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← Doctors Opposing Circumcision: An Appeal for Misha

Doctors Opposing Circumcision: An Appeal for Misha - Comments

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 1 by Chrysippus_Maximus

I have no problem with infant circumcision... not because it's medically beneficial (that is either not true, or not certain)... but because many women like it (and many other women are turned off by uncircumcised men)! :P, and the pain is probably (given various factors I don't need to delve into) not all that bad for an infant... and you don't remember it anyway.

To force a 12 year old child to maim himself is ridiculous... definitely child abuse. It should not be about "doctors opposing circumcision", but "doctors opposing religiously motivated child abuse".

... I just don't know about infant circumcision though... It's not clear that it's unethical...

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:03:00 UTC | #29923

gcdavis's Avatar Comment 2 by gcdavis

At the risk of appearing flippant with a very serious issue, this is a letter I sent to Tony Blair last year. It seemed appropriate.

Application to establish a new religion

Dear Mr Blair

I know that you are a deeply religious man so I hope you will look favourably at my application to start a new religion. I am sure you will be pleased to hear that like all religions mine has a deity, a prophet, a holy book and a set of guiding principles; they are:

• The right to distribute a deadly disease by denial of the use of contraceptive devices
• The right to mutilate the genitalia of all male offspring
• The right to kill animals for food by letting them bleed to death
• The right to deny our wives and daughters the opportunity to take part in any activities that we deem improper
• The right for us to deal sympathetically with our shamans that have been involved in sexual activities with children
• The right to advance the truth revealed in the holy book that our deity made the earth in a few days and that any so called science that refutes this is blasphemous and cannot be tolerated.
• The right to severely discipline our own believers if they contradict the teaching of our prophet
• The right to encourage the terminally ill and severely disabled to visit any of our conveniently situated shrines in order that they may be miraculously cured. And that our success rates will not need to be published in our annual accounts as this could produce a misleading impression.
• The right to wear our traditional costume even when it contravenes regulations that non-believers are required to obey

Once my application has been approved I understand that my new religion will receive the following advantages:

• The right to nominate our top shamans for automatic entry to the legislative chamber known as the House of Lords, so we may influence policies that may be in conflict with our own belief system.
• The right to exploit all the advantages received when the head of state also becomes head of our religion
• The right to receive tax breaks and charitable status.
• The right to insist on a daily act of worship in all state schools

I know that you will appreciate that if my new religion is ridiculed by non believers that grave offence will have been suffered and that this incitement to religious hatred will be subject to full rigor of the criminal law.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Graham Davis
May 2006

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:06:00 UTC | #29924

gcdavis's Avatar Comment 3 by gcdavis


... I just don't know about infant circumcision though... It's not clear that it's unethical...

I am surprised you are not clear, if your parents had removed part of your ear when you were an infant would that be ethical? Of course not. The only ethical reason for circumcision is medical necessity. And as for the spurious argument that women prefer it; fine wait until you are a sexually active adult and make that decision for yourself...even if it hurts

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:16:00 UTC | #29927

Skep's Avatar Comment 4 by Skep

Amazing. A father wants to mutilate his twelve-year-old son's penis and the courts think it is a fine idea. If the man wanted to cut off his son's pinky finger the courts would immediately find against him but genital mutilation, no problem.

This is another example of religion getting a special "rationality exemption". Were it not for religion, the idea that a father should be allowed to cut off part of his son's penis would be immediately dismissed as child abuse of the worst order, but sprinkle the magic elixir of religion over the issue and all things are permitted.

Truly despicable.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:21:00 UTC | #29929

Hyrax's Avatar Comment 5 by Hyrax

Like the letter to Tony Blair Graham.

This is outrageous, 12 years old? America - the land of the free - 2007 - a boy of 12 who can read, write, and talk about his feelings perfectly articulately and at that age is undoubtedly very aware of his body is being forced into a non medical operation which will change him irreversibly against his will.

Child abuse indeed

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:36:00 UTC | #29932

AdrianB's Avatar Comment 6 by AdrianB

Spinoza, when I read you have no problem with infant circumcision I assumed you were from the US where the majority of men are circumcised. I see you are from Canada, and I don't know what the babaric preferences are there!

You will gather that I cannot agree with infant circumcision in any way and I would suggest anyone thinking otherwise to watch the Penn&Teller:Bullshit episode on the subject.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:38:00 UTC | #29935

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 7 by Jonathan Dore

I have no problem with infant circumcision... not because it's medically beneficial (that is either not true, or not certain)... but because many women like it (and many other women are turned off by uncircumcised men ...

