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Another s/o - if you don't really care about male infant circ...


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What is your opinion of female infant circ? And I just mean the equivalent of male infant circ for females, which would be removing the hood of the clitoris.

 

I just wonder why we accept, in our society, removing the protective foreskin from our baby boys, but the equivalent, when done to baby girls, is considered genital mutilation.

 

Cleanliness and UTIs cannot be reasons for accepting routine male infant circumcision because girls aren't always clean and girls get plenty of UTIs but no one wants to cut their parts off because of it.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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Sigh.

 

If we had a four-thousand year tradition of making a small cosmetic change to a girl's genitals, and it was almost always without any complications, and it had small benefits that balanced its small risks, relatively few people have a problem with it. Cultural norms matter; You'll have a much easier time finding someone to pierce your baby's ears than to pierce her nose.

 

The circumcision of my sons was an honourable and joyful welcome into the Jewish community. If it caused them any discomfort they gave no evidence of it; but then, they were slightly drunk.

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Only whether those who accept male infant circ would also accept female infant circ.

 

FWIW infant male circ takes 1/3 - 1/2 of the total shaft skin from the penis and over 2,000 fine touch nerve sensors. That's a little more than a few.

 

I just want to know why people accept doing this to males without a thought, but are mortified at the thought of doing the same to females.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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And I said that if it had the religious and cultural history and was harmless on a net basis, more people would accept it. As it happens removal of part of the clitoral hood is not part of any religious tradition of which I am aware, it is not performed endlessly with almost no side effects, and it does not have a long history in Western countries. I.e. it is totally different. Which is why it is rather silly to compare them. Unless you just want to go on about how much you dislike circumcision.

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Apparently some countries have been practicing female curc for 2000 years, a fairly long cultural history.

 

Male curc is hardly ever preformed in Australia, it is definitely not routine, and has not been common practice for at least 40 years ( none of my brothers were done).

 

I don't see how it is silly to compare them

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There are zero health benefits for female circumsision and many health drawbacks. This is not the case with male circumsion. FOr one, it is a lot better to have the procedure done at a few days than like my FIL who had it done at 83. Second, the partners of men who have been circumsized are less likely to get STDs.

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I didn't do it to my son, but understand the reasons why other people do it - like the hygiene myth, aesthetics, religious reasons... Not that they're great reasons, just understandable. The only reason (that I've heard of) for women, is to take away sensation - and that's a terrible reason. Is there another reason? For all I know, medicine may have discovered a way to expose the clitoris more, for more sensation. That might be a reason I could understand. But I still wouldn't do it. I figure mother nature, or god/goddess, or intelligent design (or whatever you want to call it) knew what she was doing when she made our bodies. I think they're perfect just as they are.

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Right now, it *is* mostly about cultural "norms" (imo, at least.) Religion only comes into play for a very small percentage of people in the US. As more and more people question the practice and the "norm" changes, more and more people are likely to forgo the procedure without any more consideration than some give to doing it today.

 

And that isn't to say that no one gives it any thought today. Particularly on this board, which is full of people who are probably more likely as a whole than the general population to research and evaluate just about everything they can get their hands on. :tongue_smilie:

 

If some people want to use studies on Africa to make their choice, so be it. But I don't see how they're any more relevant to this particular country than, say, studies on African hunger would be to solving the US hunger problem.

 

Just as it only took a couple of generations to *form this cultural norm, I'm pretty confident it will only take a few to break it down.

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And I said that if it had the religious and cultural history and was harmless on a net basis, more people would accept it. As it happens removal of part of the clitoral hood is not part of any religious tradition of which I am aware, it is not performed endlessly with almost no side effects, and it does not have a long history in Western countries. I.e. it is totally different. Which is why it is rather silly to compare them. Unless you just want to go on about how much you dislike circumcision.

 

I think this borders on religion-bashing. Ick. What else is new?

 

:iagree: with both of these.

 

My son is NOT circ'd, and while I would not circ any other boys that I have, I think threads like this are utterly pointless, unless of course you are trying to stir the pot and start an argument where you can hammer into other people's heads how RIGHT you are. :001_rolleyes:

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I understand the desire to avoid debate here. We're here to share stuff about homeschooling and parenting, right? But, in a way, everything and anything is homeschool related in that these are all issues that we'll be covering with our kids. When our beliefs are challenged, and we defend them, we question them, and either strengthen them or change them. If we're going to be so hard-core about banning any hot topics, shouldn't we be just as hard-core about banning some of the shallow and pointless threads that are posted here?

