Wiswell’s study from above, covering 5 years, where no children died from circumcision (sample size of 100,151), but two did die from complications from UTIs (sample size 35,929), I’ll buy that ticket.”

    Wiswell is a known circumcision promoter. You’re going to injure your son sexually/genitally and risk his life needlessly on the basis of the biased and scientifically flawed work of a known promoter of circumcision when no medical society in the world advises you to do it?

    That appears to me to be demented. I think you’re finding in the literature, to the extent that you read it, what you want to find, and that what you want to find is any apparent support for chopping up other people’s bodies without their permission. WOOHOO! That’s dangerous for your son.

  139. #139 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    Oh and you wanted my real name, job and practice location? Missed that earlier.

    Real name? No. I like my privacy.

    Job: Toxicologist (PhD), field: cancer research, adjunct professor (starting this Spring semester), working on an MpH to let me move into translational/ clinical research.

    Practice location? Don’t have one. Don’t make money from surgery, have no idea if my investments are in any way involved in said procedures. I’m just a scientist. But I could just be part of the conspiracy woo. Heh.

  140. #140 pat
    November 30, 2006

    I knew it Robster, I knew it!

  141. #141 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    There is an old saying that the first person who compares his/her opponant to a nazi has lost the debate.

    I’ll see if I can find the Baker article tomorrow. Doubt the other (1949) is online, but I’ll look.

    You’re going to injure your son sexually/genitally and risk his life needlessly on the basis of the biased and scientifically flawed work of a known promoter of circumcision when no medical society in the world advises you to do it?

    Pretty much, yes. Because I agree with his take on the data as opposed to that of known opponants of circumcision. And I don’t consider the histrionic claim of “injury” to be accurate.

    Seriously, dismissing articles based on who wrote them instead of the evidence presented is bad science.

    Finally, while pennicilin was discovered in 1928, the first succesful use wasn’t until 1942. The era of antibiotics didn’t really start until mass production became a possibilty until 1945 when the chemical structure was determined.

  142. #142 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    Sorry, MPH instead of MpH and “The era of antibiotics didn’t really start until mass production became a possibilty in 1945 when the chemical structure was determined.”

  143. #143 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Robster: “Van, you are the activist.”

    You, too, seem quite active on this subject to me.

    “Your side should find the mortality data, …”

    It doesn’t exist. For reasons already explained several times. I won’t be sent on a wild goose chase by you. Been there, done that.

    Your side is the one with the burden of proof of non-harmfulness. You can’t prove that something is not harmful when it kills babies and children. We have the dead bodies. We know we have them. We just don’t know how many we have because the killers won’t tell us how many they kill. Would you expect them to?

    “… publish it in a friendly journal, …”

    You can’t publish what doesn’t exist.

    “… and not rely on misleading lists.”

    I have been clear from the beginning that the list is not meant to provide any estimate of death rates. You have continued to try to claim that it DOES indicate death rates. You have been the one using the list to try to mislead. Not I. I only keep the list, such as it is, because medicine and the CDC won’t. Nobody pays me a cent to keep it. I do it as an act of conscience. I owe it to the dead babies to not let their names and the truth about their deaths be forgotten. It’s not much, but it’s something.

    “If the CDC has records, …”

    They don’t keep records for the circucmision deaths in the USA. They don’t keep such a list. US medicine has insured that no such list exists.

    “… it should be accessable.”

    Yes it should. They should keep it. They won’t. They don’t.

    “Circumcision related deaths appear to be due to (in the US) guardian non compliance on care instructions, complications due to an underlying condition, or complications from anaesthesia.”

    Circumcision deaths are due to circumcision. Without circumcision, no circumcision death.

    “Without better data, we have to rely on what is available.”

    You are beginning to understand.

    “My lit search yeilded three deaths recorded in medical journals over 50 years in US hospitals. Your list increased it to 8 (maybe 11 if the ones in the lit search are different from the list). So we have at most, with the current information, 11 in 50 years. This makes it a very low risk procedure.”

    There you go trying to use the list to mislead again. One more time: The list is just the deaths I’ve found recently. Nothing else.

    “Again, 2 deaths (complications from UTIs) from a sample of 35.9k over 5 years is much worse comparatively. I didn’t lie, …”

    You did. And you are continuing to. You are saying that the numbers on the list reflect the circumcision rate. They absolutely do not in any way, except to prove that the rate is greater than zero. That’s the only thing about the rate that the list proves. I had to start keeping it also because I had people claiming that I was lying about circumcision killing people, babies and children. I am not lying. The children are dead. What don’t you understand about DEAD?

    “I used the best data available at the time, and revised my statement as better data became available.”

    Don’t try to claim that my list shows that the death rate is low ever again. If you do so you will be lying. It does not prove anything about the rate except that it is greater than zero.

    “Appeals to authority are useless without supporting evidence. Evidence is everything. Credentials are impressive, but data is key.”

    Dead babies are data.

    How many are there?

    Too many.

    What can we do about it?

    We can stop chopping healthy, living sexual body parts off of babies and children without medical justification.

    That’s common decency. Would we chop healthy living body parts off of adults without their permission? It is against the law to do so.

    Babies and children have the same rights adults have, and in addition special human rights adults don’t have.

    What we would not do to adults we must not do to children.

  144. #144 Richard
    November 30, 2006

    Caledonian wrote:
    “The presence of a foreskin is not in any way comparable to a cleft palate, excepting only that parents from cultural backgrounds where circumcision is the norm might feel uncomfortable at the ‘difference’ and view it as a deformity. This is appropriate when dealing with cleft palates, inappropriate for foreskins – particularly as foreskins serve a function while cats’ mouths impair function.”

    Cleft palate is a birth defect. The absence of a foreskin at birth is a birth defect. It is extremely rare, and is called aposthia. Such an event is not usually disclosed in cultures that value the foreskin. Where circumcision is practiced as a cultural norm, aposthia may be considered a mark of special selection. For example, there is a myth that Mohammed was “born circumcised,” so Muslims would know they should be circumcised. It is not an established historical fact that Mohammed was born with aposthia.

  145. #145 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Robster: “There is an old saying that the first person who compares his/her opponant to a nazi has lost the debate.”

    Stupid old sayings won’t solve this problem for us.

    “I’ll see if I can find the Baker article tomorrow.”

    Here: http://tinyurl.com/ycffsp

    “Doubt the other (1949) is online, but I’ll look.”

    Here: http://tinyurl.com/lxqus

    This is the one that ended the National Health Service payments for medically unnecessary circumcising in England in 1950, over a half-century ago.

    Van: “You’re going to injure your son sexually/genitally and risk his life needlessly on the basis of the biased and scientifically flawed work of a known promoter of circumcision when no medical society in the world advises you to do it?”

    “Pretty much, yes.”

    I hope he reads this some day.

    “Because I agree with his take on the data as opposed to that of known opponants of circumcision.”

    You prefer the data of the people who agree with your mutilated bias. Just as I suspected.

    “And I don’t consider the histrionic claim of “injury” to be accurate.”

    I am having a very hard time not laughing “histrionically” now. You are even attempting to deny injury, by saying that people who can see what’s in front of their noses are being “histrionic”. You like that word a lot, don’t you. When did you learn it?

    “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” Saul Bellow

    That’s what I think we have going here. A very deep need for illusion.

    Intelligent people often put more stock in their own minds than they do in the real world, to the extent that they sometimes lose contact with reality altogether. This is particularly true, I have found, with intelligent genitally mutilated people. Reality became far too painful far too early for them. So who needs it when you have such a nifty brain to make up your own substitute “reality” with. “The foreskin isn’t real. It’s what we THINK it is. We have the advantage over reality of being able to think it’s whatever we want to think it is. It’s nothing. WHACK! What injury?”

    Contrast this flaw with the advantages of being stupid. I sometimes run a circumcision education table at a state university. One day university staff employee, a woman appearing to have an IQ of maybe 90 at the outside, came up and looked carefully for a few minutes. I then walked over to her and stood beside her. She looked upand me and said, “Oooeee, Oooeee, Oooeee. Why do they hurt the babies?”

    I’ll take a woman like that for a mother over one like you any day. Trying to deny injury is the dead give away. You’ve really lost all contact with reality. Now all you’ve got is your own thoughts. That’s a dangerous situation for you and your son.

    “Seriously, dismissing articles based on who wrote them instead of the evidence presented is bad science.”

    A good lesson for us both to remember.

    “Finally, while pennicilin was discovered in 1928, the first succesful use wasn’t until 1942. The era of antibiotics didn’t really start until mass production became a possibilty until 1945 when the chemical structure was determined.”

    I list a 1910 death, a 1932 death (the one I know of personally), and a 1942. I said 2 were pre-antibiotic era because Wikipedia says “During World War II, penicillin made a major difference in the number of deaths and amputations caused by infected wounds amongst Allied forces; saving an estimated 12-15% of lives.”

    I figured that put the 1942 death in the antibiotic era. Now I see that it says next, “Availability was severely limited, however,…”, so perhaps that 1942 death is borderline. Count it pre-antibiotic era if you like. 3. The other 36 are in the antibiotic era.

  146. #146 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Cal: “Let me put it this way, Mr. Manapio: circumcision removes about a third of the skin on the penis (between one-forth and half, approximately).”

    That is my understanding of it, too. On average, about 15 square inches of highly errogenous skin are lost from the adult penis of men circumcised in infancy. For some men the adult foreskin is twice that size or more.

    “The skin removed is not identical to the skin lower on the shaft, but is a softer and more delicate mucosal membrane like the inside of your mouth or the underside of your eyelids.”

    For about half of the area of the foreskin, the inner surface. The outer surface is a continuation of the shaft skin and similar to it, as I understand it.

    “It is at least as well-ennervated as the rest of the penile skin and approximately as sensitive as the glans.”

    That last sentence above is what I think is wrong. The distal portion of the inner surface of the foreskin on top and swinging around to the frenulum on the bottom, so encircling the entire business end of the penis, is by far the most sensitive part of the penis, with by far the highest density and highest number of nerve endings yet discovered in the penis. It is far more sensitive than the glans. The glans can have some areas of similar nerve endings, around the coronal rim for instance, but over all it is far less sensitive than the sexual eye, the ridged band and the frenulum and freular delta. It is this high sensitivity area, also full of muscle, by the way, that circumcision destroys. Maybe when men find out that circumcision destroys muscle they’ll finally rise up and destroy circumcision.

    “Additionally, the frenulum of the penis (which is immediately beneath the glans) which has been rather plausibly claimed to be the most sensitive spot on the penis…”

    On the circumcised penis lucky enough to still have a frenulum. On the intact penis that same sensitivity goes all the way up around both sides and over the top. The whole thing is the sexual eye. May your circle be unbroken.

    “… is usually also removed, not for any claimed medical purposes but because it is standard.”

    My circumciser told me he left me my frenulum “because that helps you.” He knew it was highly sensitive and DIDN’T chop it off because of that. It’s part of how I know what I’m missing. I can “see” sexually a little bit. I’m grateful. They didn’t sexually blind me altogether to what a whole man feels.

    “(At least, that’s how it works in the US – I don’t know where you are.)”

    I think whether the frenulum is excised or not varies in the USA from region to region and in some places from hospital to hospital and circumciser to circumciser. My impression is that it is more common in the midwest than the south to remove the frenulum, but I’m not certain of that, and I don’t know about other regions.

  147. #147 Seth Manapio
    November 30, 2006

    “Don’t try to claim that my list shows that the death rate is low ever again. If you do so you will be lying. It does not prove anything about the rate except that it is greater than zero.”

    ===============

    Dude, get it straight. He said that your list doesn’t prove that the death rate is HIGH. And on that, you agree.

  148. #148 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    At increased cost

    Oh noes!

    with the obvious risk of general anaesthesia (3 from “the list” died from complications due to general anaesthesia)

    Um, no. It can easily be done with local.

    and without the benefits of decreased risk of UTIs

    The benefit that something like one out of a hundred infants would experience? The benefit of dubious significance whose effect size is so small that doctors aren’t even sure it’s there? The benefit that you so desperately want to be there…

  149. #149 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    But it doesn’t match what you previously said here.

    You said: “The African cultural groups that don’t practice circumcision are, however, seriously discriminated against by the majority which do.”

    A statement which would be innacurate in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia or South Africa, at the very least.

    Um, no. When various tribal groups interact, the ones who don’t circumcise are the ones who are looked down upon.

    Y’know, I’m beginning to think this whole “I just want what’s best for my son” is just a smokescreen to deflect attacks. Would a person genuinely interested in safeguarding his children pay so little attention to the evidence he cited? So far you’ve mistaken an anti-circumcision website for a pro- and failed to notice that the world graphic was bugged, failing to display a type of color. I know for a fact that tribal circumcisions are practiced by the majority of sub-Saharan peoples, yet you immediately attacked this statement basing yourself only on the map glitch.

  150. #150 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    One interesting thing about Wiswell is that he used to “an outspoken opponent of circumcision.” He began to change his views when he set out to disprove the UTI concept. That he changed his mind is probably one reason his name brings such a violent reaction in anti circ activists.

    Don’t try to claim that my list shows that the death rate is low ever again. If you do so you will be lying.

    No. I’m pointing out that your list is the most complete data currently available. That’s good. You should be proud of it. It contains 8 deaths in the last 50 years in the US, confined to a medical setting. When added to those found in the medical literature, this may increase as high as 11. Your data supports my statement that it is a low risk procedure. Don’t throw a fit over it. Unless you want to, of course. :)

    Is it complete? No. But it is the best that we have. Would new data overturn my statement? It certainly could. So gather it. Unless someone does, we are stuck with the list. All I am saying is that death from complications from a medical circumcision leading to death appears less likely than death due to complications from UTIs, for which circumcision is partly preventative.

    The pertinent sections of the Baker article appear to be:

    That circumcision is far from benign is indicated by a death rate of infants from one year for this procedure of 16 per 90,000, an incidence of 1:6000 operations. The death rate is considerably lower after one year of age. Death rates in this country have to be estimated, however, because statistics on circumcision are not kept here.

    There is considerable hemorrhage in 15% of circumcisions, and in about 2% of newborns, this can be quite serious. It may require transfusion and even be fatal.

    It would appear from statistics that at least 41 children are needlessly sacrificed to prevent one case of penile cancer. If we assume there to be about 1,325,000 newborn male circumcisions in the U.S., the annual cost to the consumers is around $54 million. And at least 229 of these newborns will die as a result of the operation.

    All estimates and projections with information that is at least 27 years out of date, including the thought that smegma is the causative carcinogen in cervical cancer. No data. No experimental evidence. No citation. It does doevetail with Gairdner’s paper though, so it does make for a likely source.

    BTW, penicillin use during WW2 was almost completely limited to the armed forces. This actually comes into the Gairdner paper, published in 1949. Because it contains a table, which I can’t replicate here, the important section is under the heading “Mortality and Sequelae of Circumcision.”

    About 16 deaths in children under 5 years occur each year from circumcision. In most of the fatalities which have come to my notice death has occurred for no apparent reason under anaesthesia, but haemorrhage and infection have sometimes proved fatal.

    In 1947, the last year where data is listed, the death rate drops. It certainly seems likely that this is due to the introduction of penicillin to the broader clinical setting, and could be the begining of a trend. But the data to determine this isn’t there.

    Also, the introduction and spread of circumcision devices and techniques that limit hemorrhage may have just begun to spread into the clinic. These have also improved over the decades, reducing chance of severe bleeding. This is illustrated by Gairdner’s inclusion of data that 1 in 26 to 1 in 50 children suffer excessive bleeding at the time of publishing, 1949, compared to now, where the incidence is 1 in 1000. Simply put, this article is out of date and not useful in making projections regarding death rates, especially when deaths from UTI complications, various cancers, STD infections, etc are not included.

  151. #151 Seth Manapio
    November 30, 2006

    “I know for a fact that tribal circumcisions are practiced by the majority of sub-Saharan peoples, yet you immediately attacked this statement basing yourself only on the map glitch.”

    No, I didn’t. I did know that cirp was anti-circumcision, as I said, that is why I chose them as a source. Also, assuming I thought they were pro-circ… so what? Doesn’t change the source content in the slightest and in fact strengthens the case. Your claim that circumcision arose in only two cultures is still not supported by any evidence that you have presented, and is countered by evidence I presented.

    The map clearly shows significant areas (including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia) where circumcision is practiced by a small minority. You think that this is a pedantic level of detail, I think that it is the barest minimum of detail for any accurate picture of what is going on. I doubt VERY seriously that the Zulu suffer a hell of a lot of discrimination from other tribes in areas where they are the dominant culture, for example. I think your view of Africa is overly simple. If you disagree, present some freaking data, using a source of some kind. You are not an established expert.

  152. #152 Brian W
    November 30, 2006

    Wow, so many comments, mostly proving Tara right to start her post with “Male circumcision is a difficult topic to discuss rationally.” So even though my own emotions run high on this subject, I’ll try to keep my post calm and rational.

    I’m circumcised and we had a son about a year ago (in USA). The numbers all suggest that the risks are low, but the benefits even lower, so we didn’t circumcise him. He’s getting close to his first birthday, no UTI’s, all we do is bathe him daily, no special care for his penis.

    The numbers on STD’s aren’t motivating us to circumcise him, they are motivating us to teach him about the advantages of condoms and monogamy before he starts having sex. Basically, we’ll just inform him that he’s at higher risk for STD’s so he needs to be more diligent in avoiding them. Amputation is only for emergencies.

  153. #153 Robster
    November 30, 2006

    Brian, I hope he listens to you. Inform him without trying to scare him. Fear appeals don’t do a good job convincing anybody, hence the failure of DARE. Best of luck.

  154. #154 Van Lewis
    November 30, 2006

    Van, quoted by Robster: “Don’t try to claim that my list shows that the death rate is low ever again. If you do so you will be lying. It does not prove anything about the rate except that it is greater than zero.”

    ===============

    Robster: “Dude, get it straight. He said that your list doesn’t prove that the death rate is HIGH. And on that, you agree.”

    Who is “he”? It’s YOU, dude, who have been, repeatedly, trying to use the relatively small number of deaths on the list I have collected recently to try to show that it indicates a LOW death rate. For example, in speaking about Wiswell’s report,

    “Again, 2 deaths (complications from UTIs) from a sample of 35.9k over 5 years is much worse comparatively.”

    Reelatively more intact deaths on Wiswell’s report from UTIs than circumcision deaths on mine. That is a logical fallacy. There is no known relationship between the number of circumcision deaths on my list and the number of circumcision deaths during the same period, except that the number on my random, anecdotal, recently compiled list is probably far lower than the number of actual deaths. Based on your logical fallacy, you say you will buy Wiswell’s ticket. In context, I take that to mean circumcise your son, (you did say you planned to do it because you agree with Wiswell’s take on the data) because you think he has a lower risk of dying from circumcision than from remaining as presented to you by your and his mother’s genes. You value Wiswell’s report over your sons’ parents’ – your own – genes.

    In my mind, your genes, especially if they produce a biologically normal child, are entitled to more credibility than Thomas Wiswell. They have stood the test of time. A lot of it. Wiswell’s report has not, and is not doing that well.

    Circumstition.com ‘s page on Wiswell is instructive:

    http://www.circumstitions.com/Utis.html

    Since your son’s life may hang in the balance, you might to well to read it. This is no a scare tactic, this is a fact your son probably would like for you to consider thoughtfully; not meaning dreaming up every way you can (you’re a genius at it) to try to escape reality on the subject, including complaining incessantly about “scare tactics”. It isn’t fear that’s important here unless you let it paralyze your mind. It’s reality. There really is such a thing. The world does not conform itself to your mind. Your son, should you be lucky enough to have one, will be part of that reality. His penis and foreskin will be real. They will not be under the personal contro of your wishes.

    CIRP.com ‘s presentation is even more instructive. In addition to their own very enlightening summary, they provide access to 61 additional references in the medical literature showing that Wiswell’s scare tactics on UTI don’t hold scientific water. Risking your child’s life because, with regard to Wiswell,

    Robster: “… I agree with his take on the data as opposed to that of known opponants of circumcision.”

    without doing a thorough examination, and as open-minded an examination as possible given your obvious bias, not an examination devoted exclusively to finding “logical fallacies” in your “opponents’” views (they should not be regarded as “opponents”; these researchers don’t know you; they are trying to help save babies’ lives by doing careful, competent scientific research), would be a disservice to yourself and your son and his mother, among others. Please try to forget about me and all the “opponents”out there (your original “opponent” was probably your circucmiser. He “won”. You lost. Big time. But you were right and he was wrong. Don’t spend the rest of your life fighting him unconsciously in the form of fighting everybody else in the world who you think disagrees with you now. Realize that he made a mistake. And now he’s long gone. Not everbody out here who disagrees with you now is wrong, as he was then. Some of us are on your side and you can’t even tell it. And on your son’s side. You’ve joined the enemy. Your original enemy. And can’t now tell who your real friends are. The first step for you is to genuinely open up your excellent and very intelligent mind to people fighting your original enemy, which was the human and ethical and medical mistake of circumcising healthy babies. Check it out:

    http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/UTI/

    You and his mother are the only people, until Congress or the Supreme Court acts, who can stand between your son and this stone-age insanity. Good luck to the three of you.

  155. #155 Seth Manapio
    November 30, 2006

    “Who is “he”? It’s YOU, dude, who have been, repeatedly, trying to use the relatively small number of deaths on the list I have collected recently to try to show that it indicates a LOW death rate. For example, in speaking about Wiswell’s report,”

    =========

    Van… I posted the message you are responding to, not Robster. And you are misrepresenting Robster’s position on your data.

  156. #156 Maggie Rosethorn
    November 30, 2006

    Wow, Tara. You really stirred up a hornet’s nest. My two cents…

    First: as a woman, I’ve had partners who were uncircumcised and those who were. I couldn’t tell any difference during intercourse. (Before and after, of course, is a different story.) There seemed to be no difference in each man’s enjoyment, either.

    Second: I want to meet some of the ob/gyn or peds docs who are pushing circumcisions on all their patients (or the parents). In all of my years of nursing, and as a midwife, and as a mother I never encountered one. Yes, they spoke about it. Yes, by law if you consent to have your baby circumcised the doctor has to obtain the written consent. But I never met any one who pushed you to have it done. Most docs hate doing them (time consuming for one…). I also never pushed it myself as a nurse or as a midwife. I presented the pros and cons and left it to the parents.

    I also want to see the hospital that is selling foreskins. I have worked in many hospitals and never encountered this. The foreskins were discarded, not sold. Placentas have been sold, in my experience, but never foreskins.

    Third: in my present incarnation working for a big insurance company…no ped or ob is going to get rich doing circumcisions. What an MD BILLS for the procedure is far from what he/she gets paid. We pay about $50-70 per circ. A urologist, doing a circ on an adult, gets paid much more, but reimbursement for an infant circ is minimal. On average, a busy OB or peds may do 2-5 circs a week (remember, statistically, half of all deliveries will be girls).

    Fourth, and lastly: You can’t compare circumcision with FGM level 4. Find me a procedure that ALWAYS causes problems with urination, increases your risk for severe health problems (i.e. endometrosis and other problems) and causes you physical pain every time you have intercourse (and worse with childbirth), then you can compare it to FGM. Circumcision MAY cause some of these problems, but doesn’t in all men, or even all problems. FGM does.

    Before you jump on me: I don’t believe in routine circumcision, my family never believed or practiced routine circumcision (in the 1940′s my uncle was not circumcised, neither was his brother in the 1950′s). My brother was circumcised for health problems.

    Van, Richard, and others…your hysterical rants would just drive me the other way, if I was searching for answers. Caledonian: At least you are more respectful.
    Seth and Robster: good luck in your search, if you search with an open mind looking for EBM.

  157. #157 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    Maggie Rosethorn, may I ask where you worked as a nurse/midwife? General region, nothing specific, if you choose to respond.

    Wow, so many comments, mostly proving Tara right to start her post with “Male circumcision is a difficult topic to discuss rationally.” So even though my own emotions run high on this subject, I’ll try to keep my post calm and rational.

    I’m circumcised and we had a son about a year ago (in USA). The numbers all suggest that the risks are low, but the benefits even lower, so we didn’t circumcise him. He’s getting close to his first birthday, no UTI’s, all we do is bathe him daily, no special care for his penis.

    Hooray for you!

  158. #158 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    The map clearly shows significant areas (including Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia) where circumcision is practiced by a small minority.

    No, what the map shows is a blank space. Since there are assigned colors to indicate that circumcision isn’t practiced much in a region, this blankness is peculiar. If you LOOK AT THE KEY, you’ll see that there is a color assigned to ‘tribal circumcisions practiced’ that doesn’t actually appear on the map, anywhere. That color is the one missing from the map – why it’s not there I don’t know, but it isn’t – and it’s the one that’s supposed to fill in the empty white space.

    I am increasingly losing my patience with you. At this point, I can only conclude that you’re either a) a rabid circumcision advocate who thinks he can best discredit opposing statements by pretending to be an impartial seeker after knowledge, or b) a damn fool. You may of course be both.

  159. #159 Maggie Rosethorn
    November 30, 2006

    Caledonian–I worked in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey as a nurse and/or midwife. (Yes, I got around, before kids). Of course I’m willing to respond to you, as I said, you at least seem to be respectful of others usually. I have 20+ years of nursing under my belt (not counting the years I “nursed” working for my GP grandfather before I entered nursing school.)

  160. #160 Seth Manapio
    November 30, 2006

    “That color is the one missing from the map – why it’s not there I don’t know, but it isn’t – and it’s the one that’s supposed to fill in the empty white space.”

    ——–

    Caledonian, the map has large areas colored green. Those areas are areas where circumcision rates are low. It is a significant portion of subsaharan africa, stretching from coast to coast, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. This is an objective fact, available to all.

    You have presented no evidence of any kind to support your assertions about circumcision attitudes in Africa. Based on the best evidence I can find, I believe that your description of circumcision attitudes in Africa is oversimplified.

    Apparently, you don’t believe I can hold that position without being a rabid circumcision advocate or a fool, basically claiming that I cannot disagree with you without being a fanatic or a fool. But I ask you, what have you said or presented to support your assertions about african attitudes about circumcision? Why should we believe your assertion that there are continent wide attitudes when we know for a fact that circumcision rates vary?

    Your position is just not tenable right now. Why don’t you present some kind of support for your bold statements… perhaps a source that shows that non-circumcized people are a persecuted minority in Zimbabwe? Or that the Zulu nation is a minority that doesn’t practice any discrimination against their circumcized neighbors? Anything like that, really, would be a great start.

    Alternately, just admit that you made a hasty generalization of “Africa” that does not convey an accurate picture of circumcision attitudes in a significant portion of the continent.

  161. #161 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    Caledonian–I worked in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey as a nurse and/or midwife.

    Huh.

    Well, I’m pleased to hear you didn’t encounter any patient harassment. Although it was fairly common a long time ago, it does occasionally still happen. Other times permission simply isn’t sought, although the increasingly large numbers of lawsuits on the matter may have put a damper on the matter.

  162. #162 Caledonian
    November 30, 2006

    Manapio, I did not say that Africa was homogenous or monolithic on the subject, nor did I say that there weren’t plenty of peoples who didn’t practice circumcision. Those that don’t are often looked down upon – possibly not so much in places where it’s less common, but certainly in places where it is.

  163. #163 Robster
    December 1, 2006

    Van, the first page wasn’t useful. It ignores the fact that Wiswell started out anti-circ, checked the epi data, performed his own epi studies, and changed sides based on the data. If there was a way around his conclusions, the originally strongly anti-circ Wiswell would have found it.

    From the site, His many papers present statistics involving huge samples, tens of thousands of babies (which may convince those who mistakenly think large numbers guarantee accuracy),

    Yeah. Those damn statistics. The page also completely ignores the two deaths of uncircumcised UTI patients from Wiswell’s study. The bloody graphic was a morbid touch, and as usual, doesn’t help the debate.

    The second page was far more reasonable in pointing out possible design flaws in the Wiswell paper. However, as I have found typical for CIRP pages that are not reproductions of published articles, they would not pass peer review as several of the sources don’t say what the page claims they do. Furthermore, it leaves out references to several other studies supporting Wiswell’s findings, also ignoring Wiswell’s response to criticism of his methods.

    Look, I’ve made my points, you’ve made yours (along with all kinds of logical fallacies). Your message is full of sound and fury, but is not persuasive. I think that medical associations will revise their statements, you don’t. I consider relative risks from circumcision to be less than those associated with remaining uncircumcized. My opinion regarding neonatal circumcision, in a modern hospital setting, using modern techniques, with proper anaesthesia, when a decision is made by informed parents, it is an acceptable procedure. You don’t. The difference here is that you are completely invested in your beliefs, while I would be willing to change my mind if solid contradictory data became available. Right now, no such data is forthcoming.

