Israel produces pro-circumcision short film to fight opposing sentiments

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As Council of Europe parliamentarians brace for a clash, the Israeli Knesset prepares a short film praising circumcision to be shown in response to other elements within the council actively seeking to fight the practice on human rights grounds.

The pro-circumcision film will be presented on Monday at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development by Israel’s representative, MK Nachman Shai.

This is believed to be a retaliatory move by Israeli MKs to combat resolutions attacking ritual male circumcision, such as the October 2013 motion by the former COE MP Marlene Ruprecht, which called it a “violation of the physical integrity of children” and urged the members to initiate a public debate with human rights as the foundation.

Although the COE cannot actually pass binding laws, its 47-member-strong European composition is often viewed as a battle ground for future bills and is often a scene for cultural and legislative debate.

To counter the circumcision documentary, Ruprecht plans to show an anti-circumcision documentary, called ‘It’s a Boy’, the director of which, Victor Schonfeld, has been invited to attend the screening. To back up her claims, she also invited four doctors to the committee.

continue to source article at rt.com

81 COMMENTS

  1. Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
    We live and learn.

    “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a trial in South Africa was halted early when it was found that circumcision cut the risk of infection by 60%1. And this Wednesday, large clinical trials in Uganda and Kenya were also stopped when researchers found that the circumcised men were so well shielded from HIV (with cuts in risk of 53% and 48% respectively) that it became unethical not to offer the practice to the other, uncircumcised group.

    If we had a vaccine this good against HIV, people would be falling over themselves to use it.

    The idea is all the more credible because biologists think they understand why circumcision works. Cells which are particularly susceptible to HIV cluster under the foreskin. No foreskin, no easy entryway to the body. According to one estimate, male circumcision could avert two million new infections and 300,000 deaths over the next ten years in sub-Saharan Africa2. There are hints that the practice may help save women from infection too.”

    http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061211/full/news061211-17.html

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…

      I think the evidence was there for awhile now and it has been getting stronger.

      Still, I think most, if not all, of the circumcised in these tests were adults. Done for medical reasons, fine, religious reasons, no.

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…

      If a man wants to give up his foreskin for that benefit, good on him. I don’t think that babies are equipped to make such a decision about their sex organ given that they haven’t used it yet, and I don’t think that parents have any right at all to be altering their children’s sex organs without consent.

      Circumcision is mutilation and forced circumcision is a human rights violation. It doesn’t matter how fine you are with being circumcised. It doesn’t mean that everyone is (I’m certainly not fine with mine) and it certainly doesn’t give parents the right to remove healthy body parts from children.

      • In reply to #15 by mmurray:

        In reply to #1 by Fritz:

        Well, I’m astonished! New evidence

        New evidence from 2006 ?

        Well, new to me! Also some commenters assumed the extract I pasted was my own opinion- it’s not, necessarily.
        I was genuinely surprised that there is UN support for circumcision of adult Africa men…

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…

      Hi Fritz,

      I am happy to acknowledge any facts such as AIDS being protective in cases of circumcision. A couple of points though.

      How effective are condoms and education by comparision? Also how many babies are having sex? Clearly if it is considered something worth doing then it is possible to do it in adulthood or wear a condom or even both. Another point I would make is that in the West the rate of AIDS is nothing like as high as it is in Africa so even if you can make a case for African boys being circumcised then it does not necessarily play out the same way in the West.

      The Jewish community are not arguing against the banning of the removal of a part of boys on the basis of medical grounds there problem is on the basis of religious tradition . After all AIDS has only existed for about 100 years and only been known about for a few decades they have been doing long before that. Does anyone think for a minute that if the data on AIDS was reversed they would not choose to ignore it?

      We chose not to circumcise our son because we wish him to be able to make that choice for himself. We choose instead to educate him about what sex is (he’s too young to bother about contraception yet). When he is old enough we will educate him about safe sex and how to approach sexual relationships with respect. If he wishes to have his foreskin removed as a precaution when he is old enough to make up his mind he may do so with my best wishes.

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…

      “The joint WHO/UNAIDS recommendation also notes that circumcision only provides partial protection from HIV and should never replace known methods of HIV prevention.[5]
      A meta-analysis of data from fifteen observational studies of men who have sex with men found “insufficient evidence that male circumcision protects against HIV infection or other STIs.”[7]“

      So it MIGHT protect against infection but its not reliable enough to be trust worthy in which case it is dubious that there are enough clinical facilities in Africa where the risk of infection from the procedure make it worth while given that you still need to use condoms to remain safe.

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…Hmmm – basic, simple cleanliness can solve the problem without resorting to cropping the genitals of babies. Also shouldn’t this be an adult decision, taken when and if a person is mature and decides to become promiscuous?

    • @ Fritz

      The evidence shows no such things. Please educate yourself on the subject. There is a large amount of literature available.
      Start here:

      “… I am not impressed. They cite a couple of incomplete epidemiological studies in African populations for HIV infection, and they come up with some astounding figures: a 50-60% reduction in infection rates. Wow, with that kind of advantage…sign me up.

      However, these are deeply flawed studies. None of them were completed: they all abandoned the protocol and stopped the research as soon as preliminary results gave them positive values. This is like shooting craps and announcing that all your dice throws were practice…until you get a good roll, and then, yeah, that was the real deal. That one counts.
      They all overstate their results. That 50-60% reduction was in relative rate, in comparison across the two groups. The actual calculated protection in absolute terms conferred by circumcision was a 2% reduction in the likelihood of infection. That doesn’t dazzle me, either, and given that the studies were terminated when they got their best results, I’m not persuaded…..”

      http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/06/27/something-has-stirred-up-the-a/

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      Well, I’m astonished! New evidence shows a great benefit in circumcision where I had always assumed there was none.
      We live and learn.

      “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a tria…

      Or they can use condoms. But that would be blasphemy for some, so it’s best to maim infants. Way to go, civilization!

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      If we had a vaccine this good against HIV, people would be falling over themselves to use it

      No, vaccines are much better than 50/50 flip of the coin stuff, nor would I be comfortable going bare back with those odds.

      Seems like a clear case against circumcision. Glad we have some clarity after all those useful tests.

  2. Safe sex prevents aids as well. And does not force one to give up their foreskin without their consent.

    I’m still amazed this is being discussed. As if there could by any justification for circumcising infants.

    QUICK NOTE: participants in those studies were all mature men who underwent the procedure voluntarily.

  3. teach men to wash their dick and to use condoms and outlaw ritual circumcision of children.
    if a man wants to be cut voluntarily fine, but to be denied condoms because of religious beliefs. no.
    these trials provide incomplete slanted data without first applying common sense,some soap and a rubber.
    and appear to be data from areas where the catlick way is seen as the only way.

    • In reply to #4 by SuzySpellcheck:

      teach men to wash their dick and to use condoms and outlaw ritual circumcision of children.
      if a man wants to be cut voluntarily fine, but to be denied condoms because of religious beliefs. no.
      these trials provide incomplete slanted data without first applying common sense,some soap and a rubber….

      Promoting ritual genital mutilation of those who have not given consent is barbaric. Yes cleanliness is the best policy and
      how do rabbis know that the infant boy intends to grow up to be a promiscuous homosexual?

  4. Oh, so in the case of circumcision, ethics suddenly become nothing but “sentiment”? Invasive surgery, with its attendant risk of complications such as infection, hemorrhage, and scarring, makes so much more sense than simple hygiene and condoms? And in Africa, where in many countries most people are too poor to afford surgery and hospitals are often ill-equipped and can’t provide adequate sterilization of equipment or treatment of infection? Yeah…wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to pull that foreskin back and wash with soap and water and roll on a condom before sex? I see no reason to promote circumcision for a male of any age unless there is an emergent need, such as phimosis with urinary obstruction – and to do it to infants and children who cannot give informed consent is a violation of medical ethics and human rights.

    • In reply to #5 by Sue Blue:

      Oh, so in the case of circumcision, ethics suddenly become nothing but “sentiment”? Invasive surgery, with its attendant risk of complications such as infection, hemorrhage, and scarring, makes so much more sense than simple hygiene and condoms? And in Africa, where in many countries most people are too poor to afford surgery and hospitals are often ill-equipped and can’t provide adequate sterilization of equipment or treatment of infection? Yeah…wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to pull that foreskin back and wash with soap and water and roll on a condom before sex? I see no reason to promote circumcision for a male of any age unless there is an emergent need, such as phimosis with urinary obstruction – and to do it to infants and children who cannot give informed consent is a violation of medical ethics and human rights.

      Along with poorly equipped hospitals, many African countries also suffer from a shortage of clean water. If it comes down to a choice of drinking what little water is available to you or using it to clean your junk before sex, most people would opt for the former.

      It’s not just a matter of hygiene: as Fritz indicates in comment #1, the underside of the foreskin is permeable. I think I’m correct in saying the HIV virus doesn’t survive for any significant length of time outside the body anyway – where’s Roedy Green when he’s needed? He’d know about this – so advising people that as long as they’re clean down there they won’t become infected may just be giving them a false sense of confidence.

      As for condoms, many African countries are Catholic, and we all know what the RCC thinks about contraception.

      I think in areas where AIDS is endemic, an argument can be made for the routine circumcision of all male infants, with efforts geared toward making this operation as safe as possible. All the emotive talk by some users on this issue isn’t really helpful.

      • @Katy Cordeth

        Sorry, your knowledge of this subject seems quite superficial.
        There are no medical benefits to circumcision. None.

        http://www.circumstitions.com/HIV.html#contrary

        1832

         Claude-Francois Lallemand circumcises a patient to cure him from nocturnal seminal emissions. [Des Pertes Seminales Involontaires. Jeune 1836 (1):463-7; 1839 (2):70-162; 1842 (3):266-7, 280-9]
        

        1845

        Edward H. Dixon declares that circumcision prevents masturbation. [A Treatise on Diseases of the Sexual Organs. New York: Stringer & Co 1845 pp 158-65]
        

        1855

        Johnathon Hutchinson publishes his theory that circumcision prevents syphilis. [On the Influence of Circumcision in Preventing Syphilis. Medical Times and Gazette 1855;32(844):542-543]
        

        1865

         Nathaniel Heckford claims that circumcision cures epilepsy. [Circumcision as a remedial measure in certain cases of epilepsy and chorea. Clinical Lectures and Reports by the Medical and Surgical Staff of the London Hospital 1865;2:58-64]
        

        1870

         Lewis A. Sayre publishes a paper 'proving' that circumcision cures epilepsy. [Circumcision versus epilepsy, etc; Transcription of the New York Pathological Society meeting of June 8, 1870. Medical Record 1870 Jul 15;5(10):231-4]
        

        1870

         Lewis A. Sayre declares that circumcision prevents spinal paralysis. [Partial paralysis from reflex irritation, caused by congenital phimosis and adherent prepuce. Transactions of the American Medical Association 1870;21:205-11]
        

        1871

         M.J. Moses declares that Jews are immune to masturbation because of circumcision. [The value of circumcision as a hygienic and therapeutic measure. New York Medical Journal 1871 Nov;14(4):368-74]
        

