Pharyngula

How confusing: remember the story about the convert to Judaism who was trying to compel his adolescent son to be circumcised? I was persuaded by others that the story was almost certainly an urban legend, but now it turns out that there really is a pending court case that fits the particulars. The Oregonian reports the details, but leaves out the names of those involved (the accusation that this was faked was in part based on the similarities of the names to those in a work of fiction with a similar premise; could it be that the fictional names were used because they fit the story?) In addition, they have a quote from an Oregon lawyer defending the father’s right to put his kid through unnecessary cosmetic surgery.

But Julie H. McFarlane, a supervising attorney with the Portland-based Juvenile Rights Project, said that the child’s consent for a medical procedure is not required until he turns 15.

“I think the dad has the legal right as the custodial parent to make those kind of religious or medical decisions,” McFarlane said. “It’s not much different from cosmetic surgery.”

15??? Now they tell me, after my daughter turns 16. Maybe threats to carry out random weird cosmetic operations on her would have been a useful tool for getting her to do the dishes. Now she’s just going to roll her eyes and tell me she won’t sign the consent form, darn it.

I do wonder what has happened to the Hippocratic Oath, though. What doctor would carry out such unnecessary surgery if the child or mother were opposing it? Or is Dad just going to find some quack rabbi who will hack it off under the protection of his synagogue? That’s one easy way around ethical considerations — find someone who will use the imagined word of a god to justify violating them.

Comments

  1. #1 Melanie
    April 27, 2007

    PZ, a mohel may be a doctor or a rabbi, often, both, but doesn’t necessarily have to be either.

  2. #2 stogoe
    April 27, 2007

    As we’ve gone over and over before, the supposed benefits of male genital mutilation are sketchy at best.

    Also, no, it’s not okay in my book to mutilate your children. Even for religious reasons.

  3. #3 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    And the sicko US strikes again. Are they going to tie him down in a giant circumstraint, and just hack it off like they do with babies?

    No there are NO proven medical benefits to circumcision, the US has higher rates of any given STD, despite the long record of male mutilation there, than the rest of the developed world that doesn’t do anything to their children’s genitals. The rest of the world does just fine with intact penises, what is so terrible about yours that you need to have surgery right after birth?

    The US has SUCH a perverted society, why are you all so obsessed with genital reduction surgery?

    UGH, disgusting.

  4. #4 David in NY
    April 27, 2007

    Thoughts:

    Julie H. McFarlane, if quoted fully and correctly, seems to be one lousy juvenile rights advocate. A custodial parent may have the right to force medically necessary surgery on a 15-year-old, but a circumcision? cosmetic surgery? I’d take the position that even a minor ougth to have, in some circumstances, the right to bodily integrity implicit in being able to decline such a procedure.

    PZ should not get quite so weirded out by a teen-age circumcision (if voluntary). It is customary among some groups that a 13-year-old, as a sign of coming of age, is circumcised. I believe this to be the rule among many Muslims, although it is perhaps passing out of fashion, in favor of circumcision at birth. (Have seen pain described as “intense but surprisingly brief.”)

  5. #5 Stuart Coleman
    April 27, 2007

    All I can think is, “Ow.”

    And with the recent research indicating that the foreskin is essential in sexual pleasure they’ll be denying him good sex. The bastard!

  6. #6 Jim Harrison
    April 27, 2007

    Ignoring the religious and medical angles for a momement, isn’t it likely that this kid will hate his Dad forever? At the very least, the boy will have a heck of a defense at the eventual patricide trial. He may not be exactly crazy about Judaism either.

  7. #7 Ric
    April 27, 2007

    Thank “god” I’m not circumcised.

  8. #8 Warren
    April 27, 2007

    This is definitely grounds for running away from home.

  9. #9 Pete Dunkelberg
    April 27, 2007

    Can someone tell me why gods are so obsessed with wee-wees?

    Some people find sex upsetting. Some of these people are authoritarian types, hence attracted to politics and institutional religion. One gives the power, the other the rationalization, to enforce their hangups on others.

  10. #10 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    Yep, it’s bullshit. The “studies” were ended after 18 months, which included the healing time for the circ’d men, the number of circ’d men infected were catching up on the intact men and then they stopped the study. There was also approximately a 1.5% difference in absolute terms, out of several thousand men. It makes great headlines to say that it causes a 60% reduction, but when it’s 40 intact men vs 20 circumcised in 6000 men, it doesn’t look so good, does it? Halperin et al would do, say, twist, anything including figures and stats, to get the foreskins falling, they’re amongst a small bunch of obsessive researcers who want universal circumcision across the world – along with Bailey, Schoen, Morris, etc.

    The MOST that can be inferred from those studies is that circumcising a man where the HIV virus is rampant is likely to delay his infection by about a year. He WILL get it anyway if he doesn’t use condoms. If he’s got to use condoms, like an intact man, exactly WHY has he had half his penis cut off, including the most erogenous zones (and the research proving that came out at Christmas, published in the BJU). Plus, telling men that they are protected, when they are not is clearly unethical, wrong and very dangerous. Those studies are going to be responsible for many deaths in Africa and the US because of the mistaken belief that men will not get it if they’re circumcised.

    Even the WHO, who are under American hegemony state that it is of only partial help, and only applies to adult men where the rate of HIV infection is over 20% – how you manage to apply that to the US I have no idea, but it does NOT apply to anywhere in the Western world, and if your society wasn’t so obsessed with male genital mutilation you would see that. Brazil has already rejected it, and the other intact nations will follow suit, it’s only the cutting ones like the US that have leapt on this and claimed vindication for their revolting cultural practices.

    You don’t like attracting the disgust of all normal decent human beings? THEN STOP CUTTING UP YOUR KIDS.

  11. #11 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    Correspondence
    Male Circumcision and HIV Control in Africa

    Michel Garenne

    In a recent article, Auvert and colleagues present the results of their randomized controlled trial on male circumcision to prevent HIV transmission [1]. They conclude that male circumcision reduced the risk of HIV infection by some 60% (95% confidence interval, 32%-76%). The trial was certainly well conducted, and it nicely confirmed observational studies, which came to the same conclusion [2]. However, a number of their concluding statements deserve a comment.

    Auvert and colleagues claim a “degree of protection equivalent to a vaccine of high efficacy” [1]. This is obviously overstated. A vaccine of high efficacy is expected to offer long-term protection of 95% or above. Smallpox was eradicated with such a highly efficient vaccine. If control of tetanus, measles, and poliomyelitis has been largely achieved in the world, it has been a result of high-efficacy vaccines. Furthermore, the analogy with vaccines appears misleading. A 96%-efficient measles vaccine means that 96% of vaccinated persons exposed to measles are indeed protected against infection. Protection lasts for many years, and revaccination permits dealing with loss of immunity over time. What Auvert and colleagues show is different: they show a 60% reduction in disease incidence over an 18-month period among circumcised men compared with uncircumcised men with similar exposure. To our knowledge, this does not mean that those men are really “protected” against HIV, especially in the case of repeated exposure. It simply means “reduced risk,” or reduced probability of contamination.

    A closer analogy of the “reduced risk” offered by male circumcision is that offered by contraception. Modern and efficacious methods such as hormonal contraceptives (pill, injectables, implants) or intra-uterine devices (IUDs) do offer high protection, usually 99% or above for women who are exposed repeatedly (every month) to risk of pregnancy. Highly efficacious methods do protect these women against unwanted pregnancy. On the contrary, a less efficacious method such as rhythm method (periodic abstinence) reduces fecundity by some 50%, but offers little protection against unwanted pregnancy. Even though women using consistent rhythm methods will have a lower number of pregnancies over their lifetime than women who use no contraceptive methods at all, they will be unlikely to achieve their desired family size, as could women using highly effective methods.

    Similarly, for persons who are highly exposed to risk of HIV infection, as are the young men of South Africa, a 60% reduction in annual risk will ultimately protect only a smaller proportion. Basic probability calculations show that in discordant couples exposed for 30 years, some 74% will contract the HIV virus if circumcised, compared with 97% if uncircumcised (with incidence of 11% per year)–a small reduction indeed if compared with a highly efficacious vaccine (comparable figures would be 4% versus 97% for children vaccinated against measles who are exposed between 1 and 15 years of age).

    One could argue that the population effect could exceed the individual risk for a variety of reasons ranging from herd immunity to prevention of other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). If all men are circumcised, then prevalence among women will be lower, and men will have lower risk of being exposed and infected. However, several natural experiments do not confirm this argument. For instance, Tanzania has some 110 ethnic groups, some groups using universal male circumcision, others not circumcising. After controlling for urbanization, there was no difference in male HIV prevalence between the two groups: in urban areas, HIV seroprevalence was 9.5% in circumcised groups and 9.7% in uncircumcised groups, and conversely, 4.6% and 5.2%, respectively, in rural areas–none of the differences being significant [3]. In South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal province, where few are circumcised, has a higher HIV seroprevalence than other provinces, reaching 37% among antenatal clinic attendants in 2003. But, in the Eastern Cape, where circumcision is the rule, the dynamics of the epidemic are almost the same, simply lagging a few years behind, increasing from 4.5% in 1994 to 27% in 2003. Finally, it was argued that the large epidemic in Abidjan, C˘te d’Ivoire, and surrounding areas in the late 1980s was largely due to the lack of male circumcision of the local ethnic groups. This, however, did not impede the rapid increase in HIV infection among migrant workers from Burkina Faso and Mali living in Abidjan, who were circumcised.

    For highly exposed men, such as men living in southern Africa, the choice is either using condoms consistently, with extremely low risk of becoming infected, or being circumcised, with relatively high risk of becoming infected. This is quite similar to women’s choice to either use a highly efficacious contraceptive method or use a folk method. Some women make the second choice for religious reasons, with the obvious consequences. Is there a rationale for promoting the idea of circumcision when better choices are available? Regular condom use was found to be protective at the individual level and also effective for stopping HIV epidemics, as in Thailand [4,5].

    Concluding that “male circumcision should be regarded as an important public health intervention for preventing the spread of HIV” [1] appears overstated. Even though large-scale male circumcision could avert a number of HIV infections, theoretical calculations and empirical evidence show that it is unlikely to have a major public health impact, apart from the fact that achieving universal male circumcision is likely to be more difficult than universal vaccination coverage or universal contraceptive use.

    Michel Garenne
    Institut Pasteur
    Paris, France
    E-mail: mgarenne@pasteur.fr
    References

    1. Auvert B, Taljaard D, Lagarde E, Sobngwi-Tambekou J, Sitta R et al. (2005) Randomized, controlled intervention trial of male circumcision for reduction of HIV infection risk: The ANRS 1265 trial. PLoS Med 2: e298 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020298. Find this article online
    2. Weiss HA, Quigley MA, Hayes RJ (2000) Male circumcision and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS 14: 2361-2370. Find this article online
    3. Tanzania Commission for AIDS, National Bureau of Statistics, ORC Macro (2005) Tanzania HIV/AIDS indicator survey 2003-04. Calverton (Maryland): Tanzania Commission for AIDS, National Bureau of Statistics, ORC Macro. Available: http://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/FR162/00FrontMatter.pdf. Accessed 15 December 2005.
    4. De Vicenzi I (1994) A longitudinal study of human immunodeficiency virus transmission by heterosexual partners. N Engl J Med 331: 341-346. Find this article online
    5. Zenilman JM (2005) Behavioral interventions: Rationale, measurement, and effectiveness. Infect Dis Clin North Am 19: 541-562. Find this article online

    Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

    Published: January 31, 2006

    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030078

    Copyright: ę 2006 Michel Garenne. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Citation: Garenne M (2006) Male Circumcision and HIV Control in Africa. PLoS Med 3(1): e78

    PLoS Medicine is an open-access journal published by the nonprofit organization Public Library of Science.
    Creative Commons License All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

    PLoS Journal Comment

  12. #12 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “I am so happy I am intact and whole and my parents didn’t remove any of my parts.”

    I feel the exact oppsite way. I’m quite happy to be circumsized. I’m pretty sure most guys don’t really mind.

  13. #13 Mandolin
    April 27, 2007

    “I’m quite happy to be circumsized. I’m pretty sure most guys don’t really mind.”

    I support your ability to make that decision for yourself.

    I don’t support your ability to make that decision for your infant.

  14. #14 Matt Stocum
    April 27, 2007

    R. Ryan, wouldn’t a mastectomy on a 12 year old girl significantly reduce her risk of breast cancer? Does this mean the procedure should be considered for an otherwise healthy girl?

  15. #15 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “And I know my sex life should have more feeling. The most sensitive part is the scar! I can only imagine what was cut away.”

    Eh, maybe. I guess I don’t see this as very outrageous. Increasing sexual pleasure by 10% or whatever (whatever that even really means), isn’t something I find incredibly important. The cultural benefits seem to outweigh that anyway.

  16. #16 mollishka
    April 27, 2007

    What #4 said.

  17. #17 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    Shiftlessbum,

    Biologically benign? Some current reading on the subject.

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x

  18. #18 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Forcing cosmetic surgery on minors is unethical.”

    Why? As long as its not traumatic, doesn’t cause suffering, and has a cultural reason (ie the parents aren’t insane), why not?

  19. #19 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    I guess you have to be a believer in the concept of autonomy. A person’s body is his own. With that concept in mind, a parent’s ability to give consent for surgery should be limited to the medically necessary.

    Circumcision of newborns is not medically necessary and therefore unethical.

  20. #20 Mandolin
    April 27, 2007

    “The cultural benefits seem to outweigh that anyway.”

    What cultural benefits?

    I’m betting they’re primarily homosocial and useful for kids.

  21. #21 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “I guess you have to be a believer in the concept of autonomy. A person’s body is his own. With that concept in mind, a parent’s ability to give consent for surgery should be limited to the medically necessary.”

    But what about something like benign things like speech impediments. Parents will make their children fix them – they could get along fine in life with them, there’s no real reason to do it other than to have them ‘conform’ to the regular way of speech, and kids generally hate it (I know I did). Don’t kids have the autonomy to speak however they want? In a lot of ways, speech therapy for lisps is 100% cosmetic to make us fit in in society.

    People who are viciously against circumcision seem to set up a rather arbitrary line wherein anything which uses a knife and extracts blood might is immediately evil and banned. I see no reason to make this distinction.

  22. #22 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

    “I don’t have any real problem with performing a cultural form of tattooing on infants. Don’t know why I should.”

    Because they can’t consent to the practice.

  23. #23 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Because they can’t consent to the practice.”

    So? Infants can’t consent to anything. Should we never touch them? What’s the baseline for your ethical system? Mine is to not cause suffering. And since circumsicion causes so incredibly little suffering, I don’t really have any issue with it.

  24. #24 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

    “So? Infants can’t consent to anything. Should we never touch them? What’s the baseline for your ethical system?”

    “Touch them” != “Hack off parts of their body” in any meaningful sense. Nursing babies is necessary for their survival, circumcision is a cosmetic surgery that is purely elective. You’re once again comparing apples and oranges.

    “Mine is to not cause suffering. And since circumsicion causes so incredibly little suffering, I don’t really have any issue with it.”

    Then you should wait until someone is an adult and can elect to have to cosmetic surgery. Simple as that, bro.

  25. #25 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “You’re once again comparing apples and oranges.”

    I’m really not. Why is ‘hacking off parts of their body’ wrong in the first place? I’m not willing to consent to that, since it’s clearly not true. You’re perfectly allowed to ‘hack off’ a tumor. Read the next paragraph before you get all up in arms over my “apples versus oranges’ approach with the tumor.

    Now, obviously there’s a different. One is necessary and one is not. But that’s not the argument you put forth. You made a distinction between “touching” versus “hacking” – why? Seems arbitrary. We can touch in immoral ways and hack in moral ways, so that clearly isn’t really your distinction. So I ask again – what is your moral baseline. When you judge an action as moral or immoral, what are you trying to determine? I try to determine what reduces suffering the most. Unless I know where you are coming from, I don’t know how to understand you.

    “Then you should wait until someone is an adult and can elect to have to cosmetic surgery. Simple as that, bro.”

    Why? Circumcision, and ritual scarring as an infant, cause so little suffering, why should I try to ban them?

  26. #26 Cogito
    April 27, 2007

    RE: “Biologically benign.” For the life of me, I can’t understand how something that involves certain pain, a risk of losing the penis, or even DEATH for Chrissake, can be called “benign.” Yes, I would in some circumstances chose a risky procedure for my child, if it was medically necessary. Here we are talking significant surgery, with all attendant risks, for cosmetic considerations.

    As for mate selection, you’ve got to be kidding me. Are we to suppose that women subject potential lovers to a flaccid lineup of some sort? Or do they have men fill out a questionnaire? IME, by the time the penis is unveiled, the decision has been made.

    Or perhaps you are not aware that when erect, cut and uncut are pretty much indistinguishable?

  27. #27 Mark Vincrent
    April 27, 2007

    Let me tell my own sad story. At age 22, to please my parents, I elected to have my foreskin surgically removed. Sadly, the surgeon performing the operation made a mistake and I acquired a terrible infection. After numerous courses of antibiotic treatment, all of which failed, we were forced to the last resort: amputation.

    Friends, I beg you to prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone you love.

  28. #28 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Unless, of course, you have other cultural connections that aren’t traditional white bread America.”

    Jewish. I’m an atheist, but Jewish culture.

    “Cultural ethos that promote the practice? Cultures promote a lot of creepy things; FGM, tongue splitting, lip discs, etc. Should we embrace them all just because they’re an example of culture? This goes along with your cheek scaring example. Its wrong if it violates another person’s body.”

    As long as the practice doesn’t cause trauma or suffering, I don’t really care. If you live ain a culture where lip discs are the norm, and they don’t cause suffering, go for it. Why should I care? You seem to be looking for suffering where there really isn’t any.

    Why is it wrong if it violates another person’s body? That clearly isn’t always true – we do surgery on kids all the time. And no, this isn’t a bad comparison. If you are going to make an argument which is *based* on the fact that you can’t violate another person’s body, then surgey should always be wrong. But we both know it isn’t. Your outrage has nothing to do with ‘violating a person’s body’ since we’re willing to do so in other scenarios. If you’re willing to violate principle X in order to something moral, then principle X can’t be your basis for morality. That’s not your baseline.

    So, what is your moral baseline for making this claim?

  29. #29 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

    Okay DamnYankees, we can play your game for a bit.

    Define “suffering”.

  30. #30 Humbert Dinglepencker
    April 27, 2007

    Could it be possible that some (or even most) of the circumcisions performed in the U.S. are basically for homophobic reasons – disguised as cleanliness? I ask this because I watched some close friends go through this with their third son, whom they decided should be left in his natural state (the older kids had been circumcised shortly after birth). Of course, the act of hygiene required the foreskin be retracted, the glans and foreskin washed, and the prepuce pulled back over. The option of dunking the kid in the basinet and swishing some water around was not available for this son. Well, after a month or so, Mums and Daddums began to reconsider and started talking about taking the lad in for his “operation.” This was due to the skin-crawlingly aversion reaction to washing their child’s genitals and causing the boy to have an erection; Daddums actually stated that he felt like he was molesting his son, and was disgusted by the erectile reaction. This was a ridiculous assumption, and I told young Daddums that. He, of course, was looking towards the future and having to teach the kid personal hygiene and that was simply too much. I have since wondered if this, perhaps, was one of the reasons for such rampant mutilation.

  31. #31 Shiftlessbum
    April 27, 2007

    There’s a reason why Latinos have a reputation for being red hot lovers in the US, they’ve got all their equipment to work with. I never used to understand why, I do now I’ve found out what happens to the rest of the population.

    OK, now I get it. You got me, Anne. I am (uncut) enough of a man to admit being trolled.

    But damn you do looney well, girl.

  32. #32 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees: considering how little suffering and trauma is supposedly caused by snipping in the first place.

    Any scientific evidence for that? Although you might not care, as you disregard Sorrells et al, who find a significant difference, as “I just don’t think they are very important”. What would be the criterion for judging a scientific study on the subject important?

  33. #33 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Also very subjective.”

    Of course is it. Suffering is a subjective experience by definition.

    “Would you agree that regret of having been circumcised counts as “suffering” under your definition?”

    Yeah, it would. So is stubbing my toe or listening to Radiohead. Also, regretting not being circumsized.

  34. #34 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    I understand your bias on the circumcision issue now. Thank you for being honest.

    My moral basis, as I have hinted at before, is autonomy. People own their own bodies and therefore should have a say in what is done to them.

    In the case of a minor, we have proxy consent, where the parent consents for the minor. The parent must consider if the procedure is absolutely essential for the child’s survival and well being. If it is not, the parent must defer the decision until the child can make his or her own informed decision.

    Example: My wife was born with a slight cosmetic ear deformity. Her parents waited until she was old enough to have an opinion. She said no to corrective surgery. They repected her autonomy in this matter.

  35. #35 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

    Yeah, it would.

    Then it can potentially cause irredeemable suffering. Your argument is defeated.

    So is stubbing my toe or listening to Radiohead.

    Neither of which involve any forced surgical procedures with permanent effects and are thus non-applicable here.

    Also, regretting not being circumsized.

    Which can clearly be ameliorated by getting circumcised as an adult.

  36. #36 Rey Fox
    April 27, 2007

    “This is my biggest annoyance – the absurdly disproportionate outrage.”

    But of course, there’s nothing at all out of proportion about your continual defense of the unnecssary amputation of genital tissue.

  37. #37 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees: No response to Comment #73? I thought you had good reasons to believe what you are arguing.

  38. #38 Cogito
    April 27, 2007

    Of course, the act of hygiene required the foreskin be retracted, the glans and foreskin washed, and the prepuce pulled back over . . . the skin-crawlingly aversion reaction to washing their child’s genitals and causing the boy to have an erection;

    This is just bizarre. First, generally the foreskin is attached, and cannot be retracted in a baby. So this can’t be a prevalent thing. Second, caring for a circumcision incision requires a lot of penile manipulation, as does cleaning up messy diapers. Interesting theory (and messed up parents), but I can’t imagine this is a big factor.

    Now, we know that a horror of masturbation was a major reason for instituting circumcision, but that was equal-opportunity prudery, for gay and straight alike.

  39. #39 Cogito
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees, I’d also like an answer to my questions: do you really see women rejecting men for dating/sex/marriage on the basis of cut or uncut?

    Also, given that this is greatly more traumatic and dangerous, and causes greater permanent differences than a small cut on the cheek, how can you call it “benign?”

    (FTR, I’m also personally against infant ear piercing and other forms of decorative infant mutilation – I believe they are all on the same scale, with some at the less troubling end and some more. FGM that involves shearing off labia and sewing shut the vagina is worse than circumcision. That doesn’t make circumcision OK.)

  40. #40 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    Tulse,

    No one here claimed that it actually worked! It was the nature of nonevidence based medicine as practiced in the early 1900s. The same people brought you bowel cleansings, leeches, and lobotomies as cures for everything.

    Read about Dr. Kellogg and note that he also recommended carbonic acid on the clitoris to prevent women from masturbating.

    This quackery is the source of circimcision in America.

  41. #41 SunkenShip
    April 27, 2007

    I often find that people that rule out 100% any comparison between male and female circumcision, do so because they are uninformed on the two and find female circ so reprehensible but don’t want to accept the same for male circ.