  164. #164 Van Lewis
    December 1, 2006

    Maggie R: “Van, Richard, and others…your hysterical rants would just drive me the other way, if I was searching for answers.”

    Did you assist at circumcisions in your nursing incarnation? (No answer required, of course.)

    Have you ever heard babies scream during circumcision? (No answer required, of course.)

    Would you characterize their screams as “hysterical rants”? (No answer required, of course.)

    I have witnessed infant circumcision in person (in addition to my own in 1943) at the invitation of a circumciser. He invited me to attend, to prove to me that there was nothing wrong with circumcising. He also decided and told me that he would not do a complete circumcision, just a little dorsal slit, to minimize trauma, damage, injury, blood loss. “I will cut on the center line. There are no blood vessels there.” (Right.)

    I decided to go. White circumciser, black baby, southern USA, 197?

    With the first probe under the foreskin the baby screams a blood curdling scream and keeps screaming. (Tearing the foreskin from the glans, I have since learned, can be an excruciating experience. This is what the circumciser was doing at the time so he could “free” the foreskin from the glans and get his crushing hemostat – I think that’s what the torture device is called – on the center line. Don’t try to tell me this baby wasn’t being tortured or that I am being histrionic or hysterical. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. I am describing it exactly as I saw it and experienced the reality of it. I will never forget it. Think about somebody tearing your fingernail up from its nail bed. That’s torture. And don’t try to tell me the finger is more sensitive than the penis. I know better, even with what’s left of my desensitized, mutilated one.)

    With the crushing of the center line of the top of the foreskin with the hemostat, the baby’s screaming and thrashing (restrained by tie-downs, put in place in preparation for this human hurricane they already knew from long experience was coming) ramp WAY up, and when the clamp comes off and the dorsal cut is made the baby begins to vomit, projectile vomiting, the most violent vomiting I have ever witnessed from a human being, and blood spurts everywhere. The vomiting interrupts the screaming and the screaming interrupts the vomiting. The circucmiser takes out his sewing kit and starts sewing. With every puncture of the needle the new scream comes rushing out, with every pulling of the thread, whatever it was, through the foreskin the baby turns bluer and screams louder and harder and finally, when I think the police are going to arrive or the baby is going to die or God is going to strike us all dead on the spot, the baby goes totally silent and completely limp, knocked out entirely, knocked unconscious by this idiot circumciser’s stone-age insanity.

    White circumciser, black baby, southern USA, 1972 + or -.

    The circumciser can now work in peace. He finishes his sewing, cleans up, and we head for the stairs.

    This is a man who told me later that he probably did over 5,000 circumcisions in his honored career, highly honored in and by his community. He did many circumcisions of babies from poor families, black and white, for free. Money was not this man’s motivation. Social service to humanity was.

    On the staircase he looks at me and asks, “Did you have any objection to that?”

    I was momentarily speechless. I had thought he was going to talk about how he had never seen anything like that in his life, that babies never respond like that, or something anyway. Instead, what he told me with his off-hand question was that this was normal operation. Nothing out of the ordinary. See, I told you so, nothing wrong with it at all.

    What I WANTED to do in answer to his question was kick him in his groin as hard as I could and then ask HIM, “Did YOU have any objection to THAT?”

    I suppose I thought he would have thought my reaction hystrionic and hysterical both, so I didn’t do it. Also I didn’t want to go to jail. I wanted HIM to go to jail.

    So I responded calmly, “more respectfully”:

    “I think the baby objected to it.”

    I have since learned from Dr. Paul Fleiss, a reformed circumciser who did scores at least of circucmisions, that he didn’t hear the babies he circumcised screaming. He was so intent on doing his work “correctly” that for scores and scores of circumcisions, a hunderd or hundreds, he literally did not hear the screaming. Then one day, he heard it. He heard the baby and knew what it meant. The scream meant that he was injuring the baby, deeply. We now know scientifically that he was injuring the baby’s brain to which his sexual eye was hard wired, prior to the circucmision anyway. He was injuring the baby’s brain development.

    “Preposterous! Jews have been circucmised for hundreds of generations and own 1/3rd of the Nobel prizes! If anything, circumcision INCREASES brain development, not damages it!”

    The brain is not just the analytical brain of the frontal lobes. The brain is also the reptilian brian of the lower reaches. The nerves in the foreskin don’t go to the frontal lobes. They go to the deeper reaches of the brain. That’s where the damage goes.

    Dr. Fleiss hasn’t circumcised another baby since and he has become a force in the world to protect babies from this medical insanity. Read his articles, read his books. Google will get them for you. Read “The Case Against Circumcision” (Mothering 1997) and “Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents” (Mothering 2000). Read “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision: Untold Facts on America’s Most Widely Performed — and Most Unnecessary — Surgery (Warner Books, 2002).

    Incredible as it may be, it seems to me now that this circumciser literally DID NOT HEAR this baby SCREAMING. He did not have ANY CLUE WHATEVER that he was absolutely and undoubtedly TORTURING AND MUTILATING AND SEVERELY DAMAGING THIS CHILD FOR LIFE, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too.

    OK, go ahead. Call me hysterical. Call me hystrionic.

    But what about the baby? Was the BABY hysterical? Was the BABY being hystrionic?

    Look. I’m nobody here. I’m an old man. This is not about me. I’m going to be dead soon.

    This is about you. This is about your children and grandchildren and theirs. This is about what America and the world are going to be like after everybody living now is dead.

    I want to ask you, where is this tortured and mutilated baby now? I’m not expecting an answer. I’m asking you to think about this tortured and mutilated baby. He is now 34 years old or so, if he’s still alive. Where does he live? What is his life like? How does he feel about white people? Does he have ANY CONSCIOUS CLUE WHATEVER that he was tortured and sexually mutilated for life as a baby by a white man? And if he doesn’t, what about his UNCONSCIOUS mind? What if he’s a walking time bomb precisely BECAUSE he is unconscious of this extremely early and catastrophic experience in his neonatal life? What if tonight he’s walking down the street in New York City or Los Angeles, poor, stressed out, on dope, and passes by a white doctor in a white hospital gown in a hurry to get to an emergency or to meet his wife or child and the black guy snaps. He doesn’t remember but his body suddenly remembers the earlier white doctor in the white hospital gown in 1972 in the south, and his iatrogenic post-traumatic genital mutilation stress disorder kicks in hard, as hard as the original trauma, but this time he isn’t tied down, this time he is strong and free and his body is in the blue-white rage his reptillian survival brain has put it in and he takes the innocent, honored doctor’s head off with his bare hands on the sidewalk. What then?

    Folks, call me any nasty names you want to. I don’t care WHAT you call me. All your reactions against me are wonderful examples of psychological displacement. You’re angry. You’re REALLY angry. And you have every right to be. But you can’t confront the real SOURCE of your righteous anger, your deepest rage.

    I want to be foolish enough to tell you what it is, what you are so angry about that you don’t even know it, WON’T know it, REFUSE ADAMANTLY to know it, so angry that you CAN’T even know it, yet.

    You are angry as hell, just as you should be, that America has been sexually and genitally mutilated by the US medical profession and that everyone you know has been deeeply and permanently traumatized and mutilated in many ways by this iatrogenic genital mutilation holocaust. And because you don’t know it, because you WON’T know it, because it’s too DANGEROUS for you to know it, you take your anger out on me. Just a little tiny bit of it. You take it out on me by telling me I’m hysterical. You take it out on me because my knowledge terrifies you so you want to suppress me and keep me as frightened and as ignorant as you are.

    Too late, folks. You’re too late.

    Yes, I’m hysterical. I DO see where my anger started. I DO see why I’m as angry as I am. I see it all. You’re blind because you want to be, and ONLY because you want to be. But I can see because I wanted to, because I HAD to. I had no other choice. I HAD to open my eyes, or close them forever. It isn’t a pretty sight I’m looking at, either. I was afraid it would be a nightmare I would wake up to and it is. I see a clueless America throwing its future in the trash, pouring its future down the drain. I see a nation brought to its knees by iatrogenic genital mutialtion.

    Well, America, I don’t care if you believe in God or not, you better start praying.

    I want you to read a couple of sentences from BEFORE HIS TIME, a book about Harry T. Moore. I want you to read it and I want you to think about that 34 year-old black man I “met” when he was just a baby and I was 29 and it was 1972. Harry T. Moore was a now-almost-forgotten early civil rights martyr in America who, together with his wife Harriette, was killed by a Klu Klux Klan bomb planted under their home in Mims, Florida, and exploded on Christmas night, 1951, (thanks, Ben Green, for telling us the Moores’ important story.)

    There is on page 46 an eyewitness’s description of the single most-publicized lynching in U.S. history. It occurred in Marianna, Florida, ninety miles west of my home, in October, 1934, only 8.5 years before I was born. Claude Neal, a black farm hand accused of raping, mutilating, and murdering a white woman, had the extreme misfortune to fall into the hands of a mob of angry whites. The eye-witness speaks:

    “After taking the nigger to the woods…they cut off his penis. He was made to eat it. Then they cut off his testicles and made him eat them and say he liked it… ”

    “Real” American men are still supposed to eat it and say we like it. I don’t like it and I won’t say I do and I won’t eat it.

    And now you can call me all the filty, dirty names you want to. Take some more of your anger out on me. Because if you get enough of it out of your system, maybe you’ll become conscious of the obvious fact that it’s really not me who you’re angry at. I’m nobody to you. You’re really angry about something a whole lot closer to home. You’re really angry about something so deep that you have no idea whatever what it is. You’re so angry that you don’t even know, can’t even know that you are. That’s why you wrong-target me. Because you don’t yet have the nerve to right-target.

    You wrong-target me all you want to, all you need to. I’ll be happy to be your wrong target. I’ll pray for your courage. I’ll pray that you find out some day why you’re so angry. I’ll pray that some day you learn how to right-target. And I pray that you some day join those of us who have heard the babies scream and have decided to stop the torturing and mutilating of them for life.

    And do you know what? We’re going to win. We’re going to win because we’re looking for the truth AND FINDING IT. We’re not trying desperately to hide it any longer. We KNOW it’s a terrible truth. We KNOW it’s horrible to look at. We KNOW you don’t want to face it. We didn’t either. It took us a long time, too. We know you CAN’T face it yet, otherwise you would have already. We know you’ll wrong-target us. We know you might call us all your dirty names before it’s over with. We know you’ll be covertly and maybe overtly hostile. After your dirty names are all spent, what will you throw at us then?

    I was arrested and put in jail in 1970 by terrified police officers for peacefully protesting in public against infant circumcision, so I really shouldn’t be surprised by clueless people in 2006 calling me “histrionic” and “hysterical” should I? By now I should be used to being wrong-targeted by circumcision victims, direct and indirect, unconscious of their own victimization, shouldn’t I? These unconscious, automatic psychological mechanisms are absolutely predictable. Oppressed people who cannot stand up against their oppressors submit and join the oppressor’s side. That’s their only choice, they think, if they want to survive.

    Steve Biko said it best: “The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

    Without cowing people and making them into minions and servants, oppressors have almost no real power of their own. They need other people to do their dirty work for them if they want to be REALLY powerful oppressors. As individuals, we are simply human, easily overpowered by one or two or three others. To become a truly powerful oppressor, like the US medical profession, you have to intimidate a whole nation. And that is exactly what the US circumcising medical profession achieved in the USA.

    It wasn’t always so. Prior to the adoption of circumcision doctors were not held in very high regard here. They were not regarded as gods, as they later came to be. They were known as quacks, which, for the most part, is what they were. But as medicine began to improve and succeed at doing a better job, all that began to change. And the pendulum swung the other way. WAY over the other way. So far over that US parents eventually accepted the mutilation of 90% or more of their sons’ penises. All for nothing. And now the pendulum has stopped, and is swinging back the other way.

    Circumcision is crumbling in America finally because young parents are deciding not to join the criminal sexual oppression of the medical circucmisers. They are standing up and defending their children from stone age insanity, from 19th century medical quackery and 20th century medical cowardice and 21st century medical lies.

    I’m happy I lived long enough to see it. I may not get there with you, but I’ve been to the mountain top and I’ve seen the promised land. So sling your mud my way. I’ll thank you for it, and wear it with pride before I die and after.

  165. #165 Van Lewis
    December 1, 2006

    Robster: “My opinion regarding neonatal circumcision, in a modern hospital setting, using modern techniques, with proper anaesthesia, when a decision is made by informed parents, it is an acceptable procedure.”

    Acceptable to some adults. Not acceptable to any babies. I’m on the babies’ side. And you’re right, I’m probably going to stay there. Some day I hope you’ll join us. If only scientific data can sway you, then stay in your safe little scientific world. The real world is so much bigger and so much more fun.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love science. I’ve had the great honor and privilege and pleasure of learning from and spending time and becoming friends with some great scientists. I have learned from them to respect and revere science and those who practice it with care and love for humanity.

    One of the things I learned from them is that the really great scientists tend to be more than really great scientists. They often turn out really great human beings as well. They learn and they teach by the lives they live that there is more to the world than science. The world is lot bigger than even science has shown us. There is so much more to learn and know and live and experience.

    I hope some day you will come to see that amputating other people’s healthy sense organs isn’t scientific. It’s fear that drives it, that does it. Courage says I want my child whole, complete, with all the senses an all the equipment my genes gave him, and I’ll take my chances, and my child will take his, with the consequences.

  166. #166 Van Lewis
    December 1, 2006

    We’re going to be fully human, he and I, no matter what happens. HIV isn’t going to take our humanity away from us. STDs aren’t going to take our humanity away from us. Papiloma viruses aren’t going to take our humanity away from us. Cancer of the penis isn’t going to take our humanity away from us. And WE aren’t going to take our humanity away from us. Damn the torpedos. We are going to be fully human, no matter what the consequences. Full steam ahead.

  167. #167 Van Lewis
    December 1, 2006

    For those of you worshiping peer review, see the report below:

    “current peer review procedures are based on trust,”
    says Brian Martinson of HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis. “The
    report makes clear that is an increasingly risky position.”

    http://usatoday.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&
    title=USATODAY.com&expire=&urlID=20344102&fb=Y&
    url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fprintedition%2Flife%2F20061129%2Fbl_bottomstrip29.art.htm&partnerID=1663

    or

    http://tinyurl.com/yj3x4d

    Scientists urge greater scrutiny of research
    Panel: Journals must be careful before publishing crucial studies
    By Dan Vergano

    USA TODAY A panel of scientists Tuesday called for more scrutiny of ”
    high-impact” studies published by science journals, a reaction to the bogus stem cell
    findings trumpeted last year in the journal Science.Tarnishing the already
    controversial field of embryonic stem cell research — and the prestige of Science
    – Seoul National University announced last year that a team led by South
    Korea’s Hwang Woo Suk faked its claim of easily cloning 12 embryonic stem cell
    lines. Scientists had hoped to use these cells to create rejection-free
    transplant tissues. Instead, the fraud findings led to university investigations,
    firings, prosecutions and criticism of Science’s system of peer review, in which
    experts independently assess whether study results should be published. Peer
    review is a bedrock of modern science.”Progress in science depends on
    breakthroughs and in taking risks, both in research and in publishing,” says the review
    committee formed by Science and headed by Stanford University’s John Brauman.
    But “the current process, predicated on the assumption that there is no
    misrepresentation, is not adequate,” concludes the panel, which included Harvard’s
    Douglas Melton, a top stem cell researcher.”The environment for science has
    changed,” says Science editor in chief Don Kennedy. The report noted the rewards
    of publishing in Science, or its rival journal Nature, such as “enhanced
    reputation, visibility, position or cash rewards is sufficiently high that some may
    not adhere to the usual scientific standards.” Kennedy said Science would
    follow the panel’s recommendations, including:

    •Higher scrutiny of studies with surprising, newsworthy or politically
    charged results
    •Reporting the roles of all authors and co-authors.
    •Establishing common review standards with other journals.

    “Science says that it is committed to change, so one should take them at
    their word and see what follows,” says science misconduct expert Nicholas Steneck
    of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Hwang scandal follows the 2002
    research fraud involving Bell Lab’s researcher Jan Hendrik Schön, which
    involved about two dozen papers in Science, Nature and elsewhere. Last year, a
    Nature survey found 33% of respondents cut corners in research, although fewer
    than 1% admitted faking data.Steneck notes the panel found that reviewers
    accepted incomplete answers to questions about Hwang’s work. “Misconduct is not rare
    and, as the Hwang and Schön cases both demonstrate, had the research network
    surrounding each done its job, the misconduct would have been caught much
    earlier,” he says. Even so, “current peer review procedures are based on trust,”
    says Brian Martinson of HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis. “The
    report makes clear that is an increasingly risky position.”

  168. #168 Seth Manapio
    December 1, 2006

    Caledonian Said:
    “Manapio, I did not say that Africa was homogenous or monolithic on the subject, nor did I say that there weren’t plenty of peoples who didn’t practice circumcision. Those that don’t are often looked down upon – possibly not so much in places where it’s less common, but certainly in places where it is.”

    But your previous comment was this,

    Now the claims are being made for HIV… and most of the studies on the matter are performed in Africa, where the majority of men are circumcised because of very peculiar ideas about manhood, and the groups that don’t face serious social discrimination. Uncircumcised men are sometimes seized by mobs and cut with whatever’s at hand. It’s simply not feasible to study circumcision in that social climate. Yet it keeps being done.

    It’s also worth noting that most African men are already circumcised, and it hasn’t stopped AIDS from being a major humanitarian disaster.

    My point is that this view of Africa which you originally presented is not accurate. Uncircumcized men are not seized by mobs and circumcized in countries like Zimbabwe, where less than 20% of men are circumcized. And so your critique of African AIDS studies is not reasonable.

  169. #169 Seth Manapio
    December 1, 2006

    “It’s also worth noting that most African men are already circumcised, and it hasn’t stopped AIDS from being a major humanitarian disaster.”

    That should have been part of the blockquotes in my previous comment.

  170. #170 Robster
    December 1, 2006

    Whatever, Van. Self martydom and projection of your own anger onto others (we’re the angry time bombs, set off by lab coats?) are the best gifts you can give to pro circ researchers.

  171. #171 Seth Manapio
    December 1, 2006

    Van Lewis needs his own blog. Seriously.

  172. #172 Maggie Rosethorn
    December 1, 2006

    Van. I will answer briefly, but to be honest, I refuse to read your entire rant. I walk away from ANYONE who screams at me, whether they are right or wrong. I am an adult, I do not need to be screamed at.

    Answers: Yes, as a nurse I assisted with circumcisions.
    No, I never saw a baby “scream hysterically”. To be honest, most of the babies cried at being restrained in the circ board; if we offered them either sugar water or a pacifier they usually stopped. Some cried during the actual procedure, some didn’t. Do I believe they were in pain? Yes. And I’m glad the practice now is to use some form of anesthesia.

    Would I have it done to a male child of mine? Not if not medically necessary.
    Would I push someone else to have it done to their infant? Never.

    Caledonian–I sure hope I NEVER work in the hospitals you know of. Circumcisions without parental consent or coorcion to have the procedure done I am TOTALLY against, and I have never seen it occur in all my years of practice.

    Last thing: Just because I like to be as accurate as I can: current physician reimbursement for neonatal circumcision for a provider in My Wonderful State varies between $110-135. (Rates have been raised since I last checked) So I apologize for the inaccurate rates given above.

  173. #173 Richard
    December 1, 2006

    Circumcision is a big industry, or a big sub-industry within a larger industry, the US medical industry. (There used to be a “profession” in there somewhere, but no more.)Doctors DO NOT get (only) $75. or $80. per circumcision, and then have to give up part of that to a hospital. Some young physicians take all the medicaid cases they can, and that includes some circumcision fees under $100. But as soon as they don’t need those cases, they jettison the patients in favor of those with “real” insurance. As I have already posted, the typical range is generally from $200. to $500., though there are few at the top end. Mostly they range in the middle, $200. to $400. You can say “around $300. on average,” and be pretty near right. The doctor’s fee is his, his alone, his to keep forever except what the tax man takes. The hospital fee is a separate fee. Some doctors have taken the procedure out of the hospital to save money for the parents of their patients (the patient is the baby), because the high cost in some areas is creating resistance to the procedure when insurance doesn’t cover it. These doctors don’t want to give up their fee completely, so they do it in their offices without additional charge above their standard fee.

    The supreme circumcision advocate, Edgar Schoen, MD discusses this in his recent book, as evidence that the US circumcision rate is higher than the hospital surveys are showing. The problem for Schoen’s reasonsing on the count is that many hospitals bill insurance for circumcsions never done, thereby establishing a “record” for a circumcision that never happened. In my opinon the two numbers probably cancel out each other. In any event, the rate is higher than Schoen wants to believe, but far too high. When it matches UK (<1%) I’ll be happy to volunteer my time and money for something other than fighting superstition and myth in “modern” medicine.

  174. #174 Richard
    December 1, 2006

    When it matches UK (<1%) I’ll be happy to volunteer my time and money for something other than fighting superstition and myth in “modern medicine.”

    This line is filler for the program to whack off and leave my posting intact. This line is filler for the program to whack off and leave my posting intact. This line is filler

  175. #175 Richard
    December 1, 2006

    When it matches Britain’s rate of less than one percent, I will be happy to volunteer my time and money for something other that fighting superstition and myth in “modern” medicine.

    This line is filler for the program to whack off and leave my posting intact. This line is filler for the program to whack off and leave my posting intact. This lines is filler

  176. #176 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Robster: “Whatever, Van. Self martydom …”

    Another lie. Martyrs don’t kill themselves. Other people kill them. My brother and I did not arrest ourselves and put ourselves in jail in 1970. The cops arrested us, illegally and against our will. Usually the killers and liars blame the dead and the defamed. That’s what you’re doing here by using the lie “self-martyrdom”.

    ” and projection of your own anger onto others ”

    I don’t project it. I see it in action. Been watching it for 45 years now.

    ” (we’re the angry time bombs, set off by lab coats?) … ”

    Have you never studied PTSD? Are you entirely ignorant on the subject?

    What is the largest group of genitally mutilated men in the world today? How many?

    The second largest? How many?

    What are these men doing in the world today?

    “… are the best gifts you can give to pro circ researchers.”

    “Pro-circ researchers” are researchers looking for poor excuses to violate the clear, established human rights of others. They find what they’re looking for; Lies, damn lies, and statistics. No surprise there.

    Posted by: Robster | December 1, 2006 01:35 PM

  177. #177 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Seth says: “Caledonian, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision reduces the trasmission of sexual diseases, including AIDS. I mean, thats a fact, and denying it doesn’t help your cause.”

    Seth, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision does NOT reduce and may even INCREASE the transmission of sexual diseases, including AIDS. I mean, that’s a fact, and denying it doesn’t help your cause.

    For example, see the following paper:

    http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/thomas1/

    Thomas et al found no difference in HIV rates between circumcised and intact
    navy personnel. Their conclusion: “Although there may be other medical or cultural reasons for male circumcision, it is not associated with HIV or STI prevention in this U.S. military population.”

    Sciectific evidence (perhaps also flawed) also shows reductions in the likelihood of HIV rates in circumcized females:

    “At the Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and
    Treatment in Rio de Janeiro in July 2005, a study indicating that female circumcision was associated with a lower risk of HIV infection was presented,70
    yet this finding has received little or no attention.”

    van Howe, Svoboda & Hodges, “HIV infection and circumcision: cutting
    through the hyperbole” in Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of
    Health. November 2005 Vol 125 No.6

    (Thanks to GC for helping locate these references. There are many more.)

    Here’s the bottom line: Science has not yet demonstrated conclusively whether male or female circucmision increases, decreases, or has little or no effect on rates of transmission of HIV, male to male, male to female, female to male, or female to female. That’s a fact. Denying it won’t help your cause.

    Therefore male and female circumcision currently cannot be advocated scientifically as methods of preventing HIV or other std organism transmission.

    That is the current position of medicine worldwide.

    And here’s the bottom bottom line: Even if it were already conclusively proved scientifically that male and female circumcision both prevent 100% of pathogenic organism transmission to and from everybody (such can NEVER be proved because they do not prevent 100% of such transmission), and prevent 100% of all cervical and uterine and penile cancer to boot (such can NEVER be proved because they do not prevent 100% of such diseases although some very ignorant people still do try to claim that male circumcision prevents 100% of penile cancer), that hypothetical and impossible scientific proof would not justify involuntary circumcising any human being, and especially not minors who have clearly established human rights to even greater protection from unasked for and unnecessary harm than adults do.

    There are other cheaper, more effective, non-damaging and less damaging ways to prevent stds and, for the most part, cervical and penile cancer, and other cheaper, more effective and non and less damaging ways to treat them in the unlikely event that an infection or disease ever does happen.

    Advocating and practicing circumcision to prevent any std including cancer in any human being is not current evidenced-based medicine anywhere in the world. That is the position of EVERY national or international medical society in the world that has spoken on the subject.

    Those who advocate it and practice it for these and other scientifically unjustified, bogus reasons are doing so unethically.

    You cannot chop body parts off of non-consenting parties – including especially minors – unnecessarily and without clear medical justification without violating their clearly established human rights and current laws against mayhem.

    Circumcising non-consenting adults and minors (minors are legally incapable of lawful consent) is illegal activity. It is criminal activity. Under current law. Do it to an adult in any civilized society or a female child in many civilized countries today and you are subject to prosecution, fines and prison sentences. The fact that people still get away with doing it to male minors only, only shows how far cultural awareness and legal and medcial practice lag behind medical ethics and human rights law, and that our society is still sexist (surprised?) and incompetent (surprised?) on the subject of unnecesarily mutilating, injuring and risking the lives of males who are – so far, but not for long if they survive otherwise intact – physically incapable of defending themseves. (We’re still incompetent on other subjects too. Surprised?)

    Study the medical ethics and human rights law involved. That has been made easy for you here: http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/

    Easy to get to. Maybe not that easy to confront fully and honestly for people strongly biased in favor of violating other people’s human rights and physical bodies, including sex organs, brains and brain development.

    If that’s a “rant”, so be it. It’s a “rant” that can save human lives, and quality thereof.

  178. #178 Robster
    December 2, 2006

    No, Van, you are ignorant of PTSD. And goofy, to boot. A newborn is not going to experience PTSD. As physicaly stressful as being squeezed through a birth canal must be, with the bony plates of the brain case being forced to slide over each other, it is a good thing. In fact, long term memory is barely functional for the first year of life, while the frontal cortex is being formed. It is called infantile amnesia. Humans are born instinctive beings.

    Hell, infants can’t even see clearly for weeks after birth. Humans are born with 20/400 vision. Your imaginary labcoat triggered bomb is just plain silly.

  179. #179 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Robster claims: “No, Van, you are ignorant of PTSD.”

    Quite the contrary.

    “And goofy, to boot.”

    Goofy sometimes, like all human beings. That might even include you. Ignorant no. Read THE LANCET, Volume 349 Number 9052: Pages 599-603,
    March 1, 1997. EFFECT OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION ON PAIN RESPONSE
    DURING SUBSEQUENT ROUTINE VACCINATION Anna Taddio, Joel Katz, A Lane Ilersich, Gideon Koren http://tinyurl.com/yad2ff

    “A newborn is not going to experience PTSD.”

    Sez you. Many adults have experienced PTSD from trauma in infancy. The scientific literature says so. Read “Neonatal Circumcision Reconsidered” John Rhinehart, M.D. (PTSD & circumcision) http://cirp.org/library/psych/rhinehart1 These early memories have been scientifically verified. Read CIRCUMCISION: THE HIDDEN TRAUMA.

    “As physicaly stressful as being squeezed through a birth canal must be, with the bony plates of the brain case being forced to slide over each other, it is a good thing.”

    And it’s normal, healthy human physiology and development. Of course it’s a good thing. At least humans think so. So are human and other mammalian foreskins good things. Birth and foreskins have been normal, healthy primate and mammalian physiology, development and anatomy for tens of millions of years. Infant circumcision is not healthy, normal human physiology and biological development and never has been and never will be. (I am almost certain you will not try to claim that it is.) It is an idiotic violation of well established human rights, permitted and done by ignorant, mistaken, frightened, superstitious, sometimes sick, compulsive, sadistic people.

