Should Routine Circumcision of Male Infants be Illegal?

bayosgirl bayosgirl
This is one topic I feel strongly about. I don't understand why so many babies are circumcised. Everyone is upset about FGM (female genital mutilation), and rightfully so. But how is male circumcision socially acceptable? Essentially it does the same thing-remove a vital part of the anatomy. Very rarely is there any medical cause for it. Reasons cited are often "because it's cleaner" (really? how about just WASHING it?) or "because my religion calls for it" (some religions call for circumcision of girls, but we don't allow it. Heck, should we allow ritual satanic sacrifice just because it's part of religion?) It's one thing if an adolescent boy decides for himself that he doesn't want his foreskin (though I can't see this happening too often!) But to do it to a newborn infant, who has no say or understanding, is child abuse in my mind. This is notwithstanding the fact that no anesthetic is used-if you don't believe me there are videos on YouTube. Why do you think the babies cry bloody murder? It's just WRONG all the way around.
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Yes, unless there is a medical reason
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85
No, parents should be allowed to circumcise their son for whatever reason
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78
Other (explain)
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31
Total votes: 194 (191 voters)
Poll is closed
07/23/2011
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MaryExy MaryExy
I'd rather have it legal than end up with parents getting it done in back alleys and such (and yes, I believe some people would rather do that than have their child go uncircumcised.) I think some more publicity for the issue would be good; I'd like to see it at least get to the same point as breastfeeding (it's divided pretty evenly between who does it and who doesn't, and when foreskin is there people won't think it looks unnatural.) But banning it, especially when some religions call for it? No way.
07/23/2011
Misfit Momma Misfit Momma
Religions that require mutilating an infants penis should be abolished.
07/23/2011
anonomous anonomous
I feel like they should be able to choose whatever they want.
07/23/2011
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Since it is irreversible, I believe the decision to be circumcised should be delayed until adulthood when the individual can make the decision for themselves. However, it's easy for me to say this since it plays no part in my religion. For others it is a far more complicated issue.

I don't believe that any parent circumcises a child out of malice so I hesitate to support making it a criminal act, but I would be in favor of mandating anesthesia and requiring the procedure be performed by a qualified surgeon (i.e. not a Mohel/Mohelet).
07/23/2011
Waterfall Waterfall
I think that a parent should be able to have their infant circumsised or to decide not to do it. Either way there should be a choice.
07/24/2011
Seth912 Seth912
There are many pros and cons to this... I think that it shouldnt be completely illegal... but I dont think it should be a regular thing...
07/24/2011
MaryExy MaryExy
Also, you know how some people think it looks gross or weird when a guy is uncircumcised because it's so rare in the US? If circumcision was only allowed when it was necessary, wouldn't the people who needed to have it done be considered to look gross or weird?
07/24/2011
sarki sarki
I know if I had the choice I wouldn't do that to my son. It would be left up to him once he is old enough. Besides those butchers think it doesn't hurt just cause the baby boy is so young, they DO have feeling at that age
07/24/2011
Wild Orchid Wild Orchid
There is a video that discusses most of the aspects of the issue: here's the link. Last time I checked it was private so you have to go through that link to watch it - you can't find it in the search results.

It's an issue of consent. Your religion doesn't give you rights to decide over anyone's body. If you feel like you have to cut off a body part - cut off yours.

I feel about the same as I feel about piercing little girls ears. Both can be done without complications but once in a while somebody gets mutilated (kids are more likely to catch the earring on something during play than adults) and it's ugly.
07/24/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
Quote:
Originally posted by Misfit Momma
Religions that require mutilating an infants penis should be abolished.
I have to agree with this. The same goes for religions promoting the genital mutilation of infants regardless of gender. Circumcision is unnecessary, primitive and cruel.
07/24/2011
Ansley Ansley
I don't agree that religions should be abolished based on the practice of circumcision nor do I equate it to female genital mutilation. A man does not require a foreskin to have an orgasm whereas a large part of the female population does need clitoral stimulation to climax. I do not negate the idea that foreskin would make it more pleasurable for a man during sex.

I do believe most families are asked up front whether or not they want their child circumsized. I have never heard a man declare that he feels inadequate or that he is missing something because he doesn't have a foreskin. I have however heard of several adult men who needed to be circumsized because it did not retract properly during erection.

