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Old 09-20-2007, 05:26 PM   #46
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I certainly think my parents did it for any other reason than that was all they knew how to. It was the cultural norm for them, and thus, I'm circumsized.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:00 PM   #47
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think, originally, circumsicision came out of victorian anti-sex mores, that if you removed the foreskin, then the boy would be less likely to masturbate. that's Western, though, can't say where it came from in the Jewish tradition.
No one knows where it comes from in the Jewish tradition--it's prescribed by the Torah obviously, but as with many other Jewish laws, no "reason" is offered. It's often speculated that perhaps circumcision was practiced by some other group or sect of people in the region who were somehow influential or seen as worthy of emulation, but that's just speculation. Originally it was only the tip of the foreskin that was removed, though--removal of the entire foreskin came later, and apparently as an act of resistance to Hellenistic influence (in Greek culture having one's glans penis showing was considered offensive, hence the 'kynodesme' worn by men at gymnasium to prevent unintentional "showings", as well as the use of foreskin stretching techniques--'epispasm'--by men e.g. Jews whose foreskins were embarrassingly short).

Circumcision for the purpose of preventing men from masturbating or being "overly" sexually active, while indeed a Victorian hypothesis, is, of course, in itself about as effective as female circumcision for the purpose of preventing extramarital pregnancy--i.e. not at all.
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Originally posted by CTU2fan
Reduces sensation, particularly during sex - check

While I understand there are aspects of FGM that are unique (specifically the way societies that practice FGM treat their women)
No, what is "unique" is the extent of tissue destruction involved. There is one procedure sometimes classified as a form of FGM which could be described as anatomically analogous to male circumcision, so-called "sunna" circumcision (clitoridotomy) which entails the removal of the clitoral hood and frenulum clitoris, which are the developmentally homologous female tissues to the male foreskin and frenulum. Internationally, however, "sunna" accounts for only about 3% of all "female circumcision" procedures. The most common form by far (about 80%) is so-called "Type II," which involves both clitoridectomy (clitoridotomy plus removal of the entire external and internal clitoris) and removal of all the labia minora and labia majora. In other words, ALL the erectile/engorgeable genital tissues are removed. Anatomically speaking, it is not possible to analogize this to male circumcision because in terms of homologous structures, that would mean removal of the glans penis and both corpora cavernosa, as well as the foreskin, frenulum, scrotum and distal urethra. At that point obviously the man could not function sexually nor reproductively--whereas to be cynically blunt, all that is required for sexual and reproductive "functionality" for women is for a man to still have a place to stick his penis (recall what sula said in an earlier thread about how, far from being more "chaste," circumcised Malian women in fact have epidemic extramarital preganancy rates because it reduces sex merely to something they do to get financial and other favors from men, and no one needs to get horny to recognize the "advantages" of that). Furthermore, FGM is associated with greatly increased risks in childbirth (70% increase in postpartum hemorrhaging), and it also frequently leads to lead to severe urinary tract and menstruation-related infections. "Reduces sensation" doesn't even begin to cut it.

That difference of degree matters, because it explains why human rights activists in Africa have spent a tremendous amount of time campaigning against FGM, whereas many other equally traditional and widespread forms of bodily modification have been left untouched--tattooing, ritual scarification, lip and earlobe stretching, piercings etc. etc. It has never been a generic argument from principle of not performing bodily modification procedures on non-minors. And the handful of health officials who have had success on the ground getting villages to commit one at a time to ending FGM have done it by addressing the all-too-familiar reproductive health problems that villagers already know routinely cost the lives of women and infants, and letting them begin to ask their own questions about how exactly FGM might be affecting those. Not by marching in and telling them about what kickass orgasms they're missing out on (obviously not their top quality-of-life priority) or how nasty and barbaric their ways are.

Above and beyond that, there is nothing "unique" about the way those societies treat their women--you won't find a traditional society anywhere where regulating female sexuality (and male sexuality to a much lesser extent...unless you're gay) is not a top priority. The reason for that is simple--women have this nasty habit of getting pregnant, and children demand major sacrifices of time and money which may or may not be welcome. Sure, humans are crafters of "meaning" and so that baseline reality gets elaborated with all kinds of religious and philosophical and aesthetic window dressing--custom, in other words--that tends to obscure how practical the underlying concerns are. And yes, most of that packaging, like any other aspect of culture--e.g., our belief in "all men created equal"--is arbitrary (as shown by the contradictions in practice) and not some hard-wired imperative. But it is definitely not coincidence that this is a universal human preoccupation.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland


No, what is "unique" is the extent of tissue destruction involved. There is one procedure sometimes classified as a form of FGM which could be described as anatomically analogous to male circumcision, so-called "sunna" circumcision (clitoridotomy) which entails the removal of the clitoral hood and frenulum clitoris, which are the developmentally homologous female tissues to the male foreskin and frenulum. Internationally, however, "sunna" accounts for only about 3% of all "female circumcision" procedures. The most common form by far (about 80%) is so-called "Type II," which involves both clitoridectomy (clitoridotomy plus removal of the entire external and internal clitoris) and removal of all the labia minora and labia majora.
Wow, I had no idea...my understanding has always been that the majority of FGM was clitorotomy; I'd read about the "Type II" but as it was described the #'s were reversed. Basically I was under the impression that the extreme cases I've read about where the labia are removed or sewn together were rare. If that's really what's going on in the vast majority of FGM then the differences between FGM and male circumcision are far from only a matter of degree. Thanks for clarifying. I wonder how much of the variance among types of FGM is intentional, and how much is simply somebody slicing away down there without knowing what they're doing. Is there any rational argument for it? I mean, an argument along the lines of American's justification for circumcision because of hygeine...I guess what I'm asking is are there any educated women in societies where FGM is commonplace who defend it, and make rational arguments for its use? Because from what I can tell there isn't really an upside to it, whereas there are clear medical reasons to refrain from it.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:25 PM   #49
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Actually, you're partly right--"infibulation," which accounts for about 15% of FGM procedures (these are all World Health Organization estimates, BTW) is a yet again different form from "Type II," and infibulation is the type which involves leaving a small portion of the outer labia so that they can be stitched back over the vaginal opening. And yes, that does entail a higher rate than "Type II" of the aforementioned childbirth, urinary and menstrual problems, because it's scarring around the urethra and vaginal openings that causes those, and scarring is greatest with infibulation on account of the additional complication of wound healing inhibition due to the 'stitching' procedure. However, any form of FGM which involves removal of the labia (as "Type II" also does) is likely to cause extensive scarring, so it's a question of degree of probability, not possibility, of dangerous medical complications.

I don't want to derail the thread topic though, so I'll hold off on going into it any further. While it got kind of heated, there was a thread awhile back which addressed some of your other questions.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:52 PM   #50
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^ Thanks for the link yolland. I was around then, not sure how I missed the topic.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:42 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




yes, but this means parents have to say the word p-e-n-i-s to their little boys.

:shudder:
This prompts a strange memory from my childhood...I walked past the washroom and as my mother was helping my little brother dry off from his bath, I could heard her say in a sing-song voice, "Now dry your scrotum"

He was circumcised though...maybe they were just advocates of good hygiene. (Is it honestly *that* much more difficult?)
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:43 AM   #52
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I'm Muslim and we're encouraged to do it, but because I was mostly raised by my mother mostly alone when we came to Canada, I guess I just wasn't for most of my childhood. I was circumcised when I was 9 years old. My father encouraged it and I always wanted to be like my father and brothers -- one of the boys. My mother was on a university study trip in the Middle East. When she came back and I told her, she was furious. She was very concerned about the pain I must have gone through.

I'm still glad I had it done, but it's not like a simple religious procedure like baptism. It's actually really painful. There's lots of pain when you urinate and blood comes out and then there's the puss or whatever golden-colored sticky stuff that comes when you have a wound. I had local anasthetic, and I remember looking down and seeing my skin thrown into a garbage bag. Very disturbing. Did I mention my father was one of the surgeons? Since then, I've wondered if he did the best job at making it as smoothly cut as he could have.....(Hmmmm)

(That's enough gross details from my past for a while...)
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:53 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl


As a woman, I've noticed a difference, too. (in the men's experience, not mine, I mean).
I don't suppose we can really get into any detail on this here in a public forum. . .but I AM curious as to what I'm missing. . .
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Old 09-22-2007, 01:52 PM   #54
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What do we know?

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I don't suppose we can really get into any detail on this here in a public forum. . .but I AM curious as to what I'm missing. . .
I imagine what ever sensation we are experiencing is not as intense with part of our body removed. That part has additional nerve endings therefore more sensation

It is my experience that women enjoy more intensity than I do.

But, I'm not complaining, I am satisfied with my current situation.



I imagine the best person to answer this question would be an active adult male that had it done at age 30.

Then we really could get a before and after story.
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:33 PM   #55
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Re: What do we know?

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Originally posted by deep


It is my experience that women enjoy more intensity than I do.
I always read that the clitoris has more than 8,000 nerve endings, more than any other body part including the penis. However, I've also read that the foreskin of the penis alone has about 10,000 nerve endings. So I imagine that when it's said that the clitoris has more nerve endings than the penis, they're referring to the circumcised penis since that is the norm in the US.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:26 PM   #56
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Re: What do we know?

Quote:
Originally posted by deep


I imagine what ever sensation we are experiencing is not as intense with part of our body removed. That part has additional nerve endings therefore more sensation

It is my experience that women enjoy more intensity than I do.
Would "fewer" nerve endings mean "lasting longer"? Because I bet that's enjoyed as well.

Quote:
Originally posted by deep
But, I'm not complaining, I am satisfied with my current situation.
That's pretty much how I feel.

Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I imagine the best person to answer this question would be an active adult male that had it done at age 30.