    “In fact, long term memory is barely functional for the first year of life, ”

    Sez you. Memory of infancy is not readily or easily accssable for everyone, but so what? Many adults have remembered infant experiences including infant trauma including infant circumcision trauma. Read above. It isn’t a pleasant experience so most circumcised adults don’t remember it. Call it adult amnesia. Even if there is often or usually adult amnesia of infancy, that doesn’t prove that this “infant amnesia” can’t be overcome, just as other forms of adult amnesia can be overcome. Trauma is one of the best known producers of amnesia, the heavier the trauma the deeper the amnesia and the harder to recover from it is likely to be. Infant amnesia isn’t absolute. Should we be trying to make it absolute by traumatizing babies’ bodies and brains unnecessarily by mutilating their sex organs unnecessarily for life? Maybe that’s what infant circumcision is FOR, to make early memory more difficult. Some people not only remember infancy, birth and prenatal life. They remember past lives as well. Buddha, for example, was one of them. Is the real purpose of infant circumcision to help enforce religious doctrines and materialistic philosophies that say that we have only one life on this earth?

    Many adults prefer to BELIEVE that infants can’t feel pain. It’s a false belief, and has been demonstrated to be false scientifically, but many adults still believe it and use this false belief to try to justify to themselves and others that circumcising infants is fine. “They scream bloody murder but they can’t feel it so it’s ok for us to traumatize and mutilate them for life.” That’s idiocy.

    Many adults prefer to believe that adults can’t remember infant circumcision and birth and prenatal tramas, for understandable reasons of their own, but that doesn’t make these false beliefs true. Some people like Buddha would even include memories of past human and other kinds of lives in that list. I’m not claiming that past lives are real, mind you, or that they aren’t. I’m just observing an historical progression here. First British and U.S. medicine purposefully, consciously inflict genital pain and lifetime genital mutilation and sexual pleasure reduction on infants and children. Then a generation or two later medicine denies that infants can feel pain “because their myelin sheaths around their nerves aren’t developed yet”. (Never mind that at least some pain nerves don’t have myelin sheaths.) Then medicne says, “Well yes they do feel pain after all (AAP 1999) “as infants but it’s over in a few seconds, ok minutes, ok hours, ok days, ok a week or two” (when the pain can be and often is lifelong, but most children and adults repress it deeply and deny it vigorously; we don’t LIKE pain, most of us) “but when they get to be adults it doesn’t affect their abiltiy to experience penile sensations including sexual pleasure” (this lie has been scientifically disproved as well and the scientific proof will soon be published; see http://tinyurl.com/yga6nw ) “and they can’t remember infant pain as adults.”

    Lies. All lies. Even if any of it were actually true, what about the ADULT pain as adults. We can not only remember it, we can experience it. Every day of our lives. Physical pain for many of us and emotional, mental and spiritual pain for many of us.

    At best, your assertions above are unsupported assumptions for the untruth of which there is now and has been for a long time good scientific evidence. So if the scientifically unsupported assertions that memory does not go back into infancy, into birth, into the womb are untrue, I believe that the scientifically unsupported assertion that memory does not go back into past lives, human and perhaps otherwise, may also be false.

    Count me a skeptic in the group. Your cultural origins and materialist or other religious philosophies do not determine reality, in this life or any other. “I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my past life either!”

    Robster: “while the frontal cortex is being formed.”

    More primitive brain parts are formed earlier and damaged by circumcision itself. Early childhood trauma damages many developing brain parts though, even parts developing after the traumtizing event itself is long past. I’ve already given you that reference which you dismissed pretty much out of hand (you apparently only read enough to determine that the researchers failed to include circumcision status and trauma in their analysis. An “oversight” perhaps due to the fact that the lead researcher is Jewish and that the rest are probably culturally blinded and/or otherwise intimidated consciously or otherwise? And now accuse me of being anti-Semitic if you like. I have been. Another lie.) without competent investigation probably because you preferred to. Your preferred beliefs do not control what reality is.

    “It is called infantile amnesia.”

    Even if adults could not remember infantile trauma – and some at least can, that has been demonstrated by multiple independent researchers – amnesia after the event does not justify human rights violations. Giving a woman a heavy dose of a date rape drug or multiple drugs (or a light dose) so she won’t remember what you do to her (mix in some alcohol, that’ll help a lot) doesn’t make raping her ok.

    You know very little about infant humans. I know that because all human beings know very little about infant humans, relative to what is potentially knowable.

    “Hell, infants can’t even see clearly for weeks after birth. Humans are born with 20/400 vision. Your imaginary labcoat triggered bomb is just plain silly.”

    Sez you. Your assertions are just plain silly. Sez me.

  180. #180 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Robster claims: “No, Van, you are ignorant of PTSD.”

    Quite the contrary.

    “And goofy, to boot.”

    Goofy sometimes, like all human beings. That might even include you. Ignorant no. Read THE LANCET, Volume 349 Number 9052: Pages 599-603,
    March 1, 1997. EFFECT OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION ON PAIN RESPONSE
    DURING SUBSEQUENT ROUTINE VACCINATION Anna Taddio, Joel Katz, A Lane Ilersich, Gideon Koren http://tinyurl.com/yad2ff

    “A newborn is not going to experience PTSD.”

    Sez you. Many adults have experienced PTSD from trauma in infancy. The scientific literature says so. Read “Neonatal Circumcision Reconsidered” John Rhinehart, M.D. (PTSD & circumcision) http://cirp.org/library/psych/rhinehart1 These early memories have been scientifically verified. Read CIRCUMCISION: THE HIDDEN TRAUMA.

    “As physicaly stressful as being squeezed through a birth canal must be, with the bony plates of the brain case being forced to slide over each other, it is a good thing.”

    And it’s normal, healthy human physiology and development. Of course it’s a good thing. At least humans think so. So are human and other mammalian foreskins good things. Birth and foreskins have been normal, healthy primate and mammalian physiology, development and anatomy for tens of millions of years. Infant circumcision is not healthy, normal human physiology and biological development and never has been and never will be. (I am almost certain you will not try to claim that it is.) It is an idiotic violation of well established human rights, permitted and done by ignorant, mistaken, frightened, superstitious, sometimes sick, compulsive, sadistic people.

    “In fact, long term memory is barely functional for the first year of life, ”

    Sez you. (To be continued)

  181. #181 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Continued from earlier post:

    Sez you. Memory of infancy is not readily or easily accssable for everyone, but so what? Many adults have remembered infant experiences including infant trauma including infant circumcision trauma. Read above. It isn’t a pleasant experience so most circumcised adults don’t remember it. Call it adult amnesia. Even if there is often or usually adult amnesia of infancy, that doesn’t prove that this “infant amnesia” can’t be overcome, just as other forms of adult amnesia can be overcome. Trauma is one of the best known producers of amnesia, the heavier the trauma the deeper the amnesia and the harder to recover from it is likely to be. Infant amnesia isn’t absolute. Should we be trying to make it absolute by traumatizing babies’ bodies and brains unnecessarily by mutilating their sex organs unnecessarily for life? Maybe that’s what infant circumcision is FOR, to make early memory more difficult. Some people not only remember infancy, birth and prenatal life. They remember past lives as well. Buddha, for example, was one of them. Is the real purpose of infant circumcision to help enforce religious doctrines and materialistic philosophies that say that we have only one life on this earth?

    Many adults prefer to BELIEVE that infants can’t feel pain. It’s a false belief, and has been demonstrated to be false scientifically, but many adults still believe it and use this false belief to try to justify to themselves and others that circumcising infants is fine. “They scream bloody murder but they can’t feel it so it’s ok for us to traumatize and mutilate them for life.” That’s idiocy.

    Many adults prefer to believe that adults can’t remember infant circumcision and birth and prenatal tramas, for understandable reasons of their own, but that doesn’t make these false beliefs true. Some people like Buddha would even include memories of past human and other kinds of lives in that list. I’m not claiming that past lives are real, mind you, or that they aren’t. I’m just observing an historical progression here. First British and U.S. medicine purposefully, consciously inflict genital pain and lifetime genital mutilation and sexual pleasure reduction on infants and children. Then medicine denies that infants can feel pain because their myelin sheaths around their nerves aren’t developed yet. (Never mind that at least some pain nerves don’t have them.) Then medicne says well yes they do feel pain after all as infants but it’s over in a few seconds, ok minutes, ok hours, ok days, ok a week or two (when the pain can be and often is lifelong, but most children and adults repress it deeply; we don’t LIKE pain, most of us) but when they get to be adults it doesn’t affect their abiltiy to experience penile sensations including sexual pleasure (this lie has been scientifically disproved as well and the scientific proof will soon be published; see http://tinyurl.com/yga6nw ) and they can’t remember the pain.

    Lies. All lies.

    At best, unsupported assumptions for the untruth of which there is now and has been for a long time good scientific evidence. So if the scientifically unsupported assertions that memory does not go back into infancy, into birth, into the womb are untrue, I believe that the scientifically unsupported assertion that memory does not go back into past lives, human and perhaps otherwise, may also be false.

    Count me a skeptic in the group. Your cultural origins and materialist or other religious philosophies do not determine reality, in this life or any other. “I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my past life either!”

    Robster: “while the frontal cortex is being formed.”

    More primitive brain parts are formed earlier and damaged by circumcision itself. Early childhood trauma damages many developing brain parts though, even parts developing after the traumtizing event itself is long past. I’ve already given you that reference which you dismissed pretty much out of hand (you apparently only read enough todetermine that the researchers didn’t include circumcision status in their analysis. An “oversight” perhaps due to the fact that the lead researcher is Jewish? And now accuse me of being anti-Semitic if you like. I have been. Another lie.) without competent investigation because you prefered to. Your prefered beliefs do not control what reality is.

    “It is called infantile amnesia.”

    Even if adults could not remember infantile trauma – and some at least can, that has been demonstrated by multiple independent researchers – amnesia after the event does not justify human rights violations. Giving a woman a heavy dose of a date rape drug or multiple drugs (or a light dose) so she won’t remember what you do to her (mix in some alcohol, that’ll help a lot) doesn’t make raping her ok.

    You know very little about infant humans. I know that because all human beings know very little about infant humans, relative to what is potentially knowable.

    “Hell, infants can’t even see clearly for weeks after birth. Humans are born with 20/400 vision. Your imaginary labcoat triggered bomb is just plain silly.”

    Sez you. Your assertions are just plain silly. Sez me.

  182. #182 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    Maggie says: “Van. I will answer briefly, but to be honest, I refuse to read your entire rant.”

    Thank you for calling my hard work to save babies’ lives a “rant”.

    “I walk away from ANYONE who screams at me, whether they are right or wrong.”

    I have never screamed at you. I have never even met you. I WROTE what I said to you and others here. I didn’t even scream in the privacy of my own home. Now if CAPITALIZING is “screaming”, you screamed too. “”I walk away from ANYONE …”

    ” I am an adult, I do not need to be screamed at.”

    At least some of the babies you helped traumatize and mutilate for life without medical justification must have had a different opinion on that subject.

    “Answers: Yes, as a nurse I assisted with circumcisions.”

    Thank you for your confession. That’s the first step. Congratulations. Honestly. I hope you will continue to investigate this. Nurses for the Rights of the Child (NRC) can help you. They are nurses who used to assist at circumcisions, too. I know the founders and love them deeply for their courage and honesty and their determined defense of babies and children from this unnecesssary harm. You seem to have some of those fine human qualities as well. Thank you. Read what they have to say about it. It’ll break your kind heart. http://tinyurl.com/ymzvks

    “No, I never saw a baby “scream hysterically”. ”

    I did, and I have seen only two circumcisions in the flesh in my whole life. How many have you seen? I “saw” (although I believe from my memories of it that my eyes were tight shut during most of the procedure) my own and the one I described for you while (you say) I was “shouting” (over the baby in order to be heard) although I have seen and heard many on video. Did you read my entire description of the circumcision I saw or did you bail out sooner? How much did you read, exactly?

    My mother heard my older brother scream from far down the hall when he was born in 1941 and the hospitals didn’t yet have the money to build sound-proof circumcision rooms like they do now so parents and others can’t hear the babies screaming hysterically, which they do regularly, about once every 26 seconds in this insane country. Hear and see one doing so at intact.ca You Tube just recently censored a baby screaming because it was so disturbing to so many people, maybe the very one you can hear and see at intact.ca There are others available on the web. The truth about the babies screaming will not remain hidden for long now. Oh. I think the one on intact.ca is even anesthetized. DIdn’t stop him screaming. I guess they forgot to jam a sugar water or a pacifier in his mouth beforehand so he couldn’t scream.

    “To be honest, …”

    Thank you.

    “… most of the babies cried at being restrained in the circ board; ”

    Yes, most of them cry then, too, even before the clamping and cutting begin. Arrest without warrant is illegal. Kidnapping is illegal. Restraint without valid cause is upsetting to people, even babies. They’re smarter than we give them credit for.

    “… if we offered them either sugar water or a pacifier they usually stopped.”

    They have an automatic sucking reflex at that age. They have no choice. They HAVE to suck when you stick something in their mouths. Great way to shut up a baby you’re abusing. I didn’t say you INTENDED (sorry, “intended”) to abuse the baby. I don’t think you would do that. But your intentions do not determine whether you abused the baby. They only determine whether you intended to. I don’t think you did, in your own mind and heart. I think you did in reality. Unfortunately for him, the baby was the one left to deal with the reality of the trauma and abuse and mutilation for the rest of his life. All you have to deal with is your own mind. Nobody held you down and mutilated your sex organs for life and thought it was ok becaused they stuffed a pacifier in your mouth while you were screaming your guts out (I’ve read that some babies rupture their stomachs from crying so hard during circumcsions) and you had to quit crying and start sucking because your body made you do it even when maybe you would have preferred to keep crying and do so more and more hysterically until people stopped chopping up your only sex organs for life without medical justification just because your ignorant, confused, stressed out parents asked or begged them to or just because they secretly wanted to because they were sadistic mysoginists (and misandrists?) who hated girls (and bosy?) and wanted them to have probably unknown but real and damaging sex problems for the rest of their lives.

    “Some cried during the actual procedure, some didn’t.”

    The one I saw didn’t cry after he was knocked unconcious by the multiple traumas, pains and mutilations he suffered, but then I’ve rarely seen unconscious people cry. Some babies go unconscious sooner in the process, some later, some not at all. They all go into shock and respond to it individually, some by screaming hysterically, some by crying and later dissociating and going silent (it can last 15 or 20 minutes; it’s hard to cry for 15 minutes straight; ever tried it?), some by dissociating in silence immediately. Quiet during circumcision doesn’t mean everything is ok.

    “Do I believe they were in pain? Yes.”

    Thank you. Of course they’re in pain. The scientific data says that the pain is comparable to what adults expereince during “extreme torture”. Circumcison IS torture. Torture is illegal. (Well, unless George Bush wants to torture you and you believe that the recently pased US law on the subject takes precedence over international treaty obligations voluntarily assumed by the USA.)

    “And I’m glad the practice now is to use some form of anesthesia.”

    That is probably NOT (woops, “not”) the majority practice now in the USA. It is the AAP P (there I go again) policy now, only since 1999. For 150 years they were either trying consciously to produce pain (torturing on purpose) of denying its reality (torturing unknowingly or on purpose and lying about it). Making busy ob/gyns obey pediatric policy (“what do THEY (damn; oh, that was the ob/gyns shouting, not me) know?”) is herding cats.

    “Would I have it done to a male child of mine? Not if not medically necessary.”

    Thank you. It is virtually never medically necessary to circumcise a child. It is NEVER medically necessary to circumcise a newborn child.

    “Would I push someone else to have it done to their infant? Never.”

    I am very grateful to you for that. Thank you. That is wonderful. Other doctors and nurses in the USA DO. (Darn!) They do.

    “Caledonian–I sure hope I NEVER work in the hospitals you know of.”

    Theere you go shouting again. I’ll keep reading (and writing) though. Please forgive me for this, but I hope you do work in such a hospital, so you can risk your job by complaining about the abuse of your fellow employees officially to the ethics department of the hospital. Marilyn Milos was fired from her nursing job for teaching parents truths about circumcing. That was hard on her but one of the best things every to happen for babies and children in this country and around the world. Check out nocirc.org Others nurses have been fired as well. Join NRC and help put an end to these illegal and disgusting abuses (you seem to feel that way about them too) of parents and babies and children by nurses and doctors. The good intentions don’t help the abused, tortured, mutilated babies and children much.

    “Circumcisions without parental consent or coorcion to have the procedure done I am TOTALLY against, and I have never seen it occur in all my years of practice.”

    You’re hurting my ears. :>) It occurs frequently in the USA. I don’t know where your personal, individual practice has been but if in the USA I’d have to say you have been very lucky.

    “Last thing: Just because I like to be as accurate as I can: current physician reimbursement for neonatal circumcision for a provider in My Wonderful State varies between $110-135. (Rates have been raised since I last checked) So I apologize for the inaccurate rates given above.”

    Thank you very much. Your badly out-of-date figures minimize incorrectly the financial incentive doctors have to circumcise healthy babies who don’t need circumcising (all of them). Even Thomas Wiswell, perhaps the nations’ second most obsessed infant circumcision advocate (after Edgar Schoen) says –

    (Hmmm. The quote is missing in action. I’m trying to find the exact quote for you. Should be coming right up very soon now. Stay tuned. It’s priceless.)

    Got it: Boston Globe, June 22, 1987:

    “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it,” says Wiswell. “Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”

    1987 was almost 20 years ago. Have medical costs have gone up since then?

    Nurses are usually good hearted people. That’s the way you seem to me. Thank you for your efforts to help suffering people. I see you as just one more victim of our cultural circumcision insanity. Culture is an extremely powerful force in forming human minds. I speak, for example, with a southern accent. I know it’s the finest English in existence, but that’s no credit to me. I just happen to have been lucky enough and blessed by God enough to have been born in the south. THAT’S (! hard to give up that shouting!) why I speak English with a southern accent. Not because I’m smarter than every one else. And that’s why we circucmise in the4 USA. Bewcause that’s the kind of culture we grew up in. It’s a good enough reason to sppeak English with a southern accent (hell, ANY reason is good enough for that) but it’s not a good enough reason to chop up normal, healthy babies. We shouldn’t look down on people who weren’t born in the south, by the way. We should teach them to speak correctly. (Have I made my case for the power of culture to seriously warp our very intelligent minds?)

    I hope you’ll unvictimize yourself and start standing up for human rights in medicine.

    “Rant” over. (For the moment.)

    Posted by: Maggie Rosethorn | December 1, 2006 05:22 PM

  183. #183 Van Lewis
    December 2, 2006

    The Journal of The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health published, in November 2005, a paper called “HIV infection and circumcision: cutting
    through the hyperbole”. It will be available soon on the internet and I will let you know when it is and where you can find it.

  184. #184 Seth Manapio
    December 3, 2006

    “Seth, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision does NOT reduce and may even INCREASE the transmission of sexual diseases, including AIDS. I mean, that’s a fact, and denying it doesn’t help your cause.”

    ——–

    Van. Read the original post. Note the date on the paper. You are just an embarrasment to your cause, you know? Ignorant, uncontrolled, unstructured, hysterical… get yourself together.

  185. #185 Robster
    December 3, 2006

    Many adults have remembered infant experiences including infant trauma including infant circumcision trauma. … Some people not only remember infancy, birth and prenatal life. They remember past lives as well.

    Nutters. Thanks for proving it. Newborns can feel pain, but the part of the brain that holds long term memory isn’t there yet.

    Found the article you tried to link to the first time.

    To quote the “Interpretation” section of the abstract…

    Circumcised infants showed a stronger pain response to subsequent routine vaccination than uncircumcised infants. Among the circumcised group, preoperative treatment with Emla attenuated the pain response to vaccination. We recommend treatment to prevent neonatal circumcision pain.

    There you go. More evidence that anaesthesia should be used in circumcision of newborns. No proof that there is an actual memory of the procedure or PTSD. The researchers hypothesised that better pain management during the postop period should be studied, further decreasing the later pain response. They also suggested that there may be an “infant analogue” to PTSD, but there was no proof, testing, or demonstration of this, or that is lasts into adulthood. It is unethical to claim otherwise.

    The second link (the first one linked here, too) in your four part, typicaly long diatribe was from a journal of a fringe neo-Freudian (itself nonscientific in basis) psychology group. The cases referred to in the article were examined with repressed memory therapy, which has little scientificly verified support, if any, and is rife with potential for implanting confabulated memories. Think of leading the witness. A list of a wide variety of symptoms for this problem are presented, making diagnosis assured. These individuals are likely suffering from something, but are subjected to pseudoscience instead of treatment. This article, quite simply, should be read with a grain of rock salt and heavy skepticism. I find it completely lacking in credibility.

    From the article, a moment of meta-woo:

    Finally, another provocative possibility is mentioned by Taoist Master Mantak Chia in his book Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (Chia with Winn, 1984, p. 243). He describes how the spot on a man’s penis that is sexually assaulted during circumcision is reflexively connected to his heart and lung energies. This suggests that, in addition to the effects described in the article, circumcision may have a negative effect on the more subtle energy fields in a man’s body around heart and lung function.

    Sort of like how stubbing a toe should fracture your kidneys if you believe in reflexology?

    And Oh my god, Doctors make money for doing things? How horrific! What next? Will taxi drivers expect to be paid for their service? (never mind that this claim is from Wiswell’s anti circ days, so linking it to his current position is inaccurate.

  186. #186 Van Lewis
    December 3, 2006

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06646.x

    BJU International
    Online Early
    doi:10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06646.x
    Volume 0 Issue 0

    The effect of male circumcision on sexuality
    DaiSik Kim and Myung-Geol Pang*
    OBJECTIVE
    To prospectively study, using a questionnaire, the sexuality of men circumcised as adults compared to uncircumcised men, and to compare their sex lives before and after circumcision.

    SUBJECTS AND METHODS
    The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. As the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory does not specifically address the quality of sex life, questions were added to compare sexual and masturbatory pleasure before and after circumcision.

    RESULTS
    There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.

    CONCLUSION
    There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings.

  187. #187 Van Lewis
    December 3, 2006

    Seth says: “Van. Read the original post”

    This one?

    Seth says,”Caledonian, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision reduces the trasmission of sexual diseases, including AIDS. I mean, thats a fact, and denying it doesn’t help your cause.”

    “Now, whether that is a sufficient reason to practice routine infant circumcision is, I think, open to debate. There is merit to the position that this is a decision that is better made by an adolescent or adult based on their own understanding of the culture they inhabit and their own behavior. I can think of a number of good reasons to think that this is so, all of them having to do with self-ownership, a concept I endorse strongly. There is also merit to the idea that parents are obligated to act in the best interests of their child, long term and short term. That is why I asked the question, is there any long term benefit to having a foreskin?”

    “Posted by: Seth Manapio | November 29, 2006 09:05 PM”

    I’ve read it completely and carefully at least twice. I haven’t commented on the whole thing yet. I can’t comment on everything in the universe, hard as I try, but I see no evidence in it of any references to back up your assertion that “current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision reduces …”. Are you referring to the Orange Farm study, news of which was published in August, 2005? The one The Lancet refused to publish? The one no peer-reviewed journal has published? The one so seriously ethically and otherwise flawed that when USAID found it had funded a clinic that was circumcising on the basis of this so-called “evidence” they cut off the funds?

    These frauds stopped the study early because they realized that the advantage the circumcised group had because they were out of commission sexually for a few weeks after their circumcisions while the intact group was not, became less and less significant as time went on and the circucmised group’s HIV rate was catching up with the intact group’s. By stopping early they could show an apparent advantage to circumcising that they realized was fast disappearing. They pressed hard to have the other two similar ongoing studies stopped early as well but fortunately the people in charge of them refused. We’ll see what happens with those and what flaws they contain and whether anyone chooses to publish them. Even if they prove conclusively (they will not) that circumcising consenting (if ignorant) adults protects them from HIV transmission 100% and from hangnail too, that will not justify one involuntary circumcision anywhere in the world, and certainly not any circumcisions of minors.

    On the other hand, I gave a reference to back up mine.

    Seth continues: “Note the date on the paper.”

    The paper I called attention to? November 2005? Later than the Orange Farm study.

    “You are just an embarrasment to your cause, you know?”

    What embarasses me is that otherwise intelligent and apparently caring human beings chop normal, healthy, functional, important body parts off of their own and other people’s babies and children, traumatize and damage them in the process, deny the trauma and damage, risk babies’ and children’s lives for nothing, kill some of them, and think they’re doing them a big favor. What I find embarassing is that some such people not only feel but even admit in public that they think they are better designers of human bodies than whatever gave them a human body in the first place. I think this is madness. I say so. Is that embarassing? You bet. But circumcisers SHOULD be embarrassed. Look what they’re doing! In the 21st century too. That’s VERY embarrassing, or should be, to EVERY human being.

    “Ignorant, uncontrolled, unstructured, hysterical… ”

    Thank you for the nasty names. Very enlightening.

    “… get yourself together.”

    My circumciser guaranteed that that would be impossible for me for the rest of my entire life. I lived a day or two or three out of the womb whole, complete, “together”. I’ve lived over 63.5 years since then partial. I’ve had a lot longer to think about this than you have. I think when you’re 63.5, maybe sooner, maybe a lot sooner, you may look back on these conversations and you’ll be the one who feels embarassed. I’ll be elsewhere.

    Of COURSE there are long term benefits to the foreskin, genius. Many. If there weren’t it wouldn’t be there and you probably wouldn’t be either, primarily long-term protective, immunological, sensory, sexual benefits. Study. Learn the anatomy. Learn the neuroanatomy. Learn how the normal structures function in the flaccid state, during erection, and in normal intercourse. It isn’t rocket science. You can understand it. I don’t mean that you couldn’t understand rocket science too. You probably could if you worked at it. That’s why I know you can understand sex organs. If you want to. Most genitally mutilated males however want very badly to misunderstand it. That’s rather easily accomplished. All you have to do is remain ignorant and in denial like most of the US population. You’ll get a lot of social encouragement for this. Move to Europe and see how much you get. Why do you think European men are in such demand by American women and have been for decades? Most of them have whole, normal penises, dude. Most American men do not. It ain’t my fault. Don’t blame me.

    cirp.org can help you a lot, in the event you actually study its content. So can circumstitions.com Here’s a good visual to get you started: http://circumstitions.com/Works.html There’s good information on this all over the web now. You really have to work hard to avoid it.

  188. #188 Van Lewis
    December 3, 2006

    Robster quoting Van: “Many adults have remembered infant experiences including infant trauma including infant circumcision trauma. … Some people not only remember infancy, birth and prenatal life. They remember past lives as well.”

    “Nutters.”

    That’s your opinion. You’re welcome to whatever philosophical/religious views you want to hold. You haven’t proved anything by calling those statements “nutters” except that you hold a particular unproven world view.

    “Thanks for proving it.”

    I didn’t. These people think they remember. People investigating their memories get corroboration from others who were adults at the time. You think they don’t remember. They have evidence. You don’t. And you say they are the “nutters”.

    “Newborns can feel pain, but the part of the brain that holds long term memory isn’t there yet.”

    It is a scientific theory that long-term memory is held in a particular part of the brain. There is evidence for it. Final proof? Not in. Final proof is hard to come by in science.

    “Found the article you tried to link to the first time. To quote the “Interpretation” section of the abstract…”

    “Circumcised infants showed a stronger pain response to subsequent routine vaccination than uncircumcised infants. Among the circumcised group, preoperative treatment with Emla attenuated the pain response to vaccination. We recommend treatment to prevent neonatal circumcision pain.”

    Robster: “There you go. More evidence that anaesthesia should be used in circumcision of newborns.”

    And strong evidence that newborns shouldn’t be circumcised in the first pace. They quit the study early because they found the evidence of severe pain so compelling that they thought it unethical to continue.

    “No proof that there is an actual memory of the procedure or PTSD.”

    Proof that children circumcised have a lower pain-threshold for at least some time afterwards and that they experience and behave differently than children not so traumatized. Helps connect the dots with psychiatric reports in the literature that do demonstrate ptsd from infant circumcision.

    “The researchers hypothesised that better pain management during the postop period should be studied, further decreasing the later pain response. They also suggested that there may be an “infant analogue” to PTSD, but there was no proof, testing, or demonstration of this, or that is lasts into adulthood. It is unethical to claim otherwise.”

    The evidence for adult ptsd from infant circumcision is in the psychological and psychiatric literature. I have given you a couple of the references. What’s seriously unethical is damaging babies and risking babies lives by cutting off their healthy, normal body parts without medical justification. That’s not just unethical. It’s insane.

    “The second link (the first one linked here, too) in your four part, typicaly long diatribe was from a journal of a fringe neo-Freudian (itself nonscientific in basis) psychology group. The cases referred to in the article were examined with repressed memory therapy, which has little scientificly verified support, if any, and is rife with potential for implanting confabulated memories. Think of leading the witness. A list of a wide variety of symptoms for this problem are presented, making diagnosis assured. These individuals are likely suffering from something, but are subjected to pseudoscience instead of treatment.”