        1873

         Joseph Bell announces his discovery that circumcision cures bed wetting. [Nocturnal incontinence of urine cured by circumcision. Edinburgh Medical Journal 1873 May;1(9):1034]
        

        1875

        Lewis A. Sayre declares that foreskin causes curvature of the spine, paralysis of the bladder, and clubfoot. [Spinal anaemia with partial paralysis and want of coordination, from irritation of the genital organs. Transactions of the American Medical Association 1875;26:255-74]
        

        1879

        H.H. Kane 'discovers' that circumcision cures nocturnal emissions and abdominal neuralgia. [Seminal emissions, abdominal neuralgia: circumcision: cure. Southern Clinic 1879 Oct;2(1):8-11]
        

        1881

         Maximillian Landesburg announces that circumcision cures eye problems that he believed were caused by masturbation. [On affections of the eye caused by masturbation. Medical Bulletin 1881 Apr;3(4):79-81]
        

        1886

        William G. Eggleston declares that foreskin causes crossed eyes. [Two cases of reflex paraplegia(one with aphasia) from tape-worm and phimosis. Journal of the American Medical Association 1886 May 8;6(19):511-5]
        

        1888

        John Harvey Kellogg promotes circumcision as punishment for boys to discourage them from masturbating. [Treatment for Self-abuse and Its Effects, Plain Facts for Old and Young, Burlington, Iowa, F. Segner & Co. (1888) p. 107]
        

        1890

        William D. Gentry declares that circumcision cures blindness, deafness and dumbness. [Nervous derangements produced by sexual irregularities in boys. Medical Current 1890 Jul;6(7):268-74]
        

        1891

        Johnathan Hutchinson declares that foreskin encourages boys to masturbate. [On circumcision as preventive of masturbation. Archives of Surgery 1891 Jan;2(7):267-9]
        

        1893

        Mark J. Lehman demands immediate implementation of mass circumcision of all American boys. [A plea for circumcision. Medical Review 1893 Jul 22;28(4):64-5]
        
        1894
        P.C. Remondino says circumcising blacks will help prevent them from raping whites. [Negro rapes and their social problems. National Popular Review 1894 Jan;4(1):3-6]
        

        1894

        H.L. Rosenberry publishes paper 'proving' that circumcision cures urinary and rectal incontinence. [Incontinence of the urine and faeces, cured by circumcision. Medical Record 1894 Aug 11;4(6):173]
        

        1898

         T. Scott McFarland says he has "circumcised as many girls as boys, and always with happy results." [Circumcision of girls. Journal of Orificial Surgery, 1898 Jul;7:31-33]
        

        1900

         Johnathan Hutchinson advises circumcision as way to decrease the pleasure of sex, and hence to discourage sexual immorality. [The advantages of circumcision. The Polyclinic 1900 Sep;3(9):129-31]
        

        1901

        Ernest G. Mark notes that the "pleasurable sensations that are elicited from the extremely sensitive" inner lining of the foreskin may encourage a child to masturbate, which is why he recommends circumcision since it "lessens the sensitiveness of the organ". [Circumcision. American Practitioner and News 1901 Feb 15;31(4):122-6]
        

        1902

         Roswell Park publishes paper 'proving' that foreskin causes epilepsy and that circumcision cures it. [The surgical treatment of epilepsy. American Medicine 1902 Nov 22;4(21):807-9]
        

        1914

         Abraham L. Wolbarst claims that circumcision prevents tuberculosis and demands the compulsory circumcision of all children in America. [Universal circumcision as a sanitary measure. Journal of the American Medical Association 1914 Jan 10;62(2):92-7]
        

        1915

        Benjamin E. Dawson says that since the clitoral hood is the source of many neuroses, female circumcision is necessary. [Circumcision in the Female: Its Necessity and How to Perform It. American Journal of Clinical Medicine, 1915 Jun;22(6):520-523]
        

        1918

        Belle Eskridge concludes circumcision will relieve one of the greatest causes of masturbation in girls. [Why not circumcise the girl as well as the boy?, Texas State Journal of Medicine, 1918 May;14:17-19]
        

        1926

        Abraham L. Wolbarst claims that circumcision prevents penile cancer. [Is circumcision a prophylactic against penis cancer? Cancer 1926 Jul;3(4):301-10]
        

        1930

         Norton Henry Bare claims that he has cured a boy of epilepsy by circumcising him. [Surgical treatment of epilepsy with report of case. The China Medical Journal 1930 Nov;4(11):1109-13]
        

        1934

         Aaron Goldstein and Hiram S. Yellen invent and mass market the Gomco clamp which makes it easier for doctors to cut off even more skin than in traditional circumcisions. [Bloodless circumcision of the newborn. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 1935;30(1):146-7]
        

        1935

        R.W. Cockshut demands that all boys be circumcised in order to desensitize the penis and promote chastity. [Circumcision. British Medical Journal 1935 Oct 19;2(3902):764]
        

        1941

         Allan F. Guttmacher promotes mass circumcision as a means of blunting male sexual sensitivity. He also spreads the false claim that a baby's foreskin must be forcibly retracted and scrubbed daily. [Should the baby be circumcised? Parents Magazine 1941 Sept;16(9):26,76-8]
        

        1942

         Abraham Ravich claims that circumcision prevents prostate cancer. [The relationship of circumcision to cancer of the prostate. Journal of Urology 1942 Sep;48(3):298-9]
        

        1949

         Eugene H. Hand declares that circumcision prevents venereal disease and cancer of the tongue. [Circumcision and venereal disease. Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology 1949 Sep;60(3):341-6]
        

        1949

        Douglas Gairdner points out that the previous years cases of infant circumcision deaths were not necessary given the lack of medical justification for circumcision. (Note: This paper helped encourage the National Health Service to drop coverage for infant circumcision which led to the practical elimination of non- religious circumcision in the United Kingdom.) [The fate of the foreskin. British Medical Journal 1949 2:1433-7]
        

        1951

         Abraham Ravich invents claims that circumcision prevents cervical cancer in women. [Prophylaxis of cancer of the prostate, penis, and cervix by circumcision. New York State Journal of Medicine 1951 Jun;51(12):1519-20]
        

        1953

        R.L. Miller and D.C. Snyder unleash their plans to circumcise all male babies immediately after birth while still in the delivery room to prevent masturbation and provide "immunity to nearly all physical and mental illness." [Immediate circumcision of the newborn male. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1953, Jan;6(1):1-11]
        

        1954

         Ernest L. Wydner claims that male circumcision prevents cervical cancer in women. [A study of environmental factors of carcinoma of the cervix. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1954 Oct;68(4):1016-52]
        

        1956

        Raymond Creelman invents the Circumstraint which straps down and immobilizes the baby's arms and legs. [USPTO patent number RE24,377]
        

        1958

        C.F. McDonald says "the same reasons that apply for the circumcision of males are generally valid when considered for the female." [Circumcision of the female. General Practitioner 1958 Sep;18(3):98-99]
        

        1959

         W.G. Rathmann finds that among the many benefits of female circumcision is that it will make the clitoris easier for the husband to find. [Female Circumcision: Indications and a New Technique. General Practitioner 1959 Sep;20(9):115-120]
        

        1966

        Masters and Johnson claim that there is no difference in sensitivity between penises with and without foreskin. (Note: Their work helps propagate the medical dogma that circumcision has no effect on sexuality go practically unquestioned for nearly the next four decades.) [Human Sexual Response, Boston, Ma: Little Brown & Co, 1966]
        

        1969

        Morris Fishbein calls for circumcision to prevent nervousness and of course also masturbation. [Sex hygiene. Modern Home Medical Adviser. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co: 1969 pp 90, 119]
        

        1971

        Abraham Ravich claims that circumcision prevents cancer of the bladder and the rectum. [Viral carcinogenesis in venereally susceptible organs. Cancer 1971 Jun;27(6)1493-6]
        

        1971

         The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn issues a warning to the Nation that, "There are no valid medical indications for circumcision in the neonatal period." [Committee on Fetus and Newborn Issues. Circumcision. Hospital Care of Newborn Infants 5th Edition. Evanston, Ill: American Academy of Pediatrics; 1971 p 110]
        

        1973

         R. Dagher, Melvin Selzer, and Jack Lapides declare that anyone who disagrees with their agenda to impose mass circumcision on America is deluded. [Carcinoma of the penis and the anti-circumcision crusade. Journal of Urology 1973 Jul;110(1):79-80]
        

        1975

         The American Academy of Pediatrics Task force on Circumcision declares, "There are no medical indications for routine circumcisions and the procedure cannot be considered an essential component of health care." [Report on the ad hoc task force on circumcision. Pediatrics 1975;56:610-1]
        

        1976

        Benjamin Spock, after recommending circumcision for thirty years, revises his best-selling parenting book: "I strongly recommend leaving the foreskin alone. Parents should insist on convincing reasons for circumcision — and there are no convincing reasons that I know of." [Baby and Child Care, New York, E P Dutten, 1946-76]
        

        1985

        Thomas E. Wiswell claims that circumcision prevents urinary tract infections. [Decreased incidence of urinary tract infections in circumcised male infants. Pediatrics 1985 May;75(5):901-3]
        

        1986

        Aaron J. Fink claims that circumcision prevents AIDS. [A possible explanation for heterosexual male infection with AIDS. New England Journal of Medicine 1986 Oct 30;31(18):1167]
        

        1988

         Aaron J. Fink invents the falsehood that circumcision prevents neonatal group B streptococcal disease. [Is hygiene enough? Circumcision as a possible strategy to prevent group B streptococcal disease. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1988 Aug;159 (2):534-5]
        

        1989

         Under the direction of Edgar J. Schoen, the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision declares circumcision is necessary. [Report of the Task Force on Circumcision. Pediatrics 1989 Aug;84(2):388-91]
        

        1991

         Edgar J. Schoen tries and fails to convince European countries to institute mass circumcision. [Is it time for Europe to reconsider newborn circumcision? Acta Paediatrica Scandanavian 1991 May;8(5)573-7]
        

        1991

         Aaron J. Fink declares mass circumcision is necessary to prevent sand from getting into the soldiers' foreskins. [Circumcision and sand. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 1991 Nov;84(11):696]
        

        1996

        J.R. Taylor finds that the average amount of amputated foreskin was nearly half of the total penile skin. [The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. British Journal of Urology 1996 Feb;77:291-5]
        

        1997

         Edgar J. Schoen tries and fails once again to convince European countries to institute mass circumcision. [Benefits of newborn circumcision: Is Europe ignoring the medical evidence? Archives of Diseases of Childhood 1997 Sep;7(3):258-60]
        

        1997

         Janice Lander discovers that circumcision without anesthesia is traumatic for babies. (Note: Before this, almost all infant circumcisions were done without anesthetic due to the prevalent belief among circumcisers that babies are not capable of feeling significant pain and if they could it doesn't matter since they won't be able to remember it.) [Comparison of ring block, dorsal penile nerve block, and topical anesthesia for neonatal circumcision. Journal of the American Medical Association 1997 Dec;274(24):2157-2162]
        

        1998

        Howard Stang, inventor of an upright circumcision restraint fails to mention this conflict of interest in his article promoting infant circumcision. [Patent #5,160,185, Infant support and restraint system 1992] [Circumcision Practice Patterns in the United States, Pediatrics, 1998 Jun;101(6):E5]
        

        1999

         J. R. Taylor, after studying the foreskin's specialized innervation, concludes that it is the "primary erogenous tissue necessary for normal sexual function." [The prepuce. British Journal of Urology 1999 Jan;83(1):34-44]
        

        1999

        The American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision, after reviewing 40 years worth of medical studies, concluded that the "potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision... are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." This report is also the first time the AAP has acknowledged(after decades of doctors mindlessly repeating the belief that babies don't feel significant pain) that circumcision without anesthesia is traumatic and if circumcision is to be done, anesthesia should be used. Here are some highlights from the report:
        
            Role of Hygiene: "there is little evidence to affirm the association between circumcision status and optimum penile hygiene."
        