The legality of the practice is something I do not wish to get involved in as I am neither male, nor a parent.
07/24/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
There is no good medical reason to circumcise a healthy normal infant. More and more insurance companies are now not paying for the procedure because it is medically unnecessary.

Even most cases of phimosis (scar tissue causing issues with the foreskin or the tissue underneath) are caused by forcibly retracting the foreskin. The foreskin will retract on it's own and should NEVER be retracted forcibly.

I've also seen circs performed so that the baby's penis looks like raw hamburger and the pain is so severe (babies are not usually given anything more than Tylenol for the pain of ripping of their foreskins) that the child goes into a state of shock and often refuses to eat. I've seen baby boys lose significant weight, because the pain from the damage from the procedure being so painful that they can't even drink milk.

I don't believe circumcision should be "a parent's choice" anymore than it should be a parents choice to remove the clitoral hood of a baby girl or perform a face lift on a child. It simply is not necessary and can cause life long damage. A small number of baby boys every year in the US have actual sex change operations performed on them, without their consent, because the penis was so badly damaged during a botched circumcision. It's a small number, but if there were no circs, there would be NO non-consensual reassignment surgeries at all, and no damaged children from this most unnecessary procedure.

MOST Female Genital Mutilation is NOT removal of the clitoris, it is removal of the clitoral hood, which is the female equivalent of the foreskin. So, yes, FGM and routine infant male circumcision are nearly the same procedure. Most "circumcised" ; women don't complain about missing anything either, because they don't' KNOW what they are missing.


NO ONE should start life off with an assault on their sex organs and scarring and life long damage to their penises. Parents don't have a "choice" to do that anymore than they have a "right" to keep a baby in a cage or feed them nothing but Gatorade, instead of milk or formula (I've seen people do both and think, as parents, it's their "right" to do these things.) "Parent's choice" alone doesn't mean parents can do anything they want to their children. And, from working with new mothers for well over a decade, I know those who "choose" to circ are only following what they think they "should do" and have usually done absolutely NO research into the issue. NOBODY should carve up a child due their own negligence about an important issue.

I need to be honest. I have NEVER in my life (and I work in medicine) hear of "back alley circumcisions." It is simply not an issue and NOT something to worry about.
07/24/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by MaryExy
Also, you know how some people think it looks gross or weird when a guy is uncircumcised because it's so rare in the US? If circumcision was only allowed when it was necessary, wouldn't the people who needed to have it done be considered to ... More
WHAT? Only 50% of boys born in the US are circumcised. I don't know any people educated on the issue who think uncut penises look "weird" or "Gross." Most of the civilized world, including most of Europe and Asia do not perform this procedure, even in the USA, it rarely approaches 50% and in some places, like educated areas of the country, it is close to 0%!

Natural, intact penises are FAR from rare in the USA. As a lactation consultant, working with women who work hard to make good choices for their children and do their homework on child based issues, I find FEW of my patients circumcise. (I also see more feeding issues with the babies who were damaged by this "choice.")

In my area, only about 25% of baby boys are circed. Babies of women who attempt to breastfeed (whether they are able to succeed or not) the numbers are even lower. I think people who research procedures (rather than submitting to them without thinking about them, or only doing "what everyone else does) almost always choose NOT to have their babies cut. And the number of babies circed in the US is dropping every year.

It is FAR from rare to leave babies intact.
07/24/2011
Yaoi Pervette (deleted) Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
Contrary to popular belief, there is no religious basis for Female Genital Mutilation. Those who engage in this practice often cite "tradition". Most of them don't even realize that there is no religious basis for the practice. I'd also like to add that Satanists don't sacrifice living beings. I have no objection to circumcision as a religious practice. Many Mohels are also physicians or have trained extensively under a physician.

However, I understand the argument against circumcision as unnecessary surgery that can certainly go wrong.

Edited to address P'Gell's comment on FGM. There are varying degrees of FGM. Some of the more extreme forms involve removal of the clitoris, labia minora, and infibulation. The labia majora are sewn shut with only a small hole for urine and menstrual fluid to pass, and girl is kept this way until her husband cuts her open to consummate the marriage.
07/24/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
Contrary to popular belief, there is no religious basis for Female Genital Mutilation. Those who engage in this practice often cite "tradition". Most of them don't even realize that there is no religious basis for the practice. ... More
Actually, there ARE SubSaharan African religions (NOT Islam) that DO include routine female genital mutilation as part of religious rite. (Thanks for the info, I'm pretty well versed on FMG. I've done a lot of research on it. Infibulation and complete removal of the visible clitoris is actually the most severe and rare form of this horrible procedure.)

