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 R. Ryan
    April 27, 2007

    A quibble perhaps, but there are proven medical benefits to circumcision, including a lower risk of STD transmission and of penile cancer. Some epidemiologists would argue that the HIV epidemic has been significantly reduced in the U.S. by the high prevalence of circumcision in the male population. This should be the basis of the father’s legal case – not his religion. Besides, isn’t Judaism matrilinial?

  3. #3 eris
    April 27, 2007

    15?!? Excellent! My 11-year-old daughter will learn to love her elephantoplasty!

  4. #4 Crudely Wrott
    April 27, 2007

    PZ, the gods are so obsessed with wee-wees because they don’t have any. Poor things.

  5. #5 beth
    April 27, 2007

    Can I repost the link to make donations now that this case is confirmed in the news?
    http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/appeal.html

  6. #6 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.

  7. #7 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.

  8. #8 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.”)

  9. #9 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!

  10. #10 David in NY
    April 27, 2007

    Anne, I think you’re out-of-date about the medical benefits of circumsion. There are reported to be recent studies that show it to be significant in hindering the transmission of AIDS — so much so that health organizations are starting programs to promote its use in Africa. I don’t have the details, so this could all be BS, but the news reports I read suggested the research was solid.

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

  11. #11 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.

  12. #12 Ric
    April 27, 2007

    Thank “god” I’m not circumcised.

  13. #13 Warren
    April 27, 2007

    This is definitely grounds for running away from home.

  14. #14 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.

  15. #15 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.

  16. #16 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, Cte 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: 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

  17. #17 Soren
    April 27, 2007

    David, I should think disgust is quite appropriate. If the father wants to protect his son from STD’s then he should buy him a pack of condoms, not mutilate his penis.

    Genital mutilation is disgusting, sorry if you do not like to hear the truth.

  18. #18 Monado
    April 27, 2007

    I think that there should be a very good argument that the ABILITY to give legal consent for necessary surgery when a child is unconscious is not quite the same as the POWER to force a minor to have unwanted surgery that is not medically necessary when said minor is approaching the age of being able to withhold or supply his own consent.

  19. #19 B. Dewhirst
    April 27, 2007

    Supposing this goes through, what is there to prevent a man from insisting his 14 year old daughter undergo genital mutilation?

  20. #20 Mandolin
    April 27, 2007

    So, what you’re saying (with the AIDS study) is that the kid should be trained rigorously in condom use?

    I mean, welding a chastity belt onto him would probably reduce his ability to transmit AIDS, too. That doesn’t make it reasonable.

    “Supposing this goes through, what is there to prevent a man from insisting his 14 year old daughter undergo genital mutilation?”

    General belief that the two procedures are not analagous, both for realistic (cutting off a finger is not cutting off the hand*) and racist reasons.

    *(I stand opposed to both.)

  21. #21 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    In the last few months, articles and editorials have appeared in The Lancet advocating circumcision as a prevention measure for AIDS in Africa. I posted a comment in thweir website, arguing that it was a position of occidental paternalism, and asking why this wasn’t promoted for application in 1st World Countries (hint: most people would say the promoters were crazy and tell them to go f*** themselves). My comment was suppressed.

    Those that advocate circumcision “because it’s useful” might as well advocate castration to prevent sexual offenses. Both imply mutilation and both would surely work. The question is Is this the ethical thing to do?

    The similarities to favoring sexual mutilation in African women, so “they are not prone to sinning” are there for everyone to see.

  22. #22 ruidh
    April 27, 2007

    I’m surprised because, according to Jewish law, the age of majority is 13 and he should be able to make his own decision about the question.

  23. #23 Hank Fox
    April 27, 2007

    I’ll repeat something I said in the last thread where we covered this subject, and then add something for emphasis.

    I always think of it like this:

    Imagine performing unnecessary elective cosmetic surgery on a child to make her ears pointed, so later in life she’ll be popular and cute.

    Do it when she’s a baby, so she “won’t remember the pain later.” (And hey, after all, babies are like dogs; they don’t really feel PAIN like we do.)

    Do it blithely, without a thought, without even considering her own later will, because you own her. She’s YOUR child, you can make these decisions FOR her.

    And tell yourself that SURGERY is nothing at all. No chance of infection, no chance of complications. And besides, studies show pointed ears are really cleaner and less prone to problems.

    Plus, everybody else is doing it. Why should my little girl be singled out and different?

    Besides, they just look better. When she’s grown up, it’ll all be behind her and she’ll be glad we had it done.

    Performing ELECTIVE surgery on babies or children unable to protest, no matter what the supposed benefits, is seriously nasty. It’s treating children like possessions, or dogs.

    My theory about children is that they are adults in the formative stage. Parents DO NOT OWN THEM. They own themselves, as we all do. The job of parenting is to protect and nurture these adults-in-waiting, making decisions for their sake only until they can take over those decisions for themselves, and doing nothing that would limit their physical or mental freedom later.

    This is all “to the best of the parent’s ability,” of course, but the goal of parenting should be to maximize the life possibilities for their children.

    Something to keep in mind at any of these decision gateways is, “Is this irreversible? Does it eliminate the possibility of this adult-in-waiting later changing his/her mind?”

    To me, elective surgery is completely off the table. You might as well condone tattooing them, so they’ll fit in, or damaging their minds by keeping them permanently in the dark (either really or metaphorically) for some supposed safety benefit.

  24. #24 Great White Wonder
    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 kidding.

    I was a scrawny 15 year old but I guarantee you that nobody could have forced me to let someone hack at my tinkle.

    They’d have to taze me first.

  25. #25 Chris
    April 27, 2007

    Circumcision is just so perverted…cutting off the most deliciously sensitive parts of the genitals for cosmetic reasons? That is just wacked. How can the US continue such a barbaric practice?

    Shouldn’t everyone have a right to all of their genitals and full genital functioning?

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

  26. #26 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    Speaking as someone circumsized, I have no problem with the practice. Just do it when the baby is a few days old and who cares. It not like anyone remembers being circumsized as an infant, and its a social norm which helps in sexual selection.

    Why do people care about this? I agree you shouldn’t force a 15 year old to do it, but a week old baby? Sure, snip away.

  27. #27 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.

  28. #28 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.

  29. #29 Soren
    April 27, 2007

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

    Then don’t cut them. If they don’t mind that should be the default thing to do!

    If they want to get cut for religious or health reasons, then they can get cut when they are 18. That way everybody wins, and no one get mutilated, unless they want to.

  30. #30 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?

  31. #31 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees: Yeah, and you might as well perform elective surgery, such as sexual mutilation or piercing, and other cosmetic procedures, such as tattoing, definitive depilation, etc, on newborns… They wont remember a thing!

    How can you miss something that you have never experienced? Those of us that are intact would be crazy if we wanted to get our prepuces removed. A large part of the pleasure comes through the prepuce… but you’ll never find out.

  32. #32 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

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

    Why not? It’s a cultural, sexual-selection type thing. It’s MUCH MUCH more painful and traumatic to have it done when you’re 18 than when you’re 48 hours.

    This is a very strange notion of ‘mutilation’. How would you react to a culture where every man had a little scar on their check – it’s a cultural tradition, and on the 2nd day of life you give the child a cut on the cheek. It would heal in about 2 days and he’d be scarred. You see a serious problem with this?

    I guess I just don’t think it’s remotely important. This isn’t gross injustice or anything, it’s barely even an issue.

    “Then don’t cut them. If they don’t mind that should be the default thing to do!”

    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’.

  33. #33 Richard Harris, FCD
    April 27, 2007

    Oy vey!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. #34 Shiftlessbum
    April 27, 2007

    FSM-Damn, but there’s a lot of emotional woo going on here. Why in the world are you who are against male circumscision so wacko? It’s certainly a travesty that a 15 year old might be forced (and I mourn the death of that father-son relationship), 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. There may even be a medical benefit for cut men in some situation. Next you noodges will be complaining about funny haircuts or tats or sumpin.

    PZ makes a good point about the silliness of Gods and their obsession with male dangly bits. But the arguments of the anti-circum crowd are really, really bad. And not a little shrill.

  35. #35 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    I’m a man. My parents made the choice to circumcise me as an infant. I really wish they hadn’t. Its not like I could protest as I couldn’t hardly hold my head up.

    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.

    My son is intact. If he wants to cut himself when he’s an adult, its his mistake to make. Forcing cosmetic surgery on minors is unethical.

  36. #36 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Yeah, and you might as well perform elective surgery, such as sexual mutilation or piercing, and other cosmetic procedures, such as tattoing, definitive depilation, etc, on newborns… They wont remember a thing!”

    I don’t have any real problem with performing a cultural form of tattooing on infants. Don’t know why I should. It depends on the culture you are in. If you issue at hand is “suffering” – which it is for me – as long as you aren’t causing your child to really suffer, I couldn’t care less. If you live in a culture where everyone is dipilated, then go for it. As long as its not traumatic, who cares.

  37. #37 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.

  38. #38 mollishka
    April 27, 2007

    What #4 said.

  39. #39 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

  40. #40 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?

  41. #41 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Biologically benign? Some current reading on the subject.”

    You find that conclusion in that study to be remotely compelling? All I can say is “eh, ok.” 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.

  42. #42 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.

  43. #43 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    “Eh, ok.” Do you have a cultural and or religious bias that causes you to reject published studies that contradict your views on the subject?

  44. #44 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.

  45. #45 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.

  46. #46 Cogito
    April 27, 2007

    Ugh. Wearing your seatbelt when you deliberately drive into a tree will offer you significant protection from grave injury. So the frak what? How about discouraging people from driving into trees instead?

    Additionally, cutting off infants’ earlobes would reduce the rate of earlobe cancer! Cutting off their little toes would reduce the rate of toe cancer! And so on.

    I also wonder if circumcision might wind up increasing the rate of HIV in women, since you’re removing a mucous membrane, and thus increasing friction and therefore microtears in the vagina. Not to mention it lending a false sense of security, leading people to abandon condoms.

  47. #47 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “”Eh, ok.” Do you have a cultural and or religious bias that causes you to reject published studies that contradict your views on the subject?”

    I’m an atheist, and I’m American. I don’t know if that’s a cultural bias. 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.

    And I don’t reject the studies finding. I just don’t think they are very important.

    “What cultural benefits? ”

    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.

  48. #48 Tulse
    April 27, 2007

    There was a very long discussion of the possible health benefits of circumcision in very limited contexts in the comments of the previous article:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/04/hey_im_like_a_biblical_patriar.php

    To summarize (at least as I see it): After a very large number of positive peer-reviewed studies, many published in top-tier journals (e.g., The Lancet, British Medical Journal), many large international health organizations, including WHO, UNAIDS, NIH, and CDC all endorsed male circumcision as one effective strategy to reduce the risk of HIV infection specifically in locales where AIDS is rampant.

    This strategy has not been studied or recommended as a general approach to stopping AIDS transmission in all contexts, and to my knowledge neither the NIH nor CDC advise the practice as a prophylactic in the US, and certainly not for infants or children, as there is currently few studies that look at the issue in that country. So, to be clear, no one reputable is advocated circumcision as a general STD preventative.

    I’m an Uppity Atheist, and I think that doing this procedure solely for religious reasons on a minor should not be allowed. (I’m also against tail- and ear-docking in dogs.) That said, it also seems to me that it is really difficult to have a rational, non-emotional discussion around this issue, and not just on the religious side — many people opposed to circumcision seem very emotionally invested in the topic.

    As a circumcised male (it was routinely done even on Catholic infants where I come from), I don’t quite understand this. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but I don’t feel that my sex life has been at all unfulfilling because I don’t have a foreskin, nor do I feel that I have been maimed by my parents. If I had an infant son, I wouldn’t have him circumcised, but I don’t think the procedure has caused me irreparable damage.

    There’s a sense of victimization in much of the anti-circumcision discussion that I find a bit weird. This may be a hugely unfair characterization (and I’m sure someone will correct me if it is), but it seems like mainly white middle-class men trying to co-opt the language of victimhood and abuse. That seems a little creepy to me, but your mileage may vary.

  49. #49 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    A speech impediment is a barrier to communication, a problem that could impact the child’s life in a negative fashion. If the defect is severe enough to cause a problem, then it should be done.

    A minor problem could be left up to the child when he is older.

    A foreskin is not a barrier to anything and causes no problems. Its a natural part of the body.

    You’re comparing apples and oranges – a defect vs. a natural, normal body part.

  50. #50 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.

  51. #51 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “A foreskin is not a barrier to anything and causes no problems. Its a natural part of the body.”

    That’s your opinion. You can ignore sexual selection if you want, but there is also a cultural ethos which promotes the practice. My parents circumsizing me tied into a tradition which goes back forever and they feel is very important to them. You may think this isn’t very important, but similarly I don’t think the ‘evil’ of circumcision is very important.

    That’s my main issue with this stuff. Circumcision does SO LITTLE harm that for anyone to be upset with it is pretty weird.

    Please address the analogy I brought up earlier of cheek scarring. Is that also wrong?

    “You’re comparing apples and oranges – a defect vs. a natural, normal body part.”

    A speech impediment isn’t necessarily a defect. It’s a part of a human development which is at odds with a cultural norm, namely language. I had a lisp as a kid – this wasn’t a defect, but since I grew up with English, the way I spoke clashed with the way the language was supposed to sound. I was sent to a doctor for therapy, thanklfully. A little harm, a little gain. Nothing worth being upset about.

  52. #52 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.

  53. #53 Mandolin
    April 27, 2007

    Male and female circumcision are unalike in many contexts. However, they do both reduce sexual sensitivity (obviously, to vastly different extents), and the narratives surrounding them can be very similar.

    For instance “it’s not much pain”, “I’m not missing anything” and “[the opposite sex] prefers the look” are all defenses of female, as well as male, circumcision.

    And, yes, your assumption that women prefer the circumcised look is anecdotal. The women I know, myself included, are neutral on the issue – except insomuch as we’ve seen fewer uncircumcised men, so they’re a bit more interesting.

  54. #54 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “This may be a hugely unfair characterization (and I’m sure someone will correct me if it is), but it seems like mainly white middle-class men trying to co-opt the language of victimhood and abuse.”

    I also think women are much more upset about it sometimes, but I really don’t know. The outrage over circumcision just seems really out of proportion.

    If you can be pro-choice about abortion, why is circumcision any different? Let the parents decide, whatever their reasons.

  55. #55 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Male and female circumcision are unalike in many contexts.”

    Anyone who tries to seriously compare them is being intellectually dishonest, so I hope we don’t go there.

  56. #56 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.

  57. #57 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    Ties you to a tradition that goes back forever? Circumcision in America didn’t really get going until after WWII, so chances are, your great grandfather wasn’t circumcised. Unless, of course, you have other cultural connections that aren’t traditional white bread America.

    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.

    Sexual selection? If I were fortunate enough to be intact and some shallow woman made a negative comment, I’d be the one leaving or kicking her out. I don’t need the attention of a shallow, pathetic woman. Sexual selection is only a factor because intact American men are taught that foreskins are bad. With the circumcision rate inching towards 50/50, that will change.

  58. #58 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?

  59. #59 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?

  60. #60 Sammyjr
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees,

    Abortion: Involves a woman’s body. Her body, her choice.

    Infant Circumcision: Involves a infant boy’s body. His body, his choice. His body does not belong to his parents.

    There’s that crazy autonomy thing again.

  61. #61 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.

  62. #62 Mandolin
    April 27, 2007

    “Anyone who tries to seriously compare them is being intellectually dishonest, so I hope we don’t go there.”

    Any reaction to what I actually said, as opposed to an attempt to poison the well and ignore it?

  63. #63 Great White Wonder
    April 27, 2007

    I learned to wipe myself at three months because I couldn’t stand my parents touching me DOWN THERE every day.

    At four months, I figured out how to undo my mother’s buttons and her bra strap. Now THAT was a GREAT day!!!!!

  64. #64 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?

  65. #65 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

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

    Define “suffering”.

  66. #66 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Abortion: Involves a woman’s body. Her body, her choice.”

    I’m pro-choice, but this is always a silly argument. There are two ‘beings’ involved in an abortion, even if you don’t want to magically call it a human. I don’t think having a fetus cross the vagina is a magical gateway into the land of autonomous rights. If a baby is cicumsized in the womb, is it ok, then? We could probably circumsize kids the week before delivery if we wanted to.

    “. At age 22, to please my parents, I elected to have my foreskin surgically removed.”

    Jesus christ, why? Ouch.

  67. #67 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    Ah, so DamnYankees is American Jewish and circumcised – no wonder you can’t see anything wrong with it. Nothing wrong with your tackle eh? Well I’ve got bad news for you.