    Facts:
    -Both men and women are born with a piece of their genitalia called the prepuce. In the male it is the foreskin. In the female, it is the clitoral hood.
    -There are different kinds of female circumcision. One circumcision is called a sunna circumcision, where the clitoral hood is removed but the clitoris is left intact. Some cultures don’t even remove the clitoris, but just prick it as some sort of cultural warning for prudence and chastity.
    -Removal of the clitoral hood IS analogous to male circumcision.
    -There ARE women who have been circed who claim to like being circed, and want their daughters to be circed. They also say that they are still able to achieve orgasm. Much like some circed men claim being circed is not a big deal because they can still achieve sexual satisfaction.

    With that being said, you cannot rule out female circumcision, and all of its forms, as being completely inhumane and cruel and then argue tooth and nail for male circumcision on cultural grounds. Men and women are circumcised for cultural reasons period. Some circumcised men and women do not mind being circumcised and find that their sex lives are satisfactory. Other circumcised men and women find that their sex lives have been diminished and regret being mutilated. You have to take in all opinions on the issue and the fact is, comparison between male and female CAN be valid.

  42. #42 Sophist
    April 27, 2007

    This idea that circumsices penises have however less sexual pleasure just seems silly to me, considering that circumsized guys get around and like sex as much as anyone. This differential in sexual pleasure seems to have no actual manifestations.

    This argument makes no fucking sense. What do you expect people who experience less sexual pleasure to do, boycott sex in protest? The fact that circumcised men still enjoy sex in no way refutes the argument that they could be enjoying it more.

  43. #43 thickslab
    April 27, 2007

    So how about cutting of the breast tissue of young baby girls a few days after they’re born? It will eliminate breast cancer, remove the need for bras, and lessen backaches. They can always use formula to nurse if they want to … and cutting the breast tissue off infant girls gets it out of the way so they don’t need a more painful operation later! They’re too young to remember anything!

  44. #44 Sophist
    April 27, 2007

    I mean, damn, you might as well argue that losing a leg has no effect on walking because you see people walking around with prostheses and they seem to do well enough.

  45. #45 windy
    April 27, 2007

    …there are simply no analogies for men with the more invasion forms of female genital mutilation, such as removing large portions of the clitoris and the sewing together of the labia.

    Subincision?

    Honestly, these folks aren’t idiots.

    Did you read Garenne’s response to the study in PLoS? (see #16)

  46. #46 Larry Lennhoff
    April 27, 2007

    For what it is worth, mohels specialize in infant circumcision. No 14 year old will be circumcised by a mohel – it is going to be done by a doctor with the appropriate credentials.

    More to the point, this alleged case makes no sense to anyone with an understanding of Jewish law. If the father converted after the child’s birth, the child is still not Jewish unless they undergoes their own conversion. Jewish law states that a child below the age of adulthood (13 for boys, 12 for girls) who is converted may opt out of conversion upon attaining his majority. No reputable beit din (group of 3 rabbis) would convert a child old enough to speak without getting the child’s consent.

    Finally, Judaism does not believe one has to be Jewish in order to reap a reward in the afterlife. The Talmud says “The righteous of all nations have a share in the World-To-Come”. Consequently, Judaism does not have the need to proselytize that other religions do.

  47. #47 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    URL for above quote:

    Medical News Today Article

  48. #48 SunkenShip
    April 27, 2007

    SunkenShip, my understanding is that while there are indeed comparisons between the less radical forms of female “circumcision” and the male counterpart, there are simply no analogies for men with the more invasion forms of female genital mutilation, such as removing large portions of the clitoris and the sewing together of the labia.

    If the only practice were removal of the clitoral hood, I really doubt that there would be nearly the uproar in the West about FGM.

    I agree 100% that for the more invasive forms of FGM there are no comparisons. But when people campaign against FGM, they do not campaign to allow the less invasive forms, they campaign to abolish it altogether and call the practice barbaric, but at the same time they promote and defend male circumcision. It’s a double-standard and one that female circumcision proponents in Eritrea and other countries that circ females have picked up on.

    Also, addressing the HIV/AIDS trials if we took what it said at face value, Europe and Latin America would be flooded with HIV/AIDS. Africa is already the most-circumcised continent and yet HIV/AIDS is also coincidentally the harshest there. Circumcision being touted as some kind of preventative method in a content where there are clearly other factors going on besides circ is bad science.

    Studies are just that. Studies. They’re not set in stone and in fact there has already been another Dutch study published that said that Langerin, which is coincidentally found in the foreskin, might actually be a natural protecant from HIV.

    Also, as another person pointed out, the absolute percentage difference between the circed and uncirced men in the study was 1.5%. NOT THAT CONVINCING IS IT? But when you present only the 60% statistic, and don’t clarify that that is in relation to the uncirced men in a 20-month trial, you have people running around shouting that getting circumcised reduces your chances of getting HIV by 60%. Highly, highly irresponsible if you ask me.

  49. #49 Tulse
    April 27, 2007

    windy writes:

    Did you read Garenne’s response to the study in PLoS?

    Yes, and his comments were not criticisms of the methodology (which the other commenter addressed) but the conclusion. And I think his comments are bit misleading. Sure, it would be far better to have a 95% effective vaccine than to do circumcision. The only problem is, we don’t have an AIDS vaccine, it is unclear when such a vaccine will arrive, it is unclear that it will be near that level of efficacy, and meanwhile people are dying. We’d all like things to be ideal (and I’d like a pony), but in the real world, we’re stuck with what we have, and what we have is an apparently relatively effective intervention, performed on consenting adults, that some in West oppose seemingly because they find it icky, or have (in many cases reasonable) issues with doing the procedure on infants for non-medical reasons, neither issue which is relevant in these studies.

    The issue of observational studies of infection rates is more compelling, and I think it is reasonable to consider that as counter-evidence. However, generally speaking, it is far harder to control relevant variables in observational studies as compared to randomized control trials, and the data from such trials seems very solid. It is important to think critically about science, but I also have a certain amount of trust in folks whose job it is to think about AIDS, and the dominant (although not universal) view seems to be that this is a potentially effective intervention — not ideal, not better than a vaccine, but effective.

  50. #50 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    Tulse,

    There are a multitude of different factors that could explain why European HIV rates are much lower than American rates, just like there are factors that make the HIV studies in Africa irrelevant to the first world.

    For example:
    http://www.salon.com/health/sex/urge/world/1999/12/10/drysex/
    http://www.time.com/time/2001/aidsinafrica/cover4.html

    I’m not sure if the study accounted for that cultural oddity.

  51. #51 SunkenShip
    April 27, 2007

    Forgive my ignorance but how are you guys doing quotes? I tried using tags but it didn’t work.

    Anyway, Tulse

    I don’t know the stats of the prevalence of dry sex but, and this is just my guess, I really don’t think that it would account for the high prevalence of HIV in Africa.

    Condom use has not proven effective for the same reason it isn’t always effective here in the US. A lot of men just don’t like condoms. And this goes for men circumcised and uncircumcised.

    And again I don’t find circ to be the great preventative tool when the study showed there was only an absolute 1.5% difference between the two groups and the trial went on for 21 months. How much of a protection is circ each time you have unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman?

    And again, there was just another study recently-published which said that Langerin which is found in the foreskin could be a natural protectant from HIV. I think that promoting irreversible procedures instead of promoting condom use and reducing the number of sexual partners to be foolhardy.

    Remember, Africa has a lot of uneducated people. If you tell African men that their being circumcised means they’re 60% less likely to get HIV. Oh my god, you’re spelling disaster. This is the continent where some men rape babies because they believe it cures HIV.

  52. #52 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    SunkenShip: To quote, use “blockquote” between “less than” and “greater than” (I don’t know how to make the damned characters to appear) to open. To close the quote, use “/blockquote” the same way.

  53. #53 kmarissa
    April 27, 2007

    I thought it was rhetorical.

  54. #54 Martin R
    April 27, 2007

    I’m with you, PZ — I wrote about this issue recently. My piece alse provoked a lot of discussion.

  55. #55 Randi Schimnosky
    April 27, 2007

    Damnyankee, you’re in no position to be making the statement that babies don’t suffer when they’re circumcized. You have no evidence of this whatsoever, and there is no reason at all to believe that a baby suffers any less than an adult just because they don’t remember it when they grow up. Remembering a painful event is nothing compared to experiencing it. Babies don’t scream for no reaosn when this is done. There’s every reason to believe a baby experiences just as much pain as an adult and this is more than sufficient reason not to put them through it for a pointless cultural act.

    There is no value in doing something for mere “cultural” reasons, it benefits a baby not in the slightest to participate in an act just because its cultural, especially when its mutilation. Having participated in such a cultural act doesn’t add to one’s live in any way, its pointless suffering. And there cirtainly is no sexual selection going on on the basis of penis circumcision – its not like women typically evaluate a man’s penis before deciding to date and/or have sex with him. Besides, those women that prefer circumcised penii likely do so merely because that’s what they’re most familiar with. As uncircumsized penii become the norm that’s what those sorts of women will come to expect and prefer.

    Another reason not to do this to children is that a certain small percentage of male babies will be transgendered and want a sex change when they get older. Loss of the foreskin will mean a constructed vagina that may not be deep enough for full penetration. As a transexual I may have been born the wrong sex, but at least my parents didn’t make the huge mistake of circumcising me.

  56. #56 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    With regard to Comment #114, it’s funny how at the opposite end of the religious spectrum, Buddhism, the Buddhas were characterized, among many other things, by a prepuce that completely covered the glans (perhaps phymotic, I don’t know).

  57. #57 O-dot-O
    April 27, 2007

    Phymotic?

  58. #58 Steviepinhead
    April 27, 2007

    Why do I suspect that many of the same people who would insist that it’s “culturally” (code word for “religiously”) just fine and dandy to circumcise babies because “babies can’t feel pain” are the exact same people who would also insist (on the basis of those same good ol’ “cultural” norms) that abortion must be restricted as much as possible because “fetuses” are thinking/feeling beings who display pain reactions…?

    Why do I suspect that a person who would claim babies don’t feel pain has never accidentally poked an infant with a safety pin while changing a diaper?

    Argue with facts, folks, not what you wish the facts were.

  59. #59 O-dot-O
    April 27, 2007

    Ah, phimotic.

  60. #60 Azkyroth
    April 27, 2007

    Sexual selection and cultural identity. I’m not saying the benefits are overwhelming, but considering how little suffering and trauma is supposedly caused by snipping in the first place, it doesn’t take much.

    If sexual selection is so important, let the kid make the decision himself when he’s older. The fact that almost no uncircumcised male chooses to be circumcised later in life for reasons of “sexual selection and culture identity” would weigh pretty strongly against your argument.

    Furhtermore, I would contend that by discouraging him from mating with women who are so stupid and shallow as to actually make a big deal about whether their partner’s penis is mutilated in a fashion conforming to the cultural norm, you’re doing the kid a huge favor down the road.

  61. #61 Jake
    April 27, 2007

    And again I don’t find circ to be the great preventative tool when the study showed there was only an absolute 1.5% difference between the two groups and the trial went on for 21 months.

    Are you serious? What absolute difference would it take to impress you? Would you be happy with an absolute difference of 5%? 50%? Would you only be satisfied if the entire control group dropped down dead instantly?

    Think about this for a moment. Suppose you tested something which was 100% effective over the course of a lifetime. Since it is completely effective, the HIV incidence in the intervention group will be zero. If you tested it in the USA, the HIV prevalence in the control group will be the national average – about 0.6%. So you have an absolute difference of 0.6% – which you think is unimpressive?

  62. #62 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    Thanks, Anne! Now I know &lt &gt

  63. #63 Monado
    April 27, 2007

    Gods are obsessed with wee-wees because they are made in our image. You know that old canard about how many words Eskimos have for snow? (No more than we do, in fact.) Well, how many words do we have for wee-wees male and female and the act of putting them together?

  64. #64 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    “Medical necessity” is usually just an excuse.

  65. #65 David Canzi
    April 27, 2007

    Shiftlessbum: “It’s certainly a travesty that a 15 year old might be forced … but fer cryin out loud there is nothing wrong with male circumscision. It’s a biologically benign body alteration. Your feeble attempts to equate it with female circumscision, which is radically different both in purpose and in anatomical consequence, is not fooling anyone but does serve to make you look nutty.”

    If the court rules that a father has the right to impose needless surgery on his son and against his son’s objections, for “cultural” reasons, what argument will a girl be able to use to protect herself when her parents propose, for “cultural” reasons, to infibulate her?

  66. #66 raven
    April 27, 2007

    But Julie H. McFarlane, a supervising attorney with the Portland-based Juvenile Rights Project, said that the child’s consent for a medical procedure is not required until he turns 15.

    “I think the dad has the legal right as the custodial parent to make those kind of religious or medical decisions,” McFarlane said. “It’s not much different from cosmetic surgery.”

    I see one flaw in this lawyer’s assertion. This is no way a medical decision or issue. Since when is not being circumsized defined as being sick?

    It is purely religious. Strange religion that forces older children to belong whether they like it or not. Not seeing how god is going to be impressed by forced conversion. Which at any rate is impossible. They can force you to go to church or wear a head scarf or whatever depending on the culture and country. But they can’t force you to believe.

    If I was the judge, I would point out that the kid can make his decision to belong and get snipped at anytime in the future. Give the kid the phone number of child protective services. And have the dad evaluated by a shrink and sent to parenting classes. Could this be considered child abuse?

  67. #67 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    I would like to know what justifies the claim that circumcision is “biologically benign”.

    The “everyone in the US did it” argument is not justification.

  68. #68 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    Since when is not being circumsized defined as being sick?

    It was, once, in the US. Doctors used to diagnose the condition of “redundant prepuce”, which was sufficient cause for a ‘medical’ intervention.

  69. #69 Tom Foss
    April 27, 2007

    Why not cut them? It’s not incredibly traumatic for 99.9% of people, and most don’t really give a crap later in life. Why is cutting someone so innately horrible? Let’s not confuse ‘cutting’ with ‘deep suffering’.

    For the same reason we don’t remove everyone’s appendices and tonsils when they’re first born: it’s unnecessary, and it’s an unnecessary risk. While it’s not common, there is a very real chance of complications occurring in the circumcision process, which in the past resulted in raising genetic males as transgendered females, but still requires lots of unnecessary cosmetic surgery to repair.

    That risk alone, small though it may be, is enough to leave the process until much later in life (if at all). The other substantial benefits of remaining uncircumcised include increased sensory area for the penis, increased natural lubrication, and possibly even increased ejaculatory control. You lose all these things when you snip the tip.

    But what it comes down to, to co-opt a little loaded language here, is that it’s my body, and nothing which happens to it optionally should be anyone’s choice but mine.

    Speaking as a circumcised male, I think the process is unnecessary, risky, less beneficial than harmful, and something I will never subject my children to.

  70. #70 joeski
    April 27, 2007

    The American College of Ob-Gyn ( a lobbyist organization for ObGyn physicians) has an official opinion piece about circumcision. They condemn “female genital mutilation,” stating that there is no medical benefit and that cultural preferences have no bearing on the issue. Hypocritically, they then state that male circumcision has risks and benefits, with no over-riding benefit, and then say that it should be decided based on the cultural prefernces of the parents. IMHO it is genital mutilation on a minor of either sex — let the adult decide on himself or herself whether he or she wants a circumcision.

    The data showing a benefit of circumcision on lessened risk of male HIV acquisition was derived from studies in countries with HIV prevalence rates of 10% or more and may have no bearing on the issue in the US, where the HIV prevalence rate is less than .3%.

    There are downsides to male circumcision for sure. I was circumcised the day after I was born. I couldn’t walk for a year!!

    Joeski

  71. #71 Hank Fox
    April 27, 2007

    There’s every reason to believe a baby experiences just as much pain as an adult …

    I think the younger you are, the MORE pain you experience. Any mother who’s ever accidentally stuck a diaper pin into a baby (and yeah, I know Western parents don’t use them much today) knows that babies scream like bloody murder at the tiniest little pinch or prick (not a pun).

    Aside from the pain of circumcision, creating a wound at a place where you have stinging urine soaking it every hour or so has gotta be like long-drawn-out torture.

  72. #72 Chris
    April 27, 2007

    The arguments about the possible health benefits for adults are irrelevant both to the case being discussed and to infants. Infants very rarely contract STDs through sexual activity (and if they do, I doubt circumcision would have helped anyway – I really hope there aren’t enough cases to study, though). Once they grow up enough to become sexually active, they have also grown up enough to choose *for themselves* whether or not they want the benefits (whatever they may be) enough to go through the procedure.

    There’s simply no reason to force the decision on an infant.

    Since someone who isn’t circumsized as an infant can always be circumsized later (incidentally, is there any reason other than cultural ones that anaesthetic couldn’t be used?), while the reverse is not true, it only makes sense to take the course of action that preserves the most options for that person, when they are old enough to make up their mind which way they want it.

  73. #73 frog
    April 27, 2007

    Azkyroth: Your assumption that we aren’t concerned about this simply on account of our concerning ourselves with a different and more permanent violation of a child’s rights AT the moment is bizarre and unfounded

    What I find bizarre is that a thread on an extreme violation of a child becomes an explosion of posts on neo-natal circumcision. I find the attraction to it bizarre, the fact that this is seen as a major violation at the level of brainwashing, that it attracts even more interest, and even stronger invective, than the invasion of the very essence of a person, that I find bizarre.

    It’s just a bit of skin on the end of the dick! It’s not terribly polite thing to do, and I expect that some day it’ll be relegated to the realm of tribal tattooing and ear-lobe expansion. But really, the emotional response is just over the top; the obvious anger in the posts, the feelings of violation, they’re not coming from the frontal lobes at all.

    As bizarre as the religious obsession with it as well. Even more bizarre, in the sense that at least the irrationality in religion is up front – this is more like something leaking from the subconscious.

    Really, try to argue that if 50% of the population was cutting off the tip of one finger in small children, people would be so angry. Or sticking a hole through their tongue, or piercing their ears, or squishing their skulls to make them more attractive (a strangely common practice in the USA today), that the emotional element would be so strong. People would say, yeah, that’s stupid, we should probably stop doing it, and then move on to more important things.

  74. #74 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    Funny how “medical necessity” only causes later circumcisions in the order of around 2% in the UK and about 1 in 18,000 in Scandinavia. Given that the populations are overwhelmingly intact this is a tiny number.

    How come it’s so high in the US especially as most get the knife/clamp at birth?

    Maybe it’s just that Europeans leave their children’s genitals alone (no peeking, poking, manipulating, trying to get it to retract before it’s ready, trying to “clean” under it etc etc.) and being a normal body part it causes no more problems than any other, whereas in the US they just can’t seem to help interfering with their kids genitals for all kinds of reasons which causes damage and infections and leads to ridiculous levels of later circs. Europeans tend to see surgery as a last resort, whereas American doctors seem to use it as the first. Sad and very sick.

    However this guy is using his religion as a lever to inflict this on his son, it’s wicked and it looks like the law is going to allow him to do it.

    I am of the opinion that religion is actually quite an evil concept, given that it gives the person who “believes” carte blanche to inflict just about anything he or she wants to on their children or other people in the name of their imaginary friend. Such a lot of wicked deeds have been perpetrated in the name of various flavours of God(s), that any humane and loving God(s) must be sitting in their respective heavens and weeping.

    Religion is something that ought to be confined to consenting adults in private, leave children and the rest of us out of it.

  75. #75 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    It’s just a bit of skin on the end of the dick!

    That “bit of skin” constitutes between a quarter and a third of all the skin on the penis. It’s a muscosal membrane, like the underside of the eyelid (and totally unlike the rest of the penis), and it covers the glans either mostly and completely.

    Circumcision in America usually also involves removal of the frenulum, which is (outside of the US) generally recognized to be the most sensitive part of the penis. It has nothing to do with the circumcision itself – its removal is just traditional.

    It’s not terribly polite thing to do, and I expect that some day it’ll be relegated to the realm of tribal tattooing and ear-lobe expansion. But really, the emotional response is just over the top; the obvious anger in the posts, the feelings of violation, they’re not coming from the frontal lobes at all.

    Where are your psychological defense mechanisms coming from?

  76. #76 beepbeepitsme
    April 27, 2007

    Gods are obsessed with wee wees because they are impotent. They hope that by draping themselves with thousands of foreskins that through sympathetic magic, they will be able to mate with mortals.

    Seriously? It’s all based in pagan fertility rites.

  77. #77 frog
    April 27, 2007

    Caledonian, the frontal lobe bit is a bit of a joke – you know, cerebellum vs. frontal lobe? Olfactory cortex vs. neo-cortex?

    But that’s what I find bizarre – all the psychological defense mechanism coming out. As I said, there’s a lot of authoritarian activities that freak me out a lot more than circumcisions. Having to work in a corporate cubicle all day – I find that a lot more freaky, a big weird S&M game squeaking out of folks subconscious, which was usually implanted in church. Sending folks overseas to get their brains blown out because their god say it’ll bring on the rapture – still more freaky. The government secretly collecting personal information for a resurgent TIA – that pisses me off.

    25% of the nerve endings at the end of the dick? Ahh, impolite but you’ll survive. But raise someone up to be a warrior for God, heading off to kill a bunch of Muslims for no clear reasons – that goes further than being impolite. That’s nasty. That gets me all worked up. I can rant for hours about that.

  78. #78 Gerard Harbison
    April 27, 2007

    But that’s what I find bizarre – all the psychological defense mechanism coming out.

    Yeah. I can’t imagine why people are disturbed by the idea of someone cutting their genitals. What would be evolutionary reason for such a revulsion?

  79. #79 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    Yeah. I can’t imagine why people are disturbed by the idea of someone cutting their genitals. What would be evolutionary reason for such a revulsion?

    Gerard Harbison wins the thread.

    25% of the nerve endings at the end of the dick? Ahh, impolite but you’ll survive.

    Denial, projection, minimization, rationalization. Check, check, check, check.

  80. #80 frog
    April 27, 2007

    Yeah. I can’t imagine why people are disturbed by the idea of someone cutting their genitals. What would be evolutionary reason for such a revulsion?

    Yeah, but you’re supposed to have developed by adulthood a certain inhibition to those revulsions. Isn’t that what religious folk do, act out on irrational psychological defense mechanisms, and treat them as gods? Isn’t that what much of religion is? Saying that the crap that goes on in their mind is out there, for real?

    What can I say, I find it funny that the same thing drives even those of us trying for sanity. Not the impulse, and not even a few rational postings. But the visceral anger displayed in many of them, as if that inhibition was breaking down.

    But it’s also funny that I give a shit.

  81. #81 raven
    April 27, 2007

    Still bemused by this thread. It isn’t about circumcision, good or bad, although it turned into that.

    Nor is it to do about medicine.

    It has everything to do with a lunatic father mistreating his half grown son ostensibly for religious reasons. A dumb move at best and possibly child abuse. The decision on whether to convert should be the kids rather than a forced conversion that probably won’t take in the end. After all everyone can change their minds.

    There is one way to answer the question of whether a foreskin is something to be missed or not. A small number of males get circumsized later in life for various reasons, religious conversion and what not. Being your own control in this sort of experiment has advantages and I’m sure these men have been asked. The only answer I remember offhand is one guy who said it didn’t make much difference one way or the other.

  82. #82 Gaia sighs...
    April 27, 2007

    “As long as the practice doesn’t cause trauma or suffering, I don’t really care.”

    “A new study found circumcision so traumatic that doctors ended the study early rather than subject any more babies to the operation without anesthesia.