            STDs including HIV:"behavioral factors appear to be far more important than circumcision status."
        
            Penile Cancer: "in a developed country such as the United States, penile cancer is a rare disease and the risk of penile cancer developing in an uncircumcised man, although increased compared with a circumcised man, is low."
        
            Urinary Tract Infections: "breastfeeding was shown to have a threefold protective effect on the incidence of UTI in a sample of uncircumcised infants. However, breastfeeding status has not been evaluated systematically in studies assessing UTI and circumcision status." meaning that the earlier UTIs studies results were confounded. Even if their numbers were accurate, in order to prevent one UTI during the first year of life by circumcising a baby boy, approximately 195 babies who will not get a UTI would need to be circumcised. Also infant girls commonly develop UTIs(in some studies at even higher rates than infant boys) and the standard treatment for them is antibiotics which works just as well for infant boys with UTIs. The AAP concludes this section noting that "the absolute risk of developing a UTI in an uncircumcised male infant is low (at most, ~1%)".
        
            Ethics: Here they say while even though cutting off part of your baby's genitalia "is not essential to the child's current well-being" they are perfectly fine with parents and doctors using cultural tradition as justification. (Note: The report does not mention whether they also think cultural tradition is an acceptable reason to anesthetize infant girls and then cut off their clitoral hoods(which are biologically analogous to foreskin)). [Task Force on Circumcision. Circumcision Policy Statement. Pediatrics 1999;103 (3):686-693]
        

        2002

         W.K. Nahm extends the storage life of specialized cell cultures derived from "freshly harvested neonatal foreskin tissue." (Note: Since the 1980s, some amputated infant foreskins have been sold without the knowledge of the parents to biomedical companies for research and even use in commercial cosmetic products such as anti-wrinkle creams.) [Sustained ability for fibroblast outgrowth from stored neonatal foreskin. Journal of Dermatology Science. 2002 Feb;28(2):152-8]
        

        2003

        Edgar J. Schoen steps up pressure on American Academy of Pediatrics to reverse its policy on circumcision, claiming that circumcision prevents AIDS. [It's wise to circumcise: time to change policy. Pediatrics. 2003 Jun;111(6 Pt 1):1490 -1]
        

        2005

         R.Y. Stallings finds that HIV rates are significantly lower in circumcised women. (Note: There was no WHO call for mass female circumcision to help prevent AIDS) [Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse? Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment. Rio de Janeiro, 25-27 July 2005]
        

        2007

        R.C. Bailey ends his study early with the conclusion touting circumcision as a 'vaccine' that prevents HIV infection. (Note: This and other similar studies were widely reported throughout the American media.) [Male circumcision for HIV prevention for young men in Kisumu, Kenya. Lancet 2007;369 (9562):643-56]
        

        2007

         L. de Witte finds that Langerhans cells found in the foreskin are a natural barrier to HIV infection. (Note: This and other similar studies were widely ignored throughout the American media.) [Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells. Nature Medicine 2007;(13):367-371]
        

        2007

        M. Sorrells tests the relative sensitivity of the penis and finds that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis and the glans is the least. [Fine touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis. British Journal of Urology International. 2007;99:864-9]
        

        “Historically, circumcision has been touted to cure whatever disease at the time was on the minds of the population.” –Steve Scott

        http://circinfosite.com/2.html

        “Circumcision is a solution in search of a problem.” –Edward Wallerstein

      • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

        “First, in 2005, a trial in South Africa was halted early when it was found that circumcision cut the risk of infection by 60%1. And this Wednesday, large clinical trials in Uganda and Kenya were also stopped when researchers found that the circumcised men were so well shielded from HIV (with cuts in risk of 53% and 48% respectively) that it became unethical not to offer the practice to the other, uncircumcised group.”

        53% to 48% versus what? against an unprotected penis? Also how exactly was that figure calculated and was it controlled
        against, the use of condoms and anti-retroviral drugs?
        Use a condom and the supposed benefits of circumcision against HIV would essentially reduce to zero!
        This is because the foreskin if it is vulnerable to HIV, would no longer even becomes a variable due to the protection from the condom. Add Anti-retroviral drugs to this and you would essentially stand to make circumcision outright redundant.

        Anti-retroviral drugs ‘help reduce’ HIV transmission

        “An HIV-positive person who takes anti-retroviral drugs after diagnosis, rather than when their health declines, can cut the risk of spreading the virus to uninfected partners by 96%

        One could argue due to the sheer efficacy of the above method, that it be seen as an act of criminal transmission of HIV,
        if the infected had not consumed anti-retroviral drugs and had not used a condom before sexual intercourse.

        Criminal transmission of HIV

        Here’s an excerpt from the above wiki article, about Canadian law.

        “…Subsequent legal precedent[7] has established that failure to disclose HIV-positive status, combined with failure to utilize protective measures (condom use), is sufficiently fraudulent behaviour to constitute turning “consensual” sex into aggravated sexual assault, since the other party has been denied the information necessary to give properly informed consent.

        … the Court found that “significant risk of bodily harm is negated if (i) the accused’s viral load at the time of sexual relations was low, and (ii) condom protection was used.”

        So I would say proponents of HIV mitigation via circumcision are behaving in an incredibly irresponsible and unethical way.
        Especially with regards to these flimsy studies they frequently tout. This is because much of these studies show little attempt
        at clarifying the exact mechanisms they were investigating, and take little care to caution people on how those exaggerated percentages
        should be interpreted. To be responsible, again and again the emphasis should be placed on anti-retroviral drugs and proper condom use.
        The attention grabbing tone set by much of these studies, and their ignorant proponents, will likely risk, misleading some individuals into assuming,
        that they no longer need to use a condom or take anti-retroviral drugs to be safe!

        In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

        Don’t all male animals also have nipples? What essential function do these perform?

        As for the functions, the foreskin seems to have protective functions for the infant and premature males,
        and sexual functions for the mature male with some immunological functions for both age groups.
        Smegma for instance is a mucous like substance that seems to entrap bacteria and dirt, and therefore act as a self cleaning mechanism for the penis.
        Then there are things called Langerhans cells which produce Langerin, a substance that captures and destroys viruses, even including
        HIV according to certain studies. Scientists Discover ‘Natural Barrier’ to HIV
        Problems would however arise if the viral load, exceeds the capacity of those cells to handle the full amount of viruses at a given time.

        So no, Katy, you are being outright ignorant to suggest that the foreskin is comparable to the vestigial male nipples.

        In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

        Along with poorly equipped hospitals, many African countries also suffer from a shortage of clean water. If it comes down to a choice of drinking what little water is available to you or using it to clean your junk before sex, most people would opt for the former.

        Its ridiculous of you to suggest that adequate cleanliness in water impoverished areas, to be a con for having a foreskin!
        If you don’t even have the small amount of water needed to just rinse off your penis, then the last thing in the minds of these people should be having sex or deciding to engage in needless surgery. How much more water would you need to attend to someone whose had
        surgery? and how much more dangerous for them to risk not being able to clean their wound? Where as going for few days or a week without
        cleaning your foreskin and penis, is hardly going to cause any serious pain or injury. And to be honest you don’t even need water to
        clean the penis off of any built up in smegma, you can quite easily just wipe the penis clean.

        So you’ve exaggerated things here.

        and finally, no, it most certainly is not ethical to force circumcision on anyone!
        What would be ethical is for the law to clearly outlaw intentional or reckless conduct in the transmission of HIV, like for example the way Canadian law states. It would be fantastic, if we could make a legal case against the Vatican forbidding the use of condoms, as an act of advocating the criminal transmission of HIV!

        • In reply to #53 by Terra Watt:

          In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

          Don’t all male animals [sic] also have nipples? What essential function do these perform?

          As for the functions, the foreskin seems to have protective functions for the infant and premature males, and sexual functions for the mature male with some immunological functions for both age groups. Smegma for instance is a mucous like substance that seems to entrap bacteria and dirt, and therefore act as a self cleaning mechanism for the penis. Then there are things called Langerhans cells which produce Langerin, a substance that captures and destroys viruses, even including HIV according to certain studies. Scientists Discover ‘Natural Barrier’ to HIV Problems would however arise if the viral load, exceeds the capacity of those cells to handle the full amount of viruses at a given time.

          So no, Katy, you are being outright ignorant to suggest that the foreskin is comparable to the vestigial male nipples.

          Er… I wasn’t. I was simply taking issue with NearlyNakedApe’s view that because something exists on the human body it must have a function. The logic seemed flawed to me.

          According to the Wiki article on smegma – Christ, I didn’t think I’d be having this conversation today; there are some who’d pay me to talk dirty like this – it exists only to facilitate sexual intercourse. There’s also apparently a link between the substance and penile cancer.

          In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:

          Along with poorly equipped hospitals, many African countries also suffer from a shortage of clean water. If it comes down to a choice of drinking what little water is available to you or using it to clean your junk before sex, most people would opt for the former.

          Its ridiculous of you to suggest that adequate cleanliness in water impoverished areas, to be a con for having a foreskin! If you don’t even have the small amount of water needed to just rinse off your penis, then the last thing in the minds of these people should be having sex or deciding to engage in needless surgery…

          People have sex in all sorts of circumstances. Would it surprise you to discover that in concentration camps during WWII, it occurred regularly among prisoners? If your life is miserable, sex can be the only source of pleasure available to you. It’s no good saying it should be the last thing in the minds of ‘these people’.

          As for having to think about engaging in surgery, that’s just another argument for this procedure to be performed on infants.

          How much more water would you need to attend to someone whose had surgery? and how much more dangerous for them to risk not being able to clean their wound? Where as going for few days or a week without cleaning your foreskin and penis, is hardly going to cause any serious pain or injury. And to be honest you don’t even need water to clean the penis off of any built up in smegma, you can quite easily just wipe the penis clean.

          The water required to attend to someone who has had surgery is a one-off thing. Once his wound has healed, it’s a fait accompli. Teach a man to fish and all that.

          >

          and finally, no, it most certainly is not ethical to force circumcision on anyone! What would be ethical is for the law to clearly outlaw intentional or reckless conduct in the transmission of HIV, like for example the way Canadian law states.

          Proscriptions on shagging? Remind me again who are most at risk of contracting the HIV virus. Don’t give African countries more cause than they already have to discriminate against gays; they’re doing a fine enough job of it as it stands.

