#SexIs - #SexFeed - AAP ignores appeals from “Intactavists.” Declare with circumcision “benefits outweigh risks.”

Ansley Ansley


AAP ignores appeals from “Intactavists.” Declare with circumcision “benefits outweigh risks.”, by Roland Hulme! - Click here to read Roland's article about the recent decision by the American Academy of Pediatrics.



"Today, the AAP officially declared that “there are clear medical benefits to circumcision,” citing many of the previously debunked studies popular with those who promote the procedure. It comes as a major setback to those who’d been happy to see rates of infant circumcision drop from 80% in the 1980s to a nationwide low of 54.7% in 2010."

This is the follow-up article to the discussion we were having last week. The decision seems to only reinforce the idea that, in America, it's all about the Benjamins.

While we are already aware of your opinions on circumcision, whether for or against it, what do you think of the double-standard that it's okay to circumcise a male child, but removing the clitoris is consider genital mutilation?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Is removing the clitoris genital mutilation in your opinion?
2
How is this even a question? Of course it is!
38
No, it's not mutilation but there's no good reason for it either way.
1
Undecided...
1
.
Is removing the foreskin genital mutilation in your opinion?
2
Yes, definitely.
11
No, not at all.
21
Undecided.
8
..
Do you think the AAP's decision is solely based on money?
2
Yes! What else would it be about?
16
No, it's a sound decision.
6
Undecided....
15
...
1
I have more to say on this and will leave a comment below!
5
Total votes: 129 (44 voters)
Poll is closed
08/30/2012
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Gdom Gdom
I'm actually somewhat undecided on the circumcision issue (I happen to be circumcised and don't mind it, but the "Intactivists" make a decent case). Anyway, I just want to weigh in on the "is circumcision on the same level as removing the clitoris." I see at least two reasons why these practices are substantially dissimilar.

First, female genital mutilation (FGM) is generally an act of malice. Even when malicious intent is not obvious on the face of it, FGM invariably stems from misogynistic/gynophobi c views. On the other hand, even if circumcision is medically unnecessary (or even somewhat detrimental) as Intactivists argue, at worst, the practice stems from ignorance and reliance on debunked science and NOT some sort of pervasive misandry. While that may be little consolation to a man who suffered some circumcision-related injury, it's important to note the differing contexts in which these practices occur.

Second--and more importantly--for many women, removing the clitoris would be tantamount to an annihilation of their ability to orgasm. The same simply cannot be said of circumcision. While there have been cases of decreased sensitivity and so on following circumcision, those cases are not the norm (at least to my knowledge) and even then, there's quite a difference in degree from total removal of the clitoris.

Anyway, none of that is meant to support (or decry) circumcision itself. I just think that, however detrimental we might want to say it is, it's simply not on the same level as FGM.
08/30/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
I'm actually somewhat undecided on the circumcision issue (I happen to be circumcised and don't mind it, but the "Intactivists" make a decent case). Anyway, I just want to weigh in on the "is circumcision on the same level as ... More
I have to disagree that use of the term 'mutilation' requires malicious intent. Mutilation, from a medical perspective, is the defacing of a human body resulting in damage either physically or functionally. There is no reference to intent of any kind.

Secondly, FGM is based on a cultural history not too unlike male circumcision. In both cases, parents believe they are doing the right thing and it is often a religious decision, though certainly not always.

Lastly, I don't think it's fair for any of us to judge others in terms of potentially how devastating the mutilation is. To say male circumcision is not as bad as FGM is unfair. If it fits the definition of mutilation, I think common sense would dictate that no degree should be tolerated.

I should add that I'm not opposed to circumcision, but I believe it is a choice that should be made by the individual, not one's parents.
08/30/2012
kendra30752 kendra30752
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley


AAP ignores appeals from “Intactavists.” Declare with circumcision “benefits outweigh risks.”, by Roland Hulme! - Click here to read Roland's article about the recent decision by the American Academy of ... More
OK, my feelings are strange. First off though, cutting of the clitoris is HORRIBLE, sickening, inhumane, barbaric, disgusting, insensitive and everything else that means HORRIBLE in the book. It's downright mind blowing that it's even thought of, let alone done!

I remember a few years ago promoting and signing petitions against female genital mutilation. The whole ordeal in Africa and other places where young girls (sometimes babies) were getting theirs cut off so that they would not enjoy pleasure. But it was a certainty that they would experience rape AT the least ONE time before age something. I don't know all the statistics and such, but I remember being so horrified when I first joined an activist group. We had millions of signatures on multiple petitions for this problem alone and yet it STILL happens. OK, that was about the female genital mutilation. They thing about circumcision being considered "mutilation" wasn't really heard of until recently (not by me or anyone else I know anyways.) So yes, it is somewhat new to me that circumcision is being considered "mutilation."