    As a woman, if it comes to sexual selection, then I have to say that the whole penis is infinitely preferable to the sliced up one, and most women (89%) who’ve been with both agree. 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.

    It’s not only yourself, it’s the partners that suffer from a toughened, mutilated penis.

    BUT apart from that, the only person who should be making any choice about penis style, is the penis owner, no-one else.

  68. #68 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.

  69. #69 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    ‘Define “suffering”.’

    The experience of unpleasantness. Obviously has a huge range of type and depth.

  70. #70 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.

  71. #71 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?

  72. #72 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    ‘It’s not only yourself, it’s the partners that suffer from a toughened, mutilated penis.”

    Oh, it’s a real shame. I can already hear the women weeping in the streets.

    This is my biggest annoyance – the absurdly disproportionate outrage. This is such an incredibly benign thing, I can’t believe people care. If my wife doesn’t want to do it, we won’t. But to actually get up in arms over circumsicion? Really? Oy.

  73. #73 Tyler DiPietro
    April 27, 2007

    “The experience of unpleasantness. Obviously has a huge range of type and depth.”

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

  74. #74 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.

  75. #75 Crosius
    April 27, 2007

    All this back and forth about the medical and sexual pros and cons of circumcision is irrelevant to this case because those are not the reasons this father wants to circumcise his son.

    The only reason this person wants to force the procedure on his child is the religious one.

    Though the case lawyers will include health statistics in their arguments, it is unlikely that the father was considering the procedure for his child on those grounds before his conversion.

    As such, those quoted reasons are a smoke screen, to lend secular credibility to the father’s only reason for wanting the procedure- a religious justification which boils down to, “My new imaginary friend says I’m supposed to do this.”

    It’s religious coercion, and the court should have no part in forcing the father’s new religious traditions on the child.

  76. #76 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.

  77. #77 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    To clean a child you should never retract his foreskin, you wipe it like a finger on the outside and leave it alone. Doing anything else can cause infections and scarring and problems. I’m not surprised he felt like a child molester, as that’s what he was doing, even with the best of intentions.

    Why does everyone over there have to keep messing with their children’s genitals, what’s wrong with you all? Why can’t you just leave them alone?

    AAP Guidelines on Intact Care

  78. #78 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.

  79. #79 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.

  80. #80 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

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

  81. #81 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.

  82. #82 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    Humbert Dinglepencker,

    If I were to attempt to clean my son in the fashion you described, I would feel like a molester, too.

    Fortunately, as Anne mentioned, its very simple to manage an intact child. Much easier than a circumcised child, since you’re not dealing with wound care.

  83. #83 Baratos
    April 27, 2007

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

    So you would have no problem with someone, say, tatooing or scarring a giant swastika onto their child’s forehead? Because its not like the baby would feel it or anything, and besides, they would only be able to see it if they have a mirror!

  84. #84 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.)

  85. #85 Tulse
    April 27, 2007

    Anne writes:

    Ah, so DamnYankees is American Jewish and circumcised – no wonder you can’t see anything wrong with it.

    Eegh. You may not intend this, Anne, but these kind of comments seem pretty distasteful to me — I take it that DamnYankee also can’t be objective about eating pork or usury?

    Cogito writes:

    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.

    Funny, it never stopped me when I hit puberty…

  86. #86 Ricardo Diaz
    April 27, 2007

    R Ryan: “Some epidemiologists would argue that the HIV epidemic has been significantly reduced in the U.S. by the high prevalence of circumcision in the male population.”

    Then why, pray tell, does the US have HIV/AIDS rates five or six times as high as those in non-circumcising cultures such as Finland, Sweden, and Japan? And two or three times as high as non-circumcising cultures such as the remainder of Europe? It’s not the circumcision that is making the difference. It is something else. Or do circumcision scars make US men more likely to contract HIV? 500% more likely? Or maybe just 200% more likely? Has anyone DISPROVEN this proposition?

    Circumcision has NO proven medical value. There is much conjecture and positing that there may be medical value, based on carefully cooked statistics, such as those from Africa recently: One group of men is given a painful, agonizing, adult circumcision. A similar group is not circumcised, told to go forth and have fun (but maybe use condoms if you think about it), and report back for testing and get a free circumcision after the study is over if you want one then. The first group must abstain from sexual activity for six weeks and report for periodic follow-up visits with health care providers who examine their wounds. Every visit emphasizes YOU MUST USE CONDOMS once you return to sexual activity because you can still contract HIV. Maybe they say it as the rip the gauze off the scab area? It all amounts to behavior modification therapy, or sexual aversion therapy. If they didn’t later have less sex, it is certain they had safer sex. The six weeks of abstinence alone was enough to tilt the outcome of such a study. This is science? This is PROOF of medical value? It seems more like the “graphite method” our professor warned against for Chemistry 101 lab work.

    Faced with a choice, I’d take my chances with the 200% to 500% better odds from real life, as opposed to the 50%, 60%, or even 70% odds some circumcised US “scientists” came up with for African men in their “controlled” studies. Controlled indeed. Controlled for desired outcome.

    And the judges should enable Mischa to take the safer choice. Or whatever choice he wants, but not his father’s “religious” choice. What if the father next becomes an Appalchian Snake Handling Fundamentalist Christian? Must Mischa dangle at least one copperhead or diamondback in his face, to confirm his conversion? And after that the father will obey the laws that say no one under 18 can be permitted to do it?

  87. #87 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.

  88. #88 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.

  89. #89 B. Dewhirst
    April 27, 2007

    On the subject of “I had my dick cut and I don’t care” versus “I really wish my dick hadn’t been cut, and I’m not going to have bits of skin cut off without reason.”

    Okay. Two points:

    1) If it weren’t for religion and a desire for ‘normativity,’ who would be cutting off their foreskins in the 21st century?

    2) If we’re believers in evolution, and presumably most of us here are, why is there little to no evidence of selective pressure to reduce the size of the foreskin if it is harmful, unnecessary, or unneeded in some fashion?

  90. #90 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.

  91. #91 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!

  92. #92 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.

  93. #93 Tulse
    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.

    SammyJr:

    No one here claimed that it actually worked! […] This quackery is the source of circimcision in America.

    Well, I certainly noticed that it was ineffective! And I am not at all claiming that the motivations in the US weren’t based on quackery.

    That said, there are currently a few studies in done in the US that suggest a protective effect of circumcision in this context — these are mentioned in a summary of the issue by the Centers for Disease Control:
    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/circumcision.htm
    I don’t know that this is enough evidence, however, for adult males to get circumcised, and I sure don’t think it is enough to advocate circumcision in infants or children.

    Ricardo Diaz :

    Circumcision has NO proven medical value. There is much conjecture and positing that there may be medical value, based on carefully cooked statistics, such as those from Africa recently […]

    So the international consensus, as supported by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the National Institute of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control, is all just a conspiracy?
    A cabal that presumably respected health researchers are in on, as well as premiere medical journals such as The Lancet and the BMJ? And this would include the reviewers of those articles?

    As for the specific claims, the Orange Farm trial took place over 21 months, and issue of abstinence and sexual activity were addressed:

    The five reported sexual behaviour covariates considered were, for each period of follow-up, being at-risk behaviour (defined as having at least one sexual contact unprotected by condom), having a spousal partner, the number of non-spousal sexual partners, the number of sexual contacts, having at least one relationship with only one sexual contact.

    To analyze the impact of the 6-wk period of abstinence, the analysis was repeated with the duration of the period M1-M3 reduced by 42 d in the intervention group. Forty-two days was the median (IQR = 28-56) interval between MC and first sexual contact reported by sexually experienced participants of the intervention group.

    Honestly, these folks aren’t idiots.

  94. #94 Sophist
    April 27, 2007

    Sex is a fundamental drive, of course cut men still do it. People with amputated tongues still eat, would you argue that is evidence that they haven’t lost anything.

    Sheesh.

  95. #95 Karl Rove II
    April 27, 2007

    “Supposing this goes through, what is there to prevent a man from insisting his 14 year old daughter undergo genital mutilation?”

    Even better, how about a father demanding his 14yr old daughter undergo breast enlargment surgery.

  96. #96 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)

  97. #97 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.

  98. #98 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    Circumcision, Fidelity More Effective HIV Prevention Methods Than Condoms, Abstinence, Researchers Say

    Article Date: 27 Apr 2006 – 1:00am (PDT)

    Promoting male circumcision and fidelity to one partner seems to be more effective at curbing the spread of HIV than promoting abstinence and condom use, USAID researcher and technical adviser Daniel Halperin said last week, the Chicago Tribune reports.

    Yeah, they’d say anything, yes they are idiots, and dangerous idiots at that. No-one but an obsessive would say anything as stupid as circumcision is more effective than a condom.

    The WHO, UNAIDS, USAIDS, PEPFAR et al are all funded by the USA, whose favourite mutilation is?……

  99. #99 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    URL for above quote:

    Medical News Today Article

  100. #100 SammyJr
    April 27, 2007

    Tulse,

    They’re not idiots, but I believe they have an agenda.

    If these studies were truly accurate and representative of reality, surely we’d see the effects in the real world.

    Here is the CIA World Factbook page on HIV infection.

    https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rankorder/2155rank.html

    If circumcision were as great as they claim, the United States should have extremely low per capita HIV rates. Most adult men are circumcised and were cut in clean hospital settings.

    See for yourself. We have a higher per capita HIV rate than almost every country in Europe and higher than Mexico, Canada, and Japan. These countries have very low or nonexistant circumcision rates and all of them have lower per capita HIV rates than the United States.

    When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We all want a cure for HIV, but circumcision is just more false hope.

  101. #101 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.

  102. #102 DouglasG
    April 27, 2007

    This may be unfitting for this situation, but circumcision and mohels, remind me of an Al Franken joke.

    Did you hear about the mohel who became a bartender?

    He only took tips!

    Sorry. Vote for Al Franken!

  103. #103 gotaku
    April 27, 2007

    Conform,
    Conform,
    Conform.

    You are not a member of the community unless you act and believe such as we do, conform.

  104. #104 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.

  105. #105 elvisizer
    April 27, 2007

    jeez, anne, you’re creepy.

  106. #106 SunkenShip
    April 27, 2007

    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.

    Tulse, but circ has not been proven to be a more effective intervention than condoms.

    And as I said before, even before these studies were released, Africa was already the most circumcised continent and also coincidentally the one the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS.

  107. #107 windy
    April 27, 2007

    And I think his comments are bit misleading. Sure, it would be far better to have a 95% effective vaccine than to do circumcision.

    He didn’t come up with the comparison to a vaccine, the original authors did. So it seems very prudent to point out the difference.

  108. #108 Tulse
    April 27, 2007

    SammyJr :

    We have a higher per capita HIV rate than almost every country in Europe and higher than Mexico, Canada, and Japan. These countries have very low or nonexistant circumcision rates and all of them have lower per capita HIV rates than the United States.

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

    Again, experimental manipulations, especially randomized control trials, generally produce data that is far easier to interpret than observational studies, especially something as simple as rates across countries. The studies’ results seem pretty clear to me — I don’t know of any formal analysis of the comparisons you make that account for demographic and behaviour differences across the nations.

    Anne:

    No-one but an obsessive would say anything as stupid as circumcision is more effective than a condom.

    Even if the scientific evidence, quoted in the article, suggested otherwise in real world practice?

    The WHO, UNAIDS, USAIDS, PEPFAR et al are all funded by the USA, whose favourite mutilation is?……

    This is just looney — the US government is far more obsessed with abstinence, yet the researcher suggested that is not an effective tool. It doesn’t look like he got the appropriate memo…

  109. #109 JohnnieCanuck
    April 27, 2007

    As others have alluded to, male circumsion began to become popular in the latter part of the Victorian Era. The first motivation was to prevent masturbation because of the many mental and physical diseases then believed to be caused by it.

    Prior to this it was shunned by Christians because of religious intolerance towards Semites.

    The increasing competence of doctors meant more births in hospitals, with better surgical outcomes. This included the introduction of local anesthetics and clamping techniques.

    Also contributing was the social status of expensive hospital births compared to midwives. That, and doctors got paid extra for the procedure.

    Major medical associations no longer recommend the procedure and fewer and fewer health plans pay for it, unless for therapeutic reasons.

  110. #110 Tulse
    April 27, 2007

    SunkenShip:

    Tulse, but circ has not been proven to be a more effective intervention than condoms.

    True, but if you’ll look at Anne’s link, it appears that in certain countries condom use has not proven effective. And I’d argue that an intervention involving a single action is likely to be far more reliable than an intervention that requires use of a device every time one wants to have sex. That’s an assertion, not backed up with much data, but it sure seems plausible. (One could argue the same would be true for any vaccine that is not 100% effective — it might still be more effective than condom use.)

    And as I said before, even before these studies were released, Africa was already the most circumcised continent and also coincidentally the one the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS.

    And again, there aren’t potentially explanations for that (such as the preference for “dry sex”)?

  111. #111 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    Tulse. I think you’re missing the point on the most important issue. Do ends justify means? As I said before, castration is likely to reduce re-incidence in sexual offenders, and preventive castration of people in risk of becoming sex offenders (don’t ask me how to decide that. This situation is just a mind experiment) might reduce the number of sexual offenses. Is it ethical to mutilate people for preventive reasons, which aren’t all that effective?

    You don’t see the WHO promoting circumcision as a preventive measure in Europe and Japan, they reserve it for Africans, who are deemed so irresponsible that they must be treated as stray dogs, who need to be neutered. Besides, the Japanese and Europeans wouldn’t tolerate being treated that way and the bad consequences for the WHO would be considerable.

  112. #112 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.

  113. #113 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.

  114. #114 O-dot-O
    April 27, 2007

    Wow, 113 posts and nobody has attempted to answer PZ’s original question.

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

    It’s because 1) most Homo sapiens (in fact most fauna) are obsessed with wee-wees (and woo-woos), and 2) Homo sapiens created the gods in their own image.

    End of discussion.

  115. #115 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.

  116. #116 kmarissa
    April 27, 2007

    I thought it was rhetorical.

  117. #117 Martin R
    April 27, 2007

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

  118. #118 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.

  119. #119 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).

  120. #120 ME
    April 27, 2007

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

    That’s because you’ve never known the joys of being intact, and you never will. I’m glad it doesn’t bother you, but you really don’t have any clue as to what you’re missing.

  121. #121 O-dot-O
    April 27, 2007

    Phymotic?

  122. #122 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.

  123. #123 O-dot-O
    April 27, 2007

    Ah, phimotic.

  124. #124 SLC
    April 27, 2007

    It should be noted that Joshua of Nazareth was circumcised on the 8th day after his birth (now designated New Years Day). There doesn’t seem to be anything in the Christian bible about his complaining about the operation or threatening to sue his parents, probably he had a life and had more important issues to worry about. This whole issue seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot. It would seem that, in a list of important issues, this one rates about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Certainly the debacle occurring in Iraq and global climate change are far more important issues.

  125. #125 SunkenShip
    April 27, 2007

    It should be noted that Joshua of Nazareth was circumcised on the 8th day after his birth (now designated New Years Day). There doesn’t seem to be anything in the Christian bible about his complaining about the operation or threatening to sue his parents, probably he had a life and had more important issues to worry about. This whole issue seems to me to be a tempest in a teapot. It would seem that, in a list of important issues, this one rates about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Certainly the debacle occurring in Iraq and global climate change are far more important issues.

    I really don’t think you want to go down the religious route because the Christian Bible explicitly says that circ is unnecessary and calls it “mutilation”.

  126. #126 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.

  127. #127 Anne
    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.

    <> which is & lt and & gt without the spaces.

    HTH 🙂

  128. #128 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?

  129. #129 frog
    April 27, 2007

    Why is everyone so obsessed with wee-wees?

    Of course, hacking a fifteen-year old for religious reasons is nuts. I suspect that the father isn’t really converting to Judaism, but one of these nutty evangelical Christian sects that like to play at being Jewish. I’d expect few synagogues would want a guy like that around.

    But really? Circumcision is like FGM? It’s probably a good idea that the practice become less culturally and medically sanctioned. But really??? All this venom? Religious and cultural groups do much worse to their members than this – the response seems as much a wee-wee obsession as the act itself.

    Why don’t we focus on important things, like keeping folks from keeping their kids out of schools so they can brainwash them with biblical nonsense? Now there’s some real abuse. I worry a lot more about brains than genitals.

  130. #130 Anne
    April 27, 2007

    < >

  131. #131 Ribozyme
    April 27, 2007

    Thanks, Anne! Now I know &lt &gt

  132. #132 Azkyroth
    April 27, 2007

    Why don’t we focus on important things, like keeping folks from keeping their kids out of schools so they can brainwash them with biblical nonsense? Now there’s some real abuse. I worry a lot more about brains than genitals.

