Why do we circumcise?
Modern doctors (in the US) routinely advise new parents to circumcise their baby boys. It is a given in many hospitals that newborn males will be circumcised, if possible, before they are allowed to leave the hospital. (No other industrial country does this to their baby boys.)
Why do we in the USA do this to our baby boys? Why do parents consent to this without giving much thought to their decision and its life long adverse effects on their son(s) and their future daughter(s)-in-law?
Let’s ignore the vested financial interest that doctors, interns and hospitals have in this procedure that is done a million times each year. (When nationalized health care systems have been put in place in English speaking countries, circumcision has not been covered as it is correctly deemed an unnecessary surgery.)
Is it that the son must look like his father? As others have pointed out, we would not amputate a baby’s arm if his father had previously lost his arm. Yet, with circumcision we are amputating healthy, useful tissue for no good reasons.
Do we circumcise (mutilate) in order to prevent cervical cancer, the spread of venereal diseases, and masturbation? Well, all these problems were to be prevented or at least greatly lessened by circumcision. That is what the doctors told us. At one time or another these were the defenses of circumcision offered to parents and to society as a whole. By the way, all the numerous evils (cervical cancer, the spread of venereal diseases, masturbation, etc.) that circumcision was supposed to eliminate were never eliminated by it. All these myths, masquerading as truth, have been debunked long ago. (The masturbation myth is really offensive to people’s intelligence. The doctors in the 1800s asserted that masturbation was responsible for many maladies including epilepsy. And the way to stop masturbation was to circumcise because the greater sensitivity of the natural penis (with its thousands of nerve endings) was the cause of masturbation. People really believed these quack doctors on this. If such were true, with all the circumcised males in this country, one would think that masturbation would be very rare indeed! Forgive me here – but the truth is the truth. Hey doctors, masturbation has more to do with seminal glands being full to overflowing when there is no other sexual outlet available.)
Regrettably, even today, people blindly listen to doctors and show them the deference due a medieval priesthood. Doctors are not incapable of error. They are not infallible and they can, and do, have their own agendas at times (including the unwillingness to admit error!). Do not buy into the nonsense about UTIs and cleanliness concerns – the current justifications for amputating infants’ foreskins. A natural (uncut) man can easily wash his genitals as any woman can gently wash her genitals. UTIs are rare in natural men and can be easily treated with simple antibiotics. The so-called studies showing a reduced risk of contracting AIDS (HIV) for those men who have been circumcised are problematic, and some have been debunked. (It seems a certain desperation is gripping those doctors obsessed with promoting and defending infant circumcision.)
Why is this important? Fair enough. Circumcision is a major issue because it so grievously injures marriages by abnormalizing coitus for both the wife and for her husband. Our brains and genitals are wired for natural sex – not for circumcised sex. Do not take my word for it. This thesis has been very well developed by Kristen O’Hara in her book, Sex as Nature Intended It (2002) which is very comprehensive in its treatment of why natural coitus is more enjoyable and gratifying to both the wife and her husband. (Kristen obtained many comments from women who had had the comparative experiences of having natural husbands/partners and having circumcised husbands/partners. She also obtained the comments and insights of men who had been circumcised as adults and could compare from their own personal experiences natural coitus and circumcised coitus.) Basically, the point is that a vagina and a natural penis (not circumcised) can do truly wonderful things together that cannot be done with a mutilated, circumcised penis. Among the many benefits of the foreskin is its ability to keep the timing of the man’s thrusts correct for naturally and easily bringing his wife to orgasm(s). (Go out to Amazon and get a copy of this book. It is very informative and will open your eyes to the truth of the damage that circumcision does.)
When circumcised adult men think about what they have been deprived of, it is very painful for them. This is understandable. Yet, choosing to remain in a state of denial, as so often happens when one is dealing with great pain and hurt, does not help our children and is not the right thing to do. Perpetuating the superstitious practice of needless infant circumcision is opting for perpetuating ignorance and assaulting future marriages.
It is rather ironic that we have a federal law on the books (from the mid 1990s) prohibiting the genital mutilation of girls in this country, but we look the other way when the genitals of boys are routinely mutilated day in and day out. And foreskin restoration is not the solution to this injustice. As the old adage says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is apropos here. Foreskin restoration is a very lengthy and difficult process in that it requires a very large commitment of time, effort, and inconvenience and does not always yield good results for many men.
To Christians that are concerned with children’s rights, I would humbly point out that children do have a right to bodily integrity. Sadly, we do not hear of Catholics or Protestants condemning this needless mutilation of baby boys in this country. (In fact, it was Protestant doctors that introduced circumcision to the US in the late 1800s. It was not universally advocated for the entire population by Jewish doctors or Rabbis. Do not blame or fault Jewish folks for this. Also, Catholic bishops failed (and still fail) to condemn this harmful practice because they believed the doctors’ claims about masturbation’s terrible health effects and that masturbation would be lessened or eradicated by circumcision.) And this is not a “gay” or “straight” issue. This is about whether we are going to confront erroneous beliefs and correct our thinking such that we start doing to justice to our children.
Lastly, women have a right to natural husbands. For the sake of future generations’ marital happiness and strength of marriages, we – both mothers and fathers – really need to oppose this practice.
We, as Americans, need to overcome our ego-centrism in thinking that our way is the only way or even necessarily the best way to do things. The rest of the world is correct in not doing this to their baby boys.
Thank you for your time in reading this. Please forward a link to this essay on to any prospective parents that you may know.
Here is a link to an informative video on YouTube about male circumcision.