I discussed this with my partner once not long ago. I asked him if he had a choice right now to either be circumsized or not, what would he choose? He said he'd choose to be circumsized.

I understand men's decisions to BE circumsized as well as to NOT be circumsized. For one, cutting off the clitoris is not to prevent infections and such. Cutting the foreskin is. As a person who's worked in daycare and has been raising my own familie's children for longer than 10 years, I can say that I never seen a boy with NO foreskin (a circumsized male) come up with genital problems and infection. I have however, seen the uncircumsized show up with many problems one being serious infections. So I do understand that there is a difference in clitoris and foreskin and the reasons for clipping.

If men are suddenly opposed to this, of course they have that right. If you don't want your foreskin cut, you have every right to being the decision maker. I can see how it's tough though, when you're the parent with a baby and you simply want the best. All you may know is that there are more complications in boys with UN-circumsized genitals, and that is why you make the decision to have it cut. I don't think a parent is horrible because of that. And I do not think a parent is horrible for making the decision NOT to have their son circumized.

Do I think this whole ordeal is about money? I'm a smart girl. Hell yes I do! Lol.

I just don't think I can consider it a "double standard" because like I said, clitoris are cut off to prevent a woman/girl's pleasure whereas a piece of penis skin is cut to prevent infections and complications.

Having foreskin, can be more of an issue for some men than others. I know some who have to do "extra" to keep things under control than some of those who are circumsized. Still, it's up to the person and how they feel, but what if you got to be 21 years old and thought 'shit. My parents didn't have me circumsized, and I certainly don't wanna do it now, but what about this "smegma" and maybe other issues like infections.' That would be a hard, hard thing. Then again, what if you grew up to be 21 and thought 'WTF were my parents thinking cutting my foreskin off?!' I guess you can't ever know what your little boy will feel like in the future.

I want to know how many men who were circumsized wish that they were not. It'd be interesting to hear from the men -- whether or not they wish they were or were NOT circumsized and why? Just curious. My partner says he's happy to be circumsized. I don't know how I would feel though, I do not have a penis. I'd be pissed if my clitoris was cut off period though, I mean unless my clitoris was going to cause me to die or something. Lol. Otherwise, the clitoris is the ONLY part of the body that was created with no real purpose -- besides pleasure and I'd like to keep my pleasure pearl thank you.
08/30/2012
Loriandhubby Loriandhubby
I hold firm to male circumsision. It should be a free choice for every one.

my opion is souley based on religouse ideals
08/30/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I think that it would be more comparable to removing the hood of the clitoris. If there were people removing the hood of the clitoris for clenaly/religious reasons, I think that it would be an equal comparison, but it would be more like removing the entire glans of the penis (where most of the nerves are.)

I already expressed my views on circumcision in the other thread, and talked about how I was really torn on the issue morally. Is it about freedom of religion and the ability to keep your culture? Yes. But there are cultures that consider corrective rape a part of them, and that is just not right.

Really the whole point of this post is that to compare removing the foreskin you'd have to compare it to surgically removing the clitoral hood. I wish I had more to add, but I am watching to see what others say!
08/30/2012
brevado brevado
It's always easy for the vocal minority to claim that decisions are made on "selective" studies. This debate is about as ridiculous as the vaccination debate. It's not ALL about the money, and the health concerns of already enormous and still growing at incredible rate population are critical factors in this debate.
08/30/2012
indiglo indiglo
The "benefits" outweigh the risks? That just set back many education efforts. How sad.
08/30/2012
Gunsmoke Gunsmoke
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
The "benefits" outweigh the risks? That just set back many education efforts. How sad.
Luckily we live in a place where we get to make the decision we feel is best for our family. We don't need to be told by you or anyone else what's best.
08/31/2012
rihanne rihanne
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley


AAP ignores appeals from “Intactavists.” Declare with circumcision “benefits outweigh risks.”, by Roland Hulme! - Click here to read Roland's article about the recent decision by the American Academy of ... More
i want to learn more before i have an opinion
08/31/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Gunsmoke
Luckily we live in a place where we get to make the decision we feel is best for our family. We don't need to be told by you or anyone else what's best.
?????

Wow, what a strange (and borderline rude) reply. Where did I say that I should be in charge of the world and every foreskin in it?