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Sigh.

 

If we had a four-thousand year tradition of making a small cosmetic change to a girl's genitals, and it was almost always without any complications, and it had small benefits that balanced its small risks, relatively few people have a problem with it. Cultural norms matter; You'll have a much easier time finding someone to pierce your baby's ears than to pierce her nose.

 

 

I personally have seen one infant male with comparatively mild complications, and they were still a big deal. I know of several others, and that's only among a few other parents with whom I've discussed the issue.

 

I actually think the majority of those complications come from the general American cultural practice of circumcision. Nearly every case I've heard of has involved the use of the little bell device or something else occurring in the hospital, and most of those were fairly serious. It seems that the Jewish cultural practice of circumcision is less likely to cause those complications. I only know one parent who was unhappy with the results of that, and she was only dissatisfied with the "style."

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I have two sons; one is circumcised and the other isn't.

 

I haven't done the research but the way I feel about it is this.

 

Every circumcised male I know walks around comfortably existing without the hunk of foreskin they lost as babies.

 

If I were missing the hood of my clitoris [cringe], I would be uncomfortable at best, and more likely in pain with every movement.

 

I do think there is a difference. JMHO

 

eta: 8,000 nerve endings for the clitoris, 4,000 for the penis. http://www.esybron.org/index.phtml?p=female#c

Edited by bbkaren
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I left the decision up to my Dh. Whatever he had decided was what I was comfortable with, it's just not something I'd ever really thought about.

 

When it comes to comparing male vs. female though, for me, it boils down to intent. With male circumcision, the intent is to promote hygiene. With female circumcision the intent is to repress physical s@xuality. One is an attempt to enhance and improve a life, the other is to oppress them.

 

That's why I'm against female circumcision while I'm ambivalent to male circumcision. Just my two cents.

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And I said that if it had the religious and cultural history and was harmless on a net basis, more people would accept it. As it happens removal of part of the clitoral hood is not part of any religious tradition of which I am aware, it is not performed endlessly with almost no side effects, and it does not have a long history in Western countries. I.e. it is totally different. Which is why it is rather silly to compare them. Unless you just want to go on about how much you dislike circumcision.

 

I think this borders on religion-bashing. Ick. What else is new?

 

:iagree: with both of these.

 

My son is NOT circ'd, and while I would not circ any other boys that I have, I think threads like this are utterly pointless, unless of course you are trying to stir the pot and start an argument where you can hammer into other people's heads how RIGHT you are. :001_rolleyes:

 

Me, too.

 

But whatever. Anyway, my family is Jewish, too. My husband is circ because he was a Jewish baby and it was a religious and cultural tradition in his family, and his son was going to have that done, too. So he did; I deferred to my husband in that matter. Did I feel a bit bad about it? Yes, but we had it done and there were no complications and minimal discomfort as I observed firsthand, and I took comfort in that. I have yet to personally meet a man (two husbands, two brothers, the partners I've had) who has walked around feeling angry or resentful about the foreskin they've lost and most everyone I know has had the procedure done, although I'm sure some of you will have anecdotal stories to the contrary, and I take comfort in that, too. No we would not do that to a baby girl because there is no cultural, religious or any other reason to do so (not to mention it does a lot more damage to a girl and is often done in other countries to repress her sexuality) and I agree that the question is nothing more than pot-stirring and borders on religion bashing. I'd venture a guess that if circ was mentioned in the NT rather than the OT it would be less of an issue for a lot more people.

Edited by NanceXToo
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I will admit to not being well read on the subject. From everything I have read the reason for female circumcision is about denying women pleasure. Another way for men to try and control women. Male circumcision, from a religious aspect, is about the Jewish males covenant with G-d. To me, the subject is apples and oranges. They are not the same.

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I will admit to not being well read on the subject. From everything I have read the reason for female circumcision is about denying women pleasure. Another way for men to try and control women. Male circumcision, from a religious aspect, is about the Jewish males covenant with G-d. To me, the subject is apples and oranges. They are not the same.

 

My understanding also. My son is circed. I didn't have a problem with it either way.

 

I don't get why this is such a controversial subject though. If a parent/s is against circ, then don't do it. I'm too busy to get involved in every skirmish of the mommy wars.

