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Old 07-09-2006, 11:35 AM   #16
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Male circumcision has been part of Jewish life since Abraham first had it done at age 90.....

The ceremony is performed when the baby is 8 days old. Its performed by a licensed Rabbi (called a "Mohel") under the strictest medical conditions - the area is swabbed, the infant is given a little wine and the only thing "cut off" is a part of the foreskin. It has virtually no impact whatsoever on the child's male functions and future sex life - and actually IS considered healthy.

The Jewish rite of circumcision has nothing to do with the "killing" of the sex drive, it is performed to commemorate the covenant between G-d and Abraham (the Hebrew word for covenant is "Brit" - which is why the ceremony is referred to in America as a "Briss").
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:47 AM   #17
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The vast majority of circumcisions done in the U.S., at least, have no religious connection. In fact, much of the Christian NT is devoted to how unnecessary it is, and Paul goes a long way to even deride those who do it.

But one thing you did do is corroborate one of my points that the traditional Jewish rite of circumcision--a small cutting--has nothing to do with the routine practice performed by American hospitals, which removes it entirely.

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Old 07-09-2006, 12:17 PM   #18
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It was their idea from the start to have less sensitivity, and, yes, it was about hatred of male sexuality. If adults wish to be circumcised, then so be it. But I do not think it would be ethical to give tattoos to infants, so I don't see what is ethical about mutilating infants' penises without their consent.

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I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding why this is such an urgent issue. I don't believe anyone should have to be circumcised. . .I wouldn't argue it's a requirement. I would agree that there's no logical or health argument for it. And, if you're a Christian, not even a spiritual one.

And yet, I still don't undersand why all the fuss. I agree that most people wouldn't tattoo their child--mainly because you are permanently changing their appearance in a way that they may not want later in life . I know, I know, I see the argument coming, that is exactly what circumcision is. However, a boy who is circumsized is not going to realize that he's been permanently changed unless some one tells him (and even then he's unlikely to feel wronged unless his sexual function is drastically and noticeably decreased, i.e. he goes to the doctor complaining of "lack of sensation" and the doctor gravely informs him that it's because he was circumsized). Really, when you think about it, where are all the circumsized men rising up in protest to complain about how they were violated and how it has ruined their lives?

I think circumcision might be more akin to having your child's ears pierced when they are a baby (which is quite common, at least where I live). Maybe that's wrong too, but again, I'm not sure how urgent the issue really is. I'm not sold on that.

Plus I have to admitt I really don't like the idea I might need to suddenly become "traumatized" about a decision my parents made for me when I've been fine up till now. Trust me, there is enough to be traumatized about in life without adding this to the list.
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Old 07-09-2006, 12:30 PM   #19
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It doesn't really matter to me if it's a pressing health concern in the US. However, it does matter to me that male circumcision, as performed in the US, is widely used as an argument against discontinuing FGM in e.g. Africa.

Is is a logical argument? Absolutely not. But it's used so how about finding a way to face it.

And if you'll excuse me: I have to go watch a certain football final at my neighbourhood pub
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I think circumcision might be more akin to having your child's ears pierced when they are a baby (which is quite common, at least where I live). Maybe that's wrong too, but again, I'm not sure how urgent the issue really is. I'm not sold on that.

Plus I have to admit I really don't like the idea I might need to suddenly become "traumatized" about a decision my parents made for me when I've been fine up till now. Trust me, there is enough to be traumatized about in life without adding this to the list.
Welcome to the arguments that Africans would make in favor of continuing FGM and breast ironing. The cycle has to stop somewhere, and it should stop with this generation.

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Old 07-09-2006, 02:12 PM   #21
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Originally posted by silja
It doesn't really matter to me if it's a pressing health concern in the US. However, it does matter to me that male circumcision, as performed in the US, is widely used as an argument against discontinuing FGM in e.g. Africa.
This was my point from the beginning. Thank you.

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Old 07-10-2006, 10:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I think circumcision might be more akin to having your child's ears pierced when they are a baby (which is quite common, at least where I live).
I agree. There's no WAY male circumcision as it is practiced in the US is ANY comparison to female circumcision and breast ironing. I talked to Phil about this once, because he was circumcized as "common procedure" when he was born. He doesn't regret being circumcized and would prefer it, and from my POV he functions just fine sexually. I've never had a male friend complain to me that he didn't want to be circumcized.