    And what would scientific treatment be? Drugs? Electro-shock “therapy”? Lobotomy?

    “This article, quite simply, should be read with a grain of rock salt and heavy skepticism. I find it completely lacking in credibility.”

    The bottom line is that the advocates for cutting off heathy body parts from other people have the burden of proof. In 150 years of their madness, they haven’t given it to us. Until proved otherwise, circucmising healthy infants and children is a sex crime. If this were not already a circumcising culture, anyone trying to get it instituted broadly would be either laughed out of medicine or jailed.

    “From the article, a moment of meta-woo:

    “Finally, another provocative possibility is mentioned by Taoist Master Mantak Chia in his book Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (Chia with Winn, 1984, p. 243). He describes how the spot on a man’s penis that is sexually assaulted during circumcision is reflexively connected to his heart and lung energies. This suggests that, in addition to the effects described in the article, circumcision may have a negative effect on the more subtle energy fields in a man’s body around heart and lung function.”

    That is, in scientific terms, not “meta-woo”, but hypothesis. You have not proved it untrue. Therefore, scientifically, it is in the category of unproven hypotheses, not “meta-woo”. There is no such scientific category.

    “Sort of like how stubbing a toe should fracture your kidneys if you believe in reflexology?”

    I’m not a student of reflexology and couldn’t tell you.

    “And Oh my god, Doctors make money for doing things? How horrific!”

    Civilized countries pay doctors in different, more rational ways than we do that do not give them enormous financial incentives to continue unproven, damaging, sometimes lethal 19th century quackery.

    “What next? Will taxi drivers expect to be paid for their service?”

    Possibly. We should be on guard against this frightening possibility. You should never have suggested it in public like this. Who knows, you already may have set off a worldwide nefarious conspiracy.

    “… (never mind that this claim is from Wiswell’s anti circ days, so linking it to his current position is inaccurate.”

    It’s not a “claim”. It’s a direct quote from an article in the Boston Globe, one he has never denied making.

    When did Wiswell flip-flop, by the way?

    Posted by: Robster | December 3, 2006 03:53 PM

  189. #189 Van Lewis
    December 3, 2006

    And as for the more recent Fergusson study that Tara points to, read some criticism of it:

    http://circumstitions.com/STDs.html#fergusson
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/118/5/1971

    Fergusson says, “… we are of the view that it would be premature to use our findings to promote the view that circumcision reduces risks of less severe forms of STI, until further research clarifying this issue is conducted.” and “… our views coincide closely with those of the American Academy of Pediatrics (11), that the evidence as it stands currently is not sufficiently compelling to advocate routine circumcision …”

  190. #190 Seth Manapio
    December 3, 2006

    “Seth says: “Van. Read the original post”

    This one?

    Seth says,”Caledonian, current evidence strongly suggests that circumcision reduces…

    =========

    No Van. The one at the top of the page that Tara wrote. The post we are all commenting on. In Blogspeak, the OP, or Original Post. The one you clearly haven’t read, which is among the many reasons why I call you an embarrassment to your cause.

  191. #191 Van Lewis
    December 4, 2006

    The Lancet warns us about CA-MRSA (see below), and Doctors Opposing Circumcision warn us that MRSA has already infected and harmed circumcised boys in hospitals (see the photos). Boys are at greater risk than girls because we cut their penises and amputate normal, healthy, useful body parts from them without medical justification. Subjecting boys to these serious risks unnecessarily is unethical.

    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/DOC/mrsa.html

    “… Circumcision long has been known to increase the risk of S. aureus infection in newborn boys. The advent of epidemic CA-MRSA dramatically worsens the risks associated with Staphylococcus infection because:
    the presence of CA-MRSA in epidemic proportions increases the chance of an infant being infected with MRSA by caregivers.
    the threat to health is escalated beyond that posed by methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) if an infant should be infected.
    the risk of death is increased. …”

    Lancet Infect Dis2005; 5: 275-86

    Community-acquired meticillin-resistant
    Staphylococcusaureus: an emerging threat

    Nicola Zetola, John S Francis, Eric L Nuermberger, William R Bishai
    Community-acquired meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) is becoming an important public-health problem. New strains of S aureus displaying unique combinations of virulence factors and resistance traits have been associated with high morbidity and mortality in the community. Outbreaks of epidemic furunculosis and cases of severe invasive pulmonary infections in young, otherwise healthy people have been particularly noteworthy. We review the characteristics of these new strains of community-acquired MRSA that have contributed to their pathogenicity and discuss new approaches to the diagnosis and management of suspected and confirmed community-acquired MRSA infections.

    Conclusions
    New strains of MRSAhave evolved in the community,
    with unique combinations of virulence factors and
    resistance traits that confer distinct advantages for
    colonisation and pathogenesis. Clinicians must be
    aware of the wide and, in some cases, unique spectrum
    of disease caused by community-acquired MRSA.
    Continued emergence of MRSA in the community is a
    public-health problem that warrants increased
    vigilance in the diagnosis and management of
    suspected and confirmed staphylococcal infections.

  192. #192 Seth Manapio
    December 4, 2006

    The Lancet warns us about CA-MRSA (see below), and Doctors Opposing Circumcision warn us that MRSA has already infected and harmed circumcised boys in hospitals

    ————

    Point. But aren’t these infections grouped in with stats on all post operative infections?

  193. #193 Robster
    December 4, 2006

    If there weren’t it wouldn’t be there and you probably wouldn’t be either, primarily long-term protective, immunological, sensory, sexual benefits.

    Organisms are constantly evolving, and while the foreskin has served a protective purpose in the past, but at some point, humans started wearing soft, woven clothes. We no longer needed a foreskin for physical protection. Because there is no strong selective pressure to lose the foreskin, loss or a decrease in size of the structure simply won’t occur. Consider the appendix.

    Does the foreskin serve an immunological role? Absolutely. The structure that the foreskin has taken, less kerratin than surrounding tissue, along with dendritic monitoring cells. But we did not evolve in a vacuum. Survival of the fitness is a constant battle between species and a struggle agaist the environment. These two adaptations have produced a physiological target for infection by HIV, HPV (which infects cells distant from the dendritic cells), or any infectious agent that can overcome the local immune system. In fact, the presence of high levels of neurons, combined with a decreased keratin barrier, provides a fertile bed for herpesvirus infection.

    The sexual benefits of the foreskin are of questionable importance to the organism, as circumcised individuals reproduce just fine without the foreskin. It does not improve the fitness of the species, except to more easily reach orgasm, offering protection from attack by predators, protective mates, etc.

    ———-

    Past life memories have no place in science. They are unprovable fantasies with no root in medical or physical science, but do have a basis for those who need to feel more important. Recovered memories from infancy are created, as the structure for memory forming is not complete at the time. And it is a good thing that very little of our brains are developed, or our skulls would be too big to pass through the birth canal. That some Ca2+ channels are enriched in certain parts of the brain for an undetermined period of time in infants circumcised without proper pain management is a valuable bit of info, but is not the basis for actual memory.

    And if you want to dispute visual acuity in newborns, it isn’t me to argue with, it is the medical community.

    Taoist concepts of the body, similarly, are ascientific (spiritual “energy” is not measurable, but in taoist sexual philosophy is present in semen). I was disappointed, but not surprised that the author of the second paper combined multiple strains of woo and magical thinking. No scientist should accept this paper as being of any use. Some of the patients should have recieved evidence based medical counseling and drug therapy appropriate for their particular condition. Instead, they recieved potentially dangerous approval and affirmation of their beliefs, possibly including implanted, “recovered” memories.

  194. #194 Van Lewis
    December 4, 2006

    Seth: “No Van. The one at the top of the page that Tara wrote. The post we are all commenting on. In Blogspeak, the OP, or Original Post. The one you clearly haven’t read, …”

    Seth, with the lead author of the study Tara wrote about agreeing with intactivists critical of his anomolous work

    http://circumstitions.com/STDs.html#fergusson
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/118/5/1971

    that “it would be premature to use our findings to promote the view that circumcision reduces risks of less severe forms of STI” and “the evidence as it stands currently is not sufficiently compelling to advocate routine circumcision”, I couldn’t imagine that you were still pushing it. It is an anomalous study with relatively few subjects. Others with far larger samples find little or no association between circumcision status and sti, except the Laumann report in 1997 that found NO chlamidia in intact men and 26 cases in circucmised. An interesting paragraph from that report:

    “Several instructive features of the data presented in Table 2 deserve attention. First, circumcision status does not appear to lower the likelihood of contracting an STD. Rather, the opposite pattern holds. Circumcised men were slightly more likely to have had both a bacterial and a viral STD in their lifetime. While these differences are not statistically significant, they do not lend support to the thesis that circumcision helps prevent the contraction of STDs. Indeed, for chlamydia, the difference between circumcised men and uncircumcised men is quite large. While 26 of 1033 circumcised men had contracted chlamydia in their lifetime, none of the 353 uncircumcised men reported having had it.”

    Any you never respond to the ethics issue. You, like many mutilated men in the world, still seem completely obsessed with finding some medical justification for mutilating the sex organs of healthy babies, when there is none and CAN BE none. Even your heros like Fergusson agree that after 150 years of this madness the medical evidence for it still isn’t there. And even if it were, that still would not justify unnecessarily circumcising healthy PEOPLE (other than oneself) without their permission. Chopping up other people’s bodies without their permission preemptively WITH medical evidence is unethical. Doing it WITHOUT, is criminal insanity.

    “… which is among the many reasons why I call you an embarrassment to your cause.”

    Some people may be embarrassed by me. That’s their right. But I don’t go around mutilating other people’s sex organs, thereby damaging them for life, risking their lives unnecessarily and killing some of them, all without medical justification and without their permission. Get a grip, Seth. Have you no sense of proportion?

    It’s like the Titanic is sinking and you are complaining about the deck chair arrangements. Help with the lifeboats, genius! And remember, women and childen first! You may drown, but at least you can have the satisfaction of dying having helped others avoid the cold and dark at the bottom of the ocean. Don’t try to drag everybody else down the same hole you’re destined for.

  195. #195 Van Lewis
    December 4, 2006

    Seth: “Point.”

    Thank you for admitting it. Did you see the photos on the DOC site? Is what you’re trying to achieve by circumcising worth risking doing that to your child?

    “But aren’t these infections grouped in with stats on all post operative infections?”

    I pointed to two different sites. I don’t know if your question refers to one of them or both, and if so what exactly you are asking about, or neither. Can you be a little more specific?

  196. #196 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Robster quoting Van: “If there weren’t it wouldn’t be there and you probably wouldn’t be either, primarily long-term protective, immunological, sensory, sexual benefits.”

    Robster: “Organisms are constantly evolving, and while the foreskin has served a protective purpose in the past, …”

    And does in the present serve multiple protective purposes.

    “… but at some point, humans started wearing soft, woven clothes. ”

    Those “soft,woven clothes torture raw, unnecessarily and newly exposed glandes.

    “We no longer needed a foreskin for physical protection.”

    False data. Don’t buy it. Foreskins help protect against abrasion of clothes. Glandes are not made to rub against anything but mucosal tissues like the inner foreskin and the vaginal wall. Foreskins help protect against cold, too. As someone who has suffered frostbite of the glans penis (a minor event, thankfully, March 1969, northern Arizona on I-10 west of Arizona in a blinding snowstorm with a flat tire in a VW bus with friends. I was the hero who finally broke the last lug nut loose [one of the high points of my otherwise often pretty puny life; never been known for my physical strength but that night I damn sure wansn't going to freeze to death if I could possibly help it, but the end of my penis DID freeze to the inside of the metal button in my Levis 501s as I discovered much to my surprise and fright when I finally got back in the bus and took my pants off to get in bed and warm up] and finished changing the tire so we didn’t all freeze to death on the road and made it in to Gallup and spent the night in the warm jail; thanks guys), I can tell you that people who say we don’t need foreskin protection these days and therefore it’s ok to risk other people’s lives without their permission by chopping them off without medical justification are insane. I’m serious. They will tell you ANY lie they can dream up to try to convince you that their own mutilated penis is normal and “just fine, didn’t hurt me none”. They lie. The lie to themselves and they’ll lie to you and they’ll lie to the world. That’s how deep this sickness is. They think, and this one has even said, that they are better designers of the penis than are the genes they carry in their own bodies. Talk about WOO-WOO!

    “Because there is no strong selective pressure to lose the foreskin, loss or a decrease in size of the structure simply won’t occur. Consider the appendix.”

    I have. The appendix and the tonsils and the thymus gland and the spleen and the foreskin and probably a lot of other organs were ALL judged by medical science at one time to have no function in the human body and were regarded and often treated as expendable. All false data. The US medical profession used to excise tonsils and appendixes prophylactically. I know a doctor who amputated a woman’s uterus because he thought she didn’t need it and he’d just take it out while he was in there. Didn’t ask her at all. He did the same thing to my sister’s appendix. He thought he was a better designer of their bodies than their genes were. The man was a nut case. As nutty as Robster or maybe even more so. He DID what Robster only talks about doing, but the mind set is the same. All of these organs are essential to human wholeness and completeness. They all have important physiological functions to perform, in present time, not just in the past. The appendix is not an appendix.

    “Does the foreskin serve an immunological role? Absolutely. The structure that the foreskin has taken, less kerratin than surrounding tissue, along with dendritic monitoring cells. But we did not evolve in a vacuum. Survival of the fitness is a constant battle between species and a struggle agaist the environment. These two adaptations have produced a physiological target for infection by HIV, HPV (which infects cells distant from the dendritic cells), or any infectious agent that can overcome the local immune system. In fact, the presence of high levels of neurons, combined with a decreased keratin barrier, provides a fertile bed for herpesvirus infection.”

    Against which there is now an effective vaccine, I hear. So all the parents who circucmised their sons to prevent them getting herpes from sex with an infected partner 15 or 20 years from now have done a more expensive, more damaging, more invasive procedure than necessary to solve a problem that won’t occur for at least a decade and a half and probably never will occur anyway, even without the vaccine. Just plain dumb, if you ask me. Are we going to cut our baby girls breasts off to prevent them from getting breast cancer when they’re 50? Not my girls, you don’t, you arrogant maniacs.

    “The sexual benefits of the foreskin are of questionable importance to the organism, …”

    The sexual benefits of the breast are of questionable benefit to the organism, therfore let’s do our preventive mastectomies.

    “… as circumcised individuals reproduce just fine without the foreskin.”

    Mothers can just feed their babies formula. It’s gotten a lot better than it used to be. What do they need breasts for anyway? I’m a better designer of human bodies than whoever or whatever gave them these formerly funcional breasts. Sure, they used to do some good when we were just primitive animals running through the briars and brambles but that was back before US corporate interests took over infant feeding. Now do you know what is the single most likely factor associated with breast cancer? HAVING BREASTS, dummie! OFF with ‘em!

    “It does not improve the fitness of the species, …”

    Certainly female breasts are THOUSANDS of times more dangerous to women than foreskins are to men and women combined. Let’s spend our medical money effectively. After we treat all the truly SERIOUS defects in human design, starting with amputating all those dangerous and additionally distracting female breasts (WHY CAN’T A WOMAN BE MORE LIKE A MAN?), then maybe we can come back and deal with the triffles like foreskins. And let’s be sure to get the female foreskins while we’re at it.

    “…except to more easily reach orgasm, …”

    Breasts aren’t really good for anything either in these modern, advanced days except to help women more easily reach orgasm. (Huuh?)

    More false data. Every circumcison is individual. Many circumcised men suffer premature ejaculation, many suffer delayed.

    “… offering protection from attack by predators, protective mates, etc.”

    You have really gone off the deep end. Talk about fantasy.

    ———-

    “Past life memories have no place in science.”

    Carl Jung said in his book, MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS, that psychological phenomena are often considered completely subjective, but that this idea is an error. Psychological phenomena that are found to be the same in multiple or many people must be considered, he said, psychologically objective, and therefore subject to scientific investigation. Past life memories are psychological phenomena. They occur in multiple people. They are proper subjects of scientific investigation. To say they have “no place in science” is to have an impoverished and incorrect view of science.

    “They are unprovable fantasies …”

    Sez you. You have not proved your assertion. I think it an incorrect one.

    “… with no root in medical or physical science, …”

    Wrong again, sez me. Historically, trauma is not only individual trauma, it is also group trauma and, in theory anyway, therefore subject to scientific investigation. Difficult? Maybe so. Science isn’t always easy. But it isn’t the naysayers and dogmatists in science like you that move science forward.

    “… but do have a basis for those who need to feel more important.”

    Whether true or not for any particular person, that has no bearing on the question of whether people, or some people, lead multiple human lives. Scientifically that question is not yet answered. At least as far as most people are concerned. People have philosophical and religious convictions one way and other. No problem, except when they start trying to claim that their religion is science. It ain’t.

    “Recovered memories from infancy are created, ”

    Sez you. Another unproved assertion.

    “… as the structure for memory forming is not complete at the time.”

    Again, it is a current scientific theory you are espousing as if it were an established fact.

    “And it is a good thing that very little of our brains are developed, or our skulls would be too big to pass through the birth canal.”

    You mean nature got something right in the development of the human body? I can’t believe you would think such a preposterous thing.

    “That some Ca2+ channels are enriched in certain parts of the brain for an undetermined period of time in infants circumcised without proper pain management”

    There is no such thing a proper pain management for circucmised infants. The only proper pain management is to not circumcise them in the first place. Then you don’t have to fail to manage their pain properly. You simply don’t create the pain in the first place. That is the obvious proper action here. No action. No medically unjustified cutting.

    “… is a valuable bit of info, but is not the basis for actual memory.”

    Your religion, materialism, says memory is a brain product. Other religions have different views of where memory resides. Your own world view is a very seductive one. That doesn’t mean it is correct. Science has not proved it correct. It may be correct, or partially correct, and it may not be. But one thing we know we can count on you for; arrogance. When we’re in short supply, we know where to get it and plenty of it.

    “And if you want to dispute visual acuity in newborns, it isn’t me to argue with, it is the medical community.”

    The scientific community is learning a lot more all the time about the sensory and intellectual capabilities of babies. They may have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of. To assert that infants can’t see better than 20/400 and so therefore could never react to a doctor in later life based on pain inflicted by a doctor in earlier life is unproven assertion. I think it’s very likely wrong. Wishful thinking for a person contemplating mutilating other people’s sex organs for life.

    “Taoist concepts of the body, similarly, are ascientific (spiritual “energy” is not measurable, but in taoist sexual philosophy is present in semen). I was disappointed, but not surprised that the author of the second paper combined multiple strains of woo and magical thinking. No scientist should accept this paper as being of any use.”

    Wow. I thought the paper amazingly interesting. You seem to have a real need to discourage everybody else from reading it. “NO scientist…ANY use.” It’s a wonderful paper. Your problem with it is that it brings you face to face with yourself as a baby being genitally mutilated. What if you’re justy flat WRONG about no infant memory being available to adults? What if adults really CAN re-experience in totality their entire infant circumcision? What if it can happen AT ANY MOMENT and all the controls that we adults normally have that prevent that from happening can crumble in a moment? Wouldn’t THAT be scary? You’re back there suddenly, where you were then, and EVERY millisecond of every sensation and thought you had at the time is suddenly available and replays again just as it was then and you are, again, helpless, completely helpless to stop it. All you can do is scream and thrash about for 15 minutes straight. I’ve heard it really happens this way sometimes. (Oh no. Couldn’t be. MUSTN’T be, rather.)

    “Some of the patients should have recieved evidence based medical counseling and drug therapy appropriate for their particular condition. Instead, they recieved potentially dangerous approval and affirmation of their beliefs, possibly including implanted, “recovered” memories.”

    So now you’re ready to practice medicine without a license? I’m not surprised. Arrogance takes fools in where angels fear to tread.

  197. #197 Seth Manapio
    December 5, 2006

    “Seth, with the lead author of the study Tara wrote about agreeing with intactivists critical of his anomolous work”

    ———-

    The conclusion of the paper, from your link: “CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest that uncircumcised males are at greater risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infection than circumcised males. Male circumcision may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection acquisition and transmission by up to one half, suggesting substantial benefits accruing from routine neonatal circumcision.“, and also that “on the basis of all of the available evidence (not just our study), the case for routine circumcision was more finely balanced than admitted by critics of circumcision.”

    Its pretty clear that the authors believe that their “findings suggest a relatively strong association between circumcision status and STI.” Which is exactly what I said earlier, that the evidence strongly suggestst that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually trasmitted diseases, in particular HIV.

    So, no, Ferguson does not agree with the critiques of his work from intactivists. He also doesn’t advocate routine neonatal circumcision, but I never suggested that he did, either. He suggests that the case may be much stronger than people like you want to admit, which is pretty much my position.

    My earlier point is that complications from post operative MRSA infection would be grouped into other complications stats, suggesting low, but not neccessarily acceptable, risk.

  198. #198 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    But ENOUGH of all this talk! Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!

    How about having a LOOK? Stop thinking about it and talking about it as if you already knew all there is to know about it and just LOOK at it for once. Listen to it. Let it come into YOU instead of you always trying to tell everybody else what it is and isn’t. Let the babies tell YOU what it is.

    Here’s one:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8212662920114237112 .

    Over the last couple of months, MGMbill.org has been working with the creators of five different circumcision films to make clips from them available online. The video clips now available are from
       
    Birth As We Know It: Circumcision:

    The Foreskin: 15 Square Inches of Erogenous Tissue (from Whose Body, Whose Rights?)

    Facing Circumcision: Eight Physicians Tell Their Stories:

    The Nurses of St. Vincent

    They Cut Babies, Don’t They?

    All of these videos can be accessed from a single page at http://www.mgmbill.org/multimedia.htm, and identical versions are available on YouTube, MySpace, Google Video, and Yahoo Video (see each video page for links to those sites).

    Special thanks go out to Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, Tim Hammond, Betty Katz Sperlich, Barry Ellsworth, and Nigel Hunt for allowing MGMbill.org to share their important films with the rest of the world.

  199. #199 Seth Manapio
    December 5, 2006

    “They may have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of.”

    ——–

    And I may be a sky god in an alternate realm, where all must bow before my mighty uncircumsized penis… a realm I could connect to in my dreams, if only that I had my precious foreskin.

    I mean, sure. There may be a flying spaghetti monster, too.

    But so far, evidence suggests not for all three of these claims.

  200. #200 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Seth quoting Van: “Seth, with the lead author of the study Tara wrote about agreeing with intactivists critical of his anomolous work”

    ———-

    Seth: “The conclusion of the paper, from your link: “CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest …”

    Not prove. Suggest to people susceptible to suggestion.

    “… that uncircumcised males are at greater risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infection than circumcised males. Male circumcision may …”

    i.e. may NOT

    “reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection acquisition and transmission by up to one half, suggesting …”

    again

    “… substantial benefits accruing from routine neonatal circumcision.”, and also that “on the basis of all of the available evidence (not just our study), …”

    Certainly not all studies. The ones with higher numbers show no such association. And association is not causation.

    “… the case for routine circumcision was more finely balanced than admitted by critics of circumcision.”

    If the case is “finely balanced” YOU DON’T DO IT. Obviously. You can kill people doing it wihtolut justification. “Finely balanced” hardly JUSTIFIES it. Even if the case is overwhelming, YOU DON’T DO IT WITHOUT PPERMISSION OF THE PERSON YOU PROPOSE DOING IT TO. None of it justifies unnecessary involuntary circucmision of ANYONE, ESPECIALLY not minors, as Fergusson DID admit AFTER he wrote the paper. I’ve already given you those quotes.

    “Its pretty clear that the authors believe …”

    BELIEVE. They can BELIEVE anything they want to. And they apparently want to. Or did believe before other larger studies they were apparently unaware of were called to their attention.

    “… that their “findings suggest a relatively strong association between circumcision status and STI.” Which is exactly what I said earlier, that the evidence strongly suggestst …”

    To people apparently anxious to BELIEVE that Anglophone medicine didn’t make one of the most terrible mistakes ever made in the history of medicine when they decided to inflict deliberate torture and mutilation on children and babies in the 19th century in a deliberate, conscious, physical attack on normal human sex organs and sexuality.

    “… that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually trasmitted diseases, in particular HIV.”

    So why does the USA with the highest circucmision rate by far of any industrialized country have the highest rate of HIV of any industrialized country? Couldn’t be because circumcision INCREASES the chance of HIV transmission, could it?

    “So, no, Ferguson does not agree with the critiques of his work from intactivists.”

    He agrees with us that “… it would be premature to use our findings to promote the view that circumcision reduces risks of less severe forms of STI” and that “the evidence as it stands currently is not sufficiently compelling to advocate routine circumcision”. Those are his words, not mine, after reading criticism from intactivists. That’s how he responded.

    “He also doesn’t advocate routine neonatal circumcision, …”

    And he says his work doesn’t justify it. It is not medically justifiable now and never will be ethically justifiable.

    “… but I never suggested that he did, either. He suggests that the case may be …”

    And therefore that it may NOT be. That’s what “MAY” MEANS.

    “much stronger than people like you want to admit, which is pretty much my position.”

    You can write the sentence either way and it means exactly the same thing.

    “He suggests that the case may NOT be much stronger than people like you want to admit, …”

    Which translates as, “He suggests that the case may be much weaker than people like YOU want to admit, which is pretty much MY position.”

    Look. Even if he had proved that infant circumcising prevents all sti in the world for everybody, that still would not justify circumcising one healthy person involuntarily.

    Get it? There are other ways, ethical ways, cheaper ways, more effecticve ways, to prevent stis than by violating people’s human rights and damaging their bodies and minds for life and putting them at unnecessary risk of death and killing some of them WITHOUT ASKING AND GETTING THEIR FULLY INFORMED ADULT PERMISSION to do it YOUR way. Maybe they’d rather do it THEIR way. It’s THEIR BODY. You CLAIM to respect that. Show me.

    “My earlier point is that complications from post operative MRSA infection would be grouped into other complications stats, suggesting low, but not neccessarily acceptable, risk.”

    Show me where you see that. Is it on either of the sites I gave you? Are you making it up? Does it come from somewhere besides the inside of your head?

  201. #201 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Seth: “But so far, evidence suggests not for all three of these claims.”

    What evidence? Show it to me. I warned you I’m a skeptic. You claim evidence. Show me.

  202. #202 Robster
    December 5, 2006

    Van, Fergussen is suggesting that futher research is needed before such a recommendation is made. Making this a talking point for your side is, yet again, disengeuous. Almost, but not quite as disengenuous as trying to compare circumcision with preventative mastectomy in newborns (false analogy).

    You, a skeptic? One that believes in past lives and infant memories despite research to the contrary? That accepts the work of pseudoscientists shunned by other pseudoscientists as kooky and disconnected from reality? Would a skeptic say of newborns: “They may have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of.”

    No. You, sir, are not a skeptic. If you would like to become one, skepdic.com has some very good pages about recovered memories, Freud, Jung, various logical fallacies, magical thinking…

    From there, a definition of materialism:

    philosophical materialism (physicalism)

    Philosophical materialism (physicalism) is the metaphysical view that there is only one substance in the universe and that substance is physical, empirical or material. Materialists believe that spiritual substance does not exist. Paranormal, supernatural or occult phenomena are either delusions or reducible to physical forces.

    Materialists are not necessarily atheists, nor do they deny the reality of such things as love or justice, beauty or goodness.

    Sounds like a fair description of me, but it isn’t a religion. Just a nice, rational view of life.

    So now you’re ready to practice medicine without a license? I’m not surprised. Arrogance takes fools in where angels fear to tread.

    No, I can just tell a quack when I see one, and prefer evidence based medicine to chicanery. If I was working as a nurse in a hospital, undermining the authority of the physicians by giving medical advice one way or another regarding circumcision, that would be practicing medicine without a license, and grounds for dismissal.

    If you are being honest about a doctor removing a patient’s uterus without consent, that was unethical (but not comparable to circumcision, where parental consent is given). But, having worked with Gyn/Onc surgeons, the prevailing opinion in that field is that the uterus provides no benefit after menopause, and is only a risk factor for cancer. It is not uncommon for a doctor to suggest removal of the uterus if the ovaries are to be removed. If the doctor did perform said operation without consent, and without reason (such as noticing a tumor or precancerous lesions), s/he would be on his way to a major disciplinary hearing.

  203. #203 Seth Manapio
    December 5, 2006

    Van,

    The evidence strongly suggestst that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually trasmitted diseases, in particular HIV.

  204. #204 Seth Manapio
    December 5, 2006

    “I warned you I’m a skeptic.”

    ———-

    Actually, Van, you are a magical thinker. A skeptic demands evidence that things exist. You demand evidence that they do not.

