There are many myths surrounding routine infant male circumcision in the United States.
What is rarely thought about by parents when they consider letting the doctors and/or interns circumcise their son(s) is the child’s right to bodily integrity. And, too many Americans (including US pediatricians) are woefully ignorant as to the function of the foreskin.
We thought we would share this recent exchange between us and a circumcisionist over on YouTube (the link to the video with comments is below).
Note: we captured these comments on Wednesday, 26 November 2014, when this essay was first put in draft form. These comments, that are in the public domain, could be removed at any time and for any reason.
Emphasis (italics) is ours.
Army Mom 6 days ago
As as pediatric nurse who has assisted with countless circumcisions, I can say that unfortunately their are way more “Myths” about male circumcision on the internet and in general than their are “Facts” It is much easier for a person to accept and believe the “Myths” about male circumcision rather than the facts because people find it hard to justify removing a flap of skin from a boys penis without it being medically necessary. Also mothers, parents, uncircumcised males, and circumcised males who were done at birth often don’t understand what is involved with the procedure or how it is done. They don’t understand what is removed during a circumcision and what is retained. They also almost always are unaware of the biological make-up of a foreskin and that it consists of both an inner and outer layer that function separately from each other, and the fact that the inner layer & not the outer layer is the part that contains sensitivity. And now for a very big fact that most people are also unaware of……a large portion of the inner layer is generally retained during a circumcision and not removed at all.
(I chose to respond to this publicly posted comment.)
larrysmusings.com 3 days ago
So, are you saying that it is no big deal to do this to infants? Why not let males, when they reach adulthood, decide for themselves?
Army Mom 3 days ago
+larrysmusings.com Simple answer to your question: Because if you wait until you are an adult the procedure becomes much more complicated, expensive, and cosmetic. When done on an infant the procedure is easy, no complication, cheaper, and it produces better looking results. Adults often have to get re-circumcised because not enough foreskin is removed during their initial adult circumcision.
larrysmusings.com 2 days ago
+Army Mom The experiences of men who were circumcised as adults contradicts your assertions in your first comment above. These men tell of a very significant loss of sensitivity and pleasure in circumcised sex as opposed to when they had their foreskin. And, women who have had the comparative experiences of partners who were natural and others who were cut, tell that sex with a natural penis is more gratifying to them.
Army Mom 1 day ago
+larrysmusings.com I disagree with your statements. But have heard them a million times before. Just some of the many, many “Myths” that circulate about male circumcision. If you feel you have to justify having a foreskin, then you are exposing that you have doubts about having one to begin with and do indeed contemplate the facts and reality of the benefits that it provides
larrysmusings.com 1 day ago
+Army Mom The issue is the needless removal of the foreskin – not justifying having been born with one! (You disagree with my statements, but I do not see you refuting them. You just label them “myths” that you have heard before.)
These following remarks are really for other viewers to consider. As you, Army Mom, have assisted in these surgeries and perhaps continue to do so, it is hard to see you as being able to be objective.
As to “Myths”: at various times these myths were put forward by doctors in the US to justify circumcision. 1. The removal of the foreskin would help to stop male masturbation (which was in the 1800s believed by doctors of the time to cause epilepsy among other maladies). 2. Circumcision, at the time of the US entry into WW I in 1917, was touted as a means to reduce the spread of venereal diseases. (It has failed to do this.) 3. Circ was supposed to reduce the risk of cervical cancer in women. Why then do the many nations who do not cut their boys have cervical cancer rates no higher, and in some cases lower, than the US has (where the majority of adult males are circumcised)? 4. Cleanliness. Another myth. A natural (read: uncut) male can easily wash his genitals.
When you cut the genitals of boys (or girls), it is not about health or cleanliness. It is about power and control.
Circumcision abnormalizes coitus and harms marriages. The good news is that more parents in the US are saying “No” to the pediatricians and interns. The needless perpetuation of infant male circumcision in the US is about making money from needless surgery.
Army Mom 20 hours ago
+larrysmusings.com Like I said…..you are just one more COG in the machine of spreading Myths about male circumcision. But hey that’s your business if you want to spread Lies. I can’t stop you.
end of comments about YouTube video
Did I miss something here? Has this person who goes by the user name, Army Mom, put forth a single reason for routine infant male circumcision in the US?
In her first comment (above), did she concede, or admit, that circumcision is not medically necessary?! Then why insist to new parents to do this to their newborn sons?
As well, her assertion about an inner and an outer foreskin is misleading. The entire foreskin is removed in circumcisions in the US. The remaining skin of the penis contains some nerve endings, yes, but thousands of sensitive nerve endings in the foreskin have been amputated on the altar of medical ignorance (and arrogance). Another consequence of removing the foreskin is that the glans (the “head” or “helmet” of the penis) dries out and becomes less sensitive. Not being cushioned by the bunching up of the foreskin on the out stroke during coitus, the rear ridge of the glans scrapes the vaginal walls causing discomfort for some women. As well, without the natural bunching up of the foreskin on the out stroke of the penis, natural female lubrication is lost and sex becomes less comfortable and less enjoyable for the wife.
The reader can ponder these comments for himself or herself. Let me just say that I do not have to justify having been born with a foreskin any more than any woman has to justify having been born with a clitoris (or the structures that grow into one). Which, by the way, is illegal to remove (the clitoris) under federal law in these United States (since the mid 1990s). Girls are legally protected from FGM, female genital mutilation, in the US.
This individual, who assets that I traffic in lies and myths, is in a state of denial. Read her replies to my remarks. She does not refute anything I wrote. (Readers can verify the medical myths used over the past 120 years to justify infant male circumcision in the US for themselves. There is a paper trail documented in various books and articles on these myths. One of the recent myths is about UTIs (urinary tract infections). These are rare and can be easily treated with antibiotics. UTIs do not justify circumcision.) Perhaps, after assisting “with countless circumcisions” she has grown very callous to the serious harm she has done to future marriages for both future wives and future husbands.
Here is the video with comments on YouTube:
Circumcision Myths & Facts posted by Mama Natural
Expectant parents in the US: do not allow the “doctors” to bully you into harming your son and your future daughter-in-law through this needless, superstitious and barbaric practice.
And, from a Christian marriage perspective, we believe that natural is more wholesome and more in alignment with what God intended for mutually fulfilling marital sexual intimacy.
We have previously addressed the issues (problems) with the religious justification for male circumcision. If God did not want human males to have a foreskin, then why did He create males having one?
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