    The researchers discovered that for those circumcised without anesthesia there was not only severe pain, but also an increased risk of choking and difficulty breathing.”http://tinyurl.com/2bgwkr

    THE LANCET, Volume 349, Number 9052: Pages 599-603: EFFECT OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION ON PAIN RESPONSE
    DURING SUBSEQUENT ROUTINE VACCINATION http://tinyurl.com/yo92nh

  83. #83 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “unnecessary cosmetic surgery”

    “random weird cosmetic operations”

    Slicing the foreskin off a 15-year-old boy – against his will?

    Regardless of whatever presumed health benefits, how exactly is this anything other than genital mutilation?

    It’s against his will!

    Therefore, the minimal health benefits are utterly irrelevant.

    And it’s yet another example of religion prompting an anti-human act.

  84. #84 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “Anne, the US hardly invented this practice, as I pointed out above. It has ancient roots. Control your disgust; it’s not entirely appropriate.”

    “It’s an oddity, a weird thing we still do which will probably just fade away. Getting really upset is a huge overreaction to a relatively benign curiosity.”

    Wrong and wrong. Regardless of what you may think about circumcising of infants, forcing a *15-year-old* boy to be circumcised against his will is utterly barbaric.

    Should we “control our disgust” over the practice of cutting off the clitorises of females in Africa at the onset of puberty? Should we consider that “a relatively benign curiosity”?

    No, I think outrage at the savagery and superstition is pretty damn appropriate. Any other reaction seems pretty uncivilized.

  85. #85 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “What arguments can you offer to support this position?”

    I do not feel in any way victimized or harmed by being circumcised. (Nor do most men.) Thus, trying to tell me I was is a very difficult argument to make, since you’re trying to tell me how I feel. I suppose it could be done, but it’s really hard to do that. People telling me how I’m supposed to feel generally get a weird look.

  86. #86 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Regardless of what you may think about circumcising of infants, forcing a *15-year-old* boy to be circumcised against his will is utterly barbaric.”

    I think we’d all agree on that. I know I do.

  87. #87 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    I do not feel in any way victimized or harmed by being circumcised. (Nor do most men.) Thus, trying to tell me I was is a very difficult argument to make, since you’re trying to tell me how I feel.

    Whether you’ve been harmed, and whether you feel harmed, are two very different things.

    Your arguments are asinine.

  88. #88 James
    April 27, 2007

    I know that if someone had asked me, i certainly would have said Hell No! But nobody asked me.

    As a father, my job is to protect and teach my son to the best of my ability. Putting him through an unnecessary medical procedure for the sake of someone else’s tradition flies in the face of that ideal. It is irresponsible and bad parenting in my mind.

  89. #89 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “What difference does it make whether the person in question is an infant or fifteen years old?”

    15 years olds are sapient. Infants aren’t.

    “I know that if someone had asked me, i certainly would have said Hell No! But nobody asked me.”

    Fair enough. I wouldn’t have said “hell no”. Let people decide for their own kids. You know, pro-choice.

  90. #90 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “It’s genital mutilation either way.”

    I actually agree, it’s just not the point I was making at the time.

    I think it’s rooted in superstition and any benefits are merely incidental. Plus benefits should be weighed against detriments, and the fact that you’re hacking a piece of skin off an infant before he can make a decision about it himself.

    How about just teaching the little boy to clean his pee-pee carefully?

    (Oh, maybe it’s all part of a divine plan to keep little boy’s hands *away* from their penises as much as possible.)

    Anyway, if that 15 year-old is forced into a circumcision, that’s a human rights violation, not just “unnecessary cosmetic surgery.”

  91. #91 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    That’s the problem with you advocacy. Trying to tell people they should feel outraged at a procedure they have gone through and generally don’t care about.

    Translation: You’re trying to convince me that there’s something wrong with my penis, and my penis is totally fine! I’m so confident that my penis is great that I don’t care at all about what you’re saying!

    It’s remarkable how many IQ points denial will cause a person to lose.

  92. #92 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “You’re trying to convince me that there’s something wrong with my penis, and my penis is totally fine!”

    My penis is fine. Thanks for taking an interest.

  93. #93 Darkwater
    April 27, 2007

    If circumcision is such an important, effective device to reduce heterosexual HIV transmission outside of Africa, shouldn’t there be a substantial difference in HIV infection rates between the US, where circumcision is prevalent, and, say, Sweeden, where it is almost never performed?

  94. #94 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “No offense, but that’s a really lousy argument that proves your opposite point. They chose to do that themselves.”

    Congrats, that’s has nothing to do with my point. All I was trying to say was that perception of pain has a lot to do with being in pain. The tattoo analogy was only relating to that idea, not to the entire argument.

    Logic, people. Stick with it.

  95. #95 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    I’m also betting they’re much, much more open about teaching safe sex in Sweden, too. Coincidence? I think not.

  96. #96 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Should people have the choice to bind their children’s feet?”

    That’s debilitating and incredibly painful *for life*. Circumcision doesn’t cause life-long pain and isn’t at all debilitating. The worst than can be said against it is a somewhat loss of sensitivity.

    “I don’t know about your penis, but your brain is definitely impaired.”

    Brain’s quite fine as well. Again, thanks for taking an interest.

  97. #97 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “What exactly is the cut off line (no pun intended. ok, a little pun intended) for unnecessarily inflicted pain?”

    There’s no quantifiability – it’s a matter of sapience and memory. If something isn’t sapient and it won’t remember what is happening, the amount of suffering is negligible. I’m not denying there may be suffering from circumcision – but the amount of it isn’t nearly enough for me to really care all that much.

    “So it’s OK for parents to inflict unnecessarily pain on their children, and remove parts of their body, as long as the severed flesh heals up eventually.”

    Your opinion of ‘unnecessary’ is different than other people. My parents circumcized me for religious reasons. I’m an atheist, and I probably won’t circumsize my kids, unless my wife really wants to. But my parents thought it was necessary, so they did it. Harm was so little, I don’t really care. Made them happy.

    “We’re talking about the penis. Sensitivity is pretty much the only thing it’s useful for.”

    Like I said, my penis is fine. Could it be more sensitive? maybe, I have no idea. Is it worse to circumcise people? Maybe. Is it such an abomination that it is a real issue? No.

  98. #98 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    It’s not a good idea to break anyone’s arm, since it hurts them, but it would be immeasurably worse if that memory never waned. That’s all I’m saying.

    No – that isn’t all you’ve said, and it’s not all you’re saying now.

  99. #99 James
    April 27, 2007

    All memories fade. that’s a part of life i guess. Maybe my life more then others, but that could be attributed to the weed in my early days. Sure i remember that I had broken my arm and the ride to the hospital, but I don’t remember the pain at all. But a developing child turns into an adult through the culmination of all it has experienced. Why in the world would I want to inflict pain, even momentarily, for any unnecessary reason on my child? Am I angry that I was cut as a child? No, not at all. Would I continue such a thoughtless tradition? Not a chance.

  100. #100 Ktesibios
    April 27, 2007

    Lawrence tells me that because I have been to a public school I am a eunuch. Well, what about it? I can produce medical evidence to the contrary, but what good will that do? Lawrence’s condemnation remains. If you tell me I am a scoundrel I may mend my ways, but if you tell me I am a eunuch you are tempting me to hit back in any way that seems feasible. If you want to make an enemy of a man, tell him that his ills are incurable.

    -George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier

    And that is precisely what the dogmatic anti-circumcision for anyone screamers on this thread are doing- telling anyone who happens to have been circumcised that they are incurably inferior to the “intact”.

    The obvious satisfaction “caledonian” takes in eliciting an emotional reaction is perfectly diagnostic of… wait for it…

    a…

    troll.

    As another of my favorite authors said back around the same time that “Wigan Pier” was published,

    If we hadn’t anything to hang our own superiority on, we should be sunk. We should be just like the Egyptians, or the Eskimos, or Grandpa.

    -Robert Benchley, My Ten Years in a Quandary

    Hanging one’s own superiority on one’s foreskin seems a rather pointless method of wanking, but, hey, as long as you don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses…

    For a parent to force medically unnecessary surgery on a child, especially a child who is clearly old enough to have a strong sense of self and who has made it plain that it is against his will, is morally wrong. To do it in the name of currying favor with an invisible Sky Buddy compounds the wrong with irrationality. That much seems like it should be common ground for anyone save a truly authoritarian personality or a pettifogging legalist.

    As for the rest of it, take it and stick it, trolls.

  101. #101 Azkyroth
    April 28, 2007

    I do not feel in any way victimized or harmed by being circumcised. (Nor do most men.)

    Statements about the opinions of “most men” should be backed up with some sort of studies. Even if it were the case, it would establish little. Sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome don’t report feeling victimized either.

    There’s no quantifiability – it’s a matter of sapience and memory. If something isn’t sapient and it won’t remember what is happening, the amount of suffering is negligible. I’m not denying there may be suffering from circumcision – but the amount of it isn’t nearly enough for me to really care all that much.

    Establish that infants in fact do not remember it and respond to arguments, including the study “Gaia Sighs…” cited, suggesting otherwise, plsthx?

    Incidentally, if it’s ok to harm infants in a fashion that’s culturally acceptable because they “don’t remember it” (“just take our word…would we lie…to ourselves? Err, I mean…to you?”) and the lasting harm it causes is not blatant enough to be unrationalizable, would you also be telling us it was “no big deal” if cultural tradition mandated forcibly sodomizing newborns? Or is it just this one form of violence you have a fetish for?

  102. #102 bacopa
    April 28, 2007

    rilkefan said:

    Note that there is a relatively high rate (I think 10-15%) of post-newborn-age circumcision out of medical necessity (via the discussion in _What To Expect The First Year_, I believe).

    The “What to Expect” books make an obvious error. They say that up to 20% of normal male infants “need to” be circumcised instead of the actual fact of the matter: that up to 20% of male infants left in the normal condition “end up” being circumcised. Big difference there.

    The fact that the monotheistic religions of Middle-Eastern origin either require or at least sanction circumcision is reason enough to desire the subjection of these religions

  103. #103 The quantum pancake
    April 28, 2007

    Over 200 posts over a tiny piece of skin.

    Something’s screwy here…

  104. #104 Dan P
    April 28, 2007

    If I’m the kid I will make some not so very nice accusations against the deluded father.

  105. #105 beepbeepitsme
    April 28, 2007

    If you want to understand anything, you need to understand its origin. The first recorded evidence of circumcision is in Egypt. It was part of a religious practice associated with fertility. It’s all about sex, baby.

  106. #106 Anton Mates
    April 28, 2007

    There are VERY FEW — if any — cultures that regularly practice removal of the clitoral prepuce. Clitorectomy, usually with removal of the labia minora, is the vastly more common procedure.

    This is incorrect. As Anne mentions, virtually all FGM in Indonesia consists either of removing a small part of the prepuce/hood or of pricking/scraping/touching the clitoris without removing anything. The same seems to be true in most regions of Asia where it’s practiced. Even in Africa, prepuce removal is the most common FGM procedure in most surveyed countries. (Not all relevant countries have been surveyed in a fashion that distinguishes between prepuce splitting/removal and clitoral/labial removal AFAIK.)

    So yes, a significant proportion of FGM is comparable to or milder than male circumcision in terms of the amount of mutilation.

    Incidentally, the terminology might be a little confusing here: “clitoridectomy” covers any surgical alteration of the clitoris, including splitting or partial removal of the prepuce. It doesn’t require actual removal of the clitoris.

    See UNICEF’s 2005 publication, “Female Genital Muliation/Cutting: A Statistical Exploration.”

  107. #107 Jkrehbielp
    April 28, 2007

    “There are two ‘beings’ involved in an abortion, even if you don’t want to magically call it a human.”
    Well, three really since a man can only reproduce through the agency of a woman. I’m not saying a man’s desire to reproduce overrides the woman’s or the fetus’ interests, but if the man has some responsibility, then he should also have some rights.

  108. #108 David Marjanovi?
    April 28, 2007

    The women I know prefer the look of circumcized penises, though that’s obviously anecdotal. If you consider sexual selection to be a ‘cultural bias’ then that’s your opinion.

    Let me put it this way… I’d consider any such woman perverted and, erm, select someone else. I’m with comments 57 and 126.

    Of course, the act of hygiene required the foreskin be retracted, the glans and foreskin washed, and the prepuce pulled back over.

    Huh?

    Creepy. Deeply creepy.

    Looks like someone has a totally irrational phobia of urine tract infection. Comment 77 says it’s even counterproductive; I’m not surprised at all.

    the “graphite method” our professor warned against for Chemistry 101 lab work

    LOL! This undoes much of the emotional damage I have inflicted on myself by reading that far. :-)

    And there are absolutely no other differences among those countries that could account for that?

    Off the top of my head, I can think of one. Europe, Canada, and Japan lack abstinence-only “education” and, as expected, have lower rates of teen pregnancies. I suppose that means lower rates of unprotected sex, which clearly explains something.

    But Mexico?!?

    penii

    If you want the Latin plural, that’s penes

    squishing their skulls to make them more attractive (a strangely common practice in the USA today)

    You’re kidding, right?

    Europeans tend to see surgery as a last resort, whereas American doctors seem to use it as the first. Sad and very sick.

    It’s not that simple. When I was in hospital for middle ear infection, it was suggested to take my tonsils out while they were at it, just so, for no particular reason. I still have my tonsils, and haven’t ever had problems with them.

    If I were 14 years old and in that situation, I would seriously consider running away. That fucker is sick.

    So would I.

    Circumcision in America usually also involves removal of the frenulum

    WTF? I’ve read a book on a 16th-century Jew who (among many other things) wrote a treatise on how damaging the phrenulum is not only not required by Jewish law but highly counterproductive to healing and later function. The stupid! It burns!!!

    Am I glad I don’t even know where the phrenulum is. Please don’t tell me.

  109. #109 David Marjanovi?
    April 28, 2007

    The women I know prefer the look of circumcized penises, though that’s obviously anecdotal. If you consider sexual selection to be a ‘cultural bias’ then that’s your opinion.

    Let me put it this way… I’d consider any such woman perverted and, erm, select someone else. I’m with comments 57 and 126.

    Of course, the act of hygiene required the foreskin be retracted, the glans and foreskin washed, and the prepuce pulled back over.

    Huh?

    Creepy. Deeply creepy.

    Looks like someone has a totally irrational phobia of urine tract infection. Comment 77 says it’s even counterproductive; I’m not surprised at all.

    the “graphite method” our professor warned against for Chemistry 101 lab work

    LOL! This undoes much of the emotional damage I have inflicted on myself by reading that far. :-)

    And there are absolutely no other differences among those countries that could account for that?

    Off the top of my head, I can think of one. Europe, Canada, and Japan lack abstinence-only “education” and, as expected, have lower rates of teen pregnancies. I suppose that means lower rates of unprotected sex, which clearly explains something.

    But Mexico?!?

    penii

    If you want the Latin plural, that’s penes

    squishing their skulls to make them more attractive (a strangely common practice in the USA today)

    You’re kidding, right?

    Europeans tend to see surgery as a last resort, whereas American doctors seem to use it as the first. Sad and very sick.

    It’s not that simple. When I was in hospital for middle ear infection, it was suggested to take my tonsils out while they were at it, just so, for no particular reason. I still have my tonsils, and haven’t ever had problems with them.

    If I were 14 years old and in that situation, I would seriously consider running away. That fucker is sick.

    So would I.

    Circumcision in America usually also involves removal of the frenulum

    WTF? I’ve read a book on a 16th-century Jew who (among many other things) wrote a treatise on how damaging the phrenulum is not only not required by Jewish law but highly counterproductive to healing and later function. The stupid! It burns!!!

    Am I glad I don’t even know where the phrenulum is. Please don’t tell me.

  110. #110 Rieux
    April 28, 2007

    Mandolin:
    Bullshit, Rieux.

    There are VERY FEW — if any — cultures that regularly practice removal of the clitoral prepuce. Clitorectomy, usually with removal of the labia minora, is the vastly more common procedure.

    Clitorectomy is NOT DIRECTLY ANALAGOUS to male circumcision.

    Other posters have beaten me to the punch with some very good cites, but I can still call bullshit on your “bullshit,” Mandolin.

    I’ll add the following cites to the ones offered above:

    http://tinyurl.com/cmejr
    http://tinyurl.com/yuetv3
    http://tinyurl.com/yttm4n

    If you want to talk about cultural roots, cultural motivations, then there are some similarities (although FGM has waaaaay more shit involved).

    “Waaaaay more” such as what? Both practices are founded entirely on religious lunacy and anti-sex/anti-masturbation stupidity.

    The foundations of MGM in the U.S. are marginally more buried under cultural inertia and ignorance (and “scientific” propaganda), but so what? Especially on a blog like this one–devoted as it substantially is to shredding pseudo-liberal apathy toward the damage done to human beings by mainstream religious belief and practice–what kind of distinction, or defense, is that?

    it’s *way worse* to talk about the two procedures as if they are globally equal.

    And who has claimed that they’re “globally equal”?

    As I’ve said, drastic infibulations are worse than most American MGM. The sanitary conditions under which most FGM is performed are worse than those in most American MGM (though the gap is closing fast). No one here has denied either of those points.

    Comparisons need to be made carefully.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  111. #111 Caledonian
    April 28, 2007

    For future reference, Rieux, quotes can be made in the following way: Put the word “blockquote” in angle brackets at the beginning of quoted text, and do the same (with an upwards-slash before the word) at the end.

  112. #112 Anton Mates
    April 28, 2007

    You have anecdotal evidence that the women you know prefer circumcised males? I have anecdotal evidence that the women I know either don’t care either way or are fascinated and delighted when they discover that I am uncircumcised.

    I think these can both be largely summarized as, “When you want to sleep with someone, you generally praise any part of their body you particularly like and keep quiet about the parts you don’t.” And, as Caledonian says, demographics produce a natural correlation between whether you’re cut or uncut, and whether your sexual partners are accustomed to seeing the same.

    The only women I’ve discussed the subject with expressed a preference for uncircumcised guys, and they weren’t all my partners either; but they did grow up in Berkeley with me, so there’s that culture thing again.

  113. #113 Jake
    April 29, 2007

    Ricardo Diaz wrote: “Not sure who that refers to, but the authors of the studies on Africa have a long history of promoting circumcision for one reason or another over a good many years.”

    What criteria do you use to determine whether someone “promotes” circumcision, and how do you distinguish it from finding positive effects of circumcision in the course of scientific research?

    “Premiere medical journals?” Bet you didn’t know that Lancet, BMJ, and BJU have published, over the past 20-30 years, about 10 to 1 more articles that debunk all the old fabulous and mythological medical lore about circumcision, than those in favor of circumcision.”

    That claim appears to be false. Go to:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?CMD=search&DB=pubmed

    and enter:
    circumcision (“Lancet”[journal] OR “BMJ”[journal] OR “BJU Int”[journal]) NOT female

    “Accept their version of the reason for rejection, and the best you can say for them isn’t much.”

    What you can say is that they did a piece of scientific research which was scientifically sound but that the Lancet had ethical objections.

    “But an online journal controlled by US circumcision advocate, Bill Gates, published it right away. A supposedly “peer reviewed” journal?”

    You’re mistaken. Auvert’s study was published by PLoS Medicine, which is – like the Lancet – published both online and in print. It has no connection to Bill Gates.

    “Lancet recently announced publication of a study by US doctors that shows most of the sexual sensing tissue in a penis is removed with circumcision.”

    You’re confused. BJU International published that (dubious) study.

    “These persons set out to validate the circumcisions done to them or that they have done to other males (usually sons) in their lives. They are not objective in that regard.”

    Interesting hypothesis. Do you intend to provide any evidence, or is stating it as fact enough for you?

    “But in Africa not even 1% of several thousand men were gay?”

    Nobody is saying such a thing. However, the inclusion criteria specified heterosexual men. Do you actually read any of these studies?

    “The studies are flawed.”

    Because you want them to be?

    “The mostly circumcised USA has been trying to export circumcision for many years now, but 80% of the world’s males are still not circumcised.”

    Probably more like 65%.

    “The WHO’s approval was engineered by the US advocates of circumcision by portraying their struggle as purely about AIDS in Africa.”

    Another unsubstantiated hypothesis presented as fact?

  114. #114 Jake
    April 29, 2007

    Revamp wrote: “You clearly expected your absence of response to the point made about examination for validation of their circumcision state to be sufficient for the matter to be dropped”

    Actually, I would have thought that anyone capable of reading English would have noticed that the studies addressed the matter themselves. For example: “At each of the four visits, each participant was invited to answer a face-to-face questionnaire, to provide a blood sample, and to have a genital examination and an individual counselling session.”

    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020298

    “I quite enjoyed seeing you claim that it was “Dubious” in the same post as where you stated asked whether the reasoning behind her criticisms was “Because you want them to be?””

    If you want to know why the study is dubious, all you need to do is ask politely. You could then be told about the bizarre recruitment methodology, covered up in the text, but apparent in table 1 (although the numbers do not add up to the correct totals). You could be told about the fact that for the points which are supposedly “significantly more sensitive” there are in fact no statistically significant differences. You could be told that the mean and SEM values presented in table 2 allow p values to be calculated for the points present on both penile types, and that – again – there are no significant differences here either.

    “On a related note it is worth mentioning that the New Scientist recently published an article finding that the folds of foreskin revealed during an erection were the most sensitive area of the penis. This was in a study of over a thousand and I feel it is safe to say it gives quite some support to the aforementioned study.”

    You are incorrect. The New Scientist published a discussion of both Payne’s and Van Howe’s results, but did not publish any original results. See issue 2601 of New Scientist magazine, 26 April 2007, page 17

  115. #115 Anne
    April 29, 2007

    I see that the infamous Jake(W), universal circumcision advocate, has joined the scene.

    Tell us, JakeW, do you think this 12 year old boy should undergo circumcision?

    Oh, and send my regards to your children, Figment, and Imaginaria. I look forward to hearing all about your parenting experiences the next time we talk on parenting websites.

    Yes, we’ll probably be seeing Schoen, Morris, Halperin, Bailey, and the cast of Sickolist here too, soon. They’d probably love to have this 12 year old boy circumcised, preferably somewhere they can watch (Morris goes on holidays where he can watch circumcisions of adolescent boys)…..

    Lovely people eh? And these are the people who are trying to get parents to cut their children. (YUK).

  116. #116 Caledonian
    April 29, 2007

    But since no evidence can be gathered from adults who were circ’ed in infancy, the notion (widespread in this thread) they have any less sensation than their counterparts is untestable, unfalsifiable, and unscientific.

    1) Would you also argue that the notion that they have no alterations in their sensations is untestable, unfalsifiable, and unscientific?

    2) Evidence can be gathered from adults circumcised as adults, and the results are peculiarly inconclusive.

  117. #117 Out-ter
    April 29, 2007

    JakeW, the topic of the article is whether a 12-year old boy should be circumcised against his will.

    How do you feel about that? Does a forced circumcision violate his rights? Does preventing the circumcision violate the father’s rights?

    It seems like you came into the comments for the express reason of pushing the HIV study propaganda and to discredit the sensitivity study. Seems like an agenda to me.

    Please share with us your thoughts on the ethical issues of a forced circumcision of a 12 year old.

  118. #118 Azkyroth
    April 30, 2007

    Wait, I’m confused; I thought this kid was 15.

  119. #119 Anne
    April 30, 2007

    No, if he was 15 he’d be safe, that’s the age at which the medics have to have the consent of the child in order to carry out the operation. Up until that age, apparently, the parent can force any medical operation on a minor for any reason they wish, including cosmetic surgery.