    Anyway, in all three cases, we know who made the story up, when they made it up, and why they made it up. In all three cases, (babies sensing alternate realms, FSM, my penis having magic powers in Pangaea), the person who made it up was trying to score a rhetorical point. So the evidence suggests that these are stories people made up in order to score a rhetorical point, and not evidence based descriptions of what exists.

  205. #205 Seth Manapio
    December 5, 2006

    Van,

    I’m not going to respond to posts where you take sentences apart and comment on the subject and the object separately. There are three reasons. First, by definition, you are taking things out of context. Second, that leads to exponential growth in post length. Third, it leads to exponential growth in topics. It is not intelligent or intimidating, it is puerile and tiresome.

  206. #206 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Seth, If I remember correctly you are the one who claimed to have evidence for the non-existence of things. I asked you for it. You haven’t provided it. Does this mean you claimed to have evidence that you do not have?

  207. #207 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Seth: “The evidence strongly suggestst that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually trasmitted diseases, in particular HIV.”

    Some studies have seemed to indicate that possibility. Others seem to indicate otherwise. It has not been proved. In this environment, advocating circumcision to prevent STDs is irresponsible and unethical. Even if circumcision had been conclusively proved (it has not) to reduce or even eliminate STD transmission, that would not justify involuntary circumcision of one human being. Human beings have human rights that preclude anyone from chopping up their bodies without permission. Medical and legal practice lag behind our understanding of human rights. Because people violate human rights regularly in this country does not prove that we do not have them. They are violable but inalienable. Parents have no right to consent to the violation of their children’s human rights, and if they do consent, such legally invalid consent does not protect the circumciser legally. He or she is still subject to suit and potentially to arrest and criminal prosecution. That’s all within the law. Then there’s always the possibility of extra-legal action (ever heard of revenge? it is a very powerful force in human life, in case you hadn’t noticed) taken by the victim. I think such actions become more and more likely the more is known about the real structures and functions of the normal, whole, complete, unmutilated, uncircumcised penis and human male. I do not advocate such criminal activity in response to prior criminal activity. I’m against violence, of both kinds. I do not think we can reduce the about of violence and evil in the world by increasing it. That is why I personally am a believer in nonviolence. But I am not in charge or control of all the mutilated men in the world. It seems to me that circumcisers are very foolish people these days. When they cut babies they never can know when they are cutting the “wrong boy”. The “wrong boy” is the one who shows up in the circumciser’s office 15 or 20 years later and blows the circumciser’s brains out.


    I and the public know
    What all school children learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.

    W. H. Auden, “September 1, 1939″

    This is no fantasy of mine. David Reimer took a gun into the office of his circumciser and pointed it at the doctor’s head. At the last moment he decided not to pull the trigger. Some years later he took his own life. See AS NATURE MADE HIM.

    You may call me loony or any other name you like. Shoot the messenger if you like. It’s the message you don’t want to hear and think about competently. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ahead of time. Just doing my best here is all.

  208. #208 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Robester: “Fergussen is suggesting that futher research is needed before such a recommendation is made.”

    Look at the biased language there. “Do the research (as quickly as possible), then make the recommendation to circumcise.” The recommendation to circucmise is a foregone conclusion. The “research”, if we may dignify it by that name, is windowdressing.

    Honest language would say something more like, “As things stand today circumcising infants to prevent STDs of any kind is not accepted as evidenced based medicine anywhere in the world today because the scientific evidence to date does not justify it medically.” That is essentially what every medical association that has spoken on the subject (all 18 of them) has said.

    People being people will continue to try to justify what they have been doing for the last 150 years and what was done to them that they have no hope of changing, and so will try to design studies that produce “evidence” of ANY quality, it doesn’t matter, that appears to justify their biases. We can expect more “scientific” investigators to keep coming out with “evidence” that medically unjustified genital mutilation of babies and children does wonders for their IQs and their love lives etc for as long as there are circumcised researchers around to concoct the tales.

    Until these people come up with the actual proof they haven’t been able to amass for the last 150 years, advocating chopping up babies and children or non-consenting adults without their permission to reduce STDs or increase good looks or whatever is unethical behavior. It can also kill innocent people. That’s one of the reasons it IS unethical.

  209. #209 Glen P
    December 5, 2006

    Circumcision would certainly be a very poor way to prevent aids. Since the most prevelant way aids is transmitted is through unprotected sex without a condom and poor sexual practices! Especially anal sex since your anal cavity is very thin and can be damaged easily giving hiv a direct link to your blood stream i dont think circumcision would prevent this from happening.

    condoms prevent disease not circumcision

    i do not trust the circumcision preventing disease studies, who paid for them? A doctor can profit thousands every week to perform a circumcision so what are they going to do they will recomend it!

    their are studies showing circumcision has no effect or causes more hiv infections.

    LOOK AT THE FACTS THE USA HAS THE HIGHEST CIRCUMCISION RATE IN THE WHOLE WORLD WE ALSO HAVE THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF HIV INFECTIONS COMPARED TO SIMILAR INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS THAT HAVE A VERY VERY SMALL CIRCUMCISION RATE!

    Besides it is my body anyway i should choose wheather to be circumcised sexually transmitted diseases do not start until you have sex so why dont we wait until we are of the age to have sex to decide weather to be circumcised. that way we can use anestesia and eliminate the terrible pain i was circumcised as an infant and i am not happy about it!

    I have been restoring my foreskin with stretching divices and i can tell you that circumcision takes away the pleasure during sex. since i have been restoring with my head covered i now have MUCH greater sensativity, control, and much more pleasure! I has upset me tremendously that i do not have my foreskin my rights were violated i wish i could sue. just watch an infant circumcision and you will see how wrong it is. At least we could wait until adulthood when you CAN use anestesia so you will not have to feel your flesh getting cut off. I have cried many times thinking aoubt what the baby in the video went through.

    It sould be outlawed in the USA tortue of an infant is discusting it is a sex crime!

  210. #210 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Circumcision is a dominance ritual. It is about trying to establish who’s in charge, who’s boss. Insecure males do it to infant sons to try to establish permanent dominance over them. This is about the poorest way a man can begin a life-long relationship with a son, to mutilate his son’s penis. We are living in a nightmare in this sick country. Clueless mutilated men mutilating babies. What madness.

    Step back a bit and realize what’s really important in your relationship with your son. It isn’t establishing dominance. The “need” to do that is fear-based. Fear that your son will grow up and become disobedient, unmanageable, dangerous, and that you have to prevent that by becoming his dictator.

    Well, if you want to have a dominance contest with your son, you should become aware that it’s a game you can’t win. You get old and he gets strong and then you die. Pick a game you can win. The best game to pick to have with your son is the game called “love”. Love your son, don’t seek dominance over him. If you love him and protect him and take good care of him and enjoy him, he will return your love many fold. You don’t need to dominate someone who loves you with his whole heart. You recognize him as your human equal with equal human rights to the defense and protection he needs while he cannot protect himself, and you give it to him. Then you can be certain that when you’re old and helpless and need his help he will protect and defend you too.

    People in this country FEAR having a son, and with good reason. The culture, including the recalcitrant, fearful parts of the medical culture are all trying to get young parents to make the biggest mistake of their young lives by chopping up their babies’ sex organs and pretending it’s normal. It isn’t normal. Fear committing sex crimes against your son. Reject the insanities in the culture you grew up in. It’s a sex crime. Glen is right about that. That’s what I was arrested in 1970 for saying on my protest sign, “Infant Circumcision is a Sex Crime – Abolish it” and “Sex Criminals for Hire? Inquire Within – Abolish Infant Circumcision”.

    If you reject this insane mistake, then you have nothing to fear about having a son. You can start a new relationship that isn’t based on the insane dominance paradigm in the father-son relationship. Base your relationship on the real love you will come to have for your son if you let yourself. That’s the sane approach to having a male child and raising him. Female too. Intersexed too. People are treasures. It doesn’t matter what sex they are. Treasure them and they will grow up to treasure you. Children give us back what we give them. Give them love and kindness and genuine respect and that’s what you’ll get back from them. Treat them like a mad wild animal that you insist on breaking and domesticating and they’ll grow up to be a broken, mad, wild animal and you won’t be able to fix them.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  211. #211 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Just as circumcision is about individuals trying to establish dominance over other individuals, so it’s also about the culture trying to establish dominance over individuals. In this sense circumcising is profoundly un-American, ANTI-American. The USA is about individual rights. We have a government founded on the principle that individuals have human rights that are inalienable, that no one else, no individual, no group, and no government can take away. You can violate the rights but you can’t take them away because they are inherent, a part of how we were created. Circumcising a person without that individual’s fully informed adult permission violates these rights profoundly.

    All of this is obvious except to circumcision victims, direct and indirect, in denial. They are hysterically blind to it, because of the traumas they have suffered.

  212. #212 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Robster: “You, a skeptic? One that believes in past lives and infant memories despite research to the contrary?”

    I never said I believe in these things. I say that those who assert their non-existence are dogmatists, entitled to their dogmatism. I don’t choose to close my mind that way but to each his or her own. Calling this dogmatism “rational” or “science” is misnaming it, in my opinion.

    “That accepts the work of pseudoscientists shunned by other pseudoscientists as kooky and disconnected from reality?”

    About whom are you speaking? Who are the “pseudoscientists” and the “other pseudoscientists” to whom you refer?

    “Would a skeptic say of newborns: “They may have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of.””

    It’s just a statement of obvious fact. They may. You could also say it the opposite way if you prefer that emphasis: “They may NOT have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of.” It means the same thing: “They may and may not have senses and abilities to discern realities that we have no current idea of.”

    I think it’s a factual statement. One that hopefully would open some people’s minds to interesting possibilities. Some people prefer the security of thinking they understand everything already. Such people have a very hard time learning anything new, or anything that’s outside the realm of their dogmatisms. Intellectual security is one of their main values. They miss a lot in life. Afraid to go out on any limbs. Sometimes there’s nice fruit out there. Have to stay close to the trunk. They rarely fall but they miss out on a lot of nice fruit.

  213. #213 Van Lewis
    December 5, 2006

    Robster: “Materialists believe …”

    My point exactly.

    “Sounds like a fair description of me, but it isn’t a religion. Just a nice, rational view of life.”

    Materialism is a belief system. You can call belief systems religion, you can call them philosophy, you can call them a lot of things, but science they are not. They are faiths. Preferred beliefs. Materialists prefer to believe they are rationalists and are commonly very reluctant to acknowledge the beliefs, the faiths, at the base of their views,but that doesn’t mean the beliefs are not there. They are.

    I find materialism a very interesting faith. I have great admiration for some of the materialists I have known. I just don’t share the same materialist faith. I’m too skeptical to join the belief system of the materialists. That’s the way I see it.

  214. #214 Robster
    December 5, 2006

    While it will slow down the posting of this, here are some links about David Reimer.

    David Reimer’s case is a truly sad one. A completely innapropriate and improper machine was used, by an inexperienced doctor, leading to the complete loss of his penis. (Surgical procedures should only be performed by properly trained and certified professionals). His sex was “reassigned” and he was raised as a girl on the advice of a gender identity psycologist, operating on then (late 1960s, early 70s) popular theories, and was considerred an important experiment (20/20 hindsight… I think it was pretty screwed up). This experiment and its results appear to have involved either fraudulent or cognative dissonance ridden reporting. He developed several psycological problems, his parents and twin brother suffered emotional problems as well. All of this contributed to his eventual suicide. The only good that came of his case is that “reassignment” is falling out of favor with the evidence based medical community.

    So where does the blame lie? The doctor who used the wrong equipment for a procedure? The psychologist who refused to halt the experiment when it became clear that it wasn’t working? The possibility that later therapy involing recovered memories and false memory syndrome cannot be ignored either. Family history of depression and mental problems comes into play as well. Nowhere in the articles I read is there a suggestion that he “remembered” the procedure that started the whole sad story of his life (including several from anti circ sites). Nor could I find an account that he attempted to murder his former doctor. Could you provide a link to a credible source on this?

    Comparing a botched operation, performed by obviously poorly trained doctors using the wrong equipment, with the patient subjected to sexual reassignment “therapy” to the vast, immense majority of individuals where there are no major side effects of circumcision (partial amputation of the penis, according to Morris, is not possible with the plastibell or gomco clamp), is again, a false analogy.

    That being said, this debate is going nowhere. Now that it has left a discussion of research, and moved into the realm of woo and a laundry list of logical fallacies, I really can’t see continuing it, and I have my own writing to do. I sincerely wish you luck, Van. I also hope you find rationality and real skepticism and learn to better express your emotions and beliefs. If you actually aim to convince people, you need to learn to tailor your message to your audience while remaining honest.

  215. #215 Robster
    December 6, 2006

    Van, that was a quote from a website, and you are, again, taking things out of context. Your post about how you are a skeptic and didn’t say you believed in memories of past lives or infant memories made me laugh.

    Statements like

    Some people not only remember infancy, birth and prenatal life. They remember past lives as well. Buddha, for example, was one of them. Is the real purpose of infant circumcision to help enforce religious doctrines and materialistic philosophies that say that we have only one life on this earth?

    and

    At best, unsupported assumptions for the untruth of which there is now and has been for a long time good scientific evidence. So if the scientifically unsupported assertions that memory does not go back into infancy, into birth, into the womb are untrue, I believe that the scientifically unsupported assertion that memory does not go back into past lives, human and perhaps otherwise, may also be false.

    Count me a skeptic in the group. Your cultural origins and materialist or other religious philosophies do not determine reality, in this life or any other. “I didn’t believe in reincarnation in my past life either!”

    and

    Even if adults could not remember infantile trauma – and some at least can, that has been demonstrated by multiple independent researchers -

    certainly sound like you do. Maybe I missed you calling it a rhetorical statement… Skeptics doubt such claims, not accept them because they are unprovable. That is the definition of credulous, not skeptical.

    Seriously, have a good ‘n.

  216. #216 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    “Seth, If I remember correctly you are the one who claimed to have evidence for the non-existence of things. I asked you for it. You haven’t provided it. Does this mean you claimed to have evidence that you do not have?”
    ———–

    Actually, I said: “But so far, evidence suggests not for all three of these claims.”

    And my evidence that suggested that these three things were not true was as follows: we know for a fact that all three of them were stories that people made up. We know when they made them up, and we know why. In all three cases, no evidence was presented or was claimed to exist to suggest that these things (the FSM, infants having access to alternate realities, and magical penises) actually exist. The balance of the evidence is therefore that these are stories that people made up with no basis in reality.

    Materialism is not a faith. It is not the claim that the material world is all that exists. It is rather, the claim that the material world does exist. Therefore, materialism is the absence of faith. Everyone who can function in the world at all is a materialist, in that they behave as if the material world exists. My dog is a materialist, he behaves as if the material world exists.

    You have ADDED bullshit about past life regression and infant trauma and the amazing power of the prepuce on top of your innate materialism, which makes you less skeptical than a materialist.

  217. #217 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    Because I know that many other people’s clear reality is that they remember things from infancy including serious traumas like circucmision and remember intra-uterine experiences, and even remember past lives does not make me a believer in those things. It makes me know that the assertions of people who do not remember those things that such memories cannot be real, assertions of the nonexistence of those memories, assertions of the impossibility of those memories based on the assertion of the nonexistence of spiritual reality, for example, are just materialist assertions. No one has proved the truth of those assertions. They are faith-based assertions. I am skeptical of them.

    Seth says, “Materialism is not a faith. It is not the claim that the material world is all that exists. It is rather, the claim that the material world does exist.”

    Robster says: “Philosophical materialism (physicalism) is the metaphysical view that there is only one substance in the universe and that substance is physical, empirical or material. Materialists believe that spiritual substance does not exist.”

    You can’t have it both ways, guys. Which is it?

  218. #218 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    “You can’t have it both ways, guys. Which is it?”

    ——–

    Materialism isn’t a dogma or a faith, so it doesn’t matter whether we agree or not. However, notice that the disagreement is interprative: Robster and I agree on what materialism is. We disagree on interpretation.

    So, as a materialist, I don’t assert that the spiritual reality you describe does not exist, I assert that there is no evidence that it exists.

    For example, past life memory doesn’t prove past life experience. The memories are real enough to the person with the memory. However, such memories can be implanted. The technique for implanting memories is known and demonstrable, and the phenomena of false memory is well documented. The only evidence based explanation (I.E., one acceptable to a skeptic) for these memories is that they are false memories. And indeed, this explains the phenomena quite completely.

    To assert something else would be to take a faith based assumption (there is a spiritual world) and use it as an explanation for for a material phenomena. You can’t do that without invoking faith, and since materialism is the absence of faith, you can’t do that in a materialist context.

    You are not a skeptic. You see faith based explanations as valid regardless of the lack of evidence to support such explanations. That is not skeptical.

  219. #219 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    More on the domination compulsion of circumcisers and their enablers.

    The mutilation-harm denialists won’t look at the evil in their own actions, as we intactivists well know. They lack the courage to see the evil in their own deeds, or have adopted evil purposes consciously. (There are such people.) Instead they displace their own anger against the insanity of which they are a victim from where it belongs – it should be directed against the unspeakable evil of unnecessary genital mutilation, their own and others’ evil circumcising – and point their anger instead at defenseless babies and children, and at the relatively few people who DO see the evil for what it is and say so. The mutilators’ own evil actions don’t become their targets. Babies, children and intactivists become their targets.

    This is the modus operandi of the bully. All bullies are being or have been oppressed. They themselves are being or have been bullied. Their problem is that they feel powerless against their real oppressor, and why shouldn’t they? After all, their oppressor is or was successfully bullying them. Rather than summoning the courage to direct their justifiable, righteous anger at the correct target, their real oppressor, they instead displace their anger from their oppressor, who they rightly fear and rightly or not feel powerless to stop, to some less-threatening, more easily confronted and attacked target. Bullies always wrong-target. Most likely they choose their own oppressor’s target. This is cowardly, but for an oppressed coward it’s the only option. Facing the real oppressor, facing the truth, is not an option for the cowed. Only for the courageous.

    Exactly this phenomenon is operating with circumcision. The baby cannot defend himself against his real oppressor. When the oppressed, victimized child grows up, the evil deed of oppression is already long accomplished. The evil is too overwhelming even to confront, but the deep, usually unconscious anger is still there inside the victim. It has to go somewhere. Who is the best target for this intense inner anger? The original circumciser? Now long gone, maybe even dead? No. The best target, in addition to the helpless baby (babies are the easiest humans to bully; it is literally IMPOSSIBLE for them to fight back effectively against someone who wants to take their anger out without perceived danger of retribution), is the person who DOES have the courage to object to circumcising. He’s in the minority, in the “powerless” or less powerful position. He’s “weak”, or perceived that way. The logic is, if you HAVE to attack an adult, attack the few adults defending the babies and children. Call them kooks, embarrassments, fanatics, foreskin worshipers. You can dream up lots of dirty names for them. Maybe, with the help of the much “stronger” oppressor, they can be beaten. The original circumciser obviously can’t be beaten since he’s already won. To win, you have to be on the winner’s side. To “win”, you have to abandon your own original self, and side with your own original oppressor, your circumciser.

    Steven Biko said, “The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is
    the mind of the oppressed.”

    The key to liberation is to show the oppressed that they can win, not by continuing the oppressor’s oppression FOR the oppressor – the only real power the oppressor has is the power given to them by the oppressed when the oppressed join with the oppressor to continue the oppressing – but by joining the revolt AGAINST the oppressing and ENDING the oppression FOR OTHERS, instead of continuing to commit it AGAINST others on behalf of the original oppressor.

    Understand the mutilators’ actions rightly – those actions are evil (not always in INTENT, but always in actual EFFECTS on the victim) – so that you will know to abandon the oppressor’s oppressing and thereby allow people to become whole again.

    This is the work of intactivism, and it has a long and honorable, if not widely honored history. The babies and intactivists are winning and will win because we are right and more and more people every come to understand that fact and join the revolution against the oppression. This is a process that cannot be reversed, hard as the oppressive would-be dominators try.

    Babies and children are not for dominating and oppressing. They are for loving and protecting. This is not just more ethical. It’s smarter, safer for everybody involved, and a hell of a lot more fun.

  220. #220 Robster
    December 6, 2006

    Again, that was a definition of physical materialism, also called physicalism. If I am correct, Seth is describing a differing form of materialism called methodological materialism.

    As Seth is pointing out, faith requires a lack of evidence. Materialism, skepticism, science, all require evidence.

  221. #221 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    “You are not a skeptic. You see faith based explanations as valid regardless of the lack of evidence to support such explanations. That is not skeptical.”
    ———

    But what does all that have to do with circumcision?

    Not much, I’m afraid. And all of Van Lewis’ wacky bullshit aside, I’m left with no answer to my question: Are there any benefits to having an uncircumsized penis?

    Claims that sex will be better? Unsubstantiated. People with the experience to know report every answer in more or less equal numbers.

    Immunological advantage? No study supports this.

    Avoidance of Trauma? No clinical support that neonatal circumcision has any long term mental health effects.

    Leaving… what?

  222. #222 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    Seth: “Materialism isn’t a dogma or a faith, …”

    The one Robster describes is. (No seperation of subject and object there.) Accepting material as real (your definition as I understand it) isn’t a faith in my book. It’s reality. I accept it. If that makes me a materialist according to you I wear the non-faith-based name proudly.

    Dogmatically asserting the nonexistence of spirit IS faith. No one has proved the non-existence of spirit. For many people spiritual reality is as real as physical reality, or more so. “I am I”, they say, “and you can’t prove otherwise to me. You may identify yourself with your body and brain if you like. For me that would be a false identification, an obvious lie I would be telling myself about who and what I really am. The real person would still be me, but the liar I had become, not the body and brain with which the liar happened to be lying in this lifetime.”

    A materialist under your definition can be agnostic about whether such people know what they’re talking about, but not assertive that they do not.

    “…so it doesn’t matter whether we agree or not. However, notice that the disagreement is interprative: Robster and I agree on what materialism is.”

    As I understand it, one of you says materialists do not assert the nonexistence of spiritual reality and the other says they do. That looks like a pretty fundamental disagreement to me.

    “We disagree on interpretation.”

    Are you (singular) saying that y’all (plural) agree on what y’all say materialism is (material is real), and disagree on what you say it isn’t and he says it is (denial of spiritual reality)? (See what I mean about Southern English being the best? We have two different words for “you” singular and “you” plural and y’all don’t.)

    “So, as a materialist, I don’t assert that the spiritual reality you describe does not exist, I assert that there is no evidence that it exists.”

    To you there is no evidence. I accept that. To people for whom spiritual reality is as real or more so than material reality there IS evidence. Such a person might express that in this way: “The most real thing to me is me. I am. I know I am. Nobody can tell me I’m not. That is the most evident thing in the world to me. Nobody can tell me it isn’t. To me, I am not composed of things that aren’t me. I am composed of myself. I am ONLY composed of myself. I am not a composite of what is me and what is not me. What is the most EVIDENT thing in the world to me is EVIDENCE to me. If what is the most evident thing in the world to me is not ‘evidence’, then there is no such thing as evidence. I am I. You may be nerves and muscles if you like, that’s your business and I don’t care. But you can’t tell me what I am and have much hope of convincing me to go along with your religion. I have my own that I like better because it makes better sense to me.”

    “For example, past life memory doesn’t prove past life experience.”

    And it doesn’t disprove it.

    “The memories are real enough to the person with the memory. However, such memories can be implanted. The technique for implanting memories is known and demonstrable, and the phenomena of false memory is well documented.”

    Even if it is demonstrated conclusively that a person who “remembers” a past life and feels the reality of that life vividly and is convinced by this experience that he or she did live that experience in a past life in fact had those exact memories implanted, that does not prove that that person has not lived past lives. It does not even prove that that person did not live the life he or she remembered living. Perhaps the false memories coincide exactly with a real past life and the person has two sets of the same memory, one real, one implanted. Maybe the implanters extracted the real memory set from the person’s mind and then implanted it in order to render the real memories suspect. Fra-fetched? Sure. But very unlikely stuff happens to people. Someone wins the Florida Lotto about every week or two.

    “The only evidence based explanation (I.E., one acceptable to a skeptic) for these memories is that they are false memories.”

    A skeptic can limit him or herself to evidence they’ve already accumulated and evidence as they understand the term currently if they like. Another skeptic might want to keep all possible explanations not specifically disproved in the not-specifically-disproved pile.

    “And indeed, this explains the phenomena quite completely.”

    Why the qualifier, “quite”? Is it because you know that there are other possible explanations that have not been disproved? Maybe not ones acceptable to you, that’s your business, I have no quarrel with that. But your explanation doesn’t PROVE WRONG the person who feels the reality of his or her own past life experience, infantile experience, etc. It just proves that you prefer your own explanation. No problem. That’s your right. You may even BE right. (That can also be written, “You may even be NOT right” and “You may even be wrong.”)

    “To assert something else would be to take a faith based assumption (there is a spiritual world) … ”

    To you the idea that there is a spiritual world a “faith-based assumption”. I’m not recommending that you make it. I wouldn’t. Why should I want you to? To the person living the life described (I’ve met such people) it’s not a faith-based assumption, it’s evident reality. Would you want them to make a faith-based assumption that there IS no spiritual world against their own perceived and experienced reality? That would look like proselitizing a particular religion to me.

    “… and use it as an explanation for for a material phenomena.”

    To you it’s a material phenmomenon. Not to the person experiencing it as they experience it.

    “You can’t do that without invoking faith, …”

    The person living this life can’t deny the reality of his or her own evident experience without invoking Robster’s faith-based materialism that asserts the non-existence of spiritual reality.

    “… and since materialism is the absence of faith, …”

    Yours is, Robster’s isn’t.

    “… you can’t do that in a materialist context.”

    The real question is not which context people prefer. We already know. Some people prefer one context, some another. The real question is, I think, what is the nature of reality? Is the I who I am, is the you who you are, real, apart from the two particular organismic processes with which you and I are presently most closely associated?

    What is my preference? (This is not what I claim to know is reality.) My preference is different from yours and Robsters’. I prefer the idea and experience that I am a real boy. Y’all can stay Pinocchio for as many lifetimes as you like.

    That;’s just my personal preference. It seems now to make more sense to me, from everything I’ve learned and experienced in the 63.5+ years of this lifetime. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire some of the materialists I know who feel otherwise. I like trying on different world views. I like considering the possibility that I might be wrong about things. Sometimes I discover I have been and get to correct things. I like to stay skeptical for that reason.

    “You are not a skeptic.”

    I experience myself to be very deeply skeptical. I’m so skeptical that I am skeptical of skepticism, but I try no to let my skepticism of skepticism drive me to premature and possibly erroneous conclusions about the negative value of skepticism.

    “You see faith based explanations as valid regardless of the lack of evidence to support such explanations.”

    I do not. I see them as interesting possible explanations for things that may or may not be true explanations. I try hard not to judge what reality is prematurely based on faith, anybody’s. What I do is try to avoid believing I know things I don’t in fact know. I like reexamination of my past reality estimates in light of new ideas and experience. It’s called “learning”.

    “That is not skeptical.”

    The word comes from the Greek verb, “skeptomai”, to look about, to consider. I do that. Broadly. There are a number of definitions, some of which apply to me, some of which do not. Here are some that I think do:

    an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object,
    the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics
    a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment,

    Count me in.

  223. #223 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    Van. No one is saying that people don’t have experiences. No one claims that they do not have the memories, experience feelings, see white lights.

    But if asked for an explanation for these things, someone with a method of suspended judgement or systematic doubt would either suspend judgement or, if there is a perfectly adequate explanation at hand, use it. What you are doing is neither. You have brought these things up as valid reasons to pursue or avoid actions in the real world. This is the opposite of suspending judgement or using systematic doubt.

    By these standards of evidence, I could argue that a particular god desires neonatal circumcision and will torture a child with a million specific and avoidable annoyances for their whole life if it is not done. How can you deny my faith, you have no specific evidence to disprove it!

    To accept claims uncritically until they are specifically disproven is the very defintion of credulity, the polar opposite of skepticism, and your experience of yourself is not relevant to whether you approach things skeptically, it is only relevant to your own self image.

  224. #224 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    Seth: “But what does all that” (talk about skepticism) “have to do with circumcision? Not much, I’m afraid. And all of Van Lewis’ wacky bullshit aside, ”

    Thanks for your negative characterization of my hard work to save babies’ and children’s lives from the TRULY “whacky bullshit” of circumcisers and circumcisionists. I’ll wear it with pride.

    “I’m left with no answer to my question: Are there any benefits to having an uncircumsized penis?”