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My understanding also. My son is circed. I didn't have a problem with it either way.

 

I don't get why this is such a controversial subject though. If a parent/s is against circ, then don't do it. I'm too busy to get involved in every skirmish of the mommy wars.

 

:iagree:

 

Everyone makes the decision they feel is right for their family. It is nobody else's business, and it certainly is nobody's place to judge. I seriously doubt men are questioning each other's decisions. I just wish moms could be more accepting and supportive of each other. I'm saying this in general, not just regarding this thread.

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From the WHO:

"Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.

Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).

Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.

Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area."

 

I don't see how male circumcision is equivalent to female genital mutilation, from a physical or a moral standpoint, as the motive also matters. Only in "very rare cases" does it involve the limited definition the OP asked that the discussion be restricted to. I see it as equivocation to call them both circumcision.

Edited by WordGirl
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Cleanliness and UTIs cannot be reasons for accepting routine male infant circumcision because girls aren't always clean and girls get plenty of UTIs but no one wants to cut their parts off because of it.

Your reasoning in the statement above is faulty, since female circumcision as you've described it has no effect on cleanliness while male circumcision does. (Narrowing the vaginal opening, etc. could negatively impact cleanliness, but that still doesn't make your argument work.) However, we chose for both of our boys to keep them uncircumcised.

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And I said that if it had the religious and cultural history and was harmless on a net basis, more people would accept it. As it happens removal of part of the clitoral hood is not part of any religious tradition of which I am aware, it is not performed endlessly with almost no side effects, and it does not have a long history in Western countries. I.e. it is totally different. Which is why it is rather silly to compare them. Unless you just want to go on about how much you dislike circumcision.

:iagree:

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I agree with those who have said that circumcision is a family decision - parental at birth, and then involving the child as he grows up (if not done at birth), and finally the child's after he reaches adulthood.

 

It's not my business to get up in arms about who does what (legally) to his/her child's genitals.

 

In the USA, culturally, circumcision is more like getting little girls' ears pierced. In fact, since pierced ears are obvious to all passers-by, in a way it's culturally more significant. (My grandmother's parents pierced her ears, and she hated that fact until her death, because she had to grow up in a community where pierced ears meant she was of foreign origin and therefore subject to discrimination.) Personally I have daughters and won't get their ears pierced, at least until I believe they are old enough to choose intelligently for themselves whether they want to walk down the street with holes in their ears. However, I don't judge those who do get their kids' ears pierced. It's not child abuse, after all; just something I would not personally do. Likewise, if a dad (who has some skin in the game, so to speak) decides that his child needs to be circumcised, and the mom goes along with that for whatever reason (religion, hygiene, or deferring to the husband), I really don't care. So it involves nerve endings. The MMR probably does just as much damage to the nervous system, and nobody calls that "mutilation."

 

If it were the cultural or religious norm, legal, and safe to perform female circumcision, I would not judge other families for making that decision. I would decide for my own daughters and leave it at that.

 

It may actually be a good question why we get so angry about female circumcision. Is it because it's patently unsafe? Patently abusive? [i don't know that women circ'd as babies (if that is ever done) have any problems with it after it heals. I've heard horror stories, but do we know how common or rare those are, how they compare to male circ complications, and whether modern medicine would avoid those?] Or is it because we hate those cultures anyway, and this kind of thing fuels the fire?

 

For the record, billions of people are shocked and horrified by male circ too. These same folks are often less horrified by leaving baby girls in refuse dumps to die, or rape and torture of girls and women.

 

It's just a foreskin, folks. Really.

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Years before we met, Wolf was seriously involved w/a woman who had been circumcised.

 

One of the reasons they broke up (other than the fact she was a stalker...scary nuts) was that she was determined that if they were to ever have a daughter, she would take the baby back to Ethiopia and have her circ'd.

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I personally have seen one infant male with comparatively mild complications, and they were still a big deal. I know of several others, and that's only among a few other parents with whom I've discussed the issue.

 

I actually think the majority of those complications come from the general American cultural practice of circumcision. Nearly every case I've heard of has involved the use of the little bell device or something else occurring in the hospital, and most of those were fairly serious. It seems that the Jewish cultural practice of circumcision is less likely to cause those complications. I only know one parent who was unhappy with the results of that, and she was only dissatisfied with the "style."