I think it would be nice if more people were educated on the topic. Since when would knowing more be a bad thing?
08/31/2012
Incendiaire Incendiaire
I think one of the main problems with this issue is that Americans at large tend to have a very insular way of thinking. The majority of the world does not practice circumcision; practically every male in Europe has a foreskin, and yet they're not suffering any ills from it, they're just enjoying their whole penis the way nature intended it to be, and as is their right.

This conclusion by the AAP is frankly ridiculous, and the only way they they and their supporters could reach it is to totally ignore the rest of the world. This is the problem with the notion of "American exceptionalism"; once you believe that everything you do is right simply because you're the ones doing it, it blinds you to the larger picture. Just because circumcision has become engrained in American culture doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do, or even remotely justifiable.

It's clearly something which is motivated by financial concerns. If you can perform an unnecessary and relatively simple surgery on half of the population, and charge for it, then your coffers will be overflowing. Circumcision is performed on an almost industrial scale; they just wheel them in, strap them down, hack it off, and send them on their way in 15 minutes. It's no wonder so many of the results are slap-dash and involve complications such as skin bridges and meatal stenosis. America is reaching a point where "socialised medicine" is on the horizon, and in every country where government healthcare was introduced circumcision rates dropped as it wasn't covered, and already insurers are dropping it and making people pay if they want it done. This sounds like nothing more than a desperate attempt to claw back some of their cash cow.

None of the so-called "health benefits" of circumcision arise until the individual is sexually active, and by that age they should be old enough to decide for themselves if they want it done. At that age a good parent should also be able to teach them how to use a condom if they really want to be sensible and protect themselves fully.

I really wish people would leave children's genitals alone. If someone held you down as an adult and chopped off a healthy pleasurable part of your body without anaesthesia, not only would you think that was mutilation, but it would be a crime. Why should it be any different with an innocent child who can't even object? Furthermore why is it acceptable on one sex and not the other. If you look at the genitals of a male and female fetus they are identical, yet a few months down the line the law says you can take a scalpel to one but not the other.

America is always a country which always talks about the importance of "individual rights" but what about the rights of that child? As soon as you inflict something irreversible on another person you are violating their rights, and it is hypocritical to do so. People like to chime up and say "but what about my parental rights?" and of course I think everyone is in favour of parental rights, but there's a saying "one person's rights end where another person's body begins" and I think that's very fitting.
08/31/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I think that it would be more comparable to removing the hood of the clitoris. If there were people removing the hood of the clitoris for clenaly/religious reasons, I think that it would be an equal comparison, but it would be more like removing the ... More
I have to agree with you. The removal of the hood on the clitoris would be more comparable to removal of the foreskin. I know there are many different type of female circumcision. The removal of only the hood is type 1. I think there were 5 different types.

Removing the clitoris, labia, and hood is different from male circumcision because it is often done to stop the women from having sex. By removing what is stimulated during intercourse, it makes sex painful for women. So, women don't want to have sex and it's often painful because the hole that is left behind isn't big enough for intercourse. FGM is meant to repress women and not allow them to have desires.

Male circumcision is not at all about that. I think it's ridiculous that these are compared. While some might not agree with the medical claims of benefits, that is your choice. However, stop comparing a medical procedure to something that is used to repress women by mutilating them. The medical procedure might be viewed as mutilation and to a degree it is. But it still isn't the same as FGM.
08/31/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Incendiaire
I think one of the main problems with this issue is that Americans at large tend to have a very insular way of thinking. The majority of the world does not practice circumcision; practically every male in Europe has a foreskin, and yet they're ... More
VERY well said! I couldn't agree more.


I also agree with your statements about personal rights. Many people argue that, and I agree, each person should have a right to decide about circumcision for themselves. Preferably, they would be educated properly about it first, and then they could decide for themselves once they reach the age of consent.

I don't like getting caught up in what we're comparing it to, let's just look at it on its own merit. It doesn't have any, therefore, each person should be allowed to decide what happens to their own body.
08/31/2012
Ansley Ansley
I think the main problem is that our entire healthcare industry is run by the bottom line isntead of on a case by case basis. It's kind of a never-ending battle, you know?
08/31/2012
Gdom Gdom
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I have to disagree that use of the term 'mutilation' requires malicious intent. Mutilation, from a medical perspective, is the defacing of a human body resulting in damage either physically or functionally. There is no reference to intent ... More
I never claimed that the term "mutilation" is necessarily tied to malicious intent. As you rightly point out, "mutilation" is defined in terms of effects and not intent; after all, if a person's arm is crushed by a boulder, we might rightly say that they've been mutilated without any implication that the boulder acted with malicious intent. That said, my point was that FGM IN PARTICULAR is generally tied to malicious intent.