Few Mohels are physicians. I've seen a number of Mohel circs (none of these Mohels were MDs, as few are) and although they are not usually as nasty looking as hospital circs (particularly Plasti-Bell circ, which slowly cut off the blood supply to this most sensitive organ over a period of days until it dies and fall off, usually while the baby screams or tries to sleep through the torture) they are still not necessary. Simply because someone says, "It's part of my religion." Or "It's part of my culture" doesn't make it right. And, I don't know much about Satanism, but a number of both Ancient Central American and up to last century Pacific Island religions did include human sacrifice as part of their religious rites.

Most people are simply NOT educated on circumcision. They think it is a victimless procedure that doesn't harm babies and "makes them look better" or worse, believe the lie that it "keeps men cleaner." If you are not educated on circumcision (meaning you haven't actually done several hours, at least, of research directly about this particular issue) then this website is a good place to start. Circumsision information site

Call me crazy, but I don't think that the foreskin is a birth defect.
07/24/2011
Yaoi Pervette (deleted) Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Actually, there ARE SubSaharan African religions (NOT Islam) that DO include routine female genital mutilation as part of religious rite. (Thanks for the info, I'm pretty well versed on FMG. I've done a lot of research on it. Infibulation and ... More
Thanks for sharing your inside experience regarding infants and circumcision. Also, I appreciate the clarification about the relationship (or lack thereof) between FGM and Islam. A lot of people have the misconception that Muslims routinely practice and endorse FGM.

I don't really subscribe to the belief that circumcision makes men cleaner. Cleanliness is a matter of good hygiene. There are plenty of skanky circumcised guys out there.
07/24/2011
Beck Beck
Yes I should be able to say if I want my sons circumsized. I have two boys and they are both circumsized, do not think it is right for people to try to call it mutilation. It is an optional surgery that's all. Do not like it do not do it to your kid, but this is a parents right that has been given to us. At least so far until enough people complain. Female circumcision is a lot different there is no good reason for it. I do believe that circumsized is cleaner. I believe yes there is some skanky men out there who hard wash that are circumsized yes. But the foreskin is a crease in the skin allowing dirt and junk to be trapped until pulled back and cleaned. So if you do not do that then its skanky. Lets face it most men are not that clean! Here's a Interesting like on FGM. And it says right in there that Muslims and Catholics support this idea.

link
07/24/2011
Steve of Eden Steve of Eden
Opps! I should have voted "Other"...

I think that the only reasons to have a circumcision would be for religion (this is iffy)...

But the main reason would be because of a health problem, and even then I think that getting circumsized should be the last option...
07/24/2011
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
i think it shouldn't be allowed unless for medical reasons. religions shouldn't be allowed to mutilate little boys just because it says so in their holy book. they can wait till their adults so that they make that decision for themselves.
07/24/2011
indiglo indiglo
I think that circumcising baby boys is inappropriate. It is not the parent's right to decide, rather should be the person's right to decide for themselves when they are of age. It's an irreversible procedure, with no health benefits (unless there is an actual medical problem with the foreskin), so it should definitely be the boy's right to decide on his own when he's old enough. Foreskin serves a real purpose, and I dislike the reasoning that it is "cleaner" to cut it off. What about all the folds in the vulva? Those can get full of smegma too, and need to be cleaned regularly, but the majority of people think it's wrong to cut the labia off. It's the exact same thing with foreskins. It's not a birth defect, it's how a penis is supposed to look. I just wish more people would educate themselves on it, rather than just repeating what they've heard, or what they imagine to be true.
07/24/2011
Crichton Crichton
I never had my son cut and if I ever have another boy he won't be cut either. My partner said he wants his son circumcised, but I'm very much against it. I think this should be a choice left to the boy who has the foreskin.

I wouldn't want it illegal seeing as like MaryExy said, I would rather have it legal than people doing it in back alleys.

I've worked in the medical field with babies and there is no proof that circumcision is better. I've known men who've been intact and never had a problem with cleanliness, in fact, they don't do any extra maintenance on their penis due to having foreskin.
07/24/2011
Anjulie Anjulie
I think anyone has the right to do whatever to their own body. Since I don't believe babies have any say, I would never participate in it.
07/24/2011
KaraSutra KaraSutra
While I'm not an expert on the matter I have spent much time researching the effect of circumcision in regard to HIV prevention and seem to keep coming up with results that it 'reduces' the risk of contracting HIV and other infections.