          It would be fantastic, if we could make a legal case against the Vatican forbidding the use of condoms, as an act of advocating the criminal transmission of HIV!

          Very true. But while we’re waiting for pigs to acquire their pilot’s license, people are needlessly dying.

          • In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

            people are needlessly dying.

            This is our chance to be more moral than our moral heuristics. Its unpleasant to push the guy off the bridge to save five others but this is non-fatal to the guy (well, to just a little bit of him) but may still be contributory to life saving.

            The trick with HIV and any infectious disease is to get this number down. Many things contribute within a population to this number (the effective reproductive success of a virus, say) and pulling all available levers as soon as you can can be the way to reduce that number below 1 and see an end to the disease altogether. More importantly, doing it sooner reduces the total number of lives claimed by a disease. Considering the first benefit is to the circumcised, jumping off the bridge (instead of being pushed) can do the bulk of the work in halving this number.

            A circumcision is worth half a condom, or a whole condom every other intromission. Like half an eye it works half as well. More to the point, as you point out, it is always with you, well…not with you….

          • In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #53 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #42 by Katy Cordeth:
            In reply to #53 by Terra Watt:

            So no, Katy, you are being outright ignorant to suggest that the foreskin is comparable to the vestigial male nipples.

            Katy: Er… I wasn’t. I was simply taking issue with NearlyNakedApe’s view that because something exists on the human body it must have a function. The logic seemed flawed to me.

            Whether you intended it or not, the way you made your statement conveyed strong insinuations, as to the lack of function in foreskin.
            So I made an effort to counter such insinuations.

            Katy: Christ, I didn’t think I’d be having this conversation today; there are some who’d pay me to talk dirty like this –

            Haha you wish! I have a hard time believing that coming from you…

            Anyway, the wikiarticle cites the following site, penile cancer which goes on to say,

            Most experts now believe that smegma itself probably doesn’t cause penile cancer, but it can irritate and inflame the penis,

            …..

            Katy: People have sex in all sorts of circumstances. Would it surprise you to discover that in concentration camps during WWII, it occurred regularly among prisoners? If your life is miserable, sex can be the only source of pleasure available to you. It’s no good saying it should be the last thing in the minds of ‘these people’.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened in concentration camps. but this is not the same scenario, as with those having difficulty acquiring water. With the former, they are purposely sent to death or slave labour which is not the case with the later.
            In the later, individuals will likely and should prioritize towards survival. If you were lost in the wild and ran out of clean water
            or food, you will most likely not be entertaining the thought of having sex, at least for quite some time…
            Although virgins might think differently…

            Katy: As for having to think about engaging in surgery, that’s just another argument for this procedure to be performed on infants.

            No, its reason for you to not subject either yourself, nor children/infants to a needless procedure.
            And reason to just wipe your penis clean with a piece of cloth, if you can’t even find a single handful of water.
            Your argument for infant circumcision is ridiculously callous.

            Katy:The water required to attend to someone who has had surgery is a one-off thing. Once his wound has healed, it’s a fait accompli. Teach a man to fish and all that.

            You didn’t think about how much water would be needed for both the medical staff and the patient, and the severity of negative repercussions that the patients could suffer for neither they nor the staff being able to adequately clean themself. Then there are all kinds of other medical costs to consider
            as well. Since its sufficient for the patient to clean themselves with water, but I’m sure you would need sterilizing liquids to clean
            all the medical equipment.

            If water is such an extreme issue, then circumcising is not only wasteful of a precious resource but is also dangerous!
            Better to try and secure a handful of water to clean yourself, or just wipe the penis clean.
            And no, you are not going to get penile cancer if you decide to not clean yourself for a few days or a week.

            Katy: Proscriptions on shagging? Remind me again who are most at risk of contracting the HIV virus. Don’t give African countries more cause than they already have to discriminate against gays; they’re doing a fine enough job of it as it stands.

            Where did you get that from? I was citing Canadian law to describe the criminal transmission of HIV, NOT stating proscriptions on sex!
            Basically, going by the law, if you have HIV, you are legally obliged to first inform your partner that you are HIV positive,
            take medication to lower your viral load and wear a condom! This is hardly a proscription. Its all very reasonable and sensible.
            Legal mandates like that would do much more to help lower HIV rates, than mass circumcision.

            Some African countries already have a lousy record on rape, so the extra piece of law could also help out there as well.
            I highly recommend that you read the wiki article I linked, especially about Canada.
            Criminal transmission of HIV should not be taken lightly!

            Katy: Very true. But while we’re waiting for pigs to acquire their pilot’s license, people are needlessly dying.

            Well that’s up to the people in Italy, I guess. The Vatican is not beyond addressing anymore, especially after all those child molestation cases.
            And no people need not die, if

            1. The law is made to recognize the criminal transmission of HIV
            2. Inform people on anti-retroviral drugs and condom uses.
            3. Don’t risk misleading people into thinking that they don’t have to wear a condom to be safe.

            With anti-retroviral drugs, you reduce infection by 96%!
            I bet if that statement were to be touted around in Africa and the media, people will be of a different mentality.
            They’d be motivated try and make those drugs as accessible as possible instead of wasting time and money on trying
            to mass circumcise African males. I can’t help but wonder that there’s also a profit motive at work to those who
            are promoting circumcision. A contrived dependency that you couldn’t easily pull in the west but in misinformed and poor Africa,
            it might just sell…

          • In reply to #58 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

            With anti-retroviral drugs, you reduce infection by 96%!

            You are muddling Anti-Retrovirals as Therapy with anti-retrovirals as symptom mitigation. ART has nothing like this success rate. The various scenarios using all approaches apart and together have been costed up and the best approaches seemed to be education, plus condom use plus voluntary male circumcision followed after a period by ART applied to a much reduced population of the infected.

          • In reply to #59 by phil rimmer:

            In reply to #58 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #56 by Katy Cordeth:

            With anti-retroviral drugs, you reduce infection by 96%!

            You are muddling Anti-Retrovirals as Therapy with anti-retrovirals as symptom mitigation. ART has nothing like this success rate. The various scenarios using all approaches apa…

            I didn’t just randomly make up that claim! It comes from the following BBC article. Dated, 12 May 2011.

            Anti-retroviral drugs ‘help reduce’ HIV transmission

            From article,

            “An HIV-positive person who takes anti-retroviral drugs after diagnosis, rather than when their health declines, can cut the risk of spreading the virus to uninfected partners by 96%

            Its incredible how sharply you reacted to that figure!
            Where as when it comes to the exaggerated and flimsy percentages of HIV reduction by circumcision,
            you show little skepticism, and little concern as to the context of their percentage claims.
            i.e. Is this with/without condom use, with/without anti-retroviral drugs, did the researchers had prior knowledge
            of who was HIV positive and who wasn’t…etc.

            Also just a quick search on certain news sites, brought me some very positive articles on these types drugs and potential vaccines. I’ll share them below.

            Danish scientists ‘close’ to HIV cure

            …The laboratory tests were so successful that the Danish Research Council has awarded the scientists 12 million Danish Kroner ($2.97 million) to carry out clinical trials on humans.
            15 patients are currently taking part in the trials and if they respond to treatment they will then be conducted on a wider scale.

            The above budget is probably adequate, but compared to the mass hysteria surrounding circumcising African males by the million, that budget is miniscule. This comes from April of 2013, so don’t know what the present state of research is.

            World Health Organization: Start treatment for HIV earlier

            …”We’re recommending earlier treatment — and also safer, simpler medicines that are already widely available,” WHO’s HIV/AIDS director, Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall said to the BBC. “We also want to see better monitoring of patients, so they can see how well they’re doing on the treatment. This is not only about keeping people healthy and alive — the anti-retroviral drugs block transmission, so there is the potential for a major impact in preventing epidemics within different countries.

            “Functional cure” of HIV reported in 14 patients, French scientists say

            More evidence suggests a “functional cure” of HIV is possible if the disease is treated early.
            …The study’s authors warn their findings may not be the norm for all patients with HIV, though they estimated up to 15 percent of patients may be able to keep the disease at bay without the help of medication, which means they are functionally cured.

            “Given the difficulty of eradicating [HIV], a functional cure for HIV-infected patients appears to be a more reachable short-term goal,” wrote the study’s authors.

            This is the type of solution that we need to focus on, rather than incite public hysteria in poorly educated desperate communities in Africa.

          • In reply to #64 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #59 by phil rimmer:

            its incredible how sharply you reacted to that figure! Where as when it comes to the exaggerated and flimsy percentages of HIV reduction by circumcision, you show little skepticism, and little concern as to the context of their percentage claims. i.e. Is this with/without condom use, with/without anti-retroviral drugs, did the researchers had prior knowledge of who was HIV positive and who wasn’t…etc.

            Not really. We’ve had this discussion many times and I happened to have delved in detail into the research and the policy produced by various countries and organisations. What interests me about the discussion is the practise of living morality. It comes at a price and governments and charities know what they can afford. ART costs an arm and a leg. To fund it you may have to lose your prosthetic limbs budget and some of your vaccination programs. We are collectively in the game of minimising harms given the available resources. If we look at the abject misery of male Jews, say, or the average US gay male, we have to think carefully about our lives saved per dollar and how much real misery needs to be weighed in the moral balance.

            And NO you cannot impute little skepticism. You have no evidence for that. I researched all the papers I could find on the issue. Condom use was factored in and in one clearly positive test condom use was within one or two percentage points of the control group (from memory 44%).

            The challenge is, how are we going to do morality? Like politics, given the discounting of wish thinking, the better choices can still be pretty shitty.

            Edit: see next post. Stet.

          • In reply to #66 by phil rimmer:

            In reply to #64 by Terra Watt:

            In reply to #59 by phil rimmer:
            Not really. We’ve had this discussion many times and I happened to have delved in detail into the research and the policy produced by various countries and organisations.

            You cited a whole bunch of studies but you didn’t personally raise any skepticism with regards to the key variables I mentioned. Of all the studies I have seen thus far, not once was it ever made clear as to the context of their percentage claims;with respect to condom use and anti-retroviral drug use.
            Especially as to whether circumcision can be relevant at all when a condom is used!
            Keep in mind that these inquiries extend beyond health concerns and into legal territory as well!
            If you haven’t read my older posts, I suggest you look up on the criminal transmission of HIV, especially in Canada,
            which I think have made a very responsible and reasonable mandate.

            Basically, in Canada, if you are HIV positive, you have a legal responsibility to,

            1. Inform your partner about being HIV positive
            2. Lower your viral load via medication
            3. Wear a condom

            Failure to do the above, especially with informing the partner, could see you being charged with aggrevated sexual assault!
            Failing to do the rest could see you get charged as far as attempted murder or manslaughter!
            So it is utterly irresponsible and careless of these studies to haphazardly promote circumcision, without
            clearly stating the context of their findings. I mean their claims are confusing and dubious enough in the west as it is,
            but how much more so in the poverty driven, superstition governed, uneducated parts of Africa?