Spinoza -- I've enjoyed your posts, but I can hardly believe I'm reading this. Mutilation of the most sensitive part of the body "because women like it"? I understand that exactly the same argument applies in East Africa to justify clitorodectomies: men like it, and are "turned off" by women with intact clitorises. Not really much of a justification, is it?

Women in the US may have become accustomed to seeing uncircumcised men because infant circumcision is practised so widely there (not just among Jews and Muslims), supposedly on health grounds. It's just what women there have got used to. In most of Europe the practice is still largely restricted to religious groups, so women there are not frightened of foreskins.

As for the supposed health benefits of circumcision, reduced susceptibility to disease etc, the answer is simple: if not having foreskins provided any sort of survival advantage, human males would have evolved without one.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 00:39:00 UTC | #29936

alfonso's Avatar Comment 8 by alfonso


Your logic is flawed (I felt a bit Vulcan).

The only reason why this mutilation is even considered to be a matter of parent's choice is because it is religiously induced. Otherwise this whole argument would indicate the father as unable to act as a guardian.

Ludicrous. Poor kid. And I say poor kid not because I believe that circumcision is *that terrible*, but because he himself does, his own wishes ignored by one who claims to love him, and apparently in the name of some imaginary friend that claims loves everyone.

I hope that this kid becomes at a later age a raging atheist, and sues his father.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:01:00 UTC | #29942

solidsquires's Avatar Comment 9 by solidsquires

Its only in America that parents would sue each other over who has the right to do what they want to a 12-year-old boys own appendage.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:03:00 UTC | #29943

Shuggy's Avatar Comment 10 by Shuggy


and the pain is probably (given various factors I don't need to delve into) not all that bad for an infant... and you don't remember it anyway.

On the contrary, all the evidence is that it is excruciating (it makes a measurable difference to his reaction to vaccination pain, months later), and since the baby has no idea what is happening, he can't even brace himself against it as an adult can.

And pain you can't remember is OK? Now let's apply that to drug-rape.

Oh and "cuts off the most sensitive part of the penis" is not hyperbole, it's just been demonstrated.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:06:00 UTC | #29944

davyB's Avatar Comment 11 by davyB

The worst thing about infant circumcision is not that it hurts like hell. That's reason enough to outlaw it. But the worst thing is that the child and then adult is mutilated for life. People try to reverse the effects, but there's really no way.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:14:00 UTC | #29946

davyB's Avatar Comment 12 by davyB

So what happens if the father wins the suit? Is he allowed to assault the child, tie him up, and haul him in for the ritual cutting despite his kicking and screaming? I know if I had been fortunate enough to live until twelve without suffering circumcision, I sure as hell would not have gone without a vicious fight.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:22:00 UTC | #29949

Skywatcher's Avatar Comment 13 by Skywatcher

... I just don't know about infant circumcision though... It's not clear that it's unethical...

Under what circumstances would you consider physical mutilation to be unethical?

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:46:00 UTC | #29954

bitbutter's Avatar Comment 14 by bitbutter

How does one go about donating? (a DOC paypal account would be handy).

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 01:59:00 UTC | #29957

Logicel's Avatar Comment 15 by Logicel

bitbutter, click on the home icon at the bottom of the link page. They accept paypal. The paypal icon is in the middle of the below link page:

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:07:00 UTC | #29958

MihaiC's Avatar Comment 16 by MihaiC

I wonder if any circumcised male has ever sued their parents over that... Since the father is a lawyer he should probably consider it as well.

Yeah, I know suing their own parents may sound immoral to some, citing family values - but where the hell were family values when the circumcision was performed?!

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:10:00 UTC | #29959

keith's Avatar Comment 17 by keith

Whether right or wrong, I can't help but think that donations of $25 or $50 would be better spent in saving children's lives in Africa. Although I can see why the mother and boy might consider his foreskin worth the $20,000+ it has apparently already cost in legal fees and hence the same amount of money that could save hundreds of children's lives in undeveloped countries, I can't understand why they think we would make the same calculations and have the same priorities.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:11:00 UTC | #29961

Steve19's Avatar Comment 18 by Steve19

I used to live in Oregon when I was very young before moving back to Australia, and it's disappointing that this is even happening in probably the second least religious state (behind Washington).