    The boy in this case is 12.

    Interestingly an Illinois court threw out a case recently where a custodial parent wanted to get an 8 year old circumcised against his wishes and the wishes of the non-custodial parent. It wasn’t in his best interests apparently – but that was because of spurious “medical reasons”. The custodial parent was another Jew, but didn’t claim that she wanted to do it for religious reasons, she claimed medical reasons that could be proved to be false or treatable by other means. It also followed a divorce.

    I’m getting the feeling that:
    1) Divorcing parents are taking “getting back at their ex-” to terrible extremes, including being happy to mutilate a child as long as it hurts and upsets the other parent, and
    2) If they bring religion into it, they’ll have the support of the American courts and get away with it.

    Religion should not be allowed to be a reason to trample all over another person’s rights, and should certainly be kept out of the Court system. It’s irrational that someone’s imaginary friend should have any standing in a Court of Law at all.

  120. #120 Out-ter
    April 30, 2007

    JakeW, please speak plainly on this.

    For the sake of argument, lets say it is 110% fact that this 12 year old does not want to be circumcised. Do you think it is right to force circumcision on a 12 year old, against his wishes? Yes or no?

  121. #121 Larry Lennhoff
    April 30, 2007

    I finally found an article on the actual case on Oregon Live.com. To my mind the key sentence is the following:
    In court papers, the father claims the boy gradually concluded that he also wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that it required circumcision.

    If that is true, the issue is whether the wishes of the non-custodial mother should trump the combined wishes of the father and the son. The son is 12 – not yet an adult (even Jewishly) but certainly capable of speech and thought. Do these additional facts change anyone’s mind?

  122. #122 SammyJr
    April 30, 2007

    Larry Lennhoff,

    It is hard to say whether the father is telling the truth. I doubt that a 12 year old boy is capable of making such a life long decision, due to lack of knowledge and life experience. The boy might also be caving to his father to get him off his back. A 12 year old cannot provide legal consent for a reason, you know.

    If my daugher, at age 12, came up to me and demanded breast implants, I would deny her request. Why? At age 12, she is not mature enough to consider all the factors and make an informed decision. Conversely, could I force her to get breast implants? No, and no physician would do it, either.

    The safest course of action, for all cosmetic and otherwise unnecessary surgeries, is to wait until the person is old enough to consent for themselves and provide them with appropriate information and counseling.

  123. #123 Jake
    May 1, 2007

    “Jake, better yet, how about YOU addressing ALL of the flaws I have cited..”

    As you wish:

    “For genital warts, were all cases cured for each group? and HOW were they cured for eachy group? What was the incidence for re-occurance for each group?”

    The subject under discussion is HIV, not genital warts.

    “With the high rate of “false positives”. they could not even determine what were actual seroconversions.”

    A questionable assertion, since the false positive rate depends upon the method of HIV testing. Even assuming that the false positive for the method used in specific studies is deemed to be “high”, then we still have no reason to believe that the test should create a greater rate of false positives in one group than in another.

    “The Rakai Study: Risk Factors for Heterosexual Transmission
    Commentary by Laurence Peiperl, MD, HIV InSite Journal Club, April 14, 2000.
    Discussion of study by Quinn et al New England Journal of Medicine, March 2000.”

    This, of course, is a commentary on one observational study.

    “AND provide conclusive, SCIENTIFIC proof that this so-called reduction occurs in the real world outside of these “studies””

    How, exactly, do you propose that I provide scientific proof of something while you specifically exclude the form which such proof usually takes?

    “Still with the games & WORD games? Still trying to deny the scientific evidence from the Taylor study? the Winkelmann study, etc.”

    Neither Taylor nor Winkelmann established the fact that you claim. Taylor did, at one point, speculate something vaguely similar to your claim, but he did not attempt to test his hypothesis.

    “And from this, you want us to conclude that the CHILD comprehends the ramifications, risks and damage?”

    I have no evidence either way. Nor have you. And you still haven’t presented any evidence of this supposed ‘damage’.

    “So, again, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict”

    How does one go about forcefully inflicting something that the boy voluntarily undergoes?

    “this painful and harmful procedure”

    Still no evidence, I see.

    “on a child who does not comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage”

    A claim which you base upon assumption alone.

    “by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief”

    One parent, together with the boy himself. Have you actually read anything in this thread?

    “system based on nothing but BELIEF?”

    Belief systems usually are based upon belief. Hence the name.

    So, let’s rephrase your question:

    So, again, is it ethical and moral to inflict this procedure on a volunteer child simply because he has a belief system?

  124. #124 Out-ter
    May 1, 2007

    Good ‘ol JakeW. I think we know the answer to the question he keeps avoiding. I just think he just doesn’t want another “adequacy.org” on record spoiling his professional “unbiased” sales pitch.

    Face it, buddy, you and your agenda are quite famous on the Internet. Might as well answer the question. What do you have to lose?

  125. #125 Jake
    May 2, 2007

    “C’mon, Jake..
    I asked for you to address ALL of the flaws cited!”

    As I did. Items 1 through 6 were addressed in post 253. The remaining items were addressed, per your request, in post 258.

  126. #126 Anne
    May 2, 2007

    One last comment.

    I think we can infer, from the evasive answers he has given, that I was right.

    He has no problems at all with the forced circumcision of a 12 year old, indeed, as I stated, would probably be helping to tie him into the circumstraint in salivatory expectation of what was to come.

    When it comes down to it, the rights of the 12 year old, and the rights of an infant are no different, it’s just a case of opportunity and ability to resist. Cutting up the genitals of a child, for whatever reason, of either gender, is barbaric and sick.

  127. #127 Jake
    May 2, 2007

    “Sorry, but ignoring, dismissing, and dodging is hardly ADDRESSING–I have read your responses and not a ONE was what one requires as an addressing of the issue–try again”

    It is impossible to address your vague accusations unless you are more specific. Please go through each response and explain why you find it unsatisfactory. I will be pleased to address these specific issues.

    “AND I am still waiting for you to prove that this reduction exists in the real world outside of the studies”

    I assume you must be joking. Proof of such a phenomena requires a scientific study. Asking for proof other than the only possible proof is simply ridiculous.

    “SO, again (repetitious rant deleted))” I have already addressed the unsupportable assumptions inherent in your question. I see no point in repeating myself until you have resolved these issues.

  128. #128 Out-ter
    May 2, 2007

    concernedcitizen, someone can support determining the child’s wishes then feel just dandy going against them. Not to mention that a 12 year old cannot give consent rendering their opinion somewhat irrelevant. This is really an argument over whether a parent can force unnecessary surgery on their child for religious reasons. The potential outcome is scary to a lot of people who hold circumcision near and dear.

    JakeW’s alleged concern is just a diversion from the real question.

  129. #129 Jackie
    May 2, 2007

    I guess desperation kills neurons or something, especialy after reading Ann’s and Out-ter’s posts. I guess their cause is pretty much dead, not that it was ever alive, but now after the HIV studies they can pretty much cremate it and mourn over their failure. In their desperation all they can come up with are these pathetic comments that are more laughable than anything else.
    And how do you know the child’s wishes? According to the Oregonian, “In court papers, the father claims the boy gradually concluded that he also wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that it required circumcision.” Later, the mother (who lost custody of her child, has anyone wondered why?) claimed that her son told her he was afraid of the procedure and to defy his father
    Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/ap/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-19/117787975868560.xml&storylist=topstories
    I wonder if the mother isn’t using this as revenge. Obviously she did something or failed to do something and she lost custody. What better way to get revenge than taking the father to court? And, BTW, she tried to regain custody and she lost again!! I wonder what kind of piece of work she is that she cannot even get custody back.

  130. #130 Out-ter
    May 3, 2007

    No, it is not his choice until he is 18. That’s the age of legal consent in the United States. Children aren’t allowed to make decisions like this for a reason – they’re immature and are judged not to have the life experience needed.

    When my daughter is 12, she could come up to me and demand breast implants. Am I obligated to grant her this cosmetic surgery? Am I wrong to tell her to wait until she’s older and see if she still feels the same?

    12 year olds are kids.

    Parents have proxy consent for medically necessary procedures, but this circumcision (or any other cosmetic surgery) is not necessary.

    In the United States, we have the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. That applies to the individual only. It doesn’t mean that you have the right to physically force your faith on another through genital cutting or other physical markings.

    Foreskin fetishist. I must say, that’s really creative. Would you call anti-FGM activists clitoris and labia fetishists? Or breast cancer cure advocates as breast fetishists? Who else gets smeared with your fetishist brush? Or is it just that you believe that circumcision is a right and is right for all? Think what you want, but your beloved practice will die out.

  131. #131 Out-ter
    May 3, 2007

    Jackie, you’re funny. I’m glad I could get you all worked up. I can see you’re trying to Godwin the thread. Good job. Why debate ethics when you can simply scream anti-semite at the top of your lungs?

    And there’s no need to mince words. You hate the anti-circumcision movement and all who belong. You can’t imagine that any of us would actually care about human rights and the rights of an individual to their body.

  132. #132 concernedcitizen
    May 3, 2007

    “Anne”, why spit out “American” as though it were some vile curse? And please save your anti-circ propaganda for the gullible and gormless it actually works on.

    As for creepy and perverted, those so sexually hooked on foreskins that they refuse to accept circumcision could potentially save millions of lives are the creepy and perverted ones. They twist themselves into knots trying to poke holes in three major randomized controlled trials proving that circumcision reduces a man’s risk of contracting HIV by at least half.

    But, gee, who cares about saving the lives of millions of men, women and children? Who cares that the studies were good enough for the WHO (and most likely every other major medical organization in the world) to endorse male circumcision as an effective prevantative measure against acquiring HIV?

    And yes, “Anne”, I know there are strange, disturbed people trawling the internet. I know of one anti-circ woman in particular who pops up everywhere pretending to have a circumcised American partner and bad mouthing said partner’s personal attributes all over the internet. Poor guy (if he exists).

  133. #133 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    At least I dont’ hide the fact that I believe the anti-circumcision movement was founded and is supported by anti-semites. Not all anti-circumcision activists are anti-semites, though. But it’s a fact that anti-circumcision and anti-semitism have gone hand in hand throughout history. You just have to do a Google search on the terms to see that even Freud saw a relationship between the two. You just have to search the stormfront.org forum to see the strong relationship.
    And if you truly believed an individual’s right to his own body, you wouldn’t be saying that the opinion of someone who’s not 18 shouldn’t be heard. I’ve seen people that are anti-circumcision thinking it violates human rights and as sorry as I feel for them, I don’t blame them for falling into the trap. But you’re obviously not one of them. By your comments, you don’t fight against circumcision out of love, but out of hate. And I’d have maybe an ounce of respect for you if you at least showed your conviction and admit it instead of blaming me. According to Anne, this is a safe place to declare your anti-semitic feelings, why not do it openly?

  134. #134 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    Concernedcitizen,

    Well said! How can they say that they care for children and human rights when they so easily dismiss soemthing that could potentially save millions of lives? It’s pathetic. They couldn’t care less about these people and these lives, all they care about is their cause and cannot ever accept that maybe they were wrong on this one. If it costs a few million lives to soothe their egos, who cares, right?

  135. #135 Anne
    May 3, 2007

    Q.E.D

    Religion and the pursuit thereof is evil.

  136. #136 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    Ooohhh the bitterness.
    Yeah, Anne, all of us who happen to have a religion are eeeviiiiil, nasty, disgusting people. But honestly, you’re not too cool yourself. Pot, kettle, get it??
    At least I have respect for people of all religions and those who choose not to have a religion. You don’t. So where is the evil, then?
    Maybe you should consider some therapy to see where does that irrational hate of religion comes from? Some medication to ease up that anxiety could help you see reality instead of that fantasy world you created were 80% of the population is evil. Must be difficult to have dellusion. I can see why you’re like that now.

  137. #137 Out-ter
    May 3, 2007

    Jackie, I’m sorry that you are operating under the misconception that mainstream intactivist groups are anti-semitic. Its simply not true. Its sad that people go to great lengths to smear them as such.

    Go on Amazon and look for circumcision books. A large portion are written by Jews. There is an organization entitled “Jews Against Circumcision”, as well. I sincerely doubt that they are anti-semetic.

    As far as what is on Stormfront, I wouldn’t know. I don’t frequent hate sites or know anyone involved in any racist movement.

    Circumcision saving millions of lives? Well, it didn’t save the lives of some 400,000 circumcised American males who have died from HIV/AIDs, nor did it prevent the infection in circumcised American men. If adult males believe that circumcision will help them in some way, they can get it done. I have no opposition to that. However, they should be aware that circumcision has been offered, by American doctors, as a cure from everything from masturbation to epilepsy to cancer and all have been proven false.

    Children can express their opinion all they want, but it doesn’t mean that they have the experience to make major life decisions.

    In your opinion, should children be allowed to make all major cosmetic surgery decisions or just for circumcision?

    I’m probably wasting my proverbial breath, though. You’ll believe as you want and really have no open mind to other opinions or even basic ethics.

  138. #138 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    “Jackie, I’m sorry that you are operating under the misconception that mainstream intactivist groups are anti-semitic. Its simply not true. Its sad that people go to great lengths to smear them as such”

    I’m sorry, but action speak louder than words. You fight to end the sacred practice of a group you certainly don’t give a rat’s ass about the future or existance of that group. Plain and simple. If yo udon’t want people calling you Anti-semite, dont’ act like one. It’s as easy as that. But as long as you’re showing this amount of intolerance, unwillingness to understand or respect the beliefs and practices or others, you may defend yourself all you want, but your actions are telling us EXACTLY what you are.

    “There is an organization entitled “Jews Against Circumcision”, as well. I sincerely doubt that they are anti-semetic”

    Actually, they are. There is such a thing as self hate. Just today on TV I was watching an African American who was a complete racist. It’s even worse when this hatred co mes from the inside, as you so perfectly show now, it makes people think that their own hateful actions are somewhat validated. They’re not. Hate is never justified.

    “Children can express their opinion all they want, but it doesn’t mean that they have the experience to make major life decisions.”

    So what? Each child is different, with different levels of maturity and understanding and who are you to say that this particular boy cannot understand?

    “In your opinion, should children be allowed to make all major cosmetic surgery decisions or just for circumcision?”

    Children that do have the maturity to understand certainly are allowed to make these choices. However, I don’t think circumcision is simply a cosmetic procedure and certainly is much more than that when the reason to perform is religious.

    “I’m probably wasting my proverbial breath, though. You’ll believe as you want and really have no open mind to other opinions or even basic ethics.”

    No, yo uwaste your proverbial because you really have nothing positive to say. You also believe what you want and your mind is so closed you’re not even willing to consider that in this particular case, things aren’t as black and white. You don’t have the facts, you dont’ have enough information about this case to properly criticize and yet you do, simply because for you circumcision is wrong, it’ll never be acceptable and that’s that and you don’t want to consider otherwise. So again, pot kettle. I don’t have an open mind? Maybe in this matter I don’t, but neither do you.I believe what I want? Certainly, don’t we all. I don’t believe what I don’t want. There’s nothing wrong with that. Bt guess what? Neither do YOU! YOU believe what YOU want and no one will move you fro mthere. So what makes you so special and different? NOTHING. Just your idea that somehow you’re better than anyone else and the rest of the world should abide by YOUR description of right and wrong.
    Funny you should be on an atheist blog, seeing how you think of yourself as quite godly.

  139. #139 Caledonian
    May 3, 2007

    I thought what Misha wanted was irrelevant. He’s not legally an adult, etc. etc. Isn’t that the argument that was being made? I think you’re trying to have it both ways, Brad.

    Shouldn’t people who actually care about what Misha wants delay the surgery until his wishes can actually be carried out? If he wants to be circumcised, it can happen then – if not, letting the surgery be forced on him seems rather counterproductive.

  140. #140 twominutemarvel
    May 4, 2007

    There’s an aspect to this that no one has yet commented on.

    I am male, American, non-Jewish, and circumcised.

    For me, sex is *so* intensely pleasurable and sensorially intense at the penile level that I have to actively work at it to not orgasm and ejaculate quite early on during intercourse, and hence leave my partner unsatisfied.

    Being uncircumcised would give me even greater sensation, say its advocates. Well, that would be fine with me from a selfish point of view, but I want to please my partner as well as myself. If I were even a few percent more sensitive, I would pretty much invariably come in 5 seconds flat. I would actually like to be a few percent *less* sensitive than I am now, thank you very much. It’s oceanically overwhelming as it now stands.

    There seems to be this viewpoint among those who are not circumcised men that the procedure turns your johnson into some sort of insensate numb object like a strap-on dildo. Very much *not* the case, I can assure you!

    I think that a lot of this confusion has to do with men who are circumcised in adult life for various reasons, and who *do* then experience a major loss of sensation. And with whom I sympathize.

    It doesn’t seem to enter into their thinking that infant circumcision is a different process. There is a very substantial amount of genital growth and development in between infancy and adulthood.

    A considerable amount of the loss of innervation during the infant procedure appears to be redressed during adolescent development. Not all. But a lot of it. Certainly in my case, my genitals become substantially more tactile during and after puberty.

    As for the issue of pain during the procedure: my own understanding of the medical literature is that infants feel pain intensely. They forget it quickly, but that is no excuse for subjecting them to even transitory distress.

    In my case, the physician in charge said, “Do you want to have your son circumcised?” My parents said that, yes, they did. “Do you wish to have a Jewish officiant perform it?” No, we’re not Jewish. “OK, we will do a purely medical and nonreligious version. Our standard of care calls for a local anesthetic while the foreskin is removed. That is all right with you? Great.”

    My mother relates that I was apparently quite undistressed by the whole thing. I gurgled and cooed throughout.

    I don’t regret their decision one bit. Not even the bit off the end.

    Someone who had been circumcised said upthread that he was, similarly, not at all distressed by having had it done. The response from one of the circ-critics was that he was “in denial”.

    My own view of the phrase “in denial” is that it is all too frequently a vehicle by which any sort of rational discussion gets shut down. The last time I came across it was arguing with a UFO cultist. I patiently listed fact, fact, fact, analysis, fact, refutation, fact — and then got the one-sentence response, “You’re in denial.”

    It’s impossible to dignify that with a response. I don’t propose to do so here.

    In like manner, female circumcision is analogized above by one of the anticircumcisionists to the male version. Sheesh. These are profoundly different procedures, and using the same term to refer to them is an exercise in sloppy thinking. (I myself use the term “clitoridectomy”, which is far more accurate.)

    Clitoridectomy leaves the recipient, in many cases, permanently unable to orgasm. This is not true of the removal of the prepuce. The overwhelming majority of circumcised men orgasm easily, happily and repeatedly.

    The associated surgery often done with the clitoral removal, sewing shut of most of the opening of the vagina, leaves the recipient, in many cases, unable to have intercourse without pain. This is, again, not true in the case of the removal of the prepuce. Virtually all circumsized men experience no discomfort whatsoever.

    Would I have my own son circumcised? No, for the simple reason that I have no religious reason to do so, and the medical reasons do not seem compelling at this time. (That might change, but I would want to see much more rigor in the analyses.)

    If he were to choose to do so in adult life, for whatever reason, that would be his decision to make. I would caution him that he should be aware of the risk of loss of pleasurable sensation: once past that pubertal development stage, new nerves aren’t going to form.

    But for someone who has no intention of ordering up a circumcision, I have to say that the general tone coming from many of the opponents of the procedure is one of near hysteria. The comment upthread about many of these persons being affluent white males looking for some issue on which to claim victimization status is one with which I am very much in agreement. Certainly the vast, vast majority of the complainants I have noted do fall into that category.

  141. #141 concernedcitizen
    May 4, 2007

    “Alright, JakeW/Jackie, you had me for awhile. Back to CircList with you. Shoo! Shoo!”

    Out-ter,

    If that is all you have to say, it is perfectly clear who has won the day. Better luck next time.

  142. #142 TandyT
    May 4, 2007

    “Clearly, then, circumcision rates are not the only thing affecting HIV rates. Therefore, in order to meaningfully compare these countries, you need to be able to account for these other factors. There’s no point in trying to predict the effect of changing a variable if you can’t explain wide variations when you don’t change it.”

    Good, when and if you can supply real numbers for these specultative factors (excuses), plug them in and show that circumcision has provided this alleged reductions, until then we are still waiting for proof that this reductive effect exists aren’t we?

  143. #143 TandyT
    May 4, 2007

    “Well said! How can they say that they care for children and human rights when they so easily dismiss soemthing that could potentially save millions of lives? It’s pathetic. They couldn’t care less about these people and these lives, all they care about is their cause and cannot ever accept that maybe they were wrong on this one. If it costs a few million lives to soothe their egos, who cares, right?”

    Potentially? is this best we have to work with–how about PROVEN? Heck,, how about even a relationship in the real world showing this effect MIGHT exist?

  144. #144 TandyT
    May 4, 2007

    “For me, sex is *so* intensely pleasurable and sensorially intense at the penile level that I have to actively work at it to not orgasm and ejaculate quite early on during intercourse, and hence leave my partner unsatisfied.”

    http://www.cirp.org/library/sex_function/vissing1/

    SCANDANAVIAN JOURNAL OF SEXOLOGY, Volume 2, Number 4: Page 103.
    PREMATURE EJACULATION AND CIRCUMCISION

    BIOGENIC OR A CULTURAL FACTOR

    VISSING M

    Premature ejaculation ( PE ) seems to be the most common male sexual dysfunction world-wide. Reports from the Middle East, India and Asia show a much higher incidence of PE than in the western world. In these areas the vast majority of men have had a ritual circumcision. In our clinic we also found a significantly higher incidence of PE in men from these parts of the world.

    Is it a biogenic factor due to circumcision or a psychogenic disorder due to cultural differences?
    We investigated penile sensitivity with TSA 2001 Thermal Analyzer ( cold / warm and tactile sensation ) in normal men and and with PE who had a ritual circumcision and in non-circumcised men. The literature will be discussed and the results presented.

    Correspondence

    Institute of clinical sexology
    Rigshospitalet
    Copenhagen Denmark

    “Being uncircumcised would give me even greater sensation, say its advocates. Well, that would be fine with me from a selfish point of view, but I want to please my partner as well as myself. If I were even a few percent more sensitive, I would pretty much invariably come in 5 seconds flat. I would actually like to be a few percent *less* sensitive than I am now, thank you very much. It’s oceanically overwhelming as it now stands.”

    See above

    “A considerable amount of the loss of innervation during the infant procedure appears to be redressed during adolescent development. Not all. But a lot of it. Certainly in my case, my genitals become substantially more tactile during and after puberty.”

    “redressed”? How and what? proof?

    “My mother relates that I was apparently quite undistressed by the whole thing. I gurgled and cooed throughout. ”

    Right!!

    “In summary, analgesia is safe and effective in reducing the procedural pain associated with circumcision ” (emphasis added)

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;103/3/686

    EFFECT OF NEONATAL CIRCUMCISION ON PAIN RESPONSE
    THE LANCET, Volume 349 Number 9052: Pages 599-603, March 1, 1997.

    Meritcare (Internet) states that “Besides anesthesia, securing your child in the padded restraint chair and giving him a sugar-dipped pacifier can help reduce his level of stress (and yours). Used together, these methods can decrease discomfort by more than 50%.”

    http://www.meritcare.com/kidshealth/PageManager.asp?dn=MeritCare&ps=104&article_set=22652&cat_id=177&lic=19&pg=3

    I don’t regret their decision one bit. Not even the bit off the end.