    1) 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.
    2) Brainwashing is egregious, but unlike circumcision, potentially reversible.

  133. #133 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?

  134. #134 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    This may be a hugely unfair characterization (and I’m sure someone will correct me if it is), but it seems like mainly white middle-class men trying to co-opt the language of victimhood and abuse. That seems a little creepy to me, but your mileage may vary.

    Because, of course, white middle-class men are never, ever victims themselves, but are always evil oppressors, and can never be oppressed by anyone else, including each other.

    Twit.

  135. #135 raven
    April 27, 2007

    I think most are missing the point. A father who would force his adolescent kid to be circumsized against his will is a head case. A nut. A lunatic. This isn’t how normal people treat their kids. And no I don’t have a reference.

    It is all about treating other humans not the least your kid with love, consideration, and respect.

    The kid will probably end up hating his father. He will have good reason to. And what else is this authoritarian control freak planning?

    So, is circumcision no big deal or genital mutilation? Got me, that isn’t the issue.

  136. #136 rilkefan
    April 27, 2007

    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).

  137. #137 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    “Medical necessity” is usually just an excuse.

  138. #138 windy
    April 27, 2007

    Note that there is a relatively high rate (I think 10-15%) of post-newborn-age circumcision out of medical necessity

    Somehow these medical necessities are much rarer in Europe?

  139. #139 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?

  140. #140 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?

  141. #141 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.

  142. #142 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.

  143. #143 Azkyroth
    April 27, 2007

    Could this be considered child abuse?

    If it wasn’t for “religious” reasons there’s no argument that it would be.

  144. #144 Mike Nilsen
    April 27, 2007

    Gods are obsessed with wee-wees because the men that created gods are obsessed with wee-wees.

  145. #145 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.

  146. #146 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

  147. #147 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.

  148. #148 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.

  149. #149 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.

  150. #150 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.

  151. #151 Cogito
    April 27, 2007

    Re: Circumcision pain arguments versus fetal pain arguments.

    This makes me wonder if there are people who support infant circumcision and justify it in part with the HIV argument, who are also against routine HPV vaccinations for girls. I have no idea if even one person holds these views, but sadly I wouldn’t be surprised.

  152. #152 Neil
    April 27, 2007

    I hope I didn’t miss it in the thread-it seems no one is bringing up what I consider to be the best argument against circumcision-bent penis. People grow at varying rates and to various sizes, and there is simply no way other than “rule of thumb”(snicker)aka anecdotal evidence- with which to judge. My doctor, by all accounts, did a good job. Yet the skin is still a little tight and pulls to the left. Sorry if this is tma for some, but it is pretty damn common, and in some cases, extreme. I understand the medical arguments for circumcision; they just aren’t that impressive without a real medical need. Most of the real arguments seem to boil down to “culture” or “it just looks cleaner.” Pretty goddamn lame reasons to go screwing around with your own penis, much less someone else’s.
    It seems perfectly clear to me that all forms of cicumcision are just exercises in control- to let “culture” or “authority” as a matter of course or ceremony, claim by bloody mutilation of your most private parts, access into that incredibly potent region of the psyche-sexuality. A symbolic castration that still lets you procreate. Get people to faithfully give you access there and you’ve shown that you’ve got them by the…foreskin. Close enough.
    I realize that some of the commenters here are being perceived as shrill or over the top, but to get to the original post- If I were 14 years old and in that situation, I would seriously consider running away. That fucker is sick. Even when done in infancy, I don’t understand why anyone with half a brain or conscience would do that to a boy except for good old “culture.”
    Last part of rant (I swear!)
    To Tulse-and anyone else who was thinking it-Anne may seem shrill, but criticising a cultural practice, and criticising a person of that culture(even if only loosely) for not bothering to see beyond it-is not racism. As a fair, progressive, warm hearted person I am up to fuckin’ here with people calling racism. The fact that some nomadic cavemen started cutting their dicks up for god is bad enough-following that trend to modern day is, in fact, disgusting lunacy. No anti-semitism required.

  153. #153 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?

  154. #154 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.

  155. #155 windy
    April 27, 2007

    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.

    Why wouldn’t they be? What if the child wants to be a pianist later?

  156. #156 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.

  157. #157 frog
    April 27, 2007

    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.

    Why wouldn’t they be? What if the child wants to be a pianist later?

    Well, that’s my point. Rationally, it’s no different. But I doubt that they’d get so worked up about something that didn’t have to do with the genitals. I could be wrong – but people really get worked up about naughty bits.

    Try to talk to most men about a vasectomy. You’ll get a real rational response there. I’d bet the same thing here, that it has more to do with the wee-wee than a rational response. As I said, mutilating their minds is infinitely worse, and rarely recoverable. I get more emotional about that.

  158. #158 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?

  159. #159 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.

  160. #160 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.

  161. #161 frog
    April 27, 2007

    Ahh, what’s the reward Caledonian? You givin’ out a prize now.

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

    I’ll give you the last two. The first two, not so much. I’m actually a big fan of rationalization – it’s at least a step in the right direction. And minimization rarely hurts anyone else. But projection? Where’s that? And denial? Denial is pretty much full on – usually doesn’t work half-ass. Usually, it doesn’t work in conjunction with minimization – you’ve got to pick one.

  162. #162 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.

  163. #163 The Constructivist
    April 27, 2007

    Chris Clarke has a great answer to a related question.

  164. #164 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

  165. #165 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    Sorry I had to leave – life beckoned. I just want to leave this discussion with two thoughts:

    1) On the facts of the case, you guys are generally right, and there’s little factual to encourage circumcision.
    2) The people who argue against this come off as a little extreme because they try to take a tactic that always sounds weird and extreme – you’re trying to tell people they are victims, and most people really don’t think they are. Telling people that circumcision is vicious and barbaric will get you a puzzled look, since (I think most) American males are circumcized, and most of us don’t really care. Telling us we were victimized is just really, really strange, since its just not true. It makes it very hard to take the argument seriously.

    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.

  166. #166 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.

  167. #167 tim gueguen
    April 27, 2007

    Given the amounts of comments this post has generated maybe I should do a penis post on my blog to shamelessly get my hit count up.

  168. #168 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

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

    I think we’re all discussing the circumcision of infants. Anyone who forces their 15 year old son to lop it off is certifiable.

  169. #169 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    Telling us we were victimized is just really, really strange, since its just not true.

    What arguments can you offer to support this position?

    Because, quite frankly, it looks like you’re denying the possibility that it could have been harmful for no good reason.

  170. #170 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.

  171. #171 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.

  172. #172 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.

  173. #173 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.

  174. #174 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “I think we’re all discussing the circumcision of infants.”

    No. The quotes I referred to in post 166 were from PZ’s description of the 15-year-old’s story.

    And my point is that forcing a 15-year-old to get circumcised is genital mutilation, not just “unnecessary cosmetic surgery.”

  175. #175 Keith Douglas
    April 27, 2007

    There was recently a thread about the (de)merits of circumcision recently on the healthfraud mailing list I subscribe to. Everything said there was said here.

    I just have one argument against the “he won’t remember it” thing. Suppose I could give you a slight improvement in immunity wrt one disease by lopping off the tips of your fingers. And I’ll do it, then erase the pain from your memory. Now, should we do this to our kids?

  176. #176 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

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

    It’s genital mutilation either way.

  177. #177 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.

  178. #178 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

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

    They’re not as different as you might think. What does it mean to be harmed if I don’t feel harmed? I can point to someone with a tattoo and think they have harmed themselves, but as long as they don’t think so, who cares? You may think I’m being ‘harmed’ by having a little less sexual pleasure. Even if I say that’s true, I don’t really care. I wouldn’t go back in time and make my parents act differently. So how was I harmed?

    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. You’re not necessarily wrong, but it’s just a really bad method of advocacy.

  179. #179 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.

  180. #180 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.”

  181. #181 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.

  182. #182 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “I can point to someone with a tattoo and think they have harmed themselves, but as long as they don’t think so, who cares?”

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

  183. #183 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.

  184. #184 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?

  185. #185 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.

  186. #186 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.

  187. #187 James
    April 27, 2007

    >> Fair enough. I wouldn’t have said “hell no”.

    Really? You would want a part of your dick cut off? If you were given the choice you would have said, yes please? I think that’s strange. Well, more dishonest then strange.

    >> Let people decide for their own kids. You know, pro-choice.

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

  188. #188 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    My penis is fine. Thanks for taking an interest.

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

  189. #189 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.

  190. #190 James
    April 27, 2007

    From the reports i’ve seen, the children with binded (bound?) feet get used to it and it just becomes a part of their everyday life… but that’s besides the point. Because it’s only painful for a month or so, circumcision is ok? What exactly is the cut off line (no pun intended. ok, a little pun intended) for unnecessarily inflicted pain?

  191. #191 Robert S.
    April 27, 2007

    “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.”

    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.

    OK, I’m glad we cleared that up.

  192. #192 Caledonian
    April 27, 2007

    It’s exactly like arguing with a fundamentalist Christian. No matter how clearly you show them that their arguments are nonsensical, they’re totally immune to reason – they can’t even comprehend the possibility that they’re wrong.

    “The worst that can be said about it is a somewhat (sic) loss of sensitivity.”

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

    I cannot immediately think of a better demonstration of my assertion that circumcision has persisted only because of the denial of those it was performed on.

  193. #193 James
    April 27, 2007

    As for the “they don’t remember it” defence, I broke my arm when I was about 8 years old. Thirty some years later I don’t remember anymore. Does that mean if I break the arms of my children it’s OK? They won’t remember it anyways.

  194. #194 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.

  195. #195 DamnYankees
    April 27, 2007

    “Does that mean if I break the arms of my children it’s OK? They won’t remember it anyways.”

    You don’t remember that? Weird. I broke my arm wshen I was 5 and I remember it. Damn was that painful.

    Regardless, the fact that you don’t remember it surely lessens to amount of suffering it has brought you. 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.

  196. #196 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.

  197. #197 Gerard Harbison
    April 27, 2007

    I’m an atheist, and I probably won’t circumsize my kids, unless my wife really wants to.

    Are ye sure yer foreskin was all they took off, laddie?

  198. #198 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.

  199. #199 Rieux
    April 27, 2007

    DamnYankees:

    Let people decide for their own kids. You know, pro-choice.

    You cannot possibly be stupid enough to believe that. As you have been told repeatedly in this thread, “pro-choice” refers to a person’s right to choose what happens to her own body. Your horrific rhetoric on this thread to the contrary, you do not own your offspring.

    I’m aware that you have poisoned the well above by (baselessly) declaring that female genital mutilation and male genital mutilation cannot reasonably be compared to one another. But in fact every single argument you have coughed up on this thread applies just as directly to FGM, in the cultures that practice it.

    For example, this argument:

    They’re not as different as you might think. What does it mean to be harmed if I don’t feel harmed? I can point to someone with a tattoo and think they have harmed themselves, but as long as they don’t think so, who cares? You may think I’m being ‘harmed’ by having a little less sexual pleasure. Even if I say that’s true, I don’t really care. I wouldn’t go back in time and make my parents act differently. So how was I harmed?

    The vast majority of mutilated women in mutilating cultures “don’t think [they’re] being ‘harmed’ by having a little less sexual pleasure,” and they’re happy to impose the same mutilation on their daughters.* They’re wrong. For exactly the same reasons, so are you.

    As has been noted repeatedly on this thread, the only reason male genital mutilation is common in the United States is because of religious lunacy and anti-sex/anti-masturbation hysteria. Based on the ridiculous arguments you have been posing here, clearly one or both of these elements has far more control over you than you’d like to admit.

    * It’s been pointed out on the thread that some forms of FGM (generally termed “infibulations”) are more debilitating than MGM. While true, this ignores the fact that infibulations are vastly less common than the more limited (generally clitoral) forms of FGM. In other words, the by-far more common forms of FGM are exactly the ones that bear extensive resemblances–in things like cultural “justification,” pain level, and debilitating human consequences–to MGM.

  200. #200 Rieux
    April 27, 2007

    Circumcision doesn’t cause life-long pain and isn’t at all debilitating.

    You are ignorant and dishonest.

  201. #201 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.

  202. #202 Caledonian
    April 28, 2007

    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”.

    So what should we do instead, eh? Neglect to mention the very real possibility that they have been harmed in an irreversible way? Lie to them and say that they’re obviously perfectly fine, but the practice ought to be stopped just because?

    The label ‘troll’ has long since been stripped of any useful meaning other than “person whose arguments I strongly dislike and wish to silence by slandering their motives”.

  203. #203 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?

  204. #204 Stephen
    April 28, 2007

    Because gods are concerned with people, and people are very concerned about wee wees. Just look at my spam box.

  205. #205 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

  206. #206 Skeptic8
    April 28, 2007

    This is obviously a “sensitive” sobject of opinion. I have an observation that amounts to anecdote. A bit more than half a century ago I worked on a geophysical “seismic” crew in Sulphur LA. The work required the planting of ‘geophones’ in crotch deep swamp water. My comrade in the sharing of rented quarters, a couple of weeks into the job, broke down and exhibited his cock and his complaint. It was red and swollen. I borrowed the party chief’s car and took him to a “clinic” in Beaumont. This was one of those primitive “health care” arrangements that “oil patch” companies provided at the time. It appears that he had an under-the-foreskin “infection” AND an allergic reaction to whatever invaded next. I am reasonably certain that he didn’t get anything from the local swamp kittens at the “Bon Ton” on “trainee” pay.
    On his return he was an “observer trainee” and stayed on the top of the “swamp buggy”. I asked about his experience. He was circumcised in the course of treatment to prevent the scar tissue from acting like a rubber band just behind the head of his penis. I asked if it was “different” but he was so glad to have his cock back in “workin’ order” that he had no complaints.
    About four years ago a survey found most of the circumcisions in “the South”. This was AhHa! time for me. The higher temperature summers hereabouts increase exposure to “swimmin’ hole infections” is my conclusion.
    I was “cut” by a nominally Christian physichian some seventy years ago. That I am of secular, nominally Jewish Reform, family wasn’t an issue. I did my summer work in the swamp with no problems like my nominally Catholic comrade experienced.

  207. #207 The quantum pancake
    April 28, 2007

    Over 200 posts over a tiny piece of skin.

    Something’s screwy here…

  208. #208 Mandolin
    April 28, 2007

    “In other words, the by-far more common forms of FGM are exactly the ones that bear extensive resemblances–in things like cultural “justification,” pain level, and debilitating human consequences–to MGM.”

    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.

    If you want to talk about cultural roots, cultural motivations, then there are some similarities (although FGM has waaaaay more shit involved). I talked about some of those similarities above. It’s not fruitful to shut down the conversation by saying that there are no ways to talk about the two in tandem, but it’s *way worse* to talk about the two procedures as if they are globally equal. Comparisons need to be made carefully.

    Seriously, male circumcision can be bad on its own; you don’t have to lie about statistics or minimize the pain of millions of women worldwide to make your point.

    Knock that off, and I stand in solidarity with you.

  209. #209 Soren
    April 28, 2007

    To the concern trolls who ask why circumcision is so important to the antis – get over yourselves!

    This thread is discussing circumcision, so of course we will say our mind. Female or male genital mutilation done on infants is wrong. Perhaps you can live long and well when you are cut, but that is neither here nor there. Its still wrong to mutilate an infant.

  210. #210 Anne
    April 28, 2007

    Given that FGM and MGM both ablate the most sensitive parts of the sexual organs of males and females, and it is done for exactly the same reasons, they are analogous.

    Abstract
    “OBJECTIVE

    To map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men, and to compare the two populations.
    SUBJECTS AND METHODS

    Adult male volunteers with no history of penile pathology or diabetes were evaluated with a Semmes-Weinstein monofilament touch-test to map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the penis. Circumcised and uncircumcised men were compared using mixed models for repeated data, controlling for age, type of underwear worn, time since last ejaculation, ethnicity, country of birth, and level of education.
    RESULTS

    The glans of the uncircumcised men had significantly lower mean (sem) pressure thresholds than that of the circumcised men, at 0.161 (0.078) g (P = 0.040) when controlled for age, location of measurement, type of underwear worn, and ethnicity. There were significant differences in pressure thresholds by location on the penis (P < 0.001). The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis was the circumcision scar on the ventral surface. Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision had lower pressure thresholds than the ventral scar of the circumcised penis. CONCLUSIONS The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.” (my emphasis)

    Everyone thinks that it always involves infibulation in unhygienic conditions, but that is not the case, in some Muslim countries, Indonesia for instance, it’s done in hospital just after birth.
    In the Cut Article

    There IS a double standard, a Seattle clinic wanted to introduce FGM services for immigrant women (and presumably double their income stream at the same time), which would have removed considerably less tissue than MGM as practiced in the US, and guess what? The good ‘ole American public caused uproar at the thought of cutting girls. Hypocrites.
    The Seattle Compromise

    Legal Discussion Paper

    I wouldn’t matter if the process was just a prick to draw blood from the clitoris, it’s still anathema to Americans, because it’s someone else’s culture and religion.