While both FGM and male circumcision are similar in the most general, abstract terms that you describe--they're both done by people thinking that they're doing "the right thing" (how many human acts are done otherwise?) and there are sometimes, but not always, some religious considerations--the similarities stop there. FGM is generally done in order to prevent a girl/woman from being able to experience sexual pleasure (and it is generally quite effective in this respect). Circumcision, while practiced for many reasons, has never had this sort of purpose as a practice.

I believe you might have misunderstood the point I was trying to make. I wasn't saying, "FGM is worse than male circumcision, so male circumcision is okay." It may very well be the case that neither is acceptable (I'm quite open to this possibility). However, that doesn't mean we can't (reasonably) assess whether the two should be equated (which was one of the questions posed by the original post). To use a rather rough analogy, we might want to say that genocide is worse than homicide, but the fact that one is "less bad" (whether in the moral or consequential sense) does not entail that EITHER is acceptable. Overall, I don't think we actually disagree on much; I may have just failed to be clear about my position originally. I hope that clears things up a little!
09/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
I never claimed that the term "mutilation" is necessarily tied to malicious intent. As you rightly point out, "mutilation" is defined in terms of effects and not intent; after all, if a person's arm is crushed by a boulder, we ... More
I personally don't feel that FGM and circumcision are even remotely on the same plane as far as intent or effect. FGM is specifically used to make girls and women feel beneath men; it is specifically designed to remove the one source of pleasure on a woman's vagina. Circumcision isn't used to divide men among men or make them lesser than women.

That being said, I still have to push this question:

Without having experienced BOTH - having a foreskin as an adult and not having a foreskin as an adult during a sexual act - there is no way to determine which one physically feels better and even then it's still a matter of personal preference.

I personally find the penis to be very attractive and I prefer it without foreskin. Some men prefer labia that are really tight and thin while others prefer labia that hang or stretch or look like a pink butterfly when she spreads her legs...

I don't want to belittle the argument in any way by saying this, but I kind of feel like it's similar to "big tits are awesome!" verus "small tits are the best". The grass always looks greener, you know?
09/01/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I personally don't feel that FGM and circumcision are even remotely on the same plane as far as intent or effect. FGM is specifically used to make girls and women feel beneath men; it is specifically designed to remove the one source of pleasure ... More
The difference there to me is that you're either born with small tits, or you're born with big tits. Or, once you reach the age of consent, you decided to alter your body (to get big tits) by having breast implants.

While that aesthetics argument does hold a little bit of water (because we all do have personal preferences), it still isn't the same as permanently making the decision to alter someone else's body (a baby) for the rest of their life.

Now, if you're saying that it should still be the individual's choice to permanently alter their OWN body or not once they reach the age of consent (rather than having it done to them as babies), AND at the same time you happen to like them cut... then that's different. And I say - like what you like.
09/01/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
The difference there to me is that you're either born with small tits, or you're born with big tits. Or, once you reach the age of consent, you decided to alter your body (to get big tits) by having breast implants.

While that ... More
Now, if you're saying that it should still be the individual's choice to permanently alter their OWN body or not once they reach the age of consent (rather than having it done to them as babies), AND at the same time you happen to like them cut... then that's different. And I say - like what you like.

That is, indeed, what I'm saying. I mean I think women should never get breast implants; barring cancer and physical abnormalities. I don't think people should pierce their junk either, but who the hell am I to tell them what they can and cannot do? They're presumably adults, they can choose.

So maybe it shouldn't be up to the parents and it should be up to the child, but good luck convincing those dead-set on circumcision that it's the child's choice and not their own.
09/01/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
I agree that circumcision is comparable to removal of the clitoral hood, not the removal of the whole clitoris. That's an entirely different animal.

I think the problem with uncircumcised *young* males getting infections is that the parents are not taught how to care for them. For instance, many people think they are supposed to pull the foreskin back to clean it when they are babies/toddlers. That is the absolute WRONG thing to do. It's counterintuitive, but it's true. You're asking for infection when you do that. At that age the foreskin DOES NOT RETRACT on its own.

Personally, I have two boys and neither are circumcised. I've never had a problem with infection. Not even when we used *gasp and horror* cloth diapers.

The saddest thing of all is that some of these docs BELIEVE what they are saying. You can argue any point to the ends of the earth if you believe you are helping someone, and they do. It's "fact" based on tradition. It's like episiotomies were routinely done for birthing women, and only recently doctors realized they are not necessary in most cases.
09/01/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Now, if you're saying that it should still be the individual's choice to permanently alter their OWN body or not once they reach the age of consent (rather than having it done to them as babies), AND at the same time you happen to like them ... More
So maybe it shouldn't be up to the parents and it should be up to the child, but good luck convincing those dead-set on circumcision that it's the child's choice and not their own.