    “Someone who had been circumcised said upthread that he was, similarly, not at all distressed by having had it done. The response from one of the circ-critics was that he was “in denial”.

    Yeppers– obvious to all who have read the Taylor study.

    “In like manner, female circumcision is analogized above by one of the anticircumcisionists to the male version. Sheesh. These are profoundly different procedures, and using the same term to refer to them is an exercise in sloppy thinking. (I myself use the term “clitoridectomy”, which is far more accurate.) ”

    Analogous both in ontogeny and innervation.

    “Clitoridectomy leaves the recipient, in many cases, permanently unable to orgasm. This is not true of the removal of the prepuce. The overwhelming majority of circumcised men orgasm easily, happily and repeatedly.”

    Really?
    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/Lightfoot-klein/sexualexperience.htm

    “Pharaonic circumcision of girls, as it is practiced in Sudan, involves the ****excision of the clitoris***, the labia minora and the inner, fleshy layers of the labia majora. The remaining outer edges of the labia majora are then brought together so that when the wound has healed they are fused so as to leave only a pinhole-sized opening. The resultant infibulation is, in effect, an artificially created chastity belt of thick, fibrous scar tissue. Urination and menstruation must thereafter be accomplished through this remaining pinhole-sized aperture (See photo).

    “As reported herein, sexual pleasure and orgasm are experienced by most Sudanese women who have been subjected to the extreme sexual mutilation known as Pharaonic circumcision. This is true, in spite of the repeated trauma to which their sex organs are subjected during their adult lives and in spite of the fact they are culturally bound to hide sexual interest and pleasure from their husbands.”

    ***************************

    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html

    This one explains more of the misconceptions of FGM:

    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/Lightfoot-klein/sexualexperience.htm

    Here is an interesting letter:

    http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/circumcision/response.html

    And here’s a little excerpt from a news story:

    LONDON (Reuters) – So-called female circumcision, which is performed to ensure chastity or enhance beauty in countries in Africa and the Middle East, does not reduce sexual desire, Nigerian scientists said on Tuesday. But it does appear to have harmful sexual health consequences for women, according to the study.

    One of the reasons the procedure, also called female genital mutilation, is performed is the belief that it reduces desire and sexual promiscuity, but researchers at the Women’s Health and Action Research Center in Benin City, Nigeria said this is not true.

    The procedure involves removal of part or all of a woman’s external genitalia.

    Their study of 1,836 women in South Nigeria found no significant differences in various measures of sexual activity between women whose genitals had been cut-45% of the total–and those whose genitals remained intact.

    Both cut and uncut women had sex equally frequently, and there was no significant difference between the two groups in their reports of early arousal during intercourse or orgasm during intercourse, according to the researchers. But the circumcised women were more likely to have pain in their lower abdomen, vaginal discharge and sores on the genitals.

    “These results indicate that genital cutting does not eliminate sexual feelings in women, as is currently believed by traditional defenders of the practice,” said Professor Friday Okonofua, whose study is published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

    “The associated surgery often done with the clitoral removal, sewing shut of most of the opening of the vagina, leaves the recipient, in many cases, unable to have intercourse without pain. This is, again, not true in the case of the removal of the prepuce. Virtually all circumsized men experience no discomfort whatsoever.”

    See above

  145. #145 Anne
    May 4, 2007

    I’d just like to point out Brad that I’m not “fighting” over anything.

    Jackie Godwinned the thread and I made a parting remark about how Religion seems to be responsible for a lot of evil in the world for instance 9/11, Bali bombings (muslim), burning of heretics (Christians), refusal to defend themselves leading to unbelievable suffering in Tibet at the hands of the chinese (Bhuddists), HIV spread in Africa because of persistent prohibition on the use of condoms (Catholics) not to mention various wars of incredible savagery.

    Can you truly say, that given all this, Religious fervour is a good thing?

  146. #146 Baratos
    May 4, 2007

    And to continue talking about your precious beliefs and ideas, the Holocaust was created by an atheist (his claims to believe in God were a lie, he mostly believed in the occult) who also happened to be against circumcision. My guess is you don’t think that’s evil, but most people do.

    You seem to be using the Roman definition of atheist, in which anyone that doesnt share your exact supernatural beliefs is a godless heathen. Christians of the time were called atheists, because they refused to believe in Jupiter and the other gods. Funnily enough, when a Christian emperor showed up, people started to call the Jupiter followers atheists because they refused to believe in the divinity of Jesus. By saying Hitler had even the smallest belief in the occult, you are also denying his atheism.

    Well, which is it? The answer is, he was a deeply religious person. He believed “Providence”, which I think refers to heaven, had sent him to Earth to liberate the Germans or whatever.

  147. #147 Jackie
    May 4, 2007

    Thank you for trying to interpret my beliefs, but you’re wrong. An “atheist” is a person that doesn’t believe in God, ANY God, why you’re trying to make it more complicated than that is beyond me. You can believe in other things that aren’t God. That would make you an atheist. Non-religious an atheist aren’t synonymous, I’m surprised anyone here actually thinks the two are the same. There are religions that aren’t based on a deity. These people still have beliefs, they just don’t believe in God. There are also people that don’t practice any religion but do believe in God.

    We’re not dicussing Hitler’s religious beliefs here, but since you bring it up, please read his speeches before he came to power (sounding all Christian like) and his speeches after he gain power. He said what he had to say to gain it, but he was being dishonest. Quoting Hitler; “No one in Germany has in the past been persecuted because of his religious views, nor will anyone in the future be so persecuted…” Said on January 30, 1939

    Just two years after that he said: “”National Socialism and religion cannot exist together….”

    Not very honest, ha?

    This discussion is actually not new. Christians claim he was an atheist, atheists claim he was a Christian. Funny how no one wants to claim ownership of Hitler’s beliefs nowadays, right? Maybe because it’s not nice to hate a group of people based on their beliefs and practices. It’s not nice not to care whether or not they survive as a people or not. And it’s not nice to tell others how they should practice their beliefs. It’s not nice to call a group of people “cruel and bloodythirsty” or “evil” just because we disagree with their beliefs or don’t understand them.

  148. #148 twominutemarvel
    May 4, 2007

    An excellent guide to the quality of someone’s argument is the caliber of the source texts which they choose to reference.

    As Jake noted upthread, what Tandy chose to cite as evidence with regard to the idea that circumcision causes premature ejaculation was a link to an empty abstract with no actual article. Okay, no problem, I’ll find the paper on MEDLINE. Ah. It doesn’t even show up in a MEDLINE search.

    Well, while I’m here, I may as well do a search on “circumcision” AND “ejaculation”. Seventeen actual papers come up. Some of which have no abstract, and some of which are about nonhuman subjects.

    Nine of the papers which do have abstracts address the issue of circumcision and ejaculatory duration in humans. Of those nine, eight indicate that there is either no difference, or that circumcision increases ejaculatory duration. One study — one of nine, contradicted by eight of nine — claims that circumcision decreases ejaculatory duration.

    Tandy then goes on to cite, as authoritative, a paper from some incredibly obscure clinic in Benin City, Nigeria. Whew! At least the first empty link was from Sweden.

    It is regrettable that central African biomedical science simply can not be considered as being up to modern global standards. I was just a few weeks ago reading about the claims of the president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, that he can completely cure AIDS in 72 hours with his proprietary herbal medicine. And, of course, he trotted out some local African “medical doctors” to endorse and support his claim with “objective scientific proof”.

    Suffice it to say that I no more credit the medical researches which Tandy cites than I would turn to Nigerian 419 scam artists when I need financial advice.

  149. #149 TandyT
    May 5, 2007

    “Good, when and if you can supply real numbers for these specultative factors (excuses), plug them in and show that circumcision has provided this alleged reductions, until then we are still waiting for proof that this reductive effect exists aren’t we?”

    Only if we pretend that 40 observational studies and 3 randomised controlled trials don’t exist. ;-)”

    Reality is not that easily negated..certainly not by questionable studies or speculative excuses

    And science still demands that a hypothesis is required to fulfill it’s prediction EVERYTIME.

    And the empirical evidence clearly refutes that predicition–and specualtive excuses do not alter reality.

    So, again..when and if you can supply real numbers for these specultative factors (excuses), plug them in and show that circumcision has provided this alleged reductions, until then we are still waiting for proof that this reductive effect exists aren’t we?”

    WHEN can we expect youto give us the numbers to prove this redcution exists in the real world?

  150. #150 TandyT
    May 5, 2007

    “These are potential PROVEN benefits.”

    Perhaps you need a trip a dictionary..

    2. that can, but has not yet, come into being; possible; latent; unrealized; undeveloped; OPPOSED to actual.

    so after playing the word games, we still have no scientifically PROVEN benefits for circumcision.

  151. #151 TandyT
    May 5, 2007

    twominutemarvel,

    “Being uncircumcised would give me even greater sensation, say its advocates. Well, that would be fine with me from a selfish point of view, but I want to please my partner as well as myself. If I were even a few percent more sensitive, I would pretty much invariably come in 5 seconds flat.”

    it seems we both have shown that the assumption that having a foreskin and its concomitant extra sensitivity does not cause earlier ejacuation.

    BTW, I usually save the contents of links in case they disappear, so I am able to present the material if the link to them do not still exist.

  152. #152 Jake
    May 5, 2007

    “And the empirical evidence clearly refutes that predicition–and specualtive excuses do not alter reality.”

    To what empirical evidence do you refer? The only data you have presented so far has been aggregate per-country statistics, and as I have shown there are substantial variations in such data when the circumcision rate does not change, which means that is proof of the existence confounding factors and therefore we cannot make any conclusions without adjusting for these.

  153. #153 TandyT
    May 6, 2007

    “And the empirical evidence clearly refutes that predicition–and specualtive excuses do not alter reality.”

    To what empirical evidence do you refer? The only data you have presented so far has been aggregate per-country statistics, and as I have shown there are substantial variations in such data when the circumcision rate does not change, which means that is proof of the existence confounding factors and therefore we cannot make any conclusions without adjusting for these.

    You have presented nothing but speculative excuses as to why the empirical data (HIV and circumcision rates of various countries) refutes the assertion for HIV reduction for circumcision. You can call it something else, but it still is EMPIRICAL DATA–word games do not alter reality.

    So, when can we expect you to supply the rates of these alleged factors and use them to show this “reduction” actually exists? That is the “adjustment” you need to supply–so ADJUST for them–the big question remains-WHEN will you do so?

  154. #154 Jackie
    May 6, 2007

    “Would it be too much to ask for you to read it and offer something approaching a rebuttal, or does belief trump the facts and evidence?”

    Tandy, honey, I’ve read those many, many times. Believe me, you’re not the first brainwashed anti-circ to throw that as “evidence”. But as another poster already mentioned, your idea of a credible source, is enough to make me wet myself. You honestly think that a bunch of articles, on a webpage from God knows where, written by known anti-semites, an anthropologist everyone makes fun of and a bunch of people no one has heard of with no footnotes, no lonks to where they got their information from and not a single mention of these theories being published on any reputable, credible source is something to consider as fact? This is nothing but the opinions of a bunch of people. And you honestly expect me to waste my time refutting the unproven theories of a bunch of wackos?
    However, even if I was interested in a rebuttal, it wouldn’t do any good. You’ll continue to claim it’s a myth, it’s superstition and everything else you have said. But as not leave you hanging, here are some places where you can learn the origin and importance of the brit milah ceremony:
    http://www.aish.com
    http://www.chabad.org
    http://www.torah.org
    http://www.MyJewishLearning.com
    http://www.askmoses.com

    Just a few examples of the comments and ideas of people who actually know what they’re talking about.
    But even if by some miracle you were right. That’s irrelevant. The point is that, for Judaism circumcision TODAY holds a very special meaning and importance and it’s a huge factor in our identity as a nation and our survival and continuation in the most adverse of conditions. The only commandment faithfully observed by ALL jewish denominations- from Orthodox to Reform.

    “So, folks, after all the tirades about superstitions justfying nearly very thing, do the beliefs of people justify the harming of children..?”

    First of all, please show us how circumcision is harmful. It’s a legal practice EVERYWHERE in the world precisely because of its religious implications and the lack of proof that it’s harmful at all. Just because it doesn’t sound right to you, that doesn’t mean it’s harmful, so please back up that claim.
    Second, have you ever taken the foot out of your mouth long enough to consider the consequences of your actions? Why do you think YOUR lack of belief justifies hurting millions of people just because you disagree with one of their practices? You say superstition doesn’t justify harming, but somehow lack of belief justifies persecution? How hypocritical of you. At least we’re just trying to live our lives according to what we believe is right. You, on the other hand, are determined to tell others how they should live their lives and follow their faith. So don’t act all holly denouncing damage, because the damage YOU’RE inflicting is unbelievable.

  155. #155 Jake
    May 6, 2007

    “You have presented nothing but speculative excuses as to why the empirical data (HIV and circumcision rates of various countries) refutes the assertion for HIV reduction for circumcision.”

    I’d be grateful if you could provide the post number where I presented these “speculative excuses”, Tandy.

    What I [i]have[/i] done is to take one of the countries in your “empirical evidence” (Ethiopia). I have shown that another country (Israel) has basically the same circumcision rate, yet the HIV rate is 1/44th that of Ethiopia.

    Clearly there must be a reason for this difference. Although I have proved that it exists, I haven’t speculated what this reason might be. Perhaps you have some ideas?

  156. #156 Anne
    May 6, 2007

    No point arguing with religious fundamentalists – might as well tell the tide not to come in or the sun not to rise for all the notice they take of common sense and decency.

    This is a great example why religion should be kept between consenting adults in private.

    I’ve never been here before, they don’t sound like they hate their own religion at all. What makes you think they do?

    http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org

    Why do you hate them so much? I thought you were all for tolerance? Or is that you consider you have the monopoly on how your religion works? (In common with all other fundamentalists).

  157. #157 Jake
    May 6, 2007

    “No point arguing with religious fundamentalists – might as well tell the tide not to come in or the sun not to rise for all the notice they take of common sense and decency.”

    You mean they’ll make all kind of personal attacks against other posters (accusing them of ‘salivating’, for example) and come up with bizarre conspiracy theories?

  158. #158 concernedcitizen
    May 6, 2007

    “Since the entire human race salivates, and indeed would have tremendous difficulty eating anything if they didn’t, I hardly think that’s an insult.”

    So what was the point of posting it? Why not stick to the merits of this discussion instead of getting into ad hominem attacks unless, of course, that’s all you (and your side have)? The more I read from you and your colleagues, the more convinced of it I am.

    Of course, if all you want to do is engage in personal attacks it would only be fair for you to put your own particulars on the table. But you’re not going to do that, are you? Because while you’re committed to a silly, dead cause part of you knows that it so that you wouldn’t want to be publicly associated with it. Can’t blame you.

  159. #159 Jackie
    May 6, 2007

    “No point arguing with religious fundamentalists – might as well tell the tide not to come in or the sun not to rise for all the notice they take of common sense and decency.”

    And yet you don’t seem to be shutting up… I can see you enjoy doing things there is no point in doing, but then don’t complain about it.
    And you’re a non-religious fundamentalist, you also don’t listen to common sense, you have no decency and no respect. So what makes you any different than religious fundamentalists? Practically nothing, but somehow you think your fanatism is acceptable, even if it’s as hurtful as that of religious fundamentalists.
    Now, your use of th eterm “fundamentalist” is wrong, but since I know what you mean, I can assure you I’m not one. Sorry t oburst your bubble, bu tthe fundamentalists you’re refering to are people that don’t tolerate other beliefs and seek to converts other to their faiths. I don’t want to convert anybody, everyone is free to follow their faith or lack of thereof. YOU, however, are trying to make others beleive as you do and are ridiculing their beliefs. Therefore, honey, the fundamentalist here is YOU, not me. I’m only trying to live my life according to my faith and what I think is right and teach my children that path. You are trying to tell other faits what they can or can’t do, how they shoudl educate their children and what they are allowed t obelieve. Fundamentalist, sweeties. Fundamentalist to the core.

    “This is a great example why religion should be kept between consenting adults in private.”

    Why? because you don’t understand it? Besides, you don’t seem to keep YOUR non-religious beliefs to yourself, so why should I keep mine?
    And finally, parents have the right to educate their children on their religiosu beliefs. that includes their practices and rituals. You may not value these in any way, but other families do. Of course, for a reason you should explain we should ALL value what YOU value.

    “I’ve never been here before, they don’t sound like they hate their own religion at all. What makes you think they do?

    http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org

    Why do you hate them so much? I thought you were all for tolerance? Or is that you consider you have the monopoly on how your religion works? (In common with all other fundamentalists).”

    Where did I say I hated them? Putting words in my mouth, are you? I’ve never even adressed the issue of this group. I feel very sorry for them and yes, I’m disgusted that try to lure their own away from following their faith, but that’s their problem not mine. Now, it’s well-known that Goldman is uncircumcised and always felt rejection. Of course, instead of doing what his religion mandates and have a proper circumcision, he started twisting words and finding excuses to make his condition an acceptable alternative. Very pathetic, but I guess a common psychological defense mechanism. I don’t hate him, but I feel very, very sorry for him. Especially religiously speaking because he became a self-hating Jew.

  160. #160 Mara
    May 7, 2007

    “Now, it’s well-known that Goldman is uncircumcised and always felt rejection. Of course, instead of doing what his religion mandates and have a proper circumcision, he started twisting words and finding excuses to make his condition an acceptable alternative. Very pathetic, but I guess a common psychological defense mechanism.”

    Where did you get the idea that Ronald Goldman is intact?

    http://www.circumcision.org/circumcisionpolicy2004.htm

    Ronald Goldman, Circumcision policy: A psychosocial perspective, PAEDIATRICS & CHILD HEALTH (Ottawa), Volume 9, Number 9: Pages 630-633, November 2004.

    Disclosure: The author is Jewish, circumcised, has no male children, and has not circumcised anyone.

    Now he could be lying, of course, as everyone can on the ‘net, but why SHOULD he?

    Wait, I know what you’re going to say: To hide the incredible shame that he is an intact Jew. I give you this, your argument has a certain internal logic. I still think that it is more simple and thus likely that he is indeed circumcised and resents having it done against his will/without his consent.

    And just for general information, here’s what he has to say about circumcision criticism and anti-semitism/Jewish self-hate.

    http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/beyondas.htm

  161. #161 Anne
    May 7, 2007

    That’s a very interesting page Mara, and seems eminently reasonable.

    I’m not sure that all the people who scream anti-semitism online are, in fact, Jewish. There seems to be someone who goes around pretending to be an outraged Jewish mother (an adopted convert, no less), who rants and raves, irritating and abusing people, makes long ranting posts constantly yelling anti-semitism, but who keeps publicising what I have now found out to be a Hate site. Why would he/she do that?

    Maybe, just maybe, he/she is, in fact, a member of a right wing organisation trying to recruit new members by annoying ordinary people and discrediting the Jewish religion?

  162. #162 TandyT
    May 7, 2007

    “What I [i]have[/i] done is to take one of the countries in your “empirical evidence” (Ethiopia). I have shown that another country (Israel) has basically the same circumcision rate, yet the HIV rate is 1/44th that of Ethiopia.”

    For someone who claims to understand the scientific process, you seem quite ignorant of the its basic tenets–that of being able to fulfill its prediction EVERYTIME.
    With these varying rates, all we KNOW is that circumcision does NOT reduce HIV rates by 50%–now either it does, or it does not–and no amount of speculation by you or me will prove this difference exists.

    “Clearly there must be a reason for this difference. Although I have proved that it exists, I haven’t speculated what this reason might be. Perhaps you have some ideas?”

    Clearly, I need not have any speculation, but I DO require you to prove that circumcision reduces HIV by 50%.

    So get some data to support your specualtions for this descrepency, plug tham in and prove this reduction exists..I will wait for you to provide this proof.

  163. #163 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    “And I find it difficult to find credible the insistance for the circumcision mitzvot when the others are not followed”

    And because your capacity to understand something is so limited, the rest of us have to agree with you?
    First of all, many Jews follow the commandments that they have to follow. Do they have your permission to follow the brit milah?
    And sweetie, when you speak of one, it’s a mitzvah. Mitzvot is plural. If you’re trying to sound knowledgeable by using the Hebrew term, at least try to use it properly. Because at this point you’re showing complete ignorance.

    Second, you bring up an excellent point. Wouldn’t you think that of all the mitzvot commanded in the Torah, this would’ve been the first to go? And yet it’s the one common to all Jews of all denominations. Curious, isn’t it? Especially considering that this practice was forbidden several times in history as an attemtp to exterminate the Jews. And yet, even in these situations, they continued to do it, even in secrecy. Doesn’t that tell you that this particular mitzvah has a much deeper meaning and importance than all others? Why do you think that every time there’s been persecution the two things to be prohibited were studying Torah and brit milah? Because they knew those two practices were essential to Jewish survival.. Why? They probably didn’t know, but they observed and they knew that to eliminate the Jews, those were the two things that hasd to go.
    So you may not understand it, that doesn’t mean that you have a point. It just means that you haven’t even bothered to listen to the other side before deciding they’re wrong. And that makes your whole position irrational and doubtful. It’s not that you don’t understand it, it’s that you haven’t even bothered to learn anything about it.

  164. #164 Jake
    May 7, 2007

    “With these varying rates, all we KNOW is that circumcision does NOT reduce HIV rates by 50%–now either it does, or it does not–and no amount of speculation by you or me will prove this difference exists.”

    Tandy, as I’ve shown, national HIV rates can vary considerably (at least 44 times in my example) due to other reasons. So you can’t use these data to reliably detect a difference smaller than that. You have to use a more reliable methodology.

    Clearly, I need not have any speculation, but I DO require you to prove that circumcision reduces HIV by 50%.

    Sure – three randomised controlled trials provide that proof. Want links?

  165. #165 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Talk about simplistic–this gibberish somehow is supposed to refute the concept that sensory nerves provide sensation, and the loss of these nerves equals a loss of sensation

    No sweetie, you’re showing less and less reading comprehension as you move along. Maybe you need a small break?
    Anyway what that gibberish means is that sensation doesn’t depened exclusively on the amount of nerves. NOT A SINGLE study has shown a definite decrease in sensitivity or a clear difference in sexual function due to circumcision.
    Here’s a study published just last month:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17419812&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “No differences in genital sensitivity were found between the uncircumcised and circumcised groups.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=16037710

    “Penile sensitivity had variable outcomes after circumcision”

    Which just goes to show that there’s more than number of nerves to determine sensitivity.

    As for sexual function regardless of sensitivity:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16925903&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “Circumcision was unrelated to most sexual difficulties, but circumcised men were less likely to report physical pain during intercourse or trouble keeping an erection”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=14751371

    “Adult circumcision does not adversely affect sexual function.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11956452

    “Circumcision does not appear to have adverse, clinically important effects on male sexual function in sexually active adults who undergo the procedure.”

    “This couldn’t be speculation could it??? Sounds like you and Jake have the same concept of evidence”

    Oh yes, I’m speculating on the existence of nerve regeneration. Why don’t you try doing a Google search on that? Honestly, you’re way out of your league here if you cannot even bother to check on an argument before calling it speculation.

    “And you have yet to provide any LOGICAL basis for this speculation–just illogical gibberish a la jake.”

    Read the studies above. And please use that dictionary of yours to look up “speculation”. You use it everytime you simply don’t understand a concept and your lack of knowledge and understanding doesn’t make it speculation.