            -deleted-

            What interests me about the discussion is the practise of living morality.
            It comes at a price and governments and charities know what they can afford. ART costs an arm and a leg. To fund it you may have to lose your prosthetic limbs budget and some of your vaccination programs.

            This is more reason not to hysterically support the mass circumcising of males (which at best would only influence female to male transmissions), and instead concentrate resources on making anti-retroviral drugs more accessible.

            Around 10 million people living with HIV now have access to antiretroviral treatment

            We are collectively in the game of minimising harms given the available resources. If we look at the abject misery of male Jews, say, or the average US gay male, we have to think carefully about our lives saved per dollar and how much real misery needs to be weighed in the moral balance.
            And NO you cannot impute little skepticism. You have no evidence for that.
            I researched all the papers I could find on the issue. The experts line up pretty convincingly in my view. The mooted mechanisms all make sense biologically and the signals in the three trials were very consistent.

            First of all, I most certainly can and must raise skepticism where possible.
            Also the burden of evidence lies on their end, not on my end!
            I have every reason to question their claims to clear things up, given the serious nature of the subject.
            They should have outright clarified their claims in light of the use of condoms and anti-retroviral drugs.
            They should have even clarified their intent as well; are they researching specifically to help lower HIV, under conditions of
            low condom usage and or in areas with little access to anti-retroviral drugs?

            All that would have been needed were a few statements to clarify themselves and their study,
            and they could have avoided the convoluted nature of their claims.
            They should have anticipated the possibility that some might misconstrue their findings and assume that they
            no longer need condoms to be safe!

            Take one of the studies I mentioned, and what one of the authours had to say about their functional cure,

            The study’s authors warn their findings may not be the norm for all patients with HIV, though they estimated up to 15 percent of patients may be able to keep the disease at bay without the help of medication,..

            In the above, the authour goes out of their way to clarify their position.
            To avoid people potentially misconstruing their findings, yet no such effort, comment or sentiment
            from those who tout circumcision as a means of reducing HIV.
            It speaks of dodgy and haphazard behaviour on part of the researchers.

            Condom use was factored in and in one clearly positive test condom use was within one or two percentage points of the control group (from memory 44%).

            As for condom use being factored in, first I’d like you to link the study, and second
            that’s still not good enough. These researchers on circumcision are making a bold claim, and
            I dislike how they put little effort into making themselves clearly liable for their words!
            Don’t leave it out as a mere statistic but spell it out clearly and openly.
            I want them to outright state their verdict with direct mention of their findings in relation to condom use and anti-retroviral drugs. Instead of just hiding behind statistics.

            Now compare those to statistics on condoms,
            correct and consistent use of latex condoms reduces the risk of HIV/AIDS transmission by approximately 85% relative to risk when unprotected

            There’s nothing dubious about it. The study investigates the efficacy of condoms vs not using condoms!
            Then you have Anti-retroviral drugs where its direct effect on viral loads can actually be measured, and not just left as a group statistic figure!
            In both cases, the context of their benefit with regards to reducing HIV transmission is clear.
            Ofcourse with anti-retroviral drugs. they obviously go on to give many more benefits than just reducing transmission.

            The more I look at these circumcision studies, the more it seems that they are done in unprotected circumstances and thus largely irrelevant to those living in the developed nations, who would practice safe sex.

            The challenge is, how are we going to do morality? Like politics, given the discounting of wish thinking, the better choices for now can still be pretty shitty.

            Morally, we will have to put pressure on religious groups that oppose condom use.
            The Vatican and its supporters for example…
            But yeah tbh, I don’t know the full answer, but I am certain that it can’t involve resorting to non-consensual circumcision.

          • In reply to #64 by Terra Watt:
            >

            I have to apologise, Terra Watt, the HTPN052 trial really does achieve a headline figure of 96% TRANSMISSION reduction. Thanks for persisiting

            This is impressive and not what my clearly faulty memory said (I have a number of 80% .FSM and 60% MSM for re-infection rates from somewhere and I thought it this)

            I must bow before numbers.

            Now, for that other important number….cost….if they can only get that right then our moral decision making gets better too.

  5. I’d also like to see how the Israelis defend the orthodox practice of metzitzah b’peh, where the mohel tears off the foreskin of an 8-day old infant with his fingernails and sucks the blood away with his mouth. Is that in any way medically necessary or justifiable in any time or place?

    • In reply to #7 by Sue Blue:

      I’d also like to see how the Israelis defend the orthodox practice of metzitzah b’peh, where the mohel tears off the foreskin of an 8-day old infant with his fingernails and sucks the blood away with his mouth. Is that in any way medically necessary or justifiable in any time or place?

      hmmm – that made me picture Roman Catholic priests and their penchant for sterilizing the penises of altar boys.

  6. Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have made me leery of having sex with my wife. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use artificial lubricant or sex would be painful for my wife and I. My parent’s chose this painful and unsatisfactory sex life for me and my wife and I simply cannot fathom why. I would never have chosen to have my foreskin removed. Only 1/16,667 intact males will have a problem with their foreskin, 99% of which can be treated with medicine not surgery. 117 babies die from circumcision a year in the US that is 9/100,000 babies that die each year from a cosmetic surgery. Men have lost their penis, glans, and suffered from deformity caused by the operation. It isn’t right that these children pay the price for a decision their parents made, a decision that should be left up to the owner of the penis. Even those who survive still have problems like mine, though they are seldom discussed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    http://Www.sexasnatureintendedit.com

    How to properly care for a natural Penis.
    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/basic-care-of-intact-child.html

    They didn’t tell you the functions of the foreskin, but they did lie to you and said it had health benefits. Did they also tell you it pays for their house, their cars, and their children’s college? FYI It is illegal to sell an organ taken from a patient but they still do it.

    Foreskin for sale: $155/500µg = $310,000/g = $8,788,345/oz.

    http://www.rockland-inc.com/Product.aspx?id=40484

    My numbers and claims are supported by these studies:
    Dutch Medical society and their stance on RIC
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/dhipa1ei2rqj12q/KNMG-viewpoint-Non-therapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-27-05-2010-v2%20%281%29.pdf

    Meta-analysis of circumcision research
    http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/urology/2013/109846/

    This document outlines the deaths caused by circumcision in the US.
    http://db.tt/0LW1FHVy

    All the myths about circumcision and how they are dispelled.
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe

    Boy wants to be a girl after botched circumcision
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/11/09/52144.htm

    Cost benefit analysis of circumcision.
    http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/24/6/584.abstract

    US Navy Study that shows circumcision has no effect on HIV or STI infection rates.
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA458066

    Doctors around the world critique AAP’s circumcision opinion.
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/aap-12-europe.pdf

    All the statements made by medical organizations about circumcision, and they are cited.
    http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

    Men complaining about being circumcised against their will.
    http://www.mendocomplain.com

    Three Videos of Circumcisions they are very graphic.
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjkd30_infant-circumcision-injection-and-procedure_news#.UYWGx7Vn7pI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXVFFI76ff0&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MDuDhkiDdns

  7. Welcome to the world little boy. Now, just to show you who is in charge, we’re going to cut the end of your dick off!

    Like almost all things religiously based, this has far more to do with control than anything else.

  8. Not trying to stir any pots here, just looking for information. (And it is quite possible I’m just badly misinformed.)

    How did the whole notion of circumcision start in the first place? I mean, for the sake of argument, let’s say the circumcision trials on adult African males actually demonstrates a real benefit conferred by the procedure (I know, the evidence and interpretation is debatable, as per the above comments, but stick with me..). We’re talking modern disease spread by often promiscuous sexual activity. If this tradition dates back millennia, to a time when they didn’t know anything about disease and didn’t allow promiscuity, they couldn’t possibly have known that such a benefit would be conferred. So even if the disease-prevention argument were true, that doesn’t explain how or why it started in the first place, so it can’t be used as a defense.

    Where did the idea first come from? Who first looked at his own penis and said “I wish it didn’t have a hoodie, let’s chop off junior’s instead.” I don’t see the logical connection. Of course, you don’t need logic to explain religious tradition (it actually usually gets in the way), but often these things are rooted in some kind of plausibility. Like the old Catholic rule ‘don’t eat meat on Fridays’ – I understand this was as much a part of rationing luxury resources as it was a measure of self-sacrifice. I get where that might have come from, and why it was mandated by the church, whether I agree or not. But I just don’t get circumcision. What’s the point?

    Also, don’t the religious believe we were all created in God’s image? If that is so, then God (since it is often assumed to be male) has a foreskin! So why chop it off? How dare you critique God’s handiwork? “Nice work God, I like the whole doink fits into poink thing you got going between the sexes, looks like fun! And I really like the nice curves you put on Eve there, but that flapdoodle hanging from Adam needs a bit of a trim. A for effort, but C for design.” Shouldn’t it be sacrilege to tamper with God’s creation? How was that ever even condoned, let alone become tradition?

    And not to be overly insensitive, but I even kinda get how female genital mutilation might have originated, if only to subjugate women. (No I don’t support this practice in any way humanly possible, I’m just saying if religious dicks want to suppress the female half of the population, lopping off their clitoris and removing all sexual gratification is a pretty effective way to do it.)

    I just don’t understand anything at all about male circumcision.

    • In reply to #11 by KrustyG:

      Not trying to stir any pots here, just looking for information. (And it is quite possible I’m just badly misinformed.)

      How did the whole notion of circumcision start in the first place? I mean, for the sake of argument, let’s say the circumcision trials on adult African males actually demonstrates…

    • In reply to #12 by Miserablegit:

      So the Israeli parliament is going in for propaganda videos now, let’s see if anyone replies in kind.

      It always pays to be very wary of nations that start appointing ministers of propaganda. Nothing good ever comes of it.

  9. This discussion shouldn’t include religion. The only thing to examine is the science. Either there is an empirical advantage to circumcision or there isn’t. If there is, we have to be honest enough to admit that religion accidentally found something of benefit. Only then can there be a reasonable discussion.

    • In reply to #13 by brianhunt62:

      This discussion shouldn’t include religion. The only thing to examine is the science. Either there is an empirical advantage to circumcision or there isn’t. If there is, we have to be honest enough to admit that religion accidentally found something of benefit. Only then can there be a reasonabl…

      Im sorry, but you’re wrong, at least in the case of forced, child circumcision. This is about ethics, not science. More specifically, do parents have the right to remove normal, healthy body parts from children? If they do, why stop at just the foreskin?

      • In reply to #16 by Michael Austin:I agree with you…partly. I’m not trying to answer the question ‘does anyone have the right to do anything ‘surgical’ to a child?’ I’m saying leave religion out of the discussion. I’m against ritual circumcision, but on non-ritual circumcision I’m on the fence. Only science can inform that discussion.
        When you say that this part of the child is ‘natural’ I think you could be falling into the ‘natural fallacy trap.’ Evolution is all natural, but doesn’t always produce good results. Saying it does is kind of like saying, ‘God made me perfect just like I am.’
        By your ethical stance, I think you would also have to argue that girls shouldn’t be allowed to have their ears pierced before they are 18.
        I’m not saying this is an easy question. I am saying that I think it’s disappointing to see some of the folks here look away from the science on this.