  211. #211 Dan P
    April 28, 2007

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

  212. #212 KiwiInOz
    April 28, 2007

    But no one has answered the most important question – does the Christian god have a foreskin or not?

  213. #213 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.

  214. #214 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.”

  215. #215 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.

  216. #216 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.

  217. #217 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.

  218. #218 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.

  219. #219 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.

  220. #220 Rieux
    April 28, 2007

    Yeah, I’m aware of that; take a look at my first post on this thread.

    When I use blockquote, though, it tends to screw up all of the paragraph breaks in the remainder of the message: some carriage returns after the blockquote don’t register, and others become double line breaks. It’s aggravating.

    Maybe it’s just scienceblogs’ Preview window; I dunno.

  221. #221 Ric
    April 28, 2007

    DamnYankee, you keep saying that circumcision aids in sexual selection. Exactly how is that? 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 can tell you that I have never had any complaints or even the faintest hint of distaste in a women on that subject. No, I seriously doubt that there is any sexual selection going on. Do you really think a woman would say to a man, “I can’t be with you because you’re not cut?”

  222. #222 Caledonian
    April 28, 2007

    Do you really think a woman would say to a man, “I can’t be with you because you’re not cut?”

    Give DamnYankees a break – women in the cultural circles he frequents are much more likely to say that than women in the US generally, and women in the US generally are far more likely to say that than women elsewhere.

  223. #223 Anton Mates
    April 28, 2007

    When I use blockquote, though, it tends to screw up all of the paragraph breaks in the remainder of the message: some carriage returns after the blockquote don’t register, and others become double line breaks. It’s aggravating.

    Maybe it’s just scienceblogs’ Preview window; I dunno.

    It is a function of the preview window, actually. The line break formatting almost* invariably returns to normal once the post is actually published.

    *In the few exceptions I’ve noticed, the formatting returned to normal once someone else posted after me.

  224. #224 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.

  225. #225 Dr Kate
    April 28, 2007

    I would strongly question the ethics of any physician who would perform a cosmetic surgery on a non-consenting minor at the behest of the parent.

    I’d also wonder how much his or her malpractice insurance would go up once the surgery was completed. Talk about a medical malpractice lawsuit pending down the road! Not to mention professional sanctions against all involved in forcing a child to undergo non-consensual mutilation.

    When my sons were born I left them intact because I figured that foreskin evolved for a reason and, even if we don’t know what that reason is, I shouldn’t mess. If they don’t like it, they can get a trim later and feel completely responsible for the results.

  226. #226 Ricardo Diaz
    April 29, 2007

    Tulse: “So the international consensus, as supported by the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the National Institute of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control, is all just a conspiracy?”

    “A cabal that presumably respected health researchers are in on, as well as premiere medical journals such as The Lancet and the BMJ? And this would include the reviewers of those articles?”

    Ahh! The old logical fallacy, and debate foul, of “appeal to authority.” Now let’s see, what was the “international consensus” when the earth was flat? The Pope, the Cardinals, and the Princes and Kings of Europe agreed: The earth is flat. How could anyone say the Earth is not flat in the face of that international consensus? Copernicus? Galileo? The earth (flat or otherwise, eh?) moves around the sun? No way. International consensus says not. After all, Galileo was tried by Inquisition in 1633 and found guilty of lies and heresy; he repudiated all he had claimed about the earth moving around the sun, thus proving for all time that international consensus is always right, and any dissent from that consensus is always wrong. Glad we got that settled here.

    “Respected health researchers?” 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.

    “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. No American promoter of circumcision was calling them “premiere jedical journals” during that time. They are the primary source of forums for US physicians who oppose Routine Infant Circumcision and their studies. US medical journals do not publish anything opposed to any form of male circumcision, not even in the interest of balance or to stimulate discussion of such a controversial procedure. Why not? Because circumcision is an extremely big money maker for the US medical industry. Union magizines do not oppose what is financially best for union members. So, for many years US medicine has been calling the British journals “biased” or “unscientific” or even “foreign” in blatant appeal to nativist bigotry. Now the Brits publish, maybe in the interest of balance, some extremely flawed studies about how circumcision can supposedly prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa, and an American supporter of circumcision jumps up and calls them “premiere medical journals.” Will they still be “premier medical journals” after they publish blistering criticism of the Africa studies in future editions? Somehow this observer doubts it.

    Or maybe we are supposed to think about peer review? Peer review is a fiction. Perhaps more appropriately, it is a joke when it comes to medical journals. The “peer reviewers” are notified of the existence of a new article the editorial staff proposes to publish, are given an opportunity to critique it, but that’s about it. There is no assurance that any article actually receives any sort of serious review, close reading, or gets read at all. Those who have gone to graduate school and defended a thesis or dissertation may believe journal articles get the same sort of review and scrutiny (that’s what we’re all supposed to believe) but that’s just not the case with medical journals. The Auvert study was rejected by Lancet’s editorial staff. Lancet does not say why they reject any article, but the Auvert team says it was because of an ethical lapse on their part. Accept their version of the reason for rejection, and the best you can say for them isn’t much. But an online journal controlled by US circumcision advocate, Bill Gates, published it right away. A supposedly “peer reviewed” journal?

    There are many reasons why Lancet may have accepted essentially flawed studies. Circumcision is quite contentious now, and journals like the Lancet are under a lot of pressure to present “balanced” material about the topic. Consider publicity in the popular press. 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. But no US newspaper has reported that, not even once. But almost every daily has reported the HIV-in-Africa studies several times, even before they were accepted for publication by any professional journal, which is supposed to be the threshold for considering something like that as news. This works like tainting a jury in the legal system. How can the Lancet turn down an article after it has been touted so widely and so loudly by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and most US dailies? Two of the wealthiest men in the world are on-board for the theory that circumcision will prevent AIDS in Africa. How can anyone say no to them? (Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, in case no one noticed.) Wealthy US entrepreneurs know what is best for the US economy. Just think what exporting circumcision clamps, circumcision restraint boards, circumcision trays, and circumcision kits all over the world could do for the US balance of payments which is in bad shape right now.

    “Honestly, these folks aren’t idiots.”

    No one has said they are idiots. They are quite brilliant proponents of circumcision. They are also circumcised men or they are women who are part of a circumcising culture or subculture. 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. Beyond that, they are assessing human activities, beliefs, and emotions with subjective measurements. They relied entirely on self-reported information from the men involved in the studies, other than the circumcisions they were given, and the testing for HIV. There is no indication that they examined the non-circumcised group to be certain they were in fact all NOT circumcised. So were some of the supposed infected NON-circumcised men actually circumcised? That matters.

    They accepted several thousand men for the studies, none of whom were gay, according to self-reported sexuality status. (This is important because these studies had to be done, their proponents say, because the US experience with HIV involves gay sex between gay men, so the HIV/AIDS rates in the US don’t really count for anything [other than what Auvert, Bailey, Halperin, etc say they count for].) So the typical rate of gay men in populations in most parts of the world is somewhere between 5% and 10% (“official” counts show it’s lower, the gay community says it’s higher). Take your choice. But in Africa not even 1% of several thousand men were gay? What is it about Africa that makes its men so different? This matters because it shows how their statistics just cannot be accepted without any question. Self-reports of circumcision status, sexuality, sexual activity, and related matters are notoriously unreliable.

    The studies are flawed. 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. It’s likely the rest of the world is going to continue to NOT circumcise, despite what the WHO said or says about circumcising men in Africa. Don’t forget, it’s always easy for Europe and Japan and China to agree that African men should be circumcised, just so long as no one says they should be circumcised. The WHO’s approval was engineered by the US advocates of circumcision by portraying their struggle as purely about AIDS in Africa. The meeting in Switzerland did not consider whether circumcision is a truly scientific panacea. Most of the world recognizes it for what it is: A prehistoric blood ritual that segued into a Middle Eastern fertility rite, and then into a religious rite for Judaism, Islam, and the American Civil Religion. [For what it’s worth, “religious” circumcision is prohibited to Christians in Galatians 5 and other parts of the Greek Scriptures (New Testament).]

    It is truly amazing that there are supposedly scientific minded individuals advocating circumcision at this site.

  227. #227 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?

  228. #228 Revamp
    April 29, 2007

    This study has been c&ped previously but it bears repeating I reckon:

    Abstract
    “OBJECTIVE

    To map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men, and to compare the two populations.
    SUBJECTS AND METHODS

    Adult male volunteers with no history of penile pathology or diabetes were evaluated with a Semmes-Weinstein monofilament touch-test to map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the penis. Circumcised and uncircumcised men were compared using mixed models for repeated data, controlling for age, type of underwear worn, time since last ejaculation, ethnicity, country of birth, and level of education.
    RESULTS

    The glans of the uncircumcised men had significantly lower mean (sem) pressure thresholds than that of the circumcised men, at 0.161 (0.078) g (P = 0.040) when controlled for age, location of measurement, type of underwear worn, and ethnicity. There were significant differences in pressure thresholds by location on the penis (P

    CONCLUSIONS

    The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.” (my emphasis)

    Everyone thinks that it always involves infibulation in unhygienic conditions, but that is not the case, in some Muslim countries, Indonesia for instance, it’s done in hospital just after birth.

    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?” As normal the delicious nature of your hypocricy and double standards over this issue shines clear: you may dismiss a study off-hand and without detail yet when others make critiques you may pretend temporarily that certain arguments did not exist and permanantly disregard others.

    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 but unfortunately neither that nor your response of “The inclusion criteria specified heterosexual men” really stand up: is there actual evidence that these were intact heterosexuals rather than circumcised homosexuals?

    If not would this surely not make this study far more “Dubious” than one which just moniters responses?

    Would it not render attempts to determine the exact meaning of the findings unreliable?

    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.

    Speaking from personal experience I would like to add that the study failed to suprise me and was really just a case of scientists proving something that I already knew from, if you will excuse the pun, first hand experience.

  229. #229 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

  230. #230 TTT
    April 29, 2007

    You can let a man grow to adulthood, then circumcize him and ask his opinion on which “style” felt more pleasurable. 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.

    Just as people blind since youth can grow up to have more acute hearing than other adults, so too could the sensory pathways within the penis be adjusted and redirected over the course of a lifetime.

  231. #231 Out-ter
    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.

  232. #232 Out-ter
    April 29, 2007

    Oh, I almost forgot, the JakeW advocacy post so one can view his bias in his own words!!

    http://www.adequacy.org/stories/2001.10.31.23859.193.html

    Just do a Control-F find for JakeW.

  233. #233 Anne
    April 29, 2007

    He’s also spouting a load of rubbish. There’s private cosmetic surgery clinics in the UK that would circumcise an adult (just google it and you’ll see them) give them the money and they’ll hack it off for you. They mostly deal with immigrants and muslims.

    If you want to pay, there’s a doctor that will do it for you. Exactly how Jake did it take away your choice to get circumcised seeing as how you got what you wanted? Exactly how would you have exercised your free choice if you were circumcised at birth and wanted your foreskin back?

    There is only “choice” for those who were left alone at birth. You’re lucky, you got exactly what you wanted, there are hundreds of thousands of men who wish they hadn’t been circumcised at birth, what choice have they got?

  234. #234 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).

  235. #235 Jake
    April 29, 2007

    Anne, I’ve just double-checked, and I am absolutely certain that I haven’t mentioned my genitals here. Nor have I any intention of doing so. It is regrettable that some persons, perhaps lacking the ability to do otherwise, engage in bizarre argumentum ad hominem, but I feel sure that we can have a mature discussion about the subject matter in general.

    Now, do you have anything to add in reply to comments that I have made? To assist you in locating them, the comments are 128, 226, and 228.

  236. #236 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.

  237. #237 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.

  238. #238 Anne
    April 29, 2007

    Yes Jake, do tell.

    What do you think of the forced circumcision of a 12 year old, because his father wants to sacrifice the son’s foreskin in the cause of his new religion?

    Do you advocate the use of violence because the son does not want this? How do you propose they are going to do it?

  239. #239 Azkyroth
    April 30, 2007

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

  240. #240 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.

  241. #241 Jake
    April 30, 2007

    Anne: while there is no doubt that the mother opposes the circumcision, the claim that he doesn’t want this is questionable. To quote the Oregonian: “In court papers, the father claims the boy gradually concluded that he also wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that this required circumcision. … The mother responded by going to court, saying her son told her that he was afraid to defy his father, but didn’t want the procedure.”

    Only one of these statements can be true. It seems to me that the obvious thing is for the court to ask the boy himself. At 12, he should be perfectly capable of stating his view. Perhaps they have already asked him; I don’t know.

    Azkyroth: the Oregonian states that he’s 12.

  242. #242 Out-ter
    April 30, 2007

    Jake, let’s assume that the kid doesn’t want to be circumcised.

    What is your opinion of the forced circumcision of a 12 year old? Right or wrong?

  243. #243 Caledonian
    April 30, 2007

    Jake seems to think circumcision is like a vaccination: essentially harmless, and probably beneficial.

    So even if he thinks forcing it on someone is bad, it’s probably not serious enough in his mind for him to actually defend their rights or care.

    And if he’s a proponent… then the violation of rights isn’t even an issue.

  244. #244 Anne
    April 30, 2007

    Nice skating Jake.

    What do you think of the forced circumcision of a 12 year old against his wishes? I would guess that you’d be there helping the father to tie him into the circumstraint.

    This is you isn’t it?
    Jake Wikipedia User Page

    I see you’ve changed it to be more sympathetic to you, this is the archived version where there was SO much more about you there.
    Archived Page

  245. #245 Jake
    April 30, 2007

    Anne: “What do you think of the forced circumcision of a 12 year old against his wishes?”

    As I’ve noted, we have no way of knowing whether that is the case here.

    “I would guess that you’d be there helping the father to tie him into the circumstraint.”

    Presumably, then, you did not read the part of post 240 in which I explained my view that efforts should be made to discover the boy’s wishes. Or perhaps you didn’t reflect on this and note that there is little point in doing so unless those views are then taken into account.

    Or perhaps you’re so eager to daemonise the ‘universal bad guy’ that it doesn’t really matter is actually said. Hence the ‘forced’ circumcision ‘against the wishes’ of the child – in spite of the evidence being unclear, as I’ve shown. Hence the father wanting to do so in order to ‘hurt and upset’ the other parent (perhaps his own conversion to Judaism is part of the grand plan?).

  246. #246 Caledonian
    April 30, 2007

    As I’ve noted, we have no way of knowing whether that is the case here.

    You evade the question. The query can be addressed as a hypothetical – whether this case is real or not is immaterial.

  247. #247 Jake
    April 30, 2007

    Caledonian: “You evade the question. The query can be addressed as a hypothetical – whether this case is real or not is immaterial.”

    I’ve actually answered the question already, albeit implicitly. Think about it: if one has no qualms with circumcising the boy against his wishes, then why ask his wishes?

  248. #248 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?

  249. #249 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?

  250. #250 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.

  251. #251 Renee K.
    April 30, 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.

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! There is absolutely no reason for anyone to ever retract a little boy’s foreskin. Parents are not supposed to push back and clean under their son’s foreskin. In young boys, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis. Pushing back and otherwise manipulating the foreskin causes tiny tears under the area and is THE cause of those infections people use as an excuse to cut babies.

    I have an intact preschool aged son. I have never cleaned under his foreskin. It’s self-cleaning, just like the eyelids. In other words, there is no more reason to clean under a little guy’s foreskin than to flip his eyelids inside out and wipe them clean. The bottom line is, leave your son’s penis alone. At birth, at six months, at twelve years, on his wedding night. It’s just that easy!

    Renee

  252. #252 Renee K.
    April 30, 2007

    I think the younger you are, the MORE pain you experience.

    That is very true, and it’s because newborns have an underdeveloped nervous system. When they feel pain, they feel it over much larger areas of their bodies. They also feel more touch as pain. Something that an adult wouldn’t find painful is painful to a newborn with their newer nervous system.

    Here are some links with more information.

    http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-10-17/33420.html

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/100/4/626

    http://www.euthanasia.com/chilpain.html

  253. #253 TandyT
    May 1, 2007

    Let’s use the “dubious” argument on the African HIV studies…

    1. Nearly half of the participants left the study before completion.

    2. The method of determining the prevalence of HIV is questionable:

    http://www.world-newspapers.com/africa.html

    3. Even if the prevalence is accurate by the method usedand the group used for this determination, then this only applies if all of the men had sex with married, pregnant women

    4. There was no accounting for, or controlling for “dry sex”– prevalent in Africa.

    5. Heretosexuality was determined by self-reporting–notoriously unreliable in homophobic societies.

    6. The test commenced at day one for intact men, but didn’t start for the circumcised men until after the “healing time.

    7. 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?