    “So, is this supposed to prove that less nerves = less sensation?”

    No, but it does prove again your complete lack of basic reading comprehension. Didn’t I say that EVEN IF you were right that doesn’t mean that less sensitivity is negative? You see, the term EVEN IF is used when the other person is wrong in her assumptions, like you are, but we’re trying to show that that assumption is even less important by questioning what would it mean if that wrong assumption WERE right. We’re fantasizing that you’re right (which you’re not) and considering that even in that situation it wouldn’t mean anything in the big sense.
    Clearly, trying to use the argument that circumcision lowers sensitivity is an attempt to make this a negative thing, right? So what you’re trying to say is that less sensitivity means worse sexual performance and satisfaction. That is a lie. And that’s all my statement means, that your attempt at making us believe that less sensitivity is always a negative thing is wrong.

  166. #166 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Talk about simplistic–this gibberish somehow is supposed to refute the concept that sensory nerves provide sensation, and the loss of these nerves equals a loss of sensation

    No sweetie, you’re showing less and less reading comprehension as you move along. Maybe you need a small break?
    Anyway what that gibberish means is that sensation doesn’t depened exclusively on the amount of nerves. NOT A SINGLE study has shown a definite decrease in sensitivity or a clear difference in sexual function due to circumcision.
    Here’s a study published just last month:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17419812&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “No differences in genital sensitivity were found between the uncircumcised and circumcised groups.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=16037710

    “Penile sensitivity had variable outcomes after circumcision”

    Which just goes to show that there’s more than number of nerves to determine sensitivity.

    As for sexual function regardless of sensitivity:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16925903&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “Circumcision was unrelated to most sexual difficulties, but circumcised men were less likely to report physical pain during intercourse or trouble keeping an erection”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=14751371

    “Adult circumcision does not adversely affect sexual function.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11956452

    “Circumcision does not appear to have adverse, clinically important effects on male sexual function in sexually active adults who undergo the procedure.”

    “This couldn’t be speculation could it??? Sounds like you and Jake have the same concept of evidence”

    Oh yes, I’m speculating on the existence of nerve regeneration. Why don’t you try doing a Google search on that? Honestly, you’re way out of your league here if you cannot even bother to check on an argument before calling it speculation.

    “And you have yet to provide any LOGICAL basis for this speculation–just illogical gibberish a la jake.”

    Read the studies above. And please use that dictionary of yours to look up “speculation”. You use it everytime you simply don’t understand a concept and your lack of knowledge and understanding doesn’t make it speculation.

    “So, is this supposed to prove that less nerves = less sensation?”

    No, but it does prove again your complete lack of basic reading comprehension. Didn’t I say that EVEN IF you were right that doesn’t mean that less sensitivity is negative? You see, the term EVEN IF is used when the other person is wrong in her assumptions, like you are, but we’re trying to show that that assumption is even less important by questioning what would it mean if that wrong assumption WERE right. We’re fantasizing that you’re right (which you’re not) and considering that even in that situation it wouldn’t mean anything in the big sense.
    Clearly, trying to use the argument that circumcision lowers sensitivity is an attempt to make this a negative thing, right? So what you’re trying to say is that less sensitivity means worse sexual performance and satisfaction. That is a lie. And that’s all my statement means, that your attempt at making us believe that less sensitivity is always a negative thing is wrong.

  167. #167 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Talk about simplistic–this gibberish somehow is supposed to refute the concept that sensory nerves provide sensation, and the loss of these nerves equals a loss of sensation

    No sweetie, you’re showing less and less reading comprehension as you move along. Maybe you need a small break?
    Anyway what that gibberish means is that sensation doesn’t depened exclusively on the amount of nerves. NOT A SINGLE study has shown a definite decrease in sensitivity or a clear difference in sexual function due to circumcision.
    Here’s a study published just last month:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17419812&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “No differences in genital sensitivity were found between the uncircumcised and circumcised groups.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=16037710

    “Penile sensitivity had variable outcomes after circumcision”

    Which just goes to show that there’s more than number of nerves to determine sensitivity.

    As for sexual function regardless of sensitivity:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16925903&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “Circumcision was unrelated to most sexual difficulties, but circumcised men were less likely to report physical pain during intercourse or trouble keeping an erection”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=14751371

    “Adult circumcision does not adversely affect sexual function.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11956452

    “Circumcision does not appear to have adverse, clinically important effects on male sexual function in sexually active adults who undergo the procedure.”

    “This couldn’t be speculation could it??? Sounds like you and Jake have the same concept of evidence”

    Oh yes, I’m speculating on the existence of nerve regeneration. Why don’t you try doing a Google search on that? Honestly, you’re way out of your league here if you cannot even bother to check on an argument before calling it speculation.

    “And you have yet to provide any LOGICAL basis for this speculation–just illogical gibberish a la jake.”

    Read the studies above. And please use that dictionary of yours to look up “speculation”. You use it everytime you simply don’t understand a concept and your lack of knowledge and understanding doesn’t make it speculation.

    “So, is this supposed to prove that less nerves = less sensation?”

    No, but it does prove again your complete lack of basic reading comprehension. Didn’t I say that EVEN IF you were right that doesn’t mean that less sensitivity is negative? You see, the term EVEN IF is used when the other person is wrong in her assumptions, like you are, but we’re trying to show that that assumption is even less important by questioning what would it mean if that wrong assumption WERE right. We’re fantasizing that you’re right (which you’re not) and considering that even in that situation it wouldn’t mean anything in the big sense.
    Clearly, trying to use the argument that circumcision lowers sensitivity is an attempt to make this a negative thing, right? So what you’re trying to say is that less sensitivity means worse sexual performance and satisfaction. That is a lie. And that’s all my statement means, that your attempt at making us believe that less sensitivity is always a negative thing is wrong.

  168. #168 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Talk about simplistic–this gibberish somehow is supposed to refute the concept that sensory nerves provide sensation, and the loss of these nerves equals a loss of sensation

    No sweetie, you’re showing less and less reading comprehension as you move along. Maybe you need a small break?
    Anyway what that gibberish means is that sensation doesn’t depened exclusively on the amount of nerves. NOT A SINGLE study has shown a definite decrease in sensitivity or a clear difference in sexual function due to circumcision.
    Here’s a study published just last month:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17419812&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “No differences in genital sensitivity were found between the uncircumcised and circumcised groups.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=16037710

    “Penile sensitivity had variable outcomes after circumcision”

    Which just goes to show that there’s more than number of nerves to determine sensitivity.

    As for sexual function regardless of sensitivity:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16925903&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

    “Circumcision was unrelated to most sexual difficulties, but circumcised men were less likely to report physical pain during intercourse or trouble keeping an erection”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=14751371

    “Adult circumcision does not adversely affect sexual function.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=11956452

    “Circumcision does not appear to have adverse, clinically important effects on male sexual function in sexually active adults who undergo the procedure.”

    “This couldn’t be speculation could it??? Sounds like you and Jake have the same concept of evidence”

    Oh yes, I’m speculating on the existence of nerve regeneration. Why don’t you try doing a Google search on that? Honestly, you’re way out of your league here if you cannot even bother to check on an argument before calling it speculation.

    “And you have yet to provide any LOGICAL basis for this speculation–just illogical gibberish a la jake.”

    Read the studies above. And please use that dictionary of yours to look up “speculation”. You use it everytime you simply don’t understand a concept and your lack of knowledge and understanding doesn’t make it speculation.

    “So, is this supposed to prove that less nerves = less sensation?”

    No, but it does prove again your complete lack of basic reading comprehension. Didn’t I say that EVEN IF you were right that doesn’t mean that less sensitivity is negative? You see, the term EVEN IF is used when the other person is wrong in her assumptions, like you are, but we’re trying to show that that assumption is even less important by questioning what would it mean if that wrong assumption WERE right. We’re fantasizing that you’re right (which you’re not) and considering that even in that situation it wouldn’t mean anything in the big sense.
    Clearly, trying to use the argument that circumcision lowers sensitivity is an attempt to make this a negative thing, right? So what you’re trying to say is that less sensitivity means worse sexual performance and satisfaction. That is a lie. And that’s all my statement means, that your attempt at making us believe that less sensitivity is always a negative thing is wrong.

  169. #169 Mara
    May 7, 2007

    Are Jake and Jackie talking to themselves now? It hardly reads any different than the “normal” discussion here, though. Still going in circles…

    Back to topic:

    Jackie wrote:
    “A few years back, Ronald Goldman said he was uncircumcised in an interview.”

    Well, that’s something that can hardly be proven or disproven. Unfortunate. Or isn’t it? I think that for something that is so well-known as Mr. Goldman’s status is supposed to be, you should be able to come up with something a bit more convincing.

    Anyway, I re-read the post I originally replied to and I’m wondering whether you maybe mistake him for someone else. Because AFAIK, he’s not involved in “Jews Against Circumcision” at all, but has his own site(s).

    But I guess it’s just the same driving force behind each of the Jewish intactivist organizations. One single Jewish man who’s so ashamed to have all the body parts he was born with that he has to force all the other Jews in the world to keep it as well.

    BTW, can you explain how the psychological mechanism works in Jewish women who are against non-consensual circumcision? Especially those who don’t have sons of their own (yet)? I’m very puzzled about that.

    Jackie wrote:
    “But you’re right, most people will not really believe the outrage of an uncircumcised Jew. How can you be outraged at something that didn’t hapen to you?”

    Exactly. Especially since it is so very easy to change. Last I heard, late circumcision fully makes up for the missed circumcision at 8 days old. I even read that the boy/man isn’t even to blame himself, but all the spiritual shame is on the parents who failed to do their religious duty. So why does he go to such lengths to make himself feel better instead of just getting “snipped”? I really don’t understand it.

  170. #170 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    “Well, that’s something that can hardly be proven or disproven. Unfortunate. Or isn’t it? I think that for something that is so well-known as Mr. Goldman’s status is supposed to be, you should be able to come up with something a bit more convincing.”

    Well, fortunately for me I wasn’t trying you to convince you of anything. I really couldn’t care less whether or not he’s “snipped” and if he did it himself or his parents did it. Regardless of his circumcision status I find him very sad and very misguided. It’s awsome that his POV hasn’t really taken force, but it’s so sad that he cannot for one stop and think about the damage he’s doing to his own people. Funnily enough, when certain groups advocated against the ritual slaughter of animals that make the meat kosher, no one argued that was an anti-semitic move. PETA was condemned and a few countries as well. But if someone does exactly the same for circumcision, it’s not anti-semitic.

    “BTW, can you explain how the psychological mechanism works in Jewish women who are against non-consensual circumcision? Especially those who don’t have sons of their own (yet)? I’m very puzzled about that.”

    If you’re puzzled, do your own research. It’s not something that puzzles me, why should I do all your work for you? You’re intersted in Goldman’s penis, go ask him yourself insteasd of demanding it from me. You want to know what women who choose not to circ think, go find a few and ask them. I honestly couldn’t care less. To each his own. If they feel comfortable with that choice, that’s their problem and their responsibility, not mine.

    “So why does he go to such lengths to make himself feel better instead of just getting “snipped”? I really don’t understand it.”

    Again, go ask him. Maybe he was circumcised to begin with, maybe he’s not and he doesn’t want to be, maybe he’s scared of the surgery. After all, it’s much more dificult, painful and dangerous for adults. But again, I don’t know Goldman’s intricate psychological problems and I really care so do your own research on the things that puzzle you instead of dumping them on me.

  171. #171 Mara
    May 7, 2007

    Brilliant, Jackie, really brilliant! Bringing up arguments (false accusations?) and when someone asks you to prove them, or prove how they are valid in different situations (in this case for Jewish women), you tell others to find the proof themselves.

    It’s no use continuing this discussion. I’m outta here, unless I stumble upon another outrageous claim about an intactivist that I can rectify.

  172. #172 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    “Brilliant, Jackie, really brilliant! Bringing up arguments (false accusations?) and when someone asks you to prove them, or prove how they are valid in different situations (in this case for Jewish women), you tell others to find the proof themselves.

    It’s no use continuing this discussion. I’m outta here, unless I stumble upon another outrageous claim about an intactivist that I can rectify.”

    Oh please, spare the indignation for someone who cares. I gave my personal OPINION on a particular person based on the information I know about him. You disagree with my opinion, fine, it’s not something I’ll loose sleep over. YOU are the one who brought up Jewish women, not me. I was talking about ONE person and the opinion I have about that ONE person. I don’t need to prove this opinion using it as the rule for all people.

    And please, I was a newbie once and when I couldn’t find anything to say to support my point I also used that same line of not continuing the discussion because it seems worthless. And I also thought people bought it. If you cannot find something to refute an argument with, simply don’t say anything. It’s more dignified.

  173. #173 TandyT
    May 8, 2007

    Jackie,
    How moronic are studies that ignore the foreskin and its plethora of nerves and then pretend there is no loss of sensation with its removal?

    Ignorance, stupidity, or outright deception?

    Gotta love the quackery of circumcision–let’s show porno flicks and ignore the item that is removed..a flashback to the quackery of the 1900′s?

  174. #174 TandyT
    May 8, 2007

    “Didn’t I say that EVEN IF you were right that doesn’t mean that less sensitivity is negative? ”

    And we are supposed to accept this subjective speculation as a logical disconnect?

    WHO cares about personal evaluation of this loss of sensation–it is still a loss!

    Do you ever “think” in an objective fashion, or is all about your personal speculations and evaluations?

  175. #175 Jake
    May 8, 2007

    “Loss of sensory nerves = loss of sensation.”

    An assertion that you have yet to prove.

    “here again is the evidence of the loss of these nerves due to circumcision:”

    Technically, it isn’t evidence of loss of nerves due to circumcision. The author does make that claim, but provides no evidence for it. While the author describes nerves present in the foreskin, to demonstrate loss would involve disproving nerve regeneration.

    And the question of sensation is not directly addressed either way.

  176. #176 TandyT
    May 8, 2007

    “With these varying rates, all we KNOW is that circumcision does NOT reduce HIV rates by 50%–now either it does, or it does not–and no amount of speculation by you or me will prove this difference exists.”

    Tandy, as I’ve shown, national HIV rates can vary considerably (at least 44 times in my example) due to other reasons. So you can’t use these data to reliably detect a difference smaller than that. You have to use a more reliable methodology.

    Clearly, I need not have any speculation, but I DO require you to prove that circumcision reduces HIV by 50%.

    Sure – three randomised controlled trials provide that proof. Want links?”

    Like I have atated many times before, science requires proof for this alleged reduction in the real world outside of questionable studies–but apparently you believe repetition negates this requirement of science.

  177. #177 Jake
    May 8, 2007

    “Like I have atated many times before, science requires proof for this alleged reduction in the real world outside of questionable studies–but apparently you believe repetition negates this requirement of science.”

    Science requires proof of a phenomena outside of experiments that could objectively test it? Well, that’s a new one, Tandy!

  178. #178 Jake
    May 8, 2007

    “the nerves are in the ridged band and they ARE removed with circumcision”

    Ok, so are these a special kind of nerve that doesn’t regenerate, or are they normal nerves? Simple question.

    “So, can YOU provide a logical diconnect here:

    Lost sensory nerves =lost sensation?”

    Yes, that statement has already been shown to rely upon dubious assumptions. Let me spell it out for you again:

    1. The claim of lost nerves is unproven, and itself relies upon the speculative assumption that the nerves do not regenerate.

    2. Sensation requires not only nerves, but also stimulation of a type which the nerves are able to detect (if there is no stimulation, there will be no sensation regardless of the number of nerves).

    3. If there are mechanical changes (such as in circumcision), then the type and intensity of stimulation during motion may change accordingly. And this, in turn, may increase stimulation.

  179. #179 Jackie
    May 8, 2007

    “Interestingly, you do not demand the same degree of absolute proof when it comes to your belief in some invisible giant in the sky..”

    Oh, sweetie, but I DO have my proof. And it’s pretty absolute. Just because you’re ignorant about it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, you know?

    “How moronic are studies that ignore the foreskin and its plethora of nerves and then pretend there is no loss of sensation with its removal?”

    How funny, I seem to remember someone who used to use this EXACT phrase! (except for the “moronic”, most forums don’t allow for personal attacks and insults) Wow! What a coincidence!

    “WHO cares about personal evaluation of this loss of sensation–it is still a loss!”

    Speaking of personal evaluations, huh?
    What’s really th ewhole point behind the sensitivity argument? Can you tell me? Why is it SO important for anti-circs to go on and on about that unproven loss of sensitivity? Is there a point?

  180. #180 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    “Like I have stated many times before, science requires proof for this alleged reduction in the real world outside of questionable studies–but apparently you believe repetition negates this requirement of science.”

    Science requires proof of a phenomena outside of experiments that could objectively test it? Well, that’s a new one, Tandy!”

    Science requires that any hypothesis be able to fulfill its prediction EVERYTIME–just in case you don’t understand science enough to know that this is a basic and fundamental requirement of science.

    And again science places more merit on empirical evidence than any flawed study or experiment

  181. #181 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    “Like I have stated many times before, science requires proof for this alleged reduction in the real world outside of questionable studies–but apparently you believe repetition negates this requirement of science.”

    Science requires proof of a phenomena outside of experiments that could objectively test it? Well, that’s a new one, Tandy!”

    Science requires that any hypothesis be able to fulfill its prediction EVERYTIME–just in case you don’t understand science enough to know that this is a basic and fundamental requirement of science.

    And again science places more merit on empirical evidence than any flawed study or experiment

  182. #182 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    “1. The claim of lost nerves is unproven, and itself relies upon the speculative assumption that the nerves do not regenerate.”

    Oh, c’mon, in case you still don’t know what cirumcision is, it is the REMOVAL of the foreskin–and with this removal, go the structures and nerves of the foreskin.

    No, it relies on the lack of any evidence of any regeneration of this nerves–unlike the your speculation that they do..and a simple question needs to be asked here. HOW do nerves that are completely removed regereate from nothing, and WHERE would these nerevs regenerate into, since the structure is now gone–so they would regenerate into one’s rectum?

    “2. Sensation requires not only nerves, but also stimulation of a type which the nerves are able to detect (if there is no stimulation, there will be no sensation regardless of the number of nerves).”

    Gee, and with this speculation, all you need to supply is evidence that they are NOT stimulated–got any? Oh, I forgot your infamous “butterfly sex” nonsense!

    “3. If there are mechanical changes (such as in circumcision), then the type and intensity of stimulation during motion may change accordingly. And this, in turn, may increase stimulation.”

    MAY????Gee, yet more SPECULATION–sort of a person who has had an optic nerves removed can suddenly recover full vision by shouting at them?..LOL

  183. #183 Jackie
    May 9, 2007

    “SWEETIE, how can a rational person believe that some writings by a bunch of mystics be considered as PROOF”

    Just because you’re too ignorant to know this proof doesn’t mean it doens’t exist. I have the proof I need to know the certainty of my beliefs. When did I say my proof was in these writings, BTW? A little too quick to jump to, what was it? moronic conclusions, are you?

    “As you have noticed, I have no respect at all for people who hysterically rant and rave about their particular flavour of imaginary friend, and some people bite so well…”

    Geee, you don’t have respect for your own self?? Ouch. Becaue you know, Anne, you’re hysterically ranting and raving about a particular imaginary belief YOU have. And yes, dear, you ARE frantic, bordering on lunatic by now.

    “Funny, you don’t sound like you’re enjoying yourself at all. You sound quite desperate and cornered and like someone who has run out of all legitimate, on point arguments and is reduced to bizarre ad hominem cracks.”

    Bingo, concernedcitizen. You hit the spot. Cornered, desperate, not knowing what to do to make some form of logical point. As any animal, the only solution is to bite.

    “I suppose the child should be grateful that his father didn’t get the religion of the Aztecs or something and decide to sacrifice him at the top of a pyramid to the sun god. I suppose that ought to be allowed as well, in the interests of “Freedom of Religion”. UGH.”

    LOL! Aztecs!!
    Keep it up, Anne. You’re sounding more and more pathetic by the second. Any other idiotic comments you want to make or do you think you actually said something smart with the Aztecs and the sacrifices and all? Because, you know, you sound incredibly dumb by now. Please, keep it up!

  184. #184 Anne
    May 9, 2007

    LOL.

  185. #185 TandyT
    May 10, 2007

    “Just because you’re too ignorant to know this proof doesn’t mean it doens’t exist. I have the proof I need to know the certainty of my beliefs. When did I say my proof was in these writings, BTW? A little too quick to jump to, what was it? moronic conclusions, are you?

    Ah the fallback position of every fanatic–IF you don’t believe in my invisible giant in the sky and I cannot offer any proof for its existence, YOU are ignorant.”

  186. #186 TnadyT
    May 10, 2007

    So, Jake after all this verbal dancing, can you prove that this reduction exists in the real world outside of your questionable studies or not?

    I thought not–but plenty of speculative excuses why this is not manifest.

    Keep on dancing.Keep on ignoring the basic requirements of science–stick to your “medical science” aka playing with the numbers (statistics).

  187. #187 Jake
    May 10, 2007

    “Since when is “suggest” proof af anything?”

    In this context, it is a possible explanation for a documented phenomena. There could of course be others.

    “Nerves aren’t completely removed. They are severed a short distance from their endpoint. When they are severed, their new endpoint is at the site of the incision line.

    PROOF?”

    Elementary logic. If a nerve exists only in the foreskin, and has no connection to the body, then it has no means of transmitting a signal.

    “Btw, let’s look at nerve “regeneration” at the incision point

    British Journal of Urology (1999), 83, Suppl. 1, 34-44
    The prepuce
    C.J. COLD and J.R. TAYLOR”

    A suggestion from Xin et al is unacceptable, but the opinions of two anti-circumcision activists is fine? Interesting way of looking at things…

    “Sound and vision are different senses. Were you unaware of that?

    Just as the nerves of the foreskin are different from those of the rest of the penis–SO?”

    Well, I don’t think that even you would dispute that the nerves in the penis respond to – and allow us to detect – touch of various kinds. What about those in the foreskin?

  188. #188 TandyT
    May 11, 2007

    “Gee, let’s respect some belief system that requires one deliberatly damage an infant’s genitals? WHY?”

    Are you saying that the belief system in the wondrous foreskin and the damage done by circumcision is more important?”

    You seem to be forgetting that the loss of the foreskin is a LOSS!

    Which leads us back to the loss of the optic nerve–does this loss constitute “damage’?

  189. #189 TandyT
    May 11, 2007

    “Once there’s a documented phenomenon, the question is ‘why’ rather than ‘whether’…”

    No the real question is actually whether or not there is evidence for a speculation–so got any for the lack of foreskin sensation?

    “You stated that the nerves in the foreskin sense something different. I’m trying to find out what you think they sense.”

    Good, but first, you have to prove what the rest of the penis is sensing–not just presenting facile assumptions.

    Hint, the foreskin senses that which it is senses.

    “Sigh. Do you have difficulties in holding a conversation like a civilised adult?

    Sigh, do you have such difficulties refuting the evidence like a civilized adult, that you have to resort to the empty claim of “bias”?

    Again, is there damage with the loss of an optic nerve?
    A very simple question that involves a simple concept–can you answer the concept and not offer word games?

  190. #190 TandyT
    May 12, 2007

    “I haven’t made an empty claim of bias. In fact, I haven’t made a claim of bias at all. I have pointed out that an opinion piece is of dubious merit from an objective standpoint, and perhaps more so when the opinions are predictable.”

