Intactivists are generally discouraged from talking about things we cannot prove. Like, does circumcision sometimes mess up personal relationships and contribute to divorce? And could there be a connection between circumcision and war?
As I see it, all boys are born with an intact penis. Boys left intact, what you might call the default, become men with the genitals that have evolved over hundreds of millions of years. They are going to function perfectly with their female counterpart: they evolved to function together. And if those parts were defective, evolution would have eradicated them.
Once you cut off the foreskin, though (say as a sacrifice to the gods or as a painful rite of passage), the law of unintended consequences kicks in. In the old days, people had no idea what they were cutting off. And they cut off only the part of the foreskin that extended beyond the head of the penis. And even today, American medical associations don't talk about the anatomy or physiology of the part they are cutting off.
As I see it, physicians who would cut if off have to prove that there is a medical basis for it and that it does no harm. Whereas medical associations outside the U.S. say there is no medical basis for it and that it does cause pain, physical harm, sexual problems, and sometimes psychological harm.
So to get to the point, American physicians cannot prove that circumcision does not injure the brains of newborns. They have no resistance to pain. They are bombarded with pain. What effect does this have on the brain? We know that circumcision changes sensitivity to pain, possibly for life, so what is happening to the infant brain?
The same with sex. American medical associations claim that circ. does not affect men's sex lives (they don't mention women). That's just B.S. Without a foreskin, the penis doesn't function properly. It's only common sense that it you remove 1/2 of the penile covering, full of nerves and blood vessels, it must change sensation. And studies show that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. So the likelihood is great that circumcision messes up men's sex lives. And since it turns the penis into a dry stick, that it's going to mess up women's sex lives. Doctors cannot prove otherwise.
Now what effect do you think this has on relationships? There is evidence that circumcised men are less likely to be open about their feelings. Which makes sense. And there is evidence that women enjoy sex more with intact men and less with circumcised men, which makes sense. E.g., one study said women feel less fulfilled with sex. Well then it makes sense that couples are going to be more unhappy with each other, and that this could contribute to the divorce rate. Again, it makes sense, and doctors cannot prove otherwise.
The same can be said of aggressiveness. I keep hearing the rule that abuse begets abuse. You were abused, you abuse someone else. Men who were circumcised are much more likely to opt to circumcise their sons. Violence is inflicted on you, for some reason, you are more likely to inflict it on others.
So it is reasonable to ask, might circumcision contribute to aggression and war? Some could argue no, consider Hitler. You could argue yes, presently circumcised populations are perpetually at war, while the non-circumcised countries mostly are at peace. So circumcision might contribute to the war-like nature of the U.S. Doctors can't prove otherwise.
Maybe circumcision contributes to autism too. There's evidence for that. Doctors can't prove otherwise.
All I'm saying is, all of these claims that circumcision really messes men up and their partners more than ever imagined in the 1950's when 90% of men were circumcised are worthy of consideration. They might all be true. We should keep investigating and see if there is a basis for these claims.
The only possible conclusion is that we no one should cut off part of boys' or girls' genitals. It causes all these harms that were pretty obvious, and have been proven, but it might be more harmful than we know today. There's no money in it for doctors, investigating how harmful circumcision is. So the only conservative thing to do to avoid all these problems - the ones that are obvious and the unintended ones - it to leave boys' penises alone.
photenman, Foreskin Restoration Forum 22 Comments
[9/1/2014 3:28:54 AM]
Fundie Index: -2