LOL Ain't that the truth!! Especially when the AAP makes these kinds of rulings.
09/02/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by SneakersAndPearls
I agree that circumcision is comparable to removal of the clitoral hood, not the removal of the whole clitoris. That's an entirely different animal.

I think the problem with uncircumcised *young* males getting infections is that the ... More
Yep. Very well said.
09/02/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Quote:
Originally posted by kendra30752
OK, my feelings are strange. First off though, cutting of the clitoris is HORRIBLE, sickening, inhumane, barbaric, disgusting, insensitive and everything else that means HORRIBLE in the book. It's downright mind blowing that it's even thought ... More
I just noticed that you asked how many cir'd men wish they weren't. Obviously, I can't speak for the community, but my hubs is cir'd and wishes he wasn't. He is of what you called the "WTF were my parents thinking cutting my foreskin off?!" camp. He's still a bit angry about it. We didn't circ our sons, and when they become adults they will have the choice to do what THEY want with THEIR most personal area. It is not, cannot, and should not be our choice as their parents, with the exception of medical emergency. I know of more than one male that holds very angry feelings towards their parents for making that decision for them.
09/03/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by SneakersAndPearls
I just noticed that you asked how many cir'd men wish they weren't. Obviously, I can't speak for the community, but my hubs is cir'd and wishes he wasn't. He is of what you called the "WTF were my parents thinking cutting ... More
My man is also circumcised and wishes his parents had left him intact. He doesn't lose sleep, or remain angry over it because that wouldn't really accomplish much - but he does wish he had the penis nature intended him to have.
09/03/2012
indiglo indiglo
As far as infection, cleaning, smegma, etc...

Cleaning an intact penis is no different than cleaning a vulva that has lots of folds in it. Do you constantly have an issue with smegma and infections in the folds of skin of your vulva? Do you have trouble cleaning between the folds, and the inner and outer lips? Does anyone say "Oh, we'd better cut the lips off of this baby because she's going to have a heck of a time washing these throughout her life"? Of course not.

The reason that some intact penises of babies/children end up with infections or cleanliness issues may be due to the fact that the care takers (or parents) are not educated on the subject. If foreskins are left alone, complications of any sort are not common. I have known 1 family that ever had an issue with their son's foreskin. He did end up needing to be circumcised, but it's rare. (I work with a culture that leaves males intact, so I have a large sample size.)
09/03/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
As far as infection, cleaning, smegma, etc...

Cleaning an intact penis is no different than cleaning a vulva that has lots of folds in it. Do you constantly have an issue with smegma and infections in the folds of skin of your vulva? Do you ... More
Oh, I like you. I like you a lot. Very well said.
09/03/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by SneakersAndPearls
I just noticed that you asked how many cir'd men wish they weren't. Obviously, I can't speak for the community, but my hubs is cir'd and wishes he wasn't. He is of what you called the "WTF were my parents thinking cutting ... More
Do you think they are really angry about it, or do you think they might be feigning outrage because they've been told they should be angry about it?

I've never met a man who said he wished he wasn't circumcised. Conversely, I've never met a circumcised man who hasn't experienced a partner being freaked out by their foreskin. But, I don't recall them saying anything other than that in regards to their feelings on the matter.
09/04/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Do you think they are really angry about it, or do you think they might be feigning outrage because they've been told they should be angry about it?

I've never met a man who said he wished he wasn't circumcised. Conversely, ... More
I can only go by what I've been told, but I do know my husband is actually angry about it. It doesn't affect his relationship with his parents, but the idea irritates him.
09/04/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by SneakersAndPearls
I can only go by what I've been told, but I do know my husband is actually angry about it. It doesn't affect his relationship with his parents, but the idea irritates him.
Okay, I'm not doubting your personal experiences and conversations, but more or less playing devil's advocate in a way. I was just reminded of the woman who laughed off the note in her luggage about her vibrator from a TSA agent, and then proceeded to get really ticked off when the internet decided for her that she should throw a hissy fit.
09/04/2012
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Okay, I'm not doubting your personal experiences and conversations, but more or less playing devil's advocate in a way. I was just reminded of the woman who laughed off the note in her luggage about her vibrator from a TSA agent, and then ... More
No, no! I'm not upset. Sorry, I only got about an hour of sleep last night so I may not be communicating well.

You absolutely have a point that some people may be angry only because they think they should be. You'll find that in any social issue.
09/04/2012
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