    Nice word games, now all you need to provide a rebuttal.

    “Again, is there damage with the loss of an optic nerve?”

    The loss of depth perception springs to mind, yes: it’s a clear degradation in function. While damage is always subjective in part, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would prefer not to have the ability to perceive images in three dimensions.”

    Trying to minimize an absolute loss by injecting a subjective valuation of the loss? So are you trying to say that because YOU worship the mutilated penis, that no damage is done by the process of mutilation?
    God the arrogance!

  191. #191 TandyT
    May 12, 2007

    “A loss of value or a loss of matter? I hope that you are not trying to pretend that the latter implies the former: a sneeze falls into one category, but not the other.”

    How silly! Is this the best you can do?

    Sorry, but loss is loss–and it is absolute!

    No subjective valuation of that loss negates the loss itself–and most especially not one from that of a person who so worshipped and was so obsessed by the mutilated penis since the age of 13, that he chose to have his normal penis mutilated.

  192. #192 Jake
    May 12, 2007

    “Nice word games, now all you need to provide a rebuttal.”

    409, 4th paragraph. Next time read what I’ve said before repeating your demands.

    “Trying to minimize an absolute loss by injecting a subjective valuation of the loss?”

    Value is an inherently subjective concept, at least in part. Since you have yet to demonstrate a loss of function, ability, or indeed anything of objective value, all there is to discuss is the subjective side.

    “So are you trying to say that because YOU worship the mutilated penis, that no damage is done by the process of mutilation?”

    Your comprehension appears to be deteriorating. I haven’t mentioned my personal views at all. However, studies consistently indicate a high degree of satisfaction with circumcision, which is inconsistent with the hypothesis of damage (indeed, one would have to question what damage actually means if people are more satisfied with than without).

    “No the real question is actually whether or not there is evidence for a speculation”

    See Xin et al.

    “I’l play the game, but first, you have to prove what the OTHER parts of the penis (non-foreskin parts) are sensing and that these sensations are sexual and/or erogenous–not just presenting facile assumptions.”

    I’m not interested in playing games. Are you going to answer?

    “Again, is there damage with the loss of an optic nerve?”

    Post 413. I’m not going round in circles.

    “How silly! Is this the best you can do?

    Sorry, but loss is loss–and it is absolute!”

    Ok, so when you sneeze you lose value? When you clip your nails you lose value? When you get a haircut you lose value? When someone takes your household waste away you lose value? When you flush your toilet after a bowel movement you lose value?

    In these examples, do you experience a loss of value? Yes or no?

    If loss is loss, and it is absolute, and no “subjective valuation of that loss negates the loss itself” then you’d better have your sewer disconnected, and stop discarding household waste, etc.

    Alternatively, you can stop taking such a ridiculous absolutist stance, and recognise that a loss of matter may be either a loss or a gain in value, and to determine which is which you actually have to engage your brain and think about consequences, effects, costs and benefits.

  193. #193 Anne
    May 12, 2007

    Are you seriously trying to say that the result of severing the optic nerve is merely 2D vision?

    OMG who taught you in anatomy and physiology class?

  194. #194 Anne
    May 12, 2007

    So, circumcision has the same effect because you have two penises eh? After all, cut off the nerves in one and you have the other for the function (even if it is reduced, because you are designed to make use of both).

    Clever.

    Pity normal men only have one, cut the nerves and, like the optic nerve, they dont work.

  195. #195 TandyT
    May 13, 2007

    “Interesting, one of the few studies to investigate found increased sensation following circumcision (Masood et al., Urol Int. 2005;75(1):62-6).

    Gee, and HOW does he logically explain this contradiction with what science tells us cannot happen..”

    Oh, circumcised for “benign disease”. More “moronic science”!

  196. #196 TandyT
    May 13, 2007

    “I’m afraid that the central nervous system doesn’t behave in the same way as the peripheral, Anne.”

    And just how is this supposed to prove to Anne that foreskin nerves DO regenerate?

    And just WHERE would these nerves regenerate–into thin air?

  197. #197 TandyT
    May 14, 2007

    Jake, I was going to respond to all of your points in post # 395 when I was struck with a profound sense of sadness and pity.
    I usually have a great deal of fun “debating” with you as it is so easy to do–one only has to follow your script, but it has become somewhat tiresome and sad playing this “cat & mouse” game.

    Act 1
    Enter the stage acting as a logical, rational character with a huge amount of information and a knowledge of the scientific process.

    When you are confronted with the logical inconsistencies and demands that you to prove this information is scientifically credible, all we get are questionable statistics which you pretend or believe are science–never understanding the actual requirements of the scientific process but merely confusing “playing with numbers” with actual science .

    Either you do not understand the scientific process and its requirements even when it is explained to you, or pretend not to. Then we get the attempt to redefine the process or redefine logic with carefully chosen definitions that do not address the CONCEPT. Henceforth there is no attempt to actually address the concepts–it is all about the words and the phrasing.

    Act 2

    When it is apparent that you cannot scientifically support your assertions you proceed to idle speculation, unsupported assumptions, opinions and “subjectivity” and try to pretend that they are facts and that others must either accept or disprove.
    This is the old tactic of trying to shift the “burden of proof” onto others when this is actually required of those advocating the procedure.

    Act 3

    When called out on the above, we get the word games, attempts at word redefinition, circular “logic”, attempts to redefine the concept, and feigned obtuseness.

    I don’t know if you believe this is being clever, but I think that those who follow the play here or on the many other forums you post, likely get an entirely different impression.

    “I” get the impression of a pathetic young man obsessed with genital mutilation and desperately trying to justify it to himself and others.

    If you still wish to continue “debating’ , I will accommodate you but with making obvious the “stage directions” so all know where in the script we are.

  198. #198 Jake
    May 14, 2007

    I see that you have now descended to weak argumentum ad hominem.

    Let me know if you wish to return to the subject.

  199. #199 TandyT
    May 14, 2007

    Act 2
    SPECULATION: foreskin nerves regenerate..

    PROOF?

  200. #200 Jake
    May 14, 2007

    You appear to misunderstand the relationship between claim and proof.

    I don’t need to prove that they do regenerate, because I haven’t made such a claim. You need to prove that they do not, because a claim which you assert as true depends upon that being the case.

    As I stated in 369: “to demonstrate loss would involve disproving nerve regeneration”. So, either a) prove your case, or b) accept it as unproven.

  201. #201 Anne
    May 14, 2007

    More word games. YAWN.

    You’re getting really boring Jake. Pity.

    Where’s Jackie, she was fun.

    Oh well, have a nice debate, I’m definitely out of here now.

  202. #202 TandyT
    May 14, 2007

    “I don’t need to prove that they do regenerate, because I haven’t made such a claim. You need to prove that they do not, because a claim which you assert as true depends upon that being the case.”

    act1 speculation
    Proof?

    act2 shifting burden of proof.

    “As I stated in 369: “to demonstrate loss would involve disproving nerve regeneration”. So, either a) prove your case, or b) accept it as unproven.:”

    act1 re-defining the logic

    act2 shifting burden of proof.

    act3 word games

    act3 failure to address the concept

  203. #203 Jake
    May 15, 2007

    Not a single word about the subject matter, I notte. Are you going to try to prove your case or not?

  204. #204 TandyT
    May 15, 2007

    “Not a single word about the subject matter, I notte. Are you going to try to prove your case or not?

    act 1 ignorance of the scientific process

    science does not recognise or acknowledge speculation…neither do I.

    act1 logical inconsistency

    speculation is NOT proof

    got proof?

  205. #205 ShadyB
    May 15, 2007

    I don’t need to prove that they do regenerate, because I haven’t made such a claim. You need to prove that they do not, because a claim which you assert as true depends upon that being the case.

    Um no, the person advocating removing normal functioning holds the burden of proof.

    Lets get real Jake, we all know you were circed as an adult, by choice, and rather then admitting how wrong you were, you are now trying to justify it- gawd forbid you be wrong.

    BTW, is your partner ever going to get circed? If its sooooo great, why not?

  206. #206 Jake
    May 16, 2007

    That’s an interesting attempt at reversing the burden of proof, Shady. It’s telling, I think, that anti-circumcision activists are so keen to avoid having to prove their claims.

    Apparently, cheap personal attacks are all that they have left.

  207. #207 TandyT
    May 16, 2007

    “That’s an interesting attempt at reversing the burden of proof, Shady. It’s telling, I think, that anti-circumcision activists are so keen to avoid having to prove their claims.”

    Oh, I forgot “repetition”

    we can couple tis to the previosly mentioned

    shifting burden of proof..

    so Jake got any proof that foreskin nerves regenerate?

    No, then logic dictates they are lost–do you undetsand basic logic?

  208. #208 Jake
    May 16, 2007

    Tandy, I understand basic logic but it’s unclear whether you do. Let’s try this:

    Loss implies a net decrease. (Complete) regeneration means that a temporary decrease is followed by a subsequent increase (net effect: zero). Proof of loss therefore requires disproof of regeneration.

    Of course, even if we finally get you to address this problem in your thesis, we still haven’t got to the more important issue of sensation. But let’s take one step at a time.

  209. #209 TandyT
    May 16, 2007

    “Loss implies a net decrease. (Complete) regeneration means that a temporary decrease is followed by a subsequent increase (net effect: zero). Proof of loss therefore requires disproof of regeneration.”

    So, when are you going to offer ANY proof for ANY foreskin nerve regeneration?

    Science does not recognise or acknowledge speculation.

    Proof of this speculation is the requisite first step.

    Loss of nerves + no regeneration = loss

    Lack of both understanding both scientific process and logic?

    shifting burden of proof

    Even when your lack of comprehension of logic and the scientific process is made manifest, you seem to still fail to comprehend it–or is it feigned obtuseness?

    Boy the list of your games grows daily.

  210. #210 TandyT
    May 16, 2007

    “Loss implies a net decrease. (Complete) regeneration means that a temporary decrease is followed by a subsequent increase (net effect: zero). Proof of loss therefore requires disproof of regeneration.”

    let’s look at this interesting take on “proof”..

    I speculate that there COULD be a planet in the universe that is inhabited by litte green and purple men,
    you mission is to disprove their existence..

    Does this work for you?

  211. #211 ShadyB
    May 16, 2007

    “That’s an interesting attempt at reversing the burden of proof, Shady. It’s telling, I think, that anti-circumcision activists are so keen to avoid having to prove their claims.

    Apparently, cheap personal attacks are all that they have left.”

    hardly- how can something be a personal attack when its fact? All I have done it brought it out into the open here- you have made it public elsewhere so please explain the harm in discussing it here…?

    Still I would like to know, if being cut as an adult increases one sexual pleasure to the extent YOU claim, then why hasn’t your partner chosen to get it done? I think its only a logical and honest question that begs to be answered. If what you say really is true- then why would your partner stay intact?

    Your assumption that I am an anti circumcision activist only shows your paranoia of them.

  212. #212 Jake
    May 17, 2007

    “I speculate that there COULD be a planet in the universe that is inhabited by litte green and purple men,
    you mission is to disprove their existence..

    Does this work for you?”

    No, it doesn’t. You are not in a position to dictate what my ‘mission’ should be. Nor is there any obligation on my part: I haven’t made a counter-speculation that there is no such planet, nor have I asserted that it does not exist, nor have I made any claim predicated on its non-existence.

    Assuming it were relevant to our discussion, I might well agree that this planet could exist (in an infinite universe, it is possible). It might, it might not. We don’t know.

    Without proof, it seems foolish to assert that such a planet does, or does not exist, or to base any claims on either assumption.

  213. #213 TandyT
    May 17, 2007

    “No, it doesn’t. You are not in a position to dictate what my ‘mission’ should be. Nor is there any obligation on my part: I haven’t made a counter-speculation that there is no such planet, nor have I asserted that it does not exist, nor have I made any claim predicated on its non-existence”

    another forgotten one–EVASION.

    So this “set of proof” does not work for you? just as it does not and cannot work for anyone.. and so you go the “dodge ball” game is played. Not so clever there.

    “Assuming it were relevant to our discussion, I might well agree that this planet could exist (in an infinite universe, it is possible). It might, it might not. We don’t know.”

    circular logic?

    Who cares, the mission is to disprove their existence–it is a perfectly analogous to your assertion that nerves COULD regenerate…so does it work for you? Perhaps foreskin nerves regeneration exists for these inhabitants in an infinite universe?

    “Without proof, it seems foolish to assert that such a planet does, or does not exist, or to base any claims on either assumption.”

    Evasion?

    Exactly, and since there is not proof for foreskin nerves regeneration, it is foolish to assert that it does.

    it is nice to see the old “double standard” is still in your repertoire.

    Double standard?

  214. #214 TandyT
    May 17, 2007

    Jake, here is the bottom line:

    Is it POSSIBLE to disprove the existence of these inhabitants?

    Is negative proof possible?

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?

    Does science require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

  215. #215 Jake
    May 18, 2007

    “Exactly, and since there is not proof for foreskin nerves regeneration, it is foolish to assert that it does.”

    Or to assert that it does not.

    It is always foolish to make an assertion when you lack certain knowledge. Yet you seem happy to do so. Interesting.

    “Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?”

    All hypotheses are speculative at first, and yes, these are certainly recognised and acknowledged. Nobody would ever get around to testing them otherwise. Think about it.

  216. #216 TandyT
    May 18, 2007

    Original questions:

    “Is it POSSIBLE to disprove the existence of these inhabitants?”

    Ignored, not answered!

    “Is negative proof possible?”

    ignored, not answered!

    “Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?”

    ignored, not answered!

    “Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?”

    “All hypotheses are speculative at first, and yes, these are certainly recognised and acknowledged. Nobody would ever get around to testing them otherwise. Think about it.

    but recognised and acknowledged as PROOF?

    evasion, not answered!

    “Does science require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?”

    ignored, not answered!

    Jake, from your responses, it seems you have some idea that logic and science do not have a rigid structure and rigid requirements, but merely ideas that one can BS around and/or BS away.

    Sorry, but this is certainly an untrue idea.

  217. #217 Jake
    May 18, 2007

    (in reply to my observation about hypotheses being speculative in nature):

    “but recognised and acknowledged as PROOF?”

    No, not as proof. That is a strawman argument. I have not claimed that it is proven that the nerves we’re discussing definitely regenerate. I have, however, observed that your claim is predicated on the assumption that they do not. Since you make that claim, you bear the onus of proof.

    To return to your planet analogy, consider the following three statements:

    1) The planet inhabited by little green and purple men exists.

    2) The planet inhabited by little green and purple men does not exist.

    3) The planet inhabited by little green and purple men might exist.

    The first two are claims that require proof. The third does not.

    Now, which are you going to choose?

  218. #218 TandyT
    May 19, 2007

    Sorry Jake, but this shifting the burden of proof does not fly–my assertion is based on FACTS–it does not need to address your idle assumption that foreskin nerves regenerate.

    And your repetition of this “requirement” changes nothing.

    “Is it POSSIBLE to disprove the existence of these inhabitants?”

    Ignored, not answered!

    “Is negative proof possible?”

    ignored, not answered!

    “Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?”

    ignored, not answered!

    “Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?”

    “All hypotheses are speculative at first, and yes, these are certainly recognised and acknowledged. Nobody would ever get around to testing them otherwise. Think about it.

    but recognised and acknowledged as PROOF?

    evasion, not answered!

    “Does science require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?”

    ignored, not answered!

    In the US, we have a phrase “cherry-picking” (choosing some desired information and ignoring undesired information).

    I guess we can add “evasion” and “cherry-picking” to your repertoire?

  219. #219 Jake
    May 19, 2007

    “Sorry Jake, but this shifting the burden of proof does not fly–my assertion is based on FACTS–it does not need to address your idle assumption that foreskin nerves regenerate.”

    Ok, if it is a fact that regeneration does not occur, then please provide some proof.

    But I suspect that you being dishonest, and that your assertion is not based upon facts at all, but rather your own belief.

    And I wonder why you can’t admit this.

  220. #220 TandyT
    May 20, 2007

    “Ok, if it is a fact that regeneration does not occur, then please provide some proof.”

    It is a fact that the nerves are lost–and your idle speculation does not prove that assertion is wrong–trying once again to shift the burden of truth?

    “But I suspect that you being dishonest, and that your assertion is not based upon facts at all, but rather your own belief.”

    No facts? the forekin and its structures and nerves are lost–UNLESS you can prove that the foreskin nerves regenerate.

    AGAIN:

    Is negative proof possible?

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?

    Does science require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

    This is anther example of denial on your part like that endless and tedious “debate” you had on the definition of “rubbing”–empty attempts at redefinition and nothing else.

  221. #221 Jake
    May 20, 2007

    “It is a fact that the nerves are lost–and your idle speculation does not prove that assertion is wrong–trying once again to shift the burden of truth?”

    No, the logical relationship is this: if regeneration does not occur, then nerves are lost.

    “No facts? the forekin and its structures and nerves are lost–UNLESS you can prove that the foreskin nerves regenerate.”

    Incorrect. Either a) the nerves are lost or b) the nerves are not lost. Which it is has nothing whatsoever to do with my proving or disproving anything: nothing will magically come into existence with a puff of smoke just because something is proved, nor will it suddenly vanish because it is disproved. While we may not yet know them, the facts exist independent of our knowledge.

    So, with respect to regeneration, the facts are either known (proof exists one way or the other) or not known.

    If the facts are known, then provide the proof. Alternatively, you are claiming to have facts when in fact you do not.

  222. #222 TandyT
    May 21, 2007

    Still talking around in circles?

    When and if you can prove that forskin nerves regenerate, then bring that proof here–until you do so, one does not need to disprove wild speculations.

    It is a shame that you have so little comprehension of logic and science that you cling to this “speculation is proof” nonsense.

    So, AGAIN

    Is negative proof possible?

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?

    Does science require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

    Lastly, please prove there is no loss from amputating an optic nerve.

  223. #223 Jake
    May 22, 2007

    “When and if you can prove that forskin nerves regenerate, then bring that proof here–until you do so, one does not need to disprove wild speculations.

    It is a shame that you have so little comprehension of logic and science that you cling to this “speculation is proof” nonsense.”

    On the contrary, it seems that your comprehension of logic, science, and English are lacking.

    Point 1: If I had proved that foreskin nerves regenerate, then it would be impossible to disprove the same idea. It is impossible for it to be both true and false. Thus your first paragraph is illogical gibberish.

    Point 2: I have not claimed that speculation is proof, nor have I implied it by stating that it is proven that foreskin nerves regenerate. Thus you apparently fail to understand English.

    Point 3: Since I have not claimed that foreskin nerve regeneration definitely occurs, I have no need to prove that it does. Thus you fail to understand the onus of proof in debate.

    Point 4: You, however, have made a claim that depends upon foreskin nerve regeneration being false, and you evade requests for proof.

    Point 5: In the absence of proof or disproof, the only honest, scientific, logical position is this: “it is unknown whether foreskin nerve regeneration occurs.”

    Point 6: You reject this position, pretending that absence of proof is proof of absence: a fallacious argument.

  224. #224 TandyT
    May 22, 2007

    Interesting is that you cannot honestly attest to the following, yet you demand that others adhere to them–

    I don’t know if it this is simple hypocrisy or simply not being very bright-or BOTH

    Is negative proof possible?–LOGIC!!!

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?

    Does SCIENCE require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

    Lastly, please prove there is no loss from amputating an optic nerve.

  225. #225 Jake
    May 22, 2007

    Repetition of questions is somewhat boring, Tandy. In general, I tend to answer once but when the same questions are posed time and time again I tend to ignore them. I’ll do the same on this occasion.

    I do find it mildly entertaining, though, that you are clearly so desperate to avoid addressing the fact that you have no proof for your position.

  226. #226 TandyT
    May 23, 2007

    “Repetition of questions is somewhat boring, Tandy. In general, I tend to answer once but when the same questions are posed time and time again I tend to ignore them. I’ll do the same on this occasion.”

    Well, then WHEN can we expect these one-time answers to the questions–IGNORING & AVOIDING answering is NOT answering them.

    Is negative proof possible?–LOGIC!!!

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation?

    Does SCIENCE require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

    Lastly, please prove there is no loss from amputating an optic nerve.

    “I do find it mildly entertaining, though, that you are clearly so desperate to avoid addressing the fact that you have no proof for your position.”

    And I find it immensely revealing that you will NOT answer the questions and yet demand that one adhere to providing that which cannot exist.

  227. #227 Jake
    May 23, 2007

    “Well, then WHEN can we expect these one-time answers to the questions–IGNORING & AVOIDING answering is NOT answering them.”

    You could start with post 449, dated May 18, 2007 05:49 AM…

    “And I find it immensely revealing that you will NOT answer the questions”

    Must be a special kind of ‘non-answering’ in which I can provide the post number and time of my answer. :-)

    “and yet demand that one adhere to providing that which cannot exist.”

    I ask for either a) proof of your position, or b) an admission that you cannot prove it. I can understand that you might have difficulties with a, but surely b can exist? Or are you telling me that you are incapable of admitting that you were misrepresenting your beliefs as facts?

  228. #228 TandyT
    May 24, 2007

    Jake, when are you going to answer if negative proof is possible?

    Are you woefully ignorant of logic and the scientific process, or are you merely unwiling to admit that you considering “unable to admit defeat” is more important than making a fool of yourself.

    Ths is not a courtroom, and science and logic are the jury–not a bunch or “peers”.

    BTW, #449 is nothing but an ignoring and cherry-picking of the fundamental questions in case you didn’t notice.

  229. #229 Jake
    May 24, 2007

    “Jake, when are you going to answer if negative proof is possible?”

    I’ve already answered, on May 13, 2007 12:40 PM (post #430). That is really not my concern, however: if you make claims then you ought to be able to prove them, and if you can’t do so you shouldn’t make the claim. Knowingly making a claim that is impossible to prove is simply deception.

    So, once again, can you or can you not provide proof for your claim?

    “BTW, #449 is nothing but an ignoring and cherry-picking of the fundamental questions in case you didn’t notice.”

    My experience has been that when you dislike an answer to a question, you pretend that I haven’t answered. This is obviously no exception.

  230. #230 TandyT
    May 25, 2007

    “My experience has been that when you dislike an answer to a question, you pretend that I haven’t answered. This is obviously no exception.”

    Sure, and where again exactly did you ANSWER these questions?

    Is negative proof possible?–LOGIC!!!

    Is it required to DISPROVE any unsupported speculation?

    Does SCIENCE recognise and acknowledge idle speculation as PROOF?

    Does SCIENCE require one to disprove what it does not recognise nor acknowledge?

    Johnny Cochran in the court of science:

    If your speculation ain’t worth XXXX, then jurors, you must convict.

  231. #231 Jake
    May 25, 2007

    “Sure, and where again exactly did you ANSWER these questions?”

    430 and 449.

  232. #232 TandyT
    May 26, 2007

    “I wonder whether you are a) unaware that it is impossible to prove a negative, or b) aware of this and deliberately making impossible demands to be difficult.”

    Since you admit that negative proof is impossible, WHY are you demandng something that is impossible– sounds like either a logical dsconnect or hypocrisy.

    “Science tells us no such thing. Your hypothesis is incompatible with this evidence, which suggests that your hypothesis is incorrect. You are aware of this – to quote “Ignoring those that contradict your hypothsis is ignoring the requirement of science that it must ALWAYS fulfill it’s prediction””

    OK, I will bite here-WHERE is this evidence you claim exists to contradict the statement that there is nerve loss?