        In reply to #13 by brianhunt62:

        This discussion shouldn’t include religion. The only thing to examine is the science. Either there is an empirical advantage to circumcision or there isn’t. If there is, we have to be honest enough to admit that religion accidentally found something of benefit. O…

        • In reply to #18 by brianhunt62:

          I’m not saying this is an easy question. I am saying that I think it’s disappointing to see some of the folks here look away from the science on this.

          Circumcision is an irreversible procedure. It’s not something to undertake willy-nilly (pardon the pun). It’s not ‘ear piercing’.

        • In reply to #18 by brianhunt62:

          In reply to #16 by Michael Austin:I agree with you…partly. I’m not trying to answer the question ‘does anyone have the right to do anything ‘surgical’ to a child?’ I’m saying leave religion out of the discussion. I’m against ritual circumcision, but on non-ritual circumcision I’m on the fence….

          I don’t think that parents should pierce a child’s ears before she asks, but I don’t think that piercing a body part is even remotely comparable to removing a body part.

          It’s not the naturalistic fallacy, there is a human right to determine the course of one’s own body and circumcision violates that right. A parent should only be able to infringe on that right if a more important human right (like the right to life) is at risk.

          This is absolutely not a science question. It’s an ethics question. Science cannot tell you that it’s okay to remove parts from a child’s sex organ.

    • In reply to #17 by rod-the-farmer:

      Let’s remove the teeth of infants, and put an end for once and forever, to the terrible problem of tooth decay.

      Don’t forget the prophylactic appendectomy at birth!!! Appendicitis is a common and life-threatening inflammation/infection, so why aren’t we nipping that problem in the bud? And speaking of nipping buds, why not prophylactically remove the breast tissue of female infants who have inherited the BRCA gene that causes breast cancer? They won’t have natural boobs, but they’ll be safe from breast cancer! After all, it’s not about crazy religious mumbo jumbo or social ignorance, or human rights or ethics…it’s about the SCIENCE*, right?

      *Only if it can be misconstrued, misapplied, or in any way twisted, phrased, parsed or obfuscated to support religious views

  10. A typical religiot’s technique, switching the goalposts. It is not circumcision that so many people find objectionable, it is INFANT circumcision. And since infants do not have sexual partners, they are safe from HIV infection (unless their mothers have it, in which case they become infected during birth.) Puberty seems a rather more reasonable time to do the surgery, since in Jewish tradition, the bar mitzvah takes place at 14. So let them learn the Torah and be circumcised at the same time.

    There, problem solved.

  11. This practice is to do with religious tradition, so I’m surprised they felt it necessary cite “evidence”.

    It’s been going on for an awfully long time but doesn’t seem to have resulted in any evolutionary benefit; my little joke.

  12. According to the NHS website, medical claims about benefits from circumcision are still unproven and are not alone a sufficient case to overcome the ethical complications of carrying out the procedure on necessarily unconsenting infants.

    But let’s say for the sake of argument that circumcision does give some protection from HIV. Babies don’t go around having sex. The decision to circumcise or not can be deferred until the child is capable of giving informed consent.

    Any other approach is simply unethical, and no doctor should participate in the procedure save – very debatably – to prevent the greater harm that would ensue if the procedure was driven underground.

  13. But let’s say for the sake of argument that circumcision does give some protection from HIV. Babies don’t go around having sex. The decision to circumcise or not can be deferred until the child is capable of giving informed consent.

    Any other approach is simply unethical, and no doctor should participate in the procedure save – very debatably – to prevent the greater harm that would ensue if the procedure was driven underground.

    Precisely. I care as much about circumcision as tattoos or nipple rings. But you need to be of a certain mature age to volunteer to that kind of procedure. There is just no rational need to circumcise infants, aside for some religious point-scoring.

    And beside, circumcision as sex aid against HIV, is this some kind of sick joke?

    • I was circumsized by atheist parents, a doctor and a nurse. Face it, there are other reasons than religious ones. The subtracting of my for skin has been a plus for me and the women in my life. It is possible to think about this without involving religion. Try it.In reply to #23 by obzen:

      But let’s say for the sake of argument that circumcision does give some protection from HIV. Babies don’t go around having sex. The decision to circumcise or not can be deferred until the child is capable of giving informed consent.

      Any other approach is simply unethical, and no doctor should parti…

    • In reply to #23 by obzen:

      But let’s say for the sake of argument that circumcision does give some protection from HIV. Babies don’t go around having sex. The decision to circumcise or not can be deferred until the child is capable of giving informed consent.

      Any other approach is simply unethical, and no doctor should parti…
      Precisely. I care as much about circumcision as tattoos or nipple rings. But you need to be of a certain mature age to volunteer to that kind of procedure. There is just no rational need to circumcise infants, aside for some religious point-scoring.

      And beside, circumcision as sex aid against HIV, is this some kind of sick joke?

      Agreed and I’m sure that if someone paid me enough as a propaganda minister, I could rustle up some dodgy evidence to show that nipple clamps are effective in preventing bad backs. The UK government has become expert in making up/cherry picking evidence (see Ian Duncan Smith etc) and their pals in Israel seem to have taken that on board. All the more need to be as sceptical as possible, always and forever.

  14. “Three trials of circumcision have now been cut short as in each case it became clear how much protection the operation provides against HIV. First, in 2005, a trial in South Africa was halted early when it was found that circumcision cut the risk of infection by 60%1. And this Wednesday, large clinical trials in Uganda and Kenya were also stopped when researchers found that the circumcised men were so well shielded from HIV (with cuts in risk of 53% and 48% respectively) that it became unethical not to offer the practice to the other, uncircumcised group.

    You’re still flipping a coin. So basically, not safe, nor ethical.

  15. The world could be going to hell in a handbasket, but the religious have to adhere to their stupid, meaningless ,harmful practices of snipping off tiny pieces of skin, sprinkling infants with contaminated water and the like.

    This issue is becoming pretty annoying. In this day and age you’d think that the religious would have evolved to the stage where they’d leave the helpless infants alone.Time enough to make up their own minds when they grow up and choose for themselves.

    The breathtaking arrogance of these people …

  16. When I was born back in ’63 my dad refused to allow the doctor to circumcise me. And being that it was the Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, the doctors could not understand why my dad would be so ardently against it. But he considered it mutilation, and since I had other problems going on as well, he didn’t want to put me through any unnecessary pain. He was a man ahead of his time and I have always been grateful to him for that!

  17. I find impossible to believe that the foreskin is nothing but a useless piece of skin on the male penis. The very fact that all male mammals have one, I’m much more inclined to believe that it has an essential function. This whole thing about circumcision preventing AIDS is just a load of rubbish IMHO. Want to help prevent AIDS? Educate the men about hygiene and distribute condoms.

    I find the arguments and evidence of the “pro-foreskin” advocates more convincing than the “pro-circumcision” ones. As far as infant circumcision is concerned, it should be outlawed period.

    • In reply to #35 by NearlyNakedApe:

      I find impossible to believe that the foreskin is nothing but a useless piece of skin on the male penis. The very fact that all male mammals have one, I’m much more inclined to believe that it has an essential function…

      Don’t all male animals also have nipples? What essential function do these perform?

      • In reply to #40 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #35 by NearlyNakedApe:

        I find impossible to believe that the foreskin is nothing but a useless piece of skin on the male penis. The very fact that all male mammals have one, I’m much more inclined to believe that it has an essential function…

        Don’t all male animals also have nipples?…

        Male mammals I should have said.

  18. Leave children’s sexual organs alone and let them decide when they are adults whether they want to modify their bodies OR NOT…..its not rocket science ? It has been excused for far too long as a beneficial act for the child..but it should be a criminal act of bodily harm to humans who cannot defend themselves….My EX wanted this for our son… I was horrified as it was not not even motivated by religion…I completely refused to allow it….

  19. I have 5 sons, now aged from 62 to 46, 3 grandsons aged 29 to 23 and one great-grand-son aged 3, They are all intact. I only dealt with questions about genital mutilation from my sons and I suggested, completely without evidence, that the practice of circumcision must have started in some part of the world which was plagued by sandstorms. This explanation was purely subjective on my part, for I could not imagine having fine grains of sand between my foreskin and my glans penis – it would have been very ouch-worthy !

    • In reply to #48 by perkyjay:

      I only dealt with questions about genital mutilation from my sons and I suggested, completely without evidence, that the practice of circumcision must have started in some part of the world which was plagued by sandstorms.

      The earliest recorded instance was 2400BC Egypt.

      It was probably part of a bonding right of passage, but was possibly aided later in part by female aesthetic choice, the health check of WYSIWYG and the reduced sensitivity bringing the greater chance of orgasmic coincidence as well as the health/comfort benefits you highlight. It is notable that 70% of gay men in the US (50/50 hetero circumcised) are or elect to be circumcised. It may be that in recreational sex having time for the mind to work is useful.

      The real health benefits are modest to negligible these days in most societies, but may be profound under certain limited circumstance. The data is simply the data.

      Leaving kids alone, though, is always a foundational principle.

  20. Just as I think it false and unduly limiting to license homosexuality on the basis of an appeal to nature, when the argument should be “why on earth not?”, so the argument for not circumcising should rest not on an appeal to nature and its presumed innate goodness, but on, for instance, the simple facts of personal violation.

  21. As for the origins of Circumcision, I assume that both male and female circumcision have a common psychological ploy
    as its origin, rooted in sadism (pain as a means of control) and tribal forming.
    You have to consider that circumcision is only one example of tribal behaviour.
    In some tribes, women are forced to wear rings that extend their neck!
    Not just cosmetic because if those rings are removed, the woman is at risk of suffocainge by not being
    able to support the neck straight!

    The underlying psychological function in just about all these practices, seem to involve the deliberate violation of individuality,
    to help create a common experience among all its male or female or all members, to form into a tribe.
    I also speculate this with regards to circumcision because to my amazement,
    I found out how there are many who practice female circumcision that are females themselves!
    Each generation lives feeling like they were violated but violated equally!
    All females or males in that tribe would have been given the same treatment.
    So could it be the practice is perpetuated by feelings of intense jealousy at the thought of the next generation,
    not having to experience and live with such mental baggage?

    I believe this kind of behaviour is also found in child abuse as well.
    Where those who suffered such abuse has an inclination to condition their own offspring in a similar manner…

    In essence, I believe tribalism to be what really fuels these practices.
    A way of branding individuals to create a common relatable experience among its members.
    To condition a common mentality.

  22. In reply to #32 by brianhunt62:

    I was circumsized by atheist parents, a doctor and a nurse. Face it, there are other reasons than religious ones. The subtracting of my for skin has been a plus for me and the women in my life. It is possible to think about this without involving religion. Try it. In reply to #23 by obzen:

    No, no, no! What you meant to say was this procedure left you horrible traumatized and resulted in your growing into a dysfunctional adult, living on the fringes of normal society; a tormented mockery of a man, doomed to haunt the sewers like a common alligator rather than brave the surface world. Women are repulsed by your junk’s appearance, vomiting in terror at the mere sight of it.