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

    http://www.duesberg.com/subject/epvtafrica.html

    and:

    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.

    Caution must be exercised in applying the results of this study to individual risk-reduction strategies. For example, the result that no circumcised men seroconverted during the course of the study might be casually interpreted to mean that a circumcised man cannot be infected with HIV through heterosexual sex.

    This conclusion is illogical, as the relatively small sample size (50 circumcised seronegative men) and short duration of follow-up (median less than 2 years) allow for a significant possibility that infection of circumcised men would be observed in a larger population or over a longer period of time. The fact that over one-third (29/79) of the circumcised men in this study were HIV-positive on entry demonstrates that transmission to circumcised men occurs in this population, and it seems extremely unlikely that heterosexual transmission did not contribute.

  254. #254 Jake
    May 1, 2007

    “Let’s use the “dubious” argument on the African HIV studies…”

    It’s somewhat difficult to make such an argument, given that there have been so many HIV studies conducted in Africa. Aside from the three randomised controlled trials, there have been 30-40 observational studies.

    “Nearly half of the participants left the study before completion.”

    Obviously this is not true of all studies. It may be true of a specific study, but you have not explained why this would invalidate the results – though it would clearly reduce the effective sample size.

    “The method of determining the prevalence of HIV is questionable”

    Relative risk is defined independently of absolute prevalence. So please explain why this is important.

    “Even if the prevalence is accurate by the method usedand the group used for this determination, then this only applies if all of the men had sex with married, pregnant women”

    See above.

    “There was no accounting for, or controlling for “dry sex”– prevalent in Africa.”

    The three randomised controlled trials controlled for such preferences through the process of randomisation: since men were randomly assigned to the two groups, any such preferences would be equally distributed across them.

    “Heretosexuality was determined by self-reporting–notoriously unreliable in homophobic societies.”

    Ok: what’s your point?

    “The test commenced at day one for intact men, but didn’t start for the circumcised men until after the “healing time.”

    A fact taken into account in the analyses. For example, to quote Auvert et al.: “To analyze the impact of the 6-wk period of abstinence, the analysis was repeated with the duration of the period M1-M3 reduced by 42 d in the intervention group. Forty-two days was the median (IQR = 28-56) interval between MC and first sexual contact reported by sexually experienced participants of the intervention group. … When reducing the M1-M3 period by 42 d in the intervention group, the RR was RR = 0.43 (0.26-0.73), p = 0.0016, a value close to the RR obtained in the intention-to-treat analysis. This indicates that the 6-wk period of abstinence plays a minor role in explaining the effect of the intervention during the period M1-M21.”

  255. #255 Out-ter
    May 1, 2007

    JakeW, I see that you haven’t left.

    Do you support the forced circumcision of a 12 year old?

  256. #256 TandyT
    May 1, 2007

    Jake, you can play all of the words games you wish, BUT
    There are so many known flaws in these studies and so much contradictory evidence in the real world against this circumcision/HIV speculaltion (including all those you ignored) as to render the conclusions scientifically untenable.
    Do you even understand that SCIENCE require that all conclusions be based of FLAW-FREE data–AND ALWAYS fulfill it’s prediction?

    So, we return to the basic premise–If an adult CHOOSES to remove the most sensitive part of his genitals on the hope that he will not get HIV, no one would question the ethics and morality of HIS choice.

    BUT, again, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

  257. #257 Jake
    May 1, 2007

    “Jake, you can play all of the words games you wish, BUT There are so many known flaws in these studies”

    If this is the case then why do you not address the issues I raised? Surely if the flaws are real then you will be able to defend them?

    “So, we return to the basic premise–If an adult CHOOSES to remove the most sensitive part of his genitals on the hope that he will not get HIV, no one would question the ethics and morality of HIS choice.”

    Perhaps you might wish to start by providing evidence that “removal of the most sensitive part” is even applicable.

    “BUT, again, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?”

    Again, you seem to believe that merely asserting that circumcision is “painful and harmful” is sufficient. And, like some others in this thread you disregard the statement that “the boy gradually concluded that he also wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that this required circumcision.”

  258. #258 TandyT
    May 1, 2007

    Jake, better yet, how about YOU addressing ALL of the flaws I have cited.. AND provide conclusive, SCIENTIFIC proof that this so-called reduction occurs in the real world outside of these “studies”..proof that is a mandatory requirement in science.

    “Perhaps you might wish to start by providing evidence that “removal of the most sensitive part” is even applicable.”

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

    “And, like some others in this thread you disregard the statement that “the boy gradually concluded that he also wanted to convert to Judaism and understood that this required circumcision.”

    And from this, you want us to conclude that the CHILD comprehends the ramifications, risks and damage? Sounds like desperate reaching to me.

    So, again, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?”

    We will return to this very basic question, UNTIL AND IF you finally choose to answer..

  259. #259 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?

  260. #260 TandyT
    May 1, 2007

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

    1. Nearly half of the participants left the study before completion.

    2. The method of determining the prevalence of HIV is questionable:

    3. Even if the prevalence is accurate by the method used and the group used for this determination, then this only applies if all of the men had sex with married, pregnant women

    4. There was no accounting for, or controlling for “dry sex”– prevalent in Africa.

    5. Heretosexuality was determined by self-reporting–notoriously unreliable in homophobic societies.

    6. The test commenced at day one for intact men, but didn’t start for the circumcised men until after their “healing time.

    7. 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?

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

    SO, again, TO YOU, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not fully comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

    Don’t try to BS your way around the concept that a child, without satisfying these conditions is not being forced into this…

  261. #261 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?

  262. #262 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.

  263. #263 Anne
    May 2, 2007

    LOL, once you get Jake started he doesn’t stop, he loves word games almost as much as discussing circs.

    One of his threads I found was over 1000 posts long….and another where he went into a discussion of the meaning of the word “rub”.

    Time to bail out methinks, once he’s arrived it will degenerate into woolley evasive discussion of semantics and completely derail. You won’t get a straight answer out of him, he should have been a politician.

  264. #264 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.

  265. #265 TandyT
    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.:”

    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.

    AND I am still waiting for you to prove that this reduction exists in the real world outside of the studies–when can we expect you to provide this proof?

    SO, again, TO YOU, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not fully comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

    Don’t try to BS your way around the concept that a child, without satisfying these conditions is not being forced into this…

  266. #266 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.

  267. #267 Out-ter
    May 2, 2007

    JakeW,

    Still waiting. Do you support the forced circumcision of a 12 year old?

  268. #268 concernedcitizen
    May 2, 2007

    Anne, my dear, I think it’s time to up the meds. Reading this thread (in particular, post 240)it’s perfectly clear that Jake supports determining the child’s wishes. I see nothing about circumstraints and salivating in his posts, only in yours. It’s downright creepy that your mind works along those lines.

    I personally believe the court should appoint a guardian ad litem to determine the child’s true wishes and represent his best interests in this case.

  269. #269 susie
    May 2, 2007

    Good grief. Some of the comments are so out of line. I doubt anyone would want to forcibly strap a 12 year old down to circumcise.

    I think what Jake is trying to say is that with the information before us, we just don’t know the young mans true feelings or what really transpired. It has been my experience that divorced parents battling in court are rarely battling over the “issue” and are battling over control of the child for their own reasons. Mostly anger filled reasons resulting from a bad divorce.

    Many of you seem to be assuming alot of what the child is feeling without anything to back that up. While interesting to speculate, it is nothing more than that, speculation.

    Try to keep it in perspective.

  270. #270 Out-ter
    May 2, 2007

    And JakeW’s defenders have arrived!! Which hole did you crawl out of? CircList? BabyCenter’s Choosing to Cut?

    All we’re asking is a simple hypothetical: If the child does not want to be circumcised, is it right to force circumcision on them?

    Its a simple yes/no question, but JakeW won’t answer!

  271. #271 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.

  272. #272 TandyT
    May 2, 2007

    Speaking of a child’s “best interests” I have heard this blathered about over and over, but when I ask for proof that non-therapuetic circumcision IS in the child’s best interest, I get no proof that it is? So, why use the phrase if one cannot support it?

    In the Price case, it was clear that the circumcising parent could not present evidence that it was in the Child’s “best interest”–setting a precedence.

    SO, again, TO YOU, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not fully comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

  273. #273 TandyT
    May 2, 2007

    “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.:

    I will be pleased to WHENn and IF you aedequately ADDRESS them ALL–not just those you wish to while ignoring and blithely dismissing those you cannot.
    People can review your posts and see that you have ignored some completely and just dismissed others.

    “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.”

    No, all it requires EMPIRICAL evidence–and this is available in the HIV and circumcison rates for various countries.Try another dodge! Science accepts EMPIRICAL evidence, but not a conclusion derived from flawed studies.

    “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.”

    Trying to rephrase the question and dismissing the qualifiers is hardly answering it, And a repetitious dismissal also is not answering the question, so…..this is merely DODGING the question, so:

    AGAIN, TO YOU, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not FULLY COMPREHEND the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

    Don’t try to BS your way around the concept that a child, without satisfying these conditions is not being forced into this…

  274. #274 Jake
    May 2, 2007

    “I will be pleased to WHENn and IF you aedequately ADDRESS them ALL–not just those you wish to while ignoring and blithely dismissing those you cannot.
    People can review your posts and see that you have ignored some completely and just dismissed others.”

    Ok. I’ve addressed them once. If you want to pretend otherwise, that’s fine. I don’t intend to waste my time going around in circles.

    “No, all it requires EMPIRICAL evidence–and this is available in the HIV and circumcison rates for various countries.”

    National HIV rates reflect many factors, including differences in exposure to risk factors (for example, relatively low usage of condoms in third-world countries). It is impossible to isolate the effect of one variable, such as circumcision, from all the others. One can readily prove this by confirming that countries with similarly low circumcision rates can have a wide variation in HIV rates.

    So – even if these rates could be known precisely – this is a flawed methodology. To have confidence in the data, one has to use a stronger methodology, such as a randomised controlled trial.

    “Trying to rephrase the question and dismissing the qualifiers is hardly answering it”

    I agree. However, the original question, as I pointed out, was unanswerable because it was based upon flawed premises (similar to “have you stopped beating your wife yet” – unless one has a wife, and has beaten her in the past, there is no correct answer). Thus, the choice is between correcting the question or ignoring it.

  275. #275 Out-ter
    May 2, 2007

    JakeW, I don’t understand your confusion.

    Its simple. Is it ok to circumcise a 12 year old who does not want to be circumcised?

    There’s no “flawed premise.” You have a hypothetical 12 year old child who does not want circumcision. His parent wants him circumcised. Do you follow the parent’s wishes or do you respect the child’s autonomy and leave the decision for him when he is of age?

  276. #276 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.

  277. #277 Anne
    May 3, 2007

    Try being a Russian immigrant vs a Family Law Attorney.

    Who do you think is going to win in any Family Court matter?

    As for being “creepy”, well you’re quite obviously American and very naive. You do know how they carry out circumcisions don’t you? They just tie the baby down, rip the foreskin off the glans (because it’s adhered for the first few years of life like a fingernail to the nail bed) using a blunt probe, then cut it dorsally, fit a clamp (or the plastibell) over it, crush it for a few minutes to stop the bleeding and then cut it off. No anaesthetic. Babies feel pain more than older people, and have the same human rights, so why should you think any different about tying a 12 year old down in the same way, the only difference is opportunity and the ability to resist.

    You may also not be aware that there are a considerable number of circumfetishist paedophiles trolling the net, and a number of sites dedicated to catering for them. They aren’t difficult to find, join a few (especially the forums) and then see who’s “creepy”.

    It’s only Americans, alone in the world, who find the routine cutting up of children’s genitals acceptable (apart from Jews and Muslims), the rest of the world find you (and the fetishists that find the act sexually exciting) the creepy and perverted ones.

  278. #278 TandyT
    May 3, 2007

    “No, all it requires EMPIRICAL evidence–and this is available in the HIV and circumcison rates for various countries.”

    “National HIV rates reflect many factors, including differences in exposure to risk factors (for example, relatively low usage of condoms in third-world countries). It is impossible to isolate the effect of one variable, such as circumcision, from all the others. One can readily prove this by confirming that countries with similarly low circumcision rates can have a wide variation in HIV rates.”

    Ignoring those that contradict your hypothsis is ignoring the requirement of science that it must ALWAYS fulfill it’s prediction..by providing examples supporting it- along WITH those contradicting it shows that there is NO correlation.

    “So – even if these rates could be known precisely – this is a flawed methodology. To have confidence in the data, one has to use a stronger methodology, such as a randomised controlled trial.”

    RCT–AKA flawed studies?

    I have tried to post this twice before and they were truncated, so I will try once more.

    Rates of circumcision as of 20 years ago:

    USA–85%
    Ethiopia–~100%
    Finland–<1%

    Rates of HIV:
    USA--0.6
    Ethiopia--4.4
    Finland--0.1

    RATES of HIV --assuming the predicted reduction for circumcision is 50%...

    USA: (0.85 X 0.5) + (0.15 X 1.00) = 0.575
    Ethiopia: (1.00 X0.5) = 0.5
    Finland: (0.01 X 0.5) + (0.99 X 1) = 1.00

    PREDICTED Ratios of HIV where the circumcising countries SHOULD be lower

    Finland/USA
    1.00/ 0.575 = 1.74

    Finland/Ethiopia
    1.0/ 0.5 = 2.0

    ACTUAL ratios:

    Finland/ USA
    0.1/ 0.6 = 0.167

    Finland/Ethiopia
    0.1/ 4.4 =0.023

    DESCREPENCY from prediction

    Finland/USA
    1.74/.167 = 10.4 fold

    Finland/Ethiopia
    2.0/0.023 = 87 fold

    Before one tries the "homosexual" or "IV drug" excuses, they better be able to prove that:

    1. The prevalence of homosexuality is 10.4 times higher in the US than in Finland, or
    2. The rate of drug usage in the US is 10.4 times higher than in Finland.

    AND

    1. The rate of homosexuality in Ethiopia is 87 times higher than in Finland, or
    2. The rate of drug usage in Ethiopia is 87 times higher than in Finland.

    Since the prevalence of homosexuality is fairly consistent in all cultures, the "homosexuality" excuse is not a viable one.

    And since Ethiopians can barely find resources to feed themselves, they hardly can have a IV drug usage 87 times that of the more affluent cultures.

    Unless one can prove these, then the hypothesis is not scientifically supportable, and this advocation of circumcision for HIV prevention is neither rational nor ethical.

  279. #279 TandyT
    May 3, 2007

    Jackie, according to one news account, the father made an appointment for the boy’s circumcision 4 years ago–when the boy was 8, so do you consider this choice then to be valid one?

    SO, again, TO YOU, is it ethical and moral to FORCEFULLY inflict this painful and harmful procedure on a child who does not fully comprehend the ramifications, risks and damage by this procedure simply because his parents have a belief system based on nothing but BELIEF?

  280. #280 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    I’ve seen more foreskin fetishists than anything else on the net, Anne. People practically drooling over foreskins. Now, those people are creepy. And I’ve been to these board and I’ve the boards get closed because of their pathetic attacks on other parents and how they lack respect and tolerance. No one wants them around anymore, except the handful of boards that cater just to them. Most anti-circs are more anti-semitic than anything else and are using this story, and this poor boy to promote circumcision as the barbaric, nasty, cruel and inhuman practice the Jews do. You should see some of the things I’ve read against Jews by anti-circs. It’ll make your skin crawl. Well, maybe not yours, but people who actually don’t have a problem with people of different beliefs.

    As for Tandy, yes, it’s perfectly valid for the parent to make an appointment for the son he’s legally responsible for. Do you know if the boy had a say in the matter? He probably did and had agreed to the procedure. Would that make it valid for you? Don’t you think you’re assuming too much without even knowing the opinion of this boy on the matter? Why are you so quick to say that it was by force or that the boy didn’t know what he was doing? You’re really underestimating children and their understanding. I suggest you read this story: http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2007/02/operation_racha.html
    Now, would it have ethical to FORCEFULLY deny this little boy his wishes? My guess is you don’t think so. As long as the foreskin is attached to a penis you reall ycouldn’t care less whether the boy wants it or not, right? You’re simply siding with the mother because you’re against circumcision. Whether the boy wants to or not is completely irrelevant to you. Which makes the rest of us more supportive with boy, rather than people like you who are supportive of the boy’s foreskin. You don’t care about what’s ethical or about the child’s rights. You just care that this case doesn’t turn into another anti-circ fiasco like the AIDS studies.