    “All hypotheses are speculative at first, and yes, these are certainly recognised and acknowledged. Nobody would ever get around to testing them otherwise. Think about it.”

    And I noticed in your copy and paste that it does not include the later added (and critical word) PROOF.

    I also noticed that you have failed to show that this speculation WAS followed upon and the evidence for this speculative regeneration was done..

    so it seems that you still fail to comprehend simple logic and the scientific process.

  233. #233 Jake
    May 26, 2007

    “Since you admit that negative proof is impossible, WHY are you demandng something that is impossible”

    It is not impossible for a person to admit that his claimed “fact” is in fact unproven. On several occasions I have indicated that such an admission would be perfectly satisfactory, so please don’t pretend otherwise.

    “OK, I will bite here-WHERE is this evidence you claim exists to contradict the statement that there is nerve loss?”

    I do wish you’d learn to follow a discussion. The relevant evidence was cited in post 428, and concerned sensation, not nerves.

    “And I noticed in your copy and paste that it does not include the later added (and critical word) PROOF.”

    I’m afraid that I don’t follow. The only thing copied and pasted in post 449 was your question from post 448. That question did not refer to proof. We did, however, discuss proof in this context shortly afterwards — post 451 in particular.

    “I also noticed that you have failed to show that this speculation WAS followed upon and the evidence for this speculative regeneration was done..”

    Firstly, I didn’t say that such a thing had happened, so why would I feel the need to provide evidence to support a non-claim? Secondly, you asked a general question about the role of speculation in science, and so I answered accordingly.

  234. #234 TandyT
    May 27, 2007

    “Since you admit that negative proof is impossible, WHY are you demanding something that is impossible”

    It is not impossible for a person to admit that his claimed “fact” is in fact unproven. On several occasions I have indicated that such an admission would be perfectly satisfactory, so please don’t pretend otherwise.”

    Wow, how loud is the sound of hypocrisy.

    “I do wish you’d learn to follow a discussion. The relevant evidence was cited in post 428, and concerned sensation, not nerves.”

    Gee, now all you have to do is show that the foreskin nerves produce no sensation–good luck.

    I have to admit that this has been an interesting series of posts, I have learned that..

    Since you know that negative proof is impossible, you aren’t COMPLETELY ignorant of logic and the scientific process–just logically unable to apply that point of logic…

    That you are not above using hypocrisy to avoid admitting you are wrong…

    But still unknown is whether you merely feigning obtuseness or just not very bright.

  235. #235 Jake
    May 27, 2007

    “Wow, how loud is the sound of hypocrisy.”

    I note that you avoid the subject.

    “Gee, now all you have to do is show that the foreskin nerves produce no sensation–good luck.”

    There’s no particular need to show that. Your hypothesis fails to fit the facts, not mine.

  236. #236 TandyT
    May 28, 2007

    “Gee, now all you have to do is show that the foreskin nerves produce no sensation–good luck.”

    There’s no particular need to show that. Your hypothesis fails to fit the facts, not mine.”

    Like all people ignorant of the scientific qualifications for PROOF, you seem to think that proof can be an absolute, that negative proof is necessary even when it cannot exist, and the mere presentation of unfounded speculation requires the specultion must be disproved.

    You have been presented “scientific proof of the loss”, and cannot present evidence to the contrary, science dictates that you have nothing.

    Sadly, you either have not had a course in logic and the scientific process, or you failed the course.

  237. #237 Jake
    May 28, 2007

    “you seem to think that … the mere presentation of unfounded speculation requires the specultion must be disproved.”

    I’m sorry that you have this impression. Your ability to understand a discussion must be worse than I had thought. As I made perfectly clear in post 451, an assertion that a hypothesis is true requires proof, an assertion that a hypothesis is false requires proof, but mere recognition of the possibility of a hypothesis being true (or, equivalently, false) requires no proof.

    “You have been presented “scientific proof of the loss”,”

    On the contrary, you have merely presented a hypothesis.

    You are adamant – insistent – that this loss of yours exists, in spite of the fact that you cannot prove it. And you refuse to address the fact that your loss depends upon an assumption: that regeneration does not occur. I, on the other hand, am unwilling to make such an assumption. Your assumption may be correct, or it may be incorrect.

    To quote Bertrand Russell, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

  238. #238 TandyT
    May 29, 2007

    Absolute proof cannot exist.

    Negative proof cannnot exist.

    All we have is scientific proof and logic.

    You have been given logical and scientific proof that the foreskin nerves are lost…amputation.

    You have not given any proof for your hypothesis that they regenerate–hence you have no foundation for it–or the silly assumption that there is no loss because the nerves MIGHT regenerate.

    I have proof of my logical assertion, you have no proof for your hypthesis

    All you have are silly courtroom antics, that is all you ever have…that and pseudo-scientific claims of some “benefits”.

    “A fool and his foreskin are easily parted–when he has a lot of psychological and cultural baggage.”

  239. #239 Jake
    May 29, 2007

    “You have been given logical and scientific proof that the foreskin nerves are lost”

    No, just a hypothesis. Adequate proof might be, for example, mean nerve counts in a representative sample of circumcised and uncircumcised penes.

    “You have not given any proof for your hypothesis that they regenerate–hence you have no foundation for it–”

    First, I cannot claim the credit for that hypothesis, and second, I do not represent it as a certainty.

    “or the silly assumption that there is no loss because the nerves MIGHT regenerate.”

    Such an assumption would indeed be silly – as silly as stating that there is a loss because nerves might not regenerate. Without evidence, all we can say is that we don’t know whether there is a loss or not.

    “I have proof of my logical assertion”

    Yet by your own admission such proof is impossible. … Ok, where’s this proof?

  240. #240 TandyT
    May 30, 2007

    “Yet by your own admission such proof is impossible. … Ok, where’s this proof?”

    LOL, so my forgetting to include the word “scientific” one time, it provides you the opportunity to play the word games once again? I REPEAT IT HERE for you!

    “All we have is scientific proof and logic…

    I have (scientific) proof of my logical assertion,”

    It seems you have difficulty comprehending or remembering simple concepts, but remembering word games comes easily?

  241. #241 Jake
    May 30, 2007

    “All we have is scientific proof and logic…

    I have (scientific) proof of my logical assertion,”

    Ok, where’s this (scientific) proof?

  242. #242 TandyT
    May 31, 2007

    “Ok, where’s this (scientific) proof?”

    Jake, this feigned (?)stupidity is really getting tired–

    AMPUTATION = REMOVES!

    REMOVED = GONE!

  243. #243 Jake
    May 31, 2007

    Tandy, let me ask you a question.

    Two days ago, I had some money in my pocket. Yesterday, I emptied my pockets.

    Now, does this constitute (scientific) proof that there is no money in my pocket? Emptied = removed, removed = gone, right?

    A simple yes or no answer would be appreciated. While you’re deciding, you’ll have to excuse me while I spend some (scientifically disproven) money. :-)

  244. #244 TandyT
    June 1, 2007

    Jake, it seems you are so ignorant of the scientific process that you fail to realize that EMPIRICAL evidence IS scientifc evidence..

    BTW, don’t WASTE that money on something as silly as having your penis mutilated again..

  245. #245 TandyT
    June 1, 2007

    “Two days ago, I had some money in my pocket. Yesterday, I emptied my pockets.

    Now, does this constitute (scientific) proof that there is no money in my pocket? Emptied = removed, removed = gone, right?”

    Jake, I think this is one of the silliest and most disingenuous posts you have ever made and frankly I don’t even know where you think you are going with it..

    If the foreskin is removed and cannot be replaced–it is GONE!

  246. #246 Jake
    June 1, 2007

    “Jake, I think this is one of the silliest and most disingenuous posts you have ever made and frankly I don’t even know where you think you are going with it..”

    I’m not terribly surprised that you evade the question.

    You could have answered that this constitutes (scientific) proof that there is no money in my pocket. In doing so, you would be making considerable assumptions, but at least you would be consistent.

    Alternatively, you could have answered that this is not proof that my pockets are empty: you have insufficient information to say. This would be a sensible, logical answer, but of course it would be inconsistent with your earlier claims.

    “If the foreskin is removed and cannot be replaced–it is GONE!”

    Please don’t change the subject, Tandy. We’re talking about nerves, not the foreskin itself.

  247. #247 TandyT
    June 2, 2007

    “Please don’t change the subject, Tandy. We’re talking about nerves, not the foreskin itself.”

    Still playing the word games simply because you cannot handle the concept–?

    If the foreskin WITH the nerves are removed,and cannot or are not be replaced, it (they) are gone–empirical evidence–UNLESS you can prove it (they) Are replaced.

  248. #248 Jake
    June 2, 2007

    “If the foreskin WITH the nerves are removed,and cannot or are not be replaced, it (they) are gone–empirical evidence–UNLESS you can prove it (they) Are replaced.”

    For someone who so often claims to use logic, your arguments contain an awful lot of logical fallacies. Petitio principii on this occasion…

  249. #249 TandyT
    June 3, 2007

    So Jake, if the foreskin is removed along with the nerves therein, and there is no evidence that either can be replaced, what does a circumcised man see when he looks down–perhaps a new foreskin with new nerves?

    So, show me this so-called “logical fallacy”–empty phrases do not logic make!

    Using them may make you FEEL like you are somewhat intellgent, but the mis-application of them shows otherwise.

  250. #250 Jake
    June 3, 2007

    Tandy, petitio principii, or circular argument, is an argument that begins from a premise which is effectively identical to the conclusion. In a debate about the existence of nerve regeneration, to construct an argument from the premise that nerve regeneration does not exist would be fallacious because it effectively argues “nerve regeneration does not exist because nerve regeneration does not exist”.

  251. #251 TandyT
    June 4, 2007

    Yeh, yeh, so Jake how many amputated foreskin nerves have you regenerated–please provide proof for this alleged regeneration.

    How many foreskin nerves has any person regenerated? proof?

  252. #252 Jake
    June 4, 2007

    Tandy, no study has determined the number of nerves present, so asking about the number regenerated is somewhat premature.

  253. #253 TandyT
    June 5, 2007

    “Tandy, no study has determined the number of nerves present, so asking about the number regenerated is somewhat premature.”

    Evasion again? How many foreskin nerves have YOU regenerated? 1, 10, 100, 1000? 10,000? Proof?

    How many foreskin nerves has ANY person regenerated? proof?

    BTW, how many ways are you going to rephrase your request for negative proof even tho you admit it is an impossibility?

    How many times are you going to ignore the request for positive proof that foreskin nerves regenerate?

  254. #254 Jake
    June 6, 2007

    “Evasion again? How many foreskin nerves have YOU regenerated? 1, 10, 100, 1000? 10,000? Proof?”

    Tandy, regenerated nerves do not have a helpful little label attached to them, so the only way to determine their number would be to find the difference between the actual number present and the predicted number if regeneration did not occur:

    regenerated nerves = actual nerves in circumcised penis – (actual nerves in uncircumcised penis – actual nerves in foreskin)

    A prerequisite for knowing the value to the left of the equals sign is knowing the values to the right.

    And since the values to the right are not known, it is premature to ask for that on the right. Funny how you regard the application of simple logic as ‘evasion’.

  255. #255 TandyT
    June 6, 2007

    “Tandy, regenerated nerves do not have a helpful little label attached to them, so the only way to determine their number would be to find the difference between the actual number present and the predicted number if regeneration did not occur:

    regenerated nerves = actual nerves in circumcised penis – (actual nerves in uncircumcised penis – actual nerves in foreskin)

    A prerequisite for knowing the value to the left of the equals sign is knowing the values to the right.”

    And the evasions continue..

    I am not asking for a comparison..just evidence of how many nerves appear in the area in which they are not normally present.
    How many foreskin nerves have YOU regenerated?

    How many has ANYONE regenerated?

  256. #256 Jake
    June 7, 2007

    “I am not asking for a comparison..just evidence of how many nerves appear in the area in which they are not normally present.
    How many foreskin nerves have YOU regenerated?

    How many has ANYONE regenerated?”

    If you work out a way of calculating the difference between unknown quantities, let me know. Alternatively, if you find actual values that can be substituted for the unknowns, let me know.

    Until then your question is unanswerable.

    I do wish you’d apply your brain before posting.

  257. #257 TandyT
    June 7, 2007

    Jake, perhaps YOU need to try using your brain–and start with using logic.

    “If you work out a way of calculating the difference between unknown quantities, let me know. Alternatively, if you find actual values that can be substituted for the unknowns, let me know.”

    THIS is YOUR speculation–not mine. It is imcumbant upon you to provide the method and the proof–not me.

    The bottom line is–the foreskin and it’s nerves are removed with circumcision.

    Any speculation about there being no loss due to nerve regeneration depends on your providing any proof that this regeneration in fact exist..and all of your games fail to provide this proof.

  258. #258 Jake
    June 8, 2007

    “THIS is YOUR speculation–not mine. It is imcumbant upon you to provide the method and the proof–not me.”

    No, being open-minded does not require one to prove anything. Asserting a “fact” does: so since you base your claim on the idea that regeneration does not occur, the onus of proof is yours.

  259. #259 TandyT
    June 8, 2007

    “No, being open-minded does not require one to prove anything. Asserting a “fact” does: so since you base your claim on the idea that regeneration does not occur, the onus of proof is yours.”

    LOL, and being open-minded means to be open to every ridiculous speculation that people can dream up?

    Again, UNTIL and IF you offer proof that foreskin nerves regenerate, I don’t have to be receptive to this absurd speculation and the loss occurs.

    I wondered how long it would take for you to try to pretend that others must find your proof for you–or a method whereby you can find it. Sorry, but providing the proof for YOUR speculation is YOUR job!

  260. #260 Jake
    June 9, 2007

    “LOL, and being open-minded means to be open to every ridiculous speculation that people can dream up?”

    I fail to see what is ridiculous about the suggestion that the foreskin is not an exception to a process that is known to affect human nerves.

    “Again, UNTIL and IF you offer proof that foreskin nerves regenerate, I don’t have to be receptive to this absurd speculation and the loss occurs.”

    Of course the truth is that although you have no evidence to support it, you choose to believe that this loss occurs.

    “I wondered how long it would take for you to try to pretend that others must find your proof for you–or a method whereby you can find it. Sorry, but providing the proof for YOUR speculation is YOUR job!”

    Yet again, I wish you’d pay attention. I pointed out that the onus of proof was upon you as long ago as May 18, 2007 04:31 PM. I have already outlined a possible method for such proof. And your inability to comprehend English displays itself again: the hypothesis is not my own. You were informed of this on May 10, 2007 08:20 AM, in post 395.

  261. #261 TandyT
    June 9, 2007

    “Of course the truth is that although you have no evidence to support it, you choose to believe that this loss occurs.”

    The foreskin and its nerves are removed during circumcion!

    “I have already outlined a possible method for such proof.”

    Then using this so-called method–PROVE IT! TALK is cheap!

    And your inability to comprehend logic and scientific concepts displays itself again.

  262. #262 Jake
    June 10, 2007

    “The foreskin and its nerves are removed during circumcion!”

    And I once emptied my pockets, which is hardly evidence that they are now empty. Must we go over this again?

    “Then using this so-called method–PROVE IT! TALK is cheap!”

    I don’t have any particular interest in proving it. You’re so certain that you’re right: why don’t you use the same method to prove your case? You still don’t understand the relationship between claim and proof, do you?

  263. #263 TandyT
    June 10, 2007

    “I don’t have any particular interest in proving it. You’re so certain that you’re right: why don’t you use the same method to prove your case? You still don’t understand the relationship between claim and proof, do you?”

    Still the empty talk..where is the proof for your claim of foreskin nerve regeneration–it seems YOU still do not understand that relationship…unless YOU prove your speculation, I AM right!

  264. #264 Jake
    June 11, 2007

    “Still the empty talk..where is the proof for your claim of foreskin nerve regeneration–it seems YOU still do not understand that relationship…unless YOU prove your speculation, I AM right!”

    I’m afraid not. If you or I do not provide proof (and I have no intention of doing so) then the matter remains unproven. Contrary to your apparent belief, unproven is not the same thing as disproven.

    Your statement is as ridiculous as claiming that “unless you prove that 1+1=2, then it is three!”

  265. #265 TandyT
    June 11, 2007

    This from a person who acknowledges that negative proof is impossible..and around and around goes your denial of logic.

    “Contrary to your apparent belief, unproven is not the same thing as disproven.”

    Me:
    claim–the foreskin nerves are lost from circumcision
    evidence– empirical nerves within a foreskin are removed when the foreskin is removed.

    Jake:
    claim– the nerves are not lost because they regenerate
    evidence–NONE, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, ZERO

    TALK, TALK, and more TALK is cheap!

  266. #266 Jake
    June 12, 2007

    “This from a person who acknowledges that negative proof is impossible..”

    As I’ve said, I’d be perfectly happy with an admission from you that you can’t prove your case. Alternatively, you could use nerve count data in the manner I described to support your case.

    “Jake:
    claim– the nerves are not lost because they regenerate
    evidence–NONE, ZIP, ZILCH, NADA, ZERO”

    Funny how you apparently feel the need to misrepresent my arguments. Unfortunately for you, this page contains a record of every word, so your deception is easy to expose. Now here is the actual argument, quoted verbatim from post 369:

    “While the author describes nerves present in the foreskin, to demonstrate loss would involve disproving nerve regeneration.

    Contrary to your claim, I do not assert that the regeneration does occur. I merely observe that your case is unproven, and state what would be needed to demonstrate that it is true.

  267. #267 TandyT
    June 12, 2007

    “While the author describes nerves present in the foreskin, to demonstrate loss would involve disproving nerve regeneration.”

    Back to talking in circles, I see..didn’t we both acknowledge that negative proof cannot exist–so how can this this alleged foreskin nerve regenerataion be disprrven..back to denial of both logic and scientific concepts..

    Since what you request is impossible, the only possible way out for you is to provide proof that they do–and this have miserably failed to do.
    So, again, when can we expect you to demonstate that they do regenerate?

  268. #268 Jake
    June 14, 2007

    “Back to talking in circles, I see..didn’t we both acknowledge that negative proof cannot exist–so how can this this alleged foreskin nerve regenerataion be disprrven..back to denial of both logic and scientific concepts..”

    As I have previously remarked, the difficulty in proving your case is not my problem. In debate, one should be willing to prove any claim one makes. The implication of this is that one should not make a claim that one cannot prove. If you are foolish enough to claim as a fact something that is impossible to prove, then at the least you should be able to admit this. (I have indicated on many occasions that such an admission would be perfectly acceptable.)

    However, in point of fact, I outlined a method in post 488 that would suffice for the purpose of demonstrating your case.

  269. #269 TandyT
    June 14, 2007

    “If you are foolish enough to claim as a fact something that is impossible to prove, then at the least you should be able to admit this. (I have indicated on many occasions that such an admission would be perfectly acceptable.)”

    LOL, and THIS is is an example of how your faulty mental process works.. with this nonsense then no one anywhere anytime can ever make any claim–as some moron can simply come along with a wild-butt speculation and merely demand someone provide some negative proof which is not possible?

    Since you keep resorting to “absolute proof” and “negative proof” it seems you are unable to comprehend and/or retain the concept that neither are possible and all we have is “scientific proof”.

    So, one cannot ever disprove your speculation, however, since prositive proof is posssible, you can disprove my claim by proving foreskin nerves regenerate.

    BTW, your “method” is as faulty as your logic–I am still waiting for proof that someone, somewhere has ever regenerated ANY foreskin nerves.

  270. #270 Jake
    June 15, 2007

    “LOL, and THIS is is an example of how your faulty mental process works.. with this nonsense then no one anywhere anytime can ever make any claim–as some moron can simply come along with a wild-butt speculation and merely demand someone provide some negative proof which is not possible?”

    You have yet to explain what is so “wild” about the suggestion that a process that is known to occur in the body in general may affect the penis.

    “Since you keep resorting to “absolute proof” and “negative proof” it seems you are unable to comprehend and/or retain the concept that neither are possible and all we have is “scientific proof”.”

    Scientific proof such as the method outlined in post 488…

  271. #271 TandyT
    June 15, 2007

    “You have yet to explain what is so “wild” about the suggestion that a process that is known to occur in the body in general may affect the penis.”

    I don’t need to explain anything–foreskin nerve regeration is YOUR speculation–and something you have yet to provide any proof for–again, it is not MY job to support YOUR speculation.

    “Since you keep resorting to “absolute proof” and “negative proof” it seems you are unable to comprehend and/or retain the concept that neither are possible and all we have is “scientific proof”.”

    Scientific proof such as the method outlined in post 488…”

    So, when can we expect you to use this so-called method and show that this speculation of yours occurs.

    For the umpteenth time–talk is cheap and you do nothing but talk! Please provide the proof for your speculation.

    I am still waiting for proof that someone, somewhere has ever regenerated ANY foreskin nerves

  272. #272 Jake
    June 16, 2007

    “I don’t need to explain anything–foreskin nerve regeration is YOUR speculation–”

    Xin’s, actually, as I explained in 395. I do wish you’d pay attention.

    “and something you have yet to provide any proof for–again, it is not MY job to support YOUR speculation.”

    Again, please pay attention. I am not asking you to support “my” speculation. I am asking you to explain your description of it as “wild”.

    “So, when can we expect you to use this so-called method and show that this speculation of yours occurs.”

    What on earth gives you the impression that I have the slightest intention of doing so? Since I have not claimed that it definitely occurs, there is no obligation on my part to prove such a claim. On the other hand, since you have asserted (by implication) that it does not, you have such an obligation.

    One that you seem determined to avoid.

  273. #273 TandyT
    June 16, 2007

    “What on earth gives you the impression that I have the slightest intention of doing so? Since I have not claimed that it definitely occurs, there is no obligation on my part to prove such a claim.”

    LOL, the typical circumfetishist’s and/or circumcision apologist’s response–you sure talk the talk, but sure don’t walk the walk…it all boils down to IF you cannot support your assertion, then one need not even consider this speculation.

    “On the other hand, since you have asserted (by implication) that it does not, you have such an obligation.”

    Still trying thr old “shifting the burden of proof” game? Sorry–it is YOUR speculation..and without any proof of it’s existence, my only obligation is to dismiss it as mere idle speculation by me.

    Still unable to comprehend that only scientific proof can exist? Simple concept–absolute and negative proof are impossible–you might try a bit harder to comprehend and/or retain this simple concept.

    “One that you seem determined to avoid.”

    The only avoidance here is YOUR avoidance of the requirement for YOU to support YOUR speculation.

  274. #274 Jake
    June 17, 2007

    “it all boils down to IF you cannot support your assertion, then one need not even consider this speculation.”

    Ok. I’m speculating that gravity in my home works the same way as elsewhere. Are you seriously telling me that you “need not even consider this speculation”?

    “Sorry–it is YOUR speculation”

    I see no point in continuing to discuss the issue with you when you persist in making such incorrect statements in spite of being corrected. Let me know when you’re willing to pay attention and correctly attribute the origin of the suggestion.

  275. #275 TandyT
    June 17, 2007

    ohh, more empty words.. I am sooo not impressed.

    When you are able to support your speculation with proof, I will gladly discuss that “proof” with you.
    Until then reality rules, and will not be affected in the least by your words,speculations, or even the latest word-suggestion.

  276. #276 brightmoon
    June 17, 2007

    why on earth is this father forcing this on the son ….the courts should be taking that kid away from that parent for emotional abuse if not for the physical trauma

    why is the court system involved in this anyway

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