Then we really could get a before and after story.
For real. I doubt there's a surplus of such men out there. I can definitely say that I would NEVER consider getting circumsized as an adult (I'm really not a fan of unnecessary pain and suffering especialy in that vital area). So I suppose that might be the strongest argument of all for not having my sons circumsized. But as yet I have no sons (or any children for that matter) so I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.
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Old 09-23-2007, 08:21 AM   #57
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Re: Re: What do we know?

Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
For real. I doubt there's a surplus of such men out there. I can definitely say that I would NEVER consider getting circumsized as an adult (I'm really not a fan of unnecessary pain and suffering especialy in that vital area). So I suppose that might be the strongest argument of all for not having my sons circumsized. But as yet I have no sons (or any children for that matter) so I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.
I think that's what concerns me about the case in question...the boy is 12 and he welcomes the procedure? What amount of persuasion would it have taken to get you to agree to this, at 12?
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:30 PM   #58
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Re: Re: Re: What do we know?

Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan


I think that's what concerns me about the case in question...the boy is 12 and he welcomes the procedure? What amount of persuasion would it have taken to get you to agree to this, at 12?


and this, i think, is the heart of the matter at hand.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:14 AM   #59
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SALEM, Ore. — Six justices of the Oregon Supreme Court are wrestling with the question of what to do when divorced parents disagree about whether a child should be circumcised.

For an hour yesterday, the judges heard arguments in a child custody dispute between James Boldt, who wants his son circumcised as part of the son's conversion to Judaism, and the child's mother, Lia Boldt, who went to court to block the procedure. The child, who was 9 at the time the issue arose in 2004, is now 12.

A county judge dismissed Mrs. Boldt's challenge, but blocked the circumcision from taking place until all appeals were exhausted. The mother's attorney, Clayton Patrick, told the court that the circumcision posed "an unreasonable and unnecessarily high risk to the child." Mr. Patrick was quickly challenged by Judge W. Michael Gillette, who asked whether courts should step in when a divorced couple disagrees about whether a child should play football.

"More people get hurt playing football than from having a circumcision and a lot more seriously," Judge Gillette said. He said family court disputes over going out for football were a "necessary consequence" of the mother's position. "That's preposterous. I hope you recognize that cannot work," the judge said.

Mr. Patrick said that, even though the father had full custody of the child, the mother was entitled to a court hearing because, based on her review of information about circumcision, the practice amounts to "sex abuse or physical abuse."

"If the custodial parent wanted to amputate some other body part, I think the court would step in and say you can't do that," the attorney said. Mr. Boldt, other family members and the doctor who would perform the circumcision said the boy wanted it. However, Mrs. Boldt said her son told her that he did not want to be circumcised and was afraid to contradict his father. Some of the justices asked whether the courts should take the child's views into account, either when he was 9 or at age 12.

"The child's wishes, while of course they should be considered, are not legally decisive or, legally speaking, relevant," Mr. Boldt, who is a lawyer and has represented himself in the legal proceedings, said. Judges speculated about whether custodial parents had the right to impose genital mutilation or a nose job "on children whose faces are just fine." "Are there no limits?" one judge asked.

When Mr. Boldt said he thought a custodial parent could do anything that wasn't illegal to a child, Judge Rives Kistler replied, "That seems a real broad claim. What if they wanted to have tattoos put on the child's face?"

Mr. Boldt said some actions might be so outrageous that they called into question a person's fitness as a parent. A tattoo on a child's shoulder that says "Mom" would be a different matter than "a swastika on the forehead," he said.

Mr. Boldt insisted that the court should not single out circumcision for greater scrutiny than other parenting choices. "There's no principled, intellectually defensible, legally supportable reason to extract that one category," he said. Much of the hearing discussed whether Mrs. Boldt was automatically entitled to a formal evidentiary hearing on her objection and, if not, what evidence she had to produce to get such a hearing.

The Oregon jurists appear to be the highest-ranking American court to hear a dispute involving circumcision, according to a New York University law professor who has written on the issue, Geoffrey Miller. "It will be a precedent that will be closely paid attention to by people who are interested in that debate," the professor said. "I would be quite shocked or at least surprised if the result in the Oregon Supreme Court undoes what the lower courts said."

A Portland rabbi who attended the argument, Daniel Isaak, said he was surprised that there was little discussion of the religious freedom aspect of the case. "Circumcision is a basic rite of conversion" for Jewish men and is also practiced by Muslims, the rabbi said.

Four Jewish groups, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Orthodox Union, filed an amicus brief backing Mr. Boldt. A physicians' group, Doctors Opposing Circumcision, filed a brief supporting Mrs. Boldt.

The anti-circumcision brief notes that during a prior court proceeding unrelated to the circumcision issue, the Boldts agreed that they had a dominant-submissive relationship — in which Mr. Boldt was "god" or "sovereign" — and that sometimes involved Mr. Boldt administering beatings to his wife, who assumed the role of "slave girl." The Boldts' son "must not be abandoned by the courts, to become embroiled in his father's need for a replacement slave … if that is what happened," the anti-circumcision group argued.

Mr. Boldt declined to be interviewed as he left court yesterday. The groups defending circumcision stated in their brief that they were taking no position on "who is the more appropriate parent."
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