    OF COURSE there are, genius! Only a man deprived in infancy or childhood of the important opportunity to learn the real answer to that question “first-hand”, so to speak, could ask the question and remain ignorant of the obvious answer for as long as you have. And even if there weren’t any benefits (there are!), subjecting anyone to involuntary amputation of THEIR “useless” body part would be unethical. Your persistence in questioning the value of THIS particular normal body part (why THIS one in particular, how come you always pick on PENISES?, and how many can we amputate and excise anyway without killing the involuntary victim?) is just a symptom of your obvious illness.

    “Claims that sex will be better? Unsubstantiated. People with the experience to know report every answer in more or less equal numbers.”

    Bullshit. Rank falsehood. I already reported the contrary above. Here it is again:


    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06646.x

    BJU International

    The effect of male circumcision on sexuality
    DaiSik Kim and Myung-Geol Pang*
    OBJECTIVE
    To prospectively study, using a questionnaire, the sexuality of men circumcised as adults compared to uncircumcised men, and to compare their sex lives before and after circumcision.

    SUBJECTS AND METHODS
    The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. As the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory does not specifically address the quality of sex life, questions were added to compare sexual and masturbatory pleasure before and after circumcision.

    RESULTS
    There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.

    CONCLUSION
    There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings.
    —-

    “Immunological advantage? No study supports this.”

    Bullshit. Rank falsehood. Read “Immunological functions of the human prepuce” in SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (London), Volume 74, Number 5, Pages 364-367,
    October 1998. It is and contains references to studies published in the medical literature showing exactly such functions.

    “Avoidance of Trauma? No clinical support that neonatal circumcision has any long term mental health effects.”

    Bullshit. Rank falsehood. There is a great deal of published clinical experience supporting the existence of just such long-term mental health effects. That biased people discount it does not make it go away. It exists and has been published.

    “Leaving… what?”

    Leaving the foreskin. Leave it. That is the obvious ethical choice in the current situation where medicine worldwide agrees that there is insufficient medical evidence in the literature to support its destruction, and where it’s a normal healthy body part. DUUUHHH.

  225. #225 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    Seth: “Van. No one is saying that people don’t have experiences. No one claims that they do not have the memories, experience feelings, see white lights.”

    What you claim is your explanation trumps theirs. You have a right to your belief, but what I claim is you haven’t proved it and in thise circumstances I ahve a right and I think a responsibility to be skeptical of your assertions.

    “But if asked for an explanation for these things, someone with a method of suspended judgement or systematic doubt would either suspend judgement or, if there is a perfectly adequate explanation at hand, use it.”

    I’m not looking for “perfectly adequate explanations”. Anybody can make up the “perfectly adequate explanations” they prefer and chop up their children based on them. I’m looking for truth. Sometimes I think I find it.

    “What you are doing is neither. You have brought these things up as valid reasons to pursue or avoid actions in the real world.”

    I am saying that using one’s prefered “perfectly adequate explanations” as an excuse to chop up other people’s bodies is unethical.

    “This is the opposite of suspending judgement or using systematic doubt.”

    I don’t see it that way.

    “By these standards of evidence, I could argue that a particular god desires neonatal circumcision and will torture a child with a million specific and avoidable annoyances for their whole life if it is not done. How can you deny my faith, you have no specific evidence to disprove it!”

    I DON’T deny your faith. It may be true for all I know. You’re welcome to it. You have a legal, constitutional, human right to it. What I DO deny is ANY assertion or IMPLICATION that your unproven faith gives you the right to harm other people without their permission and against their obvious strenuous objection, whatever their age, sex, religion, etc. Other people have rights too, not just you. Your rights stop where theirs begin. The skin is a pretty logical line to draw between them.

    “To accept claims uncritically until they are specifically disproven is the very defintion of credulity, ”

    Yes. I agree. And I don’t do it, or try hard not to, if by “to accept claims uncritically” you mean accepting that claims are true without evaluating the truth of the claims, especially someone claims that their “take on the data” gives them the right to chop up other people’s healthy bodies involuntarily. If though, you mean by “to accept claims uncritically”, accepting the POSSIBILITY that things I don’t KNOW to be false MAY in fact be true, however unlikely, then I disagree. That’s being open-minded instead of closed-minded. It is in fact suspending judgment. It is being skeptical of unproven assertions of falsehood. I think that’s a very important rational tool for testing truth.

    “… the polar opposite of skepticism, and your experience of yourself is not relevant to whether you approach things skeptically, it is only relevant to your own self image.”

    So who is the judge of whether I approach things skeptically? You? Because I don’t prefer the “perfectly adequate explanations” that you prefer?

  226. #226 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    “So who is the judge of whether I approach things skeptically?”

    ——–

    Its the actual way you judge things that demonstrates this, not your “experience of yourself”, or my opinion. And you give credence to things for which there is no evidence, based on the fact that they have not been disproven. This is credulous, not skeptical.

    Unless, of course, you are willing to say that all available evidence supports the hypothesis that regression memory therapy implants, rather than recovers, memory. Because thats what the evidence suggests.

    Van, it doesn’t help your cause if I say that there is no real difference in sexuality between circ/uncirc/postcirc and you post a study with the claim:

    “Bullshit. Rank falsehood. I already reported the contrary above. Here it is again:”

    and the study result is: “There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men.”

    What I’ve noticed is that your standard of evidence and reading of information varies quite a bit. So you will present woo like past life experience to support your case, but if I claim I’m protecting my child from invisible demons to support mine, thats no good. And sure, this is because you think circumcision is bad. But the point is, you can’t change your standards of evidence like that and expect to be taken seriously among real skeptics.

    Furthermore, as far as I know, there are no clinical studies of adult males that compare noe-natally circumsized to uncircumsized men and show significant differences in attitudes or behavior. If there is one, cite it.

  227. #227 Van Lewis
    December 6, 2006

    Seth: “Its the actual way you judge things that demonstrates this, not your “experience of yourself”, or my opinion. And you give credence to things for which there is no evidence, based on the fact that they have not been disproven. This is credulous, not skeptical.”

    If you can’t tell the differencce between the true, the maybe and maybe not true, and the false, you’re in serious trouble. And so is your son. To conclude that something is false because you refuse to recognize evidence that other people have for it is not smart.

    “Unless, of course, you are willing to say that all available evidence supports the hypothesis that regression memory therapy implants, rather than recovers, memory. Because thats what the evidence suggests.”

    There is no proof for that biased hypothesis. You may like the hypothesis. If true it simplifies life for you, your “maybe” pile can get a lot smaller, but I don’t like the hypothesis. I like the “maybe” pile. And I like getting the information that lets me put maybe items in the true pile and others in the false pile.

    “Van, it doesn’t help your cause if I say that there is no real difference in sexuality between circ/uncirc/postcirc… ”

    This is what your unsupported, false claim was:

    “”Claims that sex will be better? Unsubstantiated. People with the experience to know report every answer in more or less equal numbers.”

    “… and you post a study with the claim:

    “Bullshit. Rank falsehood. I already reported the contrary above. Here it is again:”

    and the study result is: “There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men.”

    That is only the first sentence describing the results of the study. The rest of the sentences, which you conveniently omit and fail to respond to, directly contradict your unsuported, false assertion. Here are the rest of the sentences that prove your unsupported assertion false, at least for this sample of men: “Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.”

    I’m assuming you would agree with most people that other things being equal, less pleasure is worse sex and more pleasure is better sex. The people who instituted and pushed medical circumcising on America thought the opposite. Maybe you do too.

    “What I’ve noticed is that your standard of evidence and reading of information varies quite a bit.”

    You seem willing to omit anything that contradicts your unsupported assumptions and assertions.

    “So you will present woo like past life experience to support your case, …”

    You characterize it a “woo” if you like. That’s your reality and you’re welcome to it. You may be in for a big surprise when you die. People with faith in death as the end of it, people who get their security and comfort from that religion, will lose their security if they start seriously acknowledging their lack of real knowledge on the subject. That’s why they call anything that calls their religion into question “woo”. “Woo” is not a scientific term, as far as I know.

    “… but if I claim I’m protecting my child from invisible demons to support mine, thats no good. …”

    You can cllaim it all you wan tto. That doesn’t give you the right to harm your child.

    “And sure, this is because you think circumcision is bad.”

    Guilty as charged. Anything that kills babies unnecessarily is bad in my book. You think what you like, but don’t expect the rest of us to let you injure and endanger the lives of babies for nothing forever. We’re not going to. That’s my prediction. Children’s rights have only just begun to be taken seriously by the human race. The USA and Somalia are the only two nations on the planet that haven’t ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Maybe Somalia did recently, leaving the USA standing alone?) You can still get away with mutilating babies and risking their lives for nothing here, (IF the babies happen to have had the misfortune to be born male). Not for long if I have anything to say about it.

    “But the point is, you can’t change your standards of evidence like that and expect to be taken seriously among real skeptics.”

    I probably wouldn’t accept as the final word on the subject your opinion of what a “real skeptic” is.

    “Furthermore, as far as I know, there are no clinical studies of adult males that compare noe-natally circumsized to uncircumsized men and show significant differences in attitudes or behavior. If there is one, cite it.”

    One will be published very soon showing significant differences in penile sensitivity between the two, contradicting the long-held and asserted and ABSURD assumption and belief that there are not. Masters and Johnson did a completely incompetent investigation on the subject decades back and said they couldn’t find any differences and because we live in a mutilating culture nobody ever bother to check up on them. Everybody’s been using that junk science ever since to bolster the “completely adequate explanations” they prefer.

    The absense of the studies you describe, if there is such an absense, only shows the gross irresponsibility of circumcisers in not following up on their patients properly. The more important research is the less likely it is to be done. The assumption has been that there is not a difference, and the assertions have been that if there is it’s all in favor of the mutilated guys. Mutilated guys make such stupid assumptions and assertions. Most US guys are mutilated.

    Clinical studies are not the only possible evidence however. Look around you. Who ARE the mutilated guys on this planet. What ARE their attitudes? (“Mutilation if FINE! It didn’t hurt ME none!”) How are they behaving? Are their attitudes and bahaviors today different from the attitudes and behaviors of genitally intact guys?

    There are some glaring, obvious differences, at least as I see the world.

    Do you notice any?

  228. #228 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    The dangers of trusting secondary sources…

    It is relevant to the discussion that the following quote appears on the site http://www.cirp.org. “rigorously controlled studies have consistently shown that circumcised males are at greater risk for all major STDs than males whose penises are intact.” (this is the article that Van wanted me to read about immunological function)

    Quotes from the conclusions of the 5 studies referenced as support for that line.

    “Circumcised men were slightly more likely to have had both a bacterial and a viral STD in their lifetime. While these differences are not statistically significant, they do not lend support to the thesis that circumcision helps prevent the contraction of STDs.”

    “In this clinic-based prospectively collected survey we found no association between male circumcision status and STDs that are common in our population.”

    “There was no association between GCU and circumcision in any of the three racial groups” (This study found a link for nongonoccocal urethritis, a disease which is noted for NOT being gonorhea and is not reportable in some states)

    “In summary, among heterosexual men at our STD clinic, uncircumcised men had a lower prevalence of genital warts than circumcised men, yet when warts occurred in uncircumcised men, they were more likely to be distal warts under the foreskin.” Finally! (Notice, this is not a rigously controlled study, it is a study of a specific disease in a population that is self-selected for having an STD already)

    “In contrast with previous studies,8,20 we found no evidence of the presence of an intact foreskin being a risk factor for HSV-2 infection.”

    So. Of five referenced articles, 2 do not support the original statement under even the most generous interpretation. One of the three remaining is not rigourously controlled in any sense of the word, and only refers to a single disease. Of the two that are left, one has findings that are not statistically signficant and the last finds a relationship for a condition that is not a defined STD.

    I’m definitely not impressed with this literature review. As someone who writes academic papers, I’m actually a little offended by this reviewer’s tendency to extrapolate wildly beyond his source material.

    I am impressed that the cirp cite makes it so easy to check sources, though, and the sites owners are to be commended for that.

  229. #229 Seth Manapio
    December 6, 2006

    “That is only the first sentence describing the results of the study. The rest of the sentences, which you conveniently omit and fail to respond to”

    —————-

    I ommitted them because they weren’t relevant. Those sentences spoke to how men felt ABOUT their adult circumcision, not how the penis felt! Only the first sentence is about the physical sensation of circumsized versus uncircumsized, and that shows no change.

    Of course men who had spent their lives masturbating with an uncircumsized penis reported some difficulty with an circumsized one. They are, as adults, trying to unlearn old habits and relearn new ones for a task they mastered as adolescents. I’m shocked and amazed that any men at ALL reported an improvement, frankly. However, slightly more than half of these men showed no decrease in masturbatory pleasure, even though many of them were having difficulty adjusting!

    The study also shows that fully 80% of men, who had been having sex for years with an intact penis, showed either no change or an improvement in their sex life after a circumcision.

    This is hardly supportive of your case that the foreskin has large scale effects on sexual pleasure, in fact, it contradicts that assumption pretty effectively.

  230. #230 Van Lewis
    December 8, 2006

    Seth: “I ommitted them because they weren’t relevant. Those sentences spoke to how men felt ABOUT their adult circumcision, not how the penis felt!”

    The actual report, as opposed to your gross mischaracterization of it, says: “Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents,…” “Masturbatory pleasure” has nothing to do with “how the penis felt”?

    Seth again: “Only the first sentence is about the physical sensation of circumsized versus uncircumsized, and that shows no change.”

    You can’t read? “Masturbatory pleasure” isn’t about physical sensation?

    “Of course men who had spent their lives masturbating with an uncircumsized penis reported some difficulty with an circumsized one. They are, as adults, trying to unlearn old habits and relearn new ones for a task they mastered as adolescents.”

    The human mind can deny and rationalize anything. A “task”? “Oh God. We forgot to mastubate today. Might as well get that task out of the way now before emptying the garbage. Life is such a drag.” I guess it makes snse, though, for genitally mutilated men to view autosexuality as a “task”.

    “I’m shocked and amazed that any men at ALL reported an improvement, frankly.”

    I’m not. When men make a big mistake in their lives, especially an irreversible one, it can be hard to admit the fact, even or especially to themselves. Nobody mutilated wants to believe that sex is worse after mutilation. Denial is a very powerful force in human life, especially when it comes to sex, expecially when it comes to decreased sexual pleasure as an obvioulsy inevitable result of chopping off tens of thousands of healthy sexual pleasure nerve endings.

    “However, slightly more than half of these men showed no decrease in masturbatory pleasure, even though many of them were having difficulty adjusting!

    Not in PERCEIVED and ADMITTED decrease. Denial can change one’s memory and interpretation of perception. You know all about falsified memory, don’t you? Motovated people can falsify their memories.

    “The study also shows that fully 80% of men, who had been having sex for years with an intact penis, showed either no change or an improvement in their sex life after a circumcision.”

    Decrease in masturbatory pleasure is not an adverse change in your book?

    “This is hardly supportive of your case that the foreskin has large scale effects on sexual pleasure, …”

    48% ADMITTED negative effects on sexual pleasure. 48% is not “large scale”? That’s virtually HALF. ADMITTED.

    “… in fact, it contradicts that assumption pretty effectively.”

    From the “CONCLUSION” of the report: “adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men”

    MANY men. Virtually half of them ADMIT negative effects on sexual pleasure. And this proves circumcising is just fine in your book. What a sicko. This is not a vote. The study doesn’t support your fore(skin)gone conclusions, just because “only” 48% REPORT decreased pleasure while 8% report increased pleasure (with the others apparently reporting neither. You seem to assume that the rest reported or had no change in amount of pleasure. Maybe some of them now feel no pleasure AT ALL.)

    You are obviously obsessed with denying the demonstrated negative effects of circumcising. You are lying, to yourself, obviously, and trying to lie to the world. Maybe it works with some people. Not with me. I think you lie also when you say you haven’t made up your mind yet about circumcising, to try to give a false appearance of objectivity.

  231. #231 Van Lewis
    December 8, 2006

    http://www.cirp.org/library/general/laumann/

    Laumann: “First, circumcision status does not appear to lower the likelihood of contracting an STD. Rather, the opposite pattern holds. Circumcised men were slightly more likely to have had both a bacterial and a viral STD in their lifetime. While these differences are not statistically significant, they do not lend support to the thesis that circumcision helps prevent the contraction of STDs. Indeed, for chlamydia, the difference between circumcised men and uncircumcised men is quite large. While 26 of 1033 circumcised men had contracted chlamydia in their lifetime, non(e) of the 353 uncircumcised men reported having had it.”

    Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease.

    ” As shown in Table 4, NHSLS data indicate that circumcised men engage in a somewhat more elaborated set of sexual practices than do men who are not circumcised. For each of the practices examined, lifetime experience of various forms of oral and anal sex and masturbation frequency in the past year, circumcised men engaged in these behaviors at greater rates. The difference between circumcised men was greatest for masturbation – ironically, a practice that circumcision was once thought to limit. A total of 47% of circumcised men reported masturbating at least once a month vs 34% for their uncircumcised peers. ”

    [CIRP Comment: Laumann does not indicate that he is aware of the findings of Taylor et al. regarding the innervation of the foreskin that were reported more than a year before Laumann's study was published. Laumann attributes changes in sexual behavior in circumcised men to social and cultural factors. It is far more likely that the changes are due to the loss of the sexual and erogenous functions of the excised foreskin.]

    We can’t get no (normal) satisfaction, and we try and we try and we try and we try. We’ll put it ANYWHERE trying to get what we never can. Circumcisng prevents normal sex for a lifetime. That is the obvious fact, if you understand the modern scientific neuroanatomy. http://research.cirp.org

    If you cut a baby’s eyes out, do you adversely impact his vision? If you cut a baby’s sexual eye out, you adversely affect his sexual “vision” too. Duuuuhhh.

    ” With respect to STDs, we found no evidence of a prophylactic role for circumcision and a slight tendency in the opposite direction. Indeed, the absence of a foreskin was significantly associated with contraction of bacterial STDs among men who have had many partners in their lifetimes. These results suggest a reexamination of the prevailing wisdom regarding the prophylactic effect of circumcision. While circumcision may have an impact that was not picked up by the NHSLS data, it seems unlikely to justify the claims made by those who base their support for widespread circumcision on it.”

    “CONCLUSION

    “… we have discovered that circumcision provides no discernible prophylactic benefit and may in fact increase the likelihood of STD contraction”.

  232. #232 Seth Manapio
    December 8, 2006

    Van:
    “You can’t read? “Masturbatory pleasure” isn’t about physical sensation?… You are obviously obsessed with denying the demonstrated negative effects of circumcising.”

    The paper he is talking about:
    “There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men.”

    There are, as far as I know, no demonstrated negative effects of circumcision on sexual function, certainly none in this study. Van is obsessed with the finding that about half of men in this study had some decreased pleasure in masturbating, even though this is a subjective measure and we have no idea of the degree of change or whether this effect persisted as they got used to their new penis.

    Notice, also, how Van shifts his rules of evidence! When men say they prefer the circumsized penis, he claims they are lying or delusional.

    “When men make a big mistake in their lives, especially an irreversible one, it can be hard to admit the fact, even or especially to themselves. Nobody mutilated wants to believe that sex is worse after mutilation.”

    But he denies the obvious opposite interpretation, that men who are used to being uncircumsized might be subjectively uncomfortable with a circumsized penis, even though there is little or no actual change in sensation. Van has an assumption that circumcision is not merely bad, but horrible. All evidence (even evidence from the 80% of men who reported that they had no change in their sex life (except masturbation) after this procedure, gets twisted to match his worldview. He refuses to believe the objective findind of the study he cites: there was no measurable change in function after circumcision.

    And apparently, in the next post Van is arguing that circumcized men are missing out on sex because they get more head. Yeah. Sucks for them, huh?

    Seriously, though, Van’s best evidence is to quote a study that states flat out that it showed no statistically significant results as evidence to support his case. This is as a response to a post about a more recent study that DOES show statistically significant results in the opposite way.

    Van, it isn’t that my mind is made up, it is that your arguments are really bad.

  233. #233 Van Lewis
    December 8, 2006

    For anyone overly impressed with Robster’s unsupported assertions that babies don’t form long term memories because their brains aren’t developed enough to do that, this new information published yesterday on babies’ brain development should give you pause before uncritically taking his, or any possible earlier studies’ word for it:

    “But Bartocci’s research shows that the brains of premature babies are far more developed than previously thought.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news84739474.html

    Published: 18:44, December 07, 2006
    Newborns probably able to feel pain: research

    Many doctors refrain from giving newborns pain relief during surgical procedures in the belief that they do not feel pain, but new research shows this could be wrong, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden said on Thursday.

    “New measurement techniques show that even premature babies display all the signs of a conscious experience of pain,” the research institute said in a statement, citing a doctoral thesis by Italian-Swedish researcher Marco Bartocci.

    “For many years, doctors have assumed that foetuses, premature babies and fully developed newborn babies do not have the cerebral cortical functions required to feel pain,” it said.

    “Babies’ reactions to potentially painful stimuli have been explained away as unconscious reflexes and so doctors have felt it justified to withhold painkillers during surgery and the like so as to avoid adverse reactions,” the institute said.

    But Bartocci’s research shows that the brains of premature babies are far more developed than previously thought.

    His studies “using infrared spectroscopy … show that pain signals from a pin prick are processed in the cerebral cortex of premature babies in the same way as in adults.”

    This indicates that “all known pre-conditions for the conscience experience of pain are present, even though this still does not provide any conclusive evidence that they actually undergo a subjective painful experience.”

    The results of the study, which have been published in the scientific journal Pain, are expected to have “a major impact on pain-relief management for newborn babies as well as on approaches to child development in general,” the institute said.

    The public defence of the doctoral thesis will be held on Friday.

    © 2006 AFP

  234. #234 Van Lewis
    December 8, 2006

    Seth says: “The paper he is talking about:
    “There were no significant differences in sexual drive, erection, ejaculation, and ejaculation latency time between circumcised and uncircumcised men.”

    That coes NOT say that circumcision does not damage sexual experience or aspects of sexuality other than the ones listed.

    The conclusion of the paper I am talking about: “… adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men”.

    Seth is still in denial:

    “There are, as far as I know, no demonstrated negative effects of circumcision on sexual function, certainly none in this study.”

    It’s authors say otherwise.

    “Van is obsessed with the finding that about half of men in this study had some decreased pleasure in masturbating, …”

    You claimed that “… ” slightly more than half of these men showed no decrease in masturbatory pleasure… ”

    They didn’t “show” no decrease. They REPORTED no decrease. In fact , 8% reported INCREASE in sexual pleasure. (1/6th as many as reported decrease.) That leaves 44% who apparently reported no increase or decrease. We don’t know that this means that they felt their sensation stayed the same. Maybe some of them simply didn’t answer the question. We don’t know. But for the sake of argumant let’s assume it stayed the same. Seth tries to claim this 44% for his side of the argument, “… more than half of these men showed no decrease in masturbatory pleasure”. 52% to 48%, Seth wins?

    Sorry Charlie. Seth, like anyone contemplating or advocating circumcising children, has the burden of proving scientifically that circumcising is good for them. VERY good. The 44% that he assumes stayed the same are on my side of the argument. If circumcising doesn’t improve things, YOU DON’T DO IT. You can’t go around chopping up people’s bodies without their permission because 44% show no improvement and 48% show actual harm, that is, 92% of the sample indicates against circumcising, only 8% “for”, as far a sexual pleasure goes. And even that doen’t indicate for INVOLUNTARY circumcising. Seth tries to claim my 92% vs his 8% as HIS victory. Talk about “obsessed”.

    “… even though this is a subjective measure and we have no idea of the degree of change or whether this effect persisted as they got used to their new penis.”

    ALL experience is subjective. Seth thinks we shouldn’t pay any attention to the personal testimony of 48% of the men who report actual harm, and an additional 44% who report no improvement. That only the 8 % should count. That’s nuts.

    “Notice, also, how Van shifts his rules of evidence! When men say they prefer the circumsized penis, he claims they are lying or delusional.”

    That’s another falsehood. I said “it CAN be hard to admit the fact”. Men may prefer the circucmised penis all they like and be telling the truth. This in NO way justifies circumcising OTHER men involuntarily who may have or grow to have a vastly different, even opposite view. Let every man be in charge of his OWN penis. What’s wrong with that? If he wants to place a permanent bet on the 8% when he’s a fully informed adult, chop away for all I care. But leave 100% of the babies out of this authoritarian, dictatorial, criminal insanity. Neither Seth nor any other human has proved the case for circumcising. That’s why no national or international medical organization supports circumcising children. In the absense of convincing, accepted, scientific proof of positive value, the ethical position is to leave it alone. It’s the ethical position even in the PRESENCE of convincing, accepted, scientific proof of value. Seth can’t talk about ethics. Why? Because he knows nothing about it? Or because he knows about it and knows that nothing he has trumps the ethics of not doing unnecessary surgery on unconsenting people that harms them and endangers their lives, especially children?

    Van said: “When men make a big mistake in their lives, especially an irreversible one, it can be hard to admit the fact, even or especially to themselves. Nobody mutilated wants to believe that sex is worse after mutilation.” I’ve seen it over and over and over again. It happens.

    “But he denies the obvious opposite interpretation, that men who are used to being uncircumsized ”

    The correct term is “genitally intact”.

    “… might be subjectively uncomfortable with a circumsized penis, even though there is little or no actual change in sensation.”

    The unsupported hypothesis that there is little or no change in sensation is the wish and dream of Seth and almost all other genitally mutilated men. It is contradicted by the available evidence, both subjective and objective.

    “… is Van has an assumption that circumcision is not merely bad, but horrible.”

    That is not an assumption. It is a perception. Or rather many perceptions. I have witnessed circumcising personally, both subjectively and objectively. I have studied it for 45 plus years. I perceive it to be (not assume it to be) not just horrible, but heinous.

    “All evidence (even evidence from the 80% of men who reported that they had no change in their sex life (except masturbation) after this procedure, gets twisted to match his worldview.”

    Projection if I’ve ever seen it. And I have. Lots of it.

    “He refuses to believe the objective findind of the study he cites: there was no measurable change in function after circumcision.”

    Not according to the authors of the study. They say otherwise. “… adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men”.

    “And apparently, in the next post Van is arguing that circumcized men are missing out on sex because they get more head. Yeah. Sucks for them, huh?”

    Laumann discovered that circumcised men engage in a wider variety of sexual practice than genitally intact men. More oral sex. More anal sex. Kinkier sex. Why? The obvious answer is that, deprived of the normal compliment of sexual sense organs, they have to try harder to get the pleasure their bodies crave but are incapable of experiencing. So they engage in more outlandish and dangerous practices, and then say, “Oh those poor guys with normal penises and normal sexual experience. They don’t get as much kinky sex as we circumcised guys do. They’re satisfied with intercourse. Poor dudes.” Right.

    “Seriously, though, Van’s best evidence is to quote a study that states flat out that it showed no statistically significant results as evidence to support his case. This is as a response to a post about a more recent study that DOES show statistically significant results in the opposite way.”

    My best evidence is not any science of any kind. My best evidence is the dead bodies of children and babies killed by involuntary, forced, useless genital mutialtion, by the madness that allows these sex crime to continue.

    “Van, it isn’t that my mind is made up, it is that your arguments are really bad.”

    Seth, it isn’t that my arguments are bad. It’s that you grew up in an insane, genitally mutilating culture and haven’t gone sane yet. When you do, if you ever do, you are in for a whole lot of pain. I feel sorry for you. I wish you didn’t have to experience it. But to go sane you will have to. Sanity is worth it, though. I recommend going sane by experiencing the pain, BEFORE you have sons, so your son(s), should you be lucky enough to have any, won’t have to. If you circumcise them and THEN go sane, watch out. The pain of that is so bad it can drive you insane again.

    You never commented on my simple post about the difference in the “mistake” of not circumcising vs the miistake of circucmising. If yiou don’t, your son can correct your “error. If you do, neither he nor you nor ANYONE can correct your mistake. Ever. That’s a long time.