    Get with the program, Brian. Circumcision is predominantly a religious practice, ergō it’s evil. QE2

    • Amusing, Katy. I’m with Brian here both in background and the rest. This is an oddly (to me) polarizing topic. RE: the topic itself (or rather the procedure), I don’t remember it; none of my friends remember it; and yes, the ladies do seem to prefer it, judging from the comments of both friends and lovers (the word ‘anteater’, made with a scrunched up face, used as a pejorative obviously, often comes up). Clean up is easy breezy.

      Some people like Shar Peis and some like Greyhounds I suppose. But really, it’s kind of a non issue for most men I know. Next.

      In reply to #60 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #32 by brianhunt62:

      I was circumsized by atheist parents, a doctor and a nurse. Face it, there are other reasons than religious ones. The subtracting of my for skin has been a plus for me and the women in my life. It is possible to think about this without involving religion. Try it. In…

      • In reply to #61 by Steven007:

        I don’t remember it; none of my friends remember it; and yes, the ladies do seem to prefer it, judging from the comments of both friends and lovers (the word ‘anteater’, made with a scrunched up face, used as a pejorative obviously, often comes up). Clean up is easy breezy.

        Some people like Shar Peis and some like Greyhounds I suppose. But really, it’s kind of a non issue for most men I know. Next.

        Good for you Steven007, I know plenty who are not who have nothing to complain about either. The problem is inflicting it on infants without their consent. If things had gone badly for you how would you feel about it? Any adult is able to have it performed, why inflict it on a child?

        • Reckless, I can’t say that I disagree with you. My point wasn’t to be a cheerleader for circumcision. But the fact is it’s generally innocuous as far as surgeries go. I’m not speaking to its necessity – I’ll let others more qualified argue that point. But much like the anti vaccine brigade, some of the activist comments I read tend to lean on the exceptions not the rule. The fact remains that male infants don’t remember it and very few have an issue with it. I believe the statistics bear this out. Does that make it “right”? No. So I don’t disagree in principle I am just saying that for me (and most men, I believe; certainly all I’ve spoken to about it who basically stifle a yawn) this issue falls pretty low on the scale of things for secularists to be concerned about. But I’m speaking primarily of male circumcision. Certainly it’s a far more complex issue outside of that realm.

          In reply to #65 by Reckless Monkey:

          In reply to #61 by Steven007:

          I don’t remember it; none of my friends remember it; and yes, the ladies do seem to prefer it, judging from the comments of both friends and lovers (the word ‘anteater’, made with a scrunched up face, used as a pejorative obviously, often comes up). Clean up is easy br…

  23. It’s obvious when people are speaking from personal experience. First come men honestly offering their positive explanation, justification or defence of the practice, having had it inflicted. Second, women with partners having undergone it, and a sense of loyalty or positive impression of the results.

    Brave, on the other hand, are those having been mutilated as babies, expressing their horror, discomfort, or at least dissatisfaction at the practice.

    I challenge some commenters, among my most respected, to explain some things. If a vague percentage reduction in AIDS transmittance was to be linked to the removal of the hood of the clitoris in females, would you be a proponent of that also?

    I applaud the objections of victims, am shocked by the comfortable fans of mutilation, and despise the gender inequality and lack of defence for the complete male body of our species. I feel deeply for fellow males who’ve been amputated in infancy, I cannot imagine how I’d reconcile having undergone it. I urge all to listen to some of Christopher Hitchens’ thoughts on the matter. However brilliant some people are in this thread.

    A barbaric practice as needless, and without benefit, as the female equivalent.

    (type a reply about how the male version is less barbaric, it shows how poorly you read, and think!)

    • In reply to #62 by Timothy McNamara:

      If a vague percentage reduction in AIDS transmittance was to be linked to the removal of the hood of the clitoris in females, would you be a proponent of that also?

      Let me tighten up on the language for you and make it properly symmetrical with what is actually being proposed in particular African countries for men.

      If a woman were personally conferred with a 60% drop in the risk of contracting HIV from intercourse by having her clitoral hood removed, would I think it moral to offer her the free opportunity knowing that her reduction in infection rate will also, possibly reduce overall transmission rates in the community?

      Yes. It would be immoral not to offer her the opportunity.

  24. In reply to #60 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #32 by brianhunt62:
    In reply to #32 by brianhunt62:
    No, no, no! What you meant to say was this procedure left you horrible traumatized and resulted in your growing into a dysfunctional adult, living on the fringes of normal society…Get with the program, Brian. Circumcision is predominantly a religious practice, ergō it’s evil. QE2

    In reply to #61 by Steven007:

    Amusing, Katy. I’m with Brian here both in background and the rest. This is an oddly (to me) polarizing topic. RE: the topic itself (or rather the procedure), I don’t remember it; none of my friends remember it; and yes, the ladies do seem to prefer it, judging from the comments of both friends and…

    You people are ridiculously callous!
    Listen, if this procedure was good for you, then that’s great, and good for you if there are perks to be enjoyed from this procedure.
    I for one am quite happy with being intact and this is coming from someone who belonged to the small minority of males, who
    had both phimosis and a frenlum breve! However, I managed to solve both by using simple stretching exercise over a period of time
    and I am very happy with the results.

    But what you are failing to understand is that this is NOT about you or me!
    This is about individuals who actually do have an issue! Understand?
    So move on to the “next” item of your interest, but have the simple decency to not make stupid belittling claims
    that try to deny and ignore the validity of this issue!

    I’ll leave you with the comments left by someone to whom this is actually a personal issue.

    Lastfreethinker

    Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have made me leery of having sex with my wife. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use artificial lubricant or sex would be painful for my wife and I. My parent’s chose this painful and unsatisfactory sex life for me and my wife and I simply cannot fathom why. I would never have chosen to have my foreskin removed… It isn’t right that these children pay the price for a decision their parents made, a decision that should be left up to the owner of the penis. Even those who survive still have problems like mine, though they are seldom discussed.

    • Terra, I am not of an activist bent. This is obviously a hot, sensitive topic for you that you really care about and I respect that. It’s just not one for me and I chimed in with my personal experience and opinion, nothing more. There are things I care about that others probably don’t and I’m ok with that. See and/or fully read my comment to Reckless Monkey (#70) for my general overall perspective. I’ll let you hack it out with others. Hmm, probably poor choice of words. But for some more general levity, Milton Berle, of notorious and legendary penile tumescence once insisted that he had a “fiveskin”. I’m sure this was for purely for grins as he was Jewish.

      In reply to #67 by Terra Watt:
      >
      >
      In reply to #61 by Steven007:

      Amusing, Katy. I’m with Brian here both in background and the rest. This is an oddly (to me) polarizing topic. RE: the topic itself (or rather the procedure), I don’t remember it; none of my friends remember it; and yes, the ladies do seem to prefer it, judging from the comments of both friends and…

      • In reply to #72 by Steven007:

        Its repulsive how you scoff at infant circumcision, a procedure that involves the affliction of serious pain,
        by mentioning how they won’t remember it afterwards!
        I mean who do you think you are to deny the pain of other human beings, especially infants?

        So I don’t disagree in principle I am just saying that for me (and most men, I believe; certainly all I’ve spoken to about it who basically stifle a yawn) this issue falls pretty low on the scale of things for secularists to be concerned about.

        The world doesn’t revolve around you Steven! It is not required that you be invested in some issue, in order for that
        issue to be considered important by secularists!
        Secularism, rationalism, humanism, by definition is exercised on the grounds of principles and not arbitrators!
        How someone can identify themselves as a secularist while having disregard for the pain of infants is beyond me!

        • I stand by my reasonable comments and shall now color you repulsed. Carry on.

          In reply to #78 by Terra Watt:

          In reply to #72 by Steven007:

          Its repulsive how you scoff at infant circumcision, a procedure that involves the affliction of serious pain,
          by mentioning how they won’t remember it afterwards!
          I mean who do you think you are to deny the pain of other human beings, especially infants?

          So I don’t di…

  25. In reply to #67 by Terra Watt:

    In reply to #60 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #32 by brianhunt62: No, no, no! What you meant to say was this procedure left you horrible traumatized and resulted in your growing into a dysfunctional adult, living on the fringes of normal society…Get with the program, Brian. Circumcision is predominantly a religious practice, ergō it’s evil. QE2

    You people are ridiculously callous! Listen, if this procedure was good for you, then that’s great, and good for you if there are perks to be enjoyed from this procedure. I for one am quite happy with being intact and this is coming from someone who belonged to the small minority of males, who had both phimosis and a frenlum breve! However, I managed to solve both by using simple stretching exercise over a period of time and I am very happy with the results.

    I’m not being callous, but neither am I willing to ignore scaremongering. It’s called presenting both sides of the argument. For someone with no personal experience of this, Terra, it does seem to exercise you an awful lot. That’s fine: we can be passionate about stuff without having had it impact us directly. But it behoves you to stand back and take in the entire picture.

    The overwhelming majority of circumcised men suffer no problems, and, like our friend Brian, go on to have successful relationships, perhaps with a slightly reduced chance of becoming infected with HIV and other venereal diseases and being less likely to develop penile cancer.

    But what you are failing to understand is that this is NOT about you or me! This is about individuals who actually do have an issue! Understand? So move on to the “next” item of your interest…

    Hey, I will if you will. If those of us about whom this is not (?) are not permitted to voice our opinion, that includes yourself, doesn’t it?

    …but have the simple decency to not make stupid belittling claims that try to deny and ignore the validity of this issue!

    Righteousness isn’t very becoming, Terra.

    I’ll leave you with the comments left by someone to whom this is actually a personal issue.

    Lastfreethinker
    >

    Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have made me leery of having sex with my wife. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use artificial lubricant or sex would be painful for my wife and I…

    I see your comment and I match it with this one and raise it with this one.

    • In reply to #71 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #67 by Terra Watt:

      I’m not being callous, but neither am I willing to ignore scaremongering. It’s called presenting both sides of the argument. For someone with no personal experience of this, Terra, it does seem to exercise you an awful lot.

      Are you completely out of your freaking mind woman? And I must emphasize the fact that you are a woman!
      I suffered from both PHIMOSIS and a FRENLUM BREVE on my PENIS, which is something I have and you don’t!
      How DARE you describe me the way you do! I am someone who HAD to hear and weigh both sides of the procedure out of medical necessity. I also heard both sides in disproportion, because the support for circumcision was overwhelmingly greater than support for non-invasive procedures. But thankfully, I manage to find those who spoke of non invasive methods for fixing this problem, with forum messages like this, stretching to fix tight foreskin.

      And it absolutely worked! It worked like a charm and all that was needed, was a few stretching exercises during shower.
      The frenlum breve and the phimosis is completely solved and I have a functioning foreskin and couldn’t be
      happier with results. Seriously, it would have spared me from years worth of worry,
      if this information was given in basic sex education classes in school!

      A simple mentioning like the following would be more than enough,

      “And guys, some of you might experience some tightness with your foreskin, but don’t worry, there are many solutions available, from surgical procedures like circumcision, to non-surgical procedures like doing a few stretching exercises with your foreskin.”


      Also its unbelievably ridiculous of you of all people to accuse ME of scaremongering!

      Name an instance, in which I had made a belittling or fear mongering statement against those who were circumcised!