FGM teaches girls that sex is disgusting and it's their fault if they are raped. It leaves them with major scarring, disfiguration, and even urinating is excrutiatingly painful. I have not heard about breat ironing, but I'm assuming the same is true, and that it would jeopardize the girl's ability to breat feed later on. Besides ignorance in general, I can't find any parallels to male circumcision. Granted, people may be wrong thinking that it's done for "cleanliness", but male circumcision does not teach males that they are disgusting and their genatalia should be damaged so that even basic bodily functions are painful. Castration would be a better example. I appreciate the arguements against male circumcision and I think they are compelling, but I just don't think they belong in a thread like this because it's apples and oranges.
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:04 PM   #23
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I don't have any stake one way or the other in what American Christians do regarding male circumcision, nor am I averse to American Jews restoring the original "tip only" type (though it's news to me if that's widely practiced in Israel; Jews elsewhere have practiced the full type since the mid-first millennium AD, though the method used differs from the hospital variety). But logically speaking, the argument melon and silja are making would require that all forms of male circumcision, and for that matter various other bodily modification practices, be made completely illegal--regardless of religious or cultural background--in all Western countries, in order for Western anti-FGM activists to not be "hypocritical" in their aims. Particularly since the overwhelming majority of FGM practitioners are either Muslims or (in Ethiopia and Kenya) Coptic or related-denomination Christians, and all these groups standardly circumcise their sons as well.

The opposition to FGM and "breast ironing" (by both Westerners and Africans) has always been based on the radical compromise of basic bodily functions that often results (menstruation, urination, orgasm, childbirth, lactation) as well as the repeated infliction of extreme pain over a protracted period which accompanies it (the long process of loosening then readjusting the stitches, scraping scar tissue out of orifices, etc. during healing from FGM; the cycle of scalding, followed by binding of the swollen, burnt flesh and tissues, followed by more scalding which characterizes "breast ironing"). An enormous variety of other traditional African bodily modification practices--including not just male circumcision, but also neck stretching, lip and earlobe stretching, ritual tattooing, various types of scarification and other "coming-of-age" rituals--have by contrast been left alone because, while hardly representing Western norms (and certainly involving varying degrees of discomfort or pain), they do not involve anything like the extent of trauma nor result in anything like the sorts of dangerous handicaps FGM and breast ironing often do.

I have seen some of the "Western hypocrisy"-type pro-FGM arguments made in academic books and journal issues focusing on cultural imperialism in human rights. I did not have the impression such arguments were widespread, but at any rate, all those I've seen pointedly sidestep any acknowledgment of differential degrees of pain and compromise (as well as collapse the distinction between voluntary and involuntary) and instead sweepingly equate FGM not only to male circumcision, but also to leg shaving, hair perming, piercing, cosmetic surgery, vegetarianism, etc. Quite often, they bring homophobic arguments into the picture as well. Here is an example. IMHO, such arguments have Giant Red Flag of Rhetorical Disingenuity written all over them. I am extremely skeptical whether this type of activist in fact gives a toss one way or the other what Americans do.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Urological Association find neither the studies indicating slight sanitation and reproductive cancer benefits, nor the studies indicating slight reductions in sensitivity, concerning male circumcision to be consistent, statistically significant, or otherwise compelling enough to either recommend or condemn the procedure either way. (Not that you can't find individual American doctors' or advocacy groups' websites which pick and choose their studies to make it sound as if it's a wonder that circumcised men enjoy sex at all, or that uncircumcised men aren't constantly suffering from penile infections and cancer; this is what happens when medical issues get politicized.) The same cannot be said of FGM. So far as I know, no American medical organizations have yet assessed "breast ironing," but the fact that Cameroonian studies have repeatedly correlated it to disabling abscesses and later lactation failure (according to some of the news articles) is ominous--even if one were to set aside the extreme and prolonged pain involved. But I really don't think we should, since that has been the main objection all along.
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:59 PM   #24
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Melon raises some interesting issues regarding male circumcision and could full well benefit from its own thread discussing the pros and cons.

As for the use of male circumcision as a validating tool for FGM or breast ironing, Yolland accurately points out the logical flaws to this argument. From the practitioner’s side, the argument that “if you do X, then I can do Y” is fairly tenuous and would not carry across other situations. From the Westerner’s perspective, the argument “until we stop doing activity X, we cannot condemn them for doing Y” leave you with a potentially endless list of examples for activity X to validate the condemnation of activity Y.
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Melon raises some interesting issues regarding male circumcision and could full well benefit from its own thread discussing the pros and cons.