It's also surprising how many people can't understand that by circumcising anyone, infant or otherwise, you are denying them a choice with regard to their own body. No one is prevented from getting a circumcision voluntarily when they're older, so why not wait and let the child make up his own mind? My girlfriend, who is a non-practicing Jew and generally a bleeding-heart liberal still spouts the whole 'Tradition' line, even though she is vehemently opposed to female circumcision. Yeah male circumcision isn't as bad, but really what else is the difference?

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:14:00 UTC | #29963

Logicel's Avatar Comment 19 by Logicel

keith, Most of us have limited pockets, so we need to decide how we want to donate money. Regardless, the connection of the donation appeal to this site, is that a successful court case will weaken the religious stanglehold over stupidity.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:15:00 UTC | #29964

Veronique's Avatar Comment 21 by Veronique

You poor male babies. It is an horrific multilation. I understand that the excuse in later years had to do with the gunk that could be collected under the foreskin, especially in the mercantile and navy professions (this discounts the religious imperative from the Jews who made it into a rite of passage).

I personally have never f****d any man who wasn't circumcised. By my time it had become a medical procedure that (supposedly) kept men 'clean' of the gunk. This has been spread throughout the 20th and, now, the 21st century. I have no way of knowing how valid these hygenic claims are.

I am a woman - how would I know what you blokes are told, and/or believe? I thought that sexual excitation was more sensitive for men having been circumcised which meant the glans was more excitable. I don't know that to be true. And how would my partners have known it to be true either? They were all circumcised.

I was young enough at the birth of both my sons to allow circumcision because it was 'the thing to do'. I don't even recall questioning this act.
Who has seduced whom with this act? Tell me, please.


Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:25:00 UTC | #29971

NJS's Avatar Comment 22 by NJS

For Veronique:

You have it the wrong way around I believe - being uncurmcised means the glans is protected from day-to-day wear and tear which means once it exposed its more sensitive.

The "gunk" you mentioned isn't a problem - uncircumcised men soon learn that cleaning is required - can you imagine many men being "shy" about experimenting with the apparatus :)

I would also assume that masturbation is easier with the use of the forsesking than without - but of course thats a sin :)

On a serious note I find it abhorrent that any kind of mutilation is excused on religios grounds. As someone else said imagine other body parts being shed - I think just because male cirmcusion "seems" to be harmless shouldn't excuse the principle. The other danger is that acceptance of the male version discourages criticism of the infinitely more abhorrent female version.

This goes back to Dawkins views on any kind of religious influence on children - at a basic level its simply wrong.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:44:00 UTC | #29974

gcdavis's Avatar Comment 23 by gcdavis

"I was young enough at the birth of both my sons to allow circumcision because it was 'the thing to do'. I don't even recall questioning this act".

You don't appear to question it now Veronique, maybe you should. If you don't have the experience of uncircumcised men yourself what is the origin of your prejudice? You seem to confuse morality with convenience.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:45:00 UTC | #29975

Mikado's Avatar Comment 24 by Mikado

Comment #32424 by Veronique

Whats done is done. However "(this discounts the religious imperative from the Jews who made it into a rite of passage)." - could sand have anything to with it?

I find Circumcision of children unacceptable for any reason.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 02:55:00 UTC | #29980

Logicel's Avatar Comment 25 by Logicel

Could one obstacle to ending the prevalent and supposedly medical-based male circumcision is that circumcised adult males shy away from admitting they are essentially walking proof of irreversible sexual mutilation?

What percentage of male doctors who perform these medical based circumcisions are circumcised themselves? Is this similar to the female 'circumcision' situation where females play an active role in perpetrating the atrocity on other females?

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 03:17:00 UTC | #29983

MartinSGill's Avatar Comment 26 by MartinSGill

Circumcision for anything other than medical necessity is also known as genital mutilation.

When it's done to women we are outraged, when its done to men no one seems to think it matters.

Child abuse, pure and simple.

Isn't there also a jewish practice (luckily rare) where priest is supposed to suck the foreskin off a child with his mouth?! Paedophilia codified as worship. I'm doing my best not to visualise that act as it will make me gag.