  281. #281 Out-ter
    May 3, 2007

    Ah, the anti-semetic card. I wonder when someone was going to bring that up. Yawn. I could give a rat’s ass about religion. Its rituals on minors that involve cutting and other body modifications that are the problem. Find a way to express your faith without forcing your kid to give up a chunk of flesh.

    12 year olds aren’t legally allowed to make surgical decisions and certainly shouldn’t be making lifelong cosmetic surgery decisions. Wait until the kid’s 18, then hear his opinion. If he never makes his appointment, then we’ll all know, right? If he does, good for him. His body, his choice.

    Adults can have all the cosmetic surgeries they want. If this kid turns 18 and wants to get cut 10 times like the freaks on CircList, that’s his business. Just leave the minors out of it.

    Besides, the HIV studies aren’t a fiasco for the anti-circ groups. Its not like the AAP has started recommending circ again. Medicaid isn’t reinstating circ coverage wheere it was dropped before. Nothing has changed. The U.S. circ rate is still high and Europe’s circ rate is very low. The U.S. HIV rate is still high and Europe’s HIV rate is still low. The HIV and circ nonsense will fade away, just like cervical cancer, UTIs, penile cancer, epilepsy, masturbation, and all the other nonsense reasons American doctors come up with to keep making money.

  282. #282 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    how can yo uwrite “Wait until the kid’s 18, then hear his opinion” just before “His body, his choice.” Obviously it isn’t HIS choice until YOU believe it’s his choice. Until then, you’re very happily imposing YOUR views over his body and, in a most hypocritical way, accusing other parents of doing the EXACT SAME THING. You wouldn’t hear an opinion of someone who’s under 18?? Wow. How unbelievable condescending that is. Now YOU are obviously one of those foreskin fetishists I was talking about. YOU really don’t care about this, or any other child, and what their feelings and thoughts are.
    As for the Anti-semitic card, I’m sorry you find it so inappropiate. YOU have no right to tell others how to follow their faith. Obviously it’s an acceptable religious practice and the fact that you cannot show the slightest respect towards these groups and their right to freely practice their beliefs makes me wonder.

  283. #283 Anne
    May 3, 2007

    Congratulations jackie, you just Godwinned the thread by proxy. I take it you’re jewish then as well as American, you certainly sound like one.

    Yeah, play the anti-semitism card. You DO know what kind of blog you’re on don’t you?

    All religion is just an excuse for one person or group of people to control others, and this case is a perfect example.

    Is it possible to have a “fetish” for something totally normal and that the greater majority of mankind shares, given that a fetish is finding sexual excitement in something abnormal (as some men and women do in the act of circumcising children)? Nope, I’d say that a desire for a whole adult penis was entirely normal given that 85% of the world’s men have one to adulthood and almost 100% of males are born with one. Interestingly, if a child is born without a foreskin that is noted down as a birth defect.

    It’s Americans like you who prefer the abnormal mutilated state AND do it to babies that are sick and perverted. I think you’ll find that your “foreskin fetish” sites are ordinary porn, and invariably involve adult men, not children. Hard luck.

  284. #284 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.

  285. #285 Jake
    May 3, 2007

    “I have tried to post this twice before and they were truncated, so I will try once more.

    Rates of circumcision as of 20 years ago:

    PREDICTED Ratios of HIV where the circumcising countries SHOULD be lower”

    You’re attempting to predict the rate of HIV in one country based upon the rate in another country and the relationship between the two countries’ circumcision rates.

    Such a comparison can only work if circumcision rates are the only factor affecting HIV rates.

    Is this true?
    Ethiopia–~100% circumcision rate, 4.4% HIV rate

    Israel–~100% circumcision rate, 0.1% HIV rate

    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.

  286. #286 Jackie
    May 3, 2007

    Do I know what kind of blog this is? Yeah, atheist, so? Does that mean it’s OK to be anti-semitic on an atheist blog? Are only people who don’t believe in God allowed to express their opinion? Is this really what atheism is about? Disrespect and hate towards those who don’t share that belief? Interesting.
    And completely laughable that you say: “All religion is just an excuse for one person or group of people to control others, and this case is a perfect example.” I guess lack of religion is the same thing, right? Seeing as you feel perfectly comfortable controling how others should practice their faith. I guess that as long as it’s a godless control, it’s acceptable, right? Because you know way better than the rest of us. I deeply thank you for proving my point and showing what kind of “person” you really are. And you take the liberty of all atheists by implying that this blog should support anti-semitism. I’m sure those atheists here that hold that belief out of true conviction and not blind hatred appreciate it.

    And Out-ter… Thanks for your personal interpretation of the First Ammendment, but freedom of religion is just that. I’m sure you try hard to interpret it to suit your needs, but parents have a right to educate their children within their religious beliefs and practices. And, BTW, circumcision is commanded to the father, so even if you’re interpretation was even remotely right, it’s still protected. Jewish belief states that the father should see to the son’s circumcision at the 8th day of life. That’s the religious belief and that’s what’s protected by the 1st ammendment.
    And honestly, fetishist brush? This from a person that screams fetish! at every person who doesn’t find circumcision wrong? Where did I say that anti-circ equals fetishist? I said SOME and I stand by it. I’ve met a few.
    As for your proxy comment, according to Judge Orf: “the decision of whether or not a child has elective surgery, which this appears to be, is a call that should be made and is reserved to the custodial parent”.
    And really, don’t you have better threats than that? Your beloved practice will die out? My, we’re back to junior high. I guess I touched a nerve. Glad I did too, just validates what I’ve been trying to say. Yet another example of a hating, intolerant, pathetic anti-semite trying to sound more acceptable by pretending to fight for the children. Pathetic, really. At least be proud enough to call yourself what you are.

  287. #287 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.

  288. #288 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).

  289. #289 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?

  290. #290 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?

  291. #291 Anne
    May 3, 2007

    Q.E.D

    Religion and the pursuit thereof is evil.

  292. #292 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.

  293. #293 Caledonian
    May 3, 2007

    Jackie, refresh my memory. What was the reason for circumcision before HIV came along?

  294. #294 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.

  295. #295 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.

  296. #296 Brad
    May 3, 2007

    You go Jackie!
    Thank you for openly showing what these people are really about. So holier than all of us put together, but they have no problem using a little boy and his problems to push their selfish agendas. They’re even making money on that, as they ask people to contribute for “Misha’s defense”. Misha isn’t even battling in court, he doesn’t need the money. That lousy mother of his does, and who better than anti-circ groups to gather their little pawns around the net to make people give money so this woman can have her petty, selfish revenge?
    So, oh yes, they’re SO worried and SO supportive of poor Misha as long as he keeps bringing in some pounds to the cause. The only support they have is for Misha’s foreskin. They couldn’t care less about what this boy wants, all they want is for him to be an issue so they can have a pathetic moment in their otherwise dead cause. How noble of them!

  297. #297 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.

  298. #298 Out-ter
    May 3, 2007

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

  299. #299 Paul Mannering
    May 4, 2007

    If God wanted everyone to be sans-foreskin wouldn’t he have designed us that way?

  300. #300 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.

  301. #301 twominutemarvel
    May 4, 2007

    Ah, and I had meant to comment specifically on this:

    When my sons were born I left them intact because I figured that foreskin evolved for a reason and, even if we don’t know what that reason is, I shouldn’t mess. If they don’t like it, they can get a trim later and feel completely responsible for the results.

    Francis Crick growled on more than one occasion about “uncritical teleology” creeping into discussions involving evolution, even by convinced evolutionists. Simply because a feature had evolved at some point in the past does not mean that it has any functional relevance today. Circumstances change faster than genomes are able to.

    Is there some broader evolutionary purpose for which I am rendered unfit because I have had my tonsils removed? How about my appendix? My wisdom teeth got pulled. For that matter, I have spent many hours of my life using a very sharp blade to hack hair off of my face. Should I not do that? After all, those whiskers evolved for what was presumably a useful reason.

    The truth is that in many cases, anatomical features of these sorts are leftover artifacts of no real utility, and in some cases of outright disutility.

    I don’t miss my foreskin, tonsils, wisdom teeth, nor my appendix. If it were cheaper than it is to have my beard permanently lasered off, I wouldn’t miss that, either.

    As Ogden Nash had it, “Smallpox is natural; vaccine ain’t.”

  302. #302 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.

  303. #303 Azkyroth
    May 4, 2007

    Jackie,

    While I applaud you for bravely calling out the board on the anti-semitism behind the anti-circumcision argument, I think there’s a lot more you could say.

    For instance, you might berate the anti-semitism of nudists, who oppose wearing clothes, something Jews practice.

    You might also berate people who argue that clean, energy-efficient lighting should be employed rather than sooty oil lamps, clearly a case of rampant anti-semitism given that some Jewish religious rituals involve the use of lamps (Hannukah).

    In addition, criticizing the anti-semitism of atheists in general might be called for, since atheists argue against religious belief, something critical to the Jewish faith.

    But why stop there? Jews aren’t the only victims. Perhaps an attack on the racism of people who prefer not to listen to rap music would be called for.

    Idiot. (Yes, the above is sarcasm).

    (Incidentally, would your claim that freedom of religion means parents have the right to force their children into rituals if their religion dictates it extend to human sacrifice? What about religions whose texts order them to slaughter non-believers, adulterers, and the like? Would it actually kill you to switch your brain on BEFORE you start typing, and if so, wouldn’t it be best to get it over with?)

  304. #304 Out-ter
    May 4, 2007

    concernedcitizen, its not a matter of win or lose with JakeW or the other CircList types. Its not worth arguing with them, so I don’t. It would be like trying to convince a bee not to sting.

    I’d recommend Googling Circlist for a little more insight before you join the JakeW fanclub. There were some great links about JakeW, including his Wikipedia page, posted above.

    Actually, I really do wonder how many of the most recent arrivals are JakeW and/or his recruits from the various holes he dwells in.

    On the off chance that Jackie is her own, real person, Godwinning a thread doesn’t mean that you won, it just means that you suck at life. It means that you have nothing to say, so you start screaming accusations.

  305. #305 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?

  306. #306 TandyT
    May 4, 2007

    “****And, BTW, circumcision is commanded to the father***, so even if you’re interpretation was even remotely right, it’s still protected. Jewish belief states that the father should see to the son’s circumcision at the 8th day of life. That’s the religious belief and that’s what’s protected by the 1st ammendment.”

    It is? apparently you are going on mere belief here and not what research has shown:

    http://home.comcast.net/~consult2/index.html

    And what about snake-handling for religious reasons? Have you forgotten this?

  307. #307 TandyT
    May 4, 2007

    “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.”

    Perhaps you can plug in the numbers to show this reduction exist in the real world–Jake has danced around it by merely offering specualtive excuses–can you do any better?

    What is creepy and perverted to me are those determined to forcefully remove foreskin for no valid scentific reason.

  308. #308 TandyT
    May 4, 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.”

    Jackie, have you ever considered the obverse–that the circumcision movement was started and maintained predominately by Jews? Look at those who first started the medicalization of circumcision and who are the most fervent and vocal of those promoting it today.

  309. #309 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?

  310. #310 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

  311. #311 Jake
    May 4, 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. 😉

  312. #312 Jake
    May 4, 2007

    “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”

    It’s unclear why you post a link to a document that poses a question but does not answer it (at least in the abstract).

  313. #313 Jackie
    May 4, 2007

    “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?”

    Tandy, sweetie, get yourself a dictionary, my dear. POTENTIAL isn’t the opposite of PROVEN, the opposite of potential is NET. These are potential PROVEN benefits. Now, since you obviously don’t have one at home, do a Google search for “dictionary”. Once you find one, search for the word “potential” and then come tell us when does it mean that something that’s potential isn’t proven? Now, be a good girl and the same with proven and net.
    Now, let’s work with some e-xam-ples (you can look that word up too, if you wish). Now, it’s been PROVEN that Aspirin lowers the risk of getting a second heart attack. The mechanism is understood as to why. It’s a PROVEN benefit. Is it a NET benefit? Certainly. You give aspirin to a person, the blood gets thinner, the risk of a blod clot diminishes. Plain and simple.
    Now, you do know that lowering your cholesterol intake can also help you prevent heart disease, right? Is it a PROVEN benefit? Most definitely, there’s no doubt about it. Is it a NET benefit? Nope, it’s a POTENTIAL benefit. Why? Because some people who lower their cholesterol intake don’t experience that outcome for various reasons and need further measures. Does that mean you’re against promoting a diet low in cholesterol? Because the benefits are just potential? Or is it something that some people should consider IN ADDITION to other measures to help them lower their cholesterol?

    Out-ter,

    Shoo shoo? That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? OK, very well, if all you have to argue our points is shoo shoo then I think it’s safe to say you really have nothing. Isn’t it sad that you’ve been living your life fighting for something so stupid yo ucan’t even defend more strongly than telling us shoo shoo?

    Azkyroth (or whatever),

    Same to you. Is that all you’ve got to discredit a perfectly valid religious and medical practice? Compare it to anything you find repulsive? Yeah, sweetie, circumcision and human sacrifice are EXACTLY the same. And all religious people are evil and to blame for all the wars of the world, right? Honestly, if all you can do to prove that male circumcisio nis wrong is to compare it with something else, it just means that you have nothing on circumcision itself that does the trick. So you sadly have to go scratching for stuff that look similar to you and make a huge fool of yourself by actually stating in public that circumcision is exactly like human sacrifice, FGM, listening to rap music and wearing clothes.
    And you call ME an idiot? Sorry, dear, but your comments were past idiotic and reek of ignorance. I don’t think a dictionary will do it with you. But Hooked on Phonics might help you get some basic understanding.

    And finally, tandy (again),

    I think you are way out of your league here. That link you provided, honestly! You want medical facts, look for a medical journal, you want psychological facts, look for a psychology book, you want religios facts, look for religious sources, my dear. Those sources are NOT religious, have no knowledge on religious and you should know that none of those people have ever study religion. Honestly, Glick? LMAO here. Do you honestly think that an article that says :Rabbis: “Learned Scholars” or Circumcision Fanatics?” is unbiased, accurate, learned and reliable? Again ,thanks for proving my poitn about the initial beliefs and goals of most anti-circumcision activists.
    Really, go back to the dictionary. Looking for credible sources is a little too difficult for you at the moment.

  314. #314 Brad
    May 4, 2007

    Jake and Jackie, you must be doing something good to have all these people loosing their minds. They started sounding reasonable, even if I don’t agree with them, and by now they’re sounding like 5 year old kids fighting over a cookie. And of course, I hope many people are reading these comments and realizing how illogical, unreasonable and hypocritical their position really is. They’re making absolutely no sense and are just now babbling incoherently. Shoo shoo is the most coherent thing Out-ter has said in these last couple of days, just to give you a clue.

    And Tandy, I’m not Jewish, but that comment you made. No, no, no, no. Jackie is right and you really are just being brainwashed and have no clue what you’re even fighting for or against. Tandy, don’t you know that the most common antisemitic idea is that the Jwes are to blame for everything? The idea of a Jewish lobby dominating different areas is one of the most famous antisemitic arguments. Now, if this had been said by Anne or Out-ter I’d consider it antisemitism, but you probably noticed they’re very careful not to go there, even if they probably think it’s true. They know what that argument implies, and they’ve been trying, unsuccesfully I might add, to pretend they’re not antisemites. Because it’s you I’m assuming is just plain, old ignorance on your part. But be careful of what nonsense you start beliving.

  315. #315 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?

  316. #316 Anne
    May 4, 2007

    I’d also say that attacking me for having not said something I think most people, including myself, feel is offensive because you want to attack me for saying it is a bit off really….

    I feel sorry for Jackie, I really do, it must take some insecurity to Godwin a thread because one cruel and bloodythirsty ritual of her religion is being questioned as to it’s ethics, especially given that there is a Court case going on that is doing exactly that.

    Still, that’s the price of free speech I suppose.

  317. #317 Jackie
    May 4, 2007

    “it just means that you suck at life.”

    Honestly, Out-ter, is that you’re idea of a clever comeback? Or an insult? That’s right up there with I am rubber, you are glue on the pathetic scale. I suck at life??? You guys are giving me more laughs these last couple of days than in the years I’ve spent on debate baords.
    Now, if you want to see sucky lives, let’s take a look, shall we? You’re wasting YOUR life fighting for a cause no one cares about, concerning yourself with something so banal and stupid 90% of the world’s population wouldn’t even consider it an issue. You want to end a practice that’ll never end, you want to make something illegal that no one will make illegal. In the US, specifically, it won’t be illegal anytime soon because it’s still a common practice regardless of religion. If you manage to lower the numbers to, let’s say, Finland or Sweden, then, just like there, no one will give a rat’s ass about it. And the more it’s associated with lower incidence of AIDS and other benefits are proven, the less people are likely to consider it wrong. You’re using your life to obsess and fight for a worthless, idiotic, pathetic, insignificant cause. And alienating people all around in the process. Yeah, now I realize I have a lot to learn from you on how not to suck at life. You really have it have it together, obsessing about a little piece of skin it’s completely irrelevant if someone has it or not.