As for the use of male circumcision as a validating tool for FGM or breast ironing, Yolland accurately points out the logical flaws to this argument. From the practitioner’s side, the argument that “if you do X, then I can do Y” is fairly tenuous and would not carry across other situations. From the Westerner’s perspective, the argument “until we stop doing activity X, we cannot condemn them for doing Y” leave you with a potentially endless list of examples for activity X to validate the condemnation of activity Y.
I don't want that argument to be an excuse for inactivity. By all means, try your best to change Africans' minds when it comes to FGM and breast ironing. They are both brutal practices.

But there is also value in looking into the mirror. If you want to see how difficult it is to change Africans' minds when it comes to FGM, look at how difficult it is for Americans to admit that male circumcision is utterly useless. I think, for the most part, that many would-be parents either don't think about it or think that, because it was done to them, it should be done to their children. And, likewise, I wouldn't doubt that similar reasoning is also used by Africans. If "civilized Westerners" are prone to stubborn traditions, then you can see the difficulty in changing the minds of "uncivilized Africans."

I think that understanding this aspect of human psychology is key to solving this problem, rather than merely pointing fingers at foreigners.

(And, of course, I don't believe that Africans are uncivilized. But I do think this kind of attitude is societally prevalent, even if subconscious.)

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Old 07-11-2006, 04:52 PM   #26
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Just found this article on MSN.com... wonder if the idea will find any support in southern Africa? And does it change any opinions here?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13812938...15773?GT1=8307
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:02 PM   #27
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Circumcision could save millions!!!

There's a new report that just came out today from the World Health Organization (could someone PLEASE post it below - I'm computer illiterate and don't know how) that claims circumcision could save millions from AIDS - particulary in Africa. It sounds like an interesting study. Again, could someone post it here so you can all read it for yourselves. Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:06 PM   #28
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I don't se the study on their site but here's an article

(AFP) The systematic circumcision of all boys in sub-Saharan Africa could potentially prevent nearly six million new HIV/AIDS infections over the next two decades, a research team says in a published study.

The study, coordinated by Brian Williams of the World Health Organization (WHO) and published in the US review PLoS Medicine, is based on results of a trial conducted in South Africa, in which men were offered the chance to be circumcised. Those who chose to be circumcised had a lower HIV infection rate 18 months later.

Researchers say that their test shows a reduction in rates of infection, from women to men, of about 60 percent. Extrapolated mathematically, that would lead to a prevention of about two million new HIV infections in the next 10 years, and a further 3.7 million cases in the decade after that, while 2.7 million deaths could be prevented.

About a quarter of those numbers, both deaths and infections prevented, would occur in South Africa, they said.

The study builds on primary research led by co-author Bertran Auvert of France's Inserm medical research institute in the Orange Farm area of South Africa.

His group's work on 3,000 male cases provided a scientific demonstration of previous speculation that male circumcision could have an impact on the spread of AIDS, which is ravaging Africa.

Results from other trials in Uganda and Kenya are being gathered by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and are expected to be published in September 2007.

Some 38.6 million people are dealing with HIV or AIDS, some 24 million of them in Africa.



I think this is the study

http://medicine.plosjournals.org/per...l.pmed.0030262
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:09 PM   #29
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Something else done to women because of the ideas of some men

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0711/p04s01-woaf.html

NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA – Big has long been considered beautiful in Mauritania. But now, a generation of women are abandoning an ancient practice to fatten up - and some are even redefining beauty to put their health first.

It's not a lifetime spent scoffing junk food and slurping fizzy drinks that's to blame for obesity here; rather, a tradition as old as the desert: gavage.

On the tree-lined boulevards of Paris, the French word describes the process of fattening up geese to produce foie gras. On the sand-blanketed streets of Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, it describes the process of forcibly funneling sweetened milk and millet porridge down the throats of young girls. In this vast nomadic nation, thin women are an admission of poverty. Voluptuous wives and daughters, by contrast, are displays of a man's wealth, and that's where force-feeding comes in.

After campaigns at the national and community level, the brutal practice is on the way out. The latest government survey, in 2001, estimated that about 10 percent of women ages 15-19 were force-fed as young girls, down from 35 percent among 45 to 54-year-olds. But that older generation of women is now battling a variety of illnesses as well as child-bearing complications, doctors and midwives say.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:14 PM   #30
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THANKS!!!
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