 

It is my understanding that Jewish circumcision takes off a good deal less. It is certainly done more humanely. I have heard of some very scary complications that occurred in routine hospital circs. I'd have gotten a mohel if I had gone the circ route with my son.

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My understanding also. My son is circed. I didn't have a problem with it either way.

 

I don't get why this is such a controversial subject though. If a parent/s is against circ, then don't do it. I'm too busy to get involved in every skirmish of the mommy wars.

:iagree:

 

IMO comparing male circ with female circ is apples and oranges. The way I understand it female circ is the removal of a female sexual organ in order to repress female sexuality. Male circ on the other hand is not the removal of the penis with the intent to repress male sexuality.

 

I think if male circ is not done for religious reasons that it is closely equivalent to the piercing of body parts.

 

While I don't see the need to have male circ done routinely I do understand that if one has to have it done later in life that it is extremely painful. Both what causes the circ to come about and the procedure itself.

 

There is enough evidence on both sides (to or not to) of the male circ argument that can be a difficult decision to make. I think it should be a decision made rationally rather that emotionally.

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certainly where this pertains to Jewish ritual. However, since the majority of people who routinely circ are NOT Jewish, can we just leave that out?

 

As far as cleanliness, that's really a myth. If a boy is taught to clean himself as girls are, there should be no issues. And as I mentioned, when girls get infections and diseases, we aren't rushing to blame their excess skin.

 

And comparing make and female circ, for the purposes of my question, and in the way I worded it, is NOT apples and oranges. I specifically mentioned the removal of the clitoral hood only, as the removal of the foreskin leaves the head of the penis raw and exposed. The reason it doesn't remain in a painful state is because it does heal over and become calloused from exposure to diapers, clothing, air, etc. It also desensitizes that particular area.

 

In the same vein (no pun intended), exposure to similar elements would, over time as it does for boys, do the same thing to the clitoris. Sorry, but just because they ONLY have 4,000 nerve endings there instead of 8,000 doesn't mean it isn't desensitized.

 

So, again, in this situation, and eliminating religious reasons for the purpose of this discussion, why do people consider it morally acceptable for one and morally reprehensible for the other?

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So, again, in this situation, and eliminating religious reasons for the purpose of this discussion, why do people consider it morally acceptable for one and morally reprehensible for the other?

Time and culture.

 

Essentially if it were just the "clitoral hood only" the two operations could be compared. But routinely the female version is not simply the clitoral hood only. That is why it is so reprehensible.

Edited by Parrothead
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We don't have any sons, but if we did, they wouldn't be circumcised. I signed a moral exemption form at work because I disagree with circumcision and do not feel right about assisting physicians with the procedure. In my 3 years as a mother baby nurse, I've seen a few mild complications from "circs gone bad" and even one severe complication (that would require future plastic surgery to repair).

 

Obviously, I disagree with female circumcision as well, but I see absolutely no comparison at all.

 

All that said, I don't care if people have their sons circumcised or not. It's none of my business. I think it is a very personal choice best left alone. Maybe there will be a day when people will stop worrying so much about what other people are doing and the mommy wars will end.

 

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." :001_smile:

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While I don't see the need to have male circ done routinely I do understand that if one has to have it done later in life that it is extremely painful. Both what causes the circ to come about and the procedure itself.

 

:iagree:My FIL just had to have it done at age 79 in a nursing home. It was horrible. Repeated UTIs were the reason because he was not mentally aware enough to keep the area clean (he has Alzheimers). And guess what? The aides they employ at nursing homes DO NOT do that for you...no matter what they might lead you to believe. I spoke to his personal physician who was in charge of his after-care and he said it happens all. the. time. to elderly uncircumcised males. Not if they've been circumcised though. Food for thought.

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And I said that if it had the religious and cultural history and was harmless on a net basis, more people would accept it. As it happens removal of part of the clitoral hood is not part of any religious tradition of which I am aware, it is not performed endlessly with almost no side effects, and it does not have a long history in Western countries. I.e. it is totally different. Which is why it is rather silly to compare them. Unless you just want to go on about how much you dislike circumcision.

 

:iagree: I completely agree with NASDAQ's points. I do think cultural norms are important.

 

Why do many people think it's disgusting to eat squirrel, but don't mind eating chicken? There is no reason except that it is culturally "normal" to eat chicken, but not to eat squirrel.

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