      When did I mock circumcised men’s sexual appearance, appeal or performance, the way you and brian mocked intact males?

      When did I scaremonger circumcised males with threats of disease and cancer,
      The way you and a few others had done by getting behind incompetent research, that don’t even mention anti-retroviral drugs, and condoms?

      Oh right, I DIDN’T do those things!

      What I’ve done for the most part was to continuously show a zero tolerance attitude,
      towards abuse and violation of basic human rights!
      My objection has mostly been against suggestions of violating consent!

      So No, Katy, you are the one acting like a scaremonger.
      Not only are you utterly callous towards this issue but have also decided to lie!

      That’s fine: we can be passionate about stuff without having had it impact us directly. But it behoves you to stand back and take in the entire picture.

      Not we, YOU.

      YOU are the one who passionately promotes the removal of a body part that you don’t even possess!
      In some instances you’ve even advocated this procedure to be done without consent!

      The overwhelming majority of circumcised men suffer no problems, and, like our friend Brian, go on to have successful relationships, perhaps with a slightly reduced chance of becoming infected with HIV and other venereal diseases and being less likely to develop penile cancer.

      If that procedure was elected by them AND they were happy with those results then that is perfectly fine!
      But that is not the issue at hand, the issue at hand is forcing a procedure WITHOUT the consent of that person.
      Also whoever said that ALL people with circumcision had problems?
      The key term is consent and informed consent at that!

      Hey, I will if you will. If those of us about whom this is not (?) are not permitted to voice our opinion, that includes yourself, doesn’t it?
      Righteousness isn’t very becoming, Terra.
      I see your comment and I match it with this one and raise it with this one..

      I simply asked that you,

      “…have the simple decency to not make stupid belittling claims that try to deny and ignore the validity of this issue!”

  26. In reply to #69 by Terra Watt:

    The studies are one’s I’ve linked to here before in our various versions of this same debate. When I get a chance I will link to those or fire up the old laptop and find the bookmarks. I’ll respond to your other points then.

    Re: 44% condom use. Its not good enough and that is the point. The control group was the same. One has to be realistic about what can be achieved by methods that require humans to behave like reliable robots.

    Incidentally, I recently reported here that condom’s might really come into their own….er…with Bill Gates championing of new graphene additive condoms, far tougher, thinner and less permeable. Making condoms more fun and more reliable is exactly the kind of initiative we need to improve their take up.

    We still have to deal with cost. ARTs may prevent transmission but it isn’t a cure, i.e. tablets that make the risk go away after a course of them. They are like superb condoms that feel ace at an insane ongoing price (whether you feel like sex or not).

    Here’s a bag of money. How many lives can you save for that and for how long?

    • In reply to #75 by phil rimmer:

      In reply to #69 by Terra Watt:

      The studies are one’s I’ve linked to here before in our various versions of this same debate. When I get a chance I will link to those or fire up the old laptop and find the bookmarks. I’ll respond to your other points then.

      Don’t bother, I’ve seen many studies already, and none of the researchers on the studies I looked through made effort to be liable!
      To clearly and openly state what their research means with respect to anti-retroviral drugs and condoms.
      The two best means of mitigating HIV after abstinence and monogamy.
      These guys play dumb over and over again with regard to these straight forward concerns about sex and HIV.
      And I have no patience for that, its simply tiring.

      Re: 44% condom use. Its not good enough and that is the point. The control group was the same. One has to be realistic about what can be achieved by methods that require humans to behave like reliable robots.
      Incidentally, I recently reported here that condom’s might really come into their own….er…with Bill Gates championing of new graphene additive condoms, far tougher, thinner and less permeable. Making condoms more fun and more reliable is exactly the kind of initiative we need to improve their take up.

      Interesting.

      We still have to deal with cost. ARTs may prevent transmission but it isn’t a cure, i.e. tablets that make the risk go away after a course of them. They are like superb condoms that feel ace at an insane ongoing price (whether you feel like sex or not).
      Here’s a bag of money. How many lives can you save for that and for how long?

      Yes, those drugs are indeed expensive.
      But 10 million are already getting them and being helped by them. according to the UN.
      But these costs are not beyond managing especially if you live in a wealthy nation with a good health care/welfare system.
      Also, it is the most effective means of containing the virus from spreading to the rest of the population.
      So those costs are definitely worth it and will see a return as the number of newly infected decreases.

      Btw Just came across an interesting documentary called, fire in the blood.

      “An intricate tale of ‘medicine, monopoly and malice’, FIRE IN THE BLOOD tells the story of how Western pharmaceutical companies and governments aggressively blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for the countries of Africa and the global south in the years after 1996…”

      Haven’t watched it yet so don’t know what its like.
      But I wouldn’t be surprised if there was foul play at work…

  27. If Jews and Muslims and ‘anyone else’ wants to hack off a blood sacrifice from their infants in a fake effort to be hygienic or please their deities – why not hack off the kids earlobes…they are not that useful and it would be a visible symbol of their allegiance to their kind parents who mutilated them, but they’d be ‘in the club’ and that’s definitely more important than preserving your child’s entire body intact…..
    If it isn’t broken why remove it ?….its all about controlling sex

  28. In reply to #77 by Terra Watt:

    In reply to #71 by Katy Cordeth:

    In reply to #67 by Terra Watt:

    I’m not being callous, but neither am I willing to ignore scaremongering. It’s called presenting both sides of the argument. For someone with no personal experience of this, Terra, it does seem to exercise you an awful lot.

    Are you completely out of your freaking mind woman? And I must emphasize the fact that you are a woman! I suffered from both PHIMOSIS and a FRENLUM BREVE on my PENIS, which is something I have and you don’t! How DARE you describe me the way you do! I am someone who HAD to hear and weigh both sides of the procedure out of medical necessity. I also heard both sides in disproportion, because the support for circumcision was overwhelmingly greater than support for non-invasive procedures. But thankfully, I manage to find those who spoke of non invasive methods for fixing this problem, with forum messages like this…

    I’m very happy that your situation has been resolved. The impression I got from your statement “I for one am quite happy with being intact and this is coming from someone who belonged to the small minority of males, who had both phimosis and a frenlum breve! However, I managed to solve both by using simple stretching exercise over a period of time and I am very happy with the results,” was that the conditions you suffered from were of minor significance and easily fixed by the simple expedient of the stretching exercises you mention.

    You also said “…this is NOT about you or me! This is about individuals who actually do have an issue! Understand?” The emphasis on ‘not’ is your own. If you’re now going to tell me you suffered years of anguish and alienation because of the cruel joke nature played, that’s up to you; I can only go on the information I’ve been given and the assertions made in a user’s own comments. If someone tells me in no uncertain terms that what’s being discussed is NOT about him, I don’t think I can be blamed for taking him at his word.

    Regarding phimosis, Wikipedia says “The term may also refer to clitoral phimosis in women, whereby the clitoral hood cannot be retracted, limiting exposure of the glans clitoridis,” so this ‘Nam war movie You weren’t there man, you weren’t there attitude is rather presumptive on your part. It’s a weak dialectical position anyway which relies on absolute subjectivity and excludes anyone personally not affected from offering an opinion. I bet if I consistently agreed with you, my lack of a clarkson wouldn’t be an issue.

    Also its unbelievably ridiculous of you of all people to accuse ME of scaremongering!

    Name an instance, in which I had made a belittling or fear mongering statement against those who were circumcised!

    When did I mock circumcised men’s sexual appearance, appeal or performance, the way you and brian mocked intact males?

    I’ve already apologized for that remark. If you’re intent on bringing it up every time I comment on this subject, that’s up to you, but my conscience is clear. It was entirely about performance though, as I have never mocked appearance or appeal, except as the latter of these pertains to performance. How exactly did brianhunt62 mock anyone in his comment or indeed in any of his other ones?

    When did I scaremonger circumcised males with threats of disease and cancer, The way you and a few others had done by getting behind incompetent research, that don’t even mention anti-retroviral drugs, and condoms?

    I’ve never gotten behind any research on this, competent or otherwise. Unlike Phil and others, I have neither the patience nor the intellect to wade through mountains of research and arrive at a conclusive answer vis-à-vis this issue.

    Your scaremongering lies in: choosing to ignore any and all potential benefits male circumcision may confer in the prevention of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases; claiming that those who undergo the operation will suffer the rest of their life and never be completely sexually whole; and adopting the intransigent position that this procedure can only ever be child abuse – you know, the crime for which people get put on registers, are sent to prison, get dragged through the streets and then lynched.

    In your subsequent comment you claim that infant circumcision is “a procedure that involves the affliction of serious pain.” When done without the use of anesthetic this would certainly be true, but that’s not always the case, is it? Scaremongering.

    Oh right, I DIDN’T do those things!

    What I’ve done for the most part was to continuously show a zero tolerance attitude, towards abuse and violation of basic human rights! My objection has mostly been against suggestions of violating consent!

    Allow me to put your mind at ease then: infants and children are in almost all known systems of jurisprudence below the age of consent, so by definition no such violation can occur.

    So No, Katy, you are the one acting like a scaremonger. Not only are you utterly callous towards this issue but have also decided to lie!

    Right, I accused two other members of mocking the appearance of circumcised men… oh no, that wasn’t me. I trust now I’ve justified the scaremonger accusation I can expect to receive an apology?

    I shan’t hold my breath.

    That’s fine: we can be passionate about stuff without having had it impact us directly. But it behoves you to stand back and take in the entire picture.

    Not we, YOU.

    YOU are the one who passionately promotes the removal of a body part that you don’t even possess! In some instances you’ve even advocated this procedure to be done without consent!

    When I have advocated on this forum for circumcision? I think at most what I’ve said is it should be considered as a routine procedure in areas where HIV and AIDS are endemic. If you choose to interpret that as passionate promotion that’s your own affair.

    The overwhelming majority of circumcised men suffer no problems, and, like our friend Brian, go on to have successful relationships, perhaps with a slightly reduced chance of becoming infected with HIV and other venereal diseases and being less likely to develop penile cancer.

    If that procedure was elected by them AND they were happy with those results then that is perfectly fine! But that is not the issue at hand, the issue at hand is forcing a procedure WITHOUT the consent of that person. Also whoever said that ALL people with circumcision had problems? The key term is consent and informed consent at that!

    Well, Brian informs us that his parents were responsible for this procedure’s having been performed on him. He’s happy with the results but you’re not. Brian isn’t a prolific poster on RDnet, so there’s no reason to think he will read your comment and find out that despite what he thinks, what happened to him isn’t actually fine at all.

    At least there’s a chance he will find out; there are millions of men throughout the world living happy, sexually fulfilled lives who are likely to go to their graves blissfully unaware they have been wronged in this way. Poor bastards.

  29. I see terrible double standards: human right defenders fiercly fight the rights of the primitive tribes all over the world who wage their life with differen mutilations and poignant tattoos.The cultural traditions` values are neglected when you speak of the hated Jews.The same with the rithual slaughter.There are traditions of the poignant slaughter of animals(beasts) during hunting,massed forced poignant fatting of the domestic animals,even the alive animals eating! No tears,no hate-no Jews.

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