Who should be circumcised - boys or men?

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Who should be circumcised - boys or men?
51
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 7:46pm

As we all know, the AAP has now recommended that parents should consider circumcision for their boys - based on the erroneous African studies a few years ago.

In Tanzania male circumcision usually costs the equivalent of $10-17 in a country where 36% of the 44m population lives on less than $2 a day. But free adult circumcision is being supported by a $40m fund from the American government. Under the programme the aim is to circumcise 2.8 million men by 2015 - using female nurses who's training is being fast-tracked for lack of enough male doctors.

Thankfully, this does not include boys who are are not yet sexually active - which is significant when compared with the AAP's predilection for infant circumcision. Where is the reasoning behind the AAP's statement?

Men or boys... or none at all? If the foreskin harbours STDs why are British and European populations so sexually healthy, by and large?

Christopher

P.S. This is a repeat of my post on the Intact Foreskin Support section.

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2008
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 9:47pm

"Where is the reasoning behind the AAP's statement?"

You won't find it in the statement, that's for sure but it's mostly cultural conditioning. They also start with the erroneous premise that the foreskin has no value. A friend of mine recently blogged about this issue: http://www.chooseintact.com check out the most recent three posts. The middle one (second from the top written Monday I think) explains their thinking.

"Men or boys... or none at all? If the foreskin harbours STDs why are British and European populations so sexually healthy, by and large?"

None unless they want it, which would preclude boys. Europeans seem to have a more relaxed attitude toward sexuality which I think allows people to live healthier sexual lives. Seek treatment, learn how to protect themselves ect. 

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 5:55pm

The parents are the ones to make that decision.  While there have been lots of studies nothing definative is available.  However,comparing Eurpean countries (esp north Europe) with the US is void.  There is a vast difference is sex education.  The US is so up tight about sexuality that only studies done here and in different markets can be used.  Social mores differ state by state to city by city.

chaika

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 7:28pm

xxxs,

There's a vast difference in sex education among the European nations. And in England alone social mores differ hugely between the northern, southern and western regions - not to mention Wales, Scotland and Ireland (north and south)..

But every male has a penis both in the UK and the USA of course. That is the common factor. The uncommon factor is the way we think about foreskins and their usefulness. The comparison is valid.

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 7:59pm

To ALL

I would like to put my original question again but from a slightly different angle because this was in my mind when I began the thread.

Based on the premise that somewhere in this world of ours male circumcision will remain into the foreseeable future, should boys be the victims or adult males? I will put it another way: if the concept of ridding a male of his foreskin has any validity, should it be done before puberty or after when the male is sexually active?

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 8:10pm

Infants!

   I do know men who had circumcision done as adults and they wish it had been done as infants!!

 

chaika

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 9:16pm

Why?

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 09-24-2012 - 9:34pm

Pain and healing time!

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 11:59pm

Well, I think it's only ethical when you have the informed consent of an adult. However, I think comparing infant vs. adult circumcision is a more interesting question.

The advantages of an infant circumcision when compared to adult circumcision that I can think of is: shorter post-op recovery period, it doesn't need stitches, it isn't consciously remembered, there's no possibility of being teased about having a foreskin (I'm throwing infant circumcision a bone here, I'm not actually saying this is a legit justification, and obviously this is only relevant in circumcising cultures), it's cheaper, and you don't have the problem of erections during the recovery period (that I'm aware of that is.)

There are a lot of disadvantages to it though, them being:  An infant doesn't have the cognitive ability to conceptualize or understand the pain they're going through (during the surgery and the post-op recovery period,) making psychological trauma a risk wherein it isn't really with adult circumcisions. You're very limited in what anesthesia you can use because of how dangerous it is to infants and children.  You're dealing with a very small and immature penis, which not only means that it's more difficult to be exact with what and how much you're removing at the time, but also you have no idea how much skin you're leaving them with once they're fully mature; you're risking that they don't have enough skin to accommodate their natural developmental growth and erections (everyone develops differently.)  The prepuce has to be forcibly removed from the glans, tearing the synechia bond, which causes pain and can result in scarring and skin bridges.  The wound is kept inside a diaper along with feces and urine, and the urethra does not have the adhered prepuce to protect it.  As the child sexually matures, he won't have the natural masturbation aid that the foreskin provides, which means they may resort to more harsh and damaging forms of masturbation since they're often too sexually awkward/embarrassed/ignorant to go to the store and buy a safe personal lubricant.  Assuming we're comparing this to the circumcision of an 18 year old, an infant that is circumcised has an extra 18 years where the glans and inner foreskin are being exposed to the friction of clothing, that's 18 years of keratinization.  You're not always getting a true experienced surgeon and/or someone who knows how to administer the proper anesthesia, sometimes you're even getting a nervous intern who hasn't performed a surgery before, and they're being given an infant's (and future adult's) penis to practice on.  Also, (this part is admittedly conjecture and an appeal to common sense) the nervous system is the most complex, fragile, and least understood of all the systems in the human body, and circumcision cuts into very highly innervated tissue while the nervous system is very early in its development.  I think there is good reason to think you're risking a lot by messing with nature here while it's barely been developed, the body is geared through evolution to develop a certain way and it develops expecting certain neural pathways to be intact, and in circumcision they are severed and put back together merely through an emergency survival mechanism, there's little doubt in my mind that it's a damaged neural connection.

Of course adult circumcision is better if you have to pick between the two, it's a no-brainer IMO.  The adult gets to seek out the surgeon that they want, examine their qualifications, and inform the doctor what they specifically want removed.  They get to weigh all the pros and cons of it, and apply that to their own unique individual value system.  They can understand that the decision to surgically alter your body has natural consequences of pain and discomfort during recuperation.  Most importantly, they can give informed consent, they have control over their body, they have the choice to do something about their body if they don't like it the way it is.  What choice does the adult that was circumcised as an infant have?  Years of tugging on their skin to create a pale imitation of a foreskin?  All of that is supposed to be trumped because some adults wanting/needing to get circumcised have an unpleasant recovery process? What makes their preferences so important that we should take the choice away from people to decide on their own body? Nothing, that's what. I have no sympathy for the person who decides to get a circumcision based on non medically necessary reasons and then whines about the discomfort afterwards.  That's nothing compared to what I'd be willing to endure to get my foreskin back.  Their hindsight desires to have been circumcised at birth should have absolutely no bearing on whether we should circumcise infants.  An intact adult who wants to be circumcised can get circumcised, but a circumcised adult who wants to be intact can't get un-circumcised.

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 11:16pm

An adult male and a boy both feel pain - an infant boy more so because he cannot receive sufficient anaesthesia to numb his penis completely. Also, an adult knows what is being doing to him - and why. Healing may take longer and therefore a longer period of pain, but so what? He not only must cope with it but also he can! Straightforward as that.

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

Avatar for islaywhisky
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2002
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 12:27am

Mark, teasing is a red herring; subconscious memory is an established source of future behaviour... and see my reply to xxxxs regarding post-op recovery. Oh, and infant boys do have erections.

The rest of your post I agree with completely... except perhaps the issue of masturbation after circumcision. I have no need to buy a personal lubricant because I've discovered an effective method in its place. Yes, it takes considerably longer to achieve orgasm without a foreskin - but, thankfully it works, for now. However, I'm aware this may be because I was circumcised a mere 2½ years ago and although my permanently exposed glans loses sensation as each year goes by, kerantinisation is in its infancy.

I'm glad you would choose adult circumcision over infant surgery. As you say, it's a no-brainer which gives the lie to the AAP's unethical and tragic advice for American parents today.

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

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