"ONE, which found that there are gross changes in the penis's microbiome following circumcision, suggesting that shifts in the bacterial environment could account, in part, for the differences in HIV infection. Families of anaerobic bacteria, which are unable to grow in the presence of oxygen, are abundant before circumcision but nearly disappear after the procedure. The researchers suspect that in uncircumcised men, these bacteria may provoke inflammation in the genitalia, thereby improving the chances that immune cells will be in the vicinity for HIV viruses to infect."

If you do a Google search on circumcision and HIV you'll likely come up with many hits, though I've found the following the most scientific and non-biased.

World Health Organization: link

Scientific Ameriacan: link

Avert.org: link

Having said that, I think it should be allowed and performed in Countries where there is an HIV epidemic, as that may lead to a lower rate of the population being infected. On that note, I don't think it should be done for aesthetic purposes or religious reasons and instead left to the male decide for himself when he's of a mature enough age to make a responsible and well informed decision.
07/24/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Beck
Yes I should be able to say if I want my sons circumsized. I have two boys and they are both circumsized, do not think it is right for people to try to call it mutilation. It is an optional surgery that's all. Do not like it do not do it to your ... More
I can assure you that neither the Catholic nor the Muslim faith support FGM. Some SubSaharan societies in which FGM was already practiced before conversion to Isalm have recently been converted to Islam still use the procedure, but it is NOT part of the Muslim Faith. As for it being part of the Catholic faith, that's absurd. I was raised Catholic (and a lot of other people were too) and it was never taught, talked about nor "supported."
The link you posted said nothing I could see to attest to any of these assertions about certain faiths, plus, if one were familiar with these faiths, one would know neither of them "support" or practice FGM.

I was raised Catholic and given all the Sacraments, I still have my clitoris, clitoral hood, was never infibulated etc. Neither is any other Catholic nor Muslim woman I have ever met (who wasn't raised in SubSaharan African regions where FGM is endemic.) If Cathlics "supported" FMG there wouldn't be a clitoral hood left in Ireland or Italy, Spain or France, as well as Mexico and many other strongly Catholic countries and these women are certainly all intact.
07/25/2011
Kkay Kkay
I think education is the important part.
07/25/2011
Alan & Michele Alan & Michele
I hesitate to say that it should be illegal since everyone's situation and reasoning is different, but it shouldn't be a standard practice. Back when our son was born a nurse casually made mention of him being scheduled for his "procedure" that afternoon which, after I asked, turned out to be his circumcision. They hadn't even asked me if I wanted it done! I raised seven sorts of hell and put a stop to it, not because I knew how horrible the procedure was (I didn't) but because it didn't make sense to put a baby through a surgery he didn't need.

Now I'm glad I didn't take that choice away from him, because when he got old enough to be offered it, he said he was glad we left his "gear intact". As for the cleanliness argument... all you have to do is teach your kid to wash correctly.
07/25/2011
bayosgirl bayosgirl
Quote:
Originally posted by Alan & Michele
I hesitate to say that it should be illegal since everyone's situation and reasoning is different, but it shouldn't be a standard practice. Back when our son was born a nurse casually made mention of him being scheduled for his ... More
They were going to circ him without your consent?! I'm pretty sure THAT is illegal. Geez.
07/25/2011
newfoundlust newfoundlust
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
This is one topic I feel strongly about. I don't understand why so many babies are circumcised. Everyone is upset about FGM (female genital mutilation), and rightfully so. But how is male circumcision socially acceptable? Essentially it does the ... More
We already have too many laws trying to control aspects of our lives. Let's not legislate this too. While I hope that it is dying out, I don't think we need to have more legislators making decisions about our lives.
07/25/2011
Sex'и'Violence Sex'и'Violence
Quote:
Originally posted by bayosgirl
They were going to circ him without your consent?! I'm pretty sure THAT is illegal. Geez.
I know of this happening first hand (friends with the parent) and I know that if I were the parent I would have freaked out, not to mention what my husband would have done to the guy who performed the procedure. They (the couple) didn't treat it as a big deal because they had been planning on having their son circumcised any way. I also grew up with a kid who's uncle was the victim of a botched circumcision.
07/25/2011
Total posts: 153
Unique posters: 105