  235. #235 Van Lewis
    December 9, 2006

    The paper I posted reference to above concerning pain and it’s negative effects in babies is hot news, but not in any way unprecedented. Scientists have been studying pain in babies for at least two decades. It has taken US medicine a long time to give up its absurd, self-defensive myth that “Babies can’t feel pain because their nervous systems aren’t developed enough, so it’s ok for us to sock it to ‘em in the crotch”. Read the “SPECIAL ARTICLE”, “PAIN AND ITS EFFECTS IN THE HUMAN NEONATE AND FETUS”, by K.J.S. ANAND, M.B.B.S., D.PHIL., AND P.R. HICKEY, M.D, from THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, Volume 317, Number 21: Pages 1321-1329, 19 November 1987, written over 19 years ago, available at http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/anand/ . It wasn’t until 1999, a dozen years AFTER Anand’s and Hickey’s famous paper in the NEJM that the AAP finally got around to RECOMMENDING (strongly) anesthetics in medically unnecessary, unethical, illegal genital mutilation of neonates. Now the new myth is, “Babies do appear to EXPERIENCE the pain we sock to ‘em in the crotch but they can’t REMEMBER it because their brains aren’t developed enough so it’s ok for us to torture them and mutilate their sex organs for life and thereby risk their lives IF ONE parent, no matter how sick and sadistic, asks us to. The amputee will never know the difference. Can’t afford to. The sex crime will remain hidden forever because everybody involved WANTS it to.” They don’t use the same logic with date rape drugs. Why not? “But your honor, I gave her a GREAT date rape drug and she herself testified that she can’t remember a thing! Why am I getting this life sentence? UNFAIR! I spend a lot of MONEY for those damn drugs! I take good care of ALL my dates. Now after all my trouble and expense you’re saying I shouldn’t have given them all those expensive, state-of-the art anesthetics my doctor prescribed? What a waste! The US justice system is DISGUSTING!”

  236. #236 Seth Manapio
    December 9, 2006

    ME:
    “He refuses to believe the objective findind of the study he cites: there was no measurable change in function after circumcision.”

    VAN:
    Not according to the authors of the study. They say otherwise. “… adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men”.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    The study had an objective measure, that is, how long it took men to get it up, how well they could keep it up, and how long it took to get off. The study had a subjective measure, a self report of how men felt about their circumcisized penis, what their perceptions of sex and masturbation after circumcision was like.

    The objective measure showed no change. The subjective measure did. Yet fully 80% of respondents self-reported either no change or an improvement in their sex life. That isn’t projection on my part, its a finding of the study.

    Van wants self report to be important and reliable when it supports him, and unimportant when it doesn’t. He wants it to matter that 48% of men self-reported decreased masturbatory pleasure, but not to matter that 52% did not. Van thinks that the subjective finding should be important, and the objective one should not.

    Van has some idea that there is a massive difference in sensation between circumcized and uncircumsized sex, that circed men are missing out on a whole world of sensation. But the study he cites doesn’t support this finding at all. No study does. I’m not saying this is a finding that supports routine neonatal circumcision, I’m saying that this is not a finding that supports the intactivist myth of extra dimensions of sensation.

    The CIRP people interpret that men are engaging in more oral and anal sex because they aren’t satisfied with vaginal sex like those intact guys are. I have a different interpretation of that finding. Since neithe of us have any data to back that up, we’re both equally full of shit. Again, this doesn’t support routine neonatal circumcision, it merely demonstrates a problem with Van’s position.

    Van, it is the case that your arguments are, for the most part, truly awful. You change your standards, you extrapolate wildly, you wax hysterical about dead babies (ignoring, I suppose, those unfortunate children who die as a result of an agressive UTI) and you tend to move the conversation consistently to your own personal dissatisfaction with your penis… something I really don’t care about.

    However, despite the really lousy job you are doing presenting your case, I remain skeptical of circumcision, which is how I started.

    The thing is, it actually matters when the procedure is done. The tissue becomes much more vascular later in life. If it must be done, it is best done as early as possible. So this could be a valuable and important conversation.

  237. #237 Jake
    December 12, 2006

    The effect of male circumcision on sexuality
    DaiSik Kim and Myung-Geol Pang*

    Unfortunately the abstract of this article does not indicate how the participants were recruited, nor does it indicate what, precisely, was asked. Both are important issues, and may explain why their findings are so different from, say, Masood’s.

    Interestingly, both authors received an award from the anti-circumcision group NOCIRC for “for their work to protect South Korean males [from circumcision].”

    “Immunological advantage? No study supports this.”

    Bullshit. Rank falsehood. Read “Immunological functions of the human prepuce” in SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (London), Volume 74, Number 5, Pages 364-367,
    October 1998. It is and contains references to studies published in the medical literature showing exactly such functions.

    Actually, it doesn’t. It reinterprets existing literature to “find” such functions. In some cases, their own references contradict their hypothesis. For example, they build much of their case on an ancient case report of apocrine cystodenoma in the prepuce. From this, they infer that apocrine glands are normally present in the preputial mucosa. In doing so, they ignored two of their own references. One of these states: “mucosal surface of the prepuce is completely free of lanugo hair follicles, sweat and sebaceous glands,” and the other states “There are no glands in this [preputial] space,” citing previous work.

  238. #238 Robster
    December 12, 2006

    “But Bartocci’s research shows that the brains of premature babies are far more developed than previously thought.”

    Still quote mining I see. The press release regarding this study suggests (but does not prove) that fetuses, premies and newborns feel pain (at least react to pain stimuli) (so use anaesthesia and pain management). There is no mention that any of this research has yet passed peer review, only that it has been accepted for defense as a dissertation thesis. It does not suggest that newborns form memories.

  239. #239 bill bristol
    December 12, 2006

    My parents had me circumcised at almost age 3. I got to see my first 4skin in first grade. I was stunned and asked my mom what happened. To which she told me that it is so much better to be circumcised. I could not then, and still cannot understand how removing a piece of tissue from the body will make it better. So when our son was born, I said “NO!” He is now a teenager and has no problem with his 4skin. I am the one who 3 or 4 times a year must get cranberry juice for the pain during peeing.

    They did not do that good of a job on me, and my brother had to take his first son back to the hospital for “corrective” surgery due to the botched up circumcision. My brother said “NO!” to having his other two sons being cut.

    One of our son’s early caregivers had 5 children. 4 boys and 1 girl. All the boys were cut. The first looked like a peeled banana because too much skin was removed. With the 2nd, the “wound” got infected and ate holes in his glans. The holes filled in but the glans had a swirl effect. With the 3rd boy, the circumcision area would not stop bleeding so the child had to be given blood. With her last boy, he screamed and screamed because of the pain. Then he peuked and choked on his puke and then had to be resusuitated.

    Is circumcision a good idea? Not from what I have seen. In school PE, I saw a lot of screw-ups. Including part of the glans removed. Better to say “NO!”

  240. #240 Seth Manapio
    December 12, 2006

    “They did not do that good of a job on me, and my brother had to take his first son back to the hospital for “corrective” surgery due to the botched up circumcision. My brother said “NO!” to having his other two sons being cut.”

    ———–

    Dude, those are terrible stories! Where the heck do you live? I’ve never met a guy in my whole life who had any issues at all related to a circumcision, or known about a baby who did. And oddly, my wifes friends, who are pretty much all nurses, have the opposite stories in spades about boys who have just the terrible foreskin problems you can imagine. That’s the thing about personal stories, though, your mileage may vary.

    I wouldn’t think that your peeing issue is related to the circumcision, but then, I’m not a doctor. Does your doctor say that it is?

  241. #241 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    “Jake” and “Seth” and “Robster” all sound like the same person to me. Whether they are or not, “his”/”their” posts all demonstrate clearly the common obsession and compulsion of the cut and mutilated male to try HARD to “justify” and make right the obvious wrong, the sex crime, that was committed against him by continuing to commit it against others. But this (these?) “JakeSethRobster” person(s) take(s) it to a new level of intellectualized sickness.

    Here is the bottom line: Chopping up other people’s healthy bodies unnecessarily without their permission and without clear medical necessity for doing so (NEVER present in healthy people) is unethical, immoral, and illegal. It is a clear violation of their physical integrity and their clearly established human right to their own normal, healthy body parts. There is no ethical, human rights, or legal exception for the male (or female or intersexed) foreskin or any other normal, healthy body part.

    Everything this (these?) sick person (people?) has (have?) obsessively argued for medical excuses (all medical associations admit or declare that the current medcial evidence does NOT justify circumcising healthy babies or other children) is not accepted anywhere in the world by any medical association as medically justifying circumcising any healthy person involuntarily. Doing so is obvious criminal activity.

  242. #242 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Seth keeps pretending that there are no known important functions of the foreskin and that because we don’t KNOW that there are any (a rank falsehood to begin with) it’s ok to chop them off (a false conclusion even if we DIDN’T know that foreskins are essential to normal human sex). Here’s some food for thought, for those brave enough to actually think for themselves instead of parrot sick excuses to mutilate healthy babies unnecessarily:

    Reasons to keep your son intact:

    - The owner of the penis should be the one to decide what to do with it.

    - The foreskin, not the head, is the most sensitive part of the normal,
    intact penis.

    - The movable shaft skin of an intact penis facilitates intercourse,
    reducing friction and prolonging pleasurable sex for both male and female.

    - The foreskin aids in foreplay; lubricants are optional for the couple with intact, fully functional sex organs.

    - An intact penis will have no circumcision scar, will often have less or no
    hair drawn up onto its shaft (hair that can abrade both penis and vagina, causing discomfort or pain during sex and providing entry to the body for dangerous pathogens), and will on average be somewhat larger than a circumcised penis. (Subtraction reduces. This is an elementary mathematical truth.)

    - The foreskin protects and lubricates the head or “glans” of the penis
    for the life of its owner. The glans or the head of the penis was never
    meant to be a external organ. It should be inside the foreskin to protect
    it and keep it sensitive. Women usually get blamed for “not enough lubrication” but in the USA lack of lubrication usually starts with the cut and dried, circumcised, mutilated, deficient penis of the man.

    - Approximately 80% of the world’s male population has intact genitals, including
    nearly all European males (please note that HIV/AIDS rates are actually
    lower in Europe than in America). Circumcision does NOT prevent AIDS. Wearing a condom does. Circumcising may or may not slow aquisition of HIV.

    - When people from non-circumcising countries hear that we in the USA
    still do it they are usually shocked, and often don’t believe it to be true. I have talked with many thousands of tourists at the annual circumcision protest at the US Capitol over the years and have been accused of lying many times by people from other countries who just cannot bring themselves to believe that US Americans are this insane.

    - Care of the intact infant penis is actually much easier as there is no
    wound care, you just wash it like a finger, it should never be retracted
    by anyone other than the child. The age it becomes retractable varies
    greatly normal range is childhood to adulthood.

    - The foreskin contains three to four feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of
    nerves, and 10-20,000 specialized nerve endings.

    - Circumcising males permanently diminishes the sexual feelings for both
    male and female.

    - The circumcision rate in the USA has fallen from 90% in 1970 to
    roughly 56% in 2004.

    - No medical organization anywhere recommends routine infant circ.

    - Circumcision is EXTREMELY painful, even if anesthetic is administered.
    Studies have proved that babies feel pain even more acutely than an
    adult would. It is a very great breech of trust for a baby to be taken
    from his parents and cut. It is very violating. Long after any
    anesthesia that might (most only get a sugar dipped rag or pacifier to suck
    on) have been used wears off there is still a raw open wound sitting in
    urine and feces with no pain relief. This is somebody’s idea of “more hygenic”?

    - The intact penis, if left alone, has no greater risk for UTI’s, STD’s,
    Penile Cancer, HIV, causing Cervical Cancer in women.
    UTI myth cirp.org/library/disease/UTI/
    nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php
    Quote:
    In fact, UTI’s are so rare in any case that, using Wiswell’s data, 50 to
    100 healthy boys would have to be circumcised in order to prevent a UTI
    from developing in only one patient. Using more recent data from a
    better-controlled study, the number of unnecessary operations needed to
    prevent one hospital admission for UTI would jump to 195.

    Cancer Society: tinyurl.com/y5fujz
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_Can_penile_cancer_be_pre
    vented_35.asp

    Quote:
    In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile
    cancer. This suggestion was based on studies that reported much lower
    penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men.
    However, most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because
    they failed to consider other factors that are now known to affect
    penile cancer risk.

    cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/
    Quote:
    Gellis (1978) said there are more deaths from circumcision than from
    cancer of the penis.8
    Boczko et al . found numerous reports of penile cancer in circumcised
    men, thus conclusively disproving Wolbarst’s false claims of protection
    from penile cancer by circumcision.9
    In “Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy,” Edward Wallerstein
    writes14: “If infant circumcision reduces penile cancer we could expect
    to see proportionately less penile cancer in circumcising nations as
    compared to non-circumcising ones. No such difference is found.”

    Quote:
    Preston established quite clearly that there was little evidence to
    support a relationship between lack of circumcision and penile cancer,
    cervical cancer, or cancer of the prostate in 1970 but he was unable to
    identify the causative agent at that time,6 while Leitch did the same in
    Australia.

    Circumcision and AIDS/HIV
    circumstitions.com/HIV.html
    cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/
    cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003362.html

    - The times the intact penis has trouble are when it is forcefully
    retracted before it is ready. The penis should only be retracted by its
    owner, when he’s ready. It is normal to not be retractable until after
    puberty. It is not a problem.

    - Circumcision is SURGERY and as such poses significant risks of
    infection to the wound.
    Possible complications include but are not limited to:
    infections;
    botched circumcisions that have to be redone;
    to tight circumcisions that cause extreme pain with erection;
    hair on the shaft;
    loss of sensation in the glans (head), it becomes keratinized (hardened)
    without the foreskin;
    amputation of the glans;
    amputation of the entire penis;
    ruptured stomach from crying so hard;
    ruptured bladder from crying so hard;
    ruptured intestines from crying so much;
    DEATH. It happens.
    and much much more.

    None of these side effects are present when just leaving a boy intact.

    - Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.

    - Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.

    - Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    - There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. They are all “poteential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

    - When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.
    Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

    - Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?

    - Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.

    - A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987

    - A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.

    - “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.

    - Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.

    - What if your son wants his foreskin?

    - A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.

    - How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?

    - It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.

    - Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.

    - Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

    - When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails. Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.

    Common myths you may hear from others and even Dr’s:

    coloradonocirc.org/myths.php

    Why men may insist on circumcision article

    udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/vulnerability_of_men.html

    Side by side comparison of MGM & FGM
    circumstitions.com/FGMvsMGM.html

    coloradonocirc.org/pamphlets.php has a list of circ myths.

    The list goes on.

  243. #243 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Previewing your Comment
    Seth keeps pretending that there are no known important functions of the foreskin and that because we don’t KNOW that there are any (a rank falsehood to begin with) it’s ok to chop them off (a false conclusion even if we DIDN’T know that foreskins are essential to normal human sex). Here’s some food for thought, for those brave enough to actually think for themselves instead of parrot sick excuses to mutilate healthy babies unnecessarily:

    Reasons to keep your son intact:

    - The owner of the penis should be the one to decide what to do with it.

    - The foreskin, not the head, is the most sensitive part of the normal,
    intact penis.

    - The movable shaft skin of an intact penis facilitates intercourse,
    reducing friction and prolonging pleasurable sex for both male and female.

    - The foreskin aids in foreplay; lubricants are optional for the couple with intact, fully functional sex organs.

    - An intact penis will have no circumcision scar, will often have less or no
    hair drawn up onto its shaft (hair that can abrade both penis and vagina, causing discomfort or pain during sex and providing entry to the body for dangerous pathogens), and will on average be somewhat larger than a circumcised penis. (Subtraction reduces. This is an elementary mathematical truth.)

    - The foreskin protects and lubricates the head or “glans” of the penis
    for the life of its owner. The glans or the head of the penis was never
    meant to be a external organ. It should be inside the foreskin to protect
    it and keep it sensitive. Women usually get blamed for “not enough lubrication” but in the USA lack of lubrication usually starts with the cut and dried, circumcised, mutilated, deficient penis of the man.

    - Approximately 80% of the world’s male population has intact genitals, including
    nearly all European males (please note that HIV/AIDS rates are actually
    lower in Europe than in America). Circumcision does NOT prevent AIDS. Wearing a condom does. Circumcising may or may not slow aquisition of HIV.

    - When people from non-circumcising countries hear that we in the USA
    still do it they are usually shocked, and often don’t believe it to be true. I have talked with many thousands of tourists at the annual circumcision protest at the US Capitol over the years and have been accused of lying many times by people from other countries who just cannot bring themselves to believe that US Americans are this insane.

    - Care of the intact infant penis is actually much easier as there is no
    wound care, you just wash it like a finger, it should never be retracted
    by anyone other than the child. The age it becomes retractable varies
    greatly normal range is childhood to adulthood.

    - The foreskin contains three to four feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of
    nerves, and 10-20,000 specialized nerve endings.

    - Circumcising males permanently diminishes the sexual feelings for both
    male and female.

    - The circumcision rate in the USA has fallen from 90% in 1970 to
    roughly 56% in 2004.

    - No medical organization anywhere recommends routine infant circ.

    - Circumcision is EXTREMELY painful, even if anesthetic is administered.
    Studies have proved that babies feel pain even more acutely than an
    adult would. It is a very great breech of trust for a baby to be taken
    from his parents and cut. It is very violating. Long after any
    anesthesia that might (most only get a sugar dipped rag or pacifier to suck
    on) have been used wears off there is still a raw open wound sitting in
    urine and feces with no pain relief. This is somebody’s idea of “more hygenic”?

    - The intact penis, if left alone, has no greater risk for UTI’s, STD’s,
    Penile Cancer, HIV, causing Cervical Cancer in women.
    UTI myth cirp.org/library/disease/UTI/
    nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php
    Quote:
    In fact, UTI’s are so rare in any case that, using Wiswell’s data, 50 to
    100 healthy boys would have to be circumcised in order to prevent a UTI
    from developing in only one patient. Using more recent data from a
    better-controlled study, the number of unnecessary operations needed to
    prevent one hospital admission for UTI would jump to 195.

    - The times the intact penis has trouble are when it is forcefully
    retracted before it is ready. The penis should only be retracted by its
    owner, when he’s ready. It is normal to not be retractable until after
    puberty. It is not a problem.

    - Circumcision is SURGERY and as such poses significant risks of
    infection to the wound.
    Possible complications include but are not limited to:
    infections;
    botched circumcisions that have to be redone;
    to tight circumcisions that cause extreme pain with erection;
    hair on the shaft;
    loss of sensation in the glans (head), it becomes keratinized (hardened)
    without the foreskin;
    amputation of the glans;
    amputation of the entire penis;
    ruptured stomach from crying so hard;
    ruptured bladder from crying so hard;
    ruptured intestines from crying so much;
    DEATH. It happens.
    and much much more.

    None of these side effects are present when just leaving a boy intact.

    To be continued:

  244. #244 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Continued from previous post:

    - Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.

    - Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.

    - Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    - There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. They are all “poteential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

    - When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.
    Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

    - Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?

    - Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.

    - A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987

    - A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.

    - “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.

    - Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.

    - What if your son wants his foreskin?

    - A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.

    - How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?

    - It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.

    - Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.

    - Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

    - When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails. Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.

    The list goes on.

  245. #245 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Continued from earlier post of list of reasons to let your son keep his penis intact as nature made it:

    - Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.

    - Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.

    - Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    - There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. They are all “potential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

    - When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.
    Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

    - Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?

    - Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.

    - A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987

    - A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.

    - “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.

    - Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.

    - What if your son wants his foreskin?

    - A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.

    - How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?

    - It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.

    - Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.

    - Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

    - When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails. Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.

    The list goes on.

  246. #246 Seth Manapio
    December 15, 2006

    About 50% of the statements in Van’s post have any basis in fact. Finding out which ones is left as an exercise for the reader.

    HINT: Everything Van says about sex is free of evidentiary support.

  247. #247 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Continued from earlier post of list of reasons to protect your son’s penis and let him keep it intact as nature made it:

    - It’s better to make what MIGHT and might NOT be a “mistake” that can be corrected later than one that can never be corrected.

    - Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.

    - Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.

    - Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    - There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. They are all “potential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

    - When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.
    Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

    - Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?

    - Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.

    - A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987

    - A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.

    - “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.

    - Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.

    - What if your son wants his foreskin?

    - A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.

    - How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?

    - It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.

    - Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.

    - Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

    - When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails. Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.

    The list goes on.

  248. #248 Van Lewis
    December 15, 2006

    Continued from earlier post of list of reasons to protect your son’s penis and let him keep it intact as nature made it:

    - It’s better to make what MIGHT and might NOT be a “mistake” that can be corrected later than one that can never be corrected.

    - Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.

    - Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation. It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.

    - Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.

    - There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision. They are all “potential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.

    - When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.
    Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.

    - Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?

    - Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.

    - A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987

    - A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.

    - “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.

    - Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.

    - What if your son wants his foreskin?

    - A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.

    - How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?

    - It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.

    - Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.

    - Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!

    - When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails. Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.

    The list goes on.

  249. #249 Seth Manapio
    December 15, 2006

    “A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.”

    ———–

    By a lot of men, Van basically means himself. Most men are pretty secure with their penises, circumcized or not. And it isn’t even remotely similar to clitorectdomy, which involves removal or erectile tissue. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Van, you need your own blog where you can make shit up in peace.

  250. #250 Caledonian
    December 15, 2006

    Erectile tissue isn’t full of sensory nerves, it’s the tissue covering it that is – like the foreskin.

    Manapio, once again you completely miss the point. The timing of the circumcision seems to induce quite a few UTIs – delaying the procedure might help avoid this, but since the infants aren’t being circumcized for their health in the first place, that won’t happen.

  251. #251 Caledonian
    December 15, 2006

    No evidence of loss of sensation?

    The Canadian Pediatric link I provided spoke of how supplied with specialized nerve endings (that weren’t found in skin rather down the penile shaft or on the glans) the foreskin was, and it spoke of how necessary pain control was if circumcision *was* performed.

    You responded to that posting by echoing the need for proper pain control. Yet you continue to insist that removing most of the skin that would otherwise contact the vagina, the skin that has a mechanical function during sex and whose loss causes the mechanics of sex to change, has no effect on the sexual experience.

    In medical ethics, a procedure or intervention must be justified. The null hypothesis is that intervention isn’t appropriate, and that hypothesis must be disproved for intervention to be ethically valid. In the case of the penis, I hold that the null hypothesis is that its parts have functions.

    What reasons do you offer to support your contention that removing the foreskin has no negative effects?

    Oh, and Van Lewis, will you please shut up? You’re as poor a thinker as Manapio and Robster, and frankly you’re making the reasonable people here look bad.

  252. #252 Van Lewis
    December 16, 2006

    What reasonable people, Caledonian? Other than yourself, of course? And how to I make YOU look bad? My posts are mine. Yours are yours. I’m not you. You’re not me.

    The program is telling me my posts aren’t getting through when apparently they are. Sorry about the multiples.

  253. #253 Van Lewis
    December 16, 2006

    Seth says: “By a lot of men, Van basically means himself.”

    Another falsehood. Seth spews them repeatedly. I personally know MANY men who are angry, many of them VERY angry, as they should be, that presumptuous, ignorant, arrogant people took it upon themselves to chop up sex organs not their own. If you want to chop up sex organs, chop up your own. Not other people’s. Chopping up other people’s healthy, whole sex organs or any other healthy, whole body parts of other people is an insane violation of their human rights for which the chopee should be jailed to protect the public. The crime is called “mayhem”. Circumcising non-consenting parties without clear medical necessity fits the definition and IS mayhem:
    “may·hem [mey-hem, mey-uhm] -noun
    1. Law. the crime of willfully inflicting a bodily injury on another so as to make the victim less capable of self-defense or, under modern statutes, so as to cripple or mutilate the victim.”

    That is what circucmising actually accomplishes. Denial fo the obvious biological facts is necessary in order to continue to mutilate and to avoid prosecution for mutilating. Denial of facts doesn’t change them, it just makes fools of those in denial.

  254. #254 Van Lewis
    December 16, 2006

    Seth: “Everything Van says about sex is free of evidentiary support.”

    Another falsehood. In genitally mutilating cultures falsehoods about sex are highly valued, however, so many people in this genitally mutilating culture would have strong motivations to believe the obvious falsehood Seth spews above. Telling ignorant, sick people what they desperately want to believe makes one popular with ignorant, sick people because it reenforces their ignorance and sickness and declares it knowledge and health, but it doesn’t help the actually healthy but helpless babies. To each his or her own. Just don’t use these falsehoods to mutilate OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES. Why is that so hard for compulsive circumcisionists like RobsterSethJake to understand? The compulsion to repeat the trauma in other people as a way of trying to deal with the trauma in one’s own body and mind is very powerful in these obsessively compulsive circumcisionists. They don’t understand and WON’T understand because if they did they’d have to give up their present ignorant and sick way of dealing with their own trauma and mutilation, to which they are heavily addicted. Too much hard, painful work. Mutilate healthy babies instead. Make THEM feel the pain.

  255. #255 Van Lewis
    December 16, 2006

    Seth claims, “Most men are pretty secure with their penises, circumcized or not.”

    Another obvious falsehood. Why does such a large percentage of spam traveling the information superhighway concern techniques for making penises bigger? Why do US men consume most of the world’s Viagra and other potency enhancing drugs? Because “Most men are pretty secure with their penises, circumcized or not”? I don’t think so. This falsehood of Seth’s is just another effort to keep involuntary circumcision “acceptable” in an environment in which it is becoming less so every day.

    Chopping up other people’s normal, healthy body parts without their permission is criminal activity. Infant Circumcision is a Sex Crime. Abolish it.

  256. #256 Brian X
    December 16, 2006

    As a circumcised man myself, I take a more or less “whatever” attitude on the matter. I don’t lose any sleep about it, and in fact, I get more annoyed with people who are overly passionate about it one way or the other than I do about the issue itself.

    Of course, that applies only to males… for females, there isn’t much of anything to remove, and that which is there is generally essential to sexual response. In that case I feel “mutilation” is an entirely justified term.

  257. #257 Van Lewis
    December 16, 2006

    Brian X says, “As a circumcised man myself, I take a more or less “whatever” attitude on the matter.”

    The babies who are killed by circumcision and the ones who lose their entire penis or their glans or part of it probably don’t share your irresponsible attitude.

    Brian again: “I get more annoyed with people who are overly passionate about it one way or the other than I do about the issue itself.”

    People who protest human rights violations are often subjected to abuse by the people who get “annoyed” and worse with those who point out the hypocrisy of the violators and the injustices they are committing. No surprise there.

  258. #258 Caledonian
    December 16, 2006

    In that case I feel “mutilation” is an entirely justified term.

    I have to say that I don’t understand this sentiment. ‘Mutilation’ does not imply that the damaged parts were important or that the damage was severe – it’s applicable whether used with males or females.

  259. #259 Jake
    December 16, 2006

    Ok, let’s analyse some of Van Lewis’s claims. I’m occasionally including sources, but I can provide others on request for any claims that others would like to verify.

    “- The owner of the penis should be the one to decide what to do with it.”

    The owner of the immune system/brain should be the one to decide to vaccinate/educate it. No, the argument doesn’t work. Still, if you believe it, then don’t circumcise.

    “- The foreskin, not the head, is the most sensitive part of the normal, intact penis.”

    No evidence exists to support this claim.

    “- The movable shaft skin of an intact penis facilitates intercourse, reducing friction and prolonging pleasurable sex for both male and female.”

    No evidence exists to support this claim.

    “- The foreskin aids in foreplay; lubricants are optional for the couple with intact, fully functional sex organs.”

    No evidence exists to support this claim.

    “- An intact penis will have no circumcision scar, will often have less or no
    hair drawn up onto its shaft (hair that can abrade both penis and vagina, causing discomfort or pain during sex and providing entry to the body for dangerous pathogens), and will on average be somewhat larger than a circumcised penis. (Subtraction reduces. This is an elementary mathematical truth.)”

    Well, the scar part is true, but studies on size have had conflicting results, and as far as I’m aware, only one study has assessed pain during intercourse, and found that it’s more common for uncircumcised males.

    “- The foreskin protects and lubricates the head or “glans” of the penis for the life of its owner. The glans or the head of the penis was never meant to be a external organ. It should be inside the foreskin to protect it and keep it sensitive. Women usually get blamed for “not enough lubrication” but in the USA lack of lubrication usually starts with the cut and dried, circumcised, mutilated, deficient penis of the man.”

    Protects from what? Evidently not local infection, etc. As for sensitive, studies consistently show that there is no difference in glans sensitivity between circumcised and uncircumcised males.

    “- Approximately 80% of the world’s male population has intact genitals, including
    nearly all European males (please note that HIV/AIDS rates are actually lower in Europe than in America). Circumcision does NOT prevent AIDS. Wearing a condom does. Circumcising may or may not slow aquisition of HIV.”

    The true percentage of the world’s male population that’s circumcised is of course unknown. Estimates range from 10 to 33%. Including the large Muslim population and males circumcised for medical reasons, it is likely that about 25% are circumcised worldwide.

    Anyone now denying that circumcision is protective against HIV must be very out of touch with the evidence.