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

    And you’re pusposedly ignoring the GOOD things religious fervor brings for a more logical reason or just because you hate circumcision? As a religious person, I’ve seen first hand the LOVE, TOLERANCE, AID and RESPECT religious people around the world are capable of and do bring. Which is quite a lot more than I can say for your religionless fervor of hate, intolerance and defamation. 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.

    I honestly feel sorry for you too, as well. First because of the same reason Out-ter is laughable at best: you’re devoting your life to a meaningless, insignificant, pathetic cause. You can question it all you want, you can call Jews bloodthirsty, cruel, evil barbarians, you can even try to convince a couple of people despite all evidence that circumcision is damaging. But that’s pretty much all you can do. And the more you fanatically use hatred and intolerance to promote your cause, the less people will be willing to listen to you.
    So, please I beg of you, keep it up! People like you and Out-ter are the BEST advocates FOR circumcision in the world. People like you are the ones that turn this cause into a circus of ridiculous arguments, pathetic lies and hateful comments that no one takes seriously. As long as people like you are speaking against circumcision, the issue is dead and, at best, laughed at.
    Didn’t you have a gathering of some sort a couple of months ago? Who cared? No one. Not a single mention on the news, a few people in the pictures with banners big enough so that it’ll look like more than 10 people were there. Nothing. No one cares, no one will ever care. It’s such a stupid, little, insiginificant issue in this world that no one will become a leader in religious persecution over it.
    There are more noble things to do with your life. Go save a whale. Buy a hybrid. Donate blood. Give money to the make a wish foundation. Something where you’re actually doing something good for your world instead of spreading baseless, groundless, empty, blind hatred.
    Now when you start doing that then you can tell me how sorry you feel for me. At least I do things to help others have a better life without hurting anyone. Not something you can honestly claim for yourself.
    Now, THAT’S real life, sweetie. Welcome to it. There’s a whole world out there full with wonderful people, religious or not, that live their lives tying to improve this world. Go out and enjoy it. Foreskins, I’m sorry to tell you, are really, really unimportant.

  318. #318 Jackie
    May 4, 2007

    And, BTW Anne I didn’t brign God into this discussion. The original issue is religiously based so I didn’t bring in anything that wasn’t there to begin with. This situation isn’t about medical circumcision, it’s about religios circumcision, so if you feel uncomfortable with people talking about God and religion during a religiously based topic, then maybe you should go back to intactivist.com and continue your bashing there.
    How was it? Shoo shoo?

  319. #319 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.

  320. #320 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.

  321. #321 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.

  322. #322 TandyT
    May 5, 2007

    Jackie, did you bother to read about the origins of that circumcision dogma you desperately cling to?

    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?

    http://home.comcast.net/~consult2/index.html

  323. #323 TandyT
    May 5, 2007

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

  324. #324 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?

  325. #325 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.

  326. #326 Caledonian
    May 5, 2007

    Let’s not forget that all of the previous claims are not only now known to be wrong, but were known even at the time they were made.

    They’re ultimately just excuses for maintaining the tradition.

  327. #327 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.

  328. #328 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.

  329. #329 Jake
    May 5, 2007

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

    No evidence of ‘extra sensitivity’ was discussed. Odd that you introduce it.

  330. #330 Jake
    May 5, 2007

    “Let’s not forget that all of the previous claims are not only now known to be wrong, but were known even at the time they were made.”

    What claims are you referring to, Caledonian?

  331. #331 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?

  332. #332 TandyT
    May 6, 2007

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

    “No evidence of ‘extra sensitivity’ was discussed. Odd that you introduce it.”

    “Being uncircumcised would give me even greater sensation, say its advocates.”

    So, you introduce your assumption, I provide contradictory information, and you then try to change the discussion from that of your ASSUMPTION to a discussion of the information.

    Cute, but very transparent tactic!

    But all is well because it all worked out it the end–we have both shown that your assumption was wrong.

    NOW, if you would like to discuss the question of greater sensation, I would like to direct you to the Taylor study.

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showAbstract&doi=10.1046/j.1464-410x.1996.85023.x&area=production&prevSearch=allfield%3A%28circumcision%29

    I assume you can handle the simple logic of “greater number of nerves = greater sensation”.

  333. #333 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.

  334. #334 Jackie
    May 6, 2007

    “Perhaps you need a trip a dictionary..

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

    Perhaps what you need is some basic understanding of the English language. Or rephrase your original question. You said POTENTIAL meant UNPROVEN. Where exactly in your definition is this word? HAS NOT YET COME INTO BEING doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and doesn’t mean it’s not proven.
    Maybe t omake it easier for you, you should consult a thesaurus. Since it’s just one word synonyms (you do know what a synonym is, don’t you?) maybe you’ll understand what potential is way better than with complicated definitions.

    Potential: budding, embryonic, developing, promising, prospective, likely, possible, probable, unrealized, latent, dormant, inherent.

    Gee… no “unproven” and no “unexisting”?

  335. #335 Jackie
    May 6, 2007

    “NOW, if you would like to discuss the question of greater sensation, I would like to direct you to the Taylor study.

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showAbstract&doi=10.1046/j.1464-410x.1996.85023.x&area=production&prevSearch=allfield%3A%28circumcision%29

    OK, first the Taylor study isn’t anything more than histiological proof that foreskin is, indeed, skin. It doesn’t say anything about sensitivity, or sexual function. Unless you can fnd a ouija board and ask the subjects?

    “I assume you can handle the simple logic of “greater number of nerves = greater sensation”.”

    First of all, that’s a very simplistic view. Bt somehow I’m not surprised by it. Different nerves and nerve terminals have different functions and capacities. Furthermore, sensitivity is HIGHLY individual, you cannot simply say someone is more or less sensitive just because of the number of nerves.
    Second, you’re ignoring a well known mammal function: nerve regeneration. So even if nerves are severed during a procedure, that doesn’t immediately mean that sensitivity will be altered later on.
    Finally, even if you were right and it was as simple as that, you’re yet to prove that this altered sensitivity has any adverse effect on the intended function of that sensitivity which is sexual pleasure and reproduction. Some people will actually find it desirable. Some companies even have products designed for that exact purpose, to diminish penile sensitivity and increase duration of intercourse. So even if there was a proven, measurable decrease in sensitivity, it doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing.

  336. #336 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?

  337. #337 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).

  338. #338 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?

  339. #339 Anne
    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.

  340. #340 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.

  341. #341 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.

  342. #342 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

  343. #343 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?

  344. #344 TandyT
    May 7, 2007

    jackie, how do you explain that circumcision does not appear in the “holy texts” until circa 550BCE? Can this be dismissed as OPINION?

    And then you go on to presenting the OPINIONS of some so-called “learned scholars” as evidence–do I detect a double standard here, or is it mere hypocrisy?

    And did you even bother to read about some of the nonsense espoused by these “learned scholars”?

    Sorry, but all I see in your response is mere dismisal coupled with some hysterics.

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

    I guess, for you, that belief is the ultimate regardless of any facts and evidence to the contrary.

  345. #345 TandyT
    May 7, 2007

    “OK, first the Taylor study isn’t anything more than histiological proof that foreskin is, indeed, skin. It doesn’t say anything about sensitivity, or sexual function. Unless you can fnd a ouija board and ask the subjects?”

    Gee, how blithly you do dismiss the evidence of an abundance of specialized nerves. And you dismiss a sexual function without providing ANY evidence of another speculative function. it doesn’t take a rocket scientisit to comprehend that sensory nerves provide a sensory function. Perhaps these “learned scholars” of yours could provide another function for them?

    Wait, one did provide a function–Miamonides did–and his function was specifically sexual!

    “I assume you can handle the simple logic of “greater number of nerves = greater sensation”.”

    “First of all, that’s a very simplistic view. Bt somehow I’m not surprised by it. Different nerves and nerve terminals have different functions and capacities. Furthermore, sensitivity is HIGHLY individual, you cannot simply say someone is more or less sensitive just because of the number of nerves.”

    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

    “Second, you’re ignoring a well known mammal function: nerve regeneration. So even if nerves are severed during a procedure, that doesn’t immediately mean that sensitivity will be altered later on.”

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

    “Finally, even if you were right and it was as simple as that, you’re yet to prove that this altered sensitivity has any adverse effect on the intended function of that sensitivity which is sexual pleasure and reproduction.”

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

    “Some people will actually find it desirable. Some companies even have products designed for that exact purpose, to diminish penile sensitivity and increase duration of intercourse. So even if there was a proven, measurable decrease in sensitivity, it doesn’t mean it’s a negative thing.”

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

    excuses and speculation and a lot of illogical thought!!!

  346. #346 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.

  347. #347 Anne
    May 7, 2007

    So because some intact men, (not very many, it’s very much a minority product available only in sex shops in intact countries) wish to buy a “delay spray”, you think that every man should be subjected to a desentising operation?

    So what happens to the ones (the vast majority) that were happily normal before (or would have been if they’d been allowed to stay intact)?

    They’re the ones that think they’re fine but leave their women rubbed raw, bored, and in pain because it all goes on far too long, with the result being that almost purely American phenomenon of “female sexual dysfunction”.

    Funny that.

  348. #348 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Mara,

    A few years back, Ronald Goldman said he was uncircumcised in an interview. If he’s circumcised now or he isn’t, I wouldn’t know. Haven’t seen his penis. 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? But if that were the case, I wouldn’t know why at some point he said he was uncircumcised.

    And about what he said about his fellow Jews, honestly, what did you expect him to say to get some credibility? Didn’t I just post a quote of Hitler himself saying that there never was nor there ever will religious persecution in Germany? People with an agenda say what they have to say to get what they want. I may not agree with Mr. Goldman’s idea, but he’s certainly not an idiot.

    “jackie, how do you explain that circumcision does not appear in the “holy texts” until circa 550BCE? Can this be dismissed as OPINION?”

    Ok, sweetie, quick history lesson for you. What you’re referring to is the different “sources” of the Torah. The Yawhist, the Elohist, the Deuteronomist and the Priestly. the one you’re referring to, in 550 is the Priestly source. Each of these sources focus on certain aspects of the Torah, the original document. Just because some of these sources don’t mention a certain aspect, it doesn’t mean it isn’t mentioned in the original document. For many years, the Torah was an unshared text. Just because it appeared to the rest of the world at one time, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t exist before.
    You know, we even have a Torah lineage to show how it was passed, here it is:
    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Mesora.htm

    And the laws of writing a Torah scroll, just to show you that even changing one letter makes the whole scroll invalid:
    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/torahaccuracy.htm

    So these people had to pass it without changing a sinlge letter since Moses.

    The texts you’re referring to are explanations, translations and interpretations, they’re not the holy original text where circumcision is, of course, mentioned as proved by the fact that the original document was passed unchanged.

    If you want to read a historian that’s actually respectedm try “A History of the Jews” by Paul Johnson. The guy’s not Jewish, so maybe he’s more credible for you. Very interesting opinions on the Torah as an historical document.

  349. #349 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.

  350. #350 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.

  351. #351 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?

  352. #352 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?

  353. #353 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?

  354. #354 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.

  355. #355 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.

  356. #356 Jake
    May 7, 2007

    “Anyway what that gibberish means is that sensation doesn’t depened exclusively on the amount of nerves.”

    Of course not. If nerves aren’t stimulated, there is no sensation. So sensation really depends upon the interaction between the types of stimulation and the ability of particular nerves to sense that stimulation.

  357. #357 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.

  358. #358 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.

  359. #359 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.

  360. #360 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.

  361. #361 Jackie
    May 7, 2007

    Sorry bout the massive postings, folks. I kept getting an error message and assumed the posts weren’t going to appear. I guess they did. I don’t think I can delete them myself, but maybe the webmaster can. Hope he does, I know it’s very annoying. Completely unentional.

  362. #362 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.

  363. #363 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.

  364. #364 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.

  365. #365 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.

  366. #366 TandyT
    May 8, 2007

    Jackie,
    I love the throwing out of a lot of illogical and unsupported speculations and then demanding that you be given absolute proof to refute YOUR speculations.

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

    But all of your speculation still fails to provide a logical diconnect for the following:

    Loss of sensory nerves = loss of sensation.

    All you have provided is a PERSONAL evaluation of the extent, value, and function of these lost nerves.

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

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showAbstract&doi=10.1046/j.1464-410x.1996.85023.x&area=production&prevSearch=allfield%3A%28circumcision%29

    So can we expect to get a logical diconnect?

  367. #367 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?

  368. #368 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 specalutions and evaluations?

  369. #369 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?

  370. #370 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.

  371. #371 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.

  372. #372 TandyT
    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.”

    Must it be spelled out for you to underttand this Jake.

    the nerves are in the ridged band and they ARE removed with circumcision–if you need this spelled out foe you, you obviously need help with even simple concepts-OR this is yet anther word game.

    And to continue in your word game–PROVE these nerves are regenerated–and show WHERE the can be re-generated? Speculation is hardly proof, but it seems that is all you have, so you play it–and all too often.

    So Jake, if you have one optic nerve amputated, is there any loss,harm, or damage? Obviously not,because the nerves COULD regenerate.

    So, can YOU provide a logical diconnect here:

    Lost sensory nerves =lost sensation?

  373. #373 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!

  374. #374 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.

  375. #375 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?

  376. #376 Anne
    May 9, 2007

    Go back to StormFront JackieSharonWhateverYou’reCallingYourselfThisTime.

    No one is being deceived by you.

  377. #377 Marcus Ranum
    May 9, 2007

    The divine interest in wee-wees (and sex with mortals) is good evidence that men created the gods, not the other way around.

  378. #378 Caledonian
    May 9, 2007

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

    Normal nerves don’t regenerate, either.

  379. #379 Jake
    May 9, 2007

    “Normal nerves don’t regenerate, either.”

    Have a look at the following:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=nerve+regeneration&hl=en&lr=&btnG=Search

  380. #380 Caledonian
    May 9, 2007

    I think that adequately demonstrates that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  381. #381 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

  382. #382 Caledonian
    May 9, 2007

    Wikipedia on nerve regeneration

    Take a close look at the requirements for peripheral nerves to grow back, you moron.

  383. #383 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

  384. #384 PZ Myers
    May 9, 2007

    The problem of nerve regeneration in mammals is that they regenerate so poorly. If you read those references, you’ll discover much concern about how to facilitate repair: axotomy leads to unfortunate consequences. In many cases, degeneration proceeds back towards the cell body, and the neuron completely dies. Or the nerve simply stops at the stump, and does not regrow to its old destination. Or it re-extends, but doesn’t reconnect with its former target. Nerve damage is very, very bad for us — if you’re lucky, you get severely limited restoration of function.

    Now if we were frogs, on the other hand…you can sever the optic nerve in a frog and get functional regeneration. Sever such a nerve in us, you get nothin’. The blind do not see again, and if you get a severed spinal cord, you do not walk ever again.

  385. #385 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

  386. #386 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    “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?”

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

    “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!”

    So, you don’t think a study that ignores the obvious is not moronic?

    “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?”

    The whole point behind this is that there is loss from this unnecessary proceure–regardless of the personal evaluation of the importance of this loss by people who force this loss onto infants due to some belief of some giant daddy in the sky.

    So, when are you going to provide evidence that these nerves are NOT lost and their sensation? instead of merely childishly repeating it is unproven.

  387. #387 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    “And it’s pretty absolute. Just because you’re ignorant about it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, you know?”

    This is so amusing, since I am the one with the evidence and facts concerning your dogma–facts and evidence you CHOOSE to remain ignorant of.

  388. #388 concernedcitizen
    May 9, 2007

    “Go back to StormFront JackieSharonWhateverYou’reCallingYourselfThisTime.
    No one is being deceived by you.”

    “Anne”
    Jackie/Sharon/Jake must be doing something right because you’re positively frantic. I think you should try to keep this on topic, unless you have nothing relevant to add in which case gracefully bow out of the discussion. But this is pathetic, almost worse than pretending to have an American boyfriend.

  389. #389 Anne
    May 9, 2007

    Hey, keep going Tandy, you if you’re really lucky you might induce the long discussion of the word “rub” again.

    Oh I’m not frantic at all concernedcitizen, I’m enjoying myself winding up the fundies :). 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…

    I also just love the way your ridiculous “nerve regeneration” arguments have been shot down by the owner of the blog, who, unlike you, does know what he’s talking about. Or are you going to try and tell him he’s wrong too? That should promote an interesting discussion.