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 03:40:00 UTC | #29985

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 27 by Oromasdes1978

Veronique, I find what you say really interesting, I suppose now that I am a bit older its the thought of someone messing with the old chap in that way just seems soooooo painful! But then some men get Albert rings which I simply cannot comprehend, sounds ghastly to me but to some men its fine!
Never had a problem with the gunk, NJS put it brilliantly!
I guess its all down to choice and I would advocate letting the person whose old chap it is decide if that's the way they want to go. I am not a parent and never will be so I don't think I will ever truly understand, but like religion, this sort of thing really should be a personal choice when the kid is old enough and has all the evidence. I think I understand what you mean when you say "it was the thing to do" at the time and that you are used to your blokes like that. I can only say as a bloke who has one, the thought of even going running without one would cause untold pain and possibly embarrassment as well hehehe!

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 03:52:00 UTC | #29989

AdrianB's Avatar Comment 28 by AdrianB

So Veronique has never ****** anyone that has not been circumcised, and my wife has never ****** anyone who has. This is simply an example of how this religious practice has become established that side of the Atlantic.

I really do recommend getting to see the "Bullshit" programme on the subject. It actually showed a baby being circumcised, and believe me the poor child was distressed.

Penn admitted that he was circumcised in accordance with tradition, but any genuine reasons were bullshit. The programme followed a young couple with their new baby, discussing whether to have him circumcised. The mother's main concern was causing unnecessary harm, and the father's main concern was the potential insults he would have to suffer later in life when in the showers alongside all his circumcised mates.

Of course there is no medical benefit whatsoever. For purely evolutionary reasons I would guess the opposite in fact. (I would do a google search to investigate, but probably wise not to at work.) I would guess that protecting the glands with a layer of skin, and rinsing it with sterile urine each time you take a piss are beneficial.

Of course in a country where 90% of males are circumcised any myth about "being unclean" is going to be popular. In the Penn & Teller programme they interviewed a number of young girls if they had sex with uncircumcised men and the responses were usually "err, how horrible, never"

Of course the long term effects of male circumcision over female circumcision is not as bad, but that is only because we are not comparing like with like. Cutting a baby's finger off would not be as bad as cutting a baby's hand off, but in both cases the baby would not remember the pain in years to come. What if a religion proposed cutting off the finger of each child?

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 03:54:00 UTC | #29990

Alexander1751's Avatar Comment 29 by Alexander1751

Spinoza's premise that women like circumcision is false. A survey of women who have been with both circumcised and intact men found that the great majority prefer the intact male as a sexual partner. That study may be viewed at:

Any conclusion based on a false premise must also be false.


Tue, 17 Apr 2007 04:27:00 UTC | #29995

Veronique's Avatar Comment 30 by Veronique

23. Comment #32428 by gcdavis

Where is my prejudice? You are off the wall kiddo. I am asking a perfectly legitimate question. I come from a different generation from you. Please do not tar me with your brush. I never confuse morality with injustice. Go take a cold shower.

What the hell do you think my question was about? You certainly haven't bothered to answer it in any of the terms in which I asked the question.

Get off your high horse and look at my post again. You think I'm unique? Grow up, you fool. Want to do a survey on how many men are circumcised? You would have to do proper surveys, with proper questions and proper statistical skewing of raw results with proper stats. And I know that people like me would have been seduced into circumcising our sons. I am no orphan mother. Go hang yourself our to dry and stop frothing. You are on the wrong tack.

24. Comment #32433 by Mikado

I find circumcision a very odd practice. Not that I have known 'normal' men. I have no idea how those men perceived their 'mutilation'. Most, within my life span, were severed in the first few days of their lives and, for all intents and purposes, have known no different.

In my sexual life, I have never known any of my lovers to have felt hampered by circumcision. They never knew any different after all. And they all orgasmed. Good luck for me!!!

It became a cultural norm. It seems to be abating now. I don't have a problem with that either. I squirm when I think of female genital mutilation, but, then I am a woman. Men also appear to squirm with regard to circumcism of males of any species. I guess that is normal as well.

I think I find it odd that we, as humans, are so hung up on sex, fidelity and virginity that we appear to have gone through an extraordinary social (with religious implications and justifications) sexual mutilation for both sexes, in order to submit to the most extraordinary religious beliefs.

Gunk? OK you guys, you are telling me that it is not an issue. OK I will accept that, In which case, it has to be ritualistic. That sucks.

I have to go to bed. This will not finish tonight. Bless you all. Please don't think that I marginalise males. I don't. Never have.


Tue, 17 Apr 2007 04:47:00 UTC | #30002