    “- When people from non-circumcising countries hear that we in the USA still do it they are usually shocked, and often don’t believe it to be true. I have talked with many thousands of tourists at the annual circumcision protest at the US Capitol over the years and have been accused of lying many times by people from other countries who just cannot bring themselves to believe that US Americans are this insane.”

    Great: anecdote.

    “- Care of the intact infant penis is actually much easier as there is no wound care, you just wash it like a finger, it should never be retracted by anyone other than the child. The age it becomes retractable varies greatly normal range is childhood to adulthood.”

    Ok.

    “- The foreskin contains three to four feet of blood vessels, 240 feet of nerves, and 10-20,000 specialized nerve endings.”

    No study has ever counted the number of nerve endings, specialised or otherwise. This “fact” is simply an invention.

    “- Circumcising males permanently diminishes the sexual feelings for both male and female.”

    No credible evidence supports this claim.

    “- The circumcision rate in the USA has fallen from 90% in 1970 to roughly 56% in 2004.”

    The CDC make circumcision rates available from 1979 to 1999. The rate was 64.3% in 1979 and 65.3% in 1999.

    “- No medical organization anywhere recommends routine infant circ.”

    Correct. Most recommend that parents make an informed decision for their son.

    “- Circumcision is EXTREMELY painful, even if anesthetic is administered. Studies have proved that babies feel pain even more acutely than an
    adult would. It is a very great breech of trust for a baby to be taken from his parents and cut. It is very violating. Long after any anesthesia that might (most only get a sugar dipped rag or pacifier to suck on) have been used wears off there is still a raw open wound sitting in
    urine and feces with no pain relief. This is somebody’s idea of “more hygenic”?”

    Actually, studies show that circumcision is extremely painful when performed without anaesthesia. With ring-block, pain has been shown to be eliminated.

    “- The intact penis, if left alone, has no greater risk for UTI’s, STD’s,
    Penile Cancer, HIV, causing Cervical Cancer in women.”

    This is a complete falsehood.

    “UTI myth cirp.org/library/disease/UTI/”

    This page appears to focus entirely on a couple of studies conducted by Wiswell, ignoring the ten or so other studies that found similar results.

    “nocirc.org/statements/breastfeeding.php
    Quote:
    In fact, UTI’s are so rare in any case that, using Wiswell’s data, 50 to
    100 healthy boys would have to be circumcised in order to prevent a UTI
    from developing in only one patient. Using more recent data from a
    better-controlled study, the number of unnecessary operations needed to
    prevent one hospital admission for UTI would jump to 195.”

    The quote directly contradicts your claim. If there were no greater risk, then circumcising an infinite number of infants would have no effect whatsoever.

    “Cancer Society: tinyurl.com/y5fujz
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_Can_penile_cancer_be_pre
    vented_35.asp

    Quote:
    In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile
    cancer. This suggestion was based on studies that reported much lower
    penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men.
    However, most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because
    they failed to consider other factors that are now known to affect
    penile cancer risk.”

    Unfortunately, that page does not cite any sources. Interestingly, another page from the same organisation says otherwise:

    In the United States, men who are circumcised in childhood have a lower rate of penile cancer. It’s not known whether this is due to the absence of the foreskin or other lifestyle factors. Recent studies have found that circumcised men are less likely to be infected with HPV, even after this risk is adjusted for differences in sexual behavior. Other studies suggest that circumcision may reduce the risk of more invasive forms of penile cancer. A recent study reported that uncircumcised men who had phimosis in the past were at increased risk of developing penile cancer. Penile cancer risk was not increased among uncircumcised men without phimosis.

    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_What_are_the_risk_factors_for_penile_cancer_35.asp

    “cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/
    Quote:
    Gellis (1978) said there are more deaths from circumcision than from
    cancer of the penis.8″

    Great. Douglas Adams said that the world is a giant computer controlled by mice.

    “Boczko et al . found numerous reports of penile cancer in circumcised
    men, thus conclusively disproving Wolbarst’s false claims of protection
    from penile cancer by circumcision.9″

    Amusingly, Boczko actually concluded: “Nonetheless, performing it in infancy continues to be the most effective prophylactic measure against penile carcinoma.”

    “In “Circumcision: An American Health Fallacy,” Edward Wallerstein
    writes14: “If infant circumcision reduces penile cancer we could expect
    to see proportionately less penile cancer in circumcising nations as
    compared to non-circumcising ones. No such difference is found.”

    This is idiotic. Penile cancer has multiple risk factors, so you would not expect to see a linear relationship.

    “Quote:
    Preston established quite clearly that there was little evidence to
    support a relationship between lack of circumcision and penile cancer,
    cervical cancer, or cancer of the prostate in 1970 but he was unable to
    identify the causative agent at that time,6 while Leitch did the same in
    Australia.”

    Ok, that was 36 years ago, and quite a lot of research has been done since then.

    “Circumcision and AIDS/HIV
    circumstitions.com/HIV.html
    cirp.org/library/disease/HIV/”

    Wild-eyed anti-circumcision sites are not terribly convincing.

    “cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003362.html”

    Good, but…

    Date of last Subtantial Update: April 09. 2003

    Three randomised controlled trials have completed since then.

    “- The times the intact penis has trouble are when it is forcefully
    retracted before it is ready. The penis should only be retracted by its
    owner, when he’s ready. It is normal to not be retractable until after
    puberty. It is not a problem.”

    Very nice, but the first sentence has little basis in evidence.

    “- Circumcision is SURGERY and as such poses significant risks of
    infection to the wound.”

    True.

    “Possible complications include but are not limited to:
    infections;
    botched circumcisions that have to be redone;
    to tight circumcisions that cause extreme pain with erection;
    hair on the shaft;
    loss of sensation in the glans (head), it becomes keratinized (hardened)
    without the foreskin;”

    Disproven.

    “amputation of the glans;
    amputation of the entire penis;
    ruptured stomach from crying so hard;
    ruptured bladder from crying so hard;
    ruptured intestines from crying so much;
    DEATH. It happens.
    and much much more.”

    True. Most are incredibly rare, but possible.

    “None of these side effects are present when just leaving a boy intact.”

    True. Then there are other risks.

    “- Girls have a much greater risk of UTIs, yet we wouldn’t cut off their
    clitoris or labia to prevent them.”

    Well, the rates upto about 2 years of age are more or less the same. Afterwards, girls certainly have increased risk. As for excising their clitoris or labia, there’s no evidence whatsoever that it would make any difference.

    “- Circumcisions was originally introduced in the country in the late
    1800s to prevent masturbation.”

    For which there was no evidence.

    “It has since been touted as the cure for
    all sorts of ailments – none of which are scientifically provable are
    even remotely true.”

    Denial of the evidence does not make it go away.

    “- Cutting off the foreskin cuts off the most sensitive, erotic,
    pleasurable part of a man’s body. The foreskin plays a very important
    role in sex. Men who were circumcised later in life compare circed
    sex/intact sex to black and white TV and plasma TV. HUGE DIFFERENCE.”

    There is no evidence for any of these claims.

    “- There are NO medical benefits with routine infant circumcision.”

    This is false.

    “They are all “poteential benefits”, unlikely ever to be realized for any particular circumcision victim. It is classified as cosmetic surgery, and as such more and more insurance companies will NOT pay for it.”

    Seems to me that you want to have your cake and eat it. You’re happy to talk about incredibly rare complications as though they’re regular occurrences, yet dismiss benefits because the condition might not have arisen.

    “- When the foreskin is removed 30-50% of sexual pleasure goes with it.”

    No evidence whatsoever supports this claim.

    “Because 30-50% of the total penile skin is removed during a RIC
    depending on the Dr. and the type of circumcision that is done.”

    Since when has skin equalled pleasure? Does a man with a long foreskin have more pleasure than a man with a short one? This is absurd!

    “- Most US men today were circumcised in infancy and so have no personal experience after infancy of sex with an intact, fully functional sex organ. Most US men today are therefore ignorant of what normal human sex is and will remains so for the rest of their lives. This has only been true of the USA for a few decades now. It is the exception in US history for the majority of US men to be artificially sexually disabled, not the rule. 80% of the world’s Viagra sales are in the US. Coincidence?”

    Bearing in mind that the US is the world’s largest market for pharmaceuticals, probably.

    “- Circumcision is big business in the US. Several billions of dollars
    every year. Many doctors are very invested in keeping the circumcision myths
    alive, for financial as well as legal defense reasons.”

    Ah, so it’s a big conspiracy?

    “- A single doctor can easily make $50,000 to $100,000 dollars a year doing a few circumcisions a week: “I have some good friends who are obstetricians outside the military, and they look at a foreskin and almost see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that’s over $1,000 a week, and they don’t take that much time.”
    Thomas Wiswell, MD – circumcision advocate, Boston Globe, 22 June 1987″

    Not sure what the point is here?

    “- A little known fact is that foreskins often are then resold to the highest
    bidder. They are used in cosmetics, skin growth for grafting, cancer
    treatments and much more. The after life of foreskins is also a multi
    billion dollar a year industry. Parents are not told about this. There
    is no informed consent. Certainly the foreskin’s owner doesn’t have a say
    in the matter or get any of the downstream money. Circumcising is theft, whether the foreskins are sold or thrown in the trash.”

    I suspect that this is fairly unusual, but I’m all in favour of recycling.

    “- “Every boy born in the US has a $300 coupon attached to his foreskin.
    All you have to do is cut it off to redeem.” Prices have gone up since Wiswell commented 20 years ago on the strong financial incentive circumcisers have to do them. Some mohels in New York have made over $500,000 a year circumcising 6 babies a day. It’s big business. The cell phone is a useful tool in getting from bris to bris, paycheck to paycheck. $500 a circumcision x 6 circumcisions a day = 3000 a day x 6 days a week = 18,000 a week x 50 weeks a year = $900,000 a year.Can you see that a really obsessed, dedicated circumciser might break $1,000,000 a year just to butcher human babies? “RobsterSethJake” isn’t earning that much writing on this list. He’s in the wrong business.”

    Perhaps!

    “- Circumcision should only be performed on consenting adults who know
    all that is entailed.”

    This is an opinion to which you’re entitled.

    “- What if your son wants his foreskin?”

    Restoration is an option, but education may be a better option. In my experience, most men in such a situation have been duped by anti-circumcision propaganda with no basis in fact (such as several of the above claims).

    “- A lot of men are very angry when they find out the truth and feel very
    violated. A lot of me work overtime trying to avoid such feelings.”

    See above.

    “- How would you feel if someone cut off your clitoris and labia without
    asking you? They do it in Africa all the time. We are horrified when
    little girls are mutilated. Why not when little boys are?”

    To quote:
    Special Rapporteur made a point of mentioning that the circumcision of male children did not concern the United Nations as only female circumcision was deemed a harmful practice to be eradicated. Consequently, it would seem inappropriate to consider under one head both female circumcision which is harmful to health and male circumcision which has no undesirable effect and it [sic: is] even considered to be beneficial.

    “- It causes immense trauma & physical pain to a brand new baby who just
    had to undergo birth. Often times a baby will suddenly cease crying and
    so the Doctors say it doesn’t hurt them. It does – they are in shock.”

    There’s no evidence for this, though pain relief is certainly advisable.

    “- Circumcision is almost NEVER medically necessary. The only true
    medical reasons for circ are, frostbite, gangrene and cancer (all of
    those would be extremely rare) The incidence for necessary medical
    circumcisions is less that 0.05%. In Finland it’s about 1 in 16,667. That’s about .00006%.”

    Untrue. Statistics show that approximately 7.1% of Finnish children are circumcised. (J Urol. 2006 Mar;175(3 Pt 1):1111-5.)

    “- Smegma isn’t bad or gross. It is the Greek word for soap. Women have
    it too. It helps keep everything clean and healthy. No intact boy should
    be forcefully retracted just to clean it out. It’s supposed to be there!”

    Smegma has been shown to be associated with HIV, balanitis, and penile cancer.

    “- When they separate the foreskin from the glans it is similar to
    ripping off your fingernails.”

    Nonsense.

    “Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.”

    So use anaesthesia.

    “Common myths you may hear from others and even Dr’s:
    [deleted]

    Sorry, these are yet more anti-circumcision sites of dubious reliability. Considering that these sites repeat many of the myths that you’ve claimed above, I am skeptical of their ability to identify and correct “myths” from other sources.

  260. #260 Jake
    December 16, 2006

    “I have to say that I don’t understand this sentiment. ‘Mutilation’ does not imply that the damaged parts were important or that the damage was severe – it’s applicable whether used with males or females.”

    Caledonian, what do you think ‘mutilation’ means? You might want to look up the term in a dictionary. “To excise a limb or essential part” is a common definition, meaning that the “essential” (ie important) nature is a criteria. Another is basically “to disfigure” – though this is of course entirely subjective.

  261. #261 Caledonian
    December 16, 2006

    ‘Disfigure’ is not an entirely subjective term. Its first definition refers to negatively altering the appearance or beauty of a thing, and tends to be subjective, but the second (to mar the effect or excellence of) is part of what we’re debating.

  262. #262 Jake
    December 17, 2006

    “Just don’t use these falsehoods to mutilate OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES. Why is that so hard for compulsive circumcisionists like RobsterSethJake to understand?”

    I can’t speak for the others, but I understand, at least in part.

    You’re angry that you were circumcised (I’m guessing), and you think it’s wrong to circumcise others.

    So far, so good. I can’t say that I agree with you – I think that choice should be up to individual parents – but I can respect your opinion.

    The problem seems to be that you’re saying “I think circumcision is wrong, therefore it must be harmful and must lack benefits.”

    That’s illogical. These matters are questions of science, not ethics. Certainly there are ethical matters involved, and they are just as important, but they are not the same questions. And it’s perfectly possible to oppose circumcision while accepting the science.

  263. #263 Caledonian
    December 17, 2006

    But the reason he’s angry in the first place is that he thinks circumcision is harmful and lacks benefits.

    And demonstrating benefits is precisely what people like Robster have failed to do.

  264. #264 Jake
    December 18, 2006

    “But the reason he’s angry in the first place is that he thinks circumcision is harmful and lacks benefits.”

    That seems as improbable as the idea that I’d wake up one morning with a fully-formed set of ideas about the risk-benefit balance of tonsillectomy. Opinions about harms and benefits normally come from studying the evidence, so what was the reason for Van’s interest in the first place?

    But rather than speculate, let’s ask the man himself.

    Van, you’ve written about asking George Wald questions about circumcision in the late 60s, but to my knowledge you’ve never explained why. Could you explain?

  265. #265 Caledonian
    December 18, 2006

    It is in fact possible to have an opinion about a thing before one begins formally researching it. With sufficient care, it’s even possible to have an intelligent opinion.

    Given that the evidence strongly suggests that he’s right, your harping on the point is particularly… well, let’s say ‘interesting’.

  266. #266 Seth Manapio
    December 18, 2006

    Van, I’m not a compulsive circumcisionist. I’ve never had anyone circumcized or performed a circumcision, and I certainly feel no compulsion to do so. I don’t even support routine neonatal circumcision. But there is a lot of distance between being a compulsive circumcisionist and accepting your weirdness.

    Yet more proof that you are a hysterical moron.

  267. #267 Jake
    December 18, 2006

    “It is in fact possible to have an opinion about a thing before one begins formally researching it. With sufficient care, it’s even possible to have an intelligent opinion.”

    True, though not – by definition – an informed one.

    “Given that the evidence strongly suggests that he’s right, your harping on the point is particularly… well, let’s say ‘interesting’.”

    No, the evidence suggests that he’s wrong. There is overwhelming evidence that circumcision is protective against HIV. There is very strong (RCT) evidence of protection against UTIs. And there is good evidence of protection against many other conditions. There is little evidence of harm (other than the small risk of potential complications).

  268. #268 Caledonian
    December 18, 2006

    Wrong. Formal research isn’t always necessary to be informed.

    The “very strong evidence” is of a tiny effect that only affects a miniscule number of infants. If the procedure itself has even a minor harm on a routine basis (which it almost certainly does), that tiny harm will have a greater impact than the harm avoided.

    Since UTIs aren’t higher in places where circumcision isn’t practiced, the “very strong” evidence isn’t even that.

    By the way, what made you claim that the Israeli study involved ritual circumcision?

  269. #269 Jake
    December 18, 2006

    “Wrong. Formal research isn’t always necessary to be informed.”

    Yes, you’re right. Informal research may sometimes be sufficient, particularly with non-controversial subjects.

    “The “very strong evidence” is of a tiny effect that only affects a miniscule number of infants. If the procedure itself has even a minor harm on a routine basis (which it almost certainly does), that tiny harm will have a greater impact than the harm avoided.”

    The most common harms are probably the 0.2-0.6% risk of bleeding or wound infection. This is about equal to the number of UTIs avoided. HIV, penile cancer, local infections, phimosis, paraphimosis, and possibly prostate cancer thus tip the balance in favour of benefit, albeit only slightly (or not so slightly in the case of prostate cancer) in terms of absolute magnitude.

    “Since UTIs aren’t higher in places where circumcision isn’t practiced, the “very strong” evidence isn’t even that.”

    Evidence?

    “By the way, what made you claim that the Israeli study involved ritual circumcision?”

    It was kind of implied by the conclusion:

    “Ritual Jewish circumcision as practiced in Israel may be a predisposing factor for UTI during the 12-day period following that procedure.”

  270. #270 Caledonian
    December 19, 2006

    The most common harms are probably the 0.2-0.6% risk of bleeding or wound infection.

    No, the most common harms are the loss of the foreskin.

    It was kind of implied by the conclusion.

    But it offered no statistics on how many of the children underwent ritual circumcision, and how many were performed medically. The study also suggested that time may be relevant, and you complain about the lack of data about normal onset.

    That’s called “special pleading”.

  271. #271 Jake
    December 19, 2006

    “No, the most common harms are the loss of the foreskin.”

    Many would consider that to be a benefit.

    “But it offered no statistics on how many of the children underwent ritual circumcision, and how many were performed medically.”

    True. But take this into account.

  272. #272 Caledonian
    December 19, 2006

    Many would consider that to be a benefit.

    People in places where circumcision isn’t normally performed are usually horrified at the idea. I think you’re going to have to defend this thesis a little harder.

    Also, let’s move the discussion to the most recent thread. This one is getting old, and having multiple parallel discussions in different threads is too difficult.

  273. #273 Van Lewis
    December 24, 2006

    Jake: “Van, you’ve written about asking George Wald questions about circumcision in the late 60s, but to my knowledge you’ve never explained why. Could you explain?”

    February 1975. Jake has a hard time keeping his “facts” straight.

    I wrote about asking him one question in particular: “George, have you ever thought much about circumcision, from a biological point of view?”

    I did write about why I asked him this question. Read it here if you like: http://StopInfantCircumcision.org/crick-wald.htm

    You can read a shorter version, minus most of the quotes from Wald’s essay, in “FLESH and BLOOD: Perspectives of the Problem of Circumcision in Contemporary Society”.

    For those who don’t know, Wald won the Nobel prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1967 for his discoveries of how the eye works. He studied a primary human sensory system in molecular detail, becoming the first human being to understand the fundamentals of how the retina’s visual pigments work with light to form the molecular and energetic basis of vision.

    There were many reasons I asked Wald my question. He had told us something very interesting to me when I was his student. He said that answers are very easy to come by in science, that the hard part is knowing which questions to ask in the first place. I think I asked him the right question in 1975. Anyway, it elicited a 42 page essay called “Circumcision” from one of the 20th century’s great scientific minds. No one has ever had the nerve to publish it, but you can read my story about it and a lot of quotes from it at the address above.

  274. #274 Van Lewis
    December 24, 2006

    Jake, quoting Van: “Just don’t use these falsehoods to mutilate OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES. Why is that so hard for compulsive circumcisionists like RobsterSethJake to understand?”

    Jake himself: “I can’t speak for the others, but I understand, at least in part. You’re angry that you were circumcised (I’m guessing), and you think it’s wrong to circumcise others. So far, so good. I can’t say that I agree with you – I think that choice should be up to individual parents – but I can respect your opinion.”

    My opinion is that it’s not my parents’ or anyone else’s business to redesign my normal, healthy sex organs or any other of my normal healthy body parts. I have a well-established human right to my own normal, healthy body just as nature made it, same as everyone else does including Jake. It’s called the “right to life”. “Security of person”.

    My father has been dead for over 10 years now. Why should he or my mother be allowed to decide that they know better how MY penis should be constructed and work than my penis itself? Than my very genes, that I got from them? Why should they have any right to insert themselves into my sexual relations for life? Their “decision” (they weren’t even allowed to make one; in those days the US doctors did it on their own) comes between my and my sex partner every time I engage in sexual relations. I can’t kick them and the doctor out of my marriage bed. They mutilated me for life and walked away. The ultimate in “cut and run”. Cut and ruin and run. This is ignorance (my mother’s excuse) and sickness. It’s insanity to insert yourself into other people’s sex lives this way. Crazy as it gets. Immoral. Unethical. Illegal. Wrong.

    Jake says he believes “individual parents” should be the ones to decide. ONE parent? WHICH one? Or should the parents have to agree on just exactly how to redesign their childrens’ sex organs (and other body parts, or is it just sex organs they get to redesign)? And if so, what about when they disagree? Who then gets to decide? The government? This is all so obscene.

    Jake DIDN’T say “individual parents” should get to “decide” about BOYS’ sex organs. Does he think they should get to “decide” about girls’, too?

    Jake: “The problem seems to be that you’re saying “I think circumcision is wrong, therefore it must be harmful and must lack benefits.””

    You have it backwards. It’s harmful (despite your obsessive denials of that obvious fact), and therefore it’s wrong. It injures all children subjected to it and kills some of them. If that’s not harm there’s no such thing as harm.

    And whether it has benefits is entirely irrelevant. The end does not justify the means. The means violates human rights. This is by all accounts an unnecessary amputation. Unnecessarily amputating other people’s healthy body parts without their permission and often over their very active protests is a crime. When the body parts are sex organs the crime is a sex crime. People advocating sex crimes are committing crimes themselves. Incitement to mayhem.

    “That’s illogical.”

    The illogical words are yours, not mine.

    “These matters are questions of science, not ethics.”

    Science has to be guided by ethics. When it isn’t you get crap happening like “scientific” surgical experiments on living human beings (Nazi doctors did this; it’s called “human vivisection” and it’s a crime), and circumcision, in which no learning is even sought most of the time. Why not? Because there are stringent ethical rules about performing medical experiemnts on human beings without their permission that prohibit people from calling circumcising “experimental”. So they have to pretend that we already know all we need to know about it. “Don’t try to LEARN anything by doing it, whatever you do! You’ll be thrown out of medicine for violating ethical protocols. Just keep pretending that it’s well-established, well-justified medicine, nevermind that all medical societies speaking on the subject say it isn’t, and above all, KEEP DOING IT! The act”justifies” itself, because once it’s done nobody can undo it, so they HAVE to thenk it’s right. After it’s done, no one can face how wrong it was.”

    “Certainly there are ethical matters involved, and they are just as important, …”

    A lot more so.

    “… but they are not the same questions. And it’s perfectly possible to oppose circumcision while accepting the science.”

    On ethical grounds. Which I do. A lot of the “science” on the subject is junk science. Some of it that isn’t junk is the neuroanatomy of Taylor, Lockwood, Taylor and Cold. I’ve studied some neurology with some pretty high-powered scientists. I’m not a highly trained scientist myself in any field but I got mighty good background under Wald, including neurology and perceptual organs. Time magazine said in 1977 that Wald was one of America’s 10 best teachers. I think they got that one right. Wald knew I was onto something and said so. He knew because he understood neurology and perceptual organs.

  275. #275 Van Lewis
    December 24, 2006

    Jake: “Smegma has been shown to be associated with HIV, balanitis, and penile cancer.”

    So has human life. Does that mean we’re supposed to exterminate it?

  276. #276 van Lewis
    December 24, 2006

    Jake, quoting Van’s post: “Then they crush the foreskin and cut it
    off – most often with NO pain relief. They also stimulate an erection so
    they “know where to cut.” A circumcised infant’s first sexual experience is one of great
    pain and trauma.”

    Jake: “So use anaesthesia.”

    Does Jake advocate that rapists first give their intended victims a date rape drug, so they won’t remember the rape, so that’ll insure that no crime was committed? “So use a date rape drug.”

  277. #277 Van Lewis
    December 28, 2006

    What circumcision advocates and the rest of our society have to face is the human rights issue. Do babies and children have the human right to bodily integrity or not? Do they have the human right to their own normal, healthy body parts? Do they have the right to “security of person”, as claimed in the Universal Declartation of Human Rights? Do they have the right to life, as proclaimed in the US Declaration of Independence?

    That question must be answered.

    How about it Jake? Seth? Robster? Or is it JakeSethRobester?

    Remember now, whatever you say, whatever your answer is, it applies to you, too, and to every other human being. If babies don’t have the right to their own body parts, you don’t either, and neither does anyone else.

    Be careful. Your answer may endanger EVERYONE’S life, including your own.

  278. #278 Whose body is it?
    March 11, 2007

    Did you know that studies have proven that the risk of breast cancer is substantially reduced upon having a double mastectomy?
    Therefore, I conclude we need to force mastectomies on women as a matter of health.

  279. #279 PondSkipper
    December 4, 2007

    Clitorectomy? I thought the clitoris was a myth…you know, like the female orgasm.

  280. #280 Frank McGinness
    January 1, 2009

    Circumcision, medically known as penile reduction, sexually handicaps by cutting off 1/3 to 1/2 skin and mucosal, reducing sexual nerves 65% minimum to 85% with frenulum removed leaving 15% at the corona which is compromised by keratinization and (if done before glans/foreskin natural separation) a thickened skin from scarring due to the tearing of foreskin from the glans. The brain cells no longer receiving neural impulses from the excised foreskin, atrophies and dies then adjacent cells grow into the dead space chaotically. Male genital cutting removes the most sensitive parts of the penis according to Sorrells et al. study – Fine Touch Sensitivity Test of the Adult Penis. Ground breaking foreskin researcher Dr. Taylor “The Frenular Delta” (describes the purpose of the foreskin; how any and all action on the dartos muscle relays to the ridged band which then pulls at the frenulum and it’s stepped response to orgasm. This circuit mediates up to orgasm. For equal rights/equality of the sexes then read/support MGMBILL.ORG. Female and male intact genitals are perfectly made for each other. Making genitals less makes it mutually less. Read O’Hara’s book “Sex as nature Intended”. Read current news of man age 48 who threatened to bomb hospital because of botched circumcision three years earlier ends up shooting self instead. The mucosal of the foreskin and body is the immune system’s first line of defense. The three African HIV/circ. trial study deem the foreskin and the immune system’s Langerhans cell as the evil to cut out. Said first as undoubted fact and at times admitted conjecture – having no proof of the HIV infection process. What everyone should know and question what has been said, after from reading this titled:
    Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells

    Lot de Witte1, Alexey Nabatov1, Marjorie Pion2, Donna Fluitsma1, Marein A W P de Jong1, Tanja de Gruijl3, Vincent Piguet2, Yvette van Kooyk1 & Teunis B H Geijtenbeek1
    ( 2007 Nature Publishing Group http://www.nature.com/naturemedicine )

    Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) is primarily
    transmitted sexually. Dendritic cells (DCs) in the subepithelium
    transmit HIV-1 to T cells through the C-type lectin DC-specific
    intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-3-grabbing nonintegrin
    (DC-SIGN). However, the epithelial Langerhans cells (LCs) are
    the first DC subset to encounter HIV-1. It has generally been
    assumed that LCs mediate the transmission of HIV-1 to T cells
    through the C-type lectin Langerin, similarly to transmission
    by DC-SIGN on dendritic cells (DCs). Here we show that
    in stark contrast to DC-SIGN, Langerin prevents HIV-1
    transmission by LCs. HIV-1 captured by Langerin was
    internalized into Birbeck granules and degraded. Langerin
    inhibited LC infection and this mechanism kept LCs refractory
    to HIV-1 transmission; inhibition of Langerin allowed LC
    infection and subsequent HIV-1 transmission. Notably, LCs also
    inhibited T-cell infection by viral clearance through Langerin.
    Thus Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 infection, and
    strategies to combat infection must enhance, preserve or, at the
    very least, not interfere with Langerin expression and function.

  281. #281 John
    April 3, 2009

    Um, what about the ethical considerations of invasive surgery on a child for really negligible reasons? If your son has unprotected sex with a person infected with HIV, then his chances are good either way that he’s going to get it. Why do I have a feeling that if there were a study that said the removal of labia would reduce HIV or STDs, the researchers would be called sexists, rapists, etc., but here it’s okay to screw with male babies?
    Basically, the idea of infant circumcision is so unethical and so immoral as to make it impossible for a rational person to do it. Disgusting.