    Your point of comparison as to patheticness is quite surreal, do you always go around making comparisons as odd as that?

  390. #390 Soldats
    May 9, 2007

    I think it’s the irreversibility of circumcision that is so objectionable in a minor. Cosmetic surgery, tattooing, etc are reversible procedures. If done at birth, once the child grows up, they can decide to remove the tattoo or reverse the cosmetic change.

    Circumcision, however, is not reversible. As such, it should be delayed until the individual can make an informed decision about it.

  391. #391 concernedcitizen
    May 9, 2007

    “Oh I’m not frantic at all concernedcitizen, I’m enjoying myself winding up the fundies :). 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…”

    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.

    “I also just love the way your ridiculous “nerve regeneration” arguments have been shot down by the owner of the blog, who, unlike you, does know what he’s talking about. Or are you going to try and tell him he’s wrong too? That should promote an interesting discussion.”

    Hysteria is obviously impairing your reading comprehension. I didn’t write a word about nerve regeneration but look forward to reading the discussion about it. Do you have anything to say about nerve regeneration?

    “Your point of comparison as to patheticness is quite surreal, do you always go around making comparisons as odd as that?”

    You just remind me of this other anti-circ woman who posts all over the internet. She’s older and apparently quite lonely so has nothing to do all day but rant about circumcision. She says she’s motivated to fight against circ by how horrible sex is with her circumcised American boyfriend. If he exists (which I doubt) I feel quite sorry for him and hope he wakes up one day and finds someone who respects him enough not to spread his private business all over the internet. If I’ve confused you with her, forgive me (I certainly wouldn’t want to be her either) and let’s try to get this discussion back on point.

  392. #392 TandyT
    May 9, 2007

    CC sounds like a self-appointed arm chair psychologist able to discover things about people that have no foundation. Next comes palm-reading?

    Decries ad hominem attacks and then proceeds to do them–do we see a double standard here?

    Definitely the sort of information one should take at face value? NOT!

    And while we are at it, let’s accept the fantasy of some invisible giant Daddy in the sky–speculations, arm-chair psychology, and character assassination are legitimate reasons to accept this senseless and unnecessary procedure?

  393. #393 Anne
    May 9, 2007

    I think you’ll find that there are a lot of women on the internet in favour of genital integrity, most of whom might even be married to, or be in relationships with, Americans.

    It’s a very strange and odd sort of thing to throw at someone, but hey, maybe her boyfriend loves her and is restoring if she hates it that much. Maybe he knows all about it and supports her, there are plenty of men who dislike being cut and try to prevent it happening to other little boys. How do you think the intactivist movement got going in the first place? It would have got nowhere but for the support of the men who hated being cut.

    It’s a pity he wasn’t given the choice isn’t it? Like this poor little boy in the original story isn’t about to be given a choice. His father has decided to get religion and carve it into his son, whether his son wants it or not. That is absolutely unethical, barbaric and cruel.

    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.

  394. #394 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!

  395. #395 Anne
    May 9, 2007

    LOL.

  396. #396 Jake
    May 10, 2007

    “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.”

    Nerve regeneration in this particular context was first suggested by, as I recall, Xin and colleagues as a possible explanation for the evidence of surprising sensitivity at the site of the circumcision scar.

    “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?”

    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.

    “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”

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

  397. #397 Jake
    May 10, 2007

    “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.”

    Of course. Provided, that is that the experiment actually tests the hypothesis. If an experiment is poorly designed, such that the original hypothesis is not actually what is tested, then the outcome may differ.

    For example, in this example you’re not testing the hypothesis that circumcision affects the risk of HIV, you’re testing the hypothesis that circumcision and nothing else affects the prevalence of HIV (as would have to be the case if you were able to directly calculate one from the other).

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

    That’s a nonsensical argument.

    What do you suppose a study or experiment is? It’s a method for testing a hypothesis using data obtained from observation.

    What do you suppose your ’empirical evidence’ is? It’s data obtained from observation. And what are you doing with it? Testing a hypothesis.

    So what, objectively, is the difference between the two? Fundamentally, nothing. The only way to determine which is more reliable is to evaluate the reliability of the data, method of analysis, and whether it actually tests the given hypothesis.

  398. #398 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.”

  399. #399 TandyT
    May 10, 2007

    “Nerve regeneration in this particular context was first suggested by, as I recall, Xin and colleagues as a possible explanation for the evidence of surprising sensitivity at the site of the circumcision scar.”

    Since when is “suggest” proof af anything? Seems like the usual speculation to me.
    “surprising” in what regards–perhaps more likely to be a remnant of what would be pervasive in the entire foreskin?

    “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?”

    “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?

    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*
    Departments of Pathology, Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin, USA, and *Health Sciences Centre, University of Manitoba, Canada.

    For unknown reasons, keloid formation after circumcision is quite rare [90,91]. Although the circumcision scar has not been thoroughly studied, there are several different theories as to what happens when the nerves of the sensory receptors of the prepuce are transected during circumcision. Some have speculated that after circumcision, these nerves regenerate and develop new encapsulated receptors [92]. According to this theory, there would be a significant loss of penile sensitivity after circumcision, but this loss would not be apparent 6 months after the circumcision [92]. This notion is in direct conflict with human and animal studies that show when a nerve is transected, and the distal tissue is amputated, the proximal nerve undergoes acute axonal swelling [93-95]. After acute injury, the axon begins to sprout and branch at the injury site. ****Without the distal nerve, this frustrated attempt at re-innervation results in a bulbous, disordered tangle of axons, Schwann cells and fibrous tissue. Histology of the male circumcision scar shows amputation neuromas, Schwann cell proliferation and the bulbous collection of variably sized neurites. Amputation neuromas do not mediate normal sensation and are notorious for generating pain.**** ****Animal studies show that extirpation of the external genitalia results in acute retrograde degeneration of the nerve axon back to the spinal cord [96]****. Therefore, the changes in circumcised male sexual behaviour [81] may be related to a central nervous system alteration by retrograde axonal degeneration, or to peripheral nervous system damage by loss of the prepuce ridged band and amputation neuroma. It is assumed that amputation neuromas also form at the female circumcision scar, although we are unaware of a formal histology study.

    “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”

    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?

  400. #400 Jake
    May 10, 2007

    As a rule of thumb, it tends to be difficult if not impossible to convert a person from one belief system (in which I include atheism) to another. There’s not much point in trying; even less if you’re rude about it.

    And what’s the point anyway? Is it really so important that everyone shares your beliefs? Can’t you appreciate and respect them as a human being, regardless of their beliefs?

    And maybe stop being so rude and abrasive?

  401. #401 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).

  402. #402 TandyT
    May 10, 2007

    “As a rule of thumb, it tends to be difficult if not impossible to convert a person from one belief system (in which I include atheism) to another. There’s not much point in trying; even less if you’re rude about it.

    And what’s the point anyway? Is it really so important that everyone shares your beliefs? Can’t you appreciate and respect them as a human being, regardless of their beliefs?”

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

    In case you didn’t notice it, this discussion IS about beliefs trying to justify this.

  403. #403 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?

  404. #404 Jake
    May 10, 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?

  405. #405 Jackie
    May 10, 2007

    You’re right, Jake. Let’s join the Church of Foreskin. You know, it’s a piece of skin that has magical properties.

    “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.””

    No, sweetie. What makes you ignorant is the fact that you are unwilling to even consider that this proof is valid or even worth considering. I can show you whatever you want, but with that attitude is competely useless because you’ll just see what you want to see and ignore what causes a disturbance in your own set of beliefs.
    And please don’t tell me I don’t know you and that you’re truly open minded. You’re attitude speaks volumes. The ignorance isn’t in whether you share my belief or not. I know many people who don’t and I have nothing but the deepest respect for them because of their ATTITUDE of wanting to know, and wanting to learn. You don’t have this attitude, you don’t only have an ignorant attitude, you aren’t even interested in ending that ignorance. And I’m not interested in converting you, that’s why I’m also not interested in showing you any proof. Not with that attitude.

  406. #406 Anne
    May 11, 2007

    OOOH, this should be good. You have “proof” that your god exists? Has someone conducted a “study” which conclusively proves it?

    Please, I’m all ears.

    You seem to have discovered something that millions of deluded fanatics have been unable to find for centuries. Do share.

  407. #407 TandyT
    May 11, 2007

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

    Sure, one can dream up a lot of nonsense, but that hardly addresess the POSSIBILITY of their existence.

    PROOF?”
    Proof?–READ the paper and the refernces given. THEN offer a scientifically-credible rebuttal.

    “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…”

    OPINIONS? I read the references of this “opinion”? oh, I forgot, that for circumcisers that speculation has more merit than histology–sorry, I keep forgetting this–science keeps getting in the way.

    Ah, the old–“I don’t like the evidence, so cry “BIAS” and run away screaming “Victory, Victory”?

    “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?”

    Oh, so one should just accept this “common knowledge” about the penis, but should just ignore the same about the foreskin? WHY?

    Gotta love the double standard when talking about the evidence!

  408. #408 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’?

  409. #409 TandyT
    May 11, 2007

    “No, sweetie. What makes you ignorant is the fact that you are unwilling to even consider that this proof is valid or even worth considering. I can show you whatever you want, but with that attitude is competely useless because you’ll just see what you want to see and ignore what causes a disturbance in your own set of beliefs.”

    Having an open mind is vastly different from accepting the irrational without any evidence to support it.

    It must be terribly frustarating to participate in a forum that does not offer one the ability to hide behind a sacred cow while throwing out invectives and accusations of anti-semitism when some one questions their ritual–

    a forum where people are freely allowed to question whether or not myths, superstitions, beliefs, and dogma justify harming children–

    and, horrors of horrors, freely allowed to actually question the origins of, and the foundations of those myths, superstitions, beliefs, and dogma.

  410. #410 Jake
    May 11, 2007

    “Sure, one can dream up a lot of nonsense, but that hardly addresess the POSSIBILITY of their existence.”

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

    “OPINIONS? I read the references of this “opinion”?”

    Perhaps you should read the references themselves. On the whole, the references bear little relationship to the claims that they supposedly support.

    “Ah, the old–“I don’t like the evidence, so cry “BIAS” and run away screaming “Victory, Victory”?”

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

    “Oh, so one should just accept this “common knowledge” about the penis, but should just ignore the same about the foreskin? WHY?”

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

  411. #411 Jake
    May 11, 2007

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

    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.

  412. #412 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?

  413. #413 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 speculation of a 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?

  414. #414 Jake
    May 11, 2007

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

    Please read the post in which I introduced Xin again. I’m not going round in circles.

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

    You appear to be avoiding the issues.

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

    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.

    “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.

  415. #415 Anne
    May 12, 2007

    So why do you want to impose your personal preference for 2D sex on men who would prefer to have it in 3D?

    Again, you had a choice (comments about not being able to find a doctor for cosmetic surgery notwithstanding), why deny that choice to other men? Especially as almost all of them would prefer to be intact when they know what is cut off. This is presumably why there are so few places offering the service in intact countries – they know it’s not profitable or popular.

    Given a real choice, men do not want to be missing anything off their penis.

  416. #416 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!

  417. #417 TandyT
    May 12, 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 speculation of a 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.”

    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.

    “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” with (word games)?

    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?

  418. #418 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.

  419. #419 Jake
    May 12, 2007

    “So why do you want to impose your personal preference for 2D sex on men who would prefer to have it in 3D?”

    Anne, the comments about 2d and 3d related to severing the optic nerve. Extrapolating to sex via penile nerves contorts the analogy beyond recognition.

  420. #420 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.

  421. #421 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?

  422. #422 Jake
    May 12, 2007

    Yes, Anne, loss of sight in one eye is a likely consequence (albeit not the only one) of severing the optic nerve between the eyeball and chiasm. Do you disagree?

  423. #423 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.

  424. #424 Jake
    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.”

    I’m as puzzled by the analogy as you appear to be, Anne. Perhaps you’d better ask Tandy: he introduced it in 384. I think he’s trying to argue that a loss of a nerve is inherently bad, but he seems to want to avoid addressing the issue of functional loss.

    Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t think we were talking about cutting off all the nerves in a penis. We may (depending upon whether and how much regeneration takes place) be talking about cutting off some. Despite the determination of some participants to cling onto an overly-simplistic interpretation, this does not necessarily mean reduced sensation. Interesting, one of the few studies to investigate found increased sensation following circumcision (Masood et al., Urol Int. 2005;75(1):62-6).

  425. #425 Anne
    May 12, 2007

    Ah, the miraculous regenerating nerves.

    I think you ought to get in touch with some scientists about that, there’s a lot of people in wheelchairs would be glad to know about your amazing discovery and get treatment.

    You know. So they can walk again.

    Try telling a paraplegic about “increased sensation” from severed nerves and see how far you get.

  426. #426 Jake
    May 13, 2007

    “Ah, the miraculous regenerating nerves.

    I think you ought to get in touch with some scientists about that, there’s a lot of people in wheelchairs would be glad to know about your amazing discovery and get treatment.”

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

  427. #427 TandyT
    May 13, 2007

    “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.”

    Sure, when and IF you can OBJECTIVELY prove any gain in removing the foreskin.

  428. #428 TnadyT
    May 13, 2007

    “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).”

    Thanks for these alleged OPINIONS (baaed on ignoranceof, and/or denial of damage, but with opposing OPINIONS, the subject is still up for debate–so we need OBJECTIVE evidence of no loss–and that is what I am asking for.

    BTW, We know even your own informal internet poll failed to support this assertion of “satisfaction”, don’t we?

  429. #429 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”!

  430. #430 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?

  431. #431 Jake
    May 13, 2007

    “Sure, when and IF you can OBJECTIVELY prove any gain in removing the foreskin.”

    Given your confident claims of absolute loss, perhaps you might begin with that.

    “Thanks for these alleged OPINIONS (baaed on ignoranceof, and/or denial of damage, but with opposing OPINIONS, the subject is still up for debate”

    Actually, based upon a significant number of studies.

    “so we need OBJECTIVE evidence of no loss–and that is what I am asking for.”

    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.

    “BTW, We know even your own informal internet poll failed to support this assertion of “satisfaction”, don’t we?”

    Do we?

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

    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”

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

    Interesting excuse.

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

    It isn’t. Please work on your reading comprehension.

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

    395. 4th paragraph.

  432. #432 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.

  433. #433 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.

  434. #434 TandyT
    May 14, 2007

    Act 2
    SPECULATION: foreskin nerves regenerate..

    PROOF?

  435. #435 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.

  436. #436 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.

  437. #437 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

  438. #438 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?

  439. #439 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?

  440. #440 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?

  441. #441 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.

  442. #442 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?

  443. #443 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.

  444. #444 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.

  445. #445 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?

  446. #446 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.

  447. #447 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.

  448. #448 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?

  449. #449 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?

  450. #450 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.

  451. #451 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.

  452. #452 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?

  453. #453 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?

  454. #454 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.

  455. #455 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.

  456. #456 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.

  457. #457 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.

  458. #458 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.

  459. #459 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.

  460. #460 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.

  461. #461 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.

  462. #462 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?

  463. #463 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.

  464. #464 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.

  465. #465 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.

  466. #466 Jake
    May 25, 2007

    “Sure, and where again exactly did you ANSWER these questions?”

    430 and 449.

  467. #467 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.

  468. #468 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.

  469. #469 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.

  470. #470 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.

  471. #471 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.

  472. #472 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.”

  473. #473 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.”

  474. #474 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?

  475. #475 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?

  476. #476 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?

  477. #477 TandyT
    May 31, 2007

    “Ok, where’s this (scientific) proof?”

    Jake, this feigned (?)stupidity is really getting tired–

    AMPUTATION = REMOVES!

    REMOVED = GONE!

  478. #478 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. 🙂

  479. #479 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..

  480. #480 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!

  481. #481 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.

  482. #482 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.

  483. #483 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…

  484. #484 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.

  485. #485 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”.

  486. #486 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?

  487. #487 Jake
    June 4, 2007

    Tandy, no study has determined the number of nerves present, so asking about the number regenerated is somewhat premature.

  488. #488 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?

  489. #489 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’.

  490. #490 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?

  491. #491 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.

  492. #492 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.

  493. #493 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.

  494. #494 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!

  495. #495 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.

  496. #496 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.

  497. #497 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?

  498. #498 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!

  499. #499 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!”

  500. #500 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!

  501. #501 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.

  502. #502 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?

  503. #503 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.

  504. #504 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.

  505. #505 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…

  506. #506 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

  507. #507 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.

  508. #508 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.

  509. #509 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.

  510. #510 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.

  511. #511 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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